Delaney’s mouth rounded to an O. “You and I have a lot in common. We really should get together and have lunch.”
“That would be great. I didn’t know vampires ate real food.” Ivy’s mouth puckered up, but it was too late to pull the words back. “Sorry, was I not supposed to know you’re a vampire?”
Delaney laughed. “Only if you’re human. Which I assume you’re not?”
“Werewolf. Just like Hank. Which is why our marriage is about to bring peace”—she used air quotes around the word—“between our respective packs.”
Delaney nodded. “Cool. So what can I do to help you guys with this?”
“They need a cake.” Birdie leaned in and whispered conspiratorially, “We just got her a wedding dress thanks to Corette. You tell Stanhill he’s got a real keeper there.”
Delaney laughed. “I will. As for this cake, how many people does it need to feed?”
“A hundred,” Birdie said at the same time that Ivy said, “Ten.”
The two women looked at each other. Ivy barely controlled the urge to walk out. “Birdie, no one even knows we’re getting married. Why on earth would we need a cake to feed a hundred people?”
“I was planning on inviting some—”
“No.” Ivy gave Birdie a sharp look. “I want this to be a quiet, simple affair. Our parents aren’t even going to be there.” She turned her attention back to Delaney. “I’ll compromise and say twenty, but that’s it. Is that even doable?”
Delaney wiggled her brows. “I don’t have Corette’s magic, but yes, I can swing that. Especially if you like simple. But complicated is fine, too. As long as I have the time, I can do just about anything.”
“That’s the thing,” Birdie said. “We need this cake by tomorrow.”
“Wait, when?” Delaney leaned forward like she hadn’t heard correctly.
Ivy sighed. “Tomorrow. I know it’s super short notice. We’re getting married the day of the full moon. It’s a traditional werewolf thing.”
Delaney made a face, then nodded. “Okay, forget complicated. Simple is going to have to work.”
Ivy let out the breath she’d been holding. “I’ll go you one better. The cake design is completely up to you.”
“In that case, I can definitely do this.” Delaney squinted. “You don’t want to have any input? Colors? Flavors? Anything?”
Why should she? She hadn’t had any say in the marriage. Ivy shook her head. “I can see by the stuff in the cases you do beautiful work. Whatever you come up with is fine. Chocolate, vanilla, I don’t care.” She held up a finger. “Actually, there is one stipulation.”
Delaney smiled like she’d been expecting something. “What’s that?”
“Budget. I don’t have a lot to spend on this so—”
“Oh, please. I owe Sheriff Merrow a big thank-you. Cake’s on me. It’s my wedding gift to you guys.”
“Really?” The people here were so nice. Too bad they were all going to end up hating her when they found out she was pulling one over on their beloved sheriff. Ivy tried not to lose it right there. “That’s just…thank you.”
“Yes, thank you. That’s lovely of you, Delaney,” Birdie said. She pointed toward the note pad Delaney had pulled out. “You can deliver the cake to Howlers.”
“I’ll have it there tomorrow afternoon.”
Birdie and Ivy said their goodbyes and added another round of thanks before heading out.
Ivy put her hand on Birdie’s arm as they left. “Birdie, I appreciate all your enthusiasm for the wedding, but I’m exhausted. I’d really like to go home.”
“Of course. You’ve had quite a day. I’ll stay with you until Hank returns.” The older woman raised her brows in a very motherly fashion. “I’m sure you’re capable of taking care of yourself, but I’d rather not hear it from him because I left you alone.”
Ivy dropped her hand and nodded. “I understand.”
“He loves you, you know.”
Ivy stared straight ahead as they walked to Birdie’s car. “We’ve only known each other two days.”
“Doesn’t matter. That’s how it is with the Merrows. When you know, you know. And he knows.”
Ivy hiked the wedding dress box a little higher. Thinking that Hank might be in love with her was amazing. Although it only made things worse. “I’m not sure Hank feels that way. I know he likes me, but love…love takes time.”
Birdie squinted at her but didn’t say anything else about it the rest of the way to the car. As Birdie was pulling out of the parking lot, Ivy’s phone chirped with an incoming message. She pulled the phone out and saw a message waiting from Hank.
Mission accomplished. See you at home.
She smiled. “You won’t have to wait with me. Hank just messaged to say everything’s taken care of and he’d see me at home. Or he’s headed home. Either way, you won’t have to wait long.”
“Glad to hear it.” Birdie drove with both hands on the wheel, firmly planted in the ten and two positions. “I mean, glad to hear he took care of those hoodlums. Not that I won’t have to stay. I’d be happy to do that.”
But she didn’t have to. The squad car was parked outside the garage.