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|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
“It works both ways. I’m never any good without him either.”
“Then it was high time you two got back together, wouldn’t you say?”
“Yeah, I would.”
Brayden appeared suddenly behind us. “Everything okay?”
I smiled up at him. “We’re fine.”
“I’m glad to hear that.”
Releasing my hand, Jake then rose to his feet. “I’m very happy for you, Bray. I wish you all the happiness in the world,” Jake said, before offering his hand to Brayden.
Brayden grinned before taking Jake’s hand. Then he drew Jake to him for a bear hug. “Thanks man, that means so much to me—to both of us.”
“You’re welcome.” Jake glanced between Brayden and me. “You both deserve to be happy.”
After echoing our gratitude, Brayden held out his hand to me. “We need to go pick out a ring.”
“You know I’d be perfectly happy with the one I had before,” I protested.
“I know, but I want us to start fresh.”
I rolled my eyes. “You just want an excuse to buy me a big diamond.”
Brayden laughed. “Well, that, too.”
“So when is the wedding?” Jake asked.
“Tomorrow,” I said, as Brayden replied, “Today.”
Sweeping my hand to my hip, I said, “I cannot possibly be ready to get married by this afternoon.”
“And why not?” Brayden questioned.
“Because I need a dress and time to get ready. Besides, we don’t even know which chapel we’re going to.”
“Yes, we do.”
Cocking my head at him, I demanded. “Oh, which one is that?”
He rolled his eyes like he was appalled I didn’t automatically know. “The Graceland Chapel.”
“You want us to get married at a chapel where an Elvis impersonator officiates the ceremony?”
“Hell yeah. You know how much I love Elvis. I mean, he’s second only because of the Beatles.”
“Babe, I’m a huge fan of Elvis, too. I’m just not sure that’s exactly what I had in mind when it came to my wedding.”
Brayden grinned. “Lily, we’re eloping in Las Vegas. Whatever you thought your wedding was going to be like, it’s not.”
I sighed. “You’re right. Okay, the Graceland Wedding Chapel it is.”
Pulling me into his arms, Brayden then gave me a long and sweet kiss. “Thank you. Now can we go find your ring?”
“Yes. Then I’ll look for a dress for our wedding tomorrow.”
“Fine, fine. I’ve waited this long. I guess I can wait less than twenty-four hours.”
With a laugh, I said, “I’m glad to hear it.”
A soft knock came at the dressing room door of the Graceland Chapel. “Go away, Brayden. Even though Elvis is marrying us, I’m still clinging to some traditions, so I’m not going to let you see me right before the wedding!” I shouted.
“It’s Susan Slater—Jake’s mother,” came the muffled reply.
Mortification rocketed through me that I had just been yelling at a perfect stranger. I threw on my robe and hurried to the door. When I threw it open, I gave the tall, graceful woman standing before me my most apologetic smile. “I’m sorry for yelling at you.”
She grinned. “It’s okay. These boys usually need some yelling to keep them in line.”
“That’s true,” I replied, with a chuckle. Motioning to the room, I asked, “Won’t you come in?”
“Thank you.” After she stepped across the threshold, I closed and locked the door back. We stood there in an awkward silence for a moment. When I once again realized I was just in my robe, I pulled the lapels tighter against my chest.
“I didn’t know you were in Vegas.”
Susan smiled. “Jake flew me out here for my birthday tomorrow. He knows with my dancing background how much I’ve always wanted to see Cirque de Soleil, so we’re going to the different shows together.”
“That’s awfully sweet of him.”
“He is always doing the sweetest things for me.” Susan then closed the gap between us. Taking my hands in hers, she squeezed them. “Jake asked me to come and see how you were doing.”
She nodded. “He was worried that you might be having a hard time getting ready on your own—you know, without your mother and sister.”
With sobs rising in my throat, I could merely nod my head in reply. One of Susan’s hands came to softly cup my cheek. “Jake is my only child—the long awaited answer to my prayers. I won’t have a daughter to help on her wedding day, so it would be my honor to be with you.”
Tears stung my eyes at her kindness. “Really?” I whispered.
“I-I w-would really love for you to help me get r-ready,” I hiccupped through my tears.
Susan laughed. “Oh honey, looks like you’ve got the pre-wedding jitters.”
I shook my head. “I swear I don’t have cold feet. There’s nothing in the world I want more than to marry Brayden.”
“Just because you’re overly emotional it doesn’t mean you’ve got cold feet.” Her expression softened. “It’s only understandable you would be teary considering what you’ve just been through.”