Here Comes the Bride Online

Chapter One

Samantha Johnston, reporter for the LA Beat, stood inside a cramped hallway with a dozen other perspiring, frustrated reporters all waiting for security to escort them to a special viewing room inside the church.

A couple of exhausted reporters sat on the floor. One man, built like a linebacker, had positioned himself in the corner, his arms crossed and his eyes closed. An older woman with short tufts of black hair leaned against the door, steely eyes daring anyone to get in her way, determined to be the first inside.

As Samantha glanced at her watch, an elbow stabbed into her side, making her wince. It was ten minutes to twelve—almost time for the ceremony to start. She certainly hadn’t traveled all the way from Los Angeles to New York to get locked out of the wedding of the century. Dominic DeMarco, the hottest actor in the country, was getting married, and she was determined to be the first to learn the identity of his mystery bride. It was time to show her boss, her family, and even the world that she could make something of herself. After all, she had majored in journalism and minored in communications and was more than prepared for the job. Her goal was to be one of the best investigative journalists in Los Angeles, but after graduation, the only place she could get a job was the LA Beat. Everyone had to start somewhere. Sam had worked for the paper for five years and this was her first shot at getting a story of her own. Nothing and nobody was going to get in her way.

Tired of waiting, she pushed her way through the crowded area and headed back to the lobby. Once there, she stayed close to the wall, hidden in the shadows. Two security guards passed close by and then entered the main entrance to the church.

After the main doors clicked shut, she took off across the lobby as fast as her heels and tight skirt would allow. Ducking behind a potted ficus, she waited a moment to make sure the coast was clear. If security spotted her, they’d throw her outside to wait with all the other thousands of people hoping to catch a glimpse of Dominic DeMarco and “the luckiest woman in the world.”

She peeked around crisp green leaves. One long passageway circled the entire church. And like the area she’d just left, there was a door at the end of the passageway on this side of the church, too. Thank God. She rushed that way and turned the knob. Locked. Damn.

Voices caught her attention. Frustration edged their masculine tones. She tiptoed back the way she’d come and made her way through an open door to her right.

The room was dimly lit. An exquisite oil painting of a stormy sea decorated the wall above a rich, walnut desk. Past the desk area and through connecting double doors, she saw two impeccably dressed men in tuxedos.

She poked her head inside and said, “Excuse me. I was accidentally locked out of the church. Would either of you happen to have a key to the back door?”

Both men turned her way.

Frowns of annoyance covered their faces. There was a third man, but it was impossible to see him clearly since he stood in a shadowy alcove, one shoulder leaning against the wall.

She would guess the men to be in their early thirties. One was stylish and handsome, while the other had a cleanly shaven head and a couple of tattoos to go with an eyebrow ring. They did not look happy to see her. “How did you get in here?”

“I was locked out of the church. If you could just point me in the right direction, I’ll—”

“We can’t point you in the right direction, miss, because there isn’t going to be any—”

“Ben,” the bald man said, interrupting, “don’t be rash. Julia could still be coming. There’s still time.”

“She’s not coming,” the man in the shadows informed them.

A shiver shot up Sam’s spine. Obviously she’d interrupted a very serious discussion. Fortunately for her, the two angry men quickly turned their focus on the man half hidden in the dark.

“What do you mean Julia’s not coming?” the man named Ben asked. “What haven’t you told us, Dominic?”

Sam’s heart raced.

Dominic? Dominic DeMarco? It couldn’t be. This was too good to be true. Her go-get-’em approach might have actually worked this time. She stepped quietly inside the room and stood on her tiptoes as she tried to get a