“Mae,” Bella whispered as I walked from the changing room and stood on the elevated plinth opposite my friends and sisters. The mirror was behind me, but I did not yet dare look at my reflection. I glanced at Bella sat beside Ruth, her mother-in-law and Rider’s mama. Her eyes were filling with tears as she stared at me. Her hands were in front of her mouth.
“Do you like it?” I ran my hand over my pronounced stomach.
Bella nodded. “You are perfect,” she whispered. Ruth nodded in agreement.
I looked at Maddie. “Madds?”
She smiled warmly. “You are beautiful, Mae, this dress only enhances that. But this gown could not suit you more if you tried.”
“Styx will love it,” Lilah said and held Grace tighter on her lap.
“You look like a Disney princess,” Grace said.
A hand came down on my arm. I turned to see Beauty behind me. “You ever gonna look in the mirror, darlin’?” She smiled. This boutique belonged to a friend of Beauty’s, and Beauty had practically organized my wedding for me. I was clueless where to even begin.
“You look good, Mae.” I smiled at Letti as she sat uncomfortably on the couch. She had told me she was here to support me, but she had no opinion in such matters as wedding dress shopping. Or anything girly, she’d said affectionately.
“Turn, honey,” Lilah said and I nodded my head. I had no idea why I was so nervous. I knew that Styx loved me and I loved him. I felt as though I had been waiting for this day my whole life. That I had been waiting for the day I finally cemented him as mine. Forever mine, and me forever his.
Closing my eyes, I turned, allowing Beauty to guide me. “You ready?” she whispered. I pulled up the image of Styx in my mind. Me in his arms as we lay in bed. His large tattooed arms holding me close as we spoke. His voice gruff and deep. Then I pictured us laughing. The infamous Hangmen Mute of the Hades Hangmen, so different with me than with anybody else. To others he was aloof, silent, and menacing. But to me, he was loving, caring, and the most beautiful soul in the world.
The other half of my heart.
About the Author
Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.
After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.
Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.
Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.
When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.