DG had never been a girl to daydream over what her perfect wedding should be. She worried more now about embarrassing Cain rather than the lack of decorations. And Az distracted her with magic. Having not had a decent lesson from Tutor in months, she quizzed Az on how to make clothes and food appear. DG created the tiara to anchor her veil all by herself.
Her emerald green dress made her eyes even bluer, though Az's rejuvenation spell may have helped too. Brides wore green to represent fertility for the couple. Emerald green was reserved for the royal family. Her bridal gown clung to every curve the corset gave her with a flared skirt so she could walk. She could forgive the corset since there wasn't a ruffle on the gown. "Az, I'm going to have to give you a job."
"What kind of job?" Az adjusted the veil and tiara before stepping back to view the effect.
"Royal fashion designer. I'm so sick of the ruffles!"
"I asked Ambrose about that. His theory is that the seamstresses were trying to prove you're female with a vengeance." She giggled and DG giggled too. "I wish you'd change your mind. I'd love for Mother and Father to see how you look, Deeg."
DG grabbed both Az's hands. "I have to ask a huge favor of you, Az. I hate to do it because I sorta promised I would never ask you for anything. But big sister, you must have the big fancy wedding Mother wants. Please do it for me."
Az squeezed her hands. "Only if you compromise on a reception at the Palace."
"Okay, I can do that."
"Hey," Glitch sounded petulant on the other side of the canvas. "Don't I get a say?"
"You can say when," Az answered.
"This one is about ready to start out here."
"Almost ready." Az helped DG turn to face the door. DG felt magic tingling behind her back. "No peeking," Az said behind DG's shoulder, "Consider it my wedding present to you and your Tin Man." She slipped out of the tent.
DG took a deep breath. This was really happening. Her heart pounded. She wished her Mom and Dad were here. They would have approved; they had no problems with her going with Wyatt Cain to find the Mystic Man. They were watching from robot heaven. The O.Z. was weird enough to have a robot heaven and that's where they were.
Glitch tied open the flaps of the tent and stared at her, his brown eyes opened wide. "Cain would kill me if he heard this, but Doll, I wonder if I picked the right sister."
"Aw, Glitch, you know just what to say." She couldn't stop smiling as she took his arm. "I won't even tease you about knowing about Az's nightmares."
He squeezed her hand. "Honey, I'm just glad to see you happy again."
Jeb's soldiers had set up chairs, stools, and logs to block out the audience with an aisle. Most had changed into dress uniforms, even though Jeb hadn't ordered it. The battered veterans and hardened youths all grinned at her as Glitch escorted her down the aisle. She grinned back. Raw, Az, Jeb, and Zack stood on the front row. She looked away from their beaming faces to the dais created by setting down some boards.
Her eyes glazed over the chaplain to focus on the blond man in the military dress uniform. She had seen him in it before, her brain insisted. He had the rank of Major because he was Chief of her Security; someone had explained that to her. He wore the dress uniform to the Victory Ball. Emerald green pants and jacket with braided trim in blue, purple, red, and yellow across the chest. Interlocked O and Z were embroidered in gold thread above the heart. Remember telling Az he was the only one who made the odd color combination look good? Who had came up with that anyway? With a dry mouth, she realized her brain was babbling. Who the hell was up there? It couldn't be Wyatt Cain. The corset strangled her, she couldn't breathe.
The stranger turned as Glitch glided her onto the dais and stepped away. The scarred eyebrow cocked at her, and his intense icy blue eyes bored into her. She could breathe again as he clasped both her hands. She gripped his hands tighter. He gave her one of his half smirks. Her Tin Man was here.
The chaplain had started and she had missed it, grinning at Cain. This was probably why they had rehearsals. So you wouldn't freak out and forget when you had to say something. The chaplain must have had plenty of practice officiating quick weddings with super-excited participants. He moved closer and touched her elbow.
"Princess DG, do you accept this man to be your husband?"
"I do." Oh good, that came out right.
"Major Cain, do you accept this woman to be your wife?"
"I do." His icy blue eyes darkened with a promise. DG's stomach flipped. She wished Jeb's unit hadn't planned a big party for her to sit through before getting Cain alone, but they had to celebrate with a reception.
Crap, she lost track again. Jeb stood beside them, holding out the jewelry box and grinning. Cain released her hand, took the smaller band, and slid it onto her left ring finger. No vows, right. Az had told her the whole marriage ceremony was the vow.
Cain held her left hand again. It was her turn to let go and take the ring. The cool metal shocked her heated hand, but she kept it between her fingers. It slid onto his ring finger, a perfect fit. She grabbed his hand once again.
"I now pronounce this couple joined. You may kiss your bride."
"Hey there, Princess." Cain said in a low voice. She jolted back to the witch's Tower when she realized he was alive and how much she needed him to stay that way.
She pulled him closer. "Hey there, Tin Man." Her husky voice didn't sound like her own. They didn't untwine their hands. His lips touched hers, and she felt her head exploded with fireworks.
He pulled back and the fireworks subsided, but the crowd cheered. Az threw up a silence spell over the entire camp then grabbed hold of Glitch, both of them laughing, cheering, crying or maybe all three at once. Raw grinned, showing his fangs. Jeb's grin fought with proper military protocol on his face. Zack also grinned but he wore a sword.
She wondered if they should take a bow. Okay, this was time to do one of those Princessy things. She held up her free hand. The audience quieted. "Thank you, all of you for making this happen, for sharing it with us." Cain squeezed her hand. She needed that. "Because of our mission, our wedding just became top secret. But when we make the proclamation in Central City, I want all of you back from the field. And we're going to throw the biggest party the Zone has ever seen!"
The cheering returned but Jeb's voice broke it this time. "Present arms!"
Along the aisle, soldiers pulled swords out of scabbards and held them over the aisle. Zack and Jeb's swords met at the beginning. "Come on," Cain guided her down the aisle. He led her towards her tent with an amused glance at her confusion. "Military wedding. Short honeymoon, but no waiting for it."
"Finally, an O.Z. tradition I like."
"You haven't met all the traditions yet." He sighed, "You deserve better than an army cot."
"But I sleep best on your duster curled up next to you." She kept her voice innocent but her grin felt wicked.
Cain undid the tent flap and held it open for her. "Sleep is the last thing either of us wants right now," he growled. Her knees quivered but she got into the tent and cast a silence spell around it. The soldiers may be romantic softies at the core, but she'd rather they didn't hear anything. Spell completed, she opened her eyes. Her mouth fell open.
"DG, we need the door shut." She was in the way for Cain to finish tying the flaps shut. He nudged her with his hip, but didn't turn around to look.
She scooted sideways to oblige him. "Things are cramped in here with Az's wedding present." He turned and saw the full-size four-poster bed that Az had turned her cot into. "When she gets creative, she gets creative."
He hugged her, his hands reaching her waist, and put his head level with hers. "Issues with your parents aside, you and Az got some innate qualities from them."
"Hmm, maybe they skip generations then." She set her hands on top of his. An electric shock hit their left hands.
Cain jerked his arm back with a grunt. "What did you do?"
"I wasn't trying to do anything! Did I hurt you?" She started to turn when his arms tightened around her again.
"It's alright, Sweetheart. But Pooch will start with real magic lessons when we get back or he's gonna hear from me." He squeezed her. DG leaned back into him. His lips pressed against her throat below her jaw, and she shuddered. "Like that?"
"Wyatt," she grabbed his arms as he continued to kiss down her neck. "Don't mess up the dress."
He followed her collarbone over her shoulder. "You're worried about the dress?"
"I like this dress. No ruffles." He trailed kisses up and down her spine. "And you love the neckline."
Cain heaved a sigh as his hands grasped her hips. "Got any ideas on what to do with it? Or did Az make you a closet too?"
"Give me a minute." DG closed her eyes. Cain made it hard to concentrate, and she wanted to impress him. She pictured what she wanted in her mind before summoning her light. A tingle crawled over her skin.
He snorted as he released her. DG grinned when she saw the small leather trunk sitting on the bed. "We're not packing that around." He grabbed the trunk and set it down beside them.
"No, of course not. It's going back with Az." She untangled the tiara and veil from her black hair.
He took them from her, and put them in the trunk. "Don't you dare."
"Dare what?" The way his darkened eyes drilled into her sent a thrill through her entire torso.
"Spoil the fun of undressing you by helping."
"Tin Man likes to unwrap his presents all by himself. When do I get my turn?" She plucked his jacket sleeve.
Cain's laugh warmed her. "When it's your turn."
"At least get out of that jacket," DG pouted. "I know it makes you uncomfortable."
He straightened and she gleefully attacked the buttons. "How did you know?"
She paused on the fourth button down. "You almost sawed your neck in half tugging at the collar at the Victory Ball. And you never button your shirt to your neck." She looked at his tender expression.
His finger traced a line around her face from her forehead to her chin. "I didn't think you noticed with how you complained about your gown."
"I bribed a chambermaid to make sure it stayed lost."
"Corrupting the staff already."
"It was pink." She moved her hands up his broad, muscular chest to his shoulders to push off the jacket. He pulled her flush against him and delivered a scorching kiss first.
"My turn." He eased around her, kissing the back of her neck again. His hands ran over her exposed skin on her shoulders. She arched as he found the hooks holding the gown closed. He kissed down her spine as he opened it until he reached the corset.
DG shuddered, "Another reason to hate those things."
His hands never stopped working as he chuckled. "Impatient, Darlin'?"
"You had to stop with the kissing," she complained. Cain's hands slipped between the corset and the dress. He slid the shoulder caps down her arms. His left arm slid between the dress and the corset to wrap around her waist. She freed her arms from the dress and looped them above her head and Cain's neck. The bodice of the gown fell down as he skimmed his hands along her sides.
His mouth found her ear and he nibbled on the lobe. She could feel his lips twitch when she moaned. "I intended to kiss a lot more of you." His hands slid the dress off her and he turned her to face him as she stepped free. He tossed the dress into the trunk before bruising her lips with another scorching kiss. He moved his lips down her neck. His tongue ran over the hollow of her throat and continued down to the top of her breasts.
His hands began to undo the hooks that joined the corset together in the front. DG whimpered as he kissed the skin each hook revealed. He continued kissing through the gauzy shirt underneath the corset. When he kissed under her belly button, he had to hold her hips to still her quaking.
The corset joined the dress in the trunk. Cain pulled the shirt off without preamble and kneaded her breasts. She gripped his shoulders so she didn't fall over. "Wyatt, please."
"Please what?" He stroked her hardened nipple.
"Please, your mouth. Oh please." She panted from the need she felt.
He knelt in front of her and put his left hand on the small of her back. His mouth drifted across her breast from the outside in while his other hand stroked her other. Just when she thought she couldn't take any more, he alternated his mouth to her other breast.
His hand ran down her side. He tugged her panties down her legs. He pulled her leg free and draped the knee over his shoulder. He grasped her hips, moving her even closer as his tongue probed her other lips.
How she found enough air to make the noises she was, she didn't know. Jimmy Gulch would never make a woman feel like this. Fireworks started at Cain's mouth and moved up to her head. When they cleared, she was in his lap with his arms holding her limp body. "So beautiful, my Princess. And just for me." His voice sounded triumphant.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. "Yes," she said after coming up for air, "only for you." She stood up on wobbly legs and tugged on the open ends of his jacket. "And you are too overdressed."
He moved closer as she leaned against the end of the bed. "And what are you going to do about it?"
DG grinned impishly and called her light. If she ruined it, she'd just have to get him another set of the silly colored uniform. She wrapped her legs around the naked Tin Man as his astonished face twisted to look at the trunk and then back at her. She ran her fingers over his chest, pausing to play with his blonde chest hairs. She followed the trail down his torso, where he was hot and ready for her. Her fingers brushed down the length. He grabbed her up with a growl, pushing them both onto the bed proper. He laid her down with a kiss. "How fast do you want this over with?"
"What, it's a one time event? I thought we'd practice plenty." She trailed kisses along his jaw and neck as he pulled her leg over his hip. Cain laughed before kissing her again.