The back screen door slammed as Chris and Thomas Proctor walked toward the tasting barn for the winery. The path from the back of the house out to the barn was well worn; Chris noticed how the flowers and trees provided a beautiful way that would be an ideal aisle for Daisy to walk down to get married. His mind was racing, and it was all about the wedding and how he was going to pull this off without her knowing a damn thing about it.
It was almost 7 pm, but there was still sunlight visible, and the reflection off of the lake and the shadow of the barn gave a romantic look. Chris stopped and just admired the view, “This would be the perfect time of day to get married. I never gave much thought to an evening ceremony but this, well this just screams romantic and for me that is what I need to hear to make Daisy happy.”
Thomas chuckled at what he was hearing. Captain America had turned all mushy and gushy and to think it was because of his little girl; something he never imagined saying. “Chris, you know that she doesn’t need you to make such a big deal about all of this, right? Romance to her is the right man in the right place with her friends and family. She just wants to know you are willing to tell her that you love her in front of everyone that is important in her life.”
“I know, but I want this to be something she remembers. She doesn’t want to remember Vegas at all; she completely blocks it out,” he put his hands in his pockets and took a deep breath. “Look, I realize it wasn’t romantic, but I didn’t say ‘I do’ when I was drunk, and you need to know that. I was sober, and I’ll do this sober, too. I meant it then, and I will mean it in two weeks when I say it again.”
“Will you ever show us the video?” Thomas asked.
“Sure, I’ll show it to you. I’ve got it on my phone and can show it to you and Martha right now if you want.”
“When we go back inside I would like to see it. Has Daisy seen it?”
“Yeah and she cried; but then again, she has been very emotional lately. Wow! Don’t let her hear me say that, I think she’d kick my ass. So, you mentioned you had a friend who was an event planner?” He tried to quickly change the subject to keep himself out of trouble.
As the conversation turned, the two of them began to talk about different ideas and how they could pull them off. They wanted to go for something that would be easy to pull together but would be fitting of a fairytale. In Chris’ mind, that is what this was, a fairytale relationship for both of them. It needed the perfect ending
~ * ~
Daisy sat in stunned silence; what her mother had said was bouncing in her head. She suddenly felt sick, this was not good. There was no way she could even wrap her head around the idea of being pregnant. The wave of nausea was starting to hit her, and she took off for the bathroom; practically running over Chris as he walked in the back door.
“Again?” He commented as she ran off down the hall and slammed the door to the small bathroom, “I’m telling you two, I am starting to really worry about her. I wasn’t going to be the overbearing and worrisome husband, but she has me scared.”
Martha stood up and walked over to Chris, placing her hands on his shoulders she looked into his troubled eyes, “She’s going to be okay, I promise. It isn’t serious, and you have my word that I will make sure she gets to the doctor.”
He began to nod, “Thank you, I just don’t want anything to be seriously wrong.”
“Oh, I know, and it is so sweet that you are as concerned as you are,” she turned and looked and Thomas and had a hard time hiding her smile. He picked up immediately on what she was trying to convey; it was apparent that the only one who didn’t get it, was Chris!
A few minutes later, Daisy came out of the bathroom, and Martha handed her a glass of ginger ale and a few crackers, “This should help, dear.”
Daisy glared at her mother; she liked it better when she was blissfully ignorant of what might be wrong. No, the fact that her mom had to lay it out and tell her what was going on, that didn’t sit well. She took the soda and crackers and sat back down at the table; Chris sat beside her and rubbed her back. It was a sweet and straightforward gesture.
“Daisy,” Martha decided to turn the conversation back to wedding planning, “Do you have a dress in mind for the wedding? I mean with so many that come through the store, is there one that has caught your eye?”
“Actually, there is!” Her eyes lit up, and she sat up straight, her entire demeanor changed, “There was a dress that came in last year from Essense of Australia. I fell in love with it, actually took it off the mannequin and tried it on.”
“Guess it comes in handy owning a bridal boutique,” Chris said, leaning over to kiss her temple.
“I refused to put this back out on display. I put it back in the store room and have held it back just in case. I mean, I told Kimberly if anyone asked for the dress specifically we could sell it, but I wasn’t going to just put it out there. I wanted this dress for me.”
“Are you sure it hasn’t been sold,” Chris had no idea what Melody was doing so his question was, in fact, innocent.
“It was there a few weeks ago. When you and I were in the store room, it was there.”
Chris got a twinkle in his eye as he remembered what happened in that store room a few weeks ago. Although he was sure, she would have an alternative explanation if her parent asked.
~ * ~
For the first time in weeks, Daisy was excited to get up and go to work. She had talked to Kimberly to get the details on how the store was performing while she had been out. Sales had been healthy, and traffic had picked up; Daisy was intrigued and hoped that it meant a positive turn. Although, she also knew she had voicemails to return regarding the purchase offer on the store. She needed to make that decision and the possibility that she was going to have a baby led her in the direction of selling. It was something she needed to discuss with Chris.
Chris was already up when she came out of the bathroom to get dressed. She figured he was making coffee and probably reading his emails. And she was right, he was propped up against the counter reading his emails on his phone while the coffee was brewing. As she got closer to him, without looking up he handed her a thermal cup.
“It’s tea, figured it would be better for your stomach than coffee. It has no caffeine, just chamomile.”
She took the cup and just stared at him, “Seriously? Did I hit the husband lottery?”
He put the phone on the counter and held out his hand for her. He took the cup back and then pulled her towards him, wrapping his arms around her waist, “Yes, you most certainly did, and I am so glad you finally figured it out!”
She playfully punched him in the arm, “Oh, stop it. I don’t want to leave you here at the house all day. Maybe I should call in sick.”
“You just told Kimberly you would come in so you can’t call in sick. I promise I will not leave town while you are at work,” he kissed her nose and tried to contain his laughter.
“Okay, well that makes me feel better. I have to go, I need to make a stop before I go to work,” she pulled back from him even though she didn’t want to. “Love you and I will call you later.”
She left the house and got into her new SUV; still angry he bought it, but she had to admit that it was very sweet. She drove a short distance out of town to a superstore where she could purchase a pregnancy test. To be on the safe side, she purchased several. Being outside of town it was a safe bet that she wouldn’t run into any of her friends. This was not something she needed to have circulated through town.
She walked into the store with her bag; wanting to run and take the tests but fearful of what the results might be. Instead, she walked through the store to check inventory and the displays. She then went through the appointment book to see how things looked on the schedule for the day and for the next few days. She was doing all she could to stall. Finally, she couldn’t wait any longer, and she went into the back bathroom and opened the boxes; she purchased four different brands.
All of the said to wait up to five minutes for the results. She peed on the sticks, set them on the counter and then went out to the look for the garment bag for that held ‘the dress’ that she would marry Chris in. She went right to the spot where it had been hanging – it was gone. She rifled through all of the bags for the gowns that had been delivered for brides to come in and pick up – the bag as not there. She was starting to panic. She ran out into the store where her Essense of Australia display was set up and began shuffling through the dresses; Kimberly knew that this dress was held back so she didn’t think she would put it out on the carousel but she was checking just in case. It wasn’t there.
Daisy went back to the store room and began going through the dresses and bags again, surely she had just overlooked the bag. It wasn’t there, and the panic was starting to rise. She suddenly forgot all about the tests in the bathroom and focused solely on the fact that her dream wedding dress was missing. She went through the receipts and documentation for the last week, and her heart stopped; there was a receipt showing a customer came in and purchased Essense of Australia dress Style #D1606.
Daisy fell to the floor and began to cry; not just little tear but a complete breakdown. She was crying so hard that she had trouble catching her breath. She realized she was overreacting, it was only a dress, and she was the owner of a boutique that carried every style you could think of to choose from. She could even call one of the other store owners that she knows to see if they had the dress to get it. But she had the dress, it was in her possession, and now it was gone.
After sitting on the floor for what felt like an eternity, she stood up and wiped her tear stained cheeks and put the receipts back in the file. Now for the test results; she tried to prepare herself for this, knowing that with the emotional breakdown she just went through that there was no doubt what the results would be. She walked into the bathroom, flipping on the light, and walked to the counter. There was no doubt, all four tests showed a positive result and informed her that she was, indeed, pregnant.
Once again, the tears began to flow. She wanted to be excited at the prospect of being a mom and giving Chris the family that he wanted. He was always talking about how he cannot wait to have kids and be a dad. He even said in an interview that he wants to be a hands-on dad and that he wants to be around enough that they won’t have a need for extra help. But she had to admit that this was horrible timing. The media will have a field day with the whirlwind romance; she meets him for the premiere and within a short time she is married and pregnant. This only made her cry harder.
She gathered up the tests and the boxes and put them back in the bag. She tied it up and stuffed it into the bottom drawer of her desk. The drawer locked and she knew that no one else had a key; she didn’t want Kimberly, Melody, or Chris to get into the drawer and find the tests until she was ready to tell anyone about them. No, right now this was going to stay quiet. She figured she would reach out to her doctor in the afternoon and see if she could get in for an appointment. Need to make this official and see if she could do something about the morning sickness to keep Chris from asking more questions.
She went back into the bathroom and tried to wipe her eyes and face in an attempt to keep the puffiness away. She had an hour before the shop opened and she needed to try and look normal. She took a few deep breaths and tried to steady herself; this was going to be a long day and she needed to find a way to get through it. As she was finally getting herself back to balanced, the door to the shop opened, and Melody came bounding in.
“Glad to see you are back! Tell me you said yes and you are going to have a big fabulous wedding!”
Daisy just stared at her, trying to keep her emotions in check, “Hi, Melody. Indeed, I said yes and we’ll get married again, probably in September.”
“Then why do you look like your dog died and you have no friends? Literally, Daisy, you look like you’ve been crying. What’s going on?”
“My dress,” she couldn’t help it, the tears started again, “it’s gone…someone came in and bought it.” She was choking on the tears and throwing herself back into hysterics. She knew it was a combination of the baby news and the dress, but she wasn’t going to tell Melody that.
“Your dress?” Melody acted as if she didn’t understand what Daisy was talking about, “Oh, your dress that you’ve been hiding! Wow! Someone came in and bought it? You have a store full of beautiful dresses, you’re telling me there isn’t another one in this store that strikes your fancy, and you would love to wear?”
Daisy shook her head, and her meltdown started all over again. Melody watched in horror as Daisy struggled to control her tears; she knew the right thing to do was to move toward her and comfort her. But she was frozen in place. Actually, the noble thing to do would be to come clean and tell her best friend that she was playing a horrible joke on her and that the dress was safe. But she wanted to wait until after she talked to Chris and found out the details for the wedding.
“Daisy, if the wedding is in September, you will have new fashions by then, and there might be a dress that knocks your socks off. You have been so hooked on that dress that you haven’t given any other dress a chance. Don’t you think you should at least look and see what else is out there?”
Again, Daisy just shook her head and continued to cry; Melody had never seen her friend like this before. “I’ll be right back,” she finally managed to say as she turned and headed toward the bathroom.
Melody got out her phone and texted Kimberly, “She has realized the dress is missing and has had a complete emotional breakdown. I am starting to feel guilty.”
A few minutes passed and Daisy came back out, she had pulled herself together. “Sorry, Mel, there is just a lot going on, and the dress thing hit me the wrong way this morning. I’ll be okay, and I’ll start going through to find a new design.”
“Are you sure that’s all it is?”
“Yeah, that’s all it is. Look, I want to be mad at you for your part in the charade to get me to Orlando, but I can’t be. I am really happy with Chris and so thankful that we worked it out. So, thanks for playing a part in it.”