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Paradise

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January 2020

 

A few months had passed since the team won the World Cup in France. The team had four World Cups in hand, four stars above the crest, it was unheard of in women's soccer. The gals were on such a high, it was hard to come back down. With all the fanfare that followed their return from the World Cup, the couple had barely thought about their wedding. They not only had to be with their clubs for the playoffs, but the subsequent victory tour in December. Now, it was January and Christen was getting antsy. She loved to have everything planned to a tee, while Tobin would just plan it a day in advance if she had her way. The duo had a wealth of choices to choose from, with what their families came up with in Cancun. But even with all the choices, it was difficult to narrow down the options. They did agree to get married in June of the following year. The couple were currently in New Jersey visiting the older woman’s family. They had stayed with them for the holidays and were getting ready to head to the West Coast for February camp. It was a cold, snowy Tuesday night, so the pair chose to find a coffee shop and discuss their plans more. It was good to get out of the house, even for a minute. As much as the younger woman loved the Heaths, this was a nice escape from all the craziness. Tobin ordered a coffee for Christen and a hot chocolate for herself. She came back to table holding both cups, setting them on the table and taking a seat across from the dark-haired woman.

 

“So, where is this wedding of ours gonna be,” Christen asked as she took a sip of her coffee.

 

“Hmm, that is a very good question, my love. I'm not sure, I'm kinda conflicted. I’m stuck between just having it in a church or having it on like the beach or something.”

 

Christen smiled at her fiancée. She knew the internal conflict she was having with herself and thought it was best to just let the brunette decide on this one.

 

“Whatever you want to do is fine by me, babe.”

 

Tobin thought about it. She really wanted to have her wedding in church, but at the same time, she didn't have to. Even with a wedding at the beach, God would still be with her. After the two talked about it, they decided to have their wedding on the beach, but they still didn't know where. They left the coffee shop, disappointed in their progress, only inches closer to completing their plans.

 


 

 

March 2020

 

Tobin plopped onto the couch and groaned into one of the plushy, white throw pillows. Allie and Alex just watched and chuckled at their friend. They had just returned home after a long day at the beach, still dripping with seawater and sand covering various parts of their body.

 

“Harry, stop being a drama queen. It's not that bad,” the tall blonde said from behind the kitchen island. The trio were in Alex’s home in Orlando. They were pretty excited to all be able to spend time together, a month before preseason in early April. The brunette spoke into the pillow, her words obviously muffled.

 

“Ah now, use your words Tobin,” Alex demanded. The older woman turned over and groaned loudly, putting her hands on her face.

 

“This is too hard, guys. I can't plan a wedding, much less my own. Can't we just elope?” Allie moved from the kitchen to a spot next to the midfielder. She sat down and put a hand on her best friend’s shoulder.

 

“Harry, you actually believe Christen would let you guys do that? Even I know that's not happening.”

 

“But, it's just like so much I didn't even think about. We have to figure out things like which silverware we want, like should it be gold, should it be silver, I hate it.” Alex threw a comforting arm around the brunette’s shoulder. She understood how tedious the planning process was and how someone like Tobin wouldn't be having the most fun with it.

 

“Sweetie, Allie and I have been through this before. We know how hard planning a wedding is. But for Christen’s sake, try to enjoy it a little. Find something you like and roll with it. It makes the whole process so much easier. And make sure to add your personal touch to it, it makes it all the better.” The brunette nodded, appreciating the advice from her friend.

 

“So then, where is this shebang,” Allie asked.

 

“Ha ha well, it’s on a beach.”

 

“And?”

 

“It’s in June of next year.”

 

The blonde moved her hands in a circular motion, asking Tobin to continue filling in the details.

 

“That’s about all we have.”

 

“How are you and Christen even together? You guys are polar opposites.” Allie shook her head, playfully. “Anyways, we need to go dress shopping soon.”

 

“Ugh, don’t remind me. There’s so much we have to do.” Tobin fell back into the pillow.

 

“Well then, let’s help you get a head start on some of that planning,” Alex said.

 

The trio spent the rest of the week planning out the basics for the wedding. Every evening, they would spend time with Christen on FaceTime discussing ideas, shooting down the ones that they didn’t like and noting the ones that seemed to fit. As the wedding was beach-themed, the color palette ranged from white to shades of blue and green. The tables and chairs would have white cloth with seafoam green and baby blue accents. The tent for after the reception was also white. Throughout the tent, they would have string light bulbs hung. Outside of the tent, there would be pillar candles arranged in a large square for people to congregate in. They also had to figure out how to deal with the threshold. They just put it aside for now, as it wasn’t too much of a worry. By the end of the week, they were all satisfied with what they had agreed upon. There was work to be done still, but progress was being made.

 


 

 

June 2020

 

It was Saturday night and Christen and Tobin were laying in bed after playing a match earlier in the day. The season was starting to ramp up as the end of June was quickly approaching. The Thorns played against the Red Stars in Chicago, losing 2-1. The pair couldn’t wait to see each other, even though it had only been a week or so since they last spent time with each other. Once the two arrived back at the younger woman’s apartment, the couple wasted little time disrobing each other and enjoying the other’s body. The couple were cuddled naked under the blankets, drifting off to sleep. Tobin felt herself about to fall asleep when she heard Christen saying something sleepily.

 

“Puerto Rico…” The brunette hovered over her fiancée, brushing the hairs out of her face. The dark-haired woman turned on her back and looked up to Tobin in the dark. “I want the wedding in Puerto Rico, Tobin.” Even though Christen couldn’t see the midfielder’s features clearly, she could feel the smile creeping on her face.

 

“Well, it took you long enough to come up with something, babe.” Tobin chuckled to herself.

 

“I just feel like it fits us, the island is beautiful, the people are beautiful, I’ve been in love with the island since we went there two summers ago.”

 

“I totally agree. Great choice, Chris. One less thing off our list.”

 

“I’m glad you agree. Now let’s go to bed. I know you’re probably tired after we kicked your asses today,” the forward smirked. Tobin gasped and began tickling Christen’s sides, causing her to laugh uncontrollably.

 

“This is like the first time you guys have ever beaten us. And you were at home! You had an advantage.”

 

“Stop making excuses Toby,” the tanned girl breathed out in between laughs. Tobin wasn’t stopping anytime soon, increasing the intensity of her tickles, making Christen squirm and laugh even more.

 

“Say the Thorns are the best team in the league. I’ll stop tickling if you do.”

 

“Ok, ok, I will!” Tobin moved her fingers from Christen’s sides and waited for her response, pleased with herself. “The Thorns are the best team in the league… at sucking ass.”

 

The couple both let out hearty laughs at Christen’s statement. Tobin wanted to keep tickling Christen, knowing the teasing  was all in good fun. Instead she began peppering her neck with kisses. They both laughed at what they were doing, loving the simplicity of the moment. Tobin snuggled more into Christen’s neck, their breathing evening out after a while. They treasured nights like this, especially during the season when they had to be apart for extended periods of time. Tobin had to leave soon, but it didn’t matter. All that mattered was that they were together again.

 


 

 

September 2020

 

Sky Blue and Portland had just finished playing a match at Providence Park, with Portland winning 4-2. It was an unusually, hot September night in the Pacific Northwest and Tobin was beyond tired. Her legs felt heavy and her shoulders felt like they were carrying a large amount of weight. Even though she was exhausted, she did her rounds of signing autographs and taking photos with fans. As she made her way through the tunnel, she felt a pair of arms wrap around her waist. For a split second, the thought of Christen coming to Portland to surprise her a day early was running through her mind. She leaned back into the body behind her, relaxing at the touch.

 

“Oh I can't wait for Press to hear about this.”

 

Tobin whipped her head around once she heard the voice which definitely wasn’t Christen’s. Standing behind her was Kelley with a huge smirk on her face. Tobin wasn't amused.

 

“Kelley, fuck. I thought it was Chris behind me. Why’d you do that?”

 

“I love seeing you squirm, Tobito.”

 

The two women embraced after their greetings. The friends hadn't seen each other in weeks, but since they were finally together, they had things to accomplish. Tobin promised Kelley that she could join Katie and Tyler with her and Christen to go ring shopping. After the engagement, Kelley kept sending Tobin weekly reminders that she wasn't involved with picking out the engagement ring even though Allie and Alex were. Tobin finally relented, even though that was the plan all along to bring along Kelley. They were planning on doing it tomorrow afternoon once Tyler, Katie, and Christen’s flights arrived. The two separated to freshen up in their respective locker rooms.  As they left the stadium, they talked a little bit about the game. The shorter woman was still upset that Tobin nutmegged her three times in the first half. Tobin just laughed and continued walking towards her car. As she got closer she saw the figures of two women leaning against her car.

 

“Tyler? Katie? What are you doing here so early?” She went to hug her sister and her soon-to-be sister-in law. The defender followed suit.

 

“Well sorry that we were so eager to see you. We couldn’t wait to get here,” Katie replied.

 

“Great! Are you guys staying at a hotel or what? You want me to drop you off?”

 

“Actually we were hoping that we could crash at your place.” Tyler hesitated once she saw Tobin shift her weight from one foot to another. “... or we could book a hotel instead.”

 

“No, no. It's fine. You and Katie can take the bed. I'll take the couch and Kelley can sleep on the floor.” Everyone laughed, except for Kelley who didn’t take kindly to the suggestion of having to sleep on a cold, hardwood floor. Tobin laughed even more when she saw Kelley’s expression. “I’m kidding Kels, you can cuddle with me on the couch.”

 

“Ha, just like old times. I really can’t wait for Pressi to hear about you today.”

 

The group drove home to Tobin’s apartment in downtown Portland. They quickly fell asleep, eager to get to tomorrow but also from the exhaustion of running up and down the pitch or from travelling.

 

----

 

The four women got up early so they could pick up Christen at the airport. Once they picked her up, they had to drive a while before finding a store. There wasn’t that many cars in the parking lot, which was a relief. They could shop in peace and quiet. Once they entered the store, the group was greeted by a young, blonde woman named Sarah.

 

“Good morning guys. How is everyone doing today?” The women murmured some goods and greats. “Great, is there any I can help you gals with today?”

 

Tobin went to speak but she started to stutter. Christen put her fiancée out of her misery and spoke for her.

 

“We’re looking for wedding rings.” She grabbed and squeezed Tobin’s hand, calming her nerves a little bit.

 

“Well, fabulous. You’re in the right place.” Sarah chuckled at her own joke. “What are you two looking for?”

 

Tobin swallowed the lump in her throat and spoke up.

 

“Just like a silver band to complement her engagement ring.” She held up Christen’s hand so Sarah could take a look.

 

“What were you thinking in terms of the carat,” Sarah asked, looking at the ring more closely.

 

“Her engagement ring was 1.5 carats. So maybe just a .5 carat for the band?”

 

“Holy shit, Tobin. Can you marry me too?” Everyone laughed at Kelley’s statement.

 

“I couldn’t share you and Christen, Kelley. It just wouldn’t be fair to you.”

 

Sarah lead the couple and their small entourage around the store to pick out a ring. After about an hour or so, they finally landed on something they both liked. They left the store satisfied with their work, checking another box on their to-do list. They had a little less than a year to finish planning, but they had most of the major items squared off already.

 


 

 

May 2021

 

It seemed like time had flew by. It was already May, just a month before the wedding. The couple wanted to make sure everything was perfect. They flew down to Puerto Rico during the week to make sure everything would be ready in a month's time. The short trip was only for two days, as they had to return home to practice with their clubs. Once they arrived and settled down, they headed to various locations, such as the florist, the bakery, the catering company, and the little shop that was assembling the threshold. Thankfully, everything was in order. They were confident the wedding would go off without a hitch. The couple spent the rest of the day lounging on the beach. After the sun set, they returned to their room, sitting on the patio overlooking the ocean.

 

“Are you ready babe,” questioned Christen. Tobin looked over at Christen with a confused expression on her face. “For the wedding silly,” she clarified.

 

“As ready as I can, I guess.”

 

“I am too. A little nervous though.”

 

“Me too. I just want to get it over with so I can just call you my wife from now on,” Tobin mused aloud. Christen smiled at the thought. She couldn’t wait to call the brunette that either. “So, we are spending tomorrow at the pool and the beach, right?”

 

“That’s the plan. Nice to get away from training, even if it’s just for two days.”

 

“Agreed. I still can’t believe it’s only a month away.” Christen moved closer to Tobin, leaning her head on her shoulder.

 

“Well, believe it babe. It’s gonna come a lot sooner than you think.”

 


 

 

June 2021

 

The sun was slowly creeping through the sliding glass doors overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The doors were slightly cracked, the sounds of the crashing waves and the saltiness of the ocean filling the bedroom. It was tempting to just stay in bed and spend the rest of the day curled up together. But they didn’t have time for that today, that was reserved for tomorrow. Today was the day they had been waiting for for months, their wedding day. The couple remained in bed for a while before getting up.

 

“Is it too late to elope, babe,” Tobin pondered sleepily.

 

“I don’t think our families would appreciate it too much, Tobs.”

 

“Have you met our families? They wouldn’t mind, this could just be another vacation in a beautiful place.” Christen shook her head lightly.

 

“I don't think so babe.” She kissed Tobin’s forehead. Tobin sighed and relented.

 

“Are you ready, babe?”

 

Tobin got up from her position on the bed and headed for the bathroom. As she got up, the sheet that was covering her fell to the ground, revealing her tanned skin. Christen rolled over to look at Tobin, a smirk growing on her face.

 

“Oh, absolutely.” Christen got up and embraced her fiancée from behind.

 

“That’s not what I meant, ya goof. We’ll get to do that later on.”

 

“I don’t know Tobs. We might be too exhausted to do anything else after the ceremony.”

 

“That just means we get to spend tomorrow doing it all day. Sounds better to me.” Tobin turned on the water in the shower and stepped in. “Are you coming in or not?” Christen stepped in the shower as well.

 

“Can we makeout a little, not too much though. I just can’t get enough of you.” She leaned against the cold tile in the shower, waiting for the midfielder’s response. Despite her mind telling her not to, as these shower sessions went on longer than they should, Tobin’s body had a different idea. God, I really can’t resist this woman.

 

“Definitely. Let’s just try not to be late for breakfast.”

 

30 minutes later and Christen and Tobin were scrambling to get dressed to go with their respective entourages. They spent a little too much time in the shower, even though they promised they wouldn't. Once they were outside, Christen deeply kissed Tobin and wrapped her in a tight embrace.

 

“I’ll see you in a few hours, Tobs. I can’t wait to see how beautiful you’ll look. I love you so much.”

 

“I can’t wait to see you too, babe. I love you too.”

 

The women began to get choked up at the thought of the impending ceremony in the evening.  They got into their cars and went on their separate ways to get ready. Christen’s entourage consisted of her mother, Channing, Tyler, Julie, Alyssa and a few of her other friends. Tobin had her mother, Katie, Perry, Alex, Kelley, Allie, Amy, and Lauren. They first went to breakfast  and then soon after went to get their hair and nails done. By the time they had their hair and nails done, it was around noon. The two had only been apart for a couple of hours but Tobin was dying to check on Christen. Katie saw Tobin sneaking off to take a call, but stopped her before she could. Katie tried to explain to her sister that it was more fun not knowing what the other was doing. She knew her sister was just anxious, but it would be worth it. Jeff, Jeffrey, Cody, and Nima were already at the beach making sure everything was being set up properly. At around two, Cody called Cindy and Stacy, telling them that everything was ready and the guys were going to get dressed themselves.

 

-----

 

It was around 4:30 and the families went to different locations to take the bridal photos with the families. They spent around 30 minutes taking a range of serious, silly, and candid pictures. Once they were satisfied with the pictures, they started heading to the location of the ceremony. The beach Tobin and Christen had picked out was somewhat isolated. There was a public beach a couple hundred feet away but it was secluded enough that they were able to have the wedding in peace. The sand on the beach was white and the water was a light blue, something you would find on a postcard, picturesque. It seemed too good to be real. The setup was beautiful, the white folded chairs  were arranged in 8 neat rows, with 8 chairs in a row. Every chair had either a baby blue or seafoam green ribbon tied behind it. The threshold was made from local wood with flowers adorning the top. At the informal entrance, there was a bin with a sign labeled Shoes Optional , one of the personal touches Tobin wanted. It was all so simple, but it was perfect. The guests had already filled in their seats, mainly family, close friends, and a large number of teammates, whether they were from the national team or their club team. The couple profusely apologized to their teammates as the season had already started and they were forced to miss games due to the wedding, though their teammates didn’t mind. The bridesmaids got into position, Tyler, Channing, Julie, Alyssa, and one of Christen’s old friends lined up on the left and Katie, Perry, Lauren, Amy, and Alex lined up on the right. Cole, Tobin’s nephew, was the ring bearer and Jrue, Lauren’s daughter, was the flower girl. The two children followed after the bridesmaids, earning awws as they made their way to the front.

 

Once the children had settled down, everyone turned their heads to the back. Tobin was standing with her father, ready to make their way down the “aisle”. Tobin’s dress was a traditional, lacey dress. Her hair was mainly straight, but had some loose curls in it, pushed over one shoulder. She had some silver bobby pins to accentuate her hair.  Her earrings were a pair of diamond studs. She didn’t want to go too extravagant, wanting to keep it simple. As she passed the first row, she caught a glimpse of her mother crying. She didn’t pay much attention to her, as she would also start to cry prematurely. She took a deep breath and went to stand next to the priest, awaiting Christen’s arrival.  

 

Everyone turned to the back again to look for the other bride. Christen was standing with her arm interlinked with Cody’s, ready to go down the “aisle”. Tobin was breathless watching Christen. A few tears started to form in her eyes at how beautiful Christen looked. Her tan skin was glowing under her white lace, white dress. There wasn’t a long train on the dress, but the best part Christen believed was that it was backless. Her hair was curled, simply natural, the way Tobin loved it the most. She went with simple diamond earrings and a silver necklace. She was happy to hear Tobin’s suggestion of no shoes, one last hassle she had to think about. She made her way forward with her father next to her. As she got closer, she could see the tears Tobin was holding back and began to let out a few tears herself. She let go of Cody’s hand and took her place in front of Tobin. They squeezed each other’s hands and prepared themselves for the ceremony. A short while later, they exchanged their vows and their rings. When they were officially wife and wife, they shared a chaste kiss until Tobin’s brother yelled for them to do better, which just encouraged the guests to follow suit. The couple laughed and kissed with a little more intensity, to the delight of the crowd. Christen swore she heard Kelley, Kling, Emily, and Allie hooting in the crowd, something she would talk to them later about. As they walked back down the aisle, hands intertwined, the guests started throwing rice at the couple. Tobin believed that Rose and Mal had literally bowls of rice that they were throwing at the two, she didn’t mind though, she was too blissed out at being finally married to the love of her life.

 

The sun had set and the place was illuminated by the candles set up in the sand. Everyone was enjoying themselves, between the food, the toasts and the music. Tobin and Christen had changed out of their dresses into white rompers, which were immensely more comfortable. They danced with their parents and then with each other for the couple’s first dance. After their dance, they both cut the cake and proceeded to thank all of their guests for coming. To end the night, Tobin and Christen danced with their friends to Despacito on the sand “dance floor” until their feet and legs got tired. Once they got back to their hotel, Tobin carried Christen to their suite, falling nearly every second, with Christen giggling in her arms. They each drank about a full bottle of champagne, feeling the buzz as the hours drew on. Once they both fell on the bed, the started to sloppily kiss each other, fumbling to shed the other’s clothes. Eventually sleep won over and they laid next to other, half dressed and forgetting what they had intentioned to do when they walked in the door. They spent the next day loving each other, similar to the first time they did, slow, passionate, and fueled by pure love for one another. At the end of the night, they laid together, limbs tangled under the sheets. The couple were slowly drifting to sleep, exhausted from their earlier activities.

 

“Goodnight, Christen. My beautiful wife.” Tobin kissed her nose and snuggled back into Christen’s neck. Christen chuckled.

 

“Goodnight, my beautiful wife, Tobin.”