A/N: This is a continuation to Heart’s True Desire – part 6
Heart’s True Desire – 7
The Wedding Day
The Chapel of Flowers aisle was adorned with assorted white flowers giving the place a heaven like ambiance. The string quartet played classical music while Richard wearing a white tuxedo waited for Maya to make an entrance. Beside him was Emman in his black suit and the minister who will officiate their wedding. Two other people from the chapel’s organization were there to witness their ceremony.
After a few minutes, the music changed into a traditional wedding march. When Richard heard it, he turned to Emman and nodded at him.
Emman commented in an excited tone. “Here comes your bride.”
Richard smiled a little. Suddenly, he felt nervous. He didn’t expect to feel that way. It was strange. He thought, “Is this really how groom’s feel during a wedding? But, ours in not the usual kind of wedding.” His mind went blank the moment he saw Maya at the far end of the aisle.
The chapel’s door opened wide and there stood Maya waiting for her cue to walk down the aisle. In tempo with the music that engulfed the chapel, she began to take the first step towards the altar. She looked solemn at first but when she saw Emman smiling and cheering her up, her lips curved into a smile.
Maya walked, as if floating and she was ethereally beautiful. She wore a strapless lace wedding gown with fitted bodice that gradually flared from her waist down to her ankle. The thin veil over her head didn’t hide the beauty beneath it. Maya’s make up was very light and highlighted her “bambi” shaped eyes. On her hand was a bouquet of white and pink roses.
As she slowly marched down the aisle and seeing Richard’s blank expression, a mixed emotions of panic, confusion and hesitation came over her. She was getting married to the man her parents chose for her; the man she struck an agreement with. But as she assessed his appearance, she found him undeniably disturbing. He was so handsome that had her heart thumped loudly.
It was then the memory of her first year college, which she suppressed for the past few weeks flashed in her head. She was walking towards the guy with whom she was infatuated with until he crushed her fantasies of him. It was a long time ago and she had long overcome that feeling for him. What remained with her was just memory. So, she ignored the unusual beats of her heart.
Maya put her mind to Emman’s advise before she went to sleep the previous night. She needed to keep an open mind with the whole Richard situation. She must recognize that he was making an effort to reach out to her and he was right about it.
So the moment Maya stopped in front of Richard, she made a decision to at least be friends with him. She voluntarily offered her hand to him before they took the last remaining steps towards the altar. He smiled at her genuinely as he clasped her hand with his.
When they finally stood in front of the minister, Richard couldn’t help but tell her in a whisper. “You look gorgeous.”
Maya faced him and returned his smile. “Thank you. Ikaw din, you look handsome.”
There was a warm glow in her eyes that Richard interpreted as a sign that she was being friendly to him. Their gazes remained locked while they admired each other’s looks.
The minister pretended to cough to catch their attention. “Uhum, uhum, my dear lovely couple let’s start the ceremony.”
The actual ceremony went like any other wedding. The only difference in their wedding was, they didn’t have any special vows to say to each other. Emman and one of the chapel’s staff assisted throughout the ceremony from the veil, candle and everything else.
Within thirty minutes, the wedding rite was completed. After the minister finally uttered the words, “You may kiss the bride”, the newly wed couple faced each other with tentativeness.
Emman prodded Richard to make the move. “Richard, kiss the bride na daw.”
It was only then that he kissed Maya on the cheek. Maya felt her face become warm but she smiled at him.
However, the kiss that he gave her wasn’t acceptable to the videographer and photographer. “Another kiss please Mr. Lim, on the lips.” The two guys chorused at the same chuckled in amusement.
Richard gave Maya an impish smile. His facial expression then told Maya that he doesn’t have a choice but to follow the instruction. Maya’s heartbeats raced in anticipation of his move. She tried to calm herself but she couldn’t control her blood slowly creeping to her neck and face.
When Richard placed his hands on her waist, he pulled her a little closer to him before he kissed her lightly. He felt her soft lips quiver when his lips touched hers. He liked the feel of her soft lips against his. So without thinking much, he pressed harder that made her gasped in reaction. When she slightly opened her lips, it gave him access to her mouth. He deepened his kiss. Maya didn’t know what came over her but she began to respond to him. Their kiss would have lingered if they didn’t both realize that they had an audience.
Then, they heard their videographer said in satisfaction. “Very good, Mr. and Mrs. Lim.”
The two disengaged automatically with Maya looking every inch the blushing bride. She stole a glance at her best friend and found him smiling ear to ear. Emman’s hands were clasped together obviously feeling giddy seeing their first kiss. It appeared like a real romantic kiss.
The string quartet played a classic love song as they left the chapel with pink rose petals being thrown at them. Once outside, they were guided to the gardens for the wedding photos. After the kiss they shared earlier, Richard was a picture of an attentive groom. He made sure he assisted Maya while she walked because she had long train that might cause her to trip. His hand was always on her elbow or at her back. She didn’t protest and was actually glad that he was there to assist her.
At the gardens, while the photographer was setting up, Richard pulled out something from his suit’s side pocket.
“I have a special gift for my beautiful bride.” He uttered as he gazed at her tenderly.
Maya’s brows went up but she smiled warmly. “I have a gift?”
“Yes.” He confirmed and opened his hand. On his palm was a necklace that had a big heart shaped diamond for its pendant.
Maya immediately knew it was an expensive gift. “Richard, I didn’t expect this. I don’t think I deserve….” She hesitated. She wasn’t quite sure if she should accept.
“Maya, let’s pretend that we have a normal wedding, please? And, this is my surprise for you.” He held the ends of the chain with his fingers and started to put the necklace on her. To do it properly, he moved closer to her with his face very near her face. She felt self-conscious having him so near her.
When his fingers lightly touched her skin, she felt goose pimples rise on her legs. It felt like an electric current flowed down from her neck to the rest of her body. She took a step backwards.
Richard must have felt something too since his eyes darkened when he looked at her intently. She averted her eyes from his gaze.
He then said, “I was right. It looks very good on you.” He smiled in satisfaction.
She managed to say “Thank You” before they posed for their official photos.
Unknown to them, their earlier scene was captured in video and photos.
The photographer played with Richard and Maya in their photo session. He asked them not to be shy and look like they were a happy couple in love with each other.
As the photographer was very good at motivating them, they relaxed and granted all his requests.
Richard and Maya had a photo wherein he hugged her from behind and his head was on her shoulder. A similar shot was done with Maya hugging him too. They had shots at the gazebo with wine glass on their hands sharing their champagne. They had another shot where Richard was kissing her on the lips. They had formal and wacky shots. By the time the photo shoot was over, the couple were very much at ease with each other.