The justice of the peace had performed the wedding of Mark Powell to Ellen Johnston earlier that day, but it hadn't meant much to either of them. Aliases were necessary, but annoying when it was supposed to be a special day. Ellie hadn't wanted a big wedding; she'd never been one of those girls that sat around dreaming of that big day when she'd get to be a Princess…but still…
She was quiet on the drive up the mountain to Archie's house. He pulled into the driveway and parked, then took her hand as they walked up onto the porch. When she reached for the screen door, he tugged her back against him.
"Not yet," he said with a half smile. "I want to do something first."
Her cupped her face in his hands and gave her a kiss before he said, "When I saw you for the first time, I thought you were pretty and as crazy as it sounds I was glad that you stole my wallet. I was bored with my normal life; I thought tracking you down would make me feel better. I had no idea how much I would enjoy you. All of you," he admitted with a wicked sort of smile. "I wanted more of you every time we met up. You broke my heart when you stole my money and you won it completely when you brought it back. I thought I was gonna die when you disappeared and I was terrified that I was going to lose you when Raphael told you what kind of person I used to be. I can't believe how good it feels to be standing on this porch with you here and now, free of everything except how much I love you. I guess what I'm trying to say is this; Mark Powell can have Ellen Johnston. Do you, Elena McElrath, take me, Archie Lafontaine?"
"I do," she confirmed through tears of pure happiness. He'd understood. She wanted to be able to say something that perfect back to him, but it was impossible at the moment. Luckily, he didn't seem to expect it.
Archie tossed Ellie over his shoulder and carried her over the threshold.
"Feels good to be home," she said with a smile as he carried her up the stairs.