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The Husband Beside Me(7)


“I'm fine. It’s just jitters. It’s been a long, stressful week and it’s all getting to me now.” I smiled, reassuring her and placing my hand on hers.

Elissa came back with Jessica in tow, both holding drinks.

“Okay, sweetheart, I’m letting you have one drink. No more than that. This is one of the biggest social events of the year and I need it to be perfect.” Jessica handed me my whiskey.

“Not helping,” I gritted through my teeth.

“Come on. Daimon loves you. He told me to let you do what you like. This is your wedding day. He said that all that mattered was you being happy. If you’re happy, he’s happy. So just go out there and show him this beautiful creature he’s about to marry,” Jessica urged as she nodded at me.

“You’re fucking good,” Elissa said, laughing.

“It’s my job,” Jessica smiled.

I took a healthy swing of my drink and stood up, readying myself for my dress. Fucking Jessica, making sure I had the perfect corset to match. The thing was killer around my waist, cinching it in and looking sexy as hell. I pulled off my robe and Elissa nearly fell over.

“WOW! Daimon’s going to come in his pants tonight,” she shouted, her eyes bugging out.

“Elissa,” I yelled.

“What? You not only have the sexiest fucking corset I have ever seen, but you’re wearing garters too. Damn, girl!” Elissa pointed.

Jessica and Sofia helped me with my dress, which took longer than I thought. When we were done, it was amazing. I looked into the mirror and it was as if I was watching a stranger. I didn’t know who this person staring back at me was. A small knock came at the door and pulled me away from the mirror. I moved to the side, just in case it was Daimon. Why you ask? I don’t know.

“Addie, it’s me,” my father said quietly. Elissa opened the door and there he stood, with his modern suit and all cleaned up. I smiled the moment I saw him. The feeling of relief washed over me. My father was my comfort.

“Addie,” he breathed, “you look so beautiful.” His eyes glazed with tears.

Jessica and Elissa left, leaving only Sofia. The three of us stood together, not knowing exactly what to say first.

“Daimon is a good man. I’m glad you found someone like him,” my father said sincerely. His words only hurt more because he meant them. I stood in front of my father as he laid out his heart, telling me how happy he was for me, while all I was doing was lying to him, to both of them. “Addie, you will live a good life now. You deserve it.” He smiled and reached out to hug me.

I held back the tears. I was betraying them both, but I was willing to run through fire for them. They were getting the better life they were meant to live, before I fucked it all up. “Here, I want you to have this.” My father held out his hand. He was holding my mother’s bracelet. It was made of white gold with small diamonds. “It was all I could afford for her, but I think she would want you to have it,” he said, while his hands shook as he placed it on my wrist.

“Daddy…” I stopped not able to say another word. A hard lump burrowed into my throat not allowing me to speak.

“Shh, no tears, only smiles,” he said to me, his eyes brimming.

I reached up and wiped the one single tear that fell from my father’s eye. Sofia quietly sobbed behind me. I reached out my hand to her and she came so willingly, that I ached as I held her tightly.

“I love you. I love you both, so much,” I murmured.

“Addie? It’s time.” Jessica knocked on the door.

Sofia pulled away and smiled. She turned around and picked up my white and soft pink peony bouquet and handed it to me. “Okay, let’s get this party started,” Sofia smiled and sniffled.

My father reached out his arm and I intertwined my arm with his. Sofia opened the door and I was taken aback. In just a few hours, the entire place was transformed into a wonderland of flowers and small tea lights. It was utterly breathtaking. Large twigs were placed in an enormous vase on the front table with small white flowers attached to them. A small light from above lit the table, highlighting the place cards. Tiny lanterns lit the walkway for me as I made my way to the Greenhouse where Daimon and the rest of our guests were waiting. Just before we were about to enter, I stopped my father and Sofia.

“It’s okay, Addie,” Sofia said as she squeezed my hand. I took a deep breath and looked over to see Jessica smiling.

“Cue the music,” Jessica said into her mini walkie-talkie.

As the doors opened, soft music played, and both my father and Sofia walked me down the aisle. A white silk carpet laid at our feet. I looked up to see Daimon waiting for me in front of the grand fireplace. Large candles were lit inside the fireplace, while a soft golden light lit the room from all sides. Dazzling white flowers were artistically placed all around, their gentle smell teasing my nose. I could hear the quiet whispers of the guests as I made my way to Daimon, who looked utterly gorgeous in his black suit. He left some stubble and his longish hair was softly slicked back. His striking blue sky eyes zeroed in on me, and in that moment, all I could see was him.