“I still can’t believe Zach’s been alive this whole time,” Daisy exclaimed as we sat in my hotel room.
Masato had taken Zach out for a little sightseeing with a couple of his old friends, so the girls had decided to come to the hotel room for a girl’s night.
“Me neither. When we had been pulled from the fire, they sent us to different hospitals because Zach inhaled too much smoke. He needed specialized care and almost didn’t make it. After that, they never told either of us that the other was alive; we have no idea why. Then, I got adopted, and they’d told Alicia and Emmett that Zach hadn’t made it. It turned out; he’d been adopted too, about two weeks before I was. It was a pure chance we were both in Willow Lake at the founder’s ball.”
“Life is crazy!” Elise chuckled as she took a sip of the red wine we’d been sharing. “And I can’t believe you and Masato are getting married as well!”
“Speaking of that whole thing, what’s the deal with that?” Daisy scowled, her lips forming a hard line as her arms folded across her chest, “There’s no way I can afford the flights.”
“Me neither.” Elise pouted, “Not on a couple of month’s notice. We wanted to be there, Hallie.”
I looked at them both sympathetically. Masato and I had decided to get married this summer, the final week of August. We were holding the ceremony in our backyard, just us five, Mahala, Hannah, and a couple of Masato’s friends from work. Afterward, the Lester brothers were ensuring the grand room of the city hall was available to allow the townsfolk to attend the reception.
My heart saddened, though. I’d wanted them there too; however, Alicia pointed out it was too much of a risk. As far as they were aware, I was going to be twenty-three on my wedding day, and I’d lived here before going to Willow Lake. While everyone back in Willow Lake would be under the impression, I would be eighteen and had spent years in Japan before Willow Lake.
There was too much risk that something would be said that would end up causing numerous issues.
“I want you there too, but we don’t want to wait. However, don’t worry, we fully intend on coming back here for a few days during our honeymoon. Masato’s Mom can’t fly out either for it, and we can’t afford to fly her, or you two out. So we’re planning on doing a little thing on our way through Europe.”
“Good, because I want an excuse to wear a killer dress.” Elise smiled broadly, “You’ll have to like video link us, though. We, at least, want to be able to watch.”
I chuckled a little, “I think we can arrange that. Emmett’s doing that for his Mom, so I’m sure he can set it up for you two as well.”
Daisy’s eyes went wide as she pouted her lips into an O shape, “Ooo, we could hold a mock wedding here. You two, us two, his Mom and Masato’s old friends here. We could hire a fake minster who turns out to be a stripper!”
Elise and I looked at Daisy, completely dumbfounded before we both burst out laughing.
“Oh god, please let’s do that!” Elise gasped between fits of laughter.
“No! No, let’s not! Oh god, could you imagine Masato’s face!” I gasped in horror between bursts of giggles.
“That’s exactly why we should do it! Oh come on, it would be hilarious!” Daisy jumped off the bed and mimicked holding a book. “Do you Hallie Paxton, take Masato Hayawaka to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
“I do!” Elise mimicked swooning as she battered her eyelids and clutched her heart with her hands.
“I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may now kiss and ride that pony!” Daisy started dancing around, singing the song Pony while she took off her thin hoodie and threw it at me.
Elise cheered loudly, which only encouraged Daisy as she did the Pony dance move while I sank into the bed, hiding behind my glass of wine.
“You two are idiots!” I howled, my cheeks feeling sore from the constant smiles and laughter, but I loved it. I hadn’t quite laughed like this since we left London, nor had I felt this happy or at peace. I’d barely been able to relish in happiness that Masato and I were to be married.
“But, you love us for it.” Daisy chuckled as she finally relinquished and sat back down.
“I really do.” I beamed. “I missed you both.”
“Girl, we missed you too. But, before we get into that and get all teary, we need to order more wine, ice cream, and a dumb movie.”
“Let’s do it!” I smiled at Elise before I reached over to the phone to call room service.
“So, this is where Thomas has been hiding, huh?” Zach breathed as Masato pulled up outside the small farmhouse.
“Well, since we moved here anyway, yeah.” Masato nodded. “It sucked having to hide him out here and tell everyone he was dead.”
“I still can’t believe you’re Thomas’ kid, though; it’s just crazy.”
“Oh trust me, Zach, it took me a while to wrap my head around it too.” I chuckled. In all honesty, there were still times I still found it a little difficult to believe. I’d always known there was something different about Masato, but it was far from what I’d expected.
“Try convincing your dad that the other Davenport twin was also alive and had aged no more than Hallie had without being half Vampire. I think he still doesn’t fully believe me.”
“Well, let’s go show him then, shall we?” I looked over from the passenger seat and smiled at Masato.
Masato nodded with his full, bright smile, one which caused my heart to melt before we stepped out of the car.
“Dad?” Masato called as he opened the front door.
Before any of us could blink, Masato’s mother appeared, her eyes already watering with tears as she wrapped Masato in her arms.
“Ā, Watashi no shōnen! Oh, my boy!” His mother sobbed as Masato wrapped his arms around her tightly.
“I missed you, too, my son.” His mother held on a little longer before she let go and instantly pulled me into her arms. “Oh, and how I’ve missed you as well, Hallie. You look so beautiful.”
“And I’ve missed you, Mei. You look well.”
“Oh, well, I’m holding up. I’m so happy to see you both, and this is Zach?”
“Nice to meet you, ma’am.” Zach smiled, holding out his hand.
Mei laughed and shook her head, “No, in this family, we hug. Now come here.”
Mei didn’t give Zach a chance to protest before she pulled him in. Zach chuckled a little and accepted the embrace, realizing it was pointless resisting.
“Where’s Dad, Mama?”
“Out the back. We thought it would be nice to sit on the patio, have a nice cup of tea, and enjoy the sunshine while we all catch up.”
“That sounds perfect.” I smiled, Mei’s cups of tea’s was another thing I’d missed, she always did them so perfectly, with a tea she had imported from Japan.
“Well, follow me. I know Thomas has been very anxious to meet you, Zach. Let’s not let an old fool wait any longer, shall we?” Mei smiled sweetly before turning to head towards the back door.
We all exchanged smiled before we nodded and followed Mei outside.