A Case of You:Suncoast Society(13)

By: Tymber Dalton

Zero confidence in him as a person.

And he wasn’t sure he could handle facing them right now.

“I can’t give you an answer yet. I need to talk to Brandon and Jeff first.”

“I mean it. You can bring them, too.”

“Well, I wasn’t going to come alone, if I can even come. Jeff probably won’t be able to come because of his health. That’ll be too hard on him. He can stay home with Emma.”

“I…I watched the video you posted of her last swim meet. She seems like a neat kid.”

More news to him. “You did?”

“Yeah. You’re my brother. I love you. I’d like to know about your life and the people you love.”

That was a true shocker.

“When is your wedding? That’s another thing.”

“I’ll send you an e-mail with all the details. It’s in four weeks.”

“Four weeks?”


“Wow. That’s…fast.”

“He proposed last week. We’ve been dating for over a year. He’s going to be shipping out two weeks after the wedding on deployment to Afghanistan. Army.”

“Oh.” That put it into context. He hadn’t met this guy, even though now he did remember her talking about a guy she’d started dating not too long before he left Iowa.

“Yeah. We want to do it before he leaves. That’s another reason I honestly don’t care what Jake says. The day is for me and John. I’ll be moving after the wedding, and won’t be living near Jake for him to give me a hard time about it.”

“Well, I hope everything works out okay.”

“Me, too. I really love him. If it’s any consolation, I’m sure Jake will be hating too much on John and his family to have time to give you a hassle.”

“What? Why?”

“John’s parents are from Mexico. He and his three sisters were born here, but his parents weren’t legal until about a year ago.”

“Oh, boy.”

“Yeah. He’s a great guy and I love him. His parents work ten times as hard as Jake ever has, and they’re fantastic people. They welcomed me into their family with open arms. One of his sisters earned a full academic scholarship to college and medical school and she’s a cardiologist. Another one is an engineer. The third is an Army officer. But I know once Jake meets them he’s going to be a total ass.”

“How about solving the problem by not inviting him?”

“Because stupid Mark told him. I actually wasn’t going to tell Jake about it.” Mark was their cousin, the one Stuart had rented a room from after graduating high school so he could move out of his parents’ house and have a modicum of privacy.

“You can still uninvite Jake.”

“Then he’ll go whining to Mom and Dad about it and creating even more drama, and I really want them there. I’ve already warned John’s family what a jerk Jake is. They’ve handled worse than him in their lives.”

“This sounds like it’ll be…fun.”

“That’s one word for it.”

“How about telling Jake it’s a few hours later than it really is.”

“I thought about that, too, but, again, stupid Mark is buddy-buddy with him.”

“Yeah, there is that.”

“John will have several of his Army buddies there. They’ll all be in uniform, too. Hopefully Jake won’t act like too much of an ass. He’s a bully, but he’s also a damn coward. He’ll be way outnumbered.”

“How dressed up do I need to be for this?”

“Oh, the guests can wear jeans, or a suit, if you want. Nothing fancy. We have to keep the cost down. We’re paying for it ourselves. I even found a gorgeous wedding dress at Goodwill for fifty bucks. It’s too big for me, but John’s mom can alter it so it fits me. Designer dress, too. Probably close to a thousand-dollar dress, brand new.”

“Wow. That’s great.”

“I know, right? So…please?”

The bad feeling all tangled and knotted in his gut wasn’t getting any better. “I’ll try. E-mail me the info, please, as soon as you can. I’ll let you know once I have an answer.”