Home > Take Three (The Jilted Bride #2)

Take Three (The Jilted Bride #2)
Author: Whitney Gracia Williams

Chapter 1

Selena

Annoyed and angry, I crossed my arms and tried not to scream. I was sitting in my dressing room, on my wedding day, listening to the groom break things off with me.

He paced the room as he talked, wiping tears of frustration from his face. Once he was done babbling, he sat down across from me and reached for my hand.

“I really should have let you go a long time ago Selena,” he said. “I’m sorry that I ever allowed you to manipulate me into this ridiculous charade, but this is it. It’s over. I don’t love you. I don’t like you. And I can’t stand you. We need to tell everyone this whole thing was a hoax because I’m not marrying you today.”

“But why now, Matt? Why did you wait until our actual wedding day to break this to me?”

He shook his head. “I think I’ve made it perfectly clear that I couldn’t stand you for the past few months. This isn’t new and you know it.”

“You’re just nervous, Matt. Go drink some water and go to the altar before people start talking. All the press we get from this will be great for you too,” I turned away from him and looked at myself in the mirror. “Or have you forgotten that?”

“I fell in love with someone.”

I whipped my head around. “What? Who?”

“Melody Carter.”

A nobody? A non-celebrity?

“The writer? The one that’s supposed to be writing about our wedding?”

“Yes,” his eyes seemed to light up. “I’m in love with her and if I go through with this wedding she probably won’t ever talk to me again…I’m not risking that, so—”

“So all the time I’ve put into making our staged-relationship work is going down the drain? Just like that?”

“I guess so,” he shrugged. “What do you want to tell the press? We need to figure out whatever it is soon. I need to get to the real love of my life.”

My head was spinning. I couldn’t believe he was stepping out on me—not that we were really together to begin with, but my lifelong dream of getting married to someone famous was falling apart right in front of me.

I knew that he didn’t like me, that he literally loathed my company, but us being together (staged or not) was what was best for our careers. We were the hottest celebrity couple in the world, and I couldn’t believe he was willing to throw that away for some nobody.

“You’re not leaving me Matt,” I snapped. “You’re going to marry me today and that’s a fact. You and I will get divorced after seventy two days, and then you can go be with whatever her name is. Oh, and we’ll definitely need to confirm that I miscarried on our honeymoon. I’m getting tired of wearing that prosthetic baby bump; it makes me itch.”

“Do you think I’m joking? It’s over. Accept it,” he stood up and headed for the door.

He’d never acted like this before. He usually just sighed and reluctantly agreed to do whatever I wanted, but he was completely different today. He didn’t even look back.

“Stop! Matt! Stop!” I ran to the door and stood in front of it. “I understand…I really do. The guy I’m dating isn’t a fan of our pseudo-relationship either, but he understands why it has to be done. Can’t you see? I’m still here for you and I’m still willing to marry you. Do you know how much bad press we could get over something like this?”

“Selena, I don’t care about bad press. Move away from the door.”

I sighed. “You may not care about bad press, but I do! I’m America’s Sweetheart! Telling everyone that our engagement was a hoax might land me amongst the B-list stars! I’m an A-lister! I have two Emmys! Two!”

“Please get away from the door,” he reached behind me and twisted the handle. “Don’t make me pick you up and move you myself.”

“Wait! Just hear me out for old times’ sake, for the times when you used to actually like me,” I waited for him to step back. “If you really don’t care about bad press then I think there’s a way we can fix this without telling anyone it was a hoax.”

He crossed his arms. “You have ten seconds.”

I zipped up my ninety thousand dollar wedding gown and waltzed around my bedroom. The iridescent gems that sat atop the sweetheart neckline and the crushed crystals that clung to the corset still sparkled in the sunlight. The ornate organza waves that billowed from the skirt seemed to float with every step I took.

After circling my room, I plopped down on my bed and watched my failed wedding to Matt Sterling for the umpteenth time:

The venue, the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, was adorned with thousands of orange sonata lilies and red baccara roses. Swarovski crystallized light boxes hung from the exposed wooden ceiling, silky white drapes flowed down to the red carpet, and right outside the lighthouse—hundreds of floating candles bearing our initials waded in the Hudson River.

As I walked down the aisle, the hand crafted diamonds in my lacy vintage veil gleamed. My make-up, applied by renowned artist Gucci Westman, was utter perfection and flawlessly complemented my sleek and curly up-do.

Matt smiled as I approached him, putting his sexy charm on display as the cameras panned over his gorgeous face. His dark and smoldering eyes didn’t show the slightest hint of sadness, even though I knew that being at our wedding was the last place he wanted to be.

We looked into each other’s eyes as Stevie Wonder serenaded us with “Ribbon in the Sky,” as the pastor recited words of wisdom, and as his mom lit the eternity candle.

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