Wedding Heat: One in the Hand

Wedding Heat: One in the Hand by Giselle Renarde

Book: Wedding Heat: One in the Hand by Giselle Renarde Read Free Book Online
Authors: Giselle Renarde
    Cora glanced into the back seat to see what the kids were up to.  Nobody had said anything in a while, and she always found silences unsettling.  “Hard to believe little Maggie’s getting married.”
    Joey didn’t even look up from his video game thingamajig.  “Yeah Mom, you’ve only said that forty times.”
    “Don’t speak that way to your mother,” Dan shot back.
    All these years married and Dan was still Cora’s white knight.  Her heart always felt full of affection when he came to her defense .  She reached across the bench seat to stroke her husband’s thigh.
    “We all know Mom has a mind like a sieve,” Dan went on with a sly smirk .  “No need to remind her.”
    Cora smacked Dan’s leg, then pulled her hand away, folding it in her lap.  What a nerve .
    “But if we didn’t remind her, how would she remember?”  Joey laughed in that snotty way of his.  Cora had hoped he’d grow out of it by the time he hit adulthood, but no such luck.  Her son had always been a pest, and age only strengthened his snark.
    “Fine.”  She tried to think up some comeback that would really impress them, but she didn’t have it in her.  “Just… fine.”
    The boys were still laughing when Vanessa piped up from beside her brother.  “Maggie’s not that little, Mom.  She’s two years older than me .”
    “I know,” Cora said, even though she’d forgotten that as well.  Off the top of her head, she couldn’t even recall precisely how old Vanessa was.  Twenty-four?  No, twenty-six.  God, the kids were getting up there in age.  When the heck did that happen?
    “What was the deal between you and Maggie ?” Dan asked, glancing at their daughter in the rear view mirror.  “You were like two peas in a pod when you were little.”
    “No we weren’t,” Vanessa snapped.
    “Sure you were.”  Dan wouldn’t let up once he got his hooks in, but Cora was glad she wasn’t the target of his mockery this time.  “Come to think of it, you had a bit of a crush on that cousin of yours growing up.”
    “Shut up, Dad!”  Vanessa was a toddler all over again, shouting in that pouty tantrum voice she brought out for just such occasions.  “No I didn’t.  Jesus, can’t you just… ugh, you are so annoying.”
    “Vanessa had a crush on our cousin?” Joey cackled, still without looking up from his video game.
    Dan turned his head and nodded.  “Huge crush.”
    “Keep your eyes on the road!”  Cora reached for the steering wheel just in case.  “And leave Vanessa alone.  You know she’s sensitive.”
    “I’m not sensitive.”  Vanessa’s voice was steeled, but the echo of a pout remained.  “I just don’t like being accused of something that isn’t true, okay?  What’s so wrong with that?”
    “Dad, did Vanessa really have a crush on Maggie?” Joey asked again, as though his sister wasn’t within earshot.  He was such a little instigator.
    And his father was no help.
    “Oh boy, yeah,” Dan chuckled.  “Remember, Ness, you used to dress up like little brides and say you were going to marry each other when you grew up?”
    “That never happened.”  Vanessa wore a scowl, but Cora could see the embarrassment underneath.  Nobody liked to be reminded of childhood follies.
    “I’ve got pictures somewhere in the basement,” Dan teased.  “I’ll dig them out after we get home from the wedding.”
    “That’s enough, now,” Cora hissed, but nobody in this family ever listened to her.  How could she change the subject?  Anything to protect her daughter from yet more humiliation.  “Hey kids, this wedding will be the first time you meet your new Aunt Farrah.  Remember not to call him Uncle Ralph anymore—I mean, not to call her Uncle Ralph.”
    “Who’d have thought good old Uncle Ralph was a tranny, huh?”  Joey clacked away at his video game.
    “Umm, how

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