This is the final chapter of this story. A story that began with just three chapters and grew and grew. I hope you enjoyed it. I'm working on another story that I'll be uploading soon. Leave me your coments
BirdsandStars

I still can't believe it all got sorted out while we were away. Everyone's surprised when they see us arrive at the studio. We hold hands and walk around looking for Grace. She's giving instructions and as soon as she sees us she stops what she's doing and comes in our direction. And I'm not prepared for what happens when she gets to us.

Grace holds me in her arms, making Christian let go of my hand. She squeezes me tightly against her chest.

—You don't know how sorry I am about everything I said to you, Anastasia. Right now I wish I could turn back time and know, what I know now. You were right all along. You know my son better than I did. —she separates from me and I can see tears in her eyes. —Thank you. —she says to me as she turns to Christian.

—I'm still thinking about how to apologize for everything I've said to you over the years, for not trusting my own son. For doubting you when you were telling me the truth. —Grace is crying more and more. —I have no idea if you're gonna forgive me, but I need you to. —she keeps saying to him between sobs.

Christian steps forward and holds her tightly in his arms. He says nothing, is silent as time passes and only the sobbing of his mother can be heard against his chest.

—I have nothing to forgive you, mother. You didn't know the whole story, you had no idea of the secret I was carrying on my shoulders. Anyone in your place would have behaved the same way.

—No matter what you say, I know there must be something I can do for you. —she says to him by separating from him. —For both of you. —she says as she looks at me and smiles slightly.

—Well, yes, there is something you can do for me. —he says as he approaches her and whispers something in her ear.

—Is that what you want?

—Yes.

—All right, I'll get right on it. —she says with a smile. —Now go get some rest.

—We're here to work, we don't want to delay the filming any longer. —I tell her while Christian smiles at me.

—We hadn't planned to shoot anything today, but I think we can arrange it. Any scenes you've rehearsed?

Me and Christian looked at each other. Rehearsed? We haven't rehearsed anything. But he smiles at me perversely.

—Yes. We were rehearsing the one on the roof. —he says to her as I look at him squinting.

—Very good. I'll tell them to prepare everything to start with that one.

—By the way, how did you convince them to buy the studio? —he asks as she smiles at him.

— It turned out that all the money they invested supposedly to cover up a criminal act, which never happened, belonged to your earnings from the films you had made.

—They were taking money from me? -he asks incredulously.

—Yes. And all that came out now. Their bank accounts were cancelled and the funds they had were withdrawn. So I took advantage of that and made them an offer they didn't refuse. —Grace answers with a smile.

—This is great, Mom!

—Yes. It's what I've always wanted. Now I'm going to get everything ready for the shoot. —she give a kiss to Christian. —By the way, I left the new contracts in the trailer for you to sign. —and she turns around and leaves.

—I don't remember us rehearsing that scene. —I tell him as we walk to the trailer.

—We did. —he answers as we walk into the trailer.

I turn around and look at him with a frown.

—But the problem is that both in the book and in the film, they censored the scenes that followed.

—Ah, I understand. —I say to him as I pick up the script and sit on the bed. —You'd better go get yours. If we don't have this ready by the time the set is ready, your mother will kill you.

Christian comes out of the trailer laughing in search of his script.

Later that night, I'm reading the new contract. This one, unlike the last one, I don't need to read it so many times. All the clauses have been removed, at least the ones referring to a relationship between the protagonists. And that's a good thing. Now we can have a relationship freely without any prejudice.

The days are beginning to pass.

Jolinne continues to go to the set from time to time, no longer hiding her identity. And I don't know how to thank her for what she did for us. She just smiles at us and tells us we're even.

The filming, it's exhausting. As the days go by, the exhaustion begins to show in everyone. We spend 16 to 18 hours on the set filming one scene after another until everything is perfect. We hardly ever go home. We practically sleep in the trailer for a few hours until we start all over again. And so it's repeated day after day until we catch up with the filming schedule. At least now we'll get a break.

It's been almost a month since the whole Christian thing was cleared up. Today we're going to shoot the final scene of the film, but not the last one we had planned. We'd be filming the wedding. But, unlike what I imagined, we're not shooting it here. We'd do it in a real chapel.

Right now I'm sitting in a trailer outside the chapel. I'm already in my dress and they're finishing my makeup.

—Ready! You look beautiful. I'll go tell Grace it's all ready.

—All right. —I'll answer her as I prepare to look in the mirror.

I look in all directions and realize there's none here. I look out the window of the trailer. It's getting dark, it's almost time to start filming. Someone knocks on the door.

—Go ahead. —I yell as the door opens and I'm amazed at who comes in. —Kate! What are you doing here?

—Someone told me to stop by. —she says, smiling, as I examine her from top to bottom.

—Are you going somewhere?

—Yeah. Eliot's taking me to dinner.

—Dinner?

—Yes. I have no idea where or why, so I wore this dress. Do you like it?

—It's beautiful.

—You look radiant, too. —she says to me with a smile. —Are you wearing something blue, something new, something old and something used?—she asks me quickly.

—What!

—That's what every bride should wear. It's tradition.

—This isn't my wedding, Kate, remember. —I tell her by rolling my eyes.

—Yes, but at your wedding, you skipped them. Wait here, I'll see what I can do. —she says to me as she leaves the trailer.

Kate comes back a few minutes later with a little bag in her hands.

—I looked for the dressing room girl and she helped me out a little. — she says to me with a smile as he pulls a blue garter out of the bag.

—This, it's for your leg. Go up the dress. —she says to me as I lift the dress and she puts the garter on my thigh. —This pendant, it's a little old and worn, but it's simple and it will look good on you. —she says to me as she puts it on, being careful not to damage my hair. —And these earrings, they're new, they haven't been worn yet. —she says as she places the simple earrings in my ears. —I think you're ready, now you're dazzling.

—I wish I could see myself in a mirror.

—You'll see yourself. Now I'm leaving, which, if we're late for the restaurant, Elliot will surely punish me tonight. —she says to me as I laugh at his comment.

Kate leaves, leaving me alone with my thoughts once more. I rehearse my lines one more time until someone knocks on the door again.

—Go ahead.

This time it's Grace who comes in.

—You look beautiful. Ready!

—Yes. —I tell her by putting the script aside.

—But first, someone else wants to see you. —she says to me as she walks to the door and opens it.

I am literally left with my mouth open when I see who is in my dressing room. I can't believe it. He's wearing a fancy black suit. His arm, although it's not in plaster, is resting in a sling.

—What are you doing here? —I ask him as I walk to meet him and hug him.

I wanted so much to hug him, to see him. But with the filming, I barely had time to talk to him on the phone.

—I'll leave you two alone. —says Grace as she leaves the trailer and closes the door after leaving.

—They told me they needed me here today. —he says as I look at him with a frown.

—They needed you? What for?

—Let's go and find out. —he says, holding out his good arm to me.

I get out of the trailer while I hold on to my brother's arm. We walk to the chapel. Right at the door, they take several pictures of us.

—I wish Mom and Dad were still alive. They would have liked to see you on your wedding day. You look beautiful. —he says to me as he places the veil over my face.

—Even though it's not my wedding. —I remind him.

But I can't talk anymore.

Scene 220, Take 1, "Action"

A sweet melody begins to play in the background and the chapel doors open. We begin to walk slowly down the aisle. I don't know how they did it. But the chapel is full of extras for the filming.

I look briefly at my brother who is walking beside me and then I look at the camera at the back of the chapel that is filming. Wait a moment.

And then everything falls into place.

Only now do I realize everything.

I see Christian at the end, by the altar. Elliot next to him and Kate on the other side. I look at the faces of the people at the ceremony. They're not extras, they're family, friends, the film crew and everyone involved. I can even spot a few celebrities. I see Jolinne, dressed as herself and very smiling.

And then the whole mystery is solved.

Why Kate had this need for tradition, and why my brother walked down the aisle with me. This is our wedding.

We stop by Christian and my brother smiles at me before he give my hand to Christian. And so the ceremony begins.

The father in front of us recites some verses from the bible and then mentions our names, not the real ones of course. We exchange the rings and the vows that we have already rehearsed. And after declaring us man and wife, Christian slowly lifts the veil, smiling wickedly at me. And he kisses me slowly and sensually.

I surrender to his kiss as the assembled crowd bursts into applause. Christian narrows me at the waist as he separates his lips from mine and sticks his forehead to mine.

—What did you think of the wedding?

—To plan it on such short notice, perfect. —I tell him with a smile.

—I love you, Elizabeth.

—And I love you, Max.

And we melted into another kiss.

"Cut"

—All right, everything's perfect. Thank you all for coming. —Grace is approaching us. —Christian asked me not to tell you anything. What did you think of the surprise?

—It was the nicest wedding I could ever ask for. —I say to her as I hug her and can't stop the tears I've tried to hold back from coming out of my eyes. —Thank you.

—It's the least I could do. We're family after all. —she says with a smile. —Why don't you go and greet the guests, in a few minutes we must leave for the reception. —she says as she walks away from us.

—Reception?

—Of course. —Christian says to me as he squeezes me against his chest again.

—Will we have a honeymoon again?—I'm curious.

—Of course. We only have two weeks of filming left. And I've already planned our honeymoon in great detail. — he tells me by sticking his body seductively to mine.

—Really? —I raise an eyebrow.

—It involves a desert island, lots of margaritas and mojitos and no clothes for at least a month.

—Promises to be better than the last one.

—Just like you, they'll all be wonderful. —he says to me as he joins his lips to mine.

There are two things that will never change. One is what Christian makes me feel every time his hands get tangled up in my waist and his lips join mine.

The other is that life with him is, and will always be, wonderful.

End