Busted (Promise Harbor Wedding) - By Sydney Somers Page 0,1

dragging on the floor. She leaned toward the groom, Josh, as the two of them spoke quietly.

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to unite this man and this woman in holy matrimony,” the reverend began.

The gathered masses instantly quieted, making it even easier to hear, “Oh, hell no.”

Like much of the congregation, Hayley turned her head at the sound of the objection that thundered through the church.

“Gavin?” Allie’s shocked question barely rose above the whispers and creaking pews as everyone tried to get a good look behind them.

Hayley didn’t bother with anything so subtle. She stood, feeling nearly as stunned as Allie looked. Gaze fixed on the altar, Gavin’s determined strides carried him up the carpeted aisle Allie and her dad had just walked.

Please tell me he hasn’t been drinking.

Hayley could just make out the bags under her best friend’s eyes, nearly lost beneath a beard that looked like it hadn’t seen a razor in a couple weeks. His rumpled hoodie and jeans had definitely been slept in, maybe even more than a night or two. He sure as hell looked like he’d just gotten off a serious bender.

Gavin didn’t seem to notice Hayley in the crowd, his entire being focused solely on Allie.

Oh, this can’t be good.

Barely twenty feet away, Jackson glanced at her. She managed only a helpless shrug as she watched Gavin march up to the altar. He didn’t quite reach the steps before the groom took a step toward him.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

Gavin didn’t take his eyes off the bride. “I’m here to talk to Allie.” Pale Allie who looked like she just might faint.

Clearly outraged at the unexpected interruption, Josh moved to stand between Gavin and Allie.

Cringing, Hayley inwardly braced for things to get ugly. She and Gavin had a slight history of out-of-control situations, though they’d often excelled at keeping their teenage antics off most peoples’ radars. There wasn’t a person in the church who wasn’t absorbing every single second of this, though.

Jackson’s face mirrored the same concern as he edged a little closer to the groom. So help her, Hayley had already broken up one brawl involving the groomsmen. Now was not the time for a repeat performance.

“We’re kind of in the middle of something.”

“Yeah, this can’t wait.” Ignoring the groom entirely, Gavin looked past him to Allie. “I need to talk to you. Now.”

What little color was left in her face retreated the second the crowd’s collective attention shifted to the bride. Whispers flew around the church as the people close enough to hear the exchange passed the details on to the crowd at the back.

Someone directly behind Hayley hissed for her to sit down, but all she could do was stand motionless, clutching the front of the pew as her friend took another bold step forward.

“I don’t think so, Gavin.” The threat in Josh’s voice was clear, and judging by the numerous idiots who’d pulled out their cameras, it would be immortalized in digital memory.

Hayley glanced at the two women holding up their phones in the row next to her. “Put them away,” she snapped, just loud enough for them and a few people in the rows behind to hear.

She didn’t wait to see if they listened, her attention darting back to the scene unfolding at the front of the church.

“Listen. I can do this here, in front of the whole town,” Gavin continued. “I don’t mind. I’m leaving here with Allie one way or another.”

Oh boy.

How many times had he sworn up and down that he and Allie were over? His and Hayley’s friendship had felt the strain of that breakup until Gavin made her promise not to mention Allie anymore. They were moving on, lived on opposite sides of the country. End of story.

Although she hated it, Hayley had stuck to her end of the deal, right up until two weeks ago when she knew she had to tell Gavin that Allie was getting married. She’d been worried when he never called her back, but just assumed he didn’t want to talk about it.

He sure as hell wanted to talk about it now.

Josh on the other hand didn’t look like he wanted to hear a word that Gavin had to say. Hayley couldn’t blame him any more than she could blame her mule-headed friend for taking this long to speak his mind. Not that she was surprised in the least. The man had a serious knack for doing things the hard way.

“I think keeping some of