I am sorry for the late update! I decided, at last, to extend the story into two chapters, so here's the first (hope more people are happy about one more rather than bored) :D And I am sorry, I will not be able to update for a month now, since I have a lot of studies, so please forgive me? Anyway, over to the newbies; 380, Bunnybal365, Char-nee, MzWameku, nelly99, xMyrid, lakusana and FairytailFan101 :)
Don't look back, live your life, even if it's only for tonight...
Chapter Fourteen- Wedding Wishes
"How do I look?"
"Beautiful. Like always," Rogue replied.
I took a deep breath in. My simple blue dress with its black neckline was probably not very formal, but I didn't want to look like I was trying too much. I was on my way to meet Emily again, and I was hoping for a bright result.
It turned out that Emily had to go out of town over the weekends when we were supposed to meet. I guess it would have felt rude to someone else, but honestly, I was more relieved.
Also, Freed was back and Mira wasn't living with me again—I was glad. It was hard putting up with wedding planning sermons every five seconds. Even Mom was going nuts.
Slipping my boots on, I followed Rogue down the porch to his dirt-bike. It looked like he had polished it last night; it literally sparkled.
"You'll always say that," I complained to him, seating myself behind him, mentally groaning at my awkward angle with the dress.
Rogue jammed his helmet on. "Yes." He had a white button-up shirt on, the first two buttons open. He was wearing my favorite dirty jeans.
I frowned. "I thought you'd deny it."
He revved the bike and said, "I wouldn't, because I would say yes. Because you're always pretty." He paused. "But that's what you were expecting me to say."
Damn, he didn't even see my face! "…what?"
He turned around to give me a smile. "You wanted me to say it, right?"
Sometimes, Rogue knew me only too well. "Right," I grumbled. He started the bike and we began to race down the streets at a considerable speed for once. I never got his knack to drive like we had one more second to live.
It took less than twenty minutes for us to reach. The Square was having some sort of carnival; fresh roses of red, white and violet crowded the promenade columns. Red and yellow stalls filled the spaces beside the pavement cafés and shops, and the trees near the distant lake had the leaves glittering in the August sunlight.
"Everything's so pleasant here," I murmured, hopping down and taking the helmet off. Great, my hair was ruined. Now Emily would have 'untidy' as another excuse to hate me.
"Maybe they're having it for pre-spring," Rogue said monotonously. His expressionless face made me laugh. "You never know it with the Square."
"Yeah," I agreed. Heat pooled in the pit of my stomach, the way it did whenever I was nervous. "Yeah, brilliant. Let's go, shall we?"
He smiled at my behaviour and took my left hand. His hand was warm and comforting.
We reached his floor and he knocked on the door instead of just inserting his first key. It was a little more courteous I guess, but for some reason I kept thinking Emily coming here made stuff annoying. This was Rogue's house, and he didn't need his mother acting like he was six when she couldn't bat an eyelid before.
Of course, I couldn't say that to the boy beside me. Even if it were true, it would still hurt him.
Alzack opened the door. He took the both of us in lazily and marched back to another room in a second. How friendly.
The smell of cooking hit my nose as I walked in. I raised my eyebrows at Rogue who shrugged. "If she becomes…er difficult, feel free to stalk out."
I laughed. "Sure, sure."
Emily Cheney walked out of the dining-room. She looked so beautiful, it was hard to believe she was the one with the attitude that she had. Her light blue hair reminded of the Magnolia sky. The sunlight came in through the sliding-glass doors of the balcony, giving a warm feeling to the living-room.
She forced a smile. "Lucy," she greeted, extending her arm.
I stared at her hand for a little too long and quickly shook it when the tension rose. "Hello."
For a scary moment I thought we would just stand there not saying anything, until Rogue coughed. He put his hand on my back and led me towards his room. "You can call us for lunch."
Emily's green eyes hardened. I dawdled, not really wanting to go his room right now. But she spoke up instead; "Actually, I wanted to talk with Lucy." She looked at me. "You don't mind, right?"
Just a private chat with my boyfriend's psycho mom who hates me? Sure, why not. "Okay," I agreed.
Rogue squeezed my hand. "Relax."
I nodded and followed Emily to the couch as Rogue went to his room. She sat down beside me instead of opposite me.
"Lucy," she started. "You're a beautiful young girl."
Uh oh. I studied the bracelet on my wrist so as not to meet her piercing eyes, the one Rogue had gifted me for Christmas. I hardly took it off.
"And I figure I need to apologize for my behaviour the last time you came over," she continued.
I looked up. "No, that's alright," I smiled.
Emily sighed. "It's just that, I was probably not the best mother to Rogue." She looked so sad, I felt like comforting her. "And over the years, he has been so reluctant to let me make it up to him. I believe…" She gave me a wry smile. "I believe I felt a bit left out."
She nodded, her hair falling over her fair face. I liked Rogue's coffee-with-milk skin better for some reason. "Yes. You see, I thought he was so much more willing to confide in you rather than confide in me. He refuses to even stay around me at times."
My breath hitched. Emily had been jealous? That Rogue, who would never open up to anyone, least of all her, had opened up to me? A bit of realization dawned on me. Of course. She didn't think I was worthy of being with her son.
"Lucy, I want you to know that I'm sure you will be a good person for him," Emily said, as if she read my thoughts. "I realized I was being prejudiced, and I am at fault. The odds are not always fair."
"Not completely," I mumbled automatically. She caught that; her eyes widened. "I'm sorry?"
"He…he won't admit it, but he's glad you are here," I said. I had been seeing him around her, I could feel it. "And maybe…he won't forgive you entirely for not really…caring enough, but…" I trailed off. That was enough.
I expected Emily to get angry. Instead, she smiled softly. "Thank you for telling me that," she said.
I felt sorry for Emily. It was obvious, the amount of guilt that she felt now that she realized how neglected Rogue had felt. And it seemed like she was trying to make him happy too…only it was probably too late.
Not sure what to say, I nodded. "You…don't hate me right?" I asked bluntly, immediately regretting my big mouth.
Emily laughed once. "No, Lucy. Of course not."
I bit my lip, holding back a grin. "So….you don't mind that I work in a café?"
She made a face. "I learnt of Rogue's latest job at the florist's. I don't think jobs will be bother me ever again."
We smiled at each other for a while, before the moment broke. We were probably not that close…but we could be.
"Uh, I should better go see to the food," she said, getting up.
"Want me to help you?"I asked.
She hesitated for a while, sizing me up. Then she shook her head. "I'll let you both have some time," she gestured towards Rogue's closed door.
She turned away before I said thank you.
I was on the way back home from Mirajane's place. There were only a handful of days left before the wedding, and she was nearly going crazy trying to arrange everything to the point of perfection. Bisca, her assistant in Clover, had flown over because Mira asked her to.
The twilight settled and my mind slipped to what I could wear tonight; Rogue had plastered his stupid smirk on and offered to take me out.
I was turning a corner out of Hazel Street when a familiar voice caused me to turn back—"Luce?"
Hearing his voice after so many months seemed to almost hurt. I sighed and faced him. "I'm busy."
Natsu lowered his onyx eyes. "I know. I just…wanted to talk to you a bit."
I didn't believe him. "I said I'm busy."
Then he took a deep breath and looked up. "I'm sorry."
"…what?" My irritation at him disappeared. Why in the world was he apologizing?
He ran his hands through his bright hair, biting his lip. "I said I'm sorry, alright? Stop making me repeat my words."
My temper flared. "Yeah well, why are you randomly coming and saying this crap to me anyway?"
He looked as if he would shout back at me, but held on to his temper. "I guess…I realized I had not been the best person to stay around when you and I were….you know, together" he paused. "And…I think I hurt you more than I realized. I know we have not been really…well talking a lot recently too. So, I just wanted to say I'm sorry."
Natsu was apologizing…to me? Perhaps, if he had ever said this to me when we still had a chance, I would have forgiven him. But now, too many emotions crowded my mind; surprise, anger, hurt.
"You think you hurt me?" I muttered.
Natsu glared at me. "You're not making this any easier Lucy. It's not like I ever stopped loving you."
"No, you just stopped caring," I said.
People who were passing by stared at us for a second, two people standing across from each other on one side of the pavement.
The next time Natsu looked up, I saw pain in his eyes. I didn't even think it was possible for him to have regret for the entire time he had not let me go. But strangely, I wanted to forgive him and never see him again. Get it over with.
"I really am sorry Lucy," he whispered. His voice broke.
I nodded, biting my lip now. My eyes stung at everything that had ever happened between us, everything that was happening now.
"I guess this is goodbye, Natsu," I said softly. My voice trembled.
He nodded, giving up. "Yeah. Guess so."
Natsu moved forward to hug me, but I quickly turned away. I couldn't bear to look at him right now. All those kisses, all the laughs, the lockets we shared, his sudden lust, his apology…everything was combining into an inscrutable emotion for him. But I was glad I didn't have to end up fighting with Natsu Dragneel again.
When I reached home, the tears I had been holding back spilled. I felt pathetic for crying, but I couldn't help it. My face felt cold despite the summery heat outside.
I didn't notice what I was wearing as I got dressed. Mom was out tonight, but she knew I wouldn't be home, hopefully she wouldn't stay up.
The doorbell rang after a while. Shit. I was not in the best mood to go out right now.
The bell rang again. I peeked out of my window. He standing there, looking patient.
"Lucy?" he called at last. Crap.
Sighing, I went out and opened the door. He looked relieved when I did, which immediately turned to shock at my flushed face.
He wrapped his arms around me at once. "What's wrong?" His thumb brushed the moisture in my eyes.
I looked away. "Nothing. Let's go."
Rogue frowned at me. "Lucy," he started. "You're crying. Tell me what happened. Are you hurt?"
I almost laughed at his protectiveness. "No," I said.
His crimson eyes looked into my brown ones. "Please…?" he asked softly.
How the hell was I supposed to deny that tone?! His face was so concerned. He raised a hand and touched my forehead. "You're frowning."
Finally, I met his eyes. Then he tried again; "Was it Natsu?"
It felt so stupid. Why did he have to be this concerned? It made it worse. I nodded silently.
Rogue let his arms drop. "Did he do something?" A hint of anger crept into his voice.
I half-smiled, feeling better at seeing him. I was wrong—I always felt breathing was easier when I was with him, not the other way round.
"No, Rogue. It's alright. I…just didn't realize…it would be that…hard to say goodbye to him…"
Then Rogue leaned down and kissed my forehead. "Are you sure you want to come tonight?"
I smiled. "'Course stranger."
"I…am….never going on that ride again!" I wheezed to Rogue, clutching my sides.
He smirked. "Scaredy-cat."
I glared at him and quickly gave up. It was impossible to resist that rare crooked smile. "Your choice in an amusement park is highly dangerous!" I mean, rapids?!
"Well, it's boring otherwise."
I shook my head at how he always seemed to make the world look childish with those simple words of his. Seemed to make me feel childish.
"Hey, I liked my choice!"
"The Ferris? If you say so."
Despite being drenched and soaking wet from the rapids with the sun doing nothing to help dry up, I was having fun. Tuesday night when we went out to the lake after the little Natsu-episode—which I chose not to remember—it didn't seem half as fun as today.
Rogue was all for the haunted house, but even though there was pure daylight and he was beside me, I decided to do a 'tactical retreat'.
I shivered in my pretty much soaked clothes as Rogue bought us popsicles. "If I get sick, you're responsible."
He handed me one of the popsicles. "Sure. I get to take care of you."
I rolled my eyes. "I'll be whining and complaining so you won't have much fun 'taking care of me'." I made quotation marks in the air with my free hand.
"Hm. I'm kind of used to that." He gave him a teasing glance.
I twitched. Okay, I didn't mind him teasing me since I did it almost all the time, and I was used to him doing it to. But wow, that was like something he would mean as an insult if I didn't know better.
When I turned away his crimson eyes grew worried. "I'm sorry…did I say something wrong? I was kidding."
"If you say so," I repeated. He didn't need to apologize, he was almost forgiven. But you have keep boys on their toes or they'll never stop with that ego.
"Lucy…" he grabbed my arm as I turned around.
He obviously expected a cutting remark, so I guess he was surprised as not getting one. "Well…it's almost two. You want to get back?"
I tried hard to suppress my smile at his dissatisfied expression at my words. He always expected me to talk on, and on and pretty much all the time, but though he didn't show it, he didn't like it when I stopped talking either.
Emily and Alzack were not at home for a fact, and I had decided to stay over at Rogue's place before. I didn't realize whether I wanted to change my plans or not until we had already reached his house and I was taking off the helmet.
Oh whatever. My house was empty too, what would I do? Plus he had been trying to teach me how to carve out tiny figurines from wood like he had done for the bracelet and even smoked ice. It was the coolest thing ever. And I wanted to continue on my little snowflake figurine for now.
"Lucy," Rogue said, once we entered the house. "You can't keep ignoring me."
I didn't let him see me roll my eyes. "It's better not to speak rather than whine and complain."
I entered his room and made a beeline for the boards of wood placed neatly on the roomy window ledge. It was almost like he had followed me into my house, the way I moved around.
My eyes widened when I felt his arms snake around my waist. The damp fabric made my back moist. "I was joking," he whispered.
I tried to concentrate. "'Course you were."
He kissed my earlobe. "…Forgive me?"
I took a shaky breath, still not telling him to let go. "Kiss me if I don't."
He smiled into my hair. "So…will you?"
I smirked. "No."
Rogue's lips were locked to mine in the next second, my hands braiding themselves in his hair. His teeth grazed my lower lip and I allowed him entrance. Finally, I broke away for air. "You're still not forgiven."
His lips moved to my neck, and I found myself on his bed the next minute. "…why not?" he asked.
I tried to find some part of me which was asking him to push off. I didn't find one. "Because you need to think before you speak."
"Alright…" Rogue's hand caressed my back. I felt it invading under my top. "Should I think before I say I love you?"
His fingers were playing with the clasp of my bra, and I couldn't hold in my sharp intake of breath as his lips moved from my neck to my ear as he whispered huskily; "So, should I?"
My voice came out shaky. "I think I can make you an exception."
He smiled and I found myself giving in to what he was doing to me. I had never allowed Natsu to touch me, well not in that sense, but at the moment, I didn't care. I couldn't imagine that what I was doing was not a good choice. In fact, I had probably never been surer of anything more than this. I felt...more alive.
I was vaguely aware of how my clothes and his clothes ended up on the floor.
"Lucy, where are you?"
I glanced at the phone and returned it to my ear. "I'm near the shop beside Unicorn Music."
Mira made a frustrated sound at the other end of the line. "Luce, honey, the wedding is three days away and you need to get to Gray's house right away."
I realized I was supposed to meet them about an hour ago. The wedding was supposed to take place at this beautiful place by the riverside beside the Fullbuster house even if it didn't make the surroundings very formal. But I had tons of work to do with the dress and the arrangements.
"I'll be there in a few minutes," I promised.
His house was closer to the Square than Rogue's was, but I was in no mood to walk. It took a frustrating five minutes to get a cab but I finally did.
The car drew up beside Gray's house. It was pleasant and with a huge lawn surrounding it. The ochre lights were on and I could see the vague shadows of people inside. The evening's hazy bluish-white colour settled in.
I paid the cabman and got out, entering through the gates. I remembered when the party after Juvia won the Fiore Beauty Contest had taken place; every inch of the place was covering complete with a scotch fountain not that I had any.
I crossed the garden and went straight to the backyard where Mirajane was. Teetering crates of materials for the wedding complete with about a hundred bags of designs, plans and dresses surrounded Mira, Bisca—apparently Alzack's fiancée—and Levy. Cana and Aria generously offered to help out.
"Finally!" Mira scowled. "We need to get the aisle down by tonight so that we have enough time for the boulders and the flowers."
I nodded. "How many are you planning?"
"About a few hundred on each side of the aisle. Aw, I wish Erza was here!"
Levy grinned at me. "Let's hope she's still in once piece after this wedding's over," she pointed to Mira.
"Well, I have to maintain myself at least untilafter Lucy and Rogue's wedding," Mira shot back.
I blushed. Bisca's phone rang and she excused herself for a moment while Cana scrutinized me.
"Lucy," she said. "Why is your face so flushed?"
"Huh?" Heat crept up my cheeks. "It's not!"
Mira turned to me. "Yeah, it is," she said. "And you look exhilarated. Were you on the roller-coaster or what?"
Cana laughed. "Or she was having sex," she joked, turning back to the box she was unpacking.
When my face became redder and I looked away, Mira's blue eyes widened. "Lucy…you were really having sex?"
Levy looked almost as uncomfortable as I felt.
Aria and Cana burst out laughing. "The Cheney guy must be such a seducer," Cana hooted. "Lucy Heartfilia, finally loses it."
I would now heat up and become flammable if I didn't stop my furious blushing.
"How long?" Mira winked.
"Mira! None of your business!"
"Yeah, Luce, how long?"
"Ugh! What's wrong with you guys?!" Even as I said I couldn't help but give a goofy grin. They didn't need to know when I reached his house. And they certainly didn't need to know that he dropped me off home two hours later.
It was hard to forget how he kissed me though. His seductive side was a whole new side to him.
"Okay, here's the new and improved dress then," Mira said after a while, lifting something out of her Caprese bag.
The most beautiful white dress we had seen at Hazel Street came into view. The strapless, sleeveless long gown had a vintage touch to it, the embroidery silk weaving down from the top and getting lesser towards the torso. The veil and the lace were both pretty elegant as well.
"I don't know whether Juvia will like that," Cana said. "But hopefully we won't have to clean up after Gray's nosebleeds."
We laughed, pleased. Mira and Bisca's lace and embroidery designs were perfect. I was pleased to see they took my improvement to the veil into account.
Levy put it back in its cage before Gray happened to see it, and Aria made arrangements to get the boxes shifted to the wedding place. We reached there before the men helping out did, and I stared out at the place.
The river to one side of course, was beautiful. There was enough grassy place to set the long, silver aisle in between and Mira's idea of freesias and roses and violets of all colours on either side was good.
The cream-coloured arch with its own flowers as well was to be some distance away from the aisle, and the people could easily fit in behind the flowers. Mira's idea of white blossoms on the aisle was not bad either.
"Lucky bitch," Cana muttered to me, grinning as we helped set up. "Juvia got the guy and the best wedding planners too."
I smiled, waving my hand. "I'm sure she deserves it."
Cana raised an eyebrow at me as she carried a box to Mira. "But then Lucy," she gave me a smirk. "You got the guy too. Wedding-planners are just waiting in the curtains."
She left me smiling stupidly to myself.
She glowed with beauty.
The train cascading down the pure white silk moved gently across the blossom-strewn aisle as her high-heeled feet walked. I was proud of the way I had done up Juvia's hair—leaving it open since she looked best like that, but tying back from the sides and clasping it with a crystal-embedded barrette.
Mirajane flushed with pride beside me. "It's perfect, isn't it?"
I smiled as Juvia walked past as. "Couldn't be better."
The place was exactly as we had imagined it to be. The flowers crowding the area in front of the families and friends on either side looked pretty. The archway every bit as cool as I wanted it to be, and the blossoms on the grass was the best idea Mira ever had.
The lights were dim and adding to everything, though we didn't need it much.
Gray looked so serious I had push my fingers towards my lips to tell him to smile. He managed a dead-nervous one.
The vows were read out and all of a sudden it was over. Once Gray and Juvia broke apart, everyone crowded the spacious area.
I sat with Cana, Levy and Mira, exhausted. Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling In Love began to play in the background.
"If Mira decides to get married," Levy smirked. "We'll sing I'm Sexy And I Know It for her."
I laughed while Mira gave me an odd look, grinning. "And at Lucy's wedding," she said. "I'll play Bond soundtracks."
"Please no!" I rolled my eyes. "I don't think I need depressing music in a wedding."
"Ooh, so you will get married!" Cana gave me a wink.
I pretended not to hear that. But my eyes travelled to Rogue in his tux, standing near Gray and talking to him.
"Don't have time."
Levy almost choked on her own saliva. "…don't have…time?"
"Yeah." I shrugged. "First off, we're only together for four or five months."—
"With a lot happening in between," Mira muttered.
— "And really, I have work and writing and…"
"Pfft." Cana laughed. "But wanting is another thing, right?"
I didn't have a witty comeback to that, but I smiled, agreeing. "Yes." My eyes travelled to the aisle. "A girl can dream."
There, the second last chapter done! And, I made it longer to make up for not updating for a while :P I hope you liked this chapter, and the next one will be the last...wow. Anyway, please review guys, I love you all loads!
Happy New Year 2014 to everyone!