Authors: J. D. Freed
I agreed to the terms as long as we were married within a week. I thought that was a fair first compromise for a couple. It was somewhat of joke, really, when I said it. I would have gotten into her pants either way if she tried to make me wait too long. She just started laughing and agreed to the idea by saying, "Whatever will get your boat back afloat, Sailor. Let's plan to set sail on our big adventure next Saturday! I will make sure it is the trip of a lifetime!"
She didn't fuss or whine about not having time to put together all the arrangements for a big ceremony with a bunch of people, like it was some show. She just wanted to be mine.
I wanted to tell her about the first time and see if it triggered any memories of me being the one she remembered. However, I was scared of her reaction because I didn't want her think that I had used her that night. If I know anything about Hadley it is that "being used" is a big deal with her. I will tell her. I just want to do it in a way that is special and not something that will humiliate her or embarrass her. I know she doesn't remember it was me and her face gets red anytime anyone mentions Shelby's wedding reception in our presence.
After we consummated our now-blessed union in the loft and I made her mine in the "biblical" sense numerous times while lying in our bed, we talked all night… well, we talked a lot but we made love and fucked a lot in between. She told me about her past and I rubbed her back and kissed the tears from her cheeks as she explained how she met Dez and how she later died after Macey was born. Then she explained the head butt maneuver she threw at Ben and how she felt Dez was there watching over us. In turn she kissed my tears off my cheeks when my heart broke for her, Mace and Tyler as she told that story. All I could think about was how close I was to losing her and it reminded me of the pain when Cody and I had lost Jenna.
I snapped out of the dark side after Hadley resolutely shared with me that she had decided she wanted to move on to the next phase of her newly-revised plan and create a Phase 4. She wants to press her luck and see if she can add another title to go along with her new name, "Mrs. Hadley Creed."
She had been a girl who stripped, a university MBA recipient, a top level executive in a successful corporation, and her newest appointed position as my wife. She informed me that she would like to add "Mother" to her list of personal accomplishments before she gets too much older. I didn't argue. I would give her whatever she wanted or die trying. I could think of worse ways of going out than exertion from even failed attempts at conceiving a child with her. Our child.
I am driving to the OB/GYN's office for an annual exam and to make arrangements to get put on some sort of birth control. My husband informed me after the first time in the loft, when he just couldn't help himself, that he has a hard time remembering to pull out every time. We bought some condoms but he hates to stop and put one on. Tralen said that had never been a problem with anyone else he had been with and he had always worn a condom. I broke his "condom virginity"…
I can't believe the changes in my life and although dealing with Ben was terrifying, I am safe and Tralen is alive and well. I am trying to work up the courage to confront the elephant in the room. I have yet to talk to Mr. Greyson, or Dad, about all of the events with Ben. I am not sure what our future holds as far as being more than just professional. I did, however, arrange a time to have coffee with him and asked him to walk me down the aisle after I talked over my jumbled feelings with Tralen. I asked Mr. Greyson to walk me down the aisle because regardless of whether he is or isn't my biological father, my sweet husband reminded me he was the closest thing I had to it. That is fucked up, though, and I know there is some anger brewing under my skin, waiting for the answers to a lot of very hard questions I have to ask him. However, I am at peace and happy right now, and what's the rush? It has been 29 years since I even knew I had a dad at all; what are a few more months going to matter?
Mr. Greyson gave me space and hasn't brought it up at work, which I knew he wouldn't. He fiercely guards his personal and private affairs. When I get up the nerve, I will broach some of these issues with him.
We have barely spent any time apart since Tralen woke up in the hospital after the Ben ordeal. He squeezed my hand that was holding his when he woke. He blinked at me and tried to smile as he croaked out, "Hadley-Made, since I think I am still alive, will you do me the honor of marrying me, please?" We made it official in Mr. Greyson's backyard a week later.
He negotiated the terms the next day when he was more comfortable and they had removed some of the tubes. I was lying in his bed next to him watching "We are the Millers" and the irony of the story as it relates to a stripper were not lost on me. I told him that I think it would be romantic to wait to "consummate our union" on our wedding night. He looked crestfallen with the thought of waiting, I could tell. I hadn't thought in his condition he would think that was a priority, but apparently I was wrong.
Then he perked up and said with a squeeze, "Have it your way, Babe; you've got a week to put those Master's planning skills to work before you are officially a Creed." I agreed--how could I not? I could learn to compromise and I didn't want to wait, either. I didn't want to wait to make him mine always. I wanted him more than I ever remember wanting anything in my life. I know what I want and get what I want. I saw no need for further delay. Let the planning begin.
We didn't want a big wedding because we both truly felt the marriage was going to take the cake on its own, so who needed the hassle. "I agree; it is just a waste of money, planning and precious time," Tralen had said as he was circling his index finger around my nipple while I sat in his hospital bed with him and discussed my declaration that I would prefer a smaller ceremony. I informed him that I wanted a big reception and of course, a honeymoon once he was healed and the merger was back on track.
The wedding ceremony was short and sweet, just like I wanted. However, I didn't plan the best part of the ceremony. Dez gave it to me. When Cody and Macey sang "All I Need", my heart seized. I couldn't stop the tears that kept falling when Mace belted out the chorus by herself with the soul and sound of an angel right here on earth. She has heard the song almost every night since birth, so it was one she felt very comfortable singing, plus Dez was there with her the whole time. It was even better than the video I recorded of Dez singing it to her in the rocking chair of Mace's nursery as she rocked her to sleep the first night Dez brought her home. Mace watches it every night before bed and sometimes we both sing along. I could feel her presence and the peace it brought. Tralen could feel it too. It is like in a weird way he feels like he is part of me now, at that moment. Tralen tried to absorb my falling tears with thumb swipes and then sweet kisses. He murmured in my ear, "It's okay, Babe, she's here. Don't cry. You're good. You're mine. We've got you always."
I wore a kick-ass ivory corset-style bodice down just below my hips with a sheer strip over one shoulder. The bottom was a flowing layered sheer skirt to the ground, with a slit up my left thigh. I had sexy peep toe silver strippy sandals with three-inch platform heels. I also had very expensive French white lace undergarments hidden underneath. I had Shelby and Macey stand with me. Tralen had Cody and Loosey, of course. Macey had led her up the aisle. Loosey had a ruffled frock on that Pugs had made to match Macey's dress. I let Mace pick it out herself. I picked my nail polish to match and Shelby got a cobalt blue short flowing halter dress. Mace picked out a gorgeous bright pink chiffon sleeveless number that hit her just above the knee. She also had ruffled pink socks and white sandals. Pugs curled her hair and Petals made her a floral wreath with ribbons flowing down her back with her thick black curls.
Mace was the star of the show, and I couldn't have been happier with the ceremony if I had over-planned every detail and spent 10 times the amount of money. I was Tralen's and that is all that mattered. That was the goal and I came in on time and within budget, and it went off without a hitch. However, Cody giving toasts after the wedding party settled at the reception tents after spending the last hour walking and swigging from a Champagne bottle all to himself proved to be more entertaining than I had imagined. In addition to his show of humor, he had some very touching comments about Jenna and Dez. Shelby made me cry with her toast. She expressed, "Hadley became my sister, my mom, my best friend and the only real family I had known until Marcus. I owe her so much for everything she has done for me and continues to do for me. I am who I am because of what she taught me about believing in myself. She showed me, she led by example and I stayed as close to her heels as I could manage. It was hard to keep up, but it was worth it. She was right. I know what love means; she taught me that. I know how to be humble; she taught me that too. I know how to work hard; I have watched her do it every day I have known her. She always used to ask me when I would get down on myself, 'Shelby, how big is your brave? How badly do you want it?' She believed in me when I wasn't sure I did. She deserves everlasting love. She deserves her dream come true and I think she got it. I will be rooting for you guys always. I love you both. BE HAPPY!"
When the official announced me as his wife, Tralen just grinned at me like a 7 year old boy that had just gotten away with something naughty. It didn't matter to me that he had already out of protocol kissed me during the ceremony about 10 times already. I will never forget the first kiss my husband gave me. He didn't go straight to my mouth. He took my cheeks in his hands and he kissed my forehead and then he softly pressed his lips to one cheek by his thumb and then the other. Then he looked in my eyes and said, "My Hadley-Made Angel forever" and then he sucked my soul out of body through my mouth, his skilled tongue and lips working my mouth over as he replaced my soul with his. This transfer must have taken a while. I vaguely heard people from the crowd hooting and laughing and Cody saying something like, "Better let catch her breath, Bro, don't want her passing out just yet" as Tralen chuckled against my mouth as he broke from my lips. However, he wasn't done. I tried to slow my heart and catch a breath as he took both my hands in his and kissed the base of my throat just above my chest. He sealed the deal by bringing my newly-adorned ring finger up to meet his lips, and he kissed it sweetly. Then we turned and he raised our hands to our guests as we laughed and held each other's eyes and started our descent to the reception hall.
I dream about that kiss still and I will for a lifetime. He made feel precious to him, like he cherished me. I had never felt that way, not in my entire life. I don't think he understands to this day what he did for me in that moment. His actions spoke more than any words he could have expressed. I couldn't have dreamed it any better--definitely couldn't have planned it!
However, we are doing a lot of planning for a "destination getaway" for our honeymoon in Cabo in a few weeks, once the merger consolidation is in a freeze and Cody is done touring and Emily will be finished with cosmetology school. I am so excited to take some time with our friends and let our hair down. With all the drama and hours it has taken to get this Mathis deal back on track, Tralen and I need a break. Tralen has been a lot of help with the merger. He healed up and was back to work with me right after we officially tied the knot. Mr. Greyson--Dad--hired him back as the SVP of Infrastructure Design and Development. He now manages the planning and implementation of the commercial building infrastructure unit for all of Greyson Capital Inc. and its affiliates. I tease my husband about being a "bigwig" now… he used not think too highly of the yuppie breed… he just cleans up so nicely he fits right in with all the other tailored suits in the office.
I am going to work for about another year through the Mathis merger, which we barely were able to salvage after the Ben fiasco. Then I might try the "family thing" I always thought was out of my reach. Tralen loves the idea, even though he makes jokes about keeping me barefoot and pregnant. In addition to that, when he has had a trying day at work he jokingly suggests that maybe I should work and he should stay home with the kids.
He wanted to start adding to the family the night of our wedding after the pole dance peep show I gave him as a wedding gift… I let him take my dress off and then I stepped away from him to perform my disappearing white lace magic show to "Tulsa Time"… it is an old twangy country song I had heard Tralen sing in the shower. It has a good rhythmic beat and it was a perfect pace for the routine I had planned for him. I was supposed to be slow and torturous. When he started to take his suit jacket off and then his shirt, I knew I had succeeded. I decided to I let him assist me in my performance by removing the only remaining article of my ensemble. He wasted no time disintegrating my expensive white lace bottoms as he pulled my legs up around his waist. He pushed his head in between us and pushed up into me, hard and quick, and he had one hand around my ass and the other around the back of my shoulder. My back was pressed up against the pole.
Then we repeated a modified version of the same process in our bedroom multiple times and we talked, laughed and cried in between. He apologized for not protecting me from Ben and promised to never make that mistake again. I told him that was sweet but that really "in the end it proved an important point to both of us. We had each other and now we both know the love we have is real and that we can survive anything as long as we are together, in this life or even after death." He said that must be true because, "I thought I died a few times that night when I couldn't get to you to and I thought he was going to… hurt you… or worse."
He confided in me that the only misery or agony that even came close to that moment was when his Mom Jenna had died from ALS after years of gradually losing strength and mobility, until her body just gave up the fight. They watched her suffer and fight the battle to hold on to life each day for just over three years. However, she was adamant that the only joy she still had was seeing them succeed. She made Tralen accept the scholarship and leave her to go college. She had him send her every game tape so she could watch it at night before bed after Cody played and sang to her some nights. I in return expressed that I could empathize with the anger and resentment of not being able to save or do enough to show those you love just how much when they know their days may be coming to an end, which is truly why Dez would say in her weakest state "Make every day count for something." We have both learned those lessons the hard way. Our days and those of our loved ones are numbered and when time's up, it's up. Don't leave much on the table to chance or you may run out of runway.