After a tumultuous divorce and subsequent reunion after Nikolai found out that Coral had given birth to his child, the pair were ready to start over again as husband and wife, this time, with child Nicole and baby Nicholas to round out their family. Fate however, seems to have other plans when Coral and Nikolai’s relationship is tested time and time again by events beyond their control. The events that shake Coral and Nikolai would rattle anyone, but it’s still ultimately up to them how to act, and to decide how they’re willing to treat each other. With Nikolai’s track record, it’s difficult for Coral to trust him again, and Nikolai has more than his fair share of his own problems to work through. Will he be able to set his issues aside for the good of Coral and the kids when his biological family comes back to haunt him?
Coral was sprawled across their shared bed in her comfiest jersey nightdress while Nikolai still had his eyes closed, clinging on to the last remnants of sleep.
Fatherhood looked good on him, but that’s not to say it was always easy.
He was used to difficult business negotiations…but that was with other adults, not his four-year-old daughter, who knew just how easily his will was broken by a pouty face.
Coral thought he was hilarious—big, serious Nikolai, reduced to playing tea parties, and more than once falling victim to their sweet little girl’s newfound love of makeovers.
Nicole sure did love her nail polish.
Coral smiled down at her own nails, splattered with a fresh coat of Azature polish, more on her skin than actually on her nails.
Her eyes trailed down to her engagement ring, and her heart fluttered.
“I want to have the biggest wedding money can buy,” Coral insisted. “This had better be the last time we get married, so I want to spare no expense!”
Nikolai raised an eyebrow. “I have quite a lot of money, Mi Corazon.” My heart. “You’re going to need to be more specific.”
She pouted at him; it would be worlds more convenient if he could simply read her mind, but if she wanted to get her way, she supposed she’d have to speak up.
“I want a total five-star event!” She beamed, stars already in her eyes at the vision in her mind. “I want to feel like royalty.”
“And you shall, my queen.” He reached over to take her hand in his and brought her knuckles to his lips. “I want everyone to see how lucky I am.”
“I want the kids involved too.” Her fingertips trailed lovingly down his chest. “I don’t want a wedding at all if Nicole cannot be the flower girl.”
“Of course, my love.”
“And Nicholas must be the ring bearer.”
He smiled at his wife. “That goes without saying.”
“Morris will carry him,” Coral explains. “Since he won’t be walking yet.”
“You’ve put a lot of thought into this.” He raised a curious brow, wondering when she’d found the time.
She wasn’t sure how he wasn’t thinking about it, but she supposed that he had never cared much about the details as long as the end product made him look good.
“Of course I have, it’s our wedding!” She sat up, staring down at him. “How could I think of anything else?”
“Are you and Mommy getting married?” Nicole asked, skipping along adorably as she held onto her father’s hand.
They were attending the red carpet premiere of some stupid cartoon movie Nicole and her preschool friends were all waiting for.
Would the movie normally have had a red carpet premiere? Absolutely not, but Nikolai would move mountains if it would make his daughter smile.
Hollywood event planners were much easier to move than mountains.
It cost a pretty penny not only to rent the venue but also to bankroll all the voice actors to show up in mascot costumes of their respective cartoon dogs.
Nicole would be bragging to her friends for weeks.
“Yes we are, mi princesa.” My princess.
“Is Mommy going to wear a pretty dress?” she asked, excitement in her sweet little eyes.
“She is.” He nodded, eyeing his daughter curiously. “Most brides do.”
“Can I wear a pretty new dress?”
Ah, there it is.
He smiled down at her. “Of course, mija.”
When a herd of paparazzi approached, toting microphones and flashing cameras, Nikolai lifted Nicole into his arms, smiling at the cameras.
Truly, he didn’t enjoy the limelight the way his girls did, but Nicole was practically a celebrity in her own right by now, and she loved every second of it.
Far be it from him to squash her fun.
“Mr. Giovanni,” a reporter called. “Is it true that you and Coral are planning your second wedding?”
“Yes, that’s—” Before he could finish, Nicole snatched up the microphone.
“My mommy is going to have a princess wedding!” she squealed.
That put an idea into his head, one he was sure would be a wonderful surprise for Coral.
“Remember what I’ve told you, mi princesa.” My princess. “You are the princess, and your mommy is a queen.”
“You have to let us plan the wedding,” Landon gushed, taking Coral’s hands.
Coral, Landon, and Jeremiah sat together on the pristine white leather couch that circled the conversation pit in one of the Giovanni’s home’s many living rooms.
Landon had been obsessing over the wedding since the engagement became official, and Coral couldn’t be happier about it.
Morris had been her best friend for most of their lives, but she was never particularly keen on big, fancy parties.
Talking to Landon felt like actually having a gal pal to gush at.
“She doesn’t have to let us plan it, love,” Jeremiah reminded Landon, trying to reign his husband in. “I promise, Coral, we won’t hijack your wedding.”
“That’s right, you won’t,” Nikolai asserted as he walked into the room, two sleeping children curled up against his chest. “I’ve already hired someone.”
Corel gazed lovingly at Nikolai and the beautiful children they had made together, but Landon scoffed with indignation.
“Why hire someone when Jeremiah and I are literally right here?” Landon asked, clearly offended.
“Because the planner I hired has personally planned royal weddings, and Coral deserves no less than the best.” His eyes narrowed on Landon, and he grinned. “Pissing you off is an added bonus.”
Coral rolled her eyes.
It was no secret that Nikolai and Landon were not each other’s biggest fans, but for Coral’s sake, they could tone it down.
Instead of being outright antagonistic toward each other, Nikolai and Landon had stuck to petty, almost playful, warfare.
Jeremiah stayed out of it.
Landon rose to his feet with a scoff, resting a hand against his hip as he stared down at Coral with an attitude. “You are marrying an ass!”
“Believe me, I know,” she laughed, and Nikolai frowned dramatically.
“An ass who is giving you the wedding of your dreams,” Nikolai reminded her. “I wasn’t kidding when I said that he was a royal wedding planner.”
“Dios Mio!” My god. Coral’s hands flew to her mouth as the realization hit her. “You didn’t!”
“I did,” Nikolai confirmed, pressing a soft kiss to Nicole’s hair when she started to stir in his arms. “He’s flying in next week to start setting everything up.”
“Of course, he is.” Landon rolled his eyes.
“Snark all you want.” Nikolai shrugged. “We both know I’m giving Coral the best that money can buy.”
Jeremiah seemed more tense than usual, but Nikolai chalked it up to the tension with Landon…of course, he always seemed to find it amusing before.
But Nikolai really didn’t care about Jeremiah or Landon; he was much too busy being proud of how blown away Coral looked.
“I’m going to have a royal wedding?” Coral asked, tears in her eyes and a sob strangling her throat.
Much like him, Coral had come from nothing.
She had had her parents, of course, and pushed herself to get a law degree all on her own, but she could have never imagined this.
He was proud to give it to her.
“Yes, mi amor.” My love. He set the children in her lap so he could take her by the chin and make her look into his eyes. “I will have nothing less for my queen.”