The Wedding Secret

The Wedding Secret
~Chapter 3~

I can’t believe I agreed to this.

Renata took Amir’s outstretched hand and let him help her into the seat of the white open-top horse-drawn carriage.

Less than an hour ago, she’d been minding her own business, getting the church ready for Ken’s wedding. Somehow that had led her to this moment, and as Amir climbed onto the seat next to her, she wondered how it all had happened.

He settled in next to her, and the uniformed driver got the carriage underway. With Amir sitting so close, Renata couldn’t help but notice how good he smelled. With each inhale, she took in another helping of the delicious masculine fragrance rolling off his tall muscular body. She had no idea what kind of cologne he wore, but he smelled like good loving and a stack of one hundred dollar bills.

He turned to her, his smile showing off two rows of perfect white teeth. “You look like you’ve got something on your mind.”

She didn’t dare say what she was thinking, as her vulnerability over what had just happened with Gary threatened to get the best of her. “I guess I do.”

“I’m not trying to get in your business. But you’re too gorgeous to be frowning. So, could you set whatever’s on your mind aside, just until the ride is over?” He watched her expectantly.

Feeling the warmth in her cheeks, she nodded.

As she’d promised, she turned her attention to the passing scenery and was soon caught up in the beauty that surrounded her. The ride took them through Charlotte’s historic Fourth Ward. The district, one of the oldest and most scenic parts of town, boasted many examples of classic Victorian homes. The houses, painted in pastel colors with their white trim, stood along the tree-lined streets as testaments of the city’s past.

By the time the carriage ride ended, and the driver delivered them back to the pickup spot at Trade and Tryon Streets, Renata felt a lightness come over her. She hadn’t felt this calm in the last twenty-four hours, and she was grateful for the break from her righteous anger. To that end, she looked up into Amir’s beautiful golden-brown eyes. “Thank you for this, Amir.”

He grinned. “You’re welcome.”

“You’re quite the charmer.”

“Only when the situation calls for it.” He reached out.

She allowed him to clasp her hand in his, then watched him raise it to his full lips. For a few moments, she simply enjoyed basking in his attention. Then, logic and sense kicked in. “Aren’t you supposed to be at the rehearsal dinner tonight?”

He nodded. “I am. But to be honest, all I want right now is to spend more time with you.”

Renata couldn’t stop the smile that spread across her face from his flattery. Her heart fluttered in her chest, and she wondered if she could really be feeling so strongly attracted to someone she’d just met. Was it vulnerability that made her susceptible to his overwhelming charm?

Or was it something more? Something special?