READ A/N BEFORE ANYTHING. IT’S LENGTHY, BUT IT’S INFORMATIVE.
A/N: Well, this is it. Chapter 80. Next will be the epilogue, and I’m not really sure if I want this to end. *sigh* It’s like Jack and Cass are just getting started, but I’ve already dwelled on FF for far too long, and it’s time to close this book and open up a new one.
Thank you to everyone who has ever read this (and commented). I may not know everyone personally, but know that I am eternally grateful for your support. I love all of you.
It’s not really goodbye, more of a “see you later” since I will be back in 2 weeks or shorter with “My Kind Of Perfect”. I love all of you and thank you so much.
P.S. I would like to extend a huge thank you to Dani (-sincerelyjuliette) for being awesome and for being my “beta” for FF. And thank you for the song “Endlessly” by The Cab (and for all the others as well). I never would have discovered Jack and Cass’ theme song if it wasn’t for you. :)
P.P.S. Please, PLEASE tell me what you liked, disliked, and what you’re going to miss about FF. It’ll help me when I write MKOP.
P.P.P.S. I just recently discovered “For The First Time” by The Script and it reminds me of Finn and Rosaline. So, that’s my inspirational song for MKOP for now. :))
P.P.P.P.S. Thank you to Dana (untill-my-last-breath) for keeping me up at ungodly hours and just iMessaging me as I write chapters. :D
December 8, 2014
“Christian, I think I’m suffocating. I’m having trouble breathing.” I gasped raggedly as I stood in front of the full-length mirror in my old room at the Harries residence.
My brother shot me a worried glance as he walked towards me and wrapped a gentle hand around my arm, just above my elbow. “Breathe, Cass. It’s just the nerves. Do you want some water?”
“Do you want me to piss myself as I walk down the aisle? No!” I exhaled roughly and started fanning myself with my right hand as I looked at Christian through his reflection in the mirror. “I’m really sorry, Christian. I didn’t mean to snap at you. I’d like some water, please.”
“I’ll be right back. Just stand there and don’t run your hand over your face. You’re going to regret it if you do. Should I tie your hands just to be sure?”
I sent him a disbelieving look. “Who are you? Christian Grey?”
Christian chuckled and shook his head before walking out of the room. I, however, started wringing my hands together to keep myself from touching my face and smearing my make-up. I didn’t want the people to go running for the hills when I walk down the aisle looking like the bride of Frankenstein more than anything, though I think Jack would get a huge kick from it.
“Cassandra?” Jack’s oh-so-familiar voice drifted over to me through the closed door, making me turn towards it and practically press myself against the barrier. Damn the person who said that it was bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony, and damn me for fearing that little superstition.
“Yes, Jack?” I asked, my voice barely a whisper as my hands pressed palm-flat against the smooth, cold wood that kept me from my husband-to-be.
“Are you alright?”
I nodded and almost face-palmed when I remembered that he couldn’t see me. “I’m alright; peachy. What about you?”
“I’m a nervous wreck, to be honest.” He confessed softly.
I chewed the inside of my bottom lip and blew a sigh from my lips. “You’re not the one who was to walk down the aisle.”
“What if I faint when I see you?”
I giggled at that. “Am I so ugly that I can make you faint? You wound me, Jackson.”
“Ugly? More like so beautiful that you can make me faint. I just… what if I stumble through my vows? What if I forget my vows?”
“Then go impromptu with them. I won’t judge you. If you forget, you can just recite them to me when we’re on the plane to our honeymoon destination,” I paused to let my words sink in before continuing, “Where are we going, anyway?”
“It’s a secret until we get there,” He answered with a chuckle. Then, the doorknob turned and I almost pushed the door closed when I saw his hand snaking in through the small gap. “Don’t close the door on my hand. Please.”
I sighed and reached out to hold his hand that was closed into a fist. Then, he opened it and nestled in his palm was a pair of very beautiful earrings. “Are these for me?”
“Unless you want me to wear them.”
I laughed my eyes at his smart-ass remark before taking the jewelry from him. I was supposed to wear a different pair, but screw that. “They’re beautiful. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. I figured you could use ‘something new’. Do you already have ‘something old’?”
“These are new?” I asked, quite taken aback that Jack bought me a very expensive-looking pair of earrings without my knowledge. “That’s why you were doing loads of overtime. Oh, Jack, I would hug you if I could.”
“Just hold my hand and tell me that you love me. That’s more than enough right now. I just need you right now. Tell me that everything’s going to be alright. I’m very nervous and just… I need you to comfort me.”
Tears pricked my eyes at that. I wanted to bawl like a baby, I really did, but I subdued my tears to something more feminine and graceful— something that wouldn’t ruin my make-up… much; silent tears. I clasped the earrings in my left hand and held Jack’s hand with my right one. “I love you, Jack, so very much. Everything’s going to be alright, baby. I promise you.”
I brought Jack’s hand up to my lips and pressed a kiss to the back of it, leaving a red imprint of my lips on the creamy skin.
I heard a choked sob from the other side of the door and wanted to just throw the door open and kiss Jack senseless, and when I did try to open it, it wouldn’t budge. He must have been holding the doorknob from his side. “I love you, Jack.”
“I love you, too, baby. Do you remember when you left for Bristol and wrote on my mirror?” He laughed and it was thick with tears. I hummed a silent ‘yes’ and waited for him to continue. “I was so pissed at you back then; both for leaving me and making a mess on my mirror, but I left your kiss mark at the corner. It’s what kept me sane through all those weeks without you. It was a constant reminder that I still had you— a part of you that still loved me.”
“I never stopped loving you, Jack. I was young and so self-righteous back then… I’m sorry that I hurt you.”
“But you came back to me. That’s all that matters. You came back to me and now we’re getting married in half an hour.”
I nodded and let a quiet sob escape my lips. “I never stopped loving you, and I don’t have any intention to stop. Not ever.”
“Good, because I don’t have any intention to stop either. You’re my world now, Cassandra, and it’ll stay that way until we have kids… then all of you will be my world.”
I wiped one of the tears that rolled down my left cheek and clutched Jack’s hand tighter in mine, not wanting to let go.
“It’s time to go, Jack.” Finn’s voice rang out from the other side of the door and broke the pensive yet comfortable silence that hung between Jack and I.
“Can you at least give her a hug for me, Finn?”
There was shuffling on the other side and Jack’s grip on my hand slackened before slowly, reluctantly, letting go. Then, the door opened a tad wider than the measly crack earlier, and Finn slipped into the room.
He stood frozen in front of me for a few seconds and I was afraid that he would go running for the hills, screaming all the way. “Your wait will be worth it, mate. You look beautiful, Cass.”
“Thank you.” I mumbled thickly before opening my arms and engulfing him in a hug.
Finn raised his hands to cup my face and wiped the tear tracks from my cheeks with the pads of his thumbs before pressing a kiss to my forehead. “You’ve always been a part of this family, but welcome to the family, Cass— officially.”
“Thanks, Finn. Oh God. I better touch-up before Christian sees what I’ve done to my make-up. He doesn’t like my make-up artist much… all because she didn’t allow him to come in while I was getting dressed,” I narrated with a soft chuckle, tightening my hug and releasing him. “Give Jack a hug for me, okay?”
Finn nodded with a small smile on his face before exiting the room and closing the door behind him. I heard shuffling as well as a quiet thump on the other side which meant either Finn just thumped Jack’s shoulder or they hugged and patted each other on the back. The thought brought a smile to my face and I walked to my vanity before trying to lessen the damage before Christian returned and unleashed my make-up artist on me again. God knows that he disliked her and that she was busy with the bridesmaids…
The car pulled up in front of the church and I felt like fainting now. My dress felt tight around my chest and my veil was like a plastic bag over my head that was slowly suffocating me. I gripped Christian’s arm just as he was about to exit the car and he looked at me with concern etched on his face.
“Don’t worry. I’m walking down the aisle with you. I’ve got you.” He comforted me, patting my hand on his arm and giving me a reassuring smile.
We’d opted for him to walk me down the aisle instead of our parents because I didn’t see the sense of my parents giving me away when Christian was there and cared more for me than our parents themselves. My parents had no qualms, so it was all good.
“Thank you, Christian. You really are the best big brother that a girl could ever ask for.” I wrapped my arms around him and he hugged me back, cradling me by the back of my head and pulling me agains his chest, being very careful with the elaborate bun that the stylist had put my hair in.
“I may not say it often, but I really love you, Cass. You’ll always be my baby sister, and Andrei will always be the little brother who’s a constant pain in the arse.”
We both laughed at that.
Before I knew it, I was already walking down the aisle. People looked… no, stared is the more appropriate term. They stared at me, but for once, I didn’t mind the stares. I knew that it was mine and Jack’s special day and I was really prepared for this.
I plastered a wide smile on my face for everyone to see, and the smile was instantly reduced to a softer one as soon as my gaze connected with a pair of familiar green eyes. I blinked once and silently cursed myself for letting a tear fall. Flashbulbs erupted at that and I had to giggle when I saw the multitude of cameras by the front pews. Youtubers.
I gave them a little wave and all of them grinned— Zoe, Alfie, Caspar, Marcus, Sam, Louis, and a few others that I didn’t really know by name but knew by face. There was no doubt now that my wedding will be all over YouTube in a few days.
Christian discreetly handed me a tissue and I used it to wipe the tear tracks that made my face feel very sticky. Then, I looked back at my Jack. He looked breathtakingly handsome just standing there with his eyes looking directly at me, a small smile plastered to his face. On the outside he looked calm and collected, but his eyes said a different thing— he was happy; very happy… and also very nervous.
“I love you.” He mouthed at me, making me blush and mouth the words back at him as my brother and I walked up to him. He met us halfway and offered his hand out, and with a brief second’s hesitation, Christian put my hand in Jack’s. He then tucked my veil upward and planted a chaste kiss on my cheek.
“I love you, Cass.”
“I love you, too, Christian.”
Christian turned to Jack and fixed him a pleading look that made my heart clench. “Take care of her, okay?”
“I promise.” Jack answered seriously and they shook hands before nodding at each other.
My brother then walked to his designated seat and Jack laced our fingers together before leading me up to the altar.
Everything was such a blur to me that I could only comprehend the feeling that this was right and the feel of Jack’s hand still clasped tightly in mine, running his thumb over the back of my hand every few minutes or so. And then, it was time for the vows…
Jack took hold of my hand and positioned the ring just at the tip of my ring finger. Then, he looked up at me and I almost melted under his intense gaze. “I’m not really good with verbal expression. You know that, baby,” I nodded as a small smile tugged at the corners of my lips. “so I made you a video…”
Finn stepped down from the altar and grabbed Jack’s Macbook from Alfie and raced up the steps before handing Jack the laptop. He then attached a line to it and I looked up to see that he had hooked it to a projector. Jack cradled the laptop in one arm as he held the ring close to my finger with Finn holding the mic up for his twin.
Finn pressed the spacebar and the video started to play. Tears sprung up in my eyes as a picture popped up in the montage. It was a picture of when we went to Maui a year and a half ago. I was wearing a bikini and Jack was wearing nothing but board shorts. It was one of the more intimate pictures that we had taken— our faces pressed close to each other’s that our noses were touching, smiles on our faces with our eyes closed.
“We necessarily didn’t start things like this… our relationship was rough at first, you irked me to no end— made me want to pull all my hair out and punch something—”
Another picture appeared and it was a picture of me with my hair up in a bun, wearing a jumper as I looked at something out of frame. It was taken when I’d first moved in with the Harries’, and it was taken from Jack’s window. “But something changed. I always knew that you were beautiful, but when I got a good look…”
Another picture flashed on the screen. It was the 31st picture that Jack had given me all those years ago during our first month anniversary. “When I got a good look, I just started feeling these very weird feelings, you know? I’d get butterflies in my stomach and I’d just get nervous around you. I tried to disguise my feelings with anger. We usually bickered, and I must admit, I was really jealous when you would even so much as talk to Finn…”
Jack shot me a wide smile and winked at me, making me giggle and shake my head as tears fell from my eyes. “We always bickered, and we still do now, and I don’t doubt that we’ll have a handful of misunderstandings in the future, and I promise you that no matter what happens, we’ll work through them— like we always do. I don’t plan on letting you go; not now, not ever.”
He inclined his head to the screen again and I blushed heavily as a picture of us in bed popped up. No, not like THAT. In the picture, we were snuggled together with my face close to his, a wide grin gracing my lips. Jack was looking at me in the picture, but he was sporting a silly expression on his face. Another picture very similar to the one before it slid into frame and pictures just started being ruffled— like those animation things on paper. The animation depicted Jack leaning away and then leaning forward again to plant a kiss on my lips. I pursed my lips to keep my sobs from escaping, but miserably failed when a small sob made its way past my lips. Jack looked up at me and tucked the ring in his palm before snaking his hand up to my face and wiping my tears away with the backs of his fingers.
After a few more seconds, the montage of pictures ended and was replaced by a video. I remember exactly when Jack took that… that was three weeks ago, and we were walking down the Westminster Bridge by the Houses of Parliament building as he filmed. He was mostly just being a little kid with his new camera and I couldn’t help but go along with his whims of filming on the bridge.
In the video, he took a shot of our hands that were twined together and then up at me, making me laugh and swat the camera from my face. Jack laughed and wrapped an arm around my waist, in the video, and pulled me flush against him before pointing the camera towards us. “Even after all this time… you’re still camera-shy. How many times do I have to tell you that you’re perfect?”
“I’m hardly perfect.” Video-me answered and cupped his cheeks, leaning up a bit and brushing my lips against his. “Je t’aime. (I love you.)”
Video-Jack smiled against my lips and leaned his forehead against mine, his lips just centimeters from mine. I remember feeling my heart beat erratically in my chest as he uttered the words, “Je suis à toi et je vais t’aimer toujours (I am yours and I am going to love you forever). I promise.”
With that, he pressed a sweet kiss to my lips and the screen went black. Finn got the Macbook from Jack and I vaguely noticed the silence in the church as I waited with baited breath for what will happen next. Jack took the mic from Finn and inclined his head downward so that he was looking intently at me. “I am yours— my mind, heart, body, my soul… I belong to you, baby. Je ne peux pas vivre sans toi (I can’t live without you).”
Jack slipped the ring on my finger and I felt a weight get lifted from my shoulders. Things felt more… concrete now. No one can ever take him away from me now. I smiled and fought the urge to kiss him as I got my ring from Rose who was my maid of honor. I then poised the ring at the tip of his ring finger and exhaled a shaky breath as Rose held the mic up for me.
“I just forgot my vows,” I murmured as a round of quiet laughter echoed in the confined space. Jack grinned at me and winked, making me feel a familiar heat nestle itself between my thighs. Of all the times to get aroused… it must be the hormones.
“We’ve had the most unconventional of beginnings, as you’ve said earlier, and if anyone told me two and a half years ago that we would be here, getting married, I would have laughed and told them to piss off… but all of that changed one day. I found myself falling, you know… finally falling for you. I’ve never been in love before, more because I kept my feelings to myself, but things were different with you, Jack. Everything was different with you. You knew the real me, and you accepted who I was. You always seek me out when we fight, and you always know what to say when I’m sad. More importantly, you broke through the emotional walls that I built around myself throughout the years; you made me feel— you always challenge me, you know how to push my buttons, and you know how to make me livid with just one word from your beautiful mouth.”
I paused for a second to regain my composure and continued, “We don’t always see eye to eye on things, especially when you want to watch cartoons on a Saturday morning while I want to watch 90210 reruns, but that’s what makes me love you more. You’re not afraid to provoke me, and you always know how to keep my feet on the ground— you are the most perfect man on the face of the Earth and I am so lucky that you love me. I love you to Neptune and back, and back to Neptune again, and so on… I can never live my life without you… oh, and I’m pregnant.”
His eyes widened and his jaw dropped as he looked at me like a deer caught in headlights. I slipped the ring on his finger and lifted my veil before grabbing him by the shoulders and pressing my lips against his.
Everyone cheered, for the kiss or for the news, I don’t know, all I cared about was Jack and his arms slipping around my waist, pulling me flush against his body as he lifted me off the ground and twirled me around.
“When did you find out? How far along are you? Oh my God. I’m going to be a dad!” He rambled, his words almost meshing together at the speed that he was talking.
I giggled and pressed a chaste kiss to his lips. “I found out last week, and I’m a month along.”
“That’s why there weren’t any tampons in the trash.” He exclaimed.
I laughed and hit his shoulder before leaning my forehead against his. “What do you say, Mr. Harries, time to go?”
“As long as you’re with me, Mrs. Harries, I’ll go anywhere. Je t’aimerai toujours (I will always love you).”
“Toujours. Je promets. (Forever. I promise.)”