ONE YEAR LATER
Molly smiled as she found the picture that she had been searching through the backlog of newspapers for. A few quick snips with the scissors freed the lengthy article from the page and she held it up to look at it. “I finally found it!” She called to Phalen in the kitchen cleaning the dishes from breakfast.
He stuck his head around the corner to look at her. “Oh really! What does it say?” Drying his hand on a towel, he came in the room to look at the story that Molly had been perusing the papers for.
Molly scanned over the article before reading it out loud to him. “It’s wonderful when a man and a woman come to know love together, but is it nothing short of a miracle when two sets of identical twins find their perfect mates together. That was the scene at The First Church of God on Wednesday for the wedding of Dr. Phalen Fairlane and Molly McGuffen and their twins Phelix Fairlane and Mandy McGuffen. The church was dressed in hues of yellow and red for one of the year’s most extraordinary events.”
“Wow.” Phalen joined Molly on the couch as she read. “I knew our wedding was special to us, but I didn’t think that it would be that interesting to anyone else.”
Molly shook her head and went on with the article. “The two blushing brides, both the daughters of Mr. Reginald and Eolean Mcguffen, looked amazing decked out in matching strapless, silk-taffeta ball gowns. The embroidered dresses featured sweetheart necklines and empire waistlines that fell away into smooth, floor-length skirts. The only identifying feature of the ladies outfits were a few rose buds in their hair that matched their bouquets. Molly sported red roses, while her sister Mandy was grace with yellow.”
Phalen scooted over to Molly and pulled her around so she could lean against him “I think don’t think ‘amazing’ cuts it.” He made a happy sound as he wrapped his arms around her. “I think you looked delicious.” He dropped his face to her shoulder and nibbled her neck a little.
“Stop it!” Molly giggled and wiggle away from his mouth. “I’m reading!”
“I’m sorry,” Phalen kissed her shoulder one more time before settling her against him. “Please, go on.”
Molly looked over her shoulder expecting him to continue distracting her. He gave her an innocent look and she shook her head and returned to the article. “Mandy and Molly were both escorted down the aisle by their father, Reginald, and delivered to the grooms. The grooms wore identical tuxes with boutonnieres of the same color as their ladies. The two couples looked brilliant together.”
“The only hitch in the wedding was when Father Marlin, unable to tell the two couples apart, turned and recited Phalen and Molly’s vows to Phelix and Mandy. The couples just smiled at the error and the correct ones answered him.”
“I can’t believe he got it wrong even after we practiced it.” Phalen laughed as he remembered the surprised look on the preacher’s face when he and Molly answered instead of the couple he was looking at.
Molly giggled. “I can’t blame him. We did arrange it so that everything was the same except for the flowers.”
Phalen sighed. “I still can’t believe he wanted us to wear name tags at the rehearsal so he could get it right.”
“Don’t be so hard on him. He could never tell us apart, even when we dressed differently.”
“Point.” He nodded. “What else does it say?”
Molly looked back to the article. “The wedding was followed by a reception at Fokkner Hall. The happy couples traveled from the church to reception together in a black limo and were showered with bubbles when they arrived. The couples shared one magnificent wedding cake that consisted of six smaller cakes that wound together. The top two cakes were set side by side and each held flowers that matched the ladies bouquets.”
“I was really happy with the way the cake turned out.” Phalen interrupted her again.
“You should have been there when Mandy and I went to order it.” Molly laughed. “I thought the cake designer was going to pass out with excitement when we told her that it was for a dual wedding for two sets of identical twins.”
“I can believe you.” Phalen hugged his wife. He read more of the article and laughed as his eyes caught on an interesting memory.
“What?” Molly scanned over the words looking for what he found funny.
“When asked how the two couples came together, they shared an amused smile and Phalen answer, ‘A bad case of mistaken identity’.” Phalen read shaking his head.
“But there’s more.” Molly pointed to the article and started reading again. “The case of mistaken identity continued when the brides removed the roses from their hair and challenged the guests to identify which one was which. At first it was fairly easy to keep them apart, but when the dancing started, the two ladies did everything they could to confuse the gathered guests. Only the ladies mother, Eolean, was able to tell her daughters apart, but she refused to tell anyone which one was which.”
“Can your mother really tell you too apart?” Phalen asked doubtful of this fact.
“She always could.” Molly confirmed. “Even when we were little and trying to trade places. Sometimes we could pull it over on Dad, but Mom would just give us that look and tell us to stop confusing our father.” She giggled. “Didn’t you and Phelix do dumb stuff like that.”
“All the time.” Phalen laughed. “I once took a math test twice in one day so Phelix would do my social studies homework for the week.”
“And you didn’t get caught?” She cocked and eyebrow at him.
Phalen kissed her on the neck again. “Of course not, we changed clothing at lunch time.” He looked back at the paper. “Read the rest.”
Molly turned her attention back to the paper. “At the end of the celebrations, Phelix picked his bride from the pair and was surprised to have his brother switch the two girls before declaring that they were now right. When Phalen was asked how he knew that he had the right girl, he just smiled and said, ‘I know My Beautiful.’ Before leading his giggling bride away.”
“You were giggling too.” Phalen chuckled and squeezed her.
“It was the look on Phelix’s face.” Molly giggled again. “Pure disbelief that he had gotten it wrong.” She gave him another sidelong glance. “How could you tell us apart?” Molly asked. “We worked so hard on being identical that night, even Phelix resorted to checking our bracelets.” Molly shifted her wrist so the diamond band spun around flashing the golden tag with her nickname on it. Phelix had gotten her sister a matching one a few days after their secret was revealed.
“And it was really mean of you for switching them before the wedding.” Phalen kissed her neck again.
“Wedding etiquette does call for something borrowed.” Molly pointed out as she wiggled under his tickling kisses.
“True, but you were not supposed to take those off.”
“Yes, and it earned me a good swat for it too, but that still doesn’t answer my question.” Molly peeked over her shoulder at him. “How did you tell us apart?”
Phalen made a warm noise deep in his chest before answering. “Stockings.” He nibbled on her neck again drawing out more giggles from her.
“What?” She gasped as she tried to get him to be a little more serious for the moment.
Phalen drew in a deep breath and let out a long sigh before settling his chin on her shoulder to look at the paper in her hand. “During the reception, when you climbed up on the chair and put your foot up on the back so I could take off your guarder, I notice that there was a tear in the knee of you stocking.” Phalen let out a warm happy sound and squeezed her a little. “You held your dress so that I couldn’t see all the way up, but I just knew that if I looked, the top of the stocking would end just a little higher. That drove me nuts for the rest of the night.”
“Well I’ll have to remember that.” She giggled at him.
“You already know that.” He chewed on her neck softly making her squirm. “Those were the same stocking that you wore when we met, weren’t they?”
“Yes.” Molly sighed as Phalen settled down behind her.
“I wondered why the damaged one went missing from my coat pocket.”
“More wedding etiquette, something old.” Molly explained. “I was surprised that you still had that thing after all this time.”
“It reminded me of you.” Phalen smiled and kissed the hair at the side of her head. “I just couldn’t throw it away. Anyway, when I was having a rough day, I could reach into my pocket and be reminded of you. It never failed to bring a smile to my face.” She grinned and leaned into him a little. “Besides, you still had the matching one.”
“I just couldn’t throw it away.” Molly blushed a little. She had held on the loan stocking as a memento of their first date. “But what does my stocking have to do with you telling us apart?”
“Honestly?” He asked.
“Honestly.” She insisted.
“While I was dancing with you both, I ran my hand down your backsides looking for the strap that held the stockings up.” Molly twisted around to look at him surprised at this. She hadn’t noticed his search.
“And you could feel it through the skirt?” Molly asked shocked.
“Not on your sister.” Phalen smiled at her. “But I could just make them out on you.” Phalen slipped his hand down to her leg and raked his fingertips over the material concealing the strap holding up her stocking. “Just like now.” He purred and kissed her softly. “And if we weren’t expecting our siblings at any time, I would show you exactly what these,” he grabbed the strap through her skirt and snapped it lightly, “do to me.”
Molly wiggled in excitement. Twisting to face him more, she kissed him deeply. “We will just have to save that for later.” She said as she pulled back. “You know how much Molly has been looking forwards to going shopping today.”
“I know.” Phalen sighed. “I still can’t believe Phelix got her pregnant on their honeymoon.”
“Yeah, and now she wants to go shopping for maternity clothing and baby stuff.” Molly sighed. “She isn’t even showing yet.”
“This is true, but it won’t be long.” Phalen informed her.
Molly nodded. “So how did Phelix take the news.”
“Oh, he is beside himself on this one.” Phalen laughed. “I don’t think he was expecting this thing for a while yet. And when I pointed out that there was a high probability that they could have twins, he nearly fainted.”
“Mandy would love to have twins.” Molly cooed thinking about how her sister would react to that news. She leaned over into Phalen and looked at the article again. “I’m glad you like kids. “ She said softly and stood up so that she could pull down her wedding album.
“Of course I like kids.” Phalen watched her move across their living room to the book shelf. “It’s going to be so much fun spoiling their children.” Phalen started to plot all of the great, annoying toys he was going to get for his new niece or nephew.
“That’s not what I meant.” Molly said softly as she pulled the white book down and slipped the article between the pages.
Phalen froze on the couch and turned a blank face us to her. “Molly?” He asked not sure if he understood what she was implying.
“You know how they say, ‘What happens to one twin, happens to the other.’?” She looked up from where she was rubbing the edge of her book.
A look crossed Phalen’s face that was part shock, part hope, and part terror. “Molly, are you…” Phalen shifted forwards on the couch not knowing how he should finish that question.
“You’re going to have to be careful how you spoil my sister’s kids. Your brother is going to get the opportunity to spoil yours in the same way.” Molly warned him.
“You are!” Phalen popped up from the couch and rushed over to Molly. He rolled her up in his arms making her drop the book from her hands.
Molly giggled as he kissed her. “I haven’t gone to get checked out yet.” She pushed her over excited husband back so she could talk to him. “But, I did pick up one of those home tests yesterday.”
“And?” Phalen bounced on the balls of his feel.
“And it was positive.” Molly grinned.
Phalen squished her in another hug. “That’s fantastic.” He picked her up and spun her around driving more giggles from her. “I’ll call Hank and get you an appointment set up right away.” Setting her down carefully, Phalen went to find his phone. “Oh, and we can move that junk out of the spare bedroom, of course it will need to be repainted.” He looked back at Molly. “Do you know what it is?” He asked as his mind race. Shaking his head, he turned back to his search for his phone. “Of course you don’t know what it is yet. I guess we’ll just pick out some neutral colors.” He found his wayward phone in the pocket of his coat.
Molly came over and took Phalen’s phone from his hand before he could call anyone. “Just calm down.” She chuckled at how excited he was about this news. She had been working on to break the new to him gently, but seeing his excitement, the dread she had been feeling was completely unfounded. “It’s Saturday and I’m sure Hank, whoever that is, won’t like you calling him up rambling.”
Unable to stop himself Phalen wrapped his arms back around Molly cuddling him against her. “You know Hank. He’s your OB/GYN.” Phalen bubbled as he held on to his wife. “He’s a good friend of mine from med school and promised to take good care of my wife when she got pregnant.”
“I was wondering why my doctor came to our wedding.” Molly chuckled at him. “But, you need to settle down.” She kissed Phalen on the tip of his nose. “I want to wait until we are sure before we tell them.”
Phalen gave her a faked pouty look as he took in her words. “So I can’t tell my brother?” He asked.
Molly considered the smile that kept pushing the frown from his face.
Phalen fought hard to keep the sad puppy eyes, but they too were washed away in his glee.
“Oh, all right.” Molly sighed and gave in. It would be impossible for her to keep this secret with him bouncing around like some sugared up kid. Of all the exciting moment in their relationship, she had never seen him so happy about anything. “You really do like kids.”
“Mmmm.” He squeezed her “I absolutely love them! They are the whole reason I went in to be a doctor. I wanted to work with children.”
She chuckled and kissed him again. “Then congratulations.” Molly smiled and stepped back from his hold. “Now go finish up in the kitchen so I can straighten up in here. Our twins will be here soon.”
Phalen followed her to get one more quick kiss before heading off to put the dishes away.
Molly let out a deep sigh and watched him disappear back into the kitchen. She turned around and went to pick up the book she had dropped in Phalen’s excitement. She flipped it open to the first page and the picture of all of them in their wedding attire. Running her fingers over the picture, she smiled at it before sliding her hand down over her still flat belly. She was going to have to thank Mandy for everything. Had her sister not gotten sick that day and begged her to go to dinner, Molly would not be able to share this wonderful news with such an incredible man. Molly closed the book up and placed it back on the shelf. She still needed to pick up the rest of the mess before her sister arrived. Looking up to the happy sounds coming out of the kitchen, she sighed contently. She could not imagine how her life could get any more perfect.
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