Twisted Saga ReGenesis (book 3 of 3)

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Chapter 5 – Wedding Day Jitters

Sara is up and active before the sun can give the sky a morning kiss. She stirs about the hotel lobby around the hotel’s main floor, where she meets Gwen.

“You’re up awfully early, everything alright?” Gwen questions, startling Sara.

“Oh, good lord Gwen, you nearly scared me to death. Sorry, just trying to calm myself down, you know. I mean, am I doing the right thing? Am I ready to get married? Is Bryan the right guy to call my other half? I am so scared, and I wish I were as brave as you were when you married Uncle Josh.”

Gwen pulls out a seat and motion for Sara to join her at the small square table.

“Take a seat, and I’ll share some wisdom with you.”

She pops a squat and places her shaky hands on the table as Gwen puts hers over Sara’s to help with the trembling.

“Being nervous is good, just take a couple of intense breaths and exhale even slower.”

The advice works like a charm; Sara does it as Gwen continues.

“I was a wreck when I was married, Josh. I mean, yeah, it was a great day. Out on the beach, it was a small wedding, unlike yours but to say I was confident and not experiencing the fears you feel would mean I am lying. I was so nervous, I puked.”

Gwen knows this will be a distraction to bring the anxiety down to a manageable level as she goes on.

“But, I knew after it was said and done, it’d get better, and it did. Just remember to breathe and focus on the goal of the next five minutes, not five years. You’ll do fine, sweetie. You’re a beautiful bright young woman.”

“Thank you, Aunt Gwen, you’re the best,” Sara states leaning over, clamped around Gwen’s neck.

“It’s what I do. You’ll be fine; get you something light to eat, and then get ready for your day. Remember, this is all about you and nobody else.”

The ladies separate and get a bite to eat as soon as the breakfast buffet opens.

Over the next few hours, everyone gets ready and gathers at the church. For nearly an hour, the church pews are filled with friends and family. Bryan stands in the hallway with the preacher and his best man. While Sara, Brooklyn, and Emily wait for their signal to make their entrance for the ceremony.

“This place is really something else,” Gwen mentions looking around at the enormous chapel marveled over its size.

“Yeah, baby, it is; maybe we could renew our vows in a church like this,” Josh mentions gawking around.

Two security guards are stationed at the doors of the church. The rest of the team take their place at the hotel. Trying to rush so he doesn’t miss the wedding ceremony, Kyle rushes through the checkpoints but fails to check each guard’s credentials at their stationed post.

“Alright, everyone is in place; I’ll be back shortly, remember no card, no entry.” He reminds every guard through their earwigs.

Kyle isn’t gone longer than five minutes when things take a drastic change. One of the guards in the mezzanine location looks over to his partner and smiles, then begins to chuckle slightly.

“Care to share what’s so funny?” The guard questions just before a hand with a cloth soaked in chloroform takes him out, dragging him to the service elevator.

“Flip the switch!” The assailant mentions putting the body in the elevator as they go down to the basement.

“Dispose of the body, pronto…” He orders as the others pick up the unconscious agent and slices his throat before dumping him in the dumpster.

The other guards pretend to make a run-through as the real agents are ambushed and taken down to the basement. That’s where each of them is murdered in cold blood.

“Swaps are complete sir, what’s the signal?” The lead impersonator asks, making a phone call.

“When they bring out the cake after the father-daughter dance. Bring the rain and get them to me and remember, follow the route; otherwise, you won’t make it past the entourage of people chasing you.” The male voice says.

That’s when the undisclosed guard speaks into the microphone located in his sleeve’s cuff, and the head honcho gives out the order.

“We make our move when the cake comes out after the father-daughter dance. Be ready to move, and don’t forget your gear. If you can’t make it, then kill yourself, no loose ends, men.”

Placed back in the Mezzanine, the assailants patiently wait for the party to begin.

Unaware of what’s about to go down, everyone begins to come together inside the church. They’re catching up with an old friend who made the long trip.

“Owen!” Josh calls out, seeing his old chum.

“Ah, Josh, old boy, always a pleasure to see you again, lad. Miss Guinevere, a lovely sight as always, lady love, and this must be Delilah. A pleasure to meet you again, my dear.” Owen greets them.

“Good to see you. You look good, still in shape, I see.” Gwen greets him with a hug.

“I do what I can, but it’s not always easy lovey.” He explains, patting his stomach as they share a laugh.

Owen’s still about as thin as he was the last time they saw him. He’s aged a fair bit, looking older since his retirement from Interpol. He’s grown a full beard with gray patches with dark chestnut brown facial hair. His hair is thinning, but Owen doesn’t try to hide it as his widow peak is prominent.

“Welcome to God’s house, friends, and family; please take your seat and wait.” The Preacher walks out and announces as more people slowly begin to arrive shortly after.

Josh waits and motions for Kyle, Lucas, and the kids to join them in the middle pews and keeps an eye out. Josh waves over to James, making him sit near them, and as a bonus to be an ass, he motions for Scarlett to sit beside Gwen and Delilah.

“Hey there, sis, great to see you. Rocking that mid-summer tan, hot momma.” Gwen teases as they share a giggle and James’ scowl grows more noticeable.

“Something wrong?” Justin questions James when he arrives.

“Nah, just you know uncomfy in these seats. You know I’m not a church fan.” James mentions scooting around to hide his displeasure.

“Oh! Hey, speaking of discomfort, I need to talk to you later, bub. We haven’t had a fair chance to catch up with it just being the three of us.” Josh turns and says, watching James’ reaction go from frustrated to worried.

“Oh yeah, after the whole ordeal, we’ll make an appointment. You know how it is. I’m a busy man and whatnot.” James mutters in a state of panic.

“Nah, we can chat at the hotel during the festivities. Unless, you know, you might have something to hide.” Josh mocks, rocking a cocky smile on his face.

“Not at all; yeah, the three of us, perfect, it’ll be like old times.” James sighs, ready to bail on the reception.

Things take an odd turn when Owen speaks up, feeling the tension.

“Make it four. We haven’t had a chance to catch up in over five years, lads. Oh, Justin, you look fantastic, my friend. Good ole country boy pot belly and all.”

Justin tries not to laugh hard enough to cause his gut to jiggle as everyone, including James, cracks up over the comment that eases the tension.

Gwen looks around and can’t believe her two sons aren’t going to make it to the wedding.

“Something wrong, mom?” A surprising voice calls out from the aisle.

Quickly lifting her head, she looks up to see Aaron standing there.

“Aaron, you made it! Yay, my boy is here!” She nearly screams as tears come to her eyes.

“Hi mom, missed you too.”

He struggles to pry his mother from his neck. Aaron stands there as he puts his hand out for his father to exchange a handshake.

“Hey there, son, looking good.” Josh compliments seeing the blond version of himself standing there.

“What can I say? I look good in army green.” He jokes as he and Josh stand there and stare at each other.

“Amazing how much he looks like you, Josh.” An unexpected guest says, who walks in with Audrey and Sean.

“Nikki…” He whispers without breaking eye contact with Aaron.

“Sorry for intruding, but Audrey invited me, and Sara looks absolutely gorgeous in her dress,” Nikki informs them looking over at the familiar faces.

Justin and James sit in awe as they can’t believe the reunion from the past return like a ghost in the night.

“Oh, wow, and I thought my situation was awkward,” James says, rolling his eyes between the two former lovers.

“Well, if no one else has any manners, I’ll say it. Nikki, have a seat and welcome to the party.” Gwen calls out, seeing her husband frozen in place for the first time in a long time.

“Thank you,” Nikki replies as she sits back alone a few pews away, picking up the chill in the air.

Gwen can’t stomach the instinct churning in her gut. She whispers to Josh once he remembers he can sit once again.

“You have no choice; you’ve avoided her for over 20 years now. Time to put whatever you want to say to bed. At the hotel, you’re going to settle this tribulation with her. I did it after the funeral back then when Paula was buried, and if I can, then so can you. This game has gone on long enough. Am I worried? Nope, because I know who you go to bed with at the end of the day.”

Josh doesn’t budge an inch when he attempts to wiggle his way out of the situation.

“I have nothing to say to her. It’s a part of my past. I want to leave it the way it is.”

Gwen gets frustrated and places her hand on his bad knee, squeezing to get his attention.

“What part of no choice did you not understand? This is not up for debate. She’s a good person. If I was worried, would you think I would have her talk to you? Now get over it and just be a man, grow a set of balls, and just do it.” Gwen demands then releases her grip from Josh’s knee as she sees him gulp hard one time.

During the last few seconds of her rant, the doors to the church close, and the preacher nods to signal for Bryan and his best man to come out. Moments later, the music begins with the flower girl in a light pink dress, sprinkling flower petals as everyone awes her.

“Ain’t she just the cutest thing?” Audrey whispers to Justin as she can’t stop smiling.

The child stops in front of the preacher with the world’s most enormous grin and waits to be told to sit down.

“Thank you, child, and you did so well.” The preacher mentions motioning her to go over to Audrey.

Sara’s taking several deep breaths behind the doors. She’s arm in arm with her stepdad as they wait to enter.

“It’ll be fine, Sara, you got this, sweetie. You’re so much like your mom that it’ll be alright.” Sean advises her to try to calm her nerves.

“Thanks, Dad. I am so happy mom married you. At least I have you to give me away since my father wouldn’t even answer me.”

“Well, it’s time, and if I may say so, you look so beautiful. You are your mom made over, but enough chit-chat; let’s get out there so I can give you away.” He says while he struggles to hold back a couple of tears in the corners of his eyes.

Sara starts to tremble the first few steps, but when they turn to see everyone standing, she settles down.

The entire church is in awe as she makes her way down in her white gown. It’s a beautiful form-fitting scalloped dress with lace edges along her arms to the neckline. At the same time, the sheer illusion panel accents the V-shaped pattern that accents her breast line. The train isn’t long, but it’s enough that she loves the attention of everyone staring at her and only her for once in her life.

“She’s so beautiful…” Nikki leans over, telling Audrey.

Audrey has tears in her eyes, watching her only biological child walk down the aisle.

“Yes, yes, she is so much more beautiful than I was when I got married. At least I got one thing right with her.” Audrey sobs placing a tissue against her eyes.

Stopped directly in front of the preacher, Sara and Bryan wait for the music to die down and be asked who will give her away.

“You may be seated.” The preacher calls out.

“Who on this day gives this woman away to be married?”

“Her mother and I do.” Sean stands a little taller as he answers.

Taking the notion, Bryan makes his way down to take Sara’s hand from Sean as he makes his way over to his seat beside Audrey and the flower girl.

“Dearly beloved guests, family, and friends, we are here today to witness the bonding of two souls who wish to become one in the house of the lord.” The preacher begins with his Bible to start Sara and Bryan exchange their vows.

“Is there anyone here today who believes that this man and this woman should not be joined in holy matrimony? Speak now or forever hold your peace.”

They stand there and wait for anyone to speak up. He looks to Sara after his pause is finished as they begin.

“I, Sara Trout, take you, Bryan Ryce, for my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part,” Sara repeats after the preacher.

“I, Bryan Ryce, take you, Sara Trout, to be my lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.” He repeats back to Sara as she smiles, feeling the butterflies flutter in her stomach as the rings are slipped onto their fingers.

“You may now kiss the bride.” The preacher says to them as they embrace the first kiss as husband and wife, but it doesn’t come without someone being a smart-aleck in the church.

“Hey, there are kids around here, don’t give ’em any ideas!” James taunts as Justin and Gwen turn to smack him as everyone cracks up for a split second.

Even the preacher finds it a little amusing to lift his arms with his final announcement.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to announce to you, Mr. and Mrs. Bryan and Sara Ryce. May the Lord bless your union, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

“AMEN,” everyone repeats as the music returns as the newlyweds make their way down the aisle out to the limo with guests behind them.

“She did it. I knew she had it in her all along.” Gwen comments just loud enough for Josh to hear it.

“Yeah, she comes from a strong-willed family. I know you helped her along the way, Momma C. Just wish you were here to celebrate it with us. Miss you too, Pops. I wish you were still here with us, too, old man.” He looks up, falling behind as everyone else rushes outside to watch Sara and Bryan make their way to the reception.

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