Always the Seamstress Ch. 01byLilyDecember©
My first (rather short) submission... I'll write more if people seem interested. Feedback is always welcome!
Love, Lily :) x
After she got off the phone with a very excited bride-to-be, Lara Matthews hung up 6 months of hard work with a sigh of relief and sat down on the plush hotel bed. She'd flown to Ireland that morning and had been collected from the airport and deposited in the most glorious refurbished manor house in the middle of nowhere. This had to have been one of her most stressful jobs yet, she thought. The ivory silk sheathe dress hung from silk cord spaghetti straps which met at the nape of the neck to form a racer-back made from a single Celtic knot which flowed seamlessly until it touched the top of the dress at hip level. It was the Celtic knot that had required most of her effort; she had completely lost count of the number or mock-ups she had done until she was satisfied with it. The marriage of Ava McCarthy to Cian O'Sullivan was, apparently, going to be huge. As was her cheque. Lara smiled, got up and poured herself a glass of wine.
The wedding of Ruari McCarthy's sister was giving him a headache. He poured himself another dram of whiskey as he surveyed the state of his office. Ribbons in the palest shades of every colour hung from the mantel piece above the great fire, magazines littered the floor, fabric samples were draped over the chairs, the coffee table was covered in party favours and that damnable confetti was everywhere. It was good for the pack to have some fun though. Everything had been so tense since the arrival of Cian the previous year. The brutal massacre of his pack had provoked worry and unrest and leading there alpha to take a "sabbatical-of-indeterminate-length" in his one-man quest for justice. Ruari understood Conall's need to mete retribution, felt it himself even. The alpha's sister and her mate had been members of that pack, and Ruari knew that, had it been Ava, nothing could have come between him and vengeance. He would have painted Ireland red with his fury and bloodlust. As it was though, his sister was deliriously happy, and costing him an absolute fortune.
Lara woke at around 8am, giving her about an hour before the bride's arrival. Ava had been kind enough to invite her to the wedding and Lara was ecstatic. It was very rewarding to make the dress for someone's big day, but nothing compared to watching how her handiwork collaborated with everything else to create the happiest day of someone's life. She showered quickly, blow-dried her loose, chestnut curls and applied basic make-up to enhance her features so that once the bride and bridesmaids were dressed she would simply have to slip on her own dress and be ready to go. The wedding reception was being held at the hotel, so after a light breakfast, Lara set the dresses up in the salon ready for the preparations of the morning. The grand piano had been moved to the dining room so it could be played while the guests were eating, and Lara decided to designate its elevated platform to the bride, giving her space to herself without separating her from the bridesmaids.
Ava McCarthy looked grumpy. Today will be her final day as a McCarthy. Ruari realised with a pang of sadness felt by both him and his wolf. His sister had left his house (where she'd spent the previous night so as not to be seen by Cian before the wedding) to oversee the final details wearing track pants, a sloppy ponytail and a mild frown. She'll never be a morning person. He meanwhile, had gone for his usual morning run since his only job until the ceremony was to remember his chequebook. Right now they were stood outside the hotel, and he shifted impatiently from foot to foot while Ava was on the phone trying to direct the lost (and flustered) hair and make-up team she'd hired.
"Ruari, please would you go and check that my designer has everything set up in the salon?" she asked him with the mobile pressed into the crook of her neck. He turned on his heel without a word, willing -- for today at least -- to set aside his dominant instincts and acquiesce to her every whim.
Upon entering the salon, Ruari paused in the doorway to admire the shapely, jean-clad arse and legs of the woman bent over the hem of what he assumed was Ava's wedding dress on the stage. Her hips swayed invitingly as she arranged the dress until it fell completely straight. His gaze was transfixed until she stepped back, clearly unaware of her proximity to the edge, and he rushed to break her fall before the chairs stacked against the platform could beat him to it. The woman's breath left her lungs as he caught her, a soft comfortable weight. Her chestnut hair was tousled and partially obscured her face, and as she flipped it back to look at him the scent of vanilla and jasmine combined in a way that was totally new and wholly unmistakable. Mate. His wolf declared as his arms tightened uncontrollably. The woman in his arms regarded him with amusement dancing in her grey eyes and pixie-like features.
"The rescue was welcome," she told him. "The squeezing? Not so much."