Page 23 of His Solace

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Everything is perfect.


But it feels…off.

And I don’t know why.

“It’s going to be stunning,” Amalia reassures me as she buttons the last pearl on my dress. Nicola was right, the slit up the side really elevated it. “Pace is going to eat his tongue when he sees you.”

“It’s swallow,” Posy corrects. Of all of us, she was born and raised in the U.S., she knows the weird terms better than us.

“Mama?” Little Gia pulls on her mother’s dress. “Up.” Adorned as a pretty flower girl, her basket of petals sits at her feet as she reaches up to be held. Seeing the interaction makes me wonder about Pace and me. We’ve been intimate plenty of times and not once used protection. I wonder if it’s too soon to tell.

“Are you alright, little one?” Nicola brushes her fingers across her niece’s dark hair as she nods. “I recognize that look.” Nicola points to me with a grin. “You think you are, don’t you?” I shrug; she squeals. “I’ve been trying to convince Domino since we had our first. The man is stubborn and wants me to himself. So, it’s up to you guys to feed my baby fever.”

Grateful to Nicola for lightening the mood, I shake my head at her. The love these women all share with their men is humbling and gives me great hope for my future with Pace. Which is the peace I needed to brush off the odd feelings I was having earlier.

“Are you ready?” Evalina pops open the door, Santo following behind her.

“If you’d have asked me two years ago if I could see three of my sons married by now, I’d have laughed in your face. Especially Pace. He has a darkness in his soul that you’ve freed, Isabel. Thank you.” Gripping my hand, Santo kisses the top, and I blush.

“I like to think it was the other way around.” Pace gave me life. There’s no doubt about it.

“And that is why you two are perfect for each other,” Evalina says and hugs me from behind before shooing the girls out. “You, my dear new daughter, are going to love what Pace has done for you out there.” Her comment has anticipation heating my blood.

“Can we have a moment, darling?” Santo glances at his wife and smiles before she leaves the dressing room. “I spent many years away from my family for the sake of the island and as a promise to Carlo. Seeing each of my boys connected to women who aren’t just their match but possess a strength to deal with their controlling and obsessive manners, makes me incredibly happy.”

“Thank you.” His words are those I wished to hear from my own father.

“I know you don’t have family. Pace explained quite a bit to me, but he’s struggling to ensure he can provide you with everything. What he can’t provide you with is parents.” My gaze slides to my feet at his words. “But I can.” My eyes fly up to stare at him. “Evalina and I were blessed with five headstrong boys, and we are now being gifted with beautiful daughters because of it. I want you to know that you aren’t just marrying Pace today, but you are gaining my Eva and me as your parents. No matter what happens in the future, or at any time, we will forever be your family. You understand?”

He brushes the tears from my cheeks as they begin to fall, and I nod. “I do. I do understand.” Throwing my arms around his waist, I hold on, reveling in the fact that I have everything I ever wanted right here, and it’s a blessing I never expected. “Thank you, Santo.”

“Ah, Papa,” he corrects, and I can sense the smile in his voice.

Drawing back, I give him a watery smile. “Thank you, Papa.”

“Good. Now one last thing. When my mother passed, she left behind a number of pieces of jewelry and made me promise to give it to my girls when they came along. The necklace Nicola wears, that washergift.” It’s a beautiful cross with the name Cardarelli inscribed along the front. “Amalia has my mama’s ring.” The stone matches the color of her eyes. “And for you, I have this.” He presents me with an arm cuff and slips it over the sleeve of my dress. It’s a little snug, but as soon as I see the color of the stones along the band, the same color as Pace’s eyes, and their surname inscribed on the side, I know I’ll wear it no matter what. “This is special because today, Pace went and did something for you that will be revealed later.” Kissing my cheeks, he holds me at arm’s length before saying, “Welcome to the Cardarelli family, Isabel.”

* * *


Darkness enshrouds the backyard as I stand up with Domino, Santi, and Natale, waiting for Isabel to make her way towards me. Children from the orphanage the Morellos donate so much time and money to are here as well, with the workers, running around with jars filled with twinkling lights and tinkling laughter. Everyone is eagerly awaiting my bride.

As soon as I hear the harp begin to strum, lights along the pathway turn on, and little Gia Morello begins walking down the aisle with Posy right behind her. Together they sprinkle rose petals on the rich burgundy rug leading from the house to where I stand. Nicola and Amalia following behind, arms linked, and as beautiful as the women are, they aren’t mydolce. The one woman I long to see.

A hush envelops the air, and the illumination dims once again before the music commences, and soon, my Isabel begins walking forward with my parents on either side of her. The pergola above her lights up with each step she takes until she’s in full view.

“Jesus Christ,” I hiss when I see her emerge from the shadows.

“Breathe, little brother.” I hear Maso’s voice and glance up to see him and Donato walking out from the house.

“Otherwise, I might have to run away with her,” Don laughs but quiets down when Mama turns her glare on him.

I’m glad to see my oldest brothers—they weren’t sure they’d make it—but I really don’t give a fuck about them right now. All my attention is on my stunning bride. From her curled hair to her bare neck, down the low-dipping top and the slit in her dress, I’ve never seen a more beautiful creature. Ignoring everyone around us, I step down and take her hand, dragging her into my body, my dick throbbing with the need to be inside of her for the next century.

“You’re stunning,” I whisper into her neck, kissing along the delicate column. Her hands fist in my vest as she hangs on.

Tags: K.L. Donn Erotic