A Valentine's Day Wedding

by Gina Marucci

Prologue

All the residents of Collinwood anxiously awaited the marriage of Barnabas Collins to Dr. Julia Hoffman. They never thought this day would come because there almost wasn't a marriage. How did Barnabas nearly lose Julia?

Julia/Barnabas

Warning: non-explicit sexual references

Chapter One

February 1972

Dr. Julia Hoffman peered out the window at the cold winter day. She had just returned from the Old House where she had had yet another aggravating argument with Barnabas. No matter how hard she tried, Julia couldn't get him to realize he wasn't in love with Angelique, he only felt gratitude for his curse being removed.

Is it time for me to leave, go back to my own life and Wyndcliff? Barnabas will never love me; he prefers younger girls. Why doesn't he see me? I've been loyal, always stood by his side no matter how I was treated I'm done! If he wants to mourn for his dead witch wife who made his life a living hell,
so be it!

At that moment the decision was made to leave Collinwood. She spent the rest of the day packing her bags and saying her goodbyes to everyone except Barnabas. The following morning, Julia left before anyone was up.

She grabbed her coat and twisted to look once more at the home that had been hers for the past four years. Julia felt a tinge of guilt. Should I say goodbye to Barnabas? No, he doesn't care about anyone but Angelique! A lone tear started to fall down her face, the doctor walked through the door and closed it behind her, went down to her car, placed her key in the ignition and drove away.

Would Barnabas even notice she left?

Chapter Two

Barnabas sat in a chair facing away from the doorway. His skin was paler than usual, eyes bloodshot, and he had lost weight for it was apparent he hadn't eaten or slept in days. Willie Loomis walked into the room. He looked at his friend and employer and wished there was something he could do for the man.

"Barnabas, is there anything I can get for you, maybe a cup of tea? You need to keep up your strength." He received no response. "I asked you if you wanted anything. Willie slowly walked up to his boss. Fine! Don't answer me. Keep it up and I'll leave too!"

Barnabas turned in his chair with fire in eyes and anger in his voice. "What did you just say to me? Don't forget to whom you are speaking, Willie. Now tell me who left!"

"You can be such an idiot, Barnabas! Let me ask you a question: When was the last time you saw Julia? I don't fault her one bit for walking way," Willie replied with a slight fear in his eyes. He knew what a risk this was to provoke Barnabas, but somebody had to snap the guy out of this pity party.

Barnabas stood and went right into Willies face. "You're lying! Julia would never dare leave me! I'm going to the main house and prove you wrong!" He pushed past Willie and headed towards the door.

Barnabas started his trek between his home and the Great House. He knocked at the door for what seemed like an eternity before the housekeeper responded. He was disappointed when Julia didn't answer.

Good Evening, Mrs. Johnson. Is Julia here? I need to talk with her."

"I'm sorry, Mr. Collins, but Dr. Hoffman left a few days ago. She moved out and went back to Wyndcliff." Barnabas left before she had finished her sentence.

Would he go to Wyndcliff and confront Julia?

Chapter Three

Julia Hoffman returned to her apartment after another long and exhausting day. It had taken almost a week for the patients and staff to get used to having her back full time. She proceeded to the kitchen to make a cup of tea when there was pounding at her door. Who could that be? I'm not in the mood for company!

She reluctantly moved to the door and opened it, shocked to find Barnabas.

"What do you want? Shouldn't you be home sulking over your precious Angelique, your one true love?" she snarled.

"Julia, I'm going to ignore that comment; we need to talk," Barnabas retorted as he forced himself across the threshold. She grabbed his arm tightly Stop right there! I didn't invite you in. Besides, what makes you think I want anything to do with you?

Barnabas yanked his arm from Julia's vice grip. "I'm not leaving until we've talked, my dear doctor! Now tell me why you left me. I want an answer!"

Julia slammed the door. "If you don't realize why I left, then you're a damn fool, Barnabas! Did you expect me to watch day after day while you grieve for Angelique? I simply couldn't do it anymore, and that is my answer. You may leave now—we're done here."

Julia saw a look on his face that sincerely scared her. Barnabas grabbed her by the shoulders.

"Let go of me! What is wrong with you? Stop this absurd behavior!" She yelled.

"Stop struggling; I'm not going to hurt you! Can we just move over to the sofa and talk?" he answered. Julia realized she couldn't get loose or win this situation relaxed, Barnabas released her.

Would they reconcile?

Chapter Four

Julia and Barnabas spoke for hours and shared their feelings. Once he was back at home, Barnabas paced the drawing room floor as he recalled the earlier conversation with Julia.

Could she be right? Have I been wrong about my feelings for Angelique? Truth be told, Julia did have a valid point: All his wife did was remove the curse she inflicted on me many years ago. What a fool I've been, I almost lost my dearest friend over this matter.

Barnabas wanted to make amends, so he decided to send Julia flowers at Wyndcliff. He called for Willie to run up to the main house to make the call.

Friday evening, Julia went to her office to get some paperwork done. At her desk, the doctor was shocked to find a vase with a dozen red roses on it. She located the card which read: Julia, please forgive me once again for being so naïve. Your devoted friend, Barnabas.

Should I forgive him once again? Yes, of course I will. No matter what, I will always love him.

The next day she made the long trip from Wyndcliff to Collinwood to thank Barnabas in person for the lovely flowers.

There was a rap on the door of the Old House. When Willie answered, he was surprised to see his friend, Julia. "Hello, Willie, good to see you. Is he here?" she asked quietly.

" Good to see you as well. He's in the drawing room. Come in," Willie replied. Julia was about to enter the drawing room when she saw Barnabas at the door.

"Julia, what a surprise. What brings you to Collinwood?" he inquired.

"Hi, Barnabas, I came to thank you for the flowers; they were beautiful. Hope I didn't interrupt anything," she answered.

"Not at all. I was just going for a stroll; care to join me?"

Julia nodded yes, so Barnabas grabbed his coat and wolf head cane, and they departed.

When their walk brought them to Widows Hill, the couple stopped and stared out at the sea. Barnabas caught sight of his friend as the wind whipped through her hair; it caused something to stir inside him. He hadn't realized until then just how much he missed Julia and how much he desired to kiss her.

Wait, where did that come from? She's been my best friend for years. It was as if he was seeing her exotic beauty for the first time. How could I not have noticed it before now? Before he knew it, Julia was wrapped in his arms, his lips were upon hers for their first kiss.

Would they become a couple?

Chapter Five

The months passed quickly and soon it was December, a few weeks before Christmas. The couples friendship had changed drastically since their first kiss. They went on romantic dates, took strolls along the grounds, and attended concerts and museums. Julia was happier than she had ever been; she had the man of her dreams at long last and he returned the feelings she had felt for him for many years.

Barnabas, with each passing day, fell deeper in love, and he couldn't imagine his life without Julia. He often kicked himself for not pursuing this type of relationship before now. He had a very special holiday gift in mind for the love his life.

On Christmas Eve, Barnabas surprised Julia with a beautiful engagement ring which had belonged to his mother. The center stone was a five-carat emerald surrounded by diamonds and set in 14-karat gold. He nervously got down on one knee.

"Julia, my love, will you marry me? Make me the happiest man in the world. This past year, my love for you has become so strong, my life wouldn't be complete without you. "

Julia, with tears in her eyes, she looked into the face of the man she adored and replied, "Yes, my dearest, I will marry you!"

It was a beautiful winter afternoon on February 14, 1973, at Collinwood. The Collins family and friends were all gathered in the drawing room of the Main House. The room was beautifully decorated with candles which cast a romantic glow throughout. The guests were bedecked in gorgeous gowns, suits and ties. Barnabas stood by the fireplace dressed in a black tuxedo. To his side was his best man, Quentin, who also wore a black tuxedo; both men looked very handsome.

Upstairs Julia was finishing getting ready for the greatest day of her life. Her matron of honor, Elizabeth, helped with her wedding dress.

"Let's see, do we have everything? There's something new, your dress; something blue and old, your sapphire necklace and earrings from Barnabas; and something borrowed, my sapphire bracelet."

Julia wore an off-the-shoulder wedding gown with a beige lace sweetheart neckline, drop waisted fitted bodice, and a slight flare at the bottom. The bride had her red hair styled in a French twist with soft curls around her face.

"You look beautiful! Are you getting excited yet?" her matron of honor asked.

"I can't wait to marry Barnabas. This is one of the happiest moments of my life," Julia responded.

There was a gentle knock on the door and Elizabeth opened it to find her brother, Roger.

"Are you ready, ladies? Its time. By the way, you both look stunning."

"Yes, let's get me married!" Julia laughed. She picked up her beautiful bridal bouquet of roses and baby's breath and headed for the doorway.

They walked down the steps. The wedding march started, giving Liz her cue to descend the aisle. Julia and Roger came to the door. Barnabas stared lovingly at his bride; Through misty eyes, he watched in awe as the beautiful Julia came down the aisle to meet him at the altar. The couple emotionally read their vows, both shed a single tear, and caused the eyes of their guests to tear up once the rings were exchanged.

"I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride."

Barnabas gathered his wife into a loving embrace as their guests applauded, shouting congratulations to the newlyweds.

Barnabas and Julia walked up the aisle, followed by Liz and Quentin and headed toward the grand ballroom. The room had beautiful crystal chandeliers that glistened like diamonds, the tables were draped with lace tablecloths with large floral bouquets in crystal vases in the center. A heart ice sculpture adorned the room near the bar, along with a string orchestra playing soft romantic music throughout the room.

The bride and groom, after enjoying a fabulous meal, mingled with their guests, shared the first dance, and cut their wedding cake. Julia threw her bouquet it was caught by Caroline. The evening came quickly to an end, and the couple thanked their guests for sharing their special day with them and left for home.

Epilogue

When the bride and groom finally reached the Old House, Julia opened the door and was about to enter the foyer. She felt herself being lifted off the ground into the arms of her husband.

"Barnabas! What are you doing?" she squealed.

"Carrying you over the threshold, my dear, " he expressed happily. Once inside, he put his wife down, pushing her against the door, and whispered in her ear.

"Do you know how crazy you've driven me all night, how badly I wanted to come home to show you how much I love you?"

He took his Julia into his embrace, claiming her lips for a passionate kiss. His hands slowly roamed along her skin, feeling every curve of her body. She sighed happily, deepening their kiss, and pressed her body closer to his. Barnabas felt his erection growing with every touch.

He lifted Julia into his arms once more and carried her upstairs to their bedroom. He placed her on the bed as they slowly removed the others' clothes, Barnabas let his hands and lips travel down her body. Julia pulled him upward to her lips, kissing him with such love and desire that he never wanted it to end. She ran her hands over his muscular torso. Barnabas's skin felt like it was on fire with every touch.

He couldn't remember his body responding or feeling like this before with any other woman. Her constant moans of pleasure at his every touch ignited every one of his desires and fantasies. He rode her until they both went over the edge into pure ecstasy.

Cuddled in each others arms, he leaned in close to her ear and said, "I love you, Mrs. Collins,"

She twisted in his arms and replied, "I love you Mr. Collins."

They kissed and fell asleep in each other's arms.

The End