Below is the After the End scene for That New York Minute. It won’t make a lot of sense to you if you haven’t read the book – click here to read an excerpt or to buy the book. If you have read That New York Minute, I hope you enjoy getting one more glimpse of Garrett and Rachel…
That New York Minute – After the End
Garrett paced the marble-floored hallway at the New York Public Library’s 42nd Street entrance. He almost checked his watch again, but that was Rachel’s bad habit, not his. He applied all his will to resisting the urge.
“Ten past five,” Lucas, his brother and best man, said.
Huh. Garrett’s hand must have twitched where he’d shoved it in his trouser pocket.
“She should be here,” Garrett said. Rachel was always on time. Dammit, she was always early. He reached the end of his self-imposed pacing track, and turned back.
All of the guests for their supposedly five o’clock wedding were waiting a few steps away inside the Celeste Barros Forum. Garrett and Rachel would have preferred the Periodicals Room as their wedding venue, but that wasn’t one of the spaces the library hired out. Not that Garrett had any complaints about the Forum – its marble walls and glass-and-cast-iron dome were spectacular. Just as he expected his bride to be. When she arrived.
“I’d pace with you in solidarity, but I’m saving my strength,” Lucas apologized, leaning against the wall. It was six months since he’d been medevac-ed out of the Gulf, after his navy chopper was shot down. He was expected to recover fully, but it was a slow process.
“Saving your strength for dancing with Merry, huh?” Garrett teased.
Their usually unsentimental father had a long-cherished hope that Lucas would marry Merry Wyatt, the daughter of the man who’d once saved Dwight’s life and since become his best friend.
“Yeah, I guess this qualifies as our annual date,” Lucas said, “and no doubt the seating plan has us together.” He and Merry dated around once a year – as far as Garrett knew, it was purely to keep their dads off their backs.
“My little girl not here yet?” Burton Frye, Rachel’s father, stepped out of the reception room. “That’s not like her.”
“Thanks,” Garrett muttered.
Burton chuckled. “Bride’s prerogative to be late. Nora kept me waiting nearly half an hour when we tied the knot.”
“Half an hour? If Rachel thinks she can mess me around like that…”
“You’ll what?” Lucas mocked him. “Let her get away with it?”
“Probably,” Garrett said. “Damn her.”
Burton looked unruffled at Garrett’s curse. Probably because he knew what a handful Rachel could be. Garrett was looking forward to having his hands full of her very soon…
“Nora was late due to morning sickness,” Burton said. “I don’t suppose…?”
“No,” Garrett said. He realized he was on the verge of shouting, and drew a calming breath. “How’s the hot dog business, Burton?”
“Brats,” Burton corrected him. “It’s going great, my partner and I are thinking about opening a second stand, maybe in downtown Dayton.”
“That’s great,” Garrett said, only half-listening. What could be keeping Rachel? He didn’t for one second think she’d changed her mind, but…
“It’s five o’clock on a Friday afternoon in New York ten days before Christmas,” Lucas said. “It’ll be traffic.”
Rachel would have allowed for that. Garrett grunted , to shut his brother up. He looked at his watch – five-fifteen – then out through the small foyer to where the double entry doors stood open. And saw a limo, decorated in wedding style, outside—it had driven across the grass of Bryant Park. “She’s here!”
“Time you and I went in.” Lucas pushed away from the wall. “We need to be up front when Burton walks her down the aisle.”
Garrett ignored him, and headed for the street. His soon-to-be father-in-law called out; Garrett ignored him, too.
Rachel was already out of the limo, her bridesmaids gathering up the train of her dress. At the sight of her, Garrett caught his breath. He had no idea how to describe her dress, or what it was made of. All he knew was that she was the most beautiful woman in the world. And she was his.
She saw him, before he could speak. Her gorgeous smile broke out.
“I knew you wouldn’t be waiting inside for me where you should,” she said. “You were probably about to call it off, in disgust.”
“No,” he said.
Her smug smile said she knew that all along. “But, look, Garrett—it held us up, but could it be more perfect?” She gestured skyward and he realized…it was snowing. Beyond the portico that shielded their patch of sidewalk, the snow was already settling. “We’re having a white wedding.”
“We’re not having any wedding, Rach, if we don’t get inside and do the damn thing,” he pointed out.
She grasped the lapels of his tuxedo jacket and turned her face to his. “I do,” she said.
Garrett laughed, and his hands settled on her hips. “Aren’t you supposed to wait until someone asks you the question?”
“I can’t wait,” she said. “I can’t wait to marry you and spend the rest of my life with you.”
“Then I do, too,” he said.
“You may kiss the bride,” Rachel said.
So he did.
Look out for Lucas’s story, The Wedding Plan, to be released in November 2012.