“Yeah, so much for “low-key”.
Finally, I caught sight of Bastien arriving. He wore a smart black suit, which I suspected Corrine had something to do with. He approached the raised platform that was bedecked with white flowers that Ruby, Hazel and Arwen were still putting in place. He climbed the steps and stood in one corner, gazing at the massive crowd. Bastien was still so new here to us in The Shade. I imagined how nervous he must be feeling to be surrounded by so many strangers. But he’d feel completely at home here soon enough. He was our family now.
Micah left Kira and his new baby son and approached Bastien, which made me happy. It seemed that Micah was going to be Bastien’s best man. Ibrahim also made his way to the platform; he would be managing the formal proceedings, as he usually did whenever he was available. We began to take seats. I moved to the front row with Derek and sat next to Vivienne, while Xavier made his way to the other end of the aisle to wait for his daughter. As everyone settled down and we waited for Vicky, my daughter Rose started playing a soulful tune on the piano. I glanced at Vivienne. Her eyes were still glassy. I squeezed her knee, causing her to look at me.
“Everything is going to be fine,” I assured her. I kissed her cheek.
Vivienne drew in a quick breath. “I know,” she murmured, her eyes falling on Bastien. “I know.” Finally, the second star of the show arrived. Victoria approached the end of the aisle, her three bridesmaids Ruby, Hazel and Arwen carrying her trailing dress behind her. When she reached Xavier, she looped an arm through his. I couldn’t see her face all that well beneath her veil, but I could make out enough of it to see that she was positively glowing. She looked so much like Vivienne in this moment it was breathtaking. The sight of her beginning to move down the aisle, about to enter a beautiful new phase of her life, reminded me acutely of the day Vivienne got married. Xavier’s and her wedding… it truly seemed like an age ago. Ben and Rose had still been babies in my arms. My mind turned back to that glorious afternoon, so soon after we’d triumphed in ridding The Shade of the Elders. Xavier and Vivienne’s special day was a memory I would never forget. That was also the day Ibrahim had proposed to Corrine.
Vicky reached the platform with her father. Xavier kissed her hand before allowing her to climb up to Bastien. As she stood before him, Bastien’s cheeks shone with tears of happiness. Ibrahim stood between them and conducted the usual proceedings. After exchanging vows and rings, Bastien raised her veil and drew his beautiful bride to him. When their lips locked, Vivienne broke down in tears. Vicky tossed her bouquet into the crowd. There was a frantic scurry as our younger generation moved to snatch it. It was Hazel who emerged victorious, holding aloft the white roses. Her cheeks reddened as everyone sent wolf-whistles her way. The formal ceremony over, Bastien and Vicky left the platform and headed to the dance area that had been set up by the rows of chairs, bordered by the group of instruments. They danced alone to a slow, romantic tune created by Rose, Shayla, and several other witches, before other couples began to join them.
Xavier took Vivienne’s hand, while I made my way there with Derek. As I rested my arms over his shoulders and we began to sway, we shared a grin. “Nostalgic much?” I asked him. He nodded. “Yup. Every darn wedding.” I giggled. As much as I could have lost myself in my husband’s eyes for the next hour, I found myself gazing around at the other couples joining us. After three tunes had passed, many had started to make out. I nodded my head discreetly in the direction of Lucas and Marion, who oscillated near the border of the dancing area. Derek’s chest shook as he chuckled. We quickly looked away as it seemed Lucas might notice us watching. The lovebirds Grace and Lawrence also hung near the border, alternating between gazing into each other’s eyes and kissing.”