Go to Prologue
Kacey stood under the spray for a few more minutes. She turned off the water and grabbed a large towel. She combed her hair and brushed her teeth. She walked into the bedroom after she had wiped her self dry. The towel was hung back on the hook behind the door. She dressed in her everyday uniform forsaking the dress uniform. Although she did consider it.
She winced in pain as her hands protested the movement of buttoning her shirt and tying her tie. The shiny belt buckle on her uniform trousers presented a problem, but after a few tries got it fastened. Rather than trying to tie the laces on her boots, she opted for her dress shoes. She slipped on the dark blue uniform jacket, the medals on the coat jingled. Kacey checked her reflection to make sure the knot in her tie lined up with the buttons on her shirt and belt buckle. She would leave the hat. Being inside her quarters the hat was not needed to be in complete uniform. The medals shone on the left side of her uniform.
Kacey picked up the jewelers box from the bed and put it in her jacket pocket. She took a deep breath and reached to open the door. All conversation stopped as the door opened. Kacey stood in the doorway. She was an imposing figure in her uniform.
"Would you all please sit down, I have to talk to everyone. Kacey waited until everyone was seated. Anya held one of their daughters, Kate the other child as they sat on the couch. Patricia and Liam sat on the love seat. Natalia sat in the chair next to the couch.
"Earlier today, I made a really bad error in judgment. I did not think the whole plan trough. I thought if I could lead the Megarans away from Andromeda, that would give the ship a chance to escape. However, my thoughts did not take into consideration what I would do if I had been caught or could not get back to Andromeda. It is because of Kate's action in closing the launch doors that made me rethink my plan. Then security came to tell me that Kate placed me under arrest. A fight took place and I woke up locked in the Ready Room. I was so damn angry at Kate, at the Megarans and at that damned door. I could not take my anger out on Kate or the Megarans so the door took the brunt of my anger. Until," she paused, "until Natalia put herself between me and the door. She made me realize how close I came to going back on my word to her."
Kacey turned to face Natalia. "Natalia, I am so very sorry I gave you cause to doubt my promise to you. I realized how foolish my actions were and how incredibly empty my life would be if you left me. I have always prided my self in never going back on my word. I love you Natalia." She reached into her pocket and removed the jewelers box. "I was going to wait until Christmas, but after today, I do not want to wait" Kacey dropped down on one knee and with swollen sore hands struggled to open the small box. Once it was opened, she turned it so that Natalia could see the ring nestled there. "If you accept what I am about to ask you, I promise I will never give you cause to doubt my word. I promise to love you and take care of you for however long our lives are. Natalia would you marry me?" She held the ring out for Natalia. "Please say yes." She whispered.
Tears filled Natalia's eyes. Kate, Anya and Patricia wiped tears from their eyes. Liam sniffed.
"After that eloquent speech you just gave, saying yes does not seem to be enough. I love you Kacey and want many, many years with you." She wiped her eyes. "I will never doubt your word again. Yes I will marry you."
Kacey slipped the ring on her finger and leaned in to kiss her. "Thank you." she whispered.
The family was on their feet congratulating them. Kate and Anya hugged the two women. They were pushed out of the way by Patricia and Liam.
"I am proud of ye lass." Her father said. "This calls for a toast."
"Just club soda for me dad." Kacey stated.
"Are ye sure?"
"Alcohol does not mix with the medicine in that glass, that I know mom will make me drink before the night is over."
"Club soda it is."
Anya went to help him. She poured milk for the girls and made them sit at the table. Liam poured wine for Anya, Natalia and Patricia. Brandy for Kate, club soda for Kacey and a whiskey for himself. He placed the drinks on a tray which he carried into the living room. He placed the tray on the coffee table and handed out the drinks. He held up his glass and everyone stood up.
"A father watches his daughters go from babes to beautiful women and hope that they will find someone to love and who will love them for the rest of their lives. Someone who will touch not only their hearts, but their souls. A person who will share their ups and downs and who will be as happy as their mother and I are. Both of our girls have had the greatest luck in finding such partners. I am a very proud father who now has four beautiful daughters to be proud of. To Kacey and Natalia, be happy and love each other."
They raised their glasses. Kacey took a sip and put her glass down and hugged Liam. "Thank you daddy'" she whispered in his ear. She picked up her drink and took another sip. With an arm around Natalia's shoulders she turned to Kate.
"I asked you once before, but I would like to make it official. Kate would you stand with me?"
"I will give you the same answer I gave you before. Hell yes little sister."
"Younger, Kate." Kacey fell into their usual banter.
"Anya, would you stand with me?" Natalia asked.
"It would be my pleasure and honor, Natalia."
"Patricia, in the short time I have known you, you have become like a second mother to me. Would you walk with me"
Patricia's eyes and with tears running down her cheeks she took Natalia into her arms. "It will be my extreme pleasure to walk with you. I know your mother will be watching on that day."
"Looks like you are stuck with me dad." Kacey said.
"Stuck, no lassie. I am a privileged man to be able to walk both my girls down the aisle. To see both find love and happiness. It will be an honor to walk by your side.
"What about Erin and me, Aunt Kacey.?" Erica asked.
"I think that should be Erin and I." Anya corrected.
"Don't worry rug rat, we will find something for you both." Kacey stated.
"Well now that we have plans to make, why don't we do it over dinner?" Patricia suggested. "Have any of you eaten yet?" They all shook their heads, no. "Just as I thought. You all stay here. Liam and I will get dinner for everyone. Do you want to go with us girls?" She asked the children.
"Can we?" They asked.
"Yes you may." Anya told them.
They left and the four women sat down and finished their drinks. Kacey started to get up for refills. Kate motioned her to sit back down.
"Take it easy on your hands."
"Thanks Kate. They are sore."
"If you are admitting it, they must really hurt." Kate stated.
"You will drink that water after we eat, right?" Natalia asked.
"I think a fresh one would be better." Kacey answered.
Kate returned with a fresh round of drinks. She handed out and sat next to Anya. "Are you looking at a long or short engagement?"
"Well we need to discuss this, but I am hoping for a short engagement with a long marriage." Kacey stated.
"I like that idea. We have Christmas coming in a few weeks. How about right after Christmas?"
"How do you feel about New Year's day?"
"Super. A new year and a new chapter in our lives."
"Less chance to forget your anniversary also." Kate said with a laugh.
"That sounds like it was something you have done in the past." Natalia said.
Kate cleared her throat. "I am guilty. Lucky for me it was a crazy time in our lives and Anya forgave
"I was in labor at the time so I really did not feel like celebrating our anniversary."
"Think we can get everything put together in a few weeks?" Natalia asked.
"If we plan a small wedding we can."
"No way in Hell that is going to happen little sister. It will be a full military wedding. You are a Colonel after all." Kate reminded her.
"We could always elope. You me and the chaplain. Just the two of us." Kacey stated.
"Mom would kill you or worse never forgive you enough to let you out of the dog house." Kate told her.
"Unfortunately you are right, Kate. Guess we will be part of the circus that a full military wedding will be."
"Does that mean you will wear the fancy uniform? I love the way you look in that."
"Hats, gloves and saber."
"Do not forget Patricia's rule of sleeping together the night before the wedding." Anya said. "Kate was so mad when Patricia told her."
"She was more than mad Anya. You should have heard her. Mom just looked at her and said deal with it. I thought mom was going to wash her mouth out with soap for all the cursing she did."
They all laughed.
To be continued...
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