Bear was enjoying an early morning sleep in when the door suddenly slams open and over-excited yelling fills the room.
"BEAR, BEAR, BEAR, BEAR, BEAR-!" Jordan chanted, as he ran around the room in his penguin onesie.
"Wa?" Bear murmured still heavy in sleep even after the outburst.
"I don't know man what? YOUR WEDDING!" Jordan proclaimed. Bear rolled over to look at his TCMcom only to see that it was four in the morning.
"We 'ave still three 'ours until we need to start gettin' ready." Bear complained.
"Yeah well you're going to need the time," his friend said. Not a moment later did Bear's sister Evie come into the room and cannonballed on Bear.
"Good morning!" she cried.
"Evie, you're just as bad, go back to sleep," Bear said.
"Nuh, uh, I'm going to jump and yell until you and the whole neighbourhood is awake," she said. Evie and Jordan shared the same mischievous spark in their eyes. Once something was put into their mind there was no changing it, meaning the whole house needs to wake up now.
Bear had no choice but to get up. As he did Evie tugged at his hand telling him to hurry up. They went downstairs and into the living room, everyone was there. Evie moved to sit on the lap of Dorathy, Gammy sitting in the armchair next to them. Bake and Johnny were here as well on the other side of the room on the separate couch. Even Alex and Dix, although there was no sign of Declan or Kaiden. Jordan moved toward Dix andBear moved into the gap that his brothers had made for him to sit.
"He's awake," Bake said, breaking the silence. "We were starting to think that you were going to sleep through the big day."
Bear couldn't help but roll his eyes at the comment.
"Ok, what's all of this about, one; it's four o'clock in the morning and two; did I miss a new fashion statement or is everybody in lovein' PJs," he said looking around the room and seeing that not one person in the room wasn't wearing anything but their pyjamas. The family chuckled before everyone turned to look at Gammy.
"Well, now that we're all here as a family we can get started-," Gammy said. "Today as Blake said is a special day for you Barnold, and with that, there is a Ronnigan tradition that we do."
Bear suddenly remembered what was happening. They had done this for Alex and Kaiden the day they were getting married, only a little awkward with Alex's folks.
"So, what did you have planned?" Bear asked, his throat clogged all of a sudden. The person he most loved wasn't here. Declan.
"Well, we wanted to give this time to your father, before anything," his mother answered. "We know that he would be proud of the man that you have become, and would do anything to see you right now."
As Dorathy said this tears to her eyes, filled with joy and pride for Bear, but also sorrow for the loss of her husband unable to be here. The family all went around the room, sharing their stories and moments with William, good and bad, funny and embarrassing. A lot involving horses. After a while everybody was out of stories, everyone had tears in their eyes, but laughed at the moments shared.
Just at that moment, the doorbell rang and a few seconds later Declan and Kaiden appeared around the corner of the entrance. Both were still in their pyjamas.
"Well, I would say that we're right on time," Declan said. Kaiden went and sat with his wife. Johnny and Blake had moved so that Declan could sit next to Bear. He gave a good morning kiss and a squeeze of Bear's hand for comfort seeing his slightly griefed appearance.
"Well with that note concluded, let's get on with the tradition," Dorothy said.
Everybody started to take out presents and moved toward Bear and Declan. The Ronnigan tradition was that the family would get together the morning of the wedding and mini celebrated the becoming of a couple. The four friends in the family teamed up and got them an album. It was mostly empty but it had a few good moments in it including Bear and Declan's engagement. How they got those photos Bear still didn't know, still, they were moments worth saving. Next was Evie, she had asked Blake to help preserve two roses. One white with black spots and another black with white spots. She gave the white one to Bear and the black one to Declan and made them promise that they would wear it on their wedding outfits as well as that they would never wither. Johnny had brought a jug of dillyberry juice, it was served out to the family despite it being close to five in the morning. Dorothy had given Bear his fathers cufflets that he had worn on his wedding day, as did his father. Gammy didn't give a present, she looked at Declan in reassurance, which Declan nodded ever so slightly that was hardly noticeable.
When the clock struck five-thirty everybody started to share their goodbyes. Alex, Kaiden and Dix were the first to leave. Leaving the family and Declan. He and Bear went into a separate room and met each other's eyes, communicating without needing to say a word. Their lips touched and they kissed like they did for the first time all those years ago. When they pulled away every bit of Bear was relaxed, the nerves that had started to rise about the day ahead were gone.
"Next time we kiss, it's going to be as a married couple," Declan whispered in Bear's ear. With that, he left the family to go, Jordan was waiting upstairs for him.
Within the hour both Bear and Jordan were dressed and ready. They were wearing black tuxedos with white ties, the only difference was that the groom's was lined with gold thread and the best-man's was lined with silver. Bear was about to pin on his rose on the coat of tux when Jordan walked out of the bathroom, hair done. He takes the rose off Bear and pinned it neatly onto Bear's tux.
"You ready for this man?" Jordan asked.
"Yeah, nervous but I'm ready; ready to have a great life with the man and the people I love."
Jordan nodded patting his friend on the shoulder, before pulling Bear into a brotherly hug.
"Today is going to be great, I just know it," he promised.
They met the family back downstairs. Dorothy was wearing a beautiful pale beige dress that was cut off at the knees. Gammy had gone for something a little more old fashioned with an old blue floral blouse with a matching skirt. Evie, being the ring bearer for the wedding, was in a white flowing dress with a faded overlay of gold. Blake and Johnny were in matching navy suits, both of them had cleaned up well. Even Aunt Tessa was there and ready in a black and white dress with beautiful flowers all over it. The family walked out of the house and activated their bubble doors and stepped into the academy library.
Dix was waiting for them. There was only one word to describe her. She looked stunning. The princess wore a sparkling silver flowing dress cut off on the shoulders. Her fiery red hair braided to one side and over her shoulder. As soon as Jordan saw Dix, his draw dropped before running over to her, swept her off her feet and kissed deeply.
"Ok, you two," Blake mused. "Your wedding can be next, but first Jordan will have to pull out a ring."
Jordan just gave him a stink eye, before letting go over Dix and puffed up his chest walking toward Blake. Bear couldn't hold back his laughter along with the rest of the family.
"Ok, boys," Dix said, a gleam of mirth in her eyes. "Before one of you creases a tux."
The men gave each other one more look of 'hatred' before turning away from each other and walked in the other direction.
"Well with that out of the way, you go and get seated and I'll see you in there," Bear said, to his family. After a pat of encouragement from both of his brothers, as well as a kiss and hug from his sister, mum and Gammy. The family walked through the doorway to the wedding grounds.
That was when the nerves kicked in. Bear's breathing became a little more rapid and his heart rate started to rise. His friends must have known because Dix pulled him into a hug whispering words of encouragement in his ear. Jordan came along and gave his own words of encouragement as well as a few punny jokes that made Bear laugh. After a couple of minutes, he felt back in place.
"Ok, I-I'm ok now, let's go get married," he said.
The three of them went to the doorway,
"After you bro," Jordan said, slightly hopping from foot to foot looking as excited as he was to wake Bear up all over again. Bear took a deep breath in and turned the door handle. As the door opened, golden light flooded the room as Bear stepped through the door with Jordan and Dix close behind him. Dorothy was waiting at the entrance. Bear linked his arm into his mother's and they walked down the aisle overlooking the city of the grand city of Tia Auras; Vardaesia. The golden lake at the bottom of the aisle glowed from the three red moons for suns. Down the bottom next to the lake, Bear could see everybody waiting as they saw him coming. He could see Declan dressed in a white tux, a black tie with the black and white spotted rose pinned to his coat. Kaiden was wearing the same white tux and black tie, but his suit was lined with silver instead of gold. Alex stood next to Kaiden in the same silver dress as Dix, her brunette hair braided to one side, she held a bouquet of native flowers to the land including laendra.
Zaylin was standing in the middle, wearing a silver circlet around her forehead and diamonds on her brows, and a silver dress and cloak to represent that she was the empress. She had a hand around Evie's shoulder as she stood next to her with a white pillow with two small sparkling objects on it. Declan had a huge smile on his face, his eyes glowed with the same light from the lake. As the aisle ended Declan took Bear's hands in his and Dorothy took her seat with the rest of the family. Jordan and Dix took their place on the left-hand side of Bear.
"Let the wedding commence," Zaylin said.
The wedding went forward and it was something. Zaylin went through with a speech and it finally came to the 'I do's'.
"Declan Stirling," Zaylin said. "Do you take Barnold Ronnigan to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
"I do," he said.
"And you Barnold Ronnigan take Declan Stirling to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
"I do," Bear said. "Today, tomorrow and forever."
They each took a ring from the pillow Evie held. Bear had found a ring that had the inscription 'I'm always there for you and I'll always love you' in all the languages Bear could think of making it look like it had some creative design to it. As he slipped his ring onto Declan's left ring finger, Declan slipped his onto Bear's left ring finger. As soon as Bear saw the ring he knew that this was the reason for Gammy and Declan little interaction. The ring on Bear's finger was none other than his own father's. It was William's ring. It was a bright silver metal with faint golden spots. Seeing the metal Bear realise that the metal was the precious one from Meya, myrox.
"You may kiss the groom," Zaylin said. So they did long and well cheered for by the people around them. When they pulled away their eyes locked and their foreheads touching. All Bear wanted to do was to kiss his husband all over again.
"Save it for the honeymoon guys," Jordan said as if reading Bear's mind. "Let's get on with the party."
Nobody could stop themselves from laughing at the comment even after an eye roll earned from the four friends and a punch in the gut by Dix.
"All right then, let's party!" Bear announced while dragging Declan back up the aisle, holding hands, knowing that this life with his husband that Bear wanted. And what a life they were going to have.
The party was amazing. After the ceremony, everybody was brought back to Medora and to Woodhaven to celebrate. 'On the House' and everybody, there had the time of their lives. Sally had made barrels full of her famous dillyberry juice, old Ben was telling stories and serving snacks. The party had kicked off with Conner O'Mealy being DJ and doing a fast beat song. Declan sat with Bear in front row seats watching everybody having a blast.
Declan couldn't help but stare at his newly married husband who looking amazing as ever. A wide smile spread across his face, his hair was slightly messy from the morning breeze. Before long a slow song came on and Declan took Bear by the hand and led him to the dance floor. They waltzed in the middle, not once breaking eye contact. The others joined in after the newly wed couple had made their first round of the floor. Dix and Jordan twirled through the song and Jordan only stood on his girlfriends' toes several times. Alex and Kaiden danced beautifully like they were made for each other but everyone agreed that however gracefully they danced, Bear and Declan danced better. They could see the hours of work put into each step, each turn, everything. They danced for each other and only for each other. The world was a million miles away and nothing could intrude on the passion they shared at that moment.
When the song ended it was time for dinner, everybody gathered on the dance floor. Declan stood with Alex's bouquet in his hands. The air buzzed with excitement as everyone waited to see the result of the bouquet toss. Declan threw the flowers high and they came down into Alex's waiting hands. She turned and passed the flowers to Dix who stood behind her.
"Uh... Alex?" she said. "What are you doing?"
Alex just grabbed her shoulders and turned her around. The princess's hand flew to her mouth and she gasped. In front of her, Jordan was down on one knee. In his hand was a small box holding a beautiful gold ring with a perfectly cut diamond in the middle.
"Delucia Carvelle, you make me happier than anybody in this world, will you marry-." He was cut off because Dix had pulled him to his feet and kissed him. The crowd cheered so loud that a flock of birds were startled into the air as they celebrated the new royal couple. After dinner and dessert, dancing was back on, but Declan didn't really feel it nor did Bear. They went out the back and onto the roof watching the night sky as they did two years ago on their first date.
The rest of the night was a daze. Declan probably overdosed on dillyberry juice, no, he most definitely overdosed. He woke up in bed to the light coming through the window from the rising of the sun. He was shirtless, but still wearing his white - now with a splash of purple - wedding jeans. A muffled voice came from the other side of the bed, Declan rolled over to find the voice Bear, his shaggy hair was messy and roughed up from sleeping. He had changed into a simple grey shirt, but he too was still in his black wedding jeans. Declan couldn't help but smile at the sight of his husband. He kissed Bear on the forehead, before rolling out of bed to look at the view out the window to find somehow they had been transported to his own house. The sun was nearly up, Declan just smiled and jumped back into bed, snuggling up next to his husband, wrapping his massive arms around him and pulling him in close. With a few mumbled words from Bear that sounded something like 'What time is it?' or 'Do we have to wake up?' Declan could even muster a thought rather than a sentence.
'In a few hours,' he thought knowing really they had all the time in the world.