“I, Downy, take you, Memphis, to be my understanding and forgiving wife. To have and to tickle from this day forward. I promise to always make sure the lids on the jars aren’t twisted on too tight. I also promise to try to put down the toilet seat, but I can’t say for sure that I won’t slip up from time to time,” he teased, causing the crowd around us to laugh.
His massive hands clamped down on my face, one on either side of my head, and he said, “I also promise that I’ll do everything I can to make sure you’re happy. I promise to never leave your side without you knowing I’m going, and to always answer your calls. You’ll never want or need for anything, because I’ll always be here to give you what you need.”
My face blushed at that last part, causing him to chuckle before he leaned in to place a tiny kiss on my nose. “You’re my happily ever after, my saving grace, and the breath in my chest. I’ll love you until the day I die.”
I was crying, big fat tears were rolling down my face as he gently placed one more kiss on my cheek before he let me go.
“Memphis has also written some vows that she’d like to share with everybody,” our reverend said.
I closed my eyes, and when I opened them again, it was to see Downy laughing at me.
He knew how I hated talking in front of crowds.
He also thought it was funny.
Which he would, because the man had absolutely no problem speaking in front of a hundred people, let alone the entire county.
Deciding that honesty was better than the cheesy lines I’d written weeks before, I winged it…like a boss!
“I, Memphis,” my voice cracked out. “Promise that I’ll allow you to leave our family dinners without a word from the peanut gallery…i.e. me. I promise that, when you change a dirty diaper, I’ll give you the acknowledgement that I know you need. I also promise that I’ll allow you to open the jars because it emasculates you when I can do it myself.”
The crowd started to laugh, but I continued. “I also promise that I’ll wait up for you. When you’re on a call, I’ll be waiting for you to get home. I’ll pray for your safety, but I’ll never make you quit, because being an officer of the law is a part of you.”
He grinned and started to lean forward. “But that also means that as an officer of the law, and my husband, you have a duty to take care of any unwanted tickets that I may have.”
With that, I pulled a slip of paper out of my bra, thankful when I didn’t expose anything else to him when I did so.
Handing it over, I let him read it.
It took a moment for him to understand, but when he did, he started to bellow with laughter.
“You never paid it?” He laughed until tears started leaking from his eyes.
I shook my head.
He grinned, then turned and started walking to the chief who was four rows back.
He was sitting with his arm around his wife, grinning like a loon.
He knew I didn’t pay it.
I refused to.
I actually think I had a warrant, too, but that wasn’t ever going to be upheld, not in Kilgore, anyway.
It was the ticket that ex-Officer Prescott had given me for going one mile an hour over the speed limit.
The one I’d received over a year ago. The one that had spawned a lusty sex session in the backseat of Downy’s truck.
The chief took the slip of paper warily as Downy said, “Take care of that for me while I’m on my honeymoon, would you?”
Chief Rhodes just shook his head as he read what was on the ticket, then looked at me like I was nuts.
I shrugged, unrepentant.
The ticket was stupid! And the guy wasn’t even a cop anymore! Why should I have to pay for it?
Four hours later, with my baby boy sleeping in my arms, and my husband’s arm around my shoulder, we were getting ready to leave.
The party had still been going strong, but I was tired. Especially now that I was pregnant again.
Something I’d yet to tell Downy.
“You forgot the picture with the signs!” The photographer yelled as he came running up to me.
I smiled, right on time.
I heard Downy groan, but nonetheless took the sign that I’d had him make.
I’d first seen the idea in a bridal magazine, but when I found out I was pregnant two days ago, I couldn’t wait to get his reaction to the news on camera.
The photographer handed my sign over first, being sure to keep it out of Downy’s view.
I took it and turned my back to Downy, who had already turned his back to me.
The photographer walked around us, smiling as he said, “Good, good.”
I was practically bouncing with excitement, but stopped myself from getting too excited when the movement started to wake Lock up.
A crowd of our family and friends had gathered, the sight of my sign bringing them in.
Downy’s face must’ve been priceless as our family and friends started to surround us.
“Alright, on the count of three, turn around and let each other see your sign. One, two, three,” the photographer cheered.
I turned slowly, eyes going to Downy’s face instead of the sign.
His face, however, was precious.
His jaw was slack and open as his eyes read what I’d written on my sign.
“You’re fucking joking,” he said loudly.
I shook my head. “No.”
“You’ve got to be. I can’t handle another one like him.” He pointed to Lock.
I covered my mouth and started laughing, my sign that said, ‘Back up is on its way (The SWAT officer did it.)’ with a big fat arrow pointing down at my belly.
He rushed to me, picking both Lock and me up with the upmost of gentleness.
“Jesus, boy. You’re gonna crush my grandkid,” my dad growled from somewhere behind us.
“He’s just happy. Leave him be.”
That was Downy’s mother.
Downy and his mother had spent a lot of time trying to repair their relationship.
They’d both had some apologizing to do, and their relationship was still growing, becoming something that it should’ve been years ago.
Lock did that, though.
He brought not only Macey, Downy’s mother, back to us, but also Jonah and Ridley.
Jackson stayed to himself, choosing not to have any relationship with us, but that was fine. We didn’t need him. We had everything we needed right here.
“You’re really, really going to get a spanking when we get home,” he said softly. “After I make love to you, that is.”
I giggled, kissing his head as we cradled our babies between us.
I was right. The pictures were priceless.