Read Some Sort of Love (Happy Crazy Love #3) Online

Authors: Melanie Harlow

Tags: #Adult, #contemporary romance, #new adult, #Romance

Some Sort of Love (Happy Crazy Love #3)

BOOK: Some Sort of Love (Happy Crazy Love #3)
13.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

Copyright © 2016 Melanie Harlow

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews.

 

This is a work of fiction. References to real people, places, organizations, events, and products are intended to provide a sense of authenticity and are used fictitiously. All characters, incidents, and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and not to be construed as real.

 

Editing: Bethany Hagen, Tamara Mataya, Nancy Smay

Proofreading: Laura Foster Franks, Amanda Maria, Angie Owens

Cover Design: Jenn Watson, Social Butterfly PR

Cover Photography: Franggy Yanez

Cover Model: Franggy Yanez

Formatting: Cait Greer

 

This book is dedicated with gratitude and respect to the mothers who shared stories about their beautiful children with me during research for this book. Thank you for your candor, your generosity, your wisdom, and your time. Your love and devotion inspired me.

 

Laura Barnes

Jennifer Eastwood

Sarah Ferguson

Ella James

Kelley Jefferson

Melissa Quintanilla

Rachel Todd

 

From the complications of loving you

I think there is no end or return.

No answer, no coming out of it.

 

Which is the only way to love, isn’t it?

 

~ Mary Oliver

 

You know that stomach ache you get when you have to go to a family function, and everyone’s in a couple but you, and they all pretend they don’t think it’s a big deal that you’re thirty and single and don’t have a date for your sister’s wedding tomorrow, but really they’re all wondering what’s wrong with you and they’re too polite to ask?

That’s the stomach ache I had as I drove to Skylar and Sebastian’s rehearsal dinner.

And the closer I got to Abelard Vineyards, the winery where Skylar worked and where the wedding would take place, the worse it got.

Because maybe they wouldn’t be polite.

No date tonight? Must be hard to find a man once you’re past a certain age.

So why aren’t you married yet, Jillian? That clock is ticking!

You’re not one of those lesbians, are you?

One of these days I was just going to go with that one. It was so much more interesting than the truth—I just hadn’t found the right guy yet and didn’t have a clue where to look. In fact, was it too late to get a hot lesbian date for tomorrow night? That would shut them up.

Stop it. Just stop it.

I took a few deep breaths and tried to focus on what mattered. You’re being ridiculous. This is not about you. This is about Skylar. She’s your sister, and you love her, and you’re thrilled for her. She deserves to be happy. Just because she met the love of her life first doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen for you. Now get over yourself.

The knot in my gut loosened a little. I was being ridiculous, wasn’t I? Maybe tonight wouldn’t be so bad. I had nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I had a lot to be proud of—M.D. after my name, a job I loved at a thriving pediatric practice, a great relationship with my parents and sisters, a beautiful condo with a riverfront view, a healthy body with the Nixon metabolism but not the Nixon ears, and a salary that allowed me to occasionally indulge my expensive taste in shoes and wine.

At the end of the day, I was right where I wanted to be.

It’s just…I was lonely. And worried I’d waited too long to make a relationship a priority. And scared that I’d never meet someone who’d make me fall head over heels like both my sisters had.

No. Don’t start. You don’t have to let anyone see that. You just have to stand tall and smile, hopefully with a big-ass glass of wine in your hand.

Ah, wine. Wine was my friend. Wine understood me. Wine knew that it was entirely possible to be one hundred percent happy for your sisters and also ten percent jealous, because Wine does not care about mathematics. And Wine would never ask why I didn’t have a man by age thirty. Wine and I had spent enough alone time together that Wine knew it wasn’t that I didn’t
want
to find love—of course I did.

But it was fucking hard!

It’s not like they were handing out soul mates at the deli counter.
I’ll take one tall, dark, and handsome with a steady job and a good sense of humor—oh, not the six-inch, the footlong. Thanks.

Sighing, I pulled up at the winery and parked in the side lot next to Miles’s Jeep. Around the back of the sprawling French Provençal style main building, a huge white tent for the reception had already been constructed. The rehearsal was supposed to start at six, and it was a few minutes after, but I took a minute to refresh my lipstick and fuss with my hair. If I had to walk in late and alone, I could at least do it looking better than I felt.

After a final once-over in the small rectangular mirror on the visor, I took one more deep breath and told myself,
There is nothing wrong with you.

Then I whispered it. “There is nothing wrong with you.”

Then I said it louder. “There is nothing wrong with you. Other than the fact that you’re talking to yourself in the car.”

A knock on the driver’s side window made me jump—it was Natalie.

I opened the door and got out, my heart still pounding. “Jesus, Nat. You scared the shit out of me.”

“Sorry. I came out to get my sweater because the A/C is on in there, and I was chilly.” She held up a navy blue cardigan and gave me a quizzical look. “What were you doing in there?”

I locked my car, and we began walking across the gravel lot toward the main entrance. “I was…practicing my speech for the toast tomorrow. Are you sure I should be the one to give it? I feel like you’d be better at it.”

“Tough. You’re the maid of honor.”

“More like the old maid of honor.”

She laughed as she elbowed me. “Oh, stop. You are not an old maid.”


Someone
will make that joke tonight—I guarantee it.”

“That’s ludicrous! You’re young and beautiful!”

“I’m not young; I’m thirty. That’s like ninety in judgy years.”

“Oh Jesus.” She shook her head as we climbed the stone steps leading to the massive double doors. “You’re gorgeous and smart and fun. You don’t need to settle for anything less than perfect, and perfect can take a while to find, especially with your schedule.”

I groaned. “Tell me about it. I don’t even know where to look anymore.”

“No more bites from that online thing?”

I shook my head. “I got off that after the convicted felon contacted me.”

“Oh. Well, what about that surgeon you met for drinks last week?”

“Turns out he exaggerated the state of his divorce. As in, his wife didn’t know about it yet.”

“Jeez, what is
wrong
with people?”

“I don’t know.” I exhaled as we got to the top. “Sorry I’m being so negative, but with your engagement and pregnancy, and Skylar’s wedding, I’ve just been feeling sorry for myself lately. It’s stupid.”

She paused with one hand on the door. “It’s not stupid, Jilly.” Her voice had softened. “I was jealous of Skylar too, before Miles came along.”

“Really?” That surprised me, since Natalie wasn’t the jealous type. “You never said anything.”

She took her hand off the door. “I know, but I was. Things with Dan were so shitty, and I’d look at Sky and Sebastian and think,
that’s
how you’re supposed to feel.
That’s
what being in love looks like. I didn’t have that, and I wanted it.”

“But then you found it.”

“I did, but that doesn’t mean you won’t. Love isn’t a finite thing in the universe. It’s not like it gets used up by people who got there first.”

I sighed. “I know. You’re right. I need to stop comparing myself and just be patient. I fucking hate how whiny I sound. This is not me at
all
.”

“I don’t think you’re whining. I think you’re frustrated, and I get it. But hang in there.” She grinned. “And keep kissing those frogs. One of them is bound to be a prince, right?”

I had to chuckle at her hopeful smile, which sparkled like the diamond on her finger. Natalie had always been able to find the bright side in any situation, and I loved that about her. I pulled open the door. “Come on, crazy. Let’s go in. Thanks for the pep talk—I needed it.”

• • •

“Thanks for coming, everyone.” Skylar stood at the front of the winery’s tasting room, which had been transformed into a dining room for fifty tonight. The crowd hushed, and I marveled at the way she was able to command everyone’s attention so completely. Maybe it was her theater training and experience onstage, maybe it was just her uncommon beauty, but she held everyone rapt, as usual. “We’re so happy to see you here tonight.”

As she began talking about what it meant to them to see so many loved ones gathered in one place, I admired her style, which was so different than mine. Skylar looked good in everything, but tonight she wore a simple black sleeveless crop top and a pale peach tulle skirt that billowed to her knees. Around her neck was a chunky gold necklace, and her long blonde hair spilled over both shoulders. She’d borrowed a fabulous pair of black Jimmy Choo heels from me—shoes were the one obsession we shared—but I could
never
have pulled off that outfit. With my height, the crop top would have looked like an accident, and that skirt would have made me look like an overgrown ballerina. I stuck to classics like pencil skirts, blouses, and trousers, but Skylar could pull off any trend she liked.

Next to her, Sebastian looked gorgeous in his dark blue suit, albeit a bit uncomfortable to be the center of attention. I noticed that Skylar held his hand as she talked, and a lump formed in my throat. I tried to dissolve it with the last sip of wine left in my glass, but it remained.

“I want to thank my soon-to-be father-in-law, Denny Pryce, for hosting this dinner tonight.” She blew him a kiss, and the handsome older man smiled back at her, clearly smitten with his new daughter-in-law.

“We’d also like to recognize the best man and groomsmen, Sebastian’s brothers Malcolm and David; their wives Kelly and Jen; our flower girls, Emily and Hannah Pryce; and our ring bearer, Caleb Pryce.”

The young girls blushed and four-year-old Caleb took a bow as the room applauded, their parents beaming with pride.
How incredible to gain so much at once, not only a husband but a built-in family with brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and a bonus dad. She’s so lucky.

“I want to thank Mia and Lucas Fournier for allowing us to hold the wedding and all related events here,” Skylar went on. “This is a dream setting, and I’m so grateful for everything they’ve done to make my vision come to life.” She put her hand over her heart and made eye contact with the beautiful couple who owned the winery, and were standing at the back of the room. Mia blew her a kiss, and Lucas smiled and nodded, his arm around his wife.

“We also want to thank everyone who came in from out of town to share this weekend with us. We know you’re all busy, and we truly appreciate the effort you made to be here. We love you.” Skylar’s eyes swept over the crowd again, but I noticed that Sebastian was focused solely on her. The love and admiration in his gaze made my throat get tight. Skylar was so
lucky
.

I bit my lip as she turned to our family table, her blue eyes shining. “Finally, we want to say thank you to my parents, Bill and Grace Nixon, for hosting the wedding and for giving us an example of what true, committed love and marriage are. We know it’s not easy, but you make it look that way. Congratulations on thirty-five years together.”

As everyone applauded, my dad kissed my mom on the cheek, and the lump in my throat thickened.

“To my baby sister and bridesmaid Natalie, I want to say I love you and I couldn’t be happier for you and Miles, who’s been my brother all along.” Taking a breath, she turned to me. “To my big sister and maid of honor Jillian, you’re the smartest, kindest, strongest person I know. Thanks for always being there for me. I love you.”

“Love you too,” I whispered, my throat too tight to speak. Skylar wasn’t the only one who was lucky. We all were.

I vowed right then to stop comparing myself to my sisters or anyone else.
Listen to what Skylar is saying. Happiness is about family and friends and being grateful for what you have, which is a hell of a lot.

“We raise our glasses to all of you for being here tonight, and to love for bringing us together. Cheers!” she cried happily.

Suddenly I remembered my glass was empty, and my shoulders slumped in disappointment. Then I figured I’d raise it anyway, and to my surprise, when I went to grab it, I discovered someone had filled it when I wasn’t looking.

That seemed like a good sign.

I actually smiled as I lifted it up. “To love!”

Maybe there was hope for me after all.

BOOK: Some Sort of Love (Happy Crazy Love #3)
13.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Livvy by Lori L. Otto
To Trust a Thief by Michelle McLean
The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Broken Protocols by Dale Mayer
Radio Boys by Sean Michael
War Against the Mafia by Don Pendleton
Senseless by Mary Burton
Lyrebird Hill by Anna Romer