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From Her

Quil and Claire, now twenty-seven, are getting married. The darkest days are past. Perhaps further danger looms, but all on their minds now is the wedding. In the series For Her.

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2. Chapter 2

Rating 5/5   Word Count 569   Review this Chapter

My breath fell from my stomach to my knees, and trembled there. I began to shake, like I was going to phase, though that adolescent part of my life was years over.

Sam walked through the door. His face was serene, mask-like. He wore a plain black tuxedo, neat and unremarkable.

That was the last word that could describe the next person through the door.

Sam held the door for her, and she smiled at him, radiantly.

Then she turned to me, and I swear I could have fainted.

She was perfect.

I could have spent forever in that moment, looking at her, trapped in the potency of her gaze.

“Claire,” I whispered, and she walked forward.

Tiny Leah jumped in her path, erratically spewing pale pink flower petals on the aisle, draped with white satin. The watching people snickered at her antics, but I had eyes for only one person.

Claire smiled as she took another step towards me, and another, and another. Her step was slow and stately as a queen’s. Her head was held high, though the world’s most ideal face was entirely concealed by several thin layers of tulle. Her dress was pure white.

It tapered at the waist, flowing off her shoulders, draped elegantly about four inches beneath her neck, with a square line framing her face. The skirt flowed around her feet, dripping down like melting snow to catch the peach petals strewn in her path.

She was an angel. I sighed softly, and she smiled… a movement I could only discern by the slight tugging lift in the thin fabric of the veil.

I was the luckiest man on earth.

She was almost at the alter, and I was growing tense. I could have watched her walk forever, and yet the moment when she would be finally formally mine was so agonizingly close.

She smiled again, obviously enjoying my discomfort. In that instant, I not only ignored everyone else, I forgot about them too and stuck my tongue out.

She laughed. The perfect bell-clear sound rose over the deep soaring organ, the scuffles of feet, the birds outside.

It was only then I heard the camera click. Wonderful. I knew I would live to regret that.

But I was too busy listening to Claire to care.

Another step. Sam smiled and dropped his hand from her arm, coming to stand beside the priest. Claire mounted the four stone, undraped steps alone.

She turned her covered face to the priest, who spoke slowly and softly. The words were beautiful, a prosaic poetry.

I was vaguely religious in a believe-in-God sort of way. Claire definitely thought that there was no such thing. However, we’d agreed the religious service was so pretty… and she’d wanted the church.

And anything she wanted…

“Do you, Quil Ateara, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?”

“I, Quil Ateara, do take Claire Uley to be my lawfully wedded wife, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, until death do us part.”

With all my heart, the heart that swelled to painful fullness at the next words.

“Do you, Claire Uley, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”