Table of Contents

Section 0: Home

Section 1: History

Section 2: Literature

Section 3: Philosophy

Section 4: Creative Writing

The Wedding

He is the half part of a blessed man
Left to be finished by such as she:
And she a fair divided excellence
Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
William Shakespeare

Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five

Click to enlargeIf two stand shoulder to shoulder against the gods,
Happy together, the gods themselves are helpless
Against them while they stand so.
Maxwell Anderson

Chapter Five

No man-made church, no lofty cathedral, could have contained their love this day, and here it was free to soar to the highest reach of the heavens and the deepest fathom of the sea…. Like a poem without words the azure sky arched over their heads, punctuated with soft white clouds scudding slowing across the horizon in front of the fresh sea breeze, the pure white sand slithered below their feet, with the gray-green ocean dissolving into frothy white waves at its edges, the golden sunlight shining down on all.

On the beach where Patrick had once staggered from the sea with Marty in his arms, the beach that had offered them a second chance to live and love, they took their vows.

There were no processional, no altar, no assemblage gathered.  Only Patrick and Marty, hand in hand, standing before the representative of society. The representative, Gilbert Angel, cleared his throat and began.

"Dear friends, this is a day for celebration and thanksgiving. We are gathered to witness the marriage of Margaret and Patrick. They are making this declaration of lifelong commitment to each other. We stand in the presence of God and ask for divine blessing on this solemn and joyful occasion. I ask you, Margaret and Patrick, to declare you intentions to each other. Margaret, will you take Patrick to be your husband? Will you freely share all that you have and all that you are, with him, for the rest of your life?"

In a clear, sure voice that rose on the breeze, Marty said, "I will."

Gilbert smiled at her approvingly. "Patrick, will you take Margaret to be your wife? Will you freely share all that you have and all that you are, with her, for the rest of your life?"

In a strong voice that resonated from his chest, Patrick said, "I will."

Delighted, Gilbert continued, "Patrick has selected a Shakespearean sonnet that reflects the commitment you share, and he will repeat the words now."

Patrick turned to Marty and took both of her hands in his. In his deepest, more heartfelt way, he gazed into her eyes, and recited Sonnet 116.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

His only accompaniment was the timeless, endless surge of the ocean upon the shore.

When Patrick was finished, Gilbert resumed. "Now, Margaret, repeat these words after me." And as Gilbert said each phrase, he paused and let her say the same one, until her declaration of love and commitment was done:  

"Patrick, I take you to be my husband from this time onward, to join with you and to share all that is to come, to give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to inspire and to respond, and in all our life together to be loyal to you, with all my being, my whole life long."

Then Gilbert turned to Patrick and had him repeat similar words:

"Margaret, I take you to be my wife from this time onward, to join with you and to share all that is to come, to give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to inspire and to respond, and in all our life together to be loyal to you, with all my being, my whole life long."

At this point, Gilbert held up two rings.  

"The wedding ring is a symbol, both personal and public, which serves to remind us that love is unending and precious. The gold of the rings is a valuable and vulnerable metal with much be mixed with a stronger alloy to keep it from bending and breaking. The romance of marriage is like this gold. We must allow the strength of our minds to be mixed with romance so that love grows strong, permitting our commitment of marriage to be unbroken by the pressures of life. Bless, O Creator of Love, the giving of these rings, that they who wear them may live in your peace, and continue to grow in love all the days of their life.  Amen. Now, Patrick, please say these words after me.

"Margaret, I give you this ring as a sign of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you." Gilbert handed Patrick Marty's ring.

Patrick said the words in a whispered voice and slipped her ring on Marty's ring finger. It fit perfectly and was almost an exact duplicate of the one he was about to receive from her. As he slipped it on, he wished every ounce of his love into the shining metal.

Gilbert went on, "Now, Margaret, please say these same words:  Patrick, I give you this ring as a sign of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you," and he handed Marty Patrick's ring after she said the words.  

She took it from him and slipped it on the ring finger of Patrick's strong, capable hand, the hand that she knew would always keep her from harm. She vowed to herself to be worthy of his great love and return it in equal measure.

Gilbert spoke the final words. "Margaret and Patrick, by your promises you have declared yourselves to be wife and husband.  May God bless you!"

There was no need for him to add, "You may now kiss the bride." They were in each other's arms before Gilbert had finished speaking. Only Gilbert's patient presence recalled them to reality. Patrick lifted his face from Marty's and said soberly, "Thank you, Gilbert." He added politely, "We'll be havin' a little celebration now—you saw the cake, and the sparklin' juice. Will you stay and join us?"

Marty seconded the invitation. "Please drink a toast with us, Gilbert."

Gilbert's smile nearly split his placid round face in two.  "Oh, dear no, I wouldn't dream of intruding. This ceremony was its own thanks, and I really must be on my way now.  Professor and Mrs. Thornhart, I'll have a signed copy of the marriage certificate delivered to you tomorrow evening."

Neither Patrick nor Marty thought to ask how he planned to leave, nor had they noticed how mysteriously he'd arrived on the uninhabited, isolated island. That would always be his little secret, along with a few others, he chuckled to himself. Gilbert climbed over a dune and was lost to their sight.

Marty looked up at Patrick. "He's very tactful, isn't he?"

"I knew he was the right choice, Angel," Patrick laughed.  "Angel…." Suddenly Patrick rested his forehead against hers. "We're alone, we married, and we have this whole bloomin' island to ourselves. What d'you think we should do now?"

"Hmm…celebrate?" Marty suggested helpfully.

Grinning, Patrick cupped her face in his hands and kissed her again. "Correct answer. How d'you think we should celebrate?"

"Well…." She considered carefully. "There's food…and music…and flowers…and even a champagne substitute…at the fishing shack, and they're all going to waste, aren't they?"

"There's somethin' else there goin' to waste too, isn't there?" Patrick reminded her.

"The stove?" Marty asked innocently.

"No, we won't need that. There's a fire burnin' right here, Angel," he murmured. "A fire that only you can put out for me…Dr. Thornhart…if you will."

Click to enlarge On with the dance! Let joy be unconfined.
George Gordon, Lord Byron

"My diagnosis is, first, to get you of this shirt, Mr. Thornhart. For some reason medical science hasn't discovered, you've got all the buttons buttoned, so no wonder you're a little warm. And then we might be advised to unbuckle your belt here, and unbutton your pants as well, because you'll never cool off if…." As she spoke, Marty carried out the actions her words implied.  

Breathlessly, Patrick watched her unfasten his shirt and yank its shirttails from the waistband of his pants and pull the unbuttoned edges apart and drag the sleeves down his arms.

"There," she said matter-of-factly as the shirt dropped to the sand, as the sight of his firmly muscled chest sent her pulse racing as it always did. She tried to sound clinical. "Is that better?"

"Mmm, much," he agreed. "Now you. You look a little flushed, Angel." He reached for the skirt of her dress and began to pull it up.

"Patrick!" she shrieked, pushing his hands away.

"What's wrong? We're the only two here," he assured her, in the same innocent tone she had used.

"Yeah, well, I'm not that warm, Patrick—but maybe I would be, if we were back in the fishing shack?" Marty hinted.

"I think we owe it to medical science to just bloody find out then. If you're sure we can't find out right here?"  Patrick's hand went to her skirt again but Marty jumped out of his way.

"Oh, no, you don't!" she laughed over her shoulder, taking flight.  

Patrick chased her back to the fishing shack and caught up to her just inside the door. This time there was no fooling.  They both tugged so eagerly at her dress that removing it took twice as long as necessary, but it was finally over Marty's head and thrown over one of the chairs.  

"I've got a very beautiful wife," Patrick whispered against her cheek, as he reached around her back and unhooked her bra. "And even more beautiful naked than clothed in her weddin' dress, it seems," he added, easily dispensing with the bra and pulling her against him to enjoy the sensation of her breasts pressing against his own bare chest. His lips moved to her mouth and his tongue slid inside, and he felt as well as heard her sigh.  

Marty raised her hands around his neck and kissed him as passionately as he was kissing her. While they kissed, Patrick's hands began to travel, first skimming over her ribs to her waist, where they collected the elastic band at the waist of her panties, then, pushing the material past her hips as far as they could reach. Then he was falling to his knees, dropping kisses along the way over her cheek and neck, through the valley between her breasts, and past her rounded stomach, lingering there for a moment. At last, Patrick was on his knees before her, and her panties were lying around her feet on the floor. Marty clenched her fingers in his hair when he pressed a kiss to the junction of her thighs.

Patrick growled low in his throat when he heard her suck in her breath. Quickly he rose to his feet and scooped Marty up in his arms. He carried her across the room and lowered her to the mattress, and as he knelt beside her they reached simultaneously to unfasten his trousers. Again it took longer for the two of them to remove an item of clothing than it would have taken the wearer alone, but at last they were off. Patrick fell against Marty's own naked form and gathered her in his arms, rolling her under him.

"My husband," Marty said softly, loving the pressure of his weight as always, and wondering if it was only her imagination, as she welcomed him into her, that it felt even sweeter now that they were wed.

"My wife," Patrick replied, staring into her eyes, as he took the first steps in the dance of love between their bodies.

End of Chapter Five | AKA The Happy Ending | Return to Chapter One