PART FIVE

There was a knock on the door. Deloris answered.

"Why of course you can come in, Eve," Deloris replied as the ladies exchanged hugs.

"I just wanted to sneak-a-peek at my daughter-in-law."

"Hi Eve!" Evangeline said.

"Evangeline, you look amazing! My goodness, you look like a fairy tale princess!"

"Oh thank you, Eve," Evangeline said as she and Eve shared a hug.

"John isnít going to be able to take his eyes off of you, you know," Eve commented.

"Well thatís definitely a good thing!" Evangeline replied grinning.

"Whatís definitely a good thing?" Shannon McBain asked walking in followed by the other bridesmaids, Marcie Walsh-McBain, Nora Buchanan, and Matron of Honor, Greenlee Smythe-Lavery.

"Oh donít be so nosy, Shannon. They were probably sharing a mother-in-law, daughter-in-law moment," Nora commented.

"Oh come on, sheís a McBain now. She knows weíre all nosy."

"Now Shannon, donít scare her now. We donít want her to change mind. And besides, itís just you whoís the nosy McBain," Eve said as if somewhat embarrassed by Shannonís comment.

"Donít worry Eve," Evangeline began. "Nothing could change my mind about marrying John. Iím completely in love with him," she gushed.

Evangeline thought back to the first time she and John said ĎI Love Youí to each other. It was four weeks into their relationship and things were still pretty new between them. Everyone seemed to be skeptical of their relationship.

It was no secret that Evangeline left Alan-Michael the day they were to be married. Two weeks after the nuptials didnít take place, Alan-Michael moved to Springfield, Illinois, to head up his new division of Spaulding Enterprises, Spaulding Industries.

Soon after, Evangeline was seen on the arm of Lieutenant John McBain. Both of their families and friends wondered what was going on. But John and Evangeline knew that what they shared wasnít just a fluke, nor was it a rebound romance.

It was a beautiful summer night; a crescent moon, bright stars, not a cloud in the sky. John and Evangeline had just seen the new blockbuster thriller, "I Saw You." They both enjoyed the movie and after a lengthy discussion about who done it and why from their lawyer and cop perspectives, they decided to get some ice cream from the local ice cream parlor. Tastyís was right down the street so John and Evangeline opted to walk.

Once they arrived, they looked over all of their delicious and tempting choices. Evangeline wanted to try something other than her usual strawberry shortcake. She finally settled on pralines ní cream. John, on the hand, stuck to his usual cappuccino mocha chocolate chip.

"I thought you were going to try something different," Evangeline commented, looking at John putting a spoonful of the ice cream in his mouth.

"Yeah, I thought about it for a second but I decided to stick with my favorite. If ainít broke, donít fix it," he said, giving Evangeline a sexy wink and a smile.

She smiled back. "I just think youíre addicted to coffee."

"Hey there are only a few things I love more than a great cup of coffee."

"Yeah right, Lieutenant! Name one," Evangeline challenged, taking a bite of her ice cream.

John didnít respond. With a serene smile on his face, he sat looking at Evangeline eat her ice cream. He knew what was in his heart but would he finally be bold enough to say what heíd been thinking?

"Just what I thought, Lieutenant! That coffee is heads and shoulders above anything else!" Evangeline said laughing with obvious humor in her tone.

John smiled. He put his elbow on the table and rested his chin on his hand. Yeah, he was ready.

"You."

Evangeline sat there confused by Johnís statement. She looked at John and then over both her shoulders. Smiling and leaning forward she asked, "Me, what?"

John let out a laugh. Sometimes her expressions were so funny to him. He was definitely sure.

"You asked me to name one thing that I loved more than coffee. You are one of those things."

Evangeline allowed a giddy smile to claim her face. "Wow John, thatís sounds serious. You love me more than coffee? Are you sure about that?" she asked teasingly.

John laughed. "Youíre not going to make this easy for me, are you?"

Evangeline crinkled her nose and shook her head. "Nah," she said smiling.

"Okay," he began, taking her hand. "I, John Connor McBain, am totally and completely in love with you, Evangeline Alyssa Williamson. That, Iím sure of."

Evangelineís heart melted. She felt the same way and had promised herself that she wouldnít try to force John into saying something he didnít mean. She did love him though and now she could actually tell him.

"I love you too, John. I really, really do."

They both leaned into each other, sharing a kiss. Evangeline smiled as they pulled apart. "Wow, you were right. That cappuccino mocha chocolate chip really does taste good."

Evangeline looked up and noticed that everyone was looking at her smiling. She was now about to marry the love of her life.

"And heís completely in love with you too, Van. We just came from helping the guys get ready and he gave me something to give you," Greenlee said with a huge smile.

"Okay, well give it to me!"

"I will in a second. But first, there are some things a few of us want to give you."

"Like what? More strippers?" Evangeline asked with a smile, remembering her bachelorette party the night before. Greenlee, Nora, Shannon, and Marcie all laughed mentioning the fun times they shared the night before.

"I donít think I need to hear any more about last night," Deloris chimed in with an embarrassed laugh.

"Iím with you on that one, Deloris," Eve stated in agreement, nodding her head as all the ladies shared in collective laughter.

"Okay, seriously though. This is a very special day for you. And going along with tradition, itís customary that you be presented with something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. I see your mother has already presented you with something old. Those earrings are dazzling, Mrs. Williamson," Greenlee said lifting a finger up to Evangelineís ear to touch them.

"Yes, they are so beautiful, and classic," added Marcie.

"Thank you," said Deloris with a prideful smile.

"So now, itís time for something new," Greenlee said, gesturing to Eve.

"Evangeline. Itís every motherís dream that her child will grow up and find that special someone who will make them happy, someone they want to spend the rest of their life with. Michael found that with Marcie, and now John has found that with you. I couldnít be happier. Iím so glad that you and my son have found each other. So here, in this box, I have for you something new as you embark on a new life with John."

Evangeline smiled and opened the box. Inside was a beautiful white handkerchief with Evangelineís new initials, EWM, embroidered in gold.

"Eve, this is so thoughtful and beautiful. Thank you so much."

"Youíre quite welcome, dear. Welcome to the family. You and John were meant to be together."

"I think so, too!" Evangeline gushed.

"And now, I have something for you thatís borrowed," Greenlee said removing her bracelet from her wrist. "This is the diamond bracelet Ryan gave me on Valentineís Day."

"Greenlee! You love this bracelet!" Evangeline said somewhat taken aback.

"Hey, Iím only letting you borrow it," Greenlee replied with a smile. The other ladies let out a laugh.

"Thank you, Greenlee," Evangeline said sincerely while Greenlee began putting the bracelet around Evangelineís right wrist.

"When your mom told me she was giving you her diamond earrings as something old, I knew this bracelet would be perfect as something borrowed."

"Youíre like the diamond princess of Llanview," Nora said with a smile.

"Theyíre dripping off of you!" Marcie added.

Evangeline laughed. "Thank you so much guys. This really means so much, all of you here with me today. I love you all."

"Well donít go get all sappy just yet. I, dear soon-to-be cousin, have for you something blue. Actually, itís more for John since heís going to get so much enjoyment out of it," Shannon said with a smirk.

"Let me guess Ė the garter?" Evangeline asked suspiciously.

"Yep! Thatís right, the garter!" Shannon said, showing it to Evangeline. "But this garter is special because it has diamond studs on it."

"A diamond garter, Shannon?" Eve asked, once again embarrassed by her young niece.

"Oh Aunt Eve! It goes with the whole diamond princess theme!"

"It certainly does! Thank you so much, Shannon. Itís perfect. I know John will think so, too!" Evangeline said with a huge smile. She sat down in a chair and slipped on the garter.

"Well ladies, Iíd better get out there. Iíve got a song to sing!" Eve said walking over to Evangeline. She gave Evangeline a hug and walked out of the room.

"And Iíd better go see if your Uncle Robert is ready to escort my baby down the isle," Deloris said, giving her daughter a kiss on the forehead.

"Thank you, Mom, for everything. I love you," Evangeline said squeezing her motherís hand.

"Youíre welcome, baby. And I love you more," Deloris replied with a smile, then walking out of the room.

"Yeah, I guess weíd better get out there too," Nora stated.

"Itís showtime ladies!" Marcie said enthusiastically.

Nora, Marcie, Shannon, and Greenlee all walked over to Evangeline and gave her a hug. The other ladies left the room, except for Greenlee.

"So, youíre really sure about this?" Greenlee asked, thinking about the previous mishap with Alan-Michael.

"Greenlee," Evangeline began. "Iíve never been surer of anything in my life!"

"Iím happy to hear that. I know it took a lot for you to finally tell me about that night in Mary Barnesí basement."

"Youíre the only person I told about that night. Thank you so much for not judging me."

"Hey, thatís what best friends are for. I just want you to be happy. You deserve to be happy," Greenlee said.

The ladies shared a hug.

"Oh, I almost forgot," Greenlee began, reaching into her handbag. "This is from John."

Evangeline took the envelope and instantly a smile appeared on her face.

"He loves you so much," Greenlee said with a sincere smile. She was truly happy for her best friend.

"I know. I feel the same way about him."

"Okay, well Iím going to go and let you read whateverís in that envelope. Iíll see you out there, okay."

"Thanks Greenlee," Evangeline said as she watched her leave the room.

Evangeline took a deep breath and smiled. She opened the envelope and read the letter.

Hey Babe,

Todayís the day! Weíre actually going to do this. Can you believe it? After everything it took for us to be together, weíre finally going to make it happen. I want you to know how happy you make me. You are my best friend and Iím the man I am today because of the love youíve given me. Iím the luckiest man in the world to be able to spend the rest of my life with you, the woman I love and cherish. Thank you so much for trusting me and choosing to go with me that night. And thank you so much for loving me. I plan to show you each and everyday just how much I love you. What we have is genuine and timeless.

Loving you always & forever,

John

PSÖ I canít wait to see you! I know youíre going to be beautiful, though itís hard for me to imagine you being any more beautiful than you already are. I love you!

"I love you too, John," Evangeline said.

She had to stop herself from shedding tears. John was the type of man sheíd always hoped for. She actually had him and she loved him with all her heart and soul. She was finally marrying the man she truly loved and wanted to be with. This time, she was sure she was marrying the right man. Absolutely no doubts!

There was a knock on the door.

"Who is it?"

"Evangeline, itís your Uncle Robert. Itís time. Theyíre ready to play your song. Are you ready?"

Evangeline stood up and looked herself over in the mirror. She smiled and looked at her engagement ring on her right hand. She then walked over to the door and opened it.

"Iím more than ready, Uncle Robert. Iíve been waiting for this moment my whole life!" Evangeline said smiling, hugging her uncle.

"Well then I think thereís a ceremony we need to get to," Robert said, taking Evangelineís hand.

As she walked down the isle to meet her soon-to-be husband, Evangeline thought about the new life that awaited her Ė the new life that she would begin with John. Though there was much they would experience and explore together, she knew that nothing could ever top the day she became Mrs. John Connor McBain.

THE END