It Happened One Wedding Page 1

Author: Julie James

Series: FBI/US Attorney #5

Genres: Romance


WELL-TRAINED IN THE art of reading the subtle cues of body language, FBI Special Agent Vaughn Roberts was quite certain this date was going down in flames.

On the upside, it wasn’t his date that was crashing and burning. Rather, the unfortunate rendezvous was between the attractive auburn-haired woman who’d caught his eye when she’d walked into the coffee shop twenty minutes ago and some dude in a striped banker shirt who apparently was vying for the Guinness record for World’s Longest Story Ever.

The woman nodded along with the story, trying to appear interested. She blinked, stifled a yawn, and then quickly grabbed her coffee and took a sip to cover.

Vaughn smiled. He guessed that this was either a blind date or an online match, given the way the woman had looked around the shop when she first arrived, paused, and then walked over to Striped Banker Shirt’s table with a tentative smile. He also guessed, given the way things were going, that this would be the only date these two would ever have. But he gave the woman props for being polite while the guy continued to ramble on.

One of the most important first-date rules, Vaughn knew, was to ask questions. Women liked men who were curious about them—and, just as important, they liked men who paid attention to their answers. As a man who was trained to ask questions and pay careful attention to answers, he had something of an edge in this.

Striped Banker Shirt, on the other hand, obviously missed the memo.

Going back to his own business, Vaughn pulled out his cell phone and checked his e-mail. He had ten minutes to kill before meeting his younger brother, Simon, and Simon’s new girlfriend at a restaurant around the corner for dinner—a dinner he was very curious about.

This was his first time meeting Isabelle since his brother had begun dating her three months earlier. But Simon had mentioned her on more than one occasion, and that spoke volumes. Like Vaughn, Simon avoided talking too much about any one particular woman around his family. Doing so inherently invited numerous questions from their very traditionally minded, very Catholic mother, who’d been hoping for one of her sons to settle down for some time now. Having written Vaughn off as a lost cause—the mere idea of a thirty-four-year-old committed bachelor being thoroughly “un-Irish”—she’d pinned all her hopes on Simon.

But now here they were, the first time Simon had specifically asked Vaughn to meet someone he was dating. Not unexpectedly, Vaughn was under strict instructions to call his mother with a full report as soon as dinner was over.

A masculine laugh cut across the coffee shop, interrupting Vaughn’s thoughts. He glanced up from his phone, thinking perhaps the date he’d been observing had turned for the better.

No dice.

Striped Banker Shirt was still rambling away, now laughing at his own stories, because—obviously—not only was he a good-looking guy in an expensive suit with a knack for scintillating conversation, but he was just so funny, too!


Women liked confident men, no doubt. But as a guy who’d never had any problems meeting women—quite the contrary, actually—Vaughn also knew that a woman wanted a guy who expressed interest in getting to know her specifically. And Striped Banker Shirt had failed woefully on that score.

Vaughn saw the woman make a deliberate gesture of checking her watch. Curious, he watched to see what would happen next. The next time Striped Banker Shirt came up for air, she quickly jumped into the conversation with a smile. The smile temporarily silenced Striped Banker Shirt, as well it should.

She had a gorgeous smile.

It was about this time that Vaughn really began paying attention to her, instead of the awkward but interesting-to-watch-and-pass-the-time circumstances of their date. Her auburn hair fell past her shoulders in a stylish, layered cut. In fact, everything about her looked stylish and put-together, from her ivory ruffled blouse to her sleek gray pencil skirt to the light summer scarf around her neck. He guessed her to be in her early thirties, and in some kind of professional occupation, given her well-tailored clothes and classic heels.

In other words, she was smart, attractive, and seemingly single.

He could work with this.

After a few moments, Striped Banker Shirt stood up from the table, gesturing emphatically as if to say, No problem, I have somewhere to be, too. And obviously he had places to go because not only was he good-looking and funny with a fancy job, but he was important, too!


Now Auburn had a decision to make. She could take the easy way out—E-mail me, let’s do this again, and then never write the guy back—or she could go for the more awkward, but honest, This was nice, but I’m just not feeling a connection between us.

Striped Banker Shirt pointed to his phone. How about I call you sometime? Then he waited to see if he was in.

Vaughn waited along with him.

The woman shook her head regretfully.

Vaughn’s interest shot up fivefold. As a man who valued honesty in his own relationships, he liked this woman’s style. It took balls to go with the truth in these circumstances.

Striped Banker Shirt clearly had not expected the rejection, and, for that, Vaughn was sympathetic. He watched as the guy asked the woman a question, ironically choosing this moment to finally give her an opportunity to speak. She appeared to answer graciously, saying something that made him nod and, with a bit of a bewildered expression, head for the door.

As soon as he left, she let out a sigh of relief and took her cell phone out of her purse.

Vaughn watched as she crossed one long leg over the other, getting comfortable in her chair.