Authors: Kristin Miller
Tags: #enemies to lovers, #werewolf, #shapeshifter, #series, #Covet, #weddings, #paranormal, #romance, #Entangled, #shifter, #stalker, #seattle wolf, #paranormal romance
Four Weddings and a Werewolf
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Kristin Miller. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Entangled Publishing, LLC
2614 South Timberline Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Visit our website at www.entangledpublishing.com.
Edited by Kaleen Harding and Liz Pelletier
Cover design by Heidi Stryker
Manufactured in the United States of America
First Edition October 2013
The author acknowledges the copyrighted or trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction: Lexus, Chevy, AAA, Thin Mints, Coke, iPad, Butchart Gardens, Advil, Seattle Seahawks, “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” James Bond, Nike, Fancy Feast, Dumpster, Grape Nuts, Bride of Frankenstein, Spanx, Benadryl, The Vampire Diaries, Guinness, “Lady in Red,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” Old Yeller, Hotel Monaco, Desperately Seeking Susan, Taser, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Super Bowl, Mercedes-Benz, Buick, Drano, Barbie, The Bachelor, “The Humpty Dance,” “Think Twice,” “Cha-Cha Slide,” Glock.
I’d marry you again in a flash.
(What dreams may come, remember?)
“If I ever fall in love with a werewolf,” Veronica said, as she stared at a drunken wedding guest being escorted out of Seward Park, “shoot me.”
“Famous last words.”
Veronica Vale, wedding planner extraordinaire, folded her arms across her chest and gazed up at the cords of white lights streaming over the dance floor. “I don’t care how powerful they think they are, take them out of wolf form and they’re nothing but overgrown dogs in need of a muzzle.”
“Ouch.” Heather, her assistant wedding coordinator, eyed the bridal party as they waltzed to a beautiful rendition of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” Huffing, Heather leaned over and bumped Veronica playfully in the shoulder. “Remind me not to get on your bad side.”
“I’m sorry, but there’s no excuse to get all worked up, especially at a wedding. Just goes to prove that they’re animals. Completely incapable of controlling their anger.” Veronica’s thoughts whirled around the incident that’d barely been avoided. Mr. Grady, the groom’s canine uncle, was offended that he’d been removed from the lineup of people to toast the bride and groom. The order came straight from the groom, but she was the one who had to relay the message and take the brunt of Mr. Grady’s anger. Veronica’s heart pounded in her chest as she strained to lower her voice. “If we hadn’t caught Mr. Grady when we did, seconds before he shifted, he would’ve burst through his tuxedo in front of everyone. Body hair suit?” She scoffed. “Not exactly wedding couture.”
Heather laughed. Veronica was grateful she had a friend to talk to about the werewolves in Seattle.
she had to bear the burden on her own, she didn’t know how she’d handle it. As it was, thinking about her older sister, Leah, being attacked last year and turning into a wolf made Veronica’s arm hair stand on end. It didn’t matter that Leah had accepted the hand she’d been dealt and fallen in love with a born werewolf from the Seattle Wolf Pack.
They were unnatural and had serious anger issues that turned them into beasts. If it weren’t for Leah getting info from her werewolf fiancé, Jake, and tipping Veronica off as to which wedding guests could shift into the mangy things at the Grady wedding, Veronica wouldn’t have known to watch out for the groom’s uncle in the first place. There were a handful of other wolves attending the Grady wedding—from what her sister had said—and Veronica had assigned Heather to keep a close eye on all of them.
They couldn’t be trusted.
With a start, Heather whirled around and leaned into Veronica’s shoulder. “Don’t look now, but
staring at you again.”
Veronica scanned the dance floor, and as a couple spun by, her gaze caught on the guy who stood on the opposite side of the floor, the one who’d been checking her out all evening. His body was slender but powerful, with square, broad shoulders that tapered down to narrow hips. His tuxedo enhanced his frame, hugging his biceps and pulling at the seam in his groin. The way he stood, with his arms folded over his chest and his feet shoulder-width apart, screamed dominance. He had a body that made Veronica’s thoughts nosedive from vanilla to downright dirty.
Veronica’s breath hitched and she glanced away, studying the DJ as if she hadn’t noticed him, yet.
“He hasn’t taken his eyes off you all night,” Heather continued. “Maybe he’s your secret admirer!”
“You really think so?” Veronica had been getting notes and flowers for weeks, but had no clue who sent them. It was thrilling, knowing someone out there cared enough to surprise her that way. “But wait, I don’t know that guy over there. From the sound of the notes, my admirer has met me before.”
“Okay, maybe he’s a stranger who thinks you’re hot. Either way, you have to go say something.”
“Umm, that’s a no.” Veronica pretended to laugh as the song changed to something more upbeat. “He’s probably looking at you.”
“Please. If I wanted to nail a guy like that I’d have to stand as far away from you as possible so there wouldn’t be any distractions. In case you haven’t looked in the mirror in a while, you kinda steal the show.”
Heather gave Veronica a once-over, adding an eyebrow wiggle for dramatic presentation. She got an A for effort, but Veronica wasn’t buying it. If she was as hot as Heather always insinuated, it wouldn’t have been months since the last time Veronica rolled over and fetched a bone.
Feeling nervous, Veronica adjusted her simple black dress and crossed her feet at the ankles. “Thank you, but now’s not the time for personal business. We can talk about that in two nanoseconds when the reception is over.”
“You know, the one major plus to planning weddings is all kinds of hot, single guys show up, and I’ve never seen you take advantage of it. Not once. It’s okay to mix business with pleasure, you know.”
Veronica sighed and fidgeted with the spaghetti strap that’d slipped off her shoulder. “It’s never okay to mix the two. Besides, there
more than one good thing about my job.”
“Free drinks?” Heather swiped a champagne flute off the tray of a passing server and nodded in thanks.
“No”—Veronica let her gaze skim the dance floor, from the couples moving in time to each other, to the white lights crossing overhead, to the moonlight-tipped waves of Lake Washington shimmering in the distance—“you get to witness really great love. Think about it, Heather. This couple will remember today as the day they were blissfully happy. Today is the day they love each other the most, when everything is perfect and magical. When things get tough, they’ll think back to this. It’s kind of special to think that I—we, had a hand in it.”
kind of a wedding genius, and I’ll scream your praises to everyone I meet,” Heather said, sipping on her drink and turning back around. “But if you wanted to bark up that guy’s tree at the end of the night, I wouldn’t tell a soul.”
Whatever you do, don’t take your eyes off Veronica Vale.
His friend’s instructions rang through Logan’s ears, loud and clear:
keep her safe, keep your hands off, and find the werewolf who is stalking her.
At first, when Logan had taken the job assignment from Jake McKenna, his packmate and Marine brother, he thought he’d lost his ever-lovin’ mind. Watch a human? Logan didn’t watch humans. He was a werewolf, bodyguard for hire, and hit man for the Seattle Wolf Pack. But Ms. Vale had a stalker, and the creep was a werewolf. There was a very real possibility that whoever was following her around was a member of their pack, which meant this order was one that needed to be taken seriously.
Calling the police was out of the question: werewolves took care of their business so humans wouldn’t know they existed.
According to Jake, Veronica believed she had a secret admirer. Someone who sent flowers to her office and left anonymous love notes on her doorstep. But after Jake and Leah Vale’s engagement party last month, Jake had arrived at Veronica’s house before everyone else and found a wooden jewelry box full of wolf hair, along with a small emerald ring. Being that Seattle was often called the Emerald City, they’d assumed an emerald ring coupled with the wolf hair signified the stalker was part of the Seattle Wolf Pack. There was a note, too. One that spouted off notions of true, undying love and all that bullshit.
Jake had hidden everything from Leah and Veronica, and called Logan to take care of the situation before things got out of control.
But now, Logan didn’t have a choice in how to handle the situation. He had to watch Veronica and become her shadow, without revealing that he’d been hired to do those things. Usually, the people he protected knew that they were being tailed. They were aware of his presence and knew he was being paid for the job. He didn’t like following her around without her knowing it.
The way Jake had put it, they didn’t have a choice.
If Veronica found out she was being stalked, or that Jake, her future brother-in-law, had hired someone to protect her, she’d probably run to the police. They’d start sniffing around, and if the stalker was a loose cannon, he could shift in front of them. The last thing the pack needed was Seattle PD knowing werewolves existed.
After walking around the edges of the reception site to make sure there was nothing out of the ordinary, Logan stood just outside the grassy clearing and watched Veronica carefully. She’d caught him staring on more than one occasion, but what else could he do? He had to admit she was stunning. The short hemline of her skirt showed off a pair of toned legs that led to a dainty waist, lean back, and smooth, petite shoulders. At first glance, he’d thought Veronica was plain, but he’d been wrong. She had almond-shaped eyes, round cheeks, and straight brown hair that had been pulled back into a ponytail. If she was mistaken for being plain, it was because she wasn’t looking to catch someone’s eye. She was all business, and had a serious-set mouth. Logan bet she was often glanced over as being too uptight. He saw through it…
“Why aren’t you dancing?” The old man sitting nearest Logan swiveled around and draped his arm over the back of his chair. “If my legs were as young as yours, I wouldn’t waste a single song.”
“I’m not here for the music,” Logan said, losing sight of Veronica behind one of the giant white tents. Time to run. “I’m working.”
“You’re part of the wedding staff?” The old man shrugged his shoulders to his ears. “You don’t look like everyone else around here.” He winked. “You must be a spy.”
Logan laughed as he made his way around the old man’s table. “I’m not a spy.”
“If you work for Bond, you can tell me.”
“I may not be all that I seem, but I’m no spy.”
The old man nodded like he understood. “Right…right. Because you’d have to kill me if you said so.”
Logan bit his lip to keep from bringing up the topic of
“If you’re not a spy…” The old man winked. “Then you must be working on finding the right lady to take home tonight. Can’t fool me; I remember those days well enough.” The old man pointed a crooked finger into the air and wagged it around. “You’ve come to the right place. Single ladies flock to these things. They hope all the love talk will snag them a man.”
“I don’t mean any disrespect, sir,” Logan said, leaning closer. “But weddings aren’t my thing. I’d rather saw off my finger than let a dame put a ring on it.”
“That’s horribly depressing,” a soft voice said from behind him.
He spun around and laid eyes on the most gorgeous woman at the wedding: Veronica Vale.
“It’s the truth.” He shoved his hands in his pockets to feign a sense of calmness, and backed away from the old man’s table. “And you are?”
Isn’t that what he would say if he was meeting her for the first time?
“Veronica Vale.” She cocked her hip to the side, and her heel slipped into a hole in the grass. Laughing it off, she stepped onto solid ground. “I’m the wedding planner.”
“Nice to meet you,” he said, but he was thinking something entirely different. This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. Logan was hired to discover who was stalking Veronica and drag that creepy werewolf’s ass back to their Alpha to answer to pack law without clueing her in. He’d have to be more careful when following her around.
Now that she’d met him, she would notice him again.
“And you are?” she asked.
“Related to the groom.”
“Mr. Grady’s cousin.”
Veronica suddenly looked awkward in her own skin, her feet shifting over the grass, and the edges of her lips shaking when she talked. What had her so nervous, when she was the one who’d approached him?
She detached her dark eyes from his and gazed across the dance floor. “So tell me, Mr. Grady’s cousin, what do you think of the wedding so far?”
He followed her line of sight: a blonde in a blue dress was standing against the bar, watching their encounter very carefully. When she noticed Logan’s attention shift to her, she quickly spun around, sloshing her drink to the floor in the process.
“A friend of yours?” he said, nodding in the woman’s direction.
Veronica seemed to stiffen. “My wedding assistant, Heather. Listen, I only came over here because she bet me a pair of shoes that I wouldn’t do it.”
“Talking to me…for a pair of shoes?” Logan laughed. “How much is the losing bet going to put her out?”
“About two hundred dollars. Her entire commission for the night.”
“Seriously? Am I really that intimidating?”
“No, it’s just that I’m not supposed to be socializing while I’m on duty, and I take my work seriously. And Heather thought…well, I don’t know what Heather thought.”
“That I’ve had my eye on you all night, so you might as well come say hello.”
“Yeah, I guess that’s what it was.” His frankness made her cheeks blush a sweet shade of pink. She grasped the end of her hair and twiddled it around. “I should get back.”
She walked away, her heels sinking in the grass, her long, toned legs flexing as she fought for stability over the uneven earth.
“Better make those Nikes,” Logan called after her.
Stopping, Veronica looked back. “Excuse me?”
He smiled slowly and trailed his gaze down her body. “Wouldn’t want you to twist one of those delicate ankles.”
Her blush deepened and she turned away.