Love Will Keep Us Alive (The Eagles)
Looking at his face made my heart melt. I’d been so nervous to say my vows. I’d been writing them since the moment he jumped out of the water, blocked my sun, and told me that he was done waiting. But if I was being honest with myself, I’d been writing these vows for six and a half years. Since the night he dropped to one knee while we were eating dinner on a giant terrace with all of our friend and asked me to spend forever with him I’d been imagining what it would be like to tell him how much he meant to me and how lucky I was to be his bride. And now I could breathe a sigh of relief because I’d said them. And there he stood with the look on his face that I’d tried to imagine for six and a half years. His face always showed his emotions so well, it was one of my favorite things about him. He looked as stupid and in love with me as I felt every day.
“Following you hasn’t gotten any easier seven years later,” he said. “But at least your ass is still as nice to watch.” He winked at me before I punched him in the shoulder.
“You are still an ass.”
“You love my ass.”
“I do,” I said giggling.
“Okay…time to get serious.” He puffed air out of his mouth dramatically. “I remember the first moment I saw you. My life changed in the instant I walked through the door of that little bookshop down the street from my house. You smiled and the world turned upside down. I have to admit, you were the first woman I’d met in a long time that played hard to get with me, which made me like you more. You weren’t just going out with me because I asked. You made me win over your heart and mind. Based on how much you love my dimples I didn’t imagine it would’ve taken as long as it did. But you guarded your heart.” I had guarded my heart so much. I was afraid of letting him in. I was afraid of getting my heart crushed by Harry, but all he’d done in the past seven years was treat my heart with the best care.
“When you finally let down your walls everything moved so fast. I knew after that first weekend when we were snowed in at your flat that I was in love with you. The rate of speed at which our relationship moved in the beginning would’ve scared me if it had been with anyone but you. I would’ve married you after our first date. You were absolutely perfect for me and I knew it. I’d gone through so much in my life and my career but nothing meant as much to me as sharing it all with you. To know that you were by my side each and every day was the best gift you could’ve given me. So thank you, for being my constant companion, my best friend and the love of my life.
“You are right. We have been through a lot. This isn’t what we pictured in life. When we first got engaged we talked about a big wedding and a house full of kids. But fate chose a different path for us and I couldn’t be happier with where we are now. The way you have handled everything that life has thrown at you, at us, has made me love and respect you even more than I thought possible. Your grace is inspiring. I wish I’d handled all of the ‘road bumps’ the way you did.” I had handled our ‘road bumps’ much better initially than Harry had. He got angry every time someone asked us when we were planning on getting married or having kids. There had been a few times where he’d gotten a bit mouthy with people who didn’t know what was going on. If someone asked why we were waiting so long to have kids he’d get angry and defensive. It had been tough on both of us. So many people assumed that it was me making the decision, not my body. It was difficult to watch him go through that. I’d been able to come to terms with it eventually but he had felt so helpless because it was the one problem I’d ever encountered that he couldn’t fix. Even when I suffered from depression in the aftermath he was able to do things for me that helped ease the pain I was feeling. But he couldn’t give me a body that would let me be a mother.
“You amaze me in the way you deal with everything that gets put in your path. You have this brilliant mind and I feel so lucky that I get to witness the way it works. To be the beneficiary of your talents and to be the person who gets to witness you work is an honor. You amaze me so much and I fall more in love with you every day. I don’t think I could’ve created a better partner in life than you even if I tried. I’m going to give you all of my heart every day for the rest of my life.” He had done so well after I finished speaking holding in his tears but I could see them start to slide back down his cheeks. The way he was comfortable with his emotions was one of my favorite things. If something moved him to tears he didn’t think that he needed to hide it from me the way so many men did. He didn’t view emotion as emasculating, he viewed it as empowering.
“Seven years ago I was blessed to have you enter my life. You are my muse. My partner. My lover. And today knowing that you are doing something you always swore you would never do and taking my name means the world to me. To know that you will be Annie Styles until the end of time is the greatest gift I could ask for. But please, don’t ever stop being Annie Catalano.” Oh. My. God. Did he really just say that? I let a sob out without even realizing it. “I fell in love with Annie Catalano. The short little Italian girl from America who wore her heart on her sleeve despite the walls she built to protect herself. The woman who changed my life, simply by being the person in a bookstore that helped me find a book. I didn’t know that a book could change my life, but it did. Ann Marie Catalano, I’m going to love you for the rest of my life.”
“And I’m going to love you for all of mine.”
“You two have traveled a long, winding road to get to this place today.” Yes! A Beatles reference from Luca, he was really perfect to pick for this moment. “I feel honored to witness this moment with your friends.” He gestured to Kim and Nate. She very rarely got emotional but I saw her wipe a tear from her cheek as Nate had his arm around her. “You two have such beautiful souls and to know that you are bringing them together and creating this union is very special to be part of. Your journey does not end here. It starts anew. Your journey as husband and wife is just beginning. The world is waiting for you. You both selected a ring for the other to wear as a sign of the love you have.”
Harry reached his hand in to his pocket and pulled out a small box that held both of our rings. We’d gone shopping for these together before leaving London. It was something we wanted to be special. Wedding bands that showed our commitment to each other. We both loved jewelry, though I often worried that my engagement ring was too extravagant. Harry wanted the best for me then and now. But this time I convinced him to do something a little bit simpler. No diamonds, just a simple band, one that matched the ring he would wear on his finger. They were perfect to me and showed our relationship. We didn’t need flash, we just needed each other. He handed me his ring and I took it between my fingers.
“A wedding ring is an ancient symbol. Something that has been exchanged between lovers for centuries. These rings that you exchange today are a circle with no beginning and no end. They symbolize the love you have for each other. The love that you give comes back to you from the other. They are precious. You have picked them for each other and give them as a gift of your love. They are a sign to people who meet you of the love you have for each other. Harry, do you promise to love her forever?”
“Until my dying breath.” I felt him slide the band snuggly on my left ring finger.
“Annie, do you promise to love him forever?”
“With all of my heart and all of my soul.” I smiled as I glanced down and placed the ring on his hand.
“With the love you share for each other and the promises you’ve made here today you are now husband and wife.” I couldn’t help but smile at him. It was the first time I’d noticed the clicks of the shutter on Alyssandra’s camera. “You may now seal your vows with a kiss.”
“I love you,” he said as his hand rested on my cheek.
“I love you,” I replied before he bent down to kiss me. Seven years together and we finally were able to share this moment. I knew we’d have a repeat on Monday when we were in London and went to make it legal. But this was the moment I would remember forever. The moment that we promised our forevers to each other in the middle of Paris as the sun rose above us.
“This was perfect,” he whispered as he rested his forehead against mine.
“It absolutely was.” He kissed me again and then got so excited that I started to dance and laugh. He was mine forever and I was his. It took us a long time to get here and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
“I’m so happy,” Kim said as she was fighting back tears. “Thank you for allowing us to be here with you.”
“We wouldn’t have it any other way,” I said as I hugged her.
“Congratulations,” Nate said as he hugged me. “I’m happy to see that you are finally settling your ass down after all these years.”
“Thanks Nate. Thank you for being here.”
“I’m glad I could be,” he said before leaning down and whispering in my ear. “You’ll get your just you wedding at the court house on Monday.” My eyes went wide. He knew that this wasn’t legal. Shit. I should’ve known Nate would know that. “Don’t worry. I didn’t tell her. She’d be heartbroken that you did the legal part without her. She’d want to be at both of these.”
“I know. Thank you.”
“Okay you Styles kids, let’s get some pictures,” Alyssandra said. We went to every place that meant something to us in Paris and took pictures together. It was fun to know that we’d have these memories of this morning when all was said and done. We had developed a list with Alyssandra and Luca before today and they did their best to meet our every request. It felt like mere minutes that we ran around the city before arriving at the train station and getting in our seats.
“This really was the perfect way for you two to get married,” Kim said as we sat down. We hadn’t even had time to change. We were still in our clothes from this morning as we got settled.
“Thanks. We wanted it to be special and at this point a giant wedding just seemed unnecessary for us. We’ve been together for so long that most people would laugh at the idea of purchasing a wedding gift.” I reached in to my bag and pulled out my laptop.
“What are you doing, love?” Harry asked as I fired up the machine.
“I need to write a blog about our annual trip to Paris. Alyssandra sent me a few of her favorites from today already.” We’d barely left them an hour ago, she amazed me with her skills and speed. But she knew I’d want to write about the moment and sharing her images would make it perfect.
“Well, you should probably make sure that you don’t post it until we tell our friends,” he said.
“Of course not. But I want to write it while it’s fresh in my mind. I’ll text the whole group and tell them to meet us at O’Brien’s for a few cocktails tonight.”
“That sounds like a perfect idea,” Harry said before kissing me softly. “Tell everyone all at once. I’ll text the guys, they should all be in the city.”
New Message in O’Brien’s Family Group Message
We are all homesick and decided to catch the train this afternoon and come home. Meet us all for a drink at the pub at 7:00. You aren’t allowed to say no. I miss all of you and it’s your fault I’m not enjoying Paris for an extra evening.
The train ride home was the perfect chance for me to work on the blog post describing this trip. I had three people adding in their opinion of what was their favorite point or favorite line in our vows. They were able to help me as I went back through and edited the piece so that it included the proper details and conveyed just how special today had been. It was going to be one of the most special blogs I’d ever written and also potentially one of the longest. I didn’t know how to edit down the words that explained just how much I loved Harry.
“Be sure to include the line,” Kim said.
“The line?” I asked.
“The ‘please don’t ever stop being Annie Catalano’ line. That was perfection.”
“It really was,” I replied as I smiled at Harry.
“I meant ever word of it. Sharing my name with you is an honor that words can’t fully describe but to know that you will always be the girl that I fell in love with all those years ago means more than even that.” I smiled up at him and kissed him.
“You two are obnoxiously adorable,” Nate said.
“Look, even Nate is okay with the making out.” I couldn’t help but giggled. He had bad timing and always seemed to walk in on his friends as they were in the midst of a few kisses and a few times he’d walked in on more than that.
“I’ll let it slide today. It’s that whole newly wed thing. Starting tomorrow you are back on the rule of no making out around me.”
“We can comply with that,” Harry said before kissing me again. I could feel his lips form a smile against mine. “We might also take full advantage of the allowance for newlyweds and just make out the entire train ride back.”
“We can’t,” I responded. “I need to finish my blog so that it’s just ready to hit post when we are done. I want to beat the news media to this so we can share our wedding in our words, not some random photo a gossip site finds.”
“I know you do. And I think it’s just how we should do it. Though you know the people who work for us may not agree with that.”
“Keywords babe, the people who work FOR us. It’s our decision not theirs.”
“I know.” He liked doing things on his own but was always slightly nervous about what our teams would say when I went and blogged something important. When I’d finally a few years ago decided to open up about our infertility issues we’d faced backlash from our team. We knew we could’ve sold the story but it didn’t feel right. And we had some that felt we should’ve kept it private but knowing that so many of my readers faced issues getting pregnant meant that I wanted to show them that life could be wonderful if they never received that gift. It had been a tough decision to make but it was one that we made together and felt good about. Especially after the outpouring of support and similar stories from readers and fans that we received. It had been worth it to know that we had made at least one person feel like they weren’t alone.
“Good, so let me get back to writing.” My fingers flew across the keys of my MacBook Pro. I knew that I’d have to let Harry read the whole thing before I posted it. I always did if the post involved him in anyway, which meant he read about 99% of what I wrote before I clicked post. I always gave him veto power to something he didn’t want to share and if there ever was something he usually gave a pretty good argument about why I shouldn’t share it and at least half of the time convinced me to agree with him. When I was finally done I put my laptop in front of him so he could read it. “So what time do the boys have footie in the morning? I really do want to go.”
“I think at 1:00. We could all do brunch before hand at the house. We’ve been doing that before all of their games, you just haven’t been in town for most of them.”
“I know. I’m sorry. We need to be better about staying home and being part of life. Maybe now we will. My book is nearly done. He will be back in the studio. It only makes sense to settle back in London for a while.”
“We’d all love that of course. Don’t you leave to go home for your Dad’s birthday soon?”
“Yeah, we will only be there for a week though. Everyone is working so much that we decided to just come back for the kids’ spring break to make sure that we have time with them and then we will leave. I think the plan is that next year they will come to us for spring break.”
“Do you even have your Dad convinced of that?”
“I think so. After living in London for nearly eight years it’s about fucking time he got on a plane to come see where I live.” I couldn’t help but laugh. My Dad hated flying. He used to do it twice a year. His plane ride to Florida and home from Florida for the trip he and my step-mom took for their anniversary every year. We finally convinced him about five years ago that a trip to Los Angeles to see us once a year wouldn’t be so terrible. It helped that my niece and nephew begged Papa to come with them, he couldn’t say no. He was set in his ways, but he also knew it was time to come see where I lived because I wasn’t going to move home anytime soon.
“That will be nice. And the kids will love it! You can show them all of the cool places that Aunt Annie and Uncle Harry like to hang out.”
“Yeah, they are already planning it. I bought them a few books about London for Christmas to get them working on Dad. He has to listen to them go on and on about all of the cool things that Aunt Annie gets to see every day. He reminds them that Aunt Annie can’t go to a baseball game or a ‘real’ football game whenever she wants. It just makes me laugh.”
“Well, it will be nice to have more than your Mom come visit. It’s been ages since your brother was able to come. Hard to rationalize an international trip without bringing the kids along.”
“Exactly. It will be a change and a loud house with everyone here.”
“Sugar, it’s perfect,” Harry said. I turned to look at him and saw his eyes were a bit watery.
“It absolutely is. You have a such a way with words. I’m jealous of how you can describe something so simple with words in a way that few can.”
“Says the songwriter.” I laughed a little. Kim was right, he acted like he didn’t have a mastery of the English language the way he did. He used words in a way I couldn’t.
“Shut up,” I said before kissing him again. I handed the computer across the seats to Kim and Nate who furiously read it together. Harry wrapped his arm around me as we watched the world fly by our window. Kim and Nate finished just as we pulled up to the train station.
“He’s right, it’s perfect,” Nate said. I saw him wipe a tear away.
“You did a good job,” Kim said. “Your readers will love this. As will your family and friends who weren’t as awesome as us and had to miss it.” I couldn’t help but laugh. She would love rubbing it in to everyone that she and Nate got to be at our wedding. The train came to a stop and we unloaded ourselves and our bags. We got a taxi to O’Brien’s and walked in to find the place empty except our friends, that was odd for a Saturday night.
“Where is everyone?” I asked as I hugged Lizzy.
“We heard we had a party coming our way so we closed down early,” she said. “We don’t often have you telling us you’re skipping out on a night in a foreign country.”
“Seriously?” I asked.
“Seriously,” Frankie replied before hugging me. “We didn't have anyone in here when you sent the text so it made sense.”
“Don’t let them kid you,” Patrick said. “We are repainting in here tomorrow. We needed to get set up tonight so the team that is coming to do it has the place to themselves.” There was nothing that showed that painting would be happening tomorrow.
“Nate!” I said loudly. “What did you do?”
“I told them that they needed to kick everyone out and close the place down. Patrick is the one lying. We don’t get you two in this country very often anymore and felt that if we had your man and his bandmates in here that we might as well make it a private gathering.” I looked to see that it wasn’t just my friends, it was also Harry’s bandmates, everyone’s kids, and Gemma.
“So what are we celebrating? And why do all of you look like you just left a black tie affair?” Cameron asked.
“Well, there is a good reason to have everyone kicked out today,” I said.
“We got married,” Harry finally yelled. “Sorry love, I couldn’t hold it in anymore.” I watched as my friends’ faces changed from just happy to have us here to shock.
“You what?” Alyssa asked.
“We got married in Paris this morning. We felt it was about time that I take his name as mine. So we woke up before dawn and got married as the sun rose over the Eiffel Tower.”
“Oh my god,” Alyssa and Niki said at the same time. Lyla had started crying already.
“I’m sorry. I blame the hormones,” she said as she clutched at the bump that was she and Niall’s first child.
“It’s okay. We didn’t want to do anything big. But we thought we could come back here to celebrate tonight. We thought we should all be together.”
“Sissa,” Alyssa said as she came up to hug me. I was hoping that my oldest friend wasn’t upset that I didn’t bring her along with me. “I’m so happy for you. And you look beautiful in this dress. I love that you wore black.”
“That was Harry’s idea. I had a white dress with me ready for today.”S
“The girl I fell in love with had a wardrobe that was almost exclusively black. It only felt appropriate for her to wear a black dress today.”
“I agree,” Alyssa said.
“Congrats you two,” Cameron interrupted as he put his arm around his wife. “Welcome to the old and married club.”
“Thanks,” Harry replied. “I’m pretty damn happy to join that club.”
“He’s also not old,” I added. “He’s only in his late 20s. We are the old ones.”
“Speak for yourself. I’m not old.”
“Whatever babe.” Alyssa laughed at her husband. I saw their daughter tug at her mother’s skirt, she bent down to pick her up. Christine was the spitting image of her mother.
“Congratulations, Aunt Annie and Uncle Harry.” She was so smart for only five.
“Thank you my Little Lotte. We are so happy to see you. I’ve missed you so much.” I said as I leaned forward to kiss her. “I have some presents for you at home. You’ll have to get Mummy and Daddy to let you come over to play this week.”
“Mumma, can we go visit Aunt Annie?”
“Of course we can my dear.”
“You didn’t warn me,” Niki called as she walked up to us. “I don’t have a cake here for you. This kitchen is a mess without me running it. And they don’t even have any decent champagne to celebrate with. I can send Tom to get some.”
“It’s okay, Nik. I promise. We had enough champagne to last a lifetime in Paris,” Harry replied.
“But it’s a wedding there should be a toast.”
“We can still have one,” I said. “But we will do it the way we would at O’Brien’s.”
“You still aren’t getting any Jameson,” Cameron interjected. “Married or not. You aren’t puking on the floor for me to clean up.”
“We can give her something a bit tamer,” Harry said though his laughter.
“We can’t celebrate quite yet.” Nate was standing and staring at me. Shit.
“Of course we can,” his wife argued.
“No, we can’t. They aren’t actually married.”
“What do you mean? I watched them get married.” Kim was confused and Nate was outting us in front of all of our friends.
“I can see their rings,” Lizzy added. She was always down for fighting her cousin.
“They got married in Paris. Which only recognizes legal ceremonies and which theirs was not as they don’t meet the requirements to marry in France.”
“Shit,” Harry muttered under his breath.
“What?” Kim was still confused and now she had Alyssa questioning with her.
“Okay,” I admitted. “We really just wanted to have a ceremony in Paris because that was the place that we both realized that we were forever for each other. But Nate is right, France has a lot of things you have to do to have your marriage recognized by not only their government but ours. So we are just going to go have a civil ceremony on Monday.”
“No, you’re not,” Nate declared. “You meet the requirements in England.”
“There’s no where open on a Saturday evening,” Harry said.
“No, there isn’t. But I happen to be able to legally marry people in this lovely country we all call home. And thanks to the unconventional wedding of Miss Alyssa and Cameron, O’Brien’s happens to be a place that you can legally get married. I contacted my assistant before we left Paris and had a package messaged over to me.”
“That’s what that was?” Frankie asked.
“That is what that was. All of the paperwork necessary to marry this two idiots…legally.”
“Well, then let’s get this done!” Kim yelled. I walked to Nate to hug him.
“This is why you told Frankie to kick everyone out.”
“It is. You should be able to have the legal wedding with all of us too. And have it all be on the same day.” I watched as Kim reached in to the bag I’d tucked my bouquet in carefully before we entered the pub. She handed it to me as she smiled.
“You can’t pull a fast one on my husband. He’s too smart.”
“I know. I really thought he’d let this slide.”
“Nope.” She hugged me before handing her flowers to Alyssa. “I got to stand by her side in Paris. You should get to in London. We both know she never would’ve been able to pick between us.”
“You’re right,” Alyssa said. “We are both too awesome to choose between.” Gemma came over and hugged Harry and I both.
“I’m sorry that you two didn’t just get the quiet ceremony that you had hoped for. But I’m glad Nate sent me a text so I could get here in time. Do you mind if I FaceTime Mum so she can watch?”
“Please do!” I said. I handed my phone to Kim. “FaceTime my Mom so she can see it.”
“That’s a great idea,” Harry said as he pulled his phone out of his pocket and handed it to Frankie with instructions to get his Dad on the line. We had phones coming out of pockets to get all of our parents, siblings, and close friends who weren’t here on video chat so that we could have everyone here. Gemma stood beside Harry by the fireplace and Alyssa stood beside me. This was perhaps almost as perfect as this morning was. A light rain had started to fall outside, which based upon my research was good luck on a wedding day.
“Do we have everyone watching via the phones?” Nate asked as he stood between Harry and I. The voices around the room all answered in various forms of yes. “Alright then. So there is no way that I can conduct a ceremony as beautiful as the one these two had this morning. No worries though friends and family, we had a video camera to tape them with proof that they both cried like babies.” Everyone sort of laughed. “But I’m going to take a moment to say a few words about these two crazy people that stand before us.” Harry reached for my hands and held them tightly in his. “It was almost eight years ago that two mouthy American girls walked in to this pub and changed my life. I married one of those girls and have four amazing kids with her. The other one, well she’s just been a pain in my ass since then.”
“Kidding Belle. The other one has become one of my best friends. She brought this kid around to hang out with us. She’d just started dating him and was crazy enough to introduce him to all of us. And I have to say, I’m glad she did. Harry, you’re my best mate. And being able to be with the two of you this morning as you promised to love each other forever was pretty fantastic. I’m honored that I was that guy for you today. Though a bit angry with you that I didn’t get a chance to repay you for my stag night.” The whole room laughed. Harry had been one of Nate’s groomsmen when he and Kim got married. Because both of his brothers lived in different cities the stag night had been Harry’s responsibility. He, Cameron and Frankie managed to plan one of the wildest nights any of them had ever had and it took Nate a week to recover.
“Sorry about that.”
“We all feel lucky to have both of you in our lives. You both care for your friends in a way that is unusual. You’ve flown across the world to be there for all of us and now it’s our turn to be here for you. You both spoke some beautiful words about each other this morning but now it’s time for the real vows.” I looked at Harry who had a goofy smile across his face. We both had no idea what Nate had up his sleeve.
“Do you both promise to come home to England more often that you do?”
“We do,” we replied together.
“Annie, do you promise to make me meatballs?”
“Of course,” I responded laughing.
“Tomorrow?” Nate asked.
“Sure.” I couldn’t help but laugh harder. This was pure Nate.
“And red velvet cupcakes?” Niall yelled from the back of the room. He had Lyla in his arms and my brother on FaceTime.
“And red velvet cupcakes.”
“Harry, do you promise to never let Annie consume a shot of Jameson again for the rest of her life?” Cameron asked.
“It’s better for us all if I promise that,” he responded.
“And Fireball!” Alyssa added. “Don’t let her near the Fireball.”
“I learned that lesson early.”
“What about pumpkin spice lattes?” Kim asked.
“I will make you one before footie tomorrow,” I answered.
“Do you promise to occasionally let him stay out for a lads night while we are recording?” Louis asked.
“You can keep him every night.”
“Hey!” Harry protested.
“Do you promise to be as much fun on our next tour as you both were on that first trip to South America?” Liam asked.
“Of course!” I declared.
“If she dances and sings Evita in the street I can’t promise we won’t all end up arrested. She was running around Paris today singing the words to that Elephant Love Medley from Moulin Rouge today while we took pictures. We all know how she is, there’s a musical line for everything or at least every city.”
“Do you promise to still come back to ‘help’ work St. Patrick’s Day?” Frankie asked.
“Always,” I replied.
“I’ll even come and keep her busy so she doesn’t actually help.”
“Thanks, Harry,” Patrick said.
“Do you promise to plan a girl day every month?” Lizzy asked. “We’ve missed you lately.”
“I promise I will be here for a planned girls day every month. I miss you guys too.” I’d missed out on the last three because they were while we were out of town.
“Do you promise to love each other?” Lyla finally shouted. “You all are being selfish about what they are going to give you. It’s their day!”
“She’s right,” Patrick said. “Do you promise to look at her the way you did the first time I met you, every day for the rest of your life?”
“I couldn’t imagine looking at her in any other way.” Harry smiled and there it was, the look. The look I’d seen on Frankie’s face when he looked at Lizzy. The same look that appeared on Nate’s face when he watched Kim. It was a look that Niall had with Lyla, Cameron with Alyssa and Tom with Niki. But the first time I’d seen this look, the look of pure unconditional love that a man has for his wife, was when Patrick told me about Catherine. I thought I’d make it through this wedding without tears and there was the first one that slide down my face.
“Do you promise to never stay angry with each other and always talk through your problems?” Lizzy asked.
“We do,” we responded together.
“To tell each other you love each other every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed,” Alyssa added.
“To always remember that it’s the little things that matter most,” Niall said.
“To remember that above all else you are each other’s best friend.” I looked to Kim as she said it and saw that much like this morning she’d gotten emotional again.
“Do you promise to love each other for the rest of your lives?” Frankie asked.
“Do you promise to share your hearts completely?” Cameron asked.
“Do you promise to support each other in each of your endeavors?” Niki questioned.
“Each bump in the road?" Louis asked.
“And each incredible moment?” Liam asked.
“Do you promise to love each other’s family as if they are your own?” Gemma asked.
“We do.” I smiled at her, we had made that promise from day one and kept it but we would always make sure to remind our family how important they were to us.
“Do you promise to be faithful to each other?” Nate asked.
“To love each other?” he added.
“And to share your name with her?”
“I do,” Harry responded smiling.
“And to carry his name as a badge of honor?”
“I do.” My smile went from ear-to-ear.
“Then it’s about time someone says this to you. By the power given to me, you are now husband and wife. Harry, kiss your bride.” The room filled with cheers as Harry, for the second time today bent down to kiss me as his bride. The cheers only got louder as he deepened the kiss.
“I was wrong,” I said to him after we ended the kiss and he rested his forehead against mine. “That was the perfect way for us to get married.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.” We kissed again before telling each of our family members that were watching via FaceTime that we’d call them in the morning. Then there were shots passed around the room for everyone to take together. Patrick stood up on a chair so we all had to pay attention to him.
“Alright, everyone. Listen up!” he yelled. “Today we watched our two friends pledge to love each other. It’s up to us to hold them accountable. We are who is here for them today as they are happy and celebrating. But we need to also be there for them tomorrow when they are hungover and tired. And the next day and the next. Good times or bad, we are the family that is here for them every day. We need to make sure that these two crazy kids are reminded about how much they love each other and how much we love them. Does everyone here take the vow to promise to kick their ass when they need it?” The room erupted in to cheers. “And to support them when shit gets tough.” Again cheers from our friends. “And to enjoy the happy times with them.” The room was so loud you’d think it was St. Patrick’s Day. “That’s the vow we need to take because if there are two people in this world who are meant for each other more than Annie and Harry, well none of us have met them. Cheers to Mr. and Mrs. Styles!” Everyone threw their shots back and started to hug each other. The rest of the evening was a blur of shots and drinks before they poured Harry and I in to a taxi and sent us home. We leaned against one another in the back of the car until it pulled up to our sidewalk. I unlocked the gate as he got our bags and followed me to the front door. As I unlocked it he grabbed my hand.
“I’m going to carry you over the threshold.”
“No, you aren’t.”
“Yes, I am. It’s tradition. If it’s the only tradition we do today then we are going to do it.” He hurried the bags in and left them inside the door before picking me up and carrying me through the front door of the house we shared together. He kicked it shut as he kissed me. “Today was perfect.”
“Yes, it was. Both of our weddings.” He put me down for a split second before throwing me over his shoulder and hurrying through the house and up all of the stairs to our bedroom. He dropped me down on the bed while I was in fits of giggles. “You are crazy.”
“I’m crazy for you.” He knelt beside me on the bed bending down to kiss me. “Now post your damn blog so I can make love to you.” I reached in to his pocket for my phone, he’d tucked it there for safe keeping earlier as I had no pockets. I quickly logged in to the app that managed my blog. There was the saved post titled Love Will Keep Us Alive - The Eagles. Titled after one of the first bands we shared a mutual love for and listened to endlessly on vinyl when we first lived together. Once the screen showed that it had posted Harry took the phone from my hand and threw it on the pile of pillows he’d created.
“I love you,” he said.
“I love you.”
NotesThe emotions I am experiencing right now are almost too much. London Calling started several years ago, it had a fairly long hiatus as I worked through my own life, but in the end I returned to it. I felt that Harry and Annie deserved an ending. That we needed to know that they ended up together and happy. I have written for as long as I could breathe practically and started writing fanfiction before I even knew what it was. I used notebooks to hide my writing in and only shared it with my best friends. And I'd only once published my writing and stopped when the website I posted it on closed down. To age myself, it was Good Charlotte based. :) But until this chapter, I'd never finished a single thing I'd ever written.
This was a cathartic thing for me to write. Just a lot of happiness. The turmoil in the characters life wasn't something that caused tremendous drama and heartache. And when I came back to it I needed that.
During the time span of writing London Calling, I met an incredibly beautiful soul with whom I fell in love and then fell unceremoniously out of love. But there wasn't a moment during that time, no matter how hard it got or how broken I felt, that I lost my hope in love. The truth of the matter is that he was the person who taught me a different way to feel love. And I know that he will be so proud of me for finishing this, he always wanted me to keep writing. He keeps tally on the number of plays each of his songs get on Spotify and I keep track of how many people have read my work. We shared in each other's joy. He changed part of my heart and part of the way I look at love. He changed part of how I write about love.
I had friends and family who supported me and loved me and were so proud of me for writing and sharing it with the world. It was terrifying to sit down and have the conversation, "So I'm writing and publishing it online." - "That's great! Are people loving it? What are you writing?" - "Yeah, people appear to be loving it and it's fan fiction....about Harry Styles." Not a single person judged me about the content, at least to my face. ;) That kept the drive in me going.
I stopped writing this two years ago when I got what I believed to be my dream job. I worked my ass off, often working late, skipping lunch and answering emails when I was at home trying to fall asleep. After a year of this 'dream job', I was laid off due to the company underperforming and not being able to financially keep my position. At that point I decided to take a leap, with the guidance of my family and friends, I decided to go in to business for myself and my spark returned. I toyed with the idea of returning for a long time and finally decided it was time. I'm so happy that I did and so grateful for anyone who ever read even a sentence of my writing. For someone who has had a relatively rough few years it was nice to know that somewhere in the world someone appreciated my work. I know I'm not the greatest writer, but I like telling stories and I intend to keep doing that.
Thank you for your comments, likes, subscriptions and messages over the years. This has been one of the greatest things I've ever done. Beyond just finishing something I'd written I've made friends due to the community of people who exist in this world. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. A very special thank you to my Mom who listened to me read nearly ever word of this (I censored out the sexy parts for her) and to my faithful friend who has been my beta reader for probably a million years, my reminder that people cared about this story, and my inspiration for Annie's sidekick, Kim. I wouldn't have come back to this without you.
If you want to keep up with me you can visit my tumblr ( raybansandcoffee.tumblr.com ) and you can read my newest fic, In The Heat Of Los Angeles , which has two chapters up currently. Feel free to send messages or comment and let me know what you think of this.
Oh and don't worry, this isn't totally the end....we get an epilogue. We of course need to read Annie's final blog. :) And I may some day need to come visit them again and fill in the blanks of the seven years we missed out on so I'd happily take submissions as to what I should write about in case I need them when I miss O'Brien's a little too much.
To quote H.... All the love. XX