By: Rosa Swann
With Maddy’s help, and a little sooner than I expected, I proposed to Sterling. And now, suddenly, I’m dropped into a totally different world. A world of venues, tuxes and flowers. So many things I never considered, but I’ll do anything for Sterling.
Having a wedding once was magical, but this one is a little bittersweet. So many reasons to do this and not all happy. But I don’t care. I’m going to make this the best wedding ever. I’m going to make this memorable for all the good reasons. Because with everything that happened, we really do need some happiness.
The knock on the door startles me, the sound signalling that the hour with Maddy is over. I look up at Wilder, who slowly stands up, his face serious.
“Maddy?” I look at her, but I can see that she understands exactly what the knock is about.
“Is this a secret?” She reaches out, touching my hand with the ring.
“No. It’s not.” I kneel down next to her, taking her in my arms. “This is not a secret. This is our family.”
“Our family.” She repeats, then she gives me a kiss on my cheek. “Congratulations.”
I smile. “Thank you.”
The knock comes again and the door opens. Logan’s parents’ lawyer steps inside. “She needs to return to her grandparents.”
“Oh. Give them a moment to say goodbye.” Wilder steps between us and the lawyer.
“You stay strong. You’re coming home as soon as we can. Yeah?” I whisper, not wanting to let go of her.
“Yeah.” She gives me another kiss and when I catch her eyes, there is a flame in them that I know is going to get her in so much trouble, if not now, then definitely in the future… “See you soon, Daddy.” She lets me go, then she turns to Wilder. “Dad.”
Wilder startles for a moment, but then laughs, coming down to her level. “Yes?”
She stares at him hard for a moment, then she wraps her arms around him, giving him a sloppy kiss. “See you soon.” And then she walks up to the lawyer, who frowns, but Maddy doesn’t let herself get rushed. She walks next to the lawyer out of the room, quickly waving back at us before she’s out of sight.
Wow. Damn. I reach out to Wilder, who takes me in his arms.
“Are you okay?” He whispers against my ear.
I shake my head, overtaken by exhaustion now. But there is one thing I haven’t said yet, something that Wilder just declared in front of Maddy.
“I love you.” He’s been here for me the whole time, and for Maddy. “You’re amazing.”
There is a strength in him that he’s showing more and more, and it makes me sometimes do a double-take when I see him. To see him now, from that man I first saw at the funeral… It’s a world of difference. And at the same time… he’s still the same man.
“I love you too.” Then he pulls back a little. “How does the ring fit?”
“Good enough?” He lets me go now.
“I’m not taking it off.” I laugh. No way I’m taking it off now. I want the whole world to know about us, even if that’s a little childish.
“Good.” He wraps one arm around me, navigating me towards the doors. “That means I won’t let you go until everyone has seen us.”
I love his smile and can’t help my own smile as we make our way down the hallway, towards our families, or whoever is still there.
When we round the final corner, we’re greeted by both our families, staring at us, waiting. I angle toward Wilder, and he looks at me, his eyes sparkling before I kiss him slowly. When I pull back, I look back at our family, holding up my hand with the ring.
I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be ready for the excited sounds from Sarah and Lilly, or the way everyone swarms to us, hugging, congratulating.
We all know that this is an imperfect situation, but that doesn’t make the butterflies in my stomach any less, or the smile Wilder shows me each time I look at him. Yeah. This is the right thing.
Imperfect, but right. And isn’t that what life is generally like?
When everyone finally leaves in the evening, we sit down on the couch in the living room, both exhausted. My cheeks hurt from smiling, but that’s a good feeling.
It was weird not having Maddy around, I expected her to show up at any moment. But she’s not here. Not yet. I curl up against Wilder, only when I look up, he’s frowning. “What’s wrong?”
“I…” He stops, looking at me for a moment. “I was just thinking… There is so much we need to do. If this is this tiring, how will the rest be?”
“Don’t worry. We’ll get to that when we do. Even weddings are just one step at a time.” Though, last time it was mostly Logan’s family who decided on things for the big wedding. We’d held our own little ceremony a couple of days before, which was much easier and a lot less busy.
“Damn. A wedding.” Wilder sighs, apparently that wasn’t the thing on his mind. “You’re totally going to have to help me with that. I have no idea how to do set one up.”
I touch his cheek. “That’s okay. We’ll do this together.”
“Good.” He leans a little closer, a smile playing around his lips. “Husband.”
My mouth falls open. His eyes, his voice, the word. It’s all a little heady. “Husband.” He gives me a slow kiss, overtaking my mind as I cling onto him. Husband. Again. We have so many different names, but just hearing that word… it’s special.
Wilder pulls back a little, looking at me closely. “I love you. You’re my mate, and soon you’ll be my husband.”
I don’t know what to say for a moment, just looking at him. “I love you too.” Even though it’s still so close since losing Logan, it doesn’t lessen my love for Wilder. Not one bit, even if it was unexpected. “But… if not the wedding. What were you thinking about?” What made him frown like that?
“I just thought about the other thing that Chuck said… About ways to prove that this was all a purposeful choice by Logan, that him putting me in the will was something he had been planning on for a long time. If we can find proof, maybe we can solve this whole mess in one go. Get Maddy back and kick Logan’s parents out of our lives for good.”
His voice is soft. “I don’t even care about the money, or the house, or the company, not for me anyway. Heck, even if he’d never given me anything, I’d still be here for you and Maddy.” He looks at me. “You know that, right?”
I nod. I know. Even without the will, we’d probably have found each other again, maybe not this soon. But the whole month away from Wilder, it made me realise that no matter what was going to happen, I’d find him again.
“I know.” The look in his eyes when he left after those first seven days… The despair in it… Yeah.
“But I refuse to let his parents control us. I refuse to do that and I will fight until the end to make this all right again.” He leans in, giving me a kiss in my neck. “I’m going to get some work done before bed.” He slides from around me.
“Yeah. I’m off to bed.” I stand up, getting close to Wilder, pulling him nearer for a proper kiss.
Wilder wraps his arms around me, keeping our lips locked for a while longer, then he lets me go. “I won’t make it too late.”
“You better.” I smile, grabbing a few things from the coffee table to put away. “Night.”
“Night.” And he’s out of the living room. I stare after him for a moment, still not sure how I got an amazing Alpha like him in my life.