Chapter 26:

Janet was the first to stir in the morning of their wedding. She felt very well rested and smiled when she realized that Eddie was right next to her with his head firmly placed on her chest. He didn't typically sleep this way but for some reason he had his head on her chest and his arm across her stomach. He was hugging her as if she was the pillow. She paused briefly before she placed her fingers in his hair. She didn't want to wake him up yet the feeling of him on her chest was so amazing. She hadn't felt as connected to him as she did right at that moment. She gently placed her fingers in his hair and began to move them slowly from the front to the back. He didn't move right away and her goal really wasn't to wake him only to feel him. She knew that she was going to need to move soon as she was afraid she would be stiff and she needed to get ready for her big day. She glanced at the clock on her bedside table and it was only 6:30am so she knew she had a little time before Hannah would be making her appearance. She continued to run her fingers gently through his hair and he began to move a little. He tightened his grasp on her abdomen and began to move his head just slightly. It was almost making Janet laugh because he was really moving his cheek at this point against her breast without realizing it. He slowly began to lift his head trying to gain his bearings to determine where he was. He suddenly got this big grin on his face as he realized that the pillow was in fact his Janet and not a pillow. He turned his head just slightly and kissed Janet right between her breasts and moved slightly to look up into Janet's eyes. They locked eyes for a moment and Eddie continued to move until his lips were perched just shy of hers. They made contact and they kissed gently at first but soon Eddie became needy and wanted more of her. He deepened the kiss and they spent a good 10 – 15 minutes passionately kissing before Eddie and Janet both leaned back in attempts to catch their breaths.

"Hey soon to be Mrs. Latekka" Eddie said smiling

"Hey yourself Mr. Latekka…that was quite a good morning to ya." Janet said laughing

"It is a good morning waking up with you in my arms…I may reconsider the need for a pillow from now on." Eddie said chuckling.

"Very funny, Eddie." Janet said laughing

"So what is on the agenda for today" Eddie said looking as serious as he could knowing that she was about to smack him in the arm knowing full well what their plan was.

Janet looked at him and realized that he was teasing her. "I don't know maybe a lazy breakfast in bed and then maybe a cook out or something this afternoon…you know what ever you feel like doing…" she said teasing with her eyes looking directly at Eddie.

"You are so sassy Ms. Meadows, you know I have missed that." Eddie said kissing her quickly again.

"Whatever do you mean Eddie?" Janet said smiling

"Ok, ok…lets get you showered because I am sure that Hannah will be busting into that door soon enough to get everything started for our wedding." Eddie said.

"Are you going to join me? It would save some time." Janet said knowing that she could totally shower on her own now.

"Absolutely let's go" Eddie said beginning to move and helping Janet get out of the bed as well.

30 minutes later the two soon to be newly weds were showered and dressed. They both walked hand in hand to the kitchen to make some coffee and get some things out for people as soon their house would be a buzz of activity. They sat at the new bar/island that the guys created for them as Janet always said she would love an island to get things prepared when she was cooking. The other side of the island was great to have some stools to sit and talk to each other while she was in the kitchen or to eat breakfast or whatever meal on. She loved this addition to the kitchen as well as the new cabinets that were in place giving them so much more cupboard space. Hannah had clearly arranged everything because most of the dishes were in cabinets that were similar to the configuration at Janet's house. The refrigerator was stocked full of everything they would need and lots of snack foods so the men would be able to snack while setting things up in the backyard for the ceremony and reception.

Just then there was a knock on the door and Janet said, "now the fun begins"!

Eddie just laughed and got off the stool to see who was at the door. It was the tent company wanting to set up the tents for the event. They also had the archway that Janet and Eddie would exchange their vows under. They wanted it set up before the florist arrived so the archway could be decorated to the specifications that Hannah had set up…she was nothing but thorough.

Janet got up and looked out the patio doors past the deck to the large back yard watching Eddie show the tent fella's where to put the archway and the large tent for the reception. Within the hour, the tent was up and the tables and chairs were all set up under the tent and the archway was secured and numbers of rows of chairs were set up just in front of it. Janet couldn't believe how quickly they were getting things together. Another knock on the door, this time Janet got up to get it and it was the florist as if on cue. They were directed in the back yard and Eddie met them back there and gave them brief instructions. Janet just watched out the patio door once again and was just in shock how much everyone had worked to pull this wedding off without her knowing about it. Truth be told, it was perfect. It was exactly how Janet had always pictured her wedding. She never knew how her grandparents would react to her not getting married in a church setting but she loved being out side and it reminded her so much of Eddie due to his landscaping background. She knew this was the perfect way to start her life off with Eddie as a married couple.

Suddenly, the front door opened and Janet was brought out of her thoughts. Hannah was coming through the door with the other bridesmaids calling Janet's name and carrying several garment bags. Janet smiled and said to herself, "this is it…time to get ready."

Janet met Hannah in the front foyer area and had the biggest smile on her face. Hannah said, "where's Eddie?" Janet laughed knowing that Hannah knew he didn't stay away last night.

"He is in the back yard helping the florist and tent people" Janet said.

"Perfect! Now it is time to get you ready…good your showered it looks like." Hannah says

"Yup I am all yours" Janet says with a smile.

"Ok lets get set up in the downstairs bedroom. The hairdresser and make up artist will be here in like 20 minutes." Hannah says to everyone really.

Janet just stood there for a moment and took everything in that was happening around her. She couldn't believe that in a matter of a few hours she would be Mrs. Eddie Latekka.

Janet stood in front of the full length mirror looking at herself. She could not believe her eyes. She looked like a bride. Her hair was perfect. It was all loose curls and only up in the very front gathered to the back top of her head. Her veil was simple, it was secured to the back of her head attached to a simple crown type head piece that was placed on the top of her head and ran down into her hair is what it looked like so you could only see the top of the crown in amongst her hair. It was simple yet stunning. She looked at her makeup which was natural but yet brought out her beautiful blue eyes. She had a rose color on her lips and cheeks. For the first time in as long as she can remember she looked and felt truly beautiful. Then her eyes settled on her dress. It was absolutely the most beautiful dress she had ever seen. It was simple in some ways…it had a dropped waist with rushing in the chest and waist area that completely gave her the look of an hour glass figure. She had never been a chesty girl but this dress even gave her cleavage with a sweetheart neckline. It had a strap that went from the left side of her chest across over one shoulder that was lined with delicately made flowers with crystal accents in the center. It was merely for decorative purposes but was so delicate and the perfect accent to the dress. The bottom of the dress flowed from the dropped waist with delicate lace and crystal accent. It was layers and layers of flowing material that truly gave her the feeling of a princess gown. The shoes were the final accent. They were slightly higher than she would normally wear but they were satin and crystal accents with a thicker heel that was at least 4 inches. She was unsure how long she would be able to wear them but she knew that with this final touch she felt so beautiful and could not wait for Eddie to see her.

Her Grands had come in to her bedroom to give her the most beautiful bracelet that was made of simple diamonds that she wore on her wedding day as something borrowed. Her Grands then gave her a box with a ribbon and when Janet opened it up it was a simple pair of diamond earrings with a diamond drop shaped like a pear. It was absolutely beautiful and it was her something new. Hannah gave her a diamond pin that she attached to Janet's dress at the place where her shoulder accent was attached to her sweetheart neckline. It was very clever because due to the crystal accents it looked as though it belonged there. It was her something borrowed and her garter made of blue satin was her something blue. She smiled at herself in the mirror thinking back on all the forces that came together to make this day possible and she felt so overwhelmed.

Hannah walked in and saw Janet looking at herself in the mirror and just smiled because she could see that Janet finally saw herself as the beautiful woman she really was. They two made eye contact and Janet turned to face her.

"Oh my God Janet you look so beautiful." Hannah said so lovingly as a best friend only could.

"Thank you Hannah I really feel beautiful" Janet said.

"Are you ready sweetie? It's almost time" Hannah said.

"Absolutely" Janet said smiling.

Eddie was standing outside near the archway and was waiting for the wedding to start. He got ready upstairs really quickly and was given strict instructions not to return to the house until the wedding so he wouldn't see Janet by mistake or curiosity. He was standing close to his groomsmen and trying really hard not to be nervous but failing miserably. Owen, Nick, Ikey and Phil are all standing near him trying to help with his nerves. Ronnie is ushering everyone to their seats. Every seat is occupied and everyone is waiting for the music to start. All Eddie can do is stare at the patio door as that is the door Janet will emerge from escorted by her grandfather down the isle. The backyard is beautiful as the florist shop did an amazing job lining the isle walkway with flower stands and the archway is decorated with Janet's favorite flowers and vines.

The music starts and Eddie is brought to attention as everyone gets into their places. Janet's Grands is brought out of the house by Ronnie and escorted to her seat up front. She pauses in front of Eddie and gives him a hug whispering in his ear, "you have made my Janey so happy thank you." Eddie squeezed her tight and smiled knowing that he could not say anything without beginning to tear up.

The bridesmaids began their descent to the archway. First to come out the door is Emily who is greeted by Phil halfway down the isle and brought to rest near Eddie and archway. Next comes Aubrey who is greeted by Ikey, Allison is next to meet Owen and Hannah immerges met by Nick. They all turn to find Allison and Owen's daughter and Sam heading down the isle as the flower girl and Jr. groomsmen as Sam is a bit too old to be a ring bearer but he does hold the rings for the ceremony. Finally the music turns and now is the time for the bride to emerge. Everyone stands and turns to watch as the doors open and out steps Janet and her grandfather slowly making their way on to the deck and down the stairs to the isleway.

Eddie is completely struck by the woman that is slowly making her to him. Janet is breathtaking in her gown and veil. He suddenly realizes that he has lost his breath momentarily. He can not stop the tears forming in his eyes as she slowly approaches him. She has tears falling freely down her cheeks as she flashes him the biggest smile he has ever seen on her. They make their way to the archway and Janet's grandfather hugs her briefly and gives her hand to Eddie. Eddie shakes his hand and he goes and takes a seat next to Grands.

Eddie looks at Janet for a brief moment before turning to face the pastor who is officiating the ceremony. He mouthed to her "you are so beautiful". She smiles.

The Pastor begins the ceremony, "We are gathered here today in the presence of God and all these witnesses, family and friends of Janet Meadows and Eddie Latekka to unite them in the bonds of marriage…"

After the blessings, vows being voiced, candles lit and rings exchanged it is now time for the best part. "Please join me in introducing Mr. and Mrs. Edward Latekka…you may kiss your beautiful bride" the pastor says looking at Eddie who is smiling knowing that this is the part he has been waiting for.

He leans down and just before their lips touch he says in a whisper, "I love you Janet Latekka" and closes the distance between them for a very passionate kiss that last longer than anyone would have thought it would for the occasion. Eddie and Janet were lost in each other for a brief moment forgetting that they were in the midst of everyone until they began to hear all the shouts and clapping from their family and friends. Janet blushed a bit knowing that in that moment she completely forgot they weren't alone. Eddie looked at her and said, "you are just so beautiful Janet I couldn't help myself." Janet smiled at him and suddenly she didn't care so much that they had a kiss that she was sure no one would ever forget. Eddie grabbed her hand and they turned and faced their family and friends and began to walk down the isle followed by each pair of the wedding party until they reached the deck area. Eddie and Janet stood on the deck and each hugged all of the members of the wedding party as they approached the top of the deck. The girls all stood there and talked while the groomsmen went and helped to convert the wedding ceremony area to part of the reception area. That would be the place where the dance floor would be set up and right now the DJ that would be playing during their reception was in the process of setting up. Eddie however stayed right by Janet's side hanging onto her hand.

Hannah emerged from the kitchen with a tray of glasses and bottles of champagne and set them down on the table that was decorated for the wedding. Each glass was filled and handed out – the first two being to the bride and groom whose \glasses were marked as such and decorated with ribbon and crystals. Eddie and Janet waited until the boys came back up onto the deck and the entire wedding party began to raise their glasses as Eddie began his toast to his bride.

"I didn't think there was a moment in my life that I would feel the way I do at this very minute. I think I knew that Janet was the one the minute she agreed to meet Ernesto…he laughs…but with everything that life has brought our way I know that there is nothing that we can not overcome as long as you are with me Janet. You are my love, my life, my forever…and now my wife. To my Janet, you are my hail Eddie." With that he raised his glass and took a sip. Janet stood there with tears falling from her eyes and couldn't believe the things Eddie just said. There was nothing that he could have said that was better than his words that she would always remember. Eddie looked at her because she wasn't drinking and he leaned forward and kissed her. This time the kiss was brief but in that kiss held the feelings that Janet was unable to speak. Eddie looked at her and said, "I know babe, I love you too." With that they all raised their glass and each of them took a drink. All the girls had tears as well as they had never really seen Eddie the way he was in this moment. Each of them raised their glasses once and again and began to drink and laugh and enjoy the start of the reception. The one thing that was certain to everyone there was that Now the fun begins.