Chapter   Fifteen

A couple weeks later.....

“How do I look?” Destiny asked her mom and sisters. Aerial, Hope, and Estella look at her in awe.

“You look so beautiful,” Aerial said, her eyes misted with tears. “Oh, Dee Dee, I’m so happy.”

Destiny took her mother’s hands in hers. “So am I, Mom. I can’t believe I’m getting married!!”

“You can’t believe it?” Hope said, amazed. “I can’t believe it. I’m the older than you are. It’s me that’s supposed be getting married.”

Estella smiled. “I hope I find a dress as gorgeous as your is. And a guy as great as AJ.”

“Is there someone you have in mind, little star?”

“Not really.” Estella blushed. Hope and Destiny exchanged a knowing look.

Sensing an unspoken agreement between her daughters, Aerial headed towards the door. Hope went with her. “I’m going to check to see if everything’s ready to start.”

“Okay, Mom,” Destiny smiled. “I’ll see you two out there.”

Aerial and Hope smiled back at her and left the room. As soon as the door was closed, Destiny took Estella by the arm and led her to the couch in the room. The two of them sat down and Estella refused to look at Destiny.

“Okay, spill it,” she said. “I know there’s someone.”

“Well,” Estella hesitated. “Okay. Nick and Mandy broke up last week. I kind of have a feeling it was because of me, even if Nick says it doesn’t. He said they’ve been having some problems for a while now.”

“What sort of problems?”

“Nick said he had to chose between his family and Mandy. He chose his family.”

“What’s that mean?”

“Since Nick’s family lives in California now, he’s had to split his time between them and Mandy. He said it was getting really hard for him because he didn’t see his family all that much when they lived in Florida. Now that he and Mandy don’t live in the same neighborhood anymore, he had decide whether to spend his time off with Mandy in Florida or his family in California.”

“What has this got to do with you and Nick?”

“Nick asked me out yesterday. I didn’t know what to say. I mean, I like him and I’d hoped that he would like me back, but it’s so soon after his break up. I don’t just wanna be the rebound girl, you know? If we get together, then I want it to be because he really wants to be with me, not because he’s looking for someone to comfort him.”

“Then tell him that. I’m sure Nick will understand. You two have gotten close real fast, so he’s really needing a friend right now. Tell him that’s all you can be to him until he’s sure he’s over Mandy. It might take a while, though, Estella. He and Mandy have been together for a long time.”

“I know, Dee Dee, but at least I’ll know his feelings are genuine.”

Destiny hugged her little sister. “You’re a very smart young woman, Estella. Most girls wouldn’t think twice about hooking up with Nick so soon after his break up.”

Estella smiled up at her big sister. “I know. But a lot of those other girls see Nick the Backstreet Boy. I see Nick as just Nick. A normal person like you and me.”

“Good. Nick needs people like that around him. He needs a girl who likes him of who he is, not what he is.”

“When you met AJ, were you, like, star struck or anything?” Estella asked.

“No,” Destiny said. “Truthfully, I didn’t even know who he was until after.....”

“Until after you became his angel?” Estella finished for her. “You can say it. I understand about all that. I’m glad God gave you another chance at life. I missed you when you were gone.”

“I missed you, too,” Destiny said. Then there was a knock at the door. “Who is it?”

“It’s your father,” Justin said coming in. “It’s time. Estella, they’re lining up the weddingparty.”

“Okay.” Estella got up with her sister. “Good luck, big sister.”

“Thanks, little star,” Destiny smiled. “I’ll see you out there.”

The two sisters hugged one more time and Estella left to join the wedding party. Justin walked over to his daughter and hugged her.

“I can’t believe my little girl is getting married,” Justin said. “You look as beautiful as ever. Just like your mother the day we got married.”

“Thank you, Daddy,” Destiny said, tears in her eyes. “Wow, this day is finally here. After me, you still have Hope and Estella.”

“I know I do.” Justin held Destiny’s hands in his. “But you’re the first one. Dee Dee, I’m very proud of you and the intelligent, young woman you’ve become. I really wish you have a very happy marriage with Alex.”

That was it for Destiny. The tears started rolling down her cheek as she hugged her father tightly once again. When they separated, the door opened. The wedding coordinator told them the wedding party was proceeding and to follow her to the back of the church. Justin put Destiny’s arm around his and they walked out of the room.

Destiny saw the doors that led inside the church were closed. Her and her father stood behind the doors, waiting for them to be opened. Finally, they heard the first notes of the “Wedding March” and the doors were pulled open. Everyone in the church stood up and turned around to watch Justin lead Destiny down the aisle. Destiny smiled at everyone she passed by. Then she saw AJ and her breath became shorter. He looks so incredibly handsome, she thought. I have to be the luckiest woman on the face of the earth.

AJ saw everyone’s reaction to how Destiny looked in her wedding dress, but he still couldn’t see her. Then he, his best man Howie, and his groomsmen Kevin, Sean, Nick, Jerald Jr., and Brian moved forward, just as they’d practiced the day before. At last, AJ saw his bride. He held his breath in a moment of awe as he watched her walk gracefully down the aisle on her father’s arm. Then the breath he’d been holding was released and his heart started pounding excitedly. This is my wife, AJ thought. I’m marrying the most beautiful woman in the world. How did I get so lucky? When Justin and Destiny reached the front of the church, they stopped just before a step.

“Who gives this woman in holy matrimony?” the priest asked.

“Her mother and I do,” Justin answered.

AJ stepped down from his place and walked over to Destiny and her father. Justin turned to his daughter and kissed her on the cheek, then turned to AJ and shook his hand before giving Destiny’s hand to him. Justin walked to the front pew as AJ and Destiny stepped up to the priest. Destiny’s maid of honor Hope and her bridesmaids Estella, Claudia, Kristin, Amanda, and Mandy followed their lead. Finally, the ceremony got underway.

The people in the church, which was invitation only, watched attentively as the bride and groom exchanged their vows and rings. When the priest announce the newly married couple to the church, everyone clapped wildly. AJ leaned over and kissed his new wife, a kiss Destiny returned passionately. They could hear all the cameras go off. Then the two of them headed down the aisle hand in hand, with the wedding party following. As AJ and Destiny stepped out of the church, they were met by an exceptionally large crowd of fans and media. The fans gave out a loud cheer and threw rice and blew bubbles at the newlyweds. AJ and Destiny ran for the limo and jumped in.

“Well,” AJ started. “How does it feel to be ‘Mrs. Alex McLean’?”

“I couldn’t be happier than I am right now,” Destiny said.

“Me either,” AJ agreed. He leaned over and kissed Destiny as they headed to the reception.

When they got there, they were met by another exceptionally larger crowd of fans. Most of their guest had followed the limo as it drove around Orlando, announcing it’s newest married couple. As the limo pulled up to the sidewalk in front of the hotel the reception was being held, AJ and Destiny stood up through the sunroof and waved to the fans, who gave a loud roar of excitement. Then they got out and headed off to celebrate with the rest of their guests.

Chapter Sixteen
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