All I Ever Need Is You(Sullivans,book 14)(71) by Bella Andre
Only, what if she was wrong? What if her mother was right about first impressions being wrong sometimes? And what if sometimes the most right thing in the world was the most unexpected? Not to mention exhilarating and frustrating and addictive?
With the dinner starting in less than five minutes, Kerry was heading across the beach to take her seat when she heard delighted giggling. She turned to find Adam standing in the middle of the gazebo, holding little Emma and Jackie in his arms, one on each side.
He had showered off the hard, sweaty work of the day and was now wearing a dark suit that made him almost too handsome. Too handsome for Kerry’s heart to figure out how to return to beating normally, anyway.
The girls were singing songs that she was fairly certain were from the movie Frozen in high-pitched, often out-of-tune voices, and Adam was dancing with them. The girls were obviously head over heels in love with him—and he looked just as thrilled with them. From one cheek to the next, he peppered them with kisses that had them giggling even harder.
It was, hands down, the most beautiful thing Kerry had ever seen in her life. Watching Adam shower his family with love was so beautiful, in fact, that she suddenly couldn’t remember a single reason why she’d pushed him away.
Because Adam Sullivan, she now knew with perfect certainty, was an amazing man. A loving son, brother, cousin, and uncle. He never hesitated to give all of himself to his family.
Unlike her father.
Kerry’s father had never given her anything. Not his love. Not his support. Not one dance that she could remember. No kisses on cheeks. No nights helping with homework. No advice about dealing with boys.
She’d thought she’d dealt with it, that she was over it. She’d even told Adam—you just have to move on and try not to let it affect you. But now, for the first time, Kerry realized that the big empty hole in her life where her father should have been had never fully closed, no matter how many years had passed.
Worse still, she could now see that she’d lived with that fear her whole life. Not only that men would leave her behind without a second thought, but that everyone she loved would leave her.
Hadn’t she always worried about disappointing her mother? And hadn’t she walked on eggshells with her sister because she hadn’t wanted Colleen to turn away from her, either?
The enormous epiphanies were still hitting her one after another just as Adam turned and saw her standing there, watching him dance with the little girls. A few moments later, they wiggled down and ran off, hand in hand, leaving her face-to-face with the man who had reached deeper and deeper into her heart from the first day they’d met.
She loved him.
Kerry Dromoland loved Adam Sullivan with every breath, every heartbeat. And she would love him from now until eternity, if they were lucky enough to have that much time together.
All week, everything she’d been feeling, everything she’d been wanting, the things her mother had said to her—they’d all been swirling around and around inside of her. And then yesterday...
Yesterday there hadn’t been anything in the world that mattered but Adam.
His voice was warm and full of so much love it floored her, but she was already heading for him. She was nearly in his arms again when the tinkle of silverware on glass chimed out over the beach.
Max Sullivan’s amplified voice sounded. “Claudia and I couldn’t be happier that all of you were able to come from near and far to celebrate Rafe and Brooke’s wedding.”
Adam stepped down from the gazebo and took Kerry’s hand in his. “Let’s go enjoy dinner. And then after, we’ll talk.”
This time she was the one needing to know for sure that she wouldn’t miss her chance with him. Her chance to tell him everything that was now burning a hole inside of her. She wanted to tell him she loved him, had the words right there on the tip of her tongue, when he reached out to stroke her cheek.
“Everything, Kerry. That’s what I’m promising you.”
With no time to say anything more, he simply put his hand on the small of her back and walked with her to their seats.
* * *
Ninety minutes later, Kerry was dying. Literally about to burst.
The dinner was wonderful, and the toasts were all beautiful and funny and heart-wrenching. But the truth was that she hardly noticed any of it, because all she wanted was for it to be over already so that she could get Adam alone and they could talk.
Fortunately, though, she wasn’t so twisted up that she missed when Rafe and Brooke turned to focus their attention on her. “We want to take a moment to thank Kerry Dromoland for doing such an amazing job of putting our wedding together. We’re just so glad she could be here with us tonight, especially because there are an awful lot of us and we’re a lot to take in.”
Everyone laughed at that, and Kerry managed a smile as she mouthed, Thank you.
Rafe continued to speak into the microphone, saying, “I know it must feel like we’ve already been toasting each other all night long, but does anyone else want to chime in before we let you loose on the bonfire?”
An entire beach full of Sullivans looked at Kerry in surprise. Only Adam didn’t look surprised. Probably because he’d always been able to read what she was feeling on her face, seeing all the things she’d always been able to hide from everyone else.
What she was about to do was the most unprofessional thing in the entire world. But she didn’t care if she got a reputation for being the worst wedding planner on the planet after this. She couldn’t hold in what she was feeling anymore.
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