“My name is Rafe Montfort and my bride is Juliet Capel. Although we were recently married, our friend Calum Prioleau insisted on throwing me a Bachelor Lunch. I never wanted a Bachelor’s lunch, especially since I haven’t been a bachelor for almost ten years. (Those nine months when I was divorced from Juliet never counted because in my heart we were still married.) But since Juliet and her friends are having a Bridal Lunch at the same time, I said yes.

Now I’m ensconced, with my friends, in the lounge of a hotel restaurant in Savannah’s Historic District. Calum invited my brother Philip, Detective Garza, and a few of my army buddies. Nate and Pete who were all over the free drinks and great food. Cain, Zack, Ty, and Luke–also ex-Green Berets I’ve known for years–who’ve just arrived in Savannah are sitting awkwardly probably because they’re still not sure why I was released from prison. Vane, another buddy, declined. And no way was I inviting my former CO Kells Torridan.

Of course Calum is here as the master of ceremonies and overall manipulator of everything in his world.

The waiter just arrived with drinks and our first course: Cheese Straws. A specialty of the south, Cheese Straws are a classic appetizer bread made with sharp cheddar cheese and cayenne pepper. A perfect start to what will be a memorable day. And I promise not to text Juliet to find out what she’s doing now. Although I can’t help but wonder if she’s missing me as much I miss her.”

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