Axel couldn’t believe it was their big day, finally. He adjusted his necktie and took a deep breath, practicing his vows. Past two months had been a blur of activities.
Naina and Xander’s wedding was perfect in every sense.
Then, Andrea and Sebastian’s wedding brought the families together once again. His grandfather had retired and since merged the Del Campo group with Finlayson Corp. Sebastian had taken over the operations in Spain while Axel handled their business in the United States. Axel had divided the shares among his cousins, so they all received a certain amount from the company profits every year.
The past two-and-a-half months had changed his life for better. The time he’d spend with Samantha had been great and he never once looked back at his past. Samantha surprised him at every turn and he fell deeper and deeper in love as he learned more about her.
Xander’s cheerful voice distracted him from his thoughts.
“I am,” Axel answered with a full-blown smile that lit up his face.
Axel chose Xander as his best man. Their friendship had come a long way, and he was glad that everything worked out for them.
“I can’t believe my baby is getting married,” his mother gushed with happy tears. “I was almost convinced that this day would never come,” she sniffled.
“Sara, don’t ruin the makeup. Andrea would go ballistic if she finds anything out-of-place,” Henry chastised in a playful tone.
“Quiet Henry!” Sara slapped his chest playfully. “It’s our son’s wedding, and it’s okay to get emotional.”
Axel hugged his parents one last time before they rushed out to take their seats. Xander helped him with the coat as Axel’s chest bubbled with joy.
Soon, he’d be a married man.
“Aww... Aren’t you cute? Just like your mama,” Samantha cooed at the newborn baby as she made some gurgling noises, melting everyone’s heart.
“Dani, not now, you will ruin our artwork!”
Andrea stopped her from taking the baby and Samantha retracted her hands with a pout. Naina and Xander’s baby girl was a cutest little angel she’d ever seen. Naina went into labor shortly after their wedding and gave birth to a baby girl, to whom she chose Samantha and Axel as Godparents.
“Come on, Samantha. You’ll have plenty of time after the wedding to spoil the little one,” Naina added with a soft chuckle. Naina’s face lit up every time she saw the little bundle of joy.
“I wish I could just pop it out!” Gracie pouted.
“Yeah, me too. I can’t even walk straight,” Amelia added.
“Stop complaining, you two! Now, let’s get the bride out there,” Andrea cut them off.
Samantha chuckled, looking at the pregnant women. Their belly seemed to grow every day and she could only imagine what it would feel like to be in their shoes. If Axel had his way with her then, she’d be soon joining them. Her heart warmed thinking about having a small family for herself.
Though they never spoke about babies, he wanted to be a father. She’d caught him watching Gracie and Amelia’s baby bump when they were not looking. There were times Amelia would let him feel the baby’s kicks and the expression on Axel’s face was priceless.
Once baby Aurelia was born, he wouldn’t let her down. He was always around her doing one thing or the other. Samantha didn’t bring it up considering his past with Alicia. He was still healing, though he never spoke about it. If he wanted a child, then she would give it to him.
“Sammy you look so beautiful!” Sasha and Ryan exclaimed in unison, pulling her out of the thought train. Eric hugged her and wished her all the best before going out to overlook the arrangements.
Everyone around her bounced with happiness and her spirits were flying high in the sky. Samantha stopped and took a deep breath, smoothing her dress to remove the non-existent creases. The lacy material was soft against her sweaty palm and she wondered how Axel would react on seeing her today.
“You look so beautiful,” Narmadha gushed. “It feels like you were born yesterday and now you are getting married.”
Samantha relaxed in her mother’s embrace and willed her tears to stay in her eyes. She was getting emotional as the time progressed.
Her mother and friends took turns in hugging her and wishing her all the best before rushing outside as it was almost time for the ceremony.
“All right, do you need anything else Dani,” Andrea asked.
Gregory poked his head in after a knock. “It’s time.”
Samantha’s heart raced as she took nervous steps outside.
“You’ll be fine, girl. Just breathe!” Andrea cheered, her grayish black floor-length gown swished as she hurried out with her bouquet.
Samantha clutched her father’s elbow as she took slow steps outside the room. A hushed silence fell over the crowd as the instrumental of a thousand years by Christina Perri played in the background.
Her eyes met Axel’s, and she forgot to breathe for a while herself as she walked down the aisle. He looked breathtakingly handsome in his white suit and the moment felt magical. The crowd seemed to fade. This is it.
Axel couldn’t take his eyes off his beautiful bride. She was everything he could ask for. If he thought she looked like a Goddess before, now she looked like a heavenly creature in a white gown woven with golden embroidery. Her face was hidden by the veil and the wedding dress trains trailed behind her, making it look like she glided over the floor.
This moment was so special to him. His smile widened as he tried to memorize every bit. He beamed at her when she came to stand beside him and together they turned to face the minister.
“The most important thing in life is to love someone. The second most important thing is to have someone love you. The third most important thing is to have the first two happen at the same time,” the minister began.
“That has happened to Axel Joaquin Finlayson and Samantha Danica Sinclair. They have fallen in love and have come to make a public commitment to their love for and loyalty to one another. Who gives this woman to be married?” The minister asked.
“Her mother and I do,” Gregory replied before taking a seat beside Narmadha.
Axel and Samantha sneaked glances at each other as the minister continued to speak.
“Because you have expressed a desire to be united in marriage, I will ask you to take a vow–a vow that is made not only in the presence of your family and friends, but also in the presence of God.”
The minister turned towards Axel.
“Do you, Axel Joaquin Finlayson, take Samantha Danica Sinclair to be your lawfully wedded wife, and do you promise before God and these witnesses, to love her, to comfort her, honor and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her so long as you both shall live? Do you so promise?”
“I do,” Axel replied as his heart did a somersault.
The minister now turned to Samantha.
“And do you, Samantha Danica Sinclair, take Axel Joaquin Finlayson to be your lawfully wedded husband, and do you promise before God and these witnesses, to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him so long as you both shall live? Do you so promise?”
“I do,” Samantha replied and this time her heart fluttered. She sneaked a glance at Axel, who was beaming beside her.
“You may say your vows and exchange the token of your love for each other,” the minister announced.
Axel and Samantha turned to face each other as everyone around them, watched them with anticipation.
“I promise to love and care for you, and I will try in every way to be worthy of your love. I will always be honest with you, kind, and patient and forgiving. I promise to try to be on time. But most of all, I promise to be a true and loyal friend to you. I love you,” Axel vowed, slipping the ring on her finger.
Samantha bit the insides of her cheeks to control the sob that bubbled in her throat. She didn’t know why she felt so emotional.
“I believe in you, the person you will grow to be and the couple we will be together. With my whole heart, I take you as my husband, acknowledging and accepting your faults and strengths, as you do mine. I promise to be faithful and supportive and to always make our family’s love and happiness my priority. I will be yours in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, in failure and in triumph. I will dream with you, celebrate with you and walk beside you through whatever our lives may bring. You are my person-my love and my life, today and always,” Samantha finished with happy tears rolling down her cheeks as she slipped the ring on his finger.
“Now, by the power vested in me by the state of New York and as the minister of the gospel, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss your wife.”
The crowd cheered as the newly wedded couple shared their first kiss as the husband and wife.
“Congratulations, Mrs. Finlayson,” Axel whispered against her lips.
“Congratulations to you too, Mr. Finlayson,” Samantha grinned before pulling him down again.
Axel chuckled and kissed her again. “It feels so good to be married.”
“Say that after a year,” someone shouted from the crowd and everyone around them burst into laughter.
Axel and Samantha walked hand in hand as they exited the small Chapel they got married in. The wishes of their friends and family added more reasons to their joy and the indoor post-wedding celebrations in the Sinclair mansion exceeded their expectations.
Neither Samantha nor Axel got involved in the wedding planning except for choosing their clothes and jewelry.
Everything–from the venue decorations to the five-foot fairytale wedding themed cake–blew their mind. They happily posed for the photos with their dear ones.
The songs playlist surprised them the most. It held a mixture of Axel and Samantha’s most favorite songs and they couldn’t be happier as they stepped on the dance floor to share their first dance. Samantha grinned the entire time as they danced together. Axel enjoyed the party to the fullest and to be honest, he didn’t think this day would get any better.
Eric and Antonio had a hard time controlling their hyper wives, who waddled across the dance floor trying to dance.
Gabriela caught the bouquet during the bouquet toss and Keith caught the Garter. Gabriela’s face reddened when everyone made Keith put the Garter on Gabriela. They were attracted to each other since the beginning and this only brought them closer.
Narmadha sniffled when she bid farewell to her daughter, who was now leaving with her husband. Though she knew she would meet her daughter soon, she wasn’t ready when the moment came.
Samantha bid a teary farewell to everyone. She didn’t know why she felt that way. It wasn’t like she would not meet them. She wondered if the circumstances got the best of her.
Axel couldn’t be happier as he had Samantha all to himself as they drove back to the hotel. Samantha leaned her head on the window, reliving the wedding moments in her mind. He took her hand in his and kissed her fingertips gaining her attention. Samantha averted her gaze from the road and turned to look at him.
“You look so beautiful today.”
A small smile graced her lips. “It feels like a dream,” she whispered as he moved closer. “A great dream.”
“It sure does,” he agreed.
“So, what’s next?”
“Well, I have this wonderful project of creating junior Axels or Samanthas,” Axel crooned in her ears.
“Mhmm... So when are you going to start this wonderful project of your’s?” Samantha teased.
“As soon as we reach our room. What do you say?”
Samantha giggled as she pulled him down for a kiss. “I’d say yes. I love you, Axel,” she whispered against his lips.
“I love you too,” Axel mumbled as he deepened the kiss, pouring all the love and passion he felt for her into the kiss.
Their car whisked past the traffic as the lights turned green as if approving their new beginning.