Just Me(115)

By: L.A. Fiore



“I love you, Saffron.”

She pulled me in for a hug and I heard the hitch in her breathing. “I love you too.” She pressed my bouquet of pink hydrangeas into my hand. “Savor the day, because it's over before you know it.”

Once everyone was seated, and the music started, the procession began as Hunter, Dylan, Sophia and Poppy moved down the aisle. My dad tucked my hand through his arm, then we were moving too. I smiled at the Wrights, at my uncle and cousins, at Broderick and Dante and my grandparents, at Ms. Whitney and Bastian’s old employer Cal and his wife before my eyes found Bastian's. We were surrounded by friends and family, but once our eyes met everyone else just faded from view.

My dad handed me to Bastian, who took my hand and linked our fingers. “You look exquisite, my beautiful bride.” Then he leaned over and whispered in my ear. “This is the ultimate payback—in just a few minutes you're going to be stuck with me forever.”

“Well, as it happens, Bastian Ross, I want to be stuck with you forever.”

A grin cracked over his face and he pressed a kiss in my palm. “Let's do this.”

“Oh, yeah.”

And together we turned as one and walked into our very real, but wildly happy ever after.





Acknowledgments





Lark and Bastian's story is a favorite of mine. They are true soul mates, both coming from places where love is not given freely and yet they each have the capacity to love deeply. Having met and married my own soul mate, I can totally relate to these two.

To my kids, when I zone out or hold entire conversations with myself out loud, I am working. I love you both and thanks for understanding when I disappear into my office for weeks at a time.

Audrey, you're the best. Thanks for always listening, for reading and re-reading and for just being as supportive as you are. It means more than I can say.

Krista, my editor, I really enjoy working with you and I love how this book turned out.

Trish Bacher, Editor in Heels, my copyeditor, I am so happy to be working with you. Your attention to detail is amazing. Thank you for adding your expertise to Lark’s and Bastian’s story.

Michelle and Sali for beta reading, thank you.

Murphy Rae of Indie Solutions, thank you for the fantastic cover design.

Karen Smutz, of Karen Smutz Photography, thank you for the cover photo that so perfectly fits the story.

To Jazmyne Rodriguez, the beautiful model, thanks for working with Karen and the countless poses until we got the one.


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