Laughter in the back corner catches my attention. They are having fun. And if I am honest, I am enjoying the comradery of these women more than I let on.
Still to have been able to have an intimate wedding.
Oh well, our plans were ruined the day we told Trace’s parents we were engaged. Photographing weddings, I knew I didn’t want something large or fancy. A wedding is a pledge to the man I love not a show to outdo the last bride’s ceremony.
But once Trace’s mother and sister-in-law, Marni and Summer, heard the news, reality was a stark contrast to my humble idea.
Marni’s gentle, “I beg your pardon,” belied the fierce look she stabbed us both with.
That should have been my first clue. And once word spread in Landmark, like wildfire in a summer-long drought, Marni was the least of my problems.
As contested here today.
Author Anastasia Barton, the reason I met Trace in the first place, and her grandmother or Flory Johnson on top of Dani, Tamara, and Maddie, and a host of other women made it abundantly clear this was as big as the Dallas Cowboys winning the Super Bowl, or might near it.
The last week two weeks have been a blur of well-wishes, questions, suggestions, phone calls, and either trips to Fort-Worth or Dallas or looking at wedding ideas online. Standing in front of the mirror now, I watch McKenna as she makes sure the pucker in the waist is gone.
Her deep brown hair threatens to come loose from the twist on top of her bowed head as she pins and fusses. I take the moment to really look at her creation of my idea. She is truly talented, and I’m lucky she was able to get this done so quickly.
Still, not for the first time, I think, we have gotten ourselves into a heap of a mess.
By now, it’s too late. We are sucked into the vortex of all their plans. By their, I mean Trace’s family, my friends, and the entire town of Landmark.
Inside a week of our engagement, I sat at the large table in the living/dining room at the Tumbling B, surrounded by eight or ten women; stuffing and addressing hundreds maybe even thousands of invitations. “I have a friend who owes me a favor,” Marni explained when I asked how she got the invitations so fast.
I believe I invited every man, woman, and child in this town; and I think, at least, a few horses and someone’s pet doves; which someone at the table crooned, “would be oh so romantic released at the end of the ceremony.”
I kept my head down and just mmm’d a response and went back to addressing envelopes. I invited my friends from Clarksville, my most loyal customers; who would be devastated if I didn’t invite them, Trace’s buddies from college, Paris, and Dallas, and, oh yeah, my college housemates from San Francisco. Papa B sarcastically suggested the governor wasn’t busy that weekend, which earned him a baleful glare from his wife.
Better him than me.
My brows rise even now at the speed in which that woman works. I say I like something and is seems as if it magically appears.
The women shift groups around me, come and go, but all talk excitedly not really trying to outdo one another, but a healthy dose of competition. I notice Barbara Sykes and I believe she is one of the many women with just the right age boy to be the ring bearer opposite Carrie, Summer and Austin’s daughter.
I let out a huff of air. “Let’s elope,” Trace whispered into my neck on a night when we both made it back to my house.
“Let’s elope,” Trace whispered, his lips
skimming my neck; a direct link to my aching pussy.
“Not on your life, mister.” I burned inside
with yearning. Yearning to say yes, yes to
anything this man wanted. Even
sneaking out of our own wedding.
“Not on your life, mister,” I whispered timidly afraid Marni could hear me from fifteen miles between the ranch and my house. But, I burned to say yes and sneak away. Boy, how I wanted to. I poked him in the ribs, my finger did not make a dent in his rock hard abs. I shiver now thinking of his body. All muscles from hard work, calloused hands that add the right amount of friction every time he caresses my body.
Yeah, I need a Trace fix right about now. Wedding plans ruin a healthy love life. I tear my thoughts back to the conversation we had that night to keep from ditching this scene, though it is a necessary evil and look for my man. “If I have to suffer your mother and sister-in-law then you do, too,” I said, letting out a snarky laugh. “Besides, they would never forgive me.”
”I’d tell them it was my fault.” His hands traveled down my body, touching, caressing. Good grief he’s more talented than the most skillful massage therapist. And his mouth… “Oh, don’t make the mistake your mother wouldn’t know exactly whose fault it was, but I’d still be blamed.” Yep, mind off Trace and onto wedding plans.
”Let’s face it, we’re stuck,” we both said at the same time, wistful desperation in our voices. I leaned in intending to soothe his ruffled ego with a kiss. He gripped my upper arms, pulling me over him, taking charge of my mouth.
One hand slid up my neck, tangling his fingers threading through my hair tugging slightly. I knew what he wanted. I was hungry for him, giving him just what he desired. He nibbled and licked and sucked at my mouth, making love to it with a slow slide of his tongue on the seam of my lips. I let them part and he thrust greedily inside, absorbing my sharp exhale of breath feeding it back to me. It was only a kiss, but it had me writhing and panting for more. His other slowly inched its way down to the crevice of my—
Trace consumed me, my thoughts, my body, my—soul. I shook myself out of my lustful reverie.