Chapter 69

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Houssam took off his shoes and socks, his feet sinking into the warm sand as he walked towards the set up for their wedding pictures. It was right after their Nikkah, and he still couldn't believe that they had gotten married! The ceremony had been quick and fast, took all of ten minutes, and consisted of just her family, his family, and a few trusted friends. After they had signed their license, to his dismay, Hana was whisked away from him by his sisters and Ilham. Apparently she was going to change into her wedding dress at the hotel, before coming down to the beach to do wedding photos before they went to the Walimah.

He hadn't even gotten to hug her.

And man had he wanted to!

"Houssam! Why don't you stand over there overlooking the water, and Ill get some pictures of you!" The photographer, Joan, who worked with Hana, said as she came closer.

"Without my wife?" he asked, totally loving the way that word sounded coming out of his mouth, and Joan smiled.

"It is just to warm things up a bit until she gets here. You can call over your friends as well!" She said motioning to where Amir, Hisham, and Freddy stood chatting.

"Hey you guys," he called, cupping his hands around his mouth, "let's take some pictures!" He exclaimed, and before he knew what was happening, his friends had all rushed him, and Amir and Freddy were hoisting him onto their shoulders, while Hisham grabbed his legs.

"AHHH! Put me down!" he cried out, though he was laughing too much to be truly panicked. They started to march around, singing the word 'groom' in Arabic over and over again at the top of their lungs, Freddy the loudest, and Joan quickly snapped  pictures as fast as she could, her laughter ringing out over their bellowing.

Finally they put him back down, and posed for a few more pictures before the dads came and joined them, and they had a good time thinking up creative poses for everyone, most of them including Houssam being carried or lifted, which was no easy feat considering how huge he was.

Eventually a car pulled to the curb, and Houssam's eyes lit up as he realized Hana was there.

"Okay you can't see her yet! Turn around!" Joan ordered, and Houssam groaned.

"But I want to see her now!" He whined. Ever since their engagement, fine ever since he had admitted to himself that he loved her, he had been imagining this day, imagining getting to see her in her dress and finally touch her and hold her and he didn't want to wait a single second more!

"And you will see her! But I want to catch your reaction first in a picture! Come on, you know how much Hana would love it!" She exclaimed with a small tilt of her head and he groaned again, knowing that he couldn't deny Hana this.

"Fine." He grumbled.

"Good! Now turn around." She said motioning with a hand.

Houssam sighed, and turned his back to the car that held his beloved Hana, facing the water, and nervously wiggling his toes in anticipation. He could hear Ilham's shrill voice and barely, just barely make out Hana's softer one. He heard car doors closing and whispers of 'grab her veil' and 'take off your heels' and 'watch your step Hana' and the closer the voices got, the faster his heart beat, until he could feel them standing behind him.

"Can I look now!?" he demanded, practically bouncing on his toes, and everyone laughed.

"One second. Hana, move your veil to the side, and spread out your skirt a little bit. Very nice. Can we make a fresh bow in her sash?" As Joan gave some more instructions, Houssam tapped his hands impatiently on his legs.

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