Marrying Cade(5)

By: Sally Clements

“Come on, Rosa. It’ll be all right.” Melo pitched her voice low and reassuring, draped an arm around her petite sister, carefully avoiding the pins, and hugged her close.

Rosa’s frantic sobs stuttered and stopped.

Melo unwrapped another tissue, and then stowed the packet back next to the screwdriver and emergency chocolate bar. Thank goodness. She had enough on her plate without having to deal with her sister’s histrionics.

“Will Papa be fit enough to take me down the aisle?” Rosa raised her tearstained gaze to Melo’s.

“We’ll just have to see what the doctor says.” Melo’s head began to throb and she cursed the fact her tool belt wasn’t packing paracetamol.

“But he just has to, Melo!” Rosa’s voice was high, the fast words rising to frantic again. She blinked rapidly, tears welling up.

Melo pulled in a deep fortifying breath. What Rosa wanted, Rosa got. But Melo was damned if she would let their father’s health suffer. There wasn’t any point in remonstrating her sister, so she did the next best thing.

Distracted her.

“Darling, you need to let Eliza finish. She’s got to go in a couple of hours.” Melo bit back a groan. She’d hoped against hope Eliza would be sewing at this point.

“Were you with the caterers?” As if exhausted by the outpouring of emotion, Rosa’s tone was flat. She dabbed her eyes.

Bloody hell. The caterers. Melo needed to get out of here and check on the food. And make sure the braziers were lit. She smoothed her dress over her hips with nervous fingers.

Rosa’s keen gaze caught the tiny movement, and she pulled in a breath. “Oh, you’ve even had time to get changed!” Tears welled up in Rosa’s eyes again.

Melo rolled her bottom lip in and clamped it between her teeth.

She’d changed out of her old jeans, and had even managed to snatch a quick shower before she dressed to collect Cade and Adam. She’d wanted Cade to see her as a woman. And she’d been totally successful. Her heart pounded at the remembered heat in his eyes as his gaze traveled slowly up her body.

“I’ve just picked Adam and Cade up from the hotel.”

The tears evaporated like magic. “Adam’s here? Why didn’t you tell me?” A radiant smile transformed Rosa from victim to victor, and she shot to her feet. The silk flowed around her slender body like a shining cocoon. She really was exquisite. So blonde and perfect.

Melo caught a glimpse of herself in the floor length mirror as she coaxed Eliza back in. Tall, dark, curvaceous. The only thing they had in common was the electric blue eyes both had inherited from their Irish mother. Apart from that, they were so different it didn’t seem possible they were twins.

Like day and night, her father was prone to say when he had both of his daughters in front of him. In a lot of ways it would be so much easier if she were like Rosa—satisfied to be someone’s wife, someone’s mother. But she wasn’t. Never had been. If she’d been born a boy she’d be working in the vineyard now, automatically learning the business and eventually taking her place on the board with her cousins.

But her father believed a woman’s place was in the home, so instead, she’d left the island for a new life in Florence. A life where her brains were appreciated, rather than a drawback. A place where she could avoid comparison to her petite blonde twin. She shook the traitorous thoughts from her head, and sat down in front of her sister again.

“He can’t see you like this. Just let Eliza finish.”

Rosa’s headful of golden curls bobbed. Her toes tapped a frantic tattoo on the wooden floor. “I will. I can’t wait to see him.” The words tumbled over each other in a frantic bid to escape.

“I’ll see you later.” Melo unstrapped the tool belt and left it on the sofa. She cast a last look at her sister then dashed out of the room. Her sister was going to make a beautiful bride and nothing could be allowed to spoil Rosa’s big day. Rosa’s happiness was paramount.


Melo checked with the caterers, and made sure the musicians had everything they needed. By the time she emerged, people were everywhere. The large glass doors were thrown open, and a soft breeze teased the tendrils of hair brushing her cheek. Wedding guests lounged outside on the wooden benches facing the sea, and inside too, little groups of people were seated on the overstuffed sofas.

The bride to be had changed into a vibrant yellow sundress, and stood radiant in her fiancé’s arms.

Melo’s heart clutched at the sight of her sister’s happiness.

“You need a drink.” She jumped at Cade’s low, intimate tone and darted a glance sideways.

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