My heartfelt gratitude goes out to Moonlightlover60 who dove into this problem with unabashed enthusiasm, going above and beyond my imagination. Also, to VampFan5 who camp up with the venue for this wedding. This chapter would not be as awesome without their help and support. Thank you Lynn and Julia, I love you both!
Chapter 47 Something
July 7, 2008
Its early morning, Mick is still ensconced in his freezer, capturing a few more minutes of slumber, or rest, whatever vampires do. Mick says it’s not exactly sleep but it seems like it is to me.
I am a married woman now! Elizabeth St. John! Sounds nice doesn’t it? I thought about hyphenating Turner-St. John or even just keeping Turner, but easily decided against it. I am perfectly happy to take his name and I know that there is a part of him that would be hurt if I didn’t. He would say it was okay, but he wouldn’t really be. As we’ve said, he’s kind of old school. This is a compromise I can happily live with.
Our wedding was perfect, everything about it. I think very few brides have been so joyfullysurprised as to find it all done except for the final choice of a dress. My mother, Lani and Robbi accomplished so much in a really small window of time but I’m afraid it has taken its toll on Mom; she looked really tired last night when Mick and I slipped out of the reception. I hope she is okay – I mean that I hope that nothing is wrong with her.
We leave in a couple of hours to go to Seattle. Much to my surprise, Mick has a house there, or very near there, on Puget Sound. He owns 5,000 acres that he bought from the Suquamish tribe. There is actually a large preserve there, tribal lands that are very beautiful he tells me. Part of his agreement with the tribe is that he will never allow hunting on the land for recreational purposes. I can’t wait to see the house, which overlooks the sound. To say that I’m amazed about it would be an understatement but I have put it down to one of the undoubtedly many things I don’t know about him.
We are slowly developing a rhythm to our relationship, a comfort in our communicative effort that feels good for both of us. He knows so much more about me than I do him and he is opening up to me, letting me in and I think it is easier for him when there isn’t this immediate pressure of ‘tell me now’. I was so afraid for so long that he was hiding things that I felt as if I had to push all the time; now that I’m more relaxed about it all he just seems to talk so much more. Maybe we are both learning something.
It was good seeing so many people at the wedding; I hadn’t seen Max and Mark in ages and we had a bit of time to chat and catch up. Elka was there, grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat, so happy that Mick and I were married. I actually have a lot to thank her for I think because she has kicked Mick in the butt several times in the past he says; he told me that he would never have come back to LA except that Elka told him to stop running. In an amazing and surprising move, he did.
Logan and Audrey are so cute together; both seem sort of hesitant around one another but they both can’t seem to take their eyes off of the other either; it’s so much fun to watch.
Ah…love. Nothing like it!
As Beth and Clark walked through the halls downstairs they walked away from where the wedding chapel was. Beth frowned, clearly puzzled. “Isn’t the chapel that way,” she said, nodding to the hall that led to the right.
“Yes, but that’s not where we are going,” he told her.
Very curious now she kept quiet and continued to walk with Clark. Soon she could see her mom and the others waiting for them.
“Okay, Kevin can walk me to my seat now!” Dorothy hugged Beth one last time and took Kevin’s arm as the door opened. Beth saw the fountains outside and realized where they were.
She caught her breath and choked back a sob. “The fountain…we met at the fountain in LA.”
Clark smiled down at her and patted her hand. “Mick wanted this to be special for you.”
She continued to watch as Kevin came back and took Brianna’s hand, leading her down the aisle. Beth felt giddy and flushed and her heart was racing with excitement. At the angle she was standing she couldn’t see all the way to the alter but she watched as far as she could as Brianna dropped one rose petal at a time, often stopping to hand one to various guests along the way.
Then it was Lani’s time to make that walk; she turned and gave Beth a cheeky grin and a wink before she started on her way. Robbi handed Beth her bouquet and waited until Lani made it all the way down the aisle before starting down herself.
She and Clark stepped forward and Beth could see Mick waiting at the altar, the fountains making a beautiful backdrop. They were lit up as they sprayed and Beth thought she had never seen anything more beautiful. All grew quiet and stood up as the music started and Beth bit her lower lip when she recognized it.
Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
“Let’s go Bethy; it’s time to follow your heart.”
As Mick saw her for the first time in her gown his knees went weak and his mouth suddenly had all the attributes of the Sahara desert. Every other person gathered here was suddenly gone; it was only he and Beth. Their eyes met as she walked towards him, towards their destiny and Mick felt tears spring to his eyes. He took a deep gulp of air, trying to steady himself and Josef cast him a sidelong glance and said, “Steady boyo; it ain’t even begun yet – no time to pass out!”
Mick couldn’t take his eyes off of her as she walked down the aisle, small hand resting on Clarks arm. Her heart was beating rapidly and she had the tiniest flush that made her glow with the lights of the fountains providing a magical backdrop. Slowly and steadily they made their way down the aisle, keeping time with the slow rhythm of the song.
Something in the way she moves,
Attracts me like no other lover.
Mick knew it was one of Beth’s favorites; it was on her iPod and she had several CD’s with it featured on it as well as the fact that she often hummed it as she worked or picked up around the house. It was a perfect song for her to walk down the aisle to.
When they were standing before Mick Clark leaned down and kissed her cheek and said, “I love you Bethy.”
Her eyes brimming with unshed tears she kissed him back and said, “I love you too Dad.”
He stepped away and took his seat next to Dorothy, quickly wiping a tear away. She looked radiant as she stood there next to Mick and he couldn’t have been prouder of her right here, right now.
Somewhere in her smile she knows
That I don't need no other lover
The officiate smiled at Mick and Beth and the guests and began to speak:
“We are gathered here this evening to witness the sacred vows of Michael and Elizabeth. The decision to join two lives, two souls into one union is much like combining ingredients in a recipe.” He paused while the guests chuckled a bit over his analogy.
“You must combine love, respect, honesty, trust and faith in order for it to work. Also, do not forget the most important ingredient of all, humor for without it no union stands a chance.”
He cleared his throat and opened a book, reading: "Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough."
“Michael and Elizabeth, are you ready to join one another in the bonds of matrimony?”
“We are,” Mick and Beth answered together.
“Do you Elizabeth, knowing this man's love for you and returning it, realizing his strengths and learning from them, recognizing his weaknesses and helping him to overcome them, take Michael to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
“Elizabeth, please place the ring on Michael’s finger.”
“Do you Michael, knowing this woman's love for you and returning it, realizing her strengths and learning from them, recognizing her weaknesses and helping her to overcome them, take Elizabeth to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
“Michael, please place the ring on Elizabeth’s finger.”
“Please turn to one another and join hands as you repeat these words together.”
“There was a time when I felt all alone, but then the sun shined upon me, bringing the gifts of love and friendship.”
Mick and Beth said the words together, feeling their impact and acknowledging their truth. Both of them had tears in their eyes as they continued. Beth’s teeth lightly worried her lower lip, making Mick smile.
Something in the way she knows
And all I have to do is think of her
“This eternal love, shared and expressed by our two hearts opens our lives to all the possibilities before us. Before, I had only given but failed to accept and receive love with grace. Now, I am no longer alone; your warmth overwhelms my spirit and fills my soul. I am alive with your love.”
Mick traced the silent tears that ran down Beth’s face with his heart; they echoed within him. He knew that he would never again be alone or lonely because this woman would share forever with him - if he were only strong enough to make it happen.
“Michael and Elizabeth, I would like to read to you an Apache Wedding Blessing. May it bring you joy and comfort in your lives ahead.
The Apache Wedding Blessing
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
“In accordance of the laws by and of the State of Nevada, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Michael, you may kiss your bride.”
Mick claimed her lips; tenderly, lovingly letting his every emotion be felt. Beth’s knees felt weak and her toes curled as his lips swept hers, languidly molding them together in a sacred dance.
Their family and friends jumped to their feet, erupting in an ovation of love and support for them. Beth laughed, the sound bubbling forth like the sweetest of sounds. Mick grinned, happier than he had ever been in his life. The hundreds of people who stood at the railings watching the wedding whistled and clapped for the bride and groom, excited to have been a part of it all.
The wedding party and guests made their way to the reception room. It was beautifully decorated thanks to the hotel staff. The buffet was set up and ready for the guests as was the wedding cake.
“Wedding cake?” Beth asked with a laugh.
“Yep, aim more for the side of my mouth, will you?” he teased, his eyes twinkling.
“Will you get sick Mick? I don’t want that to happen.”
“No, it’s only a taste.” He watched the concern wash over her face and he kissed the tip of her nose and held her close. “It will be fine Beth. No worries. Nothing could keep me from you tonight!”
“So you missed me last night?”
“You have no idea just how much! How long do we have to stay here anyway?”
“A while yet,” she laughed. “Come on St. John, suck it up and have a good time. We’ve got the rest of our lives to have wild and crazy sex but we only get to do this once!”
“Hey,” he murmured against her ear as he caught her to him, “I’m not the only St. John in this family any more you know.”
“Yes I do! And I like it!”
“Me too baby, me too!”
For the next hour they mingled while people ate and listened as Josef, Lani and Clark made speeches to celebrate their marriage. Finally it was time to cut the cake and Beth was really nervous that she would get too much in Mick’s mouth and he would get sick.
They laughed and joked with everyone and when Mick placed his hand over Beth’s so they could cut the cake he realized how badly hers was trembling. He leaned down and kissed her, smiling against her lips. “It’s okay Beth, I’ll be fine. Now, let’s cut this cake!”
Together they cut and he picked up a piece and held it out for her, letting her taste some but smearing the rest. She laughed and tried wiping it away with her fingers and did the same for him. They both laughed and kissed again and he could taste the slightest bit of sweet on her mouth; it delighted him and he licked his lips but he could only taste it on hers. The guests clapped and Lani and Cami came and cut the cake into serving pieces and helped to distribute them. Mick and Beth headed into the restroom to wipe the remains off of their faces.
When they came back the DJ was setting up; there was a small dance floor and everyone was excited. The champagne was flowing freely for most of the guests except for Robbi and her mom. She wondered why her mom wasn’t drinking but then noticed she looked very tired. Maybe she thought that it would make her more tired or sleepy.
The first song started playing and the DJ announced, “This one is for the bride and groom; their first dance as a married couple.” That was accompanied by whistles and cheers as Mick led Beth out to the floor and twirled her around once before they started moving in time to the music.
Mick held her close and hummed along with the song, Moonlight Serenade. “My kind of music,” he whispered in her ear.
“It’s lovely,” Beth murmured, the words a mere sigh as she relaxed in his arms. “This wedding was lovely – how will we ever repay Josef?”
“He’ll think of something!” Mick told her with a laugh.
Couples danced together for a while; Beth danced with Josef and Carl and even Ben. She still had one more dance though and when she decided what she wanted to went to the DJ and asked for a specific song and the DJ nodded, finding what he wanted. As the strains of Hero began Beth walked across the floor to Clark and said, “I believe this is our dance. We can’t have a wedding without the father/daughter dance can we?”
If Clark was even the tiniest bit surprised he didn’t show it; he took her hand and led her out to the dance floor. He pulled her close to him and smiled as he saw the happiness shining in her eyes.
“Thank you, for all these years. Mom and I wouldn’t have made it without you.”
“You’re wrong Beth – it’s me who wouldn’t have made it without both of you.”
Lani and Eric stood watching as Beth and Clark finished their dance and she sighed, until she saw Josef across the room chatting with Elka and Cami. Eric followed her eyes and looked at her curiously, wondering what she had against Kostan. He asked her and she just shook her head, as if searching for the right words.
“He’s, he’s…pompous and a player. I can’t stand him,” she told him, drinking down the last of her champagne.
“How do you even know him well enough to say that?”
“I first met him in Tokyo; he’s a business associate of Heroku’s and now we are installing some new data storage systems for him.”
“Hm, okay. I hope you don’t act like this around him though.”
“NO, of course not. I can be sweet as honey when I have to be. I just hope he keeps his distance tonight.”
“You know, the guy went to a lot of expense and trouble to make this wedding happen for Beth and Mick,” he told her and watched as she rolled his eyes.
“Yes, lot’s of trouble – he had to swipe his credit card.”
“Lani, sometimes you are totally impossible, not to mention a bit childish.” He shook his head and finally reached for her empty glass. “I’ll go get us a refill, shall I?”
She nodded and watched as he walked away, towards the refreshment tables. When she looked up again Josef was standing in front of her.
“Don’t do that!”
“What, sneak up on you with my crafty vampire abilities? We have many you know, like hearing.”
Oh God. He had heard her comments. He would torture her now, she knew.
“Look Josef, it’s been a long day, a long past few days. I’m tired and bitchy, so don’t mess with me.”
He actually laughed at her words and she saw the twinkle in his eyes telling her that she had really amused him by that comment. “I wouldn’t dream of it.” Eric approached them, holding the refilled glasses and Josef said, “Would you mind if I asked Lani to dance?”
Eric had to work really hard to keep a smile off of his face; Lani looked outraged and he thought this was good payback for her. “Please, feel free Mr. Kostan.”
“Josef, please. Lani?” he said, offering her his hand. She only looked at it in panic.
She looked like she had been treed as she swallowed down a lump the size of a tennis ball. Looking rapidly back and forth between Eric and Josef she wasn’t sure who she was the most upset with right now but there was no graceful way to escape so she nodded and followed Josef to the dance floor. He tried to take her hand to lead her out but she quickly pulled it away.
The song that was playing was fast one and she was thankful for that. For about 10 seconds until the next song came up. Great she thought, Michael Buble’s Almost Home. Slow and there was no escape; Josef acknowledged that with a tilt of his head and grin. “Shall we?”
For several moments she only looked at him and then allowed him to pull her into his arms. Close, much too close she decided contemplating trying to wiggle away but she didn’t want to make a scene. As she took his hand she hissed, “Back off a bit.”
He complied and looked down at her, still smiling. He was a devil, he admitted it.
He tried another tactic, “The conversion is going well I’m told. Heroku certainly got a gem when he hired you Lani.” He meant the compliment sincerely but he could tell she didn’t think so.
She glared at him, telling herself the song was almost half over. She cast a wistful look towards the edge of the dance floor as if to make a quick escape.
“I’d still like to steal you away from him,” he said and laughed as she raised an eyebrow in irritation. “Only in business my dear. I would gladly double your salary.”
“Money means nothing to me; I have plenty.” Her eyes speared him in defiance.
“Well, then how about a company car, say a Ferrari?”
She shrugged and said, “I have a Maserati.”
“Well, clearly Heroku is the winner Lani. A very lucky man indeed.”
Mick and Dorothy watched Beth dance with Carl.
Lani, Eric, Robbi and Kevin were on the floor as well as many of the other guests. The song playing was Someday, a song that was popular when they were in college. They were teaching everyone how to do a sort of line dance that they had done back then. They both smiled as they watched them clap and then spin and walk forward. Even Logan was having a go at it and Mick had to admit he did pretty well. He heard Dorothy sigh softly and squirm in her chair a bit and cast a surreptitious glance from the corner of his eyes.
“You look tired Dorothy,” Mick commented.
“Yes, I am; but it’s all been worth it you know. She is so happy.”
“I’ll do my best to assure that she always is.”
“I know that Mick; I’ll never doubt that.”
“But?” he asked, knowing that there was a ‘but’.
“What happens in a few years when she wants to be – become like you? You know that she will.”
He frowned, understanding just how much that bothered her. “She has mentioned it; she told me that if anything ever happened to her she would want to be turned. I just don’t know if I can Dorothy.”
“What? You mean she has asked and you don’t know if you will?” Anger sparked her eyes, making them look like shards of broken glass.
“I – it would be hard.”
“But it’s obviously what she would want.”
“And you’re okay with that?” he asked her curiously.
“It’s not my decision. It’s what she wants. Living forever with the one you love wouldn’t be a bad thing.”
Her words shocked Mick and made him ask, “What about you and Clark Dorothy? Have you thought about it too?”
She blanched and looked quickly away; the pained look on her face had answered his question.
To be continued…