Surgeon in a Tux(29)

By: Carol Marinelli


‘It’s longer,’ Ethan said. ‘And wider. When you’re over six foot there aren’t many sofas where you can actually stretch out.’

‘Oh.’

‘And you keep your drinks topped up.’

‘Okay,’ Leo said. ‘Good to know.’

‘Come on, then,’ Ethan said. ‘You don’t want to keep Lizzie waiting.’

It was Leo who was kept waiting.

Lizzie actually felt sick at the thought of all eyes being on her, and even though she was relieved that her father didn’t have the stress of her wedding to deal with, today, especially, she missed them.

‘Have a brandy,’ Brenda, who was her bridesmaid, suggested. Lizzie was booked into a hotel suite, where nothing was too much trouble and a brandy was soon poured.

She took a sip and felt the burn but it did nothing to calm her and she took another. ‘I’m scared I’ll be sick or faint,’ Lizzie admitted. She knew all brides were nervous on their wedding day but this was ridiculous.

She stood and looked in the mirror, worried she wasn’t a suitable society bride.

‘You look beautiful,’ Brenda said. ‘I’m so jealous I could be sick.’

Lizzie smiled—she loved her friends so much.

‘Your dress is perfect,’ Brenda said.

It had been the first one Lizzie had tried on—instantly she had known it was the right one. Very simple, it had delicately capped sleeves and was tied with a very thin silver belt. It was stunning in its simplicity. She carried white roses and her hair had been coiled and everything was perfect, except … Lizzie closed her eyes and took another sip of her brandy. She didn’t want to dwell on the sad parts today.

‘Come on,’ Lizzie said, or she’d start panicking again.

She made her way down the steps and as the huge doors were opened she was briefly aware of all the people—nothing in Leo’s world was small. There were people from the clinic and some terribly impressive people and there, smiling widely, was Francesca. Just one look at her and Lizzie straightened her back and walked forward.

Then she saw Leo standing beside Ethan—two brothers for today united. They both looked beautiful, but she only had eyes for Leo—a man who, even when she was completely and utterly petrified, could still make her smile. ‘Been drinking, darling?’ he said, as he caught a waft of brandy when she finally stood beside him. Then he took her hand and squeezed it. ‘You look beautiful.’

When Leo was beside her, she knew that she was.

‘About time,’ he muttered when he was told he could kiss the bride, and then, very nicely, he kissed her.

There were photos and congratulations and as they stepped outside, Lizzie assumed it was for more photos, except she was being ushered into a car.

‘Where are we going?’

‘More photos.’

‘Won’t the guests mind us disappearing?’ Lizzie asked. She knew he was up to something.

‘It’s our wedding, we can do what we want to.’

‘Are we going to have photos at the zoo?’

‘Nope,’ Leo said, watching her face as she realised they were about to get into a helicopter. ‘We’re going to where you want to be.’

Lizzie had never been in a helicopter before and had never thought her first ride in one might be in her wedding dress.

In less than half an hour they were there, walking into the nursing home. All the guests and even the staff were dressed up for a wedding. There was sparkling apple juice and sandwiches and a stunning wedding cake.

‘Catering by the Hewitts,’ Leo said, out of the side of his mouth.

It could not have been more wonderful, especially when her mother took her hand and looked at the ring and then admired her dress.

‘You look beautiful,’ Faye said.

‘So do you,’ Lizzie said, because the staff had been busy, making sure Faye was a very beautiful mother of the bride, even if Lizzie couldn’t be sure her mother knew that she was one.

A photographer had also been arranged and the photos he took of Lizzie and Leo with her family on their actual wedding day were ones that would be treasured for ever.

‘Where are you going for your honeymoon?’ Thomas checked a little while later, as they got ready to leave.

‘Not far,’ Lizzie said.

Finally she would see Paris.

‘Take care of her,’ Thomas warned Leo as they said their goodbyes.

‘I will,’ Leo said.

He meant it.

From the helicopter Lizzie looked down as London came into view and she thought of the dancing and the fun night ahead, while Leo looked at his bride and thought of the hours after the dancing and that part of the fun night ahead.

‘Happy?’ Leo asked, as they drove back to the hotel.

‘Very,’ Lizzie said. ‘You?’

‘Very,’ Leo said. ‘It’s nice to already know who I’m going to be getting off with tonight.’ He nodded to the door, where their reception was waiting. ‘Unlike most of that lot.’

Oh, and there would be scandal, of course there would be scandal tonight—there were too many guests from 200 Harley Street for there not to be.

‘I was right,’ Leo said, giving her a kiss before they walked in.

Lizzie looked up at him.

‘It is like Goldilocks.’

‘No.’ Lizzie shook her head. ‘She ran off at the end.’

‘What happened to Cinderella?’

‘She married her prince.’

‘Rapunzel?’

‘She lived happily ever after …’ Lizzie said. ‘I’m not Goldilocks.’

‘You are,’ Leo said, taking her hand. ‘When you ran into the woods a big lion chased you and caught you for life …’

He wasn’t joking, though he sort of was, but Lizzie knew he had never been more serious in his life.

‘I’m rewriting the ending,’ Leo said. ‘If Goldilocks agrees?’

She most certainly did.