CHAPTER 40

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"You're a June bride!!" Brianna combed out my hair with her fingers. "Oh my gosh, D, I'm so excited for you."

"Settle down, you're making me nervous," I said.

Locks of my long, red, curly hair draped over my shoulders and rested to the nook of my elbow. It sent a shiver down my spine. My heart catapulted into my throat.

The only time I ever wore my hair down was for when I went out and wanted to dress up or something, and that happened next to never. And today...I was getting married.

That merited wearing my hair down, especially since I was wearing battle fatigues as a wedding dress.

"Now, it's my duty as the Maid of Honor to ask you something."

I froze and looked up at her. "Oh crap, what?"

"Are you sure, Dakota? Absolutely positive you want to get married?"

I nodded. "No doubts."

"Because, this isn't like a normal human marriage. You can't just get it annulled or divorced or anything."

"I know." I shook my head and laughed. "It's so strange. You know? During all this crap with Smith, Sean, and whatever is going on with recruits, I should be scared or roaring into TLC agent mode, but I'm not. I'm getting married to someone I just met a few months ago." Tears stung my eyes. "But yet, it feels like I've known him for a hundred years."

"Wow."

"I know." My breath hitched. "I can't believe it either. And-"

"Kota?" Sean said. "Um. Can I talk to you?"

I glanced to the side. Tom and Adams talked near the boulder. Adams reached into the bag and pulled out a string of some sort. Tom glanced back at me and even though he was some twenty feet from me, I still saw the love as his lips curled into a smile.

Sean fell into my line of vision, and my shoulders sagged.

"Kota?"

"Yeah, Sean. What?" I faced Briana and let her continue fussing with my hair.

Even though I was dressed in black fatigues, she still wanted me to look like a bride. She'd draped my hair over my shoulders, pulled some curly wisps forward and they brushed against my forehead.

Heck, if she had make-up in one of her fifteen pockets, I bet she would have painted me up real good.

"Are you sure about this?" Sean asked.

"Yes."

"But you've only known him a little while. You sure all this Melace stuff is really legit? I mean, for real?"

"It's true."

"I'm scared for you. That you'll die protecting him."

"Then I'll die."

"No." He grabbed my arm and spun me from Briana's grip. "You can't die. No. I don't want you doing this."

"It's not your choice, Sean. The minute you started dealing with Smith, you lost any say what-so-ever in anything related to me. Not that you ever really did have much say to begin with." I yanked my arm from his grasp. "I am sick to death of you man-handling me, too, Sean. I don't want you anywhere near me. Go stand at the opposite end of the field so you don't ruin my wedding day. How's that sound?"

Tears pooled in his eyes. "Kota. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you." He slouched and showed me his back. "I've always loved you."

I watched him shuffle away, then nestle beneath one of the trees farthest away from the boulder. Tom threw a glance my way.

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