Forever After All: Chapter 67


“You look beautiful, honey,” Mom says, tears in her eyes. She touches my veil, straightening it for the third time. I grab her shoulders and smile at her, my heart overflowing with happiness.

“So do you, Mom,” I tell her honestly. She looks amazing. It took her almost two years, but she’s walking without a cane now, and she radiates happiness. I was terrified that she’d feel like there was nothing left for her to live for, considering what she woke up to, but that hasn’t been the case at all. She’s thriving, and it’s been amazing to see her rebuild her life.

“Are you ready?” she asks.

I nod at her, my smile so wide that it hurts my face. “More than ever.”

This time, Alec and I tried to do things right. We decided to go with a far more low-key wedding than we initially planned. We’re now having a small outdoors ceremony, with only our loved ones present. No press, no big spectacle, just us.

Alec and I chose to remain engaged for a year, so I could plan our entire wedding and involve my mother. Going dress shopping with her, visiting multiple wedding locations; those are all memories I never thought I’d get to have, but now I do. I’ve loved every part of it, even the endless arguments between my mother and Sofia about the flavor of our cake, and Grandpa’s continuous and totally unhelpful involvement.

Mom takes my arm, and together, we head out of the little cottage we rented. We walk towards the aisle slowly, pausing at the start of it. Everything is just as I wanted it. There are flowers everywhere, and the sun is shining down on us. But most importantly, Alec is at the end of the aisle, looking as impatient and nervous as I expected him to be.

My eyes find his instantly, and my heart starts to race. He smiles at me, looking more emotional than I’ve ever seen him before. Lucian slaps his arm and laughs, but Alec doesn’t take his eyes off me for a second.

I can’t believe this is really happening. I’ve waited so long for this day—though Alec may very well have been even more impatient. He’s been counting down the days for the last six months, driving me completely insane with his daily countdown reminders.

I’m trembling with nerves as Mom and I walk toward him, the train of my dress and my long veil trailing behind me. Alec looks enthralled, and when Mom places my hand in his, he raises it to his lips, kissing my knuckles. “You look beyond beautiful, Elena. Stunning.”

I smile at him, and together we turn toward the priest, my mind drifting back to our first, legal, wedding ceremony. It was swift and impersonal, hardly memorable. Today isn’t anything like that. Today is everything I could’ve ever wished for.

Alec turns to me and smiles, my hands in his. “Elena, every day you help me see the good in life. You brighten my days, you uplift me, and you do it all without even trying. I didn’t know what happiness was until you walked into my life, forcing emotions out of me I thought were long lost. You’ve shown me what true love is, and I vow to return that love tenfold every day, for as long as I shall live. I promise you forever, Buttercup. I promise you all of me, forever.”

I smile up at him, my eyes filling with tears. It still feels surreal to hear him promising me forever, when for so long, he was adamant that it didn’t exist.

“Alec, I was lost before you found me. You were light in a world that was filled with darkness, and you will always be my saving grace. You’re so easy to love, and you don’t even know it. Every single day I look at you, and I count my blessings. When we ran into each other after so many years, I asked you what you’d wish for if you had one single wish. I can honestly tell you I have no wishes left, because you’ve made them all come true. I’m going to spend the rest of my life making sure you have nothing to wish for either. I will love you forever, Alec.”

He blinks, and I’m surprised to find his eyes shimmering with tears. Alec looks away and bites down on his lip, a smile on his face. When he looks back at me, his eyes are filled with wonder, as though he, too, is counting his blessings.

The priest smiles at us, and Lucian hands us our wedding rings, his hands trembling. He’s just as emotional as we are.

“Alexander, do you take Elena to be your wedded wife? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, and forsaking all others, be faithful only to her, for as long as you both shall live?”

He smiles at me and nods. “I do.”

The priest nods at him, and he slides my wedding ring onto my finger, grinning all the while.

“Elena, do you take Alexander to be your wedded husband? Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health and forsaking all others, be faithful only to him so long as you both shall live?”

“I do,” I say, my voice loud and clear.

My heart races as I slide Alec’s ring onto his finger, and the priest smiles at us.

“I now solemnly declare you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”

Alec pulls me closer and sweeps me off my feet as he kisses me, loud cheers erupting around us. He drops his forehead to mine and grins. “Finally,” he says, and I giggle, my happiness overflowing.

Our family walks up to us, and Grandpa is the first to reach us. “Congratulations, kids,” he says, wrapping his arms around the both of us. Both our moms have tears streaming down their faces, and even Grandpa looks suspiciously emotional. He clears his throat and pulls back, straightening his clothes. “Come on,” he says. “I’m excited for this feast we’re having.”

I laugh, and Alec shakes his head. “I’m pretty sure most of our family is really only here to get a taste of your vegetables, Grandpa,” he says.

I glance around at everyone that’s surrounding us, still partially in disbelief. I can’t believe how lucky I am, how happy I am. My mother is smiling at me, and Alec’s hand is wrapped around my waist.

I’ve got everything I’ve ever wanted, my mother by my side, a husband that truly loves me, and a family of my own choosing.

Alec leans into me, his lips brushing against my ear. “I love you, Mrs. Kennedy,” he whispers, making my heart skip a beat.

I rise to my tiptoes and wrap my arms around him, pulling him in for a kiss. “I love you, too,” I say, breathlessly.

Alec grins at me. “Forever?” he asks, and I nod.



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