Disclaimer: Primeval and all its characters belong to someone else.
Chapter Forty Three- Wedding Day!
Becker pulled Jess behind him as he gently pushed his way through the congratulating people. The progress was slow, even though it was just a short distance from the front door to the bedroom itself. Becker could understand why everyone wanted to stop and chat to either Jess or him- he really could, but with desire coursing through his veins, he quietly groaned as he tried to smile and make his excuses.
He closed the door behind them after what seemed to be an eternity, and sighed with relief as he turned to his new wife. Jess stood in front of him, looking beautiful. Her cheeks were tinged with a rosy pink flush and her eyes were regarding him as if he was the most wonderful man in the world. The pink tip of her tongue ran over her lips as she looked deeply into his eyes.
Uttering a strangled cry, Becker couldn't restrain himself any more. He pulled her roughly to him and thoroughly kissed her until he had no breath left and had to pull away.
"That's better!" he whispered.
"No! No- it's not!" Jess replied.
"No? I…I'm sorry. Was I too rough? Did I frighten you? I…" Becker was immediately contrite.
"No. You stopped. I…want…more!" Jess laughed, pulling him back into her arms, "Much, much more…"
"Jess Par…Becker!" Becker laughed with her. "I…"
But whatever Becker was about to say was swallowed as Jess parted his lips with her tongue, and initiated another kiss. They forgot all about their guests in the other room…they forgot all about the tables and chairs being set up on the rooftop above. All they could think about was each other, and the love they had to share. They were husband and wife at last…
Abby and Connor stood side by side as they accepted the congratulations from all their friends and guests. Connor had seen Becker and Jess sneak off, and privately thought it was a great idea, but it seemed everyone wanted to talk to him and Abby, and they hadn't managed to escape. Connor's mother was chatting to Abby, and Duncan was shaking Connor's hand vigorously.
"You and the hot blonde! I just can't believe it! There's hope for us all!" Duncan kept muttering. He suddenly seemed to break out of his reverie and grew slightly sad. "Tom would have loved all this." he said, looking around the room. "He'd have been proud of you, Connor!"
"I know!" Connor agreed quietly. He'd also spared a thought for his friend. Connor often thought about Tom- when he was playing a computer game, when he was choosing what pizza to eat, and sometimes when he was choosing a DVD to watch. Tom was sorely missed, especially on a day like today. As the two old friends shared a silent moment thinking about him, Abby turned to Connor and put a small hand in his.
"Connor! Your mum has to leave now. She'd love to stay longer, but she's feeling very tired!"
"Oh! Oh, of course. I'm sorry, ma!" Connor said "Shoulda thought. Let me take you…"
"No, no, Connor!" Duncan broke in. "I'll take her. "You're needed here!"
"Well, if you're sure…?"
Connors mother agreed and told her son to stay with his guests. "I'm so proud of you, son!" she said in a small trembling voice. "You've done so well for yourself! I'm so stupid for being too tired to stay! Just a silly old woman!"
"No, ma…you're never that to me! I know it's difficult…all these people. But, I tell you what- when Abby and I get back from the honeymoon, we'll spend the day with you, yeah…show you all the photos."
"That'll be grand. I'll look forward to that. See you soon, then. Congratulations! Abby, welcome to the family. I…I haven't got much, but I welcome you with open arms and would like you to share anything I have. You're my daughter now! What's mine is yours…"
"Well, I do like that dress you're wearing…" Abby began.
They all looked at each other for a moment, and then they all burst out laughing. "Maybe not everything, dear!" Mrs Temple giggled, and as she and Duncan left the party she had a huge smile on her face.
Connor watched her go, sadly. He loved his mother and felt bad that she was unable to stay. She hadn't been well for some years, and found it very difficult to be around too much noise.
Duncan turned back. "I'll come back later- like the look of Becker's sisters!" he laughed. "Don't worry, Connor- I'll see she's alright!"
Abby put her small hand in Connor's. "OK?" she asked. "She'll be fine, Connor- don't fret. Duncan's a good friend!"
Connor nodded. "I know." he replied. "It's just…I miss her, that's all. I know the others would laugh at me, but she is me ma!"
Abby put her head back and he moved towards her to kiss her. Just as their lips met, a huge cheer broke out from the occupants of the room, as they noticed. They both went slightly red and broke quickly apart. Becker certainly had the right idea, Connor thought, as Abby and he turned back to their guests…
The party soon moved back upstairs and they all settled down around the tables to have their food. It was a lovely spread- Jess had arranged everything with her usual brilliant organisational skills and everything went smoothly. With everyone fed and watered, it was time for the speeches. Jess looked up at her father as he stood up to speak, her hand never leaving Becker's for a moment
"Ladies and gentlemen! You're attention, please! It gives me great pleasure as father of the bride to propose the first toast."
He stopped speaking and looked around the room for a moment. So many soldiers and important looking people. He hadn't realised Jess had such a high- powered job. She'd just told them she worked for the government, and he'd automatically assumed she was a secretary or filing clerk. The conversations he'd had with these people still didn't make it clear what sort of a job she did other than to make him realise she was very well thought of, and was integral to the smooth and safe running of their operation.
"Jess was always very bubbly and intelligent as a child. She went to university at a young age and worked very hard. I just didn't realise the full extent of her ability until I came here today and met all of you lovely people. Jess, I just want you to know, I'm extremely proud of you…of both you and your husband there. If it wasn't for him, your mother and I might have missed this wonderful day! So, I'd like you all to raise your glasses to Mr and Mrs Hilary…Hilary? Really? Yes, well…er…Raise your glasses to Mr and Mrs Hilary Becker!
As everyone reciprocated the toast, some of Becker's men even going so far to say "Hilary!" until his one raised eyebrow sent in their direction made them change their cries to "Jess and Becker!" instead.
Lester then stood up to speak. The room fell silent as he cleared his throat. "Well, well. They've gone and done it, haven't they!" he began to a few titters. "The ARC dating service has certainly struck gold! I just hope it ends there!"
Matt looked at Emily and as their eyes met, they knew it hadn't. Another couple drawn together because of the ARC and the job they all did there. Matt looked forward to finally being able to become close to somebody, and the fact that it was someone as wonderful as Emily was special to him. He'd never had time for relationships before- he had a job to do, and he couldn't let himself be distracted. But all that was over now, and he was free at last. Emily's beautiful eyes bore into his and he knew she was 'the one'. As Lester continued his speech, they turned back to listen, but now held hands under the table as he spoke.
"When I first met Becker, he was a brash and confident soldier. He didn't believe the type of work we did here, and made a joke about it. The joke was soon on him, as he realised what was involved. But Becker, being Becker… soon threw himself into his work…literally into some crates of strawberries, I believe…and soon became indispensable. He's looked after us all, and made sure we're safe. Jess, too...well, as you know I'm a man of few words, but I couldn't do without her- she's the centre of the ARC and it just couldn't function without her. What can I say about Connor and Abby …better known to me as Shaggy and Daphne!" Everyone laughed at the old name Lester used to call the young pair. "Abby has managed to keep Connor out of trouble for many years- probably because Connor has always followed her around like a lovesick puppy, even when he was just an annoying student- but perhaps more because of her kickboxing skills!"
"Hey!" Connor cried in mock anger.
"None of you may ever repeat this or mention it again or you're all fired, but…"
"I don't work here!" a very drunk Jack heckled.
"Hrmmph!" Lester glared at Jack and the boy seemed to shrivel at his look. "Anyway… I'm very proud of them all and know that Professor Cutter would have been too, had he been here. Ladies and Gentlemen, please raise your glasses to Becker and Jess and Abby and Connor…"
Lester sat down to claps on the back from his colleagues sitting nearby, as the room repeated the toast. As he took a long drink from his glass, he glanced over at the two couples. Yes, he thought, they were decent young people, and he was really pleased for them all. As he watched, Abby suddenly caught his eye and a bright smile lit up her face. Lester nodded slightly, and raised his glass to her. Connor saw the little action and squeezed Abby's hand, smiling at Lester.
"Ladies and gentlemen…" Matt began, standing up to toast Becker and Jess. "What can I say about Becker and Jess? You all know them as well as I do…some of you know them better than I do, but in the time I've been at the ARC, they've both become trusted colleagues and good friends. In fact- I think it was really down to me that they got together! No, really!" he continued to the raised eyebrows and questioning murmurs. "If I hadn't forgotten to bring Jess back that bar of chocolate I'd promised her, Becker wouldn't have thought to get her one himself! That was the start of it all!"
The diners laughed at the little story, and Matt looked pleased with himself as he continued. "Of course, we've had our little disagreements too- Becker certainly didn't like me bringing in the EMD's- he goaded me into shooting him with one to prove the point!"
"Matt likes shooting people!" Connor and Danny shouted out at the same time as the guests looked interested and amazed at Matt's admission.
"However, he forgave me once the headache and the humiliation went away! Please raise your glasses and toast the happy couple- Becker and Jess!" he concluded and sat down to hear Emily whisper in his ear that she was proud of him, and he'd done a good job with his toast. He moved closer to her and gave her a small kiss on the lips.
Lester caught the action and rolled his eyes. Not them too! Really the ARC was a hotbed for romantic liaisons! Thank goodness he was happily married or who knew who would have set their sights on him! He suddenly did a double take as Cerise caught his eye and smiled at him. No! He must be imagining…he slightly shook his head and looked away- raising his eyes up to the ceiling nonchalantly…no that wouldn't do at all.
Danny stood up, an evil glint in his eye. Connor knew he was going to get some stick from his old friend, and groaned inwardly. Abby rubbed his cheek lovingly, and his eyes immediately locked on hers, and he no longer cared if Danny embarrassed him or not. He felt the familiar tightening in his stomach and the sparks of electricity ran up and down his spine. His eyes dropped to her full lips and back again as his mouth opened and shut wordlessly. How he wanted to capture those soft rosebud lips with his own, and as they slowly began to draw together, he suddenly noticed that the room had fallen silent and the attention of all the guests was on him, and he dragged his gaze away from Abby to look around, slightly dreamily.
"See, what I mean!" Danny laughed triumphantly. "Totally whipped! "
"What?" Connor said bemusedly, making the onlookers laugh even harder. He'd completely missed Danny's speech. He joined in the laughter good naturedly, slightly red cheeked.
"Well, friends it's time for us to down our drinks and open up the dance floor. Our two couples will begin with their first dance as husbands and wives. Thank you!" Danny finished. Connor privately thought it might have been a good thing to have missed the speech, and he looked back at Abby longing for the moment he could be alone with her. But first, he had to get through the first dance. He was relieved Becker and Jess would be on the dance floor as well.
The two couples stood up and approached the dance floor. The music suddenly echoed out, and the men took their wives in their arms and began to sway to the sounds of Eric Clapton's rendition of 'Wonderful Tonight.'
Jess snuggled into Becker's shoulder as he led her around the dance floor. She sighed as she was encased in his strong arms, his face against her head, feeling his warm breath on her hair. They swayed gently together to the lovely tones of the music, Becker gently humming the tune.
"And then she asks me "do I look alright?"
And I say "Yes you look wonderful tonight."
Jess looked up in surprise. She didn't know he had such a lovely voice. "I didn't know you could sing!" she exclaimed. "There's so much I don't know about you, Becker. Do...do you think this was a mistake?"
"Mistake...what do you mean?"
"Us. Getting married. We don't know much about each other. Abby and Connor...they've had years... lived together... seen the best and the worst of each other- maybe we rushed headlong into this...?"
"Jess! I know all I need to know. Look…your favourite colour's pink, you love shoes, flowers and chocolate- but nothing with orange though- that's just weird!" Becker stated.
"And you love guns, tanks and prawn crackers!" Jess retaliated.
"And you look beautiful when you wake up in the morning- your cheeks pink, and hair tousled..."
"And you always leap out of bed bright and early, full of energy, ready and excited for the day."
"And you're the one I think of every waking moment..."
"And in my dreams..." Jess completed
"See? We know enough. As for the rest...we'll have lots of fun finding out!"
Jess finally smiled and nodded, and settled back against his strong chest. Oh yes, they'd have lots of fun finding out!
Connor and Abby giggled as they spun to the music, Abby twirling slowly out and then back into Connor's arms. It was only when other couples began joining them on the dance floor that they became serious and held each other close, nuzzling each other and whispering secretly in each other's ears.
"I love you, Abby." Connor whispered, stumbling over the words.
"I love you too." she whispered, tenderness in every word.
As the party continued, the sounds of laughter and music echoing out into the night, a lone figure stood at the entrance door to the apartments, looking up at the flashing lights emanating from the rooftop. A voice clearly rang out above the music and general noise, reaching the listening person below- 'To Jess and Becker!' And an echoing call responded in kind, followed by a similar call for Abby and Connor, followed once again by the echoing partygoers. Tears slowly rolled down the watcher's face, whether out of sadness and sorrow for what had been or happiness for the couples, even the watcher wasn't sure. She slowly took one more look before sadly turning away.
"Good luck, Abigail! Be happy!" she whispered, before dashing her tears aside, straightening her shoulders and walking away from her daughter's wedding and out of her life forever.
So many regrets that could never be repaired now. She'd tried to be the best mother she could at that time- but it hadn't been good enough. She'd put drink, drugs and her 'man' before her children and they'd all paid the price. She really hoped with all her heart that her children had a better life now.
She turned to the broken down car with the rough looking man inside waiting for her with a leer and a bottle of lager, sighed and stepped in and as they began to drive away from the happy scene above their heads, she turned the music player in the car up louder and didn't once glance back as they raced away...
Well, there we have it! Our couples are finally married and are now beginning their lives together. We wish them all the luck in the world!
I'd just like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read this story, added it to their alerts or favourites, and those who very kindly reviewed and offered advice and warned me of any 'boo boos' I may have made (saving me from a red face a few times!).
In particular I'd like to thank Prawn Crackers; Mijo54; musicgirl97; Fluff-N-UTTER-1; MrsLeePotts; YouHaveLovelyHair; SandyLeePotts and my lovely guest reviewer. I'm sorry if I haven't mentioned everyone by name, but you know who you are and I'm so grateful to each and every one of you! Your reviews mean the world to me, and I'm amazed and overwhelmed that you stuck with me all through the two stories- DD and DW. It's been a long haul!
Hope to see you back here on ff very, very soon!