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Mr. Yeah, Right As If...

A soon-to-be bride and an over-protective best friend seek redemption...

COWBOY CONFESSIONS #5

The front doorbell jangled, notifying Harper James that her first customer of the day had arrived.

 

She’s here.

 

Harper reached for the black jacket she had draped around the back of her chair in her office. Standing, she shrugged into it. Her hands shook a little as she snapped it.

 

Just stop! She drew a few deep breaths, inwardly commanding her jitters to stand down. You can’t screw this up.

 

This could be her one big chance to earn her way back into the good graces of the Cassidy family — not that she had any real hope of restoring her friendship with Emerson Cassidy. Her former best friend and childhood playmate. The guy she’d attended prom with. The guy who was going to marry the woman whose hair she was about to style.

 

Smoothing her hands down the front of her jacket, she stepped out of her office. Then she forced her feet to move toward the front of Chipper’s Beauty Salon.

 

“Hey, Harper!” Lacey Perry was waiting for her at the check-in counter.

 

“Good morning, Lacey.” Forcing a smile, Harper stepped up to the computer to sign her in. It was something she'd done hundreds of times before. However, Lacey was her first celebrity customer. She was also the first customer who didn’t look like she needed a single thing done to her hair.

 

It was long, dark, and wavy — hanging all the way to the slender waistline of Lacey’s designer jeans. There wasn’t a hint of frizz or any other problem.

 

“What kind of a trim do you want?” Harper’s throat tightened at the thought of bringing her scissors anywhere near the woman’s hair.

You can’t exactly improve on perfect.

 

Lacey’s wide mouth settled into her most winning Miss Texas smile. “I need you to get rid of my split ends and freshen up my bangs. They always grow out uneven.” She reached up to drag her fingers irritably through them.

 

“If you say so.” Harper gestured for Lacey to take a seat in the nearest black and chrome swivel chair. “Most of my customers look a lot worse when they come to see me,” she confessed ruefully. “I’m not accustomed to trimming hair that looks as amazing as yours.”

 

“It’s a job requirement to look my best.” Lacey took a seat. “Or was.” She unpinned her earrings and leaned forward to set them and her purse on the shelf in front of her. A tall mirror rose above it.

 

Harper frowned thoughtfully as she placed a drape around Lacey’s red and white plaid shirt and snapped it behind her neck. “Do you mean you’re not going to compete for Miss Texas again?”

 

“That’s exactly what it means.” Lacey’s smile slipped. “I’m ready to step away from the spotlight. Ready to embrace the next adventure.”

 

“Getting married certainly qualifies as an adventure. A big one.” Not that Harper had any personal experience with such things. She bit her lower lip as she reached for her spray bottle and spritzed the ends of Lacey’s hair.

 

“So does going into business with the Cassidys.”

 

“Oh?” This was news to Harper.

 

“Yes. Claire Cassidy wants to retire soon from the bakery and a lot of the other hats she wears around the farm.”

 

“Oh, no!” Harper’s heart sank. “Please assure me this doesn’t mean they’ll be retiring her incredible honey products.” She couldn’t imagine living without Cassidy Farm’s signature line of honey soaps, lotions, and bath bombs.

“Not at all.” Lacey waved a hand. “We plan to expand our line of honey products just as soon as Claire finishes turning me into a proper beekeeper.”

“I’m glad to hear it.” As much as it hurt, Harper asked her most burning question next. “So…have you and Emerson gotten around to setting a date yet?”

 

“We have, which reminds me.” She reached for her purse. “Not sure if you’ve heard, but Emerson and I had a long talk with Devlin and Julia a few nights ago.” She dug around in her bright pink Kate Spade purse. “Long story short is we’ve decided to have a double wedding.”

 

“Oh, wow! That’s, um…very cool!” No, Harper hadn’t heard. It wasn’t as if she was on speaking terms with any of the Cassidys these days. It was a little surprising, though, that neither of her parents had mentioned it, since both of them worked at Cassidy Farm. Maybe they thought they were sparing her feelings by keeping quiet about it. Who knows?

 

“Thanks.” After a little more digging, Lacey unearthed a small white envelope. She held it out to Harper. “We want you to come.”

 

“To the wedding?” Harper stared at the envelope.

 

“Yes.” Lacey waved it impatiently.

 

Harper mechanically accepted it. “By we, I’m assuming you mean…?”

 

“Me. I want you to come.”

 

“What about Emerson?” Though Harper had no intention of RSVPing to the wedding, she was dying to know if he even knew his former prom date was being invited.

 

“We haven’t discussed it,” Lacey admitted. “But it’s my opinion that it would mean a lot to him to see you there.”

 

Harper stuffed the envelope in her pocket. “How can you say that if you haven’t even discussed it with him?” Her face turned red at the memory of her last conversation with him, where he’d all but accused her of trying to come between him and Lacey.

 

It wasn’t 100% true. Harper was just being protective of their lifelong friendship, but she could understand why he’d taken it that way.

 

“Because I know Emerson.” Lacey’s voice was matter-of-fact. “He doesn’t do anything by accident. Any friendship he’s kept for as long as yours means something to him.”

 

Whatever. Harper wasn’t interested in hashing out the details of her relationship with Emerson. Bottom line was that it was over.

 

She met Lacey’s gaze in the mirror. “How about we get your hair trimmed up now?”

 

Lacey shook her head, smiling sadly. “I really don’t blame you for making sure my feelings about Emerson were serious. I did blame you at the time, of course, but not anymore. You were right. I was on the fence about committing, and you called me out on it. Like it or not, that’s something a good friend would and should do.”

 

Harper snorted and started combing her hair again. “I think you missed the part about how my interference in your relationship ended my friendship with Emerson.”

 

“That’s partly my fault for playing the jealous girlfriend.” To Harper’s surprise, tears swam in Lacey’s eyes. “Which is why I’m trying so hard to fix things between you.”

 

Harper’s hands stilled. “Or you could just be happy with Emerson and have a nice life together.”

 

“Oh, come on, Harper!” Lacey looked even more distressed. “It’s a small town. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life dodging the Cassidys?”

 

“If that’s what it takes.”

 

“But you didn’t do anything wrong. If anything, you helped me make up my mind about Emerson. And now we’re getting married.”

 

Harper gave her a hard look. “I had a crush on him for the longest time. Doesn’t that bother you?”

 

“No. It just means you’re guilty of having great taste in men.”

 

Harper made a face at her. “I don’t think he sees it that way. As much as I appreciate what you’re trying to do, it’s probably best for me to keep my distance.”

 

“That’s too bad, because I was kind of hoping you’d agree to serve as the plus one of a dear friend at our wedding.”

 

A surprised chuckle escaped Harper. Unable to continue cutting hair, she laid down her scissors on the shelf in front of them. “Who?”

 

“Todd Hoffman.”

 

Harper’s eyes bugged out. “Are you serious?” Not only was he the brother of Cormac Cassidy’s wife, he was also the new school superintendent in town.

“Very serious.”

“Please tell me this is something you’ve run past Emerson.” Dating Todd would mean she was dating someone in his family.
 
Lacey’s somewhat sheepish look told Harper that it was yet another item she hadn’t discussed with her fiancé. “Listen, he’s a single, good looking, extremely hot guy. Former Navy SEAL. And he’s interested in dating you.”

 

“Dating me?” Since when? Harper’s knees grew weak. She took a few shaky steps and plopped into the swivel chair to the left of Lacey. “I, um…I’m going to need a little more information than that.”

 

“You kissed him at the charity kissing booth during the last hoe down.” Lacey’s smile was gleeful. “Apparently, you made an impression on him.” 

 

“That was nearly a year ago.” Harper would never forget what an amazing kisser Todd Hoffman had been. However, there’d been zero contact between them since then.

 

“Only because he thought you were Emerson’s girl.” Lacey wagged a finger at her. “A lot of people thought that.”

 

Harper blew out a breath. “I kind of thought that, too, at the time. Honestly, right before you showed up in town, I had myself convinced he was finally going to ask me out. Officially.” Something more than their impromptu coffee breaks at his family’s store.

 

“Yeah, I think he feels pretty guilty about that.” Lacey glanced away from her. “I’m probably stepping into something here that I have no business stepping into, but I have every reason to believe he was, in fact, going to ask you out before I flew into town.”

 

“Why do you say that?” Harper pressed both hands to her rapidly beating heart.

 

“Because you’re a wonderful person, and he’s a wonderful person. Plus, it’s a small town where the dating pool is limited.”

 

Harper shook her head vehemently, needing for Lacey to understand something crucial. “Emerson and I had our chance. If something was meant to happen between us, it would’ve happened a long time ago. But it didn’t.”

 

“I know.” Lacey’s smile was empathetic. “I’m glad you see it that way, too.”

 

“I do. Believe me, I do.” Harper glanced at her watch, hating the fact that they were halfway through Lacey’s scheduled appointment already.

 

Lacey’s gaze followed her movements. “Don’t worry about my hair. I actually had it trimmed during my trip to Dallas last week. I only kept my appointment with you so we could talk.” Her smile returned. “About Todd.”

 

The guy who needs a plus one at your wedding… Harper fished the white envelope out of her pocket and opened it. Scanning the invitation card, she gasped. “You’re getting married next month? That’s quick!”

 

Lacey shrugged. “Dev and Julia have already been engaged a while, and Emerson and I don’t want to wait.”

 

“Oh, wow!” Now that she and Lacey had cleared the air between them, Harper was really tempted to say yes. She didn’t expect to restore her friendship with Emerson. However, Lacey was right. Chipper was a small town, and Harper really didn’t look forward to spending the rest of her life avoiding the Cassidys.

 

Lacey’s gaze snapped with eagerness. “Is that a yes?”

 

Eh, why not? “It’s a yes.” Like Todd, Harper was very single and very available. Plus, it provided the perfect excuse to attend Emerson's wedding. Maybe it would give her the closure she needed where he was concerned. And if she didn’t hit it off with Todd, it wasn’t like there’d be any pressure to keep dating him.

 

“Good.” Lacey reached up to unsnap the cape from around her shoulders. Standing, she shot Harper a mischievous smile. “Because I already gave him your phone number. He’s going to call you as soon as I give him a thumbs up.”

 

“Lacey!” Harper stood as well. “He knows I’m a hair stylist, right? No big college education like what he has?”

 

“Actually, he thinks it’s pretty awesome that you run your own business.” Lacey’s smile brightened. “Oh, and he thought you were stunning in that sundress you wore to the church picnic a couple of months ago.”

 

Harper swallowed hard at the memory. She’d worn the dress in the hopes of getting Emerson’s attention. For the life of her, she couldn’t remember even seeing Todd at the picnic.

 

Lacey bent toward the mirror to put her earrings back on. “Don’t be surprised if he reaches out to you sometime today. Now that he’s sure you’re single, he’s anxious to make contact.” She pulled her wallet out of her purse.

“No!” Harper waved away Lacey’s attempt to pay for the appointment. “You don’t owe me anything.”

 

“Oh, yes, I do!” Lacey gave her an incredulous look and waved a fifty-dollar bill at her. “I reserved an appointment that you could’ve given to another customer.”

 

“It doesn’t matter. I’m giving you the friend discount.” Harper would feel awful accepting a payment for the heart-to-heart they’d just finished sharing.

 

“Have it your way.” Lacey moved to the check-in counter. “I’m setting up another appointment before I leave. A recurring one, please, now that I’ve moved to Chipper.”

 

“Absolutely!” Harper was enormously grateful to Lacey for her patronage. Once word got out that Chipper’s Beauty Salon was serving Miss Texas, it would only help her business.

 

“Mind if I take a quick selfie of us together?” Lacey spun around and leaned back against the counter. She waited until Harper leaned closer to start snapping pictures. She had it on the shutter snap option.

 

“That’s a lot of selfies.” Harper was surprised she wanted so many.

 

“Just sign here, and I’ll share them all over social media,” Lacey promised, sliding her cell phone across the counter. She pointed at the screen. “You can use your finger to sign.”

 

Feeling dazed, Harper signed her name in fat, shaky letters. “I really appreciate you for doing this.”

 

“I want us to be friends,” Lacey said simply.

 

“Me, too.” The thought of having her almost-boyfriend’s almost-wife as a friend was a little crazy, but Harper meant what she said.

 

“I’m glad.” Lacey beamed another smile at her before moving toward the front door. “Just be ready for a phone call from Todd. I meant it when I said he’s ready to reach out.”

 

After the door swung shut behind her, Harper stared after her dazedly. It was a good feeling to know she was finally on her way to mending fences with the Cassidys.

She moved back to the swivel chair Lacey had been sitting in to toss her cape in the laundry hamper. Before she was finished sanitizing her scissors, her cell phone rang.

 

She grew still. No way! Could Todd really be calling this soon? Her hand moved to her pocket. Lifting her cell phone, she stared at the screen. It was a number she didn’t recognize. The caller ID showed a Dallas area code.

 

She lifted the phone to her ear. “Hello?” Her voice came out a little breathless.

“Is this Harper James?” The husky male voice made her heart race.

 

“Y-yes.”

 

“Hey, this is Todd Hoffman. I hope you don’t mind that Lacey shared your number with me.”

 

“That’s fine.” Harper wanted to sink to the floor with embarrassment at her sudden inability to think of anything interesting to say.

 

“I hope you also don’t mind that I’m on my way there with two cups of coffee?” He sounded a tad uncertain. “I know you’re on the clock, but I happened to be in the area, and—”

 

“That sounds wonderful,” Harper interrupted, finally recovering her ability to form whole sentences again. “It’s always a good time for a cup of coffee.” It was only a few minutes past nine, but she was already desperate for her second cup.

 

“Awesome. I’ll be there in a few.” He disconnected the line.

 

Though her knees felt shaky again, she forced herself to remain standing at the front counter. Her gaze fell on the tip jar, and her eyes rounded on the fifty-dollar bill resting inside it.

 

Lacey! She felt like ringing the woman’s neck for leaving such a large tip after Harper had refused any payment for her appointment. On the other hand, she was grateful. Business had been slow lately. She could use every penny that came in.

 

No sooner had she placed the bill inside her cash register drawer than the front door jangled again.

 

Glancing up, she caught her breath at the sight of Todd Hoffman’s tall frame filling the doorway.

 

He looked incredible in a navy business suit, white shirt, and red tie. His dark hair sported a military cut — longer on top and shaved on the sides.

 

“Hi, Harper.” He strode toward the counter with two cardboard coffee cups in his hands. She recognized the green cornstalk and horsehead logo on the cups. They were from Cassidy Farm.

 

“Hey, Todd.” She greedily held out her hands. Coffee from Cassidy Farm was a real treat. She’d missed it, and it smelled amazing. “What flavor is it?”

 

He moved around the counter to press one of the cups in her hands. “Carmel and hazelnut with a drizzle of chocolate and a lot of French vanilla creamer. Someone told me it’s your favorite.”

 

“My mother, huh?” Her mom worked full time at the bakery and coffee shop these days. Harper chuckled in amazement, more than a little impressed that he’d gone to so much trouble on her behalf.


“Yep.” He took a sip of his coffee and leaned back against the counter beside her. “I really hope you don’t mind me barging in on you like this.”

 

“You’re good.” She lifted her cup to breathe deeply of the heavenly scent. “Feel free to barge in on me any time with my favorite brew.”

 

“Be careful what you offer. I might just take you up on it.” The admiring glint in his silvery-gray eyes made her wish she was wearing something besides a simple black smock over her jeans.

 

“I hear you’re looking for a plus one to the Cassidy twins’ double wedding.” She’d never been one to beat around the bush.

 

“Not just any plus one,” he clarified with a wink. “I was really hoping you would come with me.”

 

Her heart skipped a beat. “Why me?”

 

“Because I haven’t been able to stop thinking about our kiss.”

 

Her eyebrows rose. “It was for a good cause.” The proceeds from the kissing booth had gone toward the purchase of an elementary school playground. “I’m sure you kissed a lot of girls that day.”

 

“I did, but yours was the most memorable.”

 

She took a sip of her coffee, wanting to believe him. It was hard, though. “You waited a long time to call.”

 

“In my defense, I thought you were dating Emerson.”

 

“That’s what Lacey said.”

 

Todd set his cup of coffee on the counter and leaned on it in her direction. “Everyone in town thought you two were an item. I should know because I asked quite a few people.”

 

“You did?” She blushed. That was noteworthy.

 

“Imagine my disappointment when over half a dozen locals assured me it was only a matter of time before he popped the big question.”

 

She shrugged, feeling bemused. “We grew up together, attended prom together, and then…”

 

“And then?” he prodded when she fell silent.

“Nothing else happened.” She smiled wryly. “It just wasn’t meant to be.”

 

“Are you still…?” He waved a hand at her.

 

She set her coffee cup down and faced him. “I’m over him, if that’s what you’re asking. He and Lacey are right for each other. I have no doubt of that, and I’m happy for them.”

 

“Happy enough to attend their wedding and wish them well, I hope?” He arched a single dark eyebrow at her.

 

“With you, you mean?”

 

“Of course.” He searched her features.

 

“I can do that.” It was harder to breathe with the way his broad shoulders were filling her vision.

“It’s a date then.” He reached for his coffee cup again. “Any chance you’re free for dinner this evening?”

 

“I…yes, but…”

 

“But what?” He eyed her curiously.

 

“Being seen together in our small town is bound to raise some questions that I’m not ready to answer. I wouldn’t mind getting to know you a little better first.”

 

“Fine. My place at six. I’ll cook you dinner.”

 

She smiled faintly. “I’ll need an address.”

 

“I’ll text it to you.”

 

* * *

 

Six o’clock

 

She walked up the sidewalk to the front door of his one-story ranch home. The exterior was a variegated gray and rose brick. It had a covered front porch and a two-car garage facing the street.

 

He answered the door on her second knock. “Come in.” He ushered her inside, looking every shade of yummy in a snug black t-shirt tucked loosely into his jeans.

 

“It smells wonderful.” She gave the air an appreciative sniff. His home boasted an open floor plan. They were standing in a cozy living room with pale gray walls and a brown leather sofa. A matching recliner completed the L-shaped layout of furniture. The living room moved seamlessly into an eat-in kitchen. A dark bistro table with four high-back chairs filled the cozy dining nook. 

 

“I hope you like lasagna.”

 

Her mouth watered. “I love it.”

 

“You look amazing.” He gave her floral sundress an admiring once-over. It was the same one she’d worn to the church picnic. Since Lacey had insisted he liked it, she figured it only made sense to wear it again. Plus, it was the only dress she owned.

 

“Thanks.” She shyly held out a plate of cookies. “I hope you like homemade chocolate chip cookies.” She’d left work an hour early to bake them.

 

“I do.” Their fingers brushed as he accepted the plate. They moved together toward the kitchen. As they passed the table, he set her cookies in the center of it. Her plate looked right at home there.

 

Harper felt like pinching herself. Everything about the evening felt like a dream. She was dating the town’s school superintendent, for crying out loud. Me! A lowly hair stylist. It was like stepping straight into a fairytale.

 

She was so caught up in her haze of thoughts that she didn’t notice Todd had stopped by the kitchen stove. She bumped right into him. It was like colliding with a solid wall. He didn’t budge an inch.

 

“I’m so sorry,” she gasped, stepping back in mortification.

 

“I’m not.” He chuckled and reached for her upper arms to steady her.

 

It was the same way he’d held her right before kissing her at the charity kissing booth.

 

In slow motion, his head descended toward hers. “If you don’t want this, tell me to stop, Harper.”

 

She watched him in wide-eyed silence.

 

“You don’t know how many times I’ve re-lived our kiss,” he said huskily.

 

She’d thought about it some, but not like this. During the past few months, her brain had been too full of confusing thoughts about Emerson. Right now, though, her only thoughts were about Todd. His nearness. His aftershave. His silvery eyes probing hers.

 

Then his mouth touched hers. His hands slid down her arms and came around her, hitching her gently closer.

 

She leaned into him, liking his solidness and strength.

 

When he deepened their kiss, she tasted an eagerness and longing that matched her own. It was the perfect second kiss. Better than perfect, because it felt completely right.

 

Hope bloomed in her chest that maybe, just maybe, she’d finally met the one.

 

Dinner passed in a happy haze of getting-to-know-you questions. They exchanged favorite colors and holidays over warm marinara sauce, tangy Italian salad dressing, peach tea, and fresh-baked cookies. It was an evening Harper never wanted to end.

 

Todd walked her to her car, a faded blue Ford escort with a bit of rust on the bumper. She wished she had a nicer vehicle to impress him with, but it was all she could afford. She’d just finished sinking a ton of money into the transmission, so she was hoping to get another thirty to fifty thousand miles out of it.

 

He barely looked at her car, though. “Thanks for a wonderful evening.” He reached over to brush a loose strand of hair from her forehead. “Your idea of meeting in private was perfect. It was nice not being a superintendent this evening.”

 

“What’s wrong with being a superintendent?” She gazed at him in astonishment.

 

“Nothing. I just meant that having you visit me at home allowed me to stay off duty. No running into coworkers, city council members, or charity fundraiser chairmen. It was nice.” He reached for her hand.

 

She squeezed his fingers, thrilled that he was confiding in her like this. She was even more thrilled that he'd had such a good time with her. “I had a good time, too. Thanks for inviting me.”

 

“You’re welcome. Let’s do it again.” His gaze was questioning.

 

“Yes, let’s,” she agreed. “My place next time.”

His answering smile told her he very much approved of her suggestion.

 

* * *

 

The day of Emerson and Devlin’s wedding rolled around quicker than Harper expected. Her anxiety level rose with every passing minute as she donned the new dress she’d purchased for the occasion.

Thanks to Lacey’s social media endorsement, business was booming at Chipper’s Beauty Salon. She’d paid off her bill at the auto repair shop. She’d also been able to open her first-ever savings account at the bank. It was a wonderful feeling to finally be building a rainy-day savings. If things continued to go well at the salon, she would soon no longer be living from paycheck to paycheck.

 

She stood in front of the mirror in the new off-the-shoulder dress. It was made of pale blue satin. The ruffled top layer was embroidered with red roses and green leaves. She’d splurged on a pair of high-heeled blue cowgirl boots to go with it.

 

I hope Todd likes it. She’d shared the color she’d be wearing today, in case he wanted to coordinate something to complement it. However, she’d kept the details a secret, hoping to surprise him.

 

It was the first time they would be seen together in public. She wasn’t looking forward to their secret dating life becoming public knowledge. She’d enjoyed having him to herself for the past month.

 

Their relationship had been allowed to unfold naturally in an environment where there was no pressure to live up to anyone else’s expectations. She could only hope that going public wouldn’t change things too much between them.

 

The front doorbell of her city cottage rang. She glanced through the peep hole to make sure it was her date.

 

It was.

 

She swung the door open. “Wow! You look amazing, Todd!” His gray suit matched his eyes. He’d paired it with a white button-up shirt and a blue tie that was a perfect match to her dress. She suspected he’d gotten her mother’s help on that last item.

 

“Quit stealing my lines.” With a quick glance around them, he slid his arms around her and drew her closer, simply holding her. “You’re so beautiful, Harper.”

 

“Thank you.” She wished he’d kiss her, but she understood why he was holding back. For the first time since they’d started dating, she was wearing lipstick.

 

He gazed down at her with his forehead furrowed. “You’re more than my plus one. You know that, right?”

 

She smiled shyly up at him. “We don’t have to put a label on what we are.”

 

“The rest of the town is going to.”

 

She wrinkled her nose at him. “Let them.” She was used to their gossip.

 

“I’m far more concerned about what you think.” He cuddled her closer. “About what you want going forward.”

 

“I want to keep dating you,” she assured in a soft voice.

“Believe me, Harper. There’s no one else I want to date.” He eyed her seriously. “I don’t want to rush you into anything you’re not ready for. That said, I’ve been hoping we could make things a little more official between us soon.”

 

Her breath clogged in her throat. “What are you talking about?”

“I want you to be my girlfriend.”

 

Her smile grew tremulous. “I’d like that.”

 

“Just to be clear, I want you and I to exclusively date.” His arms tightened around her. “I don’t want to share you with anyone.”


“Good, because I don’t want to share you, either.” She reached up to touch his cheek, gazing at him in wonder. He was such a great guy. She was fortunate to have him in her life. He was so reliable. So solid. So steady. All the things that mattered most to her in a relationship. All the things that had originally attracted her to Emerson. The difference with Todd, though, was how special he made her feel on top of all those things — like she mattered to him, too, as in really mattered.

 

“Keep looking at me like that, and your lipstick will be in trouble,” he warned.

 

“I love you, Todd.” The words slipped out before she realized what she’d said. She jolted in his arms, really to pull back and run if need be.

 

He tangled a hand in her hair, preventing her from going anywhere. Cupping the back of her head to guide her mouth to his, he declared roughly, “I love you, too, Harper. I’ve just been waiting for the right time to tell you.” Then his lips covered hers.

 

Her makeup required some touching up before they departed for the wedding. He drove her there in his black Land Rover. It was so much nicer than her old Escort. The leather seats were crazy comfortable.

 

Like Fox Cassidy and his wife had done, Emerson and Devlin and their fiancées had chosen to have an outdoor wedding. They’d set up an enormous white tent in the parking lot of the Cassidy Farm store.

As the happy couples exchanged their wedding vows, Harper could feel each word resonate through her. In her mind, it was all too easy to substitute Todd’s name into the age-old vow.

 

I take thee, Todd Hoffman, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ‘til death do us part.

 

She glanced his way and found him watching her instead of the two couples at the front of the tent. He laced his fingers through hers and drew her hand to his mouth. His breath was warm on her skin as he deliberately kissed her bare wedding finger.

 

She caught her breath at the unspoken question burning in his gaze, sensing that he felt the same way she did.

 

The ceremony ended, and the wedding party formed a receiving line. Before the line started moving, however, the two brides turned around and tossed their bridal bouquets into the air. Julia’s fell a few feet in front of Harper, but Lacey’s landed squarely in Harper’s hands.

 

She stood there like a deer in headlights, wondering if Lacey had thrown them to her on purpose. Her face felt suddenly warmer as all eyes turn in her direction. Only one set of eyes belonged to the person whose opinion on the topic actually mattered to her.

 

Todd bent his head to speak directly in her ear. “So glad you’re mine.”

 

The tension left her body. His. It was a single word, but it was one that filled her with infinite happiness. After years of hoping and waiting, she was finally dating a man she could picture building all her tomorrows around. The right man to build her tomorrows around.

 

She clutched the bouquet of roses tighter, sending up a silent prayer of thanksgiving for the man at her side. She no longer had any doubt that she’d found her very own Mr. Exactly Right.

 

Someday soon, it would be their turn to start their forever and always together. She couldn’t wait!

NEW Mr Yeah Right.jpg

Read more of Jo's sweet cowboy romance in
Cowboy Angel in Disguise for Christmas

Available in eBook, paperback, and Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.

Much love,

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