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Too Good To Lose

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The Christmas music is playing softly in the background, the tree is sparkling and the fire is burning hot. The whole scene is perfect; the steam coming from the hot cocoa from Christen’s mug warming her face as she watches her family jump around opening presents. Christen is in matching pyjamas with her sister’s; Channing and Tyler. Tyler’s husband Will is trying to help their three year old son Jaxon open up his new toys while Channing’s fiancé Jay is helping Christen’s mom Stacy to move a large box that has the resemblance of a bike towards the little boy while Christen’s dad Cody is desperately trying to stop the two dogs from eating a packet of chocolate buttons that Jaxon opened and left on the floor.

It is perfect; well that’s how it should feel but to Christen it still feels like something is missing. She has an idea of what it is, but this is how she has spent Christmas morning all her life even before that missing something or someone was around so it shouldn’t feel different. Sure, in the past things have been slightly different. Will, Jaxon and Jay haven’t always been there but it always felt perfect; except for this year.

“Chrissy” Jaxon shouts when he can’t get his bike past his auntie. “Please move.”

“Oops” Christen laughs lightly. “Sorry sweetie, auntie Chrissy was daydreaming.”

“S’Okay” Jaxon says, smiling as he rides past with his dad holding onto him as he circles around the living room, careful not to bash into objects or people.

Christen, Channing, Tyler and Jay become immersed in Jay’s new x-box game for the next half an hour before Cody comes into the living room.

“Now that present time is over, it is time to eat” Cody says, leading everyone through to the dining room where Stacy has laid out a luxurious breakfast spread.

“All this food looks so good” Will says, helping Jaxon sit down in his baby seat.

“Let’s eat” Cody says with a smile as everyone begins breakfast, making small talk every now and then.

Breakfast is almost over when the front doorbell rings.

“Your mom is here early” Stacy says, assuming it is Cody’s mom arriving after spending the morning with Cody’s sister. They weren’t expecting any other guests until later in the afternoon.

“She is” Cody says confused before making his way through the hallway to the front door and pulling it open.

“Merry Christmas Mr Press” Tobin says, a nervous smile on her face.

“Merry Christmas to you too dear” Cody smiles, he has always had a soft spot for Tobin despite the rollercoaster that she makes his middle daughter ride with her. Things have always been up and down between Christen and Tobin, their relationship has been on and off one too many times that eventually caused Christen to make the heart-breaking decision to end things for good.

“I’m sorry if I interrupted your morning” Tobin says with an apologetic smile. “You guys are probably in the middle of eating breakfast.”

“That we are” Cody smiles. “But I don’t mind you interrupting, do you want to come inside?”

“Thank you” Tobin says politely as she steps inside.

“Come through” Cody says, leading Tobin through into the dining room where everyone greets her. Everyone apart from one person; Christen. It’s the only person she truly came to see.

“Would you like something to eat Tobin?” Stacy asks politely. “There’s plenty of food.”

“No thank you” Tobin declines, smiling at Stacy before turning to look at Christen. “I am just wondering if I can have a chat with you Chris.”

“Sure” Christen says, throwing her napkin onto the table. As soon as she saw Tobin walk in the door, she guessed she was there to see her and not just to taste Stacy’s delicious pancakes. “Let’s go outside.” She doesn’t mean to be cold with Tobin but this is the last thing she needed today; she misses her ex so much that Tobin turning up, on Christmas of all days, unannounced gives her mixed emotions.

“Ok” Tobin nods. “Sorry again for interrupting guys.”

“It’s no trouble” Cody says as Tobin and Christen leave the room and head out and onto the back patio. They find a quiet area on the patio, away from any windows where Christen’s family could see them. Christen knows whatever Tobin has to say won’t be easy, Tobin just being here is making her feel upset.

“How are you?” Tobin asks, breaking the silence as they both stare ahead at the Californian skyline. Living at the top of the hill means that Christen’s parents’ house is blessed with terrific views that last for miles.

“I’m ok” Christen nods, showing Tobin her brave smile. If truth be told, she is still struggling to adjust to life as a single person again. She figured she should be used to breaking up with Tobin by now but she isn’t, it’s always going to hurt which is why she can’t keep putting herself through the heartbreak. “You know I am lying don’t you.”

“Yeah” Tobin adds softly. “I know I don’t always show my emotions but it hurts me just as much as it hurt you.”

“I don’t mean this to come across as rude but what are you doing here Tobin?” Christen asks, pulling her sweater tighter to protect herself from the breeze.

“It’s a bit out of the blue for me to turn up on Christmas morning isn’t it?” Tobin says with a light chuckle. “Truth be told… I wanted to see you.”

“Tobin, you have no idea what those words do to me” Christen says sadly. “Every time those words left your mouth I would get butterflies but now it just hurts, hearing you say that just makes me sad and upset.”

“I haven’t made things easy, I know that” Tobin says with a sad smile. “I hate not being with you, Christen you are the love of my life.”

“Tobin… please don’t do this” Christen says, almost pleading with the woman in front of her. “Please don’t say things that will make us both hurt more.”

“Chris… I don’t want to hurt you” Tobin says, turning to look at Christen. “That has never been my intention and I know I have hurt you but I promise you that I didn’t set out to do it.”

“Tobin, I can’t…”

“Please let me say what I have to say” Tobin says, grabbing Christen’s hand and taking it in her own. “I promise to leave you alone and do whatever you ask of me but please… let me explain something first.”

“Ok” Christen says, worried that saying more will cause her to get even more upset than she is already.

“I love you with everything I have” Tobin says, giving Christen a soft smile. “You are the best thing that has ever came into my life. I’ve taken you for granted; I’ve been hot and cold with you; I’ve lied to you about my alcohol problem and I’ve made you deal with so much more than a girlfriend should need to deal with.”

“Tobin, I…” Christen tries to interrupt but Tobin doesn’t let her.

“I’m sorry for stopping you but I need to say this now” Tobin says, squeezing Christen’s hand as Christen nods. “I have issues and that isn’t a secret but I’m getting help now, I go to therapy and have been for the last eight months and I am three months into my alcohol addiction program. I couldn’t keep living the way I was so I made a decision to change my life. I am not going to lie, it was the hardest thing I have ever done but I know in the long run it will help me. It has already started to help.”

“That’s good” Christen smiles gently. “That is really amazing Tobin, I know it wouldn’t have been an easy decision.”

“It wasn’t easy but losing you was my wakeup call” Tobin admits nervously but truthfully. “I am so sorry that it took us breaking up for me to realise I had to get help, it was long overdue. I drove you away and I couldn’t keep living life the way I was.”

“You do seem different” Christen says. “There’s a lightness and calmness about you, physically you look better and you are opening up to me in ways you wouldn’t before without me prying it out of you.”

“Chris, you never wanted me to change but wanted me to be my true self and that’s what I’ve been doing” Tobin says with a smile. “Not only do I want to be better for myself but for you too, I am not going to sit here and say I am fixed because I’m not but I am on a positive pathway now.”

“I am really pleased Tobin” Christen says genuinely albeit still a little confused as to why Tobin decided to tell her today and not wait until after the holidays. She is really happy for Tobin but it still hurts seeing the person you want most in the world and not being able to be with them.

“Thank you” Tobin smiles. “Sorry for crashing your Christmas plans but I had to see you today. I couldn’t wait any longer. I did think about waiting until early January when the holiday buzz has settled but I’m not that patient.”

“Patience was never a word you associated with” Christen says jokingly.

“I know” Tobin laughs. “All jokes aside though, I do have something else I need to say.”

“Ok” Christen nods, surprisingly Tobin’s admission and seeing her has made Christen feel better but she still feels hurt. This is still the woman that she once called hers.

“I love you Chris, despite everything we’ve been through I think that was the one thing you always knew” Tobin says as Christen nods, never once in her life has she doubted that Tobin loved her. “It’s always been you or no one. I know I haven’t been the best girlfriend but I want to change that, I am not going to mess around anymore. I want to be with you and I know I am ready to be with you.”

“Tobin…”Christen goes to intercept again but this time Tobin stops Christen with a gentle kiss.

“I know I don’t deserve another chance, I’ve had one too many chances but I am not ashamed to ask for another one” Tobin says. “I know every time we get back together I say it will be different and it isn’t. This time I genuinely believe it will be, I am in a much better place.”

“I can see you are in a better place but surely you understand why this isn’t something I take lightly” Christen says, honestly she has no idea what to feel or do at this point. Tobin is different but Christen is still scared.

“I do understand babe” Tobin nods. “But we are meant for each other, this is us Chris.”

“I love you so much Tobin but how do I know this will work out” Christen asks. “How can I know for sure that this won’t be like the last time?”

“Follow your heart, what does it tell you Chris?” Tobin replies before she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a small box. “I love you and I promise that even though it won’t be easy I won’t ever break your heart again. I want to spend my life with you… hopefully as your wife.”

What Tobin does next almost takes the breath out of Christen’s lungs.

“Marry me Christen” it is not a question but more of a statement. “We don’t have to rush into anything but I am making this promise to you.”

“Oh… Tobin… I…”

“You’re everything to me, I am never letting you go again” Tobin says, dropping down on one knee and holding the ring in front of her. “Christen Press, will you marry me?”

She waits for a few seconds, not because she doesn’t love Tobin but if she says yes then she is opening her heart again; she is giving her heart back to Tobin but every time she has done that in the past she has wound up hurt. On the other end of the spectrum, Christen did promise herself and Tobin that if Tobin got the help she needed then Christen was all in with her. How can she say no when this is all she ever wanted.

“Yes” Christen says quietly. “Yes, I want to marry you” Christen says louder this time. “But I swear to god Tobin, you better not hurt me again. I cannot go through the pain and hurt again.”

“I won’t” Tobin says, slipping the ring on Christen’s finger. “Our, well my, biggest issue is my drink problem and I have a handle on that. I am a better version of myself and can promise you things now that I couldn’t before.”

“Tobin look at me” Christen says seriously. “This is our last chance baby, there will be no more.”

“I know that, I won’t need any more chances” Tobin says with a confidence she has never had before. “I won’t fuck this up this time.”

“Good” Christen says with a nod, glancing at her hand and admiring the ring.

“Do you like it?” Tobin asks when she notices Christen smiling at the ring.

“I love it” Christen answers before looking up and kissing Tobin. “I love you, so much it hurts.”

“I will make it stop hurting, I can do this Chris” Tobin assures Christen. “You’re everything to me and I am going to make things better.”

“Ok” Christen nods, leaning in for a deeper kiss this time. “Let’s go inside, it’s getting colder out here.”

Tobin nods her head and allows her fiancée to pull her inside. She knows she has a lot of work to do to make it up to Christen and to try and overcome her demons but knowing Christen still has trust in her makes it feel less overwhelming.

As soon as Tobin and Christen walk into the living room, everyone is looking at them. Well, everyone apart from Jaxon who is too busy with his new toys.

“Back together?” Tyler asks.

“Yes” Christen smiles wildly, pulling Tobin closer to her. “Back together and with news.”

“Ok” Tyler says with a nod.

“Tobin may have proposed and I also may have said yes” Christen says excitedly, unwilling to let go of Tobin’s hand.

“Oh my god… really” Channing says loudly, rushing over to hug her big sister.

“Congratulations” Tyler says, joining Channing and hugging Christen before she hugs Tobin. Christen can tell that out of the corner of her eye that her parents’ smiles look a little reserved. Both her parents congratulate her and Tobin but they both look hesitant.

~

“Are you sure about this sweetheart?” Stacy asks when she manages to catch Christen alone in the afternoon. “Getting engaged, it all seems very quick.”

“I love her mom, I thought you liked Tobin” Christen says, a smile appearing on her face when she sees Tobin teasing Jaxon.

“I do like her” Stacy says, placing her hand atop her daughters. “When you two are good, you are really good but when things are bad between you two then…”

“I understand your concern mom but you know Tobin and I belong together” Christen says, absentmindedly twirling the ring around her finger. It’s a little loose but not enough to fall off, she still wants to take it to the jeweller to get it tightened ever so slightly.

“All I am saying is that your views may be heightened because it’s Christmas day and the ring is all sparkly and you’ve seen the person you love most” Stacy says. “It’s easy to become lost in that and reality takes a backseat.”

“Jeez mom, I am not that superficial” Christen says with a frown. “I didn’t see a shiny, expensive ring and suddenly forget all the trouble between Tobs and me.”

“I didn’t mean it like that sweetheart” Stacy says. “I just meant that you might’ve been overcome with the moment and didn’t think it through fully.”

“We are not going to rush it mom, it’s not like we are going to get married next week or something” Christen says, smiling at her mom. “Mom, you know how I feel about her.”

“Yes I do sweetheart but I also know how you felt all those times you broke up with her” Stacy says, a sympathetic smile on her face. “I just want you to be careful, many times you have got back together with Tobin and things didn’t change. You wound up hurt again.”

“I know it will be different this time mom” Christen says confidently. Maybe there is a part of her that’s worried given their past but there’s also a bigger part of her that can tell Tobin is serious this time. “Please believe me.”

“Ok sweetheart” Stacy says. “I have no issues with Tobin, I just want to see you happy. I don’t want to watch my baby upset.”

“I don’t want to be upset either mom but I’m miserable without her” Christen says. “I really love her.”

“I know honey but promise me you won’t rush this” Stacy says, pulling Christen in for a hug.

“I won’t, we are going to take it really slow” Christen says with a nod. She knows Tobin and she have a few things to discuss, they can’t automatically go back to the way they were before. Just because they are engaged doesn’t mean Christen is quite ready to move back into the apartment.

Over the next few hours more and more of Christen’s family begin to arrive for dinner. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and her grandma. Tobin fits in effortlessly with everyone like she always has; charming the adults and playing with Jaxon and some of Christen’s younger cousins. It feels surreal to Christen that this is actually happening, that she has Tobin back and she is spending Christmas with her.

~

“Who wants white wine and who wants red?” Christen’s gran, Fran, asks when everyone is seated at the dining room table ready to eat dinner. Christen stays mute, she doesn’t know what to do in this situation. With Tobin’s situation she doesn’t think it would be right to drink in front of her. “Tobin, you take red don’t you dear?”

“Actually, I don’t want any wine” Tobin answers with a polite smile. “If you don’t mind, I am going to stick to the orange juice. Pour Chris a glass of the red wine though.”

“No I…”

“Babe its fine, you can drink” Tobin says, smiling at her girlfriend.

“I am not going to be insensitive and drink in front of you” Christen says quietly, squeezing Tobin’s hand. “I am doing this with you.”

“Thank you” Tobin says sincerely, she would never ask Christen to stop just because she herself has an issue but she can’t lie and say she is completely fine. She still has temptations and it is still hard, alcohol was her coping mechanism when things got tough, but she has to do this for herself.

Christen inserts herself and Tobin into the conversation her sisters’ are having to try and distract them from any more questions from the rest of the family on why they are not drinking. It’s no secret that Tobin was the life of every Press party due to the alcohol taking over her system. No one truly knows about Tobin’s addiction battle, or the extent of it, apart from close family.

“You are going to be harassed by little Jaxon every day to play soccer with him now that you bought him a ball for Christmas Tobin” Will says with a soft laugh.

“I don’t mind” Tobin says with a shrug. “I love playing with him, he’s a cool little dude.”

“Tobs, can you pass the potatoes to me?” Christen asks, spooning vegetables onto Tobin’s plate.

“Sure baby” Tobin answers, receiving the potatoes from Stacy.

The rest of the meal passes reasonably comfortably, on a few occasions Christen felt awkward when someone would try and coax Tobin into having a small glass of wine or bottle of beer. Christen knows Tobin is a private person so she would never share details about Tobin’s alcoholism but she just wishes everyone else knew so they didn’t keep offering Tobin a drink. Tobin doesn’t appear too bothered by it but she knows it can’t be easy for her, even if she has been sober for months now.

As usual, Christmas evening is filled with games between all in the family. The night rounding off with a battle of Mario Kart between Christen, Tobin, Tyler, Will, Channing and Jay while everyone else is either in bed or away back home.

Tobin and Jay captaining the teams to battle it out to be the ultimate champion.

“Come on Tobin, do it for the team” Will says as he and Channing cheer on their captain. “Corners are Jay’s weakness, push him towards the bananas while he tries to take the turn.”

“I got this guys” Tobin says confidently, using more acceleration on the straight road.

~

“Every single year” Tyler complains with a huff. “I lose Mario Kart every year, next year I need to be on Tobin’s team.”

“Deal” Tobin says with a smile. “Thanks for letting me crash you guys’ fun.”

“You don’t need to thank us, you are part of the family” Tyler says genuinely before turning a little more serious. “I will still kick your ass if you hurt my little sister again.”

“I know” Tobin nods. “I’m not going to hurt her.”

“Good” Tyler nods.

“I should go home now” Tobin says as she stands up. “Thank you all again for being so welcoming.”

“Thanks again for beating my ass” Jay says with a laugh before he and the other three say their goodbyes and then head to bed, leaving Christen alone with Tobin.

“You ok?” Tobin asks, pulling Christen into her arms.

“It will be different this time, right?” Christen asks. “Tobin, I love you so much but things need to change. I can’t go through what I did before.”

“It won’t be like before, Chris look at me” Tobin says, gently placing her hands either side of Christen’s face. “I am not going to lie, there will be ups and downs but I promise, from the bottom of my heart that it will be nothing like before.”

“You have to talk to me, don’t bottle up your emotions” Christen says, placing her hands on Tobin’s hips. “I know you don’t like showing your emotions but we have to communicate babe.”

“I know” Tobin nods. “That was undoubtedly one of my weaknesses but my therapist has been working on that with me.”

“Good” Christen nods before gazing into Tobin’s eyes. Eyes that she has loved since she first saw them, eyes that seem a little brighter and show more sincerity than they did in the past.

“Come here” Tobin says, beckoning Christen in for a kiss. She kisses Christen like she means it, showing her how much she loves her and wants to be with her. She has one last chance and she is determined to make it count.

“Are you actually going to go home?” Christen asks, a shy smile on her face.

“That depends” Tobin says.

“On what?” Christen asks with a smile, playing with Tobin’s fingers.

“On what you want me to do” Tobin says, pecking Christen on the lips. “I will go home if you want me to or I will stay here with you if that’s what you want.”

“Stay here with me” Christen says to which Tobin nods.

“I would love to” Tobin smiles.

“Let’s go” Christen says, leading them both upstairs to Christen’s room. “You can borrow something of mine to wear in bed if you want.”

“Thanks babe” Tobin replies, kissing Christen on the cheek.

They quickly get ready for bed before diving under the covers and snuggling together.

“Thank you for the ring baby, I absolutely love it” Christen says, admiring her hand once again. She doesn’t want to ever take the ring off.

“You don’t have to wear it in bed you know” Tobin says with a soft laugh.

“I know I probably shouldn’t in case it gets caught on my hair or my sheets when I sleep…” Christen says. “…But I just love it so much.”

“I love it on you” Tobin says.

“I’m going to take it off” Christen says, pulling it off her finger and sitting it on the bedside table.

“Ok” Tobin says with a nod.

“Was this always your plan?” Christen asks before elaborating. “I mean, coming here and proposing on Christmas day. Didn’t you have any plans to see your family?”

“It was always my plan to propose on Christmas, yes” Tobin answers with a smile before looking at Christen. “But my original plan when I bought the ring was to propose last year.”

“Last year?” Christen questions before frowning in confusion. “So you’ve had the ring for over a year, how did I not find it.”

Tobin laughs softly. “I gave it to Allie to keep because if I tried to hide it at our apartment then you would definitely find it” Tobin responds.

“Ah… clever” Christen smiles as Tobin nods.

“I was going to propose last year on Christmas morning, we were going to open gifts with your family as normal and then the ring would be your last gift from me” Tobin says with a smile. “Obviously we had that big fight on Christmas eve so I decided making such a big commitment wasn’t the best idea at the time. I figured I would wait a few weeks until we sorted out our differences but we ended up breaking up a few months later before I got the opportunity again.”

“Right” Christen says with a nod, processing the details.

“I had thought about it for a while and I just couldn’t wait anymore, I want to be with you Chris” Tobin says, turning over and kissing Christen. “I’m in a better place now and I know we are more than ready to take the next step.”

“Me too” Christen smiles.

“I can’t wait to marry you” Tobin says with a relaxed sigh. “It’s going to be the best day of my life, aside from when we have kids but you know what I mean.”

“Yeah” Christen says, smiling into the darkness.

“I want to be better before then” Tobin says, turning to look at Christen. “I won’t make you wait forever to get married but I want to feel more at peace before then.”

“We will wait as long as we both need to” Christen smiles, lightly pecking Tobin’s lips. “Being engaged is more than enough for now.”

“Cool” Tobin nods. “I love you baby.”

“I love you too” Christen replies as she snuggles into Tobin.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Three years later, they marry in that exact same place on Christmas day as the views of Palos Verdes surround them.

“I won’t lie and say everything has been easy” Tobin says with a nervous laugh. “I’ve made mistakes and I thought I lost you but standing here today, I feel like the luckiest person on the planet. You are the most beautiful person I know, inside and out. I have to pinch myself sometimes to actually believe it’s real. You are my angel and every day of my life I am going to make you feel as such.”

Christen smiles gently at Tobin, squeezing their interlocked hands.

“You are everything to me Chris, from the moment our eyes met across the room I knew I was in deep” Tobin explains. “You are the most amazing person I have ever met, you make life easier. When I am down you pick me up and when I am frustrated you calm me down. Life was dark at times for me but you were my light, you saved me; from everything. I love you so much and I cannot wait to be with you forever.”

“Christen?” The officiant says softly as Christen wipes a tear from her eye.

“My turn… yeah” Christen says, laughing lightly as she tries to compose herself to say her vows.

Tobin squeezes Christen’s hands, looking at Christen with so much love.

“You literally leave me breathless Tobin” Christen says, taking a deep sigh. “Never in my life did I think I would find someone to love so deeply or so passionately. As corny as it sounds but you do make the world a better place.”

Christen takes a deep breath, composing herself again before she allows the happy tears to fall.

“I love your passion for life and I love you even more for being who you are” Christen says. “My parents taught me about love but you Tobin, you showed me what it was like to love and be loved. It wasn’t always straightforward but it was all worth it to be here with you today. You are the kindest and gentlest person I have ever met, I am so proud and humbled to call you mine. Most of all I am just so happy that I can spend the rest of my life with you.”

They both smile at one another as the officiant is about to continue.

“And you’re super hot” Christen butts in, a chorus of laughs heard from the crowd. “Sorry, I forgot to add that into the vows.” Tobin winks at Christen in response.

“Tobin, repeat after me” the officiant says before reading off the vows

“I, Tobin Powell Heath, take you Christen Annemarie Press to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward…”

The officiant says the next few lines before Tobin repeats.

“… for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part” Tobin finishes, sliding the ring onto Christen’s hand.

“Christen, your turn to repeat after me” The officiant nods as Christen smiles.

“I, Christen Annemarie Press, take you Tobin Powell Heath to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse…” Christen smiles, wiping a few more tears from her eyes.

“…for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part” Christen says, slipping the ring onto Tobin’s finger.

“Without further ado, I now pronounce you married” the officiant says. “You may kiss.”

Tobin takes the lead and pulls Christen in for a kiss, its short but it’s meaningful.

“I love you” Christen whispers as they break apart to cheers and hollers from the guests.

“Love you too” Tobin says, leading Christen up the aisle as they head up and into Christen’s parents’ house to have a few minutes to themselves while the guests make their way further down the garden to the large function style tent situated at the bottom where the reception will be held.

~

“Thank you all for coming today” Cody says as he begins the wedding speeches. “When Christen first introduced me to Tobin, I have to admit I was a little sceptical. I mean you would be too if you found out your daughter was dating someone who thought it was appropriate to wear a snap back on top of a beanie hat rather than just one or the other.”

“I knew you wouldn’t forget about that” Tobin says with a smile. She was so nervous to meet Christen’s family that she forgot she put two hats on. She was also wearing two watches that day but no one noticed that.

“In all seriousness, I am so happy you two have found love together” Cody says with a smile. “Looking at the two of you together it is painfully obvious how in love you are. It’s not been easy for the two of you but you have both worked so hard and deserve every bit of happiness that comes your way.”

Cody smiles brightly at the brides.

“Stacy, Jeff and myself may all be bankrupt now for throwing this big party but it was all worth it to see you two together” Cody says with a smile. “To the happy couple, may your dreams come true.”

“Thank you” Christen whispers to her dad as he sits back down and then it is Tobin’s dad’s turn.

“I remember that day Tobin came bursting through the front door of the family home and told her mother and I that she met an angel” Tobin’s dad Jeff says, smiling at his daughter. “Tobin was always so laid back and rarely got excited about anything that wasn’t soccer but that day; she was so energetic and couldn’t wait to tell us about the girl she met.”

Tobin just smiles, this story used to embarrass her but her dad has told it so many times that it doesn’t bother her now.

“Her mother said she was going to marry that girl” Jeff says. “I believed it too, my wife was always right. Today proves it, she did marry Christen. I know it hurts that your mom isn’t here to witness it but believe me Tobin; she is looking down on you from heaven with a big grin on her face.”

Tobin feels Christen’s hand squeezing her leg, giving her all the courage she needs to stay strong in this moment.

“To Tobin and Christen, may I wish you both the very best” Jeff says as he raises his glass. “I love you both. Cheers.”

“Cheers” the audience respond, sipping their drinks as Jeff takes his seat at the family table.

“Thanks dad” Tobin whispers as Allie now stands up.

“Tobin has been my best friend since we were kids” Allie says with a happy smile. “She’s been through so much in her life, all I wanted was for her to find some happiness and as soon as Christen came into her life that happened.”

Allie gently squeezes Tobin shoulder as she stands behind her.

“Christen, I want to say that you are an awesome person and I am so glad that you are not only in Tobin’s life but I get to call you a friend as well” Allie says before finishing the rest of her speech. “To the happy couple, I wish you nothing but the best for the future.”

“Thank you” Christen smiles.

“On behalf of my wife and I…” Tobin starts as she receives hollers from the guests. “… I just want to thank you all for coming. I am so glad that Chris and I could spend this day with the people we love the most.”

Everyone smiles at Tobin.

“I would love it if my mom was here today, when I lost her it felt like the end of the world but Chris saved me” Tobin says, battling the tears back. “I just want to say thank you to Chris and all you guys for making today really special. God may have you now mom but I know you are looking down on me. I love you mom.”

Tobin takes a moment of silence before continuing.

“Thank you again for coming, the meal will commence shortly” Tobin says before raising her glass of orange juice in the air. “Cheers.”

~

“Is everyone looking at us?” Tobin whispers as she and Christen slowly sway to the music, Christen’s hands clasped behind Tobin’s neck.

“Yeah honey” Christen says with a soft laugh. “We are the brides, so it’s only right that everyone looks at us as we do our first dance.”

“It makes me nervous though, I don’t like being the centre of attention” Tobin says as Christen laughs again. “Ok so maybe I do like it but not when I am dancing, I’m going to step on your toes.”

“You haven’t so far” Christen tells her wife. “Now stop being silly and just dance with me, ok?” Christen then kisses Tobin softly before Tobin is twirling her around the dance floor. “You just played me there so I would kiss you didn’t you?”

“Yup” Tobin says, twirling before dipping Christen much to the crowd’s delight. “I went to dance lessons with my sisters.”

“I’m impressed” Christen smiles, kissing Tobin again before the dance floor fills up with more people dancing.

“You can’t have your first dance as a married woman with a clumsy, two left footed idiot can you?” Tobin asks, leading Christen around the room. “Perry told me that if I can dance my way around a football pitch then I will dance properly at my wedding.”

“I guess I should thank Perry for saving me from getting my toes stepped on” Christen says, leaning in for another kiss.

“I am so happy today Chris, words can’t properly describe how happy I feel” Tobin says, leading Christen over to their table to take a break from dancing. “Do you want more champagne?”

“No thanks” Christen replies with a smile. “I want to have a clear head for going on our honeymoon tomorrow.”

“I’m so excited for that, I’ve bought us matching winter jumpers that we can wear when we go skiing” Tobin says with an excited smile on her face. “I also want to teach you how to snowboard.”

“I’m excited too” Christen smiles as Tobin leans in for a kiss.

“Sorry to interrupt ladies but Jeff and I would like a dance with our daughters” Cody says, holding his hand out for Christen as Jeff pulls Tobin to her feet. “May I have this dance?”

“Of course dad” Christen smiles, following her dad to the dance floor while Jeff and Tobin do the same.

“Thanks for coming dad” Tobin says as she dances with her dad.

“Are you kidding me?” Jeff replies. “Thank you for inviting me, I am so happy to see you happy baby girl. I know for a fact that your mom would be so proud of you, as soon as she met Christen she knew Christen was the one for you.”

“I wish she was here dad” Tobin says, a sly tear running down her cheek.

“So do I” Jeff says. “Come here.” Jeff pulls his younger daughter close to his chest, allowing Tobin to compose herself against him.

“I’m glad mom got to meet Chris before she passed away” Tobin says, smiling weakly at her dad. “I’m sorry for the way I treated you but I am so glad you came today.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world” Jeff smiles. “Whatever happened in the past is now behind us, look to the future.”

“I know but I am truly sorry for distancing myself from you after mom’s accident” Tobin says, looking into her father’s eyes. “I love you so much dad.”

“I love you too sweetheart” Jeff replies.

~

“Now that the wedding is over, what’s next?” Tobin asks, laughing lightly as she and Christen cuddle in bed. They spent hours dancing and spending time with their friends and family before sneaking away and heading up and into the house to spend some time alone.

“What do you want to be next?” Christen replies, kissing Tobin on the neck.

“I don’t know” Tobin shrugs, playing with Christen’s loose curls.

“Kids?” Christen asks jokingly.

“I can’t wait to have kids” Tobin says with a smile. “Seriously, I want us to have a whole bunch of kids. I mean, Jaxon keeps asking me for a cousin.”

“No he doesn’t” Christen says as she bursts out laughing. “He loves being your star pupil and getting all your attention.”

“He doesn’t keep asking me but I did ask him if he would like a cousin to play with and he said he would” Tobin says, kissing Christen. “Whenever you want to start making babies is fine with me.”

“Maybe not tonight because what I have planned for tonight unfortunately won’t make a baby” Christen says with a smirk, hooking her leg over Tobin and straddling her waist. “As much as we want it to.”

“What do you have planned?” Tobin asks, playing with the hem of Christen’s tank top before lifting it over Christen’s head showing her bare chest.

“I think you know” Christen smiles, leaning down for a hungry kiss.

They spend time making love and exploring each other’s bodies before deciding to get some much needed rest for their upcoming honeymoon. They decided that they would only take a few days away at a small lodge before returning back home to spend New Year’s Eve with the family. Secretly Christen has booked them a two week trip to Europe for a proper honeymoon in the middle of January.

Both of them go to sleep that night in each other’s arms with large smiles on their faces, so excited to spend the rest of their lives together.