Four Weddings and a Swamp Boat Tour - Erin Nicholas Page 0,1

the festival. He was like a little kid with the snow, and the way he played the games and tried all the apple ciders and cookies and cakes, and the way he chose the biggest caramel apple.”

She smiled, remembering him taking it all in. They didn’t get a lot of snow in Louisiana. They certainly didn’t have six inches of it hanging out around for days at a time. And watching him at the festival with all the apple foods and crafts, she would have thought they didn’t have apples in Louisiana either.

“I mean, can a guy who lights up at the sight of snow and loves caramel apples hack someone up into little pieces with a chainsaw?”

Fred yowled, and she really thought he was saying, Of course. Why not?

Paige blew out a breath and gripped the steering wheel tighter.

Her car made an awful grinding noise again as she slowed down for a stop sign. Again. She shook her head.

“That is reason number three this is a bad idea,” she told the cats. “That noise every time I use the brakes is not good and probably means we can’t just turn around and drive back home.”

Fred did not like that idea. Bernie seemed indifferent.

“Reason number four this is a bad idea,” she said, turning onto Cedar Street—Mitch’s street, according to Bud at the gas station on the edge of town. “I didn’t tell anyone where I was going.”

She’d texted her mom, friends, and two sisters I need a vacation, see you in a few weeks, I’ll call soon.

“And yeah, okay, I could tell them now,” she said when Fred proclaimed that the dumbest of all the things she’d done. Well, next to putting him in a car and driving him a thousand miles away from home. “But I also don’t want a lecture.”

He meowed loudly, and she frowned.

“A human lecture.”

But she really should tell someone she was here. Her mom and her sisters would be worried. Her friends a little too, but less so. Piper and Whitney knew that Mitch had come to town and rocked her world. They might be shocked that she’d chased him all the way to Louisiana, because Paige never chased guys anywhere at all, but they wouldn’t necessarily think it was bad.

Yeah, she’d tell them.

But not her mother. Not yet.

Though her making this impulsive trip would not be number one on Dee Asher’s list of Things Paige Has Done That I Do Not Understand.

“Nope, number one on that list would be me calling off my wedding a week before walking down the aisle,” she told Bernie. “But this trip might be number two.”

Fred meowed. It was a little softer this time. Maybe because the car was moving slower now as she looked for numbers on the houses. But there was no canned tuna to be seen, and his favorite pillow was still back in Appleby by his favorite window so, that meow was definitely still disgruntled.

“You’re right,” Paige told him. “Refusing to get back together with Garrett when he finally spoke to me again would be number two.”

Garrett was her mother’s best friend’s son. The women had been thrilled that their kids were getting married. Paige hadn’t just broken Garrett’s heart when she called off the wedding. Her mom still wasn’t over it four years later. Neither was Garrett’s mom. Or Paige’s grandmother. Or her aunt. Or… Okay, Paige was maybe the only one in her family who was over her canceled wedding.

“Turning down Stephen Corbett’s proposal would be number three,” she told the cats. “Turning down Adam Lawson’s proposal would be number four. Or maybe four and five.” Adam had proposed twice. “So that puts this trip at probably number six and the cat café-yoga studio at number seven on the list of things Mom just does not get about me.”

Fred meowed in response.

That wasn’t true. He was just meowing because he was pissed. He didn’t care at all what Paige was going through. Typical cat.

”Yep,” she said to Bernie, since he, at least, wasn’t yelling at her. “Dee might put this trip above the cats and yoga, but not above rejecting perfectly nice men with great jobs who would give me a good life.” She even mimicked her mother’s voice when she said the words she’d heard dozens of times.

The white house with the right number on it was the next one. Paige felt her nerves start jumping as she rolled to a stop across the street from the house Bud had described