Go to Prologue
Natalia woke shortly before seven hundred hours. She walked quietly into the dining room, surprised to see Patricia already awake. Patricia poured her a cup of coffee from the carafe on the table. Natalia sat down and accepted the beverage.
"Did you sleep all right dear?"
"I did actually." Natalia answered.
"That's good. Anya and the girls will be here at nine. Feel up to some breakfast?"
"Not just yet. Patricia can I ask you something?"
"Of course dear. What is wrong?"
"Nothing is wrong. Kacey and I have talked about having children. How long do you think we should wait before we do?"
"How old are you?"
"I will be twenty six on my next birthday."
"Give yourselves a couple months to get used to married life. Then go for it. I would love to see you two start a family. How many children are you thinking about?"
"Being an only child, I would not want that for any child we have. I would like to have two. Did Kate and Anya plan on twins or was that an accident?"
"They planned a multiple birth. Would you want to do that?"
"I think so. That way Kacey would only have to go crazy with over protectiveness once."
Patricia laughed. "She would definitely do that."
"Did you have a military wedding?"
"Both times. When I married Kate's father is was a formal affair because he was a Captain. With Liam it was still military, but we got away with it not being formal. I had been married before and her was a Lieutenant. Kate had all the formalities because she was already a Captain and Anya a Lieutenant. So I am as close to an expert as you can get on short notice."
Liam came out of the bedroom tying his bathrobe closed. His hair messed from sleep.
"Tis a very lucky man that I am to be having two such beautiful ladies sitting at me table on a beautiful morning such as this."
"We will be having none of you Blarney this morning, Liam."
"Blarney is it? No Patsy me darling, tis nothing but the truth I am speaking." His blue eyes twinkled. He bent down to kiss his wife. "What time will ye be kicking me out darling?"
Patricia poured him a coffee. "You have a few hours dear."
"What do ye think Kacey is doing right now?" He asked Natalia.
"Knowing her, she had probably been up for three hours already and is in the middle of running twenty miles." Natalia told him. "She tries to run every morning before work."
Patricia finished her coffee and started breakfast. "I will send a lunch tray with Kate. Knowing Kacey she is existing on just coffee."
Anya and the girls arrived precisely at nine hundred hours. Anya carried three garment bags which she hung on the bedroom door. Liam came out of the bedroom, freshly showered and in his dress uniform. The gold braid hung neatly over the shoulder of his red tunic with his rank insignia, worn over dark blue pants.
"Grandpa" The girls shouted and ran to him. He scooped up both girls.
"Lassies, how are you this fine morning? Do ye remember what you will be doing today?"
"We remember, Grandpa."
"I will walk in front of mummy with a pillow that has Aunt Natty's ring." Erin said.
"I will be in front of Mama with Aunt Kacey's ring" Erica told him.
"That is right me gossons."
"Will I be having time for another coffee Patsy darling?"
"Of course Liam. I just made a fresh pot. Natalia why don't you grab your shower now so that we can get you ready."
"I better. Thank you for breakfast." Natalia grabbed her sundry kit and underwear before she walked into the bathroom.
"Kate was just heading into the shower when we left." Anya stated. "She thinks Kacey will need as much help as she did."
"She was a wreck that day. If I remember correctly she was not even able to tie her shoes." Patricia said. "Are you girls hungry?"
"Yes, grandma." They both said.
"Come sit down. I made pancakes and have plenty left over." Patricia said.
Anya managed to get the girls dressed. They were excited about taking part in an adult ceremony and bounced around They were in light blue dresses that fell almost to the floor. They wore headbands of blue flowers to hold their blond hair back. Their light blue shoes shone.
Liam left with a list of things Patricia needed him to do. Anya was getting dressed as Natalia unzipped the garment bag that held her dress. Anya's dress was same style and color as the girls. Her hair was piled on top of her head leaving her neck and shoulders bare. Natalia's was a shade darker. Her hair was curled and gathered to fall softly down her back. Before she put the dress on, Patricia handed her the delicate old bracelet, that her great grand mother, the first Queen Natalia, wore when she was married.
"Something old." Patricia said, as she picked up the garter. "Something new." Natalia slipped the garter over her foot and pulled it up her leg to rest halfway between her knee and thigh. "Something borrowed." Patricia handed her a delicate handkerchief of fine Irish lace. "Liam's mother gave me this on the day I married him. After we get your dress on, you tuck it into your sleeve. Something blue will be your bouquet of blue tinged roses.
Between the two women the managed to get Natalia into the dress. Anya did up the row of tiny buttons in the back. "Kacey will have a heck of a time undoing these tonight." Natalia applied a light coating of make up and dabbed a little perfume in strategic places. Anya placed the tiara that held her veil on her head. The whole process was recorded from the time Natalia began to get dressed. The computer recorded Kacey's every movement from the minute she woke up.
The computer would continue to record the events of the day until Kacey and Natalia left the reception.
"Anya, any last words of wisdom?"
"I will tell you exactly what Kate is probably telling Kacey right about now. Make time each day to laugh. Do not forget to tell each other I love you. Enjoy every aspect of your lives together. Even the bad one as they will only make you stronger as a couple, but most of all love and respect each other. Be adventurous. Try out those items Kate and I gave you." Natalia blushed at the memory of the gift.
"Thank you Anya. Thank you for standing with me." She hugged her soon to be sister in law. She walked to Patricia and hugged her. "Thank you for letting me be a part of your family, Patricia."
"You are very welcome. Now lets get you to the hall before Kacey comes out of her quarters. "
They walked out into the hall where the Marine Honor guard lined the corridor. They snapped to attention as she passed. Natalia's nerves which up to that point had been quiet, woke up. They entered the lift that would take they up to the hall. Once there they would wait in the back room for the ceremony to start and after Kacey had walked down the aisle. Patricia called Liam to tell him it was safe for Kacey to come out of her quarters.
To be continued...
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