Literary Yours Epilogue

Ellie stared across the auditorium at her husbands-to-be. They turned their gazes toward her, music filling the air. Her best friend, Todd, stood just before her, ready to walk her down the aisle. “Oh, God, Ell. They look like sin in suits standing up there.”

She smiled at her lifelong best friend. “Thank you, Todd.”

“For what, duckie?” Todd gave her hand a squeeze.

“For being with me. For being my family, my best friend. My matron of honor.” Ellie sniggered. “Man of honor?”

Todd chuckled. “I prefer BrosMaid.” He stuck his nose in the air. “BrosMatron? BridesBro. Oh, whatever. You’re my family, Ellie. It’s you and me against the world. Let’s go get you married to your wet dreams.” As her oldest friend and chosen family, Todd clasped Ellie’s arm and turned to walk her down the aisle.

Thanks to Todd’s wit, Ellie forgot her butterflies and stepped into the aisle with laughter in her throat, but her mirth died while she glided toward the men she loved. They watched her advance with predatory gleams in their eyes, a promise of the wedding night to come. She was about to be handed over to the care of her three loves when Todd leaned in. “I’ve got it. BridesQueen.” Ellie held in her laugh but couldn’t stop a snort. Arch, Wes, and Gray watched her compose herself, amused, and the seriousness of the moment calmed her emotions—somewhat.

The guests watched their friends marry in scandalized glee. The wedding was in ceremony only, as polygamy was still illegal in the US, but the newlyweds didn’t care. They relished the chance to show their love to the world and hoped to help create some normalcy for so-called alternative lifestyles.

One by one, Ellie exchanged vows with Arch, Wes, and Gray. “I promise to keep our family and our interests number one in my life. I promise to love you and hold you in my heart, until the day I die. I promise to sit down with you when we are mad and figure out how to fix whatever the problem is. I promise to honor your wishes and consider them in any major decisions I make. I promise to always stay in contact with you and not make you worry. I promise to bring fire to your life so that we never get bored. I do not promise to obey, because that’s just creepy.”

The attendants tittered with laughter as Ellie gave Arch a soft kiss.

Turning to Gray, she continued. She repeated the first part of her vows, promises to each of her husbands, to keep their family first in her heart. She ended with, “I promise to do everything I can to stay out of a hospital, so that you do not have to set foot in one. And I promise to never try to outdo your mama’s cooking. I will sing with you and read bad comic books. For all my life, I will be yours.”

A strangled sob, or maybe it was laughter, came from the audience, and Gray’s biological mother, Rosa, hair streaked with silver, dabbed her eyes. Gray looked at his parents, love and concern written on his face. His three mothers sat with a silver-bearded man. The women clasped hands, and Rosa nodded to Gray so the ceremony could continue.

Ellie gave Gray a soft kiss and faced Wes. After her promises, Ellie concluded her vows with, “My genius surfer dude. I promise to read with you and pick books to publish with you. I promise to work out with you, even though I’ll hate every single second of it, but I know how much you want me to be healthy. I promise to cook for you and I look forward to many meals prepared by you.” After giving Wes a kiss, Ellie stood back and braced herself to fight tears while her men spoke their vows to her.

Arch spoke next. “Ellie, we wrote our vows together. We started to do them separately but when we compared notes we realized we were stepping on each other’s toes.”

Ellie’s heart swelled. “I think that’s appropriate.”

Wes continued, “Cynthia Eleanor Asche, we promise, first and foremost, to be continuously aware of our jealousy levels. We promise to talk to you and each other if we begin to feel the little green monster rear up.”

“The day you walked into our lives was the day the world settled into place for all of us,” said Gray. “We didn’t know it right away, but you were the missing puzzle piece. We won’t be so corny as to say you completed us, but you certainly brought a funny, quirky dynamic personality into our lives that none of us ever want to be without.”

“We want to grow old with you. We want to spoil grandbabies and argue over the best way to irritate our kids,” said Wes.

Arch chuckled before speaking his part. “We want to become so familiar with you that you always finish our…” He paused and looked at Ellie with raised eyebrows. “Always finish our…”

Ellie gave them a bewildered stare.

“Sentences, Ellie. We want to be close enough that you always finish our sentences.”

The audience burst into laughter, and Ellie’s eyes danced with mirth.

“We promise to be your family and to share our large family with you.” Wes spoke to Todd over Ellie’s shoulder. “And to be family to Todd and Rick, no matter what the years may bring.”

“We promise to get up and get the remote from across the room, so that you can change the channel to make us watch shows we really don’t even kind of want to watch, even if we are not the ones who left the remote all the way across the room,” Gray said through chuckles.

Arch, standing in the middle, stepped forward. “We can’t wait to take the next step in our lives together. We can wait to be your husbands.” He kissed Ellie on the cheek and pulled back.

Wes, on Ellie’s right, slid forward and took Ellie’s hand. “We can’t wait to have babies. Or adopt, or get dogs, or whatever we might decide, as long as it’s with you.” He kissed Ellie on her other cheek and withdrew.

Gray stepped close to Ellie and, dropping his voice, spoke words only she, her husbands-to-be, and Todd could hear. The officiate had moved to the side for the vows to be spoken and was just out of earshot. “We promise to always think of you first in the bedroom. You will never go unsatisfied as long as any of the three of us draws breath in our lungs. And tonight especially, Hermosa, you will be satisfied.” He placed his hands on her cheeks and drew his lips to her forehead. With his lips still grazing her skin, he whispered, “Over, and over, and over.”

As Ellie’s knees went weak and goose bumps erupted over her body, Todd began to fan himself. “Dear Jesus, Lord, get on with this wedding before I keel over dead!” he exclaimed.

Laughter filled the room once again. Thanks to Todd’s inability to control the volume of his voice, everyone got the gist of what Gray had whispered to Ellie. He shot the crowd a devilish grin, and the officiate completed the ceremony.

“As I understand it, the grooms played rock, paper, scissors to determine in what order they would be able to kiss their bride.” The officiate motioned to the happy newlyweds. “I now pronounce you husbands and wife. You may kiss your bride.”

Wes gave Ellie a soft, lingering kiss. He kept his lips touching hers, breathing in her scent. He opened his eyes and found her staring at him, joy radiating from her eyes. With his head pulled back, he brought her hand up to his lips. “I love you, Ellie.”

“And I you,” Ellie whispered.

Arch tapped Wes on the shoulder. “Move it, bro.” Wes gave Arch a good-natured jab to the side as he turned toward their seated friends and family.

He pulled Ellie tight against his body, one hand on her hip and one on her neck. Her head fell back, and she watched his face expectantly. Arch’s lips crushed hers, and she had a fleeting thought about the state of her makeup before her mind was overloaded with the feeling of his body touching hers.

Todd let out an exaggerated cough, pulling Ellie and Arch out of their fervor and allowing Gray room to step forward.

Gray, predictably, stole the show. Taking Ellie by the small of her back, he applied pressure so that she arched her back into a dip. While he supported her weight, he bent down and kissed her with soft, eager lips. Instead of invading her mouth with his tongue, he took the moment to whisper more promises to her. “I can’t wait to take this gorgeous dress off of you,” he said against her lips. “I will unbutton those thousand buttons down your back slowly, until you are aching with anticipation. Just a few more hours, amante.

Wes walked around Ellie and pressed himself to her back when Gray stood her upright. “I thought you might need some support after whatever Gray just said to you.”

“After those three kisses, I absolutely did.” Ellie leaned against Wes, her new husband.

Arch took one hand, and Gray took the other.

The officiate turned to their gathered friends and family. “This new family has decided to take Ellie’s name, rather than trying to decide which of their names she should take. May I present to you, Mr. Beaumont-Asche, Mr. Morales-Asche, Mr. Lawson-Asche, and Mrs. Asche. Please join me in wishing that they live happily ever after.”



Book 2 in the Southern Soil Series is available now!