A/N: Hello again! I'm back, back again... guess who's back... *stops herself*
Sorry. Got carried away there. *ehem*
Y'all have to thank Galla for what's below. She got me to sit down and write this. :-) She then beta'd cause she's just multi-talented like that. So send many hugs and foozles her way.
I hope y'all enjoy. I'll see yah on the flip side.
May 13th, 2010
My hands were wringing helplessly during the car ride uptown. I was late, and my palms were sweating. So were the backs of my thighs, hot on the leather seat beneath my now-wrinkled dress. Needless to say, I was somewhat stressed.
And almost rhyming, apparently. Sweet Jesus.
"Can't you jog over to Park?" I asked the chauffeur, desperate for this traffic to move. He shook his head at me in refusal, his Bluetooth flashing as another call came through. It was probably the planner wondering where the hell we were. I sighed and leaned back against the seat in defeat.
Again with the rhymes.
Eric was, no doubt, already standing gracefully in his spot underneath the bridge, his long (even longer now since I refused to let him cut it) hair pulled back into an elegant ponytail along his neck, and his tux perfectly pressed. I'd caught a glimpse of him in that deadly piece of Armani a few days ago during his final fitting. His 6'4" frame wasn't just good for climbing; that boy could rock a tailored suit like no other.
To my utter delight, I'd learned from the tailor that the trend in men's fashion nowadays slanted to a more fitted look, with a tighter cut to the pant leg and torso. The streamlined pattern allowed Eric's lean and muscled body to be put on perfect display, all the while maintaining the dapper look of an exquisitely dressed gentlemen. I sighed just thinking about how damn pretty he looked in that damn suit.
Squirming a bit on my seat, I changed the mental direction my brain was heading. Picturing Eric in designer threads that would make James Bond jealous was not a smart train of thought if I wanted to keep myself cool and composed before the wedding.
Now, if only this--supposedly competent but I would gladly suggest otherwise--chauffeur would get me to the 90th street entrance of the Park already.
It was not entirely my fault that I was so behind schedule. The hair stylist Pam had hired, who was supposed to show up at least three hours before our planned departure time, arrived thirty minutes late to the hotel. She was missing two of her curling irons, her assistant was AWOL, and some sort of product that was supposed to keep our hair "rocking the edge of sophisticated and sexified" had been snatched up by elves, apparently.
Her words, not mine.
Playing with a silk ribbon on my dress, I tried to keep my knees from bouncing. I'd been the last to leave the hotel, thanks to my nerves causing me a very untimely and upset stomach. This, of course, also meant that my stomach was now angry at me for not feeding it.
Well too bad, bucko. You're the one who got all topsy-turvy on me before, so deal.
To my astonishment, the chauffeur got me to the 90th Street entrance of the Park in an almost timely fashion, and then proceeded to curb the car in a fire zone and help me jog to the carriages that had been set up to escort the guests to the 94th Street 'Gothic' bridge where the wedding was taking place.
I thanked Jeeves, or whatever his name was, ten times over as he helped me climb into the carriage and saluted as I was whisked away down West Drive before cutting over to the Bridle Path.
"Come on, come on, come on," I mumbled as the horse's gait jostled the carriage back and forth on the pavement. I felt flushed, and the heat was prickling at my skin in a very uncomfortable way. Why the hell had they picked May for a wedding? I mean, really. Why not September? Not too hot, not too cold, blissfully free of humidity. Ugh. Hindsight.
Finally, I saw the bridge come into view. Its beautiful cast-iron cut out patterns swirled and curved with the landscape's natural forms, blending seamlessly into the fold. Flower petals had been sprinkled all along the Bridle Path, and clusters of orchids and roses were tied with long, cream colored ribbons to the banisters of the bridge. The tree's branches surrounded antique love seats, Louis IVX chairs, and settees that had been set up along the path flanking the bridge. Hanging low, the green leaves protected the assembled guests with their cool, shaded embrace.
Sure enough, Eric stood beneath the bridge, his hands clasped behind his back with his head held high. He looked radiant. The sun was low in the sky, backlighting the bridge and casting a halo of gold light around the flyaways of his straw colored hair. His pale sage suit blended in with the greens of the leaves and the antiqued creams and doves of the bridge's natural colors along with the ribbons adorning it. The composition of it all was breathtaking.
Literally, I had to remind myself to gulp in oxygen, I'd been so taken with the scene before me.
With a little less grace than I was aiming for, I landed on the pavement, my heels scraping slightly as I righted myself. All heads turned at the sound, and I bowed my head to read the invitation crumbled in my hands once more for comfort. The words steadied my excited heartbeat.
Pamela Ravenscroft and Felicia Sean
humbly invite you to share in
their marriage ceremony
on the date of May Thirteenth, Two Thousand and Ten
at five thirty in the afternoon.
94th Street Reservoir 'Gothic' Bridge
Central Park NYC, New York
Reception to follow at The Boathouse, 72nd St. Central Park
Pam was smiling at me from her spot at the front of the gathering, her dove and cream striped dress flowing out past her feet in a billowing pillow of air and fabric. I'd never seen her so... positive. The default sarcasm was erased from her lightly blushed face, replaced with a look of contentment and joy. Just how any bride would want to look on her wedding day.
This "wedding" was unconventional, yes, but Pam was not going to miss on out on the opportunity to tell everyone what to wear—including the guests. She specified in the invitation packet to keep the colors of dresses and suits to creams, doves and sages. No pink was allowed, but peach was acceptable. A soft, buttery yellow would also go nicely with her pre-planned decor. The idea was to keep things looking decadent, yet beautiful, as if the antiqued chairs and settees were a part of the park's organic fabric, and the people who perched upon them were merely characters in a fairytale come to life. Everyone had listened, and sure enough, the guests and the set up around the bridge looked like a fairyland built right into the existing scenery.
Eric remained my favorite subject to gaze upon, though. And I doubted anyone would deny me my indulgence.
At the start of the planning for this wedding, Pam and Felicia blatantly forewent using the term "commitment ceremony," which I fully supported. Two brides, to me, just meant more beautiful dresses to try on and watch walk down the aisle. Sure enough, having gone shopping with the girls for their gowns had been one of the best days I'd had in the city, outside of that first time I'd explored the town with Eric.
Someone tapped me on the shoulder, and I turned. The wedding planner gave me a rather stern look while tapping his watch. I apologized quickly as he handed me a bouquet and fussed with my dress and hair. Lafayette gave me a whistle from where he sat, and the guests all smiled and chuckled approvingly.
I was the missing chess piece, being Pam's maid of honor/ring bearer. Felicia's maid of honor, Ditte, stood to the side of the planner and gave me a small wave of acknowledgement.
"Nice shoes," I whispered to her, pointing to the slate colored, Louboutin Mary Jane heels peeking out underneath the flow of her dress's skirt. She smiled back and mouthed "thanks" before the planner gave us both a reproachful look for stalling.
With me finally present—God, how embarrassing—the ceremony could commence, and as the lilting sounds of soft music floated through the air, my stomach twisted in on itself again.
Sweet Jesus, I was nervous.
I wasn't doing very well at separating the imagery in front of me from the logic in my brain. Eric was standing stoic and strong up ahead, and I was walking down the aisle in a dove colored dress holding a bouquet. This was too real not to have a reaction. His smile broadened as I strolled as gracefully as possible down the aisle towards him, shaking the entire time.
With a huge sigh of relief, I reached my stop beneath the bridge and gave a bright smile to both Eric and Pam, waiting patiently for Felicia to appear at the back of the crowd after Ditte had made her way down the aisle behind me. When the music swelled, we all turned to watch her walk towards us with slightly watery eyes, her father supporting her arm.
Felicia had opted for a more elaborate gown, since she and Pam had decided that she'd be the one to make the trek down the aisle. Both her gown and Pam's were vintage Alexander McQueen, but Felicia's was the hands-down knockout. The original design had been a high collared, laced-sleeved creation, but with a bit of tweaking for a summer wedding, the sleeves had been removed, and the high, Victorian collar now served as a more dramatic statement to the dress. The back, likewise, had a "keyhole" cutout that flowed down to the base of her spine, where it met the layers upon layers of distressed chiffon and silk, which continued down to a small, elegant train.
A plain, long piece of soft cream organza had been placed beneath the twist of curls on her head; it cascaded down her neck and back to the petal covered ground, serving as her veil. Her bouquet consisted of two orchids tied in a long satin ribbon, symbolizing her and Pam's union.
She was a vision, and her father at her arm cried happy tears the entire time for his beautiful daughter. In the crowd of guests, I spotted Felicia's mother, a tissue held firmly in her hand and a look of awe on her face. Those were two very happy parents.
Shoot, even I was starting to lose it, and I quickly wiped away the traitorous tear that threatened to trail down my face.
With a final kiss to the cheek, Felicia's adorable father stepped back and took his place to the side of the small gathering of people to watch over the proceedings. Eric stepped up to the middle of us all and addressed the crowd in a clear, warm voice.
"Hello and welcome to you all. It is with delight and honor that I, Eric Northman, have the privilege to stand here and bring together these two beautiful women, so that they can continue on in their lives as a single soul. As one."
Eric's voice was strong and tinged with amusement as he took in the expressions on Pam's and Felicia's flushed, happy faces. I noticed a small bottle clasped in his hand as he continued with his speech and hid a private smile as I ducked my head into my shoulder.
The rose water... I'd taken to bringing the tiny bottle along with me when I felt we needed luck or just some simple reassurance. It was more of a habit than a superstition at this point. I'd forgotten it back at the hotel in my rush, but it was obvious that Eric had had it all along. What a brilliant man I loved.
Seeing it in Eric's large palm was wonderfully calming. I thanked him silently, hoping he could sense that my breathing was returning to its normal state. With my nerves on semi-permanent hold, I was able to take the bouquet from Pam and hand her and Felicia the rings when it was my turn to do so, before stepping back and enjoying the rest of the proceedings.
Eric conducted the ceremony as if he done these things for years. It was actually unsettling how at ease he seemed in front of a crowd, especially since my own nerves hadn't stopped quaking. I assumed they were from a combination of the lack of food in my stomach, my excitement for Pam and Felicia, and the fact that I couldn't get the marriage bells out of my head when it came to Eric. An image of me in a veil just wouldn't quit popping up in my mind.
Shaking my head slightly, I refocused on the union in front of me, happy to see Pam sliding a white gold ring onto Felicia's long, elegant finger.
Screw New York and its stupid marriage laws; this was beautiful, real, and the love Pam and Felicia held for each other couldn't and shouldn't be ignored. I wouldn't have missed this for the world.
When all was said and done, Pam bent Felicia practically in half as she kissed her bride, and the audience stood and cheered as if they'd seen a home run at a baseball game. Lafayette's whistles were the loudest, while Eric's claps of approval echoed off the cast iron of the bridge and ricocheted throughout the park. Any passing tourist or runner would certainly know that a celebration of epic proportions had just taken place. As it was, a large crowd had gathered at the outskirts of the wedding party and hollered for the new couple. Cameras flashed from every direction, and people Sookie hadn't even noticed before the start of the ceremony cheered for her friends with genuine joy in their eyes. It was a classic quirk that came with living in such a city. Despite being filled with millions upon millions of people, New York, at moments like these, felt like a small town. I was all the happier for it.
Eric's strong arms embraced me around the waist as he pulled me back against his chest, humming happily. Pam and Felicia had yet to come up for air, and Felicia's mother was attempting to hide her father's eyes from seeing where Pam's hand had been headed on his daughter's body.
"It's going to be impossible to top this," Eric whispered in my ear. I smiled out at the crowd.
"Why would anyone want to?"
"Because every bride should look as happy as they do on their wedding day."
"Well, every bride thinks her wedding is the best there is. It just so happens to be true in this case," I teased, turning in his arms and pulling him down for a kiss.
"Then you won't mind?" Eric asked, with a rather cryptic eyebrow raise.
"Not being able to top this," he said, smiling down at me.
I opened my mouth to ask him what the hell he was talking about when my brain suddenly caught up with my lips. My mouth snapped shut and my eyes went wide. Eric's smile, in turn, broadened to the point that he was practically leering at me, making me squirm.
"You're serious?" I finally stammered out about a minute later after blinking up at him. A lot.
"If you're willing," he said, giving my waist a squeeze.
"Oh my god."
Eric chuckled low in his throat and closed the distance between us with that wicked smirk of his that could always be counted on to make my knees weak. I moaned into his mouth, overcome with emotion, heat and the pure presence of him surrounding me, consuming me.
When he pulled away, his eyes were alight with life and excitement, and I brought my hand to his cheek, taking in all that I could of his beautiful face.
"What do you say?" he prompted again, holding me tight.
"What do you think?" I shot back. Eric smiled, cheers for the happy couple behind us filled my ears, and the thick air of the early summer swirled past us before he descended again and captured my lips with his.
A/N: Okay, so... wow. It's done. *bites lip* My first all human fic is done. :( I'm not gonna think of how many other AH stories have been created and completed during this one's life span, since it's just plain sad that it took me this long to finish, but yeah... umm... blah. I'm so articulate right now. *snort* I started NOR cause I wanted to read something that wasn't available yet in the fandom. To be at the finish line and to know that there are tons of AH stories in SVM for me to devour blows my mind, and makes me squee. I have been known to dance the jig as well. I'm that happy, and a little melancholy, but that's the whole 'finite' thing talking.
Can I get a hug? Zigs needs a hug. She's referring to herself in third person. Oh dear.
Did everyone enjoy it? I hope so.
Time for the corn on the cob: Thank you to all my girls! You support me and keep me focused. I am forever in your debt. My PF, Galla, Chick, Missie, Linds, Søs, Annie, Glam, NYC... all the peeps from the forum and twitter. Foozles to you all.
I know, I know, I didn't win an oscar, move on. I know.
Oh! And I still have the Smoking Section up and running. So if you'd like to suggest fun outtakes for NOR, please do so. If I ever get an itch to come back to Mr. GP and Sooks--which I totally will--I'd love to fulfill a reader's wish.
Once again, and sadly for the last time, thank you all for reading. :-)