The sound of coughing woke Catherine early in the morning of May the fifth. She opened her eyes and listened to hear if the coughing would cease, as it had the previous few days, and when it didn’t, she stepped out of bed and slipped on her bathrobe.
Making her way towards Lindsey’s bedroom, Catherine’s concern increased as the coughing seemed to be getting worse. She opened the door to find Lindsey sitting up in bed.
“Are you okay, baby?” she asked her, sitting down in front of her.
Lindsey shook her head. “I’m really hot and I can’t stop – ” The rest of her sentence was cut off by the coughing she was referring to.
Catherine frowned and leaned closer to her daughter, placing her hand gently on Lindsey’s forehead, confirming that she was burning up.
“My throat’s sore too,” Lindsey said quietly, tears brimming in her eyes.
“It’s okay, baby. I’ll call the doctor… You just lie down.”
“I don’t wanna miss the wedding,” Lindsey said, a tear escaping down her cheek.
Catherine smiled reassuringly. “You won’t miss the wedding, baby.”
“What if I’m sick?” the child asked, sniffling.
Catherine wiped Lindsey’s tears away. “Baby, if you’re sick, we’ll postpone the wedding.”
Hours later a visit from the doctor had, unfortunately, informed Catherine that Lindsey had measles. It had taken over another hour to calm her down and convince her that she wasn’t ruining the wedding, and that everything would be fine.
Eventually the girl had cried herself to sleep, and Catherine crept out of her room to ring Gil. She had considered leaving it until the morning so as not to wake him, but thought he would prefer it if she rang him straightaway.
She curled up on her bed, phone in hand and listened as the call connected. Jim would probably be pleased that Gil had said he would have his cellphone on at all times in case Catherine missed him. At least the detective wouldn’t be woken up as well.
“Missing me?” Gil’s voice came over the phone and she could hear his smile.
She laughed a little then sighed softly. “I wish that’s all it was,” she said. “Lindsey’s got measles.”
“Is she okay?” he asked immediately, and she smiled, her heart warmed by the fact that his first thought was for her daughter and not the wedding.
“She’ll be fine. Just needs bed rest… She’s distraught though. She thinks she’s ruined the wedding.”
“We can reschedule,” he said and she could tell that it had been accompanied by a shrug.
“That’s what I told her… She’s still heartbroken though.”
“I’ll call the chapel in the morning and see if there are any other dates available, then I can assure Lindsey that the wedding has just been moved. Do you have any preferences for the new date?”
Catherine smiled. “None at all. A couple of weeks would make sure Lindsey’s fully recovered though… We’ll have to hope no one else catches it… I take it you’ve had measles?”
“I have. Have you?”
“Yeah… Nancy and I had them at the same time when I was eight. That was fun for my mother.”
Gil laughed. “The poor woman… I guess we should sort out the other practical stuff. You call your side, I’ll call mine?”
“Sounds good,” she said, yawning.
“And I’ll call the others… You’ll be busy with Lindsey.”
“I can call them if you like?” she offered.
“No, it’s okay. I’ll do it…” There was a silence and then he added, “Do you want me to come home?”
“Yes,” she said immediately, with a laugh. “But you can stay there… It’s safer for you not to drive while you’re half asleep.”
“True… I miss you though,” he said softly.
“I miss you too.”
“And now there’s no reason for us to spend the night apart,” he commented.
“But we’re half way through it… We can make it,” she smiled.
“I’ll be back as early as possible after the sun comes up,” he promised.
“I’ll look forward to it,” she said, sleepily. “I love you.”
“I love you too… Get some sleep.”
They wished each other good night, and Catherine hung up the phone. She listened for any sound coming from Lindsey’s room and, hearing none, rolled over on the bed and settled her head into the pillow.
There was, of course, some sadness within her at the fact that the wedding she had planned for that day was not going to take place. But the reason, she knew, was out of her control, and at least it was just postponed and not cancelled. Yes, things could have been worse.
She closed her eyes and tried to stop her mind from running through all of the people who would need to be called in the morning.
It was soft lips on her cheek that woke Catherine for the second time that morning. Smiling, she rolled onto her back and captured the lips that had kissed her with her own.
Gil sat down on the edge of the bed as he kissed her and she wrapped her arms around him to pull him closer.
“Missed you,” she mumbled between kisses.
“I’m back now,” he replied, equally as muffled.
The kiss continued for a few seconds and then Gil released himself from her grasp. “I checked on Lindsey,” he said. “She’s lying in bed looking ill… But she seems okay.”
Catherine nodded. “We have to keep an eye on her in case of complications, but she should be okay.”
“We spoke about the wedding. I told her it is not a problem to reschedule for another date, I’d rather she wasn’t spotty on the photos.”
Catherine laughed but hit his arms playfully. “I hope she knew you were joking.”
“Well she reacted the same way you did, so I think she did.”
Catherine smiled proudly at her daughter’s handling of the situation, and then said, more seriously, “She’ll be better once she knows we have a definite date to change to.”
“Which we will as soon as I call the chapel.”
“What time is it?” she asked him.
“Just after seven. We have time for breakfast while people wake up.”
“Mmm,” she purred, pulling his head down to hers, “And what are we having?”
“Whatever you --” he managed to whisper before her lips devoured the rest of his answer.
Two hours later, El Caribe had been booked for later in the month and the wedding guests had been informed of the change. They had all been understanding and all but two had been able to confirm on the phone for the later date.
Greg, however, had reacted to the news rather strangely – almost panicked. It was only when the lab technician and other members of the graveyard shift turned up at the house an hour later that the reason for his behaviour became clear.
The visitors – who had all had measles – came bearing a box that they placed on the coffee table in the living room.
“We got this as a surprise for your wedding reception,” Greg explained. “But we don’t think it’ll keep, so you can have it now.”
Catherine and Gil exchanged intrigued glances and Catherine knelt on the floor beside the table. The sweet scent from the box further intrigued her senses, and she carefully lifted the lid.
Inside sat a wedding cake - one tier with tiny red flowers around the base. And on top of it, a spider wore a bowtie and a butterfly wore a tiara. A smile lit up her face, as they both let out a laugh and Catherine looked at the younger members of their team.
“You shouldn’t have,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”
“We were going for amusing,” Greg quipped.
“Well it made us laugh,” Gil said.
“Great!” Greg exclaimed. “Can we eat it now? I’m starving!”
Sara punched Greg – semi-gently – in the arm, reprimanding him with his name through ground teeth. “The cake is for them,” she added with a glare.
Catherine laughed. “It’s okay… We’re not having a wedding, but who says we can’t have cake?”
Gil gathered plates and a knife from the kitchen, and the team seated themselves around the living room. There was laughter as Gil carefully cut around the creatures in the centre of the cake, before slicing the outer portion into pieces and handing them out to their guests.
“You’ll eat chocolate covered insects, but you won’t damage a spider and butterfly made of icing?” Catherine teased with a smirk.
Gil rolled his eyes at her playfully. “It would be cruel to separate them,” he stated.
Catherine’s smirk slowly morphed into a smile and her eyes sparkled. “Yes it would.”
As Gil scraped a blob of icing onto her nose, and she threw a piece at him in revenge; and as the sound of their mingled laughter filled the air, she knew that nothing ever would separate them. She may have to wait another sixteen days for a piece of paper to confirm it, but he was hers, and she his. And nothing would change that.
A/N: Don’t hate me! It’s realism! The path of true love never did run smooth!
Continues in "Wedding Song"