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She gives me a slight shake of her head as she presses her eyes closed. “Nothing,” she says with a sniff. “It’s just so perfect and I… I don’t ever get the happy ending, Vaughn. If I let myself think I can have it, if I believe… I’ll be so crushed when it disappears.”
“It’s not going to disappear, Grace. I promise. Don’t let your fear ruin this, sweets. Just accept it. Enjoy it. Please.”
“I have so much inside me, Vaughn. So many bad things inside me that I’m trying to move past. And I think you’re right. I’m too afraid of failure to allow anything good to happen to me.”
I drag a piece of hair out of her eyes and kiss her nose. I know her past is something we need to deal with, but not now. Not tonight. This night is not about the past, it’s about the future. “You can’t fail, Grace. You’re a winner.” She smiles. “And besides, I’m not going anywhere. I promise. I will never treat you badly again. I’m sorry. I promise, what we have is good. What we’ll have in the future will be good too. Just trust me.”
I move inside her and she responds by wrapping her arms around my neck and her legs around my waist. I plunge deeper. “Be mine, Grace. For real. Just tell me you’ll be mine.”
“I’m yours,” she says, breathless as our lovemaking increases pace. “Just don’t leave me, Vaughn. Not again.”
“Never again, baby. I promise. You’ll see.”
I press myself against her, thrusting deeper as our bodies rock against each other. Her hands come up and grab my hair, making me crazy with my desire to fill her up and make her mine. My mouth and hands drift down to her soft br**sts and I suck and squeeze them, making her writhe under me, squealing with desire.
And that’s all I need. A confirmation that the way forward is filled with endless nights alone with her in bed like this.
“You’re mine,” I whisper in her ear as my balls tighten up, readying for release.
“I’m yours,” she says back. Her legs squeeze, her pu**y clamps down on my cock. And we find simultaneous perfection together in that moment.
Chapter Eleven
I’M jolted awake by the nausea and spinning. Something has died inside my mouth. I try and open it, but there’s a shitload of cotton in there too. And the f**king sun is blazing down on my face.
No, wait. That’s the light on the nightstand, I think. This room faces west. And it’s morning, right? Sun’s in the east in the morning. I try and crack my eyelids, but there’s no hope of that. I reach up to pry my mascara-crusted lashes apart. Little flakes fall on my cheek. I sit up and Vaughn’s arm tumbles off my stomach. I force my eyelids open so I can at least look at him.
God, that man is beautiful. I sigh and the stench of my own bad breath wakes me up. There is no way he will see me like this. I throw the covers off, trip over an empty bottle of champagne, and then fall onto the soft sheepskin rug.
How did that get in here? I thought we left it in the dining room.
I get up and make my way to the bathroom, closing the door softly behind me so I don’t wake Vaughn.
I look in the mirror. I’m a f**king mess. My eyes are ringed black like a raccoon from the makeup I never took off. My skin is pasty white with a healthy shade of green. And my head is f**king pounding. I look down to my outfit. “Hmm.” I’m wearing a flirty white cotton nightgown that hits me high on my thigh. It’s got some sweet eyelet lace and a pink satin bow between my br**sts.
Cute. But where the f**k did this come from?
My stomach does not care, because right now, all that f**king champagne is sloshing around inside me and I need to hurl. I rush to the separate toilet room, smack the door closed, and barely make the porcelain bowl before emptying the contents of my stomach against my will.
“Oh, God, I will never drink again. Just make this all stop.”
I hurl again. God hates me.
After waiting several minutes to make sure that the sickness has passed, I get up and wash my face. There’s a new package of toothbrushes, so I brush and rinse with mouthwash. And when all of that is done, I feel slightly better. Well, enough to go searching for a coffee machine.
I leave the bedroom with Vaughn still asleep, and tiptoe my way out into the living room. There’s a buzz coming from my little purse and I dash over and grab my phone. “Fuck!” Seventeen missed calls from Kristi. It’s her wedding day! Oh, my f**king God. It’s almost one in the afternoon. I’m her planner and I’m going to f**k up her whole day!
My phone buzzes in my hand again and I quickly press accept. “Kristi, shit, I’m so f**king sorry!”
“Where are you?” she demands.
“Um, with Vaughn, in his room. Hold on, let me check the room number.” I run to the door and throw it open. “It says Lakeview Room.”
“I’m just down the hall. Stay right there so I can see you.”
“OK. Shit, I swear, I’ll fix this, OK? I can be dressed and ready in thirty minutes—”
“Never mind that.” Her voice is booming now and I realize she’s coming down the hallway. A second later she rounds the corner and comes into view. “Grace!” she says, her voice filled with despair as the tears stream down her face.
“What? What happened?” She’s a wreck as she comes up and throws her arms around my neck. “Tell me, tell me!”
“I can’t do it.”
“Can’t do what?” But I know what, and my stomach sinks inside me. I feel sick again.
“Marry him, Grace. You were right. He’s not… he’s not into me, right? He’s just doing it out of guilt or something, Public image, like you said. He’s a bastard ass**le. Making me get married on a Thursday! And… and… and… not taking part in any of the planning! I can’t do it. I can’t. You were so totally right! Thank God I have a friend like you, Grace, I don’t know what I’d—”
“No,” I laugh. “No, no, no. You can’t… I was drunk, Kristi. Totally f**king smashed. You need to forget every word I said. Please!”
“No,” she says, shaking her head. “I can’t do it. I don’t think we’re right for each other. I don’t want to be wife number three. Oh my God! What was I thinking? I’m going to ruin my life if I marry Johnny, I know it!”