Over the course of the evening, the Evans family got to know Daisy. She was no longer nervous in their company and found that she fit in comfortably. Carly had Ryan had taken the kids upstairs to bed and that just allowed Daisy to move closer to Chris on the couch; they were snuggled in tight to one another, and their comfort level put everyone else at ease. Lisa had no trouble seeing what Scott had described; it was clear the two of them were perfect for one another. There was an ease about them, and she could understand why Chris fought so hard to keep her by his side.
Lisa decided to turn the talk toward the wedding, she needed to see how soon they wanted to get this done and what she should anticipate, “Have the two of you decided when you want to have the wedding? Or where you want to have it?”
Chris shook his head, he was worried about this conversation, “Well, I have an appearance coming up and then a new project and then a short span of time before the next big project so we could do it then. But Daisy, we are talking late August or early September of this year, can you wait that long?”
The realization of what he had just said hit her, and the disappointment showed in her eyes. She tried her best to hide it, but she knew it was showing, “Um, yeah, well I guess if I have to. I mean, we are already married, but I suppose I can wait. Yeah, I mean I can hold on,” she said and hung her head and began playing with the bottom of her shirt.
Scott glared at Chris, he was not happy that his brother was going to make her wait, “You can’t make her wait that long! Can’t you make arrangements before then?”
“I wish I could, but this project I’m going to do is going to be out of the country, I can’t just fly home for the weekend,” he pulled her closer and kissed her head, “I promise, we will have this wedding as quickly as we can.”
Daisy stood up and excused herself, she needed to use the powder room. As soon as she was out of earshot, Chris leaned over, “I am not waiting guys, but I need her to think I am! I’ve got a public appearance, and when I get back from that, I surprise her with the wedding. I want to know if you guys will help me with the surprise?”
“Chris, how can you pull off a surprise wedding?”
He looked around to make sure she wasn’t coming back, “Easy, I want to do it at her parent’s place, they have a big barn for the winery and a lake, and it is beautiful. She would love it, and her family and friends can help make it happen and possibly have you guys help as well. With everyone pitching in, it can happen right under her nose.”
“You sure are taking a huge risk by throwing a surprise wedding for her,” Scott cautioned, “What if you screw this up?”
“Look, she is on the verge of selling her store because of me and telling me I have ruined romance for her. I’m trying to relight the romance fire for her, and I will do whatever it takes.”
“Do you need to do it with a blowtorch?” Ryan asked sarcastically.
“Yeah, I’m not taking any changes of the flame going out.”
“Fine, Chris you tell us what we need to do,” Carly offered, “But just be careful, she seems really sweet, and you two are perfect for one another it seems – don’t mess it up.”
Everyone sat back in their seats as they heard Daisy’s footsteps approaching. They resumed conversation so that Daisy would not be suspicious; they hoped their coverup worked. Chris noticed that Daisy didn’t look like she felt all that well, “Hey, you feeling okay?” The concern was evident in his voice.
“I suddenly don’t feel all that great, would you care if we went home? I think maybe I’m just worn out, I’ve not slept all that great, and maybe it is catching up to me.”
Chris was worried, and he jumped from the couch, “Absolutely! Sorry guys, I’m gonna take her to the house, and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
~ * ~
Daisy had been restless, she had been sick several times during the night and didn’t get much sleep. When Chris woke up, he noticed she was actually asleep, and he did all he could to make sure he didn’t wake her. He eased out of bed and took a shower, got dressed and scribbled a note and left it on the bedside table. He then went downstairs, grabbed his keys and headed to his mom’s house.
He walked in just as Ryan and Carly were leaving for the morning; he offered his goodbyes and went straight to the kitchen and poured a cup of coffee. “So, Daisy didn’t get much sleep, she was up sick all night.”
“You think she has a bug or something?” Lisa asked without looking up from the newspaper.
“I think she’s been too stressed out in all honesty. This marriage, divorce, the store, it’s all eating at her. Melody told me that she will go for days where she will barely eat and then have a day or two where she will eat whatever is not tied down. Her dad said her emotions are all over the place; she will be happy go lucky one day and a bitch on wheels the next.”
Lisa looked up at Chris and smiled broadly, “Son, you have no idea what you are about to get hit with. I don’t think that planning a wedding in secret is going to be a good idea for you. This could seriously backfire, and if her emotions are everywhere, it could get really ugly, really fast.”
“Ma, what aren’t you saying?”
“I’m not saying anything, Christopher. I am just telling you to be careful.”
“Can you make a few phone calls for me?
“What kind of calls?”
“Remember that photographer that did the barn wedding for that friend of yours? Heather somebody? I would like to see if she’d be willing to travel and do the pictures for our wedding. And I need you to call Zach and Josh for me, I want them to come to the wedding and help set up. Maybe you could coordinate from here, please?”
“Of course, I will, you know I will. Just make sure that you give my information to someone who is working on that side so I can help relay information. I just hope you really do know what you are doing.”
“Yeah, me too! I’m going to go check on her and see about getting her back home,” he walked over to his mother and leaned over to give her a hug. She stood up and embraced him and squeezed tight, “Thanks for being so sweet to her, Ma. She was so scared to meet you.”
“She is a lovely girl, Chris and I could really tell how in love you two are. It’s easy to like her, it really is. Now, just keep her happy.”
~ * ~
Chris walked back into the house and took the stairs two at a time, Daisy was just stepping out of the bathroom. Her hair was damp, and she had just stepped out of the shower. “Hey, you feeling better?”
“Yeah, sorry I missed going to your mom’s. You’re not mad are you?”
He walked over and pulled her into an embrace, “No, I’m not, and she was worried about you,” he leaned back and looked into her eyes, “Are you sure you are okay?”
Daisy nodded, “Yep, I’m good, I think I just needed the rest. I believe the shower helped, too. I’ve gotten everything packed, and once I get my hair dry, I’ll be ready to go.”
“Okay, well, Scott said if we swing by and pick him up he will take us to the airport. It will give you an opportunity to say goodbye to Ma, too.”
~ * ~
Daisy slept the entire plane ride home; her head rested on Chris’ shoulder, and she fell asleep almost the moment the plane took off. He used the opportunity to fire off an email to his agent and his publicist to let them know the news. He figured they would want to talk to him and being able to say he was sending this from a plane allowed the buffer to keep them from calling him back. He also used the opportunity to send an email to Daisy’s dad about the wedding at the winery; Daisy was not aware that he had already formally asked her dad for permission to propose. Sure, they were already married, but if he was going to ask to do this wedding the right way, he wanted the formal approval to do it.
She also did not know that they had already talked about having it at her parent’s house, well in the orchard to be exact. During one of their conversations, Thomas had told Chris that the barn on the property was one of Daisy’s favorite spots. When she was a kid, it was her ‘hiding place’ when she needed to get away. If she wanted to escape into her own world and read or just be alone, the barn is where they would find her. The barn sat on the edge of the lake on the property, and it was a serene setting that gave her peace and allowed the world around her to disappear. When she grew up and moved away, she would still come out to this spot if she needed to think.
Daisy had not been happy when her parents had decided to turn it into the tasting room for the new winery. As a matter of fact, Thomas said it was an understatement to say she was unhappy. As a compromise, he built a loft and provided her own space with a view of the lake. This would allow her to come and unwind when she needed it and would still allow the wine tasting area to be built out. He even soundproofed the wine tasting room so that it wouldn’t interfere with her need for peace.
Since this space meant so much to Daisy, it was only fitting that this is where the wedding takes place. Thomas said that he and Martha would love to hold the wedding out there, and it would be ideal if that is what they wanted to do. Chris sent the email saying he wanted to have the wedding in the barn and wanted to surprise her with the entire event. He stated that they were on their way to tell them the news of their reconciliation, but he wanted to give them the heads up because while they will talk one timetable with Daisy, he is actually accelerating it without her knowledge. He does realize it is risky, but he hasn’t played it safe with her yet, and he isn’t about to start.
Just as he hit send on the email, the announcement was made that they were on their final approach for landing, and Chris had to wake Daisy.
~ * ~
Chris and Daisy had rented a car to get home; Melody had taken Daisy to the airport for the trip to Orlando so they had no vehicle waiting for them when they landed. They had not warned anyone that they were coming home so they didn’t have someone there to pick them up either. No problem, a one-way rental car was an easy enough solution. As they began the drive home, Daisy dialed Violet’s number.
“Violet Morgan speaking,” she sounded so professional as she answered the phone.
“I thought I called your cell number, why are you answering so damn professionally?” Daisy busted on her, trying to make fun and keep the call light. She had the call on speaker phone, and Chris was keeping quiet so as not to give himself away.
“Well, if it isn’t my celebrity divorce client. I haven’t gotten the divorce papers back yet, Daisy. Why don’t you just call him and ask him if he is going to sign them? I can’t call anyone, he doesn’t have a fucking lawyer.”
“I know, he is so damn infuriating, isn’t he?” Chris said with a laugh.
“Evans! Shit, Daisy you have me on speaker phone? What the hell and you’re with Chris?”
“Sorry, Violet, yeah I’m with Chris, and we are in the car. We went away together and have decided to call off the divorce.”
“Actually Jaws, I’ve formally proposed to her. We’re going to have a big fancy wedding and everything.”
“You’re an ass, Evans. So, I did all the damn paperwork for the divorce, and now you want me to retract it all?”
“I’m sorry, Violet. I know it’s a lot of work, but yeah, can you retract it?” Daisy asked apologetically.
Violet made them wait before answering them, “Yeah, I can retract it. Do you still have your paperwork, Chris?”
“Um, yeah, it is on my desk in LA. Do you need it back?”
“No, just shred it; hell use it for confetti at your wedding.”
“Ok, I can do that. Just send me the bill for everything and I will get you paid right away,” Chris paused for a moment before continuing, “And thanks for everything, Violet.”
“Oh, I’m Violet now and not Jaws?”
“Well, you have to bill me, I figure I should be nice,” he said with a laugh.
“Violet, I am sorry for putting you through all of this. I really do appreciate your friendship and all you’ve done,” Daisy told her.
“You’re welcome, Daisy. I’m really glad it’s all working out for you. Just make sure to send me an invite to the wedding.”
“Yeah, you’ll be there,” Chris offered, “I need to hook you up with Grillo after all.” And with that, he disconnected the call.
Chris smiled and looked over at Daisy, “Do you think she is genuinely happy for us?”
“I do,” Daisy responded, “I guess I should get used to saying that right? Maybe I need to practice saying it over and over again.”
“Well you’ve said it before, so I think you are safe for being able to say it again. But you know, Princess, we haven’t had the critical discussion yet,” Chris was afraid to bring this up since things were going so well, “We need to talk about if you want our relationship to be public or if you want it to remain private?”
“What do you want?” She tossed the question back at him.
“No, it is not my decision, it is what you want and what you will be comfortable with. If you want the relationship to be private, that is fine, but you realize it means I’ll have to lie. If I have to that it won’t be fair to you, and it might be harder to deal with than it would be if people knew about you.”
“I don’t want the fans to be mad at you or at me. I’m not ashamed to be your wife, far from it, but I don’t want to make things hard on you. What does Meghan say?”
“It’s funny you ask. I sent her an email when we were on the plane, and she tried calling me twice, and she’s left a voicemail, but I’ve not listened to it yet. I’m sure she has an opinion, just don’t know if I want to hear it or not.”
“I want to be brave and say let’s go public. I want to say the hell with the doubts in my mind and not worry about what people will think. But you know that’s hard, right?”
“Yeah, I know. I’m used to tuning it out but it’s all new for you, and I get it. We’re going to be okay, just trust me.”
“I trust you, and I promise, I won’t run.”