We’re in New York for the week. I have one more show tonight. I’m excited to get it done because tomorrow is my wedding day.
Obviously, nobody knows it’s my wedding day. Grant and I invited everyone to come join us for our engagement party.
We went out yesterday to get our marriage license. I was so giddy signing the paperwork, with my new last name.
I was taking the last name Ward and kept Coulson as a middle name.
My dancers, back up singers, musicians, family, and our friends were invited. Grant had asked Hunter to be his best man and was the only one in on the secret. I couldn’t trust Jemma to keep it from my brother. My brother would quickly tell my father who would, in turn, tell Aunt Mel.
Hunter was in charge of making sure the officiant arrived on time and had only a couple of hotel staff helping decorate. All staff members had signed an NDA. He also surprised us by hiring a photographer for the event who also signed the NDA.
“So, what exactly is the dress code for tomorrow?” Bobbie asks me as she curls my hair. I look at the clock on the wall.
Two hours till showtime.
I shrug. “It’s an engagement party. Dress up but don’t go over the top. I want everyone looking nice but nobody better upstage me.” I warn with no conviction.
Bobbi smiles. “Why don’t you show me what you’ve picked out and everyone can come through me for the final say on outfits.” She suggests.
I nod, sticking out my bottom lip. “I like it.” I keep trying to read if Hunter has told her anything about tomorrow but I can’t tell.
I dig out my phone to show Bobbi the picture I decided on this morning. It’s not a wedding dress but it is white. I liked that it hugged my body right. It was really comfortable and I loved the look of it. It was simple and beautiful. Nobody would know it was a wedding dress.
“Oh, I like this one on you.” She leans in, taking a closer look at the dress.
“I need some accessories for it though. Mind helping me out?” I ask knowing what her answer will be.
“I have the perfect shoes and jewelry for it. I got you, girl.” Bobbi goes back to my hair and I can’t help but feel the butterflies in my stomach.
Grant and Hunter come in about an hour later. Bobbi is gone and I’m just trying to relax before going on stage.
Grant comes and places a kiss on my lips.
“Mmmm.” My moan is involuntary.
I can feel Grant’s smile as he kisses me.
“Hey. Hey. None of that.” Hunter pulls at my arm to separate us.
“Hunter!” I scold.
“You do that behind closed doors, will you? We’re here to discuss tomorrow’s details. I’m not gonna have you guys bang it out again when there are things to do.” He looks between the both of us.
I roll my eyes and stick my tongue out. He’s such a party pooper.
“Ready to marry me, sweetheart?” Grant pulls back my attention.
A smile quickly appears on my face as I turn to nod. “I’ve been ready.” I admit. We’ve managed to stand next to each other again and I can’t even remember how I got here.
He returns my smile and leans in to kiss me again.
“Hey. What did I just say?” Hunter warns.
I pull away from Grant, not wanting to annoy Hunter for now. I sit on a chair and Grant comes to stand next to me.
“Why did you pick him as your best man again?” I make a face. “He’s so annoying.”
Hunter chuckles and gives me a side smile. “You love me and you know it, love.”
“Only like the brother in law I never had and never wanted.” I tease.
“You lie.” Hunter chuckles again. “Remember I’m in charge tomorrow. You don’t want to hurt my feelings, do you?”
“Ok. Ok.” Grant says, “we plan on having everyone there by one. I’ve paid the officiant to arrive at one-fifteen and stay for two hours just in case people arrive late.”
I nod. “Hunter will call and let me know when you guys are ready for me.” I add, remembering my part.
“Right. I will wait for you outside of the reception room,” Hunter chimes in, “and go inside to bring your dad, brother and Jemma out to meet you.”
“As soon as they go out, I will inform the room that they’re actually there for our wedding and not an engagement party.” Grant finishes.
I turn to Grant. “Did you pick up the rings?”
He pats his pocket. “Got them. Did you decide if we should say something or let May handle the announcement to the media?”
I kept going back and forth on this. “I think I want to post a picture tomorrow tonight and change my name. No caption and have Aunt Mel deal with everything.”
Grant’s smile takes my breath away.
“What?” I nudge him with my shoulder.
He leans into me and whispers. “I can’t wait for you to be Skye Ward.”
“Me neither.” I lean into him.
“Alright you two, break it up. It looks like it’s time for you to head out.” Hunter pops our bubble again.
I look at the clock on the wall. I have to make my way down for the show.
Just then, my door swings open. It’s Jemma. “Skye, you ready?”
I nod and we all exit the room.
The night is a success. I do a lot of the choreography but not all of it. I’m officially meeting with my OB on Monday. We’re flying her out to Seattle from LA.
She’d been busy all week and it was the earliest she could make time. So, I’m taking it as easy as I can until then but I have read a lot about pregnancy online.
The next day instead of having Bobbie do my hair and makeup, I decided to do it all myself. I tell her to worry about herself and make sure Jemma, Elena and Aunt Mel don’t need any help getting ready.
I apply my makeup very carefully but because I’m a spaz, I wrap a silk robe over my dress to make sure it stays clean.
My stomach is in knots as I wait for Hunter’s call but I don’t have to wait long. Five minutes after one, I get the call to come down.
I check myself in the mirror one last time. I was bloody getting married! I want to squeal but laugh at myself instead.
I make my way down to the reception room we rented for the day and text Hunter that I’m outside. The door opens a minute later.
My dad, brother and Jemma stepped out.
“Skye, what’s going on?” Jemma asks. “Grant said you needed to talk to us.”
I nod, suddenly very nervous.
“What is it, honey?” My dad frowns.
“Well, you see,” I take a deep breath, “you’re not actually here for an engagement party.”
“We’re not?” Fitz squints his eyes at me very confused.
I shake my head. “You’re actually here for my wedding.” I reveal.
Three sets of jaws drop and eyes pop.
“I’m sorry. We didn’t tell anyone. Surprised?” I lift my eyebrows and try a smile but I’m scared so I’m sure I look ridiculous.
Jemma’s smile is the first to appear before she throws herself on me. “Congratulations, Skye! I’m so happy for you!”
My heart warms. I love Jemma. “Thanks, Jem. Will you be my maid of honor?”
She squeals. “Of course! Oh my God!”
I laugh at her obvious happiness for me.
She looks from my dad to my brother and steps back. “I’ll meet you up there.” She places a kiss on my cheek and as she turns to go back in the room, she squeezes my brother’s arm.
I look back to them worried because they haven’t said anything.
“Honey, are you sure?” My dad asks. “Isn’t it too soon?”
“I love him, dad. I’m ready to be his wife. He is it. He is everything.” I look him in the eyes because I need him to see how I feel.
Finally, he nods. “I just want you to be happy.”
“Thanks, dad.” I throw my arms around him.
“I love you, honey.”
“I love you too.” I kiss him on the check.
I turn to look at my brother. He’s being weirdly quiet.
“Well?” I ask.
He shakes his head. “I could have kept your secret, you know?”
I sigh in relief because he’s not angry like I thought he would be. “Liar!” I hug him.
“I’m happy for you. I’m happy him. You know I love you. Always have. You’ve always been my sister…even before we met.” He kisses my temple. “And you know I love Ward. Just don’t keep us out of your life, Skye.”
I shake my head, trying not to cry. He was the first to embrace me and bring me out of the dark cloud that was my life. “I love you too. I have loved being your sister. Thanks for bringing me home.”
He sniffs and I can see he’s also holding back tears. “Ok. Enough of this. Let’s go get you married. I’ll go take my seat.”
I yank his arm before he can turn away. “Stay put. You’re both walking me down the aisle.” I match his grin. “But stick your head in and let them know we’re ready.”
He nods and opens the door. I hear him say we can start and when he’s back he takes a look at me from head to toe. He shakes his head. “You know Ward doesn’t look like he’s a groom, right?”
I laugh. “I told him to keep it casual as if we were going on a date. I didn’t want him dressing up and giving us away.”
“And you dress up anyway?” My dad throws at me as he takes his place by my side.
I can’t help but laugh with him. “Hey! I would wear this on a date!” But I know Grant will call me out for the same thing. I was a bride, dammit! I had to look my best.
“Ready?” My dad asks with his hand on the door handle.
I nod and he opens the door and the three of us walk through. I don’t have to look at the room to know it looks beautiful. I was down here last night after the show. My eyes dart straight to Grant and my excitement peaks. I feel so bubbly and giddy. All my nerves have left my body and all I feel is Grant’s love for me.
His eyes scream at me. I can see his excitement matches mine and damn the look he’s giving me, makes my temperature rise. I can’t wait for him to peel this dress off me.
He smiles at the exact moment I feel wetness pool at my center. Cocky bastard! I give him a look but I’m also smiling, so it only makes him laugh.
I love him like this, carefree. When I reach him, my brother places a kiss on my temple and shakes Grant’s hand before taking him into a quick hug.
My dad gives me a hug and kisses my other temple and steps forward to shake Grant’s hand. “Take care of her, Ward.”
“Always.” Grant turns from my dad to me as my dad places my hand in Grant’s.
Grant takes the other hand too and we stand looking at each other.
He shakes his head. “Like we’re going on a date you said.” He says so only I can hear.
“You look beautiful, sweetheart.”
“Thank you. You don’t look so bad yourself.”
The officiant starts the ceremony and as much as I try to listen to her and commit it to memory, the only thing I see is Grant. Nobody else exists in this room but him and I. We speak only when asked to repeat our vows and say “I do” but the rest of the time is looking into each other’s eyes and seeing our promises of the future.
Next thing I know the officiant is saying “you can now kiss the bride” and I’m in Grant’s arms.
The kiss is slow and passionate and we only just remember we have an audience. It’s a promise for what’s to come tonight and the butterflies in my stomach flutter once more. We pull apart to look at our friends and family and he kisses my cheek.
Our friends and family move forward to congratulate us. Eeek. I’m officially his wife.
Thankfully nothing needs to be moved for the reception. The food is brought out buffet style on warmers. “We have the place for the rest of the day,” Grant announces as a DJ sets up.
The crowd cheers and the party begins.
“I don’t like being kept in the dark.” Aunt Mel steps forward giving me a look, hand on her hip. A quick wave of fear passes through me.
Aunt Mel can be pretty scary. “Sorry, I know. But I couldn’t tell you and not dad.” I give her my widest smile to see if she’ll change her facial expression. She eventually shows me her side smile as she shakes her head.
“I only wish you could have said something because I have something for you. Thankfully I carry it with me everywhere I go.” She tells me. “It’s in my room. I’ll be right back.”
I frown as she exits and shrug before walking away.
I sit with Grant and he places his hand in mine. Hunter finds us soon enough, dragging Bobbi behind him.
“Can you please let this one know I could not utter a word to anyone or it would have been my head.” He sits next to Grant and rolls his eyes.
Grant and I laugh as Bobbi sits next to Hunter and smacks his shoulder. “All I’m saying is, a little heads up would have been nice. You want to spend the rest of your life with me but you won’t tell me this.”
My mouth drops. “What?!” I shriek and my eyes zoom in on the rock on her hand. “When?!”
“It’s about damn time, you’ve been carrying the ring around for months.” Grant shakes his head.
Hunter looks offended. “I don’t remember asking for your opinion. And look who’s talking. Besides, at least I told her how I felt and we’ve been shagging for years. How long did it take you to even admit you were in love with Skye?”
“Hunter!” Bobbi and I both scold.
He rolls his eyes, not one bit sorry for his words.
Grant laughs. “Fair.”
“Let me see.” I lean over the round table we’re sitting in and Bobbi does the same, stretching her arm out, so I can have a better look at her ring.
It’s beautiful. I stand to go around and I hug them both, congratulating them.
Before I sit, I see Aunt Mel off to the side and she waves me over. I excuse myself and move to stand by her side.
She holds out a white envelope for me. “What is this?” I ask.
She smiles with tears in her eyes. “It’s a letter from your mom.”
I turn my eyes from the envelope now in my hands back to her face. I’m in shock. “What?”
She gives me a small smile, tears in her eyes. “There’s one in there for Grant too.” She places her hand on my face and wipes away a tear I didn’t know I had. “She loved you, you know?”
I nod as tears fall. Aunt Mel takes me in her arms and I hug her tight. “I know. I love you. Thank you for stepping in after…” but I can’t finish my sentence. My mom was my everything. She was only my mom for a short time but she was everything I always wished a mom would be.
Aunt Mel and mom were true soul mates and when mom passed away, she’d stepped up, always knowing she would never take my mom’s place but knowing my mom would want her to be there.
“I love you so much, honey. I’m so happy for you. Your mom would have loved to see this.” She leans away from me to place a kiss on my forehead. “I’ll give you some privacy.”
With one final hug, she moves away.
I turn to find Grant looking at me with a worried expression. I extend my arm and he moves toward me without hesitation. When he reaches me, he takes my hand.
“Are you ok, sweetheart? What’s wrong?” He moves us to the corner of the room and palms my face. He searches my eyes.
“Aunt Mel had something for us.” I show him the envelope before I open it.
There are two pieces of paper folded separately. One of them has my name and the other his. I hand him his and he frowns at me, confused. I open mine and begin to read.
My dearest daughter,
Congratulations, honey! How I wish I could be with you today of all days. I’m sorry I had to leave. I know you’re grown and I know you understand that the world is chaos and we have no control over it. Just remember that for all the chaos, there is also beauty. Our world is a tapestry of colors. Some bleed in and out but they always leave a mark. I hope I left my mark in your heart.
You may not come from my womb but I believe you came from my heart or at least made for my heart. You are and will always be my daughter. I am the luckiest woman alive. I found not one but two soul mates in my best friends and I was blessed with two amazing children. I love you and your brother so much, honey.
I know you will be happy with Ward.
I gasp. How did she know?!
There is no denying that you love him and he loves you. You’re two halves of a whole. So different and yet so alike in so many ways. I trust him with every fiber of my being and I know he will make a great husband. He will make you happy and give you everything you could ever possibly need. And I’m sure you’ll make some beautiful babies.
There are so many things I want to say. I wish I could continue but we’ve reached my end. I love you, honey. I will always be with you and you will always be with me because I can’t imagine a place I could go where you wouldn’t be in my heart.
P.S. I hope your dad finds someone to live out the rest of his life with. I don’t want him to be alone. Stand by him, please when he does.
I look up to see Ward looking at me with affection. His letter is folded up in his hand. He takes me into his arms and holds me while I cry.
I miss my mom but for once, I feel my heart is lighter when I think of her. She will always be with me and no matter how long she’s gone, I will always love and miss her. She’s with me now. Somehow, I know she helped me and Grant get to where we are.
“Your mom was something special.” He says into my hair. “She knew, Skye.”
I step back but still hold onto his waist. “What do you mean?”
He lifts the letter to me. “She knew we’d be standing here one day. You and me.”
I smile as I take the letter and I hand him mine. “I know.” I smile and look at his letter.
Congratulations! Finally! You are officially part of the family, son. (Not that you weren’t already). Well, I hope it didn’t take you too long to tell my beautiful daughter how much you love her. From the moment I met you, there was something about you that I trusted. I wholeheartedly believed and trusted my daughter’s safety in your presence. I don’t know why and I could never explain it. One look at you and I knew we had to hire you.
I questioned myself. I wondered why I felt the way I did. It was made clear the moment I saw you and Skye meet. I saw it. I felt it. There was an immediate connection. There was like a steel cable connecting you two that I thought everybody could see it. The way you watched her and the way she responded to you was pure magic.
You know a lighthearted Skye and I hope that’s the only side you’ll only ever see. You didn’t see the isolated, sad and angry young lady we first encountered. It took her a while to open up but once she did it was like night and day. She shined like a star and sparked life into our lives. That’s what I feel you have done for her. Once she met you, you brought something out of her…I can’t explain it. She has a confidence when she’s around you. She has this glow…this happiness. I adored watching it and I’ll be forever grateful I got to experience it. I’ll miss a lot in her life but I don’t doubt that you will always be by her side and that makes me feel free to go.
I wish I could be there to walk her down to aisle and see the adorable grandbabies you will be making. But I’ll experience it from where I am. Thank you for being her everything. I love you with all my heart for the joy you brought to our family.
P.S. Leo always wanted an older brother, don’t be too hard on him.
I laugh and more tears fall. Damn her. How did she know?
“Let’s go back and enjoy the party.” Grant suggests and I nod.
I give Grant his letter back. “Can you hold onto them?”
He nods as he puts them back in the envelope and then in his jacket. He takes my hand as we slowly walk back to everyone. “If it’s a girl, we should name her Audrey.” He suggests.
I smile as his hand that is currently around my waist, sits over my belly. I put mine over it and hug Grant with my other arm.