I’m stared at as I made my way out of the car and into the church. People gape, like, actually gape, but I was too nervous to really react or even think about it too much. I’ve been pacing the prayer room for five minutes waiting for everyone to get situated. Alex is waiting at the alter already and we’re only moments away from when I have to walk down the aisle. Avery is standing at the doors ready for her cue and Jonathon is by my side smiling broadly.
“It’s time,” Avery says as the music starts and I tense up. As she props the door open and continues out, pausing to grin at me. Jonathon offers me his arm and I take it.
“You ready, Natalia?” He asks and I nod.
“Your son is a wonderful man, Jonathon,” I say and he nods, too.
“And you, my dear, are a wonderful woman.” He pats my hand positioned on his arm. “I believe it’s time for you to get married.” And we start walking.
There are only fourteen people watching me, but it feels like a hundred. Alex’s friends are grinning broadly, Kelly is crying with my mom. Sara and Cassie are watching me with pride. Avery takes my bouquet from me and smiles encouragingly. Slowly, I make myself look at Alex. He is staring at me, in shock I believe and I’m so nervous I want to puke. Or is that the baby? Horror floods me.
No. No. I will not vomit during my wedding. It can wait. Ignoring the nausea and praying my stomach (or my baby) calms down, I smile nervously at Alex as Jonathon places my hand in his.
The priest is smiling at us and I have a hard time looking away from Alex. He looks…sexy. I mean, I always think of him as extremely attractive, but only now do I realize that he is actually sexy. His hair is combed and neat and his tux fits him perfectly and he has a small, nervous smile playing on his lips. His eyes are slightly wider than usual and fuck, I want to have sex with him; which is ironic considering having sex with him is what got us here in the first place. God, I wish I could remember that night. I’m forced to break eye contact with him when we turn to face the priest.
“Do you, Alexander Prize, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for rich, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do you part,” the priest asks and Alex looks to me, his hands holding my own.
“I do,” Alex says, his voice strong. The priest looks to me.
“Do you, Natalia Deveaux, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for rich, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do you part?”
“I do,” I say, not as strongly as Alex, but louder than a whisper.
“Then I now pronounce you Mr. And Mrs. Alexander Prize. You may kiss your bride.” Shit. We didn’t talk about this part. Is he going to kiss me? He has to right? Oh, God what if he doesn’t kiss me? What if he does? Do I want him to? Obviously... I mean, it’s not like we haven’t kissed before. But I don’t remember it…
My thoughts are cut off when Alex places a soft, light kiss on my cheek as he wraps his arms around me and hugs me to him. “Stop worrying, Natalia. We have the rest of our lives to do that.” I smile and wrap my arms around him, too.
“We’re married now,” I say and he grins.
“Hello, Mrs. Prize.”
“Hello, Mr. Prize,” I say through a smile and he kisses my cheek again.
“How about we go celebrate our life together then?” I nod and we turn to face our family and friends.
“So, you’re staying at Alex’s place tonight then?” Sara asks me and I nod.
“I guess it’s technically my place, too, now, right?” She grins.
“Right. You know, I thought I was going to be the first to get married amongst the four of us.” Avery laughs.
“You practically already are. You’ve been with Adam since your freshman year of high school. I’m surprised he hasn’t proposed yet,” she says and Cassie laughs this time.
“-Says the one who eloped in Vegas on her 19th birthday. Tell me, how was married life?” Cassie asks, taking a sip of her wine and I laugh.
“Oh, God. That was hilarious. I can’t believe I turned down the trip and missed that. I still remember the call I got the day after: ‘Natalia, does your mom know a good divorce lawyer?’ I thought I’d pee myself I was laughing so hard.” I take a sip of my ice water and look over at Alex who is sitting on a bar stool talking to his best man, Trey. He looks exhausted. I sigh, feeling tired myself. We should probably go home soon.
“Excuse me, girls, I’m going to go speak with my husband,” I say and stand, my wedding dress falling around me. I hadn’t felt like taking it off yet, so I wore it to dinner. My mom wanted to have a small dinner party for the wedding guests, so we all are at her penthouse. Most carpooled, and I rode with Alex.
Trey nods at me and excuses himself when I’m a few feet away from them and I nod my thanks back. I place a hand on Alex’s shoulder and he moves his body to look at me. With him sitting on the bar stool, we’re the exact same height and we’re eyelevel.
“Are you okay?” I ask him and he nods.
“I’m just tired; it’s been a long day. So much excitement.” I hesitantly move my hand from his shoulder to his hand, holding it gently in my grasp.
“Are you ready to go then?” He catches my gaze and shakes his head.
“No, we can stay longer; you don’t see your mom often.” I grin.
“Neither do you. Besides, I can drive up soon. Let’s go home. We are having lunch with your parents tomorrow before they catch their flight, right?” He nods. “Then we will both get adequate time with our parents. Let’s go home and sleep. I’m tired, too.”
The drive to his- our- apartment is about the same as the drive to my former apartment would have been, an hour, so we spend the ride talking. We’re about half an hour from our apartment when he brings up the promised subject.
“When we were talking this morning you mentioned that you’re always wanting sex and I just wanted to know if it’s something you’d like to discuss further,” He starts and I groan.
“No, please, it’s fine. We don’t have to talk about this. Aunt Emily says it’s perfectly normal to be so unusually turned on all the time; that my hormones are to blame, so I’m just going to deal with it.” I say, not able to look at him.
“Natalia, are you embarrassed?” He asks, fighting back a smile.
“Yes, completely and utterly mortified,” I answer and he reaches over and grabs my hand, losing his fight and smiling slowly.
“You don’t have to be embarrassed, you know. We’ve already had sex.” Yes, sex that only he can remember.
“Can we not talk about it now? Please? I can’t- think right now and I’d like to think. Can we talk about something else?” He squeezes my hand lightly.
“For such short notice, I think we did a great job with our wedding.” I nod, thankful for the subject change.
“I wanted us to have something more than a courthouse signing, you know?” He nods.
“I know and I think it was worth it.” He glances over at me as he stops at a stop light. “You look breathtaking, Nat.” I meet his gaze and smile.
“And you don’t disappoint in a suit, Alex. Were you upset with the colors? I wasn’t sure at first but I loved the shade of purple, so I figured- why not you know?” He grins.
“I honestly wouldn’t have cared either way. I was only paying attention to you anyways.” I laugh and smack his arm gently.
“Smooth talker. So you’re saying I could have gone with canary yellow and you would have been okay with that?” He laughs.
“You look great in a lot of things, Natalia, but canary yellow might take away from your beauty.” He’s grinning and so am I and it feels so nice- natural, even- to be joking with him that I decide I can talk to him about the previous subject. To make myself vulnerable.
“It’s not that I’m embarrassed to talk about sex, it’s that I’m embarrassed to talk about sex with you. You’re gorgeous and I’m hormonal, it’s just not a good mix. Besides, I don’t want to make things awkward with us.” He turns into his apartment building’s parking lot and pulls into his resident spot and turns the key in the ignition to shut the car off before unbuckling and turning to the side to look at me.
“Natalia, we’re married. That means that you’re the only girl I’m going to look at or be with intimately. So if you want to have sex, don’t be afraid to initiate because I’m a twenty three year old male and I won’t turn you away or make fun of you. You’re already pregnant, so what’s the worst thing that can happen?” Why is he kind of perfect?
“Alex?” I whisper, staring at our joined hands.
“Hmm?” He asks, meeting my gaze.
“I’d like to have sex with you.” A smile starts to form on my face and I can’t push it down so I just let it take over. Alex laughs a little.
“Well, why didn’t you say so?”