Malcolm was trying to remember how he used to be able to but on a tie.
The black thing was thrown carelessly around his neck, and it seemed impossible that it would be not-quite-right.
It had to be right.
Because if something was wrong today, it would be wrong for the rest of his married life.
How had Malcolm fallen in love so quickly? How had his heart found space to fit Becca in there, as well as the rest of his family that just seemed to keep on expanding? (Piama had just recently given birth to identical triplets. All girls. Piama had been delighted. Francis had been too. Nobody had mentioned boys trying to date them yet. The peace was nice)
Becca was Malcolm's polar opposite.
And Malcolm had used to laugh when people had said 'opposites attract'.
She was a peaceful person.
She ran a book shop and liked fantasy novels.
Her garden was bigger than her house.
She seemed to have her head in the clouds half the time.
Malcolm loved her so much it hurt.
They had gotten talking at a book fair, when Malcolm's zany fiancé had decided that she wanted to see if Sci-Fi and Fantasy were alike at all.
Skipping the details, they had been so deep in their conversation they hadn't noticed when the book fair had shut due to the heavy rain forecast.
Malcolm's house had been nearest.
Becca had been laden with books.
Malcolm had only enough money for two to get to his place.
He had never seen where that would go.
And now here he was. Unable to do his tie up. On his wedding day.
There was a light knock on the door, and on reflex, Malcolm yelled 'Come in!'
Malcolm snapped his eyes shut.
"Why won't you look at me?"
Malcolm smiled, crookedly.
"I'm not allowed. Meghan would kill me." Meghan was his soon-to-be mother in law, and she was a stickler for the rules, and it was hard to imagine her and Becca were related.
"That she would." Warm lips on his neck, hands caressing his neck, short nails from gardening running along his skin. Malcolm had to hold back a moan and the want to open his eyes.
"You can't get your tie right, can you? You never can." She let out an amused breath, and went to fix Malcolm's tie, drinking in his face, his floppy hair (she had slowly weaned him off the hair gel), wishing to be able to gaze into his eyes.
Becca thought that she had fallen in love with his eyes first.
Concentrating on the matter in hand, Becca straightened Malcolm's tie, and adjusted it. In a brash decision, she pulled on the tie around her soon-to-be-husband's neck, and soon she could feel his breath on her cheeks.
"So, fiancé of mine." Malcolm closed the gap, but only got a peck before the pressure on his shirt was released, and he heard footsteps going over to the door.
"I'll see you at the altar. I'll be the one in white."
Malcolm's eyes popped open, and he grinned mischievously at the door which Becca had just exited. He sat down on one of the chairs clumsily, and looked in the mirror and at his straightened tie.
Here's to it.