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A SEAL's Vigilant Heart (Midnight Delta #8)

By´╝ÜCaitlyn O'Leary

A SEAL's Vigilant Heart (Midnight Delta #8)
Author: Caitlyn O'Leary

Chapter One

Frannie's head peeked out of the dressing room stall.

"Psst. Sophia. Margie. Get in here." The two women looked at one another in confusion. Frannie was supposed to come out of the dressing room and model her bridesmaid dress on the raised dais in front of all the ladies, just like she had with the last two. Why wasn't she following protocol?

"Just come on out," Lydia Hidalgo encouraged. "We all want to see. The saleslady was sure this one would be perfect."

Frannie's head popped out again. This time, Sophia noted her face was apple red. "Fine, you come in too. Make it quick, before she comes back." The three of them looked at the remaining women, and one girl seated on the couch, shrugged, and then went over to the dressing room with Sophia leading the way. After all, she was the bride-to-be.

Frannie opened the door enough for the three to come in. It was a very tight fit, and that wasn't the only thing fitting tightly. It took all of Sophia's will power not to burst out laughing. Margie wasn't made of such stern stuff. She let out a belly laugh at her best friend's expense.

"Laugh it up, she's out there scoping out dresses with ruffles for you," Frannie said with a glare.

"How in the hell did she get you into that thing? Crisco?" Margie asked, still laughing.

"Just look at my boobs?" Frannie wailed.

"How can I look at anything else?" Lydia asked in awe.

Sophia giggled, then Lydia, and then, so did Frannie. With the corset style dress, her mammoth cleavage started to shake and jiggle, and Sophia feared they were going to be seeing a lot more of their older friend than she would want. Frannie must have realized the potential because she crossed her arms over her bosom.

"Girls, what do I do? She thinks this is the perfect dress for my figure. I don't want to hurt her feelings? What's worse, I don't think I can get out of this dress. I'm going to be stuck wearing it for the next six weeks until the wedding. For God's sake, I'm sixty-five. I knew we should have gone for matching bridesmaid dresses," Frannie wailed.

Out of the corner of her eye, Sophia saw her friend Lydia shudder at the thought.

"Frannie, we couldn't very well have Rebecca wearing the same thing you all would be wearing. She's only fourteen."

"She sure as hell couldn't be wearing whatever this sales woman picks out, she'd end up looking like a streetwalker," Margie warned.

"Not entirely true, you're getting ruffles," Frannie reminded her. "I haven't even shown you girls the worst part."

"It gets worse? How can it get worse?" Margie asked.

Frannie turned around. Margie let out another whoop of laughter. Right across the center of Frannie's ass was a big satin bow.

"Never mind the fact they managed to put a bow on my fattest attribute, how in the hell are you supposed to sit down?"

"You can sit down in this thing? Considering how you're trussed in, it's a wonder you're able to walk."

There was a loud knock.

"Warning. Saleslady coming this way," Ashley Richmond's voice sounded through the opening.

Sophia opened the door, and preceded the others out of the room, just as the sales lady returned with four navy dresses covered in ruffles. Margie was the last one to exit.

"Ms. Daniels, perfect. I can start a room for you. I have some dresses picked out." Frannie choked back a laugh in her dressing room. Ashley grabbed Lydia's arm and pulled Lydia's sister Beth off the couch.

"Ladies, I used to work at a bridal shop," she lied effortlessly to the sales lady, Evelyn. "I have some ideas of what would look great on you for bridesmaid dresses. Let's go hit the racks." She turned to Rebecca, who was the only one still sitting on the couch. "You too, sweetheart."

"Sophia, they're ready for you downstairs for your last wedding gown fitting." Sophia was suffused with a sense of panic.

The saleslady looked over at Ashley. "Do you want me to help?"

"Oh no, you stick with Margie and Frannie, we have this covered," Ashley assured her.

"Hold up." Lydia broke away. "Take Beth and Rebecca, I'm sticking with Sophia," Lydia said. Ashley gave Sophia a once over and nodded at Lydia.

"Sounds like a plan. I'll take Beth and Rebecca; you go with Sophia to her fitting." Before anyone could even blink, Ashley had Beth, and young Rebecca Barnes rushed out of the dressing area. Lydia turned to Sophia.

"Are you okay?"

"I don't know," Sophia answered honestly. "I should be excited, but now I'm scared."

"Of getting married?" Lydia asked gently.

"God no," Sophia said vehemently. "I'd marry Mason tomorrow if possible. No, but what happens if I still don't like the dress? What happens if it doesn't fit right? I can't find a new one now."

"Honey, it's fine. Every woman worries about these things."

"It can't be worse than ruffles," Margie yelled over the top of her dressing room door.

"Or my boobalicious dress," Frannie called out. "Someone rescue me for God's sake, I'm going to need CPR soon."

Everyone, including Evelyn, started to laugh. "Sophia, how about I go down to the fitting area with you," Lydia suggested.

"That would be great." Sophia breathed a sigh of relief.

"Do you know the way?" Evelyn asked.

"Yes." Sophia walked with Lydia.

"Margie and Frannie are crazy, you know that, don't you?" Lydia teased. "I thought I might wet my pants when I saw Frannie in the dress. I've never been around older women who were so much fun. It's great."

"You know, most of the time I don't even think about them being senior citizens," Sophia responded. "They're just my friends. Of course, then they'll refer to my laptop as a typewriter, and I do a double take..." Lydia laughed.

"So tell me more about Ashley," Lydia requested.

"You mean my stepmother?" Sophia said tongue in cheek.

"I wasn't going to go there."