“You look beautiful today,” my soon-to-be husband whispers in my ear. He’s standing behind me at the hotel check-in desk. We’re only minutes away from being in the privacy of our honeymoon suite and he’s already trying to seduce me.

I lean back against him, just enough that my ass brushes his groin. It’s been two weeks since the day I met his mom. Everything has moved crazy fast since then. Brock announced he wanted to wed me in Vegas as soon as possible, and Jill made it happen. I still don’t know how she was able to do it all, but I suspect the woman is capable of moving heaven and earth if she sets her mind to it.

I don’t mind how quickly this wedding came together though. I love the idea of being married to my hot sheriff for the rest of my life.

He growls in the back of his throat. It’s a low, menacing sound that has a delicious shiver dancing down my spine. “Keep it up, sweet cheeks.”

I accept the key card from the clerk, trying and failing to fight the blush that comes from the familiar nickname. As we head to the elevators, I walk in front of him and he follows closely behind me.

The moment the doors slide shut, Brock turns to me. The familiar gleam is in his eye as he crowds me until I’m stepping back against one of the walls. He puts his hands on either side of my head. “Did you think that little display down there was funny?”

I swallow hard but manage a nod. There’s nothing like Brock when he gets commanding and possessive. It instantly makes my panties damp.

He knows it too and slides a hand along my thigh, underneath my dress. But before he can reach the place where I’m aching, the elevator doors ding open for our floor.

I duck under his arm and scurry from the little metal box. He likes chasing me just as much as I like being chased. I yank the key card from my bra and shove it into the lock just as he steps beside me.

“Do you think you can escape?” His voice is threatening and deep, promising an afternoon of sensual delights.

I lean up and twine my arms around his neck. “I wouldn’t even want to.”

“Good,” he growls as he presses a kiss to my lips before he slides lower and nips at the sensitive skin of my neck. He’s made it his mission to map every pleasure point on my skin. Now he knows them all and he wrecks me daily.

He pushes open the door and pulls me into the honeymoon suite. It’s one of those over-the-top gaudy Vegas wedding rooms and I absolutely love it. I told Jill the more Vegas she went, the happier I’d be. Well, this room with the heart-shaped bed covered in a red crushed velvet blanket, gold-trimmed mirrors on the ceiling, and giant jacuzzi in the corner definitely fits the bill.

“This is perfect,” I breathe as soon as I see the space.

Brock kicks the door shut behind us, still pressing kisses to my neck. “Too many clothes for perfect,” he grumbles before shoving me down onto the heart-shaped bed.

He yanks off his shirt and settles over top of me. He presses kisses everywhere he can get his lips while trying to help me out of my t-shirt that reads, “romance writers are the sexiest”. It was a gift from Brock last week.

I bump him in the chest with my elbow still as clumsy as ever, but he doesn’t mind. He just grunts and reaches for the clasp on my bra. Before he can get it off, there’s a knock on the door.

He glances at his phone. “My sister and mom still aren’t here yet.”

“Then we’ll just ignore it,” I tell him as I reach for his handsome face. We have maybe an hour before Jill and Piper will arrive. I’m not about to waste that time when I’m here with the world’s sexiest sheriff.

The knock sounds again, and a deep voice says, “Room service.”

Brock scowls. “Do they not understand the concept of a honeymoon suite?”

“It’s not even our honeymoon yet,” I remind him as I grab my t-shirt and slip back into it. I reach for his hair and smooth it down. Then I stand and take a step toward the door.

But he reaches out a hand and grabs my wrist. When I glance back at him, he asks quietly, “Do you think you’ll regret this in ten years?”

“Marrying you?” I could never regret it. Brock is the love of my life and I have no doubts about what we’re doing here. We’re meant to be, and we’ll have decades of happiness to share.

“I’ll make damn sure you have no regrets about marrying me,” he promises with one of his slow winks. “But Vegas? Do you think you’ll regret not having a real wedding?”

I know why this is important to him. He hasn’t said as much but I think it has to do with his father. After losing him so suddenly, Brock doesn’t want to waste a minute of our time together.

“As long as you’re the one standing at the altar, I’ll have no regrets,” I say, meaning every word.

He drops my hand then and I move to open the door. As soon as I see the big hulking man standing there, I let out a squeak of surprise. But the moment I do, Brock is instantly beside me. He pulls me behind his big body. “Can I help you?”

I peek out from behind him to see a woman with curly black hair peering around the hulking stranger. She gives me a grin and my heart flips in my chest. “Valentine!”

She gives me a grin. “We didn’t mean to scare you. This is my Ethan.”

I nudge Brock out of the way. “It’s OK. This is my maid of honor.”

Then I drag her into the room and crush her in a hug. We haven’t seen each other in what feels like years. We’ve both changed so much in just a few short weeks. “You weren’t supposed to get in until tomorrow!”

She giggles. “The weather is supposed to be nasty in Asheville tomorrow and I was worried about the flight getting grounded. I told Ethan we were not missing my best friend’s wedding, and he made it happen.”

I can’t help laughing too. From what Valentine’s told me over our phone conversations, Ethan is just like Brock. They’re both devoted entirely to our happiness.

Glancing over, I see the two of them have already introduced themselves and they’re animatedly chatting about cars. Brock’s father had an old Camaro, and he wants to get it running again. Ethan is something of a genius when it comes to fixing machinery and cars.

I tug on Valentine’s arm and tell Brock I’m going to take her downstairs to the coffee shop in the lobby for some girl talk. He presses a kiss to my forehead before we leave that gives me butterflies in my stomach.

“Wow,” Valentine says as soon as we’re in the coffee shop. “I thought I was going to melt from that look that passed between you two.”

I can’t help grinning like an idiot as rain pounds on the window outside the shop. Inside, it feels cozy and warm, smelling of fresh brownies and strong coffee. “I’m so happy now. Being with Brock, it’s like…”

“A missing piece of your heart snapped into place,” Valentine answers with a dreamy sigh.

I’m so glad she gets it. Even though we’re three years apart and she’s only eighteen, we’ve grown so close. She came into my life at a time when I really needed a friend. “I love that we’re going through this together.”

“Me too,” she agrees, sipping her caramel latte. “Are you nervous about getting married?”

I shake my head and push back a few strands from my messy ponytail. “I’m nervous about tripping over my own feet when I walk down the aisle. But marrying Brock? It feels like the best decision ever.”

I pause there and think about Valentine’s situation. She married Ethan as a mail order bride. She never got to see his picture before she met him on their wedding day. “What about you? Were you nervous marrying Ethan or was it love at first sight?”

“So nervous,” she admits. “Here was this grumpy cowboy who seemed like he couldn’t stand me. He slept outside the first night of our honeymoon and I called the matchmaker, Laney, in tears. I thought I’d made the biggest mistake of my life.”

“Now, look how happy you are,” I point out. One look at Ethan and Valentine makes it obvious they’re madly in love with each other.

“Yeah, we struggled to get here, but I’m glad I hung in there. He needs me just like I need him. We just…”

“Fit somehow,” I supply, knowing exactly what she means. Brock and I fit together. Not always easily or seamlessly. But when I’m with him, everything in my world feels easier. Lighter. Happier.

We spend the rest of the afternoon catching up with each other before Jill and Piper arrive. They join us and the four of us have a girls’ night out together. I wish my Galentine’s girls could be here, but it didn’t work out for any of them to join me. I’ll video call them later on this week and tell them all about it.

“You look beautiful,” Jill says the next morning.

I’m standing in front of a full-length mirror, admiring the white wedding dress with the sweetheart neckline and long skirt. “I know it sounds cliché, but I feel like a princess.”

“You are a princess in my eyes. After we lost Brock’s father, he was so lost for the longest time. Then you came along, and my boy started smiling again. I’ll never be able to thank you enough for that.” Jill blinks back tears, trying not to ruin her mascara.

Wedding dress be damned, I reach for the older woman that’s become like a mother to me. I crush her against my chest and tell her how thankful I am that she brought a man like Brock into the world. “He’s exactly what I need.”

“Stop with the mushiness,” Piper complains with an eyeroll. “He is still my brother.”

“Yeah, but you love him,” I tease.

Valentine enters the room, bouncing on her toes. Her face is flushed, and her lipstick is smeared. Something tells me that Ethan wasn’t crazy about the fact that she decided to bunk with me and the girls last night instead of going back to their suite. I did the same thing, and I can only imagine how growly Brock is right about now.

“The boys are taking their places now,” she says.

Jill hands her a tissue and helps fix her makeup. After one last flurry of activity, I’m finally standing at the edge of the aisle. The officiant who is also an Elvis impersonator starts a rendition of Can’t Help Falling in Love.

But I can barely pay attention to him or the song. There’s only one man I’m here for and he looks striking in his blue suit. He turns to me and gives me a slow smile. One that’s so filled with love I can barely breathe.

When he takes my hand and repeats his vows, my heart feels like it’s overflowing. I had no idea that I could have this much love in me or that it would give me this giddy floating feeling.

“You’re my wife,” he says when he lifts the veil and plants the gentlest kiss on my lips. The butterflies in my stomach turn somersaults. This is it. I’m officially married to the love of my life, and I couldn’t be happier.

“You’re my husband,” I whisper against his lips before he steps away.

After a brief reception, I pull him back to our honeymoon suite. No one seems bothered or surprised that I want my sexy husband all to myself this afternoon.

He helps me out of the dress with the zillion buttons, caressing my back as he works and placing little kisses against my shoulder. Then he pulls me into his arms and cups my face. “You made me the happiest man on earth today.”

“Well, I’m fairly happy,” I answer, teasing him.

Humor glints in his eyes as he tickles me. “Fairly happy?”

“I’m still holding out for the wedding nookie,” I admit with a giggle as I glance toward the bed.

“Well, I won’t keep you waiting any longer,” he says right as he scoops me up and tosses me onto the bed. He joins me, stalking his way up my body. “You’re my happy ending, Ms. Zoey Hart.”

“That’s Mrs. Zoey Parker to you,” I correct him as I tug on his tie. I love this man so much. I’m certain that our life together is going to be the greatest happily ever after of all time.


Want to know what happened between Ethan, the grumpy cowboy and Valentine, his mail order bride? Click here to read The Cowboy’s Valentine now!

The Cowboy's Valentine by Mia Brody