And I was kind of eager to see Brett.
The door creaked open and Cassie's head peeked through. "Abby," she said, gesturing to my mother, "come with me for a sec? There's someone here to see Becca." My mom followed her out of the room and closed the door behind her, giving me one last smile.
A second later, there was another knock.
My hands began to shake, a smile breaking across my face like waves on a shore. I ran to the door and pressed myself against it, wishing I could tug it open and see his face.
I placed my hand on the knob, in case he tried to open it. Right on cue, it began to jiggle.
"Don't open it!" I shrieked. His laughter rumbled through the door between us. "You know it's bad luck, Brett."
"Fine." I heard him press closer to the door, and I wished the wood would crumble to the ground. "You look beautiful," he said, "and before you say that I can't see you, I just know. All right?"
I bit my lip to stop myself from arguing. "Thank you."
"I can't wait to marry you, baby. You're everything I've ever wanted, and more than I thought I'd ever have."
Screw it. I tugged the door open until Brett was standing in front of me, sucking all the light from the room in his black suit, shining brighter than the sun. His eyes met mine and he was smiling. I couldn't stop myself from reaching up and grabbing his face.
"I was right," he said, taking a step closer. "Beautiful."
When he kissed me, I saw our entire future flash before me. I saw a white house with a wraparound porch, making pancakes on Sunday mornings for a table filled with kids and summer days in the backyard, Brett chasing a boy with his eyes through the grass, laughing in that way that made me fall in love with him a little more each day.
I saw our past, too. Hallway kisses and Friday nights spent sitting on bleachers, watching him run around the field. I saw cotton-candy ice cream and study dates when studying was the furthest thing on our minds. I saw his smiles that made my heart ache and our love laid out before us like a path that lead to this very moment, his hand in mine.
I squeezed it a little tighter.
"I had to see you," I said once our foreheads were touching. "It can't really be that bad luck. Right?"
"Screw luck," he said, smiling so hard the dimples in his cheeks popped out. "I never thought you were one to break the rules."
I rolled my eyes, taking a step back and smoothing down my dress.
"What part of our relationship has followed any type of rule?" I joked.
His eyes lit up, and then his hands were on my waist, pulling me into the room and backing me up against the door. Having five kids was seeming better by the minute.
"I love the roses," Brett whispered, tracing his thumb along the ink on my arm. His eyes lifted to my veil, and he gently touched the embroidered flowers on there, too. "Do you remember what I told you, Becca? That I wanted a love that would never die?"
I nodded. "I do."
He winked. "Save that for later, love." His thumb pressed against my bottom lip, moving back and forth. "I found that with you, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you, Becca Wells."
I jabbed my finger into his arm. "You're jumping too far ahead."
"You've been Becca Wells since that day I kissed you in the hallway."
He had a point.
The door burst open and Brett tugged me forward just before it could hit me. Cassie ran into the room, looking between the two of us like she was deciding who to slap first. Her eyes settled on Brett, and she glared.
"You had to stay away from her for one day, Brett! One damn day!" she yelled.
Brett shrugged, smiling smugly as he pulled me against his side. "You should know by now that's impossible."
Cassie sighed, and I buried my face into Brett's arm to hide my laughter.
"I know," she grumbled. Her eyes turned to me. "I owe your mom fifty bucks. Thanks a lot."
"You two bet on how long we could stay apart?" I yelled after her, but she was already gone, slamming the door shut behind her. I turned back to Brett, whose shoulders were shaking. He was trying and failing to hide his laughter.
"Can we just get married now?" I asked.
He kissed me goodbye and left the room, bringing all the light and warmth with him. I stood in front of the mirror, alone, smiling to myself. It didn't matter who was sitting in those pews. It didn't matter that my mother and Brett's mother would be there together, both of their ex-husbands nowhere to be found. It didn't matter that Brett and I grew up surrounded by heartbreak and failed marriages, or that people expected us to have that same fate.
All that mattered was us.
I took a deep breath and walked out of the room, down the hallway and off to the side of the doors leading to the church. The piano was playing, softly humming through the space. I watched as Cassie walked down the aisle, holding a bouquet of roses in her hand. Then my mother went, smiling to me as she did. The piano began to speed up and it was my turn.
I grabbed my bouquet of roses and breathed.
I stepped through the doors.
All heads turned to me, but I didn't notice.
My eyes were locked on Brett's, and his on mine.
He smiled, like light and home, and I took my first step.
Thank you guys for reading! Hope you enjoyed this little bonus chapter! ALSO: exciting 'Rivals' news is going to be announced in the future. Make sure you're following me so you don't miss out on it! Xoxo - Alex
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