Skyla and Jared's flight to Chattanooga is delayed because of bad weather. While they stay in a nearby hotel room, they make a split decision. !!!MUST READ CH. 18!!!
Skyla looked at him. "What?"
"I said, 'Will you marry me?'" Jared repeated. He was grinning now.
"Uhh, umm..." Skyla didn't know what to say. She gaped at him for an answer.
"Maybe this will help you decide?" Jared said as he pulled out a gorgeous diamond ring.
"Oh my God!" Skyla gasped as she glimpsed the ring. She covered her mouth with her right hand as Jared took her left hand in his and asked her for a third time: "Will you marry me?"
"Y-yes!" she stuttered. She hugged him tightly and waited for him to slip the ring on her finger.
"Look - a perfect fit!" Jared chuckled. He kissed her hand and set it back down; he didn't let go of it for the rest of the flight.
When they landed in Atlanta, they took their luggage to a small motel and then Jared treated her to dinner in an equally small restaurant. He turned and looked at Skyla in their small booth. "First time in Atlanta?"
"No. I came here once for a relative's wedding. They divorced about two months later," she told him.
"Why?" Jared was suddenly intrigued.
"The husband was gay and the wife was bisexual; they had an open marriage." Skyla looked at Jared over the rim of her glass of iced tea; she had a smirk on her face.
Jared choked on his water. "What? And you didn't object to the marriage?!"
"No, because I was fifteen and I was the only one who knew they were both gay in the first place, besides their partners," Skyla said as she sipped her tea. "Now they live a few houses away from each other as happily married gay and lesbian couples here in Georgia."
"Are they still civil with each other?" Jared asked her.
"Yep. The ex-husband fathered the ex-wife's daughter and the ex-wife was the surrogate of the ex-husband's daughter. And I'm the godmother of both of them," she said proudly.
"Aw. I bet that made you happy, didn't it?" Jared looked at her lovingly. He was marrying a girl with one hell of a crazy family. And he loved the prospect of it more and more. He leaned in close. "When we leave here, do you want to go and find a justice of the peace and get married now?" he asked her in a low voice.
"Maybe after we check the flight; I have a bad feeling about it," Skyla said. She looked up at the clouds and frowned.
Jared looked up as well; it was a bright, sunny day ten minutes ago, but it had suddenly turned into a dark and cloudy day. "Go back to the motel and wait while I go to the airport and check on the flight," he told Skyla. He walked into the airport and went up to the counter.
"I'm sorry, sir, but all outgoing and incoming flights are cancelled due to inclimate weather," the woman told him.
"Okay, thanks. When will the flights resume?" he asked her.
"As soon as the weather gets better we'll start letting planes leave the runway again," the woman said.
"My destination is just a few hours away; my fiancée and I are just going to drive there," Jared told her. He headed back to the motel.
A sudden bolt of lightning broke across the sky, followed by a huge thunderclap, scaring him enough to make him start jogging back toward the motel. As he opened the doors and walked inside, rain began pouring down. Skyla came toward him as he headed toward the first floor rooms.
"We have to stay here?" she asked him.
"Yeah. That thunder and lightning should be obvious enough reasons," he told her. He sat down on the bed and looked out the window in curiosity, but backed away as the lightning flashed. Skyla sat down beside him and held his hand.
"That's a bad storm out there, isn't it?" she asked him.
"Yeah," Jared said quietly. He held her hand firmly as the storm raged on.
Skyla leaned over and kissed him on the neck. She placed her hand on his jaw and lightly trailed her fingers downward to his stomach. She looked at him with her big, jade-green doe eyes and she kissed him more firmly.
Jared couldn't take it anymore. He rolled over on top of her as he continued the kiss; with her help, he pulled his shirt off and pressed himself against her as they continued on. He pulled Skyla's shirt off, revealing a lacy white bra that itched when it rubbed against him. He shifted himself so that he was looking directly in Skyla's eyes. He put his arms around her.
"Still wanna run away and get married?" he whispered to her. She nodded and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Jared got up and put his shirt back on; Skyla followed suit. She watched as Jared got their bags together and went to hail a cab. Within ten minutes he was back, and he and Skyla carried their bags down the hall to the taxicab. On their way out, Skyla stopped and dropped off their room key with a breathless, "Thanks!" She slid into the taxicab first, quickly followed by Jared.
"Where to, sir?" the driver asked Jared.
"The county courthouse, please," he told him. He wrapped his arm around Skyla's shoulders and pulled her close. "Where would you like to go on the honeymoon?" he whispered in her ear.
"Wherever you want to go," she whispered right back. She trailed her hand up and down his left thigh, making little circles with her nails. When she got to his kneecap she circled it and came back around to the top of his thigh. Jared stopped her short of his zipper.
"Save it for the honeymoon," he hissed in her ear. She smiled at him.
When they arrived at the county courthouse, Jared paid the driver and grabbed his and Skyla's bags.
"Go to that hotel down the street and check us in, please; I'll be there as soon as I can," he told her as he gave her a credit card.
Skyla grabbed her bags and headed to the hotel he had pointed out. She texted him on her way there: "What name should I check in under?"
"Michael and Leah Stellar," he texted back immediately.
Skyla walked into the hotel and was greeted by a friendly receptionist. "May I help you?"
"I need to check in," she said. "I'm checking in my fiancé and I."
"Names?" the receptionist asked her.
"Michael and Leah Stellar," she said flatly.
She was handed a room key and directions to her and Jared's room. She took the elevator up to the sixth floor and began looking for room 627.
"627, 627, 627... Ah! There it is!" she said. She unlocked the door and took her bags inside. She sat on the edge of one of the king-size beds and texted Jared. "Our room number is 627," she said.
Five minutes later Jared knocked on the door. She went and opened it, taking one of his bags as he rushed in, soaking wet.
"It began pouring down rain on me after I went and bought the marriage license!" he said. "I had to hurry and get here before everything got soaked!"
"Yeah," Skyla said. She watched him pull a change of clothes out of his bag and go into the bathroom to change. He came out in pajamas. She decided to go and change into her pajamas as well.
"We can go tomorrow and get married by the justice of the peace; we've been going nonstop today and we need some rest," he told her when she came back out.
They climbed into bed, and instead of sleeping they stayed up talking about small things for a few hours.
"I have a few questions for you," Jared told Skyla. "How did you come to help Shannon?"
"I walked in a Starbucks to buy a Frappucino, and Shannon and Tomo confided in me what happened and I had to keep it secret," she said.
"Okay... what about when y'all came to look for me?" Jared asked her.
"Shannon asked me to, and I wanted to help him and everyone else find you," she told him. She ran her fingers through his hair.
"Well, thanks," he said as he kissed her.
They fell asleep shortly after that; when they woke up, they got dressed and went down to the courthouse.
"How nervous are you?" he asked her.
"Very." Skyla laced her fingers through his and sat down.
Jared walked off and cam back about fifteen minutes later. "I have us some witnesses," he told her. "We're going to need them to sign the marriage license."
Skyla looked over at the two witnesses, a man and a woman. They were standing and talking to each other. Everything suddenly felt surreal and she began feeling uncomfortable.
Soon a secretary called their name and they headed back. Their witnesses followed them and took a seat. Skyla began feeling those butterflies in her stomach again.
The judge looked over the rim of his glasses at the two of them. "And what are you two here for?" he asked them.
"A marriage, Your Honor," Jared said.
The judge looked at Skyla. "Are you eighteen?"
"Y-Yes, sir," she stuttered.
"Okay, then. Let's get down to business," the judge said.
Jared and Skyla looked at him skeptically. They sighed and held each others hands.
The judge pulled out some papers and looked at them both. "Uh, sir-"
"Jared," Jared told him.
"Repeat after me: 'I, Jared, take thee-'"
"Skyla," she said.
"'Take thee, Skyla, to be thy lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, until death do us part.'" The judge waited for him to repeat the lines.
"I, Jared, take thee, Skyla, to be thy lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, until death do us part." Jared smiled at her.
The judge looked at Skyla. "Ma'am, repeat after me. 'I, Skyla, take thee Jared, to have and to hold from this day forward, until death do us part.'"
Skyla sighed. "I, Skyla, take thee Jared, to have and to hold from this day forward, until death do us part." She grinned at Jared.
"Do you have the rings?" the judge asked Jared.
Jared slid the band on Skyla's ring finger. Jared had chose to wear his ring around his neck on a chain.
"I now pronounce you man and wife; you may kiss your bride."
Jared leaned in and kissed Skyla; when he pulled away, he saw a Skyla he hadn't seen before in front of him.
"We need to sign the marriage license now so you two can get going," the judge told them.
Their witnesses, the judge, and Jared and Skyla all signed their names on their marriage license and Jared and Skyla headed back to their hotel shortly after as a happily married couple. When they reached their room he pulled his shirt off and pushed her on the bed.
"No, no... wait until the honeymoon!" she whispered in his ear.
"I don't think I can anymore," he whispered back.