Her eyes well with tears and for the first time since my parents died, I see the sweet little girl that she always was.
Grief works in different ways. Although always destructive, its effects changed her. This isn’t who she really is.
“I love you, Elanor, and regardless of this whole mess, I will always love you and will get you the help that you need.”
She inhales sharply as if shocked by my support.
I stand and turn to walk out.
“Kate,” she calls.
I turn back.
“Send me a photo of you in your wedding dress?”
I smile through tears and nod. “Okay.”
I turn and walk out. We have a lot of shit to work through, but I’m no quitter.
A toast: I hold my glass up to my beautiful bride as she sits beside me.
We are now husband and wife, married in a white marquee in the grounds of Enchanted. My brothers are beside me, our closest fifty friends and family are here. “Kathryn.” I smile down at her. “My Kate.”
“Oh, fucking hell,” I hear Christopher whisper to Tristan, “here we go.”
Tristan chuckles as he listens.
“I could rattle on all night about how beautiful and intelligent and warm and loving you are.”
She reaches up and takes my hand and kisses it from her seated position.
“I could tell you how I loved you from afar for years before we even met. How our love was fated, that you were my destiny.”
“But none of that matters.” Emotion overwhelms me and I pause with a frown, clear my throat. “Because waking up next to you every day . . . is the reason I am here.”
Her eyes fill with tears and I have to stop before I get really fucking pathetic.
I hold my glass in the air. “I want you to all toast my beautiful wife. To Kate.”
“To Kate.” They all cheer.
It’s dusk and I’m standing with Tristan, Jameson, and Christopher.
Kate is dancing with her brother, and it’s been a wonderful day.
We are under the huge oak tree that’s strung with fairy lights.
Patrick, Tristan’s youngest son, runs up, panting. He looks out of breath and slightly panicked, and points toward the paddock.
Tristan frowns. “What’s up?”
“I did a thing.”
“You didn’t,” Harry mutters under his breath.
“What thing?” Tristan asks more sternly.
Patrick points to his elder brother. “Harry dared me to.”
“What did you do?” Tristan takes Patrick’s hand and leads him away. I watch as they walk down toward the bottom paddock and I continue talking to my brothers.
“Ahh!” I hear Tristan’s bloodcurdling scream in the distance.
“What the hell?”
We all look down and see Humphrey the ram chasing the two of them back up the hill at full speed.
“What the fuck did you do, Harrison?” Jameson barks.
“I didn’t think he would really open the gate!” he yells. “Everyone knows you don’t do dares.”
Everyone starts screaming as the ram runs toward us, then he stops and, seemingly distracted, begins to head-butt a tree at full force. The sound echoes like thunder.
Then he turns and rams into Daniel, who goes flying spectacularly in the air.
“Oh . . . fucking hell.” Jameson winces.
The guests all run for their lives, screaming.
“Elliot,” Kate cries. “Do something.”
Christopher’s eyes widen and then he bursts out laughing. “Best wedding ever.”
Tristan is holding Patrick under his arm while he runs as fast as he can.
“Everyone, get out of the way,” he screams. “This thing is a killer.”
I clench my jaw, ready to explode. “Fucking Harry.”
It takes an army to write a book and I have the best army on earth.
I would dearly love to thank my mum Kerry, Nadia, Rachel, Amanda, Lisa, Nicole. Rena and Vicki, you guys have been my beta team since day one, you are my rock and I am so grateful for all that you do for me. You make me better.
To my amazing Montlake team, Sammia, Lindsey, and Nicole, thank you for being so good at what you do. Your help and guidance is a dream come true.
To the best PA in all of the world, my beloved Kellie.
Special thanks to my family for putting up with a wife and mum who is always writing . . . or thinking about writing. I’m annoying, I know.
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