Excerpt for Garter Toss by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Garter Toss

Chloe pulled at the sleeve of her bridesmaid dress. It'd been ordered in a snowy winter where the oddly wool-like fabric had been comforting. However, in the humid nightmare that was a southern August afternoon, it was like torture. Every part of the dress clung to her skin and absorbed all the sweat. There were splotches of perspiration down the back and under her airpits. It was not the polished looked that she'd been hoping for after spending nearly a grand to get to the wedding.

Her college roommate had been there for her since they were both nineteen. They'd been through all the growing pains of being an adult together. Samantha was there when Chloe got broken up with right before Christmas break. Chloe was there when Samantha's first engagement fell apart. They'd both been cheated on and knew exactly how to comfort each other when the heartbreak felt like it was too much.

She'd jumped at the chance to be in the wedding. Even though they lived hundreds of miles apart, the two of them still talked every week to catch up. When Samantha said that she and Ben were doing a destination wedding on a docked Mississippi riverboat, she thought that her friend was joking.

She wasn’t.

The reception was at a hotel but the ceremony was on a boat.

So Chloe took three days off from work and zipped herself into an insulated sleeveless and stepped onto the deck of the riverboat. She was so busy with all the little odds and ends of being the most responsible bridesmaid that she didn't notice when the groomsmen came on board.

She was in the middle of tying ribbon around all the vases in the dining area when she heard a voice beside her.

"Need help?"

Chloe was startled. The wedding was starting in two hours and there was so much still to do. She turned to her right to see where the voice was coming from. Instantly, she felt her heart quicken.

She'd seen at the rehearsal dinner but she didn't know who he was. It was gorgeous man in the red shirt who was walking in with the other bridesmaid, the taller one from Samantha's work. "Oh, um, no I think I'm okay."

He knelt beside her and examined the spool of ribbon at her feet. "Doesn't look like it. Looks like you have a lot of stuff to do."

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