alexis morgan

 

ABBY'S SERIES OF INTERESTING DAYS Part 13

Alexis Morgan
© 2024.

alexis morgan

It took some effort, but Tripp managed to stand at attention next to Gage Logan as they waited for the wedding to finally get started. The unexpected arrival of Abby's father had taken everyone by surprise and resulted in some last minute changes in the ceremony as well as the seating on the bride's side of the aisle. He suspected Owen was really disappointed that he wouldn't be walking Abby down the aisle, but he hid it well. Instead, he'd be escorting Phoebe, his own fiancé, to her seat.

Gage nudged him with his shoulder. "How are you holding up?"

"Fine." He shot his friend a small grin. "Sort of, anyway."

Gage laughed. "Yeah, I get that. Think of it as a particularly tough mission, but one well worth the effort."

Tripp wasn't about to deny the truth of that. His whole life had changed for the better the day he'd met Abby McCree even if he hadn't known it at the time. Transitioning back to civilian life had proved to be a bigger challenge than he'd expected, but getting caught up in all of Abby's adventures had given him the sense of purpose he'd been missing.

Pastor Jack cleared his throat to get Tripp's attention. "Get ready."

Zeke, who was stationed between Tripp and Gage, stood taller as the first strains of music rang out, silencing the soft murmur of the crowd. Tripp patted the big dog's head as two of them watched Tripp's father escort his wife down the aisle. Phoebe and Owen followed a few seconds later. Finally, Bridey appeared. Her husband wasn't part of the wedding party, but Seth had asked permission to be the one to accompany his hugely pregnant wife down the aisle. The decision had been pretty much a no-brainer considering Bridey was due to deliver any second. Tripp had heard rumors that a few people were placing bets on whether she'd actually make it through the reception without having to make a rush trip to the nearest hospital.

Gage leaned in closer. "For what it's worth, a couple of the local EMTs volunteered to hover within easy reach of Bridey. You know, just in case."

"Does Seth know?"

"Yeah. He was relieved to hear that. The poor guy is a nervous wreck these days." Gage shuddered a little. "Been there, done that, so I sympathize. My wife went a week past her due date with Sydney."

They both fell silent as the slow moving couple reached them. Bridey smiled at Tripp as she took her position to his left. Seth kissed his wife on the cheek and slipped away to take his seat in the front row.

The string quartet immediately launched into another song, signaling it was time for the bride to come down the aisle. His pulse already pounding, Tripp held his breath as Mr. McCree stepped into the tent and held back the flap for his daughter to enter behind him.

When his beautiful bride stepped into sight, everything was right in Tripp's world.

*****

Abby smiled as her father pressed a soft kiss to her cheek. "Honey, you look beautiful."

"Thanks, Dad."

He glanced toward the front of the tent where Tripp stood waiting. "I hope this guy will make you happy."

Her eyes misted a little. "He already does, Dad. I know you've barely met him, but he's a good man. The best I've ever known. He's the kind who takes ideas like honor and loyalty seriously. He loves me, and I love him."

"Good. You deserve the best."

With that, he held out his arm. She settled her hand on the crook of his elbow and took that first step down the aisle on her way to her future. On the way, she was dimly aware of the familiar faces of the friends and family members who had dropped everything on short notice to celebrate this day with her and Tripp. She'd thank them all later, but she hope they already knew how much them being there meant to her.

Her father leaned closer to whisper, "Your dog is really rocking the whole tuxedo look. Considering both Tripp and his best man are decked out in their military uniforms, I'm surprised they didn't find one for him, too."

Seeing Zeke waiting so patiently for her to join him and Tripp had her eyes misting up a little. "From what I heard, they tried but couldn't find one. There wasn't time enough to have one custom made, but a doggy tux was available online."

By that point, they'd reached the end of the aisle. Her father hugged her one last time. "Love you, Abs. You've always made your mother and me so proud."

Then her father stepped back, letting another man take his place at Abby's side. Tripp smiled down at her. "You've never looked more beautiful, babe. I'm such a lucky man."

Before she could respond, Zeke pushed himself between them, which set off a ripple of laugher through the crowd. She gave Tripp an apologetic look. "Sorry, but I think Zeke wants to remind us that all three of us are all lucky to have found each other."

"Amen to that."

Then the three of them stepped forward to stand in front of Pastor Jack. When they were in position, Jack smiled at each of them in turn and launched into the familiar words, "We are gathered here today…"