Chapter 25:

The afternoon was spent on the sizable deck that the fellas built for Eddie's backyard. He had one before but it was much smaller and in need of repair so during the time that Eddie was spending in the hospital the guys got together and phil designed a deck for the backyard to accommodate a family one day. It was attached the house and made it easier to go out into the backyard with a sprawling set of stairs that lead to a beautifully landscaped yard, curiosity of Ikey. Owen bought a new grill to put on the deck so Eddie could now start having BBQ's of his own. When Eddie first saw the deck he was in shock but when it was all finished he was speechless. Janet felt about the same when she saw it too. It was like she didn't even recognize the home that she and Eddie were living in. It was far from the home he shared with Phil. Everyone was sitting around the deck as it was big enough to accommodate pretty much everyone. There was a beautiful patio set that sat there in the center of patio area, curiosity of Janet's Grands. Hannah had told them of the plan for the wedding and they wanted to get her something that she would enjoy everyday, they thought nothing would give her more pleasure then to sit on the deck and drink her coffee in the mornings.

Janet sat there just looking around and seeing all of her friends and what little family she had left through very different eyes. She had a renewed sense of herself throughout this whole process knowing that she would never waste a moment of her life after being given a second chance. When she told Eddie weeks earlier that she would marry him on the spot if she could she really meant that although she really didn't think he would make it happen as he did. She could not have been happier with how he and Hannah worked out all the details and made this wedding a possibility for them both.

Eddie looked over at Janet and noticed she appeared to be lost in thought. She had a smile on her face as she looked out over all the people in the backyard. She grabbed her hand to hold in that moment. She immediately looked in his direction with the sweetest look of love on her face. He just couldn't wait until tomorrow when he could call her his wife.

Soon the afternoon turned into late afternoon and it would be time soon for Janet to try on wedding dresses so Hannah was walking around trying to get the boys moving and out of the house. This was a girls only event and Hannah made it clear to Eddie and all the boys to keep Eddie out of the house for the rest of the night. Eddie was not really ok with not staying with Janet for the first night she was back at home – he hadn't been able to sleep next to her in months but Hannah made it clear that he was not allowed.

Eddie and Janet had walked into the house and walked around a bit so Janet could see all the things that had been done to the house and they ended in their bedroom. This wouldn't be theirs forever just until she was back on her feet and could do the stairs routinely. They sat on the bed next to each other almost as nervous as the first time they made love with each other. Eddie spoke first, "I really don't want to leave you here tonight but I know that Hannah is insistent that I stay away."

Janet looked at Eddie, "you don't have to stay away Eddie. After everything we have been through I don't think we could get any worse luck so you staying here isn't going to affect anything other than making me sad that I can't be with you" she said so sweetly with tears starting to form in her eyes.

"Hey, Hey Janet, if you want me here I am here regardless of what Hannah says…it is you and me tomorrow and as long as I know you want me here I am here, Ok." Eddie said placing his palm on her cheek drawing her in for a sweet gentle kiss.

"I'm sorry I don't mean to cry Eddie. I am just so happy to be home and with you and still alive that I just want to spend my life being with those that I love. It may sound silly because I have always been so independent but something happened within me and I think I just need you to be with me, that's all." She said not looking at him not sure why.

"Hey babe look at me." Eddie placed his finger under her chin and lifted her chin towards his face "you don't have to apologize for anything. Something changed inside me as well Janet and I realize that I could have lost you again and I don't want us to be apart ever, that is why I planned this whole wedding in the first place because I don't see the need to wait any longer. It is you and me forever ok so I want you to have a good time tonight picking out your dress and when everyone is all gone I will come back and you and I can go to bed in our bed tonight…ok." He said smiling and looking into her eyes with as much love as he felt.

"Ok" is all Janet said before Eddie placed a very passionate yet tender kiss on her lips. With that Eddie got up and walked out in to the living room with Janet right behind him.

"Ok, ok you two lets get him outta here…we got dresses to try on." Hannah Jane said practically pushing Eddie out the door.

An hour later, the living room had been transformed into a wedding shop and several dresses were hanging on steel portable hanging rack and Eddie and Janet's bedroom had been transformed into her dressing area.

Hannah had done a very good job picking dresses that were Janet's taste and a few that were a little over the top but after everything she had done for her in regards to this wedding Janet would try on anything that made Hannah happy.

Through out the last few months, Janet had lost quite a bit of weight. She was still curvy but due to all the surgeries and lack of eating in the very beginning she had lost around 25 pounds. The weight loss certainly helped in trying on the dresses but even with the weight loss, she still struggled with trying to find one that made her look and feel and the same. She tried on the dresses that Hannah had chosen and although they were beautiful they were not Janet. She looked amazing but she didn't feel that way. She carefully tried on almost all the dressed until she got to "the one." The moment she put it on it brought tears to her eyes. Everyone that was standing in that room helping her try on her dresses paused for a moment when she turned and looked at her self in the full length mirror. She felt amazing and so beautiful in this dress and everyone could see it on her face. She looked at everyone in the mirror and everyone standing there had tears streaming down their faces. They knew as did she that this was her dress. This was the dress that she was meant to marry Eddie in.

The seamstress was also standing in the room helping Janet with the dresses and quickly realized that this was her dress so she began to look at what needed to be altered. Due to the style of the dress it didn't really need much on the top and really just needed to be shortened a bit so she quickly started to pin the bottom until Janet was happy with the length of the dress. Hannah stepped away and went into her bag. She had bought Janet a pair of shoes that Janet had commented on at the bridal store when Hannah was trying dresses earlier in the year. She knew that Janet would never buy these shoes for herself but after almost losing her best friend Hannah made sure Janet would have everything she ever mentioned for her wedding. She walked into the room as Janet was looking at herself in the mirror. Hannah walked up to her and said, "We just need one more thing to make this picture complete." She pulled the shoes out of the box and helped Janet step into them. Emily also helped Janet into the veil and head piece that the store owner had brought along and suggested with this dress. As Janet stood up and looked at her self in the mirror the tears began to flow heavily. She couldn't believe that she was standing in her wedding dress knowing that tomorrow was her wedding. She was so touched by every person who was standing in that room. As she looked at each and every one of them, she was overwhelmed by the love they had for her and what they all did to help make this day possible for her and Eddie. She wanted to express how she felt but the words wouldn't come out. She turned and looked at Hannah and smiled, "I know J, I know…we all love you too."

After a few minutes, the girls helped Janet out of the dress and the seamstress was off to make the adjustments that she needed so she could get it back to her in the morning. Everyone pitched in and helped the bridal store owner to gather her dresses and pack them in the bags. Janet was trying to figure out how to pay for the dress and the owner, Tammy, stated, "No need my dear your fiance' already paid for the dress." Janet was in shock. Eddie paid for her wedding dress, 'how is that even possible' she thought.

Emily, Allison and Aubrey all left with Tammy and helped her load up her van. Hannah stayed back with Janet and they decided to sit on the new couch in the living room and relax a bit.

"I can't thank you enough Hannah for all that you've done." Janet began to say.

"Janet I almost lost you and I was so scared. For the first time in my life I wouldn't have you and I couldn't bear that so this is my gift to you instead of a wedding present and a bachelorette party and a shower – which we couldn't do for you but I wanted you to have the most special day and I hope that you do. You looked absolutely beautiful in that dress Janet." She said with tears forming in her eyes.

The two embraced in that moment realizing that no words could really say what they were feeling but everything was expressed in that hug. "I did look good didn't I? I can't believe you remembered those shoes, I love those shoes." Janet said smiling the biggest of smiles.

"Of course I remembered, you talked about them non stop for the entire afternoon!" Hannah said laughing.

"Yeah I guess I did. I can't believe what you all did with this house. I barely recognize it. I love this furniture too." Janet said looking around and feeling the leather on the couch.

"I did have a lot of help trust me but we all wanted to do something for the two of you because you both have done so much for everyone else. Between me and the guys and Emily we were able to pick furniture that you both would like but it wasn't easy." Hannah said smirking remembering the day at the furniture store.

"I don't even think Eddie and I could have picked out this furniture…" Janet said laughing

"So what would you like to do for dinner? Phil has a ton of food left over if you just want to veg on your new furniture and have some girl time." Hannah said hoping that is exactly what Janet wanted.

"Sounds great Hannah, bring on the real food…I am more than over hospital food!" Janet said laughing as they both walked into the kitchen.

Hours later, Janet was laying on the living room couch flipping mindlessly through the channels. One of the other nice additions to their "new home" was a nice flat screen TV due to Phil having to take his TV with him since he gave it a name and all. She had finally talked Hannah into going home and letting her have some time alone to relax before her wedding. Hannah was reluctant to leave her there because it was her first night home but Janet insisted. Deep down Hannah knew that Eddie would likely be coming home regardless of tradition and she couldn't really blame him, it had been a long time since they had the opportunity to be alone together.

Eddie received Janet's text that said that Hannah had gone home so whenever he was ready the coast was clear. It made him laugh a bit and he began to make his way out the door. He thanked Phil and Emily for a great day and evening and for everything that they had done to help him with the wedding planning but the only thought in Eddie's mind was being with Janet now.

Moments later, Eddie came in through the front door and found Janet curled up on the couch flipping through channels. He immediately came in and closed and locked the door behind him. He made his way to the couch and eased himself down so Janet could lay her head in his lap. Janet just smiled the biggest smile when she saw him come in.

"What are you looking for?" Eddie asked watching Janet just flip channel to channel.

"I don't know, nothing really." Janet said mindlessly

"So did you find a dress for tomorrow?" Eddie asked as he began to smooth her hair across her forehead.

"I did." Janet said smiling even bigger.

"I can't wait to see it but I already know you will be beautiful." Eddie said smiling down on her.

"I can't thank you enough Eddie for doing all of this for me. I am so excited for tomorrow." Janet said looking up at Eddie with her head still in his lap.

"The smile on your face is enough for me, babe, why don't we head off to bed…we'll need our rest for our big day tomorrow." Eddie said smiling

"Absolutely" Janet said starting to move but rather slowly.

"Are you feeling ok, babe? I didn't even think about how tiring this day would be for you." Eddie said with concern trying to help her up off the couch.

"You know I was tired but feeling tired is a welcome feeling Eddie. This whole experience has really shown me to enjoy every minute even the uncomfortable ones but honestly it feels good to be out of the hospital and be able to move around at all. It all could have been so different." Janet said reflectively.

"I hate to hear you say that Janet but I understand why and I am just so thankful that you are home with me and we have our whole lives to look forward too." Eddie said trying not to say what he really wanted too.

They walked into their bedroom and Eddie looked around. "It looks like a tornado hit this place" he said jokingly.

Janet looked around and totally forgot that they hadn't really straightened out after the bridal store women were there. "I'm sorry Eddie, it's such a mess, I guess we did get a little carried away." Janet said looking around the room.

Eddie walked over to Janet and wrapped his arms around Janet's waist and said, "I don't care what this room looks like because it looks the best when you are in it." He said smiling knowing he was being charming and a bit sassy.

Janet smiled and said, "Is this how it's going to be? You charming me into what ever it is that you want…because you know it will likely work." She said giggling a bit.

"That's my plan" Eddie said gently kissing his fiance'.

When they slowly broke apart, Janet said, "Ok we need to get to bed because I want to be well rested for our big day tomorrow."

They both got ready for bed and snuggled into their bed together. Janet was so happy with the clearly expensive and high thread count sheets that Eddie had put on the bed knowing full well that Hannah was responsible for them. Within minutes they were wrapped in each others arms and completely asleep. Both finally feeling like there was nothing that they couldn't accomplish or face as long as they had each other and soon they would have each other forever.