“I never thought I’d be giving her away to him of all people …” Ajax Marinos
A day in the Future
Jumpy energy slithered hot and cold down her spine until shivers attacked her in the midday heat, pure gooseflesh on her bare arms. Though she had no reason to be nervous.
All roads had led to this moment, hadn't it? She was sure of it.
Twists and turns and now here she stood in a sleek off-white wedding gown that trailed along the floor behind her and dipped tight at the waist over her tiny, unseen bump.
That was a surprise later for the baby-daddy.
She had to marry him first.
A knock on the door had her turning. Rider, also known as her favorite big brother Ambrosio framed in the doorway, smiling, looking unlike himself in a button down white shirt, black pants and the matching jacket. He wasn’t wearing his traditional leather cut that marked him as the president of the Renegade Souls MC, but as Gia scanned her eyes she noticed he was wearing his biker boots. You can take the man out of the club, but you can’t take the club out of the man. His hair tied back in a low knot and his facial hair was closely cropped didn’t do anything to lessen Rider’s fierce aura.
But to her he was simply her beloved brother who had always loved and protected her.
She answered his smile and motioned him in.
“Have you seen him?”
A slow nod. “Yep.” Vague.
It was well known Rider wasn't fully accepting of his baby sister getting married so soon, though he had accepted her choice in a life partner finally. He was a bossy man through and through, default of his upbringing and him ruling his MC for more than ten years now. Thank god for Zara keeping him in line or he would be unbearable. One little well placed pout from her sister in law and Zara could turn Rider's attention instantly as if by magic.
Gia loved that sort of sisterhood power. She'd have to try it.
“You look ... beautiful, squirt.” She beamed a smile, nerves dropping away for a moment she took his embrace and squeezed him around the middle.
Of all people in Gia’s life, Rider was one of her favorite; bossy and all. It had been a weird old year, some good, some bad, but all roads led her here, she believed it. And with every slow roll of her heart, the time growing ever closer until she tied her life to someone else, she believed more than anything this was meant to be.
Her heart said yes.
Her mind said yes.
Her brother’s face said he wanted to hurt someone.
She grinned and brushed a kiss to his cheek before stepping out of his arms.
He was stoic as ever.
“You sure about this? It's not too late. We can have you in Mexico in a few hours. I got contacts.”
The baby nestled in her belly would disagree.
Time was of the essence.
All she needed was for her father to assume she was getting married because she had to. He was already salty the wedding to her fiancé was happening at all, but even that was better now. He was trying at least. Trying not to be so Ajax Marinos.
Something about nobody being good enough for his mikrí kóri.
Ajax Marinos was a difficult man and had been for most of her life. More so of late. Typical older generation male who wouldn’t dream of talking about his feelings and Ambrosio would rather cut out his eyeballs than approach their father about anything if he could help it. She had a feeling he knew what Ajax’s problem was but wasn’t saying.
In any case, she could only be nervous about one thing at a time and today it was all about merging her life with someone else.
As if her brain knew where her thoughts wanted to go, it put an image right there of the last time she spoke to him. She turned to the mirror, looking at herself.
The pink flush crawled up her neck, heated her cheeks.
Hawk was never far from her mind.
Maybe that's how it would always be.
He'd consumed her heart and life for nearly half of it, she'd been unrequitedly devoted to one man for what seemed like forever, it would be more of a surprise if he wasn’t on her mind today of all days.
“Yes, I'm sure.” She kissed Rider's cheek again. “How are the parents?” Whilst her childhood had been princess houses and spoiled trips to the beach, Rider's had been altogether different, their dad was too hard on him, always pushing him to do better and that had led them both down a road they couldn't come back from, not even now Rider was a father himself. The best father. Having them all in the same room together was testament they all loved her but wearing on the nerves.
Rider’s most of all.
“Mom is with Zara, they're talking about Thanksgiving.” He shrugged a massive shoulder nonchalantly. “You know dad, always has some shit to complain about. Don't let him ruin your day, Gia. I'll kick him out if I have to.”
Hugging him again, she was so damn grateful for Rider being the man he was.
She wasn’t so much nervous as she was settled in the decision she’d made.
“He’s trying. Walk me out to dad.” She asked smiling, hooking her arm through his. He gave her an encouraging squeeze, eyes so like hers looking down as if to silently ask if she was sure again.
Yes, she was.
Hawk would always remain in her heart.
First love was powerful.
Every event in her life brought her to this. She fully believed in that.
“Let's go get you hitched then. If that fucker wears a path in the floor I ain't payin' for it.”
Gia laughed. At least she wasn't the only nervous one.
“Let's go then. I don't want to keep my groom waiting any longer.”