Marrying Caroline (SEAL of Protection) (4 page)

BOOK: Marrying Caroline (SEAL of Protection)
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Chapter Six



After the drama with the Budweiser pin was resolved, the following weeks moved quickly for Caroline. Hunter had wrapped up the rest of the plans for the wedding and the day was finally here. Caroline was more than thankful for all of Hunter’s hard work on her and Matthew’s behalf. She knew she never would’ve had the patience to make her wedding day as beautiful as it would be because of Hunter.

Now Caroline was standing in the basement of the church getting ready with two of the best women she’d ever had the fortune to meet, to marry the love of her life.

“Turn around, Caroline, I’ll lace you up,” Fiona bossed.

Caroline held up the bodice of her wedding dress and turned so her back was to Fiona. “Thank you guys for being here with me today.”

“We wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” Alabama told her seriously.

“I know we haven’t known each other that long, but you’re the best friends I’ve ever had and I’m so happy we all get along so well.” Caroline knew she was gushing, but couldn’t help it. “I just hope that when the rest of the guys find the woman they want to be with, she won’t be a bitch. I mean, some of the chicks they’ve been with have been horrible. Can you imagine us trying to get along with them for the rest of our lives?”

“Stop, Caroline, seriously, you’re completely freaking me out,” Fiona told her tugging extra hard on one of the laces she was working on.

“Can we stop talking about bitches and start talking about how awesome this wedding is gonna be?” Alabama asked matter-of-factly.

“Fiona, I swear to God, you made the right decision in eloping to Vegas to get married,” Caroline told her friend seriously. “I mean, I love your man like a brother, but he’s been a giant pain in my ass for the last two months.”

Fiona giggled as she tied the ribbons on Caroline’s dress in a big bow. “I know. The way he’s been about your wedding solidified my decision to run off and get married in Vegas.”

Caroline turned to Fiona when as she continued.

“But Caroline, I’ll forever be in your debt for giving this to him. If I had known how much he really wanted all of this, I would’ve bitten the bullet and given it to him, no matter how uncomfortable it made me.”

Without hesitating, Caroline leaned forward and pulled Fiona into an embrace. “Well, I’m glad you didn’t have to. I needed the help, and Lord knows none of us would’ve been able to pull this off as well as he did.” She didn’t say the words to be mean, Caroline was just being honest.

“No kidding,” Alabama chimed in. “Seriously, how women like us can be so clueless when it comes to the girly arts, I have no idea.”

The three women laughed.

“But look at us now,” Caroline said seriously. “You two are absolutely beautiful. Those dresses are the bomb. Hunter sure knows what looks good on women. The lilac color really works on both of you. And he somehow picked dresses that are sexy as hell but aren’t slutty. It’s actually pretty impressive. Come here you guys and let’s take a selfie!”

The three women leaned into each other and Caroline held out her arm and took a picture of them with her cell phone. Alabama snatched the phone out of her friend’s hand and started pushing buttons.

“What are you doing?” Caroline asked.

“Sending this to Christopher. You don’t think you’re the only one that’ll be getting some tonight do you?”

“Oh you’re evil…I love it!” Fiona said, then snatched the phone out of Alabama’s hand. “Give me that! I gotta send it to Hunter too.”

“You guys are crazy. It’s not like you won’t get any tonight. Hell, if your men are like Matthew, you get it every night.”

At the blushes that bloomed on both her friends’ faces, Caroline laughed.

“Come on, let’s finish this. The guys should be here soon. I know Hunter is keeping them on a tight schedule. I can’t wait to see Matthew’s face when I’m walking down the aisle.”


* * *


Wolf growled and tugged at the bow tie around his neck. The medals on his breast pocket jangled as he shrugged on the white long sleeve jacket of his uniform. The full dress Navy uniform he was wearing had never felt so constricting. Wolf watched as the rest of his team, similarly attired, finished getting dressed as well. They were cutting it close, as Cookie kept reminding them.

Cookie had been a pain in the ass, but Wolf was thankful for his presence. He’d kept them all on track and had made all the arrangements. Wolf remembered Caroline making fun of them because they were taking a limo to the church, and he remembered agreeing with her that it was ridiculous, but now he was glad.

There was no way he could drive, at least safely. His hands were fucking trembling for God’s sake. He couldn’t wait to make Caroline his wife. She was already his, but he couldn’t wait for the moment when he slid the wedding band on her finger.

“You ready to go, man?”

The words had come from Abe, but Wolf turned to Cookie to answer. “Is the limo here yet?”

“Calm down, Wolf. Seriously. We’re not late. I’m the one who is supposed to be freaking out, not you.”

“Cookie, I left my woman in my bed this morning, soft and sated. The last thing she said to me as I left for PT was ‘“I’ll see you at the altar.’ So excuse me if I want to hurry the fuck up and get to the damn church and claim my woman already.”

Wolf watched as all five of his teammates threw their heads back and laughed their asses off at him. He just scowled. They’d get theirs eventually.

“All right, sorry, Wolf. Yeah, the limo is here. It’s out front. But we can’t leave too early because then we might run into the girls. Besides, the last thing you want is to be standing at the altar for too long, and if we get there too early, that’s what will happen.”

Wolf ran his hand over his hand and through his short hair. “Tell me again why we wanted big weddings, Cookie?”

Cookie came over to Wolf and put his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Because the moment you see your woman walking toward you, smiling, glowing because she’s so happy she’s about to tie herself to you, is the moment you realize that all the stress, all the crap you’ve put up with in the last two months, has been completely worth it.”

“I’m sorry you didn’t get that,” Wolf told Cookie seriously.

“Oh I got it, Wolf. I might not have had the church and the dress and the trappings that come with a big wedding, but Fiona still walked toward me, she still smiled at me, and she sure as fuck glowed because she was happy she was about to tie herself to me.”

“Fuck man.” Wolf couldn’t think of anything else to say. Military men weren’t known as the most romantic men on the planet, and SEALs especially weren’t known for it. But it was obvious that Cookie was one hundred percent all right with how his own wedding had gone down. He and Fiona had been through Hell, and their wedding was perfect for the two of them.

“Okay, enough mushy shit, let’s get this shit done.” Dude had spoken. He was brusquer than the others. It was obvious he was done with the bonding talk and was ready to go.

Wolf was more than ready to agree. “Hell, yeah, let’s go.”

The six men walked out of Wolf’s house and headed for the limo. Abe and Cookie looked down as their phones trilled with the sound of an incoming text.

“Oh yeah, just wait until you see Ice, Wolf. She looks amazing.” Abe rubbed in the fact that he’d just received a picture in a text from Alabama, and Wolf wasn’t allowed to see his fiancé before the ceremony.


* * *


Caroline sat on the chair and couldn’t stop the nervous twitching of her leg. It was ten minutes past the time when the ceremony was supposed to have started and the guys hadn’t shown up yet. She clutched her cell phone in her hands and willed it to ring.

Fiona and Alabama sat on their own chairs, staring at their own phones.

“I’m sure they’re okay,” Alabama said nervously.

“Yeah, they’re just running late,” Fiona echoed.

Caroline took a deep breath. “Something’s wrong.”

“You don’t know that,” Fiona said in a not-too-convincing voice.

know it,” Caroline argued. “You know these guys. Hell, Fiona, you know Hunter, he had this thing planned down to the last second. There’s no way they’re just running late. Something happened.”

“Matthew will be here,” Alabama told her friend soothingly.

Caroline couldn’t stay still any longer. She kicked off her high heels, which were killing her, why she’d let Hunter talk her into wearing them, she had no idea, and started pacing the room. “Matthew is not standing me up. I know he’s not. Hell, he fucked me so hard this morning before he left I can still feel him. He told me it had always been a dream of his to have sex with his girlfriend and his wife in the same day.”

Caroline ignored the choking noise Fiona made as she tried to smother her laugh and continued on her tirade.

“Ergo, something happened. He wouldn’t leave me standing at the altar. He’d know how much that would hurt me and he would never hurt me. So we need to figure out what the hell is going on. Pronto.”

At her last word Caroline turned and glared at her bridesmaids. It wasn’t their fault, and hell, their men were also late, but she couldn’t get the sinking feeling out of her head that something dreadful had happened to their men. Caroline hated the feeling she had. It was worse than when they were on a mission, because this was
. In the states. In their hometown. When they were supposed to be here, on the most important day of her life.

Alabama’s phone rang. The three women just stared at it for a moment, until Caroline screeched, “Answer it!”

“Hello?” Alabama’s voice was low and wobbled a bit with her anxiety.

“Oh my God. Yeah. Okay. But he’s all right? Yeah, okay. Where? Yeah, I’ll take care of it.” Alabama’s voice softened and she took a deep breath. “Yeah, I did. Okay, thanks, Christopher. We’ll be there as soon as we can. I love you too. Bye.”

“What?” Caroline demanded as soon as Alabama clicked the phone off. “Oh my God, what?”

Instead of walking over to Caroline, as both Fiona and Caroline thought she would, Alabama walked over to Fiona. She put her hands on Fiona’s shoulders and said evenly, “There’s been an accident. Hunter was hurt, but he’s going to be fine.”

“What?” Fiona croaked. “Hunter?”

Forgetting she was supposed to be getting married, forgetting she was wearing a kick-ass wedding dress, forgetting everything but her friend, who at the moment looked like she was about to pass out, Caroline rushed across the room and put her arms around Fiona. She just made it in time to help Fiona to the ground as her legs gave out under her.

“Talk to us, Alabama. What did Christopher say?” Caroline kept her voice modulated and even, even though every part of her wanted to cry out and be hysterical. She cradled Fiona in her arms as they knelt on the ground and listened to Alabama.

“Christopher said they were in the limo and a car ran a stop light. It sideswiped the limo and hit the side where Hunter was sitting. They all have some scratches and stuff from the flying glass, but Hunter was unconscious. They took him to Riverton General to the emergency room to be safe. They’re all there with him.”

Caroline leaned over and looked into Fiona’s eyes. “See? He’s okay, Fiona. You hear me? He’s fine.”

Fiona could only nod, but she briefly put her head against Caroline’s neck. Caroline could feel Fiona’s hot breath against her skin as she did her best to pull herself together.

“Alabama, can you go and talk to the pastor and tell her what’s going on and ask if she’ll let everyone in the audience know? And I hate to do this to you, but can you also tell Matthew’s parents? I know they’ll be worried about what’s going on. Just tell them I’ll call them later and that Matthew is fine. Please also tell the pastor I’d like to talk to her after she explains to everyone. Then we’ll be ready to head out and we’ll go and see our men.”

“But your wedding…”

Caroline interrupted Alabama. “Fuck it. It can wait. Nothing is more important than making sure Hunter and all the other guys are all right.”

Alabama looked closely at her friend for signs she was faking it and she was more upset than she was letting on. Seeing nothing but concern for Fiona and the guys in Caroline’s eyes, Alabama finally nodded and turned on her heel and left the room.

Caroline put her hand on the back of Fiona’s head. “Christopher wouldn’t lie to us, Fiona. If he said Hunter is okay, then he’s okay.”

Fiona took a deep breath and lifted her head. “I know. It’s just…I don’t know what I’d do without him.”

“I know. Seriously, I

The women locked eyes and the sincerity and comradery Fiona saw in Caroline’s eyes, strengthened her.

Fiona struggled to her feet while Caroline helped her stand. “But your wedding…”

“As I told Alabama, screw it. We need to get to the hospital.”

“Should we change?”

“No, no time. We need to put real shoes on though. Grab your sneakers and I’ll get my flip flops. We can’t be walking around with these heels on. I’ll get Alabama’s shoes too. Grab our purses.”

BOOK: Marrying Caroline (SEAL of Protection)
10.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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