Daring Brides

By: Ava Miles

“Were you a little hungry?” he teased, leaning over to kiss her cheek.

“Starved. Getting married burns a lot of calories.”

Since Jill was sitting on Meredith’s side, and she would hardly be offended if she overheard, he leaned in and whispered, “If you think that’s a lot of calories, wait until tonight.”

She laughed huskily. “I’ll have Natalie make us a to-go bag.”

“Good idea. I love you for being as smart as you are sexy.”

“You’re a big talker.”

He picked up his beer. “Yes, I am, but I always deliver.”

When it came time to cut their cake—a two-tiered, square, dark chocolate confection with mocha almond cream and an M and T cake topper—he made sure to be nice and feed her small bites so he wouldn’t mess up her makeup. She wasn’t so nice, using a finger to spread the buttercream frosting down the dent in his chin. Some of their guests started cheering. Asher used his Cairo-cab-calling whistle, which could shatter glass. Before he could complain, she stood on her tiptoes and kissed it off his chin, sending lust coursing through his system as fast as the sugar was. Before it got too out of hand, he gave her a hard kiss and grabbed a napkin to wipe the rest off.

Then the DJ was cued up, and they danced to the song he’d chosen: Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are.” There was something about that song.

He twirled her around, loving how she laughed and sashayed to the beat. Then he handed her off to her dad and grabbed Jill for a dance. When he glanced at his sister and lifted his head as if to say, Do you want to dance? Peggy shook her head and nudged Keith onto the dance floor. His nephew ran over to him, so he spent the next dance teaching him how to wiggle his hips to “Sweet Caroline.”

Then he took his turns with Meredith’s mom, her cousins, and her aunt—and all of them confirmed what he knew about Hale women—whether by blood or marriage. None of them liked the man to lead. He mentioned that to Meredith when she finally came back into his arms.

“Something to remember,” she told him with a husky laugh. “You knew what you were getting into when you asked me to marry you.”

He gave her what he hoped was a dashing smile, one that would make her knees as weak as his were after dancing with her pressed against him.

“Promise me our daughters will be the same way,” he whispered.

Her eyes immediately teared up, and he puffed out his chest, proud of himself. The night was almost over, and he finally felt like he was unlocking all the secrets for the perfect wedding day. The bride was supposed to arouse the groom to distraction while the groom was supposed to make the bride get all misty-eyed.

“I promise our daughters will be the same way,” she said with a special light in her green eyes.

Then he took her mouth in a deep kiss to show her just how eager he was to get to work on her promise.


Meredith was having so much fun, she didn’t want the night to end. Sure, her feet hurt from dancing too much in her heels. And some of her hair had long since fallen out of her formerly perfect coif. But none of that mattered. She’d married the man of her dreams and was having the time of her life with her family and friends.

Asher spun her around on the dance floor, and heavens did that man have moves. She had to admit there was something charming and very sexy about him, which she could admire as a happily married woman.

“I’m so glad you could make it, Asher,” she said as the song came to an end. “It meant the world to Tanner, and I’m so happy I finally got to meet you.”

“Me too,” he told her. “Now I understand how Tanner could give up the adventuresome life of a war correspondent to settle down in Dare Valley. You make him happier than I’ve ever seen him.”

“He makes me feel the same way,” she replied, lifting a foot off the ground and giving her arch a little stretch.

“Who makes you happy?” her groom asked, putting his hand on her waist from behind.

She settled her back against his chest. “You do.”

“Good answer. Are you ready for me to tell the DJ to play the last dance? I want to get out of here.”

Asher chuckled, and Meredith felt her face heat as her mind jumped to their wedding night. She’d been fantasizing about it for weeks now.

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