Hildreth gaped as they entered the banquet room.
The plain, simply serviceable room that they had had their rehearsal dinner in had been transformed into a miracle of silver and lights and crystals. What didn’t shimmer glittered and sparkled. What didn’t glitter and sparkle glowed.
Silver misted baby’s breath bouquets in crystal vases sat in the middle of each table.
Rhinestone runners trailed in ruler-straight lines across the silver tablecloths.
Photograph booth curtains of crystals, of small gold hearts, of large lace hearts, of fairy lights, of feathers, of silvered shells, and of tea lights in iridescent glass lanterns occupied the entire wall ahead of them.
Hildreth glanced around, completely agog.
“Welcome to the Casbah.” Elsie hugged his arm tighter. “Do you like it?”
Elsie grinned. “You aren’t the only one who was planning surprises for this wedding.”
“But…wha…” He cleared his throat, which somehow helped clear his head. “It must have cost so much.”
“Not at all. Like I told you before, my mom knows all of the local florists. They were able to connect her to people who gave her good discounts on ‘festive winter decorations’.”
He shook his head in amazement. “You Vansing women are amazing.”
“That is true. One should never underestimate us.”
He laughed. “Don’t worry. I never will.” He glanced around again, slowly taking in all of the details as their guests slipped past them. “Hm. Interesting, though. I don’t see anything that resembles past or present dress shirts.”
She kissed him. “That comes later.”
He gave her a questioning look, but she didn’t explain. She laughed and guided him to their table. Silver and crystal garlands hung decorously across the front. An especially elaborate crystal runner stretched across their table.
Hildreth barely noticed it. His mind was completely preoccupied.
That comes later…?
He frowned and sat beside Elsie at their table.
So…what does that mean?
His frown lifted.
Wait. Was I right about the dress shirt lingerie?
A slow smile stretched across his face. “It should be a very interesting reveal.”
Elsie leaned her head against his arm. “Just you wait, Hildreth Mayhew.”
The photographer stopped at their table. “Good. You two are finally here. Come with me. I have pictures that must be taken.”
Hildreth kissed the top of her head. “I guess we’ve been summoned.”
She looked up at him and the sight of her stole his breath and his heart.
Her barely tamed frizzy hair.
Her gold eyes.
Every angle and edge of her face.
I want to get my fingers all tangled up in your hair.
I want to trace your face with my fingertips.
I want to kiss you and never stop.
Elsie smiled as if she could hear his thoughts. “Come, Hildreth. The sooner we get this done and over with…” She didn’t finish her sentence and she didn’t need to.
Hildreth stood and guided her up to her feet. “Come, Mrs. Mayhew.”