Trashed, p.28
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       Trashed, p.28

         Part #2 of Stripped series by Jasinda Wilder
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I go first. I’m speaking from the heart. “Des…I honestly never thought I’d get here, you know. In a church, getting married. And then I met you, and I just knew, even then, that I needed you, and that I needed to make you mine. So here we are, babe. I’m making you mine, forever mine. You belong, now. To me. With me. My home is yours, my family is yours, my life, my love, my future…it’s all yours. ”

  Des is barely containing her emotions. It takes her a few moments of deep breathing to collect herself, letting out a sigh through pursed lips, blinking her thick black lashes.

  “I have a quote tattooed on my body. A Maya Angelou poem. ” She blinks and breathes, and then continues. “‘The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. ’ That was the one constant in my life, the aching need for somewhere to call home, for someone to call home. Until you, Adam, I…I honestly didn’t think it was possible. I was starting to think it didn’t exist. Love, I mean. And home. And then you jumped off that carriage and showed me how wrong I was. ”

  She has to stop again, lets go of one of my hands and wipes a finger under her eye, head tipped back.

  “I don’t ache for home anymore, Adam. You’re my safe place. You’re where I be exactly who I’m meant to be, and I know you love all of me, the broken and the whole. ”

  I hear sniffles and sighs, and I don’t need to look out at the small crowd to know everyone is moved by her words, me most of all. My throat burns, and I have to swallow hard past the hot knot of emotion in my throat. I can’t look away from Des, from the tear-shimmer in her wide brown eyes, from the love pouring off her.

  I almost miss the minister’s next prompt: “Do you, Torrence Adam Trenton, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, as long as you both shall live?”

  “I do. ” I haven’t taken my eyes off hers during the entire service. I’m not the least bit nervous, just incredibly happy.

  “And do you, Destiny Lynn Ross, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, as long as you both shall live?”

  She takes a deep breath, smiles. “I do. With all my heart, I do. ”

  The minister smiles at her addition. “Then by the power vested in me by the state of Michigan, I now pronounce you man and wife. ” He takes our hands, joins them, and lifts them. “May I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Adam Trenton!” I was sure to prep the preacher on how to introduce us, and I’m amused by my mother’s glare of irritation. She was the one who chose my name, and it’s always bugged her that I go by Adam, as much as it bugs me that she continues to refer to me as Tory. It’s a game, and this is my latest gambit.

  We’re out the door, the sun shining bright in the blue sky. A beautiful white carriage is waiting, with two huge, glossy black Percherons stomping their hooves and snorting. The Grand Hotel looms up on the hill, colonnades marching into the distance, flags flying.

  I can’t take my eyes off Des, her shoulders bare in the strapless white gown, the train flowing around her feet, the bodice cupping her magnificent breasts and lifting them proudly. I stand behind her and assist her up into the carriage, with Ruth at my side arranging her train so it doesn’t get tangled.

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  Ruth smiles at me as she finishes fussing with Des’s dress. “I’m glad she found you, Adam. ”

  I just shake my head. “I’m the one who found her, actually,” I say with a grin.

  Ruth rolls her eyes, but she’s grinning. “Arrogant ass. ”

  “You know it. ”

  Ruth is on the step of the carriage, hugging Des, and they’re both whispering, crying. I turn and Dawson is there, his dark hair pulled back in a ponytail. He’s contractually obliged to keep it long for the role on the HBO original series he’s doing. It looks good on him. He grabs my hand and pulls me into an embrace, slapping my back.

  “Congratulations, brother. ” He pulls away and grins at me. “Married looks good on you. ”

  I laugh. “It’s been about four minutes, Dawson. ”

  He shrugs. “Best four minutes of your life, though, right?” He leans in and elbows me. “Or is that a different four minutes I’m thinking of?”

  I shove him off. “Douche. You must be thinking of yourself. ”

  Grey is at Dawson’s side, listening to the exchange with an amused gleam in her eyes. “Hey, now. Don’t be knocking my man’s stamina like that. He can go for hours. ”

  Dawson stares at his wife. “Um. Okay then…. thanks for that, hon. ”

  She shrugs and endeavors to look innocent. “Wasn’t four minutes last night, I can tell you that much. I’m still sore. ”

  “Grey. Jesus. ” Dawson actually looks a little embarrassed, which is funny as fuck.

  Des leans down from the carriage and grabs my arm and pulls me. “Come on, sexy. We’ve got a carriage ride to go on. You can measure dicks with Dawson later, after I’ve had enough of yours. ”

  And that’s my cue.

  “All right then. ” I walk over to hug my parents and kiss my sisters, and then I’m sitting beside my wife, my Destiny, my sweet and sexy Des, and we’re waving to our friends and family. We’ll see them a bit later for the reception at the Grand Hotel. For now, though, it’s just us.

  After the crowd is behind us, the driver turns. “So. A tour or the hotel?” He asks with a knowing grin, having overheard the foregoing conversation.

  “Actually, I was here three years ago and I was supposed to do a tour of the island, but I never went. ”

  “Oh no? What stopped you?” he asks.

  “I met her,” I say, putting my arm around my wife.

  He glances us. “Good reason, then. Well, you’ve got the right man for the job. My name is Dan, and I live here on the island year-round. I can probably tell you more about this place than anyone else, including some pretty freaky ghost stories, if you’re into that kind of thing. ”

  “Sounds good,” I say.

  Des nuzzles into me as the horses lean into their harness and haul us up a hill. “Well, baby. We’re married. ”

  I kiss her neck. “You know, I’d never say this to Dawson, but he was right. The minutes since saying ‘I do’ have been the best of my life. ”

  She turns her head, and our lips meet. “Mine too. ”


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