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One Step At A Time

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76 Re: One Step At A Time on 28th April 2012, 01:06

A black limousine had driven the girls well and Ricky to London. Jo will never admit this to anyone, but even though after a year of living in London she was still scared of being in London. This would never change. Each time she was in London she got nervous. Lorelai just had to look for a second at her little cousin to know that she felt a little scared being in London at night. Jo smiled shy at Lorelai when she took her hand.
The club was loud and so not Jo’s place to be, until Ricky talked to the manger and they entered the VIP lounge it was more quiet here had huge large red couches and Champagne on ice, well and Elizabeth waiting.

“You are late. I didn’t raise you to let people wait, not when you are the host.” Elizabeth sounded annoyed. “You know in my time the bachelorette party was a nice reception we had tea and sandwiches. Not this.” Elizabeth looked disgusted around.

“Oh Aunt Elizabeth, it is forty years ago that you had your bachelorette party.” Lorelai hugged Elizabeth and handed her a glass of Champagne. “So now Josey, I hope you know what you are getting yourself into. Marriage is not easy, opening a school with your soon to be husband is a huge thing and I am glad that Liam has his lab so that you two love birds have some distance to make each other have moments to miss each other. I hope you wait a few more years with children, grow up a little more and do lots of grown up stuff. And tonight you will have a great time, get drunk and party like a normal nineteen year old girl. To the bride!” Lorelai lifted her glass and clink it gently against Jo’s.

The night went on, Jo had a few more glasses to drink but not that she got too drunk. And she actually started to have fun. John had given her the number of the place they would take Liam and at some point the sneaked away to call him. “Hey, I’m a bride and I would love to say hi to my groom Liam O’Doherty.”

“Sure hold on a moment, I’ll get him.”

Jo waited patiently but she looked nervous over her shoulder, until… “Hello?”

“Hey Liam.”

“Jo? What are you doing you are supposed to have fun on your party.”

“Oh I’m having fun I just needed to hear your voice. Just for a moment you know. So did the stripper show up yet?” Jo asked grinning, she knew Liam was blushing right now.

“No, did your’s?”

Now Jo was blushing crazily. “No!”

Liam laughed on the other end of the line. “Liam?”

“Yvaine?”

“I love you, you know that right?”

“Yes I know, are you okay you sound funny.”

“Yes I’m fine. I… um I’m just getting nervous, my mother just left and she was disgusted by the party and well London will never be my favourite town.”

“Jo, Lorelai would never let anyone harm you, and you know that. How much did you drink?”

Jo thought about it for a moment. “I don’t know think a lot, the room is spinning.”

Liam sighed, he had a hard time thinking himself. “Go back to your party, have some juice and everything is fine. Just calm down okay? And don’t get too used to the looks of the stripper. And don’t forget that you are lovely.”

Jo smiled. “Okay, after all you are soon my husband and I have to do what you tell me to. I’ll love and I’m so looking forward to have drunk sex with you later tonight.”

“Oh man now I’m so looking forward to come home after tonight. See you later.”

“Bye.” Jo whispered and hung up the phone.

“Hey girly, what do you think you are doing?” Ricky had both his hands on his hips. Jo looked guilty at Ricky.

“I called Liam, I just needed to hear is voice.” Jo looked sad at the floor.

“What is it love?” Ricky stepped closer.

“What if I am not enough, what if Liam sees me on the wedding day walk down the aisle and realizes that I’m not the one he wants.”

“Don’t Jo. I’m not letting you do this. It took us Liam and me so long to make you see that you are beautiful.” Ricky brushed some lose hair behind Jo’s ear.

“It is not that, what if… what if one day I don’t arouse him anymore?” Now Jo had tears in her eyes. “What if he always will dream about Lor?”

Ricky pulled her into a tight hug. “I think sometimes he will think about Lor’s body, but he will always love you. I’m pretty sure the two of you will one of those disgusting old couples that still love each other when you are old, grey haired and wrinkly.”

Jo giggled and calmed down a little bit. She suddenly looked up at Ricky.

“Kiss me!”

“What?” Ricky looked shocked at her.

“Kiss me and tell me how I am.” Jo looked pleading at Ricky. “Come on just one kiss, it will mean nothing and Liam kissed you too.”

“Fine one kiss.” Ricky sighed defeated, he felt weird thinking about kissing his best friend. The two closed their eyes and kissed each other rather passionately, well in a way there was some tongue involved. After a few seconds or minutes the two separated and looked at each other. Jo looked expecting at Ricky.

“Oh man this was amazing. I mean I am truly homosexual but man this kiss nearly makes me wonder if I should consider sleeping with a girl.”

“Really?”

“Yes really.”

Jo blushed, ducked and went back into the VIP room, for some reason it made her feel weird to know that she was very close to arouse Ricky. The rest of the night was more or less eventless. They danced, they laughed and had a really good time. And Jo was so glad that there wasn’t a stripper involved.

In the early morning hours the limousine took them all back to Oxford, dropped off Ricky at his flat and the girls at Waterfall Downs. Ellen went home to her kids, while Lorelai brought Jo upstairs into her and Liam’s room she went back downstairs in the living room with a glass of red wine. She felt weird, her little baby cousin… well more sister got married in a few weeks. She was glad that she was now living just a mile away from her. There were moments like this night that she was scared that Jo was still so young. Jo was not even twenty yet. Jo always was more mature then other kids in her age but she surely prayed that Jo would not one day wake up and realize that it was a mistake to get married that early. She loved Liam like she loved her own brothers, but sometimes she wondered if she didn’t overdid it when she slept with him. What if Jo will always suffer under knowing that her soon to be husband has slept with the woman she loved like a sister? Lorelai sighed, she knew that Elizabeth was too hard on Josey but she also knew that Elizabeth just wanted to the best for her only daughter. It took a long time that, a wedding and two sons for Lorelai to understand that she only wants to protect her two precious sons and she would do everything to do so.

“I can’t believe my little Josey is getting married, I still remember changing her diapers. Man that is a live time ago.” Lorelai laughed and took another sip of her wine. She wondered what Liam was doing right now, if he thought of Jo while the stripper pressed her boobs into his face. She grinned she was sure the John would talk to Liam tell him to make sure to show Jo every day how much he loved her even when he didn’t tell her.
Lorelai hadn’t notice that Liam was standing in the door frame, watching Lorelai think about the two most favourite basically siblings in the world. For a moment Lorelai closed her eyes and thought about Edward, not her oldest but her brother Edward. She wondered what he would be like today. He was Jo’s age and Lorelai didn’t even know if he ever was in love. She hoped he was, just as much as she hoped that Jo and Liam would be together forever until they die of old age hopefully at the same time so that none of them ever has to live even just a second without the other one.

“Did you hear her play all those years ago on the Oxford summer concert? The song she wrote for you?”

She might hadn’t notice him in the beginning but now she knew that Liam was watching her.

“When she saw that you weren’t sitting next to me she… she made the song her goodbye, to you and the love she would always feel for you. I was at the same moment she was that night. When John didn’t show up for our first wedding. It broke my heart Liam, and you broke hers.”

Lorelai got up and quickly walked to Liam, she wasn’t wearing her high heels anymore which made him be taller than she was. She tiptoed, steadied herself by leaning against his chest and then she kissed him. One last kiss. One last time he would be the little boy she gave herself as present. It didn’t even matter if he would answer her if he had heard Jo play that night. It only mattered that this kiss was the goodbye of the woman he called goddess and turn her into a sister he never had. She let herself back on her heels while she looked him in the eyes to see if him say goodbye to his goddess.


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77 Re: One Step At A Time on 28th April 2012, 17:16

The boys came home a little later than the ladies, and it was overall a successful night. Liam managed to get drunk without actually passing out or doing anything bad, and by the time they headed back to Oxford he was slowly starting to get sober again. During the evening he and Alfie bonded really great, and the older boy didn’t try anything, although he was just as drunk as Liam. Sometime between John gave Liam a lecture about married life and told him that he needed to show Jo more affection now and then, like little signs that proved that he really loved her. Liam wasn’t good in expressing feelings, so John recommended he should surprise Jo with little presents now and then, it shouldn’t have to be anything expensive, just something like a daisy, her favourite flower, for instance, to let her know that he was thinking of her. Later that night Liam got a lap dance by a stripper, and yes, she did an excellent job, but he couldn’t help but think of Jo and how adorably clumsy she was when she tried to do a lap dance once. Despite having this barely dressed hot woman on his lap, he thought of Jo, and how cute she was, and that he didn’t want to replace her for anything in the world. It really surprised him that he couldn’t get Jo out of his head while the stripper was right in front of him, he really had changed, and it was almost frightening how much.
When they got back to Waterfall Downs, John immediately went home to his sons while Liam was about to go upstairs when he noticed Lorelai in the living room, talking to herself. She seemed a bit tipsy as well, still sipping on a glass of wine. Liam just stood at the door frame and listened to her until she noticed him, got up and walked to him. She took a long look at him, then tiptoed and kissed him, which did take him by surprise at first but then he closed his eyes, enjoying the last time he would ever feel those lips again. Liam finally got his last chance, his chance to set an end to this. It was a goodbye kiss, goodbye to the boy who was crazily obsessed with a woman he could never have. It was definitely not easy to say goodbye, he could tell, because the moment she kissed him he felt his body longing for hers, but it was his body only, not his heart. He felt a lot going on in his pants, but there was absolutely nothing going on in his heart, and he was mature enough by now to know that he would never love her as much as he loved Jo. No, his body had loved Lor’s, but his heart has only truly loved people in his life, one he had lost a couple of years ago, and one he was about to spend the rest of his life with.
When Lorelai took a step back he needed a moment to collect himself, ignoring his body and focusing on his mind instead. A mind that told him that this really was goodbye to his goddess, and hello to his future ‘sister’.

“How are you holding up?”, she asked, noticing how much he was struggling to say something.

“I…ehm…okay, I guess.”

She watched him carefully, knowing that he had a hard time letting her go. “We both know that you and I should never have been, even though we did need each other to see that. I love you as much as I love Josey. So please, Liam, never hurt her, ever! She would not survive you cheating on her. It would break her heart and you should know how it feels to have a broken heart. There would be nothing that could fix her heart again. Because the horrible thing is, she would forgive you. Even though it would break her heart over and over again each time she sees you.”

Liam shook his head. “I’ll try everything not to hurt her.”

“Trying is not enough. You have to promise me that you won’t hurt her.”

“I promise.”

She was quiet for a moment before she continued. “Let me go and be nothing but a memory. You and I were in your past but Josey is your future. Well, and let’s face it, we never were anything real, you just wanted me to, and I needed you. We needed each other.”

Liam bit his lip. God, that almost felt like she was breaking up with him, though they never had been together in the first place…But she did the right thing, and he knew that.

“Promise me not to stand her up on her wedding day”, Lorelai said. “You made sure John showed up on my wedding day because you picked up the pieces of me when he didn’t and that was many years ago…Never hurt my little cousin, and always treasure each moment with her. Promise me that…Fuechschen. Promise me!”

A tiny smile played around his lips. She called him Fuechschen. And this time it felt like an older sister would call her little brother, giving him a cute nickname because she loved him. It felt right.
“I promise”, he said.

She could tell that his blue eyes spoke the truth. “Good.” She gave him one last kiss on the cheek. “Now go to your fiancée.”

He nodded, went upstairs and opened the door to Jo’s room quietly. She lay on her bed, sound asleep. A couple of hours ago he dreamed of ripping her clothes off as soon as he would get home, but seeing her like that, so peaceful and lovely, he didn’t have the heart to wake her up, so he lay down next to her, putting his arm around her. “Thank you”, he whispered. “For showing up in my life.”


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78 Re: One Step At A Time on 29th April 2012, 00:52

The few weeks to the wedding passed too quickly in Jo’s eyes, because suddenly it weren’t weeks anymore it were days until the wedding actually two days. It was the evening of the rehearsal dinner, a rather American tradition but it wasn’t unhandy with this dinner Jo and Liam could say a thank you to everyone who helped them prepare for their big day. Just the closest family and friends came.
The dinner itself was rather boring but not as stiff as dinners in Waterfall Down used to be. There were a couple of toasts and thanks saying and then it when the dessert got served, well no not served but the dessert buffet was open everyone help themselves and walked around. It was a warm summer night and the large glass doors into the garden were open. Jo talked with Ricky when she suddenly noticed something. The entire evening Liam was a little nervous but so was she. Liam was around the entire evening but now he had disappeared, it might be paranoid but the past weeks she felt like he knew about the kiss. She was waiting for the right moment to tell him but they were so busy that there never was a right moment and now he had disappeared.

“Please excuse me Ricky, I have to go to the ladies room.” Ricky didn’t have a chance to answer her Jo ran out of the room and went into the bathroom. Not until the door was closed behind her she collapsed on the floor and placed her head between her knees. She tried to calm herself down but Liam went away without telling her where he went.

“Hey Josey, sweetheart what’s wrong?” Lorelai had seen Jo disappear and she smelled that something was wrong.

“Liam is gone.” Jo whispered.

“Josey, he is not gone. I’m sure he just got wedding jitters.”

“No! No! It is more he is weird since the bachelor parties. He knows that I kissed Ricky and he is mad at me.”

“Josey sweetie, listen I’m pretty sure that he is not mad at you for kissing Ricky. He is just nervous. Getting married is a big step and you two are so young. It is normal to be nervous.”

Lorelai was rubbing Jo’s back in circles. Jo calmed down a little bit but not completely.

“Lor I think I wanna be alone for a little while.”

“Okay, just call me if you need me okay?”

“Yeah.” Lorelai kissed Jo on the top of her head before she left the bathroom. Jo took several deep breaths before she go up and climbed all those stairs up to the tower. Her father had build it when he inherited Waterfall Downs. It was so many years not in use that it had to be first renovated before it was safe again to go on it. Now it was all new and safe. It was a clear night. And as so often when Jo looked at the stars she realized that each time Liam explains them to her she just dreamed and listens him. But she didn’t remember a thing he told her, all she saw where beautiful sparkling dots in the dark sky. She felt cold, scared and so alone what if Liam realized that this all was a mistake? There was one star she knew, the evening star… Yvaine.

“Love is unexpected…” Jo mumbled.


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79 Re: One Step At A Time on 29th April 2012, 18:28

The evening had been peaceful so far, the rehearsal dinner was nice and intimate since only family members and closest friends came, not like the engagement party where at least hundred guests showed up. Yes, it was nice…until it hit Liam. During the main course of the dinner it really hit him. He was two days away from being married. But it wasn’t the getting married part that frightened him, it was the fact that he was about to marry into Jo’s family, and with that family came a world that he never liked, that he never felt comfortable with, that he would always be misplaced in. For the past three years he had been to several occasions such as fancy parties and celebrations in and around Oxford, all coming from Jo’s family, and not once he had felt safe. He felt like a fish thrown into a shark pool, he had no idea how to survive this. Of course he had Jo’s support and she gave him a feeling of safety, but it was not enough. She would never understand how he really felt. And yes, she didn’t really like the society she grew up in, but she was used to it, she knew how to live among those people, how to act in a world full of superficiality. Truth was, she had been and would always be part of this world, whether she liked it or not. But he…he never even came close to this part until he met her, and no matter how many times he was thrown into this world, he would never be part of it. He would never be able to live up to Jo’s standards, he’d always be completely out of place. The worst thing was, he wanted to get used to Jo’s world, but he felt that the more he was trying, the worse it got. She’d be everyone’s princess, and he was the poor country boy. This wasn’t good, not at all. Although he’d never been particularly fond of fairy tales, he did know one thing: the princess never got married to the poor country boy. She got married to a prince. And if there ever was a fairy tale where a princess got married to a boy from the countryside, then only because this boy had been cursed by an evil witch and was in fact a prince, disguised as a poor boy.
But he wasn’t a disguised prince. Anything but that. So technically, there was no happy ending, right? Well, he didn’t need to compare their lives to a fairy tale, definitely not, especially since he was a very rational thinking guy, but at this very moment, while he sat at the table among friends and family, only two days away from the wedding…that moment he realized that something wasn’t right.
That he wasn’t right. Not for Jo, anyway.
Liam felt dizzy. People around him were talking, but he didn’t listen to one word they said. He thought of just getting up and walking away from the dinner table, but he knew that it would be rude, so he stuck it out until they were finally finished with dessert. Sometime in between Jo asked if he was okay because he had grown very pale, but he lied and said he was fine. He really didn’t want to worry her, and he tried to convince himself at the same time before it was too late and he would get a freak out right in front of everyone. While the dessert was served and Lorelai talked about wedding cakes (not that he actually paid any attention), he thought of his old life, just living with Dick in that crappy old flat in London, and he realised how much he missed this life. Sure, it wasn’t the most glamorous life someone could wish for, but he didn’t feel so misplaced. He felt safe. And right now he didn’t. He actually felt vulnerable, more than ever.
The moment dessert was done and Colin asked who wanted coffee, Liam quickly mumbled “I’ll be right back…”, got up and walked out of the dining room. Jo looked irritated and wanted to follow him, but then she felt Graham’s hand on her shoulder.

“Don’t worry, I’ll look for him”, he said, smiling comforting at her, although he knew her well enough to know that she worried very easily.

Liam had no plan where he was going, and for some reason he ended up in the library. The smell of books calmed him down, but just for a second, and then the panic rouse in him again.
It didn’t take Graham long until he found his son in the library, standing in front of a bookshelf, just staring blankly at the book spines.

“Hey, Liam…”

Liam startled, he wasn’t expecting anyone to find him here. He looked pale, almost sick. He wanted to be alone because he didn’t want anyone to see how much he was freaking out right now.

“What’s wrong?”, Graham asked, although he already suspected what was going on. That’s how he looked when he heard that Catherine was pregnant. Wait, Jo wasn’t…?

“Would you mind if you go, please? I just…I need some…time alone.” Liam had a hard time keeping it together, he just waited for the moment to be completely alone.

But Graham didn’t go. “You’re scared”, he said. It wasn’t a question, it was a statement. And Liam didn’t have the energy to lie or pretend that he was fine.

“I can’t do it”, he said quietly. “I can’t marry Jo.”
There he said it. And it felt awful.

His father didn’t react the way he had expected. Liam had prepared himself for ‘Are you crazy? You can’t say that!’, or ‘What the hell is wrong with you? The wedding is in two days!’, but instead just looked at him and then asked very calmly: “Do you love Jo?”

Liam was confused. He had just told him that he couldn’t marry her, and Graham reacted so calm.

“Of course I do!”, he said, glad that he really sounded convincing. After all, he didn’t lie about his feelings for her, he only knew he couldn’t marry her.

“Okay…good.” Graham nodded. “So…what exactly is it that hinders you from marrying her? Is it you age? Do you think you’re not ready yet?”

“I’m not ready…”,Liam started, “to marry into her world. Actually, I will never be ready. I don’t like this whole…this society…it just, I don’t belong here. And Jo knows that just as well as I do, but she tried to ignore it and wanted to make it work, but fact is, it won’t work, not even when we’re married.”

“And you know that how?”

“Because I…because…” It was exhausting…having to defend himself in front of his father. That was a totally common experience for every son, but he wasn’t used to it. “I just feel completely out of place here.”

Graham was very quiet, which made Liam only nervous. His father was quite the opposite of his mother; she would have grabbed his shoulders and shaken him until he came to his senses. She was a very lively person, always straight-forward, whereas Graham seemed a lot calmer.

“Does this feeling of not belonging here overweigh your feelings for Jo?”

Dammit. He sure knew how to find his weak spot.
Liam didn’t answer immediately, because he just realized that in all that panic of never fitting into Jo’s world, he had forgotten what mattered the most: the girl he loved.

“I…ehm…no, of course it doesn’t…”

“Don’t get me wrong, I would never pressure you in doing something you don’t feel comfortable with, but I’m just witnessing a situation that is very familiar to me, not the same, but quite similar. If you do this, cancel the wedding and run away, you might lose the most important person in your life, and believe me, this will be a choice you will always regret, for the rest of your life.”

“I don’t want to lose Jo.”

“I know you don’t, but you might.”

Liam stared at his hands. Graham was right. He really was close to losing her, if he would turn away from her now.

“I have no doubt it will be hard for you to be married to someone who comes from a completely different world, and I also don’t doubt that you feel uncomfortable in this particular society, but you do know that Jo will always support you, right? And you do know that despite growing up in this world, she always loved the simple things? She doesn’t like fancy parties and dresses, she doesn’t like expensive gifts and attention from everyone. Guess why she chose you over all those rich young men?”

“Because I know how to build bombs”, Liam said sarcastically, realizing that his father had no idea what his son had been doing in the past.

“She chose you because she wanted to get away from the world she grew up in. She chose you because you’re the one who can in fact offer her more than any rich boy in the world. You think you’ll be thrown into her world, when in fact she wants to escape it, and you’re her only chance to do that.”

Liam just stared at him, unable to say anything. He just realized two things: firstly, he had been wrong all along. Of course he could marry Jo! And he better stop thinking about running away! Secondly; he could have used fatherly advice in all those years growing up! Of course his mother did the best she could do, but sometimes a boy needed a father to talk to. At least Graham finally had a chance to make it up to him, though he would never completely make up those eighteen years of his life, but he just managed to prevent Liam from losing the one person he loved the most.
Graham sighed. “So there is only one reason for not marrying Jo, only one…if you don’t love her. Marrying someone you don’t love is one of the worst things you can do, and I would never let you go ahead and do this to yourself and to a wonderful girl like Jo. So I’ll ask you one more time, do you love her?”

This time Liam didn’t hesitate. “More than anything.”

Graham smiled. “Then it’s going to be all right.”

And Liam knew it would.





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80 Re: One Step At A Time on 30th April 2012, 01:32

The sudden bang of the door crashing into the wall made them both jump.

“Es ist mir völlig egal das du glaubst das du super schlau bist. Du bist ein Arschloch und auf dem besten Wege dein Versprechen zu brechen du hast besser einen guten Grund meine Kleine so in Panik zu versetzen. Also beweg deinen Arsch, finde sie und berühige sie denn sie hat mich weggeschickt und... was?“ Lorelai looked into two blank faces of to handsome men.

Graham cleared his throat. “My dear that sounded well nice I guess but try to speak a language we speak. Then Liam might understand what you are accusing him of.”

“Oh yeah, sorry got carried away. Okay second try. You stupid bastard, you better have a really good reason why you freak out Josey and are very close in breaking your promised. She sent me away. So move your butt and find her, she is freaking out and trust me you don’t want her mother to find her first.” Lorelai had her hands on her hips and looked sternly at the young man.
“No offence Graham I’m sure you managed to get Liam out of his wedding jitter crisis, but apparently my dear cousin set her mind that only Liam can get her out of hers. And just so you know wedding jitters are perfectly normal I was sitting two days before my wedding on the Stuttgarter train station I called my father and told him that me and the baby are going to China and he has to let John wait at least 6 hours before he told him that I’m not coming. Papa asked me why China and I said maybe they treat me like a goddess because I’m taller than they are. Don’t you dare to tell me differently Liam-smarty-pants. Now go and find Jo I guess she is hiding somewhere where only you can find her.”

“Okay, okay.” Liam chuckled the thought that Lor thought in China they would treat her like a goddess because she was so tall was hilarious, she wasn’t even that tall. When he was in the corridor he looked around he had no idea where Jo would be hiding. For some reason he knew the secret bathroom was not a hiding place anymore since Elizabeth found them in there. He thought about the teachers offices or the headmaster office but all those where still empty places, well not empty but in a way meaningless and Liam knew Jo well enough to know that she was at a place with meaning.

A place she is as close to me without me being there.

His lab was locked and she was scared to go in it without his supervision, but… he sprinted up all the stairs and only slowed down before the last door. There she was his girl.

“The big dipper should be…” Jo checked the piece of paper before she tried to find the stars in the sky.

“You are holding the map upside down and if I’m not mistaken it is a map for the winter sky.” Liam said gently he didn’t want to scare her, what he did anyway.

“Liam?!” Jo dropped the map, took a deep breath and… “I know what you are going to say, and it is okay the whole idea with the wedding and getting married and this school it was all stupid. Just a fairy tale and well let’s face it fairy tales give kids just false hopes, you know a prince rescues the princes from her prison high up in a tower. It is okay really we don’t have to get married, I guess I will follow Jane Austen’s example and stay alone that way I can let my characters do all the things I never do. You know like getting married having children and all this stuff. Oh and dad bought us a wedding present because we couldn’t make up our mind for the honeymoon. He bought us tickets to America and thought it would be nice to do road trip, but well I’m not flying so should have known that it is a stupid idea. But you can have the tickets, I think you can change my name and maybe take Dick and I don’t know. Don’t worry about me I will be fine, who needs a wedding and all this stuff anyway. If I would just know how to read this stupid star map, I can’t even find the big dipper all I find is the moon and the evening star and… and… can I keep the ring? So that I remember where my heart is and because…,” silent tears were running down her tears now, “… and because it fits on my finger…” Jo was trembling and loudly sobbing. “Please don’t leave me Liam. I do everything whatever it is. You want me to decline my inheritance? I’ll do it, I don’t want the stupid money anyway, I don’t want this stupid money anyway, I give it my parents back I give them back everything and in two days I’m not a Williams anyway anymore and then I’m a… oh my God Liam, please.” Jo was gently touching the ring on her finger the only piece of jewellery she ever really cared about. “Please, I’ll do everything… I even learn to read a star map. Or…” Suddenly she looked up, new panic rising in her face, “or is it that you don’t love me anymore? I mean you want me to have bigger boobs? I get bigger boobs, I don’t know how but I get bigger boobs and I… I cut my hair it’s just hair in my eyes so I don’t care even though I do like it long but I’ll cut it short again and… and,” The young girl looked defeated on the ground, “fine you win the wedding is over. You are free to go… I guess you want that back…” Not even being tortured by kidnappers had hurt that much as taking off her engagement ring and holding it to Liam, she couldn’t look at him, as soon he would have taking the ring she would get Teddy and run. She had no idea where she would go but there must be a place on earth that didn’t remind her of Liam. It was just a whisper when she said, “And maybe you think of me once in a while well at least I will tell myself you do. Not that I will ever stop thinking of you. I’ll need a new name Williams reminds me so much of you. I’m sorry you wasted your time the past three years, I ‘m just grateful you found me because if you hadn’t I would have never learned how to live and love.”

Jo had spoken so quickly that anyone would have a hard time understanding her, she was still holding the ring to Liam waiting for her heart to break.


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81 Re: One Step At A Time on 30th April 2012, 17:39

“I love you.”

Jo stared at him, almost paralysed, and holding the ring towards him, not even blinking.
She waited for the ‘but’. She knew there was more to come. There had to come a ‘but I can’t marry you’, or ‘but I have to go’, or ‘but you’re not the one for me.’ Something had to come after I love you. So she waited, still not moving, anxious for what was about to come next.

“And now put that ring back on your finger.” He sat down next to her, and since she still didn’t move he put the ring back on her finger. “I’m sorry I freaked out, I really didn’t mean to.”

Jo looked down at her hand, the ring was back on her finger, then she looked up to him.

“There were a few things that came to my mind, and I guess I was overthinking it a bit, which is not unusual for me. It didn’t have anything to do with you, I swear. I wasn’t freaked out about the fact that I was going to marry you, I was only freaked out about all those things that came with you. But it had absolutely nothing to do with my feelings for you. I didn’t stop loving you or suddenly realized that you’re not the right one for me. Actually the opposite, I more or less freaked out because I think I’m the one not right for you…well, in the sense of social background and that sort of stuff.” Liam took her hand and noticed how cold it was. Jo must have been freezing up here. “I know you don’t care where I’m from, and you’re not interested in those rich snobby pricks- thank God. But even when we’re married I will always worry that one day you realize I’m not enough. For some insane reason you can’t get enough of me now, but that can change, and that’s what I was thinking about earlier this evening. That one day you wake up and realize I was wrong for you from the beginning. That you should have chosen someone from your world.” He tucked some of her loose curls behind her ears. “And you heard me right, I said when we’re married, not if we’re married. So that wedding will still take place unless you change your mind and-”

Jo pressed her fingertips on his lips. “I will always choose you”, she whispered. “And I will never wake up and think that you’re not enough for me. You were the one who really brought me to life. Sixteen years I only existed, but then you showed up and showed me how to live. How could you possibly think you’re not enough for me?”

He shrugged his shoulders. “I just assumed, you know, because…”

“You’re right”, she said, shaking her head. “You’re an over-thinker.” She looked at her hands again. “So…you’re not going to leave me?”

“No!”

“And you really want to marry me?”

“Only if you want me to marry you. If not, I have to-”

“Of course I do!” She threw her arms around him. “There’s nothing in the world I want more!” She buried her head in his shoulders and felt some tears of relief running down her cheeks. She thought she had lost him, so close to the wedding, and now she had him back. She had a hard time believing it, inside she still worried that he would change his mind any second.

“Jo, there’s something we need to talk about…”

Jo held her breath at the seriousness in his voice. She sat back to look at him, scared what he would say next.
“What is it?” Her voice was more a whisper.

Liam cleared his throat. “Although I really appreciate it that you wanted to change so much in order to keep me, I have to say that it’s…it worries me.”

“What worries you?”

“I feel like…ehm…how can I put it? You act like one of those obedient little housewives, like I’m your master and you do everything to please me. That’s not…well, a relationship shouldn’t be like that. I mean, I’m aware there are plenty of guys who like it when their girlfriend is completely obedient because that makes them feel superior and manly, but I actually feel kind of uncomfortable. You listed all those things you would change just to make me happy, but you completely ignore what you really want. It’s like you’re not your own person, and I don’t want you to feel like you have to change your whole personality just to please me, that’s really not what I want.” Liam paused for a moment. “I know you only mean good, but it’s disturbing to see what kind of extremes you would do in order to get my attention. I just worry that you become one of those women who never raise their own opinion because they don’t want to contradict their husbands. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for fights, but if I could choose between fighting with my wife or a wife who doesn’t have an opinion on her own, I would prefer the fights. I mean, I don’t have anything against stereotypical male and female roles, but my mother raised me in a way that made me understand that women are just as equally important as men, and I really don’t give a damn about women who try to do anything humanly possible to make their husbands happy but have to sacrifice their own happiness by doing so. Do you get what I’m saying?”

Jo lowered her glance. “I just…want to be perfect for you.”

“Then you don’t have to change a thing”, he said. “Not one. You don’t need to cut your hair just because I like it short. You don’t need to get bigger boobs just because you think that I like them bigger…I love yours, really, I do!”

Jo started to blush. “Really?”

“Yes! And all your little flaws…they are adorable, and they are part of you, and I don’t want you to change a thing unless it would make you really happy. But not because you think you have to. When we’re married I want you to be the girl I met, and not the girl you try to be in order to please your husband. Are we clear?”

She looked quietly at Liam. There were moments when he was the most insensitive jerk on the planet, and then there were moments when he said just the right things to make her feel better again. She smiled shyly. “Yes, sir.” Then she took his hand. “Can you promise me not to get any wedding jitters again? That really scared the hell out of me.”

He smiled back at her. “Promise.”


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82 Re: One Step At A Time on 1st May 2012, 01:59

Friday, 12th June 1970

Jo opened her eyes slowly well not enough for her to actually see the morning world but it would have been enough to get a kiss –there was definitely some sun-, but something was wrong… there was no kiss. Her hand was searching the other side of the bed, but this all got even more wrong. The bed was empty, and unslept in.

“Liam?” Jo lifted her head and looked sleepy around, she felt the panic rise in her until she remember that it was her wedding day.

“Oh! My! God!” Jo sat up wide awake.

“Oh good you are awake, here I have breakfast. I didn’t know what you want to drink so I brought chocolate milk, tea and coffee and the caterer made breakfast for you, Croissants and raspberry marmalade and...”

Jo held her hand over Lorelai’s mouth and mumbled. “Too many words!” Just before she collapsed back into the pillows. “Is Liam okay?”

“Of course I saw him in the kitchen looking for you but he is back in the Guest house. Come on you need to eat something.” Lorelai brushed Jo’s hair out of her face. “I know you are nervous but please eat something.”

Jo sat up and ate some of her croissant and sipped her chocolate milk.

“As soon you are done you have to take a bath and we have to roll up your hair, and there is so much to do so come on get moving.”

“Urgh, that sounds so stressful. But okay, let’s go.” Jo got up and went into the bathroom to get clean. “Hey Lor? Liam is okay, right? I mean he is…”

“He can’t wait to see you again. He was like a lost puppy. Speaking of puppy Ricky is washing Teddy right now and John is making sure your little ring bearer is nice and shiny, I think it is adorable the Edward is carrying the rings.” Lorelai smiled, she knew Jo was nervous. It was a big and long day and Jo actually missed Liam no matter that she had seen him thirteen hours ago.


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83 Re: One Step At A Time on 1st May 2012, 16:52

Of course, it was almost impossible to actually sleep the night before his wedding. Liam would sleep in the guest house, since it was tradition not to see the bride until he actually stood at the altar- which really sucked- but the more he had to look forward to. At 2 in the morning he was still awake, staring at the ceiling, and every attempt to fall asleep failed. He was almost preparing himself to a night without any sleep at all when, at around 3.30, his eyes got so heavy that he had to close them, and finally fell asleep shortly afterwards. And for the first time in years he dreamed of his mother. In all those years he saw her twice, maybe three times in his dreams, not more. He hated that fact, because in his dreams he had at least the chance to see her again, but he just didn’t dream of her, which made him feel like someone didn’t want to give him the possibility to look at his mother again. But this night he saw her. Not clearly though, she was more a blurry figure, but just knowing that she was there made his heart beat faster, and so much lighter. For some reason he was only twelve years old, and Catherine hugged him and said he was wrong by thinking she wouldn’t be there at his wedding. Because she never left in the first place.
Liam wanted the dream to go on for longer, but then he felt someone pulling the blanket roughly away, and he almost jumped out of bed when he saw Dick glaring at him coldly.

“Jesus!”

“No”, the older man replied dryly. “It’s just the one who’s going to kick you out of bed if you don’t get up.”

“Why are you…what time is it…what…?” Liam looked confused from Dick to his watch. It was still early, and he was sure Jo was still asleep. “When did you…how did you…?”

“Five minutes ago. And don’t ask me how I got in here, you know I have my ways.”

“Yeah, better if I don’t know…”, Liam mumbled. He didn’t want to say it, but he was very happy to see Dick. He had no doubt the older man hated attending a wedding, not to mention being the best man, but here he was, making sure the groom wouldn’t oversleep. Liam tried to supress a grin.
“You’re going to get changed, right?” He raised his eyebrows as he scrutinized Dick who wore a black leather jacket over an old shirt and trousers. “You might scare some people like Jo’s mother. Wait…that’s actually very tempting…You got your gun with you?”

“You want to me to blow someone’s head off?”

“No, not today. But you really need to wear that suit I laid out for you.” He ignored Dick’s grumbling. “If I had the choice I would show up in nothing but my Guinness boxershorts”, Liam added jokingly.

“Spare me with that sight”, Dick replied.

“It’s not like you haven’t seen that before.” Which was right, because he often used to walk around in just his boxers back in his old flat, which made Dick really uncomfortable.

“Shut up, kid, and get dressed.” Dick got out his gun and turned it in his hand. He wouldn’t need it today, but he never left the house without one.
A smile appeared on Liam’s face. God, how much he missed his grumpy flatmate. Not that he would ever tell him, but he didn’t need to, it was obvious.
Liam looked at his watch again. They still had a couple of hours until the ceremony started, and he already felt nervous, not extremely, but a bit. Only a couple more hours and Jo would be his wife. That was the most amazing thought, still unreal somehow, but definitely awesome. He couldn’t wait to see her in her wedding dress. He couldn’t wait to start the beginning of the rest of their lives.


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84 Re: One Step At A Time on 2nd May 2012, 01:25

Lorelai bushed Jo in the bathroom and check her little cousin that she looked flawless, no hair at the wrong place, no spots that didn’t belong there so after another long time of torture -well Lorelai called it beauty treatment- Jo was send into the bathtub. And it went on and on and on. Lor turned her hair into beautiful big curls. Ricky brought a little snack and finally Jo was ready when she looked down at herself and started crying. “This is so wrong I don’t wanna wear this dress it is so wrong! It is ugly.”

Elizabeth looked hurt at her daughter, after all she was wearing the dress she wore on her wedding and her mother on her wedding. “But Josephine, it is a family heirloom.”

“I’m sorry but I can’t wear this I rather get married in a shirt and boxershorts from Liam than this.”

“Okay we can fix this,” Ricky looked at the dress, “okay no we can’t fix this. Lorelai?”

“Yes thinking give me a moment…”

“Lorelai you can’t be serious.” Elizabeth looked at Lorelai in shock.

“Yes I am serious, Jo said she doesn’t want to get married in this dress and I’m not letting her walk down the aisle in a dress she doesn’t like. Ha! I have an idea, I’ll be back as soon as I can Jo you stay here don’t leave your room. Ricky make sure the guests are occupied and Aunt Elizabeth don’t look so sad your daughter is getting married.”

Ricky went downstairs with a grumpy Elizabeth when Lorelai ran out of the room to find John she needed the car key.
Jo went in the bathroom to fix her makeup, she brushed her teeth again and waited for Lorelai to come back.


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85 Re: One Step At A Time on 2nd May 2012, 14:39

Liam knew he had it better than Jo because the groom never needed so much time to get ready, unlike the bride who needed hours for make-up, hair and dress. Well, he took longer than usual to get dressed and ready, because he actually wanted to look quite decent on his wedding, but when he was done he realized that they still had hours to go, and he was pretty sure Jo wasn’t done yet. Her crew, including Lorelai and Ricky, had probably just started yet, so he didn’t expect her to be ready for another two hours. He wouldn’t get a chance to see her earlier anyway, the first time he would see her today was when she walked down the aisle.
Liam just left the bathroom, fully dressed and ready, when he ran into Alfie who had apparently been waiting for him.

“No”, the older boy said without any expression in his face. “Go back.”

“What? Where?”

“You seriously expect me to let you walk to the guests with your hair looking like that? Have some taste, will you?”

“Ahm…what’s wrong with it?”

“It looks like you haven’t even used a brush.”

“But-“

“No but!” Alfie pushed him back into the bathroom and grabbed a brush. “Sit down.”

Liam felt weird, not only being bossed around like that, but actually having another guy brushing his hair. He tried everything not to blush, but he couldn’t avoid it and stared uncomfortably at his hands. He just hoped Alfie wouldn’t make any of his blunt comments, that would make him even more uncomfortable.

“There we go.” He took a step back and looked at the groom. “Now you can get married.”

“Thanks…” Liam’s cheeks were still flushed, but Alfie smiled at him more in an encouraging way, not in a ‘I’m totally checking you out’-way. “You think I’m allowed to go to the main building?”

“Why shouldn’t you? I don’t think you have to wait here until someone from the main building is so nice and allows you to leave the guesthouse.”

“Okay, good.” Liam didn’t want to spy on Jo, but he at least wanted to get closer to her and was bored of being stuck in the guesthouse. He and Alfie went to the main building, and while Alfie noticed an old professor of his and went directly to him to talk to him, Liam snuck upstairs. He was so curious to see Jo that he actually stopped in front of her room, but he hadn’t planned on going in until he heard her sobbing.

“Jo?” Liam opened the door but covered his eyes because he didn’t want to ruin the surprise of seeing her in her dress. “Are you okay?”

“Liam!” Jo jumped up from the stool in the bathroom and ran into her room, directly into his arms. He still kept his eyes covered. “I’m not wearing my dress yet, you can look at me.”

“Sure?”

“Yes!”

“Okay…” He lowered his hand and looked at her. She was only dressed in underwear –very nice, white shimmery silk- and God, she looked beautiful just like that. Did she really need a huge, fluffy dress that would cover all this beauty? But something was wrong. Why did she cry? “Jo, are you okay? Please don’t tell me you have changed your mind.”


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86 Re: One Step At A Time on 2nd May 2012, 23:55

“What? No! I didn’t change my mind I would never change my mind, it is my dress mother wanted me to wear is so horrible. I mean look at it.” Jo pulled him along to show him the dress.

“Jo I can’t look at your dress before.” Liam tried to stop her, but Jo showed him the dress before he could do anything. “Wow um that is… ugly.”

“I know that’s why I was crying. Lor disappeared I think to get a new dress, and then you showed up. What are you doing here?”

“I missed you, and hoped if I can’t be with you I can at least be close to you.” Liam smiled sheepishly.

“You look so handsome. Oh no does it bring bad luck when I see you before the ceremony?” Suddenly Jo covered her eyes with her hands. She looked so cute it made Liam chuckle.

“I think it is okay.” He pulled her hands gently away from her face to kiss her. It felt so good to kiss her again. His hands were running down her body and whispered. “Do you like what you wear?”

“Um yeah, but Liam it is just underwear and the underskirt. I can’t get married in this.”

“But do you like to wear it?” He asked a second time.

“Yes, I do. It… feels nice the soft silk on…” Jo blushed she felt dirty to tell Liam that she liked the silk on her skin.

“Good can you wear it more often, you look so amazing… hot.” Liam touched his soon to be wife. “When is Lorelai coming back?”

“She said she needs the car key from John so I guess a while. Why? You wanna leave? Please don’t go yet, I’m so glad to see you.” Jo pushed her body close to Liam’s, just a few seconds later before he could answer she felt it. “I guess you missed me too.”

“You are sure Lor is gone for some time?” Liam whispered while he lifted her on the dressing table.

“Yeah.” Jo mumbled, his touch was so distracting. For a second the old fear of not being enough for him appeared. She knew it was stupid, but she couldn’t stop once in a while thinking about it. Liam grinned at her, this moment here with Jo was already amazing but it got even better. Jo moaned and tried to muffle herself so that no one would hear them passing the room.

“Josey? I got the dress.” Lorelai said loudly. Jo and Liam were both still out of breath, her cheeks were flushed and Liam had just second to pull up his pants and straighten his shirt.

“Josey?”

“I’ll distract her and you sneak out as soon she and her are in the bathroom, no peaking at my dress.” Jo whispered.

Liam nodded and hid behind the closet.

“Hey you are back.” Jo tried to say calmly.

“Yes come on we don’t have a lot of time. You have to walk down the aisle in half an hour.” Lorelai pulled Jo in the bathroom and put on the dress. “I got this dress for the mission when I wanted to marry John, well our cover was to be newlyweds and this was supposed to be my wedding dress but no idea who decided the size but it never fit me, but it should be perfect for you.”

The first walking down the aisle were Edward carrying the ring led by Teddy, the dog made sure that Edward arrived at the front row.

Next was Gracie smiling in her baby blue dress scattering the white and red rose paddles on the ground. “I’m allowed to do that. Missis Jo said so.” She whispered once in a while to the guests, just to make sure she did the right thing.



And then it started, first the violins then the many other instruments joined in. The moment for everyone to look forward to take the fist glimpse of the bride.

Ricky and Lorelai walked down in a soft gold. Just to take their places on Jo’s side of the altar. Lorelai smiled at Liam, while Ricky had tears in his eyes.

Jo was so nervous when Colin offered his arm. “You look beautiful.”

Jo went pale when she remembered something she should not have forgotten.

“Shall we my dear?

Jo nodded.

The audience rose, Liam turned around and there she was his bride slowly floating down the aisle just looking at him a small shy smiling on her lips. Lorelai was right the dress was made for Jo. Jo felt like she was flying that’s how it must feel to be in space. She wasn't wearing a vail but a little flower chain, not that she knew what kind of flowers it were, but it was her something blue. Her dress was something borrowed, her lingerie is something new and her engagement ring was something old, not to forget the silver sixpence in her shoe she got it from Graham two days ago it was an old Irish coin.

Oh God I love him so much, please let him always love me.

Colin kissed her gently on the cheek. “I love you darling.” Colin placed Jo’s hand in Liam’s and smiled. This was the most wonderful moment, he never realized how wonderful it feels to know that Jo was perfectly safe with Liam and in her life. Jo was grown into the most wonderful women he could have ever pictured, and part of it was thanks to Liam.

“You may be seated.” Said the minister loudly.


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87 Re: One Step At A Time on 3rd May 2012, 15:50

From the moment Liam had sneaked out of Jo’s room, everything had been a big, hectic blur. People started talking to him and congratulating him- most of them he didn’t even know. Then he finally saw a familiar face among the guests and was relieved when his father took him aside and saved him from all those people he didn’t know. Graham had spotted him among the guests and got him out of there, and shortly afterwards they had to go outside anyway because the ceremony would start soon. Before Graham joined the London Orchestra and Liam went to the front, next to the minister and Dick and Alfie, he turned to his father who hugged him tightly.
“Your mother would have been so proud of you”, he said, and Liam only nodded because he had a terribly hard time saying something. Just thinking of her made it hard, but he had no doubt she would have been happy for him today.
From the moment Graham let go off him and Liam went to the front, he stopped noticing what was going on around him. He didn’t pay attention the guests or that church dude who said something to him. He didn’t pay attention to Dick who mumbled something behind him, or Alfie who asked him if he was okay. Liam was completely lost in thoughts, his eyes wandered to the guests, and secretly he hoped to see his mother’s face among them, which, of course he didn’t…and then little Edward appeared with Teddy, followed by the flower girl Gracie, who was followed by Lorelai and Ricky. Liam did take notice of Lorelai, but only for a second, because then the music started.
And then came Jo.
As radiant as the sun, as shining as a star. So breathtakingly gorgeous that his heart stopped beating for a second. He wanted this moment to stop, right there, so that he could always remember this part, this angel who came walking towards him, this girl who had changed his life entirely.
Colin kissed Jo on the cheek before he let her go, and then she stood next to Liam, and he saw her and nothing else. Jo smiled shyly at him, her cheeks slightly flushed, her eyes sparkling as if they had caught rays of sunlight. This was the girl he had been waiting for his entire life. In all those years before he met Jo he wasn’t even aware that he was waiting for that one special person, whereas his mother had always known that this girl would come into his life one day.
Jo had tears in her eyes, but she held them back, smiling happily at him. Liam couldn’t stop looking at her, staring, admiring, adoring this perfect creature in front of him. What did he do to deserve this wonderful, charming, beautiful, lovely girl?
The minister kept talking, but neither one of them really paid attention, they only had eyes for each other, until the minister mentioned the vow. Liam still didn’t react, so the older man carefully touched his shoulder, and finally got the boy’s attention.
What do you want, church dude?, Liam thought. Can’t you let me look at my bride?

The minister cleared his throat: “And now Liam and Jo want to declare their love in their own words.”

Oh…the vow!

Liam got out the piece of paper he kept in his left pocket. He stared at the piece of paper in his hands, his bad handwriting, every third word crossed out…It had taken him forever to find the right words to describe his love for Jo. It wasn’t something he could just write down on a piece of paper. It wasn’t something he would ever be able to express. Sure, he was anything but a poet, and he always had an incredibly hard time expressing his feelings in any way or form. Writing them down was definitely easier for him than saying them aloud, but there was no way that he could actually write down what he felt for Jo. He just couldn’t. Yes, he could write things like ‘she’s pretty, she’s nice, she’s loveable’…but none of these things really expressed what he felt for her. How important she was for him. He had spent hours writing things down on paper, crossing them out, starting a new piece of paper, and the pile of trashed paper in the bin grew with every minute. He wondered how on earth men like William Blake or Alfred Tennyson had been able to express so many feelings in words. How was that possible? So, after many tiring, exhausting hours he finally managed to get some tolerable, kind of nice-sounding things on paper.
But now, standing in front of so many people, looking down at the piece of paper he held in his hand, made him realize that the things he had written down were not even close to express the feelings he had for Jo. So he crumpled up that piece of paper and stuffed it into the pocket of his blazer when he realized that he had accidently stuffed Jo’s knickers in there. Liam blushed and tried not to give this little dirty secret away, so he quickly cleared his throat and stuffed the paper into the empty pocket.
Jo seemed a bit confused when she saw what he did with the paper, but he shot her a comforting smile, letting her know it was okay.

Liam took a deep breath. This was it.
“People who know me are aware that I suck when it comes to writing anything remotely emotional…”
Some people had to grin when he said that, especially Lorelai.
“To be honest”, he continued, feeling how his heartbeat slowly relaxed. “When Jo suggested we should write our own vows I immediately knew that I was going to screw that one up. But I didn’t want to let her down, so I sat down and actually tried to write that thing, which resulted in many hours of God-knows-what, but not in the result that I had in mind. I have to admit, I actually switched the radio to the classical music station, hoping that would give me any sort of inspiration, but well…it didn’t particularly help, it only made me fall asleep.”
The guests started to laugh again except Elizabeth who had probably hoped her son-in-law could be a little bit more romantic. Liam’s eyes met with his father’s for a brief moment, who shot him an encouraging smile.
“Anyway”, he said, almost lost in thought. “I realized I couldn’t write a vow…” He didn’t see Jo’s look on her face but he knew that she probably looked disappointed because she had hoped for his vow. “I couldn’t write that vow because I need to stand right in front of you in order to be able to say what I always wanted to say…” He turned his head slowly towards Jo, forgetting about the countless people who were watching them. And in that moment he saw her, and only her. Her brown eyes, her tiny freckles, the flowers in her hair…she was so intimidatingly beautiful, he had no words for it. “Josephine Yvaine Williams…”, he started, taking a deep breath before he could continue. “Thank you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for your smile. Thank you for the way you hold my hand. Thank you for your patience, your kindness, your laughter. Thank you for your tears. Thank you for the way you look when you wake up, so beautifully fragile. Thank you for the way your eyes light up when you’re happy, you have no idea how lovely you are. Thank you for making me a better person, for bringing out the best in me. Thank you for caring about me and taking care of me, I never really told you how much that means to me. Thank you for making every day special…” He paused for a moment. Silent tears were running down Jo’s cheeks, and he could actually hear quiet sobbing somewhere among the guests, but he didn’t look at them, he kept his eyes on his future wife. “Thank you for loving me. Thank you for letting me love you”, he continued, trying to keep his voice calm, which was really hard. He took one last deep breath before he finished. “Thank you for being so lovely every single day. Thank you, Jo…for the day you stepped into my life..."










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88 Re: One Step At A Time on 3rd May 2012, 21:19

Jo knew the sobbing belonged to Ricky, she remembered hearing it when they read Romeo and Juliet in class while she was reading Romeo and Ricky was reading Juliet so they learned how the other sex felt. Normally she would have turned around to look if Ricky was sobbing because of the wedding or because he was dangerously hurt, but right now she didn’t care if everyone around her vanished into thin air. The only person that mattered was Liam. Jo knew it was her turn to say her vow but she was frozen, no not because of stage fright or because this wasn’t right but because this was so right that she needed a couple of moments to gain the strength to speak, to tell Liam her love. She had written many version of her vow, and Ricky had at least five pieces of paper in his pocket for her, but right here she knew none of the version was the right version. They were all written by the literature student Josephine and none by the girl Jo.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw Lorelai holding her vows in her hand, but Jo shook very slightly her head signalling her that she didn’t need them.

“Josephine, it is your turn to declare your love in your vow.” The minister said gently. Jo looked not for a second away from Liam.

“It’s not Josephine, it’s Jo.”

Liam grinned, there she was the girl he loved the girl that spoke her mind. Jo took a deep breath.

“Liam Seamus O’Doherty, you once called me a princess and that I deserve better then you. But you never thought about that a princess is nothing but a word, when I bleed my blood is just as red as yours. Every day I have a crazy genius moment and all you do is be there until I’m done, you never judge me, you never made me feel not to be enough, you taught me to fly, to see the beauty of life…” Jo wiped her tears away she was smiling but she still couldn’t stop crying, Liam brushed his thumb gently over her face. “You make me laugh and cry at the same time, you make me happy and sad because every moment we spend together means we are getting closer to the day that our lives end, I don't want to spend one second in heaven without you nor do I want to spend a second without you living. I always thought to love someone makes me whole somehow but with you I am not whole, with you I am myself. Each moment we are together I can be the girl I always wanted to be. I know I don’t have to be smoking hot like… Mina.” Jo smiled teasingly at him, she used on purpose his nickname for her cousin. “I can be myself and know that every freckle, every out-sticking hair, every little flaw makes me the girl you love so much. All my life I was like Peter Pan looking through Wendy’s nursery window wanting to be a part of her life, but the window was locked I never realized that I have to stop flying, to come down to the ground to find… my prince. Royalty is not something you are born with, true royals are born in ashes and dirt and rise above it. And you turned me into a true princess, not a girl in fancy dresses, lots of jewellery and a crown, no a princess that is loved for her heart not her looks. The greatest treasures are not gold nor jewels nor works of art, they cannot be held in your hands; they are held within your heart. All those worldly things can fade away as seasons come and go, but the treasure you gave me once and give me every moment we are together again and again is the treasure of your true love it will never lose its glow unlike every star, it will never stop shining. Liam you make me shine in a light I never thought I would be able to shine. Wherever we are, whatever we have, when I look at you I am at home. Not just a house, no this home is in my heart and it stays there forever with you. You love me for me and for nothing else. Liam I love you more than any words ever can express, I love you more than the universe is wide, you are every character combined from every book I ever loved and more. You made me see that just because something always was doesn’t mean it should be. You are the book want to read over and over again to find new hidden massages in it. I love you endlessly, even more than there are stars in the sky. Not I am the princess, but you are the prince that saw the poor awkward girl and with your love you make me the lucky one. Agus tá tú mo mionbhrístíní i do phóca, go ndéanann dom do bhrídeog gan mionbhrístíní. I am so thankful destiny brought us together. I love you!” Jo was sobbing just as Ricky, but her tears were more like a silent river.

The minister smiled. “Do you Liam Seamus O’Doherty take thee Josephine Yvaine Williams to your lovely wedded wife?”

Lorelai and Ricky were both crying just as many guests, and for just a second Jo saw behind Liam standing the one women she called mummy when she was little and Anne smiled before she faded away. Jo knew this was the moment her life would begin.


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89 Re: One Step At A Time on 3rd May 2012, 21:40

Fact one: Liam never cried.
Fact two: He had a hard time keeping it together right this second.
Fact three: He wondered if Ricky still had any water left inside his body
Fact four: There it was. This itchy feeling in his eyes, which people called tears.
He didn’t let them go like Jo did, they remained in his eyes, but still…there they were, and it was the first time Jo witnessed it.
The moment she was finished with her vow there was a silence, a beautiful silence, and then he smiled at her. “I love you”, he whispered, so quietly that only Jo could hear it.

“Do you Liam Seamus O’Doherty take thee Josephine Yvaine Williams to your lovely wedded wife?”, the minister asked.

This was it, no turning back.

“I do.”


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90 Re: One Step At A Time on 3rd May 2012, 21:51

Jo felt so many butterflies in her stomach. She had such a hard time not jump into Liam’s arms and kiss him until she needed to breathe.

“Do you Josephine Yvaine Williams take thee Liam Seamus O’Doherty to your lovely wedded husband?”

Jo grinned.

“I do! I do! I do!”

The minister laughed quietly. “Do you have the rings?” He asked Liam.


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91 Re: One Step At A Time on 3rd May 2012, 21:59

Two-year old toddler Edward walked to the front after his mother gave him a sign, and he grinned at both Liam and Jo, not quite sure what to do, but the minister smiled at the little boy, petted his head and took the rings from him. Edward remained in front, just watching the show, and Jo and Liam didn’t mind.
The minister handed Liam Jo’s ring, and Liam took her hand and put the ring on her finger. He knew that he had to say this stupid church stuff now, but at least it would guarantee him to marry his girl, so he obediently said: “With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
Man, who in the world is talking like that nowadays?

But the sight of the ring on Jo’s finger made it worth it.


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92 Re: One Step At A Time on 3rd May 2012, 22:33

Jo was still crying out of happiness. She took the ring from the little heart shaped cushion, took Liam’s hand and put the ring on his finger.
“With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Her heart was beating so fast she felt like her chest would explode any second.

“I now pronounce you…”

Liam pulled Jo gently closer and kissed her. Some guest laughed, Elizabeth more shrieked.

The chuckling minister continued more out of tradition then actual need. “… pronounce you husband and wife. You may continue kissing the bride."

The guests were applauding, people trying to congratulate the newlyweds but the two young geeks were glued to each other.

“Aaaahh!” Little Edward was squeaking panicked he was still standing behind Jo holding on to her dress and all the big people scared him.
Jo let go of Liam and picked up Edward. “Hey little man, I thought I told you not to interrupt kissing people?”

“Sowwy, much big people.” Edward grinned at Liam, then at Jo and then he shouted. “Habby birday Li-Jo!”

Jo laughed she felt Liam’s hand on her back holding her as close as possible making sure no one would take his wife away not that Jo would go anywhere. She grinned over Edwards head at Liam and said. “Missis Josephine Yvaine O’Doherty.”


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93 Re: One Step At A Time on 4th May 2012, 20:16

Liam took a long look at his wife, he just didn’t want to stop looking at her, not now, and not any time soon. He wished he could just look at her for the rest of his life…oh wait, technically he could. Because she was his wife now.

“Why are you grinning like that?”, Jo asked him.

“No reason”, he said. “I just realized how lucky I am.”

Jo wanted to reply something, but the same moment the minister reminded them to officially sign the wedding papers, so they did that, and then went straight to the professional photographer who would take their wedding pictures while tea and sandwiches were served for the guests, accompanied by music played from the London Orchestra. They did various pictures, most of course with the newly married couple but also with Jo’s parents, Jo and her maid of honour, Liam and his best man (Dick tried really hard to crack a tiny smile, but he looked so creepy that he kept his typical face on), the couple with Ricky and Lorelai, and Liam with Graham, and a few with the couples and both parents. While taking the pictures Liam realized something. There was nothing that could ever fill the hole in his heart his mother left after she died, but at the same time, if he hadn’t lost her, he would have never met Jo. He would have never moved back to his grandparents’ house when he was fourteen, and one year later he wouldn’t have met Dick on while Liam was on his way out of the country. He would have never met Lorelai…and thus, he would have never been introduced to her little cousin. It was a hard realization, because if he could, he would do anything in his power to get his mother back…but there was no way he could think of losing Jo, or the possibility of never even meeting her.

“Hey there pretty groom, smile!” Jo noticed his absent face, and he quickly tried to get rid of the thoughts he just had.
The last few pictures were the couple again, while the others went back to the guests. While Jo smiled happily into the camera, he just watched her, watched the way her smile lit up her face, the way her eyes sparkled in the light, the little dimple over the right corner of her mouth. It sounded weird, but in a way he felt like Catherine had given Jo to him.

“Okay, I understand that you admire your beautiful bride, but do you think you might want to look into the camera as well?”, the photographer asked, laughing.

“Oh…yes.” Liam quickly cleared his throat and turned his head to the camera. A smile appeared on his face as he felt Jo’s hand wandering down his back.


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94 Re: One Step At A Time on 4th May 2012, 20:35

The photographer had taking the last pictures, he left the newlyweds alone while he went to the party to continue taking pictures there.

“Hey Liam, wait… I erm I want to give you your wedding present here while we are alone.”

Liam looked at her curious while he followed her inside. There was a rather big but slim wrapped present in green wrapping paper.

“Here careful. I hope you like it.” Jo sounded very shy, she was scared that the present would upset him. “I never liked my dress and I wished to wear a Cinderella dress, weird that Lor had a dress exactly like it.”
He unwrapped the present carefully and then help the framed painting in his hands. He –in a grey suit- and Jo -in a white dress were in the front, while Colin and Elizabeth were standing behind Jo and behind Liam stood Graham and in his arm was…

“It’s your mom, I painted it from memory from a picture in her room in Ireland. I hope she looks okay… Liam are you okay?” Jo stood behind him, not daring to touch him.


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95 Re: One Step At A Time on 4th May 2012, 21:40

When he unwrapped the present and looked at the picture, his heart stopped for a second. Jo was so gifted in drawing that the painting looked more like a real photo. A photo that would never be real, and yet it felt right. There was not one picture with him and both his parents, and when he was little he thought there would never be one with him and his father, but always with him and his mother…and now that there were actually pictures with him and his father, his mum was no longer there. There would never be such a picture, him with both of his parents.
But Jo had managed to capture Catherine so beautifully, had made her part of this wedding, part of Liam and Jo as a couple. He knew it was only a painting, but it was the closest it could get to have both his parents at his side. Like it was supposed to be. And never would be.
He heard Jo asking shyly if he was okay. He kept looking at his mother as if he had the power to get her out of that painting. He put the painting down, very slowly, almost as if he worried it could break into pieces like glass. Then he turned around, immediately noticing that Jo looked scared. She was about to say something- probably apologizing- but he didn’t let her, because he pulled her into a tight hug. He didn’t say anything, he just hugged her, not wanting to let go. She had no idea how grateful he was. How happy it made him to finally have a picture with him and both of his parents, next to the girl he loved the most.
He closed his eyes, smelling the vanilla shampoo mixed with the scent of the flowers in her hair. She smelled so incredibly good!
After a minute of just keeping her tightly in his arms, he said, very quietly, almost in a whisper: “Thank you.”


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96 Re: One Step At A Time on 4th May 2012, 22:25

Jo smiled. “I wanted to get you something really special something no one else could give you…”

Liam kissed Jo passionately, while he held her as close as possible.

“Hey guys, I know you are in love and everything but dinner is ready to be served and your guests are really waiting for you. What is this?” Lorelai looked at the painting on the kitchen counter. She knew right away what it was, it was an amazing picture and she knew Jo made it for Liam.

“This is a beautiful painting Josey, maybe the best you ever made.” She smiled at the painting. Jo kissed Liam one more time and then she let go of him and hugged Lorelai tight. “I think he reason why you and Liam understand each other so good is because you both lost your moms before they should have gone, but they will never leave you. Not as long as you keep remembering them.” Jo looked at Liam she knew that he had a hard time believing this, and she would never pressure him in believing something. All she hoped that his heart knew this and would overrun his mind once in a while and even if it just would be for a second.

“I know Josey. Liam you can be lucky to have such a wonderful wife. I can’t believe how grown up you to are. Listen whatever happens I want you two to know that I am always there for you, no matter what.” Liam looked a little uncomfortable. “Come here little bro.” Lorelai pulled Liam into the tight hug she was having with Jo. “You two are my favorite smarty-pants-geeks I ever met! But I’m starving and so are my kids so if we not soon go outside and join the dinner I’m not guaranteeing for anything my sons do.” Lorelai grinned and put the painting carefully back on the counter. It was actually funny how a painting that had no one special on it was so valuable, maybe not for the world but for a few persons it was unpayable.


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97 Re: One Step At A Time on 5th May 2012, 19:00

Liam took Jo’s hand and they followed Lorelai outside, to the giant tent where all the guests were already talking and listening to the music. The dinner would be served soon, but first came the cutting of the cake, which, of course, was the honour of the newly married couple.
All guests stopped talking and turned their attention to Jo and Liam as they both held the knife and cut the cake, and once again Ricky had a hard time holding it together. Dinner was very nice and took almost two hours since they had various courses and took their time, and then the moment of the dance arrived. Liam had dreaded this moment ever since they were engaged, but he didn’t want to let Jo down. He actually got some help from Ricky a few weeks ago, but Liam felt so awkward dancing with Ricky that he kind of messed up most of the time, while the other boy, who really tried to focus, had a hard time focusing at all after Liam constantly stumbled into him and got, well…very close. So it hadn’t been the most successful dancing lesson, but at least Liam had tried.

Jo seemed very confident getting to the dance floor, he had no doubt that she already practiced enough, and girls generally didn’t look ridiculous at those dances, so she didn’t need to worry. Liam tried to remember what he had to do next. Of course Ricky had been the girl while they practiced, but Liam had felt so weird putting his hand on the other boy’s hip that he almost forgot that part all together while he was standing in front of Jo.

“Hand”, she whispered, but before he could do anything she took his hand and placed it on her hip, and Liam remembered again what he had to do. A smile played around Jo’s lips. “It’s so cute when you’re nervous.”

“I’m not nervous”, he said, but his rather high voice gave him away. Of course he was nervous. It was one thing not to be a particularly gifted dancer (that was the understatement of the year) but it was another thing that there was a massive tent full of people, all eyes on you only.

“It’s okay”, Jo whispered and kissed him on the cheek, which immediately calmed him down. The same moment the music started. It was not just any music Graham played on the piano, it was their song, Jo's and Liam's, and it belonged to them only.


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98 Re: One Step At A Time on 6th May 2012, 00:44

Jo giggled. “Liam you are supposed to lead.”

“Oh.” Liam blushed.

It made Jo giggle, Liam pulled her closer. “It’s okay Liam I’m just teasing you. You actually do not a bad job. With whom did you practise?”

Liam blushed a little more. “Ricky.”

Now Jo started laughing. “I wish I had seen this.”

“Sir! Do you have an invitation this is a closed party.” One of the stewards tried to stop a very drunk Victor.

“You bet I got one. This is basically my wedding. Josephine was supposed to marry me. She is bloody my bride. I deserve her money, I am from the most important family just because we went bankrupt doesn’t mean I don’t deserve some respect. She is my bloody wife. Do you hear me Josephine? You will see that the Irish disease will leave you like they all do. He will get drunk and leave you for a hotter chick. I deserve you. Your money is mine! You are mine!” Victor managed to reach the dance floor and pulled the surprised Jo out of Liam’s arms.
Victor’s breathe smelt of booze, and he held her arm tightly. “You are bloody mine. Every night I fuck Maggy I think of you. You are always in my mind, and I dream of fucking you!”

“Let me go.” Jo whined, but Victor just held her arm tighter. He really hurt her.

“Sir, you are not invited I have to ask you to leave, you are not welcome here.”

“Go to hell!”

Everyone was staring at them, the scene was rather ugly. Victor crashing completely drunk the party, hurting Jo and no one really knew what to do.

“You are bloody mine!” He snarled into her ear.


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99 Re: One Step At A Time on 6th May 2012, 16:22

For a moment Liam just stared at Victor who had pushed him roughly aside and pulled Jo to him. When he finally realized what just happened, he was ready to kick this bastard’s ass, and he so didn’t care what the guests were thinking. He would do it just like his countrymen did, not with pointless debating, but with using their fists. That’s how Ireland had survived the past centuries, though people might argue they could have acted a little more rational instead of punching each other’s living day lights out each time they had an argument. Normally Liam wasn’t one who started fights, but with Victor it was something else, especially when the other boy came too close to Jo.
Liam was just getting ready when Dick suddenly pulled out a gun, but instead of shooting he hit Victor so hard on the head with it that the younger man was completely knocked out. All the guests took a few steps back, gasping.

“I could have done that, too, you know”, Liam said dryly as he looked down to the unconscious Victor.

Dick shrugged and put his gun back into his pocket. “You think you’re grown up now?” He turned to Liam. “Guess what, you still need someone who kicks ass for you.”
In other words, Dick tried to tell him that he wanted to protect him, no matter if he was now married and lived with someone else.
“And the girl, too.”

That made Liam smile. For one, because Dick never called Jo by her name, he always called her ‘the girl’, just like he never called Liam by his name, and the other was the fact that Dick just said that he was willing to protect both of them. So that showed that he really accepted Jo, and Liam dared to say that Dick was not as completely indifferent about her as he thought.

“What?” Dick noticed Liam’s smile. “You’re not going to hug me, are you?”

“Don’t worry”, Liam replied, still grinning. The same moment he felt Jo’s arms around him, hugging him very tightly, while John and a few others carried Victor away and called the police to pick him up. Liam could tell she was scared.

“Hey, it’s okay…” He stroked her cheek. “That douchebag is not going near you, not ever again.”

“Josey, are you all right?” Lorelai appeared next to them, looking concerned at her cousin. Jo nodded quietly.

“That bastard had completely lost it now”, Liam mumbled.

“Yes, because he no longer has money left, and his last hope to get money was Josey, and you took that away from him”, Lorelai said.

“Oh, I’m so sorry”, he said sarcastically and rubbed Jo’s shoulder. “You okay there?”


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100 Re: One Step At A Time on 6th May 2012, 19:13

Jo wiped her tears away and nodded. “I’m sorry I knew I should have protected myself but Victor was… so broken. He has lost everything.”

Liam kissed Jo on top of her head. “Did he hurt you?”

“No, I’m okay Liam.”

Lorelai smiled at the two. “You know what you need now?”

“What?” Jo looked curious at Lorelai.

“More wedding cake.” Lorelai grinned and pushed the newlyweds back to the buffet. Jo took the plate with a new slice of wedding cake. The icing was creamy and white and it tasted of vanilla. The young bride giggled when she smeared icing on Liam’s nose.
Lorelai was standing on the other side of the two nearly as if she was guarding them.


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