The Mass progressed from Kyrie to Gloria all the way through the Credo. The organist played carefully selected hymns and a soprano sang the Latin lyrics. For some reason, they included “How Great Thou Art” in Latin, which puzzled Jeff. As much as he loved that hymn, he never really considered it a wedding song.
Jeff ran through the English lyrics in his head.
Nope. Not a wedding song at all.
The priest bowed and genuflected at all of the right moments. He prayed out loud. He prayed soft. He prayed silently.
Memory pierced the former hunter right in the heart.
Jeff knew that he should pay attention to the ceremony. He knew that he ought to pray. But he couldn’t stop himself from looking at her and loving everything he saw. Her dark skin made her gown and veil seem like they were made out of pure light.
He smiled at her. She smiled back and he felt enraptured. Even when the tears welled up in his eyes, he still smiled.
Jeff touched foreheads with her. “My Laura girl.” he whispered.
A hand touched the middle of his back and he knew that it wasn’t Darius. He didn’t have to look back to see who it was. He recognized the feel, the shape, the touch.
Tears trailed down his face. “My Laura girl.”
There was no response, but he didn’t need it.
The hand’s pressure remained on his back for the rest of the Mass.
Elsie couldn’t stop looking at Hildreth as he knelt beside her.
I knew he’d look good in a tuxedo, but I never imagined he’d look this good. Even with his Bossman 550 strapped to his back.
I can’t believe they did it. They really did bear their weapons.
The whole lot of them.
She took his hand into her own.
And he’s the biggest idiot of them all.
I can’t wait to be alone with him. I don’t want to change clothes after the reception. I just want to grab him and run.
He smiled teasingly at her as if he knew what she was thinking.
She snapped her attention to the priest’s activities.
Maybe Hildreth is thinking it too. Or maybe he’s thinking bizarre and unfathomable thoughts. With him, one can never tell. His brain is a mysterious place.
Hildreth fake-coughed again, just as everyone knelt for the Sanctus.
Elsie side-glanced at him. He studiously stared straight ahead at the priest, but his mouth twitched like he was trying not to laugh.
What is he thinking about? Whatever it is is clearly making him happy. So, maybe I shouldn’t worry about it.
Not that I am worried about it.
Elsie focused on the priest as he bowed for the pre-Consecration prayers. Yet, her thoughts turned again to the handsome man at her side.
I am his and he is mine. I am his wife and he is my husband. We belong to each other and will do so until death tears us apart.
What happens then?
If I should die first, will I still remember him? Or will I forget him the way Dad has forgotten me?
The priest raised the host.
Elsie looked up at Hildreth.
How could I forget someone as vibrant as him? As for Hildreth—
He looked down at her with a soft and loving expression.
No. He won’t forget me that easily.
Hildreth and Elsie looked forward as the priest raised the chalice.
I know he won’t.