Four years since Brenda informed Aurik of her work and the men after her they were living happily in Minnesota. Virginia quickly took a liking to Aurik and as such Brenda felt fine moving in with him when he asked her to in the second year of their relationship. Aurik had been ecstatic but now he wanted more, he wanted Brenda to marry him so on their weekly date night he took her to their favorite fine dining restaurant and popped his burning question.
“Aurik” she said with a hand over her mouth and shimmering eyes. “That’s not a yes or no baby” he responded with a soft smile. “Yes” she answered and he slipped the ring on her finger. Aurik kissed her and the other patrons of the restaurant clapped and congratulated them. Aurik kept chuckling as they finished their dessert since his tough, FBI agent fiance was on the verge of tears the whole meal. The only times he had ever seen her show this emotional side of herself was during the months she had to be away from her daughter. It had been horrible to watch her go through so when the men were taken down he was not only happy she was safe but happy she could finally be with her daughter.
When they arrived home they expected Virginia to be happy for them since she loved Aurik so much and even a few times had slipped and called him dad over the years but when they told her the cheerful smile she always wore dropped into a frown. It actually looked like she was hurt they would get married. She ran to her room and slammed the door. Her babysitter was just as blown back as they were. Brenda rushed after her daughter and Aurik paid the babysitter and thanked her for watching Virginia.
He then walked over to the couch and held his head in his hands, honestly hurt Virginia was so upset and wishing he understood why. He thought they had a great relationship and loved her like she was his own. Virginia was sitting on her bed holding a stuffed panda her father had bought her the last time he came to spend some time with her. Brenda sat on the bed beside her “sweetheart, whats wrong?”
“I don’t want you to marry Aurik”
“why not, I thought you liked him”
“I do, he’s really nice”
“Then whats wrong, is there anything I need to know about?” she was silent so Brenda asked “please look at me Virginia” Virginia did and Brenda said “I’m your mother first Virginia. I love you more than anything and I always will. If Aurik did anything to make you uncomfortable I’d want you to tell me. I’ll believe anything. Never be afraid to tell me anything that concerns you, even when it comes to him because you are always my number one” Brenda didn’t think Aurik would ever hurt Virginia in anyway but she still had to ask and make sure Virginia knew she could tell her anything.
“He hasn’t done anything bad momma. I just dont want you to marry him”
“I dont know” Brenda sighed and kissed her daughters head “You still like living here with him?”
“yes, I dont want us to leave”
“will you let me know as soon as you know why you dont want me to marry him? I really want to know why so we can talk about it”
Brenda gave her a kiss on the head then left to check on Aurik. She felt like crying when she saw how upset he was. She sat down next to him and hugged him then pressed a kiss to his neck. “Talk to me baby.”
“I honestly don’t know what to say. Did I do something?” He raised his head to look at her and she frowned at the tears swimming in his eyes.
“Then what happened? I thought we were getting along.”
“She says she doesn’t know why she’s upset or why she doesn’t want us to get married.”
He looked away from her, staring down at the floor and feeling more heartbroken than he ever had in his life. “I think I want to take a walk.”
“Are you mad?”
“Just upset and confused. I still love you guys, I promise, I just need to clear my head.” He gave her a small smile and kissed her then pushed himself to his feet and grabbed his jacket. “I’ll be back, don’t worry.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
His bottom lip trembled slightly as he walked out the door. Virginas reaction stung and he knew Brenda wouldn’t marry him if Virgina wasn’t okay with it. He had been so excited but couldn’t blame either of them. Brenda was a good mom and Virgina would hopefully come around. He hoped he could fix whatever the reason was she didn’t want him to marry her mom. Virginia had to know he loved the two of them more than air.
Brenda didn’t know what to do with herself so just decided to get ready for bed so she could just comfort Aurik when he came back. As Brenda went to pass Virginias room she placed her hand gently on the wooden door with a frown. She paused there a few moments before heading to the bedroom she shared with her boyfriend.
Aurik sighed as he decided to turn around. He still couldn’t figure out a reason Virginia would reject the idea of his marrying Brenda. He wondered for a moment if maybe her father had said something to her, then thought better of it since she and Brenda were always honest with each other. Virginia would have said something. When he got home he quietly closed the front door and locked it, then pulled his jacket off and tossed it over the back of the couch. He knew Brenda must be in bed, so he went straight to their room. The minute the door opened, she sat up, her eyes full of worry.
“You okay?” She asked.
“No.” He replied, “I’m heart broken.”
He sat down on the edge of the bed and she hugged him from behind. “Oh Aurik, we’ll figure things out.”
“Yeah, I know.” He sounded so sad, it brought tears to her eyes and she hugged him tighter. He felt her tears on his shoulder and turned, pulling her into his arms and kissing her. “Please don’t cry Brenda, I’m not going to leave you or anything, I love you and Virginia very much. It just hurts not knowing why this is happening.”
She wouldn’t tell me but maybe she’s confused herself. I know we can work this out with her.” Aurik kissed her “just don’t cry. I can’t handle that. I love you and that will never change. Even if I’m always just your boyfriend I love you”
“will you lay with me?” Aurik slipped off his shoes and shirt then got into bed with Brenda. “I’m sorry Aurik”
“Shh, she’s a nine year old honey. I’m not mad”
“I know you aren’t mad. I just hate that you’re sad and I hate knowing somthing bothering Virginia and she doesn’t know how to tell me”
“As you said, I’m sure she will hon. Just rest and let me hold you” Brenda closed her eyes and relaxed into Aurik until she was finally able to sleep. It took Aurik a couple hours longer but sleep did take him eventually. In the morning Brenda carefully slipped out of his arms to give Virginia breakfast and send her off to school. When Virginia came down to eat she glanced around and frowned ‘whats wrong baby?’ Brenda asked. “Aurik is normally down here too…he hates me now huh?”
“He could never hate you Virginia. He loves you immensely.”
“I feel so mean.” She sat down at the kitchen table and Brenda sat a plate of pancakes in front of her then took the chair next to her.
“Sweetie, you’re far from mean.”
“But he was so upset.”
Brenda sighed. “He was sad, but he’s not going anywhere. He’s willing to wait until you figure out what’s bothering you.”
Virginia teared up as she grabbed her fork and took a bite of her food. “I’m sorry.”
Brenda hugged her and kissed the top of her head. “Shh, it’s okay baby girl, I promise. Just think about it okay and we’ll all talk when you get home.”
“Okay, I will.”
She ate her food and was distracted in school all day. At lunch she took her panda out of her backpack, not caring if the other kids teased her. It was from her dad and it meant a lot. He wasn’t a good dad, he hardly saw her and even when he took her places he had to flirt with nearly every woman he saw. She swallowed, wanting to cry again. That she wouldn’t do in school though. She guessed it had to do with her dad. Her mother marrying Aurik really meant her dad would never be her dad. She decided to go talk to the school counselor. She loved her mother and her new dad and wanted to understand how she felt so she could talk to them about it.
She knew Aurik didn’t deserve her reaction and he especially didn’t deserve to not even know why. She told the counselor as much as she surmised the problem was and he said “smart girl, very self aware to understand that much of it. You do know the principle is going to call your mom to let her know you’re talking to me right? Its a rule here” Virginia nodded “I know”
“Okay, you want my opinion or a listening ear?”
“I want to understand why it upsets me so much when I like Aurik. He’s good to mommma and I….he’s nicer to me than my daddy is”
“well, you’re young sweetheart and even though your brain knows your dad is no good for you its hard for your heart to understand that. Having Aurik become your dad is not only a new chapter in your life but a whole new book. It does change a lot but you know that doesn’t mean your dad can’t still visit you right Virginia?”
“I know he can”
“Would you really want your mom and biological dad together?”
“No, he’d just hurt mom again. He’d hurt us both because he’d just leave us eventually…all hes good at is flirting and leaving” her voice growing sadder and sadder “and whats Aurik good at sweetie?” She was silent for a short period. Brenda got the call from the school asking if it was okay for Virginia to talk to the counselor. She cleared it and the school got off the phone with her. She texted Aurik and let him know what Virginia was doing then went back to her work. “and he always makes us laugh and he is good at teaching me to do things…and best of all he’s good at making me feel safe. I never feel sure with my dad but Aurik makes me feel like he’ll always be there”
“He sounds really wonderful”
“He is and I’ve hurt his feelings”
“You are young and things changing like this can be scary and it sounds like he understands. It sounds like in your subconsious you thought one day your father would change and be with you two”
“Do you think your father can change Virginia?”
“No..I want Aurik…I was so stupid last night…why am I so stupid…”
“You’re not stupid. You are just too small to always understand your feelings and work through them. It’s okay to miss your dad and want him in your life Virginia. It’s perfectly normal. There is more than enough room in your life for Aurik and him. Thats already been shown. From what I know your mother lets him see you whenever he wants”
“Yeah…he doesnt want to often but mom always makes it happen if he will”
“and I’ve met your mother many times. I know that wont change if she gets married”
“and if she marries Aurik he really will stay forever” her counselor smiled “I’m sure he will. It sounds like he’s good to you and your mom”
Aurik looked through the scope of his rifle at each target he had set up. This was the best way to get rid of his sadness, just shoot away the feelings until he could manage not to feel so hurt. A part of him wanted to hunt Virginia’s father down and knock the piss out of him. This was his fault for putting so much on a little girl. He fired at the first target, watching as the bullet hit outside the third ring. He huffed as he moved to the next ring, focusing, trying to ignore the confusion. He could always tell when he felt off because his shooting was never right. He took out each target He let out a little sigh as he got up and picked up all his casings then started down the hill to clean up the targets. All he could do was hope things were a little better today.
When Virginia got home from school Brenda was straight to the point “so you talked to the counselor today?”
“what did you two decide?”
“I do want you to marry Aurik…will he be home soon. I want to tell him sorry” Brenda hugged her daughter “What made you change your mind?”
“The counselor just helped me figure out why I got upset and it was dumb. You getting married means that you and my dad really are never getting back together but he’s not good for us. I love my dad but he isn’t a very good man. Aurik is good to us and makes you happy. With Aurik I feel safe and I never feel that way with my dad”
“I’ll get him home so you can talk to him okay?” Brenda called Aurik who answered right away “yeah?”
“Hurry home, Virginia needs to talk to you”
“I did somthing didn’t I?”
“No, its a good conversation. Just come on”
Aurik was nervous as he pack up his gun and started home. He was nervous, his fingers clenching the steering wheel as he drove. It helped a little hearing Brenda say it wasn’t something bad. He took a deep breath then let it out, telling himself to calm down. He didn’t need to be getting himself worked up.
When he got home he grabbed his gun then headed inside. Brenda and Virginia were waiting on the couch and he asked them to give him a minute so he could unload his gun and put it away. Now that he was back, that worry came creeping back in.
Virginia hugged him “I’m sorry Aurik, I feel so bad I hurt your feelings” Aurik hugged her in return “Don’t be sorry. I’m alright”
“I want you to be my new dad Aurik. Please still marry my mom. I was just being dumb. I feel better now” He lifted her up and even Virginia could see how overwhelmed with emotion he was. “You really want me to?”
“Yeah” He held her almost too tight “thank you Virginia”
“I love you Aurik”
“I love you too sweetheart” He walked over to Brenda and pulled her into the hug. He just held them there, unable to let go. He was so relieved and excited.Soon Brenda said sweetly “Let me make dinner Aurik.Why don’t you and Virginia do somthing together” He let his fiance go and set his step daughter down “what would you like to do Virginia?” He asked as Brenda walked to the kitchen. “will you play Mario Kart with me? The Nintendo 64 version?”
“Of course” Aurik hooked it up and they played until Brenda called them for dinner. “so when were you wanting to get married Aurik?” He smiled so happily it melted Brenda. “I’m good with anytime. First we need to figure out where we want because they will probably only have certain dates available.”
“I want it to be somewhere really beautiful. Google and I are about to be best friends”
There were so many amazing places she could have her wedding, she wound up bookmarking a few pages. Aurik laughed and kissed her when he saw everything she had marked. “I’m so happy you’re this excited.” He said.
“Getting married to someone who loves not only me, but Virginia this much is a bit overwhelming. Sometimes I think I’ll wake up and it’ll have all been a dream.”
“I promise it’s not and I really like the vineyard.”
“Me too and it’s France. There’s also this really nice place on the east coast if you’d like to stay in America.”
“Wherever you want to go, I’ll be happy.”
“I guess I’ll see what dates both have available and decide that way” He kissed her again and listened happily as she talked about different ideas she had gotten online. The next day after work she ordered pizza for her family so she could ask two of her friends in person to be her bridesmaids. She had asked them to meet her at Sadies apartment and they were both there at the edge of their seats wanting to know why she needed to meet with them. She hadn’t posted it to her Facebook yet so they didn’t know she was going to be getting married.
“What’s going on Brenda?” Sadie asked and she just came out with it “Aurik asked me to marry him and I said yes! I wanted you two girls to be my bridesmaids!” The two women practically knocked her over as they hugged her. “Congratulations!” Sadie said then Drea added “yeah, Auriks amazing. He’s perfect for you”
“Is Virginia excited?” Sadie was now speaking again “Yeah” she then told them about her initial reaction and her coming around and Sadie responded “Well I’m glad she came around. Even if she hadn’t yet I would have assured you she would. Aurik and Virginia are so sweet together. He really loves your daughter too. Not many men could love another persons kid like he does. You’d think Virginia was his”
Brenda’s friends were so excited they insisted on doing some window shopping for ideas. She sent Aurik a text saying she would be back a little late and to expect her to have bags. Aurik just chuckled and told her he loved her. He decided since she was going to be busy that maybe he and Virginia could help pick things out. “You want me to pick out mom’s dress?” She asked, looking excited.
“I think you’d pick a good one.”
“But what if she doesn’t like it?”
“She’ll love it. I’ll tell her it’s your surprise for her.”
do you know moms size?” He laughed “of course I do and we’re picking her the size she is now. You need to be part of team lets not let mommy go on a diet for the wedding. She’s beautiful just how she is” Virginia nodded happily. She sat in Auriks lap in front of their family desktop computer and they looked through dress, bookmarking the ones Virginia liked. After a few hours they quit searching and started trying to eliminate dresses. “This is so hard. She’d look so pretty in all of them” He opened up five of them “I think these really fit your mothers style. With this one and this one I think she’ll love you didn’t go with the traditional” Virginia giggled “yeah, so we should probably pick one of those. I don’t think my mom would want to do anything typical with her wedding.”
Brenda texted “Still shopping with the girls, how are you and Virginia?”
“Wonderful, Virginia is picking out your wedding dress. It’s her surprise for you. She’s got good taste” Brenda smiled as she read his message “That’s so sweet. I’m glad she’s truly happy about this..thank you for being patient with my baby” He responded again “I love her too Brenda. I’ll always love the both of you, no matter what happens”
“stop texting and come on!” One of her friends urged and Brenda tucked her phone away, feeling emotion tugging at her heart.
“Can I pick her bouquet too?” Virginia asked, even more excited now.
“Sure, but we have to remember to get shoes to go with her dress.”
“I’ll find something cool, mom’s cool so she needs something cool, but beautiful.”
“Whatever you want.” They spent there time taking care of small details, Aurik texting Brenda so she would know all of her dress, shoe and bouquet stuff was taken care of. He wanted wedding planning as stress free as possible for her. She deserved the wedding of her dreams. The only thing he was nervous about were his vows. He had no idea how he was going to put into words what Brenda meant to him.
He kept telling himself he had plenty of time but before he knew it there was only two weeks until their wedding, two weeks and he had barely two sentences written down. Nothing he wrote seemed to be good enough so he had just kept starting over. Today he was sitting with a friend while he worked on the collage of tattoos on his back and his friend saw how stressed Aurik was “Dude, what’s eating you? You’ll be married to Brenda soon, you should be happy. I sure as hell know it isn’t cold feet. Is Virginia second guessing again?”
“Nothing like that. I can’t write my vows. She means so much to me and I can’t put it on paper for her”
“I doubt Brenda cares. You could go up there say yay, thanks for marrying me and she’d still go through with it. You and Brenda are a really good couple, seriously. How does a blue haired freak like you get a girl like her?” HIs friend teased and Aurik laughed “This coming from a man covered in more tattoos than I am. I know she’d marry me regardless but she deserves for me to write her something really beautiful”
“Why not talk to Arwin? He’s good at the romantic shit” Aurik laughed again “I guess you’re right, I should talk to him.” Aurik stood “I only have two weeks so I’ll catch you later”
Aurik texted Arwin to see if he was free and was relieved when he got a text back telling him to come to the shop. He was covered in oil and grease when Aurik walked into his garage and quickly wiped his hands. “Hey man what’s going on?”
“Needed some advice, what’re you working on?”
“Some guys Harley. Old biker dude, big beard.”
“Awe just your type.”
Arwin punched his shoulder. “Dick.” He said with a laugh. “Alright, let me get cleaned up real quick then we can talk.” Aurik followed Arwin up to his apartment. It rested above the shop. Arwin said it was easier than having to drive to work every day.
Aurik sat down and waited for Arwin to finish getting cleaned up. It honestly didn’t take long if you took into account how much of a mess he had been in when Aurik got there. Skin scrubbed and clothes freshly changed Arwin sat down “What’s going on? Wedding stuff?”
“Just my vows, everything else is going perfectly. I just don’t know how to tell Brenda how much she means to me” Arwin laughed “What do you have so far dork”
“You’re obviously over thinking it. You pull out the sweetest lines when you two are together. Seriously, if you just stop over thinking and let what you feel just flow out onto the paper you’ll have your vows in no time. You don’t need me”
“Could you sit here with me while I try and help anyway?”
“well I guess since you made me a groomsmen It’s kind of my duty” Aurik hungout with Arwin until he had his vows complete. He realized he was over thinking it. Once he relaxed and just let himself think about her and how much better his life was now that he had her and their daughter he easily wrote it out. When their wedding day came those words had Brenda crying and hers would have started him crying if he hadn’t already been before. She was gorgeous in her dress and they lingered in their kiss after the I dos. Virginia just looked at her parents happily. Now the three of them were really a family and she was so happy Aurik had come into their lives.