Riley lets out a deep bark and at that, they all break into a run at full speed. All seven of them sprint off in a race, and the ground actually shakes.
I lift my jaw up from the grass and survey the pile of clothes and shoes. And… Tyson’s suit bag.
“Holy cow,” Mom mutters from behind me. “That’s… that’s…insane. Did that really just happen?”
“That really just happened?” Mom asks again, voice two octaves higher.
“It happened, Mom,” I reply, realizing she knew they were shifters but hadn’t actually seen any shifting until now.
“Not sure I’ll ever get used to that,” Ivy muses as she lifts up Tyson’s suit bag and hangs it from the frame under the patio umbrella, so it won’t wrinkle.
“I need a drink. A stiff one,” Mom says. “No pun intended. Though… I could use a stiff coupla things after that sight.”
“Ew!” I say. “Rude!”
My sister laughs.
An idea comes to me. “Actually, I think we could all do with a drink. In fact, I think we also need a bachelorette party.” I look to my sister.
Her eyes light up.
“Let me make a couple calls,” I say, glad I got Bailey’s and Cat’s numbers put into my new phone yesterday.
My sister has never looked more beautiful and never looked happier. We were up until three o’clock in the morning getting drunk around the campfire with Mason’s mom, Tyson’s mom, Bailey, Cicely, Lucy, and Riley’s sister Trina who we just met, and I absolutely adore her. I’m surprised we didn’t wake up with hangovers. But luckily, we all dodged that bullet.
Ivy now slowly, purposefully walks toward the shore, toward her groom, the Arcana Falls the backdrop. The sky is a brilliant mosaic of orange, lilac, pink, and purple swirls.
The white wedding dress I bought looks absolutely perfect on her. The purple flowers in her blonde and purple hair match the purple in the sunset as well as her wedding accents. It’s like the sky is telling us it was meant to be.
Her eyes flare an even darker purple than I’ve seen so far, aimed at her groom, and it looks like a trick of the light, but somehow I suspect it’s not; instead it’s related to the magic around here. My sister and I had the same eye color all our lives until now. Hers look more purple and I could swear, looking in the mirror the last few days, that mine looked a different, darker shade of blue.
Mom’s eyes are bright with unshed tears as Ivy passes me the bouquet. A blue and purple butterfly lands on it just as I take it from her.
I smile at it as it sits on a flower, wings slowly flexing up and down, the soft wing brushing my index finger.
“Aunt Nelle,” Ivy whispers, looking over her shoulder at me before she turns to her groom. I look down at the butterfly and I’m not sure what Ivy means by that. My eyes move back to Tyson.
And from my vantage point, the way he looks at her? Swoon.
He looks gorgeous, too. His dark hair is loose, curly, falling several inches below his shoulders. He fills out his black suit very, very nicely.
Seeing the emotion, the devotion in his eyes as she puts her hands into his palms, I have to fight to stop myself from letting out the ugly-cry sob that’s sitting in the center of my throat.
I’m suddenly sad my father isn’t here for Ivy. Sad that his actions have made him an outsider in his family.
Our little brother won’t care much about missing the wedding, but Dad is losing out here. There was a missed call from him yesterday on my old phone. I haven’t listened my full voicemail box and assume that if he tried to leave a message it’d be about thinking it was my wedding day eve. He’s been out of the loop and unaware that it’s the sweet blonde’s wedding day today instead of the evil dark-haired one. I only turned that phone on to message my bridesmaids to tell them I was alive and kicking and doing fine. That I’d be in touch next week.
Right here, right now, I’m feeling like I’m where I’m supposed to be. Watching my sister get her happy ending instead of standing at an altar in a church I didn’t choose, marrying a man who didn’t really love me.
The bridal march’s volume fades, and Stan starts to speak to the crowd of about a hundred people. We’re a captive audience while Tyson Savage and Ivy Adeline Brennan recite their vows to one another, promising forever and both of them doing it with conviction.
I believe them wholeheartedly. I can’t imagine anyone here wouldn’t. But when Stan offers the guests the option to voice their objection to the marriage, Tyson lets out a low, warning growl as his eyes scan the crowd.