When Lara, Ben and Nadia found an alternate route out of the Tomb of the Crown of Immortality, they sealed the entrance shut for good and they used their current opportune moment to vacation around the great city of Rome located in Italy. They had the money to spend a few weeks there and why not? Nadia was not needed back in Siberia and she was actually looking to buy a house in Europe so she can continue to go on missions with Lara and Ben in the future. She was originally going to be an engineer for when she grew up, but when she saw the kind of adventures that Lara goes on pretty regularly, she decided to get a job in archaeology and engineering. Several days later, on April 17, Lara and Ben finally got married at the most famous wedding place in Rome: The St. Peter's Basilica. There were not a lot of people who attended, only friends of Lara's who happened to be in Italy at the time...and friends of Ben who happened to be in the area. Lara wanted her friends Sam, Jonah and Kaz to attend, and she was disappointed to discover that they were unable to. Didn't matter because if they ever renew their vows, then they would attend. The person marrying Ben and Lara was a judge they met in the Vatican who spoke no English, only Italian. Luckily for them, they could speak Italian and Lara actually found the idea of a judge marrying them in the Italian language romantic. They were also lucky to have Italian currency, otherwise the judge never would've married them if they had British pounds.
Ben was speechless about the wedding dress Lara was in.
Nadia was not a guest at the wedding, she was in the wedding, being the bridesmaid. This was one of the few times where Nadia actually removes her hat from her head and displays her night sky colored hair. Lara found her hair to look very beautiful and told Nadia that she should show her hair more often. Nadia had agreed to this and told Lara that she would wear less hat and show more hair.
The judge said a few marriage verses in Italian before he gave instructions for Lara to take the ring from Nadia...being the ring bearer and both the bridesmaid and to place it on Ben's fingers. The judge tells her to say, "I, Lara Croft take Ben Wheldon to be my lawfully wedded husband. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us apart." Lara follows instructions without any hesitation.
The judge then turned to Ben and instructed for him to take a wedding ring from Nadia and to place it on Lara's finger. "I, Ben Wheldon take Lara Croft to be my lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us apart."
The judge said a few more words in Italian before announcing that Lara Croft and Ben Wheldon were now husband and wife. "Tutto fatto (All done)," the judge declared.
Ben stared at the judge with a smile on his face. "Che dire baciare la sposa (What about kissing the bride)?"
"Sicuro (Sure)." And with that, the judge kisses Lara on the lips. A laugh broke out among the guests at the wedding before Ben was finally allowed to kiss his new bride on the lips.
One of the games that Lara and Ben played at their wedding was a game called the shoe game. (You can see videos of the shoe game on Youtube) Even though they just met each other two months ago (on February the 17th), they still managed to learn more and more about each other in between the two months and answered the questions like the answers were on the back of their hands. Nadia was the one asking the questions and she was having a lot of fun doing it.
Their wedding was impromptu, but they somehow managed to get the right cake and everyone of the guests were eating deliciously. It was almost midnight and that meant that the wedding was almost over.
For their honeymoon, both Lara and Ben took a cruise in the Mediterranean sea while Nadia relocated to England to buy an inexpensive house that Lara suggested. She paid her own money for it and Nadia set up shop there and waited patiently for Lara and Ben to return from their honeymoon.
Every night that they would sleep in their cabin on their cruise ship would be a romantic night. ;) When Ben was asleep, Lara gazed at the letter in her hands that Jankovic gave to her. If there was one thing she learnt about letters it's that if you are having a good day, then you don't want a sad letter to ruin it. Or if you are having a good day, then a good letter won't make it any better. If you're having a bad day, then that would be the best time to open a sad letter (as if your day couldn't get any worse). She missed her father, but she was not going to read his letter while on her honeymoon with her husband. She wished her father had been there to walk her down the aisle though, but ever since she accepted that her father was dead, she accepted that her father wouldn't be able to walk her down the aisle.
The one thing she always swore she would do for her late father though would be that when she gets married, she would hyphenate her name, whether she was married to a guy or girl. Her name was now Lara Croft-Wheldon. She was the last surviving Croft member so if she wanted to keep her family's legacy, she had to keep her original surname Croft. Ben was completely on board with this. Now all they had to do was have children and retire from life threatening adventures.
When the returned back home to Croft Manor, the place looked as clean as it could be. There was dust all around the place and it looked to be deserted in every room. Lara was actually expecting some kind of Trinity soldier or mercenary to be in their waiting and watching, but she was proven wrong and she was glad.
The first room they went into was Lara's bedroom and they both rested on the bed, exhausted as if they haven't slept in years. Lara was the first one to thaw the ice between them. "Hey Ben, back in Rome, when you stomped on Zima's skull, you said that you did because he said something to you. What was it?"
Ben stretched his arms before he answered. "He said that he was going to mutilate our child if we ever had one. He said he was going to toss our child into a grinder and force us to watch."
Now Lara felt anger filling her up. She was now glad that Zima was dead and that his plans for upstaging Jankovic had failed. She felt no sympathy for the evil bastard. "You did the right thing by smashing his skull in. I would've done the exact same thing if I were you." She regretted nothing that she said. She rubbed her knee caps a few times before she spoke again. "Do you want to have kids with me one day?"
"One day," Ben answered. "I would love to be a father, and the voices in my head are even excited for me to become a father. I need to take care of the voices in my head, but yes I would love to be the father of your children."
"If we have a boy, what would you like to name him?"
Ben did not take too long to answer. "Ben Jr." It was like he scripted his response. "And for a girl, it can be Little Lara."
"I think our children should have unique names," Lara reasoned. "Imagine two Lara Croft-Wheldons."
"Yeah, I can see how that can be a little confusing," he agrees.
"I love you Ben," Lara says and hugs him.
"I love you too Lara."
The window beside them shatters and Ben winces as if he was electrocuted. Lara looked at the window, and then she looked at what Ben was looking at: blood on his chest. Ben touched his chest and his fingertips were covered in blood. The shirt that he was wearing was beginning to turn a blood red color.
Lara's heart drops to her stomach instantly and Ben falls onto his back on the bed. Tears streamed down Lara's face as she applied pressure to her husband's chest. She felt as if she had been stabbed in the heart from behind. "Please Ben, don't die on me," she begs ands sobs, desperate to save her spouse.
"Ben stay with me, don't you dare die on me."
Blood leaked from his mouth.
"Bullseye," Bank says proudly as he looks through the scope of his suppressed M21 sniper rifle. "A perfect lungshot. He'll be dead in two minutes, giving Lara plenty of time to grieve." He jumps down from the tree he positioned himself in and joins up with Ciernik, Novak, Ivar and 1-7. "The Boss has made it clear that he wants Ben Wheldon dead and he wants Lara to be a personal agent of Trinity. Our orders are to execute Ben with a fatal lung shot and then we let Lara grieve. We let her cry her eyes out."
"She will pay for killing Jankovic," Ciernik declares. "We should take her in right now while she is sad."
"No," Bank protests. "As of Jankovic's death, I am in charge and anything I say goes and we let Lara suffer in grief from the lost of her now husband."
Novak and Ivar was displeased by this because of the deaths of Kovak and Ivan. 1-7 didn't mind either way.
"So we just leave sir?" Ivar asks.
"Walk out the door like nothing happened?" Novak clarified.
Bank nods. "Yes, we head out right now while Lara is still holding Ben in her hands."
"Where are we going sir?" 1-7 asked.
Bank had a smile formed on his face as he hatched an idea of where to go for awhile. They were given orders to let Lara grieve indefinitely before they move in to capture her once more. Bank already had an idea of where to go on vacation. "We're going to Romania, any objections? Nope, so let's head on down to the airport and have Ivar fly us to Transylvania."
"Laarraa," Ben wheezed. "Laarraa…"
"I'm here for you Ben, I'm here for you Ben." She buried her crying face into his shoulder and held his hand tightly. Lara could feel pressure coming from Ben's hand and knew that he was still alive, but he was dying slowly. "I'm here Ben." She lifted her head from his shoulder and looked at him through her teary eyes.
"I...love...you…" The pressure around Lara's hand was slowly fading away, getting looser and looser by the second.
"I love you too Ben, I love you too." She sobbed with all her heart. Her bedsheets were covered in blood and so were her hand palms. "I'll never forget you." She made sure that she kept that promise to her husband. She knew that no matter what, he was going to die. She did not want to accept it at first, but she just had to accept that Ben was going to die and the gunshot to his lung was fatal and something completely irreversible. She couldn't imagine life without her husband. She would be lost without him, falling into an abyss without a hand to reach and pull her up. First she lost her mother, then her father, her butler Winston, betrayed by Ana, lost her surrogate father and several friends and now most of all...she lost her husband. Her surrogate father and friends died on their own terms along with her mother and butler Winston, but everyone else; her father, Ana and husband were all killed by...Trinity. She knew this right off the bat and just even the mention of Trinity made her blood boil like lava.
All the pressure in Lara's hand caused by Ben's hand faded instantly and Ben's eyes closed for the very last time. He died, but he was still holding his wife's hand.
Lara sobbed her eyes out, her heart melting inside her and she squeezed her dead husband's hand tightly. She continued to cry with her face buried in her husband's stomach. She had no idea where her husband was right now, but she hoped that he was in Heaven and was at peace. All of a sudden, all the sadness in her disappeared. Vanished like the closing of a curtain and something replaced it. Something that has never existed in her before. Something that had been completely dormant within her just begging to get out for a very long time. She lifts her head up from her husband's stomach and her face was covered in blood, giving her the uncanny appearance of an psychopathic brutal person. There was nobody to blame except for one group. One group that has taken everything away from her since the very beginning. She growls and makes a fist with her hand. With Ben gone, then there was nothing stopping the killer growing from within her.
In loving memory of Lara Croft's husband Ben Wheldon (January 1, 1992-April 28, 2016). He was a good character to write and I actually feel some sadness that he is gone. Ben just got married to Lara and he had to die. He will be missed and Lara will definitely miss him. Just to let you fans know, I intended for Ben to die right from the beginning. I needed to give Lara a reason to harbor vengeance against Trinity and want to kill every single Trinity member. I still dreaded writing this chapter though.
RIP Ben Wheldon
Beloved Husband, and Friend
He is confirmed dead, but his story is not over yet...not by a long shot.
Nadia (Whatever her last name is)
Bellhop in hotel
Kazim (Mercenary #1)
Oktan (Mercenary #2)
Markie (Mercenary #3)
Michael (Trinity soldier #1)
James (Mercenary #4)
Pete (Mercenary #5)
Waldo (Mercenary #6)
Danny (Trinity soldier #2)
Glenn (Trinity soldier #3)
Chuck (Trinity soldier #4)
Lee (Trinity soldier #5)
Vernon (Trinity soldier #6)
Tate (Trinity soldier #7)
Roger (Trinity soldier #8)
Beck (Trinity soldier #9)
It took me 118 days to write this. Thank you all for reading.