I adore all of my characters, and that's no lie, but Nat and Luke hold a special place in my heart. They introduced me to the Montgomery clan and started me on this journey, and for that I'm forever in their debt. I love the epilogue of their book. It took me quite a while to write it, and it went through a couple of different versions before I settled on what you see here. As you wait for Leo and Sam's story, ROCK WITH ME, to release on May 2nd, here's a little trip down memory lane for you. Enjoy!
“Holy shit.” I’m standing in a beautiful bungalow in Tahiti, in front of a full-length mirror and I don’t even recognize the woman staring back at me.I love my wedding dress. It’s long and billowy. It’s white chiffon with a beaded bodice and spaghetti straps and the skirt falls from the empire waist all the way to the ground. I won’t be wearing shoes today. My makeup is classic and simple, perfect for a beach wedding, and my hair is curled and pinned into an intricate bun behind my left ear with a red rose pinned to it.I’m wearing my pearls.“You are stunning.” Jules kisses my cheek and I smile at her nervously. She is also stunning in her simple pink chiffon gown. I look around the bungalow and smile in happiness and warmth and love. I am surrounded by beautiful women. Luke’s mom Lucy and Jules’ mom Gail have their heads together in a corner. They both look lovely in their pretty pink dresses. Samantha and Stacy are cooing over little Sophie, who is simply adorable in a soft pink dress with a pink headband.Jules is, of course, my maid of honor, and Stacy and Sam are my bridesmaids. Sam and I seemed to have buried the hatchet after Luke’s accident, and we have become good friends. She did most of the legwork on planning this fantastic wedding.“Are you nervous?” Stacy asks.“I wasn’t until I put this dress on, now I’m a little nervous.” I smile and look back in the mirror. Holy shit, I’m getting married!Neil walks through the door and smiles widely when he sees all of us. “I’ve been sent in here to give you this.” He hands me a wrapped box with a card attached and kisses my cheek. “It’s almost time.”“Are the boys ready?” I ask.“Yes, and your soon-to-be husband is a nervous wreck. He is ready to make you his wife.”I laugh and kiss Neil’s cheek, “Here, take this back to him.” I hand him a wrapped box, also with a note. “And tell him I’ll meet him in a few. I’ll be the one in white.”I walk into the bedroom to open the gift in private. My man does enjoy spoiling me. As if renting out this entire beautiful resort for our family and friends to enjoy for a whole week and our beautiful wedding weren’t enough, he’s given me little gifts every day.I’m crazy about him.Luke has written on the envelope of the card Open the box first, then read this.He’s so bossy.I unwrap the beautiful white paper and there is a small Tiffany blue box. Inside, nestled in the satin is a pair of amazing diamond earrings. They are soft pink princess cut diamonds with teardrop diamonds dangling from them. They take my breath away.I open the card and sit on the side of the bed.My Love,When you read this, you will be minutes away from becoming my wife. I can’t express to you how honored I am that you are mine. I am ready to love you for the rest of my life, as your husband.I love you, with all that I am.-LukeWell, isn’t he a charmer?***Natalie decided that returning to Tahiti with our family and friends was where she wanted to get married, so I’ve flown everyone here and booked the resort for the week, just for our affair. I hope it’s everything she ever dreamed it would be.I button my white shirt and check my reflection in the mirror of the master bedroom of my parent’s bungalow. Nat wanted the guys to wear khaki pants with white shirts for the ceremony, so that’s what we’re wearing.She’s the boss.My hair is a mess, as usual, and it doesn’t make sense to fix it because Nat’s fingers will be in it as soon as she sees me. I smile as I think of my bride. I am one lucky son of a bitch. Natalie is, without a doubt, the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen, all long dark hair, beautiful green eyes, and smoking hot curvy body. But her heart is what caught me. Her gracious, loving nature, and sassy mouth are what I can’t ever imagine living without.And I don’t have to.“Hey, Williams, stop mooning over yourself and get in here for a celebratory shot!” Jules’ brother, Isaac, calls from the main room of the bungalow.All the guys are here: My brother, Mark, Jules’ – and Nat’s – brothers, Isaac, Caleb, Matt and Will, and their father, Steven. My dad raises his glass as he hands me mine in a toast.“To my son and Natalie. Thank God she said yes.” “Here, here!” Everyone slams down the shot and the room erupts once again in chaos, men yelling lewd jokes and throwing insults.It does not calm my nerves.I’m not at all nervous about marrying my girl, I’m just ready for it to be over already. “Dad, I need you to take something over to Natalie.” I hand my dad a small blue Tiffany box.“No problem, I need to check in with your mother anyway. Are you about ready?” He smiles and pats my back.“Yes, I’ve been ready. Let’s get this show on the road.” My dad laughs as he heads over to the bridal suite and Isaac approaches me with another shot.“No, man, I need a clear head for this.” I wave off the shot and look out the door toward Nat’s bungalow.“This isn’t for you, moron, it’s for me.” He grins and slugs back the tequila and winces. “Fuck, that’s good. Are you ready for this?”“Everyone keeps asking me that. Yes, I’m ready. I’m past ready.”“You’re good for her, you know.”I look over into Isaac’s face, shocked. All of Natalie’s family have always been welcoming and friendly with me, but I know the brothers have had reservations, and as a brother myself, I can’t blame them.“How so?”Isaac shrugs and looks back over at the other guys, then back to me. “She’s opened up more, laughs more. Hell, I don’t know, man. She’s just happy. I’ve known her for a long time and I don’t remember ever seeing her smile this much.”“I’m glad.” I nod and smile to myself. “But if you hurt her, or that baby,” Isaac continues, and I know what he’s going to say, “I’ll fucking kill you.”“No need, I’m not going to hurt her.” I hold my hand out to shake his and he takes it, then pulls me into a guy hug. “Welcome to the family, bro.”“The girls are ready,” my dad stalks back into the room with a wrapped gift in his hand. I told her not to get me anything. She and the baby are everything I need. “This is for you.”I walk into the bedroom to open the gift, and the note, alone, wondering if she likes the pink diamond earrings I sent over. Everything in this wedding is pink, and she should have pink diamonds too.Luke,I know you said that Baby and I are all you need today, but I couldn’t help but get you a gift. I chose this particular gift because it symbolizes how precious time is. I am grateful for the time you give me, and for the many years we are about to spend together, as a family, and as lovers. You are what I was waiting for, Luke, and I can’t believe that in a few short hours you will be truly mine, as I am yours.Thank you for picking me to share this life with.Love,NatP.S. I can’t wait to kiss you.And she calls me charming. God, I love that woman.Inside the white box is a platinum Omega watch with a black face. On the inside is an inscription, which makes me grin. Nat is big on inscriptions. That sexy body of hers is full of them.You are my now, always, forever. –NatWell, hell.I fasten the watch on my left wrist and stomp back into the main room. “Let’s go. No more waiting around.”Without waiting for an answer from anyone, I walk down the wooden boardwalk to the sandy beach where the ceremony will be held. The resort did a great job getting set up with white chairs, a small arbor with red roses, and candles lit and scattered over the sand, giving the beach a soft glow. It’s almost sunset, and I know Nat would think the lighting is perfect.I shake hands and wave at some of our fifty or so guests who have flown here for the week-long celebration and make my way up to the arbor with Isaac and Mark right behind me. The front row is reserved for our parents, and I made sure to have the resort place lilies and sunflowers on two of the chairs in honor of Natalie’s parents.Where is she? I see the girls, all in pink dresses. I’m relieved that my sister Sam and Nat have become friends and gotten to know each other better since I proposed. Sam happily helped plan this wedding.Our mothers are escorted to their seats, and my heart starts to beat a little faster. Jesus, I can’t stand the suspense. I need to see her.Where the fuck is she?Finally Jules, Sam and Stacy make their way toward us and take their places and the music changes. Natalie and her father come into view and the rest of the world just falls away. Her beautiful dark hair has been curled and pulled into a loose bun behind her left ear with a rose tucked in it. Her dress is long and billowy, with a beaded top and spaghetti straps, and she’s holding a large bouquet of red roses with the pearls inside. Her new diamonds sparkle at her ears and, thank God, she’s wearing our pearls.I feel the grin spread across my face as I stare into her gorgeous green eyes and my heart calms. This is it.“Who gives this woman to this man?” the pastor asks.“On behalf of her parents, I do,” Steven responds, and places Nat’s hand in mine.Every time I touch her I feel the hit to my gut. Every single time. I’m drawn to her in ways I never knew possible, and I will never grow tired of the feeling I get when she’s near me.“You are stunning,” I whisper to her and grin as she smiles shyly and looks up at me through her long dark lashes.“You’re pretty beautiful yourself,” she whispers back. She can call me beautiful any damn time.“Welcome, friends and family,” the pastor begins. He says a quick prayer and moves right into the ring ceremony.“With this ring, I thee wed,” Natalie says, her eyes on mine, in her soft, sweet voice and places my ring on my finger.“With this ring, I thee wed,” I respond and push the wedding band onto her small finger, next to her engagement ring.The rest of the ceremony is relatively short. We decided against the unity candle ceremony and live music, wanting to focus solely on our vows to one another. We wrote our vows together, last week before we left for Tahiti.We laughed, argued, and Nat cried, but we eventually came up with what we both want to say. Instead of each of us saying the vows in their entirety, we will say them together, alternating the lines. “And now, Luke and Natalie will recite their vows together.” The pastor steps back and I take both of Natalie’s small hands in mine, rubbing my thumbs over her knuckles.“Are you ready?” I whisper and take a deep breath.“Yes,” she whispers back, her sassy smile in place. God, that smile does things to me.I clear my throat, and looking deeply into her eyes, we begin.“I vow to love you.”“I vow to love you,” she responds, her voice strong.“To respect you.”“To be your best friend.”“To read aloud to you.” I run my knuckle down her smooth cheek and see her eyes start to well up.“To lead a charmed life.”“To write you love letters.”“To laugh at your jokes.” She winks at me and I grin.“To always make the coffee, or have it delivered.”“To help you cook.”“To always believe that your newest haircut is the best you’ve ever had.” I tuck a strand of her soft hair behind her ear.“To be patient.” “To always support your hopes and dreams.”“To not overshadow you with my fame,” She says, and I can’t help but laugh with everyone else.“To be your biggest fan.” I respond. God, I love her.“To wake you every morning.”“To wake you every morning. You are not a morning person.”“To kiss you every night.”“To hold your hand.”“To always remember where I left my keys and phone.”“To cherish you.” I take another deep breath.“To believe in you.”“To believe in us.”“To never give up.” She clenches my hands in hers more tightly.“To never, ever give up.”“To forsake all others and be true to you.”“To work every day toward being the man you deserve.” “To work every day toward being the woman you deserve.” We both have tears in our eyes now.“Do you vow to be my wife?”“I do. Do you vow to be my husband?”“I do.” Fuck, yes, I do.“It is my pleasure to present Mr. and Mrs. Luke Williams. You may kiss your bride.”I cup her beautiful face in my hands and she runs her fingers through my hair, gazing up at me with such love, such trust, it takes my breath away. I slowly lean down and brush my nose down hers and sweep my lips over hers in the way I know she loves. She sighs against me as I slide my arms around her, pulling her more tightly against me, and cup the small baby bump between us in my hands.Our guests are applauding, our mothers dabbing at their tears. I rest my forehead against hers as she runs her fingers down my cheek.“I love you.” I whisper.“I love you too. Let’s go dance.”