A/N: Well, here it is – my final chapter (sob). I can't believe it's over! I really hope you like it and that I've done it justice. I'm going to miss it. When I first started out with this story I had no idea where it was going to go, but I'm pretty pleased with how it ended up.
Thank you so much to EVERYONE who reviewed and to all those who will (hopefully!) review in the future. Your support and kind words have been amazing.
Special thanks to Hattie, who gave me a list of songs to choose from for Vince and Howard's first dance. In the end I chose 'Chasing Cars' by Snow Patrol, which wasn't actually on the list, but I did use her suggestion of 'Rule the World' by Take That for the last dance. And Hattie's in this chapter too, as Harriet (Hattie had already been taken by Jenna's sister earlier on in the story).
Other songs used are: 'Born to Hand Jive' from Grease, 'Let's Dance' by David Bowie and 'I Love Rock 'n Roll' by Joan Jett.
Please read onwards for the wedding of the year... Enjoy!
Vince stirred under his duvet, protesting sleepily as the morning sunshine burst through the curtains and shone through his eyelids. He stretched languorously and shuffled onto his side, seeking out extra warmth from the body beside him, and he reached out his arm and... Vince opened his eyes and blinked rapidly, frowning as his hand connected with the sheet. Then he realised and sat up with a start.
He was getting married today.
He shrieked and jumped out of bed, throwing on his kimono dressing gown and running out into the living room, where Naboo and Bollo were making breakfast and arguing over which station to have the radio on.
"I'm getting married today!" Vince squealed, before turning and hurrying off towards the bathroom.
Naboo and Bollo looked at each other and shook their heads.
"Make sure his coffee's decaf, Bollo. That's more than I can handle first thing in the morning." The tiny shaman said, rubbing a hand over his eyes.
In the bathroom, Vince undressed and stepped into the shower, letting the hot water and steam pour over him. He washed his hair meticulously, overdosing on conditioner and massaging every part of his scalp. He was so involved in what he was doing, that he almost didn't hear the door opening.
"I'm kinda busy in here!" he called out, annoyed that someone would walk in on him. But then, he knew Naboo and Bollo would never do that, so that could only mean... "Mum!"
"Don't mind me, sweetheart. I just want to brush my teeth."
"Mum, I'm in the shower! Can't you wait?!"
"Oh, Vince – don't be silly. You're my son, I've seen it all before. Besides, you've got the curtain pulled."
"That's not the point!"
Mrs Noir rolled her eyes. "All right, I'll do it in the kitchen. By the way, I still don't understand why you have a gorilla -
"I'm gone!" she trilled, closing the door behind her.
"Morning, son," Mr Moon said, as he joined Howard at the breakfast table.
Howard looked up from the piece of toast he was eating and gave him a smile. He knew his father wasn't completely comfortable with the idea of his only son entering into a civil partnership, but at least he was there, trying to be supportive in his own, awkward way. His mother on the other hand, was completely ecstatic. She sailed into the breakfast room seconds after her husband, stooping to give her son a big kiss on the cheek, which he discreetly wiped away with the back of his hand, much to his father's amusement. Well, if she did insist on making them so sloppy...
"How are you feeling, petal? Did you sleep well?"
"Mmm," Howard hummed around his glass as he took a mouthful of orange juice. "Great. I might steal the bed and take it home with me."
"Ooh, I know – it's done wonders for your father's back, hasn't it Alan?"
"Aye, that it has, love."
"Well, I think I'll go and sort myself out," Howard said, moving his chair back and standing up. He wanted to escape before the rest of his family appeared.
"Have you had enough to eat, love?"
"All right, well I'll come check on you in a bit."
Howard sighed inwardly. It wouldn't do well to argue with her – she never listened. But he just wanted to get ready in peace, especially as his nerves were starting to kick in.
He hoped Vince was getting on all right.
Vince jumped in fright when he saw the huge bouquet of flowers floating up the stairs – until they reached the top and he saw a tiny figure stumbling underneath them.
Vince rushed over with a huge grin and took the flowers from Naboo's hands. They were stunning – a beautiful exotic bloom of tropical scents and colours.
"Oh, darling, they're gorgeous!" his mother said, coming over to smell them and pulling an envelope from a plastic stick nestled amongst the stems. "Here you go, sweetie. I'll pop them in some water for you."
"Thanks, mum," Vince beamed, opening up the small envelope and taking out the card.
I saw these and thought of you, although no flower could be as beautiful as you are – it was the closest I could get! And I know that sounds corny, but if you can't be soppy on your wedding day, when can you?
I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you.
P.S. There's something else for you hidden amongst the flowers.
Vince sniffed and wiped at his eyes, walking over to where his mother was arranging the flowers in a vase. She looked up as he approached.
"Aw, sweetheart," she said, giving him a hug. "Don't start crying – you'll make that pretty face of yours all red and blotchy. I suppose you've come to look for this." She handed him a small box. "At least I know Howard takes good care of you. What more could a mother want?" Mrs Noir kissed her son on the head. "Well, come on then – open it!"
Vince grinned and opened the box. Inside lay a beautiful silver lightening bolt pendant with a small diamond set in the middle of it. Attached was a paper tag which read 'wear me'. His eyes welled up again as he placed the necklace around his neck. His mother leant her head against his shoulder and gave his arms a rub.
"Time to get ready."
Howard turned the rare jazz LP Vince had had delivered to him over in his hands, smiling stupidly as he re-read the note that had come with it.
I had to go through your entire record collection to make sure you didn't already have this – it was torture!
To be honest, I didn't know what to get you, because you don't really like shiny things, so I hope it's okay.
I'll see you soon – can't wait!
I love you.
Howard placed the record carefully on the dressing table and went to stand in front of the mirror. He was a bit worried as to what Vince would be wearing, because he had been instructed to wear a pink silk waistcoat and ruche tie with his black morning suit, so they matched. He didn't mind the colour – the shade was quite tolerable - but he really hoped it didn't mean that Vince was going to turn up in a pink suit.
There was a knock at the door.
"Howard, I have your buttonhole," his mother said, entering the room holding a blushed pink rose in her hand. She paused upon seeing her son. "Oh, look at you! You look so handsome." She gave him a hug.
"Mum, are you crying?"
"No," she sniffed, pulling away and hastily wiping her eyes.
Howard smiled fondly at her. "You gonna pin that on me then?" he said, indicating the flower.
"Oh, yes." She attached the flower to his jacket and stood back to look at him. "Lovely. Listen, I know it's been a hard year, and I know you've done things you're not proud of, and I know at first your father and I were angry, but I see how happy you are with Vince, in a way that is completely different to how I saw you with Jenna, and I know that it's meant to be. Your father's getting there - just give him time."
"I know, mum. Thank you." Howard gave her a kiss. "Time to go."
Mrs Moon nodded. "I love you."
"I love you too, mum."
"Right, Vince, we're off!" Naboo called from the living room, smoothing down the red robes he was wearing.
"Okay, guys! See you there!" Vince shouted from the bedroom.
Bollo straightened the bow-tie he was wearing. "I've got a good feeling about this."
In the bedroom, still in his dressing gown, Vince was trying to apply his eyeliner, but his hand was shaking and it kept going on wonky. He wiped it off for what seemed like the hundredth time, and tried again.
Mrs Noir smiled softly at her son from across the room and went over to give him a hand. "Here, let me do that," she said, taking the pencil from his fingers. She smoothed a line under each of Vince's eyes and rubbed the kohl in to create a smoky, smudged effect. Vince checked his reflection in the mirror.
"Perfect," he grinned, fluffing up his immaculately styled hair for good measure.
"Now, hurry up and dress. The car will be here soon."
"You look beautiful." The compliment earned him a beaming smile.
Twenty minutes later, Vince stepped out into the living room dressed in a fitted cream suit with a matching waistcoat, pale pink shirt and a dark pink tie, and Mrs Noir had a hard time keeping back her tears.
"Oh, mum – don't do that. You'll set me off."
His mother patted at her eyes. "But you look so stunning. I'm so proud of you, and I know your father would be too."
"Of course he would. In fact, I'm sure he'll be looking down on you right now, wishing he could tell you himself."
Vince have her a wobbly smile. "Thanks, mum."
The doorbell rang.
"Oh, wait," Mrs Noir said, picking up a rose from the kitchen table and pinning it to Vince's jacket. "There you go. Ready?"
Vince smiled. "I always have been."
"You're shaking," Vince's mother pointed out, rather unhelpfully. They were standing at the door to the ceremony room, waiting for the go ahead to proceed.
Vince took a deep breath and tried to steady himself, his heart leaping when the door in front of him opened and his cousin, Harriet, stuck her head through.
"Oh, you're beautiful!" she exclaimed, smiling at him tenderly. "We're ready for you. And by the way, Howard looks gorgeous – you're so lucky." She gave Vince a wink and ducked back inside. Two seconds later the double doors were opened fully, and Vince, clutching his mother's arm, stepped through.
The music playing as Vince walked up the aisle was a classical piece Howard had chosen, Pachelbel's Canon in D, but he barely heard it as his eyes fixed on the man in front of him, who was giving him a watery smile and mouthing to him how beautiful he looked. Vince smiled coyly, a pretty blush colouring his cheeks. His mother kissed him and passed his hand over to Howard, who took it and gave it a gentle squeeze.
The ceremony started, the registrar welcoming them on this most glorious autumn day and talking about the commitment Howard and Vince were about to make. Then came their vows. Vince went first, the paper in his hands trembling as he held it out in front of him. He looked down at the words – and suddenly they didn't seem good enough, so he screwed the piece of paper up and placed it on the table in front of them. Howard stared at him in confusion, but relaxed when Vince smiled at him.
"Howard... you're my soul mate. You're the reason I get up every morning - the reason I breathe. I've never imagined having to spend the rest of my life with anyone else, because it's always been you. And I won't just love you until the day I die, I'll love you beyond that – forever. You've made me the happiest man in the world, and I'll never have enough words to tell you just how much you mean to me. When you came back to me, I... I..." Vince choked, struggling to control his emotions. "I remembered how to live again, and that's the greatest gift I've ever been given. I love you."
Howard didn't realise it was possible to love Vince anymore than he already did, but a new rush of adoration swept through him, overwhelming him and making it difficult to breathe. His eyes watered as he looked at his almost-husband, and he cleared his throat, he too abandoning the vows he had written.
"I-I don't think I'll ever stop hating myself for what I did to you. Whenever I look at you, I thank God that I was given a second chance, because I know I don't deserve it. I don't deserve you. You're so precious to me, and I nearly ruined it. And that kills me." Howard stopped to take a breath, his eyes on Vince's and the tears he could see running down his face. He reached out to wipe them away. "Now that I have that second chance, everything I do, every day – it'll all be for you. Always. Vince, I love you and I adore you, and I'll never, ever, stop. My life is you.You complete me." He gave Vince a watery smile, and the smaller man threw his arms around Howard's neck and kissed him, sobbing slightly against his mouth.
The congregation broke out into applause, and both Mrs Moon and Mrs Noir cried freely, clutching at each other with joyous smiles fixed to their faces. Even Mr Moon was smiling, and Bollo blew his nose loudly into a rather large tissue, much to Naboo's disgust.
Vince and Howard then exchanged rings and signed the register, their parents coming up as witnesses and the photographer snapping pictures of them.
And then that was it.
They were married.
The room the reception was being held in was exquisite. Full-length windows stretched down one side of the room, offering the most spectacular views over the River Thames and the city beyond. Pink and cream roses decorated the tables, which were covered in crisp white cloths and surrounded by gold gilt chairs, and white fairy lights had been strung up to create a romantic, magical atmosphere.
Everyone was talking animatedly amongst themselves, Vince and Howard at the top table with their immediate families, stealing kisses and laughing whilst enjoying their dinner and drinking pink champagne.
"By the way, I've promised my cousin a dance with you," Vince said, pointing out Harriet to Howard. "She's taken a bit of a shine to you."
Howard grinned. "Well, you can't really blame her."
"Mmm," Vince agreed, leaning in for another kiss and then taking a swig of his champagne. "I feel like a prince."
"You look like one too," Howard leaned in to whisper in Vince's ear, "and I especially like how tight those trousers are on you, although, I can't wait to get you out of them," he purred, and Vince flushed hotly.
After dinner the speeches were made, much to the delight of the guests, who laughed and clapped and welled up in the appropriate places. To Howard's surprise, his father even stood up and said a few words, finally telling his son how proud he was of him, and Howard stood and hugged him, completely shocked, while his mother beamed at them.
And then came the first dance. The DJ called Howard and Vince to the floor, and they walked out to much cheering, smiling beautifully at each other as they came together, hands clasping and arms going round shoulders, moving in time to the music.
We'll do it all
On our own
We don't need
If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?
"I love you so much," Howard murmured against Vince's mouth.
"I love you more."
Howard chuckled. "Don't start that – we'll be here all night." He bent his head down and leant his forehead against Vince's, who smiled up at him prettily.
"I love that smile," Howard said, running his fingers through one side of Vince's hair, causing him to protest weakly.
"Watch it – took me ages to get it like that." Vince caught his husband's hand in his own and pressed a gentle kiss to it. "Thank you."
"For all this. For a perfect day. For being mine."
"Well, the pleasure's all mine."
I don't quite know
How to say
How I feel
Those three words
Are said too much
They're not enough
If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?
Howard fingered the chain around Vince's neck. "It looks good on you."
"It's perfect. Thank you."
"You're welcome." Howard kissed him. "And thank you for my record – sorry you had to go through the 'torture' of rifling through my jazz collection."
Vince laughed and lay his head against Howard's shoulder, sighing contentedly. "You look very handsome, by the way – very suave. I might make you keep the suit."
They swayed together until the end of the song, the track changing and other couples making their way to the floor. Vince was pulled into the embrace of Howard's mother, and Howard was squeezed a bit too tightly by Mrs Noir.
Being early November, the nights were beginning to draw in quickly, and it wasn't long before the sky began to darken, and the room combined with the outside world looked even more amazing. In one part of the room, one of Vince's uncles was playing a drinking game with one of Howard's cousins, Vince's auntie Ruth was singing a bit too loudly and swigging from a bottle of wine, Howard's older sister's children were running around high on fizzy drinks and zooming under tables and round chairs, and Naboo and Bollo were downing shots of tequila at the bar. Members of both families bonded and laughed together, and Harriet finally got her dance with Howard.
"You having a good time?" Howard asked, as he guided her round the dance floor.
Harriet grinned at him, slightly tipsy after one too many glasses of bubbly. "The best. He's loved you forever, you know," she said, tilting her head in Vince's direction, who was deep in conversation with Howard's father.
"Yeah, I know."
"You'll take good care of him, won't you? Otherwise, I will hunt you down and I will kick your arse. Although, you are quite cute, so I'll be careful of your face."
Howard laughed and Harriet grinned even wider.
"Well, that's me told. But you don't have to worry – he's my whole world."
They finished their dance, Howard giving his new cousin-in-law a gracious kiss on the cheek, and went their separate ways – Harriet to the bar and Howard towards Vince, although he didn't make it because he was commandeered by his sister, Catherine, and pulled into another dance.
An hour or so later and it was time to cut the cake, causing much laughter as Vince and Howard simultaneously shoved a piece into each other's mouths. More guests arrived as the evening wore on, including friends from the jazz club Howard now worked at and people Vince knew from the comedy circuit. The buffet was opened up, people quickly queuing up to grab some much needed nourishment after all the dancing and alcohol that had passed through them and then, much to everyone's drunken delight, the DJ announced that he was splitting the room into two halves – the Londoners and the Northerners – in order to have a dance-off. Some of the older members slunk off to the sides to carry on drinking, but the younger ones stayed happily where they were. Jackets were removed and ties were loosened as the DJ put on 'Born to Hand Jive', the complete cheesiness of it sending everyone into a screaming fit. The north/south ratio, to be honest, was a bit unfair considering where they were. Still, that didn't stop the Yorkshire side from giving it everything they had, but Vince was born to dance, and led his side into a dazzling showdown. Howard, whilst he had no problem slow dancing or having a bit of a boogie when everyone was doing their own thing, had chosen to opt out of the dance-off, fearing he really wouldn't be any good at it. No, he'd leave that to Vince, who really was doing a splendid job and having the time of his life, grinning away like a child. Howard laughed and cheered him on, not caring that he was being a traitor to his own side, and then burst into hysterics when Vince and Harriet shimmed down to the floor, singing along to the 'how low can you go' part and misjudging how close they were to each other, nearly knocking one another over. Vince managed to spin and pull his cousin back up with him before she fell off her heels. Nicely saved. When the song finished those gathered at the sides cheered raucously, and there was much applause and drunken giggling and hugging.
Later, as Howard watched Vince twirling around with a little girl in his arms, who had approached him with a shy smile and asked for a dance, he couldn't help but smile fondly and wonder if their future would involve children – Vince certainly seemed to be at ease with the child, spinning about with her and making her giggle. He'd make a great dad. Vince caught Howard watching him and blew him a kiss. After the dance, Vince set the girl down and walked over to the object of his affections with a silly smile and wrapped his arms around his waist.
Howard dropped a kiss onto his head. "Hello. Having fun?"
"Yes. Come and dance with me."
Howard heaved a heavy mock sigh. "Go on then," he said, as 'Let's Dance' started up.
"What's your mum doing to my cousin?" Howard asked in amusement a minute or so later, watching as his mother-in-law told hold of the arms of a rather frightened looking young man and tried to twirl into them.
Vince laughed. "Don't worry, she's just drunk. She always gets like that."
Howard left the floor after the song had finished to get more drinks, and by the time he came back, found Vince and a few other members of his family dancing madly on the tables to 'I Love Rock 'n Roll'. He set the drinks down and happily watched Vince swaying his hips from side to side, thinking that he really ought to take him to bed soon -
Howard spun round, nearly spilling his beer. "Naboo!"
Naboo looked completely wasted, and he pulled on Howard's arm. "Howard – I knows I Hasn't alwaysh been great to-to you, but I is glad yous back cos Vinsh ish so happy now."
Howard patted his shoulder and looked around for Bollo, and saw he was busy dancing with a pretty girl over near the bar. Just how did he do it?
Naboo gave him a wobbly grin and then turned and tripped, his arms flailing as he fell to the ground. Howard rolled his eyes and pulled him back up, dragging him over to a table.
"Stay," he ordered, and went to fetch Bollo. The gorilla didn't look happy at being disturbed, but he went with Howard anyway, shaking his head when he saw the state Naboo was in.
"Naboo, you idiot. Home," he grunted, picking the tiny shaman up and throwing him unceremoniously over his shoulder. "Good-bye Howard. Make sure Vince has a good time on honeymoon."
"I will. See ya, Bollo."
"Where they going?" Vince said, appearing behind Howard and making him jump.
"Home. Naboo's trashed."
"Why am I not surprised?"
All too soon it was time to take to the floor for the last dance. As 'Rule the World' played, Vince got rather amorous, pressing himself flush against Howard and smiling up at him seductively. By the end of the song, Howard was so desperate to get Vince up to their room that he almost carried him out without saying good-bye to the guests, and, much to his impatience, they had to spend a rather long time thanking everyone for coming before they were finally able to escape. Getting their mothers to let go of them had been especially difficult.
"I've been wanting to get my hands on you all day," Howard growled in Vince's ear as they tripped into their room, pulling at each others shirts, hands wandering everywhere. Vince tipped his head back to give Howard better access to his neck, shivering under the kisses that were being placed there. Then his eyes caught sight of something and he pulled away.
"What is it?" Howard asked, sounding slightly breathless. Then he lifted his head up and saw Vince looking at the bed.
"Did you do this?" Vince asked, stunned.
Howard smiled and wrapped his arms around him from behind, kissing the side of his head. "Like it?"
The king-sized bed was covered in rose petals, and on the table next to the window was an ice-bucket containing a bottle of champagne, two crystal flutes sitting next to it. Vince turned in Howard's arms and pushed him backwards so he was up against the door.
"I think we should put the bed to good use, don't you?" he purred, running his hands over Howard's chest and leaning forward to slide his tongue over his lips. "Mmm, you taste good."
Howard moaned and lifted Vince up, carrying him over to the bed and laying him down on the petals, moving over him and showering him with kisses. Vince quickly undid Howard's shirt and tie and chucked them to one side, moving his hands to his belt buckle. Howard pulled Vince up, hands going to his buttons, but Vince stopped him, a sultry smile playing at his lips as he slid off the bed, instructing his husband to stay where he was by waggling a finger at him, keeping eye contact and pulling his bottom lip between his teeth as he slowly, teasingly, undid the buttons on his waistcoat, sliding it off and letting it drop to the floor. Howard watched him lustfully as Vince's tie and shirt came off, his hands running down his flat stomach to the button on his trousers. He popped it open, licking his lips as he slowly slid them down his legs to reveal a tiny pair of silky red boxers, which left practically nothing to the imagination. A predatory growl escaped Howard's throat and he moved forward on the bed. Vince gave him a look to keep him where he was, kicking away his trousers along with his socks as he stepped towards him, breathing heavily as his eyes fell on the very obvious bulge in Howard's trousers.
"Come and get me."
Howard reached out frantically and pulled Vince back down on the bed, removing the rest of his own clothes in record time.
"I think we need to get rid of those - as sexy as they are – don't you?" he said, indicating Vince's red boxers. But instead of removing them with his hands, Howard leant down and took the waistband between his teeth, pulling them down and receiving a gasp from Vince as his erection was freed.
"God, you're exquisite," Howard murmured, kissing his way up Vince's body and making him squirm beneath him, and the smaller man thrust his hips upwards, making Howard laugh softly.
"Impatient, are we?"
"Me? You're the one who – oh!"
"Mmm, my thoughts exactly. Although, maybe I should get you back for teasing me like you did."
"You loved it, and if you're a good boy I'll strip for you more often."
Howard's reply to that was to take Vince into his mouth, making the smaller man cry out in blissful pleasure. He quickly withdrew though, and moved up to kiss Vince on the mouth, silencing his protests.
"Shhh, You were right – I am the impatient one. Now, lift your hips."
Vince giggled and did as he was told, pulling Howard in for a another kiss, one that was all teeth and tongues.
"I love you," he gasped into his mouth.
"I love you," Howard murmured back.
They made love passionately, moaning and crying out and panting against each other. Vince reached up behind his head and wrapped a hand around one of the bars on the headboard, the other running over Howard's back, a sheen of sweat spreading across his forehead, his legs moving to wrap around Howard's waist.
"Vince!" Howard gasped out as the position changed. He freed his hand from Vince's hair and moved it down between them.
"Oh, Howard! Howard, Howard, Howard!
"That's it, come for me, darling."
The next morning Vince woke slowly, stretching and smiling sleepily, the sunlight seeping in softly through the curtains. He rubbed at his eyes and then detached himself from Howard's embrace, propping himself up and leaning over him to press his lips to his, gently kissing him awake. Howard stirred, kissing back and opening his eyes. He smiled against Vince's mouth.
"Morning, babe," Vince replied happily, running a finger down Howard's face.
Howard put his arms around him and pulled him back down for a cuddle.
"I'm starving," Vince mumbled into his chest, the tips of his fingers idly tracing patterns over his skin.
"I'll ring down for breakfast in a minute."
"Will you tell me where we're going on our honeymoon now?"
Howard chuckled. "No, I told you – wait and see."
Vince looked up at him and pouted. "Please?"
"We'll be at the airport in a few hours, you'll find out then. It'll be worth it, I promise."
Howard made a noise of gratification when the porter brought up their breakfast and he lifted the lids on the serving trays to reveal a slap-up, full English fry-up. He'd loved the food served at the wedding, but proper, traditional, greasy grub was what he needed now, especially after last night's exertions - not that he was complaining, of course. Last night had been more than amazing, more than mind-blowing, more than -
"What you grinning at?" Vince asked, unable to keep himself from smiling at the look on Howard's face.
"Nothing, love. Sausage?"
Vince bounced alongside Howard as the bigger man pushed their luggage trolley through the airport and towards the check-in desk.
"We're nearly at the desk," Howard said, smiling down at him as Vince clutched his arm. He ruffled Vince's hair fondly, which earned him a gentle shove.
Barely seconds later, Vince yelped in surprise as he spotted the screens behind the desk.
"Oh, my God! We're not, are we? Are we? Are we going to Malé? Are we going to the Maldives?"
Howard grinned and Vince jumped on him, throwing his arms round his neck.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you! You're amazing."
After check-in, they wandered around the shops in the departure lounge, holding hands and behaving more or less like teenagers. And much later, on a warm beach in the middle of the Indian Ocean, they lay in each others arms watching the most glorious sunset, which cast a beautiful golden light over the honeymooners. The palm trees swayed slightly and the tepid water lapped lazily at the sand. The air smelt hot and exotic, a hint of coconut drifting along on the gentle breeze.
"I could stay here forever," Howard said, and when he turned his head to face Vince, the sight of him took his breath away – raven hair bathed in gold, his skin radiant and glowing and his deep blue eyes electric and luminous. And then Vince smiled at him and Howard wanted to cry.
"What's wrong?" Vince asked, seeing the intensity of Howard's gaze.
Howard let out a shaky breath. "You look like an angel."
Vince visibly blushed, his smile turning shy.
"And... I'm scared that I'll never be able to show you just how much I love you – that I'll never be able to do enough."
Vince raised his eyebrows and brought his hands up to cup Howard's face. "Are you kidding me? We just got married,"he said, holding up his hand to flash his ring, "and look at where we are! Howard, I will never doubt your love for me. I know you still think you have of lot of making up to do, but you don't. You don't need to keep trying to show me how much you love me, because I already know – I can see it in your eyes, in the way you look at me, the way you hold me. What more could I possibly want? Now, pour me some more champagne." He grinned and ran a hand affectionately through his partner's tousled brown hair. Howard kissed him.
"Your wish is my command." He poured out two glasses a lifted his in a toast. Vince copied him. "To the beginning of forever."
"The beginning of forever."