Allison smiled placidly. “No, I didn’t go that far, but I thought it might be interesting to see what happened when the two of you were thrown back together.”
“Interesting?” he echoed. “That’s putting it mildly.”
“Exactly. Sparks flew—” Allison held out her hands “—and look at you now.”
He couldn’t argue there.
Allison shrugged. “Besides, getting Kayla to have you named the Sentinel’s Most Eligible Bachelor wasn’t working.”
“You did that?” He looked from his sister to his sister-in-law and then back.
“Well…” Allison hedged, seemingly belatedly realizing she might have revealed too much.
“You are devious,” he said with disbelief.
All the women laughed.
He looked down at Lauren. “You approve?”
“Who am I to judge?” Lauren responded laughingly. “I make my living trying to set people up. Besides, I got you, didn’t I?”
He gave her an over-the-top look. “Oh, you’ve got me.”
“Okay, okay, break it up,” Noah put in.
“Anyway, Matt,” Allison said, a note of suspicion in her voice, “we’re still wondering whether you didn’t plot and plan your way to being the last available Whittaker.”
“Yeah,” Noah seconded. “You were always the quiet one. Still waters run deep, and all that jazz.”
He allowed an enigmatic smile to spread across his face. He’d had enough teasing. “You’ll just have to accept that some things are destined to remain a mystery.”
Lauren looked from her husband to the family around her, and basked in the easy camaraderie.
When she’d first moved to Boston, she’d never dreamed she’d find herself here. She was glad now she’d stuck it out.
Matt had awakened a part of her that had been dormant for five years. She felt more alive now, less fearful and more willing to experience the moment fully.
She smiled up at Matt. Who’d ever have thought her tight-lipped CFO would be the man who drew her out of herself? She couldn’t have imagined it when he’d walked into her office.
Months after he proposed, they’d had a beautiful October wedding. It had been an Indian summer day, and the leaves had been changing color.
The wedding had been relatively small, rather than the society hoopla her first was to have been, and it had gone off without a hitch. All of their siblings and spouses, as well as a jubilant Candace, had been in the wedding party. The Whittakers and the Fletchers had taken to each other like ducks to water, and she and Matt had wound up honeymooning at a private compound in Fiji.
What’s more, getting married had made her even better at her job. Thanks to her own experience, she was more intuitive when it came to figuring out what her clients needed and who would be an ideal match.
“That smile must mean something,” Matt said.
“Uh-oh, the newlyweds are at it again,” Noah interjected.
Because she and Matt were the couple who’d married most recently, they were still referred to as newlyweds by the rest of the Whittakers.
“I’m just happy,” she said.
She still got a thrill from thinking of Matt as her husband. And even at seven months pregnant, he made her feel sexy.
Matt lowered his head and gave her a quick kiss that was full of promise. Later, his eyes said as he raised his head. There’ll be more later. I promise.
She watched then as he looked around and said, “Everyone grab a drink.”
Matt grabbed a beer for himself and handed her a glass of flavored water.
After a moment, he raised his hand in a toast. “To us, Whittakers, because we each found our ideal match.”
There were murmurs of agreement as everyone raised their glass before tasting their drinks.
Then Matt leaned in for a kiss, and the last thing Lauren saw before she closed her eyes was the sweetest image of all: the man to whom she’d given her heart, and who loved her with all his heart in return.