Chapter 157 - Trinity- Reception (VOLUME 2)
Reece wrapped his arm around mine and led me down the steps off the altar. The moment we were down the steps and among the attendees we were being showered with rice. Juniper and Riley linked arms and followed us, they were then followed by the three sets of mated pairs behind them.
The rice continued to rain down on us until we were safely in the cover of the trees. The wedding party followed us and they were then followed by the rows of attendees from the front to the back. We led the entire party back through the trees and over to where the reception was waiting for us.
The caterers were finished setting up and on their way out just as we walked through the trees. All the caterers were human, so it would be best to have them gone before the party truly started. I watched as Juniper separated from us and went to talk to the group of men and women in white uniform shirts and black pants before they left. The guests filing in behind us made their way to their seats, out of the two thousand guests, only about five hundred were staying for the reception. The others said their goodbyes and congratulations to me and Reece before making their way down the long winding driveway.
Dealing with five hundred guests was a lot easier than two thousand, that was for sure. I would be expected to greet most, if not all, of them. Reece and I first made our way to the head table, where we sat directly in the center.
The mated couples were sitting around us, even Paul and Katie joined us to sit with their mates. Mom, Dad, Grandfather, and Lila sat at our table as well, bringing our table's total up to sixteen people. Ours was the only rectangular table, all the others were round and scattered around the side and back of the house.
There were voices all around us as everyone talked excitedly. I heard some snippets of conversation amongst the chaos, most had to do with the ceremony itself. Their happy, excited talking brought another smile to my face as I watched them all settle in.
Once they were all in their seats Riley stood up, it was time for the best man to give his speech.
"Thank you all for coming today and celebrating with me and the ones I hold dear. Reece is my cousin, but he has been like a brother to me my whole life. I love this man more than almost anyone, he only ranks below my own mate and cubs." Riley was smiling at the man about which he spoke, familial love clear and present on his face. "And recently, this brother of mine, the big oaf that he is, brought his mate to see me. I was blown away when I saw my brother with her. The changes that I had already seen in him that he hadn't even noticed himself. He loved her, it was clear to me then and it is even more evident now. Trinity." He said my name while turning to look at me. "You are now my sister, my family, someone I will hold dear to my heart forever. I want to welcome you, with arms opened wide, to my family, and ask that you be patient with this stubborn mule that's posing as a wolf. I love the man like a brother but he can be so thick headed at times that it's just painful to watch." Riley was laughing by the time he was done ranting. "To the happy couple." He held up his glass as he toasted us. "I love you guys." He grabbed Reece's shoulder with a grin and shook it playfully.
"TO THE HAPPY COUPLE!" Rang out all across the reception.
After Riley gave his speech Noah stood up, his glass in hand.
"I would like to add a few words. Trinity, you may have been born as my cousin, but you have been my sister for your whole life. I would do anything to protect you, even fight the alpha on your behalf." He smiled sheepishly, most likely remembering when he punched Reece in the face and broke his cheekbone. "I know that oftentimes I can be a little overprotective, especially most recently, I just wanted you to be happy. As I look at the two of you sitting here, I see just how happy you are, and I am happier than I can express that I get to be here with you. And Reece, you and I have been the best of friends since we were toddlers, and now you've become my brother. You already know I love you man, but you better treat my sister right, forever, because I'll still protect her if I have to. Alright, that's the last warning from me. I know you're going to be happy together, you'd better be." Noah laughed at the end, and several times throughout, his speech. "To your everlasting happiness." He raised his glass to toast us, and everyone else raised their glass as well, echoing the words that he just said.
"TO YOUR EVERLASTING HAPPINESS!"
The food was served to us at the head table, once we had our food the rest of the guests were able to get theirs in a buffet style. It was all good, mostly delicious, but none of it compared to Abigail's cooking or Mom's home cooked meals. I sipped on juice while I ate, Reece next me along with most of the wedding party was drinking wine. Nikki, Heather, and Katie were the only other ones who were not also drinking alcohol. Heather and Katie were breastfeeding and didn't like to drink alcohol while doing so.
After we were done eating, the emissaries and envoys came up one by one to introduce themselves to me. I didn't expect that this would be quite as an exciting time as it was.
The first to come up was a large, wild looking man. He was not wearing traditional wedding attire. Instead he was wearing a black t-shirt and dark blue jeans with a stylish black leather jacket over it. The words grizzly screamed inside my head when I saw him, but I didn't know how true that was until he introduced himself to me.
"Hey ya, Trinity, I'm Trevor Jacoby, alpha of the bears for the entire western side of the country." That definitely explained the word grizzly I kept seeing inside my head. His rough gravelly voice was wild yet kind.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Trevor, thank you for coming."
"She sure is a beauty Reece." He grinned at me. "You sure you wanna stay with this bum? You could come with me you know." His voice sounded like a mix of a soft pur and a low growl at the same time. I blushed at his words.
"I'll let you know." I joked back with him causing him to laugh long and loud.
"Hahaha, she's a keeper Reece. Keep your eyes on her or I might just steal her away from you."
"Fuck you Winnie the Pooh, find your own girl." Reece laughed back.
"Is this going to be a name game now? I will definitely play that with you Scrappy, unless you wanna fight for her. I can call you Spot afterwards and still take her." Trevor laughed as he started walking away. "Congrats again you two. I'll be seeing you."
The next to come forward were the Warlocks from the magic council. They wore long silver cloak-like jackets with black runes.
"Master Reece, Lady Trinity, we congratulate you on your union." Their leader spoke in an old fashioned tone. "I am Eldrige Hawthorn, my associates here are Henrich Asten and Lionel Fritz, thank you for your invitation. I look forward to our discussion later." They bowed and took their leave before I could even thank them for coming.
Next, a beautiful woman came up. She looked like she was in her mid-twenties and had a radiant smile on her face. Her rich brown hair, lovely tanned complexion, and bright yellow eyes gave her a very exotic look. She smiled at me as she was walking toward us from across the yard.
Suddenly, she stopped and I heard an exhaled exclamation near my table. Shane immediately stood up and was staring at the beautiful woman. A look of shock and pure bewilderment was on his face, but there was also an underlying look of happiness.
The woman seemed to be wearing a look of shock and joy as well. Her bright yellow eyes were opened wide as she looked right at Shane while standing rooted to the spot.
"Reece?" I whispered, asking him if he knew what was going on.
"It looks like another of your guards has found a mate." He whispered back with a smug look on his face. "This is very good for the pack." He grinned at me before standing up to address the entire wedding.
"Falena, it looks like this wedding has been very advantageous for you as well as me." He was smiling at the woman like he knew her. "I think this is cause for celebration, don't you?" There were cheers and applause ringing through the whole party after he spoke.
"Come Lena, let me introduce you." He said, taking my hand and leading me around the table. Reece guided me along with him as he led the way over to Shane. Once Reece stood next to my bewildered guard he raised his hand and beckoned the woman over.
Slowly, as if still in disbelief, the woman walked closer. With every step she took, the shock slowly disappeared from her face bringing back her radiant smile. By the time she stood right next to Reece and I, she was beaming at Shane. These two people, both with unique and exotic looks to them, were quite the pair to see. Shane with his gray and silver coloring and fair complexion, and this woman with her dark coloring and bright eyes.
"Shane, let me introduce you to your mate. This is Falena Areli, a lynx shifter from the Rocky Mountains Pride. Lena, meet Shane Asher, one of my mate's guards and an excellent fighter." The new mated pair was looking into each other's eyes like nervous middle schoolers at their first coed dance.
"Lena." Shane breathed her name with a sigh and smiled.
"Shane." She smiled right back at him.
"Let's get you two seated together so that you can get to know each other. Lena, come by to see me later tonight or tomorrow." Reece motioned for someone with a wave of his hand and whispered to them. "Please put another place setting at this table for our guest."
Lena and Shane sat together, talking and leaning toward each other like they had known each other for a long time and just needed to catch up.
"Let us continue." Reece laughed. "We have one last envoy to see." He beckoned the last group forward. There were six people, all beautiful and ethereal in appearance.
The three men and three women moved slowly across the yard almost as if they were gliding instead of walking. They got to almost the same exact spot that Lena was at when Cedar stood up, a look almost identical to the one Shane had on his face.
"What's going on?"
"How is this happening?" I heard these whispers as the onlookers were just as shocked as Cedar looked.
"It seems this is a very fortunate day. Cedar, it appears your mate is in among this envoy from the Fae. Will you all please join us up here." Reece invited the group forward. I could see Cedar looking at the group curiously, trying to figure out who in the group was his mate.
The group moved forward, all but one was looking at Reece. A pretty young girl with bright green eyes and long ashy blonde hair was staring straight at Cedar. She had a confused look on her face.
"This is impossible." An exotic looking man with golden eyes and a beautiful mahogany complexion spoke with disbelief, disdain, and anger in his voice.
"How is it impossible?" Reece smiled at the man. "This is a wonderful thing to have happen. An event so filled with love that it is spreading to those around us."
"It is not right that one of us should mate with a shifter. We are not of the same type of people. This is not proper." His exoticly accented voice was trying to nullify everything that was happening.
"Is the Fae Queen against a relationship like this, Breon?" Reece asked him, slight anger in his voice.
"She does not usually approve." The man named Breon answered.
"I admit it has been quite some time since I have met with Gloriana, but when last we spoke she was more open to a new world way of thinking." Dietrich stood up from the table that Cedar and Shane had both been sitting at. "I am certain that she would have no problem with the union. The Fae have mixed with humans, why not another powerful species?"
"It has never been done." Breon told him. "You simply would not understand."
"I understand more than you think." Dietrich smiled down at Shawn as he spoke, causing Shawn to blush under his gaze. "I have recently mated within this pack myself."
"You, Dietrich, the leader of all vampires is allowing yourself to be sullied like this."
"Breon! Stop this." The beautiful girl with the bright green eyes yelled. "I am certain that Queen Glory would have no problem with it at all." She was smiling at Cedar.
"Acacia, you understand nothing."
"I understand everything Breon. I am the one who feels what the spirits are telling me."
"I trust in Casey." Another woman in the group chimed in. "We must follow not just our hearts, but also the whims of the spirits and gods. We are but pawns in this world for them to move at their leisure."
"Thank you River." Acacia smiled at her, it seemed Casey was a nickname for her.
"Is this truly what you wish to do? To lower yourself to this point?"
"It seems to me Breon, that you are the only one with a bias here. Believe in the powers that lead us all. That is all we can do, is it not." I spoke up, unable to remain quiet any longer.
The man Breon looked at me in disbelief. He simply was not understanding it yet.
"How can you all not see what is happening here." He asked in desperation.
"You have not been mated yet have you Breon?" I asked him. The man shook his head, the gleaming sunlight softening his face that had fallen in his slight embarrassment. "Then you would not understand the feeling you have when you are with your mate. The sense of completion, the feeling of being at home no matter where you are. You would not understand the longing you feel for that person even with the first meeting. You would not understand the sense of peace you feel when looking at them, seeing the love and adoration you feel reflected back in their eyes as well. I am sorry that you have never felt that, Breon, and I ask the Moon Goddess to help you with finding you mate soon."
"That may happen sooner than you think." A strange, gravelly voice spoke out and rang through the entire reception.