It was a day for families to join together.
All right, he’d admit it. It wasn’t just Anna who’d wanted this kind of wedding. He had wanted it as well. In some way he’d wanted this all his life.
As Anna said the words that made her his wife her voice was sweet and true. He barely remembered repeating the words himself, but he must have done so since before he knew it the priest was speaking in accented English, declaring them husband and wife, and he was kissing the bride. Over the sound of the crashing surf he heard their family and friends behind them burst into applause, and a noisy cheer from Cooper. But as he kissed her, holding her tightly in his arms, all he could feel was the pounding of his heart against hers.
She pulled back, caressing his face as she grinned up at him through tears. “See?” she whispered. “Wasn’t that better than having Elvis marry us?”
Hiding a grin, he looked down at her solemnly. “I’m yours to command now, Mrs. Stavrakis.”
“Mine to command?” She paused, pretending to consider her options, and then leaned forward to whisper in his ear. “In that case, my first order is that you take me to bed.”
“Leaving our guests to start the reception?”
She gave him a wicked smile. “They won’t miss us.”
“They won’t even notice,” he agreed with a grin. He picked her up in his arms and, to the delighted gasps of the crowd, he turned to carry her back to his villa.
“Ah, Anna. I can tell I’m going to have a hard life with you,” he observed with a sigh, and he kissed her with all his heart.