I sighed and stuck my hands in the pockets of my jeans. "Man, I've fucked things up so badly I don't know which was is up. I don't know where to go from here."
"Be honest with yourself for one thing. You know in your heart what the right thing to do is. No one can you fix this, except you." He patted me on the back. "I'd better get back in there. I'll catch you later."
I watched him walk away and allowed his words to sink in. I knew what I had to do. I just needed the courage to do it.
WHEN I ARRIVED back at the hotel, Sienna was sitting on the king size bed waiting for me. I'd decided to walk back and used the time to think about what I had to do.
"I was wondering when you were going to come back," Sienna said as she sauntered towards me. She was wearing a silk nightgown and was most likely naked underneath. Looking at her now, I asked myself, not for the first time, why I'd gotten involved with someone like her. What attracted me to her?
"I had to apologize for the scene you caused," I replied quietly, my voice calm. She rolled her eyes and put her hands on my chest. I clutched her wrists to stop her from moving her hands further down. She was trying to seduce me and after her performance at the bakery there was nothing about her that turned me on anymore. "Don't be so dramatic," she said. "I thought you'd be happy."
I started thinking about it and couldn't understand how she'd gotten pregnant in the first place. We'd never had unprotected sex. I was more than cautious about suiting up when I had sex with her. Demi was the only woman I'd ever not worn protection with and I was determined to keep it that way. Sex with Sienna was just that. Sex. But with Demi it was always more.
"Tell me how," I said. "We've never had unprotected sex, Sienna."
She snatched her hands away and tried to look hurt. "You're doubting me?"
"I didn't sleep around, if that's what you're insinuating."
"You're lying, Sienna, but we're going to deal with it when I'm back in Chicago."
She frowned. "What do you mean?"
The hotel phone rang and I answered. "Hello?"
The concierge's voice came through the phone. "Good evening Mr Scott. I called to let you know that the town car is ready to take you to the airport."
"Thank you. We'll be right down."
I put the phone down and said, "Pack your bags. The town car is here to take you to the airport."
"I took the liberty of booking you a flight home while I was walking back here. Your flight is in a few hours but you can't stay here."
"You can't do that," she almost yelled, her face contorting into a scowl. God, did this woman ever smile?
"I can and I did. Now, I'm going to shower, and when I come out you'd better be gone."
I didn't give her a chance to reply. I pushed past her, pulling off my clothes one item and at a time, and locked myself in the bathroom. I stood under the hot spray of water and felt a new form of determination settle in my gut. I had to fix this mess, even if it meant I came out the other end without Demi. It was time I got my life in order and it started with coming home. For good.
I stood in front of the full-length mirror in my aunt and uncle's bedroom and stared at the woman in front of me. It was my wedding day, a day I'd been waiting for, for what felt like forever. There was a light knock at the door and I smiled and said, "Come in."
I saw Demi's reflection in the mirror as she slipped through the door and her face broke into a broad smile. "You look…breathtaking, Huntley. The most beautiful bride I've ever seen
"Thank you," I reply, returning her smile. I look myself over one last time. My dress was truly a work of art, made from lace and lace applique with a romantic silhouette that featured capped sleeves and v-shaped neckline. My hair was curled, then twisted and pinned into a low side ponytail with pin curls resting on top of it. A beautiful crystal embellished tiara rested atop my head and held my scalloped fingertip veil in place. With light pink blush, peach gloss and thick lashes, I looked elegant and it was everything I had dreamed it would be.
I turned around and faced Demi. She too looked incredible in her full-length strapless, one shoulder gown, Champaign in color. It was ruched across the breasts and accented by a black band around the waist with a diamante flower detail on the side. I'd had it made especially for her. Her make up was also simple, but where I had light pink plush, the apples of her cheeks were more peach and her lips had a nude gloss. I watched her warily, wondering what kind of toll the night before had taken on her. She hid her feelings well, but the sadness in her eyes were unmistakable.
"Are you almost ready to go?" she asked, walking closer.
I nodded and asked, "How are you?"
"I'm fine," she replied quietly. "I don't want you worrying about me today. It's your day."
I pulled her into a hug and felt my throat constrict. She backed away when I sniffled. "Don't you dare cry. You're going to ruin your make up!"
I giggled and replied, "Sorry. I'm all over the place. I've been waiting for this day for so long, it still doesn't seem real."
Demi smiled. "Oh it's real, and we'd better get going before we're late. Grayson won't be impressed."
I thought about my husband-to-be and my heart soared. I'd missed him last night. He'd spent the night at his parents' house, and while we both protested it in the beginning, we didn't want to break tradition and start our marriage off on the wrong foot.
There was another knock at the door and my aunt Emma stepped in, looking regal in her caramel colored pleated chiffon gown. "We're ready to go, sweetheart. It's time."
Demi and I grabbed our clutch purses and followed my aunt outside to the car. When we stopped outside the gates of Lake Dixon nerves unraveled in my stomach and when I saw how beautiful everything looked I couldn't help but gasp. There were three marquee tents set up, all over looking the lake. The one to the far left was our makeshift chapel with chairs on each side of a white isle covered in red roses. The two marquee tents, a little way down, were slightly bigger and had wooden flooring. From where I sat in the car, I could see round tables that surrounded a dance floor and a few tables that were set up for the buffet dinner. My uncle Alex stopped outside another much smaller tent and as soon as I stepped outside, I was hustled inside and away from curious eyes of our seated guests.
"You look beautiful sweetheart," my uncle said, smiling.
"Thank you," I replied. "And thank you for agreeing to give me away today. It means so much to me." I swallowed the emotion in my throat, wishing so much that my mother and father could be here. They'd missed all the big moments – Hunter's birth, and now my wedding – and their absence today was sorely felt.
'I'm honored that you've given me the privilege, sweetheart. I know I'm not your dad, but I love you and I want this day to be a dream come true. I've said it a thousand times already, but your Aunt Em and I are so incredibly proud of the woman you have become."