Home > Always You (Luna Harbor #3)

Always You (Luna Harbor #3)
Author: Claudia Burgoa

 


Chapter One

 

 

Brianna


“I didn’t believe in love.”

My lip quivers with those words. This is going to be an epic speech. I can feel it in my bones. Controlling the tears is hard, but I do my best while I hold on to each word.

“But the day I met you, my life completely changed. I became this starry-eyed and openhearted dreamer. Everyone said we rushed into this relationship. That we were making a big mistake. They were probably right. I had the eagerness of a teenager wanting to suck up life because you made me believe everything was possible.

“Maybe it was, because I had no idea what love was until I found you. No one has ever given me so much that my heart almost bursts every time you say I love you. You’re the partner I truly deserve.”

I dab my eyes with the tissue I hide under my sleeve. Those words are so sweet—even magical.

“Save those tears for later, Bri,” Aunt Celeste says over the earpiece. “I need you smiling and handing over tissues to the wedding guests.”

“But this is so beautiful,” I whisper, almost sobbing.

“Sure, but we want this wedding to be flawless. So far—”

“Don’t jinx it,” my cousin, Teressa, interrupts her mother through the communicator. “I need complete silence. They say their vows, the priest says the magic words, there’s a kiss, and we move everything along. Bri, you’re in charge of the couple’s pictures along with Benedict.”

Me? I thought… I check my cheat sheet and realize she put me as a floater. I love Teressa, but I hate when she doesn’t take me seriously. I’ve been working for them every summer since I turned fourteen. I’ve proven that even though I’m young, I can be responsible. Still, she gives me the crappy jobs.

I’m ready for the next step. I can handle my own station, but she doesn’t believe in me. What does a girl need to do?

So far, I’ve done everything they asked without a single complaint. Yesterday, I was the one helping the bride go to the restroom. It wasn’t an easy task and the smell… I might have a slight trauma, but did I say anything?

Nope.

When I look at the sheet closely, I realize I’m also on meltdown duty.

I forgot she categorized our bride as a B-5. That’s short for Bridezilla level five. I don’t think she’s that bad, but Teressa is pretty judgmental and has no people skills. She’s not a good fit for a party planning company, but who am I to judge. I’m only seventeen—a child.

“So, Todd is driving me to the hotel?”

“Yes, be ready. The second photographer is waiting for you. I’ll hold the guests so the bride and groom can get all the pictures they want at the venue.”

I look around, searching for my favorite cousin, Todd. I hope we can stay until the moment they kiss. That’s my favorite part about weddings.

Mom told me once that kisses are special. They communicate feelings a lot better than words.

They also heal the soul.

Am I a hopeless romantic? Probably.

This is why I’ve been working for my aunt the past three summers. Dad insisted I help him with the bed-and-breakfasts this year, but I’d rather be under pressure working to create dreams through the perfect party—or in this case, a wedding—than checking in guests, making beds, and helping the chef cook three meals a day.

It’s something I’ve been doing all my life. Well, there’s more to it, but those are the basics. Living in New York for three months with Mom’s family and organizing the parties for the wealthy has its charm.

There’s never a dull moment, and all of the celebrations are different. Yesterday, we were in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Today it’s a smaller church with an intimate ambiance. It’s a beautiful place with elaborate stained-glass windows that might be at least two hundred years old. The history around this ceremony might not be important for this couple, but when I get married, I’ll choose something that reflects my past or maybe our future.

“Now it’s his turn. What do you think he’s going to say?” I’m expecting a speech that might be taken from a movie where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks play long-lost lovers, or—

“Stop whispering and find Todd,” Aunt Celeste orders.

I hug myself as the groom begins to speak. “Hetty, I’m sorry. I thought I wanted to do this, be with you, but I’m lying to you and to myself. I love you, but not the way you expect, and I don’t—”

A chorus of gasps echoes through the entire church.

“Code Red—” The groom turns toward the aisle and begins to walk away. “No, Code Black. We have a Runaway Groom. RAG on the loose. This wedding is dying. Everyone take their places,” my aunt says as I spot her running toward the altar.

The bride lets out a crushing sob, echoing throughout the building and suddenly there are hushed voices all around the church.

The groom doesn’t even stop when the bride says, “Calvin, don’t leave me.”

I rush to open the door and follow behind. “Todd, where are you?”

“I’m waiting for you by the entrance. Is it finally over?”

I glance at the groom. I guess you could say that. It’s definitely over. “I see you. We’re driving the groom to his house or…somewhere.”

It takes me a few strides to catch up with our RAG. “Sir, why don’t you come with me.”

“This… I… I have to—”

“I know, but we can give you a ride,” I offer, pointing toward the car.

He nods, massaging the back of his neck and glancing at the church where some lurkers are already coming outside.

RAG sighs. “We should’ve stopped this a few months ago, maybe a year ago when she proposed. It’s just so hard to say no to her. She’s so vulnerable and had a hard life, but I can’t…”

I nod, as if saying I understand. Then, I open the passenger door and point. “Let’s go. Todd and I are leaving, Bri out,” I say as the RAG gets in the back of the car.

Teressa and Aunt Celeste will handle the broken-hearted bride and the guests. Soirées by Celeste has been doing this for years—even before I was born. I bet this isn’t the first time one of these ended up a dumpster fire.

“We’re fucked,” Teressa says right before I turn off my communicator.

People might remember today, but they’ll highlight the best parts of yesterday’s wedding and remind everyone of the successes the company has had since it opened.

 

“Well, that was a disaster,” Aunt Celeste says as we stuff our faces with the cake.

This is the part of the day or night when we get together to celebrate our successful events. For the first time in my life, I get to experience one of their FUEs. That’s the term they use for their fucked-up events.

We’re eating part of the groom’s cake and drinking champagne. Well, it’s just water for me. Maybe in four years I’ll be drinking bubbly with them.

“You jinxed it, Mom,” Teressa complains, sipping from her flute. Then, she glances at me. “Are you going to be able to help us with the Stanley-Miller wedding?”

I nod because this horrifying ceremony can’t possibly be the last one I attend. Even though I moved into the city to attend college, I’m not allowed to work for my aunt, or anyone. According to my father, I have to focus all my energy on my studies. This is my chance to learn everything I need so I can take over the family business.

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