"Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce Mr. & Mrs. James Harris!"
The newlyweds strolled into the reception hall to loud cheering and applause. The bride was beaming, hardly able to take her eyes off her new husband, and he too stared enamoured at his wife. Cal mentally kicked himself for the way he had treated James when they had first met. It was clear to everyone, even those without micro-expression knowledge, how much this boy loved her.
Cal glimpsed Gillian scowling at him, obviously following his train of thoughts. He reached down and clasped her hands, offering her a genuine smile. She answered with a smile of her own that knocked the air from Cal's lungs. She looked stunning today. Everybody was focusing on the bride, and the bride's dress, whereas Cal couldn't keep his eyes off Gillian. She wore a floor length colourful maxi dress. The hair straight and clipped back with a silver clip. He loved this dress on her, it flowed a lot more than her usual office clothes and it showed yet another side of this incredible woman.
The dinner passed with small conversation at the table. The other two couples at the table both exaggerated their stories and Cal was getting more and more frustrated with each lie they told. Did no-one know what he did for a living? The only thing keeping him from calling these people on their lies was Gillian. Every time she sensed him getting worked up she gave his knee a small squeeze, telling him to calm down.
Finally it came time for the speeches. Cal's aggression soon turned to nervousness. Grace had asked him to say a few words and he felt he owed her after the 'incident'. Listening to James' father give his speech was utter torture. Half the room was asleep and the other half was wishing they were. At least I don't have much to compete with Cal thought.
He spotted Emily smiling down at him from the top table. She wasn't sitting with Cal and Gillian because she was a member of the wedding party. When she had first shown her bridesmaids dress to Cal, he had to fight back tears. She looked so beautiful! Her hair fell across her shoulders in light curls and the royal blue of the dress made her look so grown up. He flashed a brief smile back to her as he stood up, ready to address the comatose crowd.
"A tragedy over 15 years ago prevented Grace's parents from seeing her grow up into the wonderful woman she is today and from being her with her on her special day. This is a privilege we all share, being here with Grace and James, and one we shouldn't take for granted. And while I may not have seemed entirely happy about this before, I couldn't be happier for Grace. It's clear to anyone, not just a micro-expression expert such as myself, how much in love the two of you are.
About six months ago Grace told me about her plans to marry James and I, being the overprotective man I am, decided to use my deception detection on him to learn his true intentions. I thought I could trick him, prove he was lying. Well it turns out I was the one lying. I was lying to myself that this man wasn't good enough for little Gracie and I was lying to myself about a love in my own life."
At this he looked down at the woman beside him. She smiled up at him, tears pooling in her eyes as she took his free hand and placed a kiss to the palm. Looking back up he noticed most of the room had woken up and most had tears silently streaming down their faces. He reached for a glass of champagne and held it high.
"I would never have found the happiness in my life if it were not for Grace so I want to wish her and James the best of luck, because both deserve all the happiness in the world. To James and Grace!"
"TO JAMES AND GRACE!"
The wedding guests cheered as Cal finally sat down, many wiping at the tears in their eyes from his speech. Gillian placed her hands on either side of his face and pulled him to her for a slow sensual kiss.
"Cal Lightman that was the most beautiful thing I've ever heard."
Cal blushed and turned to watch the newlyweds take to the floor for the first dance. He stretched his arm along the back of Gillian's chair and felt a thrill as she leaned her head on his shoulder, snuggling into his embrace. Tearing his eyes away from the happy couple, he surveyed the huge room. There was well over 200 guests and probably 20 or 30 tables, each with elaborate flower arrangements in the centre. The dinner had been provided by the hotel, but Cal knew that feeding over 200 people couldn't have been cheap. It almost reminded him of his wedding to Zoe. Most of the guest list had been her side of the family, seeing as Cal didn't have a lot of family. Panic rose in his chest and he turned to whisper in Gillian's ear.
"Christ Gill, is our wedding going to be like this?" Gillian laughed at the shock on his face.
"No Cal, everything we've planned so far has been very small. You know if you're so worried you could get involved a bit more."
"Oh no, I trust you. I just don't want to have to talk to that many people on the day."
"No. But I think I should be able to spend some time with my wife on my wedding day."
Gillian grinned, obviously excited to be referred to as 'Cal's Wife'. Noticing that more couples had begun dancing, he retracted his arm from behind Gillian's head and held out his hand to her in a silent invitation. She placed her hand in his and began to move towards the dancefloor.
Cal placed his other hand on her lower back and lifted their joined hands at the same time Gillian wove her hand around his neck, pulling him closer. Cheek to cheek, they moved to the music, oblivious to the rest of the world around them.
Cal placed several small kisses to the sensitive part of her neck, just behind her ear, causing Gillian to giggle. She responded by pulling back slightly to press her lips against his, for a more intimate kiss. They were interrupted by someone clearing their throat. James' father stood in front of them, looking terribly uncomfortable to have disturbed them.
"That was a great speech, I just wanted to congratulate you" he shook Cal's hand vigorously as he spoke, "I'm afraid mine may have been a bit long winded."
"Oh not at all, I'm sure everyone enjoyed the nap." That earned Cal a swift kick in the shins from Gillian, but Mr. Harris seemed unaffected.
"Yes, well, I was rather hoping I could ask this lovely young lady to dance. Gillian isn't it? I've heard such great things about you from James." Gillian smiled and accepted the invitation graciously. Cal stepped back, not at all happy with this turn of events. He was snapped out of his thoughts by an Angel in a blue dress, tapping him on the shoulder.
"There is no way this is my young teenage daughter. You look so mature."
"That's not a compliment, if I think you look mature, then these drunken idiots here think you're mature."
Emily rolled her eyes at her father's usual over-protectiveness and dragged him onto the dancefloor. This song was a bit more upbeat, allowing Cal to show off some of his Dad moves to embarrass his daughter until she begged him to stop. Laughing so hard that tears ran from their eyes Cal and Emily finally finished their dance.
"Thank God, I think I need a drink now." Cal began to move away when he felt yet another hand on his shoulder. Christ he was in demand today.
"Not so fast. You owe the lady of the hour a dance also." Grace's smile lit up the room all on its own as Cal took her in his arms and spun her around the floor. For someone wearing such a big and flowing dress, she moved with exquisite ease. He twirled, spun, and dipped her on the floor without any hassle.
"Enjoy this day as much as you can, it all goes downhill from here." Cal joked.
"That's a lie."
"That's what happened the first time I got married."
"But you don't think it's going to be the same this time round." Grace smirked at Cal, reading his emotions easily. He glanced over in the direction of Gillian, finding her dancing with Emily, where they appeared to be re-creating the Macarena.
"No, it won't be the same this time round." He smiled, dipping her one last time as the song ended. Another slow song picked up as he handed Grace back over to her husband and went to find Gillian.
She stood at the bar talking to someone who clearly appreciated what they saw. Jealousy almost overpowered Cal until he saw Gillian's disinterest in the man, written plainly on her face. Smiling he stepped up behind her, wrapped an arm around her waist, and pressed a kiss against her cheek.
"Hey honey, where've you been?" He almost laughed aloud at the look on the poor bloke's face before he politely made his excuses and ran away.
"Aw that poor bloke, love, he really thought he had a chance with you. I feel almost bad to ruin his fun."
"Well I'm glad you did, cos there's only one man for me. C'mere" She pulled him to her for a passionate kiss, leaning back into the bar until they were almost on top of the bartender.
"Christ Foster, you trying to kill me." Gillian frowned and looked away. "What did I say Gill?"
"You haven't called me Foster since we...you know..."
"Oh Gill, it was just a slip of the tongue I'm sorry. Anyway, soon I'll be calling you Lightman and you'll be calling me Lightman and then we'll be all confused." She laughed at his humour and resumed kissing him again.
"Maybe you can call me Lightwoman. That a fair compromise?" Cal nodded as he went for another kiss. Gillian put her hand on his chest and pushed him away. At his confused expression, she reached into her clutch bag and pulled out their room key.
Jumping back from the bar, Cal pulled her with him, as they ran laughing towards the elevators. They barely made it into the room before all their clothes were removed.
"Alright Lightwoman, show me what you got!"