The two women rushed toward each other, gobbling each other up in big bear hugs. JJ, Desiree and Sarah smiled watching the long over-due reunion. The three along with Fran had decided to surprise Penelope and have their longtime friend make a special appearance to which she readily agreed. Little did any of them know that Emily had a surprise of her own.
“What on Earth are you doing here?” Penelope cried.
The other three quickly joined Emily and Penelope and the affectionate hugs began again. Penelope didn’t realize just how much she had missed her friend until that moment. Emily placed a gentle hand on Penelope’s stomach and gushed with joy.
“I see a lot has changed since I’ve been gone.” They all shared a hearty chuckle. “Hello in there little one!”
Penelope looked around at the guilty faces of JJ, Desiree and Sarah and then pointed her finger at them all.
“You’re not the only one who can pull off a surprise,” Sarah teased.
“Yeah, looks like Derek won’t be the only one surprised today,” JJ added.
Meanwhile, Derek and the guys were in another wing of the mansion getting the nervous groom ready for his surprise wedding. He felt numb still in shock of what was happening. He didn’t see it coming and he wondered how his family and friends managed to pull such a huge surprise on him without anyone, including his baby sister Desiree spilling the beans.
“Come on D, snap out of it!” Truman groaned.
“Yeah, you look like you’re about to pass out!” Reid added.
“I-I-can’t believe this is happening. I mean I thought my idea of a surprise wedding was crazy but this...”
“Oh, come on, Derek when will you learn that when it comes to Penelope, you’ll never be able to pull one over on her! After all she is...”
“The Oracle-of-all-knowing!” They all finished in unison.
“You do want to get married, don’t you Derek?” Dave asked.
“More than anything, more than anything. I just thought that it would have to wait until after the baby came.”
“Well son, it’s happening today, so snap out of it and let’s get ready before that amazing woman comes to her senses.”
An hour later music was heard playing softly while guests found their way to the garden, seated with champagne flutes in hand filled with expensive bubbly. One by one the groom and his men filed in standing next to a floral covered arch. Derek’s childhood minister stood nearby smiling proudly at the surprised look on the groom’s face. Once the men were in their places, Dave excused himself; he was playing double duty today and would now escort the bride in.
Bride’s room –
Penelope sat nervously as the makeup and hair team put the final touches on an already perfect bride. Sharp pains that she brushed off as the movements of an over-active baby continued to plague her. She kept the pain to herself smiling and talking as if nothing was wrong.
“You’re beautiful!” JJ cooed.
“Yes indeed,” Sarah agreed.
“You look like a princess!” Desiree added.
“Ahh thank you girls; for everything. I would have never been able to pull this off without you and especially Fran!”
“We’re family, all of us!” Sarah began.
“It’s what we do!” Desiree chimed in.
“And we love each other,” JJ said finally.
“I’m glad to be a part of this family and I thank you all so much for including me.” Emily said teary-eyed.
“There was no way this day would have been complete without you, my raven-haired beauty,” Penelope teased.
A light knock at the door drew all of their attention across the room as Dave opened the door and stepped inside. Penelope stood and faced him as he proudly crossed the room.
“My aren’t you a beautiful sight!” He gasped.
“Thank you, Dave.”
JJ, Sarah, Desiree and Emily smiled as Dave hugged the bride. Then the four excused themselves as Penelope took his arm.
“Let’s get you married, shall we?”
“Yes, let’s before Derek changes his mind,” She teased.
“That, Kitten will never happen. Now, let’s go before your future mother-in-law comes after us!”
The two giggled and headed out of the room.
Derek’s heart stopped when he saw her at the top of the flower-covered runner. She was breathtakingly beautiful. He’d never seen a sight so amazing in all of his life. He felt the tears and for once in his life he didn’t try to stop them from flowing down his face. She was all he’d ever wanted and all he ever needed. She had saved his life so many times and she had become his safe harbor through many storms.
She could barely feel her feet moving as she drew closer to her future husband. He was so handsome, and it was hard to believe that he had chosen her. He was her hero dressed in a black tuxedo waiting nervously for her to be his wife; his wife, it seemed like a dream. He’d been through so much and had defeated evil and even death. He had shown her what it looked like to fight for life and breath. Penelope loved him because he had also shown her how to love, and today they would be man and wife.
The ceremony was a blur, the words of the minister to love one another set the tone for a new life, new promises and commitments together and forever. Everyone in attendance held a special place in Derek and Penelope’s lives and were witnesses not only to the ceremony but to their love.
“Now, by the powers vested in me I pronounce that you are now husband and wife. Derek, you may kiss your bride.”
Derek smiled through his tears and Penelope did the same as he gently placed a hand on each side of her face, leaning in slowly to kiss his wife. Penelope was so overcome with joy she was now Mrs. Derek...
“OH!” She screamed.
Derek stood wide-eyed in horror as her face was now twisted in pain.
“OH!” She screamed again.
“Baby Girl, what’s going on?” He shouted.
Fran stood and rushed to Penelope’s side as she collapsed against Derek.
“Ma, what’s happening?”
“Derek, it’s the baby...my water just broke!” Penelope moaned.
“We need to get her to the hospital now, Derek!” Fran ordered.
Without a word, Derek scooped Penelope up in his arms and ran toward the exit.
Potomac General Hospital – Evening
“He’s beautiful, Baby Girl.” Derek leaned down and kissed her lips. “Beautiful like his mother.”
“No, I think he has his father’s good looks.” She responded.
“I can’t believe he’s here and on our wedding day!”
“Three weeks early; I guess he showed us how to pull off a surprise, didn’t he?” Penelope joked.
“Yes, yes he did!”
Penelope was exhausted but she managed to smile as she watched Derek kiss their son’s head. Then there was a knock at the door.
“Are you up for visitors?” He asked.
“Yes of course.”
Derek opened the door and the room soon filled with their family and friends. Oohs and awes filled the air and hugs too. Emily made her way over to her friend and Derek pulled her into a long embrace.
“Thank you for being here,” he whispered in her ear.
“Where else would I be?” She hugged him again. “Besides, I need to get my apartment ready.”
“Ready for what?” Derek asked.
“I’m coming home.”
“Does Baby Girl know?”
“No one knows, you’re the first I’ve told.”
He smiled. His friendship with her meant a lot to him so to be the first she shared her news with made him feel as if their friendship was special to her has well. It would be good to have her home where she belonged.
“Emily, come and meet your nephew!” Penelope said from across the room.
Derek released his hold and nodded. Emily looked in awe as Penelope place the tiny bundle in her arms.
“Now that I have everyone’s attention Derek and I would like to introduce Hank Spencer Morgan!”
Reid was shocked, he didn’t know what to say or think.
“Really? I’m honored,” he mumbled.
“You’re the best little brother I could ask for; it just seemed appropriate,” Derek added.
Everyone smiled as they watched Emily doing something that she obviously never thought she’d be doing.
“He looks good in your arms, my raven-haired beauty!” Penelope teased.
Everyone laughed including Emily, unable to take her eyes off of the beautiful baby.
“Get comfortable because I’ll be coming over for free babysitting when you get settled into your apartment.”
The room went silent and Emily’s head shot up shocked and wide-eyed. Then looking quickly at an equally shocked Derek and back at Penelope she struggled to gather her thoughts.
“How...how did you know?” Emily asked.
“Oh, come on, really?” Penelope answered.
“SHE’S THE ORACLE-OF-ALL-KNOWING!” The others sang out in unison.
2 hours later...
The room was quiet and Derek, exhausted from the day’s events sat quietly across the room. Penelope had fed the baby, and both now were sound asleep. He relished in the stillness as the past several months ran through his mind.
He knew love and rejection had the power to cause great pain and had the power to drive men to great acts of good and bad. Derek had nearly lost his life because Penelope had chosen him over Sam. Sam in his anger had nearly stolen his life and his future. He would have missed this day; his wedding and the birth of his son but God and fate had other plans. He’d been remiss over the years to give God his due. Memories of a childhood filled with great loss, pain and humiliation made it easy for Derek to lay the blame at God’s feet.
But he had been wrong and now he knew all too well, that he’d been blessed in spite of what Evil had told him. He’d survived, even though he wasn’t Superman, and he wasn’t indestructible. Love and happiness had found its way to him and even though he didn’t deserve it nor could he explain it, there it was just a few steps away. Penelope and his son Hank were the manifestation of all that was good and possible in the world; proof that God had not forgotten him.
He needed to rest because in a few hours life real life would begin, and he would need to be rested. So, he grabbed the blanket that the nurses had brought in earlier and curled up on the short couch. But before he closed his eyes, he knew there was something he needed to do and so he glanced upward and with a new resolve to do better, he whispered two small words before calling it a night.
“The scars of the scorned mean nothing if the lessons of their intent are not learned.” Cynthia Carlisle Fields
About the Creator
I adore words and I love what happens when we grab them, sleep with them, holler and scream and laugh at them! I love what happens when we throw them in the air and watch them fall magically from our minds onto paper!