A/N: This chapter is a little bit of a filler, but it was necessary as far as development goes. The next chapter, which I’m almost done with, will make the real forward movement in the story. Still, hope you enjoy this one =)
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“If you’re thinking ‘why are we so far away from each other?’ then yes.”
I smiled, turning toward Marina. “I was actually thinking ‘how am I stopping myself from touching you everywhere right now?’ but that’s close.”
“Reed!” Marina admonished, but she laughed soon afterward. “I can’t stay mad at you when that was actually what was on my mind too,” she admitted with a slight blush.
“I knew it,” I said with a grin, scooting closer to her and putting my arm around her shoulder.
Marina smiled and nuzzled into me, her slippery body shifting against my skin. It was taking every effort in me not to take her right then and there. After all, we were in a public place—a swanky high-rise club called ‘Aquarius.’ …then again, it was, quite honestly, completely dead tonight. Not that we cared.
“You know…there’s no one else here,” I finally remarked with a suggestive raise of an eyebrow (a rare bold move on my part).
“Oh Reed, whatever could you be implying?” Marina asked in a bad imitation of a Southern Belle, which was also made more humorous by her slight Spanish accent.
“Well darlin’, I once heard tell that actions speak louder than words, so let me show you,” I said in my best country accent…which was absolutely terrible. Marina broke out into a fit of giggles, leaving me to quickly try and repair the damage that had been done to the moment. So I did the only thing I could really think of….
I moved in and kissed her, hard, and her grip on my hand tightened as she let out a soft moan. She tasted like cinnamon. Oh jeez I wanted her so bad. I craved her. I needed her.
“Is there anyone around?” Marina whispered breathlessly, pulling back from me for just a moment. I glanced up and squinted, but there was no one in sight. I shook my head, my heart pounding. Please, please, please. She looked up as well and then back at me, our eyes meeting each other’s for a long moment before she carefully climbed into my lap. I breathed in sharply as her fingers went for the waistband of my swimming trunks. “Shhhhhh,” she said softly, a coy smile on her face as she leaned in to kiss me. “We can’t say a word.”
And we didn’t…save one each, spoken in a soft gasp. Hers, was “Reed,” mine, “Marina.”
Now I realize I had mentioned we promised to do more talking than er, action, but that was incredibly difficult to do. Not that we completely failed, no not at all. We did do other things, like see a movie, tour the city, and of course drop into the clubs to dance, although we quickly discovered that neither of us were particularly fantastic at that….
“You know, I might actually be a better dancer than you,” I teased Marina one day as we enjoyed a night in the Banzai Lounge.
“What? Yeah right! At least I don’t look like a t-rex when I dance! Why do you hold in your arms like that?”
“Like what? Pfft, you’re just jealous of my skills, clearly.”
“Yes, that must be what it is, and your skills are really showing now, I can see,” she said with a laugh. I looked down only to see that I did hold my arms in awkwardly close to my body. Damn it!
“Hey, I’m just warming up!” I protested.
“Ouch, watch me now! You know you’re impressed,” I said as I busted out some sweet moves. Marina started laughing uncontrollably, but then she finally got a handle on herself and forced a serious look on her face.
“Oh yes, I am very impressed, but you have nothing on me!”
“I can do that too!”
“I’m in a tight skirt…and three inch HEELS!”
Of course, I must admit…we never did go long before, well, letting our actions speak for themselves.
Time and time again.
Now you would think that Marina would distract me from my work, and for awhile I worried that she would, but nothing of the sort happened. Instead, I actually somehow became better at my job. I loosened up a little, became a lot more relaxed while at work, and could actually handle everything much better this way. This relaxed, but still entirely focused mood caught on among those around me as well, and soon my division was the best performing division in the place.
For this, I was promoted to Vice-President. I was so close to achieving my dream that I could taste it.
“Reed! I have the most wonderful news!” Buttercup cried as soon as I came home from work.
“Me too actually, but you go first.”
“Okay. Tony asked me to marry him last night!”
“What?” I asked, freezing in my tracks and staring at Buttercup as if I’d never seen her before.
“We’re engaged now,” she gushed, stated the obvious. “We had just been for a romantic night out, just the two of us, and when we came back Tony started to act all nervous, you know, and I asked him about it and he said he just needed some air, so we went out onto the balcony and we chatted for awhile, but he still seemed really tense, you know? And then he suddenly fell down to the ground, or at least that’s what I had thought for a second and worried that he was really sick, but then I noticed he was down on one knee and….
“Oh Reed!” Buttercup said, practically bubbling over with excitement now. “He had taken out a little box that had the most beautiful ring in it and said to me ‘Buttercup, from the very first moment I saw you I knew you were the one. You were the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, and when I got to know you, I realized that that beauty was not just on the outside, but the inside as well. I love you so much, Buttercup…will you marry me?’
“And of course I said ‘yes’ and I was crying and he slipped the ring onto my finger and…I’m engaged!” she cried, her eyes shining.
My head reeled as I tried to take in Buttercup’s story—marriage? Already? I mean, I realized that she was a few years older than me, but that would make her…what…let’s see…about…27. Oh. That was…actually a perfectly reasonable age to get married. It was just that…marriage? I wasn’t even thinking about that yet.
“Reed, aren’t you going to say something?” my sister suddenly asked anxiously, eyeing me closely. “I mean…we’ve been going out for awhile…it…it really isn’t all that crazy….”
“No, it isn’t,” I forced myself to say, trying to snap out of this mild state of shock I seemed to be in. “That’s…that’s really awesome,” I finally said with a laugh. “Wow. Married, huh?”
“Yeah,” she said with a smile, her eyes filling up with happy tears again. Damn. She really was happy about this and for that, I couldn’t complain. Although I didn’t know Tony very well, as I found it awkward to talk to him, he didn’t seem like a bad guy at least, and he clearly made my sister happy, so I was happy too.
“Have you told mom and dad yet?” I asked, vaguely wondering how they would react.
“Yup, they were really happy for me- and excited to finally meet Tony! I mean, they’ve heard so much about him, but haven’t gotten to meet him yet and now they will at the wedding! They’re also really excited to see you, Reed. They said that if it weren’t for the occasional articles you appeared in in the newspaper they would have been convinced you’d dropped off the face of the earth.”
“Oh, haha…” I said weakly, suddenly feeling guilty. I hadn’t called home in…when was the last time I called? I remember telling them after I got a job and then…damn I was a shitty son. “So, uh, when’s the big day?” I asked, trying to reroute the conversation.
“Sunday,” Buttercup beamed.
“What?! So fast!” I said, alarmed. “How are you going to plan everything in time?”
Buttercup laughed and then shrugged a bit. “It’s just going to be a small wedding, Reed, at the Butterfly Esplanade. Just family and really close friends. Nothing too lavish. Doesn’t take too much planning and I already have the perfect dress in mind.”
“You are, of course, free that day, right?” my sister asked, staring me down.
“Yeah actually, it’s my day off,” I said with a laugh. “And even if it weren’t…I’d take my first day off ever to see your wedding.”
“Aww, so sweet,” Buttercup sniffed, dramatically holding her hand to her heart. I rolled my eyes. “And is that mystery girl of yours also free that day?” she asked then with a knowing smile.
“Of course I know. I see you sneaking her up to your room all the time. It’s always my cue to blast the music,” she said, now her turn to roll her eyes. “Plus Tony saw her in the kitchen getting a glass of water one night. He said it was pretty awkward, but that she didn’t seem phased by it at all. Just introduced herself with a smile and went back upstairs. What did he say her name was…? Mary or something? Maria?”
“Marina,” I said, my heart warming up just saying the name. And I must have gotten some kind of look on my face, because Buttercup started giggling.
“Oh, you’ve got it bad little brother!” she teased. “So yeah, see if she’s free. Invite her. I’m sure mom and dad would love to meet her too actually. On that note, I would like to meet her as well,” Buttercup said seriously, and there was a trace of annoyance in the next look she gave me. …which was, admittedly, deserved. She kept me up to date with everything going on in her life while I, well, supplied little in return.
“Okay, yeah. I’ll invite her,” I said with a nod.
“Great,” she grinned. “Gotta get to planning now. See ya!”
So that evening I called up Marina to invite her to Buttercup’s wedding and she excitedly said that she would go, then gushing about how wonderful it would be and asking all of these questions to see what I knew about it. It was kind of surprising hearing her fawn like a school girl over the whole thing, but for some reason it made me smile anyway. I suppose hearing her so happy made me happy as well.
She then even talked me into getting on my computer, while she got on hers and we browsed some of the same websites as she asked me my opinion on certain dresses, or offered a suggestion as to which suit I should get. Now, I realize this pretty much sounds like it should have been a nightmare for me, but it actually wasn’t all that bad. I was talking to Marina, after all, and I couldn’t help but picture how beautiful she was going to look that day.
But when the day of the wedding finally rolled around and I was getting ready to head down to the Butterfly Esplanade, I got an unexpected phone call.
“Yeah. Hey, Marina. Is everything okay? Do you want a ride there?” I asked, grabbing my keys before I left the house.
“Oh, no, I…I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it to the wedding,” she said, sounding upset.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, freezing in my spot and immediately expecting the worst.
“I just don’t feel well at all,” she admitted miserably. “I have been throwing up all morning. I was hoping I’d be okay by now, but I still feel really bad. I blame it on eating from the food truck last night,” Marina added with a bit of a laugh.
“That’s awful,” I responded, my face falling. “Are you sure you can’t come out for a bit? My family’s really looking forward to meeting you….”
“I wish I could, I really do, but I just feel absolutely terrible. I’m really, really sorry, Reed.”
“Hey, it’s okay,” I assured her, noting the break in her voice as she apologized. “Just rest and get better. Do you want me to come over?”
“Oh no, no! I’ll be fine, I just need to rest. You can’t miss your sister’s wedding.”
“Okay,” I said, still feeling guilty. “Well, feel better, okay?”
“I will try my best,” Marina responded. “Be sure to mentally record everything so you can tell me. I’d really-” she began, but then suddenly there was a crashing noise as if the phone had been dropped, and the next thing I heard was the faint sound of Marina throwing up.
“Marina?” I said loudly, but there was no response and finally I had to force myself to hang up. I sent her a text telling her again to get well soon and then made my way to the wedding considerably less excited. I hoped that she was okay.
The wedding really was nice. Instead of your traditional vows, Buttercup and Tony each played a song they had written for the other. It could have been pretty cheesy, but they were such great musicians that it was actually pretty fun to watch. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Marina though as I listened, wishing that she had been well enough to make it.
After their performances, the two exchanged vows and there we go—Buttercup was no longer Buttercup Winters, but Buttercup Cerulean as they officially became “man and wife.” Even seeing the ceremony didn’t make it any less weird for me though. I was happy for my big sister, of course, but the whole thing had still taken me by surprise.
I suppose I hadn’t realized just how much time had passed here in Bridgeport. We had come a long way from those rambunctious, naive 18 year olds who flipped out over our new apartment having a hot tub and were now…well into our lives as young adults. Where had the time gone?
It wasn’t long after the wedding that I received a very important phone call from one of the Chairman. At first, I was afraid that something had gone terribly, terribly wrong, but then I got the biggest and best surprise of my life—they were calling to tell me that I had been promoted to Chief Executive Officer! I HAD DONE IT! I could barely contain my happiness as I politely and professionally thanked them, but as soon as I hung up the phone I let myself flip out.
All this time I had been dreaming of making it this far, and now I had finally been successful. It had taken a countless number of hours of work, but that didn’t matter to me. I was finally doing what I had always wanted to be doing and that was what was most important. Wow. I felt incredible…but I also couldn’t help but feel like I wanted even more. Hey, I had come this far, hadn’t I?
Still, first thing was first…I was going to celebrate this most epic achievement like I never had before. PARTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!
So that night I drank like a boss….
Danced like a boss….
Drank some more like a boss…
And went back to my girlfriend’s place to get some like a boss.
It was all a perfect celebration of my accomplishments…and it ended on the best note possible, if I do say so myself.
I would never, ever, get enough of Marina.
A/N: Soooo you might be wondering why there were so few pictures of the wedding….this is because MY GAME HATES ME >:[ Seriously, the wedding party glitched up so bad it wasn’t even funny. For one, it would NOT let Buttercup and Tony get married no matter what I tried. The option just never came up. Now I don’t know if this was because I accidentally didn’t choose that it was a wedding party or what, but it was completely messed up. Plus, all the guests were scattered everywhere and only stuck around for a little before running off because they were “starving.” Thus, disaster. Did finally get them married, but yeah, story fail, and I didn’t even get to show the rest of the family. Ah well, better luck next time =P Hope you enjoyed this chapter anyway! Next one should be up very soon.