When I woke up Marissa was leaning over me, light streaming in through the windows of her place. It must be early morning… I squinted. “Marissa?”
Her cold hands grasped onto my arms and helped me into a sitting position. “You ok?” She asked. Her eyes big and round.
“You need to eat more.” Was all I could think of saying.
She giggled. “So do you.”
I sighed a little and blinking my sleepy eyes I looked around. “Where is everyone, and what time is it?”
Marissa walked over to the kitchen side of the room; where she had something yummy smelling on the grill. “Well, everyone is busy getting ready. I sent Sebastian over to make sure Vincent gets ready-- and Kiera went home to grab something. Seeing as you are now part of Sebastian’s family as well and no one from my side of the family can come-- they are coming as representatives. Oh-- also Mina and Lexi are coming, Lexi is bringing her husband. Don’t worry they won’t harm you; they were in the same boat-- well not as harsh as you and Vincent a few months back.” She paused and tilted a thick mug drinking something, blood I hope… because it wasn’t mine. “Speaking of which Lexi is pregnant already! Gah! I can’t believe it!”
I watched Marissa closely, getting up off the sofa and sitting on a bar stool at the counter. “Would you like to have kids?” I asked curiously.
Marissa giggled. “Maybe but Seb and I are happy enough without for now.” Her cheeks turned pink. Yup, she must be drinking blood. “If you catch my drift.”
I pretended not to hear the last part.
Flipping a spatula Marissa tossed some eggs bacon and grabbed two pieces of toast and threw them on a plate-- I watched astounded; it had all landed neat and tidily if I tried that there would be egg and grease all over the floor.
“Eat up. I’m going to get changed, you’d better be done eating when I come back out here- because I’m going to dress you up and play with your hair.”
I moaned, but my stomach growled so I began eating as Marissa disappeared around the corner and into her room. I have to admit I don’t know how Marissa does it-- what with her not even ever eating but she is such a good cook. I remember thinking that a long time ago I think-- no wait I don’t. Never mind.
True to her word, when Marissa came back she tapped her foot on the ground as I shoveled my last piece of toast into my mouth. I was zipped off to her enormous bathroom where I was primped and preened and pinched and prodded until my face and hair sat as it should and my skin glowed with a shine only brought out through some vanilla scented skin cream-- and perhaps a little bit of my Fae self, glowing in happiness.
Back in my room, Marissa bundled me into my creamy white dress- which funny enough was almost too tight on the bust now and semi loose around my waist; which gave me and Marissa a good laugh considering I had only put on weight in my boobs. From there it was slipping on the garter, and high heels and adjusting a thin veil on my face, and then hurtling down to the car, and trying not to be cold which was hard since basements are always cold. Before I knew it we were speeding off to the church-- but there was no parking which was terribly frustrating. I hadn’t realized how many people were planning on attending my ‘human’ wedding. We had to park a block away and since we were running late-- so typical… I was semi running, more like loping along the sidewalk to the church-- and was out of breath by the time I got to the front doors. Marissa didn’t even break a sweat-- that was the one thing I was looking forward too once I was turned; the not sweating and not being tired– for more than one reason. Sebastian let us into the church-- I have to admit he looked rather sharp in his tux; in fact, he looked downright smug.
“Ladies.” He muttered. “Always late…”
Marissa gave him a sour smile and lined everyone one up and passed my arm to my dad, who couldn’t stop staring at me, and almost crying; then my heart took off when it really sunk in I was doing this-- publicly. The wedding march sounded and Marissa on Sebastian’s arm both started down the aisle followed by Annabelle and then Kiera who winked at me right before she started walking. I tried to slow my heart and calm down but I was suddenly freaking out…. What was I doing? I should have told Marissa not to push this. Dad took a step forward and I had no choice but to follow. I swallowed and tried to smile looking at the people on either side of the aisle- I noticed a lot of Sebastian’s family in the rows of seats then I looked forward and fixed my eyes on Vincent-- who looked spectacular if I must say so myself; he was wearing a black pinstriped tux, white shirt-- burgundy vest and black bow tie.
If my heart had been pounding before now it was like the blades of a helicopter taking off out of my chest. Vincent beamed and I noticed his hair was back to its windswept state it normally is in. Ha-- he must have heard me thinking about his hair last night at dinner. I had all these things running through my head and not only that but all the worries I had concerning what would happen to us after this day-- when we reached the front of the aisle. And just like that; when my dad handed my arm over to Vincent-- I forgot all the problems we would have to face and instead I thought about today and now-- in this moment; and I knew what I wanted even if I had to stand up on this stupid stage in front of all these other people to tell the world.
Vincent was there with me-- and that was all that mattered. We turned to face the preacher.
“Welcome brothers and sisters, we have come here on this happy day to unite the souls and families of these two youth here today, Genevieve Eden Pradora and Vincent Augustus Steinheart.” He motioned to us. “It is pleasing to see such youth take this step in matrimony and to pledge themselves to one another until death do us part-- Amen.” He looked around the church. “Before we begin does anyone know of a reason that these two might not be wed?”
There was a silence over the church-- I half thought that some idiot would say something, but no one did-- although someone did sneeze.
“Good then let us begin.” He cleared his throat and turned to Vincent. “Vincent Augustus Steinheart do you take this woman, Genevieve Eden Pradora to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
I held my breath, not sure why.
“I do.” He said softly.
The preacher turned to look at me. “And do you Genevieve Eden Pradora take this man Vincent Augustus Steinheart to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
I was afraid my voice would come out as a squeak.
“I do.” I grinned at Vincent.
“Do you have the rings?” The preacher asked.
Marissa handed me a thick platinum ring. I saw Sebastian hand Vincent something but I couldn’t see it clearly.
“Do you Vincent take this woman to hold and love and cherish in health in sickness and in even the case of death?” I shivered slightly.
“I do,” Vincent whispered. “With this ring, as a symbol; Genevieve-- I pledge you my undying love and devotion; in health and in sickness and even in the case of death I will love you.” Vincent took my hand and slid onto my ring finger a platinum ring with a huge diamond cut upon it.
I tried not to gasp or stare.
The preacher turned to me.
“And do you Genevieve take this man to hold and love and cherish in health in sickness and in even the case of death?”
I swallowed not wanting to ever see Vincent dead. “I do,” I whispered and took Vincent’s cold hand. “With this symbol of my love and devotion to you; Vincent I pledge to love you always-- in sickness, in health and even in the case of death.” I nearly cried. “I will always love you.” I slid the ring onto his immaculate hand.
In front of us the preacher was grinning and behind us, I could hear mom sobbing. “So saying and pledging your love and life to one another and by the power vested in me, I pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
Vincent’s grin was almost as big as Sebastian’s as he scooped up my veil and kissed my red lips. For a moment I was caught off guard and forgot that people were watching us-- until Sebastian thwomped Vincent on the back and Marissa was poking my back and clearing her throat. Blushing we pulled away from each other and looked at the guests, most of them-- Sebastian’s relatives were all on their feet whooping and clapping and grinning. Well, now I see where Sebastian got that from.
Then the preacher announced us to the crowd. “Ladies and Gentlemen I now introduce to you-- for the first time; Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Steinheart!” Clapping ensued; and the preacher had us sign the marriage certificate with our witnesses-- Sebastian and Marissa.
Rice was thrown at us as we left the church -- my family seemed traditional to a ‘T’-- and our photographer took photos of our wedding party in Queen Elizabeth Park while our guests made their way to the hall for the reception a few blocks away from the church. Once we started taking photos everything felt like it was on fast forward-- I felt so relaxed now that I had done the official ceremony-- and I couldn’t stop smiling!
As we entered the hall I’d almost forgotten about the pink color theme Marissa had chosen-- I chose in that moment to let it go-- it wasn’t super important; what was-- I was by Vincent’s side. The food was great-- err; from what I tried, for the most part, I just drank…. Ha ha. Insert my stereotypical thoughts-- we danced until after the sun went down and I had the time of my life-- because it was true. I did have the time of my life-- I even had the DJ play that stupid One Direction song-- because it was stuck in my head. Hey-- my life, my thoughts-- my stereotype. We played those cheesy wedding games-- like the shoe game? I won by the way-- only by one point but a victory fair and square…. We cut the white and gold cake and shoved it one another’s faces-- Seb taunted Vincent to shoot my garter; in retaliation Vincent shot the garter at Sebastian’s head! Marissa chided me into throwing my bouquet which Mina caught-- the older people in my family left quickly after that; while the rest of us danced. It wasn’t until midnight we finally headed out of the hall down a funnel of friends and family holding sparklers and into a limo that would take us to the airport.
“Finally,” Vincent muttered, pulling off his tux jacket and unbuttoning his bow tie and top collar button. He leaned his head back on the seat and took a deep breath. “I can breathe!”
I giggled, and he sat up and looked at me.
“Hello, Mrs. Steinheart.” He whispered and pulled me into his lap.
I laughed. “Now now, Mr. Steinheart,” I said back poking him on his nose. It was strange to call him a Mister anything-- to me, he had always and would always be Vincent-- I don’t know, Mister made him sound old.
He turned serious for a moment and then looked down at me. “You realize we are never going to get gray and old and sit together on the porch thinking about our lives and how we could die any day and how weird it is that our grandkids think we look like prunes and didn’t we used to think that about our grandparents etc.”
I frowned. I hadn’t really thought about that. “No,” I whispered. “we are going to stay young forever.”
He sighed and looked away. “I can’t imagine living forever.”
I sighed, and looked over at the mini bar in the limo and slipping from Vincent’s lap I managed to grab some champagne and two glasses. “Let’s celebrate.”
He blinked a few times and smiled. “Yes-- that’s a good idea.” He grabbed the bottle from me and in a few moments had twisted off the cork and with a loud pop and a small spray of bubbles he poured some for both of us. Putting the opened bottle back in the mini bar he pulled me into his lap enjoying our drinks and just being with one another.
We were pulling up to the airport before I knew it, and then I murmured; “I didn’t pack any luggage.”
Vincent laughed as the door was opened for us by the driver. “Neither did I; Marissa and Sebastian packed our bags.”
I moaned as Vincent helped me out of the car. “That’s not good.”
Vincent grinned, and I could tell he was thinking the opposite. I punched his arm gently and he smirked. “I might have given her hints on what to pack you…”
My jaw dropped. “No fair,” I muttered.
It turned out Marissa and Sebastian had packed us each a huge suitcase. “Well, you never know how long we’ll be away.” He said as I stared at the luggage with my jaw dropped. That I had known, I just didn’t think it though how much clothing we might need; then he pulled both of them to his sides and I walked quickly beside him and into the airport. It was quiet in the airport mostly because it was late at night and not very many people liked flying red eye. Vincent went and checked us in, and then we went through and waited at our gate.
“Have you ever been to London before?”
He shrugged. “Once, when I was around thirteen I went with my father.” His eyes looked distant for a moment. “We met with the council…” He trailed off and shook his head and smiled at me, taking my hand in his. “I promise everything will be ok.”
I nodded and believed him. “It says on my passport that I have been to London, but I can’t remember it.”
He hugged me. “It will come back to you eventually. I promise.”
If only he knew that wasn’t true-- I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him that.
The plane ride was long. I slept for the most part-- but when I didn’t I was twitching in my seat. I envied Vincent, even when he looked incredibly bored he still managed to sit completely still and not fidget. I had no such luck. I remembered halfway through the flight that we were going ahead in time so I was losing hours of sleep and that made me even more restless; eventually, I threw a pillow over my head to block out the light on the plane and Vincent tucked a warm blanket around my body… I fell asleep; praying away the weird voices in my head-- the bad dreams of hell and the evil man with black wings-- aware somewhere in my brain I was making a stand-- choosing a path that I could no longer go back from-- screw the consequences and anyone who stood in my way.