Pirates, Assassins, and roofies… oh my!
But no one said marriage was easy.
Unexpectedly His by Maren Smith … NOW OUT!
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In Vegas for a cousin’s wedding, the last thing Daniel Fortner is looking for is a marriage of his own. But then Gwen crashes—literally—into his life and suddenly Daniel can’t stop running. She’s a pickpocket, a car thief, a boat thief, the woman who roofied him for his own good, and quite possibly the most fun he’s had in years. He never meant to marry her, but once the bullets and heart-stopping kisses start flying, how can he possibly let her go?
“I think I’d rather have you shoot me.” Daniel spread his arms, but did not approach. “You say I don’t have any options, but you know, I don’t think you do either. Six other people saw you guys come in here. Everything you’re doing is being recorded to an offsite location. So go ahead, shoot me. Because I’m not leaving with you and neither is she.”
Chuckling all over again, even less amused than before, Gray Suit opened his coat to show them the butt of the pistol holstered to his chest. “You want to know how much I care about the witnesses or the camera, you go ahead and ask me that again. You won’t even have to say please.”
Stepping out from behind him, Brown Suit opened his coat too, showing them he was also armed. He didn’t say anything. His dead-eyed stare did all the talking for him.
Gwen jumped when the chapel door swung open, and the wedding coordinator came bouncing out again, forcing the gunmen to hide both weapons once more. “Next,” she said cheerfully.
Daniel grabbed her arm. “That’s us, honey.”
Her knees almost buckled, but Gwen went where he pushed her, stumbling past the Suits and into the overly white chapel. The gunmen tried to follow, but the blonde blocked their way. “I’m sorry, are you gentlemen part of the wedding party?”
“Never seen them before in my life,” Daniel replied, hustling Gwen down the narrow aisle.
“Then I’m sorry, you both will just have to wait out here.”
Before she closed the door, Gwen looked back, shivering as Gray Suit locked his eyes on her and pointedly straightened his jacket. “We’ll be waiting.”
Like she wasn’t scared enough as it was.
“Yeah, you do that.” Rubbing a hand over his mouth and down his chin, Daniel swept the room with narrowed eyes. Gwen followed his stare to the rear exit just behind the altar, stage, and Elvis Presley look‑alike. Dressed in a white sequined suit and half-cape, he stood with a Bible tucked under one arm and a spritz bottle, with which he was currently lozenging his throat. He swished it through it his mouth before grinning at her, tossing a wink and striking a pose. “Welcome to Reverend Love’s Wedding Chapel.”
“Have you folks got a license?” The coordinator came to them, beaming her cheerful smile and holding out her hand.
“Actually, we’ve been talking and we’re wondering if we shouldn’t take a day to consider this a little longer. So, if it’s okay with you…” Catching Gwen’s arm, Daniel hustled her down the short aisle and past the stage.
“Oh, hey,” Elvis said, losing his smile before hurrying to block their path. “Marriage is a big step, and if you’re not ready, well, that’s okay. You shouldn’t make this commitment unless you are, however” —he thumbed over his shoulder— “you can’t go out that door.”
“Why not?” Gwen asked. The back door was less than ten feet away. They’d have to knock Elvis out of the way to get to it, but she could all but feel the clock ticking precious seconds away. If thoughts of a back door weren’t already planted in the minds of both gunmen, she had no doubt it would sprout there soon enough. They had to get out of here, and that door was their best option.
“That door,” Elvis said, as if he could hear her thoughts, “is the doorway to Happily Ever After.”
It had a sign that read those very words: Happily Ever After, in the scrolling font of a fairytale storybook.
“This church,” Elvis told them, “has been marrying folks for 142 years. It’s stood here on this very spot long before the casinos, before Bugsy Siegel, before even the Hoover Dam. In all that time, that door has been the first each newly married couple has stepped through on their journey through the rest of their repurposed lives. This is more than just a doorway, folks, this is a tradition.”
“Okay,” Daniel caved, holding up soothing hands. “We promise we’ll come back tomorrow—”
“And when you do,” Elvis replied in the exact same, soothing tone, “then you can use this door. In the meantime, the front door is right back the way you came.”
Right back down the aisle and out into the reception area, where the Suits were waiting for them. Gwen and Daniel looked at each other.
Daniel found his smile again. “Get your license, babe. Looks like we’re getting married.”
About Maren Smith
Fortunate enough to live with my Daddy Dom, I am a Little, coffee whore, pain slut, administrator at two of my local BDSM dungeons, resident of the wilds of freakin’ Kansas (still don’t know how I ended up here) and submissive to the love of my life. An International and USA Bestselling Author, I have penned more than 160 novels, novellas and short stories, and am the author of the Masters of the Castle series.
I also write under the names of Denise Hall, Darla Phelps, and Penny Alley.
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