The Connection(2)

By: Adriana Locke

I shrug because I don’t know. It had been a dream of mine since I was a little girl, the beautiful wedding I didn’t get with Decker. But now, it just seems unnecessary. I just want to be Mrs. Cane Alexander. I’ll skip the ice cream, fudge, and sprinkles and go right to the cherry on top.

“You’re so not a girl,” Kari mutters. “So pink flowers. What else? What kind of dress do you like? How do you want your hair done? What color is my bridesmaid dress?”

“We’ve been through this a million times. I. Don’t. Care.”

“It’s important! I look really good in warm colors. You should keep that in mind.”

“You’re ridiculous.”

“Why? Because I don’t want a puffy pink princess gown? Call me crazy . . .”

“You’re crazy all right,” I say, rolling my eyes.

Max turns around in his seat and looks at Kari. He grins, his dimple setting deep in his cheek. “You could wear a trash bag and you’d be gorgeous.”

Kari blushes at the compliment, but doesn’t say anything. She grabs the magazine off my lap and pages through it.

They’ve been together longer than Cane and I. They introduced us, after all. It’s obvious to anyone watching that Max is in total love with Kari and I know my sister adores him. But there’s always a slight rift between them that I can’t put my finger on. Cane and I have talked about it a hundred times and we can’t figure it out.

“If Jada wants you to wear a pink dress, you’ll wear a pink dress. Got it?” Cane says, tapping his fingers against the steering wheel.

“If you know what’s good for you, you’ll shut it, Alexander,” Kari says, narrowing her eyes at the back of Cane’s head. “Okay, back to the dress. What style are you thinking?”

“I’m thinking something simple and pretty. I’ll know it when I see it.”

“Simple and pretty,” Kari nods, ignoring my hint at not pushing the issue. “Like that one?”

She points to a sleeveless, form-fitting gown made of lace. It brushes the floor with a small train. It’s perfect.

“Just like that, actually,” I breathe. “I love how it isn’t really fancy but it’s still just . . . pretty.”

And it is. It’s perfect and beautiful and I know when we get back from Vegas, I will try to find this gown. There is a list of shops beneath it. I fold the corner of the page so I don’t lose it.

“You picked a date yet?” Max asks, smirking and looking at Cane out of the corner of his eye. Cane turns and glares, making Max laugh.

“I’m not sure,” I say, raising my eyebrows at their interaction. “We haven’t really discussed it. Maybe October? There’s so much to plan, even if we keep it small like I want to. I just don’t think I can get it figured out before then.”

“October, huh? I think that sounds great,” Max says.

“I’m not a fan of October.” Cane looks at me in the mirror again, taking his sunglasses off and sticking them in the front of his shirt. He casts me a stern look before concentrating on the road again.

“November, then,” I say, baffled. “I don’t really care, but you’re going to have to give me time, Cane. And you want to write our own vows! Ugh! I might just hire a wedding planner for this. You’re going to have to be patient.”

“That’s not one of my finest virtues.”

“No shit,” Max mumbles.

“I have to be lacking somewhere.”

Kari rolls her eyes. “Whatever, dude. You are so awesome—just ask you, right?”

“Honesty is a virtue I do possess, yes,” Cane deadpans.

Kari shakes her head and looks shocked. “Is he serious?”

I laugh. They’ve been disagreeing a lot lately, like they are in some constant playful pissing match. It’s almost like they like disagreeing with each other just for the sake of it. It’s entertaining but it’s starting to drive me a little crazy.

“I don’t know why you two can’t stop with the back and forth,” I say.

“Because he thinks he trumps me now,” Kari says.

“Because she obviously doesn’t know her place,” Cane says simultaneously.

“My place? You’ve got to be kidding me!” Kari nearly yells.

“You guys are making me want to drink already and we’re a helluva long way from Vegas,” Max groans, taking his hat off and running his hand through his hair. “You two are oil and water.”

We turn into a parking garage, Cane taking a ticket from the machine. He glances at Kari through the mirror and then speeds forward, taking the turns much faster than necessary. Kari squeals as Cane slides the Denali into a parking spot and shuts off the engine in one smooth move.