Grace turned over in bed early the morning after what should have been her wedding day and looked at Rich - her former fiance, almost husband, current boyfriend - and felt a grin tugging at the corners of her mouth. There was something so pristine about seeing him first thing in the morning, before anything could ruin the day, and in the faintest recesses of her mind, she remembered that if they had decided to go through with it yesterday, that would be precisely what would happen, over and over again for years to come. And then she shook her head to shake the thoughts from her mind, because they weren't ready. They were too young. Too young, it would have been a mistake, no matter how much she really did love every inch of him.

His arms were wrapped protectively around her waist, almost like he didn't want to let her go. He was hard and jagged where she was soft and rounded, and yet they fit together in such a way that it would be hard for her to imagine anything else.

He'd compared them to a Shakespearean couple, and she knew that Shakespeare was famous for his tragedies; Romeo and Juliet's fates danced in the fire in front of her, taunting her with the most dismal reminder of what could be, if fate played that hand. She always preferred the fairytales though, where the princess got the prince and they all lived happily ever after in a giant castle on a hill.

Rich may not be the traditional image of Prince Charming, but he had the long, flowing hair that she always imagined - had, because now he was trying to conform for her, and she never wanted him to change anything for her, because she loved him the way he was, loved tangling her fingers in his locks, loved - loves, she amended - him. He was her Prince Charming, her knight in shining armor, her fairytale ending.

He yawned and adjusted his chin to fit squarely into the top of her shoulder, and she allowed herself to sink back into his arms. Soon they'd have to wake up, get out of bed, and face her parents - she absolutely dreaded thinking of that part, because she did love her father, regardless of what had happened between them as of late - face the world and everything in it, because everything's different with sunlight casting aside the shadows. She took one of his hands in hers and moved it up to her lips, where she gently kissed the back of his palm and placed it back on her waist, patting it and resting her hands on top of his.

The sun wasn't up yet; they could hold out on facing the world that much longer.

She wasn't Mrs. Harbeck yet, not like she thought yesterday that she would be today, but she still held out the hope that Rich would be her now and her happily ever after.

Any alternate options weren't even fleeting thoughts in her mind.