A/N: So we got here, hallelujah! Anne and Gilbert have tied the knot and the honeymoon begins... To all those who've loved this adventure and begged for more, thank you so much! To those who haven't, thank you for reading it anyway. We appreciate every review.
Don't be too shocked when you come to the end of this chapter and read End of Part One. Part Two is coming, but I'll let FKAJ explain that. And I'll thank her while I'm at it, for writing the rollickingest, silliest, cleverest, funniest, sexiest story I have read in a long time. Goodness knows we need stories like this right now!
Gilbert had almost reached the barn when his friend, Robert Cassidy, suddenly appeared beside him and clapped him on the shoulder.
Rob was one of Gilbert's good chums from the Redmond Lamba Thetas. He'd been delighted to receive his invitation to Gilbert's wedding, and was the only one of the Lambs to make the long journey across to the Island. Unfortunately, the ferry had been late and Rob barely had time to dress in his impeccably tailored dinner suit. His dark blond hair had been smoothed back with hair oil, and his sandy coloured sideburns were neatly trimmed in the latest fashion. But it was his startlingly blue eyes, square jawline and the fascinating dimple in his chin that attracted the most attention, and had broken many a heart at Redmond over the past three years.
"Sorry I'm a little late, Blythe," Rob said, his cheeky grin contrasting with his carefully groomed moustache. "Not that you missed me, I'll wager. I always suspected that delectable redhead got under your skin. But to win her away from Gardner..." he whistled, "I think maybe I could learn a thing or two from you."
"Glad you could make it, Rob," Gilbert replied, with his eyes fixed on the barn. "Care to join me for a drink?"
"There I was thinking this Island was teetotal, never thought a good boy like you would break the rules." Rob's grin grew wider as he slung his muscular arm around Gilbert's shoulder. "Is this to calm your nerves for tonight?"
"Something like that," Gilbert muttered.
"I wouldn't leave your bride for too long if I were you," Rob went on. "I'd say you're in for a hell of a ride tonight."
As they approached the barn, Gilbert could discern several voices emanating from within. When he hauled the barn door open, he saw his father and a few other men huddled in the corner sipping at glasses of dark amber liquid.
"Gilbert!" John Blythe sounded surprised. "Come in, my boy. We were just making a toast to your marriage."
"Dad," Gilbert said, "have you met Robert Cassidy?"
"The railway Cassidys?" John was impressed. He held out a meaty hand to Rob, with a grin not dissimilar to his son's. "Come and have a drink with us."
As Rob shook the elder Blythe's hand, Gilbert glanced around at the men lurking behind the buggy.
He wasn't surprised to see Jerry Buote there with his son Pacifique. The Buotes often shared a whisky with his father at the end of a long day's work. Beside them, Edie's brother, George Fletcher, was looking sheepish, next to a red-faced Fred Wright.
Rob greeted everyone and accepted a chipped glass from Gilbert's father.
"Is this some sort of Island tradition? If so, I must say I approve wholeheartedly."
"Well, the women-folk might not all approve," Fred said with a sideways glance at the groom.
Gilbert could well imagine that Diana Wright likely would not approve of her husband drinking whisky, and winked at his friend.
"Edie's redcurrant wine is all well and good," John said stoutly, "but sometimes a man needs something stronger."
"And this man needs it right now," Gilbert announced.
A pained look flashed over John's face. For one dreadful moment, Gilbert thought his father was going to cry. He quickly recovered himself, however, and produced a mug from the shelf at the back of the barn.
He poured a generous measure into it and handed it to his son.
"To Gilbert and Anne!" Rob declared, raising his glass into the air. "May they have a long and happy marriage!"
"To Gilbert and Anne!" the others cheered.
Aware of his father's scrutiny, Gilbert downed the contents in one swallow. The whisky burned his throat and his eyes began to water. As the urge to cough overwhelmed him, Rob clapped him hard between the shoulder blades.
"Looks like you need some more practice at this," he laughed.
Gilbert nodded, as a pleasant warmth spread through his body. Even the crushing ache in his chest seemed to lessen. "Another, please!"
"Not too many, Gil," Jerry warned. "You'll need to keep your wits about you tonight."
The men all whooped, except for John, who poured his son another drink. Gilbert gave his father a reassuring smile.
"Down the hatch!" he crowed, as he held his mug high once more.
"Down the hatch!" the men bellowed.
The whisky had washed the taste of Anne out of his mouth. Gilbert wasn't sure if he liked that. But when Rob urged him to fill his mug again, Gilbert felt reckless enough to agree.
John looked sharply at his son, but said nothing. He poured Gilbert a smaller splash as the other men laughed and held out their glasses to be refilled.
This time when he drank, the whisky made Gilbert a little light headed and he felt a mellow warmth spread through his veins. It was not unlike how he felt when Anne danced with him, back when they were friends. Suddenly, Gilbert couldn't wait to be near her again.
He drew the back of his hand across his mouth, and grinned a little too long.
"Now, if you'll all excuse me," he was starting to slur. "I must be getting back to my wife."
"I'd say!" Fred guffawed. "She'll be mad as hell if you stay away any longer."
As Gilbert turned for the door, his vision seemed a little hazy. He set his jaw determinedly, ignoring his father's frown.
"Yes, it's my job to look after her now," Gilbert muttered to himself. He strode purposefully into the orchard, Mrs Lynde's words of warning drifting through his head. "Good and proper."
It took a moment before Gilbert spotted Anne. His gait was a little unsteady as he approached her. He should have eaten more at dinner, but he didn't have any appetite then. When he spied Anne dancing the two-step with Moody, he was suddenly ravenous.
Straightening his shoulders, Gilbert made his way through the little clearing and tapped Moody's shoulder. Before he could ask if he could cut in, Moody slipped away with a knowing grin at his friend.
"Did you miss me, wife?" said Gilbert, grasping Anne tightly about her waist.
Anne looked up at Gilbert uncertainly, trying to ignore the way her body responded to being called his wife.
"You smell like you found the whisky," she said, wrinkling her nose.
"Yes, I did. Would you like some? I found it very... invigorating."
He couldn't have said a truer word. Gilbert was now alarmed to discover the throb in his body didn't seem to be affected by the whisky at all. If anything, it pulsed with even more intensity than before. Anne's red hair glowed in the light of the lanterns. She had piled it high on her head with delectable curls framing her gorgeous oval face. All Gilbert could think about was unpinning it, and watching her thick red tresses fall over her creamy skin while he trailed kisses along the column of her neck.
He pulled her slender body dangerously close to his own. His head was spinning, though he could no longer tell if it was the alcohol he had consumed or Anne's nearness. When her gown brushed over his hips, the twitch in his trousers grew even stronger. It took every inch of willpower not to crush her luscious mouth with another kiss.
Anne tilted her nose up in disdain, shifting her tempting lips even closer to his.
"You know I don't drink. I've never seen you drink either."
"I've turned over a new leaf," Gilbert said. "This marriage has made me see my life from a whole different perspective. I'm a new man –"
"A drunk man," Anne scoffed.
Gilbert bent his head closer, his hot breath tickling the curls at her ear as his hand snaked around her back and he pulled her closer. He twirled her towards the edge of the clearing, away from the other dancers.
"Your husband," he reminded her in a low tone. His voice sent an unexpected shiver down Anne's spine. "I gave you what you wanted, didn't I?"
She could smell the whisky combined with his familiar spicy scent, and realised it wasn't entirely unpleasant. Beneath all her layers Anne could feel her nipples hardening, and she was grateful to be wearing such a modest gown.
"Please, Gilbert," she whispered. "Everyone is watching us –"
"Anne, it's our wedding," Gilbert argued, "we can do whatever we want!"
"You're right," said John, approaching them from behind Gilbert's back.
Gilbert swivelled on his heel.
"Dad!" he cried. "I was just saying to my lovely wife that she needs a drink!"
"I think you've had enough for the both of you, son," John said gently, and prized Gilbert's hand from Anne's hip.
Edie appeared then, and took Anne's hand as she drew her towards the house.
"Come, dear, you must be exhausted," Edie said kindly. "This has been a demanding day for you both -"
"Not for my wife," Gilbert stated. "I think you'll find she is simply relieved."
"We are all relieved," said Edie, "and deeply grateful for what you two have done. Let us do something for you now, and bring this wedding to a close."
"But our guests –" Anne objected.
"Yes," Gilbert said, "we must put on a good show for our guests."
"I wouldn't worry about that," said John, as Edie pulled Anne ahead of them. "Most of them have been wondering why you two haven't skipped upstairs already."
When Gilbert reached the porch, he saw Anne saying goodbye to Marilla, and he sidled past with a simple nod. Marilla would smell the whisky on his breath in a second, and a lecture was the last thing he needed.
He headed down the hallway, loosening his waistcoat buttons and yanking at his tie. Reaching the stairs, he slid down slowly and slumped against the wall. From the open door he could hear his father announcing that after this dance the wedding would be finishing up.
Arty called out, "Sleep well, Gil!" before he squawked with pain.
When Gilbert peered through the doorway, he could see Mrs Lynde dragging Arty away by his sizeable ear.
Gilbert wanted to laugh, but instead he just felt glum. The effects of the whisky were wearing off, and a throbbing headache had taken its place. He lay his head against the stairwell wall, and he didn't even move when Anne approached.
She looked down at Gilbert as if she didn't know who he was. Gone was the light-hearted, laughing chum she remembered from days gone by. In his place was this frowning, mercurial stranger. And she was married to him.
"I suppose that's it then," Gilbert said, slowly getting to his feet. "We should go to bed."
No sooner were the words out of his mouth when the traitorous throb in his trousers reared up again. He placed his hands in front of him and cleared his throat.
"What I meant was -"
"Yes, we should go to bed," Anne agreed. "You look tired, Gilbert."
She moved toward him, wanting to smooth the lines of his furrowed brow, before she caught herself and dropped her hand to her side once more.
Gilbert made a half-hearted bow, sweeping his hand in front of him.
"Ladies first," he said.
As Anne ascended the stairs, his eyes strayed over her slender form until they were arrested by the fascinating sway of her hips. He dug his hand in his trouser pocket, and vowed to keep his gaze fixed to the floor.
They paused in the narrow landing. Anne stood silently, looking up at her husband. Her full lips were parted as she remembered the scorching kiss he had given her earlier. She wondered if he would kiss her again now.
"The washroom is in there," Gilbert muttered, gesturing to a door that looked more like a cupboard.
"Thank you, Gilbert," Anne murmured, her breasts rising with an anticipatory breath as she unconsciously tilted her face upwards.
He could tell by her tone that she expected him to look at her. When he dared to meet her grey-eyed gaze, Gilbert was suddenly very afraid.
He was afraid he would drag her into his bedroom and tear away each layer of clothing until every last inch of Anne's exquisite body was revealed to his hungering eye. He was afraid he would throw her on the bed and cram his mouth on her pointed breasts, suckling each rosy peak until they stiffened under his tongue. He could almost see Anne's soft thighs parting eagerly as she begged him to take her, hear her panting breath as a sheen of sweat gleamed on her luminous skin, feel her tremble with need when he pushed himself deep inside her, her soft hips rising to meet every thrust...
Gilbert stared at her, unblinking, while he battled his thoughts, wondering if his lustful impulses were going to win out over his wavering self-control.
Then he remembered; this wasn't their wedding night, this was part of their agreement. Anne was no more interested in fucking him than she was in fucking Charlie Sloane. She only agreed to marry him so that she could save Green Gables. The look in her eyes as she stared up at him was not because of love, or even lust. She was simply relieved that she didn't have to marry a Sloane.
"Well, good night," he said, and without waiting for a reply he turned away from her. He didn't see the fleeting look of disappointment that crossed his bride's face.
Closing the door to his bedroom, Gilbert pressed his head against the wall they shared and the pounding in his chest returned as he realised he could hear every movement Anne made. The delicate slippers she threw to the floor, the snap of her garters being unfastened, the billowy whoosh as her wedding gown fell in a pile at her feet.
Eyes squeezed closed, he could imagine her removing her corset, her chemise, her pantalets as they dropped to the floor. Then he was assailed with a vision of Anne standing naked beside the spare bed. The throbbing pulse between his legs grew more insistent as he pictured her lustrous skin glowing in the lamplight, the soft globes of her breasts, the curve of her slender hips, her shapely thighs and the tantalising place where they met.
When he heard her bedsprings groan, he nearly groaned aloud himself.
Gilbert fell upon his own bed, not even bothering with his shoes, wishing he had thought to bring the whisky up to his room.
He heard Anne leave her bed to open her window, and pictured her standing there, her negligee translucent in the moonlight, the warm evening breeze ruffling her hair.
"Help me, God," he prayed silently, as he stared up at the ceiling. "Please – please, I beg you, help me get through this night."
End of Part One
A/N: Thanks so much for reading! Yep, it's the end of Part One and I can't possibly express how much I adore every single one of you who has taken the time to read, review, PM, fav or follow this story. I have a few pressing things in real life that need my attention right now, so I'm afraid there is going to be a little break before I can begin posting Part Two. I hope you understand, it's because kwak and I always want to give you the very best story we can, so I hope you will bear with us.
My eternal gratitude goes to Maud for these characters, even if I've taken quite a few liberties with them for this story, I hope she will forgive me. Without darling kwak, this story would never exist. Literally.
I always love to hear all of your reactions, so please tell me what you think about this chapter, and maybe share your ideas about what you think might happen next?
Love and kisses to you all. There'll be more soon as I can. I promise.