Some Sort of Love (Happy Crazy Love #3)(6)


by Melanie Harlow

He set my champagne and his Old Fashioned down and came around the table to kiss my sister on the cheek. “Congratulations, Skylar. You look beautiful.”

She flashed him her ten thousand watt smile. “Thank you. I’m so glad you’re here. You’ve met my big sister, Jillian, I see.”

He came back to his place beside me, standing a little closer this time, his body angled toward mine. “Yes. Actually, we met years ago.”

“So I hear.” Skylar gave him a smile that said I Totally Know What You Did, and I elbowed her. Did she have to be so obvious?

Natalie and Miles strolled up. “What’s going on?” Natalie asked, eyeballing me and Levi and then me again.

Skylar scooted over to make room for them between her and Sebastian. “Levi, this is the youngest Nixon sister, Natalie, and her fiancé, Miles Haas.”

While Miles and Natalie shook hands with Levi and Sebastian explained the connection, Skylar and I had a silent conversation with our facial expressions and eyebrows, the way only two sisters can. It went something like this:

Knock it off!

What? I’m not doing anything.

Yes you are, and you know it.

Relax, I’m only having a little fun. He doesn’t know you told me.

He’s standing right there! You’re making it obvious! Now stop.

But the glint in her eye made me nervous.

“So Jillian, Sebastian was just saying you and Levi met at U of M?” Natalie sounded curious.

“We were just talking about your time at Michigan, weren’t we?” Skylar turned to Natalie. “Remember, Nat? She was telling us about how clean the dorms were? How she loved the way they smelled like Pine Sol?”

If it hadn’t been her wedding day, I might have strangled her. I couldn’t even make eye contact with Levi, I was so mortified, but I thought I heard him chuckle.

“Pine Sol? Wasn’t that the hot guy from college, the one she—wait a minute.” Natalie’s face screwed up in confusion until she noticed the way that Skylar was tilting her head toward Levi. “Ohhhhh.”

“Is anyone else totally fucking confused?” Miles asked, looking around the table.

“Yes,” Sebastian said.

I cleared my throat. “So Nat, how are you feeling tonight? That baby kicking yet?” I knew it was way too early in her pregnancy for that, but I was desperate to change the subject.

She beamed. “Not yet.”

“Congratulations,” said Levi. “Do you know what you’re having?”

“Girl,” said Skylar with confidence.

“I think boy,” said Natalie.

“We’ll know next month.” Miles moved behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, which had just started to disappear within the last few weeks. He kissed her shoulder. “I can’t wait.”

“Levi has a son.” I smiled up at him over one shoulder. “Any advice for the parents-to-be?”

“Sleep. Now. As much as you can.” He shook his head and grinned wryly. “Once that baby comes, sleep will be a distant memory. Other than that…” He shrugged, and his smile softened. “Just remember you’re human. You’re going to have days where you’re like, ‘This is awesome, my baby is a genius and I’m the most amazing parent on the planet’ and days where you’ll go, ‘Fuck that, my baby is an asshole and needs to go the fuck to sleep.’”

Natalie laughed. “How old is your son?”

“Eight. But depending on the mood he’s in, he can act like he’s two or like he’s eighty.” He tipped back the rest of his cocktail and set down the glass. “Speaking of my little man, I should probably call home. Will you excuse me for a minute?”

“Of course.”

“Thanks. Be right back.” He placed a hand on my back before heading through the glass double doors into the winery’s tasting room.

As soon as the door shut behind him, Skylar whacked me on the shoulder. “I still can’t believe that’s Pine Sol!”

“OK, what happened with you two?” Miles pushed his glasses farther up on his nose. “I feel like there’s a story there.”

“There is, and you’ll like it,” said Natalie. “They banged in a broom closet.”

“Which smelled like Pine Sol,” Skylar added.

“My God, is nothing sacred?” I threw a hand in the air. “I’m never telling you two big mouths anything ever again.”

“What? We’re all family here.” Skylar gave me her innocent face. “And that was like ten years ago.”

“Eleven.”

“Whatever. Let’s talk about him now. He’s so hot! And so bearded! Plus he’s, like, mature and responsible. And single. And perfect for you.” Skylar ticked off his attributes on her fingers. “So you should marry him and have his hot bearded babies immediately.”

“Slow down, Aunt Irene,” I said, laughing. “I just learned this guy’s last name like half an hour ago, and I’m not having anyone’s bearded babies.” But I won’t complain if he wants to go through the motions later tonight.

“You’re no fun.” She stuck her tongue out at me and turned to Sebastian. “What do we know about this guy? Is he good enough for my big sister?”

Sebastian smiled. “He’s a great guy. Really devoted to his son. Smart. Talented.”

“Does it bother you?” Skylar asked. “That he has a son? Because it seems like he’s into you.”

“I don’t know. I mean, I’ve never dated anyone with kids before, but…” I bit my lip. “You really think he’s into me?”

“He’d be a fucking fool if he wasn’t,” Miles said.

Flashing him a grateful smile, I set down my glass half-full. “Thanks. You know what, I think I’ll go in too. I need to use the bathroom.” Maybe Levi and I could sneak out a different door when he was done with his call. Not that I didn’t adore my family, but I was dying to be alone with Levi again.

That fluttery feeling was like a drug.

• • •

I thought I heard his voice in the darkened tasting room, but I went straight up the stairs to the winery’s bridal suite where my sisters and I had dressed. After using the bathroom, I touched up my hair and makeup a little, frowning at the tiny lines around my eyes that had recently appeared. Leaning closer to the mirror, I scrutinized my face. I wasn’t nineteen anymore, or even twenty-five. Did it matter? What did he see when he looked at me?