The Unwanted Wife (Epilogue)

The weather on the late spring day in September was perfect. The sun was shining and the sky was a gorgeous shade of blue with not a single cloud marring its perfection. The string quartet struck up the bridal march and the small gathering of people who were seated on the wrought iron chairs in the beautiful garden all turned in unison, craning their necks to see the bride.

Theresa clung to the arm of her maid of honour as she regally made her way down the flower-strewn red carpet. Her eyes were fixed on the tall man standing beneath the rose bower, his hands were solemnly folded, one over the other, in front of him and his eyes were devouring her as she walked towards him. He looked gorgeous in his simple black suit, his hair had been cut close to his scalp and as she got even closer, she could see the nick on his jaw where he'd cut himself shaving that morning. She could see the appreciation in his gaze as he took in her simple ivory chiffon slip dress, with its lightly beaded sweetheart neckline, to its dropped waistline and the ankle length flowing skirt. Her gleaming hair was topped with a simple coronet of white roses and in her hands she held an equally simple bouquet of creamy white roses.

She stepped up beside him and Lisa, her maid of honour, offered Sandro his bride's slender right hand. He smiled down at his wife's cousin and dropped an appreciative kiss on her smooth cheek before focusing his attention on his beautiful bride. Theresa handed her bouquet over to Lisa, who stepped back to stand beside Gabriel Braddock, Sandro's best man. Theresa had eyes only for her husband, who looked absolutely stunned at the sight of her.

"You look…" he shook his head. "There are no words, cara. Beautiful doesn't begin to describe you."

She lifted her free hand to his jaw and stroked his slightly stubbled skin tenderly, with all the love in the world reflected in her eyes. The pastor cleared his throat and they stepped apart. Theresa sent a quick glance over to where her ten month old daughter was sitting on her elegant grandmother's lap. Theresa smiled at her mother-in-law and Sandro's sisters, all three of whom were present. A smiling Rick sat beside Isabella de Lucci with a sleeping Rhys cradled in his arms. Her father had made an appearance and sat in the row behind the de Luccis. Things were still very strained between him and Sandro but he had begrudgingly released Sandro from their contract and hadn't tried to take the vineyard back, saying that he wouldn't contest Theresa's ownership. Theresa still hadn't decided what to do with the contentious plot of land but was leaning towards deeding it over to Lily. Theresa often took Lily to visit Jackson and while he was still cold towards his daughter, he seemed to love Lily in his own gruff way and spoiled her rotten. Theresa had invited him to the wedding, never expecting him to show up and now sent a small appreciative smile in his direction and he nodded slightly in acknowledgment.

She turned her attention back to her groom, this strong, beautiful man was her whole world and she loved him with all that was in her, secure in the knowledge that he felt exactly the same way about her. In that moment her life could not be any more perfect. The pastor smiled and began to speak:

"Alessandro and Theresa have both opted to write their own vows. Alessandro, would you like to begin?" Sandro smiled down at his beautiful wife and, in a voice that shook with emotion, began with the five words that had become his new mantra.

"Theresa, love of my life…"

The End