“See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” Jeff asked.
Charlotte frowned. “I hate coming here. They keep telling me to be careful.”
“You’re pregnant,” Jeff explained. “Of course they’re worried.”
“No,” She said quietly. “You don’t understand. It’s really bad, and they’re not telling me why. They’re just saying to be careful with my body. What is that supposed to mean?”
“Maybe, it’s not too important?” Jeff asked. “Or maybe, they don’t want you to stress out too much during this pregnancy.”
“They make it seem like I’m dying or something. Is pregnancy that bad?” Jeff grabbed hold of her hands.
“I don’t know a thing about vampires, dear. But when my wife gave birth to our first child, it was fine.”
“Your what?” She asked. “Did you just say, your wife?”
“I…” Jeff slapped his hand against his forehead. “I didn’t mean anything by that.”
“Oh, you didn’t?” She tilted her head, anger written in her eyes. “You better explain, because I’m carrying your fucking baby.”
“Hey, can we keep the cursing to a minimal, at least until after the ceremony? Your sister is stressed enough as it is with this whole wedding thing.” Alistair sat on the chair behind the bickering couple. “I never had a real wedding. So, I’d like to enjoy this one.”
“Yeah, your dad is right. We can talk about this later,” Jeff said. “I promise I’ll tell you.”
“No,” Charlotte said sharply. “I don’t even want to hear it right now. I’m going to go and get changed before the guests arrive, and before I reach a level of anger that will harm my baby. You can go see that wife of yours.”
“Char, don’t be like that! Its not what it seems like!” He called after her, but she had already stormed off.
“What’s this about a wife?” Alistair asked.
“Before I met Charlotte, I had a wife. But, she passed away.” He wasn’t really lying, he just wasn’t telling the whole truth. Telling her about how Mason brought him to life would cause more harm than it would help and he planned on never telling her, even if it burdened him to hold that secret. “I don’t like to face that past. I should have told her, but, I don’t know. She’s been through a lot, I don’t want Charlotte to have any more insecurities.”
“It’s not my business, Jeff. But, keep in mind that you are the father of her unborn child. And that child is basically sucking the life out of my daughter because it could be a human. So, if you’re anything but 100% there for my daughter, than maybe you need to think about what she means to you.” Alistair stood up. “I need to get dressed, and I’m going to ignore this drama for one day. But once tomorrow hits, I want a real explanation.”
“Sir, I-” He sighed, watching Alistair walk away.
“I’m sorry, I’m early. But I was really excited to see you,” Erik said.
“It’s fine,” Adeline said. “I haven’t gotten a chance to get dressed, but I won’t be long. I’m not one for extraneous effort.”
“Well yeah,” Erik said. “Because you don’t have to worry. You’re already beautiful.” He blushed and scratched the back of his neck “That’s not too forward, is it?”
Adeline looked down, but smiled. “Uhm…no. Thank you.”
“Of course,” He smiled. “There aren’t a lot of girls who can pull off what you can. I uh..I’m going to stop now.”
“Don’t.” She smiled. He was as nervous as she was. “It’s nice.”
He nodded quickly. “I’ll wait here while you get changed.”
“This is it,” Millie whispered. “We’re husband and wife.”
“I love you so much,” Zander whispered back. “I’m the luckiest man alive.”
She giggled. “Yeah, you are. Now we have to start thinking about kids.”
“Kids?” He raised a brow. “We’re only in our twenties.”
“I’m kidding, don’t freak out. We can be happy being a good aunty and uncle.” She leaned up and captured his lips in hers.
“Lets just enjoy this moment, Mrs. Ogyron.” He kissed the tip of her nose.
“Save the steamy bits for the honeymoon!” Dionysus called out.
“There better be a hotel room, because this is not happening in my house!” Charlotte called out.
Dionysus smirked. “We know what happens in that house, Ms. Gray.”
“Screw you, Dionysus.” Charlotte rolled her eyes, but smiled.
Jeff should have been enjoying the moment but his insides were twisting. He kept getting flashes of his wedding day. Lisa’s orange locks in her expensive wedding veil, and her perfectly manicured nails. Why now? He had just patched things up with Charlotte. They were in a good place. This was supposed to be a good day, but he couldn’t stop thinking about his past life. “No need to look so sour,” Dionysus said. “I’m sure your wedding day will come.”
Jeff glared at him. “Why don’t you mind your own business for once?”
Dionysus raised a brow. “Is someone feeling self conscious? Mad perhaps, that you didn’t pop the question to Charlotte first? You remember what happened last time when you didn’t make the first move.”
“Shut the hell up, and stop this flirty crap with my girlfriend.” Jeff glared at him.
“I assure you, I’ve got eyes for someone else. Charlotte isn’t even on my radar.”
“Wait, what the hell is that supposed to mean? Are you taunting me?” Jeff asked angrily.
“I’m simply telling you a fact.” Dionysus shrugged.
“Hey guys, uh..I don’t know you too well, but like, it’d probably be a good idea not to ruin the bride’s day, yeah?” Erik asked.
“What’s a fairy even doing here?” Dionysus scoffed.
“What are you doing here?” Jeff retorted.
“My little sister is all grown up, and getting married,” Adeline said. “She looks stunning.”
“I’m kind of jealous,” Astra admitted. She had always felt pretty close to Adeline. It was calming to talk to her. “Is that terrible?”
“No, not at all. I feel that way sometimes too. But, your time will come soon. I can already sense something different from you. Perhaps its a boy?”
Astra blushed. Dio- no. Audric. She frowned. It was definitely Audric she cared about, not the orange haired male. “He’s very far away, and I miss him.”
Adeline nodded in understanding. “Is he a human?”
Astra shook her head. “No. He’s a supernatural.”
“How did that happen? Weren’t you with the humans?”
“Yes, but I left. Before you ask, I have things under control.”
Adeline shrugged. “I will not question it. Just know that if you need someone to fall back on, I am here for you.”
“So cute,” Charlotte gushed. “And you all thought that would be me and Zander.”
“Charlotte, are you alright?” Alistair asked. “You’re crying.”
“I’m really happy for them,” She muttered. “Is that so wrong?”
“It wouldn’t be, if that’s what you were really crying about.” Alistair put his arm over her shoulder. “Give Jeff a chance to explain.”
“I don’t really want to talk about him,” She said. “It’s not good for me or the baby.”
“This will be you and him one day,” He said. “Jeff is a good guy. I have a feeling.”
“You had a feeling about Declan too. What good that did.”
Alistair sighed. “That’s different. I was blinded by love. You’re blinded by hate. Let me help you see the truth.”
“Daddy, is there someone else? Someone more important than me?”
“I don’t think so,” He answered truthfully. “It was a past love. She’s no longer alive. But I can’t tell you how he feels about you, or how you feel about him.”
“He makes it so hard to love him,” She said between sobs. “He said no more secrets.”
“Maybe this was something he didn’t want to have to face again,” Alistair answered.
“I hate him so much, but I love him so much. I can’t be without him, but there are times when I want to just leave. But if I do, I know I’ll fall apart. I just, he holds me together. I need him.”
“So talk to him, and work it out. Its no good if you two are keeping at a distance instead of working things out.”
“I just want to be happy,” She mumbled. “Millie and Zander…I want that for Jeff and I. Is that so hard? I want to be his wife. I want him to call me his wife.”
“You’re afraid that you’re a substitute,” Alistair concluded. “You feel like you’ll always be second to a dead woman.”
“How can i compete with his first love?” She mumbled.
“That first love could have been the wrong love,” Alistair explained. “It could have been that he was content, but never felt the same as he did with you now.”
“What if he’s just here because of the baby?”
“That’s something you have to figure out for yourself. Whatever happens, you have me and your sisters.”
“I’m so happy,” Millie said, wiping away the tears forming at the corner of her eyes.
“How many more pictures are you going to take?” Zander sighed, covering his eyes from the flash.
“Don’t be such a grump, I’d like to keep these memories forever.” She pinched his arm.
“This is for grandpa,” Charlotte explained. “They couldn’t make it, but they wanted to see.”
“Right.” Millie frowned. “I hope grandpa Apollo is okay.”
“You just upset my wife,” Zander said. “Can’t we have a happy time for once?”
“We’re Grays,” Charlotte said. “We get upset, it’s kind of our thing. Doesn’t mean we’re not having the time of our lives.”
“You are warped.” Dionysus laughed. “I love you Grays.”
“Marry my twin and you can be part of this crazy family.” Millie winked at him.
“I would love to marry Astra.” Dionysus grinned at her.
“No!” Astra squeaked.
“What, come on? I’d make a great husband, firecracker.”
“I don’t know if I want Dionysus in this family,” Alistair joked. “You and Jeff, related? That would be interesting at all the family gatherings.”
“It’s him who doesn’t play nice,” Dionysus answered. “I would be the model of proper.”
“Sure,” Jeff scoffed.
“See? It’s Mr. Grumpy Pants over here. He should just pop the question, then he’d feel a lot better. She’d say yes you know,” Dionysus probed.
“Mind your business, elf.” Charlotte gave him a warning glare.
“Ouch, you’re both so cutting edge. You make a great couple. Glad I didn’t interfere.” He slid away from the two. “I’m going to head to the back of the cake line. I don’t need to be assaulted by a pregnant vampire today.”
“Does this happen all the time?” Erik whispered to Adeline.
She nodded. “Every time. The best part is, they sound really angry and passive aggressive, but they all like each other. Charlotte and Dionysus had a thing for a while, but now she’s with Jeff. And Dio likes my little sister.”
“Sounds complicated” He replied.
“Yeah.” She nodded. “The Grays are always like that. Even the generations before this, so I’m told. Never a dull moment.”
Erik chuckled. “Seems like fun. I’m glad I came.”