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Palms rise to the universe

As we moonshine and molly

Feel the warmth

We’ll never die

We’re like diamonds in the sky

“Diamonds,” Rihanna




“We should write our own vows,” Shelly insisted, looking up from the papers she had scattered around herself on the scuffed hardwood floor of their loft. “You’re a musician, honey, surely you can come up with something pretty.”

Eric ducked out of the kitchenette long enough to shake his head and groan. “You’re going to kill me with this wedding stuff, aren’t you?”

Shelly wrinkled her nose at him. “Oh, c’mon, all you’ve done so far is ask the band to be your best men and decided we should get married in October. On Halloween.” She rolled her eyes at him and unfolded her legs, pushing herself to her feet and crossing the distance between them.

“Babe, I don’t know what to say,” he protested.

She pressed herself up against him and walked her fingers up his chest to his lips. “No,” she corrected. “You’re just scared to say it in public, up in front of everyone.”

His brow furrowed and he pulled her into his arms, resting his cheek on top of her head. “Maybe you’re right,” he whispered, his words muffled by her hair. He held her for a moment longer, swaying back and forth as though dancing to a music she couldn’t hear, then released her. He cupped her freckled cheeks in his big hands. “Okay. We’ll write them ourselves.”




Three days later, Shelly returned home from work to find Eric parading around the apartment, two sheets of paper held over his head.

“Finished my vows!” he announced gleefully, flourishing the papers in the air so Shelly could see the cramped handwriting that covered them.

Shelly made a grab for his arm, but he laughed and ducked away.

“Can’t hear them until the wedding!” he teased, waving them in front of her face and then snatching them away from her reaching fingers.

She rolled her eyes playfully. “I just want to make sure you’re not including anything inappropriate--”

Eric frowned and pretended to stare intently at his papers. “So I should cross out the part about you being an expert with your tongue and fingers, even in the most dubious environments?” He grinned wickedly. “Because the back of the van in the Trash parking lot was a pretty memorable part of our relationship, babe.”

Shelly shrieked in mock horror and threw herself at him again, but he sidestepped her charge and lifted her off the ground. They toppled onto the bed, tangled up in one another, laughing.

“Don’t worry,” he assured her, rolling over on his side and pushing a strand of hair out of her face. “I’m saving the parking lot reminiscences for the reception.” He laughed and rolled away before she could push him off the mattress and onto the floor.




Shelly stared at the blank papers scattered around her on the bed. With a frustrated grunt, she crumpled up one of the papers and threw it at the wall.

“Hey, what’s wrong, babe?” Eric meandered over from the kitchenette and sat down beside her on the comforter.

She shook her head. “It’s just … I made such a big deal about these vows. Now the wedding’s tomorrow, you’ve written yours, and I just … I haven’t written mine,” she confessed.

Eric tried to stifle a laugh and Shelly turned to glare reproachfully at him. “This is important to me, okay?” she snapped, pulling away from him.

Eric’s smile faded. “I’m sorry. I know.” He reached for her hand and watched as she traced her fingers over his knuckles. “But baby, it’s okay. You can just crib some song lyrics or a poem and no one will know.” He met her eyes. “And I won’t care, honey. I won’t care at all.”

Shelly shook her head. “Eric, that’s not the point.” She studied her fingers as they played with his. “The point is for me to tell everyone--me, not some anonymous lyricist or poet--how much I love you. But I don’t know how to say it.”

Eric put his hands on her shoulders and turned her to face him. “Then you know what you’re going to do?”

She raised an eyebrow.

“You’re going to play it by ear,” he said decisively. “We’ll get to the altar and you’ll be in your dress and it’ll be just me and you, forever, and you’re going to tell me why--why you’re standing there, why you chose to make me the luckiest man in the universe.”

Shelly balked. “I can’t--”

“--but you’re going to,” Eric said firmly. “No rehearsing, nothing but what’s in here.” He slid one hand down over her heart. “You wanted me to write my vows, so I did. I want you to improvise.”

Shelly smiled wanly. “Why do I let you talk me into these things?”

Eric winked. “Probably for the cheap wine and sex.” He waggled his eyebrows and stood, reaching for his leather jacket where it hung over the back of a chair.

“In fact,” he said, shrugging the jacket over his broad shoulders, “I think I’ll make a run down to Discount Spirits right now and get you some of that Andre you love.”

“Classy, baby.” Shelly made a face, then smiled. “I’ll run the bath.”

He leaned down to kiss her goodbye. “Don’t forget the candles.”

“I won’t,” she promised. He opened the door and she shook her head at his retreating back. “I love you, you know,” she called behind him.

When he turned around, his grin was so broad it filled his face. “I love you too--my Mrs. Draven.”

Another crumpled piece of paper hit the wall beside his head as he ducked out the doorway, laughing.