“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”Unknown
Autumn came, and with it the big day, long awaited by most, even wedding-hating Blaine.
Declan and Rory’s wedding.
Rather than explain the entire day to you, I will leave you with some wonderful images that say it all better than I could.
Then it was off to the airport for the honeymoon right from the wedding location. Here are some of Declan and Rory’s photos.
With yet another grandson happy as a clam, we still had one that wasn’t.
He had been Declan’s best man, even though Declan had two best friends, but to avoid having to pick one over the other, he went with his brother. The brothers had been close growing up, it was a logical and easy choice.
Maeve being Rory’s maid of honor on the other hand had been more of a last minute change. The girls got along well, but never really hung out without Declan and Rett present. Originally Rory’s best friend Ashleigh had that part, but she was in her final weeks of pregnancy by her new husband Massimo Russo, so it was agreed that it would probably be best if someone else took over. Rory called Maeve and surprisingly Maeve instantly agreed.
Of course there were a couple of somewhat iffy moments, nothing too bad, since Rett and Maeve didn’t split because they didn’t like each other anymore, quite the opposite, they loved each other too much, just had gotten buried beneath an avalanche of circumstances. By itself, each issue was nothing either of those two wouldn’t have been able to handle, but all rolled together had gotten the best of them and their relationship. Tragic, really, but nobody in this family had really counted those two out yet. If anyone could make it out of this mess, it was them.
Which is how it came about that they ended up going to Mt. Komorebi as well. Declan and Rory’s idea, the genius behind the apparent madness of taking your brother and his ex-fiancée on your honeymoon was that not only would they stay in different quarters and do their own thing to nurse their relationship back to health, but Declan and Rory would be there as backup if needed.
The quartet met several times for shared meals or hikes, but mostly kept separate, so one couple could enjoy their honeymoon as intended and the other could hopefully find back together.
And they did. At a snail’s pace, and still mostly platonic, but they were able to spend time together without yelling or breaking dishes.
They had separate bedrooms, but spent every minute of each day together. At first at arm’s length …
They rediscovered how to just have fun together.
They hit the slopes together – and both were so competitive, trying to better the other, they learned fast and became quite prolific skiers and snowboarders.
And they got closer again. In the Onsen bathhouse, where they went every night after hitting the slopes to soak away the humiliation, bruises and sore muscles.
First there were just looks. You know, THAT type of glances.
The glances carried over to other locations.
A hand being held here and there. A stolen kiss …
By the time the vacation was nearing its end, both were sad. The festival of lights marked their last day in Mt. Komorebi, disguised to avoid being recognized and swarmed by fans, they enjoyed it together, like the final scene of a romantic movie.
They had made progress, but not enough. Maeve was not ready to call it a relationship again, nor to move back in with him. Once they landed in Del Sol Valley, they parted ways, but vowed to stay in touch. At least they parted with a kiss. Not anything to break records, but heartfelt nonetheless.
A few days after their return they met up at an old favorite rendezvous location of theirs.
“Hey …” Rett greeted as he walked up to Maeve.
“Hey.” she replied, smiling she turned to face him, one eyebrow arched.
“No kiss?” she smiled
“I wasn’t sure that was still okay. Come here you.” he pulled her into his arms and kissed her.
When he let go, she smiled up at him, he returned the smile.
“Rett, we really need to talk. I know we talked a LOT in Mt. Komorebi, but we avoided certain topics. We’re stuck until those are on the table. Glossing over won’t work.”
“Here? Do you want to risk having bad memories connected to this place? This is literally the spot we had our first date ever.”
“You remembered! I am impressed. Thought guys don’t remember such sappy things.”
“This guy remembers a lot of sappy things, I just don’t always talk about it. You’re right though, we need to throw it all out there, once and for all, you show me yours, I’ll show you mine kinda thing. I’ll start. Before I came to Declan’s wedding I was at a rehab facility for almost three months which is why I went dark. As a matter of fact, I was released just the day prior to Dec-Man’s wedding. Proud of me yet? I know I am and my entire family is, particularly my grampa. In case you missed it, that last part was pure sarcasm. I am a dumbass.”
“Drugs. Coke in particular. Yeah, I am now a walking talking cliché, the stereotype of a successful musician, friggin’ alcoholic and bonus points for my drug habit. Yay me. I could kick myself in the ass from dusk till dawn.”
“Makes two of us. I was in rehab too, go figure. Eating disorder. Struggled with it since I was like 13, thought I had a handle on it, but after all that happened, yeah. I know it’s very noticeable, I saw you looking at me crooked in Mt. Komorebi at the Onsen bath, guess you were afraid to say something. This is me after already gaining a lot of weight back. And you did see me eat while there. Having fun with you gave me my appetite back and I completely forgot to freak out about each calorie and pound gained. So … I am healing. Especially with you around. You make me want to really try to get better. Before Rory called me, after you ghosted me, I had kinda arrived at ‘why even bother anymore’?”
“Wow. And I get that. Losing you was the hardest thing in my life, but I knew before I could go after you, I needed to fix the elephant in the room. I thought a couple of therapy sessions, maybe some kumbaya in a circle of chairs at an AA meeting, ha, instead they said I was a cocaine addict and needed rehab. I agreed, thinking a week, two tops. I could not have been more wrong. I checked into the facility and I was in for a ride, I tell you what. All the while I saw time slipping away, weeks passing, turning into months, thinking you’d for sure have moved on by the time I had my shit together.”
“Well, yeah, samsies. I was so messed up though, Rett. Probably for the better that we couldn’t be together. We needed this break. I had huge issues with the way I reacted and acted after finding out I was pregnant. I didn’t want a baby. Not at all. I even considered abortion. And then I ended up in the hospital, where I suddenly realized I wanted nothing more than her. But it was too late and I blamed myself for it.”
“Yeah. They asked if I wanted to know. At first I didn’t, but then I did. We would have had a little girl, Rett. I probably jinxed it when I wished I wasn’t pregnant. Maybe she felt I didn’t want her … and now she’ll never know I did want her … so so so badly.” Maeve started crying, sliding to the floor, Rett sat down next to her and pulled her tight.
“I know what you mean. I feel the exact same way. When you told me you … WE … were pregnant, all I could think was ‘my life is over!’. The only reason I didn’t want you to abort was because that would have been my grampa’s great-grandchild. I wanted him to be around to meet my child. Totally selfish. I didn’t want a kid. Until you called. Those moments at that emergency room, I will never forget them. And then the guilt. Same as you, I felt like it was my fault it happened, no matter what the doctors said.”
“We should have been together for all that. Being alone with this was just cruel. Is cruel. Still.”
“Agreed. Move back in, Maeve, make that house a home again. Come back home. We need that last step, together.”
“I like that you call it ‘home’.”
“Well, that’s what it is. Our home.”
That same night she moved back into their mansion, even though not everything was like it used to be. She stayed in one of the other rooms. For now.
But they had meals together again.
Made music together. They still shared the same love and passion for it, and neither had forgotten that this was what had brought them together.
Watched movies together. Well, technically at least. In reality it was more of a cat and mouse game trying to catch the other staring at them, then giggle.
They did everything together. Well, almost everything. Every night Rett would walk her to her room door, kiss her goodnight and watch her go in. Without him.
Until one night, when that changed …
Instead of letting him walk her to her room, once up the stairs she took him by the hand and pulled him into his bedroom – the one they used to share – she kissed him longingly and things evolved fast.
What that ultimately meant for their relationship wasn’t clear then. It could have been a step forward, or a big step back.
But it happened, and for a little while, everything was as it once had been for them.