Dark Places

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Chapter 34

It was now June twenty fifth and just a few days before Elaine finally showed her commitment to Steve with her impending marriage to him. She was nervous, despite having been here once before but she was so happy with the thoughts that she would be with Steve for as long as God willed.

She had spoken to Mike a couple of times on the phone and thought they were now friends and Mike was more civil to her, Elaine definitely knew now that it was Steve she was destined to spend the rest of her life with.

Elaine had had her abortion. She was out of hospital the same day as she had had the operation and apart from the bleeding and stomach cramps she felt good and was a little sad that her pregnancy had to end that way but she also felt reassured because she was not sure if she wanted to carry Mike’s baby. She had loved him so much but now it was time to move on and terminating the baby had helped her make better decisions.

Elaine could finally feel some sunshine in her life. She was still in contact with Mike but so far so good they had only kept in touch via text and phone rather than face to face. Elaine had always maintained that she would remain friends with him and Steve was happy with this arrangement especially with the lesser meetings between the two.

If Elaine was nervous for the wedding so was Steve. It was a funny feeling as when he got married the first time he had been fully committed to his wife and would have still been with her, if she had not been taken away from him but now he was a few days away from experiencing the happiness he was going to share with Elaine, a woman that he had never dreamt he would meet. He had to be honest he thought for a while that he would lose her to Mike but she had confessed how happy she was and how she was looking forward to getting married to him.

Mike was not hundred percent happy with the arrangement to just be in contact via phone or text and not face-to-face. He missed Elaine so much and was jealous of Steve because he was marrying what had been his but Mike was trying so hard to not get back into the dark moments again because he had hated that period of his life. He was single and alone but definitely much happier in his mind than he had been for quite some time and he was not going to let his emotions for Elaine cloud that feeling. He was also going to cling on to the hope that he would find another lady who would sweep him off his feet. Elaine had proven that it was never too late to fall in love and marry again.

Elaine and Steve were having lunch at home together. Steve was pleased that he could have lunch with a happier Elaine and he was happier because he had moved back with Elaine. He had missed his time away from her and was not going to leave her side again.

When they had finished lunch Steve stood up and said, “come here”, to which Elaine approached him and the couple had a nice long cuddle together and a few sneaky kisses.

“I am so glad that we can do this again”, beamed Steve. He was truly happy. He did not want to sound boastful but he was so pleased that Elaine had chosen him over Mike. He knew what a hard decision Elaine had to face when she was trying to work out who she wanted but at the end of the day Mike had had his chance with Elaine and blew it so it was Steve’s turn to love this beautiful woman.

“Me too”, replied Elaine “I am not going to go into a big speech but I know I am not going to regret my decision of placing you in my life over Mike and you are right he had his chance. You are now my world and I am still very grateful that Charlotte pointed you out in the club and made me go for it. I owe her a huge big favour because she was our cupid”.

Steve needed no words to what Elaine had just spoken so continued to kiss and caress her before whispering, “two days and you will officially be all mine”.

Steve and Elaine were both happy and looking forward to their wedding. They had offered an invitation to the wedding to Mike, he had not replied as to whether he would be in attendance or not. The couple were not sure if inviting Mike was the right thing to do but they agreed that they had to at least invite him. Elaine could understand Mike’s reluctance to see the woman he had loved and probably still loved marrying someone else but he had to be invited as a friend. She still wanted that from him. It would be strange to see him again if he turned up but she would cross that bridge when she came to it. She was not going to let Mike keep interrupted her thoughts; there was only one man for her now, the man she was going to marry in a couple days.

The day of June twenty seventh had finally arrived and it was just less than half an hour to Elaine and Steve’s wedding. Steve was dressed and ready for the wedding. It was times like this that he wished he smoked because he needed something to calm his nerves whilst he waited. He had no regrets about what he was about to do but it was almost tradition to be nervous before your wedding

“One for the road?” asked Charlotte to Elaine, offering her a glass of champagne.

“I should not be saying yes but I need something strong to help me through this last half hour” commented Elaine giggling.

Soon it was just fifteen minutes to the wedding and so Elaine’s wedding car had arrived. The wedding party consisted of Elaine, Charlotte, who was naturally chief bridesmaid and a little cousin of Elaine’s was given the duty of bridesmaid’s assistant, which consisted mainly of holding her flowers whilst they travelled to Hornsbury Mill, where they would be giving their vows and then having the customary party into the night to celebrate.

“You okay?” asked Charlotte when they were settled in the car.

“Yes I just want to do this and see Steve again”.

They were soon at the Mill and the gazebo where Steve was sat nervous with his best man, who was his friend Mark, who he worked with. Steve could not wait to see Elaine again, as he was missing her already. He also was very curious to know what she would be wearing, since in true tradition he had not seen the dress that had been chosen.

The wedding march tune began telling Elaine; that this was it so Steve stood up and took his position. He was happy at this moment but would be happier when the nerves went. He would not change the situation as he was going to marry his special lady.

Elaine started to walk up the short aisle accompanied by her father, who in true style was giving her away. Elaine’s father never thought he would be walking Elaine down the aisle again but he was pleased to see his beautiful daughter so happy, after everything she had been through.

Elaine did not have a wedding dress. She hated wearing one the first time around so had chosen a nice but classic looking pure white dress, which was not too long and not too short and had a lace bodice and she held a simple red rose bouquet.

Steve thought how it was hard for a man getting married to be smart but comfortable at the same time so had chosen a navy blue suit with a white shirt and blue tie and was wearing a single red rose as his buttonhole. It was part of the theme that he and Elaine had discussed.

Elaine started her walk up the aisle. She was taking tiny steps towards Steve so that their family and friends could take some photographs. Elaine was eventually by Steve’s side and he whispered, “you look beautiful”. Elaine did not reply as the service had begun.

Marriage vows and the actual wedding ceremony seemed to be over within a moment. The couple had said their vows, exchanged rings and were now signing the register. It was only then that the couple took in what they had done and neither was regretful of the marriage and the commitment that they had expressed to each other.

The couple had taken part in the confetti throwing and was now guided to the lake so that the official photographer could take the customary group photographs. It was only when everyone was getting together for the group photo that Elaine realised Mike was not there. She had offered the invitation for him to attend as she still wanted her friend there but maybe he had chosen to decline because he did not want to be witness to his official losing of Elaine to Steve. Elaine could understand that but it still would have been nice.

The whole ceremony and celebrations were being held at Hornsbury Mill and the weather had been extremely warm and sunny so the marriage vows had been taken outside in the pagoda by the lake. It really was a beautiful and tranquil location to get married so a good choice of venue had been made.

Steve and Elaine were soon led off to the grassed area near the lake for several private photographs. Then they returned to the area near the lake where more photographs were taken and then Elaine was first led to the bridge that went over the lake for some shots of her and Charlotte, whilst Steve had his photographs taken with the Mark, his best man and finally Elaine and Steve were reunited on the bridge for some more loving photographs. They were requested to have quite a few close together pictures and then somehow they were kissing. Elaine and Steve giggled when the kissing went on a bit longer than anticipated but it had been ages since they had shared any kisses. The couple had finally finished having their photographers taken and were now free to mingle with their guests. Here the couple parted for a while to catch up with their various friends.

Elaine was accepting a drink and taking it from the tray when in the distance she spotted Mike. He was standing near the door that led to the bar area. Elaine excused herself and went towards where Mike was standing.

“Hello Mike”, she greeted getting nearer to him.

“Hello Elaine” replied Mike “I see everyone is having a good time and can I say you look stunning?”

“Yes they are having a wonderful time. Thank you for the compliment. I looked for you at the wedding and was hoping to see you there”.

“I thought it was best not too and I should not really be here but I did want one glance of my one time love having the time of her life”.

“Oh Mike. I know it must be hard for you seeing me married to another man. Steve and myself extended the invitation to the wedding to you too because I still want to be your friend and I realise it might have seemed like I was rubbing your nose in it but the truth is despite what has happened in the past between us there is still a little place in my heart for you”.

Mike had been surprised when he had first been invited to the wedding and yes Elaine was right that it was a little hard to see the woman that he was in love with and had married, now being married to another man but that is what you got when you did what he had.

“Yes it will always be hard for me to accept that you are officially no longer mine and I know that in the process of accepting things I was a very horrible person to you and yes I am jealous but I am trying to get passed those dark thoughts that I used to have and see the good in this. I hate to say this but you and Steve look a lovely couple”.

Elaine was so pleased at the new, happier and more honest Mike and so said “Oh Mike. I really do wish things could have been different between us and that we were still together but I am pleased to see you accept what had been and what is happening now”.

Elaine took Mike a little out of the blue when she put her arms around him and pulled him close. She had to admit that it still felt good in Mike’s arms but those days were over now.

Mike had enjoyed the hug and definitely knew how much he had missed Elaine too but simply said “thank you, Elaine and now I will leave you in peace. Goodbye for now Elaine”, with that Mike started to walk away. Elaine could not help but watch as Mike walked away into the distance.

“Oh there you are”, Elaine was snapped out by her thoughts by Steve clasping his arms around her waist, before she turned round and gave Steve a lingering kiss.

When they had parted Steve said, “was that Mike?” to which Elaine answered “yes it was all will be fine”.

“We had better go back to our guests, as they have been asking where the bride was”.

Elaine and Steve were already exhausted but the night was yet young and they still had the cutting of the cake and the first dance to come yet.

The wedding couple entered the room where the sit down meal, and then dancing would take place.

It was much later and the food had been consumed, speeches made, cake had been cut, not without more kisses though and now it was time for the last dance.

The couple had spent some time on deciding the perfect first dance. The couple were not good dancers but moved to “A Million Love Songs” by Take That and were finally relieved to sit down for at least a few minutes more before the disco began and fun was to be had.

Elaine and Steve took a short retreat the luxurious Crown Wheel Suite, which was the main bridal suite, which comprised of a spacious sitting room, which was furnished in a modern style and over looked the workings of the waterwheel and they would have a large bedroom, complete with a mahogany four-poster bed. Both of the couple loved their surroundings but just for a while wanted to take advantage of a short rest on the four-poster bed.

“Come here my sweetie”, said Steve patting the bed beside him to which Elaine spread out in his arms.

“I love you Mrs Conner”

Elaine giggled because it sounded funny being Mrs Conner and not Mrs Fear but those days of being Mrs Fear had long gone and she liked Elaine Conner.

Both Elaine and Steve could have fallen asleep quite easily as it had been a long but fun day but agreed that their guests would want to see them and be wondering where the newly married couple were.

Steve took and held Elaine’s hand, something which she liked and then led her downstairs. They had a quick kiss before they entered the room where the dancing and merriment were taking place.

Elaine smiled to herself as she was holding Steve’s hand and knew that this gesture meant that she was holding his heart forever.

So Elaine had found her prince charming in Steve. She could not help think of Mike. What would happen to Mike? Only he could know that but she knew she had made the right choice when she had chosen to be with Steve.

When they entered the room, another smoochy song was being played by the dj and so Elaine and Steve took to the floor once again, dancing and sharing several kisses. This night would have to end but their love would not, this was forever.

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