BONUS: Unedited – Kat and Daemon – Why Are You So Nervous?

March 16, 2020


“Why are you so nervous?” 

That was a really good question Dee was asking. I couldn’t answer to why I felt like I’d down an entire bulk pack of Five-Hour Energy.  I shouldn’t be anxious, but I was. My hands shook a little, and if it had been me instead of Dee curling my hair and twisting it up, I would look like a mess.  

“I know it’s dumb,” I said, twisting my fingers together. “We’re already married.” 

A bobby pin seemed to magically appear in Dee’s hand. “Honestly, I get it.  The other marriage wasn’t real.” 

To me and to Daemon, the marriage license we had obtained in Vegas under false names had been real. Some could argue all they wanted that it wasn’t, but names on a piece of paper didn’t mean you loved someone anymore or any less.  

And there was no way humanly or inhumanly possible that Daemon and I could love each other any more than we did without combusting the entire galaxy. 

But all those we cared about wanted the wedding. I’d wanted the wedding—the whole shebang, and since I wanted it, so did Daemon. That was love. 

Though, there was a good chance I might hurl. 

The door open, and I started to look over, but Dee waved the curling iron like a weapon. “Don’t even think of moving your head right now,” she ordered.  

Pressing my lips together, I sat perfectly still as a giggle echoed from somewhere behind us.  

“She looks like she’s about to beat you with that thing.”
My eyes widened at the sound of Lesa’s voice, and if what she had just said weren’t possible, I would’ve jumped up and started clamping like a happy seal. “Lesa! You’re here!” 

“I told you I was coming! I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” Her voice grew closer, and Dee paused long enough to give her a welcoming hug. Then I was next, offered a one-arm squeeze before Lesa plopped down on the couch in front of me and Dee resumed torturing me with the curling iron and bobby pinsLesa’s excited gaze roamed over my face. “Your make up is absolutely perfect.” 

“That was all me,” Dee quipped. 

I rolled my eyes while Lesa grinned. She pushed the tight curls back from her face. “I’m so glad you’re here,” I said, meaning it. My heart was all warm and fuzzy. “I was worried, with the weather, you wouldn’t be able to get a flight in.” 

“It was looking sketchy there for awhile. The snow is still coming down, but the roads are mostly clear.” She smoothed her hands over the burgundy skirt of her dress. “This is a super nice house, as in something I’d see on HGTV’s home of the insanely rich. Do I even want to know how you ended up having your wedding here?” 

I grinned and then giggled, caught up in the nervous excitement and bubbling joy. The house was amazing. It was several stories high, reminding me of one of the palace type homes found in regency era romance novels, complete with a massive ballroom and a never-ending veranda.  

“It belongs to one of our kind,” Dee answered Lesa as she twisted a curl up and shoved a bobby pin in, nearly stabbing me in the scalp. “They were more than happy to let us use it.” 

Our kind.  

Two strange and powerful words that were now common place in this new world that was steadily being rebuilt. Two words we still barely utter to anyone outside our close circle.  Two words that could bring curiosity or downright murderous hostility from the humans, but I wasn’t going to spend today, my wedding day, thinking about those things.  

When things had settled down after the violent battle between the invading Luxens and mankind, Daemon and I had sent up home in Colorado along with everyone else. Months had passed before I’d been able to find Lesa. She and her family had left Petersburg before the invading Luxens had taken over, relocating to a town called Chambersburg in Pennsylvania. Once reconnected and when air travel had resumed, she had taken a flight out to Colorado.  

The reunion had been bittersweet and also a bit crazy. With Daemon’s input, I’d decided to tell Lesa the truth about why we’d disappeared before everything went to hell. Oddly, she hadn’t been that surprised and she had taken it all pretty well, but it still felt weird being so open about what we were.  

“God, I need to find me an alien then,” Lesa remarked, glancing around the ornate bedroom we were getting ready in. “Ya’ll are rich and attractive.” 

That wasn’t always that case, but I figured there really was no reason to point that out. The door opened again, and this time it was Beth. On her hip was baby Ashley, wearing a white frilly dress with a burgundy sash.  Her dark hair was pinned back from her chubby cheeks and her amethyst eyes were bright with interest. 

Ashley was too young to be a flower girl and honestly, none of us quite trusted the little thing to actually walk down the aisle without doing something incredibly bizarre. Say, for example, causing all the chairs to levitate. So she was the honorary flower girl.  

Beth smiled shyly at Lesa and she placed Ash down on the floor. The girl tottered for a moment and then straightened. Her shiny, white Mary Jane’s tapped off the hardwood floor as she made her way over to where Lesa sat. Ashley smiled up at her expectedly.  

Lesa glanced at Ashley’s mother and then us. “Um, what does she want?” 

I laughed, because with Ashley, that was a loaded question.  

“She’s probably just going to stare at you for a while and then grow bored with it. Sorry. She’s hit the creepy kid stage already,” Beth explained, flushing. She turned to us. “The ballroom is ready. It looks gorgeous. Going with a Christmas theme was a brilliant idea.” 

“I still think pink would’ve been awesome,” muttered Dee. 

I wisely remained quiet.  

My stomach tumbled a little. My bridesmaids were here. The room was ready.  I was having a wedding in under an hour. Oh dear.  

“All done!” Dee stepped back.  

With shaky legs, I stood and headed over to the standing, oval mirror. “Wow,” I murmured. “You’ve out done yourself.” 

Dee laughed. “Well, yeah.” 

The make up she had applied was soft and sensual. A light bright shade gave my eyes a smoky look and the peach blush shimmered. The lip color was rosy and natural. And my hair? Wow. I never thought my hair could look so pretty. Dee had curled and twisted my hair so that it fell it was pinned up in a loose bun with strategically placed, wispy tendrils. 

“Now all you need is the dress,” Lesa said, walking over to where it hung, still in its bag. 

I fingered the knot holding my robe in piece, wondering how weird the girls would think it would be if I did a little jig. Before I could do it, I thought about my mom, and an ache fired deep in my chest.  

Mom should’ve been here.  

It was hard not to miss her right now, hard not to feel that sorrow. I struggled not to dwell on how unfair it was that she wasn’t, because I knew that would be the last thing my mom would’ve wanted for me to do on a day that should be filled only with joy.  

There was a knock on the door. Confusion swirled as I turned around. Everyone who needed to be in here was here.  

“Yes?” Beth called.  

The door opened and my heart faltered in my chest.  

Daemon walked into the bedroom, much to everyone’s shock. At first, all I could do was stare. He was dressed in a black tux with a matching burgundy vest underneath, and dear mountain mama, no one looked like Daemon Black in a tux.  

He literally stopped all coherent thoughts.  

His dark waves were somewhat tamed and the cut; strong line of his jaw was smooth. Those bright, emerald colored eyes glimmered. He didn’t look around the room. His gaze immediately centered on me.  

I was so surprised that he was in the room. All the rolling emotions I felt must’ve blocked me from picking up on his presence. But then again, I shouldn’t be that shocked.  

Of course, Daemon would defy convention and just roll up in here.  

Dee snapped out of it. “What are you doing in here? You’re not supposed to be in! It’s bad—” 

“Shush it,” he said, one side of his lip curving up as he stalked forward.  

His sister threw up her hands in frustration. “You are so freaking annoying.” 

Daemon didn’t appear to hear her, and my eyes widened as he came right for me. I didn’t move, didn’t speak. That half grin of his spread, revealing a deep dimple in his cheek.  

My breath caught as he wrapped one arm around my waist and cupped the nape of my neck with his other hand. He drew me against his body, our chests flushed, and since I wore only a thin robe and fancy lacy undergarments, it felt like there was nothing between us.  

Daemon lowered his mouth to mine and kissed me. No quick peck on the lips. No chaste kiss. It was deep and slow, scorching and heated the blood rushing through my veins. Our tongues touched. Tangled. The kiss made me forget we weren’t alone.  

He withdrew, his lips brushing mine as he spoke. “Kitten, you better get ready. It’s almost time for round two.” 

Ashley clapped and squealed.  

I stared at him. 

Daemon slowly let go, his hands lingering as he settled me back on my feet. Turning around, he winked at Lesa and then strolled on out of the room, closing the door behind him. 

“Oh. My. God,” Lesa murmured 

I was dazed. “He’s… he’s just…” 

“He’s just Daemon,” sighed Dee, shaking her head in disgust. “Absolutely no regard for tradition. Ass.” Her eyes widened as Ashley giggled. “Oops. Sorry. Ear muffs.” 

Beth raised a brow and then twisted toward me. “Okay. You do need to get ready.” 

The next several moments were a blur, mainly because I was still reeling from that tingling kiss.  

Once the robe came off, the dress came on carefully. There were a lot of buttons, so many that I just knew that later tonight, Daemon was going to grow very tired of them very quickly.  

That thought brought a flush to my cheeks.  

The dress was stunning. A fitted waist and full skirt that seemed to shimmer when I turned, I felt like a princess. Cheesy but oh so true. The neckline was of the sweetheart variety and the bodice was covered with tiny beads that carried through to the skirt, where they were artfully sprinkled.  

When I saw my reflection, I thought wow, I really did, finally look like a bride. 

“You look beautiful,” Dee said, leading in to press a kiss to my cheek. 

Lesa moved closer. “You really do.” 

“They’re right.” Beth had Ashley on her hip again. “You ready?” 

Nodding, I took a deep breath and blinked back the stupid tears crowding my eyes. “Thank you. All of you. I really mean it. I’m so happy that you all are here.” 

Dee gave a watery smile as she waved her hands in front of her eyes. “Okay. We need to get down there before we ruin all this wonderful make up.” 

I laughed, but she was right. All of us were obviously teetering on the emotional line, so we left the room, poinsettia bouquets in hand.  

 The walk to the ballroom was like moving in a dream, too slow and yet too fast. We reached the double doors covered with bits on obsidian and the girls headed in, the doors shutting quiet behind them as a tall man stepped out, stopping long enough to kiss Dee on the cheek.  

I stood there, clutching the poinsettias tightly as I waited. As planned, I wouldn’t walk down the aisle alone.  

Archer wore a similar tux as Daemon and his eerie purple eyes were light—lighter than they ever had been. “Just so you know, Daemon is as nervous as you, even though he’s pretending to be cool.” 

A strangled laugh escaped me. “You’ve been peeking in his mind?” 

“You betcha.” 

I shook my head. “You know how much he hates that.” 

“You betcha.” Still grinning, he extended his arm and I took it. “You look amazing, Kat. Seriously.”  

“Thank you.” I was short of breath.  

My heart was pounding so fast and hard that I didn’t hear the doors open or the wedding march that was playing.  I moved because Archer had started walking, and I figured that was also a part of the plan.  

Twinkling lights strung across the grand ceiling and down the walls greeted us as we entered the ballroom. Displays of enormous poinsettias and white roses were placed through the room. White and red petals were scattered along the ivory carpet.  

The gathering was small, consisting of the friends we’d made in the Luxen community and those I’d grown close to while at the university. As I walked down the aisle, I noticed one grinning face in particular.  


He sat near the front, his long legs bouncing a happy Ashley who had crumbled poinsettia leaves smashed between her fingers. He was supposed to be up there with Daemon, but I figured Ashley must’ve already begun doing, well, strange baby origin stuff, and he was now her babysitter. Luc winked as I floated by him and Ashley waved her fist at me.  

Alrighty then. 

My gaze drifted over the girls and then to Dawson who was standing next to Daemon, and once I saw him, there was no one else.  

Our eyes locked, and the love that was shining from his eyes was consuming and the most powerful thing I’d ever seen. I didn’t look away when Archer handed me off to Daemon and joined Dawson.  

Daemon’s gaze searched mine intently, and before the Luxen officiant spoke, he said, “You are absolutely the most beautiful thing I’ve had the honor to look upon.” 

“You too,” I said, a bit dumbly. 

His lips twitched. “Kitten…” 

My cheeks flushed, and the officiant cleared his throat. The ceremony begun, but to be honest, I had no idea what the man—er, alien—was going on about, his smooth and cultured voice echoing throughout the room. I was fixated on Daemon, on the way our hearts and pulses beat in tandem.  

As the ceremony went on, Daemon’s smile grew until both dimples were apparent and I knew that the same smile was mirrored on my face. Tears gathered in my eyes and when one decided to sneak out, Daemon thumbed it away. His hand lingered then, and I thought I heard someone, probably Dee, sniffling.  

Then Daemon spoke. “I do.” 

When it came my turn to repeat the sacred vowels, my voice trembled but the final two words were clear. “I do.” 

“Of course,” Daemon replied smugly.  

Laughter rang out and before I could respond, Daemon was kissing me—kissing me like he had in the room earlier, but stronger, deeper and more meaningful.  

“Well, there’s no need for me to say you may kiss the bride now,” the officiant announced, amusement coloring his tone.  

There was more laughter and when Daemon finally lifted his mouth from mine, the pupils of his eyes glowed as brilliant as a polished diamond.  

Daemon guided us so we were facing the audience as the officiant announced in a clear and loud voice, “I now present you with Mr. and Mrs. Black.” 

The small crowd cheered and rose to their feet. Over their shouts, I heard Ashley shrieking happily. I started to take a step forward, but didn’t make it. Daemon hauled me back. One second I was standing and the next I was in his arms, cradled against his chest. By some kind of miracle, I managed to keep ahold of the bouquet as I looped my arm around his neck. 

I was laughing as he cheers rose louder and Daemon kissed me again, leaving me breathless and thoroughly daze by the time we came up for air.  

“You are terrible,” I whispered into his ear 

Daemon chuckled as his hold on me tightened. “And you love me because of it.” 

My smile was wide as I pressed my forehead to his. “That I do.”

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About Me

#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Border Jack Apollo.

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