Thank you to pussycatwithattiutde for editing this, and correcting and adding her own import to. you are a STAR. :):)
Thank you all for the reviews, and lovely comment and those of you sticking with me though this, you are all lovely. :):)
Remember the next chapter will be rated M, just playing it safe, and sorry to those of you who may not want to read it. :):)
After this there are only two more chapters left and I do hope I managed to finish it off to everyone's liking, sorry if not.
Maria was back at the Abbey the morning of her wedding day, as the Reverend Mother had suggested she and Georg marry there, so she too and the rest of the sisters could share in on her special day. She made her way to a room that held her gown; she still couldn't believe the day was here. She thought back over the exciting two months that had passed since the Captain's proposal, which she still couldn't get over, but was very happy it happened, not once giving her any doubts to change her mind.
She thought of the day she took Liesl and Louisa to one side asking them both to be her maid of honours. Maria couldn't get over the girls' faces when she asked the question; she remembered Louisa's words "you want both of us?" in disbelief.
"Of course I do. I want all of you to be a part of my special day, some way or another," Maria had explained.
"Can you have two made of honours?" Louisa had questioned.
"It's my wedding day and I'll have whatever I want," she answered the two, and carried on explaining to the two why she wanted them both to be her maid of honours, she explain how Liesl had become her good friend since the first night of her arrival. And how Louisa had shown a grown up side since Maggie's children had arrived, how she had been supportive towards Alexandra from the first day they met, and how she felt that Louisa deserved to hold an important role too, along with her eldest sister.
Maria also explained how she was going to have the rest of the children having a part in it too, as she wanted them all to be a part of her and Georg's special day, and asked the girls to help her decided how they all could be a part of the day.
It was arranged that Marta and Gretl would be her flower girls, Brigitta, Katharina and Alexandra her bridesmaids, against Alexandra stubbornness about wearing a dress, but the Captain did remind her on about the deal that was made when he spoke to her about wearing suitable clothing on special occasions. Alexandra did pout her lips, but gave in as they did make a deal.
Oscar was going to be the ring boy, Kurt the usher as Maria did find the boy liked conversation with others and would be perfect to greet the guests. Maria asked Friedrich to give her away, and remembered the look of surprise across the boy's face, he was shocked and chocked to answer, but quickly gave an answer by hugging her, accepting an important role, but he did answer once he collected himself with, "I'm only giving you away to be a wife remember nothing else" they'd both laughed at this statement and hugged once again.
Maria was joyed she made that decision, as he two had been very supportive and grown up over the months that passed, and was turning into a perfect gentlemen, just like his father.
Max of course would be best man, as Georg had known him a lot longer than John, and that he had been along Georg side though good and the bad times in his life, supporting Georg along with his grief, after Agathe's death. Maria was happy with this decision, especially since she and Max too had become good friends, before and more so since her return back with her sister's children.
Entering the room to get ready for her big day, with a little help from the sister's, Maria's thoughts drifted once again to a dinner conversation that happened a week ago. Everything was set by that time, and Maria was relieved all the mithering was out of the way, as she started to relax more, and giving her more chance to spend with the children in the day and Georg in the evening. Him wining and dining her out for two nights that week. She was spoilt she knew that, for the love from the children and all of Georg's love and affection for her, at times she couldn't help being overwhelmed and found herself with watery eyes.
Oscar had spoken out, surprising all at the table that night, with his question and managed to bring tears of joy once again to Maria.
"When you two are married can I call you both mother and father?" he asked, not once shy with his question.
The question had brought the table to silence, but looks from the rest of the children waiting for an answer. As Maria was too shocked and was taken back, she was grateful when Georg answered the boy's question "Well I don't see a problem in that, that's if that's what you want," he finished smiling at the young boy, who was ecstatic with the answer, and couldn't help jumping up from his seat, running and jumping in his uncle's lap.
Oscar knew he had a father, but never meeting him left an empty part in the boy's life, and he was over the moon that the one person who he looked up to and had been the first father figure through them weeks of knowing one another. He was now happy he'd got someone to call that special word to that he had longed for.
Maria was happy with the answer given and Oscar actions afterwards too, but she couldn't help but notice how the twins were happy for their little brother, but for themselves she could see they were a little unsure to follow suit, feeling it a little soon after their mother's death. With a little smile of understanding from their aunt, the twins still knew they could carry on with the aunt and uncle title as long as they both wanted.
This memory brought a smile to Maria's face, she hadn't even realised she was now wearing her wedding gown, with the help of the sisters. They were now ready and waiting to place the veil upon her head.
Maria took a quick look at herself in the mirror before so, not believing it was she standing there. She was happy she and Georg had waited till today to become one. Even though there had been times she wanted to give in, like last night she remembered.
Georg had brought her to the Abbey himself, and as the perfect gentlemen (she'd told herself so many times) he'd helped her out of the parked car, and walked her to the abbey gates, insisting on carrying her overnight bag just the few steps to the gates.
Georg had agreed that it was a good idea for Maria to stay the night in the convent, but he seemed, saddened in saying goodbye, even for one night. But it being a tradition the groom not seeing the bride before the wedding, and also understanding Maria wanting to say her good byes too the sisters, (her friends and family for the last two years) telling himself it was just one more night, and then soon she'd be all his.
Georg was holding her close to him, when he whispered into her ear "I wish this night was over."
"It's just to night… we'll be together tomorrow, and then your oafishly stuck with me" Maria smiled, and then kissed him, as she had become quite used to kissing him in the time of being together. She'd found herself being the one to start the kisses quite a lot of late. The only problem was, she never wanted it to end, just kissing each other passionately, was doing things to her she couldn't understand, but knew whatever it was, she wanted it to carry on.
In the end, Maria was the one to pull away, before they both got carried away. And she'd find out what the more actually was; right there outside the abbey.
The sound of the church bells brought Maria out of her thoughts; "Yes" she said to herself she was ready, a little nervous perhaps but ready for her future to begin. As the sisters were placing the veil on her head, and straightening it out at the ends.
Maria knew now that the sound of the church bells were her signal to enter the church, she didn't mind answering to church bells, but there was still know way she was going to answer to a whistle, even if she was in love with a man that's been using one for most of his life. She laughed at the memory of her first day at the villa, and couldn't believe how her life had changed so much.
The sound of the organ started to play as the Reverend Mother opened the gates; Maria entered and was greeted by her wedding party.
They didn't say anything but the smiles on their faces told Maria they too were all very happy.
Oscar first, the flower girls second and then the bridesmaids made their way to the altar, followed by Liesl and Louisa. Friedrich came to stand alongside Maria offering his arm; she accepted it, with a quick shared proud smile between the two. She took a quick look to the front of the altar and saw Kurt standing at the side of Max and his Father, with pride of his role of usher. All three were smiling at them all walking towards them. But Maria couldn't tear her eyes away once again, when she and Georg caught eye contact.
She took in Georg's appearance as he was standing at the top of the steps to the altar, Maria's heart jumped. How handsome he looked in his naval uniform, with all his decorations. And she could tell from his face that he was just as proud of her, and the day as she was.
"This was it," Maria told herself and found herself walking down the aisle, being escorted by Friedrich, towards her future.
Once met at the top of the stairs Friedrich handed Maria's hand to his father, Georg gave his son a quick wink in a job well done type of way. Their eyes met once again, and both walked forward, turning towards the priest once near, with Georg giving her hand a warmly squeeze.
Vows were said and once the priest said "I now pronounce you husband and wife" Maria and Georg sealed it with a kiss. Not as passionate as when on their own, but just as special as it was their first kiss as husband and wife.
There were exciting cheers and applause from the entire guest who filled the church. But what melted Maria's heart more when she pulled away was the look on all her children's. Brigitta and Katharina had tears in their eyes, Liesl had a dreamy look, Louisa and Alexandra were rolling their eyes to their parents' kiss, the three younger children were giggling, Friedrich didn't know where to look with embarrassment, Kurt's face looked sickened to the scene, but they were all still showing signs of happiness, as they all had been, since they all had learnt they were all going to be a family.
Maria couldn't help but giggle as this one expression explained them all to a T, and she loved them so much, she knew she couldn't ask for anything better.
The reception was glorious back at the villa, and everybody was excited to be a part of such a happy day. Photos were taken, some with the children, but mostly of the happy couple, hugging, kissing, gazing at each other, so they could look back on their special day. The three course meal passed quickly, bride and groom barley touching theirs as they were both to busy, gazing, whispering and caressing one another's hand under the table.
Max and Liesl spoke their speeches, Max going on how long he had known Georg for telling some jokes about the navy days, causing a lot of laughs and giggles. He even went into how happy Georg and Maria got together, and that they were both made for one another.
When Liesl spoke, she spoke at how she and Maria had become good friends the first day of meeting, explain a short version of her sneaking though governess windows during thunderstorms, small cover story's (about getting better acquainted)from Maria to her father; of her ware-bouts, earning Maria to blush due to a little white lie, causing Rolf to duck his head, as the girl gave away the secrets. as for Georg he didn't even batter an eye lid, as he already knew what his teenage daughter had been unto that night. Liesl went into how Maria was right for the job to become a mother to ten unruly children, causing laughs once more, though her speech. She'd finished with how proud she was of her father, and how he'd been Maria's strength though her sad weeks, being a good friend, making sure the word "friend" was heard to all in the room, just in case there were any doubts to the guest that the two had been a couple when the rumours had started.
But to the guests, it was obvious that the rumours had been started as malicious, as word got out who started then in the first place.
Liesl was also happy when her father said she could invite a friend to the wedding, already knowing who that friend would be. But after Rolf's quick help the day of the telegram, and Maria telling him the boy's story, about Rolf being very responsible for his age, having a job to help pay for his college fees, helping his parents out sometimes with home life, and that she believed that Rolf truly cared for his daughter, Georg agreed, letting his guard down a little for his daughters sake, agreed for his daughter to see the boy more publicly, rather than privately.
Georg took to the boy more and considered the two seeing one another if it was what they wanted, and supported his daughter with her choice wholeheartedly, even more so as Georg got to know Rolf much better as the boy started being an everyday visitor, after being invited by Maria for dinner, the first week of the proposal.
Yes Georg knew his eldest daughter had grown up and become a woman in the years he missed out on, but putting that aside, trying to forget his ill treatment towards his children and look towards the happy future he had in front of him. He decided he wasn't going to miss out on any more, with any of them, deciding to support all of them, in their choice in life, as long as they were all kept safe, which he would see to it as long as he possible could.
After kissing Liesl's cheek on a job well done, he handed Liesl a full glass of champagne. Liesl was wide-eyed at first but accepted it happily, as she had only managed a few sips from her half glass the night of the custody celebration, which was given to her by her uncle Max, it was a nice surprise for her father to offer. Taking a quick sip, she was surprised to hear him say "I'll teach you how to drink one day" causing her to splutter. The two laughed and then clicked there glasses, to seal his words.
Maria and Georg shared their dance and even managed to finish this one, both remembering how they ended there last dance together at the ball, over two months ago. They both realised how far they'd come together, along the way with their children, and neither had any regrets how everything had turned out. They were both now happily married and proud parents of ten children, and nothing was going to get in the way of their happiness.
The evening went on as long as possible. When the three youngest were getting tired, Maria insisted on putting them to bed as it would be some time before she returned from her honeymoon, remembering Georg telling her he was whisking her away to Paris for six weeks. She still couldn't believe that, but as much as she knew she'd miss the children, she knew the two needed their time together.
The rest of the evening passed quite quickly, and after getting ready for their travel to Paris and saying their goodbyes to their guests, and the rest of the children who had manage to twist Maria's and Georg's arms to stay up longer, the two were on their way for their honeymoon.
Hoped you liked this :):)