Home > Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3)(15)

Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3)(15)
Author: Samantha Young

All of us wore champagne silk floor-length dresses. The dress was sleeveless with wide straps and a sweetheart neckline that draped with the fabric, and it nipped in at the waist, then fell in a straight waterfall to the floor without hugging the body too much. It was a classy design, and we all wore it well, including Hannah, who looked very grown-up, standing three inches taller than me even though we were both wearing kitten heels.

Joss’s dress was simple elegance. It was strapless, with a heart-shaped neckline, and the upper half of the bodice was ivory with crystal beading and lace. The finest white silk chiffon pulled across the bodice in a tight drape, fitted to Joss’s tiny waist. From her hips the layers of chiffon, shot through with silver, fell to the floor, floating around her – not too puffy, not too straight. Just right. She wore her hair in an almost Grecian-style updo of soft curls and French braids.

When Joss reached Braden, her smile was tremulous and vulnerable in a way I’d never seen before. She pressed a kiss to Clark’s cheek and murmured something to him as he slipped her hand into Braden’s.

Braden nodded at Clark and then his focus was back on his bride, his large hand engulfing hers as he pulled her into his side, oblivious to their audience.

He whispered something to her and she whispered back. Whatever she said made him chuckle and lean down to press a kiss to her lips. For a few seconds he just stood there murmuring secret words against her mouth.

The minister had to clear his throat to get their attention so he could start the ceremony, and the guests tittered in their wooden pews.

The music drew to a stop and the ceremony proceeded. I couldn’t take my eyes off Joss and Braden, and I’d be surprised if anyone else could either. Of course, it was their wedding and most people would be focused on the bride and groom, but there was something about how they were together that took you to someplace else.

It was epic what they had.

Everyone should have what they had.

‘Have you recovered from the speeches?’ I asked Joss as she came over to our table. The speeches were over and dinner was done. Adam had cracked us all up with his best man’s speech, keeping it funny and real and not sentimental. Clark was just as down-to-earth when he gave a speech on Joss’s dad’s behalf, but it was sentimental, and very kind and compassionate, and when Joss ducked her head to fight back tears and Braden squeezed the back of her neck in reassurance, I don’t think I was the only woman blotting her eyes.

Finally Braden stood up and gave his speech and, well, if every woman in the room didn’t end up a little bit in love with him, then my name wasn’t Olivia Holloway.

Joss looked radiant, and laid-back. ‘Almost,’ she said in answer to my question about the speeches. ‘I have a feeling that Braden’s speech is a get-out-of-jail-free card for at least the first year of our marriage.’

‘It was a good speech.’

‘Tell me about it.’ She smirked, her gaze turning introspective in a way that made me suspect she was thinking naughty thoughts about her husband.

‘So how does it feel?’ Jo asked, her eyes lighting up as she unconsciously rubbed her engagement ring. ‘To call someone husband?’

‘Weird,’ Joss answered abruptly.

Nate snorted and Cam laughed. ‘Is that it?’

She shrugged. ‘It’s the first word that comes to mind.’

I laughed too now. ‘Not “great,” not “wonderful,” not “right”? Just “weird.” ’

‘ “Weird” definitely wins out.’

‘Marriage to me is weird already. Good to know.’ Braden came to a stop behind his wife, a sardonic tilt to the corners of his mouth.

‘Well, I wouldn’t want normal,’ Joss replied.

I gave a sharp nod of my head. ‘Agreed. Normal’s boring.’

‘You would say that.’ Nate smiled at me. ‘You wouldn’t know normal if it bit you in the arse.’

‘Oh, like you would?’

‘I didn’t say I wasn’t weird. I’m just better at hiding it than you are.’

‘Why would I hide it?’ I asked the entire group, my expression deadpan. ‘I’m awesome.’

‘No one would dispute that.’ Nate’s eyes glittered with amusement.

Joss chuckled. ‘If you’ll excuse us, we have more rounds to make.’

We waved Joss and Braden off, and settled into random conversation.

‘Hey, kiddos.’ Dad approached, looking dapper in his dark gray suit. His arm was wrapped tightly around Dee’s curvy waist. She looked stunning in a flowing light blue maxi dress, her long blond hair falling in waves around her shoulders. ‘Dee and I are going up to dance. Care to join us?’

‘Perhaps in a bit,’ Jo answered, her eyes soft as she looked at the older couple. Her expression said she was happy my dad had found Dee, and as I took in how relaxed he was, I knew for sure I was too.

‘Have fun,’ I said, and grinned at them.

Dee smiled down at me. ‘You look beautiful, Olivia.’ Her eyes swept the table. ‘You all do.’

‘Well, so do you,’ I replied, and immediately beamed happily under my dad’s approving smile.

I watched them walk onto the dance floor, feeling something shift inside me.

Not long after, Cole decided to reduce his boredom by seeking Hannah and Dec’s company, and Jo and Cam wandered off to find Ellie and Adam.

‘Want another drink?’ Nate gestured to my empty champagne glass.

‘Yes. Beer.’

‘You got it.’

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