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A Season of Change, #2.5

A Season of Change, #2.5

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On the brink of his wedding, Jori stands at a crossroad between loyalty and truth, where saying the wrong thing could shatter a friendship. Will he be able to keep his friend's trust while also protecting him from a potential disaster?

Main Tropes

  • Wedding
  • Man In Uniform
  • Dark Secret

Synopsis

On the brink of his wedding, Jori stands at a crossroad between loyalty and truth, where saying the wrong thing could shatter a friendship.

Jori Virtanen, former playboy model, has left his wild days behind and is about to tie the knot. But with wedding preparations in full swing, including a secret ceremony to keep the paparazzi at bay, Jori finds himself with a dilemma.

His best friend, Marc North, is in a serious relationship with a woman who may not be who she seems. As Jori grapples with the decision to reveal his suspicions, he realizes that it could have consequences he never imagined. Will he be able to keep his friend's trust while also protecting him from a potential disaster?

This heartwarming story explores the power of friendship, the importance of honesty in relationships, and the challenges of making difficult choices. Don't miss out on this captivating story of love, loyalty, and the pursuit of happily ever after.

Intro Into Chapter One

Jori Virtanen stood at the screen door overlooking the large back yard where the other men had gathered. The smell of Jack’s fancy barbeque smoker was already making Jori’s stomach growl. It was going to be the perfect “bachelor” party—friends, food, and football.

He squinted at Marc where the Marine Cobra pilot talked with Jack by the smoker. Jori still hadn’t had a chance to pull his friend aside. Jori swore under his breath. They needed to have an important—but awkward—conversation. Well, they would if Jori could figure out how to break the ugly news. Just how serious was Marc about his viper of a girlfriend?

The fragrance of Olivia’s perfume hit Jori just before her hands slid around his waist from behind. He covered the delicate hands with his and savored the feel of her cheek resting against his back. Such a small gesture from her, yet it always hit him with so much power. Why would this incredible woman want to spend the rest of her life with him? He turned around and pulled Olivia close for a kiss.

“Whoa, there,” she said, a little breathless. One of the other women who had come up behind them whistled and, laughing, Olivia pushed him gently away. “Tomorrow,” she whispered.

The ladies crowded around them and spirited Olivia away. She blew him a kiss before letting them shuffle her into the minibus they’d rented, driver and all, for the day. Without makeup, with her hair pulled severely back, and wearing a baseball cap, Olivia didn’t look anything like the famous TV celebrity she was.

Jori went out to the porch and followed their progress until they disappeared onto the main road. Nate, Olivia’s bodyguard, had turned to watch them leave too. The man was so much more than an employee to her, and Jori knew Nate felt the same friendship for her. He looked back at Jori, not even trying to hide his unhappiness at being left behind. Jori’s stomach knotted a little. This was what came of being in love with a beautiful, intelligent, independent—and opinionated—woman.

Being engaged to someone as famous as talk show host Olivia Howard had proven to be almost as bad as Jori had worried, back when she had first invited him to lunch for an interview. Was it really almost three years ago? Jori touched the old scar on his cheek, remembering that time before all the plastic surgery, when he had convinced himself he could still scare little kids in a grocery store.

He considered the road where the van could no longer be seen. An excursion of ladies to the mall in Great Falls shouldn’t be dangerous though. What psycho would think to look for Olivia there? And Lyn was a black belt … but she was also about ready to pop out that baby. His stomach twisted again. He had promised Olivia to stay out of it. But that didn’t mean it would be any easier for him than it was for Nate.

Jori shook his head; he was going to make himself crazy. Olivia teased him all the time that it was the woman’s job to worry. If she didn’t, he shouldn’t. The stalker had been an anomaly.

Tomorrow was a big day for Olivia. Well, for both of them. She wanted this whole wedding experience to be normal, and he wanted it to be normal for her. She had been adamant that for once she was just going to be a regular woman going to the mall with her friends.

His friends—their friends now—had given her the same sense of family they’d given Jori after the cruise disaster, the same loving acceptance. He understood better than anyone how lonely she had been in her celebrity “prison.” No one here was overly awed by her fame or asked her for favors.

“You going to just stand there moping because she’s gone for the afternoon?” Marc called as he threw a football at Jori.

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