Her groom stood between the celebrant and his best man. He watched her with his blue-green eyes fixated on her ascent up the aisle.
The six inch kitten pumps brought her eye-to-eye with her husband to be Austin.
“You look beautiful,” he whispered.
“Thanks,” she ran her gaze up and down his suit slowly. “Wanna skip the ceremony and get straight to the honeymoon?”
“Shhh!” The celebrant held her finger over her lips.
Rose widened her eyes. Austin blushed.
“Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today in front of friends and family to witness the joining of Rose Greive and Austin Turner...”
Austin leaned in and whispered in her ear. “We need to talk.”
“What?” She said a bit too loud. The celebrant paused and glared at her. “Sorry,” Rose muttered.
“You remember how you said it was alright if I had a stag night?”
“Yeah. So?” She hadn’t really expected him to have a traditional bachelor-last-night-of-freedom thing. What she had expected was drunk dancing to Lady Gaga, in sequins.
“Well... I don’t remember much past the exotic dancer named Candy.”
Rose stifled a giggle. He really got a stripper?
“I do remember waking up in bed... and the dancer girl walking around in her under wear.”
Her heart stopped. No! This is not happening. Not on my wedding day. Not with him. The celebrant stumbled at the quick intake of air.
It was a good thing she held nothing or it would be scattered around her feet.
“Did you have sex with her?” please say no, please say no.
Austin couldn’t meet her eyes.
“The wedding band symbolises the union of two people; a continuous circle with no beginning and no end. By wearing this,” the celebrant held one for all to see. “On your left hand, you are publically declaring your commitment of your heart and soul to each other.”
There was silence as Austin took the smaller band and faced Rose. His eyes were begging.
What do you want? She screamed in her head.
On a bare whisper he asked, “Do you trust me? Please. Do you love me?”
Did she? Could she?
Her throat tightened. Inside she felt as if she needed to run, get away as far as possible and then completely breakdown.
But there was something that stopped her. At first it was a small spark in her chest that grew and spread throughout. It made her want to puke on his shiny black shoes. It was a similar feeling to when he had first kissed her. Relaxing into its warmth she nodded.
Austin smiled. “I love you Rose Greive, for who you were, who you are and who you will be. I give you myself wholeheartedly for all eternity.” He lifted her hand and slipped the ring on.
Rose picked up the larger ring and looked him in the eye. “I love you Austin Turner, for who you were, who you are and who you will be. I give you myself whole heartedly for all eternity.” As she bonded him to her with the ring, she believed it.
“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.” The celebrant stepped back and clapped along with their friends and family.
Austin placed his hands on her waist. “So?”
“Did you sleep with her?”
“You married me without knowing for certain?” In his head he asked, does this mean she trusts and loves me? “Does it matter?”
“Maybe. How could you leave without asking?”
A cough came from Austin’s shoulder. “Uh, are you two going to kiss or something?” Josh, the best man asked, carefully staying far back from potential fists.
Rose focused on him. “Answer me this Josh. Did Austin sleep with the stripper?”
Josh shook his head. “I did though.”
All of the tension left her body and she threw herself at Austin, peppering kisses along his lips. She pulled back and smacked his shoulder. “Don’t you dare do anything like that again.”
Then Austin pulled her back in and kissed his Mrs Rose Turner, with a smile dancing on his lips.