Caught by the Tide Ch. 10byevanslily©
"Sarah!" I interrupted hastily, now rather wishing I'd left out more of the finer detail. But then I'd thought I'd never see him again...
"I'll go and call the porters, shall I?" I heard Caitlin ask, not even trying to conceal her amusement. "Tell them we have a customer for Maternity?"
"That'd be great," Luke said as he walked towards me, shooting me a knowing smile. "Hmm," he said, gathering me into his arms. "I'm the one who what?" And laughing as the heat rushed into my face, he lowered his mouth over mine.
"So..." After a lengthy pause, clearly intended to maximise the gravity of her words, the Registrar gave the assembled guests on the terrace of the White Sands Hotel yet another beaming smile. "I now pronounce you husband and wife."
Hearing the immediate burst of clapping and wolf whistles that followed that statement, I turned around, laughing as I scanned the rows of delighted faces. There was Mum, looking younger than she had for years, resplendent in a pink suit with matching pink hat, my sister and brother-in-law standing to her left, Sarah holding thirteen-month-old Harry's hands in a vice-like grip. But the majority of the noise was coming from the four guys standing in the second row on the other side of the aisle, all of whom were cheering raucously.
His sea-blue eyes met mine as the Registrar spoke, the warmth of his smile declaring his love for me far more effectively than words could ever express. "Yes?"
"You may now kiss the bride."
"Oh!" Laughing now, he placed his hands on my waist and began pulling me forward. But just as I was about to close my eyes, anticipating the pleasure of his mouth on mine, he paused, his gaze narrowing slightly. "Actually..."
And suddenly, he bent down, making me shriek as he scooped me up into his arms and promptly bore me off down the aisle to the accompaniment of even more whooping and clapping, the Registrar calling after us in tones brimming with mirth. "Hey! I said you could kiss the bride, not kidnap her!"
"Luke!" I gasped between helpless giggles as he reached the edge of the terrace and began bounding down the steps of the hotel. "What the hell are you doing?"
"I've not had you to myself in forty-eight hours," he said with a grin, still holding me tightly as he jogged across the road and headed for the slope that led down to the beach. "Do you have any idea how hard that's been? If it wasn't your Mum there, it was your sister, if it wasn't your sister, it was mine..." And pulling up at last, he lowered me down to the sand, his arms folding around me. "Now I'm going to kiss the bride," he said contentedly, smiling into my eyes.
I whimpered helplessly as he captured my mouth, loving the feel of his lips over mine, the way his tongue sought then danced with my own. And for a while almost everything else ceased to exist. There was nothing but Luke and me and the sound of the sea, the waves turning relentlessly against the shore.
So it wasn't until Luke finally raised his head that I realised exactly where we were, the small sandy cove deserted save for us, the cliffs to the rear sheer granite. "Hey," I said laughing, turning my head to look at the rocks rising to my left, still able to picture the stocky guy in red-board shorts who'd hauled me up them to safety, remembering the scene as though it was yesterday,. "Did you have this in mind all along?"
He grinned, shaking his head. "It honestly just occurred to me. But hey, we could've got married, right here, couldn't we? I could've worn those shorts and you could've worn that skimpy red bikini." And laughing again as I shot him a glare, he turned me around in his arms so that we were both facing out to sea. "That's not to say that I don't love what you have on. You look stunning in that dress," he murmured, planting a kiss on my neck. "But I can't wait to get it off you either."
Giggling again, I leaned back in his arms, relishing the feel of the warm June sunshine on my face, the slight breeze barely disturbing the simple white gown I was wearing, fitted so exactly to my contours it felt rather like a second skin. And as though Luke had been able to read the next thought that crossed my mind, his hand drifted down over my tummy.
"So," he said softly. "How does it feel to be the first Foster bride in generations not to walk down the aisle with a bun in the oven?"
The words were spoken innocently enough. Too innocently...
With a gasp, I spun around to look at him, seeing from the mischievous glint in his eyes that he knew. "How?" I gasped, staring at him in disbelief. "How on earth could you know about that? Even I didn't know until this morning!"
He grinned, cupping my chin in his hands and kissing me triumphantly. "You sent Sarah out to buy a pregnancy test."
"Yes..." I gazed at him with suspicion. "She told you? But I made her promise not to say anything! It was her idea. She put the thought in my head--it hadn't even crossed my mind."
Luke looked amused. "So you didn't think anything of the fact that every night for a fortnight, you've been crashing out on the couch when you got home from work?"
"I just thought I was tired. What with all the wedding plans..."
He rolled his eyes. "And it didn't occur to you that the reason you suddenly couldn't stand the smell of coffee anymore might have something to do with us having made a little Tosser-Foster?"
I couldn't repress a giggle. "We're definitely going double-barrelled then?"
"Well, I thought we might. It's got a certain something, don't you think? Rebecca Tosser-Foster. Luke Tosser-Foster, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon."
"Wait," I breathed, staring at him again. "You knew days ago?"
He nodded solemnly. "Of course I knew. Who do you think put the idea in Sarah's head?"
"But why didn't you say anything?"
He smiled, lifting a hand to my cheek then gently touching my hair. "You had quite enough to worry about already. I didn't want you getting stressed about that too. But I wanted you to know today. It's a Foster family tradition, after all."
And still smiling, Luke pulled me in for another of those wonderful kisses and once again, time seemed to stand still.
The sound of Tim's voice carrying on the breeze broke us apart at last. He was standing on the low rocks at the very corner of the cove, Luke's nine-month-old niece Maisie--my niece now, I realised with a rush of pleasure--slung across his hip. "The Registrar wants you to come back and sign the register!" he shouted. "Oh, and the photographer wants to know if you still want photos of this joyous occasion?"
Luke grinned at me then held up a hand to his best man. "Okay!" he called back, laughing. "Tell them we'll be there in a minute."
"You'd better be!" Even from this distance, I could see Tim looked nervous. "Are you two crazy?" And turning slightly he motioned towards the thin band of sand separating the rocks from the rolling waves. "The sea's on its way in, you know. Do you want to get caught by the tide?"
Luke and I both glanced up at the rocks before smiling at each other in unison. Then hand in hand, we strolled around to the beach and made our way back up the sand.
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