A/N: Wow...what a long week. I thought it would never end. I intended to put this chapter up a few days ago, but...well, homework. LOTS of it. Damn the SOLs...
Anyways, thanks to SpeedDemon315, Kairi's-twin, and musiclover209 for the reviews! Now, about the contest question...the answer is the song is called "Broken" by Seether feat. Amy Lee. One of my favorites. Congratulations to SpeedDemon315 for getting the correct answer! This chapter is dedicated to her!
Disclaimer: Still don't own Van Helsing. But still do own my own characters.
Chapter Five: Lovers in Uncertainty
Three months later
Catherine paced nervously back and forth in her bedroom in her small, old cottage. As she paced, she nervously twisted the ring on her left hand.
Gabrielle Valerious, her closest friend and former Princess of the Gypsies, sat on Catherine's bed, watching her friend pace. "Catherine, calm yourself…" she said. "You'll make yourself sick if you keep pacing like that…"
Catherine looked up, smiling apologetically, and she stopped her pacing. "My apologies, Gabrielle…I'm simply…nervous…"
"You shouldn't be," Gabrielle responded, standing up. She moved behind Catherine and checked the laces of her dress, making sure Catherine hadn't wriggled loose of her strapless white dress. She then forced her friend to sit and began to brush out her long, brown hair.
Catherine continued to fidget slightly. She was so excited, but still so nervous. It had been nearly three months since Alexsei had proposed. She could still remember that hopeful gleam in his dark hazel when he had placed that ring in the palm of her hand…and the overjoyed gleam when she had said yes.
There had been so much work to do, so much to prepare for. Both Alexsei and Catherine had agreed to a small wedding…but then came a complication: Would any sane priest allow a werewolf and a fallen angel to wed in their chapel…and would he ordain the marriage?
Neither lover really thought so.
Finally, Gabrielle came to them with a solution: They could marry in Strenotia, before the statue of the Virgin Mary. And, so no mortals poked their noses into the wedding, particularly any mortals who would immediately try to kill them, they could marry at midnight. A perfect solution.
Catherine could feel Gabrielle's skilled fingers combing through her thick brown hair and expertly twisting it into a bun. "Something on your mind?"
"I guess you could say that," she responded. "I…I don't know, Gabrielle. It feels kind of strange…I mean, my family is Catholic-well, what's left of my family-and Alexsei's family was Catholic…I guess I just always thought my wedding would be this stiff, formal rite at a huge church…" She grinned and turned to look at Gabrielle. "Mind you, that idea never much appealed to me, but…"
"But…I guess I'm just anxious that…you know…that people won't accept this marriage because they might not think it's sanctified…"
Gabrielle gave a snort. "Because they may not think it's sanctified? Tell me, Catherine…do you and Alexsei love each other?"
Catherine nodded; Gabrielle continued. "Thought so. And are you marrying with God-and with me-as your witness?"
Again, Catherine nodded. A smile split Gabrielle's face, causing her to flash her fangs. "Well, then, I'd say it's a sanctified marriage!" She finished weaving Catherine's hair into a bun, then carefully fastened the veil in her hair and smiled. "Now, come along! We've got a wedding to get to!"
Alexsei stood before the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, waiting. Judging by the moon's position, it was roughly midnight, and he was waiting anxiously for Catherine to come. As he waited, he turned a small, simple ring over in his hand-Catherine's wedding ring. He knew that she had his wedding ring, and they would exchange their rings at the "ceremony".
His keen werewolf hearing picked up the sounds of footsteps coming his way. He pulled nervously at the collar of his fancy, tailored shirt, then took a deep breath and turned-only to have his breath catch in his throat.
Catherine was approaching from out of nowhere, it seemed, and she looked absolutely breathtaking. With her long, strapless white dress and the white veil that rested on her head and covered her face, she truly looked the part of a beautiful bride…or an angel.
My angel…Alexsei thought.
Behind Catherine, Gabrielle-who doubled as the maid of honor as well as the only guest and witness-followed, holding the end of Catherine's train. She was a very stark contrast to the bride, with her black dress and her raven hair flying loose and free. Both women approached the statue, then, Gabrielle moved respectfully to Catherine's right, while Catherine turned to face Alexsei, slipping both of her small hands into his larger ones. She gently squeezed them in anticipation.
Alexsei smiled playfully. "You're late, Kitty…"
Under her veil, Catherine scowled playfully. "Again I say I am not late. You simply arrived too early…"
Gabrielle chuckled and shook her head. "Are you two lovebirds planning on starting soon, or must I assume the role as the priest as well to speed things along?"
All laughter gradually died down, and everyone present grew serious. Alexsei cleared his throat to speak. "We are gathered here tonight, in the presence of God-and a vampire-" He shot a teasing grin at Gabrielle. "-for a ceremony to join my love and I in holy matrimony." He then held up Catherine's left hand-the ring that had been there, his ring, had been taken off, he noticed-and slid her ring onto her hand. "With this ring, I, Alexsei Raphael Dunkirk, do solemnly take you, Catherine Elizabeth Van Helsing, as my wife, and solemnly swear to love, honor, cherish, and protect you, til death do us part."
Catherine then held up Alexsei's left hand and slid his ring onto his ring finger. "And I, Catherine Elizabeth Van Helsing, do solemnly take you, Alexsei Raphael Dunkirk, as my husband, and solemnly swear to love, honor, cherish, and obey you, til death do us part."
Alexsei released her hands, then carefully lifted her veil from her face. He smiled, then put his hands at her waist, drew her close, and kissed her-the timeless kiss of a newly-married couple. One that sent them both over the moon and high past the stars.
Behind them, Gabrielle sniffed and wiped away the red tears brimming in her eyes, smiling beneath her tears.
The first few rays of dawn began to break over the distant Carpathian Mountains. The weak rays shone through the leaves of the trees, casting dappled shadows on forest floor below.
After their wedding, Alexsei and Catherine had returned to Catherine's small cottage. Now, they both sat in Catherine's bed, Catherine lying against Alexsei's bare chest. Alexsei had his arms wrapped around her, and he also had the blanket draped over his shoulders wrapped around her, too. He looked down at his new bride, gently stroking her hair. She had her eyes closed, and her chest rose and fell gently. Alexsei guessed she had dozed off…she was so beautiful when she slept.
"I have her…" he murmured. "And she has me. We have each other, now…I have to be the luckiest man alive…"
Catherine let out a small sigh, and she shifted in his arms, opening her eyes. Alexsei gently tilted her head upwards and surprised her with a kiss. "I thought you were asleep."
"I was…" she said. "But then, I woke up….I thought of something…Alexsei, didn't you once tell me you lived within a pack of werewolves?"
He nodded. "I did. You pay close attention, love…"
"Alexsei…who leads your pack? What's the name of the werewolf who leads your pack?"
His forehead creased slightly at the seriousness and worry in his bride's voice. "Sirius de Autechane. What is it, Catherine? What's wrong?"
"Sirius de Autechane? This can't be…" Catherine murmured a stream of Romanian under her breath. "My God…Alexsei, you do know he hates my family, right? I've been trying to track him down for three centuries. What will he do to us-to you- when he finds out you wed me?"
Catherine's inner panic was beginning to show on her face. Alexsei resumed stroking her hair to soothe her.
"He'll do nothing, not to you," he promised. "I won't allow him to. I'll take whatever punishment he wishes to deal…"
"Alexsei, no…" Catherine pleaded. "I told you…I don't want you hurt because of me…I'm worried…he won't let this pass peacefully when he finds out…I don't doubt he'll find out, Alexsei…I don't doubt he'll try to kill us…he'll try to kill you and me…"
Alexsei's hold on Catherine suddenly tightened. His dark eyes glowed faintly golden in the pre-dawn gloom that filled the room. "No…" he growled. "He wouldn't. He won't. Catherine…I'd go to the ends of the earth to protect you. I won't let him touch you…"
He gently tightened his hold on her, cradling her like he would a young child. He continued to stroke her soft hair, and a soft song began to weave its way from his lips:
Nothing's gonna harm you, not while I'm around
Nothing's gonna harm you, no ma'am, not while I'm around
Demons are prowling everywhere, nowadays
I'll send em howling
I don't care, I got ways
Catherine sighed and let her head fall against Alexsei's shoulder. His voice was soft and soothing…she gave a yawn, feeling tired…
No one's gonna harm you
No one's gonna dare
Others can desert you
Not to worry, whistle, I'll be there
Demons'll charm you with a smile, for a while
But in time…
Nothing can harm you
Not while I'm around…
Catherine felt herself calming down. She knew Alexsei wasn't lying to her. She knew he would protect her, just as she would protect him. She closed her eyes so she could focus more on his song…
Being close and being clever
Ain't like being true
I don't need to
I would never hide a thing from you
No one's gonna hurt you, no one's gonna dare
Others can desert you
Not to worry, whistle, I'll be there!
Demons'll charm you with a smile, for a while
But in time…
Alexsei looked down at Catherine. Once again, her eyes were closed, and her chest rose and fell gently. She had fallen asleep again, her head on Alexsei's shoulder. He gently kissed her forehead, then whispered the end of his song in her ear, keeping it soft so as not to wake her:
Nothing can harm you
Not while I'm around
Awwwww! What a happy ending!
Alexsei: Wait...this is the end?
Catherine: I do believe it is...wow, this one really flew by...
As fast as three centuries can fly by, anyways...
Alexsei: Seems like just yesterday this whole thing started...
Try since the end of February, squishie...
Alexsei: Damnit, Rora, if you call me that one more time, so help me God I'll-
Catherine: Alexsei! Chill! No threatening the authoress, okay? Remember...she controls what happens to us.
Someone's a fast learner...
Catherine: So I've been told...
Alexsei:-hopping from one foot to the other like a little kid that has to pee- Can I say the thing? The goodbye thing? Please?!
I suppose. Just don't forget about-
Alexsei: I'm not gonna! All right...um, yeah. This is the end of the story. But Aurora here says not to worry-she'll be putting up chapters of Intrusive Dusk, the sequel to Night Warriors, up asap! And she wants reviews, guys. Seriously-reviews make her happy. And the happier Rora is, the more Catherine and I can make out in her living room without her getting pissed at us!
Gabrielle: GET A ROOM ALREADY! God...
Alexsei: What're you doing here?
Gabrielle: I was in the chapter. I get to be in the muse box or whatever this cockamamie place is...
This, Gabrielle, is...never mind. Anyways...hope you enjoyed, please review, and I'll see you in Intrusive Dusk!