The Rest of Our Lives
"CRESSIDA GET UP! YOU'RE MARRYING POLLUX TODAY!" Heather squealed running into my room and bouncing on the end of my bed. I sat up and promptly joined her in squealing. This was obviously the last day she, Sae, and I would be roommates. Sae was moving above The Hob and Heather was moving into another house with some of the other Primrose House staff. Heather and I were hugging each other squealing about all this when we heard a knock on the door.
"And now all of Panem knows it's your wedding day thanks to your squealing!" Sae managed to say above our squeals. She had opened the door and leaning against the frame trying to keep a straight face. "When you two are done, I have breakfast ready!"
We came downstairs and ate some fruit and goat cheese. Sae was beaming, while Heather was nearly as giddy as I was. Today was the day! Sometime after noon I would call Pollux my husband! I never dreamed that this day would come.
We made our way to the Town Square. The Mellarks were letting us use their house above the bakery as a prepping area. My bouquet was in a vase in the windowsill of the living room. Peeta was still in the bakery putting finishing touches on the cake. Katniss came out of the bedroom with our dresses. Heather was my bridesmaid. She had a lovely forest-green dress that had flowers embroidered on it. Katniss began braiding her hair in elaborate braids. "So, are your nervous?" Katniss asked me grinning.
"Yeah." I said. "It's weird! I'm excited - but - nervous!"
"Because today is the first day of the rest of your life." Katniss replied grinning. "It's - like standing in the cylinder before they lift you up into the arena. You sort of know what to expect, but on the other hand, you have no idea what's ahead of you. Of course - with getting married you're getting into good things instead of a bloodbath." We laughed.
"Wow - you did a really great job with Heather's hair!" I gasped. Heather had two braids from her hair that framed her face that were pulled back. The rest of her hair was also braided in numerous braids before being pinned up in a loose up-do. Katniss had secured several flowers in Heather's hair.
"Oh - wow!" Heather gasped looking into a mirror I held up for her. "Your turn!" She giggled getting up from the chair. I sat down.
"Weird! I can see your vines when I pull your hair up!" Katniss remarked. I blushed. Even though my hair had grown out, I still had my tattoos on my scalp from my Capitol days.
"Do you - do you think Pollux will think that's - weird?" I asked suddenly.
"No." Katniss said simply. "It's just you. Besides, he knows they're there anyway. Peeta has weird patches of hair on the top of his feet, but that's just him. I totally thought it was weird when I first saw it, but now we laugh about it." We all burst into giggles. Katniss twisted half of my hair into a bit of an up-do and then curled the rest of my hair into loose curls.
The two ladies helped me into my dress. It was a light cream color that had straps coming down into a 'sweetheart' shape. I had a forest green sash that gave the dress an empire waist. The sash had the same flower embroidery as Heather's dress. The rest of the dress was a loose skirt that came to my ankles. I had simple cream colored flats as shoes. Katniss taught me some District 12 dances in those shoes to make sure I wouldn't have mega-blisters after the reception. "Oh my gosh!" Heather and Katniss gasped. Katniss got me my bouquet to complete the outfit.
"Wow. Pollux is going to cry when he sees you." Katniss sighed. "Of course, in a good way. But be prepared. I made Peeta put some handkerchiefs in his pocket of his suit." I nodded grinning. Peeta was Pollux's best man.
"Ready?" Heather asked. It was 11:45 am. She looked out the window into the town square. Sae had helped set up the area where the ceremony would be held. People were sitting on benches that created a center aisle facing a small podium where the magistrate would perform the ceremony.
"Oh my - the whole district's out there." I gasped.
"More like a fourth of it." Katniss clarified chuckling. "Cressida, once you see Pollux, nothing else will matter." She assured me grinning. We walked out of the Mellark bakery and to the back of the seating area. Katniss nodded to the fiddler who began playing a slow but sweet tune.
"See you after the wedding." Heather said winking. The crowd clapped as Pollux and Sae walked down the aisle since she had agreed to be his escort of sorts. Heather walked down the aisle with Peeta before they split off to their respective side. I felt a familiar tug on my skirt.
"Hi, Cassie!" I said quietly looking down at my flower girl. Miss Causey smiled at me behind her. Cassie was dressed in a miniature version of my dress with a higher neck that was a simple round shape. "You look pretty!" She giggled and cooed while pointing to my flowers. "I like my flowers too, and you have your basket don't you?"
"Ok, Cassie." Miss Causey said. "Let's put the flower petals down for Cressida, ok?" Cassie giggled.
Pretty! Pretty flowers! She signed before toddling down the aisle while scattering her petals. I couldn't help it but let out a small 'aww.' Several small hands in the first row of seats waved to her as she took her seat next to her housemates. The fiddle player started playing the Cannon in D and I knew that was the sign to begin my walk down the aisle. True to Katniss's word, when I saw Pollux standing by the podium waiting for me, everyone else faded away.
Even if I could talk, I would have been rendered speechless as I saw Cressida walking down the aisle toward me. She was smiling and absolutely radiant. Peeta handed me a handkerchief as tears were already streaming down my face when she was only halfway down the aisle. She stood by me and took my hand. Through my tears, I caught her eye. She blinked back tears as well and smiled. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here for the marriage of Cressida Wilson and Pollux Smith." The crowd cheered. "They have helped immensely in rebuilding our community. We celebrate their lives becoming one today. Cressida, do you take Pollux to be your husband until death do you part?"
"I do." Cressida said smiling.
"Pollux, do you take Cressida to be your wife until death do you part?"
I do! I both nodded and signed. We took a moment to sign the marriage certificate that was on the podium. The magistrate signed and stamped it before addressing us and the crowd again.
"I now pronounce you man and wife according to the laws of District 12 and of Panem." The magistrate said grinning. "Pollux, you may kiss your bride!" The crowd cheered as we thoroughly enjoyed our first kiss as a married couple. Five minutes later, we came up for air. The crowd was still cheering. "May I present, for the first time in public, Mr. Pollux and Mrs. Cressida Smith!" The fiddler began playing an upbeat happy tune as we walked - no - nearly skipped down the aisle.
The crowd followed us to the Coal Cafe. "I have the fire all ready for you guys!" The owner called out. I grinned. Cressida was giggling and waving to literally everyone. We were handed polished wooden sticks that had C & P and the date engraved on them. Peeta put a slice of bread on each of our sticks. I met Cressida's eye as she held my hand. We toasted our bread and then fed it to each other. The bread nearly melted in my mouth and I nodded my thanks to Peeta. I had barely swallowed my bread when Cressida leaned into kiss me again. Of course, I obliged.
OH MY GOSH! I'M MARRIED TO POLLUX! FINALLY! "Pollux, I love you!" I gasped when we finally broke away from our post-toasting kiss.
I know. Pollux signed grinning. He backed up and held out his hand. May I have this dance? I laughed. It was exactly what he said at the Mellark wedding.
"Of course, my dear husband!" I quipped. We danced our first dance with everyone clapping to the music enthusiastically. As other people began dancing, I felt a tug on my dress. "Hey, Cassie!" She giggled as Pollux scooped her up in his arms. "You did such a good job!" She reached out to me. Pollux scooted in and we danced with her holding onto both of us for a few songs. To our surprise, she kissed us each on the cheek. We laughed and held her closer peppering her with kisses in return.
"Ok, guys! It's cake time!" Peeta wheeled out our wedding cake. It was a three tiered cake with elegant white frosting. Green frosted vines that sprouted a variety of frosted flowers circled the cake. Everyone gasped in amazement at his handiwork.
"Oh wow - this is amazing, Peeta!" I gasped.
"My treat." He said grinning. Pollux stared at it and then grinned.
Well done, sir! He said to Peeta. They clapped each other on the back.
Pollux and I both grasped the spatula to cut the cake. We cut ourselves two slices and fed them to each other. Pollux grinned at me before we kissed yet again. I felt something moist on my nose. When we pulled apart, he chuckled and pointed to me. "POLLUX!" I gasped. I wiped a bit of frosting off my nose and tried to wipe it on his face. He dodged me before sucking the frosting off my hand with his lips. "Oh my goodness! You're ridiculous!" The crowd laughed again.
So are you! Pollux replied. Ridiculously cute!
"Right!" Peeta said in between laughs. "Now, that the bride and groom have finished trying to decorate each other with cake, the rest of you can dig in!" He would dish out the cake to the guests. Miss Causey helped the Primrose House children line up. Cassie came up to her and pointed to us. Miss Causey nodded and she stood by us. I smiled at her.
"We love you, sweet girl." I said to her. She was the first one that received a a child-size slice of cake. As she held onto both Pollux's and my hands, I smiled and blinked back tears. Today was the first day that we really were a family.
We guided Cassie to the Wedding Party table. Katniss was saving a place for Peeta. Heather grinned and waved at us. "Peeta did awesome on the cake, Katniss!" Cressida said hugging Katniss.
"Yeah - he started working on designs as soon as you called to tell me you were engaged." Katniss explained. Cressida nodded. Katniss's eyes widened in surprise before she chuckled at the little girl playing with her hair. "Hi, you must be Cassie!" Cassie giggled and cooed at Katniss. I smiled at Cassie before she crawled into my lap after I sat down. "She's as cute as a button, Pollux."
Just like her mother. I replied winking at Cressida as I said it.
"Pollux - would you stop?" Cressida giggled, her face bright red. She leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.
"Aw come on, guys!" Mark called from somewhere in the crowd. "Give us a real one!" We kissed for real before digging into our cake. I tucked a napkin around Cassie's neck so she wouldn't get her dress messy.
Love Pollux! Love Cressida! Cassie signed.
I love you too! I signed to Cassie before kissing her. I grinned. Today I had a wife and a daughter that I loved with all my heart. Today was the first day of a future that was better than anything I could have imagined.