Life After Dark
Chapter 21

"How's my tie?" Nikolas whispered to Tommy. Dressed in matching black tuxedos, they made a handsome pair as they stood at the altar. The two lit torches glowed brilliantly in the moonlight and shone brightly on them as they waited for the procession to begin.

"It's fine," Tommy whispered back. He smiled at Nikolas and patted him on the shoulder. Then, his eyes went in search of Gina. She stood off to the side next to Emily. Both of the young women looked beautiful for the late night ceremony. Emily wore a mid-thigh length crème-colored slip dress with a matching shawl, while Gina wore an ankle-length violet dress with short sleeves and a v-cut. Gina's golden blonde hair hung in loose curls on her shoulders and when she smiled at Tommy, he felt the breath catch in his throat. Lately, every time he saw her, he was amazed at how beautiful she was.

"You have the rings, right?" Nikolas whispered.

"Yes!" Tommy answered, dragging his eyes away from Gina. "Now, ssh!"

Nikolas took a deep breath and forced himself to remain quiet. He didn’t know why he was so nervous. He loved Dawn and he wanted to marry her. He never wanted anything so much in his life. Somewhere, deep in the back of his mind, he believed that it was all too good to be true. He couldn't voice his fears to anyone, but he was afraid that something would go wrong. He hoped he was only being overly anxious.


"How do I look?" Dawn asked Lizzie. They were still in the stateroom, waiting for Lucky to come and escort Dawn down the aisle.

"You look beautiful," Lizzie reassured her. She smiled at her dear friend who was a beautiful vision in white. Dawn had had misgivings about wearing white, but Lizzie reassured her that white was a fine choice. Nikolas was the first man she had ever been with, so technically in a weird way, she was kind of like a virgin. Kind of.

Dawn glanced in the mirror again. The strapless dress was covered in lace. The bodice had a v-cut which dipped just low enough to give a hint of Dawn's ripening cleavage. The back was bare until the mid-section where the fabric met in a column of tiny pearl buttons which trailed down to the small of her back. The dress continued on to the floor where it complimented her white high-heeled sandals. The bouquet of red and white roses she held in her hand made a striking contrast against her dress.

Lizzie placed her arm around Dawn's waist and gave her a light squeeze. Dawn smiled at her and admired Lizzie's dress again. The pale yellow dress with the spaghetti straps was an excellent choice to compliment Lizzie's tan skin. The dress was simple, yet elegant. It clung to Lizzie without appearing to do so The bodice was square cut and dress extended down to the floor. With her brown hair hanging loosely on her shoulders, Lizzie was just as beautiful as the bride.

"Come on, Lucky should be here soon. Let's wait in the hallway," Lizzie suggested.

As they moved into the hallway, Lucky rounded the corner. He released a low whistle and beamed at the two beauties. He gave Lizzie a brief kiss and whispered, "You look amazing."

"So do you," Lizzie said, indulging herself in the first time she'd ever seen Lucky in a tux. "You clean up good."

Lucky laughed. "Thanks" He turned his attention to Dawn and said, "There's still time."

Dawn poked him in the ribs and said, "Shut up."

Lucky laughed softly and said, "You'll do fine." He gave her a kiss on her cheek and offered her his elbow. As Dawn accepted it, they could hear Sly begin the intro of the song Nikolas and Dawn had chosen. Right on cue, Lizzie moved down the hallway and Lucky and Dawn followed.

Lizzie stood in the opening as Jordan began to sing.

"I believe in you and me
I believe that we will be
In love eternally
Well as far as I can see
You will always be the one for me
Oh yes you will"

Lizzie slowly made her way down the rose petal-covered floor.

"And I believe in dreams again
I believe that love will never end
And like the river finds the sea
I was lost, now I'm free
Cos' I believe in you and me"

Lizzie moved to stand at the altar directly opposite her handsome cousin. They smiled at each other and adjusted themselves to see Dawn as she and Lucky began to come towards them. Lizzie took a quick peek at Nikolas and she beamed when she saw the expression on his face. His eyes were glued to the lovely vision in white and his face was covered in the happiest smile she had ever seen.

"I will never leave your side
I will never hurt your pride
When all the chips are down
See I will always be around
Just to be right where you are
My love, you know I love you"

Dawn's eyes were mesmerized by Nikolas' soft brown ones. She felt as if she was being drawn to him and to him, she went willingly. In her happiness, she clutched Lucky's hand and he smiled at her.

"I will never leave you out
I will always let you in
To places no one's ever been
Deep inside, can't you see
That I believe in you and me

Maybe I'm a fool
To feel the way I do
But I will play the fool forever
Just to be with you forever"

Dawn and Lucky reached the altar. Lucky brushed her cheek with another brief kiss and he moved to stand with Emily and Gina. Dawn linked her arm through Nikolas' and they smiled at each other as Jordan continued on with the song.

"I believe in miracles
And love's a miracle
Baby you're my dream come true
I was lost, now I'm free
I believe in you and me

See I was lost, now I'm free
'Cause I believe in you and me."

When the song ended, Nikolas and Dawn turned to face another surprise Nikolas had for Dawn. She thought a judge was set to marry them. A huge smile covered her face when she noticed her minister, Rev. Armstrong, standing there. He smiled at her and began to speak, "Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here to join this man and woman in Holy Matrimony. If there is anyone here, who knows a reason why these two should not be married, speak now, or forever hold your peace."

Dawn felt Nikolas tense beside her and she looked questioningly at him. He glanced down at her and relaxed a little. She smiled at him and he felt himself relax even more. Looking into her eyes, he knew his anxiety was not justified. Nothing could or would stop them now.

When no one said anything, Rev. Armstrong continued, "Nikolas has informed me that he and Dawn will recite a passage from the Bible at this time."

As her eyes gazed into Nikolas', she began to softly speak, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

Nikolas beamed at her and with tears shining brightly in his eyes, he spoke softly, "Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

"What a beautiful passage these two have chosen on their wedding day…er…night," Rev. Armstrong said. "Love is a gift. It is not to be treated lightly, but cherished and nourished."

Rev. Armstrong paused to take a good look at the young couple and their few guests. Confident that his words had not been taken lightly, he continued, "Now, repeat after me…"

"I, Dawn Elyse, take thee, Nikolas Mikhail Stavrosovich, to be my lawfully wedded husband. I promise to love with my heart, honor you with my deeds and cherish you with my body, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others until death parts us."

"I, Nikolas Mikhail Stavrosovich, take thee, Dawn Elyse, as my lawfully wedded wife. I promise to love you with my heart, honor you with my deeds and cherish you with my body, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others until death do us part."

"The rings please," Rev. Armstrong requested. Tommy handed the minister the rings and he placed them on the Bible. "These rings represent the circle of love which will never be unbroken." He handed one ring to Dawn and the other to Nikolas.

Dawn handed her bouquet to Lizzie. She then placed Nikolas' left hand on hers. With her right hand, she slid the wedding band onto his third finger. "With this ring, I thee wed." She brought his hand to her lips and she sealed her promise with a gentle kiss.

Nikolas gently took her left hand, smiling into her eyes, he slid the band onto her third finger and said, "With this ring, I thee wed." He too brought her hand to his lips and sealed his promise with a kiss.

Rev. Armstrong placed his hands onto each of their shoulders and gave them a brief squeeze. He said, "What God has joined together. Let no man put asunder. You may now kiss."

Nikolas whispered, "I love you, Mrs. Cassadine." He cupped her face and lowered his head to claim her lips in what started as a gentle kiss, but soon became a passionate one as their friends began to laugh and cheer.

[Song Credit: "I Believe In You" by Whitney Houston]

[Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:4-13]

Chapter 22

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