Not My Type: Felicity Ch. 05byfirstkiss©
It's a long one! Settle in and enjoy! xo firstkiss
I woke up long before the first ray of sunshine streaked across my bedroom floor. The excitement of this particular Saturday made it impossible to sleep any longer. For a brief moment, I contemplated going over to the shop for a few hours. The hydraulic lift had been acting up again and it needed tinkering. I decided against it though, it had been much too long since I had a day off and I deserved one.
So I got up and threw my robe on. The house was quiet as I made my way to the kitchen. Dad was still in bed and probably would be for hours, which meant I had plenty of time and privacy to get ready. I put the coffee on to perk and made myself some oatmeal. Then I took my breakfast outside to the porch swing and watched the morning bloom.
After the damp weather we'd had all week I was worried it might rain, but the day dawned with sparkling brilliance. There wasn't a single cloud to break up the endless blue of sky. The colour reminded me of Matt's eyes -- deep blue and beautiful.
I daydreamed as I sat and swung, sipping my coffee and picking at my oatmeal. I'd never been to a wedding before, only seen them in movies and on television. I wondered what it would be like in person. I'd never been one of those girls who had their wedding planned since the age of eight. I never bought a bridal magazine, never given any thought at all to my own nuptials. There'd never been much room for girly things in my life. Heck, I'd only worn a dress on a handful of occasions.
And now the most beautiful dress I'd ever seen was hanging in my bedroom. I'd lain awake last night marvelling at how it looked like a silver-blue ghost in the darkness. I could hardly wait to wear it.
The grandfather clock in the dining room chimed nine times. There was still more than enough time to do a little housework and laundry before I had to get ready. Tomorrow I'd be completely free to spend at the shop and get caught up on everything I'd miss out on today.
I rose from the porch swing, collected my dirty dishes and went inside. The housework kept me busy until noon. Afterwards, I ran a nice long bath and soaked away the worries of the past week. I wrapped myself in a big fluffy towel and did the girliest thing I could think of - I painted my toenails. There wasn't much hope for my fingernails, not when I'd worked with my hands every day since I turned six, but I did moisturize from head-to-toe in hopes of smoothing some of the rough edges. I even put product in my short hair and made an attempt to style it.
I had a few bits of make-up left over from when I used to have time to go on dates. There wasn't anything as advanced as foundation or powder, but there was a little charcoal eyeliner and a tube of rose-coloured lipstick that didn't look too questionable. Thankfully I didn't need mascara; I tried using it once and only succeeded in almost poking my eye out. God had been smart to give me thick, dark lashes.
The towel fell to the floor as I rummaged about in my dresser drawer for a pair of panties. There was only one pair I thought I could wear with the formfitting dress -- a low-rise baby pink thong that I'd once bought on a complete whim because they were so pretty and on sale; they were without a doubt the most feminine undergarment ever made... all lace with a tiny bow at the back. I'd never been brave enough to wear them. They seemed to suit the occasion though, so I slipped them on and tried to get used to the alien feeling of wearing a thong.
It was then, as I was stood in the middle of my bedroom in nothing but tiny panties, that I realized with horror that I didn't own a bra I could wear with the dress. A glance at the clock told me I didn't have time to run all the way to the city to get one. It was already well after one. If I wanted to get to St. Andrews in time I'd have to leave the house by two.
I eyed myself in the mirror. It's not like I needed a bra to hold anything up. I barely had anything to hold, and the dress had light padding in the bust. Maybe it would be okay if I went without.
I carefully pulled the dress from the hanger and unzipped it. Then I stepped into it and slid the silver-blue fabric over my body. Thankfully the zipper was at the side or I might never have gotten it done up on my own. I had a flash of fear that the dress might not fit, but with one last tight tug on the zipper, I managed to get the dress on.
When I turned to look at myself in the full-length mirror I almost fell over in disbelief.
The dress was short -- not even falling halfway down my thighs. No shorter than most of the shorts I owned, but somehow the tube of fabric made me feel more exposed than shorts ever did. I'd never worn anything formfitting or strapless before, and this dress hugged every curve I didn't know I possessed. Against my pale skin the fabric looked more silver than blue, until it a ray of sunshine filtered through my bedroom window and it flickered blue again.
Nervously, I ran my hands down the luxurious fabric, smoothing it against my body.
I didn't look like me at all. I looked... sexy.
Was this what people wore to weddings?
The shoes sat on my bed, waiting patiently in their pretty box. I sat down and worked my feet into them, my usually capable fingers fumbled with the tiny buckles. All I could think of was Matt and his reaction when he saw me. I'd never been more nervous and excited in my life.
I put my lipstick and my truck keys in the small silver purse that had been included with the shoes. At the last minute, I also decided to slip in a few tissues, just in case. I wasn't usually the crying type, but who knows what a wedding would do.
Dad was sitting in his chair in the livingroom as I wobbled out of my bedroom. He eyed me uncertainly as I tried to master the art of walking in heels. Today was day two of another bout of sobriety. They were short-lived and sometimes I'd catch a glimpse of the father I used to know. Those were the moments I would broach the topic of his drinking, only to be met with a sort of defensive hostility or worse, silence. Then there were times I said nothing at all, just so we could enjoy the fragile normalcy in the house.
"Where ye goin'?" he asked in a measured, flat tone.
"To a wedding," I whispered. I couldn't remember if I'd told him about the wedding before, but the chances were slim that I had. It's not like we chatted about those sorts of things.
He grunted and glared up at me. "Who's at the shop? Matt?"
"Uhhh... no... it's Matt's sister who's getting married. I closed the shop for today."
His grizzled, greying eyebrows shot up. "Ye closed the shop?"
"On a Saturday?"
I nodded again, suddenly feeling guilty. It was something I probably shouldn't have done, but I really wanted to go to Lilly's wedding. Besides, I hadn't had a Saturday off in almost three years.
"For a wedding?"
I hesitated in the doorway, thinking that maybe I should just get changed and forget the wedding. I expected Dad to start yelling but instead he just shook his dark, shaggy head.
"Matt's sister? The pretty redhead?"
I was shocked. I didn't realize Dad knew anything about Matt's family even though they lived fairly close by. The Island wasn't exactly a big place. Everyone on the north shore pretty much knew everyone else. I nodded again. Dad hadn't been too specific seeing as Matt had two pretty redheaded sisters, but there wasn't any reason to point that out to him, besides Violet would be a little young to get married anyway.
"Well, tell her I said, 'Congrat'lations.'"
I paused, unsure of what I heard.
"Okay," I agreed, still in shock. "I'll do that."
Dad gave me a curt, dismissive nod and before he changed his mind and mood, I fled the house.
The drive out to St. Andrews was longer than I remembered but then the only other time I'd been there I had Matt for company and time tended to fly in his presence. The sea sparkled turquoise beyond the rust coloured fields as I drove along the coast. The closer I got to my destination, the more my nervousness edged out. By the time I pulled into the full parking lot at the little church on the end of the peninsula, my insides were shaking.
I took a few deep breaths. It was already quarter to the hour, so I couldn't very well sit in the truck for much longer. I checked my reflection in the rear-view mirror, reapplied my lipstick, and bolstered my courage.
Reverend Nate was standing at the open church doors, resplendent in his liturgical robes as he welcomed the guests. I stood quietly at his elbow and waited to get his attention.
"Welcome to St. Andr..." Nate began, but then he actually looked at me." Flick?"
I couldn't contain my bubble of laughter.
He shook his head before he took a step back, looked me up and down, and gave me a very unreverend-like whistle.
"You look amazing!"
Some of my nervousness abated under the compliment. "Thank you." I tried to curtsey, but the snugness of my dress didn't spare me much room to move.
Nate stood there, a little stunned, and I was glad there was no one behind me waiting to enter the church.
"Its okay, isn't it?" I asked in a whisper. "It's not inappropriate for church?"
Nate treated me to his warm, rich chuckle. "No, Flick—it's just fine."
"Thank goodness," I said with a relieved smile. "It's the only dress I own."
"Well it's a good one," said a deep, slow voice from within the shadow of the church entryway. Joe Tanner stepped out into the sunshine. In his tuxedo he looked like a big black and white wall, topped with a ginger mop of hair. I'd never seen him dressed up before and while he didn't have Matt's good looks, he certainly looked handsome.
"Ya clean up good, Flick," was all he said.
I laughed. "You too."
Joe held out his arm and I took it, feeling very small beside him. We were only a few steps into the building when Chuck appeared. He caught sight of me, put his hand to his chest, and stumbled jokingly back a couple of steps.
"I must be seeing things," he teased as he approached and bent to brush a kiss on my cheek. "You look wonderful! Like a pixie wearing moonlight."
I couldn't acknowledge the compliment with anything other than a broad smile.
Matt's younger brother held out a clear plastic container to me. Inside was nestled a single rose -- huge, lush, and creamy white.
"I've been told this is for you."
He popped open the plastic lid and carefully drew the rose out. Then there was an awkward pause as he first studied the corsage and then my strapless dress. His 'uhh' of hesitation made both Joe and I laugh.
He turned the corsage over. It wasn't rigged with one of those uncomfortable elastics to slip over your wrist. It didn't even have a sharp pin to fasten it to my dress. It was just a beautiful singular rose.
I reached down and took the flower from his slender hands and then, in a flash of inspiration, tucked it behind my ear. The intoxicatingly delicate scent of rose enveloped me.
Then, even though I was still on Joe's arm, Chuck presented me with his too. All eyes were on us as I took the short walk down the aisle sandwiched between the two of them.
There were pews of redheads which had to be Tanners, but other than that everyone in the small, packed church was a stranger.
"Where is everyone?" I whispered to the guys as they stopped at a pew near the front.
"The girls are all over at the manse next door, getting ready. Matt's in the vestry with Adam, keeping him company. We thought we'd lend Adam the funny brother to keep him distracted. I think the groom might be a bit nervous," Chuck told me.
I tried to hide my disappointment. I wanted to see Matt first so I could thank him for the beautiful dress, but before I could say anything to that effect to Chuck and Joe, the woman seated at the piano began to play.
Joe patted my arm as if he'd read my mind. "Don't worry, you'll see him soon enough."
Chuck offered me an encouraging smile then gave Joe a little shove towards the front of the church. "Show time."
Nate took his place at the altar and welcomed us all with a booming voice. The music swelled again and from the side door at the front filed Adam, Joe, Matt, and Chuck. Each was wearing identical tuxedos, each handsome in their own way, but I only had eyes for one of them.
Matt took his spot between his brothers, his wide hands dutifully clasped in front of him, his dark auburn head bent. Once they were situated, he glanced up at the rest of the church. His gaze met mine and everything around me faded away.
Matt's cobalt eyes widened and my heart did an odd sort of flip. His dimpled, lopsided grin appeared but this time it came coupled with a heavy-lidded expression I didn't recognize. I almost looked away, feeling confused, but Matt winked at me. It was a familiar expression and made me feel a little more like my usual self. But in a dress.
Before I could wink in return though, the guests in the church rose from their seats and all heads turned to the rear of the church. The music changed yet again. Sunshine poured in through the stained glass windows, bathing everyone in rainbow-coloured light. We all watched as Rhiannon came down the aisle first, carrying little Sophie. The two dark-haired beauties wore matching teal blue and drew admiring murmurs from the crowd.
Adele appeared next in the same shade of blue, holding a bouquet of fat white roses. She didn't even look around at the guests in the church; she only had eyes for Nate who stood front-and-centre at the altar. I wondered if she was imagining taking this walk as a bride.
Violet followed, her pretty face alight with an ear-to-ear grin, her own bouquet bobbed as she bounced up the aisle. She saw me out of the corner of her eye as she passed by me and mouthed a private, little 'hello'.
The guests held their breath when Lilly stepped into the church flanked by her parents. The smile on her face could have lit the darkest night. She smiled so hard her sapphire eyes were little more than squinted slits in her pretty face.
I can't say I know a lot about wedding dresses but hers was gorgeous, simple and strapless, devoid of any lace or sparkles or bows -- just sumptuous ivory that hugged her curves until it broke into a frothy pool of fabric over her hips and down to the floor. In lieu of a veil a single lush, creamy rose identical to mine sat nestled in the intricate updo of her auburn hair. I glanced down as Lilly glided past. The shoes which peaked out from beneath her gown were teal blue. I smiled. Trust a Tanner to add that last quirky touch.
Near the altar, the Tanner brothers beamed at their sister. All three wore the same proud and loving expression, but the attention shifted to Adam as Lilly took her last few steps down the aisle.
Adam always looked handsome, but in a tuxedo he looked like a movie star stepped down from the screen. His broad shoulders filled the jacket out to perfection and almost all his tattoos were covered by the collar and cuffs of his pristine white shirt. Unlike the Tanner men, Adam's tie and waistcoat weren't teal blue, but were perfect snowy white. He was a gorgeous study in stark black and white. Except for his eyes. From feet away I could still make out the stunning shade of emerald. I expected to see his signature cocky smile, but there was none of that as Lilly approached. His bottom lip quivered. The Adam Brooks I'd come to know was nothing like the stock-still and awed groom at the altar.
Joe leaned over and whispered something in his ear. Adam swallowed hard and nodded.
Then without speaking a word, Lilly's father led her up the two steps to the altar and handed her over to Adam and the ceremony began.
Nate's smooth voice echoed off the rafters of the small church, wrapping us all in a spell of wonder as he spoke of the miracle of love.
"I've performed a lot of weddings over the years," Nate confided just before the vows began. "Twenty-two to be exact. Some of the couples have been parishioners of mine, some strangers. A few have even become friends after the fact, but I've never been privileged enough to be in the position I'm in today, for today I'm marrying two dear friends."
"There can be no greater honour than being asked by your best friend to perform his wedding..." Nate smiled at Adam and then over at Lilly. "... except perhaps the honour of marrying your best friend. The moment that Adam first told me about Lilly, I suspected that someday soon I would be standing here doing just this, and I confess I've never been happier to be right."
Nate approached the couple and put his hands over their clasped hands. "Ready?" I heard him whisper to the two of them. Lilly and Adam nodded in unison.
Nate raised his head, smiled at the guests gathered in the church and began.
"Lilly Frances Tanner do you take Adam Reginald Brooks to be your lawfully wedded husband? In health and in sickness, in times of prosperity and in times of want, through joy and through sorrow, until death parts you?"
I noticed Lilly shaking as she said, "I do," in a wobbly voice... Her happy smile was damp with the tears that rolled over her cheeks.
"Adam Reginald Brooks do you take Lilly Frances Tanner to be your lawfully wedded wife? In health and in sickness, in times of prosperity and in times of want, through joy and through sorrow, until death parts you?"
For a moment there was silence and then Adam, whose handsome face had remained expressionless through the entire ceremony, broke into a wide smile.
I couldn't tear my eyes from the couple standing so proudly at the altar. It was magical watching something so monumental happen right in front of me.
Joe handed Nate a small box. Nate opened it and passed Lilly a ring. She took Adam's hand.
"With this ring I take you as my own; my helpmate, my protector, my husband," Lilly managed to get out as she slid the golden band onto Adam's finger.
Nate handed Adam a ring too. Adam took Lilly's hand, raised it to his mouth and gently kissed her knuckles. Every woman in the room sighed aloud, myself included.
"With this ring I take you as my own; my helpmate, my treasure, my wife."
A profound silence passed before Nate clasped both the bride's and groom's shoulders.
"Well then," Nate continued with warmth and joy in his voice. "There's nothing left for me but to say, much more proudly than you can possibly imagine, that by power vested in me by God, the church I serve in His name, and the laws of this good province, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Adam, you may kiss your beautiful bride."
Lilly rose on her tiptoes as Adam wrapped his arms around her. Tears rained down her face until Adam reached up, still in the midst of their kiss, and wiped them away.
Everyone came to their feet and exploded into applause. I couldn't hear Adam speak over the din, but I recognized the three words he said to Lilly as his mouth moved just an inch from her lips.
"I love you," he told her.
Just then I glanced past the newlyweds to Matt. Unlike everyone else in the church he wasn't watching Adam and Lilly; he was focused on me.
It was in that moment that I knew exactly what I wanted and I knew I'd risk anything for it. Anything for the chance that Matt would look at me even a fraction of the way Adam looked at Lilly.
Then the music began again and all at once everyone was moving. Lilly and Adam floated down the aisle, followed by the Tanners, Rhiannon, and Adele. I tried to slip out from my pew just behind them, but I got caught up in the melee of wedding guests. The crowd carried me down the aisle and out into the late afternoon sunshine. Although I caught glimpses of Matt through the crush, I couldn't get to him.