I stood in my bedroom in front of the mirror. My stomach was even bigger now, but Cage didn’t seem to mind. He acted as if my stomach was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. He had his hands on it more than he had them on any other parts of my body.
The white dress that I’d had altered to gather under my br**sts and hang loosely over my stomach was perfect. It was exactly what I’d always imagined when I imagined this day. And I’d been imagining this day since I was a little girl. I reached up and touched the loose curls that Low had helped me style. She had said Cage would want my hair down, but that we could still fix it. The way she had pulled it all over my shoulder and pinned it in place was so pretty.
I stepped over to the window to look into my backyard. It had been transformed into what looked like a magical forest. I had never seen so many flowers. Amanda, with the help of her mother, had handled all the decorating. Friends were filling the seats below.
Daisy was dancing around in circles, holding Preston’s hands. The flower girl dress I had picked out looked adorable on her; the flowers in her hair, however, were starting to fall out. I doubted any were left by the time the wedding started.
Marcus was standing near the front of the gazebo, where the groomsmen would all be standing soon, holding a happy little boy who had his hand stuck in his mouth while he took in the world around him.
Then there was the rock star. He looked different in a suit. He didn’t look like the guy who I saw on magazines and television. He seemed normal. And everyone here treated him like he was just that. A regular guy.
“I’m parked out back with the getaway car. You just say the word and we’re out of here,” Jeremy said from behind me. He was here! I spun around and threw my arms around his neck. I hadn’t seen him since he’d come to tell us bye before he hit the road the day after Christmas.
“You’re here!” I squealed.
“Hell yeah, I’m here. I was invited, right?”
Laughing, I hugged him before stepping back to take in his appearance. His hair was longer and his face was scruffy. He had hair on it now, which made him look more badass than before. “You look different,” I said.
“Yeah, I’m trying new things. The hair is just easier,” he explained.
“Are you back for good or are you still traveling?”
“Not done yet,” he replied.
“Are you happy?” I asked. I wanted him to be happy.
A small grin tugged at his lips. “I will be. . . I think.”
What did that mean? I started to ask when my door opened back up again.
“Hey, you two, wrap it up. The show’s about to start,” Amanda said, sticking her head in the door.
“That’s why I’m here. Cage sent me. He wanted me to walk you down the aisle. Said he figured that it just seemed right,” Jeremy said, watching me carefully to make sure I was okay with this.
“I love that man. I really do,” I said, grinning up at him.
“Good, because you’re about to be married to the dude, and he ain’t letting you get away from him,” Jeremy replied, then held out his arm for me to take. “Come on, little momma, let’s go make an honest woman out of you.”
Amanda giggled and stepped back so we could walk out the door.
“Y’all go on down and wait for me. Trisha is fixing Daisy’s hair again. She keeps messing it up. Once she has her ready, I’ll send her down. Then I’m going to go, and Low will follow me. Trisha will send Daisy down and then it’s you two.” She instructed us.
“Got it,” Jeremy replied.
Amanda hurried outside, and I heard Daisy’s laughter outside the door.
“You ready, girl?” Jeremy asked, squeezing my hand that rested on his arm.
“Yes. Very,” I replied.
“Good, because that getaway car thing was a joke. I’m not big on hauling pregnant women around.”
I burst into laughter just as the door opened and Low stuck her head inside. She looked beautiful with all her red hair pulled up in the front and cascading down the back in curls. “It’s my turn. Y’all make sure Daisy follows me,” she said, smiling.
We stepped outside and watched as Low walked around the corner of the house. Daisy looked up at me with big curious eyes. “You look like my princess doll that Preston got me for my birthday. Except her tummy ain’t fat.”
Jeremy choked on his laughter.
Smiling, I reached over and straightened one of the wayward flowers in her hair. “That’s a good thing, I think,” I told her, trying not to laugh. “It’s your turn, Daisy Mae.”
She nodded and skipped down the steps and around the corner of the house.
“Come on, fat-tummied princess. It’s our turn,” Jeremy said, and held on to me as we walked down the porch steps. I held my breath as we walked around the corner and stopped at the aisle that led me to Cage.
He stood there in his tuxedo, looking more gorgeous than any man had a right to. He did not look like a man who had two pierced n**ples. His slow smile as he looked at me warmed me all over. He was it. This was it.
Cage starting walking toward me as Jeremy began walking me down the aisle. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but Jeremy didn’t seem confused. We only made it halfway down the aisle when Cage met us.
“Jeremy brought you halfway, but the rest is mine. I’ve had you the rest of the way.” He said as Jeremy handed me over and pressed a kiss to my cheek.
I looked up at Cage as he tucked my arm into his and bestowed me with one of his soul-stealing grins. “It’s time we start our always, Eva.”
I turned to face him. I stood on my tiptoes and pressed a kiss to his lips. Then I whispered, “We already have. We’ve been working on our always since you walked into my world with a cocky swagger and a smile.”