Nervous could not begin to describe the feeling I had when I woke up that morning. I wasn’t nervous about getting married. Zachary was a good choice for a life partner and I was confident in us being together for the rest of our lives. The reason why I was nervous was because I forgot to have my conversation with Mother about Dad’s presence at my wedding. I knew I had to tell her before we left for the venue as I couldn’t let her create a scene in front of the other guests so I waited until we were alone. That time came when I came down the stairs dressed in my wedding gown. “How do I look, Mum?”
“Oh Gem! You look so beautiful! Oh my baby is getting married today! I’m so proud of you!” She gushed. She smothered me with so many compliments that even started to blush.
“Now if only your sister and cousin could be as prompt as you are then we could leave already.”
“Mum, there’s something I need to tell you. It’s kind of important.”
“What is it?”
“I should have told you earlier but… I didn’t know how you’d react. I didn’t want you to be upset with me.”
“Gemma, what is it? Talk to me.”
“I-uh. I met Dad the other day. He came into the store. He didn’t even know it was my store.”
“I see.” Her expression was blank like she was waiting to hear the whole story before she reacted.
“We started talking and then I told him I was getting married and I invited him to come.”
“You did what?!” She yelled. “How could you do that without talking to me first? I know you’ve always loved your father but he left you, not once but twice, and you invite him to your special day?!”
“Mum, relax. I know you’re upset but I just wanted my Dad to be there at my wedding. Why is that so wrong?”
She sighed. “It’s not wrong. I just don’t want him weaselling his way into your life only to disappoint you again.”
“It’s just one day. I won’t get my hopes up. If I never see him again after today I’ll be fine. I’m getting married so I’ll have a new man in my life, I won’t need him. I promise.”
“Oh sweetie, I hope you know I wasn’t angry with you. I was angry at the situation. I don’t want anything to put a damper on today for you, okay?”
“I know you mean well Mum. Hey, let’s take a picture together before we leave for the venue.” That was too easy. Poor Mum willing to believe in the best of me that she didn’t even question me further once I put on my pitiful voice. Heh.
When we finally arrived at the venue in Willow Creek I was pleased to see how beautiful it looked. It was a simple park with regular picnic tables, trees and some shrubs, but I had a vision of it being an Eden and I’m glad my vision came to existence with the help of a good landscape artist and decorator. Being rich and a Sloane and related to the Goths had its perks.
The ceremony had begun and I could hear the rumblings in the crowd when people realised that my Dad was there. Mother still didn’t like that he was there but she put on a brave face and didn’t let it affect her mood. Leni didn’t even talk to him. He said hello to her but she just walked off on him and went over to the piano to play the song listed for the ceremony. It seemed like the only people who were actually happy to see him were me and Zachary but it was our day anyway so screw the rest of them.
Leni was also a little peeved at Ayden being there. I could tell by the way she played the music. She was a little hard on the keys changing the sound from something slow and romantic to something a little up-tempo. He was Anastasia’s brother and one of my good friends so what was I supposed to do? Not invite him? That would be so rude.
“I love your gown. You look so beautiful.” Zachary said as he caressed my cheek. “I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.” A feeling of warmth emanated from within me when he said those words. He would say things like that all the time but for some reason, that day in that moment as we stood in front of the arch, it affected me more profoundly. I’d always kept my guard up around him, afraid to let anyone too close, but I suddenly felt confident enough to let them down.
“Gemma I know we planned on saying the traditional vows but… I wrote a little something that I want to say to you.” This was off-plan and I generally did not like surprises but I knew I had to go with the flow as everyone was watching so I nodded in consent.
“Gemma, when I first met you I thought to myself, wow, what a beautiful woman…and she’s so out of my league! You are so intelligent and driven. You know who you are and what you want and you settle for no less, and I admire that about you. You seemed so mature… and then you told me how old you were. I started feeling like a cradle-robber!”
“But seriously, I’ve never met someone more compatible with me. If only you’d go to stand-up shows with me then you’d be perfect. Right now, you’re pretty close. I wasn’t lying when I said I was the luckiest man in the world. I have to be if I get to have you by my side for the rest of my life. I love you more than words can express and I feel so grateful and humble to have the honour to say that you are my wife.”
I could hear the “awws” and the sniffling sounds of tears amongst the guests. I certainly felt a well of emotion that I couldn’t explain. Suddenly, I felt the urge to say something as well. “I’ve always had walls up, never wanting to let anyone in because I didn’t want to be hurt or disappointed, but I feel safe letting them down around you. I couldn’t have picked a better man to marry. To me, Zachary, you are perfect and I’m also proud that I get to call you my husband.” With that I placed the ring on his finger.
He then placed my ring on my finger and with that we were married. Everyone cheered as we shared our first kiss as man and wife.
After everyone congratulated us, Zachary pulled me aside so we could talk alone. He pulled me closer and looked at me in a lustful way that he had never dared to do before. “I have an idea. Let’s sneak off to your Aunt’s house. It’s right across the street and we know no one’s home right now.”
I giggled like a shy school girl when I realised what he was suggesting. “I’m really anxious to consummate our marriage as well but let’s not rush. Can’t you wait until tonight?”
“Fine…I guess I’ll just have to try to enjoy this party until then.” He joked.
The reception started with everyone flocking to the open bar and the buffet table. Everyone raved about the food and beverages so I knew I made a good choice in hiring the catering company that catered the event. People were also dancing and chatting up a storm. It was a great feeling knowing everyone was having a good time. I decided then that I needed to start throwing more parties as I truly loved planning them and entertaining.
Dad kept to himself during the reception since everyone else avoided him anyway. Zachary and I had to keep a little distance from him as well since we could not appear to be too friendly with him but since I did invite him it would also look too obvious if I didn’t go over and talk to him. “Hey Dad.”
“It’s a proud moment in a father’s life when he sees his daughter get married to a good man. I’m very happy that my plan worked.”
“I was the one to introduce you to Zachary, wasn’t I?”
“Yes. You’re right!”
“Zachary’s a loyal man. He’ll do right by you but he also has a weakness.”
“Weakness? Oh, Watcher! Why didn’t you tell me about this before? Dad, don’t tell me he’s an alcoholic or a gambler or something!”
“Relax, it’s nothing bad. Not technically. His weakness is that he has a conscience. You and I, Gem, we think differently from others. What we might see as reasonable or necessary, others may think harsh and wrong. Even though you can trust Zachary with business, there are certain things he won’t be able to handle. You’re gonna need to use discretion to decide that.”
“I get it.” He was right. I remembered when I told Zachary stories from when I was in elementary school and he got upset when I laughed over the things I did to other students. He called me a bully. I never thought of it that way, seemed to me like I did those kids a favour. Nevertheless, I assured him that I was misguided then and completely different now once I realised he didn’t share a similar sentiment.
“What are you two talking about?” Mother suddenly asked as she approached us.
“Just giving our daughter some marriage advice. By the way, how’s blondie? How come he’s not here?” Dad was aware that Clay died a while back. He probably brought it up so it wouldn’t look like we talked about much after our fake fortuitous meeting.
I could see mother clenching her teeth. “He passed away a while ago. Not that you really care.”
She sat in the chair next to him. “Gemma, can I have a word with Stephan, please?”
“Sure.” I got up and walked away like I was heading to the bar. When I saw she was no longer looking back at me to see where I was I came close enough to them where I could hear what they were saying.
“Do you remember our wedding day Dani? The happiest day of my life…”
“It was also the day you killed your sister. Was that part the cherry on top the cake?” She was smiling at him but there was venom in her voice. “Cut the crap Stephan. I’m on to you.”
“You’re trying to weasel your way back into Gemma’s life now that you know she’s in charge of the legacy, aren’t you? And you’re playing on her emotions once again.”
“You’ve done everything in your power to try to make those girls hate me and you succeeded with Leni, but Gemma will never hate me. She may not want a relationship with me and she’s made that clear. I was only invited today out of sentiment but she doesn’t want me to complicate her new life and I respect that but still she doesn’t hate me. Tell me, Dani. What’s your real problem with me? Are you just jealous that she’s always loved me more than you?”
“You’re so full of crap that you stink! Whatever it is you’re up to, I’ll find out. You can bet on it!”
“Fine, go ahead. I have nothing to hide. It’ll give you something to do in your old age.”
I could tell Mother wanted to curse him out but she restrained herself probably because she didn’t want to make a scene. Dad got up and left, giving me a wink as he passed by me on his way out. Mother was fuming and I suddenly started to realise my mistake. Dad and Zachary were right all along. Dad should have stayed away because now Mother would be on a rampage.
On the topic of a rampage, while I was washing my hands in the restroom Leni just walked in without knocking first. Usually, something like that would piss me off but it was my wedding day so nothing could spoil my mood.
“Is there a reason why you couldn’t wait until I exited the bathroom?”
“How could you?”
“How could I what?”
“How could you invite him?”
She was referring to Ayden. “Ayden is my friend. I’ve known him longer than you have and today is about me, not you.”
“Don’t you even care that he broke my heart?!”
“You did that yourself by keeping secrets from the guy. Anyway, you’re better off without him. You should move on by now. You’re still young and attractive. Everything happens for the best.”
She stared at me for a moment and then had a look in her eye like she just figured something out. “Oh my Watcher, it was you! You’re the one who told him! You witch!”
“What are you talking about?”
“I never once talked to you about why we broke up and he said someone told him about my condition. I can see it by the smug look on your face that it was you! Why? Why Gemma?!”
“Leni, you’re having one of your delusions again. Did you take your medication? Because to me, you sound crazy and people generally don’t believe the stories crazy people tell.”
I could see her fuming but she was also frustrated and possibly doubting herself. She only had intuition, no proof and I certainly was not going to admit my role her breakup. No one would believe her anyway.
“No one might believe me but I know what you did. You are my sister and you ruined my life for what? Because Ayden liked me instead of you? That was so long ago! I’m sure that’s the reason you spiteful…”
“You watch yourself. You don’t want to get on my bad side.”
“Or else what? There’s nothing else you can take away from me! But you, you have plenty to lose. Just you wait. I’ll get back at you sooner or later.”
“I’d like to see you try, Helena.”
“Oh I will, Gemma!”
She stormed off and when I exited the restroom I realised she had left the party as well. Who did she think she was threatening me? She obviously had no idea who she was dealing with. That little tiff with Leni threatened to spoil my evening. Luckily I had my handsome new husband to comfort me and cheer me up.
“Come here my lovely wife,” He said as he pulled me into an embrace. “Are you ready to begin our honeymoon?”
“Yes, this party’s winding down anyway. Let’s get out of here. Oh, by the way, where are we going?”
Here are some pics of Gemma and Zachary’s wedding.
Gemma’s wedding dress – Poagae’s White Dream from TSR
Wedding venue – Outdoor Wedding Venue by cassyw from the Gallery