“Oh, I can’t wait for your wedding! Can we have it tomorrow?” I squealed, sounding not dissimilar to Abby.
“Yes, actually,” Xavier answered with a grin. “This girl just can’t get enough of me. She would marry me right now if she could. I mean, she didn’t even give me a chance to get down on one knee and propose properly!”
Vivienne affectionately brushed a strand of hair away from his face.
I started thinking over all the preparations that would need to be made, and realized that we might just be able to pull it off now Corrine had her powers back.
And so the countdown began.
“Okay, men. Leave this room. Now!” I turned to Derek who was eyeing me with amusement. “Oh wait, actually, Derek, do you know if the witches have finished with any of the renovations yet?”
“You’ll be glad to know that all the tree houses are done. Corrine tells me they’re magnificent, although I haven’t seen them myself yet. And they’re now working on the humans’ housing.”
“Well then, we can leave this crummy room and have a proper space for my bride to get ready in. Derek, take Xavier and at least try to make him…. somewhat presentable for my ravishing bride.”
“You say that with such low confidence.” Derek mocked being offended. “Just you wait and see, loudmouth. I’ll make him into a more beautiful groom than she will be a bride.”
With that, he grabbed Xavier—who now looked mildly alarmed at Derek’s threat of “beautification” —and marched him out of the room. They were headed to Derek’s penthouse, I assumed.
I kissed both of my babies, who were still asleep, then pecked my father on the cheek. I asked him to follow us to Vivienne’s penthouse since I wanted my twins close to me. I grabbed Vivienne’s hand and we all walked out of the room.
“Come on, hurry,” I said. “We can’t give Derek any head start. Who knows what he’s got up his sleeve.”
As soon as we were out in the open, Aiden spread his wings and launched into the sky. Vivienne let out a rich laugh and sped up. I had forgotten that I now had human legs and she soon tired of me lagging behind. She pulled me onto her back and we dashed through the woods. We saw Xavier and Derek ahead of us, rushing toward the same direction.
When Vivienne took a giant leap upward and we landed on her verandah in the Residences, I looked around in awe. The penthouses seemed larger and more beautiful than I had ever remembered them. Pots of exotic flowers lined the balconies and entryways. Fountains gushed in the center of the verandahs.
Aiden touched down soon afterward. He took the twins into a quiet spare bedroom where they could sleep peacefully, and stayed there watching over them.
I escorted Vivienne into her stunning new bedroom, but then remembered in annoyance that I needed Corrine.
“Relax and have a bath or something, okay? We need Corrine.”
Vivienne smiled at me and nodded.
I walked back out onto the verandah and shouted across to Derek’s penthouse on the other side of a stretch of trees.
“Hey, Mr. Derek!” I shouted. His head peeked out of a window. “Run and get Corrine for me, will you?”
“Get her yourself!” he called back. “I’m not helping you get any advantage over Xavier and me. Vivienne’s too pretty even without any makeup. And don’t disturb us again. Can’t you see we’re extremely busy?” He and Xavier both howled with laughter as he slammed the window shut.
I chuckled and muttered, “Boys,” beneath my breath.
In the end I had to disturb Vivienne to run and fetch Corrine, considering it might have taken me hours to search her out as a human and Aiden was inseparable from the twins.
Once Corrine had arrived, we started making progress. We took Vivienne’s measurements, and within half an hour, Corrine had conjured up the most beautiful wedding dress I’d ever laid eyes on. It rivaled even my own. Then we had a makeup and hair rehearsal session, and once we were sure we’d got it just right, Corrine and I left Vivienne alone to have some peace before the real event.
As Corrine and I took the elevator down to the ground and walked away from Vivienne’s penthouse to decide where to actually host the wedding, Derek came running toward us.
“And what do you want?” I asked, cocking my head to the side.
“Firstly, I want you, Mrs. Belly-Button.” He knocked the breath right out of me as he picked me up, swinging me around in the air before finally landing a kiss on my lips. He put me back on the ground before continuing. “Secondly, I know where we should host the wedding. Up on the mountaintop where Xavier found Vivienne. Come on, I’ll show you.”
“What about your blushing groom?” Corrine smirked. “You sure he can manage his blow-dry without you?”
We giggled and made our way to the plateau where Corrine started conjuring up seats and tents and thousands of white roses. Derek offered the occasional suggestion, but he was wise enough to leave the majority of decisions to us.
Once we’d sorted out the venue, Corrine and I returned to Vivienne and Derek to Xavier. The three of us barely slept that night. In between running back and forth to the spare bedroom to check on my babies, the final preparations went by quickly. Before we knew it, we had Vivienne standing in front of the mirror, dressed and looking breathtaking.
We made sure that Xavier and Derek made their way up to the mountain first, before they could set eyes on Vivienne.
Once we arrived at the end of the aisle, a warm sea breeze catching Vivienne’s veil, hundreds of seats were filled with vampires and humans alike. I spotted dozens of familiar faces in the crowds, but sitting in the seats closest to the aisle and the altar were Claudia and Yuri; Cameron and Liana; Kyle and Anna; Gavin and Zinnia; Abby sitting on Ashley’s lap with Landis next to them; and my father right at the front with my two little cherubs.