Marie Franklin set up her veterinary practice in tiny Weaver’s Circle to hide her association to one of the biggest names in rock and roll. Helping Will Perkins with his rescue puppy is a great in and falling for him is better. But this puppy is one of the Bachelor Party Rescue Puppies and Marie’s cover is about to be blown.
Warning: Ill mannered puppies, lethal vegetables, and unwanted fame
“People aren’t going to know where we are. It’s October. The weather could do anything.” Beth chewed her fingernails. Then she caught sight of Marie and waved. “Hi. Would you like to weigh in?”
“Weigh in?” Marie asked. She walked closer.
“We’re talking about the wedding,” Beth said.
“Again,” James muttered.
Beth socked him in the shoulder. “We wanted to do it in the gazebo, but I’m afraid it’ll rain.”
Nancy had said you didn’t need an invitation to join things in town. Apparently that included planning the weddings of near strangers. Marie gave the puppy some slack. “Well, the reverend did say you could move inside if it rained.”
“But how are the guests going to know?”
“Have you printed the invitations yet?” The wedding was three weeks away. They should have sent them out by now.
“I didn’t plan on really having invitations. The only people I would want there are people in town and a couple of girls from college.”
“Except for the people minding the girls.” James shuffled his feet.
Beth shot a look down the road between the church and the hair salon. “Mrs. Vorac and Mrs. Coin said they were happy to do it.” Then she turned back to Marie. “You’re coming, aren’t you?”
“Me?” The puppy had wrapped the leash around Marie’s legs. “I didn’t get an invitation.”
“Nobody did.” Beth waved her hand. “That’s why I wanted it here. So everybody could come.”
This was not the land of confidentiality agreements before the location of the wedding was revealed. “You could let out the word that if the weather is fair, it’ll be in the gazebo and if it rains, it’ll be in the church.”
“No one will come if it’s in the church.” Beth chewed her lip and looked up at James.
James put his arm around her shoulders. “Of course they will. Dr. Franklin said she’s coming.”
“Coming to what?” Will asked. He dropped to one knee so he could greet his puppy.
“Our wedding.” James said.
Will stood and put his arm around Marie’s shoulders. “I thought we were going to that together.”
Marie blinked at him. He’d mentioned the wedding before, but it hadn’t come up again. Why was she still expecting an invitation to appear on a silver salver? “I guess. I hadn’t thought about it.”
“Don’t worry, Beth. Everybody will be there.” Reverend Thomas patted Beth’s arm. “Irene said you were going to decorate with pumpkins and fall leaves and she said she can make the pieces portable so she can set them up wherever we hold the ceremony.”
“It sounds lovely,” Marie said, leaning a bit into Will.
“Sweetheart, I need to get back to the library before Andrea loses the girls.” James kissed Beth’s cheek.
Beth looked at her watch. “Damn, art is nearly finished. I have to go, too.”
“Hey Will, my car is making a noise,” James said. “When can I bring it in?”
“Not until next week. We’re booked solid this week. I’ll put you down for Monday when I get back to the garage, okay?”
“Thanks.” James guided Beth away from the gazebo.
Reverend Thomas smiled and nodded at Marie and Will as he followed them away.
“What are you doing out here?” Will asked.
“I was going to run your puppy through some training between appointments. What about you? Shouldn’t you be fixing something?”
“Takin’ a break. Boss doesn’t mind.” He frowned. “You don’t mind that I told them we were coming to the wedding together, do you?”
“Why would I? Did you want me to get the gift?” Surely they were registered some place.
“They aren’t asking for anything. With all the junk in Nonie’s house, they might be giving gifts to us.” Will smiled. “I had a great time last night.”
“I’m ready!” Luke shouted across the street as he banged through the office door. “What do we do first?”
“I assumed when we got to where we were interrupted by kids they’d be ours.” Will stepped back.
Marie focused on unraveling the leash from around her legs. Kids? He was already thinking kids? Candy had given up on finding the perfect father material and adopted a couple from China. Tessa and Brett were talking about adopting, too. Marie had been so busy trying to start a life here that she hadn’t considered what would happen after it started. She held out the leash to Luke. “I want to teach her to heel. Keep the leash taut and walk her up and down the Circle. Remember to encourage her and give her a treat when she doesn’t pull away.”
Luke took the puppy.
Good training required incremental challenges and treats.
“You probably don’t need to drop her off with me every day. She’s good in the kennel now,” Marie said. “Maybe just every other day.”
“You only want to see me every other day?”
“You could stop by on your way without the puppy. Who, by the way, still needs a name.”
“I’m working on it. What about letting her out in the afternoons? When she’s with you, she gets out when Luke comes in.”
“Do your neighbor kids still want to help with her?” Luke had reached the far end of the Circle and turned back. The puppy bounced along next to him like a Kentucky high stepper, her eyes trained on his hand for the next treat.
“I think you should come over and get us started.”
He pulled her tighter. “Any excuse to get you to my house.”