Page 20 of The Viking's Kitten

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Fuck, she’s everything. She’s my world, my rock, and soon, I will make it official when I slide a ring on her finger. “I love you,” I breathe, pressing my lips to her temple.

“I love you too, Rocky,” she whispers back, clinging onto me hard, and I don’t dare move her. There is so much that needs to be done, like getting changed for the ceremony. I need to sign autographs before I can even exit the building and thank the people who have been key players in my career, but for the life of me, I can’t summon the strength to pull out of her embrace.

“Do you think the people outside heard us?” Dawn whispers into my ear.

“I don’t doubt that for a second.”

“Shit,” she mutters, burrowing deeper. “Let’s just stay here forever and never leave.”

“What do we do about food and water?” I ask with a chuckle.

“We’ll hire someone to slide food and snacks under the door.”

I shake my head, amused by her words even as I wrap my arms tighter around her. “Five minutes,” I whisper. “Five minutes, and then we are getting cleaned up and I am taking you out there to show you off to the world.”


Three years later


“How do I look?”

Gwen, my sister, whips her head up from where she’s feeding my son and flashes me a wide, genuine smile. “Like the most beautiful bride in the world.”

“You think so?”

Little Henry burps, and my sister and I exchange a fond smile. “See, even your baby thinks so.”

I turn back to the mirror and stare at my reflection, surprised by how much I’ve changed in three years. Rocky is always assuring me that I look the same as I did when we met, and perhaps, I do, but we’re not exactly viewing it in the same light.

Three years ago, I was in college getting my economics degree, which I managed to complete just before Henry arrived. My life changed from the moment I went next door to ask my irritating neighbor to turn down his music. Getting involved with Rocky was admittedly easier than I ever imagined, and I was more than ready to marry the man after our first week together. Hell, my man proposed on the night of his retirement ceremony in front of thousands of people filling the arena, and the word “yes” was past my lips before he could completely voice his question.

I thought we would get married immediately, but my father was adamant about me completing college first. Although my parents approved of Rocky and adore him, they wanted me to finish school first, and when finally, I did, they gave their blessing for us to go ahead with our wedding plans. Except I found out quite late I was carrying baby Henry and couldn’t have the wedding I’d dreamed of, so we agreed on a courthouse ceremony until I was able to plan the destination wedding I’ve always wanted.

And this is what I wanted, or . . . so I’d thought.

Rocky and I have been married for more than two years already. We even moved into our first home, which I absolutely adore, and had a baby together, but . . . planning this wedding has brought out insecurities I never knew I had. My sister has tried her best to stomp out most of them, but there’s still a little voice at the back of my head that’s terrified that today’s going to be a disappointment. What if Rocky sees me in my wedding dress, and it’s nothing like he pictured? Or what if he thinks the whole thing was not worth the wait?

What if—

“Dada!” Henry squeals, and I turn around to find my husband standing by the door.

“Rocky,” I gasp, looking for somewhere to hide, but it’s too late. “You’re not allowed to see the bride before the wedding.”

“I called him,” Gwen says, wiping the yogurt off the baby’s mouth. “Now Henry, how about we go find your grandma and see how many treats we can get out of her while your parents talk?”

Henry laughs and claps his hands as my sister carries him out of the room, leaving Rocky and me alone. My husband waits until the door has been closed before approaching me, running his eyes hungrily over my body. “You look stunning, kitten,” he says, backing me up to the dresser.

“Oh, no you don’t. Stay away from me you animal!” I warn, slapping my husband’s chest when he approaches me. “I’m not letting you tear this dress off me. It cost me a small fortune to get it custom made.”

He grins. “Then I will buy you a new one.”

“The wedding is today. In less than an hour. Unless you want me to walk down the aisle in rags, you’re not coming anywhere near me.”

“Now that’s mean, kitten. You could walk down the aisle in one of my t-shirts, and you’d still be the most beautiful bride.”

Oh no! I know that look. Of course, I have another wedding dress I bought in the event of this very scenario—I know my husband well, after all—but I like this one better, and with the way Rocky is staring at me, I have no doubt it’ll be in tatters in no time. At least I got to take some pictures in it.