Lauren and Julie are the lawyers who support Walker’s clients. It’s really amazing, I think, the way the Walker team has created a circle of work, family, and friends. And now I’m a part of that circle. Well, not the work part. I design buildings, so I’m not exactly their go-to person for Walker cases. But a Walker clan of about thirty did surprise me with gallons of ice cream and champagne to help me celebrate a contract to design a new apartment by the Hudson River.
Julie pushes to her feet. “I’d hug you, but I’m not going to risk messing up that dress. It’s gorgeous and you’re gorgeous. And wear your hair down. It’s such a shiny dark brown, it’s luscious.”
“Lucious?” I snicker. “My hair is luscious?”
“You know it, darlin’.” She blows me a kiss and rushes away, “Call me tonight!”
“I will,” I promise over my shoulder, a smile on my lips.
“How are we doing, Candace?”
My gaze roams to the doorway where Mary, my seamstress, a pretty brunette with lush dark curls, has rejoined us. “Fabulous,” I say. “Thank you. I think those small adjustments you made last fitting were needed.”
“Excellent.” She clasps her fingers together and gives me and my dress an inquiring eye. “I do need to pin a couple of spots here and there for a few more tiny adjustments. I know you say it’s perfect, but it’s not quite there yet. Give me a few more minutes, if you can? It’s insanity in here today and I want to be focused to make your final adjustments.”
“I don’t mind leaving it on just a little longer one bit,” I assure her. “Take your time.”
She smiles a knowing smile, well versed on brides who are enamored with their own dresses. “Let me detach your train so you can sit,” she suggests, and quickly moves behind me, removes the attachment, and then hangs it up. “Now you can enjoy champagne.” She fills a glass and sets it on a table in the corner, near two comfy chairs. “I’ll hurry back,” she promises.
She rushes away and I rotate to the mirror, quickly noting the fact that my pale skin is glowing and why would it not be? I’m marrying Rick Savage. After all those years apart from him, all those painful years, we’re together. The rear door opens and closes, and I assume it’s a staff member or a delivery. My attention is back on the gown, but I’m thinking about Rick. He’d been awkward with the priest, but so very Savage.
“I’ll just be frank, Father,” Rick says, after we sit down across from the priest in his office, and right after we’ve been told the priest is the final say in who does and does not get married in the church. “I’m not what you’d call a good guy, but God didn’t strike me down with lightning when I walked in here, so he’s made his judgment. I’m with an angel, I’m marrying an angel, and I need her to have her fairytale wedding. Are you going to keep her from having what God clearly wants for her?”
The priest leans forward and smiles. “What God giveth, I cannot taketh away. And for the record, Rick Savage, we’re all sinners.”
“There are different levels of sin,” Savage counters. “I’m the one foot into hell kind of sinner,” I take his hand and he adds, “but she pulled me back.”
“Sounds like we should visit the confessional before you leave, son.”
“God no,” I spurt, with my heart racing. “No,” I add. “I ah—pardon me, Father. Let’s save that for after the wedding.”
Savage laughs and to my surprise, so does the priest before he says, “Let’s talk about the wedding.”
I smile with the memory and with the plans for the wedding.
Married in our new home city, where we have started our new life, a beautiful day, and church, with our new family watching. Of course, my father and a few friends will join us as well. Sadly, Rick’s father going into rehab has not mended their relationship. Savage will not invite him to the wedding.
I blink myself back into view and dream of the moment I walk down the aisle wondering how Rick will react.
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