Disclaimer: Not mine :o(
A/N: I know nothing about how civil marriage ceremonies are carried out in the States, so forgive me my mistakes.
3 September 2004 – City Hall, New York
Bobby Goren stood nervously at the front of the 'Wedding Room' of New York City Hall, he lifted his arm and checked his watched for what seemed like the hundredth time. A quick nudge to the ribs drew his attention to the man standing beside him.
"Knock it off, Bobby, she'll be here!" Chris Hughes hissed at his friend.
"Yeah, I … I know that." Bobby nodded, almost meekly dropping his hands back down to his sides.
At that moment the doors to the room opened and Alex Eames finally made her appearance, all of two minutes past the allotted time for her wedding to start. Bobby had half-turned towards the doors as they opened and he stared at his bride, his love for her written clearly across his face for all to see. Alex looked beautiful, the cream dress she wore fell to just below her knees in soft pleats and the fitted bodice accentuated her curves in just the right way. The matching shoes, with four inch heels to bring her up to her groom's shoulder, did a wonderful job of showing off her shapely legs. Her hair was pinned back in a pleat with a few tendrils left loose at the sides of her cheeks. Her make-up was lightly applied, just enough to give her a 'natural' glow and disguise the signs of her latest bout of morning sickness.
Just as Carrie and Lainie had four months before, she wore a single string of pearls at her neck with a matching bracelet on her right wrist and earrings to complete the effect. Bobby presumed these were her 'something borrowed', little did he know that Tina, Annie and Leah had presented the set to Alex the night before to wear as her 'something new'. When Alex had tried to protest at the expense of the gift Annie had pointed out that, so far as the older women were concerned, the pearls signified her becoming a member of their extended family. Alex had been unable to do anything but accept the gift and do her best to fit back her tears (whilst silently cursing the hormones that were causing her to be so overly emotional). Annie had also insisted on sewing a small panel of antique lace from her own wedding gown into the inside of Alex's dress, just as she for her daughter and daughter-in-law. 'Something blue' was easy, her sapphire engagement ring which she was wearing on the third finger of her right hand. Her 'something borrowed' was the delicate gold watch she was wearing on her left wrist, which Lainie had been given as her twenty-first birthday present and had insisted Alex wear for her wedding.
"You ready to do this, Alex?" Her father asked as the door opened.
"Yes, Dad, more than ready." There was no doubt in her voice as she glanced around the room.
Alex had told her parents that she and Bobby planned on keeping the wedding as small as possible. However, her side of the room was still pretty full. Her mother sat at the front of the room, with two of her brothers, Paddy and Jamie, along with Jamie's wife, Sandra. Another of her brothers, Mickey slipped into the room and joined his wife, Carole, who was sitting behind Sandra, as Alex and their dad made their way down the aisle accompanied by her youngest sister, Louise. Mickey had borrowed one of the high-end digital cameras from the crime lab where he worked, so that he could act as photographer for the day, and had been taking photos of Alex's arrival at City Hall.
Alex's other three brothers were all working, with the wedding being rearranged at such short notice they hadn't been able to get time off. Junior's wife, Laura, and Tim's long-term girlfriend, Eloise, had managed to get the day off work and were seated with the rest of the Eames family. Sean McAdam sat with his in-laws, his son on his knee, there was no way Sean was going to allow Alex to get married without the child she'd given birth to being there. As for his wife, Beth, well she had been refusing to take Alex's calls since their conversation three days before. Although Sean had tried to convince his wife to come with him and Molly had tried to talk her middle daughter into attending the wedding, Beth had point blank refused to do so. The rest of Alex's nieces and nephews were also in attendance, making for quite a crowd who ranged in age from baby Nathan, aged just eight and a half months, up to Jamie's eldest, Jack, who had turned eighteen a couple of months back.
On the other side of the room Bobby's 'family' consisted of Val and Lainie, Lewis and his sister-in-law, Carrie, accompanied by Annie Kazinski. Paul Santorini sat with his parents, Sal and Tina, his cousin Maria and his aunt and uncle, Nicky and Leah Giovaissi, and of course their granddaughter, Sammi. Steve Woods was also there to see his old friend get married.
Alex found herself beside Bobby without actually being aware of the walk down the aisle, accompanied by her father and her youngest sister, Louise, who was acting as her bridesmaid. She looked at Bobby for a moment, taking in the fact that he was wearing her favourite out of all his suits, a dark blue one that for some reason seemed to emphasise the already impressive breadth of his shoulders. This was coupled with a mid-blue shirt and a dark blue tie with fine diagonal stripes of burgundy and gold, held in place with a plain gold tie-clip. Alex couldn't resist running her finger gently across the clip, which she had given to him for his birthday during their second year as partners, before raising her eyes to Bobby's.
As their eyes met the rest of the room may as well have been empty so far as Bobby and Alex were concerned. John Eames couldn't help but smile as he relinquished his eldest daughter's arm and moved to sit beside his wife, leaving Louise standing slightly behind Alex. After allowing Bobby and Alex a moment to simply look at one another, Louise placed a gentle hand on her sister's back breaking the spell that Alex was under. Louise felt a slight shudder run through Alex as her sister turned her head and smiled at her.
'I hope one day I manage to find a man who makes me feel like that.' Louise thought to herself as she saw the happiness radiating from her sister's eyes.
A gentle cough from the Justice of the Peace brought everyone's attention into focus. "If everybody is here, may we begin?"
Alex and Bobby finally turned to face the Justice, who then addressed the congregation before him.
"Family and friends, we are gathered here today to witness the marriage of Robert Owen Goren and Alexandra Caitlyn Eames. Before commencing with the ceremony, I am required to ask if there is anyone here who objects to this marriage." The Justice paused and looked around the room, he couldn't help noticing as various couples on the bride's side of the room exchanged relieved glances when there were no objections.
"Very well, then we shall continue. Marriage is not an estate to be entered into lightly but with consideration and forethought. I call upon those persons gathered here today to witness the marriage of Robert and Alexandra, as they undertake a new life together. I understand that Robert and Alexandra have prepared their vows and I would now ask that they address each other. Robert, if you would be so kind."
Bobby turned to Alex taking her left hand in his right, as he looked into her eyes he felt as though the room around them had once again disappeared.
"I, Robert, affirm my love to you, Alex, as I invite you to share my life, complicated as it may be. You are the most beautiful and generous person I have ever known, and I promise always to respect you and love you. With kindness, unselfishness and trust, I will work by your side to create a wonderful life together, for ourselves and for our children. I take you Alex to be my lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as we both shall live."
Alex closed her eyes for a moment, almost overwhelmed by the emotion she heard in Bobby's voice and by the emotions that ran through her in response. Gaining enough control to find her voice, Alex opened her eyes, gazing up into Bobby's.
"Bobby, today I take you to be my husband. Together we will create a home, becoming a part of one another and, just as importantly, part of our own family with our children. I vow to help create a life that we can cherish, inspiring your love for me and mine for you. I vow to be honest, caring and truthful, to love you as you are, and to grow old by your side as your love and best friend."
"May I have the rings?" The Justice addressed Chris, who made quite a performance of checking his pockets, until he felt Val glaring at him. Throwing a quick grin over his shoulder at his friend, Chris produced two rings from his jacket pocket and passed them to the Justice.
"By the giving and receiving of these rings you symbolise your love for each and your commitment to the vows you have made." The Justice held out the rings the Bobby. "Robert, please place your ring on the third finger of Alexandra's left hand."
With trembling fingers Bobby took the smaller of the two rings, slipping it reverently onto Alex's finger. "With this ring I thee wed." The words were murmured so quietly that only Alex, the Justice, Chris and Louise could actually hear them.
"Alexandra, please place your ring on the third finger of Robert's left hand." The Justice offered the remaining ring to Alex.
With hands that were surprisingly steady, Alex took the remaining ring from the Justice. "With this ring I thee wed." She spoke the words just as softly as Bobby had.
"By the power vested in me by the state of New York, I now pronounce you man and wife. Robert, you may kiss your bride."
Bobby leaned down, pausing a fraction of an inch from Alex's lips. "I love you, Mrs Goren." He whispered before claiming her lips. There was nothing symbolic about the way Bobby kissed his new bride, he pulled her slight body against his powerful frame and gave free rein to every ounce of the passion she roused within him. Alex responded with equal fervour, wrapping her arms around Bobby's neck and kissing him with a passion that matched his own. The round of applause from their family and friends, various catcalls from Alex's brothers to get a room and eventually Chris's loud cough finally broke through the cocoon around the newlyweds. Bobby rested her forehead against Alex's, gathering his wits. "I love you too, Mr Goren." Alex whispered to him, before she drew back slightly.
"If you would please sign the register." The Justice shepherded Alex, Bobby, Chris and Louise to the desk at the front of the room. Once they had all finished signing and the Justice had handed the marriage certificate to Bobby, the Justice turned back to the family and friends assembled in the room.
Smiling broadly he announced. "Finally, ladies and gentlemen, may I present Mr and Mrs Robert Goren."