The Baby Came C.O.D. - novelonlinefull.com
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"Wait until Ma sees all of us." Devin chucked Rachel under the chin, and she gurgled, drooling down Evan's shoulder. "This is going to be one heck of a Merry Christ-mas for her."
Claire looked at her sister as both their eyes filled with tears again.
"For all of us," she amended.
And then the ranks closed in around them. Blair's extended family had decided, as one, that they had given the new arrivals enough time together. Now it was their turn to get acquainted.
Converging, they a.s.similated all six into their midst.
Blair eased herself into the tiny vestibule just off to the side of the church entrance where, only a short month ago, she had been the one dressed in the long, lacy wedding gown. Now her sister was wearing it for her wedding. They had decided to use the same one for luck, beginning a tradition.
Their very first, but not, Blair knew, their last.
It had been less than two months since they had first hugged and cried after a twenty-two-year separation, and they were already deeply entrenched in each other's lives. They spoke on the phone every day, sometimes two or three times. Devin claimed they were making the long-distance phone company rich, but Claire and Blair both knew how pleased he was that he had been instrumental in bringing them together.
Claire looked absolutely gorgeous. Had she looked that radiant when she had worn the gown? Blair wondered with affection.
"We've got a packed house," Blair told her sister. She fussed a little with the veil. "Are you ready?"
Claire let out a deep breath, then smiled at her twin. Sometimes, even after all these weeks, she still woke up in the morning and thought it was all just a wonderful dream. But it wasn't. It was real. All of it. Evan, Rachel. Blair. All real.
"I think I've been ready for this all my life." Happiness and affection outlined her face. "Thanks for lending me your uncle."
Blair shrugged it off. No words of thanks were necessary between them. "You needed something borrowed." The gown was technically now something old; she'd given Claire a blue garter to wear, and as for something new, Evan had given her a stunning necklace in the shape of a heart, encrusted with diamonds. Claire was all set. "Besides, he's not my uncle, he's our uncle." Blair gave her sister a light squeeze. "What's mine is yours-you know that."
There was a light rap on the door. When Blair opened it, Uncle John peered in. Blair grinned. "Speak of the devil."
Uncle John raised gray tufted brows in mock affront. "Is that any way to talk about your old uncle? Although your aunt does say I still have a little devil in my eye." He chuckled wickedly. And then he looked at Claire and sighed. She was the picture of happiness, just as Blair had been in her place. "You know, with you ladies using the same dress, this feels like dej vu for me. Especially since the guy waiting at the altar looks the same." He shook his head. He'd never seen two men look more alike. "Beats me how you're going be able to tell them apart." He glanced at Blair, a smile quirking his mouth: "You might consider tagging their right ear, like they do with animals in the wild."
Claire laughed. She could just picture that, although a single small gold hoop dangling from his ear might be s.e.xy on Evan at that.
"We can tell them apart, Uncle John," Blair a.s.sured him with a grin. "Devin's smile is lopsided."
"And Evan's the one with baby drool on his shoulder," Claire added. And she couldn't think of anything more endearing to her than that. It attested to just how much he cared for his daughter. How much he would care for a child of their own when the time came.
"How're you going to tell them apart once Rachel's older?" Uncle John asked.
"I'll think of something," Claire promised, her eyes shining.
Blair held up her hand, stopping any further exchange, as she c.o.c.ked her head, listening. The organist had begun playing the song they had agreed upon to precede "The Wedding March." This was it.
She looked at Claire. "I think they're playing our song."
Uncle John puffed up his chest. "Well, ladies, shall we?" He offered his arm to Claire. "You know, I'm really going to miss this. Know anyone we can marry off next month?"
"We'll look into it," Blair told him. Moving past her uncle, Blair brushed her sister's cheek with her lips for luck, then lowered the veil over Claire's face. She stood back and, surveying her handiwork, nodded. "Perfect."
This time, she thought as she opened the door, she would get to be the observer and, in a way, see what her wedding had been like. Last month, her stomach in a tight knot, she had gone through the entire ceremony in a complete blur.
Outside the room, Blair gathered with the other bridesmaids and ushers. It was a mix of her family, Evan's and Claire's friends. Six couples in all. Devin was waiting for her at the altar, standing beside Evan, just as Evan had stood beside him last month.
She was still more nervous, she thought, than Claire, even though this was her sister's wedding, not hers. Those same b.u.t.terflies, slightly smaller in size, were back in her stomach.
They grew a little as the organist began "The Wedding March" with gusto, filling the already packed church with music. Blair watched the others move down the aisle two by two. And then it was her turn. She looked over her shoulder and winked at Claire. Her sister looked absolutely radiant. Not a trace of nerves anywhere. She supposed that was her job.
"Meet you up front," she whispered to Claire. Taking a deep breath, she began the slow, rhythmic walk down the aisle.
"Nervous?" Uncle John asked.
Claire shook her head ever so slightly, careful not to dislodge her headpiece. "No, excited."
It felt like fireworks were going off in her veins. Wonderful fireworks. Claire saw the trail of flower petals strewed all down the aisle. There were handfuls clumped here and there. Libby's handiwork. She and one of Blair's youngest nieces were her flower girls. Claire's mouth curved as she remembered Libby bragging that she was getting really good at throwing flowers. Libby was eager for the next wedding. With a family this large, there was bound to be another one soon.
Claire's smile widened as she walked beside Uncle John. Toward Evan. He looked so handsome, standing there, she thought. Her heart swelled, knowing she had finally found everything she had ever been looking for.
And to think, unbeknownst to her, it had all started out with a search for Blair. For in Blair's search to find her, Claire knew her sister had found herself, as well. And they had found one another and enough happiness in between to more than fill two lives.