Daring Brides

By: Ava Miles

When the minister announced them husband and wife and said Tanner could kiss her, she threw her arms around his neck, making him laugh, and poured all her love into a simple kiss she knew she would remember all the days of her life.

And with his hand in hers, they walked down the aisle after their wedding party.

She had to fight the urge to throw her bouquet up in the air and cheer.


Tanner suffered through the wedding photos in the fabulous brass and marble rotunda in Emmits Merriam University’s Main Administration building, but the minute they were over, he yanked off his boutonniere. It had been sticking into him for the last twenty minutes.

“Undressing already?” his bride asked with a saucy smile.

“I’m game, if you are,” he answered in a voice only she could hear, caressing the hollow of her throat. He’d never imagined lace could be so sexy, and her dress was tantalizing him way too early.

“We have guests, if you’ll remember,” she said, stroking the lapels of his suit. So not helpful.

Asher ducked his head into their conversation. “Some of us have come from across the Atlantic to be here. You two had better not be thinking about ducking off before I dance with the bride.”

“We are,” Tanner said, right as she said, “We’re not.”

They grinned at each other.

Jill threaded her hand through Asher’s arm. “Could he be any dreamier? I’ve said it all my life, and I’ll say it again. Everything sounds better with a British accent. And to test my point, Asher, I want you to say a few words. Natalie! Caroline! Moira! Come here. You’ve gotta hear this.”

His friend didn’t roll his eyes—he was way too proper a British gentleman for that—but it was close. Her cousins clustered around them, all of them giving Asher an eyeful. Well, all but Natalie, who seemed about as interested in him as if he were an elderly relative of Tanner’s.

“All right, Jill,” Asher said politely. “What do you wish for me to say?”

“Say horse puckey,” Jill ordered.

Asher’s mouth twitched. “Horse puckey.”

Jill fanned herself like she was breathless. Caroline and Moira deflated like day-old balloons.

“See. Now say maggot.”


The women’s sighs were worthy of Sarah Bernhardt and her understudies.

“I knew it! Even the gross words sound sexy!” Jill declared with a stomp of her heel, which echoed in the vast rotunda.

“I’ll be sure to tell all my television counterparts. Now how about we go find a glass of something delightfully alcoholic?”

“That sounds divine,” Jill replied, sugar-coating it plenty.

Asher offered his other arm to Caroline, who took it with a simpering smile. Natalie and Moira followed the trio to the door that led to the reception area.

“If we hurry, we can find a closet somewhere and make out for a while,” Tanner whispered into Meredith’s ear. “The coast is clear, but it won’t stay that way for long.”

Meredith entwined her hands around his neck and gave him a kiss that made even his stalwart knees go weak.

“You’re killing me. Right here. And at our own wedding, no less.” He tucked her closer to his body. “You wear some dress made all out of lace to drive me wild and God knows what kind of underwear underneath it all. Then you make me go to a church and stand in front of a minister and talk about how much I want you.”

“You poor baby,” she said in a sad, pouty tone that drove him wild.

“If that’s not bad enough, I have to smell your perfume as we smile for the camera, knowing I have to eat a full-blown meal, cut a ridiculously tiered cake, and dance in front of everybody. And I have to do this all the while pretending I’m not aroused out of my mind, knowing I’m going to get lucky tonight. Do any of your wedding magazines cover the man’s point of view? I might have to write an article on this.”

He could warn other men what to expect and suggest they wear extra-long suit jackets to cover the evidence of their wedding-day longing.

“My underwear is all white, appropriately lacy, and has MW stitched into the top of the panties for Married Woman.”

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