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Betting on You: Epilogue

Bailey

“And do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”

“I do,” she sighed, smiling up into his face.

“Do you think he’d hit me if I pretended to object?” Charlie whispered.

“Shh,” I said, watching my mother beam up at Scott.

“What if I plopped down on the whoopie cushion that I secretly stuck in your purse?”

“Shhh,” I whispered, shooting a look at Charlie, who I knew did not own a whoopie cushion.

He winked, which made me roll my eyes. And smile.

He’d been a huge pain in the ass all day, running amok with sarcasm and jokes and ridiculous wedding day games that were inappropriate and delightful. I’d beat him at the game where we’d each had to make up new words to “Here Comes the Bride”—Nekesa and Aaron had been the judges—so as soon as we left the wedding, Charlie owed me a milkshake.

My entry, which was really lame:

Here comes the girl

Who probably wants to hurl

Everyone stares but she doesn’t care

Cuz she’s getting hammered at the reception

Charlie’s entry, which didn’t even rhyme and made mine look like a masterpiece:

Here comes the bride

Doesn’t she look nice

Her dress has lace and she doesn’t have lice

Here comes the bride. Mic drop, bitches.

So basically, Charlie had been doing his best—all day—to make sure I was distracted and okay as my mom got remarried.

Surprisingly, I was.

I still wasn’t thrilled about the change, and I hadn’t completely adjusted to living at Scott’s house, but it wasn’t as terrible as I’d imagined.

My stepsister, Lucy, was actually very sweet.

And she didn’t get along with her mean cousin Kristy at all.

My phone buzzed and I looked down.

“You shouldn’t be looking at your phone during a wedding,” Charlie whispered, which made me shh him yet again as I clicked on the message.

Dad: You doing okay today, kid? Love you.

I swallowed, smiled, and put my phone back in my purse. I’d answer him when it was over. I sat back, beside Charlie, and watched as my mother married Scott. She looked blissfully happy, as did he, and as much as it pained me to admit it, they kind of seemed meant to be.

After the ceremony, the DJ started playing quiet music as the tiny crowd transitioned into reception mode. The event was happening in a banquet room at Planet Funnn, which the happy couple had selected because of my stellar employee discount, and everyone in the family was staying over so the group could enjoy the facilities all weekend long.

“You know,” Charlie said as we slow-danced to an Ed Sheeran song, “this room is where we first met.”

I looked at the stars on the ceiling and smiled, remembering our long days of training. “I think you’re forgetting about the Fairbanks airport.”

“Nope. This is the room where Charlie met Bailey,” he said, his eyes moving over my face. “Before that, you were just Glasses and I was—”

“Mr. Nothing,” I interrupted, laughing as I recalled Airport Charlie in that stupid shirt.

“I was Mr. Nothing,” he finished. “Planet Funnn is where we first became friends.”

I nodded, suffused with warm happiness. “And then we weren’t.”

“But now we are again,” he said, lowering his head to murmur into my ear, “and now we’re in love.”

I giggled and quietly replied, “You have to stop saying that, Sampson.”

“What?” He lifted his head and feigned frustrated innocence with a tiny smile on his face. “I thought ‘in love’ was approved verbiage, but ‘lovers’ was not.”

“ ‘Lovers’ is nausea-inducing.” I leaned closer and inhaled, a little intoxicated by the close proximity of my face to his cologne—mmmmmm—and wondered how it was possible to be so happy. We’d been officially dating for only a few months, but it felt like so much longer because magically, nothing had changed. I mean, we kissed a lot more than before—duh—but he was still my best friend, still the person who was the most fun to spend time with.

I think we were both shocked that the boyfriend/girlfriend thing wasn’t ruining the friendship. “But ‘in love’ is almost as bad. Maybe just say that you love me.”

“Well, that seems one-sided and makes me sound desperate.” He fake pouted, reaching out to toy with the strap on my dress.

“You know I’ll say it back,” I replied, lifting a hand so I could run a finger down the slope of his strong nose. “Come on.”

“I love you, Glasses,” he said, his voice rich with feeling as his dark eyes locked on mine.

“I love you, too, Mr. Nothing.”


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