For the next several days, I'm going to post a few pages each day of the first chapter of my LDS romance, Altared Plans. Enjoy!
Her wedding day. A day she’d never forget. A perfect day that would begin her perfect life with her perfect husband. It couldn’t be anything but perfect because that’s how she’d planned it.
Caitlyn grabbed her hand mirror. She tucked a wisp of her dark blond hair behind her ear as she examined her makeup for the hundredth time. The hum of the engine was the only sound in the car.
“You look beautiful,” her mom said as she turned from the front seat of the car to look at Caitlyn. “The temple isn’t too far away; are you getting nervous?”
“Kind of. But, I don’t know why. After all, I’ve been planning this day for so long and everything is falling into place.” A smile spread across her face, lighting up her eyes. “By this afternoon, I’ll be Caitlyn Haggerty.” She couldn’t help but feel the joy as it bubbled to the surface. Soon Justin would be her husband and she wanted nothing more than to spend her life, and all of eternity, loving him.
“I’m glad it all worked out for you,” her younger sister said with a shrug.
Caitlyn jerked her head back and gave Lindsay an incredulous look. “Did you think it wouldn’t?”
“I figured you’d meet another guy while you were at BYU. I didn’t think you’d actually wait for him.” Lindsay snatched a tube of lip gloss from Caitlyn’s makeup bag.
Lindsay shrugged again.
“No way. Justin is the only one for me. Has been since high school. I can’t imagine my life without him.” She paused. “And, after today, I won’t have to. We’ll be married and all my dreams will come true.” A vision of Justin’s smiling face with his sky-blue eyes and blond, wavy hair flashed across her mind.
“So,” Lindsay said as she applied the lip gloss, “where’s he been for the last few days?”
“Huh?” Caitlyn blinked her eyes a few times.
“He didn’t even come over for Christmas dinner.”
“Shouldn’t your fiancé have eaten Christmas dinner with you?”
“He wanted to spend time with his family. He’s sweet like that. And then he went down to Newport Beach to see an old companion. You know, bachelor stuff.”
“Isn’t that kind of weird?”
“No. Not at all. We’ll have plenty of Christmases together. I think it’s fine he wanted to spend time with his family and with Troy.” It was fine. Just because they didn’t spend Christmas together like she’d hoped didn’t mean anything. They’d be sealed today and have the rest of their lives and eternity to be together. It wasn’t weird. Caitlyn assured herself that Lindsay was still a teenager and she didn’t understand such things.
“Whatever you say. I—“
“Let’s not talk about it anymore. It’s my wedding day and I only want happy thoughts.” She gazed at herself in the mirror and recalled their first date when Justin had tried to teach her to surf. She kept falling off the board into the cool ocean water, sometimes even slipping below the surface. She could almost taste the salt on her lips.
When he placed his arms around her to help steady her on the board, her skin tingled, and it wasn’t because she was cold. She closed her eyes and immersed herself in memories of Justin’s embrace.
“Cait . . . Cait . . . Cait?” Lindsay intruded on her daydream.
“Mom asked if you double-checked everything before we left the house.”
Caitlyn did a mental tally of the contents of the trunk. “The garment bag with my dress and veil. My shoes—“
“You’re sure,” her mother asked.
“Yes. The photographer will be in the courtyard so he can capture us as soon as we come out of the temple, right?”
“That’s what he said when I called yesterday,” her mother answered.
“I think everything is all in place then,” Caitlyn said, happiness enveloping her.
“As long as Justin shows up.” Lindsay let out a laugh.
Caitlyn gave her a look. “Ha. Ha.”
“I still don’t agree with the rules about your Mormon temples. A father should be able to see his daughter’s wedding,” her dad said over his shoulder, his voice stern.
“Dad, we’ve already discussed this a thousand times.”
“I don’t understand why the Episcopal Church where your mom and I were married wasn’t an option. All Saints by the Sea is a beautiful building right near the ocean and all of our family could’ve attended.”
“Because I want to be sealed for eternity. I don’t want to marry Justin for this life—“
“Robert,” her mom interrupted. She squeezed his arm, “Please, not today. Cait’s made her decision and this is her day. Let’s not ruin it with another argument.”
“You’ll be able to see the ceremony,” her father said to her mother. “It isn’t right. A church shouldn’t separate families on a day like today.”
A few moments of silence followed. Her dad finally said, “I’m sorry, Caitie. You know how much I love you. I’m disappointed, that’s all. I’ve looked forward to your wedding day ever since I first held you in my arms.”
Caitlyn reached up and patted her dad’s shoulder. “I know, but this is the right thing for me to do. I’ll see you as soon as we come out. You’ll be the first one I hug.”
Read Part 2 of Chapter One