Finally, the Wedding March faded out and Here Comes the Bride started. I looked to my dad as he pulled my veil over my head and we stepped through the doors.
The entire audience was on their feet, watching me with smiles of encouragement, as I approached. The audience was full of vampires, witches, and even a few werewolves that Liam knew, all eyeing each other awkwardly, but happy for me. I cast my gaze to the front, and there stood Liam, taking my breath away.
He was dressed in a black suit, slick and sleek. His hair was styled back and he was clean-shaven. His eyes sparkled as he smiled at me, and then he said something to Peter, who was his best man.
I had spent hours staring at those eyes on TV, on the computer, and on posters, but never in my life did I think I would be marrying them, and everything attached to them.
I slowly walked up the aisle to him, and then up the stairs, where I had walked a thousand times before to play Belle and Meg and everything in between. Liam couldn’t seem to tear his eyes from me, watching my every movement. To be fair, I couldn’t take my eyes off him either.
My parents brought me to his side, and I turned to my father, who lifted my veil up and over my face, before turning to the priest.
“Who gives this woman to this man?”
“We do,” my parents chimed in together, and I almost burst with happiness.
They were holding hands, no doubt memories of their own wedding flooding in. They stepped back, and I turned and joined hands with Liam. It was finally happening.
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…” The priest began to speak, but I tuned him out, holding hands with Liam and practically reading his mind. He was just as happy as I was. “If there is any here who knows of a reason why these two should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.”
I held my breath, looking around. I half expected Selene to burst in with a reason, and try to take either of our lives. I expected an elder to burst in and claim that this was against the rules of vampire law, to marry one you sired. Hell, I even expected Thomas De Ritter to come in, and wrestle us to the ground, sending us back to our human form and staking both of us.
He especially hadn’t been happy with the outcome of the situation, and it was something both Liam and I felt extremely bad about. We had made him a promise, and they had only agreed to work with us on the grounds of that promise. Yet, there was one more vampire in the world instead of several less, and my father’s blood was on our hands. On top of that, after a week learning what she could about Shields, Sarah, as Porsche had before her, decided that life wasn’t for her, and left as quickly as she had come. The vampire war with the Shields had gained speed, and I knew it was something we would have to face in our future. But not now. Now, I was marrying the love of my life.
Liam and I had gone back and forth between writing our own vows and speaking traditional ones. In the end, we decided on traditional ones, deciding that, like the creatures we had become, marriage was an age old coven and those were the words that should be spoken to gain entrance. It was just like learning lines.
So, when the priest turned to Liam, he smiled broadly, his hands shaking a bit, and began to speak.
“I, Liam, take thee, Amy, to be my lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse…” He paused and I raised an eyebrow. Liam? Nervous? That didn’t happen. “… For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health… till death us do part.”
“To love and to cherish,” The priest interjected and Liam laughed a bit nervously.
“To love and to cherish,” he repeated, blushing and even I had to smile.
When it came time for me to speak, I took a deep breath, determined to show him that a little newbie actor could remember her lines better than him.
“I, Amy, take thee, Liam, to be my lawful wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health... till death us do part.”
“To love and to cherish,” the priest reminded me and the audience burst into laughter. “Let’s leave that part in.”
Liam gave me a devilish grin and a smile stretched across my face.
“And now, the bride and groom will exchange the rings,” the priest said.
Liam put his hand out to Peter, who handed him a small gold circlet that had belonged to his own wife, Liam’s grandmother.
“With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow,” he almost whispered slipping it onto my finger.
The prop ring from Phantom was still on my hand, I had refused to take it off, even when Liam took me to a proper jewelry store and offered to get me a diamond the size of my face. That was the ring he proposed with and so that was the ring I would wear.
Sarah handed me his ring, and I reached for his hand.
“With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow,” I said, slipping it over his knuckle, having to push a bit to make it fit. And there it was, the two of us, holding hands, wedding bands sparkling in the theatrical lights. I knew then that I would never want to leave that school, leave that stage. It had become such a part of me that there was no way anything could take me away from it. There was now as much sorrow in this place as happiness; tears of equally bad and good times. Who would have thought the theater I snuck into as a child would change my life forever?
The priest smiled upon us and turned us slightly towards the crowd.
“I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
It didn’t seem real and final until his hand squeezed mine.
Liam was the only man I had ever kissed for real, and now, he would be the last one I ever kissed. Our lips locked and it felt sweeter than the first time he ever kissed me, passion electrifying through my veins as our lips devoured each other. My first kiss as a married woman.
He dipped me down, continuing the kiss and the audience cheered. It felt like an eternity before he lifted me up, and I wished it was longer. We turned toward the audience, hands locked and smiling, as they gave us a standing ovation, shouting, cheering and whistling. The priest introduced us as mister and missus. As we walked down the steps and down the aisle, ducking rose petals and rice, I couldn’t believe that this was real. Liam beamed down at me as we ducked through the crowd.
“Well, how does it feel?” he asked, going slow in case I would trip and fall over my own dress.
I grinned at him. “It feels absolutely perfect. And I hate that we have to go to a reception and spend hours eating and talking.”
“Oh, you have other plans?” he teased.
I reached up to kiss him again. “I do. They involve me, you, our honeymoon suite, and a lack of a big poufy dress.”
“Ah, Amy,” he said, through kisses, his breath hot in my ear. “Have I taught you nothing? The show must go on, no matter what…”