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“This tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding is ridiculous. I think it would be so much wiser if we just met up for one hour to help…ease our…nerves,” Rafe said with a seductive purr.
“Mmm, sounds good to me. Now if I could just get away from my mother for two seconds, I would think about taking you up on that offer, Mr. Palazzo,” Ari replied with a giggle.
“I can pull the fire alarm,” Rafe suggested.
His tone implied that he was 100 percent serious about doing just that. The strange part was that Ari was actually considering it.
“I think our parents would disown us,” she said.
“I can live with that.”
“I love you, Rafe,” she told him, overcome with emotion as she cradled the phone to her ear, wanting so badly to touch him, feel him there next to her. She’d only been apart from him for one night, but today was her wedding day — the day she would become his wife.
She wanted to throw out all tradition and simply be in his arms. Their years apart now seemed like such a waste, though she knew that the time had helped them grow and mature.
“You are the center of my world, Ari,” he replied.
It meant more to her to hear him say that than a simple I love you. To be the center of a person like Rafe’s world was indeed a compliment.
“After the wedding is over, I have a very special surprise for you,” she whispered as she glanced over at the bathroom door to make sure it was still tightly shut.
The breath rushed audibly from his mouth. “What is that?”
Oh, the excitement she felt at so easily arousing her fiancé.
“For starters, what I’m wearing beneath this wedding dress wouldn’t even cover a Barbie doll,” she replied.
“You’re going to give me a heart attack before I’m able to say my vows,” he whispered, strain in his voice.
“I wouldn’t want to do that. I couldn’t do a striptease for you then, and… Oh, I shouldn’t give it all away,” she taunted him.
“That’s it! The alarm is getting pulled right now.”
Ari didn’t want to argue. She wouldn’t mind getting rid of her pre-wedding jitters by spending an hour in his arms. Heck, she’d take fifteen minutes.
Sandra knocked. “Ari, I can hear you on the phone,” she said through the door. “That’s cheating, young lady,” her mother added with a smile in her voice.
“We’ve been busted, Rafe. I guess you will just have to wait until tonight to see my bright red negligée.”
“We’ll see about waiting that long. I may not be able to stand it — just like I can’t wait to say my vows with you.”
“Becoming Mrs. Palazzo can’t come soon enough for me.”
They hung up and Ari reluctantly left the bathroom so the huge team who had been hired to make her perfect could continue to prep her. Soon, she would be Mrs. Rafe Palazzo. The minutes would creep by, but at least the end was in sight.