Our Happiest Day

Aeris. The name alone brought a smile upon Leo's face. He could barely contain his excitement as he stood atop the alter, with Shawn to his left, smiling so wide that nearly all his teeth were showing. Normally his friend would give him a hard time for his goofy expression, but today, everyone in attendance of the ceremony could understand why he was so happy. After another few minutes of waiting, everyone in attendance quieted down and Leo suddenly felt himself get slightly tense, but still smiled. Time seemed to move super slow as Aeris came around the corner, her arm intertwined with her father's, and Leo caught every second of it. She looked incredible in her silk-smooth white dress and gloves. When she came into full view of the rest of the crowd, small but audible gasps of amazement came from both sides, and both Aeris and her father let wide smiles come across their faces at the crowd's expression. Leo seemed to be the only one in the room that hadn't made a noise at all. He was to busy admiring her in her dress to think of anything to say. But all of a sudden, she appeared right beside him, and the toothy smile Leo had on before was replaced with a loving one that made his lips part only barely. He couldn't believe this was happening, and everything seemed to be moving in super slow motion now. He didn't even notice it when Mr. Cole let go of Aeris' arm and she took his hand, herself now smiling and looking into his eyes. "Take good care of her, Leo," Mr. Cole and Leo quickly shook hands as Leo responded. "I promise, sir." Aeris reached over and hugged her father before taking Leo's hand in her own once again. They stayed there a moment, just looking into each other's eyes, until the priest called them up. "Would the bride and groom please step forward." Both Leo and Aeris practically sprinted up to the top of the stairs, which gained a small laugh from their guests. After the laughter died down, the priest spoke. "Friends and family. We are gathered here today, as witnesses to the beauty of true love," Leo looked over at Aeris quickly as the priest paused, and felt her hold his hand tighter. "The true love I speak of, is none other than the love between these two young people," The priest moved his arm in front of Leo and Aeris, causing both of them to blush slightly. "Such is the love between these two so strong, that they have been together, nearly all their lives. It truly brings me great happiness to witness the bonding of these two, and all I can say is that I wish for nothing but the best for both of you." After a slight pause, the priest continued, "But now I'm rambling off again, aren't I? I suppose both of you would like to get on with it then?" Aeris laughed a bit, then nodded her head yes, as did Leo. "Of course. I understand that you have each prepared your own vows, yes?" They both nodded their heads. "Wonderful. Leo, if you would," Leo quickly pulled out the piece of paper in his back pocket and quickly unfolded it. After smoothing it out, he knelt down and took Aeris' paw in his own. After clearing his throat, he spoke. "Aeris, you've been my best friend for as long as I can remember, and I can't imagine my life without you. From the day we met, we were almost always together, and you're the one I want to spend the rest of my life with." Leo finished by kissing Aeris' paw and standing up, smiling even harder as he saw the tears of joy that had appeared on Aeris' eyes after his speech. He wiped them away for her, and she quietly thanked him before pulling out her own vows. However unlike Leo, she didn't kneel down, which was fine with him, and unfolded the piece of paper in the same manner as he did. After a few nervous breaths and laughs, Aeris slowly began to speak. "Leo, you've been there for me when I needed you most, and are the only boy that's ever really cared about me and my feelings, and for that I'm forever grateful. I love you more than anything, and can't wait to spend the rest of our lives together." When she finished, Aeris was beginning to lean in to kiss Leo on the cheek, but was stopped by the priest. "Ah ah ah, not yet dear, I have to say the magic words first." This drew an even louder laugh from the audience, and from Leo and Aeris themselves, who were both holding each other's paw incredibly tight, but not so that it hurt the other, but just tight enough that it seemed impossible for either two to let one another go. After the laugher died down again and another moment of silence, the priest put both his hands on Leo and Aeris' shoulders and told them to face one another. "Do you, Leo Leonardo the Third, take Aeris Cole to be you're lawfully wedded wife, to stay with her, in sickness and in health, and swear to love her no matter what?" There was no doubt in his mind when Leo answered. "I do." The priest turned to Aeris. "Do you, Aeris Cole, take Leo Leonardo the Third to be you're lawfully wedded husband, to stand by him in any choice he may make, and love him no matter what?" Her answer made Leo's toothy smile return. "You bet I do." Now smiling too, the priest stepped back some, then spoke again. "May we have the rings, please?" The young boy Leo and Aeris had chosen to be their ring bearer ran forward with the two rings bouncing slightly on the pillow that carried them, and Aeris giggled a bit watching. After he had given Leo and Aeris their respective rings, they turned to each other again. "Aeris," Leo began. "Please see this ring as a symbol for our love, for it is never-ending, just like the ring." When he finished, he placed the ring on Aeris' left finger and held her paw in his own for a second, then let her place her ring on his finger. "Leo, please see this ring as a symbol for out love, for it continues forever and never ends, just the like ring." When she finished, the priest looked back and forth between the both of them then said the magic words he had promised would come earlier. "You may kiss the bride." And kiss her he did. Leo wasted no time as he stepped towards Aeris and pulled her into the kiss, dipping her a bit as he did so, and a thunderous cheer erupted from the present crowd, and when they were done kissing, Leo and Aeris looked back and waved to everyone. "I now pronounce you, man and wife." Another cheer came from the crowd at the priests' words, and Aeris pulled Leo into a tight hug. "I love you, Leo." He kissed her cheek, and responded with a tearful "I love you too, Aeris" before both pulled themselves out of the hug and kissed each other one more time, arms still around each other. They stayed like that for a minute as the cheering from the crowd grew louder, the priest laughed in happiness, and Shawn and Ashley came up too exchange fist-bumps and hugs with Leo and Aeris respectively, then made their way down the alter, leaving only their two friends to stand and gaze into each other's eyes. They said nothing as they turned to the crowd one last time and raised their two hands, still joined, in the air and blew kisses to everyone then stepped down from the alter and made their way down the aisle. When they were away from the noise of the crowd and the door was shut behind them, Aeris pulled Leos' arm closer to her and knelt her head in his shoulder. "I'm so happy." She said. Leo stood there, stroking her hair out of her face, then replied with "so am I" then pulled her into yet another kiss. It was true; Leo could not be happier than he was right now, nor could Aeris, and they were both glad in the thought that now, they could be together forever.