The air was warm and smelled of fresh roses. The breeze was gentle and cool against my skin as I sat on the bench in the middle of the garden. I tipped my head back and let the sun kiss my face. I let out a soft sigh as everything finally felt right.
“Hey.” The sound of Grace’s voice had me turning towards her. “You look beautiful.” She smiled down at me.
I looked down at myself. My dress was a soft shade of ivory. It scooped down my chest in a sweetheart neckline, and the straps sat off my shoulders. It was tight to my waist before it pooled out loose to the ground. The bottom of my dress was edged in a soft lace, adding a delicate, elegant touch to such a simple gown.
“Thank you.” I smiled. “I can’t believe this day is already here.” I shook my head.
“I know.” She sat down on the bench beside me. “I wanted to give you something.” She pulled a piece of soft pink ribbon out of her small clutch that she held in her hand.
“It’s not the same one that I wore when I married your father.” She passed it to me. “I didn’t think bloodstains would match your dress.” She winked. “It’s cut from the same roll mine was cut from. I thought adding this to your dress would be a nice way to tie in the colour from your flowers.”
I felt the soft silk in my hands and smiled at her. “It’s perfect. Thank you.” I wrapped my arms around her in a quick hug. “Will you tie it on for me?” I asked as I stood up.
Grace looked at me in surprise. “I would love to.” She stood up and spun her finger, her way to telling me to turn.
I smiled and handed the ribbon back to her before I turned my back towards her. She wrapped the ribbon around my waist. She placed it right on the seam where the dress began to flow out from my waist. I held it in place while she tied it into a tight bow against my back. Once it was in place I turned back to look at her.
“Thank you.” I said, “For everything.”
I bit down on my tongue as I watched Grace’s eyes begin to water. She smiled at me, as she let out a little laugh.
“Anything for my baby girl.” She grabbed the sides of my face with both hands and placed a soft kiss on my forehead. “Now, I best be getting inside before your father starts looking for me. There’s still a few things that need to be set up before the ceremony starts in an hour.”
I nodded my head and watched as she moved back up the path and into the castle. I smiled after her and looked down at myself. I brushed my fingers against the soft ribbon that was now a part of my dress. I smiled at the memory of where I had gotten the one that had belonged to her.
I turned and looked at the edge of the forest where a path that lead to the same spot began. I let out a soft sigh and picked up my dress. I slung the long train of my dress over my arm as I made my way towards the path. This path was different from the one that Rupert had taken me on over a year ago. Instead of dirt and tree roots, it was smooth and held together by cobblestones.
I thanked Kallum and Grace for the idea of a smooth path as I walked down it in heeled sandals. I walked along it in silence. The sound of singing birds and swaying branches were the only sounds around me. I smiled at the peacefulness of the forest.
I slowed my walk to a stop when the trees opened up to the cliff. I looked around in awe, the view was just as magnificent as it was the first time I had seen it. As my eyes glanced around at the beauty of the hills of Scotland my eyes stopped on a sight that I had not prepared myself for.
He stood there, at the edge of the cliff, looking out at the same view I was. His back was towards me, his hands in the pockets of his black dress pants. He was still wearing his black jacket, despite it being comfortably warm.
I dropped the train of my dress to the ground and moved closer to him, joining him on the swirling stones. As if sensing me behind him he turned to look at me. His eyes looked at me, starting at my face before slowly trailing down my body.
“Wow.” He whispered. “You look absolutely beautiful.” He reached his hand out to me. I placed my hand into his and he pulled me closer to him.
“You look great too.” I smiled as I took him in. “What are you doing here?” I asked.
He smiled down at me. “Waiting for you.” He rubbed his thumb against my cheek. “I was hoping you would come here once Grace gave you the ribbon.”
“You knew she would give me the ribbon?”
He nodded his head. “I overheard her talking to Kallum about it the other week.” He smiled down at me before he turned us to look out at the scenery before us. “Do you remember the last time we were here?”
“Of course. How could I forget?”
“Will you marry me?” He asked, quickly changing the subject.
I frowned in confusion. “I already am.” I laughed as I shook my head.
“No.” He smiled. “I mean right here, right now. Just the two of us, before we go in and marry in front of the whole town.”
I smiled up at him, my eyes watering with tears as I took in what he was saying. I bit my lip and nodded my head. He smiled down at me, he let out a deep breath before he pulled the rings from his chest pocket. He handed me the one that I would put on him. I held it in my hand and looked up at him.
“I love you.” He started. “I’ve loved you since I was just a child chasing around a little girl with braids in her long fire-red hair. I’ve loved you before I even realized who you were to me, I’ve loved you with every ounce of my being for as long as I can remember. Not a day went by that I didn’t think about you, where you were, or if you were thinking about me too. You were made for me, the perfect missing piece to my heart. You were meant for me long before I even understood how important you were to me. You give me a reason to keep breathing, a reason to keep painting, a reason to keep smiling. You. You do that to me, only you and it will only ever be you.” He picked up my hand and placed the curved gold ring on my ringer, it locked into place against the diamond ring he had placed there months before.
“I promise to make you laugh, to make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world. I promise to help you be the best mother you will be to our children. I promise to help you when you’re sick and I promise to be there for you even when we're old. No matter what, you are mine and I am yours. You are my other half and my partner for life. I love you with all that I have, and I will love you until my last breath.”
I smiled up at him, letting out a deep breath as I wiped the tears from my cheeks. “I love you. I’ve loved you since the moment you welcomed me into your home. I’ve loved you with every ounce of my being, even when I wasn’t with you, all I wanted to do was be near you. I crave you like someone craves chocolate. You’re the only person who understands me in ways that no one else can. You are my other half, my true life mate. I couldn’t imagine my life with anyone else but you, I couldn’t imagine my future without you. You love me for all of my faults, and all of my strengths. You are the only one for me.” I took the ring from my shaking hand and placed it onto his finger.
“I promise to love you unconditionally until my last breath. I promise to love you and support you in your darkest days and in your brightest days. I promise to help you be the fun, kind father you will be to our little baby.” I took his right hand and placed it on my stomach. “I promise to never let you down because I couldn’t live my life without you. I love you with all that I have, and I will love you to death.” I smiled up at him, tears now rolling down my cheeks.
He smiled down at me, he moved his hand from my stomach and grabbed my hips. He pulled me against his chest, his left hand finding the side of my neck as he pressed his lips against mine. I wrapped my arms around him and kissed him with everything inside of me.
He pulled away, before pressing two more quick kisses against my lips. He looked down at me, a small laugh coming from his mouth as his hands moved back down to my stomach. He bent down and placed a small kiss on my belly.
“I promise to also love you until my last breath.”
A soft cry pushed past my lips as I ran my hands through his hair. I pulled him back up to me and kissed him, letting myself completely go in that moment. Just me and him on the most perfect day, on our own sharing our love and commitment together.
He was my one and only, he was my true life mate and growing old with him and watching our children grow together was the only thing that I wanted. In that moment he was all that I wanted, and now he is all mine and I am all his.
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