A Fall of Secrets(A Shade of Vampire,Book 15)(8) by Bella Forrest
My grip around Leyni’s arm tightened. Although this was the happiest moment of my life, I couldn’t help but feel a stab of melancholy that it wasn’t my father walking beside me.
Reaching the foot of the platform, Leyni let me walk on my own. I ascended the steps and stood opposite Kiev, my veil still covering my face.
Now that I was standing on the platform, I caught sight of Corrine, who sat in the front row next to Derek and Sofia. She had a huge grin on her face as she winked at me, nodding toward Kiev.
Ibrahim placed two gold rings in our hands and began the ceremony. I barely concentrated on what he was saying until it came time for our vows. Kiev reached for my hands, enveloping them in his.
“Mona,” he began, his intense green eyes boring into me. “I never have been good with words. But I hope you’ll believe me when I say that whatever love my heart is capable of, you have it all. If you’ll accept me, I promise to be true to you every day for the rest of my life.”
Tears began to brim in my eyes again. Kiev didn’t realize how capable he was of love. Most men didn’t possess half the heart he did, however many scars it bore.
“Kiev,” I said, my voice trembling, “not long ago, I believed I would spend the rest of my life alone. Loveless, heartless. But you smashed into my world, breaking through my walls. For all I know of your scarred heart, I wouldn’t want you any other way. You are my mirror. And if it weren’t for your flaws, I wouldn’t be deserving of you. You would be too good a man for me… The time I spent away from you was possibly the most painful of my existence. And I-I don’t ever want to spend another day apart from you, my love. I accept you with all my heart… a-and I hope you’ll accept me, too.”
My voice choked up. Holding my hands gently in his, he slipped a ring over my finger. I did the same to him, and then he raised his hands to my face, lifting up my veil and tucking it behind my head. Ibrahim barely had a chance to give Kiev permission to “kiss the bride” before Kiev’s lips were on mine as he kissed me passionately and pulled me against him.
A grin split my face through our kiss as Corrine wolf-whistled from her chair.
Showers of petals fell down upon us from the sky. Turning toward the crowd, I hurled my bouquet of flowers. There was a scuffle and Ashley emerged victorious. Perched upon Landis’ shoulders, she clutched the bouquet triumphantly. A piano began to play to our left. I looked to see Rose sitting behind it. Three witches stood next to her, each holding a different instrument, and they began to accompany her. Kiev pulled me down the steps and we made our way to an open area on the beach Corrine had arranged as a dance floor. Other couples began to follow us. Resting my head against Kiev’s chest, I closed my eyes, breathing in his musk, and lost myself in him. His lips pressed against my temple as we swayed slowly from side to side.
To anybody who didn’t know us, Kiev and I were an unlikely couple. On paper, there was almost nothing we had in common. But beneath the surface, we had more in common than most couples could ever hope to have.
“What are you thinking?” he whispered into my ear, his voice husky.
“You’re my lifeline, Kiev. You do realize that?” My voice was hoarse.
He held me closer. “And I won’t let you down.”
“Please don’t,” I whispered.
We passed the rest of the dance in silence, enjoying the music and the feel of our embrace.
“Mr. and Mrs. Novalic,” Corrine called from the side of the dance floor. She was gesturing to a large cake on one of the food tables. She held up a knife. I smiled back at her and pulled Kiev over. Everyone stopped dancing and gathered round us. I took the knife from Corrine and positioned it over the cake. Kiev’s hand over mine, we began to slice the cake together.
“Take the first bite,” Corrine said as we placed the first slice on a plate. Kiev picked up a spoon and dug it into the sponge. He raised it to my mouth and fed me. It was a shame that he couldn’t eat any of his own wedding cake. I could have sworn that I saw a look of disappointment in his eyes as he looked over the beautiful cake. Corrine sliced up the rest of the cake quickly using her magic and distributed it to everyone.
Picking up a plate of cake, I left Kiev’s side and walked over to Rose. She was still playing the piano. I bent down, planting a kiss on her cheek.
“Thank you, Rose. You’re an incredibly talented musician.” I placed the plate on the seat next to her. “Why don’t you take a break?”
“Thank you,” she said, picking up the plate and standing up. She walked over to Caleb in the crowd and sat next to him.
When I arrived by Kiev’s side again, he pointed to the rest of the delicious-looking buffet laid out on the tables. “Won’t you eat some?” he asked.
I shook my head. I slipped my hands beneath his suit, running them up along his back. I reached up to kiss his throat.
“I’m hungry for only one thing right now,” I whispered.
I wanted nothing more than to be alone with my new husband. But people were beginning to dance again, as the witches kept the melody going. We decided to dance for another hour before finally retreating away from the crowds.
We’d almost reached the entrance to the woods when someone called out behind us. We turned around to see Matteo. I’d spotted him dancing with Helina just a moment ago, but now he walked toward us alone. He cleared his throat as he stopped in front of us.
“Kiev,” he said, pausing and looking at him nervously. “I… I’m in love with your sister.”