Moonlit Wishes
Book III, Part XXII

"Chris, where did you get this dress?" Sami asked as she looked the dress over from top to bottom after Chris retrieved it from his car and brought it into Sami's bedroom.

"Well let's just say I get kind of sentimental about wedding traditions and knew you needed something borrowed and when I saw this dress that Bella has lined up for the upcoming bridal photo shoot I couldn't resist not borrowing it for you to wear today."

"Brady would kill us both if he knew you took it for me to wear," Sami exclaimed but after Chris insisted for her to just try it on and if she didn't like it he would put it back into the garment bag she just had to see if it would fit.

"Perfection," Chris sighed dramatically after Sami twirled around for his inspection.

"You really think so?"

"Have I ever lied to you about fashion especially your lack of it before you met me and we became best friends?"

Sami shook her head knowing that while Chris was known to exaggerate on some things, he always was direct and to the point about what looked good on her and what did not work at all. "No, you were brutally honest."

"Which is what will make me the best fashion editor at Bella," Chris grinned widely and Sami agreed he had a right to be proud of his new position at Bella. Brady had finally conceded Chris was the precisely the person for the job after more than a few people had been fired for not producing the results Brady had expected for the launching of the magazine.

"If you are sure about this, I know Brady won't be here, but won't he realize we procured the dress whenever he sees pictures of me in this dress?"

"Don't you worry about Brady I'll take care of him or rather I'd like to take care of him in more ways than one." Chris stated as he handed her a box along with a letter for her to open.

"What's this Chris?"

"Something your brother insisted you needed to open before you came downstairs."

Sami took the proffered box with a slight shake of her hands, she didn't like surprises especially when it usually meant something forbidding on wedding days for her, but she opened it nonetheless and gasped when she saw what lay inside of the box.

It was very old of that much she was sure of, the pendant was stunning and as she handed to box for Chris to examine the contents she took the sealed letter and opened it.

The letter was from her grandmother Caroline and instead of the letter containing condemnation for her life choices it was praising her about taking charge of her life and becoming the woman she always knew she could be, strong and independent and that being said she was bestowing her with a family heirloom of Shawn Sr.'s that she had been saving for quite some time.

The letter told her this pendant had been Shawn's mothers, her most treasured possession that had been handed down in his family for generations. It had originally meant to go to Shawn's sister Colleen, but Shawn had received it instead.

'Oh my gosh, it's like it was meant to go with this dress," Chris took the pendant from the box and pinned it on Sami's wedding dress. "Go look in the mirror Sami and see if you don't think the same."

Sami walked over to the mirror and she couldn't believe it, she felt tears coming to her eyes because Chris was right this was perfection and it was hard to comprehend that she was about to get married to EJ in just a few short minutes.

"Oh no, don't you dare cry," Chris pointed a finger in her direction. "I worked on your makeup and hair for the better part of this afternoon and we don't have time to reapply anything."

Sami nodded, trying to reign in her tears, "Chris I don't deserve this, to be this happy."

"Are you kidding me? You and that hunk of hotness both deserve this; you're perfect for each other. I knew right off after you told me about him that he was your soul mate. You can't defy the universe forever. This is your time to finally get what you've wanted your entire life. A man that loves you for you."

"Faults and all," Sami added quietly as she touched the neckline of her dress, drawing strength from within herself as she felt the pendant underneath her fingertips.

"Shush that nonsense, we all have our faults, now I'm going downstairs to be ready to march in as your maid of honor and remember no tears."

"You are just pushing this so much because you won the bet," Sami teased him with an impish smile

"Oh and I intend to reap all the benefits of said bet too." Chris said in a sing song voice as he headed out of the room meeting Will standing outside the door waiting to escort his mother.

"Mom, are you ready?" Will asked as Sami walked out the door behind Chris.

"Most definitely," Sami smiled as she took Will's proffered arm and they went down the stairs to wait in the library before the wedding was to begin, both being careful not to cross paths with EJ until it was time for the ceremony to start.

I've already spoken with Lexie on the phone earlier today assuring her that I know exactly what I am doing by marrying Samantha today and she stated she understood our reasoning behind not having our families attend the wedding. Chad is here with me of course, he's my best man because beyond him and strangely now Justin Kiriakis I honestly don't trust anyone else enough to consider them a true friend.

It's no secret I've chosen to stay aloof from most people. One ugly reminder of how my father drilled into my psyche that you shouldn't allow people in because it made you weak and we DiMera's are supposed to be above all of that nonsense of needing people.

Really it's a miracle I'm not under some major psychological evaluation and medication regime considering how controlling my father was to me after I left England. For what seems like infinite number of times I regret letting Stefano shape my future with promises of riches untold and the ultimate prize of power that was synonymous with the DiMera name.

Then I realize if I hadn't of foolishly decided to play his games of revenge that I never would have met Samantha or subsequently had my children with her. So I guess despite my ever present hatred and deep seated fear of Stefano in a roundabout way his schemes to bring down the Brady family from within failed miserably because within the space of few minutes I'm to marry the most incredible and intriguing member of the Brady clan.

While I realize that my father won't give up on trying to reconcile with me I'm not going to do anything that would jeopardize my relationship with Samantha either. She despises him and never wants him to play a role in our lives ever again. I wish he would just leave us alone in the future, but I'm not that idiotic to believe that he would so willingly give up.

The one thing he did teach me though that is firmly ingrained into my core is that family is everything. Now that the time is here I know without a doubt that I would do anything for Samantha and our children, each and every one of them are so precious to me that I won't ever let Stefano or anyone else harm them. They are my life and I'll do whatever I have to do in the future to ensure that Stefano can't tear us apart and ensnare me back into a life that I do not wish to partake of in any shape or form.

It's kind of strange to realize that the family he wanted me to destroy from within held the one person who would change my life utterly and completely. Somehow despite all of Stefano's evil machinations he was the one who lost out because not only have I found the love of my life, I have what he must have longed for all of those years ago.

I have a family that loves me which was confirmed even more so after speaking with my mother, Edmund and Nanny Crumb on the phone. They are extremely pleased for me and with my promises of visiting them with Samantha and the children in the future I ended our conversation on a positive note.

In fact before I hung up the phone Nanny Crumb told me that she knew all along that I'd be able to find my way back to Samantha and it had been her fervent prayer that I would be happy and that furthermore I needed to embrace the fact that I deserved to be loved.

While it isn't any secret that Nanny Crumb has always held a soft spot for me I'm still not completely convinced that I am worthy to be the recipient of such devotion. Then I hear Chad's voice after he has knocked on my bedroom door to tell me it's time for us to be downstairs I realize that it's really happening.

The realization hit me even further as I take my place awaiting Samantha to appear before me. My children are all smiles and anxious for what Johnny aptly put as he whispered loudly for us to get this show on the road.

I'm thinking he just wants out of his suit, of which I have no doubts about as soon as the ceremony is over since I assured him he only had to be dressed up for that and I am sure we'll be hard pressed to get many if any pictures of him at all.

My son is a rather impatient one, much like his mother in that respect and then I realize I'm rather impatient too at the moment while waiting for her to appear. I just want to see her, to know that this time we are going to do things right, that no disastrous fallout is going to prevent us from becoming man and wife and then my heart almost stops when I see her and Will enter the room.

She is a vision, breathtaking in her beauty and the confident smile she is beaming as she walks toward me is something I am sure I will carry with me until my dying day. There is no doubt that Samantha Gene Brady is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen before in my life.

In that moment after Will has stated that he and his siblings are giving their mother to me I almost cannot believe it.

Then I feel her hand slip into mine and squeeze it reassuringly as we face her brother for him to proceed with the wedding ceremony.

I honestly can't recall what Eric has said to us thus far, all I can do is look upon Samantha's face and then my heart fills with even more happiness when I hear her speak.

"EJ, I kept myself from you because I thought if I didn't let you in, you couldn't reject me and now I see how foolish that was because you have been the one who could see me, the real me and somehow you loved me in spite of it all. I dreamed that one day I'd find love, it just took me a long time to believe I deserved love and now when I look at you and around this room at our children, I know you're the one I was searching for all along. You helped me see that I was worth it all, it took us going through some very difficult times and I know we'll have more of them in the future but we'll face whatever life brings our way together and I'll never take you or your love for granted ever again."

I have to take a deep breath not to start crying because Samantha and her sweet words are more than I expected. I've always had a way with words, but I don't think whatever I come up with can be enough to let her know how much she means to me.

"My darling Samantha, I never expected to find love in my life, but from the moment I first saw you, it hit me that you were the one and while there were times I didn't think you would ever see it, somehow we found love despite all the odds. You make me feel things no one else ever has and while we've went from one extreme to the other over the course of time, the one thing always remained even when I claimed it didn't and that was I love you and I want to only be with you. I just hope you won't regret taking this chance on me. I know it's an incredible leap of faith that I'm asking of you, but you're the one I want to go on this journey with and I promise you that you will have my love and devotion from this day forward. I forsake all others for you."

"And I you, no one but you EJ from this day forward. You're the man I want to share my life with, the good times and the bad because you're my destiny, my true heart lies with you and only you."

"No regrets?" I have to ask her because she needs to be completely sure about this because I am staking my entire life on being with her until I take my dying breath on this earth.

"Only that it took so long for us to get to this point, although I plan to make up for lost time each and every day," Sami said with a surety that makes my heart soar.

I nod in agreement, "I'll make everyday count, as long as you'll be with me."

"I will."

"I will too."

We look at each other and there's so much more I could say, but then Eric's voice breaks through to let us know that by the power invested in him from God above that I can kiss my bride.

I almost don't take his direction for a moment because it seems surreal, there were no objections to our union, no random gunshots firing out at either one of us or someone breaking down the door demanding we halt the proceedings. All I see is Samantha look at me with a questioning glance over why I'm taking so long to kiss her and then it hits me, all I have to do is kiss her and we're married.

I break into a huge smile before I place my lips on her for what has to be the sweetest kiss I've ever received from anyone before and when we finally hear the kids yell with shouts of happiness I pull back from the kiss and look into the face of my beautiful wife, Samantha.

As I feel my children pulling on my leg to get my attention I finally know what true happiness feels like because it's in this room with us, surrounding us all.

"I love you," I hear her whisper into my ear before our children draw us away from one another and for the first time in my life I know she truly means it, that this isn't all one sided anymore. That Samantha loves me as much as I love her and from now on I don't have to hide how I feel about her ever again.

After several hours later of celebrating, we're finally alone. Will and Chad have taken the kids over to Belle's new home for her to keep them for us tonight and it's just us.

I go outside taking a glass of champagne with me to look upon the darkened skies for a moment and guess that writing those letters to Samantha must have been the right thing to do all along. That romantic fool who believed in moonlit wishes upon stars is alive and well and ready to lavish all that love and devotion he has on the woman who somehow brought it all back when I thought he was lost forever.

I hear her calling for me and I turn to go, but not before wishing on a star.

Somehow I think this time my wishes will be granted.

The End