Home > This Man Confessed (This Man #3)(7)

This Man Confessed (This Man #3)(7)
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas

She leaves me and my dad alone. ‘You know, dad, you have to link arms with me now.’ I tease.

His face screws up. ‘For how long?’

‘Well, for however long it takes you to walk me downstairs.’ I pick up my calla lily—just one calla lily.

‘Let’s get our arses in gear, then.’ He cocks his arm to the side, and I link it with mine. ‘Ready?’

I nod and let my dad lead me down to the summer room, where my Lord of the Sex Manor is waiting for me.

Chapter 2

Kate and Tessa are waiting for us outside the doors to the summer room, my wedding planner looking pleased, Kate looking tipsy. I maintain my steady breathing, feeling my dad getting all tense next to me. I flick a glance up to him, but he keeps his attention directed firmly forward.

‘Ready?’ Kate asks, bending down to spread my dress neatly. ‘I can’t believe you’re not wearing a veil.’

‘Oh no,’ Tessa pipes up. ‘This dress doesn’t need a veil.’ She starts flicking my hair and brushing at my cheeks.

‘He wants to see my face.’ I say quietly, clenching my eyes shut. The enormity of what I’m about to do is suddenly overwhelming me. This is it. I can feel my chest expanding, and I’m beginning to shake. I’ve known this man for only two months, and now I’m walking down the aisle to him. How did this happen?

The doors to the summer room open, music immediately drifting to my ears. Only now when I’m hearing Etta James’ At Last does it occur to me I didn’t even pick the music for my wedding. I’ve done absolutely nothing. I have no idea what’s happening or when. My eyes are flying all over the floor at my feet and I’m feeling tearful all of a sudden.

I feel my dad nudge me with his elbow, and I glance up at him, finding soft, reassuring eyes. He cocks his head to the side on a small smile, and I follow his indication to look, clenching my lips together and slowly turning my eyes. Damn, I’ve done so well. I know all heads are turned in my direction, but it’s the green eyed man at the end of the aisle who holds my attention. His hands are joined and draped loosely in front of his silver-grey, three piece suit, his body turned fully towards me. His lips part and he shakes his head a little, never taking his eyes from mine. Dad nudges me again, and I let out the breath I’ve been holding. I see Kate walking in front of us, but I can’t make my legs work. I snap out of my trance, forcing my feet to lift and carry me onwards, but I only make it two steps before he starts towards me. I hear my mum’s shocked gasp, no doubt reeling at Jesse’s lack of respect for tradition, and I stop, halting my dad’s progression to wait for him. His face is completely straight, and when he makes it to me, he blisters my skin with his scorching gaze, his eyes running over every part of my face before settling on my lips. Slowly lifting his arm, his hand cups my cheek and his thumb runs over my flesh. I nuzzle into it; I can’t help it. All anxiety is drawn from me by his touch, my heart steadying and my body starting to relax again.

He bends down and puts his lips to my ear. ‘Give me your hand.’ he whispers.

I hold out my hand to him, and he pulls away from me, taking my offering gently and placing his lips on the back of it. Then he snaps a pair of handcuffs over my wrist.

My eyes shoot to his, finding a small smile tickling the edges of his beautiful lips, but he doesn’t look at me. He keeps his eyes down and makes quick work of securing the spare metal loop over his own wrist. What the hell is he doing? I glance up at my dad, but he just shakes his head, and then I look across to my mother, finding her with her head in her hands, obviously despairing. I’m released from my dad’s hold before he makes his way to the front to join Elizabeth, her shocked whisper attacking him as he arrives by her side. My eyes drift over the congregation, noting all of the people who know Jesse are smiling, the ones who don’t displaying wide eyes and gaping mouths. Kate and Sam are chuckling, John’s flashing his gold tooth, and then there’s my brother. He’s not impressed.

I’m absolutely stunned. I don’t know why, he behaves however he likes. But on our wedding day? In front of my family? My mum’s going to have a hernia. Nothing so far has has reflected the dream wedding that she undoubtedly had planned for me since I was a little girl.

I find my senses then find his eyes. ‘What are you doing?’ I ask quietly.

He leans in and kisses me gently on the lips, then moves across my cheek to my ear. ‘You look so f**kable.’

I gasp a little, my face flashing red. ‘Jesse, people are waiting.’

‘Then they’ll wait.’ He trails his way back to my lips. ‘I really, really, really like this dress.’

Of course he does; it’s pure lace. I flick my eyes to my mother, seeing her looking at the registrar all apologetic, and a small smile breaks the corners of my lips. I reach up to thread my fingers through his dark, dirty blonde hair and tug. I should be used to this by now. ‘Mr Ward, you’re keeping me waiting.’

I feel him grin against my ear. ‘Are you ready to love, honour and obey me?’

‘Yes. Marry me now.’

He pulls back and hits me with his smile, reserved only for me. ‘Let’s get married, my beautiful girl.’ He joins our handcuffed hands and starts leading me down the aisle.

* * *

‘Here.’ He hands me a half-full flute of champagne. ‘Take it easy, Mrs Ward.’ I take the glass with my free hand before he can withdraw his offer. He’s been even more unreasonable about me drinking lately, and I know exactly why. ‘Are you going to remove the cuffs now?’ I ask.

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