I watched as Megan walked around with some of her other friends. I sighed, accepting champagne from Bryant.
"Don't worry," Bryant said quietly. "She'll figure it out soon."
I shook my head. "I don't know about that. All this time, I thought I was doing good by making sure she knew she always had me but...."
"What if I made her feel like she had to stay forever?"
Bryant thought about it. "I don't think she feels that way, Thomas." He looked around and I know he was making sure Elvira wasn't around. "If anything, I think she's trying to figure out what to do now that-"
He stopped when Elvira walked up, grinning. It disappeared, though, at the look on face. She sighed and popped her hip out.
"This again?" she asked, her eyebrow arched.
"Oh, shut up," I grumbled and she giggled, pulling on my arm until we were in a side room.
"Sit down, Thomas," she said.
I groaned. "Elvira," I began.
"Hush," she said. She held my hands. "You did an amazing job raising her. Stop questioning yourself, sweetheart."
I looked down. "How can you be so sure?"
She sighed and cuddled up next to me. I kissed the top of her head and wrapped my arms around her. Unfortunately, after she had been raped by Daniel, she couldn't have children. Megan was the only child we had raised and she was my sister. I'm sure it would be different if the child had come from us.
"Do you remember those drawings she would make?" she asked.
I sighed. "How could I forget?"
She would draw a large dragon blowing fire on a knight with my name labeled on it. Behind the knight, she drew different figures labeled with names. When she was a little girl, the best way for me to explain our parents' death by fire was telling her it had been a dragon.
"I know you don't think it worked, but your story that it was a dragon helped her," she said, playing with the fingers on my left hand, twirling my wedding band.
"But then I had to tell her the truth," I sighed. "I felt like I was lying to her, Elvira."
"Did she tell you that's how she felt?" she asked.
"Well... not exactly. But she also didn't tell me that she thought it was all her fault," I pointed out.
"That's true," she agreed. "But she was six years old, sweetheart. She has only hidden one thing from you since then and that's because she's a woman."
I shuddered. "Gross. Let's not talk about that."
She giggled. "My point is that, when the time comes, she'll tell us when she wants to be pursued by men. You can tell her stories of any past experiences, you can tell her about us - although, she probably knows everything. But you cannot force it on her."
I sighed. "What if it's because of Daniel?" I whispered.
She didn't answer right away. Instead, she moved so that she was sitting on my lap. She pulled my head so that it was resting on her chest. I sighed again and she hummed. It was a lullaby that she had created for Megan to calm her nightmares.
"Then we'll help her work through it," she whispered. "Don't stress yourself out."
"That's like telling water not to be wet," I grumbled and she giggled.
I kissed the top of her breast, smiling at the gasp it elicited. I kissed down to the hem of her dress and she inhaled sharply as my kisses became longer. She ran her hand through my hair and I kissed up to her lips. Our kiss quickened as she slid her hand down my shirt and I slowly ran mine up her legs, under her skirts.
Suddenly, someone knocked loudly on the door.
"Oy! Love birds!" Bryant shouted and Elvira turned red. "It's time to cut the cake! Make sure all your clothes are on this time, please!"
Elvira and I both groaned in embarrassment and he laughed loudly, walking away.
After we got married, Megan stayed with Bryant for a few days so that Elvira and I had some time to ourselves. One day, he came over to get more dresses for Megan. He walked into the wrong room, though. It was an embarrassing day for all of us.
"Where are they!?" we heard Megan groan as we walked into the dining room. Elvira giggled. "There you are!" she said. "Come on! Bryant said it's chocolate!"
I laughed as she grabbed my hand and pulled me to the cake. It was large and rectangular. In blue icing, Congratulations Graduates! was scrawled around the top of the cake with some other decorations. It looked delicious and Bryant gave the knife to me.
"Really?" Megan pouted. "Why can't I do it?"
"Because you can't cut straight," I teased and she stuck her tongue out at me.
I smiled and started to cut the cake, Elvira and Megan watching on excitedly. I had just finished when the two women descended on the cake like ants. I laughed as places were passed around. Megan stepped back and started to eat when I felt eyes on us. I looked around.
A young man with brown hair and blue eyes was watching her. I narrowed my eyes as he walked over. Elvira followed my gaze and she pulled me back as he approached Megan.
"Elvira," I said through clenched teeth.
"Let it happen," she whispered. "You want her to be with a young man, here's her chance."
I groaned quietly but stayed beside her. The young man walked forward and bowed a little. I strained my ears.
"You must be Megan Buckley," the young man said.
"You've heard of me?" she asked with a small frowned.
He smiled. "Of course I have. Who hasn't heard of the beautiful Megan Buckley?"
She arched a brow. "What's your name, sir?"
"Ah, yes, I haven't told you." He chuckled. "My name is Roderick Nelson."
"It's a pleasure to meet you," she said and took a bite of cake.
I sighed. "Come on, Megan," I mumbled.
"So, I've heard rumors of a wedding happening soon," he said and she nodded.
"Yes. It's my brother-in-law," she said, gesturing over at Bryant, "if you'd like to send your compliments."
"Actually," he said, "I was hoping that I could escort-"
"Tommy!" Megan said and I narrowed my eyes. "Come meet Mr. Nelson."
I sighed and walked over, smiling at the young man.
"Hello," I said, shaking his hand.
"You are Thomas, correct?" he asked.
"Yes. I am Megan's older brother," I said and held Elvira's hand. "And this is my wife, Elvira."
"It's a pleasure to meet you," Elvira said. "I haven't seen you around. Did you move here recently?"
"No," he said. I saw Megan trying to ease away so I grabbed her arm. "I lived mostly down by the docks. I was an apprentice for the fisherman. I own the fish stall now."
"Oh? You look rather young to run a fish stall on your own!"
He smiled. "I'm 25, ma'am. It took a lot of work but you're not going to get anywhere without hard work."
I glanced at Megan. She was smiling but I saw the boredom in her eyes.
"Will you be attending the wedding in two weeks?" he asked us.
"Yes," Elvira said. "It's my dear brother who is getting married."
"Well, congratulations," he said. "Perhaps Megan would consider joining me."
We all looked at her.
"Thank you but I'm actually the flower girl," she said with a forced smile. "If you'll excuse me, I'm rather thirsty."
She walked away and I sighed.
"Please forgive her," I said. "She's really a wonderful young woman. She's just-"
Roderick held up a hand. "It's quite all right, Mr. Buckley. She's not the first stubborn young woman I've encountered."
"Well, we will see you at the wedding," I said, seeing Megan escape outside.
He bowed. "Good afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Buckley."