Miles Jackson had a sort of love-hate relationship with weddings. People loved to invite him to them, and they were usually people he liked enough not to want to let them down. So he went. And then, inevitably, the regret set in.
It wasn’t that he couldn’t get behind the whole “forever love” concept—hell, he’d starred in enough movies with that as the main premise to know that love was an important part of the human psyche.
He just couldn’t quite imagine that kind of love ever being for him. He’d had his chance, and he wasn’t sure he believed in second ones.
His sister, Gray, told him he was an old cynic. But then Gray fell in love every other month, and never managed to make it last past the first anniversary, if the wedding even happened at all. (Somehow, there was always an engagement ring. If Gray’s modelling career ever went south—which didn’t seem likely in the near future—she’d be able to retire on a pension of diamonds easily enough.)
Anyway. No one turned down an invitation to Valentina’s wedding of the year, on some magic island in the middle of the Med. And since Gray was currently post-last-minute-wedding-cancellation and pre-falling-in-love-again, she’d begged him to come along and keep her company.
You know Valentina would love to have you there. Besides, it’ll be good for your career, being seen with these people, she’d insisted, and Miles hadn’t bothered arguing that his career was doing just fine, thank you. And besides, he spent all day working with entitled stars who thought that just because they had a movie role they deserved special treatment. Or worse, talentless actors like Taylor Hapsgood who only got roles because of who his parents were…
No. He was done being bitter about this. He was going to enjoy this wedding. There’d be wine and good food and music—he’d even heard a rumour that Jude Alexander was planning a celebratory concert after dinner. This would be a fun time.
Plus Gray would kill him if he didn’t at least try to enjoy himself.
Decision made, Miles shoved his hands in the pockets of his linen suit trousers, and strode back along the path around the edge of the island, towards the pagoda and lines of chairs set up for the wedding itself. He could hear the chatter of the other guests, and music already playing, over the crash of the waves against the rocks below. Up ahead, just off to the side from the main wedding, an area had been set up to entertain the kids invited to the wedding—it seemed that Valentina’s groom, Todd, had an extensive family. Miles picked out entertainers dressed as mermaids, seahorses, and even a juggling octopus.
Before he could look any closer at the entertainment, he heard a screech from just up ahead, and saw a flash of a mermaid tail as one of the entertainers leapt across the path, grabbing for the hands of a terrified little boy.
Without thinking, Miles ran.
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