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Her Secret Daughter Ruth Logan Herne 2022/8/3 13:39:38

“Jacob.” Josie turned, smiling, glad he’d broken protocol. Just seeing him eased the war of nerves racing inside her.

“This is a present from us.” He and Addie crossed the bride’s room and handed Josie a small package. “We went to the jewelry store and they made us something special.”

“Special for all three of us,” added Addie, excited.

Josie opened the small box and sighed when she spotted the pendant necklace inside. “Jacob. It’s gorgeous.”

“It’s us!” Addie wriggled with delight when Josie bent low. “The coppery stones are for you, the blue part is for Dad, and the green part is me! It matches our eyes!”

“And twines us all together. Just the way it should be.” The interwoven pendant bound all three colors together in an unbreakable bond. “Jacob, will you fasten it for me?”

He slipped the delicate necklace from the box and draped it around her neck while Cissy held the veil aside. His fingers fumbled the clasp at first, but then a tiny click indicated success.

He left his hands there for just a moment while Kate held up a hand mirror. “Do you like it?”

“Not like. Love. And I love both of you.” She smiled at him through the mirror, then down at Addie. “Thank you, both. I’ll cherish this forever.”

“The feeling’s mutual, darlin’.” He kissed her cheek, then Addie’s. “Are you ladies about ready to meet me up front? Because it looks like there’s a crowd gathering.”

“I’m ready,” announced Addie.

“Me, too.” Kim handed the baby off to her mother in time to take her place as matron of honor.

Josie trailed one finger to the beautiful pendant just below her throat. “I love you, Jacob.”

He paused. He didn’t joke. He didn’t tease. He simply looked at her, then Addie, then her again. “I know, darlin’. I know. And the feeling’s mutual.”

And when she stepped into the church moments later, her arm tucked through her mother’s, Josie didn’t see the packed pews, or the smiles, or the cell phones raised for pictures.

She saw Jacob, her beloved, standing at the altar, waiting for her. With her daughter trailing floral petals before her, Josie walked toward her dream come true.