It was finally here–the big day and he was both nervous and excited. As he sat there in the living room of his flat, he thought about his life before he met Martina. How could he have existed for so long without her?
She was the most beautiful and exciting woman he had ever met and been with. Before he met her, he had dated on and off, nothing serious. His career occupied so much of his time. He was beginning to think that his father and Karson were right about him never settling down.
Then, he met Martina. For him the attraction had been immediate. He couldn’t take his eyes off her the moment she walked into the room and he was thrilled when Bradley introduced them and asked him to give her a tour. He could tell that she was attracted to him too and after finding out that she wasn’t already in a relationship, he didn’t waste any time. He promptly asked her out on their first date. He blushed whenever he remembered how they ended up making love on the floor in her living-room after that wonderful foot massage.
It wasn’t long before he fell in love with her. And now he was going to marry her. Smiling, he got up from the chair and walked over to the window. Life currently with her was extremely exciting and satisfying. He had no doubt that the future would be the same. This flat was not going to be the same. Martina was moving in when they returned from their honeymoon. Most of her clothes and belongings had already been brought over. She sold her flat and was now staying with her parents.
He couldn’t wait for her to move in with him. He looked forward to waking up next to her every morning. He looked forward to having breakfast and dinner with her daily. This flat could do with a feminine touch. It would be their home until they were ready to start a family. They would move to the English countryside with a short commute to London. He couldn’t wait to see her walk down the aisle and for them to become husband and wife.
He turned away from the window and went to the bedroom. He removed the ring from his left little finger and set it down on the dresser. The wedding ring was going to take its place. His heart leapt in his chest. He couldn’t believe that in a matter of hours, he was going to get married to the woman whom he was madly, deeply and passionately in love with. What was she doing now? Was she thinking about him? Was she as nervous and excited as he was? Of course, she was. A smile tugged at his lips as he reached for his tie and put it on.
“You’re looking very sharp,” his father remarked when he arrived a few minutes later.
“Thank you, Dad. You’re looking very sharp too.”
“Thank you. Well, it’s your big day. Nervous?”
“A little and excited too.”
“Let’s go then.”
They left the flat. As they walked to the black Bentley, Laird remarked, “It’s a beautiful day.”
“Yes, it is. It’s sunny and not as cold as one would expect at this time of the year.”
“Today is Martina’s birthday.”
Mr. Pendlebury smiled. “So, it’s a double celebration for her.”
“Yes. Tonight when we’re alone, I will give her the birthday present I got for her weeks ago. I can’t wait for our honeymoon.”
“I bet you can’t.”
“Good Morning, Mr. Laird,” Farley, the chauffeur greeted him cheerfully as he held open the door. “And congratulations.”
“Good Morning, Farley and thank you.”
Minutes later they were on their way to the church.
Mr. Pendlebury turned to him. “Your Uncle Jared, Aunt Margery and the rest of the family–we’re all very happy for you, Son.”
“Yes, I know you are.”
“I know that Antonia is too although last night when I passed by her room, I could hear her crying. I wanted to go in and tend to her but I decided that it would be best to leave her be. I expect she was thinking about Karson and your mother. I’ve been thinking about them too but they will be with us in spirit.”
“Yes, they will be.” Deep regret was etched on his face. Karson should have been here in the car with them while his mother was with Martina. And afterwards, she would come to him in the getting-ready area to help him to prepare for his walk down the aisle. He could just imagine her fussing over him, telling him how happy she was and how she wished him and his bride all the happiness in the world.
Mr. Pendlebury patted him on the arm. “Now isn’t the time to be feeling sad. Today, you’re going to marry the woman you love. It’s a time to be happy. Your mother and Karson would want you to be happy.”
“I am happy but I’m sad that they can’t be here to be a part of the happiest day of my life.”
“They will not be physically there but they will be with us in spirit.”
“Yes. You’re right.”
It was his Aunt Margery who stood in place of his mother. She fussed over him like a mother hen. “You look very handsome,” she said, beaming up at him. “Your mother would be very pleased. I met Martina. She’s a lovely young woman.”
“Yes, she is. How is she?” How he wished he could see her but they said it was bad luck for the bride to see the groom before the wedding.
“She’s nervous and excited too.”
“How do I look?” Martina asked, her mother, her matron of honor, Emma and her maid of honor, Pauletta. “You look lovely,” her mother said, smiling as she blinked back the tears.
“Yes,” Emma agreed. “Laird wouldn’t be able to take his eyes off you.”
“Yes, you look absolutely beautiful,” Pauletta said as she placed the veil on her friend’s head.
“Thank you, ladies,” Martina said. “I can’t wait to see Laird.”
“I bet he can’t wait to see you too,” her mother said.
“Well, let’s not keep the poor man waiting,” Pauletta said.
“Let’s go,” Emma said. She squeezed the bride’s arm gently before the three of them left the room.
Martina’s father went to her and after they said a prayer, he escorted her to the foyer where they waited. The wedding march started and everyone rose to their feet. Martina clung to her father’s arm as they walked down the aisle. Her gaze immediately went to Laird. Her heart was pounding. He looked so handsome. When they were standing together, they could hardly take their eyes off each other.
At 2pm, the wedding ceremony was underway. After the biblical readings, the priest talked about the meaning and importance of marriage and explained how the couple could grow closer to God through marriage. He asked them three questions to do with offering themselves freely to each other, loving and honoring each other for life and accepting children lovingly from God and bringing them up according to the Catholic faith.
Before the exchanging of vows, they turned to face each other and said special words to each other, expressing what was in their hearts. There was hardly a dry eye in the sanctuary. There were tears in both of their eyes as well as they gazed into each other’s face. Then, they exchanged vows instead of the priest who was merely a witness. When they were finished, he said, “You have declared your consent before the Church. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with his blessings. That God has joined, man must not separate. Amen.”
He blessed them, reminding them of their love for one another and how it is like Jesus’ love for the Church. They were now examples to others as well as to each other. After the blessing it was time to sign the marriage register. Fortunately, the priest had filled out the marriage register and the license beforehand so that all that was required were the signatures of the couple and the witnesses. The whole thing lasted one song length.
The priest pronounced, “In the name of the Holy Spirit, I now solemnly declare you husband and wife. Let no one put asunder those that have been joined together today in the presence of almighty God. You may now kiss the bride.”
With slightly trembling hands, Laird lifted the veil and cupping Martina’s face between his hands, he kissed her. Then, holding hands, they turned to face the congregation from where cheers and claps had erupted.
After a few hours of bride and groom, family and wedding party portraits, it was off to the Lansdowne Club for the cocktail hour at 5pm followed and hour later by the reception. There were speeches, three course dinner, dancing and to top it off was the wedding cake baked by Martina’s mother who beamed when she heard the guests raving about it. It was a truly special and unforgettable experience for everyone. There was a bright smile on her face and tears in her eyes as Laird and Martina danced their first dance.
For a while they were the only ones on the dancefloor as the guests watched them. Martina danced with both her father and father-in-law. Laird danced with his mother-in-law who reminded him a little of his own mother. At some point of the evening, Martina danced with her friend, Steven while Laird danced with his artist friend, Embeth. All and all, it was a remarkable evening and everyone had a great time.
It was after eleven when Laird and Martina arrived at his flat. The wedding ended an hour ago. As much as they enjoyed themselves, they were happy to be alone with each other and anxious to begin their new life together.
After he unlocked the door and pushed it open, Laird turned to Martina. “And now, Mrs. Pendlebury, you and I have some rather urgent business to attend to.” He picked her up and carried her over the threshold, kicking the door shut with his foot. She laughed, kicking off her shoes as he took her straight to the bedroom.
When they got to the bedroom, he set her down beside the bed. While he quickly got undressed, she removed her coat, jacket and wedding dress, setting them aside in the chair by the window. Wearing only her bra and underwear, she drew back the covers and climbed in. Laird looked at her. She looked delectable. “I thought you might like to finish unwrapping your wedding present,” she said coyly.
In a flash, he was in the bed, kissing her wildly, passionately. She kissed him back fiercely, gripping the hair at the back of his head. The kissed lasted for several minutes, then, he raised his head. His hands reached for the clasp at the front of her bra and undid it. Her breasts spilled out and he buried his flushed face between them. Martina closed her eyes and moaned when he teased each nipple with his tongue before drawing it inside his mouth.
His mouth left her breasts to press kisses against her neck, across her heaving bosom and her stomach which quivered. His hand eased her underwear down. He ran his hands down her thighs before he told her urgently, “Open your legs.”
When she did, he buried his face between them and tasted her, making her writhe against him, her hands gripping the sheets as waves of mind-blowing pleasure spread through her body. The sweet torment lasted for several minutes and then she shuddered uncontrollably against him.
Laird raised his head and after kissing her passionately, he mounted her. Martina clung to him when he entered her. They had made love countless of times but this time was different. And it dawned on her why. They were married.