He could have teased me for this rare sentimental view, but didn’t. “I can assure you this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I suggested she call you to hang out,” he said, running a finger over an eyebrow. “But here we are. The next time you see her, she’s going to be walking down that aisle.”
I glanced over at him, having wondered on and off for the past few days how this event felt for him. Hanna and I would be married in the same private garden where Jensen had married his college sweetheart. And where Hanna’s older sister, Liv, had married her husband, Rob. Unfortunately, Jensen’s marriage to his girlfriend of nine years had lasted only four months.
Jensen broke into my thoughts before I could think of what to say. “Are you imagining how it’s going to go down?” he asked.
“Of course. I’m wondering if she’ll trip on her way down the aisle or stop mid-journey to hug someone she hasn’t seen in years. Hanna always surprises me.”
“Or if she’ll give up walking altogether and just sprint toward you.” He laughed quietly. “And it will never stop being weird that you call her Hanna.”
“I can’t imagine calling her Ziggy,” I admitted, and then shivered. “That feels pervy.”
“Because it is,” he said. “You were seventeen when she was ten. When my little sister was ten, you were sleeping with the mother of one of your bandmates.”
I shot him a disgusted look. “Are you trying to make me feel gross?”
“Yeah.” He laughed, standing to clap me on the shoulder again just as Bennett and Max pummeled my hotel room door.
I stepped back, staring at myself in the mirror.
“That’s . . . a lot of white,” I mumbled, swiping at the skirt of my dress. Behind me, Mom and Liv gasped emotionally.
“Are we sure I shouldn’t have gone for blue? Red? Something that maybe communicates ‘I have banged this man daily’ versus ‘virginal’?”
“What? No one down there is going to see Will in a tux and buy that I didn’t climb all over—” I stopped midsentence, catching sight of Chloe behind me. “Are you . . . Oh my God, Chloe. Are—are you crying?”
Chloe reached for a box of tissues—one of many placed around the large bridal suite—and pulled one free, using it to carefully dab beneath each of her perfectly lined eyes.
Liv paused with the curling iron held midair and looked back over her shoulder. “I realize I’m the new kid here, but something tells me that’s not normal,” she whispered.
I had to bite back a laugh. My sister had only met Chloe on two other, brief occasions, and she already understood that no, when it came to Mrs. Ryan, tears of happiness were not a normal thing.
“Well, that’s not exactly true,” George said to Liv, waving her off before separating a few of the curls she had just placed in my hair. “We could go see the most emotional documentary ever made, and she would leave with clear eyes. But the time a heel broke off one of her red patent Pradas while crossing Seventh? Waterworks.”
Chloe laughed, smacking his arm. “Didn’t I fire you this morning?”
“Twice,” I answered for him. “You fired him on Sara’s behalf in the elevator when he referred to you as ‘Mistress of the Dark’ in front of that priest, and a second time when he offered to help Jensen get dressed later.”
Mom let out a tiny squeak of surprise.
“Always so helpful, Hanna, thank you,” George said, tugging a little too hard on a lock of my hair. “In my defense, he looked very busy. I was just trying to be efficient. But as a side note: I should have been warned that Hanna’s brother was so adorable, because really? Tall, Scandinavian, and single? I think I’m the one who’s been wronged here.”
Liv leaned down and met my eyes in the mirror. “Your friends are weird.”
“If by weird you mean awesome, then yes,” I said, grinning at her before looking back at Chloe. “I love that you’re getting emotional at my wedding, though. I feel like I’ve unlocked a life achievement.”
Chloe dabbed her eyes and sniffed into her tissue. “God, what the hell is wrong with me? This is all just so . . . sweet.”
“I will smack you with a hammer,” she told him with a glare. “Even in that fancy suit.”
“This is awesome for me.” Sara came up behind Chloe and hugged her. “Usually I’m the one crying.”
“Because you’re constantly pregnant,” Chloe reminded her, reaching back to gently pat Sara’s enormous, round belly, carrying Baby Stella Number Two.
“It sure feels that way.” Sara kissed Chloe’s cheek. “But look.” She lifted her chin, meeting my eyes in the mirror. “You’ve distracted Hanna from being nervous.”
“What on earth could you possibly have to be nervous about?” Liv asked, pulling a pin from my hand and giving it to George to tuck into my hair. “You and Will are both thoughtful, intelligent, and conscientious. You guys are going to be great at being married.”
Our eyes met, and when she smiled at me, I had to bite my lip to keep from getting a little emotional myself.
“If any man ever looks at me the way Will looks at you,” George added, “I’ll propose, marry, and ask for his babies right there on the spot. Will can barely wait for this wedding. I’m surprised he hasn’t convinced you to run off to Vegas.”