Chapter 25


"Can I open my eyes now?" Evangeline asked with nervous energy, as Lisa snapped the final clasp on her wedding dress. "Whoever heard of a bride seeing her wedding dress the day of the wedding? I still can't believe I agreed to let you and Eve choose my gown."

"Are you questioning our taste?" Lisa teased, adjusting Evangeline's veil.

"No, of course not. It's just that . . ."

"You don't trust our us," Lisa stated giving a mischievous wink at Eve.

"Hey, what's taking so long in there?" Layla shouted from the living room, smoothing the small crease in her black strapless Vera Wang gown.

"Yeah, we want to see Evangeline!" Marita stated.

"We want to see Evangeline!" Blair and Adrianna started chanting, as Layla and Marita chimed in. "We want to see Evangeline . . . " Everyone gasped as Evangeline finally emerged from the bedroom.

"Well, how do I look you guys?" Evangeline said observing the expression on everyone's face. "Is it that bad or that good? I still can't tell, because the two dictators here still haven't allowed me to look in the mirror."

"Oh Cookie...You look absolutely breathtaking!" Marita whispered, trying to hold back joyful tears.

"That dress was made for you," Layla added.

"It looks like an exact copy of the one Audrey Hepburn wore in my favorite movie Sabrina," Blair rambled with excitement. "You know the scene... when she returns from Paris and makes her appearance at the Ball with William Holden. That scene always makes me cry...kinda like now!"

"Okay, that's enough!" Lisa demanded, dabbing at her tears. "I will throw all of you out of hear, if this crying doesn't stop."

"Oh my God!" Evangeline exclaimed looking at her reflection in the floor length mirror. The strapless silk dress hugged her body in all the right places and cut across the top, giving her a regal elegance. Beautiful lace appliques were intricately placed along the dress and removable train. Her long raven locks were swept up in a French role and held in place by an exquisite diamond studded comb, with the delicate laced veil attached.

"You look like a princess," Adrianna gushed.

"You're absolutely stunning my sweet daughter," Eve said, gently hugging Evangeline. "I couldn't ask for a more perfect wife for my John."

Evangeline smiled, giving Eve a light kiss on the cheek. "Thank you mom. I promise to love and cherish him for the rest of my life."

"I'm going to hold you to that!" Helena stated from the doorway, admiring Evangeline's beauty. "I must say, you're quite the vision of loveliness. My Johnny certainly has the luck of the Irish."

"Thank you, Nana," Evangeline winked. "However, you can't deny that, my girls are looking absolutely stunning in those black evening gowns."

"Yes, we are," Marita smiled, as they gathered around Evangeline for a group hug. "But, all eyes will definitely be on you, dear sister."

"Now let's go have a wedding," Lisa happily replied.



"Dammit, I can't fix this tie!" John shouted, completely exasperated by a simple task. "I seem to be all thumbs today."

"Let me put you out of your misery," Michael said, giving a wink to the other guys. "Hey bro if you're not up to it, I'd be more than willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and marry Evangeline. As the best man and your brother, that's the least I could do."

John slapped Michael's hand away with a don't screw with me look. "That's never going to happen, little brother," he strongly emphasized, knowing Michael still carried a torch for Evangeline, despite his love for Adrianna.

Dusty muffled a laugh giving John a comforting pat on the back. "I'd certainly have no problem stepping in cousin. Evangeline's one hell of a woman!"

"She sure is!" Todd smirked. "I'll be honest, if Blair weren't in the picture, I'd be giving you a serious run for your money McBain."

"Well, let me add that if I weren't in love with her mother, we might be dueling over Vangie," RJ said with a devilish grin.

"It's so comforting to know you worthless assholes have my back," John replied sarcastically.

"Okay, that's enough," Clay replied in a serious tone, placing a red rose in John's lapel. "It saddens me that my brother isn't alive to walk his little girl down the isle. But, I know he's here in spirit guiding me. Trust me, he would have put you through the ringer, before giving Cookie's hand in marriage. But, I think the two of you would've become good friends."

"Thank you for saying that Clay. It means a lot to me."

"Take good care of her," Clay replied with a tremble in his voice.

"You never have to worry about that," John smiled.

"Okay, that we've had our little sappy moment, can we get this wedding over with, so the real party can start?" Davis insisted catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror. "There are going to be a lot of lovely ladies waiting for a fine specimen of a man like me."

"You really are living in your own delusional little world?" Dusty laughed shoving him aside. "Especially, since I'll have to beat the women off with a bat."

"Yeah...that usually happens, when homely women are throwing themselves at you," Davis shot back.

"I'm going to ignore your comment little cousin, because you're not in my league."

"That's because I don't play in the Little League?"

"On that note, I think it's time to go," John laughed, as they all headed for the garden, while Dusty and Davis continuing their playful banter. "We're really one hell of a family."