No one but you – chapter one
"Considering she is the one that called this sisterly meeting shouldn't she you know be here" Said Quinn looking out into the backyard where all the kids were playing as Haley made a cup of tea
"She better get here soon, my boss keeps looking into my cubical and frowning" said Vivian through Haley's intercom.
The front door opened and the high heels clanked across the floor "Hello Bitches" she said walking in and putting her shopping bags on the kitchen table
"Please tell me you didn't keep us waiting so you could go shopping"
Instead of answering that question Taylor just lifted up her hand and both Haley and Quinn started jumping around and screaming before running up to Tay and repeating.
"What happened? Why is everyone screaming? Did a crazed gunman come into the house? Tell me what the hell is going on"
"Taylor's engaged" Haley said composing herself and now Vivian was screaming, but abruptly stopped and her sisters could hear her talking away from the receiver "Sorry, I'm really sorry, My sister is engaged, don't care? Okay" said Vivian before whispering back into the receiver "Apparently security and my boss don't like random screams"
"So which one of our ex's is it Tay?" Quinn joked
"Ha-ha so funny. His name is Tom Henry and he is…"
"That senator with the two kids, spunky hairdo and the killer green eyes?" asked Vivian
"Who is he Viv?" Haley asked
"Haley go to the magazine we were reading last night, page five"
"You two read magazines together on the phone?" Quinn and Tay laughed
"OH MY GOD HE IS SO DREAMY" Haley screamed as Quinn ran over and fake fainted "He is really pretty, Good going Tay"
"What's going on here?" Nathan asked walking into the chaos which was his living area
"Taylor is getting married to this spunky senator"
"You're getting married?" Nathan asked Taylor with a smile
"Yeah sorry Nate, You should stop pining over me I am officially off the market"
"Shut up Taylor" Haley said finally drawing herself away from the glossy picture of her soon to be brother in law
"So when is the big day?" Nathan asked ignoring both girls.
"Vivi are you still there?"
"Mhmmmm. Just can't talk"
"This is what I truly want to talk about, especially with you Haley, We just want a small, quick ceremony, His ex-wife is a bitch and planned an abroad trip taking the kids away for the rest of the year, so basically we have a three week gap to have this wedding cause "I can't have my wedding without my kids" Taylor said putting on a man's voice "I said what's the big whoop I mean kids always have like mud and Jam on their hands and my wedding will not be covered in mud and jam"
"How old are his kids?" Haley asked
"Sixteen and fifteen. Anyway we were wondering, actually we were hoping that we could do it here, in your backyard, Please Haley Please"
"Hmm let me think about that, OFCOURSE" she said walking over and hugging her newly engaged sister.
"You're getting married" Haley said as she walked up the stairs in her house with her newly engaged sister next to her "I can't believe it"
"You didn't think I was ever going to get married did you?" Taylor asked with a sheepish smile
"No, I always knew you would get married, it was just more about you finding someone who deserved you and appreciated you the way that you deserve" Haley said as Tay came and attached herself to her younger sister's hip, their mothers death had given them a lot of perspective on life and brought the James siblings closer. "When do I get to meet the guy that has stolen your heart?"
"He has work commitments till the end of this week but he is going to fly up and help with wedding stuff on Sunday night, is it okay if we sort of move in until the wedding?" she asked of her sister another favour.
"Yeah of course" Haley said as she opened the spare bedroom door and helped Taylor lift her suitcase onto "Do you know how excited and proud mum and dad would be if they were here with us" Haley said as her eyes began to well
"No Haley don't" Taylor said "If you start talking about mum and dad right now I am going to burst into tears and I don't have time to do that right now, We are going to have to work really hard if we want this wedding organised and ready in three weeks"
"This is so reality television" Haley said with a laugh
"Hales I love you and I am so glad that we get to do this together" she said pulling her younger sister in for another hug, while she was trying to stay strong she missed her parents especially at a time like this, she had suffered a lot of hardships since her mum had died and Tom had brought her back to reality, so she knew that she was going to be okay but there was no denying that she wanted her mum and her dad there with her for the most important weeks of her lives.
She had parked the car and turned her phone off, walked up the path and removed her feet from her red wedge shoes; she rolled up the bottoms of her jeans so that some of her calf and ankle was showing before putting her feet in the water and sitting on the edge of the water on the warm cement, she had to admit that she was glad that all this was happening in the warmer months and not in winter. She moved her sunnies onto the top of her head and smiled "Hey mum and dad, yes dad I know you are here with her because well I know you two and you wouldn't be able to be away from each other, wherever mum is you would clearly be my darling dad, I kind of have an announcement" she said with a gulp, feeling this pang in her heart "Well you probably already know cause your probably stalking us all but I'm getting married, and I know daddy is probably shaking his head but I promise you he is an absolutely fantastic guy his name is Tom Henry and he is a senator, he has two kids Felicity and Henry, they are really good kids and I reckon I am going to be an excellent step mum" she said with this exhausted laugh as a tear rolled down her cheek " I wish you were here with me, celebrating this great moment in my life, you know I sort of went on a downward spiral when you died mum not as bad as Haley but still pretty bad and Tom lifted me out of my funk and brought me back to life, and I really wish you could meet him and grill him like all the other boys in my life, and I know that this moment in time doesn't mean more than the lives of your grandchildren that you are missing out on but I know that this next three weeks Is going to be hard and I want my mum and dad holding my hand. By the way your grandchildren are amazing and your kids are doing a magnificent job at raising them. I took Tom up to meet Isaac and his beautiful wife and kids and he did dad proud in the grilling question stakes but it just wasn't the same" she wiped the tears from underneath her eyes "I love you guys and miss you guys everyday but I have to go now cause Haley is helping me with all this wedding stuff and you know what Haley is like, so I have to get there before she starts stressing out" Taylor took her feet out of the water and picked up her shoes and turned around smiling before blowing a kiss out into the open. "Love you"
"So the dress is?" Haley asked as she stepped out of the car and threw her handbag over her shoulder.
"White and pretty" Taylor said standing on the footpath with her legs shoulder width apart and her handbag dangling between them both as she leant over and smiled, like she would have when she was a little girl, her dark wavy hair swinging in the wind, it was hard for Haley not to smile.
"I bet it's gorgeous, come on" Haley said shutting the car door and walking up the pathway towards Karen's café.
"No Haley" Taylor sulked behind "I am on a strict diet I have to fit into my wedding dress"
"We are not here for cake, well I may be but you are here to talk to Brooke about bridesmaid's dresses and Peyton about music" she said walking into the café as Brooke walked in from the back and smiled at the duo.
"Tay show her" Haley said with a cheeky smile as Taylor looked at her and laughed before flashing her wedding ring which lead to a hysterical scream from Brooke, they had only met a couple of times and heard of each other in passing but a wedding no matter who was involved always got Brooke excited and so she ran over and hugged Taylor James. "They are getting married in three weeks"
"Oh my god that is absolutely crazy" Brooke said with the grin she always got when she got over excited
"We've already asked Peyton if she could do the music and we were just hoping that we could ask you for a favour." Haley said turning on the charm
"We have the wedding dress covered but we were wondering if you could throw together some bridesmaids dresses?" Taylor asked with a matching charm smile to Haley's
"Of course I can, you'll just have to sit down with me and tell me what you want" Brooke said
"You do that now while I go get some cake" Haley said putting her handbag onto a chair where the two girls headed and then walked in the direction of the kitchen.
"You're not going to fit into your dress" she told her sister
"Sure I will" Haley said turning around "Brooke can put in an adjustable stomach pouch into my dress so I can eat as much cake as I want, can't you Brooke?"
"Sure can" Brooke said finding a piece of paper and a pen before turning to Taylor "So what are we thinking? Bridesmaids and Flower girls?"
Taylor checked that Haley was out of ear shot and then she turned to Brooke "since mum and dad aren't here to walk me down the aisle and I'm not that close to my brothers so I thought that Haley, Quinn and Vivi could, but you can't tell Haley cause I haven't asked yet" she said pointing to Brooke who pinkie promised "So I was thinking three different dresses in a slightly different style but in the same colour"
"Sounds amazing" Brooke said as she wrote down all of the ideas as a waitress brought them over a coffee.
"And I was sort of hoping that you could incorporate a lily into them, it was mums favourite flower and they had them on their wedding day" She said trying to hide the fact that in any moment she could burst into tears right in the middle of the café.
Brooke saw the similarities between her best friend Haley and her older sister so she could sort of sense the tears "It sounds perfect" she said putting a hand on Taylors as the brunette looked up at her and smiled.
"Congratulations" Peyton said walking into the café and up to Taylor who she hugged before pulling the chair next to her out and sitting down "I had a brain wave the moment I got off the phone to you, how do you feel about live music as you walk down the aisle?"
"What are you thinking P. Sawyer?" Brooke asked her as Taylor sat between the two with a nod of approval
"We have this friend, known him forever, seen him perform live and it is absolutely beautiful, he just moved back into town, perfect timing really"
"Who?" Haley asked as she walked out of the kitchen with a half-eaten piece of chocolate cake and a spoon in her mouth
"Jake Jagielski" Peyton said with a smile as Haley and Brooke matched it
"Truly fantastic idea" Haley said as she put the spoon back on the plate
"If you guys all recommend him then sure" Taylor said with a smile, laughing at her sister who was truly hoeing into the piece of cake.
"I brought wine" Quinn said walking into the room with her eight year old daughter at her side with their matching light brown locks and their matching noses. Taylor was sitting on the couch with Lydia painting her toe nails while Izzy painted her finger nails amongst the chaos that was the James-Scott household, Sam was playing a game on the Wii with his dad which involved a lot of yelling at the screen and laughter and Haley was standing in the kitchen reading a magazine and singing while cooking. It reminded Quinn of when they were growing up; they had always been members of an incredibly large family and she found this comfort in the madness. Taylor thanked her nieces for the manicure and pedicure, then picked up the phone before indicating for her two sisters to follow her upstairs, so Haley shut her magazine and Quinn ushered her daughter to her cousins before following her.
"What's going on Taylor?" Quinn said as Taylor dialled a number into the phone
"Just follow me" she said walking into the spare bedroom, sitting up on her bed, Haley and Quinn sat at her feet as she addressed the person on the other end of the phone and then put it down between them and on loud speaker "Viv are you still there?"
"Yep" Vivian said as Quinn and Haley looked at each other. "What's going on Tay?"
"Okay so Tommy arrives tomorrow so I thought I should address this now"
"Are you going to tell him something like he is an alcoholic or in his spare time he likes to wear women's clothes?" Haley asked looking to Quinn who had a massive smile on her face while Taylor looked less impressed
"You know that the dude squad is coming to the wedding" Taylor said referring to her three brothers "and that mum and dad obviously can't be there" she said as all the girls looked at each other, mentioning aloud the fact that they weren't there was a big no but she had to "The boys were so much older than us and while I love them with all my heart I don't think they should be the ones that walk me down the aisle, While we didn't always get along, you guys are my favourite people in the world and I was wondering if you would walk me down the aisle" she said finishing off with a smile as her sisters including the one on the phone looked at her in awe "Well say something please"
"Taylor" Haley said with tears in her eyes before she lunged at her sister, who laughed as she was pushed back into the pillows on the bed "Get in the hug Quinney"
"Me too me too" Vivian said as Quinn picked up the phone and jumped into the hug "Am I in it?"
Today was the day, Tom Henry would be arriving in a matter of hours, Haley's stress-o-metre was off the charts and the impending wedding was not helping at all.
"Stop stressing babe, he isn't going to care how shiny the bench top is" Nathan said with a laugh as he watched his wife ferociously scrubbed the bench.
"He is a senator, he probably has hundreds of maids cleaning his house, and it's probably spotless" Haley panicked. In the distance most probably upstairs she heard a massive bang and more panic set in "I just cleaned upstairs, if your children messed it up again I swear to god…" Haley's phone started ringing which mildly distracted her from her panic and obsessive cleaning
"You answer that" he said pointing to the phone in her hand "I'll check that our kids aren't bleeding all over the floor" then pointing up the stairs.
"Hey it's Haley" she said leaning back on the bench "What? No way give me ten minutes, thanks Quinney" Haley said before hanging up the phone and frantically running up the stairs. "TOM'S COMING" she said pulling her hair out and starting to undress.
Within ten minutes the majority of the James-Scott clan and the James-Evans clan were standing in the living room waiting for Tom and Taylor to arrive while watching Haley hyperventilate as Vivian sat on speaker phone again.
"Oy Vivi are you always at work?" Nathan asked as he sat down on the cabinet next to the phone keeping her company
"Seems like it, doesn't it!" she responded as she sat at her desk, the doorbell rang and she squealed quietly as Haley continued to panic "Haley it isn't the queen stop freaking out"
"How the hell did you know I was freaking out Viv?" she asked turning to where her husband sat
"Cause I know you, But isn't the senator going to think you are rude if you leave him standing on the doorstep?" Haley bolted up the hallway and to the front door before pausing and taking a moment to compose herself as everyone watched her, patiently waiting as she opened the front door
"What a surprise its Tay and Tom" she said as the couple looked at her
"This is my youngest sister Haley, Haley this is Tom" she said with her arm linked with her fiancés
"I've heard so much about you, your home is lovely and I want to personally thank you for all the effort you have put into our wedding" He said realising her and moving onto the rest of the family, he really was a charmer.
"He is a dream boat Tay"
"Mhmmmm" Taylor said walking forward and linking arms with her fiancé "This is my other sister Quinn and Vivian is on the intercom, This is Nathan; Haley's hubby, Clay; Quinn's hubby and keep up cause I'm going to go fast, Haley's kids excluding Jamie, this is; Lydia, Sam and Izzy and these are Quinn's kids; Milo and Maggie"
"Wow that's a lot of names to remember"
"I'll get you a beer man" said Nathan and he and Clay headed to the kitchen.
"So where is Jamie?" Tom asked
"He is in Charleston but he will be back in town for the wedding. Are your kids excited for the wedding?" Haley asked
"Well they don't know, my ex-wife is doing everything in her power to keep Mitch and Flick from my big day, so we decided to let them know at the last minute so she can't whisk them away"
"Fair enough" said Vivian
"Hey babe why don't you go have a drink with the boys" she said and Tom kissed his fiancés cheek
"You read my mind" Tom said walking into the kitchen where Nathan passed him a beer
"So you're marrying a James sister"
"First we would like to ask one main question, Are you sure?" Clay asked
"I'm ninety nine per cent sure and that is one hundred and ninety nine per cent sure that I want to marry Taylor James"
"Well with that settled, It's time for your crash course on all things James" Nathan said leaning back on the counter "Now I've been in this family the longest and the first thing you need to know is that Lydia and Jimmy James were amazingly crazy and the James girls were cut straight from that crazy block, which is one hundred per cent more intense when they are together"
"Oh that is totally true"
"Never get in the middle of a James sister fight, it gets messy and complicated and well they all manage to gang up on you in the end even though they were originally fighting with each other."
"Number three. Make sure that when there is a lethal fight that you are nowhere near a pool! Number four…"