Bonus Scene Hometown Hero Wedding

“Good thing we kept the wedding small,” Skye said facetiously, sending a look to her groom.

Chase shook his head ruefully at the crush of people swelling the walls of the Graff hotel. They’d tried to limit the guest list to family and mutual friends, but apparently they knew a lot of the same people. They could barely move between the tables to greet all their guests.

“Can you imagine if I’d invited the team?” As it was, Chase had invited a handful of close friends he had played with over the years and they’d all accepted with their wives. This was the wedding of the year, apparently.

“Oh, hey! I’ve been trying to work my way to this table all evening,” Skye said as they finally waded toward Blake and Liz, Meg and Linc, Piper and Bastian, Ethan, Petra, and Flynn—Chase’s best man who had defected from the head table at his first opportunity.

Meg stood to hug her. Carefully. She had a newborn in a sling across her front and her face was still round with pregnancy weight. She looked tired, but glowed with happiness. Linc handed off the baby he held to Blake and stood to kiss Skye’s cheek and shake Chase’s hand, congratulating them both.

“Oh my gosh,” Skye exclaimed softy, admiring each of their twin boys in turn. “Should you even be out of hospital?” she asked Meg.

“I told her to stay in bed,” Linc said.

“We’ve been home for a week and I feel pretty good, just tired. The way I put it to Linc was, they’re keeping me awake anyway. We might as well show them off.”

“Agreed. They’re adorable,” Skye said with a last fond look before taking in Liz and Blake’s infant daughter—another new addition she hadn’t been home to meet until now. She wouldn’t trade watching her husband win the World Series for anything, but she often wished she could be in two places at once. She hugged her old friend and his new wife, Liz. “Blake, she’s beautiful!” she said of their daughter.

“She got her mama’s looks,” Blake said with a warm look at Liz, then shook Chase’s hand. “Congratulations Chase. On your marriage and the series.”

“I’m pretty much the luckiest man alive,” Chase said with his typical off-handed modesty.

Piper and Bastian stood up to offer their congratulations. Skye hugged her friend warmly, pleased to see her still beaming with happiness.

“Back at you,” Chase responded dryly to Bastian. They hadn’t seen each other since the morning in L.A., after Piper had poured out her broken heart to Skye, left glumly for her room, then texted early the next day, asking if they could meet for breakfast. She had arrived at the restaurant with a sunny smile, holding hands with Bastian, both of them plainly, extravagantly, in love.

“I can’t believe you all got married before me!” Skye said with a chuckle, thinking of all those nights when her ‘wine’ club had been a ‘whine’ club about the dearth of good men in their lives.

“Uncle Sea Bass says I have to finish high school before I’m allowed to get married or we would be too,” Petra said with a look so earnest and somber Skye believed her for one heartbeat. Until Pet nudged Flynn and said, “Right?”

“She’s barely even my girlfriend when she says things like that,” Flynn drawled, then the two made faces at each other.

Skye had privately been worried the pair were making a difficult choice trying to keep their relationship going while Flynn was off to his first year in college—and she could only imagine how Liz felt about it. But she’d had a heart to heart with her young, new brother-in-law yesterday, as they were finalizing some wedding plans. He’d said that maybe he and Petra were too young for such a serious commitment, but pointed out that Chase wished he been with Skye all this time. Flynn didn’t see the point in failing at a bunch of random relationships so he could come back to one that worked. He preferred to keep this one going as long as they could.

Kids these days. Too smart for their own good.

“Well, we’re happy for you,” Chase assured everyone, hooking his arm around Skye.

She leaned into him, winding up tangling gazes with him, able to read his thoughts. Maybe soon they’d be joining their friends in new parenthood as well as marital bliss. They hadn’t been using any sort of protection since his big win, hoping for another kind of win. A new Goodwin. Soon.

For now, she was happy simply to be back in Marietta, married to the man she loved and surrounded by friends and family.

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