Chapter 1: Outtake #1
Emma had just drifted back to sleep after taking her pain medication, when she suddenly bolted straight up in bed. The pain evoked by the movement caused her to gasp and clutch her sore ribs. When she looked to her right, she saw the bed beside her was empty.
“Killian!” she squeaked, unable to call out because of the sharp ache. She waited for a few seconds, which seemed like an eternity.
After he’d made sure that Emma was sound asleep, Killian had gotten out of bed to use the bathroom and get a fresh bottle of water to set on her nightstand. When he returned to the bedroom, however, he saw his girlfriend sitting up in bed with her eyes wide and frantic, gripping her side and struggling to catch her breath.
He rushed over and sat down beside her. “Sweetheart, what is it? What happened?”
“I heard a noise and you weren’t here, and I was afraid that…that she…”
“I’m sorry, Love. I thought you were asleep, but it’s okay. You’re safe. I’m right here.”
“But the noise…”
“It was probably just me that you heard. I was in the bathroom and the kitchen.”
“No, it wasn’t you! There was a noise! It sounded like…like a loud thud. Like someone hit the wall! I think someone is in the house!”
“Wait here. I’ll go see what the noise was,” Killian told her, kissing her lightly on the forehead.
He went into the living room and turned on the lights. After making sure that everything was in its place, he continued to check throughout the rest of the house.
When he reached the spare bedroom where he’d placed his overnight bag, he saw that it had fallen off the bed. He figured that when he’d taken out his pajamas and toothbrush, he’d probably placed it haphazardly and gravity had done the rest. He picked it up and put it in the center of the bed where it had no chance of accidentally falling off.
He hurried back to Emma’s room to find her still frozen in the same position as she was when he left.
“It was just my duffel bag, Sweetheart - it fell off the bed. I checked the whole house. All the doors are locked and everything is where it belongs.”
He crawled back into bed and began to rub her right shoulder. She melted against him and he could feel the tension draining out of her body. He eased her into a prone position, and adjusted the pillows until she was comfortable.
“Thank you, Killian. I love you,” she mumbled, the pain medication and draining adrenaline taking effect.
“I love you too, Emma, and I’ll make sure that you’re safe. Always.”
Chapter 2: Outtake #2
Killian and Emma share their first dance as husband & wife.
This Outtake was inspired by a playlist for Devastation and Healing which was compiled by the lovely CSColifer. One song in particular seemed perfect for Killian & Emma's first dance, and the other song is one that I've added because I've always imagined Killian singing it to his bride.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The small reception following the wedding was held outside in the large yard beside Marco’s barn. The weather had turned out to be warm and beautiful, and tables had been set up under various colored canopies, which gave the yard a festive look. A meal was served and the wedding party and guests enjoyed mingling and chatting with each other for a while afterwards. Then it was time for the dancing to begin.
As part of their wedding gift to the couple, Emma’s father, August, and Claire had worked two full weekends to clean out the huge barn, and spent another day decorating it with streamers and numerous bouquets of fresh flowers. A platform had been set up for the DJ, who provided a portable dance floor to cover the concrete area in front of where he would be playing the music.
When the DJ announced it was time for the newly married couple’s first dance, Killian took his wife’s hand and escorted her to the center of the floor. She looped her arms around his neck while he pulled her close.
They had chosen the song “Unbreakable” by Regine Velasquez for their special dance together. The lyrics seemed to chronicle a lot of their relationship from the beginning to where they were now. So many things had happened that could have kept them from being together - insecurities, misunderstandings, physical injuries and emotional trauma - but they had persevered and come out on the other side together, stronger than ever.
Sticks and stones may break our bones
But our bond won’t be broken
We’ll overcome and it’s just begun
Forgive whatever happened
Look how far we’ve come
Battles we have won
You and I are unbreakable
It wasn’t lost on their guests just how poignant these words were to the couple who was currently wrapped in their cocoon of love, swaying to the music as they looked into each other’s eyes.
We’re gonna make it right this time (but our bond won’t be broken)
It won’t be easy to forget the past
I won’t look back (we can’t look back)
‘Cause our love is unbreakable
You and I are unbreakable
As the end of the song drew near, Killian used his thumb to swipe away a tear from Emma’s cheek. “Happy tears, I hope, my love?”
“Happy can’t begin to describe my feelings, Killian. My heart is so full today! I get to marry my best friend, with my family and all of our friends surrounding us. It’s more than I could’ve ever possibly dreamed!”
His answering smile was the one that never failed to make her heart skip a beat or two. Sometimes she had to remind herself that someone as handsome as her husband truly did exist. Seeing him in a tux just added to her opinion that he was the most gorgeous man alive.
“I know exactly what you mean, Love. I’ve never known such happiness in my entire life as what I have with you, and with our life together. Every day I wake up more in love with you than I was the day before, which should be impossible, but apparently it’s not! I can hardly wait to see what our future holds.”
Neither of them noticed that the song had come to an end, until a new one began. This one was Killian’s choice, which he’d selected as a surprise for his bride. As the first few notes of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” started to play, he tightened his grip around her waist and pressed his cheek against hers, singing so that only she could hear.
I found a love for me
Darling, just dive right in
And follow my lead
Well, I found a girl, beautiful and sweet
I never knew you were the someone waiting for me
This time, his thumb wouldn’t have been nearly enough to catch all the tears that were falling down her face. His voice in her ear as he sang the meaningful lyrics had her feeling as though her heart really would burst.
Well, I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know
She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I’ll share her home
I found a love, to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own
She could imagine having children with this man that she loved, even though she’d always questioned whether she would make a good mother or not. He had helped quash those doubts, just as she knew she had done for him.
Baby, I’m dancing in the dark, with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listenin’ to our favorite song
When I saw you in that dress, looking so beautiful
I don’t deserve this, Darling, you look perfect tonight
He pulled back to look at her. “Have I told you just how beautiful you look today, my love?” he interrupted his singing to ask. “You’re absolutely stunning .”
She gave him a watery smile as she nodded slightly and blushed, then kissed him sweetly before he finished singing the rest of the song to her.
I have faith in what I see
Now I know I have met an angel in person
And she looks perfect
No, I don’t deserve this
You look perfect tonight
“You do deserve it, Killian. You deserve all the happiness in the world.”
“And I’ve found it with you, Mrs. Jones.”
Lyrics are from "Unbreakable" by Regine Velasquez and "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran.
Chapter 3: Outtake #3
Scenes from the night before the wedding, Emma & Marco share their father/daughter dance.
Clearly I can't walk away from this story while my beta Mary and I still have ideas for outtakes!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Emma kissed Killian goodbye and watched him drive away. Her fiance was staying at August and Claire’s house for the night in order to honor the tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding ceremony the next day.
She entered the house with a frown on her face, which her father noticed as he came out of the kitchen.
“What is bothering you, Cygnet?” Marco asked.
“I miss him already. We haven’t spent a night away from each other since he came to stay with me after I got out of the hospital.”
Marco grasped both of his daughter’s upper arms and pulled her toward him to kiss her on the forehead. “‘Tis only for one night. Then, God willing, you will be together every night for the rest of your lives.”
Emma gave him a weak smile. “I know, but between not having him beside me, and being nervous about tomorrow, I don’t think I’m going to get much sleep.”
“Try not to worry about tomorrow. It is going to be a beautiful and meaningful day. When I married your mother, it was cold, rainy, and very windy, but it was one of the most wonderful days of my life! Your sweet mother was such a vision, and I’ll never forget how my heart pounded as she was walking down the aisle toward me.”
Emma’s eyes welled with tears. “I wish she could be here, Dad. Even as happy as I know the day will be, I’ll miss her being a part of it.”
Her father studied her face for a few moments, then summoned her to follow him. “Come with me, dear girl.”
She ascended the stairs a couple of steps behind him and they entered his bedroom. He motioned for her to sit down, and began to rummage through the cedar chest at the foot of his bed. Soon he straightened up, holding a box in each hand. Setting the smaller one on the bed beside his daughter, he carefully lifted the lid on the flat, square box that he still held.
Emma leaned forward to peek inside, and saw a thin, ornate band which was studded with clear rhinestones and pearls.
“This is what Penny wore on the day of our wedding,” her father explained, pulling it out of the box. “When she realized that she wouldn’t be alive to see her only daughter get married, she asked me to find this in the attic. Her intention was to have you wear the same veil that she did, which was attached to this band, but unfortunately, we hadn’t stored it as carefully as we should have. The veil itself was yellowed and brittle, so we had to remove it.”
Emma reached out and took the treasured head piece from her father’s weathered hands, handling it with gentleness and love. She lightly traced the pearls with her fingers as she heard her father continue to speak.
“She wanted me to give it to you the night before your wedding, along with this note.” He reached back into the box and removed a piece of stationery, which he handed to Emma.
Unfolding the aged paper carefully, Emma’s breath caught when she recognized the familiar script of her mother, even though it was clearly written with a shaky hand.
My darling Emma,
I wish that I could be there for your wedding day. I trust you are marrying
the love of your life, and that he is a good man, for you deserve only the
Words cannot express how much I love you, and how thankful I am
to call you my daughter. From the moment you became part of our
family, you filled an empty place in my heart that I never even knew
existed. I had always longed for a daughter, and was lucky enough
to be able to choose the perfect one.
Even though I can’t physically attend your special day, please know
that I will be there with you in spirit. I’ve asked your father to give you
this gift as a reminder of that. I know it will look lovely in your hair,
and that you will be the most beautiful bride ever. I promise that I
will be looking down on you with so much love and pride.
I wish you every happiness, my sweet girl.
All my love,
Emma hastily wiped her eyes so her tears wouldn’t drip onto the paper and mar it. After several long moments, she finally looked up at her father, who also had a tear trickling down his cheek.
“Thank you, Dad,” she forced out past the lump in her throat. “This...this is the most priceless gift I could ever receive.”
“She loved you so very, very much, as do I,” he whispered. He cleared his throat, then added, “That will be your ‘something old’, and this,” he picked up the smaller box, “can be your ‘something new’, if you wish.”
Emma raised the lid of the blue velvet jewelry box, and saw a beautiful, sparkling bracelet. In the middle of the band was a side view of a swan with an inset marquis-shaped diamond wing. The remainder of the bracelet setting consisted of a series of diamond encrusted leaves, alternating up and down, all the way around to the clasp.
“I wanted to give you something unique and special for your wedding day, so I had this designed and made for you by a jeweler,” Marco explained. “Remember that even though your name will be Jones after tomorrow, you will always be a Swan - my precious daughter.”
This time, Emma couldn’t get the words she wanted to say to come out of her mouth. Instead, she stood up and hugged her father tightly. He wrapped his arms around her and felt her tears soaking through the fabric of his shirt. After a few minutes, he heard her softly whisper, “I love you, Daddy.”
“I love you too, Cygnet,” he replied, as he wept silent tears.
“Killian, it’s your turn...again,” August said, nudging his soon-to-be brother-in-law.
“Huh? Oh, yeah,” Killian replied, turning his attention back to the game of dominoes he was playing with August and Claire. It wasn’t the first reminder he’d had to be given, as his mind kept wandering to his wedding the next day.
“You’re not having second thoughts about marrying my sister, are you?” August asked teasingly.
“Quite the opposite, in fact. They are all about how I can’t wait for her to become my wife.”
“It’s going to be a beautiful wedding,” Claire commented. “They’re calling for perfect weather, and the two of you have planned everything so wonderfully.”
“With a lot of help from family and friends! Emma and I are so appreciative of all the work that you two and Marco have put into preparing the yard and barn.”
“We were happy to do it, Killian,” Claire assured him. “We wanted to help make your day perfect.”
“I suppose it’s my duty to give you the big brother speech now. You know, the one that says ‘If you hurt my sister, I’ll hunt you down and make you pay!’” August grinned.
“You can save your breath, Aug. You know I’d never hurt her.”
August grew serious. “I know you wouldn’t, Killian. I have no doubt about how much you love her, and how happy you make her.” He reached over and clapped his friend on the shoulder.
Killian swallowed down his emotions. “Thanks, mate.”
“Do you want to keep playing, or would you rather put the game away?” Claire asked.
Killian looked at the clock and saw that it was only 8:30 pm. He sighed and said, “Let’s keep playing. I need something to keep me occupied.”
“Nerves getting the best of you?” asked August.
“Just anxious, I guess. Time isn’t moving fast enough tonight.”
“Aren’t you enjoying our company?” August joked.
Killian chuckled. “Of course I am, but to be honest, I’d rather be spending the evening with your sister.”
“After tomorrow, you’ll be stuck with her for the rest of your life. Might as well enjoy your last night of freedom!”
“I’ll be the happiest man alive to be ‘stuck’ with her, and I don’t consider this to be freedom. I feel incomplete when I’m not with her.”
“Ugh! Enough with the mushiness already!” August complained.
“Hey! You started it!”
“Boys, boys!” Claire interjected. “Behave, August, and give the man a break. Anybody can see that he’s completely besotted. I think it’s very sweet!”
August rolled his eyes, but grinned at his friend. “Fine, I’ll let it slide for now! Maybe we need to play a different game. How about Clue?”
Emma had been tossing and turning in bed for over fifteen minutes. When she heard her phone begin to buzz on the nightstand and saw the name displayed on the screen, she smiled.
“Hello, Beautiful. I didn’t wake you, did I?”
“No, I’m not having much luck getting to sleep. I miss you.”
“I miss you too, Love. I’ve gotten far too used to having you in my arms when I go to sleep at night. I hope I’m not breaking any rules by calling you, but I just had to hear your voice.”
“The tradition is not seeing the bride. I don’t think it says anything about not talking to her. Did you have a good evening with Auggie and Claire?”
“Yes I did. We played some games, although I have to confess I wasn’t very focused on them. I hope you and your father enjoyed your time together.”
There was a long pause before Emma answered, and when she did, Killian could tell that she was struggling to hold her emotions in check.
“He, um, he gave me two things to wear tomorrow. One was…” she took a deep, wavering breath, “One was from...my mom.”
When he heard her voice crack on the last word, it was all Killian could do not to jump in his car and drive to Marco’s house to be with her.
“No, it’s okay,” she sniffled. “It’s really special. She knew that...that she wouldn’t be able to see me get married, so she told Dad to give me the head piece from her wedding veil, and she…” Emma took another shaky breath. “She wrote a note for me. It was like hearing her speaking to me again. I’ve missed our talks so much .”
Killian swallowed thickly. All he wanted to do in that moment was hold his fiancee in his arms.
After several moments, Emma continued. “Dad had a bracelet designed and made for me. I can’t wait to show it to you. It’s beautiful!”
“I can’t wait to see it, Love. I’m sure it’s beautiful, but I’m confident that nothing will compare to your beauty tomorrow.”
“Oh, really? What if I show up in a clown costume?” she giggled.
Killian was glad to hear that sound, after the emotions she’d just battled through.
“Well, my dear, I’m afraid that would be a deal-breaker. I am terrified of clowns!”
Emma burst into laughter, then said, “That’s a good piece of information to know!”
“It better not come back to haunt me, Swan!”
She laughed again, and Killian smiled. Over the line, he heard a soft whine.
“Evie misses you too. I’m letting her sleep in bed with me tonight,” Emma explained.
“Don’t let her get too used to it. That spot is mine for good, beginning tomorrow night!”
Emma sighed. “I can hardly wait, Killian. I am more than ready to be your wife.”
“I know. I just keep thinking that by this time tomorrow, we’ll be married. I will never understand how someone like me could be so incredibly blessed to be spending my life with you.”
“What do you mean by ‘someone like you’? Killian, you are the most wonderful person I’ve ever known! You fill my life with so much happiness, laughter, joy and love. I feel overwhelmingly fortunate that you came into my life.”
“I love you, Emma. You’ve brought light into the darkness of my life, and what was once a bleak future for me is now full of promise and hope.”
“I love you too, Killian, and you’ve done the same for me. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re meant to be together.”
“I feel like we just said our vows. Perhaps tomorrow, all we’ll have to say is ‘I do’!”
“That would be the shortest wedding ever! I think we better have the entire ceremony, or we’re going to have some very disappointed guests.”
Killian chuckled. “Aye, Love. I’m looking forward to every minute of it.”
“Mmmm, so am I.”
When he heard her hum, he knew that she was getting close to falling asleep. It was always a telltale sign when they laid in bed talking every night.
“You sound sleepy, Sweetheart. I’d better let you go.”
“Don’t, Killian. Don’t ever let me go,” she murmured.
“I won’t, my love, but I will say goodnight. I’ll be waiting for you tomorrow afternoon under the arbor.”
“I’ll meet you there, Babe. Goodnight.”
The ceremony the next day was absolutely beautiful, and a dream come true for Emma. After she finished having the first dance at the reception with her new husband, it was time for the traditional father-daughter dance.
Emma had searched diligently for the perfect song to share with her father. She knew it would be difficult to find one that conveyed her appreciation and love to him for giving her the family she longed for most of her childhood.
She’d finally selected “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion. She felt that the lyrics were very meaningful for their relationship.
When the song began, Marco took his daughter’s hand, placed his arm around her waist, and the two began to move across the makeshift dance floor.
“Listen to the words, Dad,” she told him. “They do a pretty good job of expressing what you mean to me.” He nodded, and as the song played, tears slid down his wrinkled cheeks.
You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand, I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love, I had it all
I’m grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don’t know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you
You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ‘cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me
You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
A light in the dark shining your love into my life
You’ve been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you
As the song ended, Emma embraced her father affectionately. “I love you, Dad. If it weren’t for you and mom, I don’t know what would have happened to me.”
“You are a strong girl, and you would have overcome your circumstances somehow, but your mother and I were proud and honored to welcome you into our family. You have always been a blessing to us, and I am so very happy that you found your wonderful young man.”
He turned and gestured for Killian to join them, which he did, immediately taking Emma’s hand as he did so. Marco wrapped his hands around their interlocked ones and said, “I love you both, and my wish is that you will be as happy together as Penny and I were throughout our marriage. Love and support one another. Fight for each other every day. Be kind, understanding, and forgiving, and always remember the promises that you made here today.”
“We will, Dad,” they replied in unison.
With that, Marco smiled, kissed his daughter on the cheek, and left her and his new son-in-law to share another dance.
Lyrics from "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion.
The image of the bracelet Marco gave Emma can be found on the Tumblr post, since I couldn't get the link to work on here.
Thank you for reading!