OK so I actually wrote this story waaaay back in 2014 and has just not gotten around to finally publishing it. Sadly, my brain kind of pooped out and gave up while writing the second part because I wanted to work on other things. If anyone else want to continue this story for me, PM me or something and I'll reply as soon as possible.
In the meantime, enjoy what I have so far and please leave a review if you can. Thanks!
The wedding date arrived much faster than anyone had anticipated.
The sky was a pleasant blue that Sunday, with a few white clouds scattered here and there. Positioned high above in the center of it was the almighty sun, whose golden rays graced the earth below with warmth. It truly seemed like an ideal day to get married with the weather being so cooperative. Hopefully, it doesn't decide to change later on and ruin everything.
Everything was set and arranged down to the very last detail; the wedding should be perfect. Still, that didn't stop Viola from worrying anyway.
As Viola's Maid of Honor, Olivia was given the privilege of riding with her to the cathedral in a bridal carriage. The Countess wore her finest blue gown and had her dark hair arranged in a simple, yet elegant bun. However, she knew that she couldn't possibly compare with Viola the bride, who was a beautiful vision in her wedding dress.
Orsino spared no expense for he believed that his bride deserves the very best there was, and he did a fine job of that indeed. Olivia had never seen a dress so magnificent, with its shiny satin skirt and fancy lace bodice adorned with a pattern trimmed with gold thread. Tiny pearls were scattered across Viola's thin veil, which covered her long golden hair. Seeing how she was practically glowing, one may have thought she was an angel sent down from heaven.
Never was there a bride so radiant as Viola is today. How is it that one of such divine beauty could possibly be the work of Man?
It was exactly then that Olivia found herself unwillingly staring at Viola's enchanting beauty, causing her to lower her eyes and mentally scold herself for thinking such thoughts. Not only is Viola a very good friend to her and is the sister of her husband, but this is also her wedding day for God's sake! It was simply all sorts of levels of wrong for her to be thinking this way about another person's fiance, especially if that fiance is a woman. Luckily for the Countess, Viola didn't notice her inappropriate staring due to her own eyes being glued to the window as she watched various natural scenes pass by. The soon-to-be Duchess didn't hide her anxiousness very well, as is the case will all brides, for she was constantly tapping her foot and tugging at the hem of her silken gloves during the entire ride. Her bouquet made of assorted lilies and violets laid limply in her lap.
Meanwhile, Olivia was also struggling with her own internal anxiety, which was threatening to eat her alive, but for completely different reasons. Ever since that fateful night when Olivia discovered that her feelings for Viola ran much deeper than sisterly friendship, the Countess had been unable to get the other woman out of her mind no matter how hard she tried. She is in love with Viola and that was the cold, hard truth. She could no longer deny it, nor was there any way for her to change it. Olivia had never in her life felt anything like what she felt for Viola, with its all-consuming intensity taking hold of her entire being. It was a feeling that left her utterly breathless, instilled her with unimaginable amounts of passion, and made her want to shout at the world from the top of a mountain. Now that she was sitting in such close proximity with Viola, the object of her secret affections, Olivia could swore that her body was about to spontaneously combust at any given second. For the Countess, simply being near Viola had been both torture and a blessing.
Olivia's hands fiddled with the jewelry box that she kept hidden under her thick skirt layers. The poor woman was actually trying to build up enough courage in order to confess her true feelings to Viola. She had decided that this would be the best course of action to take, lest she should be driven mad by such a weighty secret. She desperately needed to get this matter off her chest as soon as possible. Of course, Olivia was still aware of the many consequences that could arise from this plan, chief among them being Viola becoming disgusted by her and losing the friendship of her dearest friend forever, but that was a risk that the Countess was willing to take in order to maintain her peace of mind.
So after a several minutes of attempting to calm her frantic nerves, Olivia finally made her move.
"Dear Viola, please forgive me asking, but are you feeling alright?" Spoke the Countess which instantly broke the ongoing streak of silence between them. "You just seem a bit...distracted lately, is all."
Viola seemed to jump a bit in her seat, obviously due to being caught off guard by the Countess's sudden inquiry. Nonetheless, she did manage a small smile as she turned toward Olivia and there was a hint of a pink blush upon her pale face. Olivia's breath hitched and her heart skipped a beat at the sight, because in her eyes, the blushing only contributed even more to Viola's loveliness. It required every ounce of willpower she could muster for the Countess to not kiss Viola right there and then, which would undoubtedly put her carefully laid out plan in jeopardy.
The future Duchess eventually responded with, "Oh, Olivia, nothing is wrong at all. I was only contemplating my wedding and how so surreal this all is." She then released a soft sigh as she leaned back against the carriage wall for support and stroke out the wrinkles on her skirt. "Everything just seemed to move so fast with Orsino that I could hardly keep up with him. He always did say that he wanted to experience a whirlwind courtship, filled with the passion and romance that are spoken about in poetry."
Olivia laughed in spite of herself at Viola's statement before speaking, "Why yes, I believe that does sound like Orsino, ever the hopeless romantic! So since you said that everything is moving too fast, do you...perhaps, regret the wedding?"
A part of Olivia really wanted for Viola to panic and cancel the wedding, despite how incredibly selfish it was of her.
"Oh...oh no! That's not what I'm implying at all!"Viola immediately clarified while shaking her head. She smiled and it was such an angelic smile that Olivia's heart might have burst right out of her chest. "Orsino is wonderful man, kind, caring, well-mannered...even if he is rather naive at times, but I certainly do not regret agreeing to marry him. I love him and will be happy being his Duchess. Though what I'm most concerned about, is for the wedding to be perfect."
Olivia's stomach felt like it had fallen into a deep pit as she listened to how fondly Viola spoke of the Duke. Jealousy was not an emotion that Olivia was entirely familiar with, and she definitely never expected to be jealous of the Duke Orsino, who just happened to be her former suitor. However, that still didn't stop a sharp pang of jealousy from striking her heart at the thought of Orsino being lucky enough to have the privilege of calling Viola his wife, being the one to take care of her, hold her, and love her for the rest of their lives. Having her intestines ripped out and her body drawn and quartered would have have been less painful than the agonizing heartbreak she was forced to endure.
If the Duke really did make Viola this happy, then that was all that should matter, Olivia told herself. All she could do in that moment was swallow down her feelings and give Viola the most believable smile she could muster, before leaning forward to lay a reassuring hand over one of Viola's."Have no fear, dear Viola, because as your Maid of Honor, I promise to do everything within my power to make sure that your wedding will be perfect, just the way you want it."
Upon hearing the Countess's words, Viola's smile grew wider until she was practically beaming, and she placed her own hand over Olivia's and squeezed it. "Thank you, dear sister Olivia, you have no idea how immensely grateful I am for everything that you've done for me."
Perhaps it was only her imagination pulling a cruel trick on her, but Olivia could almost swear that she saw something...more, lingering behind Viola's platonic gaze.
Olivia's smile became somewhat genuine and she shook her head saying, "Oh, you shouldn't thank me just yet, dear sister, because I have yet to show you the wedding gift I have for you." Just as she was hoping for, Viola's expression instantly perked up with delightful interest. Olivia then pulled out a small rectangular jewelry box ceremoniously placed it upon Viola's lap. "Go ahead, Viola, open it up. I do hope you will like it."
The Countess relished in seeing Viola's blue eyes light up in such childlike curiosity as she gently ran her hands over the box's smooth wooden surface. Then her heart began to race rapidly as she watch Viola lift up the lid in order reveal the box's contents. Viola's eyes grew considerably wide, which Olivia took to be a most likely good sign.
"Oh Olivia…!" Gasped Viola in surprise as she held up an expensive and beautiful looking diamond necklace with a large sapphire in the center."This is so beautiful! I absolutely love it! Thank you so much for this brilliant gift, sister Olivia!"
"Ah, there's no need to thank me, dear Viola,"insisted Olivia for modesty's sake, even though she was secretly thrilled by Viola's reaction."Knowing that you love my gift is enough gratitude for me, really. There should also be a note in there somewhere…"
"Oh, yes, there is!" Exclaimed Viola excitedly, a folded piece of paper held in her hand. Olivia didn't think it was possible, but her heart rate continued to increase at an alarming pace as Viola unfolded the note and proceeded to read.
To be continued...