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|Melody of the Heart(Runaway Train #4) by Katie Ashley|
I leaned in and kissed his cheek. “Thank you, Rhys. I promise I’ll make this up to you.”
He cocked his dark brows at me. “Does that mean making my favorite meal of fried chicken, fried okra, and homemade cornbread along with a strawberry shortcake from scratch?”
With a laugh, I replied, “Anything for you, flower girl.”
“It’s a deal then.”
Clapping his hands together, Jake once again took the lead. “All right, I think it’s time we got this show on the road.” As he jerked his head for Rhys to move in front of us, Rhys reluctantly followed his orders. Susan came to stand behind Rhys. Then Jake and AJ offered their arms for me to take.
“Ready?” AJ asked.
I smiled. “I’m more than ready.”
As I waited for Lily to make her grand appearance, I paced nervously around the altar of the Graceland Chapel. “Easy there, son. Don’t want you to wear a hole in the carpet,” Elvis said, with a chuckle.
“It’s all right. You’re nervous. Happens to most grooms.”
“I’m not nervous about marrying Lily. There’s nothing in the world I’m more certain of.”
“Then what’s the problem?”
I grimaced. “Well, I’m afraid I’ll never be good enough for her.”
Elvis eased his sunglass down his nose to look at me. “Excuse me? I mean, I know who you are.”
He nodded. “When you made the reservation, one of the receptionists went crazy. I’m pretty sure when the ceremony is over, she’s going to pounce on you for an autograph.”
With a shaky laugh, I replied, “Oh, that’s fine. I don’t mind.”
“Like I was saying, you’re a rich, famous guy. Why would you worry you wouldn’t be good enough?”
I grimaced. “I broke her heart a year ago. Like I was the biggest asshole imaginable even before we broke up. I ignored her, I took her for granted, and I made her feel unworthy.” I shuddered. “We’ve made up, but I’m afraid that she’ll never really be able to forget what I did. Like I’ll never be able to earn back her full love and trust.”
Elvis patted me on the back. “When it comes down to it, most women are far more able to forgive and forget than they should be.”
“You think so?”
He nodded. “You just forget what happened in the past. Treat her even better than you did before, and you’ll be fine.”
“Feels kinda strange getting marital advice from Elvis,” I said, with a shake of my head.
He laughed. “You oughta take my advice to heart. Over the years I’ve been marrying couples, I’ve seen enough to become a relationship expert.”
“I guess that’s true.”
A woman stepped into the chapel. “They’re ready.”
“Okay, son, it’s time. Take your place.”
Adjusting my suit and tie, I then went to stand at the place that had been marked for me. Drawing in a breath, I tried to still my out-of-control nerves. I felt like a complete pansy.
As Jake’s mom and Rhys appeared in the doorway, Elvis began to strum his guitar. I’d paid extra to have him serenade Lily as she came down the aisle to I Can’t Help Falling in Love.
I smiled at Susan as she walked down the aisle. I was so glad she had been here in Vegas where Lily could have a mother figure on her wedding day. If there had been time, I would have flown Marie, along with Lily’s sisters, out here for the wedding.
The appearance of Rhys carrying a lace-covered basket in one hand and then tossing petals with the other caused me to snort with laughter. But one death glare from him silenced me immediately. I don’t know how he had gotten roped into being the flower girl.
As Lily appeared in the doorway with Jake and AJ on each side, Elvis began perfectly crooning. “Wise men say only fools rush in. But I can’t help falling in love with you.”
Jus the sight of her brought tears to my eyes. God, she was so beautiful. She always had been, but something about her in that moment made her more breathtaking than I’d ever seen her. I had to fight the urge to kick myself that this perfect woman was about to be my wife. Even after I had almost ruined things between us, her heart was big enough to forgive me.
I had to swipe my eyes several times before she finally arrived at my side. After Jake and AJ kissed her cheeks, they then went to sit down beside Susan and Rhys. As I took her hand in mine, Elvis sang, “Take my hand. Take my whole life too. For I can’t help falling in love with you.”
He strummed the final chords of the song. After putting his guitar away, he smiled at us. “Dearly beloved, we’re gathered here today to join together Brayden Michael Vanderburg and Lily Marie Gregson.”
We went through the vows and then exchanged platinum wedding bands that I had picked up yesterday while Lily went dress shopping. I slid it on over her the diamond engagement ring I’d bought the day before as well. After we’d slipped the rings on our fingers, Elvis smiled, “By the power vested in me by the state of Nevada, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
I didn’t have to be told twice. I practically dove at Lily, my hands cupping her face before I brought my lips to hers. I thrust my tongue into her mouth, deepening the kiss. We must have been putting on quite a show because the guys started whistling behind us.