The Kitten Has Claws [Chapter 39]

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Chapter Thirty-Nine

Church bells were the only thing missing. In fact, there was even a cowbell to replace the church bells, provided by Jed of course. Everything was perfect. The bride was happy, the groom was happy, beautiful flowers were everywhere, friends gathered around with smiles on their faces, rings were produced, vows were said and love was in the air. It seemed that for the first time, nothing was going wrong because nothing could go wrong on this perfect day.

"We are gathered together on this beautiful day to share with Noelle and Raine as they exchange vows of their everlasting love." Raine softly caressed the back of Noelle's hand with the pad of his thumb as the priest happily preached about the joys and blessings of marriage. He finished off his speech and smiled warmly at them. "At this time, I'll ask you, Raine, and you, Noelle, to face each other and take each other's hands." They did as he said, exchanging small smiles when their eyes met.

"Raine, do you promise to take Noelle to be your wife, your partner in life and your one true love? Will you cherish her friendship and love her today, tomorrow and forever? Will you trust and honor her, laugh with her and cry with her? Will you be faithful through good times and bad, in sickness and in health as long as you both shall live?"

Raine's eyes were filled with a strong emotion as he looked fiercely at Noelle. His voice was rough when he answered the priest. "I do."

"Noelle, do you promise to take Raine to be your husband, your partner in life and your one true love? Will you cherish his friendship and love him today, tomorrow and forever? Will you trust and honor him, laugh with him and cry with him? Will you be faithful through good times and bad, in sickness and in health as long as you both shall live?"

"I do," she answered in a soft whisper.

"If anyone here has any reasons as to why these two should not be joined in Holy Matrimony, let him speak now or forever hold his peace." There was an awkward pause in which Raine looked out at everyone and glared. If anyone dared to say anything, joking or not, they would have to deal with him and he would not be merciful.

The priest smiled and asked for their right hands. He looked at Raine and said, "Repeat after me: I, Raine Patrick Silva, take thee, Noelle Olivia Banks..." he paused and waited for Raine "...to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part."

He turned to Noelle and asked the same thing, "Repeat after me: I, Noelle Olivia Banks, take thee, Raine Patrick Silva, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part."

When the time came for the vows, Raine held Noelle's face in his palms and rested his forehead on hers. "We're going to perform the Splynutí duší in place of our vows," he murmured softly. She nodded in agreement and waited patiently for him to begin. "Repeat after me," he instructed.

"Dávám mé srdce a duše na vás. Společně jsme jedno, nikdy nejsou oddělené. Sám jsme nic. Mé srdce a duše jsou tvoje udržet. Já jsem tvůj a ty jsi moje." Noelle listened carefully and repeated each phrase firmly, not knowing exactly what she was saying, but trusting Raine all the same. He had briefly explained to her what the vows meant, but she could hardly recall anything at the moment. "Dokonáno jest," he murmured when they finished talking.

The priest motioned for the rings to be brought forward and instructed them to place the rings on each other's fingers. Raine slipped the ring on Noelle's finger and said proudly, "In token and pledge of our constant faith and abiding love, with this ring I thee wed."

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