A/N For h6p8gv...Happy Birthday!
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters
Outside my room the grandfather clock struck midnight. I lay awake even though I had gone to bed an hour before. Despite the fact that it was the day before my wedding, it had been a long day of last minute wedding details culminating in the rehearsal dinner. I was awake not from nerves but by the fact that Charlie and I barely had a few moments to ourselves over the past four months save a couple minutes before work in the morning and before bed at night. The other hours of the day were consumed with work deadlines and wedding planning.
I sat up and turned on my bedside lamp sighing in frustration. I missed Charlie; I missed having him beside me. He was in a bedroom down the hall. We had decided to adhere to the tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other the night before the nuptials. A knock sounded at the door breaking into my thoughts. I stood and grabbing my pink fluffy bathrobe slid it over my white t-shirt and pink and white checkered pajama pants before walking to the door.
Upon opening it I exclaimed "Charlie! What are you doing here?"
"May I come in?" he asked. He was wearing a gray t-shirt and red pajama pants.
I stepped back, allowing him admittance. He quietly closed the door after crossing the threshold and pulled me into his arms before pressing his lips to mine in a deep, longing kiss. He held me for several minutes more then pulled away and turned towards the door.
"Are you just going to leave after you come into my room like this and kiss me with no explanation?"
He turned back to me, his cheeks tingeing pink "Um.."
"Why did you come here?" I asked softly. I was genuinely curious.
"I missed you, Soph," he answered abashedly.
I grinned, placing my hand on his cheek. "I missed you too."
He placed his hand over mine, its warmth seeping into my skin. "That doesn't sound crazy does it?"
"No. Between my writing, your twelve hour days, fittings, menu planning, seating charts, and everything else that's been going on we haven't had much free time."
"You know we aren't supposed to see each other till the ceremony tomorrow," I told him earnestly.
"Should I leave?"
I entwined my hands behind his neck, holding him in place. "No."
He encircled my waist with his arms. "Good, I'd rather stay where I am."
I leaned forward and kissed him, savoring the scent of cherries on his breath. When we parted for air, his face turned from serene to worry.
"Is there something else you wanted to say?"
"Are you okay?"
My brow furrowed. "Yes, why wouldn't I be?"
"You seemed a little down during some of the conversation tonight."
"You mean the conversation about our parents and their weddings?"
"I admit I do wish that I could have shared some of my experiences like dress shopping with my mom or that you could have met her but she left under her own volition and I've accepted that a long time ago. Besides its not me I'm worried about. Are you okay? You seemed uncomfortable yourself."
He sighed as he unlocked our hands and led me to the bottom edge of my four poster bed where we sat next to each other on the lavender comforter. "It's hard because outside of my grandparents my parents were the most important people to me while I was growing up. I never thought that they would die…"
A tear escaped my eye at hearing the pain in his voice.
Charlie wiped it away with his thumb. "What's wrong, Sophie?"
I sniffed. "Hearing the sadness and pain in your voice and seeing it on your face breaks my heart."
His expression softened, though it was still tinged with melancholy. "The only sadness I feel is that my parents never got the chance to meet you."
I gave him a small smile. "And what would they have thought about a smart fact checker from New York who helped a stranger find true love?"
"You forgot to add that you are quite persistent and that you are in fact a writer, not a fact checker," he answered, grinning, forgetting his sadness.
"How careless of me."
His grin grew larger. "They would have loved you."
"Even though we butted heads in the beginning?"
"Especially since we 'butted heads' as you say."
I laughed. "Well, you deserved it."
"Oh, I did, did I?"
"Yes, you were being arrogant."
He shook his head, the grin never fading. "And have I been arrogant lately?"
I tapped my index finger against my bottom lip to appear in contemplation. "No, but that unfortunate trait may return in the future."
"And you'll tell me when it does?"
"I will. After tomorrow you'll be stuck with me forever," I reminded him.
"Lucky me," he said feigning displeasure.
I lightly swatted his arm. "Unless you're getting cold feet."
"No, mine are toasty warm. What about yours?"
"Not as warm as yours but getting there," I told him, rubbing my foot along his from his toes to above his ankle.
Charlie's eyes turned from amused to hungry as he pulled me on his lap so that I was straddling him and kissed my lips before moving down to my neck, kissing and nibbling the sensitive skin near my pulse point.
My heart was pounding wildly as I pushed away from him. "Charlie, what are you doing?" I asked breathlessly.
His eyes were glassy as he looked into mine. "Isn't it obvious?" He began running his hand up my side until it grazed the outer swell of my breasts.
I paused, the rest of my question lost as I looked upon his flushed face and swollen lips. I leaned forward and captured his lips. I ran my tongue along his bottom lip asking for entrance and he obliged me, allowing my tongue to skate across his. As we continued kissing I rocked my hips against his earning a moan of pleasure in response.
We were both panting when he ended the kiss. "So, what were you going to say before?" he asked once he caught his breath.
"Hmm…oh nothing," I answered innocently.
He chuckled as his hands moved down to my hips where they gently kneaded them. My body was becoming increasingly warmer under his ministrations. Taking my hands from his shoulders, where they had been resting, I shrugged out of my bathrobe and let it fall to the floor.
"There that's better," I murmured, feeling gooseflesh on my arms.
Charlie stopped kneading and kissed my lips tenderly then moved down my chin and throat "You weren't going to protest were you?"
I feigned shock by opening my mouth wide. "Me protest? Never!"
He laughed, his eyes moving to my shirt. He looked up at me for permission and I nodded. His hands took hold of the bottom of my shirt and he slowly pulled it up. I raised my arms so he could slide the shirt off more easily. He then tossed it aside. The cool night air caressed my newly bare skin making me shiver. I pressed my body against his, hoping to share his body heat.
"Cold?" he asked.
I nodded, my face touching his shoulder.
He carefully stood with me in his arms and walked over to where I was laying earlier, the sheets already turned back. He gently placed me on the bed with my head resting on the pillow and covered me with the sheets and comforter. I groaned as he stepped away. He just grinned as he stepped around the bed and lay next to me, on top of the comforter.
"Almost," I replied, snaking my hand around his neck and pulling his lips to mine.
Charlie shuffled his body so that he was hovering above me, our lips still locked together. He broke the kiss and sat back on his hunches to my displeasure a moment later. But that unhappiness soon dissipated at seeing him taking off his shirt, revealing taut muscles. Tossing the shirt over his shoulders, his lips returned to mine swiftly before leaving my skin tingling as he showered my chin, neck and collarbone with kisses. Warmth pooled between my legs as he continued his ministrations and I moaned.
He picked up his head at the sound with a satisfied smirk. I allowed my fingers to trace a path down his torso ending at the top of his pajama pants. I felt his skin tremble as he took a sharp intake of breath.
I raised an eyebrow at him. "Aren't you getting cold?"
"It's warm in here," I told him, motioning to under the sheets.
He stood up, disrobed and climbed in, his fingers rubbing along my side and stomach. His touch caused me to quiver.
"Better?" I asked, reiterating the same question he had asked earlier.
"Almost," he said, repeating the same answer I had given him.
I frowned. "What do you mean by 'almost'?"
"You still have pants on."
I chuckled. "There is a solution to that."
His fingers stilled. "There is?"
"Take them off."
Charlie sat up and slowly pulled my pants down till they were off. He then threw them on the floor. He placed quick kisses up my stomach as he parted my thighs. He positioned himself between my legs.
I licked my lips to moisten them in anticipation of a kiss. His gaze darkened as he watched my tongue.
"Charlie…" I whispered longingly.
He leaned down and kissed me before thrusting into me.
It was still dark when I was jarred awake. Opening my eyes, I turned my head to find Charlie getting dressed. He looked to me upon hearing the sheets rustle.
"Did I wake you?"
I managed a nod.
"I didn't mean to."
"Where are you going?" I asked my voice still hoarse from sleep.
"I thought it would be better if I went back to my room."
I whimpered. "But I was so comfortable." I had fallen asleep with my head on his shoulder.
Charlie leaned forward and kissed the tip of my nose. "You don't want Gran to catch me in here do you?"
I smiled at the kiss but frowned at the mention of Claire. She was going to wake me up in the morning and help me get ready for the ceremony. "No, I guess you're right."
"I usually am," he stated.
I threw the pillow he had used at him. He just laughed as he caught it. Returning it to the bed, he tilted my chin and gave me a chaste kiss. "I know that wasn't a nice thing to say."
"Remember earlier when I said that I'd let you know when you're being arrogant?"
"Well, you're being arrogant."
His tone was playful. "How ill mannered of me."
I chuckled. "At least now you're aware of it."
"I should go. Lorenzo will be knocking at my door later."
Charlie kissed me one more time. "I'll see you at the altar Mrs. Wyman."
I smiled. "Technically its soon-to-be Mrs. Wyman but I like the sound of that."
After Charlie left, I fell back to sleep. I was next awakened to the sound of knocking on my door.
"Sophie?" Claire said from the hall.
I bolted upright, only to realize that there was nothing between me and the sheets. "Just a minute," I called to her. I hopped out of bed and quickly found my pajamas from the previous night and dressed. I took a moment to compose myself then went to let Claire in.
"Good morning, dear," Claire greeted as she walked in the room.
"Morning," I returned, yawning.
"Did you sleep well?"
"I did," I answered.
She tenderly patted my arm, grinning. "Why don't you go shower and come downstairs? Toni made French toast."
Toni was Antonia Bartolini, Lorenzo's daughter-in-law.
"Is it safe to go into the kitchen?"
"Charlie already ate and Lorenzo has him back in is room," Claire answered, knowing that I was wondering if I'd see him or not.
"How is he?" I know I'd just seen him hours ago, but Claire was unaware of that and I was wondering if he still felt as happy as he had when he left my room.
"He looks rested, relaxed. As do you," she told me.
I smiled softly at her words.
She gave me an inquisitive look. "I'll see you downstairs in a bit."
The rest of the morning went by in a blur and before I knew it I was standing outside the gray stoned chapel on Lorenzo's property. I was wearing a white empire waist gown. Claire had loaned me a shawl since a light dusting of snow had begun to fall.
"Are you ready?"
I turned to see my dad next to me. He was debonair, wearing a black tuxedo like Charlie and his groomsmen. He had blonde hair like me but hazel eyes.
I took a deep, discernible breath. "Yes."
Threading my right arm through his left, we walked into the chapel to find Claire and Isabella, my two bridesmaids, awaiting us. They both looked lovely in crimson dresses; the only difference between the dresses was that Claire's had small sleeves while Isabella's had arm straps. Claire came over and took my shawl, revealing two shear straps across my shoulders. She then smoothed out my veil and stepped aside. Isabella approached and handed me my bouquet of dark red roses. A violinist began playing and my bridesmaids both kissed me on my cheeks through the veil before strolling down to their places at the altar.
"This is all surreal," my father said.
"You in that dress getting married at an Italian villa," he answered.
I squeezed his arm affectionately. "I never thought I'd be married in Italy either. But it is beautiful isn't it?" The chapel was filled with family and friends sitting on benches on either side of the aisle. Someone had lit the fireplace which cast warmth to the room.
"It is," he agreed.
Once Claire and Isabella took their places Charlie stood along with his two groomsmen, Lorenzo and Henry, a friend from university. His face lit up upon seeing me and I was sure my face mirrored his. He looked so handsome in his tuxedo. Our family and friends stood from their seats as I started down the aisle alongside my father, my gown flowing easily around my lower body. When we reached Charlie, my father placed my hand in his. "Take care of each other," my father said before retreating to his seat.
Still holding hands, Charlie and I faced the chaplain. He was a short, pleasant looking man who'd known Lorenzo's family for years. He wore shades of white and gold.
"We are here to witness the joining of this man and this woman in the state of matrimony," the chaplain began.
His next few words were lost on me as I was mesmerized by Charlie's sparkling blue eyes and soon Charlie was speaking, his face alight with shear happiness.
"I, Charles Edward Wyman take you Sophie Ann Hall to be my wife. I promise to love you through all the good and bad times even if we don't always see eye to eye…" Claire stifled a soft chuckle behind me as he continued. "…cherish all our time together, and stand by you through all the challenges that life may bring."
"I, Sophie Ann Hall take you Charles Edward Wyman as my husband," I started, my voice cracking with emotion. "I promise to love you through all the good and bad times even if we don't always see eye to eye, cherish all our time together, and stand by you through all the challenges that life may bring."
The chaplain then handed Charlie my ring, a silver band with an intricate swirled infinity symbol carved on it. He fumbled a bit getting the ring on my finger as he said "With this ring I thee wed."
Next, I was handed Charlie's ring, a simple silver band. I slid it on his finger and repeated "With this ring I thee wed."
Charlie took a hold of my right hand with his left as we again faced the chaplain.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife," the chaplain announced amid a round of early applause from around us.
"I love you," I told Charlie as he lifted my veil.
"I love you, too," he said. Our lips met in a reverent kiss binding us together for the rest of our lives.