They call me an outcast like it’s a bad thing.
An asshole byproduct of a shitty upbringing. I don’t care about anything except myself and my little sister.
I will always protect what’s mine.
With one year left on my hockey contract I’m keeping my head down and my eyes on the goal.
A collision, with her, changes my entire existence.
Never fall in love with a sports star. That’s what my stepfather always said. He told me athletes are complicated and moody—that the higher their paycheck, the lower their morals.
As public relations for the New York Stingers I know exactly what he means, but I can’t seem to say no to a friendship with one beautiful, damaged man.
What started out as hate turned into something else.
We tried to stay away, to keep our distance, but the pull was too strong.
Something forbidden turned into something so irresistible.
“You may now kiss the bride,” Judge Reynolds says right before Max grabs my face in both of his hands.
“I love you,” he whispers, then his lips land on mine, gently and full of love.
My hands go to his waist as I close my eyes and take in the safety of my husband.
“I love you with everything that I am,” he murmurs against my lips. I smile and look into his crystal blue eyes.
“I love you more,” I say. He lets go of my face and we shake the judge’s hand. He grabs my hand and we walk out of his chambers while my chiffon train trails us.
Max proposed to me three hours ago. He got down on one knee and vowed to love me and only me till his last dying breath while I stood there in the middle of the shark reef in the Mandalay Bay. It took me two seconds before I nodded and got down on my knees with him, buried my face into his chest, and cried from happiness. I was completely and utterly in love with him. And not one person in my family knew. Well, none of the men knew. But this isn’t about them. This is about me, about Max, about how he took my heart into his hand and treated it like delicate crystal, making sure he bubble wrapped it to keep it safe.
Now here I am, watching my husband dressed in a black tux hold my hand and me in my two-piece lace dress. It is beaded from my collar all the way down. It ties around my neck but leaves my back bare. My arms are also bare. A gold belt ties the second part of the dress, floor-length split chiffon. My legs slip out while I walk, showing off my something blue, which is my Carrie Bradshaw Blue Manolo Blahnik.
As soon as the door to the chapel opens, my chiffon dress blows up almost like Marilyn Monroe’s, the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas almost non-existent since we are off the Strip. Someone in the distance must have snapped a picture because his flash went off.
“I think someone just took a picture of us,” I tell him while we make our way to the car that is waiting for us.
“Angel, it’s Vegas, everyone is taking pictures.” He waits for me to get in before climbing in after me. “So, my wife, where do you want to go?” Max turns to me and smiles while his thumb rubs the hand he’s holding.
“Back to our room.” I look at our hands. “I want to go back with you and lock the door and just be with my husband.”
“I was hoping you’d say that.” He pulls me to him, his arm going around my shoulder, and I fit perfectly in the crook of his arm.
We watch the city lights come into focus again once we get on the Strip. Walking through the lobby, I hold on to my husband’s hand, watching his ring glisten in the light. Max unlocks the door for us. Walking in, I head for the living room that is now turned into what looks like a small reception. Gone are the couches, and in their place is a cast iron square with blush pink roses wrapped all around it. Tea lights make it across. All the furniture is gone. The only thing in this room are blush roses, which are my favorites.
“This place looks like a fairy tale.”
Max walks to me, holding a bouquet in his hands. “For you.” He hands it to me as our song “Dive” comes on.
“Dance with me?” I ask him as I walk to him.
“Every single day of my life.” He wraps an arm around my waist. I hold the bouquet around his shoulders and we hold our free hands to his chest.
He takes his phone out and raises his hand, snapping a picture of us. I’m looking at the camera while he looks at me. “Stunning,” he says quietly as his cell phone rings. “Angel, don’t freak out.” His voice is curt, tight.
I don’t have to time to say anything because my phone buzzes with a text from Matthew.
Allison, when you get this you better call me.
“Oh my God.” I look at him. “What did we just do?” He looks at me shocked, steps back, and away from me.
“Max.” I reach out to him while he dodges me.
I don’t know if he’s asking or telling. My heart hurts as his eyes go dark. He darts out of the room and the front door slams after him. As I stand here in my wedding dress, a tear rolls down my face, and I look down and see my glistening wedding band.
When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
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