Daring Brides

By: Ava Miles


“I think it might be,” she said. “Thanks for coming again.”

Jane and Elizabeth hugged him and then headed off to their seats. Rhett signaled to the band to let them know they were ready. When they began to play the first strings of the song Abbie had chosen, he led her onto the dance floor. They swayed to “Night and Day” by Cole Porter, and she felt so good in his arms that he twirled her around like his mama had taught him to do when he was a sprout. As soon as he dipped her, she laughed with abandon, an unusual sound for her in public. But today wasn’t just any day. She was happy. Happier than he’d ever seen her. When the song ended, he kissed her because he could.

“I have a surprise for you,” he said and left her in the middle of the dance floor.

He signaled to Rye, who was standing at the edge of the room with his guitar in his hands. Keeping his gaze on his wife, Rhett took the microphone from the lead singer of the band. Abbie was already tearing up in anticipation.

“I wrote a song for my bride,” he told the crowd. “My friend, Rye Crenshaw, is going to sing it for y’all.”

When he walked back across the dance floor and took her in his arms, she squeezed him with all the love he was feeling inside.



***



Abbie had wondered if Rhett would write a song for their wedding. It was how he’d officially won her heart, after all—with Rye’s help, he’d serenaded her on a cold winter night.

As she gazed into his eyes, she raised her hand to his jaw. “I love you. So much.”

“And I love you.”

Rye strummed the guitar and started to sing the words.



My angel wife,

Sent from above,

How did you find me?

How did you hear my call?



I’ve been calling to you,

Asking for you,

Praying for you.



And now, you’re mine.

My love is strong.

You can trust it.

My heart is true.

You can count on it.



I will always be here.

You will always be mine.

And I…

Will always be yours.



When Rye finished singing, Abbie pressed her wet face against Rhett’s suit and let herself go to pieces. How was it she’d become lucky enough to fall for a man with so much love inside, who bravely gave words to it for all to hear?

“You are simply the most amazing man I’ve ever met, Rhett Butler Blaylock,” she finally composed herself enough to say.

His eyes were bright too, and he gently traced the tear tracks on her face. “I’ll give you fair warning. I plan to write a song when we have our first child.”

More tears swelled in her eyes and fell down her cheeks. Even though Dustin was a teenager, she and Rhett had talked about having more children together. They wanted to have the experience of raising children together.

“I can’t wait to hear it,” she said in a hoarse voice.

And as the band started playing the next song, she knew Rhett would be writing lots more songs about them, their children, and their life together.

She couldn’t wait to hear every one.



***



Rhett had never imagined weddings could be this fun. Of course, now that Abbie’s swanky band had turned the corner from more “appropriate” music to full-out country fun, the party was well underway.

The opening notes of “Cotton-Eye Joe” began to play, and Rhett turned to Abbie with a grin.

“Sugar, you’ve just got to dance to this one with me,” he pleaded. “It’s a classic.”

She’d already turned down his offer to dance to “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” and “Chattahoochee,” which Rye had played on the guitar with the band while singing.

She shook her head again, so he drilled his memory for a song she might actually grace with a dance. “What about ‘Achy Breaky Heart?’”

Her delicate brow rose like she thought he was totally crazy. And he was. Crazy in love, that was.

“We can’t dance to Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter all night.” One song she might like finally popped into his mind. “How about ‘Brown-Eyed Girl?’”

“Maybe,” she said, picking up her freshly topped-off champagne. “Now go dance with your mama.”

He was pulling his mama out of her chair moments later, and soon they were flying across the dance floor. Since she’d had more mint juleps at dinner, he had to keep a tight grip on her so she wouldn’t crash into the couples looping around them on the dance floor. Rye was leading Charleston around in the mad dash that was “Cotton-Eye Joe,” and before Rhett knew it, his mama had angled them over to the couple. All four of them did a little impromptu line dancing. Touch, kick, triple step.

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