Chapter 25: Wedding
“Oh, you look so beautiful, Beatrice!” Meg grinned as she Beatrice and Esperanza were gathered in the parlor of the Castillo’s home. “You are a vision in white!”
“Please, Meg! Stop!” Beatrice laughed slightly.
“She is right, Beatrice!” Esperanza insisted. “You look like a true angel!”
“You two look more beautiful than I could ever hope to be!” Beatrice complimented. The girls giggled in excitement.
The day of the wedding had come so quickly, and before Beatrice really knew it, she was rushing to get ready. Her dress was gorgeous. It looked as though a cloud was wrapped around her. It was made of white silk and the sleeves were full and off the shoulders, and the skirt itself was full at the waist. The neckline was a modest “V” shape and was lined with white beads shaped into one running vine. Her hair was pulled into a bun with a few loose curls to hold up the veil that fell midway down her back and over her face. She held a bouquet of red roses to contrast with the dress, and the roses were tied together by a black ribbon.
Meg’s and Esperanza’s dresses complimented each other. Meg was the maid of honor and she had decided on her own dress of sky blue silk that had elbow length sleeves and a “U” shaped neckline lined with white lace that also lined the sleeves. Esperanza wore a lavender silk dress that was designed almost exactly like Meg’s. They each had a small bouquet of white roses tied with white ribbons.
The girls gasped and turned to the door to see Ruban approaching the room, looking very handsome in his black formal suit with a white rose in his lapel.
“Ruban!” Esperanza gasped and pulled him into the room as Meg shut the door. “You could have led Erik here!”
“And?” Ruban laughed as his wife pulled him by his arms.
“It is bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding!” Meg giggled as she helped Beatrice fix her veil.
“Really?” Ruban smiled warmly at the blonde then turned to his wife and murmured “I seem to recall seeing you the morning of our wedding.”
“Not in front of the bride and young one!” she whispered, hitting him gently.
“Esperanza!” Meg called. “It’s time!”
Esperanza nodded and turned to Ruban.
“Get Diego,” she said then turned to Beatrice and held her hands, looking into her eyes. “Are you ready?”
Beatrice smiled and nodded then took one of Meg’s hands and smiled at her.
“I am so happy,” she smiled, tears beginning to well in her eyes.
“You look happy,” Meg smiled back. “Happier than I have ever seen you.”
“Now,” Esperanza broke in. “Let us get you married.”
Erik wrung his hands as he watched from the end of the isle with the priest as Diego walked Esperanza toward him. Erik and Beatrice had decided to have the ceremony on the large balcony leading out of one of the Castillos’ rooms that over-looked the ocean. This was too much stress. Everything was perfect for the wedding and now all that was left was the hardest part…getting through it. He was worried Beatrice would suddenly change her mind at the last minute, or decide to run before she even had to make her appearance.
“What are you thinking?!” he thought to himself. “She loves you! She would never do that! She would not do it even if she did not love you, not that I would have forced her to marry me.”
He looked up to see Meg and Ruban walk down the isle then turned his gaze to Antoinette sitting in the only row, smiling at her daughter looking so pretty and happy. She glanced at him and smiled reassuringly. She seemed to know that he was nervous and he simply smirked and nodded back, indicating he was a bit more relaxed. He felt Ruban suddenly poke him in the side and glanced at him.
“Are you alright?” Ruban whispered, and Erik simply nodded. He was going to remain mute until it was time for him to say his vows and his “I do’s.” He noticed Antoinette stand and shot his gaze to the other end of the isle. He felt like his legs were going to give out beneath him at the sight in front of him.
There was Beatrice, standing at the end of the isle, looking like she was on cloud nine and looking as beautiful as an angel. Erik couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face as he saw her start walking. Any stress or nervousness he had felt, was gone within a matter of seconds of seeing her. She seemed to calm him, and it made him all the more glad that they were going to spend the rest of their lives together.
She stopped in front of him and smiled through her veil as they faced each other. The priest began talking but he didn’t hear what he was saying because he was so focused on taking in how beautiful Beatrice was. He wished she would have let her hair down. He loved it down. She got the roses. Good. He had been really worried she wouldn’t get them.
“Erik,” Beatrice suddenly breathed and he snapped back to reality. She wasn’t looking at him. She was looking down the isle. He looked in that direction and felt his heart skip a beat in panic. Who should be standing at the end of the isle but Captain Krystal Robyn.
“Is there an objection to this union?” the priest wondered, seeing Krystal and Erik’s heart raced again in fear. That couldn’t have been why she was here. It couldn’t be.
Krystal shrugged and shook her head with a smirk.
“Can’t the sister of the groom see him get married?” she replied, walking toward the place where Antoinette was sitting and sat next to her.
“Shall I continue?” the priest asked Erik and Beatrice as Erik stared at Krystal in total disbelief.
“Erik?” Beatrice called, snapping him back to reality again.
“Yes,” he said, looking at her. “Yes, continue.”
“Very well,” the priest said. “Erik, do you promise to love, cherish, and protect Beatrice until death does part you?”
Erik turned to Beatrice and smiled at her warmly.
“I do,” he smiled, taking one of her hands into his.
“Beatrice,” the priest continued. “Do you promise to love, respect and obey Erik until death does part you?”
“I do,” Beatrice smiled back, gripping Erik’s hand slightly.
“In the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit I now pronounce you man and wife.” The priest made the sign of the cross in the air. “You may kiss the bride.”
Beatrice handed her bouquet off to Meg and turned back to Erik. He pulled the veil over her head and out of the way then pulled her into his arms, placing his lips rather chastely to hers. Everyone clapped and they smiled at their friends…and family.
Christine watched from the shore as Erik and Beatrice were married.
She had convinced Raoul to stay for a few more months in Spain and they were to leave in a week or so, leaving her time to see Erik be wed to the woman he truly loved. A single tear ran down her cheek as she watched Erik kiss Beatrice. He seemed so happy, happier than when she had kissed him. Maybe it was best that he rejected her? Maybe they weren’t truly meant to be together after all?
“Good-bye,” she whispered.
She gasped when she saw him look in her direction, as if he had heard her from that distance. She looked away quickly and walked down the shore line without looking back. She had said good-bye, that was all she had wanted to do, and now she would try to live…without Erik.
Erik stared at the shore as he saw the figure racing across the beach. Christine. He knew it was her, and he had sensed something from her. She had said good-bye, he knew it, and now he wondered if he would ever see her again.
“Erik?” Beatrice asked timidly and he looked at her as she frowned in confusion at him. “Are you alright?”
“Of course, mon amour,” he smiled reassuringly. “It is nothing.”
Beatrice smiled and kissed his cheek. They never thought they would find happiness, nor a home. But in the time they had spent together, they had seen that it was never too late to make a new start.