Separating the fastener, she draped the dazzling blue jewel around her neck. “Will you fasten this for me, Devon?”
Her friend connected the clasp and pulled her hair free from the chain, adjusting her golden waves again perfectly. Devon squeezed Allison’s shoulders and smiled. “Now, let’s go get you hitched.”
Grabbing the bridal bouquet—white lilies, sprigs of lilac, and pink roses bundled with a lavender ribbon—Allison followed Devon’s lead through the hall, down the staircase, across the main corridor toward the grand banquet hall entrance.
Allison’s father waited there, his large stomach and regal air lending a grand presence to the event. No surprise there. He wore a finely-tailored tuxedo with the European flare of tails, something out of a Dickens novel.
“Papa.” She ran the few feet that separated them, throwing herself into his arms. His rotund belly and her pregnant one made the hug humorously awkward. She laughed. “I love you, Papa.”
“Ah, I love you, petit belle mariee .”
Her parents hadn’t blinked when they learned she was pregnant and about to be married to the man she loved. The nice thing about a European sensibility regarding love and lovers and marriage and children. Que sera, sera . Whatever will be will be. They’d been thrilled. “Thank you for being here for me, Papa.”
Wistfulness touched his eyes with moisture. “I am glad for your happiness, that you will be happy as you and your mother and I have been happy these many years.”
“I am happy. And I’m glad, too.” Allison blinked hard. She knew her parents had always loved her, even though once it had seemed like they’d split their love three ways, for each other, for performing, and for their daughter.
Now, because of Logan and their baby and her work at Stone Security, Allison understood that love was a many-faceted thing, like the jewel around her neck and the engagement ring on her left finger. When a heart was filled with passion, respect and trust, there was enough love for all things dear to her. More than enough.
The doors swung open. Pachabel’s Canon came to a close and Beethoven’s Wedding March executed grandly from the piano and violins.
Devon met Rick at the rear and they looped arms, as maid-of-honor and best man, and moved down the aisle. The only two people in their wedding party, which suited Allison just fine. The two people who’d made her and Logan’s relationship possible with their support and encouragement.
Then the music accelerated to a crescendo, the cue to the bride and her father to begin the journey down the aisle. The journey that would take her from her father’s hand, her father’s love, to the hand and love of the man she would spend her life adoring.
The packed audience stood. They turned in her direction.
She appreciated that many of the people there were Stone Security associates, plus many others she didn’t know. There was family, too, and dear friends, and everyone there to celebrate something beautiful. Allison was pleased so many people came to honor their union.
Surprisingly, her nerves behaved. The last remnants of anxiety melted as she walked toward her future with Logan. As if she were walking down the aisle for the first time—in her heart and mind, she was. Logan was her true love. Everything in her past had simply brought her to this moment of perfection.
Halfway down the aisle, as music and support poured around her, Logan turned to face her. His expression took her breath away.
The moisture in her eyes reflected the light-catching shimmer in his. He was so handsome, so devoted to her and to this, their moment of ultimate union.
Their eyes met and held. Pure love passed like a wave of knowing between them. He was hers. She was his. For all of time.