Devastation Ė Epilogue

Six months later, Evangeline was sitting in the dressing room with her mother. She was running around the room doing finishing touches on the dress. Evangeline was getting tired just watching her. Viki had stuck her head in a few minutes prior to check if everything was on schedule. Eve McBain was monitoring Shannon, Jessica and Natalie in a room down the hall as they were getting dressed. Nora was the Matron of Honor and she was expected any minute. Evangeline couldnít wait until she arrived because her mother was making her nervous.


John was with Michael in a dressing room on the other side of the gazebo. He hadnít seen Van since the night before and heíd missed her. He hadnít realized how heíd grown used to sleeping beside her until last night at Michaelís. It had taken him forever to get to sleep when they got in. She and the girls had stayed at their house last night and there was no telling what they had been doing. Heíd tried calling, but his mother had intercepted the call, and told him that everything was fine and heíd see Van this morning. He couldnít wait.

"John, you ready to marry my sister?" Todd asked coming in to the dressing room.

"Yes, Todd. Iíve been ready."

"Just checking, cause Iíd hate to have to jump you on your wedding day," Todd said.

"Yeah, it wouldnít be good for Van to see me beat her brother up today," John said laughing at Toddís expression.


Evangeline turned around in front of the mirror and couldnít help but smile. She looked like a princess. The cream dress was off an off the shoulder princess cut. The beading on the bodice was worthy of a queen. The dress bloomed into a full skirt. Cinderella couldnít hold a candle to her. Her hair was in spirals; some of it was pinned up with flowers woven through it and the rest was hanging down her back. She couldnít wait until she saw John. She bit her lip as she imagined the look on his face.


Eve had made her way to the groomís dressing room and was straightening Johnís tie.

"Mom, what are you doing?"

"Just making sure that youíre ready."

"Mom, Iíve been ready for months. I still donít know how I feel about all this," he said with a sweeping motion with his hands, "you know it makes me itch, but Iím ready to marry Van."

"I can see that. Iím so happy that youíve found this kind of happiness."

"Me, too. I never thought I would, and then when I least expected it, there she was," he whispered with a smile and a faraway look in his eye.

"You really love her."

"More than I can express."

"Well, she loves you too. Thatís a wonderful thing for a mother to know; that the person their child is marrying loves them," Eve smiled. She was singing before the wedding began and she needed to get in position, "Iíll see you when itís over."

Michael, Bo, Antonio and Todd were somewhere outside the dressing room. John could hear their voices, but there was one voice he wanted to hear more than anything. He glanced around and pulled out his cell phone. He dialed her number and hoped that her cell phone was still on. He just needed to talk to her before all the hoopla began.


"Hi, baby," he said smiling.

"I was hoping that it was you. How are you? I know you donít really like these kinds of things."

"Iíll survive, Iím better now that I hear your voice. How are you?"

"Iím ready to get this show on the road. Iíve wanted to talk to you all morning. I miss you."

"Ditto. I love you."

"I love you, too. See you in a little while."

"I canít wait."


Evangeline ended the call and looked up into the smiling faces of all her attendants.

"What are you guys smiling about?"

"You and John. Youíll be married in just a little while and you guys canít wait to talk to each other."

She just smiled at them.

"My cousin is so lucky to have you," Shannon said with a smile, "Youíve given him back his smile."

"Thank you, Shannon."

"Letís do this."


The gazebo sat in the middle of the Calla Lily garden at the Botanical gardens. It was a little too feminine for John, but he was willing to do this, since heíd only have to go through it one time, because Van deserved all that stuff girlís dreamed about for their wedding day. Heíd just suck it up, he thought as he stood in the center of the gazebo and watched Nora march up the aisle. All Vanís attendants looked stunning in blue dresses, but they didnít hold Johnís attention as he waited for the love of his life.

He glanced down at Amelia, who looked beautiful. She had decided to move to Llanview two months prior so that she would be close to Evangeline. Their relationship had grown over the past six months. They were becoming the best of friends. He was so happy for them and he absolutely adored his mother-in-law to be. She was his ally. Whenever he made Van mad, Amelia came to his rescue. Heíd been instrumental in getting her to move, he needed her close by.

Just then a violinist started playing the Wedding March and John looked to the end of the aisle. When Van came into view his breath literally caught. She was gorgeous and she was all his. He felt a hand on his shoulder and took a breath, but he couldnít take his eyes off her. Everyone in attendance could see the love John felt for Van in his eyes.

When she got to him, he took her hand and squeezed her fingers. The smile they shared was completely intimate and they looked as if they were the only two people in the world. The minister began the ceremony and finally it was time to say their vows.

John held both of Vanís hands tightly and said, "When you came into my life, I couldnít remember what love felt like, but you were patient with me when I needed it most. You allowed me the time to know you and you trusted me to share myself with you when I was ready. I promise to spend the rest of my life showing you how much you mean to me. I promise to protect you and our children. I promise to always be a man that you can trust with all the parts of you. I love you more than I ever thought possible and the funny thing is that it grows more every day. Iím a better man because you love me and Iím a happier one loving you. I take you to be my wife today and for all time."

He put the ring on her finger and smiled that million dollar smile that she could get lost in. Somewhere in the middle of his vows, tears had flooded her eyes. She took a moment before she began.

"John McBain, protector of all. You are my hero. Youíve been there for me even when I wouldnít admit that I needed you. You are my best friend and I cherish that. You listen to my opinion about the tough stuff and you trust my instincts. You trust me with the important things that make you the person that you are. I promise never to give you reason to doubt the trust you have in me. I promise to always be there for you and our children. I promise to spend my life reminding you just how very much I love you. You are my today and tomorrow. I take you as my husband today and for all time," she said as a tear rolled down her cheek.

He wiped the tear away with his thumb and caressed her cheek. She then placed his ring on his finger and curled her fingers with his.

"By the power vested in me, by the State of Pennsylvania, I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."

John smiled at Van and pulled her too him. Before he sealed the ceremony, he said in a whisper, "Now I kiss you."


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