A Little Private Ceremony
When they discovered Hannah was pregnant Guy immediately pushed the wedding forward. Having only been together that one night neither had expected it would happen but both were overjoyed. Guy's only concern was protecting her honour, and through that showing everyone that he was devoted to her and that she and their child, that they would all soon know about, were everything to him. She wasn't just another mistake to add to the endless number he'd already made.
He was glad to know that for once his money would do some good; money made a wedding much easier to organise, even when she'd insisted she didn't want anything excessive, money meant time was no problem.
Three days later as Guy dressed for their wedding he looked at himself in the mirror, remembering when he'd worn something similar for the wedding that never was. Sure now he was glad it hadn't amounted to anything, but that him had never deserved a bride, he was an evil man and marrying for all the wrong reasons; for the idea of a wife, for the power it would give him and because he would have finally won his stupid feud with Robin. Of course the man he was now didn't deserve a wife either, least of all Hannah, and he'd already proven that he didn't deserve a child but he'd changed, and he was still changing, hoping he might one day deserve the angel that had walked into his life. But she had risked everything for him, nearly given her life for a chance for this life with him and he certainly wasn't going to deny her it; he loved her too much to leave her anyway, let alone with a child to raise by herself; his angel deserved everything she wanted.
"Please Mother! Stop it!" Hannah stepped away from her so she would let go of her dress. "There's nothing wrong with it. I love this dress." She smoothed the material down, taking extra care over her stomach; she wasn't showing so to her relief no one would know before they were married. "I thought you were supposed to be doing my hair anyway. Are you almost finished?"
"Patience." Anne tweaked her daughter's hair. "Just one final flower." She carefully added it to the pattern of flowers in her hair. "Perfect." She turned her round to face her. "You look beautiful."
"Thank you." She gradually walked across the room to sit in the chair in the corner. "I wonder what could be taking him so long. Why hasn't he sent anyone across yet?"
"Because he's not ready." She turned away, adjusting her own hair in the mirror. "Are you sure you've made the right decision?"
She rolled her eyes. "Yes. I've never been more certain of anything than I am of this." She subconsciously shifted her hands to the flat of her stomach, thinking about their child. "With him."
"If he's forcing you into this marriage you can tell me. It is all a bit sudden isn't it?"
"Mother I want to marry him; I love Guy."
"So you keep saying." She eyed Hannah suspiciously. "But if it's just about him wanting an heir then you honestly don't need to feel obligated."
"No we love each other."
"Is it something else then?"
She stood, glaring at her. "He loves me!"
She watched her daughter for a moment. "I know what it is. You're with child."
"You're pregnant aren't you? That's the reason he's marrying you, he's trying to save his new reputation and you're going along with it because you're worried about what people will say and don't want to have to raise the child alone. You don't have to marry him, we can make everything alright and protect you both. You can raise the child with our help."
"Stop it! I never said I was with child and it's not like that at all. We're getting married for one reason only, because we love each other. Now please, I do not need this today of all days. Go! Leave me be!" She pushed her mother out of the door, slamming it behind her. Stepping away she smoothed her dress down, calming herself as she let her fingertips linger against her belly. "He loves you." She turned her head as the door creaked. "What?" It was Marian. "Sorry."
"Are you alright? I heard shouting."
"Yes, it was just my unsupportive mother; she thinks I'm doing the wrong thing by marrying Guy. She has this theory that I'm with child and that that's the only reason we're marrying."
"Don't let it spoil your day. You're supposed to enjoy your wedding day. You're starting a new life with Guy."
"I know." She nodded; daunted by the reminder of just how different her life was about to become, she was terrified. "My mother loves talking though, what if she starts spreading rumours about us?" She took a few deep breaths, covering her face with her hands. "I don't know what to do Marian."
She laid a hand on her emotional friend's shoulder. "Don't cry. Everything is alright, he loves you." She wondered if Hannah's mother had been partly correct in her suspicions. "Do you want to see him?"
She nodded. "I think I need to." She followed the other woman's lead as she took her next door, sneaking her up the stairs to where Guy was getting ready. She knocked on the door as Marian walked away.
"Yes?" Guy opened the door, momentarily shocked to see Hannah before he saw her silent tears. "Why are you crying?" He ushered her in, closing the door as he hugged her, carefully avoiding the flowers in her hair. "Is it our child? Has something happened?"
"No." He felt her shake her head. "Nothing like that. Our baby is fine."
"Good." He gently let go of her, stroking her stomach as he raised his other hand to her cheek. "What's upset you then?"
"My mother knows, or at least she thinks she does, I never confirmed it. She's going to tell everyone that I'm with child and that that's the only reason you're marrying me. And once I start showing they will all believe she was right." She leant back into him, pressing her face into his chest.
"Hannah you need to calm down. Upsetting yourself will not help anything. Fretting and stressing over these things will not do either of you any good. You could harm yourself or harm the baby." She looked down as he covered her hands with his own, resting them on her stomach. "Keeping you safe and healthy and happy is what is important. But I also doubt your mother would want to give you or your family a bad name, no matter what she believes to be true."
"And what if she does not care about that, what if we walk out there and everyone is laughing at us?"
"Since when have you worried so much?" He gently swept her fringe away from her eyes.
"When do you think?" She flicked her gaze down for a moment.
He smiled, pressing a kiss to her forehead as he slipped his arms around her waist. "Hannah. You look beautiful, you are beautiful and I love you. Everything is going to be alright. We'll enjoy our wedding and then I can take you away somewhere to spend some time alone, a week, two, even a couple of months if you want to. No one will suspect anything, by the time the baby is born it will look like it was earlier than we expected. There is nothing to worry about."
"But there is a lot to worry about, there is so much to worry about. I am terrified Guy, I am so scared. I honestly can't do this, and not because I don't want our child, I do, I'm not ready to be a mother."
"Yes you are." He cupped her cheek. "All women worry about motherhood at some point, even when they have been waiting years to fall pregnant. They worry that they won't be a good mother or they worry about not knowing what to do but they know exactly what to do, most are great mothers in their own way. It's an instinctive thing, you will find it comes naturally and you are the best role model a child could have. You will not be raising this child alone either, I will be with you throughout the pregnancy and during our little one's childhood. We will work it out together; you have nothing to be afraid of."
She stepped closer, pressing her face into his neck as she hugged him. "I could never do this without you." She began to relax as he held her closer. "I love you."
"I love you too." He waited until she'd completely calmed then kissed her forehead. "Smile for me my beautiful bride." He beamed at her as her expression lifted. "Now, shall we go and get married?"
"Have you seen how many people are out there? I never wanted so much."
"Plan B then? A little private ceremony and then we can celebrate with everyone afterwards." He casually reached a hand out, twirling a lock of her hair around his finger.
"Thank you, that really would be perfect."
Hannah grinned as Guy bowed to her a little, taking her hand and pulling her away from her friends to dance with him. She leant into him, letting him move them in time to the music and couldn't help noticing how his palm lingered against her stomach just a little longer than necessary before he slipped his arm around her waist. She happily held his gaze as he smiled down at her, her lips curling against his as he kissed her. "Enjoying yourself, my wife?"
She nodded. "This is perfect, thank you."
"It was my pleasure, I'm just glad you like it."
"I do. Every little detail is better than I dreamed." She shifted her hand up to his cheek to kiss him. "My mother's even being civil, for now at least, I'm impressed with how you've been handling her this afternoon. I think she might be warming to you."
"Good." He drew her closer so she was flush against him, leaning his forehead against hers so no one else would hear him. "You're glowing, you know?"
She grinned as she felt her heart flutter, opening her mouth to answer him as she heard her mother calling her. "Hannah!" She briefly leant into him so her head was leant against his chest until she felt her mother touch her arm. "Can I speak to you?"
She looked at her with consideration. "That depends on if you're going to try and ruin my wedding day." Anne shook her head. "Two minutes, no more."
Guy tightened his arms around her middle as Hannah turned to fully face her. "And I'm not moving."
She looked up at him a little accusingly before refocusing on her daughter. "I'm sorry for what I said earlier; I see he makes you happy. But I really don't think you were justified in not letting me be there at the ceremony; I didn't get to see my own daughter get married."
"No." Guy was surprised at how calm Hannah was. "No you didn't; you lost that right when you decided he doesn't love me and you selfishly wanted to take me and any future child away from him; you never had the right to do that. I'm a grown woman, Mother, a woman who is free to choose whatever life she wants, marry whoever she wants and make her own decisions when it comes to having children with him. Just leave me be, enjoy the party but don't bother me anymore; I don't want you making me feel miserable on my wedding day."
"Leave her." Guy held her close as she turned in his arms. "Leave my wife alone when she asks you to."
She beamed at him as her mother walked away. "I love having you to back me up. Thank you for proving I chose the right man to do this with."
She nodded, running her fingers through his hair. "I did."