Hello sweethearts! Thank you all for all your reviews and for continuing to read my story even though updating hasn't been that great lately. Today, we face the last chapter of the story. There'll be an epilogue, soon, I hope. I feel very emotional about closing off my second story, but I also feel I've acomplished a lot in these past few months. I feel like I've gained a lot of friends and I've felt close to each and every one of you that have left me your thoughts. I love you all for taking the time to read my story and I want to thank you once more for being the most awesome readers a girl could want.
Thank you to my wonderful betas throughout these months. BelleViolette, for always being there for me and for being just as crazy as I am, and NorthWomn, who saved me with this last chapter and picket out the bad from it.
As always - playlist has updated - http:/www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=oyUBdLm3s9U&feature=BFa&list=PLF9712A4E8F8DE2C4&lf=BFp
Also, a little visual - Sookie's wedding attire. http:/www(dot)polyvore(dot)com/sookies_wedding/set?id=40597575
Things I almost remember,
And a song someone sings
Once upon a December.
Someone holds me safe and warm.
Horses prance through a silver storm.
Figures dancing gracefully
Across my memory...
Someone holds me safe and warm.
Horses prance through a silver storm.
Figures dancing gracefully
Across my memory...
Far away, long ago,
Glowing dim as an ember,
Things my heart
Used to know,
Things it yearns to remember...
And a song
Once upon a December
(Once Upon a December)
Day before the wedding
The weather was looking up and so was my mood. I knew it was important for us that the weather didn't screw up our setting in the back yard. We'd watched the news over and over to see if there were any changes and we needed to install a tent, but none had occurred.
The weather was pleasantly warm, we'd had a few rainy days prior to this week and Sookie had been particularly bummed by it. She liked her sun and she wanted her wedding day to be as she'd always imagined it. And I wanted nothing less than perfection for her.
As a man, I never really dreamt of the day I got married. Until I met Sookie, that is. Then, whenever I somehow dreamt about the day, I imagined it would be exactly like her – full of sunshine, a breath of fresh air and general feel-good vibe. Yes, I was a man in love. Sue me.
I was also anxious about the upcoming day. I was happy it was coming, but my stomach was in knots. My father was smirking every time he saw me. I swear, he knew. Of course he did, he already went through this. It was years ago, sure, but I knew my mom was his soul mate as much as Sookie was mine.
Sookie and I had tired over the months of preparations. Who ever knew there could be so many details to pinpoint? Pam had suggested we get a wedding planner, but we refused, wanting to do the whole thing ourselves. How hard could it be, right? Well, apparently, it could be plenty hard. Invitations, table sets, DJ, priest, town hall, clothes, honeymoon. And this was the short list. Thank God for Lafayette!
A few days before the wedding, we still had to figure out what accessories to wear, how the ceremony would go, how to actually cover the pool with plexiglass, what color my shirt would be, should I coordinate with Alcide or with Sookie's color accent, would she wear her hair up or down, would she wear heels or go barefoot and an endless list of questions.
I had also been writing and my book was in its final draft. Pam had taken me under her wing as well and she was as much a hard ass as Sookie said she was. I'm not even gonna mention Stan. He's got a little dictator streak going for him and I nearly punched him a few times before I realized he was right with all the changes he wanted to make.
Sookie had been busy writing her second book, which was much anticipated by her pack of fans and by the press as well. Her book had been selling like crazy and I could only rejoice every time her smile lit up when Pam gave her the most recent numbers.
Between writing, promoting the book, planning the wedding, she was exhausted most of the time. Now, to add to that exhaustion, her brother was in town, staying with us, no less. He had come alone, as promised. He even gave me thetalk. the one where he threatened to kill me if I ever hurt his sister. I thought I'd mention he better pay Bill a visit, but refrained from saying anything. I really had no intention of ever hurting Sookie. I only wanted to make her happy, and I told him as much. After he spoke his mind, he actually congratulated me for growing a pair.
"I knew you were in love with her for years. I can't say I agree with how fast things have gone between you, but I'm glad you two finally see what you can have."
Wow. That was some deep shit for Jason to pull off. Sookie made me tell her twice. Hell, I needed to replay it in my mind several times to make sure the man who had trouble tying his laces had actually uttered those words. He rarely saw more than was in front of him; I can't imagine how he sensed I was in love with his sister. Anyway…
Our friends had been very helpful. Alcide had found a way to cover the pool at the last minute and give us the dream dance ring. He even installed lights around it, to make it look nice at night. Along with Lafayette, we covered the trees in lights and installed some garden torches to put between the tables. There weren't many of us, but we still needed a few tables. Besides our friends, we agreed to invite a few others, like Sookie's old boss and his girlfriend, other employees at the café, highschool friends of ours and Dad asked for our permission to invite some business associates of his. All in all, we were about 40 if all were actually bringing their +1s. Good thing we had a large enough yard for everyone.
Sookie insisted we sleep apart tonight, and while I wasn't the happiest man in the world about that idea, I understood her and respected her wishes. Lafayette, my father and Alcide had promised to get me semi-drunk at Dad's place.
I'd like to say we stayed up all night, playing poker, telling dirty jokes and drinking whisky, but it was nothing like that. We had all been working in the yard to get the last details in, so after drinking a beer we all but passed out on the couch.
I thought I had exhausted all the nerves and jitters by now, but they came back with a vengeance. I was seriously going to puke.
The morning passed in a blur -going to the barbers, getting my hair cut, getting the suit from the cleaners and generally running around town. I could barely eat that morning or afternoon. My father kept squeezing my arm whenever our paths crossed.
"You're getting married, not going to the scaffold," he'd say and my heart would leap.
I was actually marrying Sookie! And then my nerves would settle. Every time I remembered who would be walking up the isle towards me, I'd get this drunken smile on my face.
"You ok there, Goldilocks?" Alcide welcomed me back to my dad's house.
"Yeah. I'm getting married!" I replied, smiling like a loon.
"Well, at least you look like an idiot now instead of constipated. Come on, get in. We need to settle up last minute shit," he rolled his eyes.
I walked past him and plopped down the tux I had in my arms, draping it over the back of the couch.
"You think Sookie'll be upset with my choice of present?" I asked him, cringing at how much she worried about me spending a lot on her.
"I think she'll pretty much adore anything you get for her. I don't get this tradition of gifting each other, though. I mean, aren't you already giving yourselves to the other? Material things just seem small compared to the commitment you're making," he reasoned, and I had to admit I agreed with him. The point was moot however, since I loved getting Sookie things and lavishing her in whatever I afforded to buy her. And I afforded quite a lot. We were beyond comfortable and her worries were silly.
"Tradition's tradition, I guess. So, what else does your little list say we need to do?" I mocked him for following Lafayette's to-do list to the dot.
"Your hair is cut, check. You're all shaved up, check. You got your tux, check. Your shoes are shiny enough for planets to start revolving around them, check," he chuckled.
"Looks like you have to get the rings, the gift and your ass to the house. He specifically instructed me to announce to him when we get there so you don't see your bride."
"See, that's a tradition I don't get. Stupid superstition," I mumbled, completely against staying away from Sookie. If I hadn't crashed like I did last night, I'm fairly certain I couldn't have slept. For months now we hadn't spent a night apart and I hated we had to do it last night.
"Let's get a move on. I'll get Leif," Alcide urged and went to look for my dad as I gathered the last things I needed to take with me.
In a minute, they joined me at the door and the three of us walked to the car and drove to our home. The house looked festive. There were twinkling lights waiting to be lit on the trees in front of the house as well and the front yard seemed to already be full of cars. Well, that was gonna be a problem, but the other houses were so far and few between that illegal parking wouldn't bother anyone. Good thing we had the Sheriff as a guest, anyway.
Alcide threatened me to stay in the car as he called for Lafayette.
"Yeah, we're here… Ok. You make sure of that… I'm taking him to the guest bedroom… Ok," he spoke into the phone before turning to me and allowing me to get out. We took everything to the downstairs bedroom and I looked up the stairs hoping to catch glimpse of my bride. No luck, however, and I even got whipped upside the head for breaking my promise to not look for her. Oh well.
The second I entered the room, he closed the door and had my amused father lean on it as he said he didn't trust me with not sneaking out after her. I think he was more afraid of Lafayette's wrath than of whatevercatastrophe would happen if I saw Sookie. I told him as much and he rolled his eyes.
The three of us started getting dressed, making sure our ties were in place. We had agreed it would be a semi-formal affair as far as the setting would go, but at least we would be dressed to kill. It was our wedding after all, and the pictures would last a lifetime. Pam was bringing the New Orleans photographer to get our pictures taken, saying it was her gift to us. Considering how much he charged, it was a gift she was going to mention forever, especially since he wasn't the kind of artist to "do weddings".
I gave the little box with my gift to Sookie to my father to carry.
"Let me know what she says," I begged and he nodded before leaving the room. He returned minutes later, smiling.
"Well?" I pressed anxiously.
"She loves them. She's wearing them as something new and something blue. This is for you," my father said as he handed me a rectangle shaped package, before leaving me alone.
Inside the package was the leather bound journal I had seen Sookie carry around. I opened it and found a note.
"I started this the day I realized I was in love with you. Here lay my feelings for you, my heart, my soul. You're everything to me, my love. Maybe you will understand it better now."
I pulled the note away and saw her name written on the first page along with the words "The Story of Us". I turned the page and noticed the following ones were torn. I shrugged it off and went on. Half the journal was filled with poems- poems about us, about her feelings, about her thoughts. My eyes watered as I read through the first ones.
The knock on the door let me know that it was time to go and I closed the journal, knowing I'd have time to memorize it later.
I walked outside and took my place near the minister, with Alcide at my side. There were a few rows of white seats where our guests were seated. A red carpet was laid in the form of an aisle, covering the grass. The dance floor looked beautiful in the distance and I could see the little podium was also installed, for whomever may want to give a toast or a drunken karaoke performance. The DJ was in his booth and I nodded towards him. He was resident in the club Lafayette worked at and had offered his services for tonight, which was wonderful since we had no idea what to do about music.
I looked at the window of our bedroom, the room I knew Sookie was in, but the blinds were drawn.
Soon, the music started playing and everyone's attention went to the house. First came out Diantha, walking towards us in a blue dress. She winked at me as she took her place across from me. My attention switched back to the house just in time to see my father and Jason get out and extending an arm to Sookie. She came out, looped an arm around each of them and started walking towards me. Our eyes met and my breath caught in my throat. She was radiant.
These nerves would be the end of me. My stomach was a bag filled with butterflies.
I looked outside when Lafayette assured me no one was out there yet. Everything looked wonderful. They had outdone themselves. I could see the entire yard from my vantage point and it all looked like it came out of a fairytale. It would look even nicer in the evening, when all the lights would come to life.
I turned back to my friend who was gushing at how pretty I was.
"Laf, you'll make me blush or cry and my makeup would be ruined," I threatened.
"Oh, girlfriend, I can always redo it. Don't you worry. You're glowing. Eric's good for you," he nodded his consent of my choice.
"He is. I feel like I could fly right now. I'm nervous, I want everything to be perfect, but I can't wait to be married to him, you know."
"I hear you, sugar. Just relax."
Lafayette was working on my hair now. I was dressed in my uber expensive dress that he had managed to get for me for half price, just because he knew everyone who was someone. How this man managed, I had no idea, but I wasn't complaining. I had picked out a silk Alberta Ferretti dress. It was a little puffy, but not too much, and it looked nice on me. My boobs looked nice in it, since it wasn't low cut or anything. I really didn't want to look trashy and with the size of my twins, it was a really thin line to cross.
There was a knock on the door and Leif came in.
"Oh wow. You're a vision, Sookie," he said, his hand over his heart. He was smiling ear to ear and I did the same.
"Thank you," I thanked him as I got up and gave him a hug. "Is Eric behaving?" I joked, really hoping he wasn't getting cold feet or anything.
"He is, because Alcide is threatening him. He actually sent me to you," he admitted and pulled out a little box. "It's his gift to you and he'd be honored if you wore it today."
I took the box and opened it, gasping at what lay inside. The prettiest pair of butterfly earrings lay there, covered in blue stones.
"Something new and something blue," I mumbled and hurried to pull the other earrings out of my ears, putting in the studs quickly. "Here, this is for him," I told Leif as I gave him the little box I had put my poetry journal in.
"I'll take it back and I'll come for you soon," he said and left the room.
Jason came in soon after, making Lafayete mumble something about a train station.
"Wow,Ssis, you look hot."
"Thanks, I guess." Jason's vocabulary was never big.
"I'll be waiting for you outside. Hurry up, I'm hungry," he said and I had to roll my eyes.
"At least he has his priorities straight," Laf joked when my brother was out the door.
"You know him. Women and food's all he cares about."
We joked a bit more, in an attempt to loosen me up. My hair was piled up in soft waves and the veil fit under it. I never understood the need to cover the bride's face.
I got up and stepped into my sky high heels and turned to the mirror. My hair looked wonderful and my ears sparkled with the jewels Eric bought me. I wondered briefly what he thought of my gift. At the top of my breasts lay one of Anne's necklaces. I thought I'd wear it today, so she'd be close to us. It was a celtic key that looked wonderful. In the bow on my hip, I had set my mom's brooch... the one that had caused so much trouble when I went to retreat it from Bill's.
I remembered to switch my engagement ring to my right hand before joining Jason and Leif on the corridor. Diantha came and hugged me, wishing me luck in my new life, before turning and going outside ahead of us. Lafayette slithered past me and promised he'd be watching me from his spot. I took a deep breath and walked downstairs with Jason and Leif, heading towards my destiny.
It seemed like time had stopped as she walked towards me. She looked beautiful and she was all mine. She smiled up at me and I could see a slight blush on her cheeks. She stopped as my father and her brother put her hand in mine and I mouthed "I love you" to her when our eyes met once again.
I have no idea what the priest said, because I was lost in her – the way she smiled, the way her eyes sparkled with excitement and how her love for me poured out of every pore. I wanted nothing more than for the priest to be done talking so we could have a little fun with our friends and then skip away to our honeymoon.
"I do," she said and I refrained myself from kissing her, knowing the priest would frown upon it.
"I do," I said when prompted and bent down to capture her lips with my own. Our guests started clapping and laughing as I didn't wait for the official "you may kiss your bride". My arms went around her and I spun her around. She laughed and let her head fall back in joy, reveling in the catcalls.
We did the rounds, thanking everyone for coming and moved towards the tables. The day was fading and the lights lit up the whole yard at the press of a button. Lafayette's smug face spread into a smile as I thanked him for helping out.
The DJ motioned that our song was coming on and we stepped over the pool, looking as if we were hovering. "Once Upon a December" started playing and we started waltzing like we practiced. We actually had fun dancing around the house and we took the chore of choreographing the dance as a way to relax at the end of the day. Sure, our toes were fallen heroes in the battle of learning the steps, but it was a sacrifice we made gladly.
We spun and swirled across the dance floor and everyone clapped as I dipped her backwards and placed a kiss on her lips. Her hands remained around my neck as I pulled her up. Our guests joined us on the stage and started swaying to the music as well.
We ate and drank, joking with our friends, as Merlotte's waitresses zipped between the tables. They had been Sookie's idea and convincing Sam to give them the night off so they could help, was pretty easy.
"Can I have your attention please?" my dad's voice came through the speakers. He was standing on the little podium at the side of the pool.
"When my wife passed away, I moved here with Eric. The only people we knew were my business partners. He was lucky enough to meet Sookie and since she knows everyone, we soon started feeling at home in this town far away from our homeland. She was always there for me and for Eric and so was her Grandmother, who became a close friend of mine over the years.
What I'm trying to say is, my new daughter is someone I have long considered part of the family. Now it's simply official and it doesn't change the way I feel about her. She's one of the most beautiful souls I have ever met and I'm glad she's Eric's mate. I know how it feels when you meet your pair and although it might seem to some that they have moved fast, ask yourself would you wait when your future is right in front of you. Anyway, to Sookie and Eric!"he flustered and stepped off the stage.
Everyone applauded and I got up to hug him. I figured it was a time as good as any to give my toast so I kissed Sookie and walked towards the stage. I saw her whisper something to Diantha who left towards the house.
"Thank you everyone for coming tonight. You're our closest friends and family and we are honored to share our most important evening with you.
As most of you know, I have known Sookie for ten years, going on eleven now. What you don't know isI've loved her for just as long. It may sound stupid that I didn't do anything about my feelings until now, but I didn't want to risk losing my best friend. Because that's what she is. She's my best friend before being my lover, she's the one I share my day with and the one I can't live without.
I love her with all of my being and I'm not ashamed to admit I'd do anything she asks of me just to make her happy. Sookie, I love you and my goal in life is making you the happiest woman in the world. Thank you for agreeing to become my wife, Mrs. Northman," I said and everyone clapped. Sookie came towards me and kissed me, breathing "I love you so much".
"Now, if you don't mind, I'll follow in my husband's humongous footsteps and say a few words myself," she said as she carefully stepped on the stage. Everyone laughed at us when I lifted my leg, showing everyone just how big my shoes were.
Diantha came and passed a wad of paper to Sookie, before going back to her seat.
"First off, thank you all for coming tonight. It means the world to me that you've agreed to share our happiness. I know this man in front of me is the most perfect man in the world. Sure, he's not flawless, but he's mine and that makes him perfect for me," she said and my heart swelled. I stood there, a few feet away from her, and did my best to not scoop her up and run away with her.
"He's been there for me when no one was and he understands it when I'm crazy, when I need space or when I'm needy. I think I've always loved him, but, like him, have pushed those feelings somewhere deep down so not to scare him. Let me tell you, admitting to those feelings is liberating!" she laughed and everyone else joined her.
"Anyway, as you all know I write things. Well, recently I started writing poems as well. They're nothing worth publishing, Pam, so chill," she addressed her publisher who had just started doing a happy dance in her seat. "Anyway, I started writing when Eric and I finally admitted our feelings. Today, my wedding gift for him was the journal I have been writing in. In these past months, it was completely off limits for him and he never once tried snooping; I'm certain.
I gave him the journal, minus the first few pages. See, there was this first poem I wrote after a dream I had. Today, I want to recite it to him and eventually give him the ripped pages so he can complete his gift.
The smell of rain,
The touch of you…
A little stain
That's turning blue.
The lil' cold drops
Revive my skin…
But soon it stops
And goes within.
Makes way through veins
Up to the heart,
Puts it in chains
And so it starts.
You take my hand
And carve your vow;
You take a stand
And make a bow.
Embrace me sweet
And keep me close.
We are complete
And the world knows.
You touch my soul
Beyond this world…
You made me whole
And then we curled.
Just hush, I heard
The silence speak!
Don't say a word
I feel it grow
Inside of me…
It makes me glow…
We will be three!
(copywrite Gabriela Vatu – March 2006)
I stood there looking at her as she looked back at me, emotion in her eyes. No one said anything. They were all watching us, wondering the same thing I was.
"Really?" I stepped forward.
She nodded and smiled at me, putting a hand over her belly, just as I was hugging her body to mine. This was, without question, the best day of my life.
This is it, girls. I know, you all want lemons, but I didn't feel like writing them lately, as you've noticed, I'm sure. I wanted to see if I can write stuff without all the sex in it. Don't worry, they're still at it all the time, they just have some privacy. Depending on how much you want it, there'll be sexy times in the epilogue. Ok, who am I kidding, there probably will be anyway.
Please review and let me know what you think!