Babe short fluffy story. Babe HEA. WARNING: Some minor language, and strong adult themes. I do not own anything, all belongs to Janet Evanovich.
Different for Valentine's Day_ A Wedding
I awoke to warm kisses being peppered all over my face.
"Wake up Babe" I heard the man of my dreams whisper.
"Mmmmm, it's too early Carlos, let's go back to sleep, please" I mumbled, tugging him back into my arms.
"Babe, we're getting married today. Please wake up Steph or there won't be time for me to kiss you goodbye before I have to sneak out of your bed. I'm sure Lula will be barging in here any second, with Mary-Lou not far behind her" His breath was tickling my ear. MARRIED!
I sat up so fast I knocked heads with Carlos.
"We're getting married today" I stated in a soft voice.
"No matter what" Carlos smiled at me, kissing my forehead.
"I love you" I whispered, staring into his delightfully warm eyes.
"And I love you...and our baby" He murmured back, one hand drifting down to tenderly rub my thankfully still flat stomach.
We sat staring at each other for what seemed like an eternity when we heard heavy footsteps pounding up the stairs. Both of us sprang into action mode, me dressing in one of his t-shirts and boxers and him in jeans and a shirt.
We stumbled over to the window, lips locked until he was half outside.
"Don't go too crazy Babe" His lips brushed against mine as he urgently spoke the words.
"Don't get shot" I answered, tears in my eyes.
"I'll see you in a few hours Steph, when you become my beautiful wife. I love you" With one last kiss, I watched him slide down the drain pipe and easily scale his six foot fence, dropping into his yard as I heard my bedroom door burst open.
"Gurl! You better not be hiding Batman in here, on account of you two aint supposed to see each other before the wedding" Lula came barging over to my side. "What are you staring at anyway?" I shook my head.
"Do you really think he's gonna turn up?" I whispered, continuing to stare at the spot that I had last seen him disappear.
"Honey, that man is so in love with you it would take more than a small army to keep him from marrying you" I turned and smiled at my best-friend.
"Thanks Mary-Lou" She smiled in return.
"Now we gotta get you ready girlfriend. This shit right here is supposed to be the happiest day of your skinny ass life. Get in that shower, we aint playing. This is for real" I burst into laughter on my way to the wardrobe, collecting my bridal undergarments before entering my bathroom.
Mary-Lou and Lula were the best friends a girl could have.
After a quick shower, I had had the full body treatment at the spa yesterday; I dressed in my dark silver lace wonder bra and matching lace panties before donning a fluffy black robe and re-entering my bedroom.
Somehow, in the short time I had been gone; my room had gone from ordinary bedroom to make-up, hair and dressing for some elaborate fashion show...seriously, there were racks of clothing, mirrors everywhere, hair styling equipment, make-up galore...everything a Jersey girl could have ever dreamed of.
"Darling, how are you? You must be the blushing bride! Sit down sit down, let me see what I have to work with" The foreign woman sat me down in a chair between Mary-Lou and Lula...we each had a dresser and mirror set up before us.
"Who are you?" I wondered. Lula shrugged at me and gave the woman a glare.
"I'm here to do your hair and make-up, as well as these two brides maids" Ok...but I didn't organise this.
"Who sent for you?" I demanded of the woman as her assistant started fiddling with Lula's hair.
"Ricardo Manoso booked me to assist his soon to be wife in getting ready on her wedding day. You're his cherished one, yes? Here I am. Now shut up and let me get to work" I blinked rapidly at the woman as she danced around me, powdering and brushing and pulling and poking.
Two hours later, my hair was nicely curled, my make up fresh but with dramatically bold eyes, I was apparently presentable. Thank God.
Glancing to my left and right, I noticed both Lula and Mary-Lou's hair had been done in a matching elegant updo, their makeup up nicely done.
Guess it was time to get into my dress. Carlos and I had decided on an untraditional wedding. This included my dress, which he had yet to see. All he knew was that it was a dark silver; the colour of his tie.
I thanked the woman for all her help, I still hadn't learned her name, and I walked into my wardrobe, to my awaiting gown. I heard Mary-Lou and Lula thank the woman as well, before exiting the room, no doubt to get dressed.
Slipping into my dress I smiled. I was going to cause a riot. I slid my sliver strappy 3" heels on to my feet, grabbed my purse and I was ready.
Exiting into my bedroom, I found it back to its normal state...huh, that woman works fast. Slowly making my way down the stairs, I looked up when I heard a gasp.
"Stephanie, you look incredibly beautiful, Carlos is not going to know what hit him!" I heard Ella laugh as she pulled out her camera and proceeded to blind me with numerous photos.
I turned back toward the stairs when I heard Mary-Lou's and Lula's voices. They looked beautiful in their bridesmaid dresses, and the colour went with my dress perfectly.
"Steph! Oh my God! You look so sexy! You're going to give Ranger a heart attack!" Mary-Lou shrieked!
"C'mon girls, all together for a group photo! The limousine is waiting!" We all squealed before huddling together so Ella could take her pictures. Then we walked outside and stopped dead in our tracks.
No freaking way!
Waiting for us was a black stretch Hummer limo. Carlos said he would take care of a car for us, but THIS! Oh my God, I love him so much.
"Any chance you want to give up your man Steph, 'cause I sure as hell wouldn't mind marrying him!" Lula exclaimed before practically diving inside the limo. I followed at a much slower pace; I didn't want anything to happen to me, my shoes or this dress. I was going to make it to Carlos in one presentable piece.
The inside was unbelievable. Mary-Lou hopped in after me, followed by Ella.
"Lula, you already have a wonderful loving husband and a baby girl" I rolled my eyes at her. Seems Tank had popped the big question while they were on their vacation to the Caribbean and little Latisha had been conceived. They married a month after they returned and had been deliriously happy ever since.
"Say, what did you do with Latisha anyway, she's only just three months old" Lou asked Lula.
"Maria, Tankie's Aunt and Ranger's mother volunteered to watch her for the day." Mary-Lou and I smiled. Little Latisha was known to cause a riot, we had both baby-sat her before...she was like a mini Lula and Tank combined. Trouble with a capital T.
"The question is, is Maria going to speak to you again once the day is through?" I laughed and Lou joined in. Lula just frowned.
"Hey! Don't you be talking bout my angel of a daughter that way! She's very well behaved!" I snorted and Lou spluttered.
"I'll give you one thing Lula, she's certainly gorgeous" I smiled. This seemed to smooth Lula's ruffled feathers.
"She is, isn't she?" Both Mary-Lou and I nodded along, even Ella joined in.
"Hey Steph, where are we going anywhere? I know you said you were getting married on the Delaware River, but..." Lou asked after a little while of relaxing in silence.
"Carlos decided to rent out an entire resort, Shawnee Village Resort in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. All the guests are spending the weekend, courtesy of Ranger's wallet. There are more than enough Villa's for everyone; some of the Merry Men are bunking together though"
"Wow. Your man sure knows how to throw a party" Lula mumbled.
"Ella arranged almost everything" I smiled at my saviour. Ella blushed but smiled none the less.
"I know you girls will love it there, even though it's a little cool. The ceremony is fairly quick so we shouldn't be standing around out in the cold for too long" I love Ella.
"I love you Ella, thank you so much, for everything" She reached over and patted my hand.
"No worries dear, I love you and Carlos as if you were my own. I happy to be able to help you" I felt tears well up but I rapidly blinked them away. I was not going to ruin my makeup...until Carlos saw me, then I could cry all I wanted.
I was nervous. Fucking nervous. I was marrying the love of my life, the only woman I ever wanted in my life and I was nervous!
"Man, relax. You're making me tense" Tank laughed at me. I glared at him. He hadn't even let me drive. I was sitting in the back seat of my Porsche Cayenne, next to Tank while Lester drove. I felt like hitting something.
"Yeah Rangeman, you got Bombshell to agree to marry you. It's not like she's not gonna turn up" Lester snorted. Not going to turn up! Would my Babe do that? Leave me at the alter...okay, at the river?
"Shut it Santos!" Tank growled "Ranger, Lula just texted me and told me they're on their way. Your woman loves you man, she's gonna do whatever it takes to get to your side" Tank calmed my nerves somewhat. "Lu also said that Steph's dress is gonna knock your socks off" Tank chuckled. "I agree"
"You have a picture don't you" I turned towards him, ready to snatch his phone off him, when he rolled down the window and tossed it out. Un-fucking believable.
"You're gonna want to wait to see the dress on her in person. Just remember to shut your mouth and check for drool before Bobby starts the ceremony" Tank chuckled. Asshole.
"That was a six hundred dollar phone. You could have just deleted the picture" I snapped.
"Hey man, you haven't been away from her that long; I know you spent the night with her" Tank smirked at me.
"Boss man, don't you know its bad luck to see your bride 24 hours before the wedding?" Lester wondered.
"Shut it! Both of you." I ordered before falling silent once again and staring out the window. As if I could have spent twenty four hours away from her...I hadn't done that since our first Valentine's Day together...she went with me everywhere, when I had to check in at the other offices, when I had to meet clients out of town...Always happily by my side.
Thankfully it was a warm day for February, 44 F, and the sun was out in full force. Hopefully my Babe wouldn't get too cold standing around in only a dress. The dress. The one she had been hiding from me since the moment she purchased it. I knew how much it had cost, I knew where she had got it, I knew the colour...I just had no idea what it looked like. She told me it was unconventional for a wedding. I told her it sounded perfect.
I knew when we were getting close to the resort village, Tank and I had been up here last week to check everything out.
Finally pulling to a stop next to a fleet of other black vehicles, I jumped out of the car and headed inside the closest villa immediately. The members of my family I had invited, the members of Steph's family she had invited, a handful of Merry Men, Luis, Mary-Lou's family and Connie were all present. My men had made sure everyone was driven out here yesterday afternoon; to make sure the wedding wasn't delayed by any late arriving guests.
A hush fell over the room as I was noticed. My mama, who was holding Tank's little girl rushed over to me and kissed my cheek.
"Carlitos, from the bottom of my heart, I am so happy for you. I thought this day would never come" Mama gushed happily. Little Latisha noticed her daddy standing next to me and stretched out here arms. The big guy chuckled and nursed his kid gently in his arms.
Soon that would be me, with mine and Babe's child. I couldn't wait. I felt Mama lean closer to me.
"I know that look Ricardo! You better hope that baby isn't too early or you'll never hear the end of it from that she-devil of a mother of hers" My mother whispered in my ear before smacking me on the back of the head. I couldn't help the grin that spread across my features.
"Yes Mama" I scanned my eyes around the room and found Frank Plum smiling at me. He motioned me over. I took a deep breath, kissed my mother's cheek and approached my soon to be father-in-law.
Once I made it to his side, he led us into a small room to the side. I closed the door behind me.
"I hope it's a boy" I blinked at him.
"I'm, sorry sir but I don't ..." He chuckled and held up a hand.
"Save it. You two have been living together for almost a year; you've been exclusively dating for two. I had no doubt the first time you accompanied my baby daughter to dinner that she was in love with you. I thank you for making her so happy, for trying to protect her, for supporting her and for shielding Steph from her mother. I couldn't have asked for a better man for my daughter or a better man to give me a grandchild. Just don't announce it too soon or we'll never hear the end of it from Helen." We both chuckled at that and re-joined the group in the main room.
After what seemed like days later, it was announced that my beautiful bride had arrived. We all filed outside and down to the spot where everything had been perfectly set up. Silver chairs had been arranged to perfection, a wide aisle with red carpet lined the middle. There was a fire burning at the end of the aisle, wow. Bobby clapped a hand on my back as he headed to the end. Tank and Lester stood beside me waiting. I watched silently as everyone found seats and settled in.
Frank once again approached me.
"I'm going to get my daughter now, make sure you're ready when we return" I nodded. The man nodded back at me, a bright smile lighting his face. He was genuinely happy that I was marrying his daughter, even though he knew we'd been intimate and that she was pregnant. I must be a more likeable guy than I thought...what had happened to my bad ass persona?
"Its gone man, you fell in love and well can all see it" Tank laughed as he gave me a push to get me moving down the aisle. I stood to Bobby's right, Tank by my side, with Lester on his. I watched Ella bustle along, making sure everything was to her liking. She smiled and nodded and laughed at people. I heard a loud whistle which shut everyone up as Ella hit a button on a remote. Soft music started playing from a speaker, it wasn't the traditional wedding march, Babe had suggested La Vie en Rose, I had liked the lyrics so I had agreed to the English version.
The moment I saw my Babe, I couldn't take my eyes off of her. She was stunning, beautiful, sexy...my God that dress, her mother might die...I might die; I could feel not only my pants tightening but my heart as well. God I loved her, and she was about to become mine.
After what seemed like a lifetime, Frank handed his daughter off to me with a chuckle. I had barely registered him; my eyes had been locked on Steph's since she had laid eyes on me.
Bending my head down, I kissed her cheek.
"I love you" I whispered in her ear. The smile that spread across her face had my heart pounding.
Bobby cleared his throat loudly, snapping us out of it.
"We are gathered here today, to join together Ricardo Manoso and Stephanie Plum in matrimony. Into this estate these two persons present come now to be joined. If anyone can show just cause why they may not be lawfully joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace" Bobby waited patiently as I glared at the crowd, daring them to say something. No one did, lucky.
"Ricardo Manoso do you take Stephanie Plum for your lawful wedded wife? Will you love, honour, comfort, and cherish her from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping only unto her for as long as you both shall live?" Bobby smiled at me
"I do" I answered, gazing at Steph.
"Stephanie Plum do you take Ricardo Manoso for your lawful wedded husband? Will you love, honour, comfort, and cherish him from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping only unto him for as long as you both shall live?" Bobby asked Babe, I held my breath, waiting for her answer.
"I do" She smiled at me, tears in her eyes. Bobby turned back to me.
"I, Ricardo Manoso" I held up my hand cutting him off, I had memorized these vows, I didn't need to hear it from his lips.
"I, Ricardo Manoso, take you, Stephanie Plum, to be my lawfully wedded wife, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my one true love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithfully devoted partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally with all my heart, to indulge you with passion, to support you in your goals, to let you fly, to honour and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love. Te amo." I declared to Steph, who now had tears streaming down her cheeks. I lifted my spare hand and brushed her tears away tenderly as she started to speak.
"I, Stephanie Plum, take you, Ricardo Manoso, to be my lawfully wedded husband, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my one true love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithfully devoted partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally with all my heart, to indulge you with passion, to support you in your goals, to let you fly, to honour and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love. Te amo." My own eyes misted over as she finished, but no way was I going to cry in front of my men.
"Tank, the Bride's ring?" Bobby asked Tank. He produced Steph's ring from his pocket and handed it to Bobby.
"May this ring be blessed so he who gives it and she who wears it may abide in peace, and continue in love until life's end." He announced.
"With this ring I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment." I slid the ring onto my Babe's finger smiling a shit eating grin.
Mary-Lou handed my ring to Bobby.
"May this ring be blessed so that she who gives it and he who wears it may abide in peace, and continue in love until life's end." He smiled giving the ring to Steph.
"With this ring I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment." She slid the ring onto my finger with shaky hands.
"May this couple be prepared to continue to give, be able to forgive and experience more and more joy with each passing day, with each passing year. Ricardo Manoso and Stephanie Plum, are now beginning their married life together, we hope that they may have loving assistance from their family, the constant support of friends, and a long life with good health and everlasting love. In so much as Ricardo Manoso and Stephanie Plum have consented to live forever together in wedlock, and have witnessed the same before this company, having given and pledged their troth, each to the other, and having declared same by the giving and receiving of a ring, I pronounce that they are husband and wife." I hardly heard Bobby's words.
He turned towards us once again.
"You may now seal the promises you have made with each other with a kiss." I couldn't help myself; I drew Babe into my arms and kissed the living daylights out of her...lucky we weren't in a church...we probably could have been smited for that kiss. I could hear my men whooping in the background, but I wasn't focused on anything other than Babe.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the loving couple Mr. and Mrs Manoso" Bobby shouted with a laugh. The small crowd erupted. I pulled Steph to me again for another kiss.
"I love you Mr Manoso" She whispered in my ear.
"I love you Mrs Manoso" I whispered back, with a gentle kiss this time.
We were soon surrounded by people wishing us well and what not. I didn't care, I didn't even listen...I was already planning ways for Steph and I to sneak away and consummate our marriage.
Word Count: 3713