"Lillian, how many times do I have to say that I'd love to hire you as my professional dresser? You've always been good at that sort of thing, dressing, making clothes, being mommy-ish. And you would still be in the wedding pictures. The photographer is taking shots of the entire wedding day and one might be in the magazine. Especially, if you dress right, not in those old rags you wear to every other event that you attend."
As always, my perfect model sister Abigail Jane Westwood, aka. Abbi West knew exactly what to say to make me feel as inferior as possible. "I would have had you in the wedding, but Monique just doesn't make dresses that would look good on you. You may be tall but your hips and breasts make it impossible to make the bridesmaids dress look good. By the way what do you plan on wearing?" UHHH, she is sooo self-centered. "I plan on wearing the same vintage lace gown I showed you last week, Abbi," I replied exasperated.
"Why don't you buy something else? I saw the perfect dress in Designer Wearhouse the other day."
"Abbi, I know that you have a hard time understanding that I love my job, even though I don't get paid much, but I do. I love my low paying position at The Learning Train. I can't afford anything from that store, unless you are willing to help me pay for it."
In her ever so beautiful way, my sister rolled her eyes and said "I'm not helping you. I told you, you are never going to freeload off of me."
I have never, ever wanted her to support me. "Abs, I've never asked you to support me or help me in any way, but this is your wedding. If you want me to wear what you want, I need help. It was hard enough paying for the plane ticket and hotel," I said. It was hard, almost all of my savings had gone to getting me to Barcelona and a room in the hotel where all of our meager family was staying.
"Lillian, I told you I hate when you call me "Abs". Please stop it before I tell Uncle Frank and Aunt Abigail. You know how much they hate it when you make fun of me," she whined with a smile.
Uncle Frank and Aunt Abigail were my father's brother and sister-in-law and had raised the two of us after our parent's went to prison for abusing us and killing our little brother John. They were absolutely enamored of Abbi and treated her like the daughter they never had. Their four sons protected her at all costs. I was there but, I had to fend for my self.
You see Abbi is 5'10" tall, blonde with ice blue eyes and a perfect body. I am 5'9" with red hair, green eyes large breasts, hips, and thighs. I'm not fat but, I could not be a model. All Abbi has ever wanted to do is to be a model. That is all she has ever worked for. Sometimes I understand her desire to rebel against what happened to us. But it makes me sad that she lies about the four, inch long scars on her back. She should be proud that she survived having our cracked out parents try to stake a sheet to her back.
I've been sewing since I was four years old. Our temporary foster mom taught me how. She said she was teaching me to sew the good times together and cut out the bad. Sewing was very comforting to me while I was growing up. Living with my aunt and uncle I learned to love photography and drawing. Those became my hobbies, while they were carting Abbi to beauty pageants, their sons to sports, I was at home playing with a camera my grandmother found for me at a rummage sale (our grandparents had a little more affection for me, but everyone was still attached to Abbi) or drawing in the sketch books that I bought with the money I earned doing minor sewing jobs for the people in our neighborhood. Let's get back to our story.
"Abbi, is the only reason you called me here, directly from the airport after a 16 hour flight, to criticize me? I would love to get to the hotel and get some sleep. I have a lot of plans for tomorrow since it is the only day I'll have free for doing these things."
"No. I wanted to make sure that you know to behave yourself during the pre-wedding festivities. And to ask you to pleeease be my dresser on Saturday," she said the latter half with her big puppy dog eyes and baby voice that she knows gets to me.
"Fine. I won't tell Juan and his family about how you fell off stage in your first beauty pageant and showed the judges the where a piece of stage equipment scratched your butt. And yes, I'll help you dress on Saturday. May I please go get some sleep now?"
More eye rolling, "Yes. Go. Sleep. Enjoy what ever it is you plan on doing tomorrow." I left gratefully and went to the hotel.
My day got better from there. They accidently double booked my room and I had to be upgraded to a suite, free of charge. I took advantage of the terrace and offer of a free bottle of wine. Dinner from the restaurant was superb. And the light from the sunset was perfect for sketching. I drew a wedding dress with out even noticing what I was doing. When I looked down I realized that is was the wedding dress of my dreams. It had a simple a line skirt with a scoop neck bodice and long sleeves. The back came down under the shoulders. The sleeves were long and flowing. The neck, waist, and bodice were decorated with golden embroidery. It was breath-taking.
The next day I took my camera, my sketch kit, and the few Euros I had and went wandering. As I was walking down a small street I saw a man deeply involved in painting a portrait. I asked if I could snap a few photos while he worked. He grunted a yes and I began snapping away. I started over his shoulder and worked my way around catching glimpses of his face but, never the whole picture. Until he looked up. When he looked up my breath was lost. I was looking into the most handsome face I'd ever seen. Black hair, chocolate eyes, an aristocratic nose, and deep skin were accentuated by luscious lips. Our eyes met for a moment and I raised my camera, took one last shot, and prepared to flee. As I turned he took my arm and asked, "Como te llama? What is your name?"
It took me a full few seconds to catch my breath and answer "L-L-Lillian Ann Westwood."
He gave a brief chuckle and said, "Well, Lillian Ann Westwood, how about I, Angel Pedro Vega de la Cruz, take you to dinner tonight?"
My mind badgered me with a "Say yes, stupid" and eventually my mouth said "I'd love that."
"Meet me in front of the Angels Hall Cathedral at 7:00 and wear a nice dress. I have some place very special I want to take you."
"Okay. I'll meet you there," I managed to get out before turning and running. It was already 4:00 and I needed to shower, do my hair and make up, and figure out what to wear. I nicest dress I had was the one I brought was for Abbi's wedding and my other nice dresses were day dresses for the pre-wedding events I was being forced to attend as one of the few bride's relatives.
As I was walking back to the hotel I passed a vintage shop that was displaying a tux in the window. Inspiration struck. I ran in and haggled the sales lady down to a reasonable price for the tux and silk napkin. I always had needles and thread with me, I never knew when I was going to pop a button or rip a seam. I got back to the hotel just in time to cut the napkin in half and sew them to the tux jacket so that they covered most of my breasts and bra.
As I stepped out of the shower I heard a knock on the door. I answered it to discover the hotel hair dresser at my door. "How can I help you?" I asked.
"I am Angelina, the hair dresser here and I am here to make you over. I have also brought some jewelry for you," replied the diminutive woman.
"But, who's paying for this? I don't have the money to pay you," I replied.
She shook her finger at me and said "You don't worry about that. I am being paid by someone else and they wish to remain a secret. Now let us see what you are wearing so I can do you up beautifully." She pushed me back into the suite and found my out fit on the bed. "Que belisima. How beautiful! Did you add the extra fabric to the lapels? De acuerdo. Of course you did. It is genius. Now sit down so I can do your hair and make up. Maribel will be up in a second to do your nails."
She pushed me into a chair in front of the make up mirror in the dressing room. "Your hair is beautiful I know exactly what to do with it," and she did exactly what she felt like as Maribel arrived and gave me my first manicure. When Angelina was finished my hair was back in a luxurious braided knot with a few tendrils curling down my face, neck, and back. "Now take off your robe so I can do your make up. I want to match it all the way down to where your jacket will hit," she said.
"I can't," I replied.
"Go on don't be shy. I've seen women undressed before. You will be nothing new. Go on, undress," she said.
I repeated "I can't. It's not because I'm shy about being nude but, because I have scars I don't want you to see. They are too horrific. I wouldn't want to scare you."
"Go on, tell me about them. They won't be so painful for people to see once you've unburdened yourself to Angelina's ears. Angelina keeps everyone's secrets secret and might know ways to make the hurt disappear. Poof!"
Her manner relaxed me enough to open up. " When I was little my parents were highly addicted to drugs and one day when I was four, my sister Abbi was two, and our baby brother Jonathan was just a year old, our parents were extremely high and they went after us. They smacked us around a few times then when Abbi was down, they tried to stake a sheet to her. They got the spikes in about an inch when I threw a shoe to distract them. Abbi got the stakes out and ran for it as I distracted them. They took a knife and stabbed me in the back as I tried to run. I got a way, sort of, but ended up with a scar from hip to should on my back. As I lay bleeding they took Johnny and swung him against a wall repeatedly, then went after Abbi again. I ran in front of her and they picked me up and threw me on the lit stove. I managed to roll off but, I was still on fire and I chased them to the front door screaming for help. They ran out side and down the street. I fell down the steps and that put the fire out. I had second degree burns over most of my body. I went inside to check on Johnny and Abbi. Abbi was okay just bleeding and scared. Johnny was still breathing but unconscious. I called emergency and they came and got us. Johnny died that night from his injuries. Abbi had a few stitches and I had to stay in the burn unit for a month while my burns and cuts healed. My parents had been caught that day trying to buy more drugs. The doctors told them what else had happened and my parents were put away for life. We went to a foster home until my grandparents made my aunt and uncle take us in. They knew that family, even family that was biased, was better than foster parents. I've always been careful about letting others see my scars." I began sobbing.
"Ohh you poor bambina. Angelina will make you look so espectacular that you will forget every hurt. Now get rid of that robe and let me get to work," she ordered with a gentle bossiness. I did as I was told and she applied concealer to the scars that would peek out of the jacket even a little bit and then did my face so that I had a hard time recognizing myself. Angelina and Maribel helped me into my outfit, shoes, and jewelry and escorted me down to the lobby. They ordered a cab for me and paid the driver. Angelina gave me a wink that told me that the anonymous backer of the hair and make-up was also backing the cab ride.
I met Angel where he told me to meet him. He gasped when he saw me and then held out his hand for mine. I laid my hand in his and he took it and kissed it. "You look so beautiful. I could drink in your beauty all night. Come on. Let us go before our reservation is gone. I'll drink more of you on the way." He helped me into a horse drawn carriage and we rolled down the street.
He held me close and whispered that he'd love to paint me some time. I told him that I'd only be in town until Saturday. He replied "We'll have plenty of time, trust me." For some reason, I truly believed him. We arrived at a stunningly beautiful bistro and were led to the best table in the house. Dinner went by in a haze of meaningless conversation. Meaningless conversation punctuated by meaningful glances.
As we were walking back to the carriage he leaned in and kissed me. At first I was hesitant but, as I felt him putting passion into the embrace, I kissed him with everything I had. His hand reached for my breast and I let it linger there allowing the rapture of the moment wash over me before pulling away and saying "I'll not be a one night stand. Any one who wants to get involved with me has to understand a few things about me. And has to care about me enough not to run when I tell them these things."
"Is this about your scars?" he asked. I looked at him and asked how he knew about them. He gave me a look and I realized "Angelina and Maribel told you didn't they? How do you know them?"
"Angelina is my madre and Maribel is mi hermana. They don't really work for the hotel. I asked them to go help you get ready. I wanted to do something nice for the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. By the way, I think you are incredibly beautiful and strong. And I can't get enough of you. Please let us go to your hotel room. We can talk. It will only go further if you want it to." It was the most sincere offer I'd ever received. I trusted his word implicitly.
"Oh Angel. Your mom was the kindest woman I've ever met. I feel like she helped me get so much closer to you. Let's go."
We made it back to my room and began to talk. He asked me about what I do in real life. "Are you a photographer? I see your camera and I know that you were snapping avidly at the other artists on the street. Or are you an artist?" he asked noticing the drawings I'd left lying about the room.
"Neither. I teach art in an early childhood program in New York. I've been sewing since a couple months after my parents... well, after my parents left. Photography and drawing followed a few years later. My grandparents bought me my first camera and art kit when my sister started doing pageants. They wanted to make sure there were plenty of pictures of her for the family," I said somewhat bitterly.
"Your sister?" he said quizzically.
"Yes, my sister, model extraordinaire, Abbi West. The most beautiful woman in the world is my sister."
"Wow. Your family must have done a real number on you because I think you are beautiful," he kissed my eyes "strong" my nose "and incredibly sexy" my mouth. "I want to make sure you know how much more than your sister you are. Please let us make love. Now. Tonight." I knew he was telling the truth so I answered
"Yes. Help me know what it is to be truly loved. I must warn you though, I am a virgin. No man has ever been able to hide his revulsion at seeing my scars."
"Mi amor. Nothing can stop me from showing you what you are truly worth. Angel de mis suenos you are worth a million Abbi Wests, a million sunsets and sun rises, a million kisses and a million more." Be began kissing my lips gently and cupping my breasts through my clothing. He kissed my eyes and began working his way down slowly unbuttoning the jacket he kissed until he reached where the scars began. He took his time and kissed each and every one of them tenderly. He moved the jacket off my arms and unclasped my bra. He moved around to my back and traced the scar from left shoulder to right hip and all the miniature scars with his lips.
He reached around and cupped my breasts, tweaking my nipples then slid his hands down to unbutton my pants. I leaned back moaning in rapture as he continued kissing my scars. I wanted to cry at his tenderness but I was too busy moaning in ecstasy. As my pants fell to the ground he hooked his fingers under the band of my panties and drew them down and continued his assault moving his mouth to my buttocks and his fingers to my mound. He gently toyed with my outer lips then delved inside.
My knees started to weaken and he picked me up and carried me to the bed where he placed his lips on my nether lips and began his true assault on my senses. I began writhing on the bed wanting something. Something more. He moved up and began kissing my lips again. I tasted my own musk on his lips it was the most erotic thing I had ever felt. Moisture immediately flooded to my already throbbing apex.
I ripped at his shirt and he got rid of his pants. His member was huge and throbbing and incredibly hot. I reached down and held it in my hand. I started stroking it until a drop of precum lubricated it and he surged upwards until he was at my throbbing entrance. He pushed just the tip inside of me and looked at me. "It will hurt this first time but, I promise it will get better."
He resumed kissing me and stimulating my nipples as he pushed further in and met the irrefutable proof of my virginity and pushed past it. I felt a quick burst of pain that was quickly diffused by the pleasure he was spreading else where in my body. He slowly drew out and plunged back in, stroking in and out in a rhythm that set my pulse beating a million miles a minute. The pressure began to build and build until I couldn't take it anymore, then I exploded. Stars burst behind my eyes as I felt Angel follow me over the edge. His seed spurted long and hard into my womb.
We lay there, exhausted. "You know we may have made a baby tonight. And I know that this sounds insane but I know that I want to marry you. I knew that you were special the minute I looked into your eyes. Please say that you'll consider marrying me. We can go on more dates while you are here if you want to be sure but, I know that you are my once in a life time."
I was bowled over. I did not let reason rule me as I answered "Angel I feel the same way. I'm scared and happy all at the same time. I don't know much about you or your family, but I do know that these feelings that you create in me make me feel like more than I ever was. I will marry you. I don't know how we will live. I don't make a lot of money and I know you must struggle as an artist but, I know that we will make it."
"Suena, let us not think of heavy things. Let us think of now and the pleasure we give each other and of the life we may have created tonight."
We made love the rest of the night and into the morning. He told me that he would put his mother and sister at my disposal for the rest of the trip. They did my hair and make up and gave me chapter and verse on how to act around Spanish nobility and kept me dressed and jeweled enough to keep up with my sister. At night Angel took me on dates to fantastical places and we made love at every opportunity.
The morning of the wedding I finally worked up the nerve to ask him how he's been able to treat me so much. He said "I'm sorry to have kept this from you but, I own the villa where your sister is getting married. I am the Marquis of Rosado and the owner of the biggest shipping company in Spain. I hope this does not change anything between us. I love you and I can always move business to New York. Or if you move, I have the means to help you do anything you want, if you want to do anything at all."
"Angel. I love you more than life itself. I don't care what you do for a living or if you do anything. I would never ask you to move to for me. I will move here. I've always had a dream of opening my own boutique and photography studio."
"Suena, we can do that. Thank you for agreeing to marry me. What will be the first thing you design?"
"I've already designed it. My wedding dress." I showed him the sketch that I had done my first night in town. He loved it.
Maribel and Angelina helped me get ready and over to Abbi's hotel so I could get her ready. The wedding went off with a hitch and Angel met me at the reception. We danced all night and at midnight he took me to the gardens where he kneeled down pulled out a gorgeous diamond ring and said "Lillian Ann Westwood, will you marry me and be my marchioness?"