EPILOGUE

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EIGHTEEN MONTHS LATER

The helicopter touched down on the concrete pad nestled in the black sand beach, its blades slicing through the air.

Thwip...thwip...thwip

Then, silence, as the pilot killed the engine.

I planted a kiss on Colin's full mouth, the both of us tangled in my long veil.

"I love you," I whispered, squeezing Colin's thighs with my hands.

He growled in response and helped me undo my seat belt, which had restrained the yards of tulle skirt covering the lower half of my body.

"You did good. You didn't get scared, not once. I'm so proud of you, pumpkin. Proud of you for everything." He trailed the back of his finger down my cheek. I had been scared on the flight, because that kind of fear doesn't go away overnight. But therapy, and Colin's patience over the months, had helped me learn to breathe through the anxiety.

"I wouldn't miss this for anything."

He leaned in and rubbed his nose on mine. I beamed. That was the thing about Colin; he always boosted me and lifted my confidence, and never tore me down. He'd given me the time I'd needed to develop faith in him — and all the reasons in the world to trust him— and now, we were unstoppable.

A photographer and her two assistants were with us, and they climbed out of the chopper first. Then Colin, who extended his hands and helped me down the metal steps of the aircraft. We took a few steps off the concrete helicopter pad and onto the beach. Dressed in my long, white wedding gown, heels and my veil, I stumbled on the beach and into Colin's arms.

"Easy." He kissed my forehead. "Maybe it would be better if I carried you."

I giggled as Colin hoisted me into his arms, my dress cascading toward the sand.

"Jesus, that's perfect," called out the photographer, who was a few paces away and walking backward while snapping photos. Colin, looking positively rakish in a black tuxedo and a hint of stubble on his jaw, made his way across the beach with me.

"This country never fails to amaze me," I said.

We were back in Iceland, and had just taken our vows in front of our families at a country house we'd rented for the month. It was a perfect location for everyone, with ponies for the nieces and nephews, artisanal gin for the adults and a stunning waterfall on the property that everyone could hike to in the bright, summer solstice-tinged evenings. There was a even a small hot spring on the property, so guests could have a relaxing soak.

It was so blissful that Colin and his brother were thinking of making an offer on the property so we could vacation there regularly.

Since news of our engagement had made headlines—billionaire bachelor falls for petite purveyor of tropical luxury—we'd had to fend off requests from the media for our wedding photos.

We'd decided to hire a top fashion photographer and release the photos only to Vogue in exchange for the magazine's donation to my charity benefitting a Florida food bank. But we wanted things done our way, and that meant an unusual photo shoot. The country house was an hour away, and that's why we'd decided to take a helicopter so we could save time and get back to celebrating with our families.

"I'm not too heavy?" I dangled my pale pink, hand-tied rose bouquet as he carried me, and wrapped my other arm around his neck.

"Well, this dress does add twenty pounds, but you're still a little slip of a thing," Colin said. I kissed his neck and he set me carefully on the sand.

We were in South Iceland, at a beach named Sólheimasandur. I couldn't pronounce it, but when I'd read about it, I knew it was exactly where I wanted our post-ceremony photos.

The wind off the ocean whipped my veil behind me and I stood, unsteady from the beauty around us. The sky was a brilliant, deep blue, with a few puffy white clouds. It was cold for June, and I shivered in my strapless gown. Colin wrapped his arms around me.

"A perfect choice," he murmured. "Surreal and epic."

There, before us, sat the stark white hull of a plane, half buried in the black sand. The U.S. Navy plane had crashed on this beach back in 1973. No one had been hurt during the crash and the Icelandic government never moved the plane.

Now, it was a curiosity for hikers and thrill seekers. And people like us who wanted dramatic wedding photos. It looked like something out a sci-fi movie, or a dystopian novel: dramatic and starkly gorgeous.

"Surreal and epic. Just like us." I laughed.

Colin kissed me, deep, pulling me by my waist toward him.

"I didn't think I could be this happy. It's like I'm living one of my own brand slogans or something." Tears welled in my eyes.

"I love you," he said. "God, how I love you."

I threw my arms around him. Colin hoisted me into the air and spun me, the delicate fabric of my dress and veil soaring into the wind.

This was my idea of a crash-landing, a life-changing one. Meeting Colin, and trusting in him. Trusting that we had both changed, and would change together, in the future.

An unexpected, forever love. One that swept me off my feet when I thought I'd never leave the ground.

THE END

THANK YOU for reading Tell Me a Fantasy, the companion novella to Tell Me a Story! If you haven't already, check out Constant Craving here on Wattpad! It's free and is in the same world as Tell Me a Fantasy!

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