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Santa's Plus-One Surprise

Written by Melissa Senate

Chapter Two

Six weeks later…

The day’s mail brought the cable–internet bill, the newest Wyoming Woman magazine and an ecru envelope addressed in lovely calligraphy that Felicity knew could only be one thing.

The wedding invitation.

The one she’d been dreading finding in her mailbox. Felicity loved weddings; in fact, she’d been a bridesmaid fourteen times over the past seven years as friends and relatives found their life partners and said “I do” everywhere from churches to riverbanks to backyards to stately old historic venues like the Wedlock Creek Chapel. And she’d attended eleven other weddings as a guest, sometimes solo, sometimes with a plus-one.

But never had she been invited to the wedding of her own ex and her cousin, who’d fallen in love over the anticipation of barbecue at her aunt’s birthday party. When Georgina had pointed out the new love of her life as Felicity’s boyfriend, Felicity had half-choked, half-blurted, But, but that’s my Wyatt—and had then fled for an upstairs bathroom, where her mom and aunt had come knocking to soothe her with hugs and Oh, you poor dear, but don’t worry, you’ll meet the true love of your life soon, too.

Georgina had gotten an angry earful from everyone, including Felicity, and had been beside herself, sobbing as she’d apologized and calming down as she’d added, But what can I do? It was love at first sight! Georgina and Wyatt had left the party together, their expressions appropriately stricken. The minute they got in Wyatt’s sleek car, they’d probably ripped each other’s clothes off and forgotten all about Felicity and their major diss.

The whole thing was mortifying.

She slit open the invitation. The wedding was at her grandmother’s fancy dude ranch, where the happy couple had met. The week before Christmas. Felicity was invited with a guest.

Her phone rang. Her cousin Georgina. The bride. “Honey, did you get the wedding invitation? We can all just imagine how you feel. I know how hard this must be for you.”

If Georgina hadn’t been her cousin, Felicity would have told her where she could stick the wedding invitation and slammed the phone down. But, aside from accidentally stealing her man, Georgie had always been wonderful to Felicity and her parents, particularly when her mom had had a cancer scare two years ago.

“Actually,” Felicity said before she could stop herself. “I’ve been seeing someone special. I’ll be bringing him.”

She was not showing up to that wedding alone. But she needed more than a placeholder plus-one to get the pity patrol to move on to a new cause. She needed a serious boyfriend to show everyone she was absolutely fine and hadn’t been cursing her luck while eating bowls of Doritos and pints of ice cream in front of Netflix for the past six weeks.

She’d had enough of blind dates and online matches. So where was she going to find the perfect fake love of her life for six hours?

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Melissa Senate

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