Breathe With Me

Breathe With Me

Friday, April 26, 2013

April 26th : Nate sends an email to Jules!

I know we're only a few days from the release of ROCK WITH ME, but it was brought to my attention  that today is a very special day in FIGHT WITH ME, book two of the series. Rather than explain it, I'm going to post the entire first chapter here... pay special attention to the email at the beginning of the chapter, and the date on that email. :)

And so begins Nate and Jules' love story...

Chapter One
Late Spring

I love my job. I love my job.  God, sometimes, I hate my job.  I read the terse email from my boss, Nathan McKenna once again and swallow hard.
Friday, April 26, 2013 13:56
From: Nathan McKenna
To: Julianne Montgomery
Subject:  Working Late

I need you to work late with me tonight, possibly into the weekend.  Please gather all the files on the Radcliffe account and meet me in my office at 6:00 pm.

Damn it!  For eight long months I’ve managed to steer clear of my boss, and I know I’ve been incredibly lucky that I haven’t had to work alone with him after-hours, but we recently lost the other junior partner in our department, and that leaves just me and Nate.
Large, beastly butterflies have taken up residence in my stomach.
Since that one night last summer, Nate and I have maintained a level of professionalism that I’m very proud of, despite the fact that whenever I see him I feel a pull of electricity that makes my thighs clench.  I did invite him to double-date with Nat and I on the night of one of Nat’s husband, Luke’s movie premieres, but I managed to keep that night completely platonic.
It almost killed me.
Since then, it’s been for the greater good of keeping a job that I enjoy that I steer clear of Mr. Sex-on-legs. 
Not that he’s been clamoring to get me back into bed.  The morning after The Best Sex In The History of Mankind, after I snuck out of his bed, he had been pissed.  He’d called and texted, wanting to know what the hell happened, and I’d avoided him like the plague for a good two weeks, telecommuting from home and taking vacation time.
Then, he just stopped.  All personal communication halted, and when we are together during business hours, he is the epitome of cool professionalism.
There are days that it pisses me the hell off.
And now, because the moron who had been in our department couldn’t take the demanding schedule of our job quit, I have to work alone with Nate.
I sit back in my chair and look at the time.  Five thirty.  I pull my glasses off and toss them on my desk and hang my head in my hands.  So much for spending the weekend with a pint of ice cream and a good book.
I can do this.  Pull it together, Montgomery.  I’ve posed naked in magazines.  I’ve had dinner with gazillionares and hung out with movie stars.  I have four older brothers who tease me incessantly, and taught me how to kick ass.
I can handle the sexiest man I’ve ever seen in my life for a few hours without ripping my clothes off and having my wicked way with him.
I think.
I pull myself together, check that all my calls and emails are set to forward to my iPhone, and go to the bathroom to prepare myself for this evening.
I’m happy with what I see in the mirror.  My long light blonde hair is still holding the loose curls I rolled into it this morning.  My makeup is subtle and professional, setting off my blue eyes.  I smooth on a fresh coat of nude lip gloss, straighten my simple cranberry-colored dress and skim my eyes over my slender figure.  I was blessed with excellent genetics.  I’m not as sexily curved as Natalie, but I was blessed with decent boobs, a perky ass, and a figure that got me onto the pages of Playboy magazine.  Three times.  I work out hard to maintain my shape.
Content with my reflection, I walk briskly in my black Louboutins to my office, gather the files Nate requested along with my phone and walk down the corridor to his office.  His personal assistant, Mrs. Glover, is sitting at her desk.  She’s an older woman with grey hair and shrewd brown eyes.  Her smile is deceiving.  She scares the hell out of me with her sharp efficiency and her crazy ability to anticipate Nate’s every move.
“Hello, Ms. Montgomery, you can go on in.”
“Thank you.” I nod at her and smile and head for his office, knocking twice and then opening the door.
“Come in, Julianne.  Thanks for staying.”  Nate looks up from his computer and nods, his face completely blank.
“Sure.”  Nate’s office is vast, with large-scale, dark office furniture.  The chairs sitting in front of his desk are plush, black leather.  There are shelves from the floor to ceiling with hundreds of books and files, meticulously in order, no doubt by the efficient Mrs. Glover.  Behind his desk are large windows with a view of the Space Needle and the Sound.
It’s beautiful.
I’m not sure Nate even pays attention to it.
I perch at the edge of one of the black chairs and set the files on Nate’s desk, expecting him to get right to the point.
“How are you?” he asks, his voice soft.
“Um… fine, thank you.”  What the hell?
“I’m sorry about the short notice.”  He leans forward and braces his elbows on his desk, lacing his fingers, and keeps steady eye-contact.  God, those gray eyes are distracting.  Almost as distracting as his hands, and the delicious way he…
“It’s part of the job.”  I open a file and try to pretend that my cheeks aren’t flushed.  “So, what’s up with this account?”
“How are Natalie and Luke?”
“They’re fine.”  I sit back in the chair now and eye him speculatively.  Why are we having a personal conversation? “Natalie is due in just a few weeks.”
“That’s great, good for them.”  Nate grins, that elusive, sexy, melt my panties grin and I find myself returning it.  His hair is pulled back off his face, as usual.  His chiseled jaw is freshly shaved, and he’s wearing a black suit with a black shirt and blue tie.  He never takes his jacket off to roll up the sleeves, and I briefly wonder why, then remind myself to get back to the conversation at hand.
“Yeah, they’re excited.  I’m hosting the baby shower next weekend.”
“I promise not to make you work next weekend,” he winks at me and I about fall out of my chair.
Who is this man, and what has he done with my boss?
“So, about the account?” I ask as Mrs. Glover knocks on the door.
“Dinner’s here, sir.”
“Thank you, Jenny, bring it in.”  Nate rises and takes two large bags out of Mrs. Glover’s hands.  “That’s all for today.  I’ll see you on Monday.”
“Have a good weekend, sir.  Ms. Montgomery.”  She nods to both of us and then exits the office, closing the door behind her.
“I had Chinese delivered.  I got you your usual.”  He smiles and resumes sitting in his chair, unloading bags.  He seems very happy with himself this evening, much more approachable and friendly than he has been since last summer.
What’s his game?
“Thank you,” I reply, realizing that I’m starving.  I load a plate with rice, sweet and sour chicken and egg rolls and we dig in, eating in silence for a few minutes.  I feel Nate’s eyes on me, so I decide to put my big girl panties on and just take the initiative.
“So, what’s up with this account?” I ask again and take a bite of chicken.
“I don’t have any idea, I just wanted to have dinner with you, and this is the only way I can see you.”
Holy fucking shit.
I stop chewing, my eyes wide, and I just stare at his perfectly sincere face.  “Excuse me?”
“You heard me.”
I frown and set my plate carefully on his desk.  “So, we’re not working on this account?”
“I don’t understand.”
Nate lays his chopsticks down, wipes his mouth with a napkin and sits back in his chair, watching me carefully.
“I just wanted to share dinner with you, Julianne.”
“Why?” And why does he insist on calling me Julianne?
He frowns again.  “Do I have to spell it out?”
“I guess so.”
“I like you.  I enjoy your company.”  He shrugs, looking lost and a bit insecure.  I’m so not used to seeing emotions on his beautiful face.
“But you’re my boss.”
“So, we could both be fired.”
“It’s just dinner, Julianne.”
“You’re not looking at me like you just want dinner, Nate.”
He cocks his head to the side and a smile kisses his lips.  “How am I looking at you?”
“Like you’d like to fuck me on this desk.”  Holy. Fuck!  Did I just say that?
Nate’s smile disappears and his eyes narrow.  “Watch your mouth.”
I swallow hard and blink rapidly.
“There are many places that I’d enjoy fucking you, including this desk, but right now, I simply want to enjoy a meal with you.”
“Watch your mouth.” I whisper and his smile is back.
“Telling your boss what to do?”
“Somehow, I don’t think we’re having this conversation in a boss/employee context.”  I shake my head and stare at the man before me.  “What is this?  Why now?”
“I’m suddenly no longer hungry, thanks.”
“Just humor me, Julianne.”
“Why do you call me Julianne?” I ask and pick up another piece of sticky chicken.
“It’s your name.”  His eyes are on my mouth and I smile to myself as I grab an egg roll and bite off the end.
“Everyone calls me Jules.”
“Not me.”
“Why?” I ask again.
“Because Julianne suits you.”  He shrugs and takes a bite of his food.
“But I prefer Jules.” 
“Okay, Julianne.”  He winks at me, and grins broadly before taking another bite of food.
“I’ll bet when you were small your teacher sent home a letter to your parents saying, ‘Doesn’t play well with others.’” 
Nate laughs, and my gut clenches.  “Probably.”
I realize I’ve cleaned my plate and I throw it in the trash and bag the left overs.  “Okay, I ate. Thanks for dinner. Have a good weekend.”  I rise to walk out the door, but Nate leaps up and stops me.
“Don’t go yet.” 
“Why not?”
He licks his lips, shoves his hands in his pockets and rocks back on his heels.  “Stay with me this weekend.  At my place.”
I think I’ve entered an alternate universe.  Or I’m on Punked.  Yes, that’s it.  Punked.  I start looking around the room, behind me, up in the corners of the room.
“What are you looking for?”  he asks as he follows my gaze.
“The cameras.”
“What cameras?”
“I have to either be on Punked or I’m being set up to be fired.”
Nate laughs, a low chuckle that tickles my insides.  “Why do you say that?”
“Because, you’ve shown no signs of attraction toward me in months, which is fine with me, and if I stay with you this weekend, we could both lose our jobs.”
His smile is gone, and his wide gray eyes go glacial.  “Number one, I don’t give a fuck about the no frat policy here.  Any relationship I choose to have, in any capacity I choose to have it, is none of their business.  And number two…”
He grips my chin between his thumb and forefinger and pulls me to him, slides his lips over mine, softly kissing me, persuading my lips open and I’m reminded just how well this man can kiss.
He must have taken classes in this at some point. 
I melt against him and brace my hands on his narrow hips. His fingers weave through my hair and as this kiss goes on and on, my body relaxes against him in relief that he still finds me attractive, and in pure unadulterated lust.
“I definitely find you attractive, baby.”  He whispers the words against my forehead and plants a soft kiss there. 
He caresses my cheek with the backs of his fingers and his gray eyes have softened.  “So, what do you say?  Spend the weekend with me?”

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Two Weeks Until Release Day Snippet

There are only two weeks until ROCK WITH ME releases, my friends! Two weeks! I can't tell you how excited I am for you to fall in love with Sam and Leo. These two are just... well, I love them. To celebrate, here is a SEXY, SEXY, SEXY (and maybe a little funny) snippet. This is also the last snippet before release day! Enjoy!!

***Disclaimer: Copyright laws apply to this excerpt. This content is intended for readers 18 and over.

“You know what, Melody, I think we’ll just look around on our own, if that’s okay with you.”
“Oh.” She pouts and glares at me before turning big hazel eyes on Leo in what I’m sure she thinks is her flirty look. “Are you sure? I don’t mind showing you around.”
“I’m sure, thanks.” Leo grabs my hand and pulls me toward the stairs. “You are not helping,” he growls.
“I’m sorry, but that’s hilarious, and your own fault.”
“My fault?” He asks incredulously.
“Well, yeah. One, you should have told the agency who you are so they could send someone more appropriate, and two, you’re the one who always walks around shirtless in all your videos and photo shoots. I know for a fact she wants to lick your stars.”
“Shut up,” he mutters and pulls me down a hallway, looking in each of the rooms.
“You can’t get tattoos on your sexy V, the one spot on a man’s body that makes a woman sit up and beg, and not expect to get attention.” I inform him smugly and giggle some more when he continues to glare at me.
As we pass the top of the staircase on our way to what I assume is the master suite, we hear Melody’s voice downstairs.
“You will not believe who I’m showing a house to right now! Leo freaking Nash! I’m not lying. No, he’s wearing a shirt.”
I bust out laughing some more as Leo growls and pulls me into the master bedroom. “Told you.”
“I just wanted to look at some houses,” he mutters and wanders around the large, empty space.
“I think you should have your assistant call the agencies from now on.”
“Probably. Do you like this room?” He asks me.
“It’s big.” I wander to the window and look out at the Sound, the water reflecting the mid-afternoon sunshine. “The view is great.”
“Yeah, I like the view too.”
“The floors aren’t giving my feet frostbite, and the walls are a light mocha color, which is warm and nice.”
“You’re wearing shoes,” he reminds me with a grin.
“Your floors in Malibu would still give me frostbite through my shoes.”
“Smart ass.” He grins and opens a door to an enormous walk-in closet with built-ins for shoes and bags, and even a center island for other accessories.
“I might have just died and gone to heaven,” I breathe, feeling my eyes widen and my heartbeat increase. “This is just… Oh my God.”
“Closet is a yes.” Leo laughs.
“This is your house,” I remind him and consciously make my face go blank. “Not mine.”
“Not mine,” I repeat and shake my head.
“Okay, let’s just say there’s space in here for you to have a drawer of your very own for when you stay over.”
“Are you mocking me?”
“Yes. Let’s look at the bathroom.”
The bathroom is even better. “I could swim in that tub,” I mutter and wander through the space. The shower is the size of Manhattan. We could host parties in there. Full concerts.
Oh my God, the sex we could have in that shower.
“Are you okay?” Leo asks, his voice light and full of laughter.
“Yep,” I respond and trail my hand over the light granite countertop. There are two sinks, roughly four feet apart, with a plethora of counter space and drawers beneath. I turn around and lean against the granite, watching Leo across the room. “I think I want to lick your stars too,” I murmur and look him up and down.
His eyes narrow on me and he slowly moves to the door, latches it shut and locks it, then walks to me, leans on his hands on either side of my hips and stops, his face just inches from my own.
“You don’t get to lick anything right now.”
“Really?” I raise an eyebrow and watch his eyes as they roam down my body.
“No. But I do.” He grips my sides and boosts me up onto the countertop so my feet are dangling and my pussy is close to the edge.
“Leo, that girl is right downstairs.” He moves between my knees and leans in close, his lips against my temple and hands unfastening my jeans.
“I don’t give a shit. It wouldn’t matter to me if Jesus and JFK were right downstairs. Even they couldn’t stop me from tasting you right now. Lift your ass.”
I comply and he peels my jeans and panties over my butt and down my legs and discards them on the floor. He cups my hips in his firm hands and kisses my cheek, down to the soft spot below my ear and along my jawline to my lips.
“I can smell how turned on your are,” he whispers against my lips and one of his hands roams between my legs and cup my center. “God, you’re warm and already wet, baby.”
“It was the closet that turned me on,” I whisper and then moan when he pushes a finger inside me.
“Then I’d better buy the house,” he murmurs with a smile.
“Just kidding,” I breathe.
“What made you this wet?” He asks and bites my lower lip, then soothes it with is tongue.
“What about me?”
“Thinking about the fun we could have in that shower.” My breath catches as he gently brushes my clit with his thumb.
“Mmm, yeah, that could be fun,” he agrees and kisses me softly. “Samantha?”
“Yes.” Oh, God, just push a little harder. Just a little harder. I move my hips, trying to increase the pressure against my sensitive nub, knowing I’m so damn close.
“I’m going to eat you out here on this counter.”

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Way Back Wednesday... The Epilogue from CAWM...

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.
Well, 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.
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.
P.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. –Nat
Well, 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.”