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Enlightening Bloom(2)

By:Michelle Turner

“Thanks, Billy.” I kiss his cheek leaving my lipstick print behind.

“Does Pike look nervous at all?” I ask, using my thumb to rub my lip print off his cheek. We decided to block each other’s thoughts until I come down the aisle and I’m missing the feel of his presence in my mind.

“Not at all. Though if we don’t get you out there, there’s a good chance he’ll come barreling up here to get you.” Billy chuckles.

Pike must be missing our connection too.

“Then we better not keep him waiting any longer.” I laugh at the visual of my mate barreling up the stairs to get to me.

Billy holds his arm out for me and I place my hand in the crook of his elbow. The four of us walk out of the room and make our way down to the first floor. The wedding is being held outside of the pack cabin where the back deck overlooks the woods. Bonnie and Emily exit through the door before us, and then the doors are closed leaving Billy and me alone.

“Your Daddy would be happy for you.” He whispers when he leans in to place a kiss against my temple.

“I love you, Billy.” I say in response.

“I love you too, doll.” He says patting the hand that’s holding onto his arm.

The doors in front of us opens and the sound of Keith Urban’s song “Only You Can Love Me This Way” floats in from outside.

“Take me to my mate.” I say smiling at Billy.

He guides me out on to the deck that wraps around the back half of the cabin. The wedding is set up on the right side of the massive cabin because it has the best view. He leads me around the corner that leads to our guests, and my future. I stop us at the back row of seats so I can search out Pike’s eyes.

They’re locked on me and he’s smiling. We both open up our connection at the same moment.

“So worth the wait,” he whispers through our bond.

Chapter 2 – Pike

“I didn’t take that long, Tennessee.”

“Darlin’, I’ve been waiting on you for twenty-five years. Now get your beautiful self down this aisle so I can officially make you mine.”

She continues her walk towards me, never once breaking eye contact. When Bloom and Billy finally make it to me, I take her hand pulling her into my arms, and press my lips to hers. I hear the guests hooting and hollering behind us, but I’m not ready to break away from her.

“You’re skipping the steps.” Elder Cathal Burke chides me. He’s the one proceeding over our wedding. It would traditionally be the Alpha’s responsibility, but I can’t proceed over my own ceremony so the responsibility fell to an Elder.

I pull away from the kiss, but I don’t look anywhere but at Bloom when I reply. “Ok, you can start now.”

“Today is a joyous day for our pack. Our Alpha is here to complete his mating bond and has invited all of us help them celebrate. Not only does he want to be bound to his mate by our ways; he also wants the outside world to know they belong to each other, so they’ll also be reciting the human vows to become husband and wife.” Cathal’s voice booms over the wedding party. “Our couple is going to first recite the traditional wedding vows, and then they’ll read their mating vows they personally wrote. Pike, will you please go first?”

I smile at my mate as I recite the vows that will connect us together in the human world. “I, Pike Lukas Masterson, take you Bloom Michael Daniels, to be my wife, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part.” Finishing the last line I stick my hand out palm up to Tucker and he places Bloom’s wedding band there. I take Bloom’s left hand and slip the band into place on her ring finger.

“Bloom, it’s your turn.” Cathal guides.

“I, Bloom Michael Daniels, take you Pike Lukas Masterson, to be my husband, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part.” She holds her hand out palm up until Bonnie places my ring into her palm. On a shaky hand she slips the band onto my ring finger.

“Pike, please recite your mating vows now.” Cathal tells me.

Placing my palm to Bloom’s jaw I use my thumb to trace her cheek bone as I recite my vows from memory. “Bloom, I was very young when I found out about mates. My father told me that a shifter’s mate is made for him and him alone, and that one day I’d find mine. Since that day I’ve been dreaming about you. Then I found you and I knew the real you completely surpassed the dream I had in my head all these years. You’re more beautiful than a sunrise over a fall forest and sweeter than a berry picked ripe off the vine. But as beautiful as you are on the outside you’re a million time more beautiful on the inside. You’ve shown me how much you care for the people around you, even when they haven’t earned it, and you’ve shown strength when most people would’ve had their spirit crushed. For all of this I promise I will always stand by your side to protect you, to support you, and to love you as my true mate.”