Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Sixty Five Part Three

“There were so many people!” Emma exclaimed as the line of carriages slowed and pulled in through the gates of Buckingham Palace. “How many people do you think we waved at? Millions?”

“Thousands,” Harry corrected with a chuckle.

“And you did such a great job smiling and waving at all of them,” Alex said, pride in her eyes as she smiled down at her daughter.

“My cheeks hurt from smiling so long though,” Emma answered as their carriage pulled up in front of the doors they would enter through and rolled to a stop.

“That’s what happens,” Harry laughed. “You’ll get used to it.”

The footman waiting for their arrival stepped forward and pulled open the carriage door. Harry was the first to step out, the cameras catching the bright smile on his face and the bounce that seemed to be in his step as he did. He turned back towards the carriage to lift Emma out and set her on the ground and then to offer his bride as she stepped carefully from the beautiful, ornate carriage.

“Are you doing alright so far?” he asked her in a low, warm voice.

“Of course, I’m married to you, aren’t I?” she returned with a soft smile.

“That you are,” he winked as he held onto her hand as she stepped forward while an aide stepped in to help straighten out her train behind her.

“Mr. Harry!”

Harry turned towards the small voice coming from the carriage that held Charlotte and the two page boys, which had pulled in right behind theirs. “Adam!” he called out with a great big smile when he saw Geoff and Susannah’s four year old sun jumping down off the steps of the carriage and running over to him. He picked up the little boy, tossing him in the hair and bringing a peal of laughter from him before Harry sat him back on the ground with a smile. He really couldn’t believe how much Geoff’s son looked like the friend he missed so much sometimes. “You were a well behaved young man today.”

“That’s because my mummy said I’d be in big trouble if I wasn’t,” Adam replied with wide eyes.

Harry laughed and then, being called back to attention by their wedding coordinator, ruffled Adam’s hair and then left him in the capable hands of Charlotte while he hurried back to his wife’s side.

His wife.

He could hardly believe it. As they were rushed inside of Buckhouse and to the Throne Room for the photos that they were required to take before the balcony appearance, he almost felt like he was in a dream. Every time he looked over at her as they posed for picture after picture and she beamed back up at him, he couldn’t quite believe it was all read. Alex – the sweet, stront, smart, beautiful woman he had wanted to marry just about from the moment he met her – was now his wife.

His partner.

His Duchess.

The mother of the daughter he so adored and of any future children they would be blessed with.

He had never so incredibly lucky and blessed and beyond happy in his entire life.

When the pictures were taken, the two families now connected by marriage were rushed from the Throne Room out into the huge, portrait lined halls and down to the large set of doors that would be opened to allow them all to step out onto the balcony in view of the sea of people below.

“Okay, first it will just be Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” their wedding coordinator Melanie directed, efficient as ever. “You will step out, wave, and then shortly after the rest of the family and wedding party will file out. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh will be last.”

“And when do we kiss?” Harry asked with a cheeky grin, bringing laughter from the group gathered around them.

“I’ll leave that entirely up to you,” Melanie smirked as she turned towards the doors, preparing to give the order to open them.

“I can’t stop looking at you,” Harry leaned down and whispered to Alex.

Her lips curved and her eyes sparkled when they turned up to meet his. “You’ll have to pull your eyes away for at least a few moments when we step out there. Everyone will think you’ve gone crazy.”

“Oh, I went crazy a long time ago,” he replied with a wink.

“So cheesy,” she giggled, though she was completely caught up in the moment with him.

“Alright, we’re ready,” Melanie announced, forcing their attention away from each other and back to center.

Both of their faces held wide, excited smiles as Melanie gave the signal and the doors were pulled open. The roar of the grow burst through the door a split-second before Harry and Alex stepped through it; bringing Alex’s eyes snapping up as it all came into view.

“Oh my…” Her breath sucked in as she took it all in; the sea of people as far as she could see.

“Are you alright?” Harry asked, squeezing her hand as they stepped forward.

“Yes,” she turned to smile at him, her eyes wide. “This is amazing.”

He smiled down at her, his eyes crinkling at the sides in the way she loved. “It is, my love.” Then with a wink he dropped her hand and they both turned to the crowd, a loud cheer going up as they began to wave to the people below.

Their families and the wedding party began to file out then and Alex made sure to motion for Emma to come stand next to her, wanting her close to her and Harry for that moment; this moment where they were presented to the world as not only a newly married couple, but also as a family.

By the time Harry’s grandparents had stepped out to join everyone on the balcony, Alex could feel Harry getting antsy beside her. She could feel his desire and excitement to kiss her again, even if it was in front of all of these people. With a smirk on her face she leaned a bit closer to him. “Whatcha waiting for, Wales?”

He couldn’t help the laughter that burst from his lips and he turned to her, his eyes finding hers. “I thought for sure you’d heard; it’s Sussex now.”

Her lips twitched and she nodded. “I did hear that. Now stop stalling, Sussex.”

He laughed again, and then with dancing eyes and a cheeky grin he tilted his head towards hers.

When their lips met, the crowd below them went absolutely wild. The cheering and the warmth and softness of Harry’s lips as they covered hers brought a flush to Alex’s cheeks and made her lips curve up into a slight smile against his. And when it was over, it was much too soon for either of them. Her eyes opened and found his and she found all the love and want she felt looking right back at her.

“I love you, Alexandra Sussex.”

“I love you too,” she replied softly.

The crowds below them were still going wild as their gazes finally broke, laughter moving through them and through those on the balcony with them.

“Kiss! Kiss! Another one! Another one!”

“They want you to kiss again!” Emma giggled, turning to look back at her parents and rolling her eyes.

“Ha!” Harry’s head tossed back with his laughter. Then, surprising Emma and making her squeal, he leaned forward and lifted her up and into his arms, settling her on his hip. He winked at her and then leaned in to press a quick kiss to her cheek.

“Dad!” she squeaked as the sea of people below them went completely crazy. Her hands moved to cover her mouth as a wave of giggles moved through her and her cheeks flushed pink. “You’re nuts!”

“Nuts about you and your mum,” Harry grinned, loving the moment and not caring about how over the top it might be. He pressed one more kiss to her cheek and then turned towards the crowd. “Alright Princess Emma, wave and smile at everyone.”


The troops were already waiting when Harry, Alex, and Emma stepped back into their Kensington home that afternoon. Even with that, after the crazy morning with the wedding, the carriage procession, the balcony appearance, and the brunch that followed, Alex took a deep breath and felt herself relax fully as the warmth and familiarity of their home enveloped them.

“Home sweet home,” Harry winked at her, watching the calm wash over her even as assistants and stylists and one very stern looking man with Buckingham Palace security - who was no doubt there for Alex’s tiara - stood close by, ready to go to work.

“I knooooow,” Emma agreed, the word turning into a wide yawn that made both Harry and Alex chuckle.

“The waving and the smiling gets tiring, doesn’t it Em?” Harry teased, reaching out to tap her cute little nose with his finger.

“It really does,” she said with an over-dramatic sigh.

Alex giggled. “Maybe after we get these dresses and tiaras off, we use our afternoon free time for a small nap?”

“I’m so in,” Harry announced, clapping his hands together and grinning at the plan.

“Ah! You’re back!” They all turned at the squeal of delight and Alex immediately grinned as she saw Mia moving toward them. She had given Mia the morning off, wanting her assistant to be able to enjoy the wedding as a guest and a friend, not her employee. Besides, between Charlotte and Melanie, the morning portion of the morning had been more than covered and with Mia there now, it would give Charlotte the afternoon free from responsibility.

“Mia!” Alex grinned as her friend and assistant moved excitedly towards them. Mia’s eyes danced and her smile was mischievous as she stepped up to them and then dipped into a curtsy, drawing a giggle from Emma and a laughing roll of the eyes from Alex.

“Your Royal Highnesses.”

Harry snorted with laughter at Mia’s cheekiness and at his wife and daughter’s reactions to it as Mia rose from her curtsy and moved to hug Alex tightly.

“Sorry, I had to do it.”

“First and last time,” Alex chuckled as she hugged her back.

“Yes, Your Royal Highness,” Mia bantered back, unable to keep the humor out of her voice.

“Of course,” Alex laughed with a shake of her head as Mia moved to squeeze Emma into a tight hug before moving to Harry and letting him press kisses to her cheeks.

“Ahem.” The rather serious looking man with Buckingham Palace security cleared his throat, reminding everyone tactfully of his presence.

“Ah yes,” Alex nodded and smiled in his direction. “Sorry, this man here has a job to do so I suppose we should go ahead and get going so he can get this beautiful tiara back home.”

“It really is beautiful,” Mia sighed as she looked at the priceless work of art perched on Alex’s head. “But you’re right. We’ll head up to the guest room and get you ladies out of your dresses and tiaras and get you comfortable. Harry,” she turned towards him, her voice moving into business mode. “Your valet is waiting in your bedroom to take the uniform.”

“Notice I don’t get a ‘Your Royal Highness,’” he said cheekily as Mia turned to lead his girls upstairs. Mia grinned in response and then reached for Emma’s hand, her attention moving to commenting on Emma’s tiara and asking her lots of questions about the morning as they took to the stairs.

“I’ll be right up,” Alex called up after them before she turned back to Harry, a soft smile on her face as she moved to him. His arms immediately wrapped around her as she stepped into his space. She rested her chin on his chest as she looked up at him, enjoying this semi-private moment before they shed the clothes they had been married in.

“You look so beautiful,” Harry whispered. He lifted a hand to her face, his fingers moving to stroke softly over her cheek. “I love you so much, Alexandra.”

“Hmmm. I love you too,” she murmured. She stretched up on her toes to kiss his lips, sighing at the warmth and softness of them. “My husband.”

Harry’s lips smiled against hers and his arm tightened about her. “Say it again.”

“My husband,” she immediately said, her eyes opening to find his as they looked down at her, filled with love and passion and contentment.


Alex giggled as Mr. Security cleared his throat again. She sighed as she regretfully stepped from Harry, her eyes never leaving his as she did. She didn’t want to be without him for even just a few minutes while she got out of her wedding dress. “Emma and I will meet you in our room in a bit? For a nap?”

“It’s a date,” Harry grinned.


After the tiara had been unpinned from her hair and whisked away by Mr. Security and her dress fully removed, Alex had sent Emma off to hang out with Harry and she had gone into the bathroom for a shower; needing to rinse off the makeup from her face and get the hairspray from her hair before she climbed into bed to snuggle with her family.

She stepped from the hot water and steam of the shower with a happy sigh, feeling clean and refreshed. She quickly dried off with one of their big, fluffy towels, pulled on a pair of light pajamas, and then tied her wet hair up. The stylist team would be all over her again in another couple hours, so she’d let them handle drying it and all of that when the time came.

When she stepped into their bedroom, her smile pulled wide and her hand moved to her chest as her eyes fell on the bed. Harry and Emma were both already there and fast asleep, stretched out with their arms thrown over their heads in near identical poses. Frozen was playing on their TV, though she knew neither of them had made it very far before exhaustion overtook them.

“You two were just meant to be together,” she giggled to herself as she moved quietly over to the bed and pulled back the covers. She climbed over Harry to the middle of the bed as gently as she possibly could but he woke up anyway, his eyes fluttering open and his lips pulling into a sleepy smile when he saw her there.

“Feel better?”

“Mmhhmm,” she nodded as she snuggled down into the covers. “Go back to sleep.”

He nodded and moved an arm around her, pulling her into his side. His eyes slid back closed and almost immediately his breathing evened out again, but the smile remained on his lips.

Alex’s breathed in his smell and the moment and then her eyes slid closed as well, her body welcoming the rest before the long evening they had in front of them.

It was absolutely the best way to spend that particular afternoon that she could think of, snuggled up for a nap with her daughter and her brand new husband.