Candace laughs. “Ah, my Savage.” She pats my chest and glances at the woman. “Rosa. So good to see you again.”
I bite back another fuck when I realize I’ve just made out with my wife-to-be and cursed in front of Madame Judgement, the woman who holds Candace’s dreams in her little hand. I eye Rosa, a slight little thing in her sixties, and tilt my chin in her direction. “Sorry about that, ma’am.”
Her lips curve. “Nothing wrong with being human and your recovery is quite polite. I like that in a husband-to-be.” She motions toward the church. “Let’s go inside and chat with the priest. Oh, and Candace, how would a March wedding sound to you?”
Candace’s eyes light up. “That would be wonderful.”
“That is forever from now,” I interject. “I’ve waited a long time to marry her. Can we do this any faster?”
“Eagerness is appreciated,” Rosa states, “but she’s running to you, not away. You have a lifetime together.”
Candace captures my hand in hers. “Yes, we do,” she says softly.
Rosa offers an approving look and motions us forward. She disappears inside the church and when Candace would step forward, I tug her toward me. “Five months is too long to wait.”
She studies me for a moment and presses her hand to my face. “We don’t have to do this here or in March. I love you. I don’t need this. I need you. But we’re still walking into the church.”
I blink. “What? Why?”
“Because you’re afraid of yourself and therefore this church. You have to get over that. You’re not going to burn up or be struck with lightning when you enter.”
“That’s up for debate and possibly not for long.”
“We’re going inside, Rick,” she says sternly. “And then we’ll decide when and where to get married, over a drink I believe you need right now.”
She steps inside the church and tugs me forward. Of course, I could hold my ground, but damn it, she’s right. I’m afraid. Which is embarrassing. Rick fucking Savage is not a pussy-ass bitch scaredy-cat. I hold my breath, steel myself for what may happen next, and follow her inside the church. I don’t burn up. Lightning doesn’t strike me down. “Thank you, God,” I murmur.
Candace steps in front of me and smiles. “See? All is well.” Her gaze lifts to the towering ceiling painted with biblical images and she murmurs, “Incredible.” She twists in my arms and stares at the giant pillars attached by towering arches that frame the rows of seats, stained glass in every arched window, of which there are many.
Rosa steps next to Candace. “It’s stunning, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” she whispers. “It really is that and more.”
I imagine Candace walking down the aisle. This is a place of a Cinderella storybook wedding. And after all she’s been through, after all I put her through, she deserves a Cinderella story of her own.
This is where we’re getting married.
Candace turns to look at me and when her eyes meet mine, she reads my mind and grants me a perfect, beautiful smile. The kind that lights up a room and this dark heart of mine. She throws her arms around me, fixing me in a pretty green stare, love in her eyes. “We’re getting married right here.”
I stroke hair. “Yes,” I say. “We are. Forever and ever, baby.”
“Forever and ever,” she agrees.
“Shall we?” Rosa queries, directing us to our left. “The priest is waiting on us.”
“As long as he’s willing to marry a sinner and an angel,” I say. “Lead the way.”
A few minutes later, after Rosa meets with the priest one on one, we’re brought into an office lined with books. The priest, a man in his sixties, with white hair, but a young voice and chiseled face, studies us from behind a heavy wooden desk. “Who’s the sinner and who’s the angel?”
“I’m the sinner,” I say. “Is that a problem?”
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