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Stay With Me (With Me #1)
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Life moves on.
Only people who have never lost anyone they loved with all their heart can blindly believe those words.
What if I didn’t want to move on? What if I wanted to wake up every morning with that familiar ache in my chest, knowing I’d never see her again?
But, life can change in a moment.
I knew that better than anyone … So, when I couldn’t get those mesmerizing green eyes out of my head, I decided to do something about it.
Would one night with her be enough, or would my heart decide it was finally time to move on from the past?
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TAKING IN A deep breath, I slowly released it and rocked back and forth while I looked at myself in the mirror.
“Bro, you look good, so stop worrying. Besides, everyone is going to be looking at Savannah and not paying any attention to you.”
I grinned as I gave my older brother Thaddeus a wink. Savannah and I had been dating since high school, so it was no surprise to anyone when I asked her to marry me our last year of college. “I do have a breathtaking bride, don’t I?”
With a slap on my back, he replied, “Yes, you do. And you got our parents to like her. Lucky bastard.”
Turning around, I tried to get my breathing under control. My parents came over to this country from Greece as young children, and Savannah was sure they would hate her the first time I brought her home. She was after all . . . not Greek. My family was very big on keeping with tradition, so it was no surprise my grandparents settled into an area of Colorado with a large Greek community. Of course, Savannah won them over with her charm just like she did me. It was keeping my oldest brother Nicholaus away from her that proved to be the challenge.
A light knock on the door had me glancing over as my mother walked in and headed my way.
She smiled sweetly while she brushed imaginary lint from my jacket. “Nervous. Very nervous. She told her mother she needed to talk to you.”
I gave her a concerned look. Was Savannah having second thoughts? I had to admit I was feeling more confused today than ever. I prayed we were doing the right thing.
Seeing my look of concern, she smiled big. “But she looks happy. Oh my, the girl is bouncing off the walls she is so happy. She keeps saying her heart is racing and she feels short of breath. Her chest was hurting for a bit.”
A sinking feeling moved through my body. “Her chest hurts? Is that normal?”
She gave me a wink. “I’d say so. I was a nervous mess when I was marrying your father. My hands shook like a leaf on a tree in a summer storm. My father thought I was going to shake my flowers off the stems before I even made it down the aisle.”
I let out a laugh and kissed her on the cheek. “You always did know how to put me at ease, Mama.”
Patting me on the chest, my mother turned to my two brothers and put her hands on her hips as she watched the two of them wrestle with each other. Thaddeus, or as we called him, Thad, was the middle son. Nicholaus had Thad in a headlock. It wasn’t uncommon for the two of them to get into wrestling matches. One was always trying to prove to the other how much stronger he was. You’d think they were still in high school with how they acted.
“Stop this, you two! Your brother is needed in the church. All of you get out there and greet the guests and families.”
Nicholaus dropped his hold on Thad and gave him a push as he headed to the door. Shaking my head, I followed them and my best friend Gus out the door.
Gus gave me a slight push and said, “This is it. Last chance to bail.”
My heart sunk for a quick moment before I came to my senses. “No way in hell. I can’t imagine my life without Savannah in it.”
Taking in a deep breath, he slowly blew it out and said, “Yeah, if I had hot sex like you two do, I wouldn’t want anyone else either.”
Giving him a push, I hissed, “Shut the hell up you asshole. If my mother hears you I’m going to kick your ass.”
Gus let out a laugh as he walked ahead of me. I’d been living with Gus since college. We met our freshman year and hit it off from the get-go. Savannah spent more time at my place than hers. We often forgot the walls were thin and Gus got his fair share of hearing us making love.
Doing my duty, I made my way to as many of my family members as I could. Savannah’s side of the family was much smaller. It was her parents, her grandparents, her older brother Sam, and a few cousins who were attending the wedding. My side of the church was packed.
Walking up to Savannah’s grandparents, I reached out for her grandfather’s hand and gave it a firm shake. “Mr. Thompson, how are you doing this morning?”
Giving me a head nod, he said, “Fine. Just fine, young man. You ready to marry my grandbaby?”
“Yes, sir. I am, indeed.”
The priest walked up to me and spoke closely to my ear. “It’s time, Thano.”