Hold the Forevers by K.A. Linde



Prologue





I’m in love with two men.

But I can only marry one.

It should have been simple to choose one over the other. To make my life with only one of them in it. But it isn’t. And it never has been.

Not when fate spun us together. An infinite wheel that none of us could ever escape. Just kept spinning and spinning. One of us took a left turn instead of a right. We stepped off for a cycle as if that would let us leave. Let us continue on into a normal, ordinary life. Whatever normal and ordinary could possibly mean.

But then the next rotation would come around, as it always inevitably did, and then we stepped back on. The three of us. In perpetuity.

I tried my turn at the wheel. Tried to pull free from fate’s death grip on my life. It was barely a moment. It was an eternity. For that time, I should have been happier. Without them. Without the drama and the heartache and the constant way my life went up in flames and reduced me to cinders.

I wasn’t a phoenix; I didn’t rise from the ashes.

Still, I wasn’t happier.

The shattered bits of my heart sliced through me at every turn that I avoided them. That I tried to move on.

And when the wheel tugged me back into its trappings, I let it. I hung there, suspended, caught in a spiderweb, thick and viscous and unrelenting. I made my choice. Stay on the wheel. Embrace that this was where I always belonged. And slowly, the million pieces of me were put back together, one by one.

Not all of them, of course. Not without them both.

But I can only have one.

I’ve always known it and tried to accept it. It’s still hard to believe that it’s happening though.

Me and Cole and Ash.

A trio that never was.

Because I’m in love with two men.

I can only marry one.

And today is my wedding day.





Wedding Day





1





Wedding Day





June 15, 2019





Every girl dreamed about her perfect wedding.

But I hadn’t dreamed of white dresses or bouquets or I dos. And when it came right down to it, I’d never imagined my future husband. What he’d look like or what he’d wear or how he’d smile when he saw me that first time.

Because for so long, there hadn’t been just one face in my life … but two.

Two faces. Two outfits. Two smiles.

Two men.

Cole and Ash.

Ash and Cole.

It felt surreal that today of all days, I was going to marry one and not the other. But it was here, and there was no looking back. I’d made my decision. In the end, we’d all made this decision. With our actions and our broken promises. We’d walked right up to today and let it happen.

I wasn’t the typical blushing bride. There would always be a part of me wondering if I’d done the right thing, chosen the right guy. If all the hell that we’d gone through together to get here had been worth it.

But I didn’t have cold feet. I was ready for this.

Except now, my bridesmaids were missing.

I stuck my head out of the bridal suite. My three sisters sat at a table in varying shades of red. Two in floor-length gowns and one in a red suit jacket. They were all matrons of honor for this affair, but they wouldn’t be standing at the altar with me. They’d be seated in the first row.

“Have you seen Josie and Marley?” I asked my sisters about my two best friends.

We’d known each other nearly our entire lives. Been through thick and thin. It wasn’t like them to disappear on my big day.

“They said they had an errand,” Eve said as she poured champagne into flutes.

Elle nodded. “They’ll be right back.”

Steph jumped from her spot and made me twirl in a circle. “You look gorgeous. I wasn’t sure on the bust, but that dress is stunning.”

I beamed at my sisters.

We’d all gone dress shopping multiple times. I’d thought I’d be one of those lucky ones who picked out the very first dress I tried on. But it hadn’t been the case; it might as well have been the last dress I tried on. The thousandth dress I tried on. The dress was a full tulle skirt with a lacy balconette top and thin spaghetti straps.

Josie had told me it was likely bad luck that I was that indecisive. Marley had rolled her eyes and insisted it meant nothing. Two sides of the same coin, those two.

I drank champagne with my sisters and stared down at the massive ring on my finger as I waited for my best friends to return.