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Mine To Hold by Natasha Madison



Mine To Hold by Natasha Madison PDF

Author: Natasha Madison

Publisher: Natasha Madison

Genres:

Publish Date: August 2, 2022

ISBN-10: 1990376193

Pages: 321

File Type: Epub, PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Dearest Love,

So much has happened since we last spoke. Travis and Harlow got married and could not be happier.

But it’s that time again. The wedding season, when everyone is finding their best outfits to be worn.

Shelby will soon be walking down the aisle. Or will she?

It seems a pesky little email was sent to her the night before her wedding. A sort of declaration of love. Some would swoon, except was she the intended woman?

Will they get their happily ever after, or was she always meant for someone else?

Time will tell!

XOXO

NM

CHAPTER 1

Shelby

“Happy day before your wedding day!” Clarabella shouts as she comes into my office with her hands in the air, one of them with a clipboard and the other with her phone. “You look so pretty.” She takes me in as I stand in front of the mirror in another new outfit I bought for the day.

“You don’t think it’s too much?” Looking back into the mirror, I smooth down the dress. “Should I have had it in white instead?” The dress is a blush pink and has a sweetheart neckline with small cap sleeves attached to the dress, all ruffled. A ruffled piece goes down the middle of my chest, showing off my boobs and then to the side, and zigzags back until the floor. The slit in the front shows off my legs that I’ve been working out to get for the past six months.

“I don’t know about that,” Presley says, coming in right behind Clarabella. “But your body is banging.” She shakes her head. “All that work in the gym, and you went with a Cinderella-style dress.

Pity.”

“Hey,” Clarabella snaps at her. “No negative talk on the day before the wedding.” She glares at Presley, who just shrugs her shoulders.

“Are you ready to go over the last-minute list?” Presley asks, and I nod my head.

“This I can do,” I mumble to them, walking over to my desk to grab my list. I ignore the way my stomach flip-flops all over the place. “It’s probably going to calm me down.” I pull out the big white chair from in front of my white desk and sit down. My hands shake just a touch, and I look up to see if my sisters noticed but find them looking down at their phones doing something. They are dressed in pantsuits, one is a light yellow, and the other is a light blue. If I wasn’t the bride, I would probably be wearing the same thing as them.

My desk is perfectly organized, with the middle of the desk clear with just one folder on it, and it’s the one for this weekend. A picture of Joseph and me taken when he proposed to me is on the side of my desk right next to my computer screen. Another photo is of my sisters and me when we officially opened our wedding service, Happily Ever After. “Are we going to start?” I look over at them, and they look up from their phones.

“This is going to be amazing,” Clarabella says, coming over and sitting on one of the two white chairs that face my desk. “Wedding of the decade.”

“I mean, let’s be honest, it’s going to be a lot better than Travis’s first wedding.” Presley sits in the chair next to Clarabella. “We’ve already set the bar higher on that one with the kitchen not catching on fire.”

I gasp. “Why would you say that and put it in the universe?” I squeeze my hands together in fists.

“It’s like out there now. Ready to come back and boom. Kitchen on fire.”

“Since when are you superstitious?” Presley just eyes me. “Out of all of us, you are the last person who’s even remotely superstitious.”

I just look at them, trying to mask all the things going through my head right now. I shouldn’t be this nervous. I’ve done this a thousand times. Yes, but not personally. With each bride, I leave a little bit of myself in their shoes. “There was that one time that the mirror in the bride’s room shattered.”

Clarabella looks over at Presley.

“That was because she was having sex against it,” I point out, “with the groom’s father.”

“Oh, yeah, that should have been a sign.” Presley taps her phone that is on her lap with her finger.

“We must have done something right. She’s coming back for her second wedding.”

“Nothing says I really loved what you guys did with my first wedding than to come back for a second time,” Presley says, looking down at her notes and starting. “Everything has been reconfirmed.” I look down on my list that is all blacked out with check marks beside it. “We have them setting up for the rehearsal dinner right now.”

“Which looks amazing,” Clarabella says, and I just stare at her. “What? You know the rules. We plan each other’s wedding.”

“The only thing I’ve been able to do is book the food and the waitstaff,” I huff, not used to not being the one in control.

“That’s not true. We let you choose the dress,” Presley retorts, leaning back in her chair when her phone beeps.

“And be happy we even let you handle that.” Clarabella smiles at me. “And if I’m being honest, I would have chosen the other one.” She gets up. “It’s just a couple more minutes, and we will call you to come out, and you can take it all in.” She looks over at Presley. “It gives us a chance to change.”

“You’re changing?” I ask, and they just look at me.

“Of course, we are changing. You aren’t the only one who gave up carbs for the last six months,”

Clarabella says. “Also, would never recommend.” I just laugh.

“But we felt so much better.” I point at her.

“And I’ll feel so much better tomorrow when I shove doughnuts down my pie hole,” Presley says.

“Pie . . . that sounds so good. I think I just drooled.” She brings her hand to her mouth. “When you get married.” She looks at Clarabella. “I’m not doing this carb-free shit.”

“As if.” Clarabella pffts at her. “You will be married before me.” They walk to the door, then she looks back at me. “Only come out when I call you.” She points at me and walks out of the room.

Getting up, I shake my head, looking down at the four-carat princess-cut ring sitting on my left

hand. A smile comes to my face when I think of when he gave it to me. I don’t know if I was expecting it or not, but deep down inside, I was more surprised than I thought I would be. Married. It was a big deal, especially with seeing the things I’ve seen doing my job. My stomach does a little flip, and I walk to look out the window as the florist truck pulls up.

When my sisters and I decided to go into business together, we got the idea from our mom and aunt, who ran a small wedding planning business. But the three of us didn’t just want to plan weddings. No, we wanted to be the best event planners in the business, and with that came the idea to build our own event space. We bought a huge piece of land and slowly built it up.

Our main offices were in a nice little bungalow we built with three offices upstairs where the bedrooms would be, and the downstairs was a little setup of things we have done along with pictures of all our events. I look off toward the right and see the food truck as well. The main thing that took the longest to build was the event building.

It looks like a barn from the outside, but once you get inside, the wooden floors are rustic with exposed wooden beams that can be dressed up. It can fit up to five hundred and fifty people. Right behind the barn is a kitchen where the caterers can set up.

My eyes see another truck arriving and heading toward the little house adjacent to the event space.

It’s what usually sells the brides on this place. It’s a massive three-bedroom bridal suite. I see white flowers being carried in as well as my dress. The dress that I spent about three months designing. The dress that I was sure in my heart was my dream dress. So what if when I tried it on, I didn’t get that little butterfly feeling that everyone says you get, but I think it was just nerves.

I put my hand to my stomach, waiting for the butterflies to flutter and come up empty. “It’s going to be fine,” I tell myself. “It’s just nerves because I haven’t done anything.”

My phone rings on my desk, and I walk over to see that it’s Clarabella. “Hello.” I put the phone to my ear, and I hear her walking somewhere.

“You may make your way down,” she says, and I walk over to the shoes in the corner and slip them on. They are mesh with white diamond studs on them. I’m also wearing them tomorrow, and I’ve counted them as my something old. “Happy day before your wedding, Shelby,” she says, and I can hear the smile in her voice. “It’s going to be amazing.”

“I know it will,” I say to her. “No one knows me quite like you two,” I say, smiling. “I’m on my way.” I walk over to the mirror and take a final look at myself, tucking a piece of black hair behind one ear. The curls are still holding from this afternoon. My makeup is very natural, just like I wanted it. I take a deep breath. “Here we go.”

I pull open my office door and see Mallory, our head waitstaff server, with a silver tray and a crystal champagne glass. “What is this?”

“Happy day before your wedding, Shelby,” she says, handing me the glass. “You look beautiful.”

“Thank you,” I reply, grabbing the glass and trying to take a sip, but my nerves get the best of me, and I finish it all. I look at Mallory, trying to find the words, when she pulls a shot glass out from

behind her. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” The words come out of my mouth, but my hand is grabbing the glass, and I take the shot. I hiss as the liquid burns all the way down. “That was definitely a bad idea.” We share a smile. “How many of these have we done together?” I ask, turning and walking out with her beside me.

“More than I can count,” she says, smiling at me and leaning into me. “Are you ready?” she urges, holding the door of the venue in her hand.

“Not even a bit,” I admit, and she just laughs.

“How hard was it to let go of the control and have them plan the whole thing?” she asks.

“Don’t tell anyone,” I say, making sure that my dress is perfect. “But I tried to break into their emails at least four times.” I side-eye her as she just laughs out loud. “I wish I was kidding.”

“Well, I hope it was worth it,” she says and pulls open the door, and I step in. The photographer is there waiting to catch the moment that I see everything. I glare at him, and he laughs while I hear him clicking away.

“Happy day before your wedding,” he says to me from behind the camera, and I flip him the bird.

“These pictures are going to be up on the website,” he tells me, and it’s my turn to laugh.

I look around, speechless at what my sisters did. It’s perfect. Everything is perfect. When they asked me what I thought it should be, I said a forest wedding. I put my hands to my mouth as I take it all in. The trees are everywhere, and I can only imagine what is to come. It looks like we are in the middle of the forest.

I look around for my sisters, knowing they are somewhere, when I see them in the corner talking to each other as they both type nervously on their phones. I wait a couple of seconds to see if they look over at me, but I can see from their faces that something is wrong.

“What’s wrong?” I ask, my voice loud. The two of them look over at me, and I know exactly what they are doing when they smile.

“Oh, look at how beautiful you look,” Clarabella says, putting her phone behind her.

“Knock that shit out. You saw me before,” I remind her, putting my hands on my hips when the door opens, and I see some guests come in. I walk over to my sisters, smiling and waving at a couple of people who come in. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” Presley says. “How do you like the decorations?”

“They suck,” I say, knowing that it’s going to bother them. I’m right when they both gasp. “Now, what is all the chatter about?”

“What do you mean?” Clarabella asks, looking around, trying to pretend, but I know she’s lying.

“I swear to God,” I say, my teeth clenched tight.

“Okay, fine,” Presley relents, and I see Clarabella open her eyes wide. “Don’t freak out, but”—she looks around with a smile on her face, making it seem like everything is okay—”Joseph is MIA.”

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