THE HONEYMOON COLLECTION
At the wedding of the year, Jasmine Bliss encounters the unthinkable: a bouquet landing right in her hands!
Not until that moment has she wondered why boyfriend and former boss Ethan Cole, one of the hottest and richest men around, has yet to propose to her. Does he really love her as much as he says he does...
...Or is he thinking what everyone in high society already thinks: that Jasmine's middle-class breeding is good enough for a girlfriend, but heresy for the wife of a billionaire?
Between the potential pitter-patter of little feet, a meddlesome mutual friend, and an ex-girlfriend coming out from the shadows of Ethan's heartbroken past, Jasmine's life suddenly changes in more ways than she could have imagined before!
Mark your calendars, rich and broke alike, because YOU have been invited to THE BILLION DOLLAR WEDDING.
(Now with more cats.)
This story is a sequel to The Billion Dollar Contract series. However, it can be read as its own standalone story as well!
This book was originally serialized and still available in serial format. (Aside from Book 1: Brides, installments are only available on Amazon. Click the image below to be taken to the series page on Amazon.
Flowers she could barely see kissed her skin as she brushed against them on her walk. Pebbles littered the walkway, kicking this way and that every time her foot pointed somewhere new. Evermore the pathway wound from one exhibit to the next. As Jasmine progressed, however, she noticed that the overhanging trees gradually gave way to the fake stars twinkling above her.
That wasn’t all that twinkled when she made it far enough.
The path ended at a curtain of violet lights. Strings of them hung from the ceiling, swaying this way and that in the air conditioning. Jasmine touched them with her fingertips, watching them glisten against her skin, making her already lavender dress glow more intensely. Her diamond tennis bracelet sparkled so brilliantly that she was momentarily blinded. Yet she knew to part the curtain and see what awaited her.
It was a clearing in the center of the dome. More strings of lights hung all around her, pouring from the stars above, turning the world into a hazy purple paradise. She saw the source of the watery noise: a waterfall spilling from a fake hill on the other side of the dome, a swiftly coursing stream making its way around her feet. Flower petals were scattered across the floor. The farther Jasmine walked, the more a shadowy figure came into view many yards away.
Ethan. She knew it like he knew it was her the moment she emerged from the lights, cast in that violet glow.
Although she wanted to quickly go to him, Jasmine took her time, drinking in the sights, the sounds, and the flowery smells surrounding her. She also smelled the faint scent of food. Italian, of course. What an elaborate dinner for the sake of doing so!
“You are something else,” Jasmine said, unable to contain her grin as she came within several feet of Ethan.
He, dressed in a sensible tux, smiled back at her. “And you are the most radiant woman in this universe.” His chin pointed up, toward the stars twinkling on the dome’s ceiling. “I’m a lucky man to have you come all the way out here for me.”
“How could I pass it up after all the trouble you went through?” Jasmine didn’t touch him, nor did she come any closer. Her hands fumbled in front of her, one foot lifting off the ground while the other took on the brunt of her weight. “After the trouble so many people went through for us? I thought you were too busy for something as extravagant as this.”
“I’ve been planning this for a while.”
“You rented the whole planetarium for us, huh?”
“Jasmine,” Ethan said, voice steady as he changed the subject. “I could never tell you how much I love you.”
She froze in place, her ears hearing him, but her heart refusing to believe what was happening. Jasmine glanced around. She saw other people in the dome with them. Men in white serving uniforms standing around food being kept warm. Sommeliers carrying an assortment of wines and champagnes.
And one man in a suit holding a long, black felt box.
“I love you too,” she said, ignoring the lump in her throat. “Now what is this about?”
Ethan approached, hand raising to give her a red rose. I feel like I’m on a TV show. “You’re the only woman I want with me for the rest of my life, Jasmine. If I asked you to believe nothing else, it would be that.”
She bit her lip, hands twisting in front of her. No… it can’t be… this is a joke… Ethan would never joke about something like this, and yet Jasmine thought it. This can’t be happening. Not to me. Something like this would never happen to me.
Yet when Ethan got down on one knee, his hair and complexion awash in the soft violet light, Jasmine tasted nothing but air in her mouth. She didn’t even taste herself. “Ethan, what are you…” The thorns on the rose stem cut into her skin, and she could do nothing but ignore it.
“I’m doing something I should’ve done a while ago… but in my folly, I didn’t truly appreciate you. I apologize for that.”
“You don’t have to apologize for anything.”
He took her hands between his own, his soft skin so tender that Jasmine had a hard time believing he was really there. “Yes, I do. I have to apologize for every time I made you angry, or sad, or uncomfortable. I don’t want you to feel that way. I love you, Jasmine. I want you to be happy until the day you die. Until that day, I want you by my side, always.”
She swallowed, hard. “Okay.”
“Do you want to be with me until that time?”
Ethan almost sounded uncertain… as if a man as confident as him… a man who could have any woman he wanted… would be uncertain if whether or not a woman like Jasmine would want to be with him for the rest of her life. “I want to be with you, Ethan.”
He kissed her fingers, his lips lingering over her knuckles as she curled her hand into a fist. “Then marry me, Jasmine.”
The world came to a complete stop. The lights stopped twinkling. The stars stopped shining. The water stopped flowing and the flowers stopped swaying in the breeze. Jasmine stared at Ethan’s face, and then beyond it, into a void that screamed at her, “These things don’t happen to boring people like you.”
Except it had.
Except they did.
“Oh my God.” Jasmine could barely hear her own voice as Ethan stood up, hands taking her by the wrists. “Oh my God!” She snatched her wrists from his grip and covered her mouth with her hands, her shock so great that it took all of Ethan’s strength to get her to release her lips again. The man holding the felt box approached her and opened it, revealing five rings to match her tennis bracelet.
“Choose one. If you’ll say yes.”
Jasmine gaped at all five diamond rings. One was huge, gaudy, and deliriously beautiful. Another was understated and classy. Yet another was a mix of the two, with one prominent diamond and two tiny ones on either side. None of these were Jasmine’s favorites. She was instantly attracted to the two on the end. They were identical, except one had two tiny rubies on either side of the small diamond in the center while the other was a bare, silver band.
Jasmine picked the ruby one out of the box. Finally, things began to sparkle again.
Ethan brushed the hair away from her cheek. “Is that a yes? Will you marry me?”
Jasmine looked between him and the ring. Two things she never thought she would have in a million years. Lightyears, even. This really isn’t happening. This can’t be happening. How could it be? I’m nobody. Ethan could do so much better.
Better, like Adrienne. The only other woman Ethan ever proposed to. He said he couldn’t pick out a ring for her, so he let her do it. Except she said no. Did it happen like this? Was Ethan truly trying again… in the same manner? I don’t know if that would be great or terrible.
Jasmine looked him in the eye. What did she see in his soul? The man she loved. The man she adored. The man she went through hell and back for. The man who cut his most important business asset out of his life when he found out what that asset was doing to the people he cared most about. The man who never said he loved her until all of that was said and done.
A broken man. A man desperate to believe in true love again.
“Yes,” Jasmine whispered. “Yes, Ethan. I’ll marry you.”