Chapter 3

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The days later I was headed to atlanta with my parents, Shania, and Genevieve. Alyssa, my good friend from college, also joined us meeting us at the hotel we were all staying in.

The night before my fitting at Bridal's by Lori, Alyssa came to my room to hang out. We hadn't seen or talked in about two months so this was the perfect time, before we both started graduate school, to catch up.

"I saw that Levi got picked up by Seattle," she said smiling brightly at me in her light green pjs.

I smiled softly. "Yeah, he was so excited when he got the call. You should've seen his face, Alyssa. I have never seen him that excited before. His entire face lit up."

She rolled her eyes. "I have. Plenty of times. They were all when he was with you. You don't sound too excited though."

"I am, don't get me wrong. I am so happy for him. I want nothing more than for him to make it and live his dream fully. I just- it's just so far away. Thousands of miles, far away. Not hundreds."

"My god, Brielle! You have been through hell and back for him. You've got to give this 'my relationship thing won't last' a rest. You've been together for four years and are getting married. Distance shouldn't matter. Not in the least. You should just look at this as another test in your four year relationship."

"You are right. I can't help but worry though."

"Worry about what?" she stressed. "I don't get you sometimes. You got the guy. He is absolutely smitten with you. Why can't you see that? If he wanted, he could have broken what y'all have off long time ago. But, he didn't. He's still here and so are you. Give this a chance. You need to let him know how much you truly trust that y'all's relationship will last and you, yourself, need to believe it as well."

I breathed and fell back on my bed but ended up falling right off, head first. Alyssa broke out into a hysterical fit of laughter. "I think even fate is trying to knock it into you, literally."

I started laughing as I stood and pushed her playfully. "It's not funny," I mumbled.

Later that night just before I went to bed I called home to Levi. He answered on the first ring.

"Hey baby," he said sleepily.

"Were you sleeping?" I asked softly.

"Yeah, but it's okay. I love hearing your voice."

I smiled to myself. "How's the agent search going?"

"I found one in Seattle. I am going to go out and meet him this weekend. That means I won't get to see you when you get back from dress shopping."

"Awww, well that's alright. Finding an agent is just as important."

"No it isn't. Seeing you come home is. But, I have to meet him soon so I can go over the details of the contract, get things finalized so when spring comes I can start training with them."

Then there was a brief silence on the line before Levi spoke again. "Brielle, if it came down to it...would move to Seattle with me? And when I say move to Seattle, I don't mean in next year time after you finish undergrad school or even three years time when you finish law school, I mean would you transfer and say go to Washington State University and then go to law school there afterward?" he ended softly.

My thought process lasted only a second. "Levi, you know I would..."

He sighed. "But..."

"But, it's my last year. One year of school left. I think I'd rather finish out college in one place instead of transferring Senior Year. I love you and want nothing more than to be with you in Seattle but I don't want to transfer and risk the chance that I'd lack certain classes Washington'd require for graduation but MSU doesn't. I just...I can't. I will look at grad law schools there though."

I could hear a soft sigh at the end of the line."Fair enough. So," he said changing the subject, "What kind of dress should I get ready to see you in?"

I smiled. "Well you'll just have to wait and see, now won't you," I said softly.

He gently chuckled. "I rather just know now so I can think of ways to get it off you."

My entire face got warm by those words. He always knows exactly what to say. "You are making me blush and you aren't even here."

"It's my job, baby."

"You do it well."

"I know," he replied a-matter-factly.

I laughed then looked over at the alarm on the side table. 12. "Baby, my dress appointment's at ten in the morning and we are still up and talking at twelve."

He laughed. "Do you want to hang up?"

"Not really but we should," I replied giggling.

"Alright then, hang up."

"What? No you hang up. I called first so you hang up first. It only right," I said laughing shortly.

"Alright," he said before the line went dead.

My mouth dropped open as I looked at my cell. That nerd. He hung up without even saying 'love you'. I shook my head as I began to put my phone down, then it started ringing.

"Hello?" I answered without thinking twice.

I heard laughing on the other end. "I'm sorry, baby. I love you," Levi said laughing so hard he could barely get that out.

I started laughing. "I am truly hurt," I said faking hurt in my voice, "the least you could have said before hanging up was 'I love you'."

His laughing slowly subsided. "I'm sorry baby. I love you very very much. Good night and sleep well," He said sweetly and I just melted.

"Thank you, I will and you do the same. I love you and good luck. Let me know when you are boarding your flight and when you land in Seattle."

"I will baby." This time we hung up at the same time.

I thought about what he said. I hadn't applied to the Law School at St.John's University yet, though I was planning to as soon as Senior year started and I could probably go to Washington State or Seattle University's Law schools. I'm sure they are both just as good as St.John's and I'd be able to be with Levi. I'd have to look into them when I got back.

I snuggled into my covers, turned off the lights sleeping soundlessly.

The next day, we went to Bridal's by Lori to find my wedding dress. The consultant I got was so sweet. Though she wanted to know what kind of dress I wanted and what my price range was, she was adamant in wanting to know about my fiancé.

"How long have y'all been together?"

"We've been together for four years but we've known each other for so much longer than that. He's my best friend," I said smiling shyly just talking about him.

She smiled at me. "How long have you known each other?"

"Since we were 6 and he's twenty-one and I'm twenty now so, seventeen years." Her mouth dropped and I laughed. "Yeah, that's everyone's reaction when I tell them how long we've known one another and how long we've been dating."

"Well, now, we have to find you the perfect wedding dress for not only you but make sure it's something he'll love on you as well. Y'alls day is definitely special."

I smiled. "That it is."

"So what are you looking for?" she asked smiling at me.

"I am a little big chested but I'd love something with a sweetheart neckline, some lace and crystals, and I'd like it to accentuate my figure yet, be classic."

"Okay, well, why don't you come out with me and look at some of the dresses we have fitting that description and we'll work our way up to the dress you want?"

I tried on so many dresses by the time we were close to the end of my appointment I was worried we would leave without finding a dress. Until we came to a James Clifford.

I walked out and stood on the stage looking at myself in the mirror. My heart melted as tears slowly came to my eyes.

"Is this the dress?" The consultant asked smiling softly at me.

I turned to face my parents and two of the most amazing friends I've ever had besides Levi. They all had tears in their eyes too.

"You look," choked out my mom between tears.

"Like a bride," My father finished for her. Both Shania and Alyssa nodded in agreement.

"Jack me up," I said softly as a tear escaped and I quickly wiped it away with my thumb.

The consultant nodded and quickly went to get a veil. She came back and put it on me while I was facing my family, who gasped as soon as it was on my head. I took a deep breath, closing my eyes, as she helped my turn around.

"Okay, now," said the consultant, "Open your eyes and tell us...is this your dress?"

I took another breath and opened my eyes. Instant tears. I looked so beautiful, I've never felt this beautiful in a dress before but, I couldn't help but feel like...a bride. My dress was everything and more. I still had my sweetheart neck line, my lace and crystals but, it wasn't body hugging. It was an satin A-line gown with tulle over it that had lace appliqués and Swarovski Crystals that went from my midriff to the bottom of the dress back into a chapel length train. The satin on my empire bodice was directionally fine pleated and even the back made it playful with a drop in it.

Tears flowed freely as the consultant handed me tissues and I nodded. "This is my dress," I choked out through my tears, then began laughing, "I'm getting married."

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We got home late, coming back from Atlanta. Levi had already called me before we left to tell me he was boarding his flight to Seattle. The house was too quiet without him. It felt...incomplete. I walked to the back of our apartment to take a warm shower, stripping down as I walked back. I'd pick up my clothes when I got out.

I let the warm water cascade down my tired limbs, letting it sooth every inch of my body. After washing my hair, I wrapped a towel tightly around my head, and dressed myself in Levi's sweats. I just want to feel as if he was close. His scent was as close as I'd be to him right now.

After drying my hair, I put oil in it then fixed it into a small bun, I climbed into bed, laying on his side. I miss my Mississippi born and raised man, I can't help but think this is how it's going to be when the season starts. Me, home alone at night, with his clothes on just to have his scent near me since he isn't home.

I sighed and closed my eyes, wanting nothing more than for him to call me with details in the morning on how his meeting today went, but fell right asleep.

Blood. Blinding white light. Mumbled voices. Sirens.

"Where's Levi?" I screamed but it only sounds like mumbles.

They ignore me.
My breathing slows. My vision darkens. I can't fall asleep, I think, I have to stay awake. Suddenly some blurry object comes over my face and I no longer see, my vision completely darkened with only the sound is of an incessant ringing in my ear.

I jerked out of the nightmare, sunlight shining through the window, dripping in sweat, and realized my phone was ringing. I ripped it up off the night stand as I answered, breathless.

"Hello?"

"Brielle? Baby, what's wrong?" Levi asked concerned.

"I had a nightmare," I said taking a deep breath as I wiped my face with my hand.

"What was it about?" he asked.

I thought about it. What had I dreamt about? I couldn't remember what had upset me so much and why I was dripping in sweat.

"I-uh- don't remember anymore. How'd the meeting go, yesterday?"

He paused before answering. "I took the contract to a lawyer right after the meeting, just to have him go over it so I know I'm not signing our life away to this agent. I go back to the lawyer today to get the down low on the contract and will then take it back to the agent and sign it so we can get started on seeing when the club wants me to come and sign my contract with them. I might actually have to be here a few more days than planned."

I sighed. "I miss you, baby," I said softly.

"I miss you too. More than you know."

"I am wore your sweats to bed, I think I might miss you just a little more."

He laughed. "Baby, you don't know what item of yours I brought that remind me of you."

I giggled. "I don't want to know. I think we miss each other equally. Let me know how everything goes, okay?"

"Of course, I will. How'd the dress shopping go? I talked to Noah and he said Shania was in love with your dress. Apparently, I am going to be floored at how beautiful you are going to look."

I smiled. Leave it up to Shania to over-exaggerate. "Let's just say I got my heart-melting, bride crying moment in this dress. I loved it and I know you're going to love it."

"Baby," he said, his voice getting huskier, "you could wear a paper bag for all I care. What I can't wait for, like I said before, is to get it off of you."

"Well, have fun taking this one off me," I remarked seductively.

"I have to go," He said breathy.

I smiled to myself. "Do you really have to go or are you just saying that because you picturing how you're going to take the dress off of me and it's making you incredibly uncomfortable?"

He chuckled. "Both, I really do have to go but trust me, there are plenty of ways to get a dress off you. And I am going to enjoy thinking about them. I love you."

I laughed softly. "I love you too." After we hung up, I put the phone on the desk and got out of bed to take a shower.

Today I cleaned up the apartment, then began looking into law schools in Washington State. I was lucky that I was graduating early. I'd done so many summer classes my freshman and sophomore year that I'd have enough credits to graduate in January. I hadn't thought about it until now. I'd only wanted to take them so I wouldn't have to take so many classes my senior year. But, now leaving early was an option.

I ended up deciding to apply either to Washington State University School of Law or as plan B, St.John's University for the next fall. All I keep thinking about is how everyone says don't base you life decisions on a man but Levi...he isn't just a man or a boyfriend or a best friend, he's my fiancé, my future husband, this decision is for us. I sighed as I fell back into the chair, sighing heavily. I can do this. I can move half way across the country to be with the man I love, right?

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