I thought I had posted this already - my bad!
"No way," Alex said with that familiar steel in her voice that he knew meant trouble for him. "Actually, let me rephrase that. No way in hell."
Four months ago they'd arrived at a point in their relationship where they realised that in order for them to move forward, they needed to backtrack to the beginning and do things properly. So one night after Bobby had cooked her dinner and led her around the living room floor in a couple of dances, he'd dropped to one knee and proposed. Alex had pretended to hum and haw until he pulled her down to her knees, told her she was marrying him again and that was that, but that if she wanted to play games with his heart then he'd tell her mother. Knowing how fond of him her mother had become and knowing that Bobby absolutely would retell the story of his proposal to not only her mother, but her sister and brother as well as their respective spouses, children, cousins and in-laws, she'd punched him in the arm and accepted.
"You said this was my wedding too," Bobby replied. "Did you mean that or were they just empty words to placate me while you were picking out pink centrepieces?"
"I thought you said you liked the centrepieces."
"I'm not crazy about them, but I compromised. Because I love you."
"Is that what you did?"
"That's what I did. Because I love you," he reiterated. Four months after he'd first said those words he still hadn't tired of them, and just as he promised he would he said them as often as he could.
"Bobby. Come on. You're not serious, are you?"
"I'm completely serious."
After nine years together Alex knew that her husband had some dark places in his heart that would never completely heal. She thought she knew all his flaws, all his sins and weaknesses, and had accepted them because they made up who he was. But until five minutes ago she had never known about this, and she was having a little trouble getting her head around the fact that not only had he managed to keep it from her for so long, but that he didn't seem ashamed in the least. "But . . . Celine Dion?"
"What's wrong with her?"
The look of peaceful serenity on his face was making her want to run screaming in the opposite direction, and if she thought she had a snowballs chance in hell of making it out the door before he caught her and hauled her back she would have taken it. "I really don't want to walk down the aisle to Celine Dion. Please don't make me."
"If you loved me you would."
She narrowed her eyes in sudden suspicion. Maybe she wouldn't have to do a runner after all. "Damnit, Bobby. That argument got you our first dance song. You can't use it twice."
He really didn't expect her to give in without a fight. Luckily he had an ace up his sleeve. "Okay, I'll flip you for it," he said.
"With one of your coins? I don't think so. That's how Lewis wound up as our Emcee."
"You're taking all the fun out of this for me," he complained.
"If you want to have any fun on the honeymoon you'll drop it," Alex retorted.
There was much wisdom in her words. And he wasn't really set on Celine Dion. He just wanted to see how far he could push the 'If you loved me' line. And now he knew it went all the way up to Celine Dion. "Another compromise?" Bobby suggested.
"Okay," Alex replied warily. "What did you have in mind?"
"Since you've been so understanding about our first dance –"
"You blackmailed me for that one, and don't think I'll forget it, either."
"I did not blackmail you."
"'If you love me' ring any bells?" she asked, in a fair imitation of his voice.
"Blackmail is such a harsh word though."
"It's a good thing I do love you because otherwise I'd rip your balls off for that one."
Bobby laughed and conceded the point. "Okay, okay. But since you've been so understanding it's only fair that I follow your lead. So I was thinking . . . there's nothing in the handbook that says we have to play something sedate or traditionally sappy as you walk down the aisle."
"Uh huh," Alex said dubiously, but waited for him to continue.
"I have the perfect song."
"I've heard that before," she snapped. "And the only reason I agreed that our first dance would be to 'Ball and Chain' was because you played me with those big brown puppy dog eyes of yours. And don't think I don't know exactly what you're doing when you do that, either. Don't even try to deny it," she added, as she saw him make a motion to interrupt.
"Do you really hate the song?" he asked quietly.
Alex sighed. She quite liked the idea of dancing to the Poison song. This wedding was going to be fun for the both of them; they could save the romantic stuff for later on in the night when they were alone. "No," she admitted.
"So then how about 'I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do.'"
Alex looked at him like he'd suddenly sprouted a second head. "You want me to walk down the aisle to ABBA?"
"Yes," he nodded, waiting for her reaction.
She burst out laughing and wrapped her arms around his neck. "And this is reason number forty two why I love you," she said, and kissed him.
"And I love you too," my ball and chain, he added in his head.
"I heard that," she retorted, but she was still kissing him, so it was more than okay.
Thanks everyone who stayed with me to the bitter end. Love you guys. xx