Chapter 49 - Knox
It was New Years’ Eve, and we were attending the cliffside wedding ceremony of Snow’s sister Aria, and Austin Johns.
They’d hired out an entire five-star resort for their lavish wedding celebrations, and the guests were seated outside on the grass, with the sun sitting low on the horizon over the ocean in the distance, waiting for the bride’s arrival.
Austin was beaming like a fucking lighthouse. He clearly had no nerves, whatsoever, because he looked about as relaxed as someone who was about to be handed a cocktail on an exotic beach somewhere. Which was probably only a matter of time, too, given that the happy couple would be heading off on their honeymoon the next day to an undisclosed location.
Next to him stood his brother, Dominic, and best friend, Curtis. Both guys were members of the band Scarlet Shadow - a hugely popular, chart-topping rock band, riding the wave of success with hit after hit right now. These guys were big fucking deals in the music world, and it was no surprise that the place was teeming with celebrities, given that Austin was the band’s front man. I’d already had to do a double-take a few times, because the who’s who of the music scene was in attendance, as well as a few famous football stars - no doubt invited by Adam. It was clear just by looking at the setup that this was the wedding of the year, and absolutely no expense had been spared for the wedding of rock royalty.
I was seated at the front, next to Snow’s family. Although we’d only told her parents and twin sister that we’d gotten engaged on Christmas Day, and no-one else knew, they insisted that I sit with them as I was officially part of the family now.
The string quartet started playing, and a younger cousin of the Davis sisters named Madison walked the red carpet leading to the altar first, strewing ivory rose petals onto the floor.
Next, followed Snow and Hailey, and Snow’s gaze found mine immediately as she walked down the aisle, looking absolutely breathtaking in a sleek midnight-blue dress that clung to her body and showed off every single fucking killer-curve. And although she wasn’t wearing her ring on her finger, the look that she gave me left me in no doubt that she was mine. I was so mesmerized by her that I wasn’t even looking at the bride, because I simply couldn’t tear my eyes away from her.
When Aria arrived at the altar, Adam gave her away to Austin, saying something to him as he did so. I was willing to bet it wasn’t so much words of wisdom, as it was some kind of warning, knowing Adam. But Austin just smiled and didn’t pay Adam much attention as his focus was squarely on his bride, who was looking at him, pretty much the way he was looking at her - they were unable to tear their gazes apart.
Aria handed her bouquet to Snow as she took Austin’s hands, smiling radiantly, while Hailey adjusted her train. And what a dress it was - it would put royalty to shame. Snow’s sister looked very pretty - I had to hand her that. Austin was a lucky man, but I knew that I was even luckier.
Snow took her seat next to me, as did Hailey and Curtis, next in line as the ceremony started.
“You look absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, Snow,” I whispered into her ear, and she smiled radiantly.
“Thank you. And damn, Knox - you do a tux justice,” she winked as I took her hand into mine. “You wearing a tux is almost as sexy as you knocking down doors without a shirt - almost,” she teased, and I shook my head at her in fake-admonishment, raising an amused brow.
Part-way through the ceremony, there was a pause as the string quartet played an interlude while the bride and groom were signing the register, and Adam leaned over to me.
“Are you taking notes?” He asked with amusement.
My eyebrow rose. “Don’t need any. I have a feeling our wedding won’t be anywhere near this scale. Perhaps Mel and I might just elope - save a bit of money, you know?” I teased, wanting to get a reaction out of him because damn, it was an easy thing to get out of the man.
“You better be fucking kidding me right now...” he hissed and looked at me through narrowed eyes, and I stifled a laugh.
“Money is not a problem. I’ll pay for the wedding - no problem. But you’ve got to do it properly,” he hissed again, and I shook my head at him because he took the bait spectacularly, and then he realized it was a joke, shaking his head and looking mildly unimpressed, leaning across to his wife to fill her in and she smiled, then started laughing as well.
Snow was shaking with laughter next to me, having overheard the whole thing. But eventually, we got through the rest of the ceremony without a hitch.
Before long, the happy couple was declared as husband and wife, and Austin gave Aria a more-than-just-borderline inappropriate kiss as the sun set over the ocean in the distance, making for a spectacular backdrop, and no doubt, some incredible photos that the tabloids would be willing to fork over big money for.
As the happy couple went off to take some photos, cocktail hour started, and waiters came around with trays filled with canapes, champagne, and an array of cocktails.
Hailey joined us, and I did a double-take as I realized that Curtis Chandler was standing right fucking next to me.
“Curtis Chandler,” he leaned over right at that moment and introduced himself, and I shook his hand.
I knew the guy was a massive deal, but he seemed fairly down to earth, not expecting me to immediately know who he was.
“Knox Vaughn - Melody’s fi... partner,” I almost messed up, but Snow just smiled at me.
“Pleased to meet you. And you, Melody,” he shook Snow’s hand, and I could’ve sworn there was a hint of a blush on her cheeks.
“So - twin sisters...” he stated with a massive smile, looking between Hailey and Mel.
“Yes. But they’re absolutely nothing alike,” I quickly assured him.
“How do I tell them apart?” He asked me softly as Hailey said something to Snow, looking kind of worried for a second.
“Hailey is slightly shorter than Mel - half an inch at most, but it helps when they’re right next to each other. And Mel has deep blue eyes, whereas Hailey’s blue eyes have specks of green in them. As for other ways... I’ll keep that to myself,” I smirked, thinking back to the night we spent when we got engaged, and I refamiliarized myself with every single inch of Snow’s incredible body.
Curtis raised an eyebrow and smiled knowingly. “Fair enough. They’re both extremely pretty, though.”
“One’s taken, but the other’s fair game,” I firmly staked my claim, sliding an arm across Snow’s waist.
“Noted,” he raised a brow, smiling. “So - what is it that you do?”
“I’m actually just about to take up a job at an investment bank in the next week or so,” I explained, and he nodded.
Hailey leaned over to Curtis again, and they resumed their conversation. It seemed as though there might have been a spark there, because Curtis had his eyes glued on Hailey the whole time, and she placed a hand on his upper arm as she whispered something to him, laughing. The whole exchange looked flirtatious from where I was standing.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Snow asked softly, looking between her sister and Curtis.
“I think I am. I hope Connor’s over her, because I have a feeling if he changes his mind, he might be too late,” I said dryly.
“Speaking of which... look over there!” Snow gasped, her eyes wide.
I looked in the direction that she nodded her head, and my jaw dropped.
“Is that the girl who is plastered on every second billboard...” I started, and Snow nodded.
“Yes, it is. Holy shit! He brought a lingerie model as a wedding date? I told him that Hailes was bringing Curtis Chandler as her date, because he actually asked about that,” Snow bit her bottom lip, looking at the unfolding spectacle with wide eyes, because Connor was very clearly parading the girl around like a fucking show pony. “He must have called in some big favors for that one. He did mention that a teammate was dating a famous model - it must be a friend of hers.”
“Has your sister seen them?” I asked, and she shook her head, glancing over at Hailey, whose eyes were fixed on Curtis.
“I don’t think so - she hasn’t said anything. But on the other hand, she seems pretty interested in getting to know Curtis better.”
Just then, I saw that Connor was looking our direction, and the broad grin on his face faltered as he saw Hailey whispering something into Curtis’ ear, and he laughed.
“Oh fuck...” I exclaimed as he made his way over, the underwear model hanging off his arm. “Prepare for a potential shit storm...”
Part of me wanted to grab some popcorn for this, because Snow’s sister and Connor together were volatile as a Molotov cocktail next to a giant bonfire.
“Mel, Knox!” Connor greeted us jovially as he arrived at our group, shaking my hand and hugging Mel.
“Good to see you, Knox,” he said with a smile, looking between Snow and me.
“Thanks - good to be back.”
“Let me introduce you to my date, Jessica - this is my good friend Mel - the bride’s sister. And Knox, Mel’s... friend,” he said, smirking, looking at me with a raised eyebrow. And that gave me the idea that Snow may not have told Connor that we were together and that I was back for good again. Which suited me just fine, because truth be told, we’d been spending most of our waking hours together these past few days, and she wanted to keep the engagement under wraps for now.
“Pleased to meet you, Jessica. Good to see you, Connor.” I greeted them, trying my best not to feel irritated towards Connor for all the fucking grief he’d caused me in my relationship with Snow, even though it was my own fault that I’d been so jealous, to begin with.
Snow greeted Connor’s date politely, and then Connor turned toward Hailey and Curtis.
“Hailey. Congratulations on your sister’s wedding,” he said coolly, and she nodded, her face stoic.
Snow was watching the exchange with wide eyes, and I was waiting for the exchange to blow up at any second now...
“Hi, I’m Hailey - sister of the bride,” she said sweetly and stretched out a hand toward the model, who smiled back and took her hand.
“Jessica. Nice to meet you.”
The girl may have been beautiful, but her voice was high-pitched and squeaky. Good luck to Connor’s ears for the rest of the night.
“And who is your date, Hail?” Connor asked innocuously, and Snow and I looked at each other, because he’d have to be living under a giant fucking boulder not knowing who Curtis Chandler was.
“Curtis Chandler,” he introduced himself before Hailey could, immediately sizing up Connor.
The guy was perceptive - I had to give him credit for that. In a couple of seconds flat, he’d summed up the situation and worked out exactly that Connor saw him as a threat.
“Oh my God! I love your music! I’m such a fan!” Jessica squealed, and I was extremely fucking tempted to start laughing at Connor’s expense right now, because this whole thing was spectacularly blowing up in his face with his date fawning over Curtis.
“Thank you. But it’s the groom who deserves the credit for writing the majority of our material, actually,” Curtis said modestly, and I couldn’t help but like the guy, because he wasn’t your typical celebrity with his head up his ass.
“And how has life been treating you, Hail?” Connor asked Hailey, surprising the hell out of all of us, because it had been the biggest exchange of words those two have had in a while from what I’d heard.
“Great, thanks. I’ve actually just received a job offer to go to London,” she coolly dropped the bombshell, and Snow gasped.
“Hailey! Really?” She asked in surprise.
“Yes - I’m considering it - I have a few more days before I have to let them know my decision,” she said with a slight smile.
Connor’s jaw dropped. “London?”
“Yes. Big city, other side of the world. You might have heard of it?” She mocked Connor, and the situation was getting tense as hell.
He opened his mouth to say something back, but in a fortuitous display of good timing, the wedding planner came around to our group, imploring us to take our seats inside for the reception to commence.
“That was getting tense,” Snow whispered into my ear.
“Connor knew exactly who he was,” I agreed.
“I’m so glad we sorted ourselves out. I’d hate to be feeling like Connor or Hailey right now,” Snow said sadly.
“I’m extremely fucking glad we’ve sorted ourselves out, Snow. I knew it took me a while. But we finally got there, and I couldn’t be happier,” I smiled at her and placed a kiss on her lips as she returned my smile too.
And as we walked hand in hand into that reception, I felt incredibly grateful that finally, life was treating me well. Extremely well - perhaps better than what I deserved. I’d come a long way, but that guilt was finally behind me, and I was determined as hell to hold onto what I had with Snow, because I’d been given a second chance, and there was no way in hell that either of us would let go again.
My fiancée and I danced the night away. We drank champagne. Life was good - at last. I had absolutely everything I’d ever wanted, even though none of it had fitted in with the master plan I’d set out for myself before she came into my life. But that was the thing about plans - they changed as people did as well. And I was grateful that I realized before it was too late, that the most important plan of all, was what I had with Snow.
To love the way we did, was a stronger force than any plan could ever be. I had to completely lose myself, to find myself again. But when I did, the person who came out on the other side was finally ready for a future free of guilt and shadows. And in the end, Snow ended up saving me as much as I did her. I’d found my soul again, only to give it away for an eternity. Because despite what I’d thought at the very start, forever was actually always written in our destiny, and we hung a few stars there ourselves to make it a reality.
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