4 Months Later- September 4th, Saturday
"Anyone have any alcohol?" Eddy asked, his voice tight and shaking, sweat beading on his brow.
"No. Now quit acting like an idiot so we can get this wedding started and we can get out of these friggin monkey suits." I complained, causing the stout, green around the gills groom to sulk.
"You just want to see Chelsea in her bridesmaid dress." Ed accused from the corner of the room, grinning at the both of us.
"Or out of it." Eddy added, leering jokingly.
"Ugh. You two suck." I groaned shifting uncomfortably in my tux. Although they were both right. The last couple of months in Italy were rough. I enjoyed my time with my great aunt… just not how perceptive she seemed to be whenever I tried to make a move on my girlfriend. Chelsea and I haven't had a moment alone in more than six weeks. I was pent up. We couldn't even mess around on the flight home as Aunt Isabel flew with us to go to this wedding. Our friends had really made an impression on her and she was floored when the invite came.
A knock on the door had us jumping in surprise and Eddy couldn't help but laugh when we heard Lee shout through the door. "Hurry up! I'm ready to get walkin', baby!"
She walked off, her heels clacking in the marble hallways of the Catholic Church. I gave Eddy a pointed look. "Do you have any idea how enraged she would be if you kissed her with booze on your breath?"
Eddy raised his hand, finger extended, his mouth open and squeaked before he cleared his throat and turned away flushed. "Okay, guys! Let's go!" He walked off without a snarky comeback, Ed and I trailing after him laughing.
My friend, the no-longer-nervous-groom, made his way to the alter to wait for his bride. I waited for the main doors to close and gaped as Lee stepped around, arm linked through her father's in his Marine military dress uniform. I now knew where she got her red hair since I knew that Mrs. Kanker was blonde, like May and Marie (who had constantly dyed her hair blue). But Lee… wow. She looked amazing.
I expected her to have some sort of modernized flowing and poofy white princess dress with the way she had been talking to Chelsea… but she didn't. She had (what Chelsea later explained as) a floor-length, white silk sheath dress with a small train. It had a plunging neckline and long sleeves that came to a lacy point at her middle knuckles. It looked like a modern Victorian style dress, with minimal pearl beading around the lacey sleeves and the train.
"You look fantastic." I said and was pleased to see her blush nearly dark enough to match her hair, which was pulled up in stylish, curly disarray. I wasn't surprised to see a tiara instead of a veil, though. It suited her. "Where's Chel…" the words died in my throat as she stepped around the corner with a giggling May.
"We ready?" May asked and Lee nodded quickly bouncing on her feet.
"Breathe, honey." Mr. Kanker said, grinning at his suddenly nervous daughter.
"Fffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck." Lee breathed out in exaggeration causing everyone to laugh.
Her dad rolled his eyes and sighed, trying not to grin. "Don't swear in the church." He huffed.
The whole exchange was barely noticed by me, who was too busy staring and gawping at Chelsea in her royal blue bridesmaid dress. It looked like a saucy little cocktail dress with a childish flare. The top was form fitting, cleavage enhancing distraction while the skirt was merely strips of the same fabric along with strips of a gauzy see-through material a slightly darker blue than the rest of the dress. Her shoes… good God, her shoes. The sexiest pair of blue kitten heels I had ever seen.
When I looked at her face, my chest tightened and my heart started hammering beneath my tux shirt. That dress made her blue eyes pop and I don't think I had ever realized quite how much I needed her. Not just sexually, you deviants… but yeah, that, too. Before I had realized what I was doing, I was being tugged away from her by a laughing May.
"Double D, if you ruin her makeup before the ceremony, I'll slap you stupid." May joked. I blinked and offered a toothy grin, shrugging.
"Can you blame me? To me, she's the most beautiful woman in the world." I said and winked at my blushing girlfriend.
"Pffft, then what am I?" Lee jokingly pouted.
I gave her a wide-eyed fearful look. "Off limits." I answered immediately and she threw her head back in laughter.
"Good answer, little brother." She said and cracked her neck. "There's the music. May, Ed. You two first, remember?" She ordered needlessly as May and Ed were already waiting for the door to open with arms linked and cheerful smiles in place. Lee and Mr. Kanker stayed just out of view as the doors opened and closed letting our friends/siblings go first.
I offered my arm to Chelsea and smiled down at her, my heart still in overdrive for some strange reason. When the doors opened and she adjusted her bouquet, it hit me. I was wishing this was us right now. That we were the ones getting married. Holy. Balls.
When we reached the alter, I leaned down and kissed her cheek, whispering, "I love you," in her ear before parting and standing with Ed and Eddy. Then the music changed again and half the church burst out laughing, bridal party especially, as the first minute of "Somebody To Love" by Queen played. At the beginning of the song, as soon as Eddy saw Lee, his jaw dropped before he began grinning like a fool, tears slowly leaking from his eyes. As he accepted her hand from Mr. Kanker, he leaned down and kissed her knuckles above her engagement ring. They mouthed "Love you," to one another before turning to face the priest so they could begin.
The ceremony passed in a blur, the first tension breaker being a small child blurting out in the first minute: "Mommy, what's Holy Mallory?" causing everyone to chuckle, including the young priest.
"Matrimony." She whispered and then hushed him, looking around mouthing her apologies.
When the words: "You may now kiss the bride," finally were said, I had to put my hands behind my back to keep from reaching for Chelsea. The priest cleared his throat and Lee and Eddy blushingly stopped trying to swallow the other. They seemed to have forgotten the rest of the guests in their excitement and passion.
I remember escorting my love down the aisle and sharing a look with Aunt Isabel. A rather important, though wordless, exchange occurred and she grinned, nodding. During pictures (before heading to the reception venue) I made sure to speak with Lee and Eddy, gaining their approval and permission first before walking over to Isabel and speaking with her, getting what I needed. It was the second time she and I had had a conversation of this nature.
At dinner, anyone who wanted to, and those of us like the Best Man and Maid of Honor who were expected to, made speeches and reminisced. After the Bride and Groom had their first official dance as spouses, I nervously led a confused Chelsea to the center of the dance floor while a grinning Lee and smirking Eddy waggled their brows at me. I swallowed and pulled at my collar nervously before patting my breast pocket, making sure I hadn't lost it. Zia was practically bouncing in excitement and my parents seemed to suddenly get what was going on; my mother burst into tears (quietly, thank God) and my father had a soft smile on his face as he hugged Mom to him gently.
I swallowed thickly and pulled both of Chelsea's hands into mine, kissing the back of each. "Chelsea, you know I love you, right?" She cocked her head to the side curiously and smiled.
"Of course. I love you, too, Eddward." She said, and blushed when we heard a couple of exclamations of: "Awwwwww!"
I nodded at the DJ and he started playing the song I requested and pulled Chelsea into a waltz as I sang along softly to her. "She whispers till I'm asleep and I'm
Feeling love I've never recalled and I
Know she's always on my side
"The bluest eyes that always see through me
The gentle girl who's strong when she needs to be
And I still can't believe she's mine…
"She tears down my walls and leaves me defenseless
She cradles my heart with her hands
And still to this day she still leaves me breathless
She's always my number one fan…
"She's perfect, she's selfless
She's all I'd hoped she'd be
She's hopelessly honest
And she's everything to me…
"And we'll sleep straight through to the afternoon
Her sweet love spell left from her last perfume
And she knows she's always on my mind…
"She loves cats and just about everything
I love her voice even though she's afraid to sing
And she knows just how to keep me in line…
"She carries herself with the greatest respect and
I don't come close to the same
Despite what she's doing I'm never neglected
I still don't know how we became…
"She's perfect, she's selfless
She's all I'd hoped she'd be
She's hopelessly honest
And she's everything to me…"
She was crying, and I felt bad for making her cry, but the beautiful smile on her face reassured me these were happy tears. When I dropped to one knee, she gasped, her mouth dropping into a small 'o' and her eyes wide with shock and I squeezed her hands in reassurance.
"Chelsea, there is nothing or no one that is more important to me than you. We've been through Hell and back and we're still here." I paused and kissed her hands again. "Witnessing Eddy and Lee pledging to one another has only made me even more sure that I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy, arguing with you, laughing with you, loving you…" I pulled the ring from my pocket and held it out for her perusal. "This ring has been in my family for over a century, and each marriage that it was used in was full of life and love. And knowing how important family is to the both of us, I thought it only appropriate and so very us if I proposed to you with something so special and important. Chelsea, will you marry me?" I barely finished saying the last word before she threw herself at me, covering my face in kisses.
We were both laughing, and I was glad I hadn't landed on my back like Eddy had when he'd proposed to Lee. "Of course, I will, D! Oh, my God! I love you so much!" She giggled through her tears. I slipped the ring on her finger and breathed a sigh of relief. It was almost a perfect fit. Just a little big but I had a feeling that wouldn't be a problem.
It looked perfect on her. A simple gold band with a smattering of tiny diamonds surrounding a large heart shaped Amethyst. It really was quite pretty. The cheering around us nearly deafened me and I was pulled away from my intended by Eddy who was laughing and clapping me on the shoulder.
"Good job, Sock Head. I knew she'd say yes." He smiled at me and chucked me under the chin like a favorite uncle might. "You two are good together. You treat her like I treat my Lee, you hear me? You may be my best friend, but she's my little sister." Not two seconds later, Chelsea hugged Eddy tightly, still crying and thanking him.
"Alright! That's enough!" Lee hollered, laughing and smiling hugely. "Time for the Electric Slide!" And the DJ complied, sending several people excitedly rushing to the dance floor, Lee and I helping Chelsea figure out the steps easily enough. She had it down pat within moments.
Lee and Eddy made their goodbyes and escaped at twilight and Chelsea and I continued to party with the rest of the guests well into the night. As we helped clean up, I couldn't help but gape at May and Ed drunkenly making out in a dark corner.
"Well, that was unexpected." I said blinking in shock.
Chelsea looked over her shoulder to where I couldn't help but stare. "Wait, I thought she fancied fanny…" She mumbled and I frowned.
"What?" I couldn't have heard that right. What the hell did that mean.
Chelsea giggled and covered her mouth. "I didn't mean to say that out loud." I poked her side as we threw the last of the trash away and let the janitors clean up the rest of the big stuff as agreed. "Fanny… you know… pussy." She whispered, mortified.
I groaned and adjusted my slacks at the word she just uttered in the context in which she meant it. Then it hit me. "Wait, you thought she was a lesbian?"
Chelsea folded her arms and rolled her eyes. "Her girlfriend during the school year sort of left me with that impression." I put my arm around her shoulder and chuckled.
"I guess she plays on both sides of the playground." I joked sending her into a fit of laughter. We made our way home, me driving since we had been too busy to get Chelsea her driver's license yet, so she indulged in way more champagne than anyone had noticed… except me. I finally managed to force her to drink water for the last two hours and she was almost completely back to being sober. I hoped she wouldn't have a headache when she woke up because I wasn't planning on letting my new fiancé sleep for at least another couple of hours.
My mind and heart were still reeling that she wasn't just my girlfriend any more. She had agreed to marry me. I knew we were young and while cleaning we had agreed on a decently length'd engagement, so we weren't rushing into it as soon as she hit eighteen… though I wouldn't be opposed to it. We were going to be as smart about it as possible… but if I didn't get her wrapped around me soon I was going to implode.
We didn't even make it to my bed. I had her pushed up against my bedroom door, panties dangling from one ankle with her legs (heels and all) wrapped around my waist, slacks around my knees, and both of us crying out at the contact as we made hard, passionate love. Neither of us lasted very long. Ten minutes later, clothes thrown haphazardly on the floor, we were at it again, only this time in the bed. It was slower that time. Sweeter. Amazing.
"I love you." I breathed, shuddering as she tightened around me in pulses, pulling me over the edge with her.
"I love you, too." She panted after a minute. We both started laughing and I held her tightly. "To coin a phrase from Lee, 'You give good cuddle.'" She snorted and I couldn't help but chuckled, nipping at her shoulder playfully.
"Good cuddle, huh? Is that all?" I asked obnoxiously.
"Compliments are not salmon. Quit fishing for them." She deadpanned.
"Fuck." I dropped my forehead to her shoulder while she cackled.
9 YEARS LATER
"Where are they going?" Eddy asked in amusement.
I grinned and stretched, cracking open my soda. "Lee promised painting."
Eddy sighed as a tiny little boy with dark red hair climbed into his lap. He looked down at the boy who looked like a small red-headed version of himself and grinned. "DJ, is Mommy letting everyone use my paints again?" Pop, thumb went right into the kid's mouth as he shook his head and then yawned around his thumb.
DJ held up his other hand and wiggled his chubby little fingers. He was only three years old as of a week ago and cute but exceptionally mischievous.
"Finger paints?" I supplied helpfully and DJ nodded happily, snuggling up to his father and promptly falling asleep. We'd all just finished dinner and it was his bedtime. He is the youngest out of Lee and Eddy's brood of four. Vincent was their oldest who they had funnily enough conceived on their honeymoon. Followed by identical twin girls with strawberry blonde hair, Milly and Mercedes.
I heard crying over the baby monitor, Eddy calling out: "Not it!" I sighed, getting up with a grunt and a stretch.
Chelsea was already in the nursery by the time I got there. "How's he doing?" I asked as she changed our four month old son's diaper.
"Good." She murmured and sighed when our other child began to cry. "Can you get Bel?"
I nodded and changed our daughter's diaper. "You getting their bottles?" She nodded and left momentarily. Our twins, Christopher Eddward and Isabel Lee, were the blessed product of mine and Chelsea's blood, thanks to Lee being a surrogate for us after she decided to stop having any more kids.
"Four is more than enough and I want you two to be able to know the joys that we have." She had told us emotionally as Chelsea bawled her eyes out, thanking Lee over and over again. Don't get me wrong, I cried, too… but I wasn't bawling… a lot… in front of anyone… maybe.
Eddy and Lee loved California so much that they decided to move there permanently. Lee is Eddy's manager and helps him run his gallery. After graduating from MIT, I was offered a fantastic contract with an equally fantastic company as their lead architect. In California. We married in Italy at Isabel's home before moving down the street from our best friends. Sometimes things just work out in an awesome way. My parents are renting out our house on the cul-de-sac and moved out to live closer to us and their grandbabies. Life was good.
It wasn't easy, though. Far from it. We struggled at first. A lot. We even lost our first apartment when my company started to go belly up and moved in with Eddy and Lee for a little while. The economy had taken a serious nose dive. Then all of a sudden, I started sending out designs again in a fit of desperation. I sold six of the thirteen designs and put the company back on the grid. We started getting more and more commissions. I was promoted, offered a substantial raise and benefits and we bought a large house at a steal and I got all the necessary papers to revamp and fix up the place.
I did the same for Lee and Eddy just down the street a ways. Things are still tough from time to time, not financially, but having twins doesn't make anything easy. But it's always worth it. Always. As I watched my beautiful wife feed our son while I fed our daughter, I couldn't imagine anything better. I thought back to the first time I had seen her…
She had thrown herself into my mother's arms at the airport in London. Eyes red from sleepless nights and misery at having just lost all of her family. I knew then that she needed my family. I just didn't realize how much I would need her. Even though I didn't know it then, it really was love at first sight.
A/N: And that's all she wrote. I guess I could have made it longer but it's already longer than 3300 words and I'm feeling like this is a happy and satisfying conclusion. I really hope you guys like this. I'm also hoping to crack the 100 review mark! Pleeeeeaaaaaase? *begs* Anywhosinburger, you guys rock for sticking this out with me. Love you lots.