Page 22 of His Solace

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“What about this one?” Pace’s mama, Evalina, holds up another dress for me to see. She, Posy, Nicola, and I have been at this wedding boutique for a few hours now. They’ve shown me multiple dresses, but nothing feels right. “Nope, I can see from your face this isn’t for you.”

“I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be difficult.”

“Don’t be sorry.” Nicola sits next to me as Posy sifts through the rows of dresses. She’s incredibly quiet—reminds me of Daia in some ways—but she’s been so kind to me. “We’ve all been through this. Besides, you’re allowed to be picky on your special day.”

“I’ve got it,” Posy declares, pulling out a cream-colored dress with white lace flowers sewn into the skirt. The sleeves go from shoulder to wrist, and the bodice dips to the waist.

“Oh my,” Evalina gasps.

“Yup, that’s the one!” Nicola stands and brushes her fingers across the flowers.

“Well?” Posy looks to me in question. I remain speechless as I stand. Tears fill my eyes, and I know she’s right because I can imagine the look on Pace’s face as he sees me in this. “And look at these.” She turns the dress to reveal the pearl buttons that begin at the tailbone and travel halfway up the back.

“It’s perfect.” I’m in awe. It’s more than I ever dreamed of.

Trying it on, I feel everything I’ve hoped for. Love, acceptance, anticipation. This day isn’t just the start of our relationship but the beginning of my new life. And as much as I’d have loved to share that with my biological family, I’m happy to celebrate with the new one I’ve gained as well.

“These shoes.” Nicola holds up a pair of white Grecian-style sandals with a tie that will twine all the way up my leg. “What if there was a slit in the dress, at the side, that travelled to her hip,” she muses, and I don’t hate the idea.

“We can do that.” The tailor nods.

“Today?” Posy inquires.

“Oh well, I don’t know about that.” She twists her lips from side to side.

“Money is no object. They’re marrying tonight. You can do it, or I will.” Evalina crosses her arms. “I’d just prefer helping my new daughter get ready for her special night.”

The boutique owner approaches. “Yes, of course. Since it fits perfectly already, we’ll work on that and have it ready in about two hours?”

Evalina grins. “That would be wonderful.”

After checking the measurements, they make a promise to have the dress ready for when Evalina and Nicola come back to pick it up. I feel fantastic but a little lost, and when I’m asked by Posy, “What’s on your mind?” I know it’s reflected on my face.

“I’ve observed a lot of weddings at the church. Helped set up for so many. The people are always so happy, so filled with love…and family.” I hate myself for being sad that I won’t have mine there. I haven’t asked Pace to look for my mother. I suppose I assumed that he would because he’s doing so much to find the other children and their families. It’s foolish and far more selfish than I should be.

“You know we’re your family now, right?” I nod. They’ve made that quite clear since our arrival yesterday morning. “But you want your own blood as well.” I nod again, guilt swamping me.

“I know I should be ecstatic to be free. To have everything Pace is giving me. But there’s a part of me, a small part, that wants something of my own too.” Slipping her hand into mine as we leave the store, Posy smiles up at me.

“There is nothing wrong with that. It’s not selfish, and it’s not guilt you should feel.” The surprised look must give me away again. “Your heart is on your sleeve, Isabel. Everything you feel is in your eyes. That’s not a bad thing, especially for a man like Pace; he’ll need those clues. Ask him to find her. I bet he already knows, and he’s just waiting for a sign from you.”

“She’s right.” Nicola wraps her arms around both of us. “Pace is a quiet man, extremely thoughtful and vigilant. He won’t do anything until you ask him to, but he’s probably got the information already. He prides himself on being ready for anything at any time.” Her eyes focus on the distance, and as I turn to look, I already know he’s standing there. I can feel his stare on me. “Go ask him.”

They both give me a subtle push as Domino and Natale, holding baby Gia, come over to their wives. “Hi.” Pace’s hands immediately encircle my waist and pull me into his strong frame.

“Will you find my mother?” I blurt the question because, otherwise, I might chicken out. A look enters his eyes—dread—and I know he’s already found her. “You already know.” His lips thin as he nods. “She didn’t want me.” Piercing pain stabs me in the chest. I believed I had already accepted that was likely the case. I was so wrong.

“Your birth motherwasa drug addict. She sold you to another woman, from whom the church stole you.” I feel sick. “After a couple of years, that woman stopped trying to get you back and accepted that she was never meant to have you. She’s moved on and no longer wishes to learn about you.”

Burying my face in his chest, he holds me tight. “I’m sorry,dolce. They don’t deserve you.” I can only nod because I had foolishly hoped that it was only a matter of me asking about it, and he was just waiting on me. Turns out, he wanted to spare my feelings. If I believed in the Lord, I would swear that he gave me Pace for the sole purpose of being my strength when I need him the most.



“It’s too late, right? A midnight wedding is silly.” It seemed appropriate at the time. Our love blossomed out of darkness, so it felt right that we would wed in it too. Now I feel ridiculous as I see the night sky through the window.

I have no idea what’s happening outside, but I know that Pace and his brothers spent the evening readying the backyard to give me the wedding of my dreams. I didn’t know I had any until the women of the family started asking me rapid-fire questions. I learned I love roses, although I knew that already, but I like dark over light. I prefer chocolate cake to vanilla. I didn’t want a pastor, priest, minister, or any kind of religious man to officiate for us, so Natale’s father Carlo is. Posy, Nicola, and Amalia, the sweetest women I’ve ever met, are all standing up for me. And Pace’s father, Santo, is giving me away with Evalina.

Tags: K.L. Donn Erotic