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Chapter 23

The beautiful ocean view, the white sands and lush tropical trees made the beach a perfect day for a wedding.

"Michael! Fi! Sam! Welcome!" Seymour merrily said, as Olivia beamed at Seymour the entire time.

Michael, Fi and Sam had just arrived in time for the ceremony. A warm breeze whipped through everyone's hair as Olivia stood before Seymour. She wore a loose flowy white dress with a circle of flowers atop her head. Seymour also, had on his usual white pants, white tee and white summery long sleeve shirt, his unruly hair now tied back in a neat ponytail.

They both looked so happy.

The three new arrivals greeted the soon-to-be O'Less's.

Michael wished them a bright future.

Fi told them they were meant for each other.

And Sam reminded Seymour to look at Olivia when he made his vows.

An extra, unknown man, wearing an orange/saffron robe, stood next to them. They assumed he would be the one to perform the ceremony.

"Come meet the Guru who will perform the ceremony!" insisted Seymour, "This is Guru official Swami Kahn Daments."

"Really?" asked Sam, "Your name is Kahn Daments ?"

"Is there a problem?" the Swami asked Sam, blinking quickly.

"Uh, no…no..." replied Sam, "of course not…and my name is Ken U. Diggit, he's Gus Unheit, and she's Claire Anette."

"Sam!" Michael and Fi both said.

Seymour made the real introductions of Sam and Fi. He then patted Michael on the shoulder as he proudly announced, "And this awesome guy is my best man, Michael Westen!"

The Swami smiled.

"Ah, Michael Westen! The best man!"

"For today/forever," said Michael/Seymour in unison.

The wedding began.

Swami Daments began by saying that today was a day of love, that today they were celebrating a lifetime of commitment. Sam mistakenly thought Swami said a lifetime of condiment. Michael stood next to Seymour, while Fi became Olivia's maid of honor.

"This ceremony," the Swami began, as he lifted his arms, "takes place before the energy of the Universe. Today the cosmos will help commit the couple to the center of each other's hearts, the temple of love."

After a few more words, Seymour and Olivia were asked to communicate vows from their heart.

Olivia went first.

"Seymour, this wedding ring I exchange freely with you," said Olivia, as they exchanged rings made of beautiful abalone shells, " previously, I believed a ring meant something different to me...it was like a tourniquet that cut off the circulation of my ring finger...but that was...before I met you."

She looked lovingly in his eyes.

Now it was Seymour's turn.

"Wow, to be compared to a compression bandage is awesomely romantic! " Seymour was saying, " and now that it is my turn, I've decided to write my vow in Haiku!"

Michael's eyes widened.

"My one regret, " continued Seymour, "was that I had always felt my soulmate, my true love, would know Haiku. But my search has been in vain. Luckily, I have learned to love you, my dear, Livvy."

Michael couldn't help but clear his throat.

Fi leaned over, "Michael? Are you okay?" she whispered concernedly.

He pointed to his throat as he whispered back, "...so emotional...I'm choked up..."

As Fi gave Michael a questioning look, Seymour had already begun:

Two fluttering hearts

Sunlight gleams on seashell bands

Making a tan mark

Fi was actually moved by the sweet serenity of the ceremony amidst their surroundings. The salty air, the cool ocean breeze, the glistening waters...Her heart was filled with joy for Olivia, who looked radiant.

The exchange of rings were complete.

As Fi looked over to Michael, she found his intense gaze lovingly on her.

The Swami invited Michael, Sam and Fi to join hands and form a circle around the couple with him. As Fi wordlessly held out her hand to Michael, he took it in a solid grasp.

"My beautiful Fi," Michael whispered the words in his head, as he stared into her eyes, "I promise to give you my whole self, body and soul…to take care of you…to respect and honor you…and most of all to love you until the day I die…"

Even though Fi did not hear the words, she read all his feelings through the look in his eyes.

"Two souls united with a single thought…" ended the Swami.

Literally, everyone thought.

Seymour and Olivia kissed.

Seymour took Olivia's hand as they smiled at each other while the three guests and the Swami clapped.

The world welcomed the new Mr. and Mrs. Seymour O'less.

Then the Swami performed an energy cleanse for the couple.

Seymour giggled.

.

.

(Two days later.)

Springtime in Miami is a time to stop and smell the gardenias. A lovely season to sightsee the art deco buildings in the city, stroll on the pristine beaches, or hobnob in the trendy nightclubs.

Fi was softly humming to herself as she walked up the stairs to Michael and hers loft. Another mission completed and it really did feel nice to go back to normalcy.

Living together, grocery shopping, dusting, humming...She couldn't believe she was feeling so domesticated…but there it was. No enemies to shoot, no victims to save, and most of all, no Seymour, who claimed a day without sunshine is called night.

She was carrying a bag of groceries, as she used her other hand to insert the key and open the door.

Loft sweet loft.

"Mi-chael!" Fi yelled, "I'm back!"

She looked all around for his presence. She tried listening to his footsteps. Nothing. The loft was eerily silent. She was all alone in the room. Strange, she had noticed his car was just parked outside. Could Sam have picked him up to go somewhere? Why hadn't he mentioned anything?

She got out her cell phone and dialed Michael's cell phone. His cell phone rang on the counter. Michael was definitely not out. He would never leave his cell phone at the loft.

"Mi-chael!" She yelled again.

BUBBA-RUMBA-BUBBA-RUMBA

Some rumbling noises could be heard up above her on the roof. She tilted her head up and looked up at the ceiling, scowling because she couldn't identify the sounds.

Cautiously she put her bag of groceries down on the counter

Her ears picked up footsteps moving outside in the back of the loft. From underneath the slot of the sliding door, she could see a shadow, telling her that whoever was out there was now right outside the back door.

Where was Michael in all of this?

As a measure of safety, Fi silently opened her pocketbook and retrieved her Beretta. With one hand, she pointed the weapon towards the back door of the loft, ready to shoot anyone or anything that looked unfriendly.

The back door of the loft suddenly slid opened.

WHAM!

At first Fi squinted because she was blinded by the sunlight and the shadowed outline against the doorway. Once her eyes became adjusted, recognition set in and she uncocked her gun as her hand fell to her side. She'd know that familiar silhouette anywhere.

It was Michael.

But the strange thing was, he merely had a large white towel wrapped around his waist. His chest was gleaming and his hair was slightly mussed. He hadn't seen her yet and had actually been whistling. Upon noticing her, he stopped in mid-whistle.

"Mi-chael!" she had a stunned look, "What is up with you?"

His face registered surprise as he spoke.

"Fi…uh…I-I thought you were going grocery shopping and then out to lunch with a friend."

She was looking at him up and down as she responded.

"My girlfriend cancelled lunch for another day, so I just came back from the store…but that's neither here or there…what are you doing dressed like that in the middle of the day?"

She tilted her head, total puzzlement read on her face. Michael glanced down as if he had not known he was merely wearing a towel.

"Dressed like what?" he asked innocently

"What do you mean dressed like what? Do you always wear a skirted bath towel in the middle of the day?"

Michael lifted his head with pride, "I've never realized you were so picky about my wardrobe choices, Fi."

Fi rolled her eyes.

"Michael, stop playing! I want an explanation!" she insisted, "And in case you plan to continue with an asinine answer, let me be explicit regarding my question—what were you doing outside, wearing only a towel—"

She stopped when she saw out of the corner of her eyes, movement behind him.

Seymour, stood behind Michael, with only a white towel wrapped around hiswaist.

Fi quickly turned away. Too late, her mind had registered Seymour's hairy chest and it made her almost want to pull her eyes out of her socket.

But Seymour's reaction to her was the opposite, as his whole face lit up upon seeing her.

"Fiona! Fiona! Good of you to be here!" Seymour looked pleased. "Awesome surprise, isn't it? It's me and Michael! And who says dreams do not come true?"

Fi turned to Michael with a straight face, "I'm moving out. Today. Now."

"No, no, Fi! Wait!"

""What. The. Hell. Michael?" Fi's voice was insistent, "because…of…this…thing...that happened... I will have nightmares for the first time in my life!"

"Hey, speaking of nightmares," stated Seymour, "This just came to me! I wonder if porn stars have nightmares about waking up fully clothed! What do you two think?"

Both Fi and Michael chose to ignore the remark, Fi giving Michael a challenging look.

"Now, Fi, I can explain all of this," said Michael, although there was no conviction in his voice.

"No, Michael...there is no explanation in the universe that can ever explain this…" said Fi pointing her finger at one man, then the other, "EVER…"

And then she saw out of the corner of her eye, movement behind Seymour.

Sam appeared out of nowhere with a white towel around his waist. When he saw Fi's surprised reaction, he grinned and even stepped closer to her.

Fi closed her eyes, wishing she had a towel to use as a blindfold for her brain. She took a step backwards.

"Hey Fi! " said Sam, casually as he puffed out his chest, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."

Fi worked hard to recover. "Alright, fair enough, Sam… then I'll hate you for your personality."

"Well, gee, Fi, " responded Sam, "Could it be that you are grumpy because you want a towel, too? I can get you one...let's see...hmmm...with your height and weight, a hand towel might do…"

Fi looked back at Michael.

"Michael! Do you see what has happened due to this..this...lunacy?... you've made it easy for Sam to jest me..."

She was beyond stunned and upset.

"Fi, this must look strange to you…" said Michael, as he watched Fi shaking her head side to side.

"I just can't deal with…" began Fi and stopped.

And then—oh god!—she saw from the corner of her eyes some movement again.

Jack Ash was behind Sam wearing only a white towel around his waist.

He stared at Fiona without blinking.

Sam grinned, "Come on up, Buddy, stand in line with us!"

Fi tried to take in the entire situation.

She looked up and down the line of bare chested men, of various heights, weights and hair density, all wrapped with towels at their waists.

"Anyone else coming?" She asked sarcastically, "Shall…I…wait for the entire towel brigade to arrive? Will the next set of men be wearing matching kitchen towels, for instance?"

"Wow! Awesome idea, but we're it, Fiona!" summed up Seymour.

Fi peered at the four of them, trying to get used to the idea.

"You four look like a police line up if they were trying to identify the elusive Fluffy Towel Serial Killer, " stated Fi.

"Oh! That would be so awesome!" exclaimed Seymour, "To be on the other side of the law!"

"You ARE on the other side of the law, buddy!" pointed out Sam.

"Not if it's a triangle," inserted Seymour.

"Are we done here?" asked Jack Ash, impatiently, "I'm getting cold standing here."

"O-kay," Fi said it as if she were trying to convince herself, "Just to remind you, Michael,...when someone annoys me, it takes 42 facial muscles for me to make a frown, but it only takes 4 of my muscles to extend my arm and smack you, right?"

"I got it, Fi…there is a very simple explanation….

"A simple explanation? No Michael, oh nooooo" she stated emphatically, "Don't give me the simple explanation. Give me the long, complex explanation. In fact, I want the entire maze of explanation…"

.

.

Later, Michael was able to explain to Fiona that as a way of thanks, Seymour had built on top of the their loft, a custom-made enclosed hot tub room adjoined with a mini steam room.

At first Fi could not let go of her feeling until she lounged in the steam room and melted into the clouds of steam. She felt all stress from the last few days drifting away.

Next Michael showed her their new hot tub.

The state-of-the-art hot tub accommodated up to four, so she and Michael were able to toally stretch out in comfort. Fi loved the therapy seats within the tub, which also featured wrap-around arm rests, lumbar support and individual pillow headrests. Deep blue water surrounded her with 108 jets, bubblers and wave-massage action.

It felt like heaven.

And in heaven, all is forgiven.

.

.

By nightfall, as Fi was in the shower, Michael was once again at the counter of the loft, trying to get some late night reading done on some files Pearce had sent over. Although it was tedious work, he was glad to be back to the normalcy of work.

He heard the bathroom door open and his smile was a mile long as Fi entered. Sometimes he felt as if his entire existence had become centered oh her. The time they spent apart had become unbearably slow.

"Michael," she came in smiling, "I thought you were done with work for tonight."

She was now standing in front of him. She wore a pale green nightgown with a low cut laced back. His eyes traveled down the length of her gown and then he looked at her long wildly chaotic mass of hair, so much like the person who possessed it. Finally his gaze lingered at her mouth for a long moment.

"What, Michael?" she teased, knowing exactly what he had in mind.

"Your mouth," Michael noted, "it's well suited for what I have in mind."

"For talking?" she half-joked.

Michael got off the bar seat and moved closer to her. His eyes contained glints of fire. A flush of warmth came over her throat and cheeks, "Michael I…"

Michael had already clasped her against his body and his nearness caused gooseflesh to rise all over her body and an excited quiver ran through her. Gently he pulled her closer.

"It's taken forever for me to admit it, but I have always felt it, " he said softly as he looked in her eyes, "it's just this, Fi…I love you."

The words that Fi had been waiting to hear since she first saw him sent her swaying slightly against him.

"Michael, I can't believe…"

"Fi, hear me out, I need to say the rest, "said Michael, obviously rehearsing these words in his mind, "I've wanted you from the first time I set eyes on you in Dublin. And every damn day that I left you in Ireland, I have regretted it. I want no more regrets. You need to know how I feel...I love you, Fiona."

Hot tears tipped over her lashes as Fi responded, "Michael, I love you, too."

Michael kissed her, his mouth hot and demanding, hungrily feeding off the warmth and taste of her. The heat of his kiss was delicious as his hands continued to caress her body and…

…and then he suddenly stopped He jerked back and stared at her incredulously.

"Michael?" she questioned.

She could practically see the surprised thought going through his mind.

"I would have never thought of it…from you…" he stated, a stunned look on his face, "And after my declaration to you?"

She knew exactly what he was referring to.

The line of her mouth formed a small 'o' as she sounded slightly desperate, "I know what you're thinking, Michael, but I had no way of knowing that this would be the night you would say you loved me."

He shook his head back and forth.

"I just never thought…" Michael was in a daze.

"Michael! Don't think of that! Just look at me! Look into my eyes!"

I-I didn't know... " he seemed to have been totally caught off guard, "that they made mango-flavored mouthwash…"

"I was just trying to help Seymour out, "explained Fi quickly, "he was trying to expand his business, and well, we owe it to him…"

"So, " said Michael, "we are going to have a discussion about Seymour now?"

"Why not?" asked Fi asserting her power, "I can talk about him anytime I want and there's nothing you can to about it!"

"Then we have a problem, Fi."

Michael smiled that kind of smile that made her melt. Without invitation, he suddenly lifted her up, intent on carrying her to their bed.

"Michael!" Fi pretended to be indignant, "Put me down! You cannot just carry me away anytime you feel like it! We can't solve all problems by just going to bed!"

"You're right, Fi," he said, "But I can make us both feel a hell of a lot better about the problem."

He laid her gently in their simple unmade bed and joined her in the heaps of snowy bed sheets. Her arms came up to wrap around his neck while his mouth covered hers gently. Both their bodies arched towards the other as a current of pleasure hummed through the two of them.

And then there was no more talk of Seymour.

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The End!

(Note to Preeti: there's your Michael/Fi time together!)

Thank you, thank you for having a wonderful sense of humor about this story. It was pure joy to write this and I hoped I was able to make you smile at least once.

My next story will be called "No Hidden Fi". The plot is already in my head, and I am excited about getting started writing it. However, for now, I will be writing at another FF site. Hopefully I will have something for you in about 2 or 3 months!

Thanks especially for all the reviewers who kept me motivated. Your responses have been overwhelming and I cannot express the gratitude I feel.

Thankfully we are not like Seymour, but perhaps we can learn to be as enthusiastic as him when it comes to our outlook on life!

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