one year later
I looked at myself in the mirror. Was this really me. It didn’t look like me. Not the old me. The tomboy who ran around in ripped jeans and cut off shorts.
My hair was pinned up in a halo braid. Diamond drop earnings adorned my ears.
I felt Gianna’s hands gently grip my shoulders.
“You look gorgeous,” she whispered, “just don’t let Vincent rip it to shreds when he gets you back to the hotel room,” she chuckled.
I stared at myself once again, and swallowed nervously.
The dress was beautiful. Designed by Gianna, and made from the softest white silk and levers lace. The bodice was covered in what looked like tiny sequins, but in effect were tiny Swarovski crystals. It was strapless, and was low cut at the back, just how Vincent like it. The skirt flared out at the bottom. I touched the necklace it was wearing.
Despite its tarnished memories, I wanted to wear this. It was the diamond necklace that Vincent had first given me. The tracker had been removed month’s ago, but being his first gift to me, it had sentimental value.
I felt a little guilty. Gianna never got her special day, but at least she was happy now. Happiness comes from places that you least expect it. I knew that.
Gianna had found her happiness with Damien. Strange that she should run into the arms of her fiancée’s killer. That was a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, I had run into the arms of my kidnapper.
I clasped my hands together.
“I’m so nervous,” I admitted.
Gianna handed me a glass of champagne.
“Not too much, I don’t want to be responsible for a drunken bride,” she giggled, “just a little bit of Dutch courage.”
I took a sip, then turned my head as I heard a knock at the door.
Gianna walked over to open it.
She smiled when she saw Damien standing there, then she frowned, and looked out into the corridor.
“You haven’t brought Vincent, have you?” She scolded, “its bad luck...”
Damien chuckled, and pressed his lips to hers.
“Don’t worry, he waiting in the car, we’re about to head to the church. I just wanted a sneak peak.”
I looked at him and smiled.
“Will I do?” I asked.
He smiled warmly.
“You’ll more than do, Vincent is going to go crazy when he see you.”
Gianna shooed him out the door.
“Go, its the bride who’s fashionably late, not the groom and his best man.”
Damien gave her another peck on the cheek, before leaving.
Gianna rolled her eyes as she closed the door, only for another knock to ring out.
She opened it again, ready to give the intruder a piece of her mind, only to stop when she saw Armando standing there.
“Papa,” she exclaimed.
She stepped aside to let him walk in.
I turned to look at him, and smiled.
“Well? What do you think?”
“Bellissima!” he exclaimed, as he smiled warmly.
I felt tears pooling in my eyes.
“No...No,” Gianna scolded us both, then she looked at her father, “Don’t you dare make her cry.”
I couldn’t help but smile, and Armando chuckled.
“Come, mia figlia [my daughter], Lets get you to the church.”
He held out his arm, and I took it.
If anyone had asked me when I was younger, who would be walking me down the aisle, I would have said my father.
After the revelations that Daniel made, I didn’t want to believe them. I visited my father once, just after I graduated. I had to know the truth. After much haranguing, he finally admitted it. He had promised me to Daniel as soon as I turned eighteen, in exchange enough money to raise me. The fact that he had changed his mind meant nothing. Despite his apologies, I walked away from him then, and I never saw him again.
The trial was quickly over. He had plead guilty and signed a confession. Because of his links to Daniel, he was sentenced to death. He had written to me several times, but I just tore up his letters without reading them.
Armando was more like a father to me. He had been since the day I met him. Having him walk me down the aisle was an honour and a privilege.
When I stepped out of the limousine, the butterflies in my stomach had reproduced a thousand fold.
Armando squeezed my hand.
“You look beautiful, Rosie,” he whispered, “this is your day, enjoy it.”
I smiled at him.
As we entered the church, the music began to play. This was it. I was finally getting married. I would get to spend the rest of my life with the man that I loved.
As we walked down the aisle, I was stunned by the number of people. I knew that Vincent and his family had contacts, but I wasn’t expecting to the church to be filled.
I tried to ignore them, and looked straight ahead. Then I saw Damien tap Vincent on the shoulder.
He turned his head to look at me, he was grinning from ear to ear.
When I finally reached him, Armando stepped away, and Vincent took a step closer to me.
He took my hand, and leaned into me.
“You look beautiful Rosie,” he whispered, “but I can’t wait to rip that dress off of you.”
I felt my face flush.
I couldn’t wait either, and I didn’t hold out much hope for Gianna’s beautiful dress.
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