A/N: Time for some time-jumping. Well folks: this is the end. Ghost Town is officially done. In the nearish future I should have my new story started: In The Making. Our heroine is going to be quite polar opposite to Yulia, which you might find interesting. Another romantic piece, of course. It IS me, after all.
"How are you feeling today, pet?" Vitus asked, curling, pinning, and spraying her hair into perfect spirals down her back.
"Nervous." She huffed, her fingers trembling against the white material of her skirt.
"Everything is going to be fine." He smiled, brushing his fingers affectionately against her cheek.
"I know, but I can't help it." Yulia felt that the term butterflies in your stomach was hugely understated. She didn't have butterflies; if anything they were hummingbirds. Her knees felt weak, and her stomach was clenching against the nervous swarm inside.
We've been waiting for this for six years. Don't be so silly. This is what is supposed to happen.
"I know that, Bero. But it doesn't help. I'm still a goddamn wreck. Oh, is the camera still on?" She flushed.
"Yep. And now you get to look like a sailor bride for everyone in the world." Vitus grinned, and laughed at her groan. "You're stunning. Stop worrying." He whispered in her ear.
Yulia looked at herself in the massive vanity she sat in front of, and had to admit that she had never looked so fine in her life. Her hair was in the process of being pinned up on her head in a simple but elegant up-do, her skin was flawless, her bird-like eyes delicately and sophisticatedly made up. At Kerberos's insistence she had an attractive headpiece of two spaced jewelled bands sitting across her dark hair, and matching earrings dangling halfway down her neck. She had to admit he had excellent taste in jewellery; much better than her own. Looking down at the ring on her left hand on her ring finger, she smiled, like she always did when she looked at it. It was a beautiful ring, not too big, not too small; just perfect.
Of course, Mason had pointed out a much bigger ring at first, which she immediately blanched at. The thought of walking around wearing something so expensive all day, every day, just waiting for disaster to strike (knowing her luck) was a little foreboding, so she attempted to talk him down to a much smaller, and cheaper ring. He had grumbled in the store saying he wanted an opinion from both of them, knowing that Kerberos had much more extravagant taste (and was far more bull headed about it) than she did. This ring was a compromise three ways: Mason wanted some large eight thousand dollar atrocity for them, while Yulia was looking at the ones closer to one thousand, and Kerberos was inching towards the five thousand section. It was delicately beautiful with a thin white gold band and a solitary princess cut diamond that glittered handsomely in the lighting of the room. This one was agreed upon, and eventually adored by all of them. Anyways, love is a process.
Look at us. Bero was whispering in her ear. We look so good…
We do. She admitted with a little smile.
"Look at you." Vitus mumbled, voicing their thoughts unknowingly, ruffling his short white hair, having cut off his long ponytail just before his twenty-third birthday, two years prior. "My sister's getting married today." He sighed, as if not quite believing it.
"Hey, I was best man at your wedding, so you better be on your A-game for mine." She grinned. That was true; Vitus and Odin didn't have any bridesmaids for obvious reasons, so instead Mason was best man for Odin, while Yulia and Kerberos were best man for Vitus. She still had to wear a dress though, of Vitus's choosing.
"Well, you're done." He said simply. "Stand up so we can have a look at you."
Doing as she was told, Yulia pulled herself up and out of the chair she resided in and turned towards the camera sitting on the shelf nearby. "Here you go." She said with a grin, holding her arms out slightly.
"Look at that dress…" Vitus sighed, looking her up and down appreciatively.
Yulia struck a little pose for the camera, showcasing the ridiculously expensive dress she somehow got talked into buying. Of course, she fell madly in love with it when she saw it, tears prickling one of her eyes, but it was easily three times the cost of a single mortgage payment. Kerberos had been the most pushy about it, seeming to love it as well. It was a satin, mermaid-style Lazaro with light, feminine lacing on the bodice, and on the bottom of the skirt, with a silver satin ribbon tied in a bow on her left side.
"You look like a princess." Sybil grinned, peeking her head into the room suddenly. "But it's almost time. Are you ready?"
"Ready." Yulia nodded.
"Then let's get this show on the road." She grinned.
"Turn the camera off first." She laughed. "I doubt anyone is ever going to watch this footage anyways."
Sitting on the couch silently, watching the screen with a small smile, Yulia took another sip of her hot tea. Ah, their wedding day was a recording she found herself watching yet again. The actual ceremony had been longer than most because of the simple fact that Kerberos and Mason had their service directly after Yulia and Mason did. Yulia and Mason did their kiss and then she switched out, and let her spectre have his special day.
Looking down at her hand Yulia smiled softly upon seeing the three rings there. A simple, jewel-less white gold band behind the engagement ring, and a matching band in front of it. Fifteen years since Devina, and ten years since that day on the dot, she noted, and grinned privately as Kerberos grumbled in her mind,
He had better not forget.
"After last year? I doubt he'll ever do that again."
He deserved everything I gave him, and I think you should have laid it into him a little more, myself.
"Why bother? He already looked ready to defend himself with the skillet as it was, I didn't want to give the poor man a heart attack. Now, that would ruin an anniversary."
It would have been a good escape for him, though.
"True, but I don't know if I could ever look at today romantically again if that were to happen." She laughed. Picking herself up and turning the player off, Yulia went into the kitchen and deposited her mug in the dishwasher. Looking up at the sound of a lock clicking, she smiled a little to herself. "Show time."
"In the kitchen." She called out, pulling a couple things out of the oven. It was five forty-five, the same time he got home absolutely every weekday. Mason appeared around the corner and dropped his briefcase in its usual spot in the house; on the floor near the cabinets.
"Hello, sweetheart." He smiled, leaning over and kissing her cheek softly.
"How was your day?"
"Alright." He shrugged, pulling his suit jacket off and placing it over the back of a chair. "Ellen spilled freshly brewed coffee on my pants, but I think I will live."
"Poor baby." She mumbled, looking down at a telltale stain on his grey trousers. "You didn't fire her, did you?"
"For an attempted assassination? No. I just told her she was footing the dry cleaning bill."
"Very reasonable." She nodded.
"So, how are my girls?" He whispered, wrapping his arms around her midriff and nuzzling a spot behind her ear.
"Well, two of us are at a sleepover at Katie's house."
"Hmm. Happy anniversary, you two." He whispered into her ear.
"Happy anniversary, yourself." She grinned.
"I have something for you."
"Gimme." She teased, laughing a little as he swatted at her backside before moving away from her to get to his briefcase. Mason decided, rather out of the blue, when he was about twenty that he was going to go back to school and through that he became a property manager, keeping buildings in the downtown area specifically for downworlders, with a Fae as an assistant, and a Shifter as a receptionist. Having decided that they were more partial to a house with a yard a few years after their marriage, Yulia and Mason decided it was about time to pick up and move out of Manhattan, and took off across the bridge and planted themselves in Brooklyn, which was about three times the size of their previous city, and almost two times the population. Vitus and Odin found their home in Queens, where Vitus worked in a salon, and Odin worked as a social worker, dealing primarily in the juvenile detention system. She only had one niece, a nine year old named Evelyn (or Evie, as she was affectionately dubbed), but she had the sinking feeling that more were on the way.
Mason slipped back around her waist and slid a familiar piece of metal into her view. Her scythe. Questioningly, she looked over her shoulder at him.
"The mechanism has been broken for way too long. I got Charles to fix it, and upgrade it."
"Upgrade it how?"
"See this?" He ran a finger over five little gems embedded in the metal chine. From top to bottom they sat as: emerald, yellow topaz, ruby, and two diamonds. She recognized them immediately; they were all birthstones. She touched the emerald curiously. "Bero doesn't actually have a birth month, so I just chose the month he became cognizant in."
It was Kerberos, Mason, herself, and their identical twin daughters, Lu Sun, and Cheng Li. It was obvious by the third year of marriage that she was barren, and would never be able to conceive, so they eventually went to Odin, who put in an excellent word for them. She had been devastated at first when she learned from a fertility specialist that she was unable to ever have a child of her own, and it had caused more than one explosive fight between Mason and herself, pushing a pretty substantial rift between them. But slowly they started exploring other options with trepidation.
She couldn't imagine two better little children; she didn't sleep for nearly two years in the beginning, they got into everything, broke more than their fair share of expensive pieces of technology, and discovered how delightful it was to flush watches, wallets, keys, phones, and toys down the toilet. She loved it, even when she felt like she was going to pull her hair out. Now at the slightly more coherent age of six, her girls were in school, and had light up sneakers, and Disney princess backpacks with matching lunchboxes. Mason claimed it was his lot in life to be loved by many dark haired beauties.
"I love it." She whispered, looking down at it.
"I'm glad. Now you can have us all on the battlefield."
Yulia realized quickly as she set her feet into the real world that there wasn't much she could do with no high school diploma in the human world, and there wasn't much she couldn't do in the downworlders court with her reputation. Guarding paranoid downworlders was a rather lucrative business. Business slowed down once she had her twins though. She was too busy to sit by someone's bedside and wait for attacks that likely wouldn't come.
"What do you think, Bero?"
"Oh, I love it, baby." He grinned, appearing suddenly, and turning around in his arms, planting a kiss on his lips. "And I always liked emeralds. Good choice."
"Oh, I'm sure you had a headdress made entirely out of them in some past life." Mason sighed.
"Something to keep in mind for our next anniversary. I would hate to tell you that you've been outdone." He grinned. He laughed as Mason swatted his backside. "Dinner's almost ready."
"What are we having?"
"Steak--yours only warmed up slightly--and asparagus." He responded as Mason put the scythe down and pressed him into the kitchen counter. "Don't make that face; I'm not going to force-feed you the vegetables. We gave up on that battle years ago."
"Let's skip dinner."
"After I made it?" Bero pouted.
"We can have it later." He promised, kissing him softly on the neck, one hand wrapped in Bero's stylishly short layered hair. Humming in his throat as a familiar scent washed over them both, Bero wrapped his arms around Mason's waist.
"You have your work cut out for you tonight." He warned him.
"Oh?" Mason lifted his head and frowned. "Is this going to be very complicated? There had better be diagrams."
"No diagrams. Just instructions given by your lovers."
"Can't we just do it missionary the first time?"
"The first time each you mean? No. It is not a lazy sex day. We'll save that for Thursday."
"Well, now that the schedule has been made…" He sighed, trailing off.
"Baby, I want you to love me." He whispered in his ear.
"I do love you." He smiled, kissing the tip of his nose.
"Good." Bero whispered, leaning in. "Then…"
"…prove it." Yulia hummed against his lips.
"Even if it takes all night." He assured them both.
"See that it does."
They needed some fluff. Review?