The Best Man Plan - Jaci Burton Page 0,1

of an e-mail. An e-mail! How could he be so cold?

“I will kill him. I. Will. Kill. Him.”

She was breathing too fast and she knew it. She was going to hyperventilate if she didn’t calm down. She pushed herself out of her chair and forced herself to pace the floor of her office, centering her breathing, holding the tears back, resisting the urge to crumple on the floor and sob like a baby.

How could he do this to her? To them? They were perfect together.

Oh, no. She would not cry. Not over him.

“Who are you going to kill?” Honor asked, running in. “You screamed. What’s wrong?”

Torn between betrayal, hurt and utter fury, she couldn’t even answer her younger sister. She finally managed to find her voice and pointed at her laptop.

“Owen dumped me. In an e-mail!”

Honor gasped. “He did not.” She yelled out the door. “Brenna, get in here now!”

Brenna sauntered in. “What’s up?”

“Owen dumped Erin. In an e-mail, apparently.”

Erin reread the e-mail again, making sure it said what she thought it did. Maybe she’d misinterpreted it.

But, no. There was no misinterpreting “I’m sorry” and “We’re not right for each other” and “We shouldn’t get married.” She felt her sisters’ hands on her shoulders as they leaned over her to read it.

“That son of a bitch,” Brenna said.

“I can’t believe he’d do this,” Honor said. “It just doesn’t seem like Owen at all. Did he say anything to you that sounded like he wanted to back out?”

Erin swiveled around in the office chair to face her sisters. “No, he didn’t say anything to me because apparently he was too busy packing for Aruba. For our honeymoon. He’s taking our honeymoon trip by himself.”

Brenna crossed her arms and narrowed her gaze. Erin felt a little vindicated by the fury in her older sister’s eyes. “I will personally destroy him.”

“You won’t get the chance,” Erin said. “Because I get the pleasure of doing that.”

“Dad might kill him first,” Honor said, looking worried. “Although, knowing Mom’s temper, you might have to hide the kitchen knives.”

Erin stood and started to storm out of the office, but then turned. “Nobody gets to kill him but me.”

Their mother walked in right then, a smile on her beautiful face.

“Who are we killing now?”

Mom was used to the three sisters always plotting someone’s demise. Oh, but she didn’t know how bad this was. This was really bad. This actually felt murder-worthy.

“Owen dumped me, Mom. And he’s already left for Aruba without me.”

Their mother just stared at her, dumbfounded for a few minutes. “What? He did what?”

She took her mother’s hand and led her to the desk, showing her the e-mail Owen had sent. She read it. Then read it again and lifted her head to stare in confusion at Erin.

“This makes no sense, Erin. He loves you.”

Erin snorted. “Apparently not. He said he tried to talk to me but I wouldn’t listen. I don’t even know what he’s talking about, because he most certainly never talked to me about ending our engagement. And the rest of it is all blah blah blah whatever where he didn’t want to hurt my feelings.” She pointed to her laptop, to the life-altering e-mail. “Like that wouldn’t hurt my feelings? He couldn’t even face me, the coward.”

“Are you sure he didn’t talk to you about this?” Honor asked.

“Honor!” Erin said. “Whose side are you on?”

“Yours, of course. I just . . . it’s just that we all know Owen. He’d never hurt you like this.”

Erin waved her hands at her laptop. “He just did.”

Honor sighed and shook her head. “You’re right. I’m sorry, of course you’re right. He’s a terrible person. A coward for not facing you.”

“Bastard coward,” Brenna added. “So now what do we do? Everything’s ordered for the wedding. Flowers, cake, caterer, music. Nothing can be canceled at this late date except the venue here at the vineyard, of course. He couldn’t have gotten his cold feet six months ago?”

At Erin’s stricken look, Brenna added, “Or, never? I mean, who wouldn’t want to marry you? You’re beautiful and talented and smart and any guy would be lucky to have you.”

“Damn right he would,” her mother added.

Erin didn’t understand it. As her mother and sisters talked amongst themselves, she turned to face the window, looking out over the vineyards, rows and rows of grapes growing, promising a prosperous future.

She sighed and went over the past year in her head. Owen had proposed in his apartment. She hadn’t been too surprised because