Backstory: After Graduation, Rikki and Zane stayed apart, never getting back together. Each went their own way for college as Zane ran out of money and could no longer keep the café open. Emma returned soon after graduation and she and Bella had gotten along well as they were cousins. Cleo, Emma, and Bella are still dating Lewis, Ash, and Will respectively and each live on their own.
I think that's all the backstory that's needed so on I go.
"A wedding invitation." Twenty-three-year-old Emma Gilbert had just gone down to get her mail from the main floor of her apartment building. As she made her way back up the stairs to her apartment, she had been flipping through the mail. Getting back, she set all but the wedding invitation aside. "Who's getting married?" she asked herself, opening the invitation. "'You are cordially invited to the wedding of Miriam Annabelle Kent & Zane Michael Bennett.' No way," Emma breathed, she couldn't believe what she was reading.
She hadn't kept up on where Zane was after he left the area for college. While there, he must have met Miriam again and they rekindled the seemingly non-existent spark they had from when they were kids. Still in shock, Emma slipped her phone out of her back pocket and dialed Cleo's number.
"Hey Em," came Cleo's voice on the other end of the line. "What's up?"
"I just went to get my mail and I got a wedding invitation."
"Oh really? Who for?"
"Zane and Miriam."
"What?" Cleo exclaimed. "You can't be serious."
"Cleo, the invitation looks legit. And why would Miriam send me a fake wedding invitation?"
"I need to see this to believe it. Mind if I drop in in a few?"
"No, I'll see you then."
Cleo and Emma ended the phone call at the same time. Cleo put her phone in her pocket, grabbed her purse from the kitchen counter, and headed over to Emma's. The walk was only about five minutes.
Soon, there was a knock on Emma's door. "Come on in, Cleo," Emma called from the other room.
Cleo was just getting the door closed when Emma made it to the entryway of the apartment. "Where is it?" Cleo asked.
"Right in here," Emma said, leading Cleo to the kitchen where she had set the invitation down on the counter. Emma handed it to Cleo who looked it over closely.
"I don't get it," Cleo said after a minute. "This looks real, but Zane said he never really liked Miriam. I mean, I know it's been year since he and Rikki broke up, but this is almost as unbelievable as mermaids."
"I think that analogy just helps prove that it's a real wedding invitation, Cleo. You know, seeing as how we're mermaids."
"I guess you're right. What should we tell Rikki?"
"She could have gotten an invitation too," Emma reasoned.
"Honestly, I'm kind of surprised you got one. None of us ever got on well with Miriam. And I don't think she'd invite Rikki. I mean, she's Zane's ex."
"Yeah. But I really don't understand how I got an invitation. I mean, Miriam and I go back just like Zane and I but we didn't leave on good terms. Maybe we should wait and just bring it up the next time we meet up at the moon pool."
"Good idea. I'm baffled that Zane would want to marry Miriam. Remember how he claimed that she wasn't his girlfriend or that she was just a casual girlfriend?"
Cleo nodded in agreement, handing the invitation back to Emma. "I should head back; I still have some stuff I need to get done yet."
"Okay, see you later." Emma walked Cleo to the door and waved goodbye to her friend.
When Cleo got back to her own apartment building, she checked her mail and found that she too had gotten an invitation to Zane and Miriam's wedding. She sent Emma a quick text to say that she had also gotten an invitation.
The following day, Cleo, Emma, Rikki, and Bella met up at the moon pool to go for a swim together. They talked for a little while after Rikki, the last one to get there, arrived. She had noticed Cleo and Emma acting weird.
"What's going on with you two?" Rikki asked Cleo and Emma after a few minutes.
"Do you really want to know?" Cleo asked. "You're not going to like it.
"I think I can handle it, whatever it is. I'm a big girl."
"Zane's getting married," Emma stated.
"Why would that matter to me? I broke up with him years ago."
"Well, he's marrying Miriam," Cleo said.
"What?" Rikki asked, her tone was disbelieving. Zane had never really liked Miriam as far as she and anyone else had ever known.
"We both got invitations in the mail yesterday," Cleo spoke after a few moments of silence.
"I hate to interrupt, but who's Miriam?" Bella asked.
"She'd this spoiled rich girl that Cleo and I have known since we were little. I think I took you to a birthday party of hers while you were in town when we were seven. Anyway, right when we became mermaids she and Zane had a thing. She left within a year and we hadn't really heard about her since."
Bella nodded. "I think I remember that. Blond, right?"
"Are you worried?" Cleo asked Rikki, whose face had remained neutral the entire time they were talking.
"Like I said, I broke up with him years ago. Why should I be worried?"
"Zane does know our secret," Bella spoke. "If Miriam is like you guys say she is, and if I'm remembering right, she'd pretty bad. What if he tells her and she tries to use it against us?"
"Zane wouldn't do that. He may be stubborn and hard-headed, but he wouldn't really sink that low. I doubt Miriam would even believe him anyway. And if he does tell, we're the ones with powers, not him, not Miriam, not anyone else."
"Maybe you should still talk to him," Emma suggested.
"Will that make you three feel better?" Cleo, Emma, and Bella all nodded in response, giving Rikki the affirmative. "Fine. I'll see if I can find him and talk to him about it."
"Good," Emma spoke. After a little while, the girls started talking about how everything was going since they had finished college. Those with boyfriends could all feel that they were getting close to marriage. They'd gone through a lot while dating in college. They headed out to swim not long after that and returned to their secret beach to dry off before going their separate ways.
While Cleo, Emma, and Bella headed home, Rikki started walking along the beach, keeping clear of the water. As she was walking, she caught sight of Zane standing alone, and after a few minutes, worked up the courage to go talk to her ex for the first time in years.
"Zane." He jumped in surprise at the sound of his name and turned to see who was calling him after he'd been gone for so long. He was surprised to see Rikki, but his face lit up when he saw her. Her hair was longer than it was when he had last seen her, and he could see that college had matured her.
"Rikki, hey. What's up?"
"I need to talk to you."
"It's about you and how you're marrying Miriam."
"Oh, yeah, that—"
"You won't tell her, will you?" Rikki cut him off.
"Tell her what exactly. . ." Zane paused. Watching Rikki's expression, Zane caught on quickly. "Oh, that. Of course I won't tell her about you guys. I promised not to tell anyone like seven years ago. I know I'm not the most reliable person, but that's one promise I intend to keep my whole life."
"Thanks." Rikki turned to leave, she didn't have anything more to say to him, did she?
"Rikki wait," Zane suddenly burst out after she had gone a few feet."
"What?" she asked, turning back to face him.
"Nothing," Zane quickly replied; any courage he had gained in those few seconds of seeing her leaving again had vanished in the blink of an eye. He watched her go again, doing nothing to stop it.
Rikki walked away slowly. Was she really okay with letting Zane go this easily? Why was she feeling this way? Why now? Why after so many years? She was sure she'd left all her feelings about him back in 2010, she didn't think they'd ever come back again. Were they?
Weeks and months quickly passed by. Cleo and Emma had decided to go to the wedding to support Zane, but the kept asking Rikki if she was okay with them going. She told them repeatedly and continued to tell them it was fine and that it didn't bother her.
In no time at all, it was the day of the wedding. The girls met up at the moon pool in the morning since the wedding was at four that afternoon. Emma swam into the moon pool with a bright smile on her face; everyone else was already there.
"What's got you in such a happy mood today?" Rikki asked, a smirk on her face.
Emma beamed even more, which didn't seem possible. "Ash proposed last night."
"Congrats," Bella spoke, smiling at her cousin.
"Aww," Cleo said, moving over to Emma to give her a hug.
"Congrats," Rikki said. She wore a smile, but it seemed to fade more quickly than normal.
The girls only hung out for a little while before Emma and Cleo left to start getting ready for the wedding. It wasn't much later that Rikki tried to bid Bella goodbye.
"Where do you think you're going?" Bella asked.
"I have somewhere to be. I'll see you later," Rikki spoke suspiciously before speeding out of the moon pool, giving Bella no more time to ask any more questions.
'3:55, perfect,' Rikki thought as she snuck into the back of the church where Miriam and Zane's wedding was being held. As she snuck in, Rikki saw Cleo and Emma sitting on the groom's side. Rikki took her seat quickly and quietly so as not to be noticed. She ducked down instead of standing when Miriam walked in so she wouldn't be seen. As everyone else sat back down, she got into her seat.
Now, Rikki got the chance to observe. Miriam wore a skimpy dress that showed off way too much skin, it was almost not PG. Zane didn't smile as Miriam's father gave his daughter off to be married. The music that was normally played as a bride walked down the aisle hadn't even been playing and whatever was seemed to drag on longer than it should have.
The wedding got underway quickly. The preacher rambled on about marriage and how it joined two people together forever, Rikki tuned him out. She cared about only one moment in the wedding; that was the only moment that would really matter.
"Now, if there is anyone here today who objects to this marriage, please, speak now or forever hold your peace."
In the actual moment, Rikki almost wimped out, especially as the silence dragged on. What would she say? What do you say when objecting to a wedding? She should have googled answers. She found herself standing shakily. "I do," she declared, confidently, wondering where her sudden courage had come from. She saw Cleo and Emma's eyes widen when they saw her.
"Rikki," Zane mumbled, a small smile forming on his face.
Rikki started walking towards the front of the church, gaining her confidence as she did so.
"Why do you object to this beautiful marriage?" the preacher asked.
Rikki ignored him and looked to Zane. "I love you. I always have and I always will. These past five years since we broke up, I tried to ignore the feelings I had for you; it was going fine until I saw you again. I couldn't pretend I didn't love you anymore, especially once we talked. I know I told you that I couldn't forget the bad things, but they all faded a lot quicker. The good times were harder to forget," she paused. "I understand that you're with Miriam now, but I needed you to know that I still love you before you got married."
Zane's smile grew wider and he took a step down the stairs towards Rikki.
"You're not leaving, Zane," came Miriam's voice.
"You can't leave me here."
"I can and I am. My dad was the one who was making me do this. I've never loved you and I never will; I've always loved Rikki and I always will. I pushed those feelings aside for years because I thought she'd never take me back.
"You can't do this."
"That's too bad, because I am doing this." Zane walked the rest of the way down the remaining stairs to Rikki and took her hands in his. "I'm going to go change out of this tux. I'll meet you at our old café," he whispered in her ear so no one else would know their plan. They both had bright smiles on their faces when they turned their separate ways to leave. Rikki ran down the aisle, away from the wedding, pretending that her making it to the café quickly would somehow make Zane get there sooner too.
Ten minutes later, Zane was running up to the café where Rikki was waiting. In the style of a cliché movie, the two ran into each other's embrace. Zane caught Rikki in his arms. When he set her down, he kissed her as though he had never kissed her before. They knew then that they were home in that moment in each other's arms.
A/N: I'm pretty sure that I originally wrote this on the tail end of 2013 on the 12 hour drive back from my oldest cousins wedding. I was listening to 'Speak Now' and with weddings fresh in my mind, wrote this. I hope you enjoyed this and I'd love to hear back from you in regards to what I can do better in my writing. Thanks for reading,