I’d die to keep her mine, to keep her happy.
Nothing in this life meant more to me than the woman I was about to see walk down that aisle and marry me.
Then the music started playing, the traditional “Wedding March” that had my heart beating double time and my body going ramrod straight. Everything and everyone faded away until there was only her and me.
Nothing was about to take my attention from my bride coming down the aisle.
And then Holly was walking toward me. Her father was on her other side, about to give her away to me. The fact that he gave us his blessing was something that meant the world to me. I wanted that, but the truth was it wouldn’t have kept me from Holly. I would have claimed her regardless, because she was the woman I loved more than anything else. But knowing he wanted her just as happy as I did, and so gave us his approval of our relationship, made this all the sweeter.
God, she was beautiful on the inside and out, but seeing her in that wedding gown, these tears gently falling down her cheeks as she walked toward me and smiled, had every single emotion consuming me.
The next few moments happened in a blur. Her father gave her away, and then we were saying our vows.
I wanted to pull Holly in and kiss her before we had the all-go from the officiant, just stake my claim in front of everyone in the most primal way, but I waited. I had self-control, at least right now.
She smiled sweetly at me and said, “I do.”
“Do you Bastian, take Holly…” I allowed the officiant to continue his spiel, but all I heard was the beating of my heart as I stared into Holly’s eyes.
“I do,” I finally said when he was finished, when I heard him clear his throat and the guests start to chuckle. “I really fucking do.” Holly blushed and grinned.
I lifted my hand and slid a piece of hair behind her ear, the pad of my finger skimming along her skin. She shivered for me, and I resisted the urge to growl in approval. I stared into her eyes, knowing I had my world right in front of me.
“I told you that you were mine, sugar plum,” I whispered.
“I’ve always been yours, Bastian.”
God, I loved this woman. She’d never know how much or the lengths I’d go to make her happy, but I’d spend the rest of my life showing her.
She was mine, and nothing would ever change that.
As soon as I stepped through the front door, a shopping bag in each of my hands, I smiled. I heard Bastian in the living, his soft voice addressing Ivy, our rambunctious three-year-old who insisted on having a tea party with her daddy every day.
And he indulged her every single time.
And when he wasn’t having tea parties with her, she was dressing him up like a princess and adding her special touch of lipstick and blush to his face.
Even now, I chuckled at the sight of my big, strong husband with a feather boa around his neck, a swatch of lace tied around his waist, blue eyeshadow on, and red lipstick smeared across his lips.
I made my way into the living room after setting down the bags, and for several seconds, I watched the man I loved play-drink out of a little plastic teacup.
“Is it good, Daddy?” Ivy asked with wide, expectant eyes.
“The best tea I’ve ever had,” Bastian said excitedly.
“Next time, Grandpa said he’d drink tea with us. I can’t wait.”
Bastian chuckled and picked up a shortbread cookie off the little plate in the center of the coffee table. “Make sure you make him wear that special pink lipstick you got yesterday. I know Grandpa loves wearing it.”
I laughed softly at that.
I could have watched them all day long.
And when Bastian looked over his shoulder and grinned at me, my heart jumped in my throat. Even after all these years, I loved him even more than before.
I loved seeing him with our daughter, and couldn’t wait until we had more children, which we were trying for… every night. I blushed at where my thoughts were going.
“Ready for naptime, doll baby? Bastian said to Ivy, and she shook her head at the same time she yawned.
“I’m not tired, Daddy.”
“Uh-huh. Well let’s just lie down and relax then.”
She lifted her little arms for him to pick her up and he carried her into her bedroom. Once she was in bed and sleeping, which happened in a matter of minutes, Bastian came back out and joined me in the living room. We sat on the couch, his arm around me, my body curled up close to his. God, he felt so good.
There was nothing but this beautiful silence as we just enjoyed each other’s presence.