GOLDILOCKS & THE THREE BEAR BROTHERS: LIBERATED, BOOK 4
"Goldilocks & The Three Bear Brothers: Liberated
By Pebbles Lacasse
CHAPTER TWO TEASER FROM GOLDILOCKS #4
The fragile-sounding bell dings to alert the staff of our arrival at Lacey’s Dress Shop. I’m immediately overwhelmed by a sea of white. My heart pounds wildly, and the air suddenly feels heavier than I know it to be. Is this what a panic attack feels like?
My feet won’t move, but my eyes frantically shift from dress to dress, taking in the white fluff, sparkles, pearls, and lace. My legs weaken, and I drop onto the bench beside the main glass door. I rub my thighs to ease my fingertips of their tingles.
Lizzy’s eyes widen with concern as she leans toward me. Her long red ponytail frames her neck as she rubs my arm.
“Deep breaths. In. Out. In. Out.” Lizzy giggles, no longer worried for my welfare. “Wow! I didn’t think anyone could lose all the blood from their face, but you managed to. Damn, girl. You’re as white as the dresses.”
I stutter, “It—it’s a lot of white.”
Now I’m lightheaded. Outstanding! As I breathe in through my nose and out of my mouth, my hands slide down my face but remain on my cheeks.
My whisper is meant for me. “How will I ever find my dress among all these?”
A tall woman approaches. Her short, mousy-brown hair bounces. She’s wearing a tight burgundy dress to accentuate her slim figure.
While she emphasizes certain words through her wide, forced smile, she says, “Your reaction isn’t uncommon. The bench is there for exactly that reason. You must be the bride-to-be. My name is Carol, and it’s my job to help you find the perfect dress to suit your body that will have your groom drooling at the altar. And I haven’t failed yet.”
How would she know if she had? Would a bride waste her time returning to demand her money back because she didn’t think the groom looked pleased enough? Not likely.
My smile isn’t easily maintained because my heart continues pounding like a drum.
She turns to greet Lizzy, and Lizzy quickly introduces us before going into great detail about the dress styles she and I discussed. Her hands wave to add to her descriptive words.
After several minutes, I’m able to stand and follow the women’s voices through the aisles of chiffon and lace. Who knew there were so many different shades of white?
Four dresses hang on a rolling rack Carol pulls behind her. Lizzy has a bounce in her step as she follows, her hands laced together behind her back. She doesn’t notice me until my heavy sigh alerts her.
Her excitement radiating, she says, “There you are! Are you feeling better?”
With my hand pressed to my queasy tummy, I take a deep breath and release it with a quiet chuckle. “Yes. I’m okay. I was a bit, ah… Overwhelmed isn’t a strong enough word to describe how I felt.”
Her arm slips around my elbow. She whispers so the woman won’t hear. “I like the second dress on the rack. The others are nice, but that one’s gorgeous. But we won’t know for sure until you slide your sexy self into it.”
Carol chooses another dress from the assortment and hangs it among the four already on the rack. “These should be a great start.” A sincere smile softens her sharp features. “You look much better. How about I get you a bottle of water? Or would you prefer wine or champagne?”
Lizzy’s hand shoots up like she’s in a classroom. “Champagne? I’ll take one of those. Goldilocks?”
“Champagne might ease the drumming in my chest.” My laugh sounds strangely obnoxious, but the woman finds it humorous.
Lizzy and I follow the five dresses into the large changing room. Carol closes the door but remains inside with us. She hangs the first dress on a wall hook, unlaces the bodice, and asks me to undress down to my bra and panties.
Reluctantly, I remove my shirt and hand it to Lizzy. She folds it as I remove my shoes, socks, and jeans. I pull my hair into a bun atop my head and bind it with the elastic on my wrist and then walk toward the puff of white lace.
Carol holds the opening to the dress low enough for me to step into and lifts it so the corseted body with molded breast cups is positioned. She holds the back closed and asks me to step up onto a small platform. The reflection takes my breath away.
Oddly, I’m calm. I whisper to nobody, “Holy shit! I’m getting married. I’m going to be someone’s wife.”
Lizzy’s fingers graze the pearls on the bodice as her smile lights up her porcelain skin. “Yes, and what a beautiful bride you’ll be.” She admires my reflection and then tips her head to the right. “Can she try on the second one you picked out?”
Carol looks up at me as she fluffs the skirt of the dress. “Would you like to try on another one?”
“Yes. Thank you. This one’s nice, but I don’t like the way it flares so high at the waist. I’d like it to be fitted to my hips.”
“Let’s get you out of it. We’ll try you in the second gown.” Carol helps me off the platform and behind the curtain before she allows the dress to sag at my feet, and I step out.
Lizzy and I are quiet as we sip from our champagne flutes and watch the woman arrange the second dress. I step into it and she holds the back closed as I ascend the platform.
I’m immediately taken by how comfortable it feels against my skin. This dress is softer than the first. Carol holds the bodice closed in the back as she slides the curtain back. Lizzy stands beside the mirror staring at me. I have yet to look at myself because I don’t think it’s necessary. If I were to judge by her awed expression, this is the dress.
“Can you lace up the back?” I ask and hold the bodice under my breasts, snug to my ribs.
“You are so—” Lizzy’s lips curl in and she bites them as her palms press together before her chin. “What do you think?”
As soon as I allow myself to look in the mirror, warmth eases through me from my head to my feet. All the anxiety I felt walking into the store is gone. This is the dress. But how could I have found it so easily? I’ve read horror stories in bridal magazines about women searching for months and trying on hundreds of dresses before they settled.
“This dress is the perfect dress, but I’d like to add something.” The woman’s eyes meet my reflection. “Can two red bows be sewn onto the back of the dress?”
“Red?” she asks while her mouth twists from curiosity. “May I ask, why red?”
My face flushes, and I shrug. Telling her the real reason is a bad idea. “It’s my favorite color.”
She tilts her head. “Red is lovely, but wouldn’t one bow suffice?”
How beautiful will the back look with two crimson bows drawing our guests’ attention as I stride past each pew? Thoughtlessly I say, “They represent—”
Lizzy clears her throat, snapping me back from my fairy tale thoughts of a dream wedding with bows for Mack and Patch.
A frail voice comes from behind me. “They represent Patch and Mack, or have I incorrectly assumed Bash is the wrong groom?”
Sara Joyeau appears in the mirror, wearing a pale blue dress and a smile tarnished by crooked teeth that could benefit from whitening strips. When did she enter the room, and why is she here? She works at the second-hand store at the opposite end of town, not here that I know of. Is she getting married?
She rocks from her toes to her heels with her hands perched on her hips. “You’re marrying Bash, right?” Her tone reeks of jealousy, but her expression says otherwise.
“Yes. I’m marrying Bash.” My eyes don’t leave Sara’s reflection as she admires the dress while the bodice is being laced. “Are you still working at the second-hand store?”
“I’m still there, but I’ve been here a while, too. So… Bash, huh?” She clears her throat. “Well, aren’t you the luckiest woman?”
Lizzy must feel the weight of the air in the room because she approaches Sara with her hand extended. In a sweet voice, she says, “Hi! I’m Goldilocks’s best friend and maid of honor. How do you know my girl?”
They shake hands and Sara, just as pleasantly, replies, “I met her not too long ago when she was buying pictures for her and Bash’s house. We have a commonality between us.” Her attention turns back to me. “Don’t we, Goldilocks?”
Naïve to the insinuations floating about the room, Carol interrupts, “You two know each other? What do you have in common?”
Before Lizzy or I can stop her, Sara says, “The Bear brothers: Patch, Mack, and Bash.”
Sensing the tension building, Carol says, “Sara, can you find two red bows about three inches wide? Bring all the red ones that size so the bride can choose a shade.”
Unenthusiastically, Sara replies, “Absolutely. I’d love to.”
Why would Sara be so cruel? Is she really so jealous she’d purposely shit on my parade by embarrassing me in front of the store owner? I want to cry, but I won’t give her the satisfaction.
Sara rushes from the dressing room, and the woman pauses her lacing to meet my glassy eyes. “What you do is your business. I’m not here to judge anyone. Sara was out of line, and I apologize on her behalf. Don’t worry; I don’t gossip.” She continues feeding the lace through the eyelets. “The things that come out of the mouths of some brides would make you blush. I’ve often thought I should write a book. I’d change the names, of course, and write under a pseudonym so people can’t trace it back to me.” She steps away and sighs as she admires me, and smiles. “There you are. What do you think?”
Tears pool in Lizzy’s eyes before a blink releases them. “That’s your dress.”
The soft white, off-the-shoulder mermaid-style dress has elegantly crocheted roses and swirls covering the satin material over the breasts and waist. Sheer lace sleeves have a crocheted, tattooed effect to match the bodice, less the satin. Over the white satin skirt and down almost to my hips in no discernible pattern, the weave continues. Although intricate and decorative, it isn’t overdone.
The silkiest material I’ve ever felt on my skin drapes in a perfectly straight line from just below the hips to the floor. A gathering of material at the back starts high on my thighs and flows in a gentle wave down the platform step. The crocheted weave accents from just below my knee at the front and dwindles around the delicate scallop-edged train. At the back, a match to the sleeves leaves a seductive sheerness in an upside-down V to allow the eyes to catch a teasing glance of my calves should it spread just right.
My voice cracks as the lump in my throat reaches my eyes and tears overflow. “I love this dress.”
Carol walks around me and admires the fit. “It doesn’t look to need any alterations. It fits you like a glove. Even the length should be perfect. Did you bring your shoes?”
“Shoes?” I ask as a pang of anxiety halts my tears. “No. I was going to wait until I had the dress. Was I supposed to get the shoes first?”
She smiles and shakes her head. “No, Goldilocks.” Her head tilts and her eyes squint. “What size are your feet? I think I have the perfect shoes.”
“I’m usually an eight.”
Sara enters, holding a white box full of an assortment of red bows. Carol whispers something as she passes.
A pouty Sara sets the box on the table beside my champagne glass. “I’m sorry if I was out of line.” Her fingers comb through her hair in an automatic motion, but it falls back into its original disorderly place. “My envy took hold and, um, well—” She shrugs. “So, this is the dress? It looks great on you.”
Her back straightens and her lips pinch tightly together like the compliment physically hurts her to say.
Lizzy’s arms are at her sides, hands fisted like she’s ready to pounce on the woman. I’d better handle this before there’s a punch thrown.
“Envy? You have no right to be envious. You walked away from them.” I watch Sara swallow hard. “Never again offer innuendos about my personal life to anyone, ever! Do it again, and you’ll likely eat my knuckles. Do you understand?”
She nods quickly and changes the subject. “Were you hoping for bright red, or are you leaning more toward a deep crimson?”
“Deeper, but not too dark; sort of like blood. They’re brothers, so blood red would suit, I suppose.”
Sara digs into the box of bows. Lizzy’s assessing Sara while her lips quirk to the left.
My hand waves in her direction to get her attention. “What do you think of the bow idea?”
Lizzy straightens her back, smiles, and then spreads my train down the stairs. “Red bows… I love it. Nobody will understand the gesture, but the guys will. You’re not only marrying Bash, you know. As the saying goes, you’re marrying the family, too!” She steps back and takes several photos. “Besides, the red will add a touch of elegance.”
Sara holds two bows in the perfect shade of red. She sets them on the gown in a few different spots while Lizzy snaps photos for me to decide on their permanent placement.
Carol returns, sporting a wide smile, her shoulders waving as she holds a pair of white stiletto shoes. “Are you opposed to three-inch heels? After the ceremony and photos, most women switch them out for a lower heel.”
She holds them up for me to admire. They’re bright white, sleek in their design with a silver-tipped, pencil-thin heel. Along the outer sides and gracing part of the toe is a lacy design that matches the dress almost perfectly.
How is it possible to have everything going so smoothly and easily? Something awful is bound to happen because wedding planning shouldn’t be this easy—
No! Nothing bad is going to happen. All is good in the world.
“Heels are fine. Those are beautiful.”
She sings as she dances toward me. “And they’re your size.”
Sara lifts the front of the dress, and Carol guides the shoes onto my feet. They fit so well and are surprisingly comfortable for having such a sharp toe. Hours of wear might change my opinion and have me cursing them, but I can survive for a few hours.
Carol stands before me and spreads her arms wide. “Would you look at that? We won’t have to alter the length. It’s as if this dress and the shoes were made for you, Goldilocks.”
“I agree.” My cheek tucks between my teeth and releases only after my brows lift in their center because I know the answer is going to cut deeply. “How much?”
Just the way Carol tilts her head and smiles has my stomach sinking.
Lizzy says, “Don’t worry about the price. You have the rest of your life to pay for it. Maybe your parents will chip in.”
My head tips toward her as my face twists. “I don’t think my father’s even coming to the wedding. He’s cordial with Bash, but that’s the best he can manage.”
Lizzy snaps another photo. “What about your mom?”
“She’ll be there.” My reflection screams perfection, but it might not happen. “They don’t have much money. I won’t ask them.” My lungs fill with air and my hand holds my tummy to ease the sinking feeling. Regretfully, I ask again, “So, how much?”
Sara hands the bows to Carol before she leaves the dressing room to see to the delicate doorbell.
“The dress is $3,282.00 and the shoes are $79.00. You don’t have to pay all at once. We can arrange a payment plan.” My reluctant smile has her lips lifting at their edges. “When you’re ready, I’ll help you out of the dress?”
My mediocre nod has her untying the lacy back while Lizzy snaps picture after picture. She might be more excited about this dress than I am, and that’s quite a feat.
“I’d like to arrange that payment plan. I can manage a down payment of almost half.”
Not to be overshadowed by Lizzy’s ridiculously huge smile, I stick my tongue out and to the side, cross my eyes, and scrunch my nose. She snaps a picture.
She looks at her phone and laughs. “That’s one for the wedding album!”
After filling out more paperwork than I did to buy my car, Lizzy drives us back to my house. We hide my shoes in my closet behind a bin of my old textbooks from college. Bash doesn’t go into my closet unless I ask him to, but just in case he’s in the mood to snoop, he’ll have to work to get at the box.
Mack’s been away at a building site and won’t be home for a few more days, so Lizzy’s had more time to spend at our house, and with Patch. She’s spent the last two nights in his bed. Bash and I heard her wailing through one of his hard fucking sessions from across the house. He bound her in rope the night before last, and she said she loved it. Maybe one day he can bind both her and me while all three men play with us. My pussy twitches at the thought.
Lizzy reluctantly picks up her purse and keys. “I have to go home and smooth things over with my mom.”
“Does she really think you’re sleeping with all the brothers? I mean, you have the intention to, but you’ve only been with Mack and Patch.” I pause, squint one eye, and rock side to side with my arms crossed over my chest. “Okay. Now that I’ve said it out loud, she’d be upset if she knew.”
Her eyes roll and she huffs a breath. “I think she’s mostly upset that I’ve been here instead of at home in my bed. She insisted I tell her what I’ve been up to. She pushed and pushed and wouldn’t let it go. So, with sarcasm, I told her, ‘I’m giving my body to Patch every night, and Mack encourages it,’ and then I added that you and Bash are cool with it, too. I’m not so sure she believed me, judging by my tone.”
“What? Why bring me into this? She already thinks I’m a slut.”
Her head bobs as her chin pulls in. “Well, you are. Aren’t you?” She laughs when I nod and roll my eyes. “She did see you getting fucked by all three Bear brothers in the forest on one of her runs. She wishes she hadn’t and, even more so, regrets telling her friend, who has the biggest mouth in town.”
The whole town knew I was bound over the trunk of a fallen tree while each brother took a turn and fucked me. Because Lizzy’s mom told her friend, who hasn’t a clue how to keep a secret, my parents confronted me. That didn’t go well, and I can almost still feel my father’s palm print on my cheek.
Her shoulders lift and her voice softens. “She truly regrets saying anything. You know she does.”
My hand brushes over my cheek to rid the awful memory. “I know. It’s in the past. I’ve moved on.”
Lizzy leans in and hugs me. “Okay. I’ll be back later tonight, and then we can turn your fiancé into the luckiest man alive!”
As she leaves the house, she humps the air and dances her way to her Jeep, and then fist bumps the air. That woman can make my worst days seem bright.
You must read from book 1 to fully understand the journey these fascinated characters are on.
Goldilocks and The Three Bear Brothers, Book 1
Goldilocks and The Three Bear Brothers: Trifecta, Book 2
Goldilocks and The Three Bear Brothers: Overture, Book 3
Goldilocks and The Three Bear Brothers: Liberated, Book 4