Gerard and Holly make wedding plans.
But now the house was quiet, the room was warmed by the fire Gerard had just stoked and the Christmas tree lights burned bright.
“Come here, woman.” Gerard said pulling Holly into his arms. “I’ve waited all day for this.”
Holly snuggled into his arms. “Really?” She teased feeling her heart began to beat faster. “Why?”
Gerard nuzzled her neck. “I think you know why.”
“Oh.” Holly moaned softly. “I see.”
Gerard knew he had to go slow or their plan to wait to make love until she was his wife would fly out the window. Still he couldn’t stop himself from pulling away slightly to kiss a trail down her neck. As his lips lowered over the soft material of her pajama top he heard her moan again. That sound was music to his ears. When his lips found themselves hovering over her right breast his tongue darted out to dampen the barrier between it and her nipple. Again Holly moaned causing his teeth to clamp down gently through the material. The sensation was so exquisite that Holly’s breath caught on a moan and her back arched, pushing her breast against him.
It wasn’t enough. She burrowed her fingers through his hair dragging his skull to push him harder against her, but that wasn’t enough. She wanted him with sudden, fierce, desperation. The layer of cloth that kept him from her drove her mad and she squirmed against him, low whispers coming from her throat. “Please.” She begged, “Gee..”
He lifted his head, his eyes savage. His blood was thundering in his veins, and he was breathing hard. “Do you want more?”
She squirmed against him again, her hands clutching desperately. “Yes.”
Very gently he pushed her back down onto the sofa. Following her body down with his own.
“Kiss me.” Holly whispered.
“I’ll kiss you all over.” He ground out as his fingers fumbled with the buttons of her top. It seemed like it took an eternity until the material was parted revealing her breasts to his hungry eyes.
“Oh, Holly.” He moaned as his lips slowly moved to encircle her nipple.
“Gee.” Her body was on fire.
Slowly his tongue swirled around the hardened nipple. Holly’s arms came up to hold him tightly in place. She’d never been able to forget this feeling, this feeling of being loved. His mouth continued to make love to her as his hand gently caressed her other breast.
Suddenly a sound caused Holly’s eyes to fly open.
Gerard uttered a curse and sat back.
Quickly Holly pulled her pajama top together then sat up. Thankfully as they both glanced down the hallway they saw only darkness. The sound had come from the girl’s bedroom.
Holly took a deep breath then spoke. “Ten to one they are out of bed and playing with the dollhouse.”
“Damn it, should have listened to you.” He muttered. Holly had been against the idea of moving the dollhouse into their bedroom tonight. Now he understood why.
Holly quickly redid her buttons. “Uh, maybe we should check on them?”
“I got this.” He said standing slowly allowing his body to cool down. “Wait right here.”
She smiled into his eyes. “I’m not going anywhere.”
He kissed her passionately then forced himself to move down the hallway.
When he returned fifteen minutes later he saw Holly was still seated on the sofa. “Was I right?”
He laughed, “Yeah, they were out of bed and playing with the dollhouse. Told them if they did that again we’d move it out of the room.”
“Gee, you can’t blame them. They love that house.”
He sat back down beside her. “Yeah, I know. I’m not really mad at them but their timing was a bit frustrating.”
“So anyway.” He said smiling.
“Where were we?” Holly guessed. Much to her surprise he shook his head.
“Oh Sugar, I know where we were. I was to the point of pulling off those pants of yours and letting my tongue make love to you.” He whispered roughly. When he saw Holly blush he laughed, “But that’s not gonna happen.”
“It isn’t?” Her voice shook.
“Not now.” He resolved to be strong. “We have plans to make.”
She took a deep, calming breath. “Right. Plans to make.”
Gerard reached for her hand causing her to turn and face him. “But just know this, woman. I want to make love to you so badly it hurts.”
Holly nodded, “Yep, know the feeling.”
He kissed her quickly then sat back. “Okay, so first off about tomorrow.”
She forced her mind to work. “Tomorrow.” She repeated.
“We drop off the girls at Mikey then get ourselves a marriage license.”
Holly’s eyes grew wide. “Oh.”
Immediately his heart dropped, “I’m rushing, ain’t I?”
She smiled slowly. “No, that’s not it. Gee, for the first time in my life I’m following my heart and that heart wants nothing more than to be your wife. But I’m pretty sure we can’t do that tomorrow. Government offices are closed because of Christmas.”
“But that’s today.” He said not understanding.
“And they are taking off tomorrow because Christmas fell on a Sunday.”
“Well, shit.” He frowned. “That sucks.”
Holly laughed, “Well we think so but the people who get the day off don’t think so.”
He sat thinking a minute. “Okay, so that puts off getting the license until Tuesday. That’s okay. We’ll take care of other stuff tomorrow.”
Holly was feeling so ridiculously happy she nodded. “Okay, what stuff?”
“Well first off.” He said slowly. “We need to decide what day we want to get married.” He gave her hand a tight squeeze. “I’d like to do it before ma and dad leave town.”
“Oh.” Holly nodded slowly. “That does make sense.”
Suddenly he looked deeply into her eyes. “Holly, I need to be sure this is really what you want.”
She understood his question. “You mean because of how quickly my feeling seemed to have changed?”
“Gee, my feeling really didn’t change. I’ve loved you for so long but what changed is the fact that I finally allowed myself to admit it.” She looked down. “I was afraid, I’m still afraid.”
Gently his hand reached up to cup her chin forcing her to look into his eyes. “Why are you afraid?”
She sighed, “Because I’m so damn happy. I’m afraid that something will happen to take this away from me.”
“Nothing is going to happen.” He promised from the bottom of his heart. “Nothing. We’re meant to be together.” He wanted to put her mind at ease. “See while this is all new to you, it’s not for me.”
She gave him a confused look.
“Holly, I’ve been waiting for you just like I promised. When you were in Chicago I’d sit here in this house and let myself dream of what it could be like. Us, living here as a family. When depression would start to rear its ugly head and I’d crave a drink I’d walk outside to the garage. I’d stand there and picture how I’d set it up for you as a studio.” His voice was deep with emotion. “I’d see you sitting at the workbench cutting stained glass.”
“Oh Gee.” Her eyes grew misty.
“Then I’d come back in and instead of silence I’d hear the laughter of Molly’s voice. I’d imagine you were in the kitchen making our dinner.” He paused, “Holly, this is all I’ve dreamed of for a long time. This house becoming our home. You, coming back to me… “ For a moment he couldn’t go on but he needed to say these words. “I want more than anything to be the man you deserve. I want to make you happy. That means more to me than anything else. But I’m still afraid too.”
She reached out to gently caress his cheek. “Afraid?”
“Holly we can’t kid ourselves. I fucked up in the past. I hurt you and for that I’ll always carry guilt.” He saw her shake her head but he continued. “Christmas eve when you left I was sure you’d never come back to me. I really thought everything I’d dreamed was gone. But now, here we are making plans and…hell, I’m scared I’ll fuck something up again.”
Her smile was pure and from the heart. “Not, gonna happen.”
He wanted to believe her. “You sure?”
“Do you love me?” She whispered.
“Oh hell, yes.”
“And I love you. We’ll make this work. No matter what comes our way, we’ll make it work.”
Again their lips met for a long, passionate kiss. This time however Holly pulled away. “I think New Years Eve.”
Her kiss left him overwhelmed, “What?”
“I think it would be nice to get married on New Years Eve. That way we can start out 2012 as husband and wife.” She whispered.
His mind cleared and a smile appeared on his face. “Yeah that would be nice. And ma and dad ain’t leaving until after the New Year.”
She nodded, “Yep. So they’ll be here.” She ran her fingertip over his lips. “And when I say here, I mean here. I want to get married right here in our home.”
“You do?” His heart filled with happiness.
“Yep. Right here with our Christmas Tree still standing. Right here, surrounded by our friends and family.”
“Oh Holly.” He pulled her to him. “Yeah, that’s what I want to.”
Again their lips met only to be abruptly parted when the sound of tiny footsteps made their way down the hall.
“What’s up Squirt?” Gerard said turning to see a sleepy Molly appear.
“I need Bobo.” It was obvious by her voice she was still half asleep.
Gerard stood, spotted the bear over by the tree, grabbed it then headed towards his daughter. He scooped her up into his arms. “Okay, got Bobo. Now lets get you two into bed.”
Molly tightened her arms around his neck. “Okay, Daddy.” She whispered.
Holly watched them with love in her eyes. All her dreams were coming true.
This time when he returned to the living room he saw Holly walking out of the kitchen carrying two mugs. “Microwaved us some cocoa.”
He grinned taking one of the mugs from her as they walked to the sofa. “She fell right back asleep.”
Holly nodded. “Yeah, I figured she would.” Once they were seated she spoke again. “Now, who’s gonna marry us?”
“I got this one.” He said happily. “James Dewees is in town. You remember him, right?”
“Of course. He married Mikey and Alicia.”
“Yep and I’m hoping he’ll marry us too if you’re okay with that.”
Holly took a sip of her cocoa. “That would be nice, I like James but he might be busy.”
Gerard was once more making plans in his head. “Knowing James he’ll get unbusy for us. I figure if we get married early in the afternoon that won’t mess up anyone’s New Year’s Eve plans.” He grinned, “Yep, that’s perfect. We get married, everyone stays a bit then leaves.”
Holly giggled, “Leaves? You mean we’ll be all alone?”
“Yeah, Sugar. We’ll be all alone on our wedding night. You know Molly will be welcome at Mikey’s.”
“Suppose that’s true.” She felt her body beginning to tingle at the thought of their wedding night.
“Now about the guest list.”
Holly spoke up quickly. “I’d like to ask Bob and Angie. They probably won’t be able to come on such short notice but…”
Gerard nodded. “But you hope he can and I understand that completely. I want Bryar here too.”
This surprised Holly. “You do?”
Gerard grinned, “Okay you don’t know it but Bob’s actually sorta been encouraging me along.”
He was right she was surprised, “Really?”
“Yeah. Last conversation we had he pretty much came right out and asked me if I loved you and if so what I planned on doing about it.”
Holly smiled, “That sounds like Bob.” Suddenly she frowned, “The last conversation I had with him wasn’t so good.”
Gerard understood. “I know, he told me. But it’s good you finally remembered.”
She nodded, “Yeah, it is.”
He took the mug from her hand and set it on the coffee table. “Why don’t you call him right now?”
“Oh, but it’s late.”
“It’s still Christmas.” Gerard said glancing at the clock.
“Not in Chicago.” Holly laughed.
Gerard’s voice was full of emotion. “I really think you should. Wake his butt and tell him our news.”
Holly debated in her head a moment then got up to grab her cell phone. A very groggy sounding Bob answered on the fifth ring.
“Holly, what’s wrong?”
Holly laughed, “That’s a weird greeting.”
Bob sat up in bed his movement causing Angie to roll over and open her eyes. “Are you okay?”
“Bob.” Holly said softly. “I’m sorry to wake you but something has happened and I wanted you to know.”
He gripped the phone tightly. “What?”
Holly reached over for Gerard’s hand. “I’m getting married on New Years Eve.”
“Holy shit.” Bob said causing Angie to sit up. “Are you serious?”
“Very serious.” Holly answered. “And very, very happy.”
“Well I’ll be damned.” Bob muttered. “Way got his wish.”
“Who said I was marrying, Gerard?”
“What?” Bob yelled into the phone.
“Calm down.” Holly laughed. “Of course I’m marrying Gerard.”
“You can be an evil woman.” Bob said shaking his head.
“Sorry. Just wanted to make sure you were awake.”
“Sure as hell am now.” He repeated the news to Angie.
“Congrats.” Angie yelled out.
“Tell her thank you.” Holly said.
Bob was still trying to clear his mind. “Uh this is kinda sudden.”
Holly sighed, “Not really. I’ve loved the jackass for a long time.”
Gerard leaned over and kissed her cheek.
“Yeah, you have.” Bob muttered.
“Let me talk to him.” Gerard said pulling the phone from Holly’s ear.
“We are really hoping you and Angie can make it here for the wedding.”
Bob rubbed his eyes. “Oh.”
Gerard saw Holly smiling at him. “Yeah, we really are. If you guys can make it I’d like to fly you out and put you up in a hotel, my treat.”
“That ain’t necessary.”
“Yeah, it is.” Gerard said softly. “I know I owe you a lot. Let me do this.”
Angie who had flipped on the bedside lamp was watching him. “Well, we were supposed to go to a party.”
“I’d rather go to a wedding.” Angie smiled.
Gerard had heard her. “I’m looking forward to meeting Angie.”
Bob smiled, “We’ll work on getting a flight in the morning.”
“Great.” Gerard nodded, “Give me a call and we’ll figure it all out.” He paused then added, “Really man, I know I owe you. Thanks.”
“Just take good care of her, Way.” Bob said softly. “That’s all I ask.”
Holly talked to Bob for a few more minutes then they said their goodbyes.
“Okay, so who else?” Gerard asked.
She set her phone down then lifted her mug again to take a sip. “Gee, I really just want a small wedding.”
“Me too.” He nodded. “I doubt Frank and Jamia will be able to come but we’ll ask them. Of course Ray and Christa.”
“Of course.” Holly nodded.
“How about Arthur?”
“I’d like to ask him, for sure.” Holly smiled.
Gerard took a sip of his cocoa then asked, “What about Richard?”
“Oh, I don’t know.” Holly said slowly.
“Cause he’s gonna be upset you’re marrying me?”
Holly looked down into her cup. “Uh, well…”
Gerard sighed, “Holly I know they guy likes you.” Suddenly a thought forced its way into his brain. “And I know you went out with him a couple of times…”
“And I kissed him a couple of times.” Holly whispered not wanting to have any secrets from Gerard.
That news hurt. “I see.” He said slowly.
Holly forced herself to look into his eyes. “I did but the last time we were together Richard pretty much told me he knew my heart still belonged to you.”
A slow smile came to his face. “He did?”
She nodded. “And he told me to follow my heart and not let fear stop me.”
“I’m liking the guy a lot more now.” Gerard laughed.
Holly decided to change the subject. “I’d like to ask Lindsey and Jake.” She watched his face closely to see his reaction.
“Yeah.” He nodded, “Me too.”
Holly spoke softly. “Gee, I know you’ll always have a place in your heart that belongs to her. I understand that.”
He nodded, “I know you do.”
Holly brightened. “Oh and we should get Molly and B matching bridesmaid dresses.”
Gerard laughed, “Yeah, sure.” A moment later he grew serious. “B is lucky she’s getting a step-mom who loves her so much.”
“Olly does love her.” Holly smiled mimicking the way Bandit said her name. “Very much.”
“Okay.” He said getting back to the wedding plans. “I’d like to invite Sally.”
Holly nodded, “Yep, of course.”
“She helped me a lot while I was waiting for you.”
Hearing him say again that he’d been waiting for her filled her heart with even more love. “I’m glad she did.”
“She is really the only one I opened up to. I could talk to her about how I was feeling and she’d listen. That night I showed up at your art exhibit?”
“I really wasn’t planning on coming. I mean B was still sick and all but Sally just showed up and told me to go because she knew how much I wanted to be there. She knew how much I loved you.”
Holly reached out to stroke his cheek. “Who else do you want to invite?”
He thought a minute. “I do have some other close friends but really I just want to keep this small and private. Besides…” He glanced around. “We don’t have a lot of room.”
She’d given this some thought. “Well I thought we will get married here then move everyone downstairs and have our reception in the funky room.”
Gerard laughed, “Yeah, the funky room. That’s perfect.” He thought a minute. “We can have some food and of course cake.”
“We can let the girls make decorations.”
He loved the way she always included the girls. “Yeah, that would be perfect.”
They both set their mugs down on the table and once more Gerard took Holly into his arms. “I think we’ve planned enough for tonight.”
“Yep.” Holly smiled leaning into him.
Suddenly he released her and stood. “Okay I’m gonna check the girls once more and grab our pillow and blanket.”
“We’re sleeping here?”
“You know it.” He grinned. “Be right back.”
By the time he returned Holly had taken their mugs to the kitchen. Gerard stoked the fire once more than moved to the sofa. Once Holly was lying beside him he pulled the blanket over their bodies.
“This is nice.” Holly sighed snuggling up next to him.
“Nice but awful tempting.” He whispered as his hand snaked under her pajama top to cup her breast. As his thumb gently flicked over her nipple she sighed.
“Gotta get something special to wear for our wedding night.”
That thought caused Gerard to moan. “Yeah, you should.”
He wondered why her voice suddenly sounded strange. “Yeah?”
“Uh.” Holly paused, “I’m just a bit worried see you haven’t really seen my body for a long time.”
The memory of her bare breasts he’d seen earlier flashed in his mind causing his body to react. “Holly, your body is beautiful to me. I thought that since the first time I saw it.”
“It was a lot different then.”
He remembered how self conscious she’d been. “Beautiful.” He repeated.
“But now it’s got some ugly scars.” She whispered. “Especially my back from the surgeries.”
He’d never even given that a thought. “Oh.” He said slowly as he pulled the blanket down. She shifted slightly as he pulled her top up. By the light of the fire and the tree he saw them. Memories of her attack, the fear he’d felt left him speechless.
“See?” Her voice was shaky. “And that’s not all of them.”
Pure love made him lower his head and kiss the largest scar. “You are beautiful.” He whispered. When he pulled her top back down then covered their bodies with the blanket he spoke again. “I love you, Holly.”
A smiled covered her face as her tired eyes fluttered shut. “I love you too, Gee.”
Gerard awoke to the sound of laughter. He opened his eyes and saw Holly had turned in his arms and was facing him. Her huge eyes were open.
“Good morning.” She said softly.
“Good morning to you. Uh, I hear our girls are awake.”
Holly nodded, “Yep, I’m sure they are playing with the doll house. I better get to making breakfast.”
His arms tightened around her. “No, you better get to giving me a good morning kiss.”
Their lips met.
“Mommy.” Molly’s voice broke them apart.
“Yes?” Holly said rolling over to look at her daughter.
“We want to go outside and play in the snow now.”
Holly laughed, “I’m sure you do but we guys need to eat breakfast.”
Holly looked at Gerard.
He smiled, “We’ll since we can’t get a license today there is no big hurry. We can take the girls outside after breakfast for a little while.”
“You know we could just spend the day here.” Holly said slowly. “I know Bandit goes home tomorrow so why not just hang here? There really isn’t anything we can do today.”
He nodded slowly. “Yeah, we can call and invite people but I do like the idea of just hanging out here today with the girls.”
Molly tilted her head. “Who’s coming?”
Holly handled the question quickly. “No one today. Just us. We’ll play out in the snow, how’s that sound?” She didn’t want to mention the wedding yet encase something happened and they couldn’t marry on New Years Eve like they hoped.
Gerard saw the look she was giving him and understood but as far as he was concerned nothing was going to keep him from making Holly his wife. “Okay, why don’t you and B get dressed?” He said to his daughter. “I’ll help your mom get breakfast.”
“Pancakes?” Molly asked hopefully.
Slowly Holly sat up. “Sounds good to me.”
When Molly ran back down the hall she turned to Gerard. “I just don’t want her to get all excited about the wedding until we’re sure, you know?”
“Hey, it’s gonna happen.” He answered sitting up as she stood.
“Well then you better call James.” Holly smiled, “Cause he’s a pretty big part, you know.”
Gerard glanced at the clock. “I’ll call him right now.”
The girls were sitting at the table when Gerard returned from his study. He saw Holly placing the last pancake on the plate in the kitchen. Moving towards her he lowered his voice. “Talked to James and it’s all set.”
The smile Holly gave him warmed his heart. “And have we set a time?”
“I told him I thought about noon. Sound good?”
Even though this was all happening so quickly Holly nodded, “Noon sounds good. Now we just have to tell everyone.”
“I’m glad we’re staying here today.” Gerard said softly reaching out to caress her cheek. “Spending time with my family is all I want.”
“Me too.” She whispered. “But I think before we tell the girls you need to talk to Lindsey. What if they have plans?”
He stood back frowning. “Hey, I’m sure she wouldn’t keep Bandit from being here for my wedding.”
“I just want to make sure before we tell the girls.”
He nodded, “Yeah, you’re right.”
“I’m always right.” Holly kidded.
“I’ll go give her a call now. You and the girls start without me.”
When he returned to the table a few minutes later he was all smiles. Looking into Holly’s eyes he said, “Uh, so I talked to Linds and she and Jake will definitely be here.”
Molly was confused. “But B isn’t going home today.”
“Not today.” Gerard said slowly. “Jake and Lindsey are going to be here on Saturday.”
“So B is gonna be back then?”
Gerard made sure Bandit was listening. “Yep, B is gonna be here to see her daddy marry Holly.”
For a moment the room was silent as his words sunk in. Finally Molly turned to her mother. “You and Daddy are getting married on Saturday?”
Holly smiled, “Well we did say it would be soon.”
Gerard was still watching Bandit. “Honey, I’m going to marry Holly. She’ll be your step-mom.”
Bandit nodded, she understood her mother had gotten married again. “Olly be step-mommy.”
Holly got out of her seat to knell by Bandit’s chair. “I love your daddy very much and want to make him happy. I love you very much too.”
Bandit smiled, “Bandit loves Olly.”
Gerard felt his heart ready to burst with happiness. This is everything he’d hoped for. “Okay girls. Let’s finish breakfast so we can get out in that snow.”
His words were met with much joy. As Holly took her seat again he smiled looking deeply into her eyes. The love he saw there took his breath away.
The bright sunlight made the snow almost blinding but the girls didn’t seem to notice. The only thing they did notice was that the beloved snow was melting.
“Pretty sure it will be completely gone by tomorrow.” Gerard whispered to Holly.
She squeezed his glove covered hand. “Yep, but that’s okay. As soon as the ground dries out the girls can drive their cars.”
He grinned, “They don’t even know about them yet. That will be a good surprise, won’t it?”
“Yeah, they will love them.” Holly answered as she watched the girls making snowballs. She shifted her weight slightly trying to ease the pain in her back. Gerard noticed immediately.
“Okay, woman. You’ve been out in the cold long enough.”
Holly frowned, “I’m okay.”
He shook his head. “Watch the girls for a minute, I’ll be right back.” With that he crossed the yard and went inside through he patio door. When he returned he saw Holly was in the middle of a snowball fight with the girls.
“Okay girls. I’m taking mom in now so she can warm up. You guys get some snowballs ready and I’ll be right back.”
“Gee, really I’m fine.” Holly said softly a smile still on her face having just heard Gerard refer to her as “mom” to the girls.
He ignored her protests to take her hand and lead her towards the house. Once there he bent down and removed her shoes. “Okay, got a nice fire going upstairs. You’re gonna sit in front of it and warm up. I know your back is hurting.”
“Just a little.” Holly sighed.
He nodded, “Come on.” Taking her hand he led her upstairs then towards the fireplace. Holly sat down so that her back could absorb the heat.
“This is nice.” She said softly. “Thanks.”
He squatted down in front of her. “I like taking care of you.” He said looking into her eyes. “Now the girls and I will stay outside for a bit longer and when we come in I’m gonna make lunch.”
“I can do that.” Holly said quickly.
He laughed, “Nope, that’s my job today. You just sit here, okay?”
“Okay, sir.” Holly nodded with a giggle. “I’ll do as you command.”
He’s eyebrow rose. “Oh, I like the sound of that, woman.”
She reached out to stoke his cheek, “Sure, you do.”
“Need anything else before I go back outside?”
Holly nodded, “Yeah, a kiss.”
He was more than happy to honor her request. When the kiss finally ended he stood. “Oh, want your phone?” She had mentioned earlier she wanted to call Adam.
He retrieved her cell, handed it to her, gave her one more kiss then headed back down the stairs. All the way he was smiling.