Page 30 of Hopeful Hearts

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Brodie nodded again, not knowing what to say to any of this and wondering why they had never told Sophia or Emmet. Robbie dropped back in his chair, looking defeated. The weight of the secrets he’d kept for so long was visible in his stormy expression.

“We made a promise that we’d tell him everything on his eighteenth birthday and it backfired.”

“What do you mean?”

“He couldn’t deal with it,” Robbie continued. “Told us he hated us all, called us liars, and said he’d never trust any of us again. That was the last time any of us saw him. He simply disappeared.”

“Have you tried to find him?”

“I’ve done nothing but.”

“Why are you telling me this now?” Brodie asked.

“Because Austin is Sophia’s sibling, Brodie. He could be a match.”


Sophia’s fingers clasped over her eyes as Mrs. Gunner shuffled her over to the floor-length mirror and she held her breath. Despite all five of her best friends being there, along with her mum and Mrs. Gunner, the room was completely silent. You could literally hear a pin drop, and it was making her nervous. She crossed her fingers that it was a good silence and not a bad one.

“Okay, when you are ready to see yourself as a bride, open your eyes,” Mrs. Gunner announced.

“I can’t,” Sophia whispered.

“Yes, you can, Sophia,” Mel soothed. “You need to see what we can all see.”

The door opened and closed with a loud thud. “Brodie, what are you doing here?” Paige asked and Sophia’s eyes flew wide open but there was no sign of her fiancé in the room.

Paige beamed, and Jayda shook her head in her direction.

“What? I had to do something,” Paige popped a shoulder. “We could have been here a week at the rate she was going.”

“I just think you should have let her do it in her own time. Sometimes you overstep a bit.” Jayda rolled her eyes.

“Overstep? With my own best friend? Seriously, Jayda?”

Their dispute melted away when Sophia caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and her eyes locked on the bride version of herself. Thinner than she would have liked, but nothing less than absolutely beautiful.

The ivory dress cinched her in at the waist with a sparkling cluster of beads that glimmered under the spotlights of the make-shift changing room. The trail of sparkle from her waist sprayed out over the floor-length skirt, making it look like Tinkerbell herself had flown over and covered her in fairy dust. Chiffon off shoulder sleeves accentuated her neckline and drew attention away from her tiny chest.

It was hands down the most stunning dress that she’d ever seen and it fitted like a second skin. Tears pricked in her eyes as she studied herself from the corset style top, down to the A-line skirt and tried to find some words to let Mrs. Gunner know how much she adored it, but her mouth didn’t cooperate.

“We can change whatever you don’t like,” she offered.

Sophia shook her head and whispered, “It’s perfect.”

For the first time since she laid eyes on her wedding dress, Sophia pulled her eyes away from the mirror and glanced around the room to find that she wasn’t the only one crying. There wasn’t a single dry eye in the room, including Mrs. Gunner, who was dabbing away at her cheeks with a scrap piece of fabric.

“Is it everything you hoped for?” Mel asked, standing behind her daughter.

“Much more,” Sophia murmured back.

“You’re a vision,” Jayda took her hand and twirled her around to face her. No one said a word, as though allowing Sophia time to process the reflection that was staring back at her, wide-eyed in the mirror.

“Brodie is one lucky man,” Kate sighed.

“Has he not told you anything at all?” Callie asked.

Sophia shook her head. “He’s keeping the whole thing a surprise.”