The rustling of wings was the first sound I heard after taking my place at the altar. My God! There she was.
Pure white hair, silvery-blue eyes, and black wings fluttering gently against her beaded gown. She was glorious. My chest tightened as Rose was joined by her father, Jeremy, at the opposite end of the white silk runner. This is it!
Pink hues of the setting sun blanketed the scene, casting a blush glow over the entire park. Candelabras stood guard on either side of the pews that had recently been set in place. Being the new Sire of a clan of vampires who could lift and move things at the speed of light was definitely a huge help in arranging a quick wedding.
It had only been three nights ago that Meredith and her demons had come looking for a fight. Sadly, the one they found ended their lives. Jeremy was now a part of William’s clan, and he and Rose were the only two hybrids in existence. Hybrids with the ability to sniff out and eliminate any demon threat.
Rose was overjoyed about being reunited with her father, even though both had been through a massive transformation. The hell they’d endured was something I knew they’d never forget. But now, looking at the two of them standing arm-and-arm, I hoped their healing had begun.
Rose had spent the first day after Jeremy’s arrival secluded in one of the private rooms of The Rising Pit with him. They talked about Meredith, and about how neither of them had known of their demon heritage. But the hardest conversation was about how Rose had just lost her mother, again. Rose relayed to Jeremy that while on the astral plane, her mother had passed for a second time, her body shimmering then dissolving into the ether like a million tiny fireflies. It was something that still pulled at us deeply.
Rose’s mother, Loraine, had been our saving grace. If it hadn't been for her, we wouldn't be standing in this park preparing to exchange our vows. During Rose’s transformation our consort bond had snapped in two, but Loraine was able to fuse it back together, preventing my death and the permanent loss of Rose’s humanity.
We owed her everything.
Making Rose my wife in the most legal of ways brought a finality to the sorrow our clan had endured over the past year. We all deserved something to celebrate, but Loraine’s presence was certainly going to be missed.
Music began to play as Rose and Jeremy walked in my direction. The quirky smile on Rose’s face indicated I must have started to drift.
A vampire’s emotions are on display for everyone to see. As the intensity of our feelings grow, our hair and eye color darken and change. And right now...my feelings were all over the place.
Love, lust, excitement, fear, all coursing through me as my consort approached.
The closer Rose got, however, the more apparent it became that our consort bond was different than any other in history. A consort could only be chosen once, and was the first vampire a Sire made. Once bonded, your life was theirs and theirs yours. If one died, so did the other. But not only were Rose and I bonded...but when together, we glowed.
A bright golden light emanated from our bodies whenever we experienced desire for one another. My Sire, Evangeline, surmised it was because our ethereal cord had been repaired on the astral plane. She assumed it became more intense during the re-fusing process, since it was Rose’s deceased mother who saved us.
Honestly, that may have been the case, but Rose and I liked to believe it was because our love burned brighter than any others’.
I took Rose’s hand, and the crowd roared with laughter.
“It’s a good thing we’re doing this in the middle of nowhere,” Bobby said, “or some alien hunters might show up to investigate a strange glowing light.”
I smiled, always grateful for my best friend’s ability to lighten the mood.
Our glow was intense, but I wasn’t embarrassed in the slightest. I longed for Rose, every minute of every day. My desire for her would never fade, nor hers for me.
Dax cleared his throat and began the ceremony. We’d asked him to officiate since he’d attained his minister’s license when two other vampires in our clan, Renard and Loni, tied the knot.
“We are gathered here today,” he paused and a wicked smile broke out across his face. “Well, we all know why we’re gathered here today, now don’t we?” He shifted his eyebrows and flipped a thumb in our direction. The crowd laughed, yelling “Yep,” “Sure do,” “Pretty obvious.”
I looked at Rose, hoping the frivolity our clan was providing wasn’t going to ruin our wedding day. Rose’s smile widened, and we began to beam even more brightly.
“Okay, okay...get on with it,” I instructed.
“We’re gathered here today to celebrate the shining love these two display. To honor their deep connection, and to officially welcome them as Sire and Consort.”
The crowd went wild.
“I will now read the consort bond, for this is the one true vow a Sire can take.”
Dax shifted behind the podium and looked straight at Evie, then repeated the bond.
“Your life to me, my life to you, through this bond our love is true. Whatever shall come, we share in whole. Life to death, eternity our goal.”
By the end of it, every couple in the crowd was holding hands and exchanging kisses. While other vampires could declare their love to one another and even get married under the law as we were tonight, only a Sire could create a life-long consort bond. There were only three bonded couples here tonight; Evie and Dax, William and Frederick, and Rose and I.
We’d faced death when Rose became a hybrid, yet here we stood. Destined, and undeniably in love. I reached for my bride even before Dax gave the word and kissed her breathless. The crowd cheered and began to disperse as we waved goodbye. Rose’s wings folded around me and within minutes, we were alone. High above the city on a cliff that overlooked our hometown.
“We did it.” Rose smirked.
“Yes, we did. Wanna do it again every year? Don’t humans have multiple weddings to renew their commitment to one another?”
Her laughter rang like bells on the wind. “Do you think we’ll need to renew our commitment every year?”
She flew across the open space between the mountains, and the pull in my chest started to throb in her absence. I could feel the ache within her, too. If we remained apart for too long, our bond would become stretched, forcing us to return.
She landed next to me, stepped closer, and licked her lips. “I think our commitment is perfectly solid, don’t you?”
I crushed my lips to hers then took a step back and instructed, “Come with me.”
I’d chosen this spot as our honeymoon getaway and had made preparations for our wedding night, days before. I led Rose from the cliff and down the hidden path. The small cabin Evie had let me renovate was well hidden and unknown to everyone but us.
Surprised and excited, Rose followed me through the door and began to undress.
“Wait,” I said.
The look on her face had me choking back a laugh.
“Just for a minute...I want to show you something.”
I raced to the wall on the far side of the room and pressed the button next to the window. Rose gasped as the ceiling began to recede, leaving the bed open to the sky.
“Oh, Christian. It’s just like my room, but for real.” The stars and moon were twinkling brightly, reflecting off the happy tears that filled her eyes.
“I hoped you would like it. I know it will never replace the special memory you and your mother share, but I will never stop trying to give you the stars.”
“It’s amazing.” She flung herself into my arms and claimed my lips with a long, drugging kiss.
Rose was more intense now that she was a hybrid, but I wasn’t complaining. Our golden glow, mixed with the silver light of the moon, left me feeling otherworldly and feral.
Rose ripped my suit off in seconds. I tried to be more careful with her wedding dress but laughed when she shredded the bodice, exposing her breasts.
“I need you,” she purred.
“You have me...always.”
My back hit the mattress and my beautiful bride hovered above me, naked and exquisite. The blinding light of our bond forced me to close my eyes and revel only in her touch––her kisses on my chest, the feel of her curves beneath my hands, and the heat of her as she slid down onto me.
Our groans mixed together, creating my new favorite song as our bodies entwined. Our rhythm was as intense as our glow. Wild, freeing, and all consuming. I reveled in the feel of Rose’s body moving on mine as she threw her head back and cried, “Yes, yes!”
I growled, unable to contain my ecstasy.
Our love burned so brightly I feared we might actually ignite. I opened my eyes to witness the extent of our passion and was met with adoration. “I can’t believe I get to love you forever, Christian.”
I gathered my wife into my arms and stared up at the sky. “And I, you, Rose. Forever, and every moment in-between.”