Midnight Memories in Bora Bora (#4)

Midnight Memories in Bora Bora (#4)

FOUR

Rick laughed at my question and nodded. “Of course, I knew about it. I planned it.”

Helen stood from her chair, wrapping her arms around her best friend and her husband. “I can’t believe you two are here. Wait. Does that mean when I talked to you . . .”

“We were here . . . in our villa.”

“You are a good liar.”

Lisa laughed, cocking her head to the said as she glanced up at the ceiling. “What can I say? I guess I have a special talent I didn’t know about.”

Helen glanced from her friends to Rick. “So . . . I don’t understand what is going on. Why did you plan for them to be here?”

“Well . . .” Rick looked at Lisa, who grabbed Helen’s arm.

“We’re here to whisk you away to get ready for your wedding!”

“My . . . wedding?” Helen stuttered, her mind racing to catch up with the sudden turn of events. Her mouth fell open, and she whipped her head around toward Rick. “What is she talking about?”

Rick stood, his eyes soft but shining with a certainty that only deepened Helen’s affection for him. “Yes, our wedding. Tonight. If you want to get married tonight. “And don’t worry, everything’s taken care of. I picked a beautiful spot on the beach, and Monica is handling everything for us. All you need to do is get ready.”

“But how can I get ready? I don’t have a dress. I don’t have flowers. I don’t have anything.”

“Yes, you do.” Lisa winked. “I brought you need. It’s all waiting for you in my villa.”

“You did what?”

“And don’t worry. I made sure to bring everything I know you will love.”

Helen looked around at everyone. Perhaps there would have been another time when she wouldn’t have wanted everyone else planning her wedding for her. Tonight wasn’t that time, though. Knowing that everything was done and that it was done by those who love her only made her love the idea more.

“So, what do you say?” Rick asked. “Do you want to get married tonight?”

“Of course, I want to get married tonight.”

Lisa grabbed Helen’s hand. “Then let’s go. We’ve got no time to lose. Tonight, you become Mrs. Rick Stark.”

***

Lisa led Helen to one of the overwater villas with a light bounce to her step that made Helen smile.

“I’ve missed having you around,” she said.

“And I’ve missed having you around. San Francisco hasn’t been the same since you left. I keep talking to Ben about looking for jobs here, but he keeps saying no.” Lisa looked at her. “I have to say Bora Bora looks good on you . . . or perhaps it’s love.” With the last of her sentence, Lisa clasped her hands together and cocked her head to the side, lightening her voice to a playful tone.

“I think it’s a little of both.” Helen chuckled. Her heart pounded with a mix of nerves and excitement. This wasn’t what she had planned for the night, and she felt like she was living a dream. “I can’t believe Rick planned all this,” she said.

“I know. It’s so romantic.” Lisa pointed to one of the villas. “That’s the one.”

After Lisa unlocked the door, she swung it open, motioning Helen inside. The room was filled with the soft glow of lanterns and the scent of fresh jasmine.

“This is your villa?” Helen asked, scrunching her brow.

“No. It’s yours. Well, yours and Rick’s for after you’re married. He wanted to surprise you with it afterward but then decided it would be a beautiful place for you to get ready.” She pointed toward the other side of the room and, as Helen turned, saw a wedding dress hanging from the bedroom door frame. Its long train was draped on the floor. It was simple, elegant, and utterly perfect.

“Is this the dress?” Helen touched the fabric, her voice a whisper.

“It is. It’s the one you sent me a picture of, remember? I know I said I had doubts about it when you sent it to me, but seeing it . . . it’s even more beautiful in person, and I think it fits you to a T, well, in style.”

Helen inhaled a deep breath. “What if it doesn’t fit me in size?”

Lisa waved her hand. “I wouldn’t worry about that. Rick took the measurements off some of your clothes and sent them to me.”

“Oh, he did?” She laughed, trying to remember when he would have been alone in her place. “Ah. It must have been when I went to the store, and he said his computer wasn’t working and asked me to use mine.”

“I guess.”

“Wait. You told me you hadn’t found the dress at any stores yet.”

“Again, I lied.”

“Wow. I’m just surrounded by a bunch of liars. Perhaps I should rethink this wedding.” The two women laughed. And as they calmed, Helen stepped toward the dressing, touching the sheer satin bodice. “It really is beautiful.”

“Before we try it on, let’s touch up your hair and makeup. Thank goodness Rick had the sense to tell you it was a special night so you would style your hair.”

Before Helen could speak, Lisa grabbed her hand and led her into the bathroom. Several bouquets filled the small space with a lush scent, while dozens of candles caused light to dance across the walls.

“The flowers are so pretty.”

“I was told to tell you to pick one for your bouquet. He didn’t know which one you would want to carry, so he ordered them all.”

“He ordered them all?”

“Yep.” Lisa patted the back of the vanity chairs. “Time to work some magic.”

After a few swipes with the blush and eyeshadow brushes, a few flicks of a mascara wand, and a few twists with a curling iron, Helen was ready.

“It’s probably not what a hairstylist would have done, but I honestly don’t think they could have made you look more perfect than you already do,” Lisa said, finishing the last spritz of hairspray.

“I don’t know that I would have hired a hairstylist.”

Lisa just looked at Helen and smiled. “Are you ready for the dress?”

Excitement bubbled through Helen as she watched Lisa remove the dress from the hanger and lay it out. She slipped into the satin, helping Lisa inch it up her body, and it hugged every curve just as she knew it would.

“It fits perfectly,” Lisa said, securing the tiny buttons up the back. “Rick’s measurements were spot on.”

Helen moved over to the mirror hanging on another wall, and as she looked upon her reflection, she felt a calm settle over her. This was right. This was meant to be.

“It is perfect. I can’t believe this is happening tonight,” she whispered.

Lisa met her gaze in the reflection. “It’s crazy, right? But when has anything about your story with Rick been anything but extraordinary? This is your adventure, Helen, and it’s just getting started.”

Taking a deep breath, Helen turned to Lisa, her resolve firming. “Do you think he’s ready for me?”

Lisa smiled and nodded. “The plan was they would head down to the beach after you and I left the restaurant, so yeah, I know he’s waiting for you.”

“Well, I shall not keep him waiting, then.” She went back into the bathroom, grabbing a bouquet of white roses. “This is the one I want.”

“It’s perfect.” Lisa hugged her tightly. “Are you ready to walk down the aisle, beautiful bride?”

Helen nodded as her eyes gleamed with tears of joy. “Ready as I'll ever be."

To be continued . . .

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