I went to a lovely wedding last week. My editor got married and I was able to attend without ever even leaving my desk. A factor I’m sure we both appreciated, given the deadline I’m currently working under. But, before you decide I'm crazy, let me to explain how it happened.
The wedding took place in Las Vegas where, apparently, some chapels now broadcast live feeds of the events held there. As you might imagine, my technophilic heart was in ecstasy when I found out about that! All you need is to know the date, time and location of the ceremony and you can tune in. I imagine you could tune in at random, if you wanted to, and view the weddings of complete strangers as well. Although, why you’d want to do something like that I…uh…hmm.
Ahem . Yeah. Sorry about all those plot bunnies I just unleashed.
Anyway, I just thought that story, combining real life romance with technology, merging virtual and literal realities, as it did, was perfect to share on this first day of wedding week, since all week long we'll be sharing wedding related posts and wedding excerpts from our books.
This scene, which comes from A Sight to Dream Of (Oberon series, book 2), is part of the first wedding I ever wrote.
The garden looked lovely, Lucy was pleased to notice, as she followed Kate and Mandy through the trellised arches she’d had set up along the processional path. Not as lovely as it would have looked in May, of course, but all in all, not too shabby, if she did say so herself.
The freshly cut grass, the roses and the geraniums which were still in bloom, and the ancient bay laurel trees at the foot of the garden all provided for an intoxicating blend of fragrances. The sun was warm, the air was still and the faint golden glow to the leaves of the Japanese maples that stood at either side of the gazebo’s entrance were in perfect harmony with the pale yellow of Scout’s dress.
She was relieved to see only smiles on the faces of the guests--even her parents. Still, she wasn’t at all sorry that she’d had that little talk with the officiating minister. There would be no asking if anyone knew of a reason why this couple should not be wed.
She figured there had been enough of that, already.
But as they entered the gazebo, and she caught sight of Nick’s face, she had to wonder if she’d had any real cause for worry. Surely no one could observe the look that passed between her cousin and Scout and still doubt they were in love. She was only sorry they’d had to waste so much time apart.
Twenty years! Longer even than she and Dan had known one another. What would it be like, she couldn’t help but wonder, if they had been separated for all that time? The thought was like taking a hammer blow to her lungs, and her gaze flew to her husband’s face. She wouldn’t have traded all the fancy weddings in the world for one instant of their marriage. She couldn’t wait to get him alone again, so she could tell him just that.
She started to smile, but the look on his face as he stared back at her was so intensely intimate that she felt her breath stutter to a halt again. She was recalled only by a sharp pinch on her arm.
“Stop it!” Marsha edged closer to whisper in her ear, “Get a room, if you two are gonna carry on like that!”
Lucy was so relieved to see the tiny spark of humor in her friend’s eyes that she almost didn’t mind the warm tide of blood flooding into her cheeks. “You better start being nicer to me,” she whispered right back. “Or there’ll be no dessert for you!”
Dan had watched as Lucy crossed the lawn in her shimmery, rose colored dress. Regal as a queen, eyes shifting here and there to check on every detail, making sure that everything was as it should be. And so damn lovely it made his chest hurt. He couldn’t take his eyes off her. But as the ceremony went forward, and her expression gradually shifted from satisfied to wistful to bleak, he couldn’t help but wonder if she was regretting not having had a wedding like this herself.
For the first time in sixteen years, he found himself second-guessing some of the decisions he had made back then. Decisions which had determined the course of both their lives.
He had been desperate. And he had been selfish. And if the same set of circumstances were to arise again tomorrow, he knew he’d probably make the same decisions all over again.
She looked over at him then, the faintest trace of a smile on her lips; but still more of a smile than he could manage as he wondered if she would still be able to smile at him if she knew the whole truth. When she knew the whole truth, he thought bleakly. Because it was suddenly clear to him that he’d been fooling himself all these years. Nothing stayed hidden forever. Sooner or later the truth would come out. And then where would they be?
He was almost relieved when she started and colored and her eyes slid away from his face, as she and Marsha exchanged brief whispers. He tore his own eyes away from her then, putting aside his own worries, for the time being, and concentrating instead, on the wedding that was taking place.
No more waiting. It was the only thought in Nick’s head, clearer and more compelling than any of the words being spoken. As he gazed into Scout’s eyes, ready to speak the words that would bind her to him legally, he found himself growing more and more impatient with the pace of the proceedings. It was only a formality, after all. In his heart, he’d been bound to her for twenty years. Now, standing there with her hands in his, he didn’t want to wait another second.
Just a few more seconds, Scout repeated to herself, trying to get a grip on the nervousness that had seized her. A lifetime of rejection and loss had not prepared her for having her dreams come true, and she was horribly certain that something would occur--any second, now--to intervene. She stared into Nick’s eyes, her mind gone blank with panic, waiting for disaster to strike. But then he began to speak, reciting the words they’d rehearsed only yesterday, in a voice that was sure and steady and she suddenly found that she could breathe again.
And then it was her turn.
She knew the garden--her garden. No, their garden, now--was filled with all the people they cared about, but she was aware of only Nick. Nick’s eyes. Nick’s smile. Nick’s hands holding hers so tightly. She returned his smile, stumbling a little over her words as she did.
It was as if the past and the present were finally merging, to create a base for her future. A future full of love and happiness and Nick. Deep within her belly she felt their baby move again, and her breath caught as she blinked in surprise. She watched Nick’s smile widen into a knowing grin, and found herself grinning back at him.
As he took her into his arms at last, she knew that she was embracing more than just her new husband, or the new family they were creating together. She was embracing the future.
For the first time in as long as Scout could remember, she actually had a future to embrace.
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