The whole thing went down as planned. Almost to the letter.
People arrived. My dad gave me a hug and when he stepped away he both remembered and forgot who I was. It was odd watching the light of recognition fade. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. At least Alex never had to see the memories fade right in front of his eyes.
I fought back tears more than once. Happy and sad. Joyful and depressed. I couldn’t decide which way I felt.
I spent a great deal of time on the balcony alone. Some of my friends were here, but Sage and Mia were absent. And I understood the reasons, they weren’t Alex’s friends. And I didn’t know them. They didn’t know me in this forgotten world. But I missed them on this big day.
Ryan and Ant were here. Alex had Kish and Kay flown in. They did not want to shadow walk. And that was alright. Jesse was here. Though he didn’t know me either. But he was here for his sons. He didn’t understand why, but he was.
Dorian and Marco came to the party for the kids, but when I got a hug from Dorian in congratulations for my upcoming nuptuals he remembered me and he squeezed me so tight I lost what little control I had. Which was why I was on the balcony to begin with. I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want Dorian to forget me again. I pretty much left Dorian in the lurch when I fled his embrace.
Alex cleaned up the mess and Hunter gave Dorian a stone. My mentor joined me on the balcony. “Your father will hate this if he knew.”
“That I fell apart because I hugged you?” I laughed.
“That you can handle him forgetting you, but not me.” Dorian said taking a sip of his wine as he leaned against the railing to look over the edge.
“I’m surprised you are here.”
“I’ve always tried to conquer this fear.” I said.
Dorian nodded. “You have. Much to my displeasure.”
“I’m glad you stopped because he asked you to.”
“Are you going to forget me again?”
Dorian held the stone Hunter had given him in the palm of his hand, “I’ll get this mounted into a bracelet, so maybe for a few days while it’s done.”
“We can do that.” I said.
Dorian nodded, “Marco said he knew a guy. So we’ll go that route. It’s beautiful.”
“Hunter made it.”
“He told me when he handed it to me.” Dorian looked back through the glass doors, “You should get inside, the ceremony is about to begin.”
I sighed. “Yeah okay.”
Dorian pulled the sliding door open, and we stepped through. Alex took my hand and took me to where Vin stood. Vin cleared his throat and several people yelled and clanged their glasses. The music played softly on the speakers around the space. More tears fell as the soft instrumental of a song Alex played for me over the years provided background music for the ceremony. Stand By Me would always make me cry just from the old memories. This new one was unsurmountable.
Vin started, “We are gathered here together to join these two love birds. Does anyone have any exceptions?”
I rather expected someone to joke about something but you could heard the sound of everyone breathing as we took this moment of silence. Until Ryan shouted, “Just get on with it I want to bob for apples.”
The whole room burst out in laughter and Vin rolled his eyes. I was barely holding it together.
It wasn’t a traditional ceremony. Vin was a vampire ordained centuries ago by the Roman Emperor himself. We’d gotten him ordained in real time by the internet – cause that was a thing now. He was hardly a practicing Catholic now. Dead and believed damned until recently, Vin said the words, but there was magic in the air.
Kish and Kay said their spells. Isabel and Rosana their own. Ant had his own set of wiccan magics here too. It wasn’t just a human wedding with paperwork. Every coven, every clan, every blood line, and every pack made an offering. They didn’t know what they were doing in the perfect sense of their forgotten world. But if I went up to them they would remember the agreement we made. They bound their followers to me, in the truth that they didn’t remember knowing that I’d find a way to give it all back to them, and I’d find the people who took our memories. In the middle of my thoughts there was a simple command, say I do, Pretty boy!
“I do.” slid out of my mouth, with barely a skip in the ceremony but my thoughts continued on in the direction they had been going.
It was reigniting a flame that had been flickering for months. We solidified the lines of our city. At least in the shadows we would remain strong.
“I pronounce you married.” Vin stumbled over the latter part and Alex snickered as he pulled me in close and kissed me hard.
He muttered when we lingered in close, “Even in our ceremony you go off into thoughts. It’s a good thing you take cues well.”
“I said I do.” I said.
Alex laughed and pulled away, “Barely. You didn’t hear a word Vin said.”
“Did I need to?”
Alex sighed, “No love you didn’t.”
We slipped off to sign all the papers Dorian and Vin had for us. We were officially and on paper one big happy family!