Myla had spent her whole life hiding her withered leg.
She’d been born with it, or her birth parents had done something to it before they’d tossed her in the dumpster, so she’d always lived with it.
In lots of ways, she’d let it dominate her entire life.
She’d always thought if she’d been born physically perfect, maybe her parents would have wanted her. Maybe she could have had a magically normal childhood.
But anyone who could throw a baby in a dumpster didn’t deserve to be a parent. They hadn’t had the potential to be good ones. Something she’d never realized before coming to Bloo Moose. It wasn’t her fault she’d been dumped and abandoned.
Sawyer’s absolute belief in her strength, his complete acceptance of her leg as simply part of her, had changed her.
He’d helped her grow into a complete person.
One who wasn’t scared to become attached.
One who wasn’t waiting to be left behind.
One who was ready to stay.
In a town she loved with a man she would follow to the ends of the earth. And beyond.
Sawyer was everything she’d always wanted to be. Strong in all the ways that counted. Loyal. Resilient. Compassionate.
So passionate. Even thinking about the ways the man liked to show his passion had her tingling in all the very best places.
Last night, she’d been very glad they lived in a secluded home outside of Bloo Moose. He’d done things with his tongue that had her screaming his name.
While they were outside.
A knock sounded on the bedroom door of the B&B. “It’s Darby, Myla. Can I come in?”
Myla dragged her thoughts back to the present and called out to Sawyer’s sister. “Come on in.”
Darby slipped in and closed the door behind her. “How are you doing?”
Myla grabbed her friend’s hand and then pulled her in for a hug. “I’m happy. And excited. And a little bit terrified.”
Darby laughed and hugged her hard. “That sounds about right. I’m so happy you’re joining the family, Myla. You’re exactly who Sawyer needs, and I’ve never seen him so happy.”
They both laughed at that. As a former SEAL, Sawyer wasn’t one to show emotions freely.
Except when they were alone. And naked. Not something she was sharing with his sister.
Darby pulled back and picked up the dress. The dress Myla had been drooling over since she and Darby had found it online. They didn’t have a seamstress in Bloo Moose, so she’d been relieved when it fit perfectly.
Myla with a needle and thread was a dangerous thing.
“I can’t believe we put together a wedding in a couple of weeks. And the best part is you in this dress. Sawyer is going to drool on the spot.”
Myla laughed. She’d never felt drool-worthy in her life.
Darby covered up the mirror in the room with an afghan and then helped Myla into the dress.
Then she fussed with Myla’s hair and makeup. Darby’s recent makeover had taught her a lot and the two had been playing with styles over the past week.
Another knock on the door and Quinn Charters called through. “Five minutes, ladies. You going to be on time?”
Darby looked over Myla and then called out. “We’ll be on time. Tell Sawyer he’s not allowed to faint when he sees his gorgeous fiancée.”
Quinn’s voice was dry. “I’ll get right on that. Mario and I will be back to escort you ladies in five.”
Darby pulled Myla to her feet and then positioned her in front of the mirror. “You ready?”
Myla took a deep breath and nodded.
Darby pulled the afghan off the full length mirror with a flourish and a grin.
She looked good. Even pretty.
The dress was soft and gauzy with layers playing around her legs and almost covering her weak leg.
But not quite.
She’d never worn dresses. Ever.
But this one was perfect. When she moved, the layers moved with her. No one who wasn’t staring at her leg would notice it.
And for the first time in her life, she didn’t care if they did.
The dress made her feel strong and feminine.
She looked up from her dress to her hair. Darby had tamed the curls into submission. She’d pulled bits back so it framed her face and hung loosely over her shoulders.
The way Sawyer liked it best.
Myla looked at Darby in the mirror and noticed she wasn’t the only one with sparkling eyes.
“Thanks, Darby. I’ve never had family before and now I’m getting not only Sawyer, but you too. I’m so lucky.”
Darby waved her hands in front of her face. “No tears. Stop being sappy. No runny streams of mascara. We’ve got men to knock socks off of. And maybe other pieces of clothing, too.”
Myla laughed and Quinn knocked again. “Anyone in here ready to get married?”
She hugged Darby one more time. “We’re ready. Let’s go.” Because suddenly she wanted only one thing.
Sawyer paced the small room on the main floor of the B&B.
Myla was up in Darby’s room getting dressed.
Waste of time because the only thing he wanted to do once they were married was peel her out of whatever she was wearing. And then make love to his wife.
He was going to be married and it filled him with contentment. Which still shocked the hell out of him.
Only a few months ago, he’d rarely looked forward.
He’d been too busy putting one foot in front of the other and trying to deal with the guilt that beat down on him no matter what he did.
Myla had taught him to cope with it all. To learn from the past and then to let it stay there.
He now kept the good memories to the forefront.
His SEAL teammates might be gone, but part of them lived on in everyone who remembered. They lived on in the kids they’d saved in the different hellholes of the earth. They lived on in their families and their friends.
They lived on every time another village was freed from the hands of terrorists.
They lived on with every person breathing a new life of freedom.
And they lived on in Sawyer.
He would tell stories about them and their crazy antics and their startling courage.
They’d live on.
As would he.
All because of a spitfire of a woman who didn’t let anything get her down.
His Myla was the epitome of courage.
And she was about to be all his forever.
If they would finally get on with things.
With Darby being the only family member either of them had, they’d kept the wedding small.
Except this was Bloo Moose and who the hell knew how many people he was going to find in the B&B’s back yard.
Quinn walked into the room with a grin. “You ready? No bolting out the window?”
Sawyer growled. “Hell, no.” His woman wanted a wedding, she’d get a wedding. Even if it meant monkey suits and people.
Quinn slapped him in the shoulder and then pulled him in for a quick hug. “I’m happy for you, man. I’m going to get the girls. You can go ahead and wait on the deck. The officiant made it in from the city.”
Good. Time to get the show on the road.
Sawyer stalked out to the deck while Quinn moved to the stairs.
The chairs they’d set on the deck were full and more people stood on the edges and in the yard.
So much for just his buddies.
Although that showed how many people’s lives Myla had touched in her short time in town.
All the faces turned in his direction as he stepped outside. He moved down the aisle to stand at the front, shaking hands and accepting hugs on the way.
The officiant was a surprise. His buddy Scott Anders stood in front of the crowed wearing a suit and a big grin. The deputy leaned in when Sawyer reached the front and shook his hand. “Didn’t want a total stranger doing this. Figured it would be better with a friend.”
Sawyer forced down the sudden emotion that surged up his throat, but he leaned in to hug his friend. “Thanks. This means a lot. But no more solo rides with my wife on your snowmobile.”
Scott rolled his eyes with a laugh. “I’d rather ride with Nathan, thanks.”
Scott’s partner, Nathan Johnson was a fire-fighter and a big man. “Nathan probably prefers his own ride.”
They were laughing when someone turned on music. Sawyer forgot everyone and everything as he turned to look at the back door.
Quinn and Darby walked out together.
His sister’s smile reminded him of their mom’s. He knew his folks would have been thrilled that both of their kids were finding their way toward happiness.
When the two reached the front, Quinn shook Sawyer’s hand and then stood to the side as his best man.
Darby reached up to pull him in for a hug. “I’m so happy for you, Sawyer. Myla’s the best, and you deserve the best. I love you.”
He held her for a long moment, until she was steady enough to pull back. “I love you, too, Darby. Your turn next.”
She shot a wicked smile at Quinn and then moved to take her place on the other side of Scott.
The music changed again and Sawyer looked up to find Myla filling his vision.
He knew Mario Fortini was acting as a substitute to walk her down the aisle, but he couldn’t have told anyone a thing about him.
Sawyer’s entire focus was on Myla.
Gorgeous and smiling big enough to light up his entire world and his entire future.
She wore a dress that swished and flirted around the legs he liked best when they were wrapped around him.
Flowers trailed in her hair and she held more.
But he could barely take any of that in. Not when she was walking toward him with her heart in her eyes.
A heart that beat in time with his own.
Mario coughed when they got close and Sawyer realized he was supposed to shake his hand. So he did, then hauled in Myla for a kiss. “You’re stunning. Let’s do this.”
Scott laughed. “And that’s my cue.”
The words had barely left Myla’s lips before Sawyer swooped her up into his arms and kissed the breath right out of her.
She could kiss this man forever.
Cheering registered and she remembered they were on the deck of Darby’s B&B in front of a crowd.
And she couldn’t have cared less.
Sawyer set her down on her feet but kept his lips on hers as he whispered. “I love you, Myla. I’ll make sure you never regret this.”
She whispered back. “I love you, too, Sawyer. Forever.”
For the next few hours, she showed off her rings, was swept into dances, and received more hugs than she had in her entire life.
Through it all, Sawyer was never more than a few yards away, his eyes tracking her movements and making sure she was okay.
This was the first wedding she’d ever attended and it was hers.
Without any kind of family to call her own, Myla had drifted for years.
City to city.
Job to job.
She hadn’t realized she’d been searching for this her whole life.
His town which was now her town, too.
A new sister in Darby.
And all of Sawyer’s buddies. People she now considered friends as well.
Mario Fortini took her hand. “My dearest Myla, would you do me the honor of a dance with an old man?”
Myla laughed as she followed his lead. “You’re not even close to an old man. I’m afraid my dancing skills are non-existent. In fact, before I arrived in Bloo Moose, I’d never danced at all.”
Mario’s eyebrow shot up. “Well, all you need to do is let the music lead. And me, of course.”
Laughing, they moved around the room, with her more or less keeping up.
Whenever she turned to see Sawyer watching, his eyes got darker and more intense.
At the end of the song, Mario kissed her hand. “Your man is going to light this place on fire if he keeps looking at you like that. He is reminding me it is time to find my own true love.”
As Mario walked away to find Antonia, Sawyer crossed the room and lowered his head to kiss her. He moved his mouth to her ear and growled. “I’m done with all the other people. I want you. Alone. I want to peel that dress off you slowly. With my teeth. I want to dance naked in the moonlight with you. And then I want to spend hours making love to my wife.”
The possessive words and growl had her skin flushing all over and her knees going weak. In fact, all of her bones were ready to dissolve and puddle on the floor.
Myla had assumed they’d simply slip away without anyone noticing.
She should have known better.
Sawyer didn’t ever worry about what other people thought.
He scooped her up and cradled her into his chest and then walked through the crowded rooms and out the front door.
All the guests started to cheer as they moved. Some slapped Sawyer on the back and there were dozens of whistles and calls to have a good time.
Myla simply waved and laughed as Sawyer carried her out to where his truck was parked out front. Without putting her down, he opened the door and then slid her into the seat.
Then he kissed her with enough passion that she was glad she didn’t have to walk anywhere because her muscles would definitely not have cooperated.
When Sawyer stepped back, she realized the crowd had followed them outside and they were still cheering.
In only a moment, Sawyer was putting the truck into gear. He tooted the horn and they waved as he pulled away.
A rattling noise had them both turning back.
Dozens of tin cans had been tied to the bumper and were trailing behind them on the street. Myla could see something had been tied to the tailgate and she’d bet anything it was a “Just Married” sign.
“Seriously?” Sawyer’s voice showed his surprise. “They better not have scratched the truck.” But his voice was filled with laughter.
Myla turned to wave out the back window then turned back to Sawyer who was grinning as they drove.
He reached out to squeeze her hand. “You ready for the next adventure, Myla Esperanza Banks?”
“With you? I’m ready for anything. And everything.”
“Let’s get started.”
CLUMSY GIRL’S NEW ADVENTURES
Hi everyone! Clumsy Girl here with a quick note to all my wonderful blog readers.
I’m going to be taking a few weeks off from the blog. I’ll be back soon with stories of my new adventures.
There are going to be a lot of them, but they’re going to be slightly different than previous adventures.
I won’t be going on them alone.
Believe it or not, Clumsy Girl is married now. To that sexy guide to all things winter I told you about before. We’ve found our very own Happy Ever After.
So the stories will continue as we tackle new adventures together. Forever.
Once you find your forever person, hold on tight, because that’s the best adventure of all!
Until next time,
Clumsy Girl & Sexy Guide
(P.S. Yes, he hates that name!)
Thanks so much for reading!
Next up in the Bloo Moose series will be REACHING FOR RISKS featuring Darby and Quinn!
Copyright @ 2021 Jemi Fraser
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