Married at Midnight

By: Gerri Russell


The faint scent of wildflowers permeated his senses. He forced his thoughts away from the reminder of Ellie. He’d hated that scent ever since high school. He hated the way her presence lit up a room. Even standing still, Ellie had always had a vivaciousness that flowed through every line of her enticing form. Just a glimpse of her near or far used to set his heart racing. That his heart was now thumping in his chest in an unfamiliar rhythm was certainly not due to her. He decided to blame it on the shock of finding her in bed with him.

Still, he had to admit, she did look good after all these years. Her hair, which had always reminded him of spun gold, tumbled around her shoulders, framing her perfectly proportioned oval face with its high, chiseled cheekbones, large, almond-shaped eyes framed with thick lashes, and full and tempting lips.

Connor fisted his hands at his sides. So she was pretty. He was immune to her type. As though betraying that very thought, his groin tightened. His body’s reaction released him from the spell of her charms. She’d always had this effect on him in the past. Obviously the present was no different. He had to put some distance between them. Then he could be his usual logical self and find the perspective he needed.

He stood, allowing the blanket to fall to his feet, exposing himself, fully aroused, to her while he grabbed a pair of pants that lay abandoned on the floor. Tuxedo pants.

She looked away, focusing on the creamy-white dress on the floor at the end of the bed. She picked up the garment, which had been abandoned in a heap. “We did get married last night!”

“This clothing doesn’t prove anything,” Connor said, more harshly than he’d intended. The look on her face was one of disgust, not joy or acceptance.

“Wedding rings, wedding clothes . . . it’s getting harder to think otherwise.” She dropped the gown, allowing it to fall in a puddle on the floor. She turned away, toward the bedside, searching for something. When she located her cell phone, she swiped the screen, then turned back to him with wide, almost horrified eyes. “Look.”

On the screen he saw a picture of the two of them locked in each other’s arms, standing between two men dressed very much like Elvis Presley. “Is that a joke?”

“It looks pretty real to me.” Ellie sagged against the dresser. “So did we just get married, or did we get married and have sex?”

Connor frowned. Why did she have to look so horrified at the thought of them having sex? “You don’t remember anything about last night?”

“I remember snippets. I thought it was all some strange tequila-induced nightmare. Do you remember anything about Elvis?”

“Presley? He’s dead.”

“Not in Vegas.”

Connor blew out a breath as he reached for his crumpled tuxedo shirt, pulling it over his head without bothering to undo the buttons. “I knew coming to Vegas was a bad idea.”

“That’s an understatement.” Ellie bent to the floor and retrieved a lacy pair of black bikini underwear and a bra near the wedding dress. “I wore black underwear with a white dress?” She winced as she tucked her undergarments in her palm, hiding them from his view. “Hang on. It’s disturbing talking to you with only a sheet covering me.” She hurried to the closet, reaching for a black dress with white polka dots, then slipped into the bathroom and locked the door.

“Maybe we should head back to the bar where we were last night? Someone there must remember something,” he said loud enough that she could hear him through the door.

“That would be great. Do you remember the name of the bar?” she asked, emerging from the bathroom.

“No. I hoped you might.” The words stuck in his throat. Her dress had looked so innocent on the hanger. On Ellie the garment sent his pulse racing. The open back exposed the lower half of her spine and hinted at the soft curves hidden just beneath the fabric at her waist. The short length exposed the one part of Ellie that had always left him feeling slightly breathless—her long, shapely legs. “Do you have to wear that dress?” He ground his teeth and forced his attention away.

Ellie’s gaze narrowed. “What’s wrong with my dress?”

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