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Authors: Kayla Perrin

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BOOK: All I Want Is You
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“Is that some sort of cultural superstition?” Mikki asked. She was slightly annoyed.
“You mark my words. And I have to tell you, I've never seen you so excited about the idea of getting laid.
Never.
I just thought you should know.”
Mikki's face flushed. Again, there was a sense of arousal. Did her subconscious mind remember what had happened while she couldn't recall it on a conscious level?
“I have to go,” Mikki said. “I've got to head to the bridal boutique to try on my dress, make sure it fits. So I'll talk to you later, okay?”
“You better tell me how things go with Barry!”
“Of course.” Though there would be nothing to tell. “Talk to you later.”
Mikki hung up the phone, frowning. Debbie hadn't told her that she had acted like some wanton slut in the bathroom.
But perhaps she shouldn't be surprised at what Isabel had relayed to her. The fact that she had woken up naked, and seen her clothes thrown around the room should have been a huge indication that she'd been all too eager to do the nasty.
Well, the wedding was in a couple of days. After that, Mikki wouldn't have to see Barry again.
Chapter 6
Mikki and her sister went to the bridal boutique in Coral Gables so Mikki could finally try on her dress. She was still surprised that her sister had asked her to be the maid of honor at the wedding. They weren't as close as sisters could be, but neither were they enemies. But given the fact that Mikki was living in New York and not around to help her sister with any of the wedding planning, she figured Chantal would have asked one of her friends to stand up with her on her special day.
But Mikki was happy—and touched—to be the maid of honor. She only hoped that her sister had respected her wishes in terms of the dress.
When they got to the boutique, Chantal all but ran out of the car, excited. She was about to become Mrs. Ken Pearce, and it was clear the wedding day couldn't come a moment too soon.
Mikki followed her into the store. They'd had many discussions over what the dress should look like and had mostly knocked horns over the color. Chantal had insisted on fuchsia, but Mikki looked ghastly in fuchsia and had pleaded with Chantal to choose another color. Mikki wanted something more understated, like a pale yellow or baby blue.
Time to see what Chantal had decided on.
The store was small and quaint, and decorated to a woman's sensibilities. The various mannequins wore an array of bridal gowns and other kinds of dresses, in a mix of classic and more elaborate styles.
“Everything here is one of a kind,” Chantal explained. “The designer is exceptional.”
“The gowns are amazing,” Mikki said, feeling hopeful. Surely she had worried needlessly about how her dress would look.
Mikki perused the floor as her sister went to the cashier and asked for someone named Emily. Less than a minute later, a tall redhead with a bright smile joined Chantal, and the two made their way over to Mikki.
“Emily, this is my sister, Mikki. Mikki, this is the designer's assistant, Emily.”
Mikki shook her hand, saying, “Nice to meet you.”
“Are you excited about your sister's wedding?”
“Oh yes. Definitely.”
“Well, your dress is over here,” Emily said, gesturing toward the back area of the store. “Come this way.”
Mikki followed Emily to the dressing room area, where a gown was hung on a changing room door. Mikki's stomach knotted.
Fuchsia. Bright fuchsia.
“I told you I didn't want fuchsia,” Mikki said.
“And gold. I think it looks great.” Chantal smiled. “Just try it on.”
Sure, there was gold threading amid the fuchsia bodice, but it was hardly the dominant color. To make matters worse, the dress had an enormously wide skirt made of layers of organza and netting. It looked like a tutu.
Granted, it wasn't as short as a tutu. Still, it was the kind of dress guaranteed to pack at least twenty pounds onto her hips.
Mikki glanced at Emily, whose face was still lit up in a perpetual smile. “Isn't it gorgeous?”
“It's . . . different.” Mikki closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, reminding herself that this was about her sister's special day. So she walked toward the changing room and lifted the dress, then went inside and tried it on.
And just as she expected, the dress hardly looked flattering on her. The bodice, made of satin, was form-fitting and felt a bit snug over her breasts. She could barely get the side zipper up. Perhaps she would have to wear it without a bra. Holding up the bodice were straps about an inch wide that were positioned to rest at the far edge of her shoulders.
Mikki could deal with the bodice of the dress. It was the layers of organza and netting flowing everywhere that were a bit too much.
And as if there wasn't enough organza already, there was an organza sash that came from the right shoulder. This was in gold, to match the threading on the bodice.
Mikki frowned at her reflection. Honestly, how could her sister think that this looked good?
Mikki exited the changing room feeling as though she were walking toward her executioner. Chantal, on the other hand, beamed.
“Oh my God, it looks amazing!” Chantal exclaimed.
“I don't look good in fuchsia,” was Mikki's reply.
Emily, still grinning, said, “I think it looks darling on you.”
“I told you,” Mikki went on, “any color but this one. Not to mention it looks like I'm about to star in a Disney princess movie. This dress will be pretty hard to move around in.”
Chantal's face crumbled, and then the tears came. “Why can't you just like it? Why can't you just let me have things the way I want them for
my
day?”
Mikki groaned as her sister ran off toward the front of the store. “Chantal!” she called. But her sister didn't stop.
Emily walked toward her and began to fuss over the organza sash and skirt. “Your sister was going for a princess theme. Since she said she's marrying her prince. She wanted something different, complete with tiaras for all of the bridesmaids.” Making her way to a dressing table, Emily lifted a small tiara with fuchsia-colored jewels. “Every bridesmaid is wearing a similar dress in different colors, like peach and royal blue and burgundy.” She placed the tiara on Mikki's head. “For what it's worth, I think the dress looks wonderful on you.”
Hearing Emily explain her sister's reasoning, Mikki couldn't help feeling like a bit of a bitch. Chantal had always loved princesses and fairy tales, so the idea of princess-themed dresses made sense. Ultimately, it was her sister's dreams and desires that mattered right now.
Mikki drew in a deep breath and let it out in a rush. “One day. It's my sister's wedding. I can deal with this.”
Emily guided Mikki to the full-length mirror so that she could check herself out. Looking at her reflection now, outside of the small dressing room where she had filled up the entire mirror, the dress didn't look all that bad. Her hips didn't look as giant as she had originally thought. And her waist, courtesy of the bodice, looked quite thin.
Chantal appeared, dabbing at her eyes and sniffling.
“I'm sorry,” Mikki said without preamble. “You're right—it's your wedding. The day is all about you. What you like, what you want. Planning a wedding is stressful enough. It's not up to me to make things harder on you.” Mikki paused. “And looking at the dress now, I'm sorry about my knee-jerk reaction. Because it
is
pretty. Very princessy. It's just that it wasn't what I expected. But it's not about what I expect or want; it's about you.” Mikki smiled as she took her sister's hands in hers. “So let's get on with the task of planning the rest of your phenomenal wedding.”
Chantal's eyes misted, but a smile spread on her face. She wrapped Mikki in a hug. “Thank you, sis.”
“Does the dress feel okay?” Emily asked. “Because the fitting looks right.”
“It's a little snug over the bosom,” Mikki said. “But nothing major.”
“It needs to be a little snug,” Emily explained, “to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions.”
“Of course. Otherwise, it's fine.”
“Excellent,” Emily said.
Mikki went back into the changing room and took off the dress; then she and Chantal left the boutique and went to the florist, where Chantal made sure that the orders for the flowers were coming along with no hitches.
They were on their way back to the car when Chantal said, “Any word from Alex?”
“No,” was Mikki's quick reply.
Chantal's Hyundai Elantra beeped as she pressed the remote key to unlock the car door. “Have you tried to call him?”
“No. Definitely not.”
“Why not?” Chantal asked once they were inside the vehicle. “You were together for two years. Surely your problems can't be insurmountable.”
“Problems? I wish we had problems, some specific reason I could pinpoint for our breakup.”
But instead of giving her a concrete reason why they weren't getting along, something Mikki could work with, Alex had given her the “boring in bed” excuse, which had pretty much left her not knowing how to respond.
“I don't understand,” Chantal said.
“If you want the truth,” Mikki began, “Alex just dumped me. He didn't say that he needed space or anything like that, only that he thought it was time for us to go our separate ways.” Which was pretty much true, except for the part about her being boring sexually.
“So you fight,” Chantal went on. “You fight for the man you love.”
Mikki was silent for a long moment. Then she faced her sister and said, “I hear what you're saying, and normally I would believe in fighting for the relationship.”
“Then do it.”
“Did you know I thought he was going to propose?” When Chantal met her gaze, Mikki went on. “Alex invited me out to our favorite restaurant. Made a big deal about that particular date. I thought . . . I thought he was going to propose. But he ended things instead.” Mikki paused, inhaling deeply. “When Alex broke up with me, days before we were supposed to come down here for your wedding, and for no good reason . . . well, I just got the sense that we're irrevocably over.”
“After two years?”
After two years, Alex should have known if I was good enough in the bedroom for him or not,
Mikki thought. But she said, “Yeah.”
Mikki had been hurt by the breakup, no doubt, but she didn't feel the urge to call Alex and ask him to work things out. Maybe it was the callous way in which he'd dumped her that had stripped her heart too bare to believe there was hope for a future with him.
Or maybe it was . . .
No, it's not. It's not because of Barry.
“Does it have anything to do with Barry?” Chantal asked as they came to a traffic stop, as if she had read Mikki's mind.
Mikki's eyes widened. “What? Why would you say that?”
“I'm just teasing you,” Chantal said. “Though I kinda always thought you and Barry would end up together back in high school.”
“W-what?” Mikki sputtered.
“I did.”
“Where is this coming from?”
“Barry told Ken that he ran into you in New York. Two days ago.”
“He did?” Mikki chuckled a bit nervously. What else had Barry said?
“Yeah. Something about you two reconnecting.”
Mikki couldn't figure out if this was a fishing expedition, or if Chantal knew more than she was letting on. “It was a total coincidence,” Mikki explained. “It was the day before I left for Florida, I ran into him at a bar. I had no clue who he was, but he remembered me. We hung out for a while. No big deal.”
“I didn't say it was a big deal,” Chantal said. “Just that you guys ran into each other.” Pause. “I guess . . . I just figured you would have mentioned that.”
“There was nothing to mention. And definitely no time. This is the first time we're really talking.”
“Though, come to think of it, at the dinner you made it seem like that was the first time you were running into Barry in thirteen years.”
Mikki forced a laugh, hoping it came off sounding casual. “I saw him in a bar; then I got on a plane to Florida the next day. I was shocked when I saw him here. That's all.”
“Mmm-hmm,” Chantal said.
“Funny coincidence about him being related to Ken,” Mikki went on. “Small world.”
“Yeah, small world,” Chantal agreed.
But the curious look in her eyes, as well as the questioning tone in her voice, made Mikki wonder if she had just rambled so much that her sister couldn't help but figure out that she had gone to bed with the man.
BOOK: All I Want Is You
4.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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