7. After

6 Years Later


As she walked down the aisle, Sean swore that the world stopped spinning. Kaycee caught his eye and visibly blushed, and averted her gaze to the flowers in her hands. The beautiful pink flush of her skin contrasted against her dress, and oh god, Sean thought his heart would burst. He could hear his friends, Josh and Julian, chuckle and nudge him, but he paid them no mind. There was no one but Kaycee Rice.


"You're beautiful." He mouthed when she reached her place at the front.


She eyed him appreciatively in his tuxedo. "You too."


Then the bride walked in.


Soft music filled the hall as Chloe floated down the aisle in a gorgeous white dress. Sean thought that Julian was going to erupt into tears at any moment. He gave his friend a supportive pat on the back, but Julian was completely transfixed by his bride.


The ceremony was simple yet beautiful, just like Chloe and Julian's relationship had always been. No dramatic flairs, just the pure love of two individuals who were always destined to be together.


Kaycee couldn't help steal glances at Sean every now and then, pleased to find that he was always looking at her first. His eyes were pensive, thoughtful. He was radiant in every way.


They breezed through the ceremonies of the reception, with Chloe being clear that she wanted it to be fun and painless for everyone. She just wanted to dance already. Soon, the party was in full swing. Drinks were overflowing, and moving bodies filled the dance floor.


Feet sore from walking in heels all day, Kaycee occupied a table with Bailey and Tahani. Officially done with their wedding entourage duties, they put their feet up and ordered a bottle of wine.


"Don't look now, but someone's trying to get with your man." Tahani whispered to Kaycee over her glass. With zero subtlety, the three ladies whipped around to spy.


Sure enough, there was a leggy brunette, flanked by two friends, chatting with Sean and Josh. It all seemed innocent and friendly, with both guys standing a respectable distance from the women, but Ms. Leggy Brunette kept finding reasons to touch Sean. A lingering caress on the arm, a hand on his shoulder, a playful poke on his chest.


Kaycee saw the polite confusion cross Sean's face when she went to brush some imaginary lint off his coat.


"He can handle himself. He's a big boy." She smirked, turning back around and taking a sip of her red wine.


"What is going on with you guys?" Bailey asked, turning around too. "We never talked about that time in Boston, but you guys were different after."


"Yeah. We couldn't really put a finger on it, but you guys were like...couple-y." Tahani chimed in.


Kaycee shrugged, taking another long swig of wine.


"Come. On. Kaycee." Bailey clapped at her. "It has been 6 years. Even longer because that boy has been in love with you since he was 15 years old."


"I don't know what you want me to say!" Kaycee played innocent, hiding her smile behind the rim of her glass.


"You have been playing this 'are they? arent they?' game for too long. You say he's not your boyfriend, but you act like a couple most of the time. You practically live in his apartment. He drives your car. I mean, you're more married that Julian and Chloe, and they literally just got married!" Tahani exclaimed, pointing at the newlyweds on the dance floor.


Training her eyes on the bride and groom, Kaycee motioned to zip her mouth, indicating she had nothing more to say on the matter. With an exasperated sigh, thankfully, her friends finally dropped the subject.


Two bottles of wine later, mostly consumed by Tahani and Bailey, Kaycee found a glass of water hovering over her face. Her eyes followed the hand to the arm, then shoulder, then amused face of Sean Lew.


"You need to drink something other than wine. I know you like it, but that can hit you hard." He said, nudging the glass into her hand.


"HEY, LEW!" Tahani yelled at him, tipsy from the alcohol. "Put us out of our misery and just get married already!"


"I don't have a ring yet!" Sean quipped back, as he took off his navy blue coat and draped it over Kaycee's shoulders. She contentedly sighed as warmth enveloped her, accompanied by the familiar scent of Sean.


"You guys are disgusting." Bailey scowled at them, equally tipsy. With a huff, she pulled Tahani to her feet. "Let's dance. I can't stand them when they're being like this."


Sean and Kaycee laughed as they watched their friends run off to the dance floor. He took the empty seat next to hers, and rested an arm on the back of her chair. Instinctively, she leaned into his touch, causing him to pull her closer.


"Liar." She said, keeping her gaze on their friends. "I know your dad passed down the ring two years ago."


He raised an eyebrow at her, but she simply shrugged. They stayed in companionable silence, with Sean rubbing warm patterns on her arm.


For a while, neither spoke a word. They watched their friends on the dance floor, Julian and Chloe stealing quick kisses between twirls. They both started feeling the exhaustion settle into their bones.


"So," Kaycee started, breaking the silence first. "What kind of wedding do you want?"


Sean squeezed her arm and turned to her, making her look back at him. His eyes were wide with wonder, but he managed to school his face into mild surprise. His gaze searched hers, trying to find a hint that she was kidding.


"Should we have a church wedding? Or a garden one? I don't thInk I'd want a beach wedding though. Too windy." She continued. Even with the alcohol, Kaycee was dead serious. Finally, Sean smiled.


"I don't care." Sean shrugged, trying to play it cool. "As long as you'll be the one standing next to me, saying 'I do', I'd marry you anywhere."


"But you'd care about the catering though." Kaycee scoffed.


"Oh yeah, you bet!" He laughed. "Hands off. I'm gonna call the shots for that."


"Fine." Kaycee huffed. "As long as you promise not to bake the wedding cake."


"What's wrong if I wanna bake the cake? I'm awesome at it!" He pouted.


"Sean, you CANNOT bake your own wedding cake!" She rolled her eyes at him.


"Wanna bet?!" He said, poking her in the ribs, making her giggle like crazy.


Out of nowhere, Bailey plopped down on the seat next to Sean.


"What are we talking about?" She asked with huge grin on her face. The end of her words slurred slightly, but she looked on control.


Sean turned to Kaycee. "Your call." His eyes said.


"Our wedding." Kaycee replied. She bit back her smirk, and kept her tone light and casual. Sean gave nothing away too, except for the light squeeze on her arm.


"Aaaaah." Bailey said, nodding slightly. Her eyes were glazed over as she slowly turned her head to the dance floor.


One second. Two seconds. Three.


"WAIT, WHAT?!" Bailey whipped her head so fast, her trademark highlights blurred, turning her hair momentarily gray. "What did you just say?"


"Our wedding." Kaycee repeated, learning further into Sean and pretending to be fixated on the dance battle between Will and Julian.


"Whose wedding?"


"Ours."


"Yours?"


"Yes."


"Like....you."


"Yes, me."


"And Sean."


"Yup." He chimed in, making the 'p' pop.


Neither one looked at Bailey, pretending to be too enamored by other things, which surely didn't help their friend's reaction. From her peripheral vision, Kaycee saw Bailey's jaw drop as she stared dumbstruck at the two of them. Then-


"AAAAHHHHH!" Bailey shrieked at the top of her lungs, causing Sean and Kaycee to jump from their seats. The music stopped, and everyone turned to see the cause of the scream.


"WHAT THE HELL?! I HATE YOU BOTH!" She yelled, as she stormed off into the direction of the rest of their friends.


Julian quickly jogged over to Sean, grabbing his arm. "Dude, what happened? What's going on?"


"Oh, nothing." Sean replied nonchalantly. "She just found out we're getting married."


"WHAT?!" Julian raised his voice. "YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED?!"


"Who's getting married?" Josh called out from the dance floor.


"They are!" Julian yelled back.


The room erupted in total chaos, as their friends launched themselves at the duo. Sean kept a firm grip on Kaycee's waist as they felt dozens of hands pushing and pulling at them. Some were frustrated, some were happy, all shocked out of their minds.


"I thought you said he wasn't your boyfriend!" Tahani cried, the alcohol getting the best of her.


Kaycee laughed as she patted her best friend comfortingly on the back. Over the small girl's shoulder, she caught Sean's eye. He smiled warmly at her as he was being jostled about by Kenneth and Alex.


He's not my boyfriend.


He's always been more than that.


~~~


Author's Note: Thank you to everyone who supported this story! All your kind words inspired me to keep this going. Please let me know your thoughts. Hope to see you on my other book, Chapters! I accept prompts, if there's anything you want to read.

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