“What do you think of all of this?”
Lindsey White looked over to her sister, Stella, as they sat at a table in the front of the wedding reception. Her stepsister, Adriana, had just gotten married to Wyatt Fierce. Not that she was that close to Adriana even though her mother and Adriana’s father had been married for half a dozen years.
“I think it’s about as crazy as I thought it’d be,” Lindsey said.
“Yeah,” Stella said, laughing. “I mean we’ve known Carolyn and her family forever, but we’ve never been to anything like this.”
“Nope,” Lindsey said, looking out onto the dance floor. Everyone had eaten, the drinks were flowing and the laughter was contagious. But she and her sister were keeping their distance, just not used to this type of family gathering.
Their father had left them when they were younger, going with another woman and starting a new family. He’d paid their mom money each month and they visited every other weekend and a few holidays until they went to college, but the connection had never been there. Their father had a new family and that was all he was focusing on. Lindsey and Stella were just his obligation.
“How come you’re so quiet?” Stella asked her. “You look a little worn out.”
“Thanks for that,” she said.
“Only stating the obvious. Is work okay?”
She looked away from the dance floor. Lindsey wasn’t longing to join like maybe Stella was. Stella was more outgoing and liked to be part of the action, but it took her time to take that step. Lindsey liked to sit in the shadows.
“It’s work,” she said. “More bad than good, but what do you expect with my field?”
“I don’t know how you do it,” Stella said.
“Sometimes I don’t either.” Working in Child Protective Services wasn’t for the faint of heart.
“Let’s not talk about that. Who’s the hottie over there with Wyatt?”
“Your guess is as good as mine,” she said. They knew Carolyn and Garrett’s four kids. And they also knew Diane and Grant’s three boys since Diane Fierce was a teacher too. Not middle school like her mother and Carolyn, but her mother did like to get together with other teachers often and Diane was always in that group.
“How come you girls aren’t on the dance floor?”
Lindsey turned her head and looked at Carolyn Fierce as she came over and put her arm around her and her sister. “We’re good over here watching,” Lindsey said, smiling.
“Stella, I know you like to dance. Go out there and join them,” Carolyn said.
Lindsey looked at her sister and grinned. It was exactly the opening her sister, younger by two years, needed to join the fun. “Go,” she said. “You know you want to.”
Stella stood up. “I don’t want to leave you here by yourself.”
“If that’s what has been stopping you, then go. I’m a big girl. I’ve got two left feet. You don’t.”
Stella laughed and walked out onto the dance floor, Adriana smiling and beckoning her younger stepsister out to join the rest of them. Adriana got herself an instant family right there with three sisters-in-law and multiple cousins. She fit right in being as outgoing as she was too.
Not that Adriana didn’t get along with her and Stella. It was just they all lived in different areas and only saw each other a handful of times.
“I’ll keep you company if you don’t mind,” Carolyn said, taking Stella’s seat.
“I’m sure you’ve got better things to do than talk to me,” Lindsey said politely. She’d always loved Carolyn. She was friendly and sweet and treated her mother well. She might be a little jealous that Adriana was joining that family, but she’d never tell a soul.
“Nonsense,” Carolyn said. “How have you been?”
“Good,” she said. “Keeping busy.”
“And work is good?” Carolyn asked.
“It has its moments. It can be very rewarding,” she said. Which wasn’t a lie, unfortunately those moments were few and far between.
Carolyn nodded her head, then followed Lindsey’s gaze to the dance floor and the tall man in a black suit, except he was minus his jacket and tie now. “Wyatt is thrilled Mick could make it to the wedding.”
“Mick?” she asked.
“Mick McNamara. He was Wyatt’s old roommate in college and then med school. Mick did his residency in Virginia.”
Figures the guy was a doctor. Good looking. Almost smooth in a way. Dark hair that was styled with more product than she used by the looks of it. He was Wyatt’s height, but she couldn’t tell much about his build other than it was close to Wyatt’s.
“That’s nice,” she said.
“Would you like an introduction?” Carolyn asked her.
“No, I’m good,” Lindsey said. Men like that scared her. They had no part in her life. He probably went from woman to woman and she’d never been intimate with a man. Not that anyone was aware of that, not even her mother or sister.
Thirty and a virgin. Yep, not too many men wanted to get involved with that.