Cowboy Take Me Away
Seth blinked slowly, sucking in a deep breath through his nose. It was much dimmer now than when he had closed his eyes, which was saying something given how darkly tinted the windows on Jasper’s Mustang were. He stretched with a yawn, his neck and back popping in the process. Jasper’s hand caught his as he settled into a more comfortable position. Seth smiled as he felt Jasper’s thumb running over the ring that he now wore on his left ring finger.
“You were tired,” Jasper stated.
“Exhausted. Where are we?” Seth asked. He looked out the window but could only see darkness, maybe a cactus now and then. Jasper had been driving for ten hours, maybe more, Seth didn’t ask how fast he was driving. They had left after the reception had finally ended, driving until about 5am before stopping to rest until noon.
“About two more hours from the border,” Jasper answered. He gave his wolf, now husband, a sideways glance. “Imagine how tired you would have been if we’d gone through with the wedding.”
“I’m not even going to think about it!” But he did. “Can we find some food soon?”
“I’ll be on the watch, not many exits in this area.” Seth nodded and turned his attention to the darkness outside the window, his thoughts turning to earlier that week.
1 week earlier…
The scent of tomato sauce, fresh bread and melted cheese proceeded Jasper’s scent, but just barely. He headed down the stairs into the basement apartment of Esme and Carlisle’s that he and Seth shared, carrying an extra large pizza. He was just in time to see Seth throw a bunch of papers in the air and fall back onto the bed with a groan.
Jasper raised an eyebrow as he set the pizza on the desk. He walked over to the bed and picked up Seth’s arm from where he had thrown it over his eyes. “Everything alright there love?”
Seth just groaned again and stared past him at the ceiling. “I thought the whole reason we put off getting married for two years was so we could take our time planning and it wouldn’t be all dumped on us at once.”
Humming, Jasper nodded, “It was.”
“Then why am I buried under all these plans now?” Seth whined. “Do this, check with this person, make sure this isn’t cancelled, did I order the floor that we’ll set up in the meadow for dancing?”
Jasper chuckled. “Come eat and we’ll figure it out together, that’s the whole point isn’t it?” Seth let Jasper pull him up and then followed his imprint over to the futon, where he sat and opened the pizza box.
“Mm, second best smell in the world.”
“And the first?”
“You know the first Jazz.”
Jasper laughed. “Eat up love.” As Seth ate the pizza, Jasper went over to the bed and picked up the papers that Seth had thrown into the air. Even with all the weddings he and Alice had gone through, the amount of paperwork was always dizzying to him. He came over and sat next to Seth on the futon. As he read through the papers and he watched Seth devour the pizza an idea came to mind. Straightening the papers, Jasper laid them on the coffee table and then turned, propping his head up on his fist as his arm rested on the back of the futon. “Seth.”
“What if we didn’t have a wedding?”
Seth paused, looked at him, swallowed the bite he had taken and then asked, “What? You mean not get married? After all this planning?” Seth’s voice rose with each question. Jasper thought it might have risen due to the planning than the not get married part.
“No, no, no. We still get married, we’ll just go to the courthouse, just us and a couple of witnesses.” Seth stared at him and then looked at the papers on the coffee table. “We still have a few months before the wedding, the details will only get worse.”
A few minutes of silence followed. “What do we need for a courthouse marriage?”
“A marriage license, two witnesses for the ceremony over the age of 12 and a judge to sign off on it.”
Seth was quiet again. “That’s it?”
“How long does it take to get a marriage license?”
Jasper thought. “A week, maybe a little less, at least a couple of days.”
Seth smiled. “That sounds perfect. Let’s go see about that license.”
“Man, you guys have some guts doing this,” Jacob stated as they sat in the courtroom, waiting for Seth and Jasper’s turn. Around them were about ten other couples doing the same, some wore dress clothes, even wedding dresses in a couple of cases, but most wore just a nice shirt and clean pair of pants.
“You just say that because you didn’t think of it,” Seth teased.
Jacob snorted. “You have an advantage, Alice is in Italy. I’m surprised Esme let you guys cancel the big ceremony.” Seth and Jasper looked at each other. “You didn't tell her?”
“You guys are the only ones, we figured it would be easier.”
“We’re gonna be in so much trouble,” Jacob groaned, letting his head fall onto Edward’s shoulder. Edward laughed.
“I think it was a wise idea. This…it suits you,” Edward told them.
Seth grinned and squeezed Jasper’s hand. “I think so too. I never wanted to make a big fuss anyway…it just got to that.”
Edward looked at Jasper with a raised brow. “Whitlock?”
Jasper shrugged. “I figured we’d need to change soon after we moved anyway.”
“Good point.” They stood and proceeded to the front of the room where the judge waited.
“You have the license?” The judge questioned. Jasper nodded and handed him the folder with the marriage license inside. Looking at it, the judge nodded. “Everything appears to be in order. Will you be sharing your names or changing them?”
“I’m changing mine, Clearwater, to Whitlock,” Seth stated.
“And your witnesses?”
“Jacob Cullen-Black.” Jacob nodded to the judge. “And Edward Cullen-Black.” Edward raised his hand in acknowledgement.
Making note of that, the judge gave them a small smile. “Let’s get started then shall we? We are gathered together in the presence of these witnesses to join this couple in matrimony, which is an honorable estate, and is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently and discreetly. If anyone can show just cause why this couple may not be lawfully joined together, let them speak now or hereafter remain silent.”
No one said anything. The judge nodded and continued with the ceremony. When he asked for the rings, Jacob and Edward provided them.
Seth glanced at the rest of the room as he turned to face Jasper. Most everyone sitting there watching was smiling, a few of the brides were dabbing tears from their eyes. He wanted to commit this to memory, Seth knew there would be more weddings in the future but this…this was the first.
The afternoon sun streamed through the windows on the right side of the room, highlighting the red tones in the cherry wood that the room was made out of. Some of the fixtures glinted in the light. His gaze came back to Jasper who was watching him with a smile. Seth returned the smile and let Jasper slip the ring onto his finger as he recited the words the judge stated. Seth gripped Jasper’s hand once both rings were on their fingers and vows had been said. They both turned back to the judge.
“By the authority vested in me by the State of Washington and the Office of Justice of the Peace of Seattle, I pronounce you to be husband and husband and extend you my best wished for a successful and happy married life together. You may kiss.”
Not needing to be told twice, Seth threw his arms around Jasper’s neck and kissed him fully on the lips. All around them there were chuckles and laughter. When they broke apart, Jacob slapped Seth on the shoulder. “C’mon married man, we’re treating you to lunch.”
“Sounds good to me,” Seth laughed.
As the four stepped out into the afternoon sun outside the courthouse, Seth was greeted by a group of smirking and slightly annoyed looks from his family and now, official, vampire family. “What?” He asked blinking in confused. “How?”
“Sorry love,” Jasper said from his left side and Seth looked at him with wide eyes. “I knew if they didn’t know at all there would be some anger and we didn’t need that on this day.”
“I texted everyone just before we entered the courthouse,” Jasper answered. The four headed down the steps just as Lilliana broke away from her parents and marched up to them, an adorable pout on her face.
“Uncle Seth!” She exclaimed.
Seth gulped and kneeled down so that he was eye level with her. “Yes Lilli?”
Lilliana pointed a small, sparkly painted finger in his face. “I was posed to be the flower girl!”
“I know. I’m sorry. I just got overwhelmed and…this seemed like the best idea. Forgive me?” Seth gave her the best “puppy eyes” he could.
Lilliana pursed her lips together and stared at him before she finally nodded. “But you owe me!”
Seth laughed and he scooped her into his arms and spun her around. “Anything my darling Lilli.”
His niece hung onto his neck tightly as she squealed. When Seth stopped spinning she gave him a kiss on the cheek. “I want a new cousin!” She declared. Seth blanked, thankfully, Jasper came up and rested a hand on his husband’s shoulder.
“We’ll see Lilli. It might take a little awhile but you’ll have a new cousin eventually,” he told her.
Seth blinked, coming out of his thoughts as he felt the car shift to the right. A town glittered in the darkness off the exit. Turning his head he looked at Jasper. “We should make a stop in Rio on the way.”
“Rio?” Jasper questioned. “Why?”
A grin spread across Seth’s lips. “It’s Carnival.”