10:00 a.m. – continued
Sylvie smiled. “Alex and Daniel officially got together on Christmas, so they decided to run with that theme. They wanted everyone in green and they’re wearing red ties and all the flowers are red.”
“No wonder it looks so much like Christmas,” Jenna said from where she sat, not too far from them, her legs neatly folded and her eyes wandering around the garden.
Sylvie nodded and reached out to squeeze Cooper’s shoulder. “I’ll see you later. The ceremony will be starting in a few minutes.”
She hurried off and quickly re-entered the hotel to join her son and Alex. They were standing and talking together, just waiting for Daniel’s mother to return. Sylvie had the wedding rings, one of the rings being her late husband’s ring, which Daniel would be slipping onto Alex’s finger. Since the ring was very dear to her and she had almost been reluctant to give it to her son, she had been determined to hold onto it for as long as possible. Now, she stuck her hand into the little square purse that matched her dress and fingered the ring box.
“Do you have it?” Daniel asked softly, knowing his mother’s hesitation well. He would never have asked for it, but, when he had been young, his father had told Daniel and Stacie that he would pass his heirloom wedding ring to whichever one of them married first. Sylvie knew she had to honor her late husband’s wish, but it was difficult. “It’s okay, Mom, if you really don’t want to pass it to me. Really.”
Sylvie shook her head as tears filled her eyes. She brought out the box and opened it up. “Take care of it, okay?” she said, her voice cracking.
“Of course,” Daniel whispered, his own eyes shimmering. “Thanks, Mom.”
“Your father would have wanted this, too. He made a promise to you kids. I have to fulfill that now.”
Sylvie lifted the ring to her lips and pressed a last kiss to it before replacing it in the box and handing it to her son. After giving both men a quick hug, she hurried from the hotel and made her way down to the garden.
The ceremony passed quickly, Daniel and Alex having wanted it to be quick so they could enjoy as much of a marriage as they could. Before they knew it, they were enjoying some appetizers and were being congratulated.
Daniel linked his arm with Alex’s and grinned broadly. “It’s been a long time coming, hasn’t it, old boy?”
Alex laughed and leaned down slightly to kiss his husband. “Yeah. It has. I’m glad we were finally given this opportunity, but it’s terrible that today was the only day we could get married and it also happens to be the last day of life. Surprise, surprise.”
Stacie was shaking her head as she approached the two men, having overheard their conversation, a drink in hand. “That’s life for you. But, hey, at least you two got to be married.”
“Aw, I’m sorry, Stace,” Alex said, wrapping an arm around his sister-in-law. “I heard about your break-up.”
Stacie leaned against her brother-in-law slightly for just a moment. She played with her straw, knocking the ice cubes together to make them clink in the glass, as she straightened and took a step back to examine the newlyweds. She shrugged and took a quick sip. “He was a rotten guy, anyways.”
“I thought you loved him,” Daniel said, scratching his head. “Didn’t you say he was your soul mate?”
Stacie growled at her little brother. “I don’t want to talk about it,” she muttered before storming off.
“Now what did you say to your sister?” Sylvie asked, floating over to them. Daniel was still amazed at how his mother always materialized whenever something was up between her kids.
“Nothing, Mom,” he said, his eyes wide and innocent. “Honest. I just think she’s still hung up on her ex.”
Sylvie shook her head. “Today may be your wedding day, Danny, but please be nice to your sister.”
Daniel’s mother walked off to join her own sister, shaking her head as she went. He and Alex shrugged at each other and then joined some college friends to celebrate.