.:The Bride Hunt:.
"MISTER MADISON! WHEN'S THE WEDDING?"
"CAN YOU TELL US HOW YOU TWO MET, SIR?"
"Y'know", he said to her as they leaned back from the balcony railing. They were atop the very balcony at the Madison estate where they'd had their first kiss, and photographers and reporters were clustered everywhere below in the grounds, trying to get a word from the engaged couple.
Their conference was about to start in five minutes, and they knew they should be getting downstairs, where the reporters were thinking they were already. They just happened to sneak up and onto the balcony and eavesdrop on what the heck was happening downstairs.
"I know what?" she asked, smiling back at him as he came forward to wrap his arms around her.
"You're going to have to get used to this", he said, looking down at the horde below. "I mean...you do get to be seen with me so...
She raised an eyebrow, "Oh, really, is that how it is?"
"Yeah", he said grinning, "Pretty much. I mean...you get to be seen with me, be by my side, bask in all my glory...". He gave a low whistle, "My lady, I do believe you've got it made..."
She smacked his arm, rewarding herself with the yelp that he gave out.
"What was that for?" he whined, rubbing his arm with his other hand, "Only engaged and you're already playing the abusive wife?"
She smiled innocently at him, leaning forward to kiss him on the cheek.
"I'm sorry", she said sweetly, batting her eyelashes at him in old-cinema style.
The smirk came right back on his face. The smirk that she totally adored now.
"Oh, by the way", he said, reaching inside his jacket and pulling out a square-shaped piece of paper. "The real thing is at home, but...I made a smaller copy of it...here...'
And he thrusted the paper into her hand, Confused, she looked it over, and in a minute gave a sudden gasp of understanding.
He nodded, grinning. "Yeah. Your birth certificate. I had Thom search all the database records in New York for the past thirty years..."
"But I can't be thirty..." she replied, skimming the document for the date of birth.
17th October...she'd been right about that, at least.
Then she found the year. And doing some mental math, she deduced that...
"That means I'm..."
"Yup", he said, grinning at her, "You're nineteen. You were right all along".
She nodded her head slowly, stunned but so happy. "Wow...", she breathed, unable to get over what he'd done for her. This was literally, putting a piece of her life together. "Dev...thanks..."
"Don't mention it", he said softly, happy to see her happy. "Besides...you can make it up to me...later..." He said, smirking flirtatiously again.
She swatted him on the arm. "You really are insufferable, you know that?" she said, disgusted with the way he switched roles so expertly. "I don't know why I'm marrying you at all!"
He continued smirking, hugging her close from the back as they looked out at the gardens below. "Ah but you see", he said in her ear, "That's purely because you love me too much..."
He expected her to turn around and give him a right good smack again, but he was mistaken. She turned around, and the no-nonsense look on her face got his heart going like it always did.
"Yeah...", she said, leaning in to kiss him quickly on the lips. "That's about right. I do love you too much..."
He encircled his arms around her waist, taking a moment to look at her. "Yeah this is a problem...", he said softly, "Because I couldn't love you enough".
Then he leaned forward to kiss her again.
Just then, fireworks started exploding in the near distance, and the couple broke their embrace just as the doors from the ballroom blasted open, and a herd of family and friends stormed onto the balcony.
They were soon torn apart, having been swept away each by the other's people.
"We were looking all over for you two!"
"You're not trying to have her all to yourself, are you?"
"Some reporters want to ask you a few questions, honey...just a few..."
She laughed gently and answered their questions, relieved they hadn't burst in on them a moment earlier. She was vaguely aware of seeing Bryn watching her from the doors. But he was smiling at her, winking sexily at her once before turning to put his arm around his new girlfriend, Naomi Banks. The two had obviously gotten something going on since the fateful ball, and were pretty much inseparable now.
In fact, Drew thought that she'd never quite seen her old best friend as happy in a relationship as he seemed to be right now with the troublesome, but overall nice and pretty journalist girl.
Meanwhile, Devlin was having a good laugh. He plainly loved just smirking and joking around at Drew's guy friends, agreeing with them when they told him he really was quite lucky.
Then he was missing her already, and he looked up and swept his eyes across the small crowd.
He spotted her instantly, looking absolutely radiant among his ex-girls, all of whom were simply too adoring of him to be jealous of the girl he'd chosen.
Just then, as if some sort of cosmic connection bounded them, she looked up and met his eyes...
And she smiled.
He winked at her, smiling gently at her across the distance, wanting to ditch all these people and just take her away.
But he could wait a little longer.
He'd been waiting all his life already, and now he'd finally found her.
His perfect bride.