The chain of wedlock is so heavy that it takes two to carry it – and sometimes three.HERACLITUS
1 year later Blaine 54, Viktoria 53, Anastasia 28, Brendan 23, Chase 31, Natalie 23, Collin & Claire 4 months Sulani, main island Island Love Wedding Resort
As I entered the groom’s pavilion, Blaine and Brendan looked up, my son hurried to me for a hug. As I folded my arms around him I could feel him trembling.
“Mom, is everything still on schedule? No issues? Has the minister arrived? Is Natty all right? How do I look?” he asked, worried.
“Everything is on track and you look stunningly handsome, baby boy. Wow, I cannot believe you are almost a married man. Natty is a lucky girl.”
“Yeah, that’s what I told him too, babygirl, all five thousand times we already done the twenty questions game in the last hour. Told him people have successfully managed to slap rings on each other for centuries and he looks so good that if incest weren’t so low brow, I’d marry him myself.”
“Ugh, dad, seriously!” Brendan grimaced.
“Really Blaine, do you have to tease him now?” I shook my head at Blaine, smiling.
“Who said I was teasing? Don’t be jealous, babygirl, you’ll always be my number one, but have you felt the ass on that one, hmm hmm. Grab me a good handful every time he comes back for another hug, waiting to catch the other side soon.” Blaine laughed. He was just joking, of course.
“Damn dad, way to ruin a good moment.”
“What good moment? You having a heart attack over your hair being – and I quote – ‘a victim of humidity’? Listening to you today makes everyone get in touch with their feminine side, why do you think the ole Bergman already ran off. Your soon to be father-in-law is over there by the wedding arch, probably wondering if he has time to knit himself a lovely hat to go with the dress he wants to wear now after listening to your grandiloquent babbling.”
There was a knock and Anastasia’s voice sounded.
“Knock, knock, everyone decent in there?”
“Nah, but come on in and get naked too, we’re having one last family orgy, just us Camerons.” Blaine called back.
She entered and grimaced at her dad, then went to hug her brother.
“You look stunning, Brenny. I almost want to marry you myself …”
“Ah, not you too… I am all for the Cameron humor, but not today. I am more tense than a longbow.”
“Ninny! It’s just a wedding, not your execution. Suck it up and smile, baby bro.”
“Yeah, you’re not one to talk here. Go and marry your own baby daddy first, Ana. Your five year younger brother beat you to the finish line, you lil prissy. How much longer are you gonna push that out? Just keep your name or whatever and marry that man. Chase is awesome. What’s the fucking problem?” Brendan countered somewhere between amused and upset.
“Brenny, no cursing today, remember? Even your dad has managed so far. Proud of you, by the way, Blaine-y.” I cooed at my husband.
I kissed him, he lifted me up, twirled me around, only to tell me after our kiss when he sat me back down
“That’s just because you haven’t heard my wedding toast yet, babygirl.”
“Don’t you dare!” I warned playfully.
“It’s either that or I will sound like a politician with Tourette’s on the flight home, won’t shut up to even catch a breath, but instead of lies I’ll be spewing curse words till they strap a parachute to me and wish me good riddance. It’s already simmering inside of me, and I am ready to burst. That needs out.” Blaine smirked.
“I am sure we can figure out a better outlet and reason for you to burst, later, after the wedding. I happen to remember a very romantic waterfall not too far from here ….” I cooed as I leaned up against Blaine while grabbing two hands full of his rear end, chuckling, making him grin and jokingly let out a high pitched squeal with a little jump.
“Oh no! Not THAT now too! Ana, can you go check if Natty is ready yet? Maybe we can get started before mom and dad start screwing on the floor here!”
“Don’t be silly, they wouldn’t, there is a perfectly good couch right there. Our parents have standards. They may be low, but so is that couch. Lighten up, Brendan, this is supposed to be a fun day, but if it makes you feel better, I’ll go check on your bride and I’ll take one of them out of the equation. Mom, step away from our father’s butt. Our boys need to finish up without us in here. So, let’s get. You coming?”
“Not yet she ain’t, but I have an excellent track record!” Blaine smirked at Ana.
“Dad, YUCK! It’s my wedding, do you have to talk about parent sex now!? Seriously inappropriate. Just no.” Brendan protested.
“I hate to be the one to break this morsel of truth to you, Brendan, but you and your sister weren’t conceived by immaculate conception. Your mother was on birth control both times and we humped so much that it gave up and stepped aside for my swimmers to run amok. At least we waited till the honeymoon to make your sister. May have happened at the wedding, who’s to say? Which brings us to the topic: it’s your wedding. Everyone screws at weddings, not just the couple, that and the free food is the only reason people even show up for this kinda stuff. “
“That’s different. It’s appropriate for the bridal couple and young people who can still have kids. But not for people who are past their prime and already have grandkids. Plural!”
“Oh, your mother and I are not over that hill yet kid. I may prove that to you, just you wait, 9 or 10 months from now you two may have a little sibling. Ooh, maybe twins, like Ana had! So her two count as two for the price of one, you plural you.”
With a groan Anastasia pulled me out with her, I was laughing hard. I don’t recall if we had ever told the kids about Blaine’s vasectomy or not, but that was just funny to watch them squirm instead of us at their antics for once.
We walked over to the little bridal pavilion, where my amusement changed into emotional tears as we looked onto a beautiful young woman, who would soon become the next Mrs. Cameron. Anastasia cried too, which was unlike her, she was the proverbial tough chick.
And then I blinked and we were assembled for the ceremony. I thought Brendan would keel over when Natalie came down the aisle, Blaine seemed to think the same, as I saw him covertly put his hand onto our son’s back to stabilize him or be able to catch him just in case. Our eyes met, he winked and there was that smirk, sending a flash of deep love and happiness through me. I loved that man so much, he looked so distinguished now, with the new haircut he had gotten for his son’s big day. Blaine and I had a rocky road behind us but look how far we had come. Both of us had made sacrifices but in the end we had gained so much more in return.
And then it happened. My little boy was now a married man. As I watched them kiss I saw Brendan as a tiny newborn, a spunky toddler, a mischievous boy, a hilarious teen and a lanky college kid. He still was all those and so much more now.
The ceremony was wonderful, the cake cutting and the dinner afterwards as well, the toasts, delivered by Blaine and the bride’s father were emotional and hilarious. Then we were all dancing and for a while Blaine and I were back at our own wedding, now so long ago, yet it felt like only yesterday.
And then the bridal couple was whisked away via boat. As they were only dots against the dark ocean, Blaine took my hand and we wandered in a familiar direction. It had been a long time, but I recognized the path right away. We made love under the waterfall again, just like we had what felt like lightyears ago, before Blaine’s disappearance, my heartbreak and all that.
For a little while we were twenty again, no kids, no clue what our future would bring, just two people deeply in love. We didn’t know then what paths that love would lead us down, but we probably felt it then, just as we do now, that our love would always prevail.
That same night Anastasia and Chase were captivated by the romantic setting as well as they were strolling back to their cabin nearby.
“The most romantic thing I have ever seen. I never cried as much in my entire life. To think once upon a time I didn’t like my little brother at all and now, I love him so much that he makes me bawl my heart out at his wedding.”
“Sometimes we just don’t know what we really want unless we give it a chance. Sometimes we have to taste a few fruits to realize which to stick with.”
Their eyes met.
“You know, don’t you?” Ana asked quietly.
“I had a suspicion, which you just confirmed. The way you analyzed the twins after they were born, like you were looking for marks or something odd about them and when you nearly screamed out that they had light eyes, which everyone in both our families has light eyes, so that should not have been a surprise. The fact that it seemed to be to you made me run tests on both kids. I am sure you know that, but they are mine and absolutely healthy.” Chase told her.
“Why did you not dump me like every man out there would have? I never meant to lie to you, but I didn’t want to lose you and couldn’t undo what I had done. It was only once, I swear it, a misstep with an ex-boyfriend, Riordan, who is not gay, as I am sure you already figured out. The entire pregnancy I was going through hell wondering if they were yours or his. You see, he as a … condition, that has a 50% chance of inheritance. Chase, you are so handsome, smart, successful and kind. You could have any girl you want. Why you still bother with me and my weird life is beyond me.”
“Maybe I already do have the girl I want, just not figured out yet to make her want me as much as I want her. Maybe when I tell you I love you it’s not just words, not idle banter, a conditioned response, ever considered that? I am not really thrilled to know my suspicions were correct, but I have figured out that there is something going on with your friend, something oppressed of sorts, the way he clings to you like for dear life. I am not going to keep him from seeing you, but do ask that you keep it platonic, as I am not sure I can forgive it a second time. Can you at least give me that? And come here you. No more crying for today.” he pulled her into his arms.
“You really are amazing, Chase. I am not sure if I deserve you at all. Pretty sure I do not. I swear I didn’t mean for anything to happen between Riordan and me, you are right, I am pretty much all he has aside from a controlling uncle and a mother who just doesn’t care much. But I mean it when I tell you I love you more than my own life, even if it may not look like it. I swear on my life I do, more so in this very moment than ever before. Maybe the way to show you how much I love you would be to set you free to get a decent girl like you deserve, not a train wreck like me.”
“But you are my train wreck. I love you too, Ana, but you already know that. And too bad for you, because you’re stuck with me. Your dad told me I had a nice ass, not as nice as Brendan’s, but a solid runner up. That is twice now I heard that, once from your not so gay after all friend Riordan. You sure you can do without such a prime piece of ass? Just saying … “
“Oh my God, you sound like my dad now. And no, I cannot do without that ass or the rest of the man attached to it, nor do I even want to try. Chase … fuck it all! Let’s set a date. Right now. Actually, you pick a date for our wedding, a place, any place, and whatever you want, I’ll be there and will do it with a smile, happily. You deserve a lot more than I have been giving you. Let’s be a real family for our twins, the whole boring, lame, traditional shebang. Fuck my job. Fuck that law practice dream. I have been so blind.”
“My head’s spinning, all that sounds delightful, but a bit rash. First of all, when and if we plan the wedding, it will be both of us, as it is not my wedding, but ours. Our engagement already wasn’t one for the romance novels, let’s make the wedding something awesome. But for now, let’s just enjoy our dream vacation for the two days we have without diaper duty and sleepless nights.”
“About those sleepless nights … how about making them sleepless for reasons other than screaming babies? Oh, doctor, doctor, I have that itch that desperately needs attention.” Ana wiggled her eyebrows at her fiancé.
“I would, but you know, I am off duty and I am not even really sure I can properly address such itching …” Chase snickered.
“Don’t you play hard to get now! Been there, done that, all you get is the feeling that you’re the dumbest broad to ever walk this earth. Cannot recommend. You should see my Yelp review for that. So, put out or I will get you drunk and take advantage of you like you wouldn’t believe.” she said, both laughed at it.
“Not sure I’d make such a good broad, dumb or otherwise, except I’d be a pretty ugly one. And good grief woman. But all joking aside for a moment, do you really mean it, Ana? About the wedding. I don’t want this to be one of those spur of the moment decisions you end up regretting … I intend to only ever get married once, meaning I want it to be for the right reasons as I need it to last.” Chase told her.
“Get that sexy butt to our cabin ASAP, as this girl ain’t gonna do herself, man! And yes, I mean it. I finally pulled my head of my ass and got it on straight.”
Both of them laughing, Chase picked her up and ran to their bungalow.
When the sun already started to rise, both were laying next to each other, exhausted. There had been several rounds of love making, two people rediscovering the physical aspect of love after one of them had needed a good nudge. Ana felt strangely free all of a sudden, liberated from some invisible chains of guilt and uncertainty.
“Chase?” Ana whispered into the silence, only interrupted by the sounds of the ocean.
“I am so very sorry for what I have put you through. It wasn’t because I don’t love you, I do, so very very much and always have, even if I sucked at showing it. Ri and I just have this very complicated relationship, always did, since we were toddlers, hard to explain, but we both got tangled up in something that can’t be and shouldn’t be and it almost went South. I know this is the lamest apology ever, but it is the God honest truth. Can you ever forgive me for being such a misguided, egotistic, self-absorbed, stupid dumbass?”
He chuckled briefly before he got serious and answered.
“I can. All this makes you sound like you finally are where you needed to be. And lucky for me, it happens to be right next to me, here, in life and on our path together with our two beautiful children. I really do feel like I won the lottery of life.”
“Thank you. For everything. For not giving up on me. I know that could not have been easy. And also sorry for all the heartbreak I have caused you. I so wish I could erase that, take it back. I was such an idiot. I promise to you I will spend the rest of my life making sure you never regret this. I cannot wait to become Mrs. Chase Cunningham.”
“That is the best news I had in a long time. Well, that and learning the twins really were mine. Hey, I know I am the more old-fashioned out of the two of us, but let’s stick with Anastasia for you. Too confusing otherwise to have two Chase Cunninghams.”
“But at least a commendable and firm one, per your dad and your friend Riordan.”
“I may have to refresh my memory again and get back to you about that.” she smiled before she kissed him.