The Things That You Do

Epilogue: Longer Than Even He Knows

“You are dressed, aren’t you?”

Alexa, who was busy readjusting her hair, rolled her eyes a little at the sound of Marco’s voice before she stepped across the room, pulling the door open for him. “You checked on me ten minutes ago” she mused as she allowed him to step past her “And I was dressed then. Did you really think that that would have changed?” she added, stepping back towards the mirror that she had been using to check her hair. It wasn’t the first time that Marco had checked on her, since she’d arrived at his home earlier that morning, he had appeared nearly every ten minutes to check up on her, and whilst Alexa appreciated that he was keen to make sure that she wasn’t too nervous, his hovering was starting to bother her, even if she knew that he meant well. His constant asking if she was alright was only making the butterflies which already fluttered in her stomach worse.

Marco, who’d moved to perch on the end of the bed, shrugged. “You could have changed your mind” he quipped “I mean, when I got married, I remember getting dressed in my suit and then getting changed out of it just before mama came and told me it was time to get going. You must remember me only being half dressed when we got in the car, no?” he quipped.

Alexa nodded her head, offering him a soft smile via the mirror which stood ahead of her. “You really were a mess” she quipped.

Marco scoffed. “I wasn’t that bad” he quipped “But I do remember being pretty nervous. Are you nervous?” he asked, his voice softening slightly. It had been coming for a while, after Thalia’s arrival, it had always been a case of when, not if, Lionel and Alexa finally made it up the aisle, but after a little over a year of planning, the day of the wedding had finally had arrived, something Marco knew that Alexa had been waiting for, even if she hadn’t wanted to appear over excited. He knew that the idea of being Lionel’s wife was something she’d been counting down to for a while.

Alexa, who’d moved to mess with her hair a little more, mulled his question over for a second before she nodded, offering him another soft smile. “A little” she admitted “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am sure that he’s the one and I am sure that I want to marry him but...”

“But you’re nervous” Marco finished for her.

Alexa breathed out a small laugh before she nodded her head. “That’s stupid, no?” she mumbled.

Marco shook his head, offering her a comforting smile. “You’re getting married, Alexa. You’re allowed to be nervous” he noted “And you’re allowed to picture running off, but honestly? I don’t think you’ve got that much to be worried about. Your soon-to-be husband is a good man, he’s still as smitten with you now as he was when you first started dating, and I think he’s been waiting for this moment longer than even he knows. He loves you, and, I am pretty sure that you love him too” he added, his voice warm and comforting. He knew that he couldn’t get rid of the nerves, whatever he said wasn’t likely to change the fact that Alexa had butterflies in the pit of her stomach, but he wanted to reassure her anyway, not wanting her to think that there was any reason to have second thoughts.

Alexa shook her head, trying to hide the hint of pink which had spread over her cheeks. “You really like him?” she asked.

Marco’s smile grew into a smirk. “You could have done worse” he teased.

Alexa offered him a pointed look, something which made Marco chuckle before the sound of movement in the doorway reached his ears, causing him to look up at it, his eyes settling on Madeline who stood in the doorway, a doting smile spread across her features. “Can we help you, mama?” he asked.

Madeline, who’d been watching the two of them quietly, blinked a couple of times before she shook her head, her hand subtly wiping at her eyes. “The car is outside” she mused “Isabel took the children already, so I thought I’d come and get the two of you. You’re ready to go, aren’t you, Alexandria?” she posed, sparing a slightly tearful look towards her daughter.

Alexa spared a hesitant glance towards the mirror, scanning her appearance for a few long seconds, before she quirked a small smile. “I think so” she mused.

Madeline stared at her for a second, her eyes looking up and down, before she stepped towards her, wrapping her in a tight hug. Alexa startled, a little surprised by the sudden hug, before she returned it, hugging her mother back tightly. “I thought we had to go” she teased softly.

Madeline let out a snuffly laugh before she took a pace backwards, nodding her head. “We do” she mused “But before we do, I just...I just want to say how beautiful you look, Alexandria. You look so grown up, so beautiful, and if your papa was here...” she trailed off, wiping her eyes gently.

Alexa let out a small sniffle, her hands gently wiping her eyes. “Mama” she murmured.

Madeline shook her head, allowing a tearful smile to spread across her face. “Sorry” she murmured “I’ll save the making you cry until after the pictures are taken. Just know that he would have been so proud of you, sweetheart, how could he not be?” she added warmly, her hand gently brushing along Alexa’s cheek.

Alexa offered her a small grateful smile before she cleared her throat, taking a couple of steps backwards. “Come on” she mused “I’ve got a wedding to get to” she added with a giddy laugh.

Gently slotting his fingers through Alexa’s, Lionel quirked a small smile, his eyes caught on the wedding band which sat proudly on her finger. It had taken them a while, from his proposing on the day that Zachary had been born to their wedding day had been a couple of years had passed, but still he couldn’t quite wrap his head around the idea that Alexa was his wife, even if it had been a long time coming. The idea that they’d actually made it up the aisle was one which he was sure wouldn’t settle in for a while. Grinning, he lightly brushed his thumb over her hand before he lifted it up, pressing a soft kiss against the back of it, something which earned a few doting smiles from those who sat around them, smiles he was more than happy to return.

“Can I have you attention?”

Lionel, who’d been happily messing with Alexa’s hand, looked up at the sound of Marco’s voice, offering the older man a small grin that Marco didn’t hesitate in returning. “I don’t want to take up too much time” Marco continued “But, as the brother of the bride, I do have something that I want to say, and they’re not going to serve the food until I’ve said it, so I thought I ought to get it over with sooner rather than later” he joked, earning a murmur of laughter from the other guests.

Shaking his head, he spared a glance down towards the notecards which sat on the table ahead of him, before he lifted his head, smiling at Alexa and Lionel. “I’ve given a lot of thought about what I want to say” he mused “I’ve spent over a year perfecting this speech, changing it, rewriting it entirely, and still I am not sure that I’ve got it right, because honestly, I don’t know what to say about my little sister. I thought about telling stories from when we were kids, but most of you know them all already, and those that don’t, if you get me drunk enough, I’ll fill you in later, I thought about telling you all about her good qualities, and making fun of her not so good qualities, but I thought better of it, because all I really want to say is that I am so lucky to have her as a little sister, and that I hope Leo knows how lucky he is to have her as his wife. Alexa, you’re the best little sister I could have asked for, even if I didn’t always do the best job of showing it, and I am so happy for you. Lionel, you’re a good man, you’ve been exactly what she needs, and I hope that you continue to be that, because if not...” he trailed off, offering Lionel a playful look.

Lionel laughed softly, his hand still holding onto Alexa’s.

Marco spared a look down towards their hands before he nodded his head, lifting his glass. “To Lionel and Alexandria. I wish you all the happiness” he toasted as he sat back down, earning a murmur of agreement from the other guests.

Alexa watched him sit down, a slightly tearful smile on her lips, before she felt another kiss on the back of her hand, something which caused her to look up at Lionel. “You Ok?” he murmured.

Alexa nodded. “I’m good” she mused “In fact, I might be better than good” she fussed giddily.

Lionel grinned at her for a second, his dark eyes searching hers, before he leant into her, pressing a soft kiss against her lips that Alexa didn’t hesitate in returning, the grins on their faces still immovable. It hadn’t happened quickly, after Alexa had pulled away from him, it had looked as though any relationship that the two of them had had was over with, but Lionel was thrilled with the way that things had progressed between them, even if it had started as something which he had been uncertain of or hesitant towards.
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