They had agreed to write their own vows.
He held both her hands between his and stared deep into her eyes as he recited his memorized tribute. “You have taught me so much about life, about love that I could stand up here for hours and not touch on every point. I’m not a poet, so I looked up the most romantic poems in history. I tried to find something to read that would underline how much I love you. None of them were good enough. None of them expressed how deeply I feel for you. They say actions speak louder than words, so all I can do is spend the rest of my life showing you what you mean to me and praying it’s enough.”
A tear slid down her cheek.
He wiped it away with his thumb.
How was she supposed to follow that?
How was she supposed to remember her vows when she couldn’t think straight?
A slight dizziness swept over her, and Christian’s brows drew together. “Do you need to sit down?” he asked.
The love and concern in his eyes washed over her cold feet, making them warm again.
She smiled to reassure him that she wanted to continue. “When we met, I was broken.” Her throat clogged with emotion. She fought to keep her voice steady. “My heart was shattered into a million pieces. I didn’t think I was worthy of love. I didn’t think I was capable of loving or trusting anyone. But you bulldozed into my life and took me by surprise.”
People laughed, distracting her.
She’d actually forgotten they weren’t alone.
Her gaze drifted over the crowd, and stage-fright caught her by the throat.
She took a second to breathe.
Christians hands tightened on hers, reassuring her without words.
She turned her gaze back to his handsome face, and once again their audience melted into the background. “You put my heart back together. Somehow you knew what I needed and didn’t just give me what I thought I wanted. You gave me a safe place to heal, and I am stronger because of you.”
A couple people cheered.
Isobel Sabatino turned around in the front row to glare at them, silencing everyone with a single look. Bianca said a silent thank you that she wasn’t on the other end of that look anymore. The wedding continued. It went by rapidly after the vows. They exchanged rings, repeated the minister’s words, and then it was time to kiss the bride.
He kissed her with such tender passion that her heart was near bursting with joy.
After the kiss there was a short limo ride to the reception. Lots of hugs and flowing champagne and dancing followed. Bianca felt swept along with the tide. Time passed quickly. She wanted to latch onto the moment and memorize every detail of her wedding day. She gave Katie a look that asked for help. Her friend drew attention away from Bianca long enough for her to escape. She slipped away from the crowd and stepped out onto the terrace.
The ocean view nearly brought tears to her eyes. So beautiful, the pristine blue sea lapped at the rocks below Isobel’s cliff-top mansion. Bianca’s eyes closed. She tried to picture her children running along the beach with their father on summer visits to their grandmother’s house.
Christian’s arms wrapped around her waist from behind, and his husky voice spoke near her ear. “What are you doing out here?”
“I needed to catch my breath.”
He stiffened, and a slight note of concern entered his voice. “Are you feeling okay?”
Since finding out about the pregnancy Christian worried about her and the baby almost non-stop. It had been cute at first. Now she found it suffocating. Instead of reassuring him for the millionth time that she was fine, she turned in his arms to kiss him full on the lips. She sighed with a little moan at the end of the kiss and melted against him.
“This has been such a perfect day,” she said.
“Followed by a perfect night,” he said with what sounded like a promise.
“Am I dreaming? I feel like I’m dreaming.”
His lips grazed her cheek. “If you are, so am I. Let’s never wake up.” He nuzzled the side of her neck. “Promise me you’ll stay in this dream with me forever.”
She giggled as his teasing mouth tickled the sensitive skin just below her ear. His hand went to her growing baby bump, and a wave of happiness washed over her. In just about six months she would be holding their child in her arms. She and Christian had decided to stay living in the penthouse for a while. Someday, maybe after their second child was born, they would move into a nice house with a big yard for the children to play.
They’d even talked about moving back to London.
It didn’t matter where they lived.
Her home was and would always be in his arms.