Chapter Twenty Six

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"This is doing my head in!"
I groaned, burying my face into my hands.
"Well You're the one who hasn't done any planning!"
Grandma scolded, sliding her reading glasses off her nose and adjusting her position in the armchair.
"I've had a little bit on my plate!"
I defended myself, dropping my hands into my lap.
"We can do this!"
Mum insisted, reaching onto the coffee table to pick up her coffee cup.
"We can."
Aunty Bridey nodded.
"We're just gonna have to go full steam ahead."
"Bailey, You'll need to talk to Father Duncan about the Church."
Grandma urged.
I know it was going to disappoint Her, but-
"They don't want the Wedding at the Church, Mum."
Mum denied.
Grandma frowned, pursing Her lips.
I tried not to wince.
Unfortunately my Grandparent's see a Church as Wedding tradition.
But since I was a tiny girl I'd imagined wearing a white dress right here on Harley Crest.
"What about the bridal party?"
Aunty Bridey asked, twisting on the lounge so she was more or less facing Me.
Bridal Party?
I blinked at her.
"Like Bridesmaids, Groomsmen..."
Aunty Bridey explained.
I squirmed on my spot.
"Well Blayze and I already discussed it... but there's a bit of a problem..."
I hedged.
Mum frowned.
"Well I need somebody to walk me down the aisle."
I explained, looking from one face to the other.
Grandma tipped her head to the side, looking curious.
Mum and Aunty Bridey nodded, like they were encouraging Me to elaborate.
"Well Blayze wants Uncle Lukas in the Bridal Party..."
I chewed on my bottom lip.
"But... I can't and don't want to choose between G-Grandpa and Un-Uncle Lukas."
My traitorous voice grew wobbly and warm tear's burnt at the back's of my eyes.
Aunty Bridey gasped, throwing her hands over her mouth.
A complete look of softness overcame Grandma's expression.
"Oh baby..."
Mum sounded choked up.
Do they not see my problem?
For one, I'm pretty sure you're not meant to have two people walk you down the aisle.
Secondly, Blayze wants Uncle Lukas as one of his Groomsmen!
He can't be in two places at once.
"Well you're already blurring the lines of tradition..."
Grandma hedged.
Where was She going with this?
Mum, Aunty Bridey and I all turned towards Grandma, eyeing her curiously.
Grandma shrugged.
"I did know someone who had more of an alternate Wedding once."
She explained.
"That Bride had Her Father and Her Step Father walk Her down the aisle!"
She chuckled.
Mum gasped, her eyes widening!
"You mean Harmony?"
Grandma agreed, nodding her head.
I asked, looking between my Mother and Grandmother.
Mum placed a hand on my knee and gave it a squeeze.
"The lady who cut Luka's hair the other day."
She explained.
"I don't really care about being different."
I admitted, wrapping my arms around my middle.
"Neither does Blayze."
Smiling, Aunty Bridey shook her head.
"Then in that case I don't see why Lukas couldn't walk with you, then join the bridal party."
Mum mused, tapping her fingers on her chin.
I dropped my gaze to my knee's, a blush heating my cheeks.
"I'm kind of... too nervous to even ask them..."
I mumbled.
Although I've known since I was a tiny girl that there wasn't much my Grandfather and my Uncle wouldn't do for me, I still felt this admittedly nauseating anxiety over asking the pair to walk me down the aisle.
Aunty Bridey scooted over next to me and wound an arm around my shoulders, giving Me a squeeze.
"You know neither one of those Men would say no!"
She croaked, her voice thick with the beginning of tears.
I swallowed nervously.
I just really had to grow a backbone and ask.
The worst they could do was say no.
I just hoped they didn't...

I found Blayze packing up the tools from filing Romeo, Belle, Xania and George's hooves.
All four Horses now stood in yards, munching on hay while they waited to be returned to the Working Horse Paddock.
Blayze turned towards Me, no doubt hearing or sensing my arrival.
He used the back of his left arm to wipe a line of sweat off his forehead.
He greeted Me, walking to the post and rail fence of the yard that George (who'd obviously had his feet done last) was standing in.
He folded his tanned arms on the top rail of the fence and leaned into them, his biceps flexing tastefully.
I dragged my eyes up to his face, trying not to ogle over his muscles.
"Does this interest you?"
I asked, holding up the gifts I'd brought out for him.
Well, I actually came out to talk a couple of things over with him, but I figured he at least deserved a treat at the same time.
His deep blue-green gaze flicked to the paper bag, almost frozen water bottle and carton of Farmer's Union Iced Coffee I held, then back to my face.
He offered me a smile.
"Thank you."
"You're welcome."
I offered him my own smile and set the treat's onto the rail a foot to his right.
"But I think I like this even more."
I tipped my head back in order to get a look at his face now that there was little more than a foot of space and a fence rail between us, to ask him what he was talking about but before I could utter a word he leaned down and captured my lips in a surprise kiss.
My heart automatically kick started, my breath momentarily caught in my lungs.
I was just contemplating using the fence rails to help me climb up and wind myself around his body like a vine, when he peeled his lips off mine.
"What was that for?"
I asked, a little breathless and my heart still beating a little too quickly.
He smiled down at me, his blue-green eyes sparkling.
"Because I can. And I wanted to. And mostly because I love you."
I couldn't help but grin, his words admittedly making my knee's feel a little bit jellylike.
"Well I love you too!"
He pushed off from the fence and snatched the cool bottle of previously frozen water off the rail.
He cracked open the top and lifted the rim to his mouth, tipping his head black to chug down some of the cool liquid.
"So we kinda need to finalise a couple of things."
I explained, placing my hands on the fence's top rail.
Blayze lowered the water bottle and used the back of his right hand to wipe some excess drops of water from his lips.
"Things like what?"
"Like are we doing dinner with Your Mum and Brady?"
I asked, raising a questioning eyebrow.
"Do you want to?"
He asked, screwing the lid back onto the now half empty water.
For god sake!
"It's your Mum and her partner!"
I rolled my eyes.
"I'm happy to go. But I want to know if you want to."
I explained.
"Is your Mum okay to babysit?"
He asked, grabbing the Iced Coffee carton.
I shook my head.
"Do you honestly even have to ask?"
He cracked a smile.
"Nah, guess not."
"So the Pub for Dinner, yes or no?"
I asked, raising a questioning eyebrow.
He blew a breath through pursed lips.
"Yeah, guess we can."
I fought really hard against stomping my boot clad feet.
"We don't have to..."
I assured him, placing my hands on my hips.
He shook his Black Rough Rider covered head.
"Nah let's do it."
I nodded,
Glad we finally cleared that up!
"And what else did ya wanna talk about?"
He asked, setting the now no doubt close to empty Iced Coffee carton back onto the rail, alongside the water.
He picked up the paper bag and peered inside.
What he would find was one of the Banana Choc Chip muffin's I'd made before Grandma, Mum and Aunty Bridey came to the house and an apple.
It didn't surprise Me in the slightest that He picked the muffin first.
"Who do you want as your Best Man and Groomsmen?"
I asked, leaning down to pat Zeus who'd finally wandered over from his place laying in the shade by the nearest shed.
He had lots of company from Codie's Dog's Bandit and Zera, but it was obvious in the sadness of His caramel coloured eyes that He was missing Azlan and even Zuke.
I looked up from Zeus, to Blayze, waiting on His answer.
He frowned, pausing with the muffin almost to his mouth.
"I thought I already gave you that answer?"
"Clarify it for Me."
I requested, straightening.
"Grandma, Mum and Aunty Bridey are on my case about getting Wedding plans done."
I rolled my eyes.
"Jax, Lukas, Keegan, Codie, Joel and Heath."
Blayze explained, then bit nearly half the top of the muffin off in one try.
I counted his list off on my fingers.
The theory was that I had to match that number with Bridesmaids.
"You know... how we're not exactly doing things the conventional way?"
I asked, shifting on my feet.
He raised a questioning eyebrow, chewing on his muffin.
"What're you gettin' at?"
"Grandma, Mum and Aunty Bridey actually didn't think it was a bad idea for Me to ask both Grandpa and Uncle Lukas to walk Me down the aisle."
I explained.
He nodded.
"That's what I thought you were doin'."
"But you want Lukas as one of the Groomsmen."
I pointed out.
He shrugged.
"So He can walk you down and then join the lineup."
Trust him to not make a big deal of it.
"So you wouldn't be opposed to Me asking the both of them?"
I checked.
He shook his head.
"Bails, I honestly never imagined you'd have it any other way."
I couldn't help but grin!
I sucked in a deep breath, my nerves returning in full force.
"Well, now I've just gotta work up the courage to ask them!"
"Last I heard, Isaiah's in the Office and Lukas is at his place."
Blayze explained peeling the paper thing off the remainder of the muffin.
"Is that your way of telling Me to get on it?"
I asked, tipping my head to the side.
He grinned!
"You know it!"
"Will you come with?"
I asked hopefully.
He's good at having my back when I have to do something I'm nervous to...
He shook his head.
"This is your Rodeo! And I've got work to do."
I poked my tongue out at him.
"You suck!"
He grinned.
"Nah... I do believe that's you."
Once upon a time...
But we haven't been 'active' in like six months!
"You're terrible!"
I hissed, walking backwards.
On that note, I was more than happy to leave him the hell to his work!
He shrugged and plucked the apple out of the paper bag.
"You agreed to Marry Me!"
I poked my tongue out at him once again and turned on my heel to head for my childhood home.
I should probably ask Grandpa first...

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