Way to Her Heart - By Melanie Schuster


It was the best wedding she’d ever been to in her entire life. Since Sydney Stratton was just six going on seven years old, she hadn’t been to very many, but this one was absolutely wonderful. Her mommy’s best friend, Auntie Alexis, had married Jared VanBuren and Sydney was a flower girl, a responsibility she took seriously. She and Courtney, the other flower girl, got to wear beautiful dresses and carry pretty baskets full of rose petals that they sprinkled on the white runner. They had their hair done in Alexis’s spa, and they even got to wear nail polish to match the red lace appliqués on their dresses and the red wreaths of rosebuds in their hair. After the wedding they had the honor of walking Alexis’s little dogs at the reception, and it was a lot of fun.

Marriage was a pretty awesome thing from what Sydney could see. Her mommy’s other best friend, Auntie Emily, was the first of them to get married. She had married a really nice man named Todd. He was a doctor and he was tall and handsome and Auntie Emily smiled all the time now. She and Todd had two babies, twin boys, which Sydney thought was just wonderful. Auntie Alexis’s new husband was handsome, too, and he was a chef, an important chef who’d been on TV. He gave Alexis the nicest things, especially Sookie and Honeybee, two cute little Welsh Corgi puppies.

He also had a lot of family, including twin brothers named Lucas and Damon. They were both very nice, but Lucas was especially nice because he knew how much Sydney liked to try different foods. He always had something special for her to taste at the new restaurant he and Jared owned. He liked to laugh and he could do magic tricks. He could dance really well, too. He had danced with her mother all night at the reception. He always made pretty eyes at her mother, Sherri. He looked at her a lot and he was always smiling when he did. He also made her laugh a lot, which was very good. Sydney’s mother was a busy doctor and she needed someone around to help her relax and have fun, even though Sydney did those things pretty well, too.

Sydney was having a good time at the reception, playing with Courtney and making sure that Sookie and Honeybee behaved themselves. Lucas came over to their table with his twin brother, Damon, and he did another trick for them before he asked Damon to watch the little dogs while he danced with Sydney. He took her out on the dance floor and they danced with great gusto until the music changed. When it slowed down, he had her stand on his feet while they danced to the slow music. It was so much fun that she couldn’t stop smiling. This was definitely the most fun she’d ever had and she didn’t want it to end. After the music stopped, Lucas picked her up and swung her around in his strong arms before giving her a big kiss on the cheek.

“Let’s see what your mom is up to, shall we?”

As they walked through the crowd to the table where her mommy was laughing and talking with the other bridesmaids, Sydney got a brilliant idea. She was a smart little girl and she was always thinking, but she’d never had an idea that was this wonderful. She decided that her mommy was going to get married next—to Lucas. Then they could have a wonderful time forever. All she had to do was make a really good plan and everything would work out perfectly.

Chapter 1

Sherri Stratton yawned as she stretched lazily on the comfortable chaise lounge. “This is the best Mother’s Day I’ve had since the day Sydney was born,” she said with a happy little sigh.

She was relaxing on the deck of the new home of the VanBurens, the in-laws of her BFF, Alexis Sharp VanBuren. Alexis was next to her on another chaise and she agreed wholeheartedly. “I’m not a mom yet, but it’s not for lacking of trying. I still can’t believe that the VanBuren men thought up this weekend of pampering all by themselves, but if this is the treatment I can look forward to as a mommy, I can’t wait to have a baby of my own.”

“There’s no rush, is there? You and Jared have only been married since February and you’re already trying for a little one?” Sherri adjusted