Chapter Thirty

    Chapter Thirty

    As soon as I stepped back into the reception area it was like I was a different person, I felt like a different person. The bottom part was gone, shed like the weight of the sadness I had felt, I was lighter.

    David was standing in the middle of the floor alone waiting for me and I stepped up to him and he smiled at me and held out his hand and I took it.

    "Oh, why you look so sad, the tears are in your eves, come on and come to me now. Don't be ashamed to cry. Let me see you through 'cause I've seen the dark side too. When the night falls on you and you don't know what to do, nothing you confess could make me love you less, I'll stand by you, won't let nobody hurt you."

    The song was perfect, he was my second father growing up and now he was my father-in-law. He's been there for me since I was five, he's seen nearly twenty years of my life and he was just involved in my life as my parents were in Chase's.

    I pushed Linda and David away when my parents passed away and I was tired of doing that. I didn't realize how childish and insulting it was, even though they fully understand; it doesn't change that I had been acting like less than the woman my parents raised me to be.

    Loving them doesn't make me love my parents any less and my own parents would have been ashamed and horrified at how badly I shut them out from my life. I know they both loved me and that was okay, it was okay to love them back.

    He danced with me and he would spin me around and I felt happy, he held me the way only a dad could as he sang the song in my ear and I smiled and laughed and the little bit of tears I shed were happy ones.

    This song meant a lot to me, he picked it and it was like he was telling me he still loved me. He would protect me and he's there if I need to talk or cry or scream. He's there for me for everything and when life becomes too much he'll still be there.

    When the song ended I kissed his cheek and he squeezed my hand.

    And I know this was our wedding but we decided we would feed everyone before we did our second dance and not make them sit there for hours watching one dance after another.

    People got up and go their food and Chase and I went from table to table greeting everyone and thanking them for coming. I knew some people would leave early but I knew a lot of them would also stay here into the late hours, enjoy the bar and dance when we put the fun music on.

    Everyone was fed and happy when we started toasts. Anyone could get up and make a speech and the mic was passed as person after person said one sweet thing after another. Some made you want to cry and some left us laughing so hard we were almost in tears. Once guests made their speeches Chase and I had our second dress.

    "I didn't expect this." he told me as he looked at my dress

    "Well if we're going to have a proper dance we can't have all that fluff in the way." I joked and he smiled at me as he took my hand and 'How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You' came on.

    It was a fun and sweet song to dance too and after the first chorus we invited couples to join up. Monica pulled Riley onto the dance floor and Rochelle grabbed Scott's hand.

    It was funny. Riley was completely at ease dancing with Monica, Riley was a better dancer than even Chase thanks to dance classes since we were nine, but Scott looked freaked out being in front of so many people. Rochelle knew how to dance and tried to lead Scott, he stumbled a little but it wasn't that bad.

    Linda and David joined us as did Tina and her husband Frank, friends of mine from college.

    This wedding reminded me of how many people I didn't hang out with, actually the last few years I've mostly stayed to the same small group of people but I didn't want to do that anymore, I wanted to see my friends and reconnect with them. I didn't want to seclude myself from the world anymore.

    I wanted to be happy again and I was.

    Chase had that effect on me. He broke the walls and pushed himself into my life in all the ways I never expected and he made me a better person since then.

    "Okay so now it's time to give my speech since my husband knew I would be in no state to give it at that alter after his." I smiled at him and he kissed me "I wish mine could be as perfect as yours so here we go. You've been there for me since I could remember; I can't actually remember a time without you in my life. You were my first crush and at times my biggest fan even when Riley wasn't.

    You held my hand and wiped my tears, you protected me and defended me and you are the most selfless person I've ever met. This past year was hard and even when I screamed and yelled and lashed out at you, you took it and you held me and you made me better. You make me a better person Chase." He touched my cheek gently.

    "I wish I could say I've been in love with you forever and knew you were the one from the start but I can't, I know I've loved you my whole life but it took me longer to see you the way that I do now. I tried so hard not to let you in but you were so persistent and charming and sweet that I had no choice and once you found the tiniest of cracks in the wall I put up you used it to pull the whole damn thing down.

    I never stood a chance. You mean the world to me now and I don't know how I didn't see it, how I was so oblivious to your feelings and out relationship may have had" I couched a little awkwardly "An unconventional start but I'm glad that I did and I wouldn't change anything and I know that marriage is hard but I know I can get through anything as long as I'm with you." my speech wasn't as great as his in my opinion and I wish I was better with words to describe how much I love him but he seemed to understand as he kissed me gently.

    "I love you Angel." He mumbled against my lips. And with that the music played and everyone got up to dance or eat or mingle and Chase and I took an opportunity to eat before we joined our guests for dancing until it was time to cut the cake and for the wedding party's toasts.

    "Okay, So as the maid of honor it's my duty to give this speech. You are my absolute best friend Brylee, since I was a kid you've been there for me. You were the sister I never had and more than that you and your family were the family I never had. I just remember feeling so alone until I met you. we're so different and I like to think I get you in trouble just enough and you kept me in check just enough all those years. You're my perfect balance and all my first, well most because that would be awkward, were with you." she winked and I laughed

    Of course she would say that.

    "First time sneaking out, drinking, smoking, party. We would stay up all night together for tests, we talked about boys and we learned about make-up together learning that dear god less is more. I remember when we put on your mom's make up when she was at work and looked like train wrecks. I remember my first break up and yours. I remember camping in the living room and goring up to being able to camp in the back yard together. You're my partner in crime, my best friend, my sister, my son's aunt and his god mother.

    And Chase, I remember having a crush on you when I was like twelve, I grew out of that quickly because you were a pain in my rear end since I was six but just like Brylee, you were there for everything that I went through but where she was there to see my cry when Jacob Kline cheated on me in the tenth grade, you were there to give him a black eye with Riley. Just like with Brylee, you were one of two boys I could count on to always protect me and be there for me.

    I may not have confided in you with all the girl talk but I remember all of us sneaking out together, grossly kissing you at sixteen to spin the bottle, and when you Riley would be the drivers when we raced." Chase's mother gave that look and Rochelle coughed

    "I mean when we sat in our rooms and did nothing but innocent child things like playing go fish and talking about school work." Rochelle corrected and Linda shook her head making me laugh and she smiled

    "Well at least you can't be grounded anymore." She shrugged and Chase laughed too "What I wanted to say was while Brylee was my best friend you are two of three people that I literally can't remember not being in my life and it's amazing to see you two here, together, married and happy and I'm proud of you and I love you both." She finished

    "Okay, my turn because we all know Riley's speech will make Brylee cry." Monica started and I stuck my tongue out at her because flipping her off would be inappropriate. "You always made me feel welcomed, when I was fourteen and first started dating Riley you never treated me badly or made me feel included though I was the fifth wheel to you four. You were all close since you were five but you let me in and made me feel welcome as did you Chase. You both were there for me when I got pregnant and you both stood up with us at our wedding. It didn't take marriage for us to be family, we've been that way since I was fifteen and I know Riley gave you guys a lot of grief about being together but I think it say a lot about your relationship that you're here despite it all. You two are strong and compassionate and I totally knew he was in love with her, just saying." Riley playfully nudged his wife and she hip bumped him back so he wrapped his arm around her.

    "I just want to say I love you both and you'll be together forever because you're perfect for each other." She raised her glass and with how much she hated public speaking I was surprised her speech was that long.

    "My best friend, best friend till the very end 'cause best friends best friends don't have to pretend. You need a hand and I'm right there right beside you and I'll be the bright light to guide you." music started and Rochelle grinned at me and grabbed my hand and made me dance with her.

    "Laughing so damn hard, crashed your dad's new car." As soon as those words played I did laugh so damn hard, because that actually happened. Dad let us borrow the car and she accidently crashed it but I took the blame, no one was hurt and no one else was involved but we did a number on his car.

    We were both grounded for a really long time, which is why Chase and Riley always drove when we would race; mom and dad never found out about that one or they would have killed us.

    I danced with her and Monica and most of the girls got up to dance with us, this song was perfect for Rochelle and I can't think of anything that's not true in this song for us.

    This song started another hour of songs and dancing, people were taking advantage of the open bar, the only payment they had to make was a picture in the photo booth we're renting and a message in the book.

    Someone was manning the photo booth and was putting them in a book, in order and we could name them later, we would see how the night progressed with each drink and the kids had disposable cameras to run around with too.

    After people got a little tired of dancing, Chase and I went to cut the cake and I smashed it in his face and then wiped my hand on Rochelle and then Riley took the time to do his speech as cake was passed out.

    "I'm going to start off by saying I was the number one non supporter of you two at first. I was angry and I did and said things I wasn't proud of about this relationship and I'm sorry. Brylee you're probably the least observant person on the planet because even I knew that he looked at you like you held the world, how I looked and still look at Monica. It's the look of a man so in love he doesn't know what to do.

    It took me a little bit and Monica telling me I was an idiot daily to accept it because I knew he loved you and I knew he was a mostly honorable guy. I knew that he wouldn't hurt you and I knew that he wouldn't ruin our friendship and yours for a fling.

    I didn't know about his talk with dad until today, I didn't know just how much he felt for you but I knew there was always something. You're just my baby sister and I know your older but I'm taller." I rolled my eyes at that comment.

    "I felt like since dad died it was my job to protect you and I stand by that but I forgot that all those years there was someone else right beside you to help me with that and I'm sorry it took me so long to see that. Chase is the best man I've ever known, you've been my brother through life and I'm not going to go into the things we did because you're moms already eyeing me and neither of us want to be sleeping on the couch tonight so we'll just leave out the big details." Chase laughed but he looked to his mom who had her arms crossed and an eyebrow raised and he adverted his eyes.

    "Obviously she knows about the street racing now, thanks for that Rochelle." He said and looked at her

    "No problem, at least we didn't drink and drive!" she said and then cringed "Sorry, bad joke." She mumbled

    "It's alright Rochelle, and yes Linda we never drank and drove, or smoked pot and, **. We never did that." Linda's eyes widened and Chase whistled and refused to look at his mother.

    "Come on guys." He complained and I laughed, my parents weren't here, Rochelle's weren't, poor Chase.

    "Hey I could tell her about when we borrowed your dad's movies." He said and I'm not sure who Linda wanted to smack more right now.

    "Riley!" David and Chase yelled at him as they blushed and Rochelle I don't think was breathing she was laughing so hard and Monica smacked Riley as he laughed.

    "Anyway, everything I learned was learned with you Brylee until we were five and then everything else you both were there for, and this brat." He added when Rochelle cleared her throat and she back handed his arm.

    "I only wanted who and what was best for you Brylee and I know I'm over protective and I was so mad about my best friend breaking the one rule we had that I didn't stop to think. You were right when you asked why it was such a problem is Chase was my best friend. I know him as well as I know you, more so in ways, I know he's an incredible man and that he would treat you with the highest respect and love you more than I couldn't have hoped anyone else could.

    I wanted who was best for the both of you and you two are that and I'm glad you found each other though I don't want to know the details." He cringed "You two deserve each other and every happiness you'll have together though I call godfather of your first kid." He said

    "I call god mother! Sorry Monica." Rochelle blurted out next

    "You two are something else." I couldn't help but say, I don't know why I expected any kind of formal speech from those two.

    "Anyway what I want to say is that mom and dad would be so proud of you two and there's no question that they would have approved. I love you so much Brylee and I thought that as soon as you were with him I would lose you and it's stupid because I'm married and we're still close but it's just hard to accept that you're getting married because I don't want you to grow up, it's irrational since we're twins but it's just how I feel.

    Brylee you're my twin and there aren't words that can describe our bond.

    I was honored to walk you down the aisle and Chase, I was honored to stand beside you as your best man, like you were for me, as I watched you marry my sister. I know you two will make each other as happy as you both deserve. I love you both." He finished and as I listened I felt even happier.

    His support meant everything to me, to us.

    I walked over and hugged him and he sighed as he wrapped his arms around me, the DJ took the opportunity and played lean on me, the song Riley and I have always had as ours. We were who each other leaned on the most and I'm glad that we had that bond.

    I sighed as I danced with my brother, he meant more to me than I could find words to say and if he wasn't here it would have killed me.

    "And now I invite all the couples to the floor so we can play the cheesiest song for us all to dance to." and couple by couple they joined us on the floor for 'Because You Loved Me' Celine Dion.

    Yes, Chase and I were going there.

    Monica switched with Rochelle a little through and then she stole Chase from me so I danced with Riley again and after that all the dances were out of the way and it was time for the appropriate fun music with kids still here.

    I picked up Lina and danced with her and the Mia before the girls clung to dad for a dance, I pulled Linda out to dance with me and David. Hannah, a girl who worked in the office came out with a drink in her hand and when it got late Chase's parents took the kids to the hotel, we rented them a suit so they could take the kids, even the babies and ones that weren't any of the six of ours. They probably had twelve kids and they didn't mind.

    I was in awe of them, they were fantastic.

    After that the shots came faster and karaoke was started, dear lord help those here who end up on social media tomorrow. The videographer said he they would stay and take turns recording for us if they got food and alcohol.

    They warned it wouldn't be the most professional of their footage as the night went on but I didn't care, if they wanted to keep the camera rolling for this part I didn't care if it was shaky, it would just be more authentic.

    Chase and I stayed away from the alcohol for the most part and I was proud to say Riley had water but had just as much fun with us, feeding off the vibe of the room.

    I laughed when Rochelle got on a table with the microphone and belted out oath by Cher Lloyd again, god she was a terrible singer and I made sure Chase got a video of that as Riley helped me up on the table and handed me a mic to sing with her.

    Now I wasn't going to be offered a record deal in my lifetime but I at least didn't sound like a dying whale. Seriously, she was terrible but I loved her.

    After that it got rowdier and the bar started cutting people off per my request and we enjoyed another hour or two together before Riley helped me collect keys. If you had a kid upstairs, they were staying the night and Linda would have their keys and those who insisted on going home, they were getting cabs home and Riley, Chase and I were personally putting them in a car with a sober driver or a cab and they could get their keys from Chase's parents in the morning.

    That was the deal from the beginning; I wasn't going to provide the alcohol for people to get trashed and go drive. I needed everyone safe or I wouldn't be able to enjoy my wedding night.

    Once everyone was gone Monica, Rochelle, Scott and Riley insisted we get out of here, they would clean up and get all the wedding gifts packed up for us to take in the morning and the staff of the building would clean up certain things as would the bartenders.

    Chase and I laughed at memories of the night as we went up to our room and this was better than any night I could have imagined, it was a perfectly imperfect wedding.
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