Bombshell (The Rivals #3) - Geneva Lee
It doesn't make sense. I read the certificate in my hands again, my eyes skipping over the boxes where someone typed up the vital statistics. Four entries stand out to me:
Adair Anne MacLaine.
The woman standing across from me. The woman I didn't know before this moment. The woman I'm not sure I'll ever know.
The day after her birthday. Four years ago. A day I was drunk on leave with Jack and Luca.
Elodie Anne MacLaine.
Her niece. They have a club for Sagittariuses. Sagittari? She likes hot chocolate.
But I know what name belongs in that box. Adair knows. More importantly, Adair knew, even then. It should have been my name in the box next to Adair's name—the box marked father.
We make our way back down the thickly carpeted steps of the Valmont Country Club. If I look away for a moment, my heart swells like a wave cresting at high tide when I see him again. And his eyes? They crash over me, pulling me under until there’s only him and the promise of a life I was sure I’d never reach. I’m lost in him, and I never want to be found.
Thankfully, no one seems to have noticed we were gone. I’m even more thankful that I can feel my tipsiness wearing off. We practically float into the Valmont Country Club ballroom, anchored to the earth only by our clasped hands and make our way to the dance floor. Sterling’s eyes glint, catching the last, dying ember of sunset streaming through the large windows
God, he’s handsome. God, I love him.
“Are you ready to dance, Lucky?” he says, but before I can answer he spins me against his body, catching my hand in his and pressing the other to the small of my back.
“If you put your hand any lower, we’ll have to find another closet,” I tease.
The adoration on his face transforms to something darker, sending my own mind to thoughts of another stolen moment alone. He pulls me even closer to him, twirling us between two other couples, and bends down to kiss me.
The energy in the room changes, and I sense the people around us stop dancing as though we’ve actually become the center of the world instead of just feeling like we are.
Flashes of light fill the ballroom, and this time, even I stop. I look around, half-expecting to discover some well-intentioned, but soon-to-be-unemployed server has turned on a strobe light.
A shower of sparks ricochets over the lake outside, and a split second later, another loud boom fills the room. Orbs of pale pink and champagne bloom in the night sky, the water doubling the effect of the fireworks. The ballroom lights dim above us as the next firework goes off bathing everyone in flashes of pastel light. Around us, the people ooh and ahh as the flashes keep coming, now without any big, booming explosions.
The piano in the corner, unused all night, begins playing. I know everything about the wedding plans—and this isn’t part of them. My eyes scan the crowd, hoping to find a glimpse of Ginny. There’s no way she okayed this. I would know.
“There,” Sterling says, guessing who I was looking for and pointing to a spot by the glass wall.
Ginny’s brow is crinkled, her mouth agape. For a second, I’m sure she hates the disruption, as her gaze flies around the room, from DJ to wedding planner, finally coming to rest on Malcolm’s face beside her. For an anguishing second, I think she’s about to widow herself until my brother gives his new wife a sly grin. She softens into a swoon, and he bends down to whisper something in her ear. As he does, a small group of violins and cellos start playing next to the piano, sending another titter through the audience. I’m not into classical music, so I can’t place the composition. But it’s lovely—soft and rich, with big swells that take my breath away.
“Debussy, I think,” Sterling says, his face dancing almost as much as Ginny’s.
It’s pure magic.
A man dressed in a black-on-black suit stands in front of the musicians, cupping his hand over a black earpiece. He must be coordinating between them and the fireworks people. When the next swell hits, it reveals another surprise. An entire small orchestra has filed into the back of the room as everyone looks out on the fireworks, and they all begin playing as an incredible flurry of fireworks burns the sky nearly as bright as day.
Two huge fireworks soar