Faking Forever (First Wives #4) - Catherine Bybee Page 0,1

the beach to continue my stay. According to my calculations, I should be ovulating by the following weekend.”

“Plenty of time to scout out the right guy,” Lori said.

“That’s what I thought. It’s away from here; chances are no one will recognize me. The wedding guests will all be long gone. There are a lot of expats living in that part of Mexico. Flirting bartenders.”

“Bartenders are a good choice,” Trina said.

Shannon leaned forward. “I almost went there in Colorado at the Peterson wedding. The guy I met was working the bar. Way too young, but that didn’t seem to stop him from hitting on me.”

“What happened?” Trina asked.

“I chickened out.” There was no other way to explain it. “But I considered it. I took it as a sign and extended my stay in Tulum. Even if it doesn’t work out, I’m making steps in the right direction to move forward with my plan.”

“I think someone working a beach bar in a foreign country is ideal,” Lori said. “Every bartender I’ve known plays around a lot. Most don’t want more than a night or two. You can talk to them without commitment, make sure they’re not batshit crazy. Keep your real name out of it.”

“Of course. I can’t have anyone looking for me later.” Not that she worried that they would.

“And if you don’t find someone in Mexico to fit the profile?” Trina asked.

“I’ll plan monthly trips to other places.”

“Girls’ trips,” Avery announced.

Shannon narrowed her eyes. “I don’t need a backup team.” Especially if that team had a player that wasn’t into the game . . . like Avery.

“You told me you’d take me with you when you went daddy hunting. I’m taking you up on this.”

“Aren’t you newly married and have better things to do than finding my next date?”

Avery shook her head. “Nope.”

Lori laughed.

“I think Avery’s right. One of us should come along and make sure you’re seeing the good and the bad in the guy you plan on sleeping with.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“Not really,” Lori chimed in. “If you were in a relationship and considering a permanent step, you’d ask us what we thought. Just like we all did at one time or another before we got married. This isn’t any different.”

Shannon sipped her wine and considered what they were saying. “I can’t ask you guys to drop your life to come with me.”

Avery raised her hand. “I volunteered for Tulum. If no one fits the daddy bill there, we plan the next month and make sure one of us can come.”

“Or all of us,” Trina said.

Lori lifted her glass. “Or all of us.”

Avery picked up a shot of tequila. “Let me go on record and say I really don’t like this idea, but I feel better knowing we’re with you.”

“I’m going to be fine.”

Shannon Wentworth wore a plastic smile as she witnessed her clients bickering.

Corrie Harkin sat with her back rod-straight, hands folded in her lap, while her mother did most of the talking. Mrs. Harkin, Shannon had met with before. Corrie, the bride to be, was in Shannon’s studio for the first time.

“He’s late,” Corrie said, watching the front door.

“He’s a busy man, honey. I’m sure he’s on his way.”

Shannon liked to meet with the bride and groom before the actual wedding in order to ensure that she captured the images they wanted on their wedding day. Mrs. Harkin had hired Shannon based solely on her name. Being the ex-wife of the former governor of California was a status the mother of the bride couldn’t pass up. From what Shannon could tell, Corrie was marrying up. And Mommy couldn’t be happier for it. The bank accounts of Shannon’s clients, or the budgets for their weddings, weren’t something she bothered to find out. Her fees were steep, which already put her outside the range of many couples’ resources. Mrs. Harkin didn’t blink an eye. It helped that the groom was footing the bill; at least, that’s what the deposit check suggested.

“We can get started without him,” Shannon said.

Corrie glanced at her mother and forced a smile.

“We probably should.”

Shannon pulled up the images of the venue they were using for the ceremony. The pristine white sands and turquoise waters of the Yucatán Peninsula were picture-perfect by themselves. “I’ve been working with the coordinator at the hotel. This is about where the sun will be during the ceremony. There is always a chance of a few clouds, but that will simply make the pictures better.”

“It better not rain,” Corrie said, her tone