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Chapter 51

            When Amy meets Dottie at her room, she's shocked to find her friend on the verge of tears.  Amy takes her hand and says, "D, what's wrong?"

            Dottie sniffs and says, "Nothing's wrong. Honest. I just...Amy I'm so happy right now. But deep down inside I'm waiting for something to blow up in my face."

            Amy sighs and puts her arm around her friend and says, "Would it help you any to know I've spent the last couple of hours with him? He wanted to go over his wedding plan with me."

            Dottie's eyes sparkle and she says, "Oh, A, tell me, tell me!"

            Amy shakes her head and says, "No. Nick wants to surprise you and surprise you he will.  Now, let's go find your dress."

            Dottie wipes her eyes and touches up her makeup while Amy makes a bathroom stop. Just as they are ready to leave, Nick comes breezing in and says, "Hey pretty ladies!" He sweeps Dottie up in his arms and kisses her until she loses her breath.

            When he sets her down, she says, "What are you up to this afternoon?"

            He smiles and says, "Well, I have some shopping of my own to do. But, we have to do something together first.  Can Brian and I tag along for the first half of your afternoon?"

            Dottie says, "Nick, you have a meet and greet at 3:00."

            He says, "I know, it won't take long."

            Someone knocks at the door and Amy's closest so she opens it to find Brian in the hallway. He hugs her tightly and says, "Are we gonna do this?"

            Amy says, "What exactly are we doing?"

            Nick says, "Well, we're going to have lunch with our ladies and then make a stop at a jewelry store. I think someone's going to need wedding bands on Friday."

            Dottie's mouth drops open and she says, "How could we forget the rings?"

            Nick says, "Because I was planning it and I'm not good at stuff like that. Amy saved my ass."

            Amy says, "Nick, it was all your ideas, I just guided you on what you needed to do."

            Brian puts his arm around Amy and says, "You're the best for helping him Sweetheart. But did you hear from the doctor?"

            She shakes her head and says, "No.  But my phone died. I need to go by our room and grab it off the charger before we leave the hotel."

            Nick's phone rings and after he answers it, he says, "This will only take a second." He goes out on the balcony for privacy which leads everyone to believe it's about the wedding.

            Amy says, "I'll go grab my phone while he talks."

            Dottie says, "Brian, can I talk to you while Nick is occupied?"

            Amy leaves and Brian turns to Dottie and says, "What's wrong?"

            She says, "Nothing, really, I was just wondering...Do you think Kevin can come to the wedding? To surprise Nick?"

            Brian looks shocked and he says, "I'm sure he'd be thrilled. Did you call him?"

            Dottie says, "Brian, I didn't know Kevin very long before he left the group. I didn't want to impose but..."

            Brian says, "What is it, D?"

            She smiles and says, "Nick really looks up to Kevin. I want him to be part of the ceremony. Do you think he remembers me? Would he...umm...would he walk me down the aisle?"

            Brian smiles and says, "D, Kevin adores you and he's thrilled you're with Nick. He remembers you fondly and when everything happened he was calling me every day furious that anyone would believe you could have done something like that. He wanted to be involved but all the lawyers agreed since he was out of the group he needed to stay away from the controversy."

            Dottie hugs Brian and cries. She says, "I never realized...Brian you've all been so good to me."

            Nick comes in and says, "Hey, hey, what's going on here?"

            Dottie sniffs and says, "Brian's being too sweet to me."

            Nick says, "Brian, Brian, making a pass at my woman?"

            Amy walks back in and says, "Who's doing what?"

            Dottie laughs and says, "Brian's making me feel all emotional about the wedding."

            Amy smiles and says, "I'm all emotional and it's all his fault."

            Brian says, "How is it mine?"

            She hugs him and says, "We're having twins!"

            Dottie watches in awe as they celebrate their good news. Nick puts his arm around her and whispers, "That will be us soon."

            She smiles up at him and says, "I know."


            They go to a bistro not far from the hotel and have a light lunch. Next door to the bistro is a jewelry store. When the couples go inside, the owner says, "What beautiful young couples. Double wedding coming up?"

            Nick smiles at the middle aged woman and says, "I don't know what they have planned but we're kind of in a bind. We're getting married Friday and in our rush, we forgot to get wedding bands."

            She smiles and says, "OK, let me size your fingers then we'll see what I have in stock that will fit you."  After getting both their ring sizes, she goes into a case and pulls out several wedding bands. She looks at Dottie and says, "Since your engagement ring is platinum, I don't have as many for you to choose from."

            Dottie looks up at Nick and says, "Platinum?"

            He smiles sheepishly and says, "Yeah."

            Brian laughs and says, "Didn't you know, D?  Nick thinks if it costs more it's gotta be the best?"

            Everyone laughs and Dottie and Nick turn back to look at the rings as Brian takes Amy's hand and they walk around the store looking at the jewelry.

            Dottie holds Nick's hand tightly and says, "I don't...I don't want anything really fancy."

            The owner smiles at her and says, "I can't see you with a band covered in diamonds. It's not your style."

            Nick smiles at Dottie and says, "Anything you want, D."

            She turns back and chooses a simple band to match the band of her diamond. Nick smiles and kisses her temple. He says, "You pick mine too, D. I don't care as long as it tells the world I'm yours."

            The owner of the store says, "You two are certainly in love. May I suggest titanium or palladium for your ring, Sir? They seem to be the most popular for men these days."

            She lays 5 rings in front of them, but Dottie's eyes fall on one and she doesn't look away. She picks it up gingerly and says, "I like this one."

            Nick smiles and says, "So do I. You know me well, Sweetheart."

            The owner says, "That one is palladium. The herringbone pattern engraved in it certainly makes it stand out."

            Dottie smiles and says, "It just looks like something you'd wear."

            Nick smiles and kisses her gently before turning to the woman and saying, "We'll take them."

            While the owner writes up the bill of sale and gets boxes for the rings, Dottie whispers, "I love you Nick."

            He puts his head against hers and says, "I love you too Dottie. I can't wait till Friday. Are you nervous?"

            Pulling back to look at him, she says, "No. For the first time ever I know what I'm doing is right. I'm excited and I'm anxious for it to happen...but I'm not nervous."

            He smiles and says, "Good. Because Saturday the whole world is going to know we're married. I'll shout it from the rooftops if I have to. You're mine and I'm never letting you go."

            Dottie sighs and watches as he signs the credit card slip. He'll never realize how happy she is at this very moment. She sees Amy and Brian walk up and Amy takes her hand, squeezing it. For everything that's happened to her, Dottie still has the most important people in her life. That's all that matters for the future.

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