Chapter 16

29.2K 1K 125

"Well, you've gone and done it now, cuz," Sean's voice drawled. "Made it official and everything."

Gareth looked sideways at Sean, then returned to watching the sparkle that was his wife. Gwyn, dancing with Nicholas, smiled across at him. "Your point being?" he asked.

"My point being that you done good." Sean clapped him on the shoulder. "Real good. She's one in a million, your Gwyn. You're a lucky man."

That drew Gareth's full attention. He narrowed his eyes. "That sounded suspiciously nice. Have you been drinking?"

Sean chuckled. "Can't. I'm on call, remember? Not so much as a sip of champagne for me tonight. Ginger ale all the way." He held up a glass of bubbly amber liquid. "And I meant what I said. The two of you are good together, Gareth, and I couldn't be happier for you. Really."

Gareth pulled his cousin into a hug. "Thank you," he said. "That means the world to me."

They separated again, and Sean joined him in watching Gwyn and Nicholas, who had long since abandoned his tie. Gareth had no idea where, and doubted it would be found again. The thought made him smile.

"It looks good on you," Sean said.

"What does?"

"This fatherhood thing." Sean nodded toward Nicholas, and then to the three girls gathered off to the side of the dance floor-Amy, Katie, and Maggie. "It suits you. And you're good at it. I'm sorry I gave you such a hard time."

"Don't be. Making me question my motives wasn't necessarily a bad thing. If nothing else, it made sure I was certain I was doing the right thing." Gareth hesitated, slanting his cousin a glance. If he didn't know better, he'd have said that was a note of envy in Sean's voice. "Sean-"

Sean raised the index finger of the hand holding his glass and reached for the cell phone clipped to his waist. He glanced at the display. "Hold that thought," he said. "I'll be back in a second."

He turned away to set his glass on a table, put the phone to one ear, and covered the other with his free hand. A touch on Gareth's arm drew his attention around to his mother.

"Mum," he said, stooping to kiss her cheek. "Having fun?"

"It's a lovely do, dear. But you know how your father is around a crowd, and the little ones are long past their bedtime. Time to head for home, I think."

"Of course. I'll find Guy for you and let Gwyn know you're leaving."

Alwen nodded, then jutted her chin past him. "Is everything all right with Sean? He looks very serious."

"Work, I think." Gareth raised an eyebrow at his cousin as Sean replaced the phone in its clip and joined them. "You have to leave?"

"Sorry, yes. We have a domestic with weapons involved. The negotiator isn't getting anywhere with the guy, so it looks like we may have to go in the hard way. Will you say goodbye to Gwyn and the kids for me? And I'll see you on Monday morning, six a.m. sharp. Jamaica, here you come."  Sean grinned and gave him another hug, then leaned over to hug Alwen, too. "Sweet dreams, Aunt Alwen. I'll come by next week to see how you're managing with the kids."

Sean loped away, weaving through the thinning crowd. Gareth caught back the "be careful" that hovered on his tongue, already too late to reach his cousin. With a sigh, he checked his watch. Past eleven. Definitely time to round up the younger set and see them on their way. He threaded his way between dancers to swing Nicholas up into his arms and take the boy's place opposite Gwyn.

"Nain says it's time," he said.

"But I'm not tired!" Nicholas objected. He promptly yawned, and Gareth chuckled.

Forever After (Ever After #2)Read this story for FREE!