Home > Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3)(14)

Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3)(14)
Author: Samantha Young

Hannah rolled her eyes. ‘I’m sixteen, almost seventeen, I have boobs, a whole bunch of hormones, and I find guys attractive. Deal with it.’

‘Well, there goes my appetite.’ Clark shoved his plate away, looking so despondent that I felt sorry for him.

Seeing his expression, and most probably understanding it better than anyone else at the table, my dad pointed an admonishing finger at Hannah. ‘That was cruel, Hannah Nichols.’

Rather than be cowed by Dad, Hannah made her face split into a gorgeous, cheeky, remorseless grin that made a low chuckle spill from Dad’s lips.

‘Well,’ Elodie said with a sigh, ‘since Hannah has successfully ruined the appetites of her male relatives, that means more dessert for us girls. We’re having sticky toffee pudding and ice cream.’

‘Och … well … you know, I’m feeling much better all of a sudden.’ Adam gestured to Braden, whose cheeks had warmed at the mention of dessert. ‘I could go for some pudding.’

Braden nodded solemnly. ‘Funnily enough, me too.’

Determined to stock up on good food before I returned to my diet-food-laden fridge back at the flat, I wasn’t sure I wanted to share pudding with the boys. No, I wasn’t sure about that at all. I looked over at Hannah and asked evilly, ‘What was that about boobs and hormones?’

5

The Proclaimers were sing-shouting at me that they’d walk five hundred miles and then five hundred more just to be the man that would fall down at my door. Frankly, I was touched.

‘See?’ I gesticulated wildly. ‘That right there are two men who know what it’s all about!’

Nate caught my hips as I stumbled slightly against the table. His handsome face was kind of a blur, but I could make out his smile. ‘And what’s it all about?’

I rested my hands on his shoulders and bowed my head toward him. ‘Love, Nate. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what everything’s all about.’ I shrugged sadly, and yes, very drunkenly. ‘Which means I got a whole bunch of nothing.’

‘Uh-oh. Happy drunk turning maudlin drunk. I think it’s time we get you home, babe.’ He stood up, pressing me back.

‘What about your girl back at the bar?’ I swayed into him and he wrapped his arms around me, holding me steady.

After kissing my nose, Nate leaned away and gave me a squeeze. ‘I can get laid anytime, sweetheart. Right now I’m making sure you get home okay.’

‘How d’ya do it, Nate?’ I asked on a sigh, the reception a blur of color and noise around me.

‘Do what?’

‘Get laid all the time?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘You just –’ I gestured to the bar but instead whacked him on the chin. ‘Oops, sorry. You just get numbers. I don’t know how to speak to a man, let alone get numbers. Or get laid. La-a-a-aid.’

‘Who’s getting laid?’

I spun around and almost caught Joss in the face with my flailing arm, but she swung back in time. ‘Good reflexes, beautiful!’ I grinned loopily at her.

Joss laughed, shimmering in shapes and swirls in front of me. ‘Nate, I think it’s time you got my bridesmaid home, yeah?’

‘I’m on it.’

‘It was such a beautiful wedding, Joss!’ I threw my arms around her and hugged her tight. ‘But I didn’t get laid!’

Her body shook with laughter as she gently released herself from my death grip. ‘Well, that doesn’t seem right at all. The men at my wedding must be blind.’

‘Och,’ I said, imitating Dad, ‘you’re just saying that!’ I pushed at her playfully but obviously harder than I meant to because she stumbled back, chuckling at me.

‘Nate, get some water in her first before you put her to bed.’

His warm body pressed against my back. ‘I’ll take care of her, don’t worry.’

‘Dude’ – I twisted my neck to look up into his face – ‘you need to teach me to get laid first.’

Nine hours earlier

A guitarist and violinist played an instrumental version of Paul Weller’s ‘You Do Something to Me’ as I walked down the aisle. I flashed a reassuring smile at Braden, who looked tall and handsome in his kilt. He, Adam, Clark, and Declan wore what was called a Prince Charlie gray jacket and matching three-button waistcoat. Their champagne silk ties were intricately knotted against their dark gray shirts, and because the Carmichaels were associated with the Stewart Clan, they were wearing a subdued Stewart Grey tartan. They looked fantastic.

Braden smiled back at me, not a nervous tremor in sight. Grinning at Adam, who stood as Braden’s best man, I took my place on the other side of the altar beside Hannah, Jo, Rhian, and Ellie.

The music seemed to swell as Joss made it to the halfway mark of the aisle, holding tight to Clark – who’d been honored to give her away – as her eyes locked on Braden. She was stunning, and when I moved my gaze from her to her soon-to-be-husband I almost expired on the spot at the look in his eyes.

Wow.

Was there ever a man more in love than Braden Carmichael?

He gazed at Joss in her ivory-and-white dress as though she was the only thing in this world that could or would ever matter. I sucked in a breath, feeling my nose sting with stupid, girly emotion.

I shot a look at Ellie, who had tears falling down her cheeks, and that made me feel a lot less of a goofball. Smiling at her, I watched her sniffle, her cheeks turning rosy.

Rhian, Joss’s university friend, who was a bit of a straight-talker and, honestly, a ballbuster, surprised me by taking Ellie’s hand and giving her a reassuring squeeze.

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