Kelvin stared, hoping his jaw was not on the floor and that he kept some semblance of calmness as he watched the axis of his life glide down the aisle. She walked, hand in hand, with her best friend, their steps perfectly matched as always.
Dozens of chandeliers sparkled above them and the aisle was lined with flowers that had hidden reflective crystals amongst their petals and the warmth of flickering candles added to the ambiance. The room erupted into applause, drowning the sound of the piano, harp and violin that was supposed to accompany the women.
The bride wore a mermaid dress that seems to cascade from her in layers of white fabric carefully stitched and placed so that it seemed to swirl from her sweetheart neckline. Thousands of red ruby crystals were stitched into intricate patterns, sparse at the bodice and gradually concentrating as the dress tumbled into a long train that followed her. Her hair was curled and decorated by a few of the same crystals. On one ear, she wore an intricate ear cuff made of gold and white diamonds in the shape of an outstretched wing and a just a simple gold thread earring for the other ear. Gold intertwining rubies and diamonds decorated her neck and igniting the color of red lips and illuminating the smile she wore as she looked at Vienna. No bouquet in her hand, gave a sense of freedom as the only thing that anyone needed to focus on was the beautiful path the women lead each other down.
Vienna reflected Camille's smile with one of her own. Her own dress was a warm flesh-color, covering her from neck to feet but leaving nothing about her slender figure to the imagination. Fabric and yellow crystals melted into each other starting at the bodice of the dress and concentrating as it pooled around her when she walked. Her long hair was pulled into messy curls, tendrils held by the familiar red crystals. She wore gold thread earrings that matched the bride's and with each step, the slit of her dress revealed the only piece of jewelry she wore. A gold and diamond band on her thigh.
Kelvin wanted to freeze this moment and keep it forever and he reminded himself to ask around for the pictures later.
The women came to the end of the aisle, where Evan awaited his bride, wearing the same expression that Kelvin had. Vienna nodded at Evan and hugged Camille before offering the hand she held to Evan. With a lingering but happy glance to each other, Camille placed her hand in Evan's and turned to the front of the ballroom to take their vows. Darren approached Vienna from Evan's right and put a hand on Vienna's back as she walked to her place to the side. In his tuxedo that matched the groom's, Darren looked like he could be a groom himself especially since Vienna's dress also made her look like a bride. Kelvin kept his hands in his pocket, ignoring the urge to go retrieve his girlfriend and return her to his side.
The personalized vows were exchanged to a touched audience, and Kelvin could only focus on Vienna. Her eyes glimmered with moisture, but the tears never fell as she watched with a smile. A few times, Darren leaned down to whisper something in her ear, but she dismissed him without a glance. Only once did her eyes lift from the couple and meet his in the crowd. She winked at him and made him want to find out if the wine red on her lips would budge if he kissed her.
Kelvin remained patient through it all as the ceremony came to a close half an hour later and rings were exchanged and cheers erupted. As petals fell from the ceiling and the couple walked hand in hand back up the aisle and out of sight to change for the reception. As workers cleared the tables to get ready for the reception and as Darren brushed a petal from Vienna's hair as she walked out of the room, taking the crook of his arm, to get changed herself. Kelvin remained patient. Until he wasn't.
Kelvin weaved through the crowd, balancing a flute of champagne effortlessly as he went through one of the side doors and slipped out in the empty hallway. Only his dress shoes announced him as he went past several doors, including one that belonged to the bride and groom, before coming to a stop at the end of the hall before a dark wood door like all the others. He rapped on it with his knuckles twice and then turned the knob, pushing the wood away just enough for him to slip inside. A gasp filled his ears as he pressed his back against the door, an arm behind him clicking the lock into place.
Kelvin blinked and grinned as he took in the vision in front of him. Vienna was even more breathtaking up close, her eyes more heavily lined than usual and gold glitter scattered light on her lids and cheeks.
She had removed her heels because she stood in her five-foot-nothing glory, looking up at him with surprise written all over her tiny features. "Gorgeous," he managed.
"Thank you," she answered, recovering from her shock and swiping the wine flute from him and taking a sip of it, leaving no mark on the rim where her lips had been. When she emptied it, she dropped it on the plush carpet, the sound nothing but a muffled clang. "Not too bad yourself," she said, straightening his jacket with delicate touches while balancing on tippy toes.
"You aren't going to ask me why I snuck in here?" He chuckled, reaching out and pulling a tendril of her dark hair out of place without thinking.
She shook her head. Instead, she tipped her head back, clutching the collar of his sapphire blue blazer and tugged, catching his lips with hers. It was his turn to be surprised but he caught on fast and put an arm around her waist, lifting her up slightly so that he could deepen their kiss. He didn't know how long they stood there connected like that, but all too soon, she pulled away and dangled her feet so he placed her back on them. Instead of disconnecting them altogether, she still had her palms on his chest.
"I am very happy, Kelvin," she said, her eyes moist even though her smile was joyous. "My best friend looked amazing and happy next to the man who adores her. Sapphire is doing better than ever." She paused and blinked as if she was trying to keep the tears from spilling. Instinctually, Kelvin reached out and swiped his thumbs across her cheek, helping her distract herself from crying.
"I'm glad you're happy, love. This wedding is beautiful," he whispered, leaning down so his nose was inches from hers.
"And I'm happy because after this long journey, I'm standing with everyone I love. Including you," she whispered back, grazing the tip of her nose with his with a giggle.
When the words washed over Kelvin, he lifted her by her waist and swung her around, forcing her to cling onto his shoulders for leverage. She laughed as he put her back down but held her to him like she was the most precious thing in the world. He leaned down, kissing the top of her head, smelling the faint scent of flowers and perfume.
"I will make sure that you will only become happier from here," he declared.
She slid her hands down the front of his jacket, her eyes wistful. "And also make sure my groom wears Sapphire blue as he waits for me through it all," she informed with a wink and a laugh when she saw the impact of her words on him.
And that's when Kelvin was reminded that angels existed in the form of a 5-foot-nothing woman who came into his life in a white pantsuit.
"He waited for you for far too long, love," he affirmed, with a kiss to her lips.
Author's Note: Thank you for taking this journey with me, especially if you've made it this far. I haven't written due to many things for the last ten years even though I loved to as a teenager. This is my first endeavor since then and it was admittedly weird at first to have to put your thought on paper not for an assignment or for work projects. Unfortunate Circumstances wasn't perfect but I'm proud because it got me through that initial hump to do what I once loved again. Thanks for the reviews, especially. They were always encouraging and were a happy surprise in my inbox. See y'all later!