“You clean up well, baby sister.”
“Aw, thanks! You two still look like ruffians — just better dressed ruffians.” My wedding day had finally arrived. I was as ready as I was going to be. “Now, which one of you hooligans is going to walk me down the aisle?”
“You know, we thought we’d let someone else do it. Like that guy.” Aiden pointed somewhere behind me.
“Am I in the right place?” I knew that voice. The accent not quite southern, not quite Irish.
“Daddy?” I looked at Owen, my eyes asking the questions I couldn’t dare speak.
He shook his head. “He doesn’t remember, Dani. I’m sorry.”
I nodded and turned around.
“Um, hello there. I came here with someone and now I can’t remember who or why. Happens a lot these days, ma’am.” He smiled. “I’m sorry am I interrupting?”
“Not at all! These two men are my brothers and they’ve both decided not to walk me down the aisle! Brothers, you know. Would you be so kind and do me the honor of walking me down the aisle?”
“Well these gentlemen are missing out! I’d be delighted, my dear.”
“How do I look?” I was nervous as the wedding march began to play.
“Gorgeous. You remind me of my daughter. Funny thing, I haven’t the foggiest idea of where she is. I’m sure someone told me.”
“Funny thing indeed.” I smiled to myself despite the sadness of it all. Then the usher open the doors to the wedding hall.
“That’s our cue, madam!”
Even though I was sure I wasn’t going to cry, I immediately started to get weepy. I could hear Violet gasp all the way from the back of the hall.
Slowly, Dad and I started our way down the aisle.
“Deep breaths, my dear. We can’t have you passing out up there,” Dad whispered in my ear. “Your future husband will be a lucky man. I can tell you are special.”
Before I knew it we were at the altar and Dad handed me off to Lucian.
Before we got to reading our vows, I paused to look out at my family. My mom, aunt and uncle stood on one side of the church.
On the other, my brothers, sister, and father.
“Danielle Jayne McNamara, I promise to love you always, even when you are spectacularly difficult. You are my life, you are my love, forever and always.”
I probably looked really dopey, and to be honest, I don’t remember all that was said. I don’t even remember saying my own vows. No matter. We did it!
“You may kiss the bride!”
“Really!? Nobody told me there would be kissing!” Leave it to my kid to speak her mind!
We quickly moved on to everyone’s favorite part: the cake! Let’s be honest, that’s what I was looking forward to!
Unfortunately, I hadn’t even gotten to my cake yet when the phone rang. Being a doctor, I expected one of my patients was having an issue.
“Is this Ms. McNamara?”
“Yes, well, Mrs. Orfeo now.” That was going to be weird.
“Oh! Lovely! Congratulations. This is Ms. Cormand. From the orphanage. I just wanted to let you know you were approved for the adoption. Alice and Hadley are packed and ready to go home with you!”
“Oh my goodness! Thank you!” Ooo. Wedding. “I’m going to need about 30 minutes but we’ll be right over!” I figured my family would understand. I went to hunt down my mother. Mom is a fabulous hostess so I knew she could cover for us.
“Danielle! I just wanted to let you know I’m moving in with you.”
“Oh my God. You’d better be joking.”
“Hardly. I completely gave up my savings for you. You owe me, child.”
Thank God Lucian showed up because I might have killed my mother. “She’s moving in with us, Lucian.”
“Well I guess it’s good I just closed on a house in Van Crest. It’s got five bedrooms so we should be good.”
“Oh. Peachy. OH MY GOD.” My thought train was back on the tracks. “Lucian! We were approved to adopt the girls. We’ve got to go get them now!”
My roommate — I mean my mother — congratulated us and promised to keep the guests happy. Lucian and I raced over to get Alice and Hadley.
Best wedding night ever.