He meets me in the middle of the aisle, not waiting for me to get to him. Clearly he’s as ready for this as I am. A few people cheer as he picks me up so I’m taller than he is now. Everyone is watching us from under the one tent they managed to get up. The wind wasn’t helping them any with the next.
“Knew the rain wasn’t going to stop you.” He smiles up at me. That smile still makes my heart flutter every time.
“Little mud never hurt anyone.” I lean down, cupping his face and kissing him. More cheers ring out. Most of the town is here. I pull my mouth from his, looking over to where everyone is standing.
“Come give me away, Dad!” I shout. Drake puts me back down on my feet as both of my parents come over to us, smiling as big as I am. “Go.” I shoo Drake to get back up where Judy, Ma’s best friend, is waiting for us so she can do the ceremony. I knew she wouldn’t mind the rain either. Bacon follows Drake, sitting next to him as Dad and Ma walk me down the aisle, handing me over to Drake.
“Knew this day would come,” Dad says to Drake before pulling him in for a hug. “I don’t have to tell you to be good to my little girl. I know you will.”
My eyes water watching them, knowing what this means to Drake. Loving that not only has my dad given him those words, but my soon-to-be husband holds them close to his soul. My parents mean as much to him as they do to me.
They step back as Judy starts the vows. I only hear half of what she’s saying. Between the rain and the look Drake is giving me I can’t focus on much. It isn’t until Drake is kissing me again do I know I’m married.
Everyone hoots and hollers for us again, making me laugh as Drake picks me up.
“Forget the tent!” I point to the barn. “After party is there. We’ll see you all in an hour!” I shout as loud as I can, making everyone cheer louder than before.
Drake doesn’t need to be told to get moving. I don’t know where we’re going but I can’t wait another second to be alone with my husband after Ma held me hostage last night. Okay, maybe not held me hostage, but she wouldn’t let me go back to the place Drake and I have been staying while we look for a place to live. Something that has been harder than I thought. It’s over thirty minutes from here but nothing is coming up for sale.
“Where we going?” I ask as he puts me into his truck and hops into the driver’s seat. Not taking the main road but cutting right across the field. “We going to make out like teenagers in a truck on prom night?”
“What do you know about prom night?” Drake’s head turns my way, the smile dropping from his face. I roll my eyes. “Fine.” I roll my eyes ‘cause he’s right. I know nothing about prom night. “Okay, like we did the other night after we left family dinner?”
“Don’t wear dresses that short,” he fires back, his eyes going back to the road he’s now making through the field.
“The dress wasn’t that short. I-” I stop talking when we get to the top of the hill we’ve been climbing. Seeing where we’re headed. For the first time in my life I stay quiet. I just let my eyes take in everything in front of me.
“Drake.” My voice trembles. I know that house. I know that house because it’s the house I described when Drake asked me what I dreamed of having. I told him, even knowing that no such house existed around here, because I had dreamed it up in my head when I was a little girl. There it is, though. A dream no more.
“I hope I got it right,” I hear him say, but I’m so shocked I can’t respond. When he pulls me from the truck I kiss him all over his face. Anywhere and everywhere I can get my mouth on him.
“You built it for me?” My bottom lip trembles now.
“I’d build anything for you. You should know that by now.” The next thing I know my back hits a bed. He must have moved us inside when we were kissing. He starts pulling at my wedding dress. Maybe I should help him but I only watch as he strips me down. Then he does the same to himself.
“I do. I really do know that.” I pull him down to me, kissing him deeply. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have found him or well, maybe he found me, but he is the other half of my soul. The reason I chased the big city. It wasn’t the city I was looking for. It was him.