Home > Eden (Providence #3)(5)

Eden (Providence #3)(5)
Author: Jamie McGuire

“We gather here, in the presence of God and this company, that Jared and Nina be united in holy matrimony. We here to celebrate and share in glorious act that God is about to perform—the act by which He converts their love for one another into holy and sacred state of marriage.

“This relationship is honorable and sacred, established by our Creator for welfare and happiness of humanity, and approved by Apostle Paul as honorable among all men. It is designed to unite two sympathies and hopes into one; and rests upon mutual confidence and devotion of husband and wife. May it be in extreme thoughtfulness and reverence, and in dependence upon divine guidance, that you enter now into this holy relationship.”

Jared didn’t take his eyes from mine. Just a few feet away from him, Father Julian stepped down to meet me. He looked to Eli, and spoke with a thick accent, “Being assured that your love and your choice of each other as lifelong companions are in God's wil and that you have your families’ blessings. I now ask. Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”

“We do,” Eli said with confidence. He spoke for my father, for Cynthia. He might have even spoken for Gabe, but I felt Heaven was smiling on the moment.

Eli lifted my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckles, and then took Jared’s hand, placing his gently under mine. With a smal , tender squeeze, Eli left us alone at the bottom of the steps, disappearing behind the double doors he had just helped me through.

Jared raised an eyebrow, a permanent smile etched on his face. “That was unexpected.”

“Jack sent him,” I said, feeling my eyes gloss over.

Jared touched my face once, and then the reverend spoke again. This time his voice blurred into the background as I watched the blues and grays of Jared’s eyes shine in ways I’d never seen them. His expression was relaxed and nervous; happy and concerned; every emotion he’d ever felt col ided inside of him in a beautiful display of the barely noticeable shifts in the skin around his eyes and mouth. No one could have noticed it but me, and I read each one as he struggled with a lifetime of duty, and the relief of hearing me promise myself to him.

“Jared Ryel?” Father Julian said. “Are you ready to enter into this marriage with Nina Grey, believing the love you share and your faith in each other wil endure all things?”

“I am,” Jared said simply.

“Nina Grey?”

“I am!”

Our smal audience laughed at my haste. Jared chuckled as wel .

Father Julian regrouped, and then finished his part. “Are you ready to enter into this marriage with Nina Grey, believing the love you share and your faith in each other wil endure all things?”

I waited for the minister to correct his mixup, but he never did.

I nodded quickly. “To Jared Ryel. Yes. I’m ready.”

Father Julian didn’t skip a beat. “Nina, do you take Jared to be your wedded husband? Promise to love him, to honor and cherish him, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, and to be to him in all things a good and faithful wife as long as you both shal live?”


Father Julian repeated Jared’s vows. The closer he came to the end, the tighter Jared’s fingers were around mine. Final y, when it came time for Jared to speak, he didn’t hesitate.

“Yes, and after that,” Jared said. “For a thousand years, and then a thousand more…I wil love you.”

A smile stretched across my face. His hands were cupped around mine a bit too tight, and his body leaned into mine eagerly. This was the moment he had waited for, and he seemed to want to take it all in and rush it at the same time so nothing could keep him from it. That moment in time was the light switch in a dark room, the doorway at the end of a scary hal way. It was anything and everything that had ever saved anyone.

Father Julian closed his eyes. “Father in heaven, You ordained marriage for your children, and You gave us love. We present to You Jared and Nina, who come this day to be married. May the covenant of love they make be blessed with true devotion and spiritual commitment. We ask that You, God, wil give them the ability to keep the covenant they have made. When selfishness shows itself, grant generosity; when mistrust is a temptation, give moral strength; when there is misunderstanding, give patience and gentleness; if suffering becomes a part of their lives, give them a strong faith and an abiding love. Amen.”

I opened my eyes to see Jared looking at me with total love and devotion, more so than I ever saw in the proud eyes of my father.

“What token do you give to perform your vows?”

Bex opened his hand, and Jared plucked a white gold band from his brother’s palm.

“Nina,” Jared said softly. He closed his eyes, thought for a moment, and then looked into my eyes. “What can I say to you that I haven’t already said? What can I give you that I haven’t already given? Is there anything of me that isn’t yours already? My body, my mind, my heart, even my soul.

Everything that is me belonged to you long before this, and it shal be yours long after this. I wil fol ow you anywhere and everywhere you lead. I wil keep you and anyone created with our love safe from all harm. From this day on, I choose you, my beloved, to be my wife. To live with you and laugh with you; to stand by your side, and sleep in your arms; to bring out the best in you always, and, for you, to be the most that I can. I promise to laugh with you in good times, to struggle with you in bad; to wipe your tears with my hands; to comfort you with my words; to mirror you with my soul; and savor every moment, happy or sad, until the end of our lives and beyond.”

A long pause fol owed Jared’s words. No one moved; an awe-inspired silence swept the chapel as everyone took in his breathtaking promise.

He took my hand, and slipped the ring onto my finger. It glided over my skin, and rested next to my diamond engagement ring, as if it was returning home.

“D-do you,” Father Julian stuttered, “Nina, have a token to perform your vows?”

I turned to Beth, whose mascara streaked her cheeks. She opened her hand to reveal Jared’s simple wedding band. I took it from her, and turned to face him.

He grinned, waiting on my promise. I had thought about my vows many times after we decided to write our own. Our relationship had never been traditional, so we chose to make our promise to each other unique to us. I took a deep breath. Nothing I would say would be nearly as articulate and beautiful as what he had said, but I knew wel enough by now that he would love every syl able.

“Jared,” I whispered. I held his hand, and then placed the ring around the tip of his finger. “I choose you as my best friend, and my love for life. I promise you my deepest love, my ful est devotion, my most tender care…through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you. It wasn’t until just now that I recognize that this wasn’t coincidence, or a battle. We were always meant for each other.

Our love is heaven sent, and I promise to honor that forever and always. From this day forward, you won’t walk alone. My heart wil be your shelter and my arms wil be your home.”

The mixed emotions scrol ing across Jared’s face disappeared; the only one left was happiness. I pushed his ring over his knuckle, and he squeezed my hand.

Father Julian put his hand over ours. "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Jared and Nina have consented together in holy matrimony, and witnessed the same before God and this company, have pledged their love and loyalty to each other, and have declared the same by the joining and the giving of rings. By the authority of the state, I pronounce that they are husband and wife." A smal sigh emanated throughout the chapel, and Jared let out a breath of relief, fol owed by a smal smile.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
Most Popular
» Eden (Providence #3)
» Requiem (Providence #2)
» Providence (Providence #1)
» Red Hill (Red Hill #1)
» Among Monsters (Red Hill #1.5)
» Matchmaking for Beginners
» Legendary (Caraval #2)
» Still Me (Me Before You #3)