Big Man's Wife - Page 37

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“Actually, it is.” Having my fingers wrapped around the stems of my bouquet, it does help to steady my hand. “Good idea.”

“Yeah, I know. Where do you think Ryder gets all his good ideas? He steals them from me.” Smirking, she chuckles as she pats herself on the back.

There's a knock at the door, and my friend Hanna pokes her head in. “You almost ready? It's just about time?”

Hanna is one of a handful of my friends from New York that stood by my side after my step-father disowned me. There are not many people in that rich circle that would embrace a simple country girl like me, but I'm lucky enough to have found those diamonds in the rough.

Exhaling hard, I take another sip of water and stand up. “Yeah, I think I'm ready.” Running my hands down the front of my dress, I look at Hanna and ask, “Is Tara back?”

“Yeah, she's downstairs. Why?”

“Just making sure,” I answer nervously. “I'm ready.”

“Good,” Melody says. “Now let's make you a Jamison.”

I follow them downstairs, holding up my dress the best I can. I love my dress. I found it on the first day I went looking. I spotted it in the window, and I knew it was the one.

Champagne colored with a sparkling floral design that traces the hem, it hugs my body and curves perfectly. A small train extends off the back, and the bodice is multiple layers of silk that create a cross pattern. The heart shaped top shows a little bit of cleavage, not too much, just enough to give Ryder a peek. The back is open across my shoulders, and the laced up corset top creates more curve to my hips.

Our wedding is small. We're having it at the farm. The ceremony is in the field, and the reception is going to be in the barn. I did decide in the end to invite my parents, but neither one responded back.

I'm at least hoping my mother shows up, but if she doesn't, I know it's only because Troy won't allow her to. All I can do is wish she finds the strength to tell him to fuck off, that her only daughter is getting married, and she's coming if he likes it or not.

Except, I know my mother isn't strong enough to stand up to the man who holds her livelihood in his hands. If she goes against him, he'll punish her for it. He'll take her credit cards away, maybe even remove her name from the bank account.

She won't give all that up for me.

The music is playing, and the bridesmaids start to walk down the aisle. I peek around the corner and look at the tiny cluster of chairs still hanging on to the hope that my mother might be here.

Glancing over the faces, she's not.

Saddened, I try to understand. I know she could never stomach being sent back to this level. And that's okay. I don't hate her for it. I wish she was stronger, but in the end, it doesn't change the happiness that waits for me.

Her weakness has turned into my strength. My strength to realize that I don't need material things to be happy. The strength to choose love over status.

I won't let her absence ruin my day. Today is not about my mother or my step-father.

Today is about us.

The music changes, signaling it's my turn. I step out around the corner, smiling instantly. I can't stop it. My lips curl high and my cheeks flush as I lay eyes on the sexiest man on earth.

Ryder is at the altar, flawless and perfect. He's dressed in a coal black suit with a bright red tie. A red rose is pinned to his breast pocket, and his hair is tousled to perfection.

Our eyes connect. His glisten in happiness, and he grins from ear to ear as I make my way down to him. Holding out his hand, he pulls me in. The look in his eyes says he wants to kiss me right this very second, but he doesn't, he maintains control.

He braids our fingers together as the guests sit back down, and the justice of the peace begins the ceremony. I can hear her voice, but it sounds far away. I can't focus on anything but Ryder.

She finishes a really sweet speech about finding love and what it means to give your heart to someone else. Glancing between us, she asks, “Ryder, do you take Jenna to be your wife?”

“I do,” he says, slipping the band over my finger.

“And do you Jenna, take Ryder to be your husband?”

“I do,” I answer eagerly, slipping his band over his finger.

“By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.”

Ryder licks his lips as his smile broadens and he wraps an arm around my waist. I'm about to go in for the kiss, when he dips me hard. Swinging me around, he crushes his lips against mine, and kisses me.

Tags: Penny Wylder Romance