Summary: When Emily Hargreaves meets Wyatt and Chris Halliwell, she has no idea how complicated her life is about to become. Set in the changed future. It's about life, love and all of that…
Disclaimer: The characters in Charmed do not belong to me. No infringement is intended, no profit is made. The characters of Emily and Chloe do belong to me though, but they can be borrowed as long as I'm asked first.
Notes: As promised, second part posted with the first. I was in a whimsical frame of mind when I wrote this, so a few of the scenes are a little bit naughty in places. Please therefore be suitably warned.
So here we are at the final curtain, just over fifteen months after it was first raised. Thanks to one and all for taking this journey with me, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Thanks for all the reviews, they're very much appreciated. And, even though Charmed has now gone to that TV Show heaven in the sky, here's hoping you'll stick around for my next Charmed adventure…
Chapter 45 – The Reception – Part 2
Piper and Leo's bedroom, some time later…
"Do I have to take it off?"
Chloe pouted disconsolately as Wyatt buttoned up the navy-blue and white striped shirt that he'd just changed into. He smiled - his wife could be utterly adorable at times even if he did say so himself.
"Well, you could wear it for the entire honeymoon," he said, "But it might be rather on the warm side. Not to mention seriously in the way," he added rather lasciviously.
Chloe let out a naughty little giggle at this, and then finally relented. "All right, I think you've persuaded me," she told him archly.
Sweeping her long mane of blonde hair off her neck, she held it out of the way with one hand. "Unbutton me then," she instructed.
The tiny buttons down the back of the creamy-white wedding dress were decidedly fiddly and Wyatt was soon swearing under his breath in frustration. "Did you really have to pick this particular dress?" he complained.
"Yes," was Chloe's emphatic response, "I thought you liked it?"
"Oh, I do," he hastened to assure her. "I did tell you that, didn't I?"
"Several times," Chloe threw a brilliant smile over her shoulder at him. "In fact, if I recall correctly, you said I was the most beautiful thing in the entire universe."
Wyatt grinned. "So I did – although that's not entirely down to the dress," he said, pressing a moist kiss against the nape of her neck when he finally managed to free her from her wedding gown.
Chloe shrugged out of the dress with an audible sigh of reluctance. "It was perfect, wasn't it?" she said, as she lovingly laid out the ivory satin garment on the bed and reached for the cornflower-blue sundress that she'd chosen as her going-away outfit.
"It did the job," Wyatt told her with a teasing smile. She poked her tongue out at him and he amended his answer with warm chuckle. "More than did the job," he assured her wholeheartedly.
Chloe beamed at him, her violet-blue eyes glowing like two brightly polished amethysts. "You're so nice," she declared, and then turned around and presented her back to him so that he could zip her up.
Wyatt slid the tiny plastic zipper into place, then sat back and watched as Chloe removed her cream, pointy-toed wedding shoes and slipped her feet into a pair of strappy, silver sandals instead. Turning this way and that, she critically appraised her reflection in the mirror, smoothing down the skirt of her dress and adjusting a few wayward strands of her hair until everything was to her satisfaction.
"Ready, Mrs Halliwell?" Wyatt asked once she'd finished her titivating.
"I think so, Mr Halliwell," Chloe confirmed with a nod. "Hand me my bouquet, will you please?"
Wyatt reached behind him and retrieved the cascade of beautifully arranged flowers from the top of the chest of drawers where she'd carefully placed them earlier. "No cheating when you throw them," he cautioned her playfully as he handed them to her.
"Whatever do you mean?" His wife responded in a tone of injured innocence as she took the bouquet from him, "As if I'd do a thing like that!"
Wyatt shot her a knowing look. "You forget, I know you," he told her pointedly.
"I don't see any harm in giving fate a little bit of a helping hand, do you?" Chloe asked with an airy toss of her head.
"Well, I won't tell if you don't," Wyatt replied with a conspiratorial wink as they headed, hand in hand, for the door…
Outside in the garden…
"So – how you holding up?"
Piper looked up to find her three sisters standing over her, all with expressions of gentle sympathy on their faces. "This is a wedding not a funeral," she reminded them tartly, "I'm holding up just fine, thank-you."
"The apron springs have been irrevocably cut now though, haven't they?" Phoebe said shrewdly, as she and Prue sat down on either side of her and Paige perched on the arm of the bench next the elder of the two. "That's got to hurt a little bit."
Piper shrugged. "Maybe, but it's for the best. Have you seen how happy my boy is?"
Her fellow Charmed Ones' nodded in unison. "I think you could officially classify it as cloud nine," Prue remarked with a soft smile.
"Exactly. So how could I – his mother - ever deny him that? It's all I've ever wanted for him."
"And his brother," she added quietly as her gaze sought out her younger son, who was dancing with his girlfriend nearby, his face aglow with happiness.
The song that the young couple were dancing to ended a short while later, and the two of them crossed to join the four sisters just as Leo approached from the opposite direction. "I think Wyatt and Chloe are about ready to leave," the Elder announced.
"Oo, I love this bit!" Phoebe said, jumping to her feet with overzealous enthusiasm.
"An unfortunate throwback to when she was just that little bit desperate," Paige observed wryly to Emily. "She'd have practically murdered someone to catch the bouquet in those days."
"Hey!" Phoebe protested indignantly as Prue, Piper and Leo all laughed. "I wasn't that bad."
"Of course not," Piper said, taking her husband's arm as they made their way round to the front of the Manor. "You only refused to go on a second date if you didn't get a premonition of happily-ever-after from the first!"
"Isn't that personal gain?" Chris asked mildly.
"I think we'll let Phoebe answer that one," Paige decided.
"Err, excuse me, Miss I-conjured-myself-a-sex-toy," Phoebe retorted hotly, "Pot and Kettle or what?"
"Aunt Paige, you didn't!" Chris stared at his youngest Aunt in open-mouthed shock.
"Yes actually - I did," Paige admitted unapologetically, "Although it wasn't quite as sordid as Phoebe makes it sound."
"And you can wipe that look off your face as well," she went on. "I had quite enough of that from your other self, thank-you very much,
"He knew about this?"
"Yes, and he was annoyingly disapproving just like you. I don't know who taught him that personal gain was such a bad thing," she said with an impish, sidelong glance at her sisters.
"Err, I reckon that would be you," Chris replied. "What goes around, comes around, I guess."
Paige wrinkled her nose in chagrin. "Yes, thank-you for stating the obvious."
"Don't mention it," Chris told her with a twinkling smile.
"Of course, he was much more upset over David if I recall correctly," Paige went on, earning herself a slap on the arm from Piper in the process.
"Mom's Mr Right, you mean?" Chris asked.
Phoebe and Paige exchanged a surprised look. "How do you know about that?" the latter asked.
"You gave me the other Chris's diaries, remember?"
"So he mentioned David in them, but not my… well…indiscretion," Paige trailed off, a trifle embarrassed.
Chris grinned. "I think he might have been a little bit more territorial over Mom," he pointed out. "I mean yes, he had his issues with Dad, but he sure as hell didn't want anyone else for a father. He was particularly disparaging over the 'fireman' whoever that was."
"Greg, you mean?" Phoebe said. "He was cute. Although, in relation to Leo…" She threw her brother-in-law a conciliatory smile, "There really was no comparison, I suppose."
"Thanks for the ringing endorsement," Leo said dryly.
"Come on, Leo – you know we love you," Phoebe said in a placating tone, "And besides, all's well that ends well…"
"We still lost him," Leo reminded her pointedly.
Picking up on the hint of reprimand in his tone, Phoebe's expression became stricken. "I know, I didn't mean… You know I didn't mean that."
"I know, I'm sorry," Leo replied soothingly. "It's just today would have never happened if it hadn't been for him." He looked gravely at his son. "And that's no reflection on you by the way," he said.
"It's okay, Dad, I know," Chris said, reaching out and squeezing his father's shoulder ad the Elder was overcome with a wave of unexpected emotion. He smiled gently at his Mom, who also had tears sparking in her eyes. "It's like you said before – you have three sons, right?"
"Right," Piper concurred softly, "All of whom are loved equally," she added, although it didn't really need saying because all three of her sons were - or had been - fully aware of the fact.
She sighed rather sadly and then bravely squared her shoulders and deliberately pushed aside her long-held grief. She knew in her heart-of-hearts that this is what her lost son would have wanted. He'd fought so hard for a better future. They were dishonouring his memory if they didn't live every last moment of it to the max. With that in mind, she led her family through the open front door and into the entrance hall, where Wyatt and Chloe were waiting at the foot of the staircase ready to take those ceremonial first steps along the twisting but ultimately rewarding road of married life.
Her eldest son grinned happily at her as she approached. "Hey Mom!" he said as he drew her into a warm hug.
"Hey you!" she returned affectionately. "Now, don't you go worrying about things here, all right?" she said as she stepped back. "We'll handle the Carolina situation for you."
"All right," Wyatt agreed, albeit with a degree of reluctance. "Make sure you call me if you need anything though."
"We'll be fine," she assured him, and then stood on her tiptoes and kissed him with loving affection. "I love you, sweetie. Now, go and enjoy your honeymoon or I might just have to ground you."
Wyatt chuckled. "I'll try my best," he promised her with a merry little twinkle in his eye. "And I love you too in case you didn't already know."
Piper kissed and hugged him again for good measure, then turned towards her new daughter-in-law and held out her hands in invitation. Chloe took them in hers, leaned forward and kissed her lightly on the cheek.
"Thanks for everything, Piper," she said sincerely. "The whole day has been absolutely perfect."
"You're welcome, honey," Piper replied. "Although I really think it should be me thanking you…" She glanced over to where Wyatt was bidding a jovial farewell to other members of the family. "You've made my boy very happy."
"He makes it easy," Chloe said with a demure little blush.
Piper nodded. "It's still a lot to take on though," she said with reference to her son's magical destiny.
"Sometimes," Chloe admitted candidly, "But I happen to believe he's worth it, so…"
She left the statement hanging but there was no doubt as to her meaning. Piper smiled and hugged her with gratitude. "Welcome to the family, sweetie," she said, her voice vibrant with warm affection.
After she and Wyatt had finished saying their goodbyes to their respective families, Chloe retreated halfway up the stairs with her husband in tow, and brandished her bouquet with a dramatic flourish.
"Okay girls. Come and get it!" she called out.
There was general confusion and laughter as all the single women gathered at the foot of the staircase for the traditional bouquet scrum. Carefully noting all their positions, Chloe turned her back to them and took aim.
"A little to the left," Wyatt murmured under his breath to her.
She shot him a twinkling smile, closed her eyes, and then launched the flowers high up into the air to the tune of cheers from the throng below …
"Perfect!" Wyatt declared in satisfaction, and his wife turned to face him with a happy little whoop.
"And I believe this…" She paused for dramatic effect as she pulled back the hem of her skirt and revealed the frilly garter around her left thigh. "Is yours to distribute, my husband."
Wyatt grinned at her, knelt at her feet and ceremonially removed the garter amidst hooting catcalls and whistles from the watching guests. Standing back up, he placed the white lacy circlet in the centre of his upraised palm, pursed his lips and blew on it. The garter disappeared in a swirl of blue lights - but to where was anyone's guess.
Ignoring the resulting storm of protest from the expectant audience below, Wyatt reached out and pulled his wife into the circle of his arms. "Time to leave, I think," he told her firmly.
Chloe giggled as he rubbed his nose against hers in an affectionate Eskimo kiss. "Where'd you orb it?" she asked as she snuggled in closer to him and wrapped her arms tightly around his middle.
Wyatt grinned. "I'll tell you later," he promised, and then lowered his lips to hers and orbed them both out as they kissed…
Much later, Emily's apartment…
Barefoot but still clad in her sapphire-blue bridesmaid's dress, Emily placed the bouquet of ivory flowers in the vase of water that she'd just brought in from the kitchen.
"She aimed for me deliberately, you know," she said to Chris as he came up behind her, wrapped his arms about her waist, and rested his chin on her bare shoulder.
"I know," he said, turning his head and trailing a series of gentle kisses up the side of her neck, his intentions clear - and distinctly on the dishonourable side.
"What I want to know though, is what the hell Wyatt did with that garter?" Emily continued conversationally, even as she arched her neck to encourage his ardent exploration.
Chris chuckled in her ear as he nuzzled affectionately at her temple, his lips warm and moist against her skin. "I think I have an idea," he said in a low, liquid tone of voice.
"You do?" Emily said, leaning back against him and coiling her arm around his neck. She turned her head so that she could look up into his face.
Never one to pass up the opportunity, Chris kissed her slowly and sensually. "Yep," he murmured when he finally lifted his mouth from hers.
His green eyes sparkling with merriment, he reached down and curled his fingers into the blue satin material of her dress, then slowly began to draw the skirt upwards, exposing her ankle, calf and knee and finally her lower thigh. Emily's mouth dropped open in indignation as she spotted the telltale item circling her left leg.
"I swear – I'm going to kill him!" she exclaimed as Chris began to laugh at his brother's impudence.
"It's not funny!" she admonished him crossly..
Still laughing, Chris span her around in his arms, pulled her close and silenced her with a dizzying kiss…
Somewhere in the Underworld…
"Are you sure this is what you want to do?"
Heather looked at her sister rather dubiously, her eyes narrowed in concern.
"Yes." Carolina's nod of confirmation was emphatic. "This way they'll never find me."
"But what if…?"
"Don't 'what if' me, Heather. Please. You know what you have to do. Just stick to what we agreed and everything will be fine. I'll contact you when I'm ready."
Heather nodded. "Okay," she agreed somewhat reluctantly. She sighed. "I'm gonna miss you, you know."
"We don't have time for that kind of sentiment," Carolina said brusquely. "Once the wedding is over, those infernal Halliwells will be on our tail before we know it. We have to be prepared."
"All right, I know!" Heather said irritably. "I was just saying."
Carolina's hard-edged expression softened slightly. "I'm sorry. It's just this hasn't quite turned out how I envisaged." She paused for a moment and then a triumphant gleam entered her eye. "Although, in retrospect, that might just be a blessing in disguise…" she went on.
"How do you figure that?" Heather asked grumpily, her lips set in a sulky pout.
Carolina smiled; a smile full of evil promise. "Wait and see. I may just surprise you yet…" she said.
But to be continued in the sequel: 'A Rift in Time' coming to a website near you soon…
A/N2: Hey everybody, just a few more words from me and then I'll shut up! LOL!
I have to admit it was a bit of a snap decision during the writing of this chapter to finish it here, so I hope the ending doesn't seem too abrupt. It was my original intention to end the story with Wyatt and Chloe's wedding, but I changed my mind later on because I thought there were a few too many loose ends to tie-up – the Carolina/Heather storyline being the main one. Trouble is, it was then difficult to give the story a proper ending, so I've decided to weave those loose ends into the storyline for the sequel instead!
As for the sequel: Please take a quick look at my profile page because it contains some important information about it and my other stories. Anyway, better get back to work on the much-neglected False Memories. Thanks again for taking the time and the trouble to read this story. Love to one and all.