Chapter 13

I Wish You Love

Evangeline kept waiting for weariness, exasperation and a screaming headache to descend on her but it never did. She was as effusive and radiant in her joy as Jax was and she knew if she took even a tiny half step back her husband’s large hands would move from her arms and encircle her waist. Van desperately wanted to be alone with him. When Jax had pulled her into him and planted a noisy kiss on her neck for the benefit of the photographers she felt how much he needed their marriage bed.

Turning her head to speak to the next well-wisher Evangeline was proud that the sight of Michael and Marcie didn’t throw her or cause her to falter. Moving toward them she left her new husband’s embrace and went to speak to the brother of a man she’d once hoped to share all of herself with.

“Marcie, Michael, we’re glad you were able to attend. I hope you found everything comfortable and to your liking.” She couldn’t suppress the huge smile of happiness on her face, “How are you enjoying your first trip to Alaska?”

“It’s just unbelievably beautiful; thank so much for inviting us.” They all laughed because the couple had speaking and ended in complete unison. “I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to spend a week in such an amazing setting.” gushed Marcie, “Each sunrise and sunset is more fabulous then the last!”

“You’re catching the sunset AND the sunrise? Michael, you’ll have to get back to the hospital to get your proper rest.” Van commented then turned to Marcie, “and what’s this I hear about a new book from you at last? Is it another mystery or a compilation from your blog writings?”

“No, no more crime stories for me. It’s still a long way from finished and I’m not totally positive of what it’ll really be in the end but right now it seems to be a novel about not being a perfect 10 and still getting the perfect 10 guy.” Marcie responded and sent a sideways look at Michael.

“Yeah, she’s writing about her big romance with Hugh Hughes and the joys of having a doctor AND a lawyer compete for her attention.”

“I am not!! But it was pretty cool having all those skinny, perfect girls wonder what was going on that I was getting all the attention. Hugh was great for my ego.” Marcie said with a laugh.

“Hey, what am I?” Michael asked in an injured tone of voice looking from Evangeline to Marcie.

“You, you are the love of my life.” Marcie states candidly looking into Michael’s eyes, “I’m so glad to be with you again, we’ve wasted too much time.”

“Hmmm, has my wedding given you ideas? Never mind, I’m not going to put either of you on the spot. Consider it something to discuss as you look at the sunrise and the sunset.”

Laughing as they both started to blush and stammer Van floated away and was quickly scooped up into her mother and uncle Clay’s embrace as her Uncle Henry tipped a half-full glass in a salute in her direction as he joked with Jax.

“Mom, please tell me Uncle Henry’s not saying inappropriate racial things to my husband.” Van pleaded then turned to her uncle Clay, “Please get Jax away from him or I’ll end up divorced before the ink’s dry on the marriage certificate.”

“Henry’s behaving don’t worry, he’s so thrilled you married a man with serious money and power he’s ready to proclaim Jax an honorary brother.” Patting Van’s hands Clay smiled reassuringly and watched as Lisa approached Henry and Jax, “I saw you speaking to Dr. McBain, have you heard from John?”

“Yes, he sent me a note wishing me well. We haven’t seen in each other in months. Why do you ask?”

“Just surprised he let go so completely. He sure put me on notice that he had a place in your life and in your heart. I admit this wasn’t what I was expecting for you. No regrets?” Clay looked into Evangeline’s eyes and thought he saw a flicker of something, but it disappeared before he was sure.

“Uncle Clay, did you feel or sense any hesitation or doubt when you walked me down the aisle? No. If not for my time with John who knows how long it would’ve been before I took Jax seriously. I’m right where I’m supposed to be, just as Jax stated the first time we met. We’re married and all is finally right in our world.” Van squeezed and released his arm and Clay watched his niece’s glow escalate as Lisa and Jax approached her with his blinding smile.

“Lisa, I swear that young man hasn’t stopped smiling since Evangeline reentered his life, and his grin just gets bigger and bigger. He knows he has someone precious, special.” Clay hugged Evangeline’s mother to his heart and whispered, “I really don’t think you need to worry. I don’t believe she’s carrying a torch for the cop or longing for what might’ve been.”

“She still has feelings for him, Clay. Strong ones.” Lisa said twisting the handkerchief that was wringing wet from all the tears she’d shed during the beautiful ceremony. “But I don’t believe Evangeline would make such a serious and total commitment to Jax if she wasn’t sure. And I damn sure know Jax’s mother has been vigilant to make sure his heart’s not broken by another woman. For a man with everything going for him, Jax has been incredibly unlucky in love. I don’t want my daughter to add to his heartbreak and misery….and, I might add, her own.”

“She won’t, I’m sure she won’t” Clay said reassuringly rubbing her shoulders and hoping his words were true.

“Well, they’re married and we have pictures. What will you say to John when we get back home?” Marcie asked looking up at Michael and counting the frown lines between his eyebrows.

“I’ll try not to call him an idiot for the ten thousandth time, I’ll just say she has the joy that he’s always wanted for her.” Sighing Michael watched Jax pull his bride into a kiss, “I guess whatever was in that note didn’t change things between them. Damn it all, I’d counted on things working out for them. I assumed love would find a way and it didn’t. I don’t know Marcie, I just don’t know. What will happen to John now?”

Dancing with Jax Evangeline felt the deep pull of their attraction and pressed herself as close to him as public decency would allow even for newlyweds. Sighing in his ear she murmured “How much longer do we have to stay and be social Mr. Jacks?”

“I say we start moving toward the patio doors then we make a run for it,” Jax whispered with his head buried in her hair, “I have a car waiting to take us to our new life if you’re willing and interested, Mrs. Jacks.” Her body tingling and no longer trusting her voice Van nodded, they laced their fingers together and Jax started moving running right into Nora and Alexis, “You two aren’t trying to sneak off are you? That’s rude, isn’t that rude Alexis to leave a party thrown in their honor?”

“Such appalling manners, and me without so much as a dance with my ex whom I’ve generously and graciously trained to husbandly perfection for you Evangeline.” Alexis gives them a smug smile as she takes Jax’s arm tugging him towards the dance floor, “You will not be disappointed with Jax’s married attitude, and I honed it to complement a wife with a hectic, important career who is very high maintenance. He’s flawless, except for those disgusting power shakes and the need to exercise before dawn has woken up.”

Pushing at Jax’s back Nora instructs “Go dance with the ex-mrs., I’d like to speak to the current Mrs. Jacks.”

“Nora! I’m the final Mrs. Jacks and we want to leave!”

“Oh, you’ll have plenty of time, a lifetime to tangle up the sheets. I can’t wait until you return from your honeymoon because you’re not returning to Llanview, curse you both. What did John’s letter say?”

Sighing Evangeline knew there was no deterring DA Hanen but she tried, “How is it that John convinced you to be his messenger anyway? I can understand Mikey, but you?”

“Don’t try it, what was in the letter? Don’t make me raise my voice. By the way, does Jax know?”

“Yes,” Van stated firmly. “I told him about it and he’s not thrilled but he’s okay with it. It’s just a note, all it says is that John wishes me all the best life has to offer, he wishes me love and he knows I’ve found it with Jax. That’s it, satisfied?”

“No last minute declarations of undying love? I’m disappointed in McBain, I shouldn’t be surprised it was low key but I must say I expected more.”

“Are you trying to stir up trouble in my marriage, Nora?”

“No, No! I making sure YOU don’t allow trouble to follow you into your relationship. Ok, go on get your hubby and sneak out now while everyone’s really getting into the mood for a long, good party.” Pushing her towards the dance floor as Jax looks at his wife and starts to dance Alexis in her direction, they meet at the edge of the floor near the patio doors and Evangeline and Jax slip away.