Home > Eden (Providence #3)(9)

Eden (Providence #3)(9)
Author: Jamie McGuire

“So what now?” Jared asked Gabe.

“Shax stil wants his book. Hel doesn’t want the child to be born. Things are stacking against you, Jared,” Gabe said. “One thing at a time.”

“One thing at a time,” Jared repeated, letting his father’s advice sink in.

Gabe hugged his children one more time, and then made his way toward the door. “It’s a long time between now and the time she delivers the baby, Jared. We’ll keep an ear to the ground, but be on alert. Heaven won’t step in until you give them a reason.”

“You mean start a war,” Jared said.

“Figure out a reason, Son.” In that instant, Gabriel was gone.

“Huh,” Bex puffed. “Weird.”

Claire’s shoulders dropped. “He’s never coming back, is he?”

“Probably not,” Jared said with a smal , apologetic smile on his face.

Claire sat on the closest pew, beside her mother. She leaned against Lil ian’s shoulder and closed her eyes, pushing the remaining tears down her face. “I’m so sorry you couldn’t see him,” Claire whispered.

“She’l know,” Bex said. “She always knows.”

The windows began to brighten, and light danced down the wal s as if the sun were rising.

Eli smiled, kissing me lightly on the cheek. “Congratulations, kiddo. On both counts. See you soon.”

“How soon?”

He smiled. “It’s as I said before. When there is only one question left to ask.”

“But...what does that mean? What is the question?” I asked, but I was talking to empty space. He was gone.

Claire stood, taking a deep breath. “I have to get back,” she said, looking behind her. Samuel stood at the door with an outstretched hand reaching in her direction. “You look beautiful,” she said to me with a smal smile. In no hurry, Claire ambled down the aisle. Once her hand touched Samuel’s, she was gone as wel .

Bex laughed once and shook his head. “That’s so cool.”

Chapter Four

Little Heaven

Jared took my hand and led me to our former spots at the front of the church. Bex took a position beside his brother. We watched each other as the sun grew brighter, slowly brightening the faces of our audience. From the corner of my eye, I saw movement, and Father Julian shifted his weight, signaling their awakening.

The minister smiled, gesturing for us to turn. We faced our friends and family, and Father Julian placed his hands on each of our shoulders. “I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Jared Ryel.”

Every face in the room beamed, and applause fil ed the room. Even with the frightening events just moments before, joy consumed me. Jared’s hand enveloped mine, and we walked the few steps to the aisle, and then made our way outside. It was surreal to return to the scene of Jared’s trial, this time in the sunshine where birds sang, happily riding the bobbing branches that swayed with the breeze. The plaza at the bottom of the chapel’s steps where Michael and his smal army had stood not ten minutes before now bathed in the warmth of the sun, waiting for our friends to occupy its smooth, rocked surface. The fountain gushing, the road peppered with townspeople—I felt a bit sick at the sight of it.

“You okay?” Jared said, stopping to smile as Beth took our picture.

“Yeah…yeah, I just feel…confused.”

“Changing planes is unnatural and unsettling for humans, which is why they typical y don’t all ow it.”

“That explains a lot,” I said, stopping to pose for more pictures as Lil ian, Cynthia, Chad, and Jared’s Uncle Luke and Aunt Maryse filed out of the chapel. “Does it…,” I smiled again, “affect the baby?”

“No,” Jared answered, kissing my forehead.

“How do you know?” I said, leaning into his kiss.

He looked down to me and touched my cheek. “Otherwise Eli wouldn’t have done it.”

“Oh,” I said, my eyes wandering until I found Lil ian. “Of course.”

Lil ian hugged her son, and then me. Her sweet, energetic smile lit up the island. I watched and waited, wondering if she realized she’d been in Gabriel’s presence just moments before.

“What is it?” she said, half curious, half amused.

“Nothing,” I smiled. “I’m just glad you’re here.”

“Not as much as I,” she winked.

Jared and I traded glances, wondering if she’d just given us a clue.

“Cynthia!” Beth cal ed. “Stand beside Nina and I’ll take a picture of the couple with their mothers.”

Cynthia fidgeted with her hair, and then took her place beside me, poised and proper. I hooked my arm around her waist, and she stiffened when I pul ed her closer.

“Smile!” Beth said, snapping a picture.

A few of the locals gathered on the street, their warm, smiling faces interlacing with the familiar faces our friends and family. They began clapping and singing, and then one of the grandmothers waved us with her hands, encouraging us to walk. Jared tugged on my hand, and we walked to the street. I laughed with surprise and excitement when I realized they were fol owing us, their hands clapping to the beat of their happy song. Our guests’ white faces were littered among the brown, sun-kissed skin of the townspeople. They fol owed us to a makeshift downtown, where a smal group of men played music.

“You did this?” I asked Jared.

He smiled, amazed. “No. This one I didn’t do.”

We laughed together, amazed at the random celebration that grew around us. Jared pul ed me to the center of the street, where we danced to the strumming guitars and hand-tapped percussion. Chad and Beth joined us, as did Luke and Maryse. Bex pul ed his mother into the dirt street as wel . If I didn’t know better, I would have felt badly for Cynthia, but I knew she preferred to stand away from the nonsense. Perfectly stil .

The afternoon sun was warm, and my wedding dress wasn’t built to breathe in the Caribbean humidity. Jared sensed my dilemma and nodded, providing me a seat in the shade. An elderly woman brought me a fan with a smile of understanding. The band played on, and the townsfolk and our guests danced into the evening, long after the makeshift street lamps and hanging lights turned on to flicker and twinkle against the night.

“How do you feel?” Jared asked, handing me another glass of water.

“Good,” I smiled, taking a sip. “I feel good.”

“Feel like dancing?” he said. Jared gestured to the band, and it slowed the beat.

I eagerly let my husband take me by the hand to the middle of the celebration. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pressed my cheek against his chest. His heavenly scent took me away from trials and the war we would create to stay alive. It was then that I realized his skin wasn’t the feverish temperature it usual y was.

“What is it?” Jared asked.

“You don’t feel as hot.”

“It’s probably because you’re overheating in that dress. I should have arranged for something you could change into.”

“I’m fine.” I smiled. “Quit fussing.”

Jared rested his jaw against my hair, and we moved slowly to the music. A slight breeze moved through the trees that lined the smal cobblestone street in the center of the town. I sunk into Jared’s chest and let his arms total y engulf me. I had never been in more danger, and yet I had never felt so safe. The tribulations that we would face upon our return to Providence suddenly seemed so smal in comparison to that moment.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
Most Popular
» Eden (Providence #3)
» Requiem (Providence #2)
» Providence (Providence #1)
» Red Hill (Red Hill #1)
» Among Monsters (Red Hill #1.5)
» Matchmaking for Beginners
» Legendary (Caraval #2)
» Still Me (Me Before You #3)