"Aunty Hannah! Aunty Hannah!" A small child barrelled into the tiny room, wobbling on her unsteady feet, "Did you see the cake?"
"Yes Nadia, I did, but we have to wait until after the ceremony to eat some okay?" Hannah crouched down beside the four-year-old and brushed her long curls away from her angelic face.
"What's cer-mony?" Nadia asked innocently.
"Junior," Lucy appeared from the next room, "You know what it means, you tell me."
"You an' Daddy gettin' married!" The small child cried jubilantly.
"Exactly," Lucy bent to pick up her daughter.
Today was marvelous in more ways than the simple ease with which her child fit into her arms. Four years had whizzed by so quickly, and yet crawled so slowly through the transistions of motherhood. Destry had been by her side through it all; the endless crying and midnight feedings, the looks of scorn and praise alike. Nadia had grown into a beautiful child, bright and cheerful as well as caring and loving. She still remained 'Junior' fondly to her parents though; the embodiment of hope and love, forgiveness and courage. And now, finally after four years, Lucy and Destry would begin their married union.
"Are you ready, Sis?" Hannah asked.
"Yeah, I just need to be zipped up," Lucy replied. She brushed a kiss to the part of her daughter's hair and placed her back on the floor.
Hannah stood and hurried to zip her sister's long gown up.
"Go tell Daddy that Mommy's ready, Sweety," She told Nadia. The girl responded immedietly, dashing back out as quickly as her shiny black Mary Janes could carry her.
Destry stood nervously at the alter, shifting back and forth on his feet. A vague voice buried deeply in his mind nagged that his toes were aching, and he should have tried on the shoes before he rushed to buy them. He brushed the stupid voice away and concentrated on the doorway. The music had started up, and his bride would be coming soon.
His daughter was first down the aisle. She walked purposefully down the carpeted pathway with her basket of flowers. She stared with large, wide eyes at the crowd and sent a grin at her favorite babysitter, Angela. Then her eyes focused ahead of her and her smile widened, revealing all of her teeth.
"Daddy!" She yelled happily. She tossed the flower basket aside and broke into a run, straight into Destry's arms. He picked her up and wrapped her in a large bear hug as the small crowd before them laughed.
"Alright, Sweety, you need to get down now," He whispered in her ear.
"Don't wanna," The girl protested, sticking her lower lip out in a pout that usually always convinced her father to give her what she wanted.
"You have to. Go stand on the other side, okay? I won't be far away. I'm staying right here. I'll even share a few danced with you at the party tonight."
"No," She wailed and buried her face into her father's neck. He shrugged and gave up without a fight, choosing to keep holding tight to his gorgeous girl.Hannah had almost reached him now, looking beautiful as a bridesmaid.
Then the real chords started up and Destry was struck breathless and teary-eyed as Lucy made her way down the too-long aisle. It seemed like ages before she finally reached him. It took every bit of his will to keep himself from reaching out and kissing her, but he managed to hold back.
Lucy simply stroked her daughter's hair fondly and turned to search for her mom in the pews. She found her sitting beside Destry's mother, dressed in her favorite special-occasion outfit.
I love you, Mrs. O'Neil mouthed to her daughter with a small wave.
I love you too, Lucy mouthed back, and then took Destry's free hand and turned to face the minister.
"Dearly bloved, we are gathered here today..."
A/N: Well, that's it folks. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate all the reading and praising and helpful things you said. I've been thinking there could maybe be a sequal for this story, but I'm not sure yet. I'd need a plot and an interested fanbase, so let me know! And again, thanks so much for reading it to the end! I love you all!