Title: The Wedding
A/N: A great deal of thanks to Rachel for all her help and encouragement throughout this series. I hope you guys enjoy the final chapter. If you wish me to write a sequel, let me know in the reviews of this chapter.
In less then traditional style, the invitations to Fiona and Bling's wedding were sent via email to elevate the stress of paper choice and design. Their house was to be the site of the wedding and reception and with only a few family and friends invited, it wasn't hard to transform for a day or two. Many debates went into whom from the Cale side would be invited to the gathering. It was established that Marianne and Bennett were welcome, on the condition that no mention of the occasion be mentioned to his parents, Bennett having always been Fiona's favorite cousin. Becky and her husband Robert flew in with baby Fiona along with the O'Connors. Original Cindy and Max housed the O'Connors while Logan took on Becky and crew. Bling had his hands full with his own family's arrival. His mother and cousin, Aaron, stayed with him at his apartment. The short notice the couple gave limited the number of people so could attend making the couple happy and sad at the same time.
Logan hosted the rehearsal dinner at his penthouse. Almost all those who would attend the wedding were invited to join in the festivities. Max and Becky talked over how Cale cooking put all others to shame. Robert gabbed to Bling about the economy with little regard for his lack of interest. The O'Connor's sat speaking with Marianne and Bennett about their recent marriage. Bling's mother and Aaron laughed at Logan's stories of Bling while Fiona played with her baby niece. With all family members enjoying themselves Fiona stole Logan for a few minutes of sibling time.
"So why couldn't we visit out there with everyone else?" he asked entering his bedroom.
"I wanted to talk to you and give you something, alone. No prying eyes," she responded.
"All right lets have it…"
"You remember when we were little and mom would tell us to close our eyes," Fiona said with a shimmer in her eyes.
"Yeah. She would have noticed us eyeing something small that we won't ask for because we knew better then to do that," he said with a laugh.
"When we had forgotten, she would tell us to close our eyes tight and then she would place it in our hand as a surprise."
"I loved that about mom…" Logan said fondly. "I wish… No, I hope they'll be watching over us tomorrow."
"Awe… Look at you getting rid of the cynicism. Now- for what I brought you in here for. Close your eyes and hold out your hand," she said with a smile.
"What are you up to?" he asked.
"Just do it!"
Logan closed his eyes and opened his hand. Fiona put a small ring in the middle of his palm and closed it shut. "Open your eyes," she whispered.
Upon opening his palm, Logan found his sister had placed their mother's engagement ring in his hand. A look of astonishment came round his face and joy flooded to his eyes. "Fiona… You didn't have to…" his voice breaking with emotion.
With tears in her eyes she said, "I know, but I can't think of a better way to include Max in our family… Besides, this is why I came." Her brother looked at her for a moment in question. "I would have come home eventually to be near Bling, but what actually prompted my visit was you asking about this ring."
"When? I don't recall ever asking you about the ring?" he said in confusion.
"You didn't. Maybe a week after your first big fight with Max you were flipping through an old photo album. Bling asked what you were thinking about and you said you were wondering if I still had mother's ring. He called me later that night and mentioned it. I thought if you were squeaking towards a real commitment with Max, it was about time that I made an appearance… I've been waiting for the right time to give it to you. Mom and Dad would have really loved her, Loggie."
A tear descended Logan's cheek as he reached to hug his sister. "Why is it that since I was about twenty five or so you've been the one taking care of me and trying to keep me out of trouble?"
"You don't get it, do you? I love you a lot… Logan, my earliest memory is of being two or three during a loud electrical storm and you checking on me. In good big brother fashion, you stayed with me the rest of the night so I felt safe. I guess I have always looked at that moment as when I first mentally knew I was really loved. You taught me what love looked like. I've been showing you the feeling is mutual ever since… In the last several years, I've had more opportunity to look out for you. Honestly, I'm not known for doing stupid things like you are," Fiona said as she nudged her brother.
"I love you, Fi… I'm really proud of you too. Thank you for the ring. I promise to put it to good use. I've someone in mind to wear it… You think it will fit her?" Logan asked, staring dumbly at the diamond ring in his hand.
"It will actually. I had it sized for you… She has tinier fingers then mom," she said with a smile. "All you really need to do is figure out how to ask and get on one knee."
"Should I not ask how you pulled this off?" Logan asked.
"I took one of her rings,
marked my ring finger with it, and then went to a jeweler. It wasn't hard at
all. Besides, I know you; you'll over think this. I figure tomorrow you'll be
there in a tux, she'll be in a nice dress and our friends will all be around.
No time like the present."
"Now you're just being evil… I can't come up with anything romantic in twenty-four hours!" he said despondently.
"Sure you can! I have seen you whip up flowers and balloons for people you don't even like in minutes… I'm sure you can come up with something great," she said to encourage her brother before noticing his expression. "You look lost in thought. You've come up with something already, haven't you?"
"… Are you doing the Cale family old charm pull?" Logan asked with a wicked grin.
"I told you, you would come up with something great… Let's go see the caterer."
"You're a beautiful bride, sweetheart," Bill O'Connor said holding Fiona's hands, admiring her dress. The dress was made of the same gauze like material her bridesmaids dresses were. In fact it was almost the same, just in white with some beading around the collar. Her veil went down to the middle of her waist and she wore ballerina slippers for comfort. Her blonde hair was long in the back but braided in a crown at the front.
"Thanks Dad. What do you think of my sisters?" Fiona said turning to Max and Becky. Each had their long brown hair done similarly. This being the first wedding Max was ever in, she fidgeted with her shoes quite at bit.
"They look great. All my daughters," he said with tears in his eyes. Bill hugged each girl separately. But when he came to Max he held her chin and said, "I hope this one knows if she wants a dad, I like the role." Max looked into the kind face of the man, who seemed to have adopted the rest of her small immediate family and was now seeking her heart as well. She settled her arms around the man and for a moment allowed the comfort of a real father to fill her before reverting to form. "Let's get this show on the road," he said as they exited the master bedroom.
Chris, from the Cobble Stones, played the piano down stairs, as Becky was the first to descend the stairs toward the hearth where the ceremony would take place. She winked at Bling as she started up the aisle, which caused him to chuckle. Bling was incredibly relaxed with the whole process, his pastor was up there with him, his best friend was standing next to him, and he was about to marry the girl of his dreams. Life was sweet.
Logan, however, was a nervous wreck. Everything was set up for him to propose at the reception and he knew he would go weak in the knees when he saw Max. He held his breath as she descended the stairs, his heart pounded as she came closer. She disturbed his reverie by mouthing 'I love you' with tears in her eyes. She took her place at the front and glanced over at him a few times. It took all of his strength not to interrupt his sister's wedding to kiss his love.
Soon, the occupants of the living room stood as Fiona and Bill stepped down the stairs. Bill joined her hand with Bling's and sat down next to his wife and son in law. Their vows were spoken with great love, affection, commitment and sincerity. Logan did fumble a bit to find Fiona's wedding band, but other then that everything went fine. Bill returned with his wife to tie the couples' hands together with a cord that is used in their family in wedding services to represent the strong commitment of marriage. The pastor presented to newly married couple and soon Bling was picking up his bride to kiss her lips.
"All right pictures then we party!" Fiona announced as she winked at her brother. Logan had Max already on his arm, whom he proceeded to spin around. The bride and groom laughed at the spectacle Logan was making of himself. They both prayed for Max and Logan's sake, Max would not have a 'freak out' moment when Logan proposed.
Lucky for the couple, friends let the family take the pictures quickly and then the real party began. Since most of Max's friends from work had become Fiona's hang out buddies, they all attended the wedding much to Max's satisfaction. Original Cindy was responsible for the gifts and guest book at the front, while Kendra was responsible keeping the wedding on schedule. Sketchy and Herbal enjoyed the surroundings and food. The Cobble Stones were responsible that appropriate music was playing in the back ground at all times, with the back deck used as a dance floor for most. Everyone loved the food, the music, and watching the happy couple together.
Logan definitely was acting uncharacteristically nervous. Max coached him through his toast again. "When my mom was pregnant with Fiona, I wanted a little brother so badly I could taste it. The shock of not getting what I wanted was a good thing because I couldn't have asked for a more caring and understanding sibling. It was afforded me an interesting dilemma being that eventually my sister would chose who my brother would be… My sister's first choice, Ryan, was my best friend in high school and I had to share. This time around I once again get my best friend to be my brother, however my sister is sharing more then I am… I enjoy that. To my best friend and sister, have a long and happy marriage." Max squeezed Logan's hand as he finished.
"You did it… Now you can finally relax," she whispered.
"Yeah… Right…" he said breathing swallowing trying to keep his cool.
Becky and Bill gave toasts as well as the minister. Bling toasted his wife before moving on in the activities. "When I met Fiona, she was married, a student, and pregnant. Obviously not someone I thought I would ever end up married to. I was blessed to know Ryan and she for a few months prior to his passing. I know the love and commitment Ryan had to his Juliet. I was blessed by Fiona's trust of me in her recovery, allowing me to be the one to push her to continue. She's a strong lady and could have easily told me to keep my pep talks to myself- the way her brother did on occasion," the guests chuckled as Bling continued. "I was blessed to be the one she called when she was in need of help and encouragement. Through all the pain my wife has suffered, she allowed me access to the amazing heart of hers. I made a promise to my friend Ryan at his grave when I started dating Fiona that I now make to you: I will love her, cherish her, and give her the 'happy ever after' she deserves. To my beloved bride!" By the end of the toast Fiona was crying along with several other people in the room.
The celebration continued as people relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere. The cake cutting was about to begin and Logan looked like he would jump out of his skin. Fiona quickly sidled up next to him to say, "Hey, she has already told you she'll marry you. Don't worry. Take a deep breath. You're dream is about to come true."
"Thanks. I needed that."
Fiona winked then turned her attention to her guests. "In the Cale family we have a tradition of a cake pull. Small charms are attached to ribbons that are inserted in the cake. Each person pulls a charm and whatever meaning is ascribed to the charm, is what we as a couple wishes for that person. So, people who were in the wedding party or helped with the wedding, please come forward. All right Max stand here, Cindy on her left, Logan on her right, Aaron next to Cindy, Kendra next to Aaron, Chris next to Kendra, and Becky between Chris and Logan," Fiona instructed. "Ok, Logan you start and we'll finish with Max."
Logan started pulling the ribbon attached to a claddagh symbol or hands in hands representing a life full of love, he believed that was a set up. Becky pulled her ribbon attached to the picture frame, symbolizing a happy family. Chris laughed as he pulled a small Eiffel tower from the cake for a life of travel. "I haven't gotten very far so far," he chuckled. Kendra selected the wreath for a contented life. Aaron pulled a small owl from the cake that symbolized wisdom, which Bling contended he needed greatly. Original Cindy removed a rose attached to her ribbon meaning a life of Beauty.
"And our last ribbon belongs to Max, so go on and pull," Fiona said.
Logan stood close by taking deep breathes as her elegant fingers went to the purple ribbon. She tugged at the ribbon and an icing covered engagement ring appeared. She stared for a minute, realizing it was an actual ring and not a charm like the rest. Logan stooped to one knee and waited for Max's gaze to meet his own. The room hushed with gasps of surprise and coos over the romantic approach. "Max, will you do me the honor of being my wife?"
Tears welled in her eyes, as she now understood the nerves that had been present all day in her love. The faintest sound came from her voice, "Yes!" She closed her eyes letting the tears descend her cheeks as she nodded quickly. The cheers of the crowd of friends and family were lost on the couple, who only saw or heard one another. Logan stood up and kissed his fiancée passionately as she still held her engagement ring by the ribbon, getting icing on his coat.
"This is going to being pretty sticky," Logan said as he took the ring from Max. "Sketchy, get me a glass of water!" he demanded before placing the ring in his mouth. The guests broke into laughter watching the squeamish faces Max made as Logan sucked the icing off her ring. Soon enough, the glass of water was passed forward for the ring to get a proper washing and ribbon removal. Once the ring past muster, he placed it on his beloved's finger. "My sister was kind enough to bring our mother's engagement ring to me, so I could in turn give it to my love. I know our parents would have loved to be here today, but I have to believe they are watching over us. So mom, I found my very own smart ass."
Max playfully slapped his chest before being enveloped in his arms. "I love you, Logan. Thank you," she whispered in his ear.
"Nah, thank you. I get to have you with me always… for better, for worse… sickness & health… Lydecker or not," Logan said kissing her.
"Hey Loggie. There is one last ribbon; I must have miss counted. Why don't you pull it?" Fiona called to her brother.
"Why not? So far this cake has been very good to me." Logan grabbed the purple ribbon Fiona had been hiding from view of the others. A silver cradle appeared from the icing. Logan knew very well, this was not one of his parents' charms. He looked at his sister then to Max, who winked at him. "Really?" he mouthed. She nodded. Logan kissed Max with all the emotions he felt. Tears developed in his eyes as he spun his fiancée and mother of his child around.
"Go on girl," Cindy called while Herbal slapped Logan on the back. Cindy and Kendra were with Max when she took the pregnancy test so they had just been trying not to spill. Bling and Fiona chuckled at Logan's enthusiasm over the news.
They approached the couple to congratulate them. "How did…" Logan babbled to his sister.
The amazing Cale smile shone on her face as she began, "Well, Max told me about the little one yesterday morning, trying to explain why she had been so emotional lately. I had already gotten the ring ready so I gave it to you last night. I pushed for you to go ahead and propose, because I didn't want her to tell you about the pregnancy and then worry that the engagement wasn't from the heart. Once you told me how you were going to propose I suggested the cake pull to Max as a way to break the news. She thought she would pull the cradle - thus being the mega surprise… Look at how well it turned out. You both got to surprise each other and everything."
"Fiona, you're amazing…" Max said still teary eyed.
"…and awful," Logan finished the statement, sending his sister into a fit of laughter.
"All right. Enough about you two… It's time to cut the cake," Bling announced over his wife's shoulder.
The cake was cut and distributed, as both couples were given many congratulations. In the end, Bling and Fiona fled the reception accosted by bubbles to set off on their honeymoon, while Max and Logan enjoyed the reverie of the day and the surprises it brought. They looked into each other's eyes and knew the next chapter in their adventure together was just beginning.