Disclaimer: I don't own Left Behind. All the characters belong to the people at Left Behind. I'm merely a fan.
"Vick, Vicki. Wake up, babe." Judd Thompson leaned down and gently kissed his fiancé on the forehead.
"Huh? What- what am I doing out here?" Vicki Byrne looked around. She was in the reading room, on the couch, with the hottest guy she had ever met leaning back from having just kissed her.
"You fell asleep out here last night. Remember?"
"Oh, yeah. Me and Darrion were talking and then we just sat there staring at the fire and she dozed off. Next thing I know, you're here waking me up."
Judd grinned. "Well, happy birthday." Vicki sat up suddenly.
"It is? Oh, yeah! How could I forget?"
"That's a very good question. C'mon. I'm hungry. Are you?" Judd picked Vicki up and started walking towards the kitchen.
"Yes, I am." She wrapped her arms around his neck, nuzzling it.
"Well, Miss I'm-Finally-18-Years-Old, let's see what there is..."
"Oh, man!" Judd grinned as he put Vicki down. "This is for me? But, I- hey! Wait a minute. Are those wedding decorations?"
"Yep. Sure are," Mark answered.
"Oh, Judd! You mean we can have our wedding today? Oh, why didn't you tell me! I have to-"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, baby. I didn't tell you because we're not." Vicki's face fell. "Hey, I said two more weeks, right? That's only a week and a half away now."
"I know, I know..." Judd and Mark exchanged glances.
"Say, gorgeous, you wanna open a few presents? Maybe that'll cheer you up a bit."
"Okay. Yeah, that sounds cool. But, can we wait until after breakfast? I'm starving!"
"Sure," Melinda said. "In fact breakfast is one of your presents. Ta-dah." Janie opened the door to the dining room. It had the table, decked out with a white, lace-trimmed tablecloth, covered with all kinds of breakfast foods. French toast, scrambled eggs (still hot), biscuits, milk, orange juice. Everything.
"Wow! Thanks you guys!"
"Yeah," Judd said, "the food's from the girls and the decorations are from us guys. And, I've got a gift for my favorite fiancé-"
"I'd better be your only fiancé."
"Good point. Anyways, I know you'll love it the best." Judd handed her an envelope.
"Uh-huh. Something wrong with that?"
"Well, no. But you made it sound like jewelry, or-"
"It's better than jewelry, but I think we can arrange for some on the side."
"You made it sound...priceless."
"Maybe that's 'cause it is."
"Open it would ya, Vick?" Darrion nearly shouted with anticipation.
"Okay, okay." Vicki carefully opened the envelope, watching everyone out of the corner of her eye. Darrion was nearly jumping up and down, as were Melinda and Janie. Mark had this knowing look on his face. Lionel and Conrad were a mixture of both, meaning they were almost jumping up and down with knowing looks on their faces. Then there was Judd. He was just standing there, arms crossed, looking at her intently. She paused and looked up at him. She saw the twinkle in his eye and knew that he was right. This would be a priceless gift. Simply because it was from him.
She finally got it opened and pulled the card out. It said: (front)"To the love of my life"; as she opened it, something fell out. She picked it up. (inside)"I'm glad God gave me you/Because without out you, what would I do? Happy Birthday, babe. Your Tough Guy. PS- Enjoy your coupons. Make sure you read everything in the book. There are dates that tell when certain coupons are valid."(back)"Underground Publishers." She grinned as she opened the coupon book. The first one said "This coupon hereby entitles its holder, Vicki Byrne, to one secret from her fiancé, Judd Thompson. Valid until their marriage ceremony."
"Well, can I take advantage of one right now, 'Tough Guy'?"
"Okay, out with a secret. And I want a big juicy one, too." Judd grinned. Everyone else started laughing.
"Well, I know you'll love this one," Judd started after everyone had calmed down.
"Though, I guess it's more of a surprise than a secret-"
"More surprises!" She said in mock horror.
"Well, if you don't mind, how would you like to have the wedding sooner than we agreed on?" Vicki's face lit up.
"Well, do you think you could just wait-no, that's too much to ask you, I couldn't do that-"
"Well, would you mind terribly if I made you wait until tomorrow afternoon?" Vicki was speechless.
"Really?" she said just barely above a whisper.
"Oh, Judd!" Vicki ran right to him and he swung her around in his arms. "You were right. This gift was priceless."
All of the other coupons were things like, "one meal, cooked by me (Judd), to you (Vicki)", "one back rub", "one needed talk", and "one evening un-interrupted alone with me (Judd)." I'll definitely have to take advantage of these. ASAP! She thought.
They had decided that they would try to make it as much like a real wedding as they could. This entailed the bride and groom not seeing each other on the wedding day until they met at the altar. There had been last minute invitations delivered by Conrad and Melinda to the adult Trib Force. They explained that...
"Judd and Vicki would like you to pose as their minister, Mr. Ben-Judah, sir."
"Well, I suppose I shall have to go. Is everyone else welcome?"
"Yes, of course, they want everyone there."
"Oh, Darrion, are you sure?"
"Of course I am, Vick. Z found this dress just for you. He said to think of it as an early wedding present."
"I thought that wedding presents were for the bride AND the groom..."
"They are. You get to wear the dress and feel absolutely gorgeous, while Judd gets to see you in the dress. Looking absolutely gorgeous."
"I'll give you that, Darrion. What music did we finally decide on?"
"I think we narrowed it down to Crystal Lewis' Kiss and Tell and Carmen's I Promise. Judd said he didn't care and that you could pick."
"Kiss and Tell. The song plays right before the kiss, so I think it's appropriate, don't you?"
"Yeah, that's the one I was starting to lean towards."
"Checking in at 11:30 am. You on schedule, Vick?" Melinda said, walking in.
"Yeah. Go ahead with the make over. It's now or never."
"Okay you guys. I'm already burning up and I've barely had this thing on for ten minutes!"
"Relax, dude," Mark said to Judd. "At least all you have to do is wear a tux. Vick has to wear a dress- when was the last time she did that?- and make up- and when did she last do that?- and have her hair done."
"Yeah, I guess."
"Unca Dudd!" Little Kenny Bruce ran in squealing, with his father, Buck Williams, hot in pursuit.
"Whoa! Hey, Kenny!" Judd scooped the youngster up, tossed him in the air, then returned him safely to his father's arms.
"Thanks, Judd. How's it goin'?"
"Good, good. I just have to-"
"Yo, man. It's 11:40. Twenty minutes and counting," Conrad interrupted looking at his watch.
"Ten minutes and counting, girlfriend," Janie nearly shouted, rushing into Vicki's dressing room. "I just finished putting all the food out. Tables, decorations, and food. Check, definite check and major check."
"Great," Vicki looked at her in the mirror. "Now maybe you could save the day by doing something nice with my hair?"
"I think I can help with that." Vicki grinned as Chloe Williams stepped into the room.
"Five til'." Rayford Steele said looking at his watch. Everyone was in the reading room. Everyone except Lionel, who was playing messenger, and of course the bride and groom.
"Judd, c'mon. Vicki's in her room waiting for me to go get her."
"Okay, here goes nothin'..."
"Except the crux of your love life," Lionel muttered.
There were no bride's maids or groomsmen. The only people in the ceremony were, of course, Judd, Vicki, Tsion Ben-Judah (posing as minister), and Lionel (posing as Vicki's brother; who'd give her away to Judd). Everyone turned around as Judd walked through the doors. The doors were immediately closed behind him. He walked down the "aisle" to the "altar" which was just where Tsion was standing. As soon as Judd got to the altar he slowly turned to look up the aisle. The doors were thrown open and Lionel and Vicki, who was carrying a single white rose (Judd's favorite) made the short trip down the aisle. Tsion asked who would give Vicki away.
"I do," stated Lionel. He handed Vicki over to Judd, thinking that she was definitely in good hands now.
Judd looked into those beautiful green eyes. He couldn't help but smile. Vicki smiled back at the man she had grown to love over the past few years. Tsion recited their vows to them and they each replied with "I do." They exchanged rings, then the first few notes of Kiss and Tell sounded through the stereo speakers. Throughout the entire song, Judd and Vicki's gazes were locked and they never looked away.
As the song ended, Tsion nodded to the couple. Judd slowly flipped the veil over Vicki's soft, shiny, fiery red hair revealing her beautiful face. She smiled as he gently lifted her chin and leaned closer to her. She wrapped her arms around his neck as he wrapped his arms around her waist. They kissed for a long moment. The room erupted with cheers.
But Judd and Vicki were completely oblivious to their surroundings. They never wanted to forget that moment.
That priceless moment.