If Only Tonight

Life After The Storm: Chapter Seventy Six - Two Is Better Than One

Life After The Storm:
Chapter Seventy Six: Two Is Better Than One

"Will you marry me?"

"What?" She asked, surprised that he was still asking her. Looking in to his eyes, she saw that he was serious. The warmth of his blue eyes focused on her, the ring shining in the sunlight.

"Right now, at city hall. Will you marry me?"

With everything out in the open now, she was tired of fighting with herself; Mia was ready to forgive him. He had worn her down, and for once she allowed her feelings to envelop her, no longer hesitating to let the hurt go.

"Yes." She said, gazing in to his eyes.

This time when Matthew moved forward to kiss her, she didn't pull away. This time she held him close, finally free of the weight she had been carrying with her since leaving England.


The drive in to the city was quiet, each of them stealing looks at the other. He was still shocked she would say yes. Although hoping that it would be her answer, how many times had Matthew played out the scenario in his head with her rejection being the outcome? He hadn't known even then how he would take it if she told him to leave.

Seeing the ring on her finger, made it all the more real. She was finally his, and this time he didn't care what came in their way, he wasn't going to let anything break them apart.

Entering City Hall, Matthew held on to Mia's hand as they waited in line for the receptionist.

"Hello. How may I help you today?" The young lady asked looking at the two of them.

Clearing his throat Matthew was the one to speak for the two of them.

"We're here to get married."

"You mean you need a marriage license?" She asked them.

"Okay...and do you have anyone to perform the ceremony?" He asked, not entirely sure of how these things worked. The receptionist handed him some forms along with two pens.

"I'm sorry but you need to have a marriage license before the officiation ceremony, and you would need an appointment for that." She said to him.

"I did not know that...can you check if there are any available spots?" He asked, not wanting to let the opportunity pass them by.

"I'm sorry sir, but you need an appointment for that." The receptionist told him firmly.

Giving the girl his best smile, he looked at her carefully.

"Do you think you can check if there have been any cancellations?" He asked.

The receptionist sighed, knowing that he wasn't about to give up.

"Fine...just fill out those forms while I check." She told him, looking through her computer logs.

As he turned back to Mia, he found her eyeing the forms, before looking up at him.

"Matt, before we go through with this...you need to know something..." She said to him, sounding unsure of herself.



Deciding that they need to be clear of everything, if they really stood a chance at having a marriage, Mia caught Matthew's attention.

"Matt, before we go through with this...you need to know something..."

"What?" He asked her, the expression on his face told her he was a little afraid of what she might say.

"No more pushing each other away. We have to tell each other when something's wrong. We can't do this whole tug-of-war and expect we'll be okay at the end. I don't want us to fall apart..."

His features relaxing, Matthew nodded.

"I promise."

Relief flooded her, as they started to fill out the forms, while waiting for the receptionist to tell them if there was any opening. The only sound around them was of pen scratching against paper.

She noticed as he paused beside her, looking over at her.


"Yea?" She asked, looking up at him.

"I can't do this..."


He couldn't believe she had said yes to going through with this. Mia wanted to marry him, Matthew. It still shocked him, as they started to write their information on the forms. He looked over to see her neat writing making its way down the page, and at once he knew he wasn't being fair.


"Yea?" He found himself staring in to those deep green depths. All he wanted was right there in front of him.

"I can't do this..." She looked shocked at his admission.

"What? This was your idea!" Disbelief and hurt colouring her voice, her eyes expressing pain. He sighed, taking hold of her hand.

"I'm sorry, but I can't do this to you. After everything, I can't inflict this on you."

"I don't deserve you, Mia. You should have someone who loves you and would do everything to make you happy. This isn't fair to you." Matthew told her, taking the sheets from her and ripping them up.

Quietly, they looked at each other.

"I do have someone. I have you." Mia smiled at him.

Observing her, he knew she was the most amazing thing to have happened to him. All this time, he had been waiting for her, only to finally have her.

"I love you, Mia." Matthew leaned over, their foreheads touching. "I've never loved anyone until I met you." He murmured.

She smiled up at him, her green eyes shining with happiness.

"I love you too."


Driving back to the cottage, Mia was surprised that she felt so content for the first time in months. Having decided against getting married at City Hall, they sat in the Challenger, no tension around them, just a friendly silence.

"When we get back to England, you and I are getting properly married." He told her, as she opened the door to the cottage.

"Are you still going on about that?" She teased him, faking the sound of exhaustion.

"Yea. You said yes." He grinned, gently taking her left hand and kissing it. "Don't worry, Lina and Ariana are going to love helping you out."

"Great..." Mia muttered, her heart pounding madly at his touch.

Sitting on the couch beside him, Mia was glad not to have to control her every move any more. Having dealt with what had happened, she could relax. Mia could hold his hand if she wanted to, kiss his lips if she felt like it, allow him to hold her and not worry about pulling away. They were going to be okay this time, she thought happily leaning against Matthew.


"So this is the big surprise you were talking about?" Matthew asked, against the roar of the water fall.

Having spent the day in the tourist city, they had walked down the streets buying souvenirs and laughing at the oddities they saw. He had tried to get her to go inside a haunted house, but neither had been keen to go through with it. Instead they had bought lunch before continuing down the sidewalk, hand in hand, enjoying what the place had to offer.

"Yea. Since we were done painting and polishing, I decided to show you one of the biggest attractions in the province." She grinned back.

Covered in a yellow plastic rain coat, which resembled more of a garbage bag with a hood, they were standing on a ferry as it passed behind Niagara Falls. They stood against the guard rail, watching the water fall, wiping the mist from their faces.

His fingers entwined with hers, he finally felt peace.

Bringing out the camera she had handed to him, he put an arm around her and took a picture, much to her protest.

"You must really want to remember these bags..." She muttered.

"Don't worry, you look amazing in it." He told her, sweetly.

"Right..." She mumbled, as he leaned in to kiss her.

Walking off the ferry once it docked, Mia led him to a point where they could get a full view of the Falls. As the sun started to set, the scene was stunning. Taking pictures, Mia looked over at him.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" She asked from beside him, standing by the rail.

"It is." He said, as he turned to look at her. "And so are you."

"Sweet talker."

"Just for you, Mia." Matthew said, gazing in to those enchanting green eyes, as he brushed his lips against hers.


With nothing left to do inside the house, Mia had decided for another cook out. Having pushed both lawn chairs together, they had eaten burgers and barbequed some chicken.

Sitting beside her, Matthew pulled her on to his lap, allowing her to lean on his shoulder as they stared across the darkened water. Night had settled over them, with the stars shining brightly above them. The gentle lapping of water against the deck was soothing.

"So what are we doing tomorrow?" He asked, Mia could hear the guttural sound of his voice.

"I don't know. We have a week before I have to leave." She looked up at him. "I don't want to go yet."

He laughed as he heard this, wrapping his arms tightly around her, as he nuzzled against her neck.

"I know. But you have to." Matthew told her, kissing her cheek. "The team's counting on you to come back."

"Aww...you're supposed to be the bad one. You know...encourage me to skip."

"You're supposed to be good and not play hooky." Matthew countered with a smirk. "Besides, Felix will skin me alive if his best specialist goes missing."

"Fine...How about we go canoeing tomorrow?" She asked, knowing it was better to return to work.

"Sure. We can do that in the morning. What about later in the day?"

Turning it over in her mind, she decided it was probably the best time to get it over with.

"I could introduce you to Elena and her brothers." She hesitated. It was probably best to just tell the older girl for now, and with her brothers, Elena wouldn't have a chance at bombarding Matthew or Mia with questions.


She noticed him pick up the bottle of Coke from beside his chair, something finally occurring to her.


"Yea?" He asked, looking down at her.

"You haven't had a drink or a beer since we got here. What's going on?" She asked, intrigued.

Laughing, she heard the deep tones in his melodic voice.

"I haven't had a drink for a while now." Matthew smiled at her.

"Okay, who are you and what have you done with my boyfriend?" She demanded, poking a finger in to his chest.

Again he laughed.

"Fiancé." He corrected her, making her smile.

"Okay, fiancé."

"I stopped a while back. I know you don't drink and you don't like it. So I decided to give it up." He said, simply. "Besides, I do enough stupid things while sober that I don't think I want the drunk ones held against me."

"You did that for me?" She asked, genuinely surprised that he had done that without her ever asking him to. Not that she would have, she thought.

"I'd do anything for you, Mia." Matthew told her, gazing in to her eyes.

"Anything?" Turning to look at him, the mischief in her eyes shined in the moonlight.

"I shouldn't have told you that." He groaned as he saw the look on her face.

"I'm glad you did." She told him, laughing at his reaction. Mia wrapped her arms around his neck. "Will you sing for me?"

"Do I have to?"

"Yes." She gave him her best doe eyed look. He relented, after sighing and giving her a pointed look.

"Fine..." He muttered, pulling her close, her head resting against the crook of his neck.

"You're my everything, You're my everything, You're my everything, Girl, you're the air that I breathe. You're my everything, You're my everything, You're my, You're my everything..."

The feelings still crashing over her. She reached up to kiss him. Looking in to his glacial blue eyes, the words came easily to her.

"You're my everything, too."