It was Friday. Jenny was horrified when she picked up the newspaper from a news stand and read about the incident at the hospital. She had been busy packing her luggage for her LA trip the day before and did not turn on the television or radio, hence completely missed out on the sensational news coverage of the hospital rooftop incident. She read open-mouthed about what Urs did to save the hostage and how he was close to falling to his death.
Her heart beat double time when the journalist described the scene from his spot at the foot of the building, looking up at the hanging scaffold with a figure dangling outside of it. Then when she saw Sam’s name as one of the two people in the scaffold trying to help Urs, it suddenly struck her why Urs chose Sam over her. She would not have done what Sam did, never mind that Sam was probably better trained in such scenarios than her; it still required a tremendous amount of courage and love for Sam to risk her life like she did. Sighing softly, she stepped forward on the curb and hailed a taxi.
Doctor Louise did her rounds in the hospital as usual and ended up finally at Urs Buhler’s room. Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door and entered.
“Good morning, Urs. I hope you had a good night’s sleep,” she said cheerily, smiling brightly as she approached the couple in the room. In truth, she was excited to be seeing Urs again and she could almost hear her own heart beating wildly in her chest.
Sam had woken up about the same time as Urs and had helped to apply cold compress on his injured arm, chatting quietly about their adventure the day before. After that they shared a quiet moment together, eating their breakfast without talking much.
Words were unnecessary as they were able to communicate with each other with their eyes and body language. That morning Urs had given Sam a lovely, tender smile that said all was well and Sam had responded with a kiss that told him she believed him. After all that they had gone through together, she wasn’t going to let anything else come between them. To do that, she knew she had to trust him completely. She was glad he did not insist that she give up her job, she didn’t know what she would have done if he had. Instead, he seemed to have understood her dreams and accepted her as she was.
As the doctor neared the bed, Sam stood to one side to let her examine Urs.
“How are you feeling today?” Doc Louise asked.
“My right arm is hurting, much worse than yesterday,” Urs replied truthfully. Even though he hated staying in the hospital, it was not his nature to lie to get away with what he wanted. He knew what was best for him and he acknowledged that he did need some treatment.
“That’s normal. Sometimes the full impact of the injury is not felt immediately,” Doc Louise replied. She proceeded to press her thumb on a spot on his upper arm near his shoulder and he winced at the slight pressure. As she continued with the physical examination, she explained, “It’s a partial bicep tendon tear so it’s not difficult to heal. We’ll start on physical therapy in a couple of days. In the meantime, you should continue with cold compress and anti-inflammatory medication and you should wear a sling to relieve the pressure from your shoulder. Try not to exert too much pressure on your arm.”
“Can I go home today? I can do all those things you mentioned at home, except for the physical therapy part which I’ll definitely come back here to do,” Urs smiled his most charming smile, his eyes gazing right into the doctor’s eyes almost stripping her of her last shred of sanity.
“Well…I suppose it’s possible to discharge you today,” Doc Louise replied distractedly. Then as if someone had pinched her wide awake, she continued in a more professional manner, “I will get the nurse to make arrangement for your physical therapy session and have your medications brought to you.”
Then, looking first at Sam and then back at Urs, she wagged a finger, “Remember, no strenuous exercise.” Then, patting Urs lightly on his shoulder, she smiled and left before she lost her self control and hugged him instead.
When the door closed behind her, Sam looked at Urs in amusement and mimicked the doctor’s tone and action, “Remember, no strenuous exercise.” It made Urs laugh.
Urs’s cell phone rang at this moment. Taking a look at the screen, he answered while staring straight at Sam, “Hello, Jenny.”
Hearing Jenny’s name, Sam told him in hushed tone, “I’ll go see Seb and Ginny,” before kissing him on his forehead and left.
“Urs, how are you?” Jenny asked anxiously.
“I’m fine,” Urs said as he settled further down on the bed, trying to make himself comfortable.
“You should have let the police handle the situation. You could have fallen to your death,” Jenny couldn’t help admonishing him. The more she thought of it, the more petrified she was.
“But I’m still here,” was all he said. Sighing, she asked him where he was.
“The hospital? I thought you said you’re fine. Why are you there?”
“Relax, it’s just a small tendon tear on my arm.” Before Jenny could start getting hysterical again, he asked, “Where are you?”
“At the airport.” There was a long pause before she continued, “It’s alright, Urs, I’m not going to beg you to come and change my mind. I know it’s not possible the moment you walked out of the café and now I can understand why. Sam is all you need so make sure you keep her happy, alright?”
“Take care, Jenny. I wish you all the best.”
“Thanks. I have to check in now. Take care, Urs.”
Urs looked out the window after the conversation ended. A weight had been lifted off his shoulder as he replayed the conversation in his mind. Jenny seemed at peace with the decision to leave and he was glad. Now all he needed to do was concentrate on his recovery, the wedding, and the big project he started even before he met Sam. Even though the project was something that he started when he was still with Jenny, he had never told Jenny about it. Now, although his focus had shifted to Sam, the fact that they are getting married made the project even more meaningful. He only wished that it could be completed before his wedding which was just ten days away.
Thinking about his wedding made him determined to get well so he got up and did a little stretching. He tried to lift his injured arm over his head but could only raise it to shoulder level before he felt the strain and decided to take it easy. He was about to leave the room to visit Sebastien when a nurse entered and told him she was there to put a sling over his arm.
As the nurse set about putting the sling in place, being careful not to cause any discomfort to her patient, Urs enquired after Diane and was glad to hear that she was recovering well. Another nurse came in with his medicine and informed him that he was discharged but that he should return two days later to see the physiotherapist.
Sebastien, Ginny and Sam appeared when the nurses left.
“I’m ready to go home now,” he announced happily.
“So am I,” Sebastien said with a wide grin. “I miss my bed.”
“I’m sure you do. One night here and I’m already missing mine,” Urs nodded in understanding.
Gesturing to the sling, Sebastien asked, “You alright?”
Wrapping his free arm around Sam’s waist and kissing her, he mumbled without taking his eyes off her, “Yeah, no worries.”
The next morning after his discharge from the hospital, Urs was up early and managed to sneak out of the his apartment. He hailed a cab to take him to the countryside. Sam woke up and found a note on the pillow next to hers that told her he had gone out for a morning walk. She got up and looked out the bedroom window, wondering where he could have gone. He was wearing the sling when he went out, evident from the missing sling that was left on the chair beside his bed the night before. She was pleased and relieved that he was taking the doctor’s advice very seriously.
She was also glad that while they were having dinner at Urs’ apartment after returning from the hospital, he had told her all about his meeting with Jenny at the café and their conversation on the phone. This little piece of information erased any doubts that she might have of his disappearance so early in the morning and she set about showering and getting breakfast ready.
Just as she had set the breakfast on the table, Urs called to tell her that he was going to try out his suit before a meeting with the guys and would be home late. Sam was disappointed but could do nothing about it. She decided to call Ginny and ask if she would like to do some girly stuff, like getting their hair done and doing a facial and spa. She had to help Ginny prepare for her wedding.
Not really wanting to leave Sebastien alone but thinking that it would be good for Sam to get those things done since her wedding was fast approaching, Ginny reluctantly agreed. And so it was that the girls had their first outing together since Sebastien was warded at the hospital.
Urs had spent the morning getting some serious work done even though he felt frustrated that he couldn’t do any of the things himself as his arm was still hurting. Instead, he left it to the team of workers he hired to do whatever needed to be done. When he was satisfied with the progress of the work, he left for his appointment.
Around lunch time, the Divos met with the management team and the wedding planners they had engaged at David’s apartment. Over lunch, David updated everyone on his mission. Sebastien was delighted to learn that Mr and Mrs Dawson would be flying in from the States three days before the wedding. He was relieved to learn that Ginny’s parents didn’t give up on her; it was just a case of not knowing where to look for her.
When Carlos recounted how unhappy Joanne was that she wasn’t going to be the bride, the guys laughed and suggested perhaps they could accommodate one more couple for the big day but warned that he had less than ten days to prepare everything, from suits and gowns to wedding invitations. Carlos solemnly announced that Joanne would have his head if he went along with their suggestion since he had promised her a grand wedding after the tour. This brought on teasing, sympathetic pats on the back from the guys.
The discussion went into details of the wedding. Sebastien had suggested the Claridge’s Hotel when he first broached the subject of a wedding. He loved the elegance of the hotel, and the fact that it was situated right inLondonmade it easier for the management team to work on their assignment.
The organising team had decided on the Drawing Room as the venue for the wedding ceremony and dinner. With its two fireplaces and traditional design, it exuded warmth, class and elegance. Because of that, the team thought it the most suitable room in the hotel since those were characteristics that clearly spelled out Il Divo. The room had two doors that opened to The French Salon, a room decorated in Rococo-style which would be ideal for reception and dance.
Food for the event would be catered by the world-renowned Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s. There would be free flow of quality wine and champagne to complement the menu. Other arrangements like floral design and lighting, among other things, had also been taken care of. Both grooms-to-be trusted the team so much that they were happy to leave the details to these people.
Urs and Sebastien were asked if they would like a wedding suite each so they could spend the night there but Urs declined. He had other plans but refused to reveal it at the moment. Sebastien, David and Carlos looked at him questioningly but he remained tight-lipped. David, being ever the jester, leaned close into Urs’s face with his eyes big and wide, prompting Urs push away from the table and declared, “Alright, alright! I’ll show you what it is after this.” Satisfied, David resumed his lunch while the others chuckled. Urs shook his head in mock agitation, before a little smile appeared on his beautiful lips.
Sebastien, on the other hand, asked for the Royal Suite. It had Edwardian furniture pieces, a Gilbert & Sullivan’s grand piano and a fine carved wood and marble fireplace. He looked at the pictures on the brochure and thought immediately that Ginny would love it. He even envisioned himself playing on the piano and singing for her when they were finally left alone, but of course, not on the night of his wedding, there were better things to do. As he was thinking of that, his lips curled into a smile too. He also thought that the stay at the hotel would benefit Ginny as her parents would be staying there for a few days at least. He felt daughter and parents had a lot of catching up to do and he was determined to give them as much time and privacy as he possible could.
Invitations were already sent out and the guests were politely informed not to make any mention of the weddings to the brides. It was not a difficult task as the people who were invited were mainly family members and close friends of the wedding couples. Of course, security would be tight as none of them wanted any media people around or fans gate-crashing the wedding. They did however acknowledged that they would have to release some information about the wedding after it was over just so their fans would be kept informed about this very important fact about their beloved idols.
Sebastien then brought up the subject of Ginny’s wedding gown, telling the team of his concern that she might have a problem fitting into it as she seemed to be having a tremendously improved appetite since he was discharged from the hospital. Patrick assured him that the dress-maker would be told to do a final fitting for Ginny soon. So far, none of the brides had seen the wedding dress so the dress-maker would have to think of a way to make the gown fit without having the need for Ginny to try it on.
There was then the concern by everyone about Urs’s injured arm, whether it would heal in time for the big day. But not Urs, because when he set his mind on something, he would usually succeed and he intended to ditch the sling in a few days’ time.
The meeting ended mid-afternoon and all but Il Divo left David’s apartment. Carlos, Sebastien and David looked at Urs expectantly and he gave an exaggerated sigh before leading them out the door.
“Are we there yet?” Sebastien asked for the umpteenth time during their one hour ride in David’s car. Urs gave him a glare that said he was getting annoyed with him. In fact, he would have given Sebastien a slap up the side of his head if he was sitting behind with Sebastien. Instead, he was seated in the front passenger seat giving David instructions to the place he wanted to show them.
“Turn to the left,” he instructed David. They were now in the countryside.
As they turned left and went a few more miles, they came upon a fenced up property. The wrought iron gate opened as Urs hit a button on a remote control that he had taken out of his jacket.
“Wow!” David exclaimed as he came upon a long driveway shaded by trees on both sides of the. Soon, a beautiful country house loomed into view.
Urs chanced upon this estate when he was riding his bike around the countryside after a heated argument with Jenny. He saw a man putting up a ‘FOR SALE’ sign and without thinking, he stopped and asked if he could have a look at the property. What he saw impressed him as the house was well maintained and it was surrounded by trees that gave it a back-to-nature feel. He liked the privacy the property offered and a creek at the back of the house sealed the deal for him.
The men got out of the car after David had parked it in front of the house. Urs headed up the steps of the porch and opened the huge front door and waited as the other three men took in their surrounding, clearly impressed by what they saw. A beautiful fountain stood in the middle of the lawn and lining the sides of the house were lovely rose shrubs of different hues that were carefully trimmed and gave off a lovely sweet fragrance that enticed the men’s senses.
As the group entered the house, they stepped into a wide foyer that had a beautiful antique mirror to its right, and a beautifully carved antique chest of drawers beneath it. Beside the mirror, a door opened into a study which was simply furnished with an oak table and an office chair, its wall lined with book shelves and display cabinets made of oak. By the tall window were two armchairs with a round coffee table in between.
Urs loved the idea of sitting next to the window looking out at the vast greenery that was now his new home. He could envision sitting there with Sam, chatting over a cup of coffee or just doing some reading together.
On the other side of the foyer was the dining room. A beautiful ornate brass chandelier hung above the rosewood dining table in the middle of the room and a lovely fireplace adorned the far side of the room. A painting of a medieval man on a magnificent black horse hung above the white mantelpiece. The elegance of the room had Sebastien looking on with envy as it was what he had wanted for his own home but he had yet to find the right house in London yet.
Next up was the family room with a massive brick fireplace to the right. Another ornately carved brass chandelier hung from the high ceiling over the Victorian style sofa set. White display cabinets flanked each side of the fireplace and thick lush carpet covered the hardwood floor on the sitting area. A large beautiful oil painting that Urs bought on his last trip toFranceadorned one side of the wall.
The room had a homely feel and Urs loved the little touches that the designer had put in, such as the drapes and beautiful lamp shades. Later, a grand piano would be added to complete the design. Two French doors opened out to the covered porch at the back of the house, where a beautiful garden patio and a barbeque pit were still in the works.
Urs then led the group up the stairs to show them the master bedroom. He told them he had found out from Sam that because she had spent practically all her life living in small apartments, she dreamt of living in a country house away from the city. Through talking about pictures of houses in magazines, he got an idea of what she would like her room to look like and he had decorated the master bedroom to her taste.
The room had a distinct country feel to it, with the beautiful floral draperies and an intricately carved four-post bed. An elegant black brass five-light chandelier hung down from the middle of the ceiling. A comfortable, two-seater floral fabric sofa stood at the foot of the bed. Lovely table lamps sat on top of bedside tables on each side of the bed which faced a four-panel French window.
The window overlooked the garden and the creek beyond in the back of the estate. Another two-panel window to far side of the room looked out to the garage and the new wing of the house that Urs had added. He felt that the four bedrooms in the house weren’t enough for the family he had in mind and decided to build an extension next to the two-car garage.
The guys were led into the very comfortable and spacious bathroom in the master bedroom. A vanity area with white marble top and double sink stood next to the bathroom entrance. A bath cum Jacuzzi big enough for two sat at the far side with wide windows made of reflective glass which overlooked the forested area surrounding the estate. A full, frosted glass shower stall stood next to the Jacuzzi.
David took off his shoes, lowered himself in the Jacuzzi and joked, “You’re going to have to drag me out of here, Urs. The combination of the soft lighting, this comfortable Jacuzzi and the calm scenery outside the window all combined to make me feel like I could sleep here all day.”
“Too bad today’s not the day,” Urs replied and reached out a hand to help him out of the tub.
After covering the whole of the main house and ending in the breakfast room downstairs, they walked out to the back garden through the French door of the family room. Urs showed them the garage area with the new wing, and even though work had not been completed inside the building, they could all see that it promised to be a very luxurious recreational area.
Besides a gym and a mini theatre complete with state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment, a pool table and games console would be added to a section designated as a games room. A bar counter with fine wines and all sorts of alcoholic beverages in the lounge area would make the guests feel spoiled for choice.
A bathroom and two bedrooms were added to the second floor of the building where there was also a lounge area with a small fireplace. While the main house had a country feel and look to it, the new wing was modern in design, although its exterior matched that of the main house. This part of the property was in the final stage of completion and Urs hoped that it would be completed before he showed Sam their new home.
They walked out of the new wing and towards the back of the property, where a small gate opened out to show the beautiful creel that was visible from the master bedroom window. The nearest neighbour was about half an hour’s drive away, so Sam and Urs had the picturesque creek and surrounding forest all to themselves.
Carlos was clearly impressed as he suggested, “This is the best part of it all. You could skinny dip and do sunbathing without worrying about peeping toms.”
“Do you think your neighbour would want to sell his property?” Sebastien asked hopefully.
“I don’t know, but I’ll ask the next time I see him,” Urs replied. He could see how envious and impressed his friend was when they toured the property.
“Are you sure you want to be neighbours with him, Urs? Thought you’ve had enough of each other with all the touring and album making,” David asked jokingly. The other three men had a good chuckle over that.
Back in the house they gathered in the kitchen, sat around the island and sipped sodas that Urs took from the double-door fridge. He had stocked up the fridge with sodas so that the workers or designing team visiting the house could have something to drink. Even the kitchen cabinets were stocked up with ready-to-eat foodstuff.
Urs confessed that the interior design of the house changed a few times since he broke up with Jenny who didn’t know about the house at all. The actual design was more modern and the master bedroom had a more masculine feel to it, until three months back when he decided to change it into something he thought Sam would like. In fact, he made a lot of changes to the design for her sake and he hoped she would appreciate his effort. The guys assured him that she would definitely love the house and as David jokingly put it, “more then she loved him”. It made Urs laugh with relief.
Though there was still work to be done, Urs hoped to show Sam the house on their wedding night. David said he would see to it that the couple get there after the wedding dinner and then asked Urs to leave him his Harley the day before the wedding. Not knowing what to expect but didn’t want to ask too many questions, Urs agreed to do as told. They chatted for another half an hour before Urs locked up the house and activated the alarm system and they made their way back to their respective home.
Sebastien almost dropped the mug he was holding in his hand when Ginny practically screamed out his name.
“What is it, sweetheart?” He ran into the kitchen and was beside her in record time.
“No more ice cream or chocolate,” Ginny whined, her head still stuck inside the fridge.
“You screamed for me just because of that? Goodness Ginny, I thought something bad had happened to you,” Sebastien replied, feeling a little miffed.
Ginny took a peep at his face and saw that he wasn’t smiling. In fact, he didn’t even look pleased at all. “I’m so sorry, Seb, but I really feel like eating something sweet,” she pleaded for his understanding and continued, pointing at her tummy, “You know? Cravings?”
Sighing, Sebastien took her hand and led her away from the kitchen. “Sweetheart, if you continue like this, you’re never going to fit into the gowns at all. Besides, don’t you want to look slim and beautiful for the wedding?”
“Are you telling me I’m fat and ugly?” Ginny countered with a scowl on her face. “Anyway, I’m not the bride. Our baby is more important, don’t you think so?”
“Of course our baby is more important, and you are not fat and ugly. I’m just worried about the way you’re eating all those sweet stuff. It’s bad for your health.”
“Well, I can’t help it. And whose fault is it that I’m pregnant? Maybe you should tell the designer to make an elastic waist on the gown for me,” Ginny said dismissively as she went back into the kitchen to ransack the cupboards for hidden chocolates and sweets. She was promptly disappointed to find nothing to satisfy her cravings.
Sebastien looked at her and shook his head. Since she got over the morning sickness, her appetite had improved tremendously and she wasn’t even bothered about what it could do to her beautiful body. Instead, she seemed very happy and was constantly smiling at him whenever their eyes met. The only consolation was that she didn’t seem to have put on too much weight. However, her breasts had become fuller, making her more curvy and womanly, whereas before, she was on the slim side bordering on being underweight. Perhaps he should be thankful that she seemed to have gotten over Danny’s death without much problem. The sessions with her psychiatrist must have helped.
Seeing the disappointment on her face, Sebastien walked over and hugged her, whispering, “Stay here, I’ll be right back”, before finally pulling way and leaving the apartment.
Ginny wondered briefly what he was up to or where he was going but didn’t let it bother her. She wondered into the sitting room and called Sam for a chat.
As the ladies were chatting, Sebastien stood outside Urs’s apartment, two floors up from his own and knocked on the door. Urs opened the door.
“Hi Urs. Hope I’m not disturbing you or anything,” Sebastien begun.
“Nope. Come in,” Urs invited, opening the door wider. Sebastien could see Sam talking on the phone and she acknowledged him with a nod of her head and pointed to the phone, mouthing “Ginny”. Sebastien grinned and said, “I hope she isn’t checking on me or complaining about me.”
“What have you done now?” Urs asked, amused.
“Nothing, just didn’t stock up enough ice-cream and chocolates. Think you have some here?”
Urs was puzzled but only for a moment, “Ah, the cravings. I think I have some Toblerones in the fridge, someBelgiumchocolates and a tub of Häagen-Dazs. You can have all of them.”
“Thanks, buddy,” Sebastien said as he proceeded to the kitchen and cleared out all the chocolates he could find in there and the tub of ice-cream.
“The wedding is only four days away. She might fall sick eating all those stuff,” Urs warned even as he looked on with amusement.
“I know, but I need to keep her happy so I can leave her alone and go meet her parents. They’re arriving at the airport in an hour,” Sebastien replied.
“I’ll get Sam to arrange an outing with her. That way, she doesn’t have to gorge herself with junk food and I’ll be able to get away for a couple of hours too,” Urs suggested. At this moment, Sam walked in.
“Who’s getting away for a couple of hours?” Sam wanted to know.
“Oh, I was just telling Seb that you two ladies should go shopping or pamper yourselves for a couple of hours. Ginny’s parents are arriving today and Seb had to go meet them, while I pop by the hotel to check on the wedding arrangement. Can you do that for us, Sam? It’ll also be good for Ginny since it might help take her mind away from her cravings for these,” Urs pointed to the stuff in Sebastien’s hands.
Sam thought for a minute before agreeing to the plan. She really didn’t want to go anywhere since she just wanted to spend time with Urs. He had been busy going for his physical therapy sessions and overseeing the wedding preparation that they hardly have much time to spend together. He had managed to regain full use of his arm and she was glad. She was curious though when he refused her help in any way with the wedding preparation, except where Ginny was concerned. However, she didn’t question him as she knew he must have a very good reason for all the secrecy behind it. Anyway, the less she knew of it, the less chance of her spilling the beans to Ginny.
Before leaving the kitchen, Sam asked, “Seb, don’t you think it’s better for you to let Ginny know about her parents before the wedding? I mean, it’s going to be a big surprise for her, on top of the wedding, and it might be too much for her to bear.”
Sebastien thought for a moment and smiled, “I think you’re right, Sam. I’ll bring her to meet them tomorrow noon. I hope she won’t be too overwhelmed by it all.” Giving Sam a hug, he whispered, “Thank you for all the things you’ve done for Ginny.”
“You’re welcome. Just make sure you make her happy, or I’m coming after you,” Sam warned.
While at the airport waiting for Mr and Mrs Dawson, Sebastien felt both excited and apprehensive about the meeting. Even though David had assured him that they were nice people and were very grateful to him for showering Ginny with so much love, he still couldn’t stop worrying that the Dawsons might not like him or his career. He thought that most parents perceived singers and entertainers as promiscuous people and as such, might not like the idea of their daughter marrying one.
His worry was soon laid to rest when the old couple arrived and were introduced to him by David. Sandra had arrived with them as well. Mrs Dawson hugged Sebastien as if he was her son, and Ted Dawson shook his hand heartily, thanking him again and again.
“There’s no need to thank me, Sir. This is the least I can do for Ginny. She brings me so much joy and shows me so much love, I wish for her to feel the same with me,” Sebastien said sincerely. Then they made way to Sebastien’s car and David drove them to the hotel while Sebastien chatted with Ginny’s parents. He told them about the wedding preparation, and invited them to lunch with him and Ginny the next day.
“You mean we can see Ginny before the wedding? Oh, isn’t that wonderful, Ted?” Marie Dawson exclaimed excitedly. Ted smiled tenderly into her eyes and nodded. It had been a long time since his wife was this excited and happy and it made him feel even more grateful to the young gentleman who was soon going to be his son-in-law. Sebastien, David and Sandra both made sure that Ginny’s parents were well settled in at the hotel before they headed back to their own apartment.
Urs was just locking up his house when he got a call from Sebastien who told him everything went all right with theDawsons. Urs was happy for his friend and couldn’t wait for the wedding to begin. Work on the garden was finally completed, and so was the living quarter upstairs of the new wing. The only thing missing was the gym equipment and pool table. The grand piano arrived earlier that day and he stood by to watch while the piano was being tuned by the piano technician. He was tempted to sit down and try a few tunes but he knew he shouldn’t keep Sam waiting. She had been very patient with him and he didn’t want to take her for granted. With another look around the estate, he shut the gate and rode off in his bike.
Urs often thought about what the ladies would think when they realised they were both getting married. He wondered if they minded not having a say in the wedding preparation, the gowns or even the people who were invited to witness the wedding. David and Carlos had suggested a stag party for both him and Sebastien but they had both declined as they felt it inappropriate to have a stag party when the ladies wouldn’t be getting their hen night. Urs suddenly felt very nervous thinking about how the ladies would react. He had been so busy with the house and the preparation that he didn’t have time to stop and think about Sam’s feelings. Perhaps he should do something to address it, he thought.
Sam and Ginny were laden with shopping bags when they returned to Sebastien’s apartment. Sam helped Ginny to unpack her stuff and warned her again about eating too much chocolates and ice-cream. Before she left for Urs’s apartment, she cleaned out the fridge the items that Sebastien had taken from Urs’s fridge and left Ginny gapping in disbelieve.
“Bear with it for a few more days, Gin,” Sam called back before Ginny slammed the door behind her.
The last few words caught Ginny’s attention and she opened the door again and shouted, “What do you mean, a few more days?”
“Bye!” was all Sam said as she entered the lift.
She knew about the wedding? Ginny pondered the possibility before dismissing it. Sam couldn’t have known since the guys were very tight-lipped that even she herself didn’t know what the wedding plan was. All Sebastien said was that she would be taken to the hotel on the actual day and she was asked to pack a bag for a week’s stay at the hotel. Ginny, being ever so easy-going, didn’t question him about the strange arrangement. She set about playing Il Divo’s debut album on the cd player and went to work getting dinner ready for Sebastien.
When Sam got home, she found Urs playing his electric guitar by the window. She walked over and kissed him on the lips before going to the kitchen to put back the chocolates and ice-cream, then to the bedroom to put away the new clothes and shoes she bought.
“Had a good outing?” Urs asked casually, lounging by the doorframe.
“Um hmm. In order to keep Ginny’s mind off food, we had to keep shopping and buying,” Sam smiled as she recalled her squabbles with Ginny whenever they came upon an eating establishment.
“Tell me, Sam. How would you feel if you were Ginny, getting married in a few days’ time and not knowing it? What do you think your reaction would be on the day of the wedding?” Urs carefully probed, still standing by the doorframe with his arms folded in front of his muscular chest.
“Surprised would be the understatement of the year, I suppose. I mean, this is going to be the best day of my life, something that will last a lifetime in my memory, and to have that planned and executed without my knowledge? Well, I think it’s going to take awhile for me to get over it…the surprise, and perhaps the disappointment as well, of not being allowed to plan my own wedding…” Sam shrugged her shoulders. She had been thinking about this question herself and decided that a wedding was too important for her to not be involved in any of the preparation.
Urs stood dumbstruck at what he just heard. Head cocked to one side, eyes squinting, he carefully worded his next question, “So, if you were Ginny, you won’t forgive Sebastien for planning the wedding himself?” He could almost hear his heart beat as he waited anxiously for her reply.
“I wouldn’t say I won’t forgive him. I’ll probably be too busy anyway to get angry. But I might have this nagging thought that I had missed out on something important in my life. Do you get what I mean, Urs?” Sam looked at him with big inquiring eyes. Then, looking at the doubt on his face, a thought suddenly flashed across her mind and she narrowed her eyes and asked, “You have something important to tell me, Urs?”
Taken aback by her sudden suspicion, Urs could only stare blankly at her. For the first time since the decision to plan a secret wedding, he couldn’t find an excuse quick enough to satisfy her growing suspicion. The longer he hesitated, the more convinced she was that there was something fishy going on. Her training as a police officer had thought her to analyse situations and question them, and details would not go unnoticed. She was beginning to see some uncertainty in Urs’s eyes.
With a sly smirk on her face, she told him, “Even though the wedding is so near, if you have something to say to me, it’s still not too late, you know?”
Throwing caution to the wind, Urs decided it was too late to turn back, “Well, I just thought perhaps Sebastien should know the possible consequences of his actions. That is, if Ginny thinks the way you do. Besides, I thought most girls would love a surprise like that. You know, not having to worry about the planning and what-not that comes with the preparation? Why would she want to go through so much trouble?”
“Ok, perhaps Ginny would love the idea. You must remember I told you before: I’m not just any girl. I’m Sam the Cop. And Sam the Cop has her own mind about certain stuff,” she looked into his eyes intensely as she said those words.
Warning bells rang in his head as his mind raced to come up with a solution. “But wouldn’t it mean anything to you if I were to go through so much trouble for you, planning every bit of details so that you could have a memorable wedding without stressing over anything? Wouldn’t that tell you how much I love you? Wouldn’t you be able to forgive me just on account of that?” he solicited tentatively and hopefully.
Sam paused and thought. Would she be able to forgive him? He did it all out of love, for goodness sake, so of course she would forgive him! But just for amusement, she decided to let him sweat it out a little.
“Hmmm, I’ll have to think about it tonight. I’ll let you know when I’ve come to a conclusion, just so you can prepare Sebastien for some unforeseen circumstances if need be,” she winked at him and continued putting her purchases neatly into her wardrobe, a small curve on her lips was concealed by hair falling over the sides of her face.
Urs shook his head in disbelieve. Was she teasing him? Did she guess it? A part of him wished he hadn’t probed her for her feelings about a secret wedding, another part felt relieved that he did since now he knew how she felt about it, he would be able to come up with a solution by morning. Hopefully! Trust her to be so clever and astute, and not to mention, headstrong, he thought ruefully. Oh well, that’s why I love her, he reminded himself.
That night, Sam got into bed wearing a new red silk negligee she bought a few days ago while shopping with Ginny. She had often worn big tees and pyjamas to sleep and didn’t feel comfortable wearing skimpy night dresses but Ginny managed to coerce her into investing in a few sexy ones, including some beautiful bras and thongs. She was under the cover when Urs walked out of the bathroom after completing his nightly ritual. Removing the robe that concealed his beautifully toned body, he got in bed and pulled the cover off from her. What he saw lit up his face in the darkened room.
“Wow! That’s sexy,” he exclaimed huskily. Sam blushed a little and squirmed under his thorough examination with his eyes and hands. “If this is what you girls stock up on during your shopping trips, I’ll gladly let you do it every day,” he whispered in her ear as he lightly ran his fingers over the low neckline of the dress, sending shivers down her spine. Then he let his hand slide down to her abdomen and rest there for only a while, and then the journey continued south.
As his hands worked their magic on her, his lips rained little kisses on her face and neck. He didn’t torment her for long and soon they were caught up in the flames of passion. When they finally returned to reality, their breaths were laboured and ragged. He hugged her close to him as their breathing slowed and their hearts calmed to their regular rhythms.
“I love you, Sam, with all my heart and soul,” he muttered into her hair.
“I know, and I love you too. I was teasing you just now, Urs. Whatever you’ve planned for us, I will love it and won’t complain. Just let me have a say in our honeymoon. Or have you got that covered as well?”
“No. So I guess there goes my surprise for you, huh?” he sounded just a little disappointed. At least there would be another major surprise in store for her, one that she would have absolutely no idea about. This was one of the reasons he decided to come clean about the wedding with her. Another reason was he wasn’t sure he could outwit her.
“Not really. I’m dying to know what it’s going to be like; the venue, the theme and the people who would be there. Goodness, I don’t even know what my gowns look like. I wonder how you guys manage it without me or Ginny knowing. She is getting married the same day, isn’t she?” she turned to look at him.
“Yes, but she still doesn’t know. She’s not as curious or perceptive as you are,” Urs winked at her and she chuckled.
“Give your future wife some credit, will you? I’m sorry to spoil your fun like this, but I’ll pretend not to know if you still want to go on plotting the wedding of the year,” she teased. “You know, I’m getting really excited and nervous. We don’t even have any rehearsals. How are we going to cope?”
“I’m sorry, Sam, but rest assured you both will be properly briefed before you walk down the aisle. Just leave the rest of the stuff to the wedding planners and helpers. Joanne and Sandra will be your maids of honour, and they will be getting a rehearsal tomorrow so they would know what to do and help you two along.”
Kissing her lightly on her nose, he smiled tenderly at her before continuing, “Ginny will meet her parents tomorrow at noon.”
“Really? That’s great! At least she’d have one less surprise on her wedding day. It’s going to be real emotional, maybe I should be there as well, to lend her some emotional support?”
“No, Sam. I think she needs to do this herself. But she’s a lucky girl to have a friend like you, always watching out for her. You could keep her company on the eve of the wedding though, together with Sandra and Joanne. Seb and I won’t be staying with you ladies since we’re not allowed to see each other before our wedding.”
“So I’m supposed to pretend I still don’t know anything? Ok, maybe Ginny can talk about her reunion with her parents, and she could get all the demons out of her chest then,” Sam said thoughtfully. Urs observed her as she talked and realised that the more he got to know her, the more he admired her for being so caring and thoughtful. They talked for a while longer before sleep claimed them.
Sebastien lay awake staring at Ginny’s lovely face. They too had a glorious love-making session but unlike Sam, Ginny fell asleep almost immediately. The shopping in the day had taken its toll on her and she slept peacefully in Sebastien’s arms.
He had actually wanted to talk about his plan for the next day, but when he got home, Ginny had fed him a delicious meal and then treated him to a fashion show, trying on all the clothes she bought. The skimpy negligees eventually undid whatever little self-control he had over himself throughout her teasing. The result was a slightly torn new camisole and a satiating love-making.
As he lay next to her, he wondered how she would feel meeting her parents for the first time in so many years. His thoughts then drifted to the wedding and how she would react to another major surprise, but before he could delve deeper into his thoughts, sleep took over.
Morning came. Sebastien woke up early and prepared some fluffly pancakes for his love. Ginny was still sleeping blissfully but was woken up by the smell of coffee wafting into the room. She got up immediately when she realised it was almost ten o’clock and made her way to the bathroom, only to stop in the middle of the room to pick up the camisole that Sebastien had almost destroyed. Smiling at the memory, she practically floated into the bathroom to get ready for the day.
At the breakfast table, Sebastien casually dropped the hint, “Sweetheart, do you think we should invite your parents to the wedding?”
With a fork halfway to her mouth, she froze and stared at him.
Nodding his head, he waited.
“I haven’t seen them for more than five years. I don’t even know how they’re doing now or if they’re still angry with me,” she answered in a small and miserable tone.
“But would you like to see them again?” Sebastien gently probed. Her baby blue eye sparkled with unshed tears as she nodded, so choked up emotionally at the mention of her parents that she found it hard to speak.
Taking her hand in his and stroking it with his thumb, Sebastien smiled tenderly as he spoke, “What if I tell you they are here, waiting to be re-united with you?”
Lips quivering and shoulders shaking uncontrollably, she let the tears flow. Sebastien got up and gently pulled her to her feet, hugging her and whispering words of comfort as he let her cry. It was a good few minutes before she found her voice again.
“How did they get here?”
At this point, Sebastien sat her down on the sofa and told her briefly how he got David to look up her parents, and how David managed to convince them to fly over to meet her. He was careful not to mention about the wedding so Ginny didn’t have any cause to suspect anything. She felt both very happy and apprehensive at the same time.
“Are you sure they want to see me? Aren’t they still mad at me about Gina’s death?”
“Ginny, they are your parents and you are their daughter. Whatever happened, nothing’s going to change that. They loved you then and they still love you now. I met them yesterday and they are both very eager to see you again. Are you ready to meet them, Ginny?”
Without batting an eyelid, she nodded her head, “Yes, Seb. I want to see them again. I’ve dreamt of this for so long, I’m not sure I’ll be able to totally believe what you said until I see them in person.”
“Good. Let’s get ready then. Let’s go to the hotel where they’re staying.”
On the way to the hotel, Ginny fretted every few minutes. What if her parents weren’t really happy? What if they decided not to forgive her? What if…
“Stop it, Ginny! You know in your heart that they aren’t that sort of parents. I’ve seen and talked to your mum and dad and I know they are very loving people. Now, calm down and think of all the things that you want to do with them while they’re still here. Like maybe have dinner with them every evening, or take them to shopping, sight-seeing. What do you think they’d like to do?” Sebastien tried his best to get Ginny’s mind off her worries. It seemed to work as it got her thinking about the next few days.
Outside her parents’ hotel room, Ginny squeezed tightly at Sebastien’s arm as they both waited for the door to open. When it did, it was David holding the door wide for them. He and Sandra had been there since morning, taking theDawsonsout for breakfast and a little walk in the city, playing the perfect hosts to the old couple who had never flew out of their little town inColorado. Just like Ginny, both parents fretted every now and then about their daughter’s reaction to meeting them. However, David, with his infectious smile and funny antics, was able to distract them until the moment the doorbell rang.
Smiling gratefully at his band mate, Sebastien took Ginny’s hand and half guided and half pulled her into the lounge of the hotel suite he booked for her parents. David and Sandra quietly closed the door behind them as they left the suite.