My name is Zoe Donovan and today, after many stops and starts, I have finally committed to the love of my life Zak Zimmerman. I have demonstrated in the past, a certain tendency toward commitment phobia, which has resulted, I’m afraid, in a general consensus, that I would never make it to the alter. Not only did I make it but I rocked it. Join me in a quick view of the highlights.
I’m not sure what I imagined I would feel as Zak and I stood face to face and declared our love for each other in front of our family and friends. I imagined I’d be nervous and just a bit unsure. I worried that I wouldn’t know how to stand or what to say. I was certain I’d have cold feet and would second-guess everything I knew to be true, but what I never imagined was how completely I’d be drawn into his gaze.
They say that when you die your life flashes before your eyes, but as I stared into Zak’s eyes I saw our future unfold. The children we would raise; the adventures we’d share; the tears we’d shed, as well as the love and the laugher that would see us through. Any doubt that I’d ever had faded away as the years unfolded, and I knew that the man I willingly bound myself to was happily binding himself to me as well.
Zak’s hands felt sweaty as he held mine, but I held on tight, knowing that our entwined hands represented the beginning of our entwined lives. Pastor Dan droned on as he’d been instructed to by Zak and me. I guess I must have responded appropriately, but I didn’t really hear what he was saying. As I opened myself to Zak’s strength, for the first time in my life I fully understood his vulnerability. I vowed in that moment to protect his heart and keep it safe no matter what the future might bring.
“Do you, Zoe Donovan . . .” Dan began.
I could feel everyone hold their breath at the unexpected interruption. I’m certain every guest on the premises thought I was about to run. But not Zak. I could see it in his eyes, and in that moment I knew he trusted me with his heart as completely as I trusted him with mine.
I smiled and squeezed Zak’s hand as a tear slid down his cheek.
“I, Zoe Harlow Donovan, take you, Zachary Zion Zimmerman, to be my lawfully wedded husband. To have and to hold from this day forward. I promise to love you with my next breath, my last breath, and with every breath in between. I promise to be your partner in all things, as well as your biggest fan and staunchest supporter. I promise to always choose you, no matter what the choice, and I promise to bring just enough craziness into your life so that you’ll never grow bored. I give myself to you completely and without reservation. I love you, and I will continue to love you every day of my life.”
I had more in my heart but couldn’t continue. Dan looked at Zak for direction; we’d told him we wouldn’t be reciting our own vows, but he didn’t respond because all his attention was on me.
“I, Zachary Zion Zimmerman, take you, Zoe Harlow Donovan, to be my lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward. I promise to love you with my next breath, my last breath, and every breath in between. I promise to be your partner in all things, as well as your biggest fan and staunchest supporter. I promise to always choose you, no matter what the choice, and I promise to always rescue you when your huge heart gets you into trouble. I give myself to you completely and without reservation. I love you, and I will continue to love you every day of my life.”
By the time Dan pronounced us husband and wife tears were steaming down both of our faces. In fact, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry face on the beach.
“You may kiss the bride,” Dan declared.
Zak scooped me up into his arms and held me close to his heart as we shared a kiss just a bit too long to be appropriate. Somewhere in the distant recesses of my mind, I could hear people cheering and whistling. But I didn’t care. I, Zoe Donovan Zimmerman, was finally home.
You can read more about Zoe in Matrimony Meltdown, the 13th book in the “Zoe Donovan” mystery series, published by Kathi Daley Books. The first book in the series is Halloween Hijinks.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on June 22 for the chance to win the three books in the wedding trilogy (Matrimony Meltdown, Soul Surrender, and Heavenly Honeymoon). The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.
About the author
Kathi Daley lives with her husband, kids, grandkids, and Bernese mountain dogs in beautiful Lake Tahoe. When she isn’t writing, she likes to read (preferably at the beach or by the fire), cook (preferably something with chocolate or cheese), and garden (planting and planning, not weeding). She also enjoys spending time on the water when she’s not hiking, biking, or snowshoeing the miles of desolate trails surrounding her home.
Kathi uses the mountain setting in which she lives, along with the animals (wild and domestic) that share her home, as inspiration for her cozy mysteries.
Stay up to date with her newsletter, The Daley Weekly. There’s a link to sign up on both her Facebook page and her website, or you can access the sign-in sheet at: http://eepurl.com/NRPDf