It's almost time.
"Did you talk to Mikey?" He asked turning to her.
Monica nodded, "He and Alicia are on the way over."
Gerard smiled, "Good. Ray and I can use his help. Shit, I didn't realize just how much stuff I have down here. We're gonna put some of it in the dark room for right now. It will give us more room."
Monica nodded. "Good idea. Uh, there is a slight problem."
"Problem?' Gerard repeated, "What problem?"
Monica took a deep breath, "We don't have a wedding cake."
Gerard stared at her.
"We had a wedding cake." Monica explained quickly, "But when they were carrying it in from the van it dropped."
"They dropped our cake?" Gerard's voice rose.
Monica placed her hand on his arm to calm him. "Frank tripped one of the women. It's not their fault."
"Fuck." Gerard uttered. "What are we supposed to do?"
"Well they are going to see if they can get one at a local bakery. It won't be what we ordered but it's better than no cake."
"But ours was just what we wanted." Gerard frowned.
Monica looked over at Ray for help.
"Hey, Man. It's just a cake right?"
Gerard looked at him. "But we picked out the colors to match the dresses and everything." He knew he sounded ridiculous but he just wanted this wedding to be perfect for Monica.
"Ray's right." Monica said giving him a hug. "It's just a cake."
Gerard nodded realizing they were right. "Right. No big deal"
They all jumped when they heard a loud crash from upstairs. "What the fuck?" Gerard ran for the stairs followed by Ray and Monica.
"What the hell?" Gerard’s voice filled the stunned room. His eyes caught sight of the overturned china cabinet.
Kara, who was on the ground by the piece looked up, "Shit, I'm sorry. My bad. I decided that if I moved this piece there would be more room for chairs. I should have waited until Bob was here to help me but I thought I could just slide it. Must have got caught on the rug."
Gerard moved swiftly towards her stepping over broken china now littering the floor. The door on the cabinet had opened when it hit the floor.
"What's going on?" Monica, Kelly, Elle, Alicia and Christa arrived in the room. They had been upstairs where Monica had been showing them her dress.
"I'm really sorry." Kara said again as Gerard towered over her.
"Are you okay?" He squatted down near her.
"Yeah, I'm just sorry for breaking all the dishes." Kara answered.
"Who cares about the dishes?" Gerard said putting out his hand to help her up. "You could have really hurt yourself."
Kara blinked. "Uh, I'm fine." She was surprised by his attitude. "Uh, you do realize those were the antique dishes you were supposed to use for the wedding, right?"
Gerard nodded, "Yeah, it's okay. Just so you didn't get hurt."
Kara smiled at him as he helped her up. "I'm not hurt but I'm sorry. Now what are we going to use as dishes?"
One of the caterers, who had arrived on the scene, spoke, "We usually bring dishes but since you said you were using your own we didn't."
Monica sighed, "We'll just use our everyday dishes. But even then I'm not sure we'll have enough."
Bob and Mikey, who had just returned from the corner store where Bob had picked up cigarettes, entered the room. "What's going on?" Bob asked.
Gerard quickly explained that there had been an accident. Mikey spoke.
"Hey, I'll call Ma and have her bring some dishes."
"Good idea." Gerard said. He was surprised to see that there were so many surprised faces staring at him. "What?"
"Nothing." Monica said moving across the room to him. "You're taking this well."
Gerard laughed, "Oh, you all thought I'd freak. Nope, nothings gonna ruin this day. Hell we'll eat off paper plates if we have to."
Monica hugged him tightly.
Kara who was standing next to Gerard joked, "Sure you don't want to smack me on the back of the head for breaking all your stuff?"
Gerard just laughed, "Nope"
It was an hour before the wedding. The dish mess had been cleaned up. The chairs were in place and the downstairs area decorated. A cake had been found from a local bakery. The colors were wrong but no one minded. Don and Donna had arrived with their dishes to add to Monica and Gerard’s.
"Time to get ready." Alicia said to Monica.
Monica took a final look around the living room. Suddenly she was nervous. "Oh shit." She whispered.
"What?" Alicia asked
Monica sighed, "I'm just suddenly so scared."
Alicia laughed, "Yep, same thing happened to me. I was so in love with Mikey it hurt but that didn’t' stop me from being scared."
"I love Gee with all my heart." Monica said, "But was it wrong to rush like this?”
"Oh, I knew this would happen." Alicia said taking her arm and leading her to a chair, "Monica, it's normal to feel this way."
"I've been married before." Monica reminded her. "I don't remember feeling like this."
"You were awful young." Alicia reminded her. "And considering all that you and Gerard have been through..."
Monica nodded, "Yeah, that's true."
Alicia stood and pulled her to her feet, "Come on. You get one final time to see him before the ceremony."
She led Monica out onto the deck where Gerard, Mikey and Bob were standing under the awning. Gerard was smoking and looking out across the yard towards the gazebo.
"Hey" He said gently to Monica as he gave the cigarette butt a toss then turned to take her in his arms. "How's it going?"
"Fine." Monica whispered against his chest.
"Uh, we'll be inside." Bob said. He and Mikey retreated quickly into the house.
"You got ten minutes." Alicia said taking charge. “Then Monica disappears upstairs until it’s time for the ceremony." She walked into the house.
"I don't like the idea of you disappearing for any amount of time." Gerard said gently stroking Monica's hair.
"Gee, I'm scared." Monica whispered.
He stepped back and lifted her face. "Do you love me?"
"With all my heart." She answered.
"And I love you with all my heart." He told her. "When I first saw you there was something about you that touched my heart. Yeah, I was suspicious of you but fuck, I was attracted to you."
"I thought you were so damn handsome but so damn annoying." Monica admitted. "Remember before Thanksgiving when we were getting the linens for your Mom?"
Gerard thought a moment, "From the cedar chest?"
Monica nodded, "You tried to convince me you weren’t a good person and I remember thinking, ‘he's so wrong. He's so special.’ I realized how easy it would be to fall in love with you."
"But you tried not to." He said gently.
"And it was impossible." She answered. "Gee, I'm just scared because I feel so happy."
He pulled her to him in a tight hug, "I know. Me, too."
They held each other tightly.
"I'm glad you’re not upset by all the things that have happened today." Monica said.
Gerard laughed, "Oh you mean the cake and the dishes? I realized I was trying for perfect and I didn't need to. As long as I have you and the girls, my life is perfect."
Monica hugged him tighter.
"Okay, you two. Time to break it up. Come on Monica." Alicia said from the doorway.
They broke apart. "See you soon." Gerard whispered.
"I love you." Monica said taking a step back.
"I love you." He answered.
Monica turned when she got to the door but he was once again looking across the yard towards the gazebo seemingly lost in thought.
Gerard was still staring at the gazebo when Bert walked out onto the deck. "Shitty that it's raining."
Gerard turned to him, "Yeah, it sucks." He grinned getting a good look at Bert in his new suit, "Wow you look pretty."
Bert frowned, "Shut up. I wanted to look good for Monica's wedding."
Gerard laughed, "Oh Monica's wedding? Not mine?"
"No, not yours." Bert answered. He took a spot on the railing and lit a cigarette. "So how are you doing?"
"I'm doing fucking great." Gerard answered.
Bert looked at him closely trying to see the truth; "You were staring pretty intently at that gazebo when I came out."
"I was just lost in thought." Gerard answered. He lit another cigarette and felt his hands shake slightly.
"Thinking about the day you talked to Livie out there?" Bert asked.
Gerard turned to look at him, "What?"
"You heard me." Bert answered in a low voice.
Gerard thought a moment before answering, "No, actually I wasn't. I was thinking about Monica."
Bert saw the truth in his eyes, "Good" He said with a nod. "That's how it should be."
Authors Note: Hey guys just a few chapters more till the end. I have worked on this for about 18 months and I want the end to be perfect. So I'm taking a bit of time off. New chapter on Monday. Love you all. - SanDee XOXO