Julian stood barefoot in the sand, next to the minister, trying not to look too nervous. The warm weather made it too hot for a jacket, so he took it off and tossed it to Sheridan, sitting in the front row.

She caught it with a smile, admiring how handsome he looked in just his white shirt, with his black pants rolled up once and no shoes on his feet. She had noticed before he’d stepped onto the beach that he had decided to follow Eve’s idea and go barefoot. Apparently everyone thought that was a good idea, because they were all barefoot in a matter of minutes when they saw Julian take his shoes and socks off.

The sun shone brightly as a light Bermuda breeze ruffled Julian’s hair, and he smiled. What a perfect place to get married, the very place where their love had begun so many years ago. He surveyed the few friends who had agreed to be flown out to share their day, as well as colleagues from his work and Eve’s.

Julian grinned as he thought how eager everyone was at the notion of a free weekend in Bermuda. Julian Crane was no fool. He knew most of them would not have come, but he was satisfied that they did. And as a Crane, he didn’t care what their reasons were, as long as Eve got the wedding she deserved, with her friends there to witness it. He smiled at the thought of Eve. ‘I can hardly wait to send all your friends packing, my love, so we can be alone as husband and wife.’ His heart skipped a beat at the thought.

He admired the beach, where seats had been set up for the guests, who were already sitting and waiting for the bride to make her entrance through the arch of red and white roses. Roses were everywhere - along the path where Eve would walk, behind Julian and the minister… Arches and bouquets littered the small private beach, giving the place a wonderfully delicate floral scent. To the left of Julian was a beautiful black grand piano. He had no idea why Eve wanted that, but thought live music was better than soundtracks, so he went along with the idea.

Eve had requested that they keep it simple; she didn’t feel comfortable flaunting the Crane wealth in front of her friends. She wanted them to feel that she was still the same person, regardless of her new life. Julian finally gave in, giving up the idea of throwing her the biggest, most extravagant wedding the world had ever witnessed.

Scanning the guests, he wasn’t too thrilled to see his former “wife,” Theresa, in attendance, but respected that she was there as a friend of Eve’s as well as Whitney.

He gaped in surprise when his eyes rested upon Fox, his son, born of his ex-wife Ivy, sitting next to Theresa. He had called and asked him to come, but Fox had refused. Julian wondered what had changed his mind.

Fox nodded his greeting and then looked away. Things were clearly not all right between father and son.

Julian exhaled slowly. He knew he was to blame for their strained relationship. Just how he was going to mend things with the boy, he did not know. All he knew was that today was not the day to be worrying about that. It was his wedding day, and his focus had to be on Eve.

The groom’s eyes continued to pan the assortment of guests gathered for his wedding. Julian smiled when his eyes rested once more on Sheridan, who was sitting next to Luis and Pilar and the rest of the Lopez-Fitzgerald clan.

Sheridan returned his smile, but Luis refused to look at him. He was clearly there because Sheridan had asked him to be. Pilar had agreed to come because she loved Eve, and also out of respect for Julian as an employer, but mostly because she wanted to be near Sheridan in her pregnant state, just in case.

Behind Sheridan sat Gwen and Ethan. They appeared distant and aloof with each other, but came for Julian as well as Eve. Julian’s heart went out to them, knowing how painful it must be to lose a child.

His eyes shifted a few rows back to where Grace and Sam Bennett and their family were seated. He knew they were not there for him, but for Eve. He was grateful for that, and also for the fact that they had forgiven Eve for her part in the deception that Ivy had tried to pull on them. He smiled at Grace, and she returned it. Sam nodded politely.

Julian had just turned to look over his friends when his cell phone rang. “Julian Crane,” he said tersely, determined to get rid of the intruder immediately, while cursing himself for bringing the stupid thing along.

“Julian, what the hell do you think you are doing?” Alistair roared in his son’s ear.

Holding the phone away, Julian contemplated hanging up on him, but then thought better of it. “What I should have done twenty years ago, Father,” he replied.

Sheridan frowned at Julian, who rolled his eyes, and she knew immediately that it was their father. “Poor Julian….Father won’t even let him get married in peace,” she said to Luis.

“Serves him right, for all the problems he has caused us,” Luis replied, enjoying watching Julian trying to deal with his father.

“He has changed, Luis. He has apologized and has been making up for all of that, and I have forgiven him,” she whispered, wishing he would give Julian a chance.

“Well I haven’t, and I don’t intend to anytime soon,” he said.

Sheridan sighed; she knew it was pointless to argue with him about it. Besides, the stress was not good for their unborn baby that was due soon. She was glad her doctor gave her the ‘OK’ to be there for Julian, much to Luis’ displeasure. She smiled at how disappointed he was that she was allowed to fly.

Julian turned his back to everyone and hissed into the phone. “I refuse to discuss this with you, Father. You have bullied me for the last time.”

“Watch you mouth, Julian, if you know what’s good for you,” Alistair snapped angrily.

“Do what you have to do, Father. I have better things to attend to.” With that, he turned the power off, snapped the phone shut and stuffed it back into his pants pocket. He smiled at Sheridan to assure her. She nodded in response.

The pianist softly played. Julian looked up and saw Eve standing under the arch of roses, barefoot, her long ivory dress lightly caressing the sand as it flowed behind her. His heart stopped at the sight of her. Her hair, in long waves curved to her face, was resting on her shoulders.

He smiled tenderly at Whitney, who was walking her mother to the front. He’d thought it a good idea that their daughter should play a part in their wedding, and Eve and Whitney had both agreed.

Julian held Eve’s gaze, frozen in place by her indescribable beauty. He wanted to run up the aisle and sweep her into his arms, never letting her go.

Eve smiled as she looked into his handsome face. He took her breath away; it was as simple as that. His white shirt, rolled up pants…she grinned when she spotted his bare feet digging into the sand. She raised an eyebrow in acknowledgement, and he laughed.

Finally she stood before him, her eyes misty from overwhelming happiness and nervousness too.

The minister asked who was giving her to this man, and Whitney said, “I do.” She turned and kissed her mother, and when Julian stepped forward to take Eve’s arm, she kissed his cheek as well.

Eve watched Whitney return to her seat next to Chad, who congratulated her on a job well done. Then she turned her attention to the man before her.

His eyes shone, filled with love and hope. She reached up and caressed his cheek.

He took her hand and planted a kiss in the palm of it.

The minister coughed slightly to get their attention.

The audience chuckled at their endearing awe of one another.

Grace turned to Sam and said, “I am so happy for Eve. I hope that Julian is good to her.”

“I never thought I would see the day that I would witness Eve marrying Julian Crane, that is for sure. But I have to admit, they do seem very much in love,” Sam whispered back.

Julian and Eve stood hand in hand as the minister preached on the sanctity of marriage. Eve felt guilty about having divorced TC, after never really trying to make things right. But when she turned and saw Julian’s reassuring smile, her doubts and guilt vanished. He squeezed her hand, and she returned the gesture.

“Julian Crane, do you take this woman to be your wife, to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others as long as you both shall live?” the minister asked him.

Julian looked into Eve’s eyes and smiled deeply. “I do!”

Repeating the vows for Eve, the minister faced her as she said, “I do!”

“Can we have the rings, please?” The minister turned to Whitney, who got up and handed them to him.

She stayed beside Eve and Julian, watching as Julian slipped the beautiful gold band on Eve’s finger.

Eve’s hand trembled as she in turn slipped a gold band on Julian’s ring finger. It shone brilliantly there, right where it was meant to be, the symbol of his unending love for her.

Whitney smiled happily for them, a tear escaping her eye. “I am so happy for you both. I hope that I will have the same love when I get older that you have for each other.”

Eve hugged Whitney. “Thank you, sweetheart. I am sure that you will.”

Julian bent and kissed her cheek. “Hang onto the man you love, and you can’t go wrong.” He winked at her, and then she returned to her chair.

“Are you ready to say your vows to each other?” the minister asked them.

Julian and Eve nodded, facing one another, holding each other’s hands between them.

Julian said he would go first. He cleared his throat nervously. “I am a businessman who speaks to people all the time, but when I look into those incredible brown eyes, I am at a total loss for words,” he said.

Eve laughed lightly and squeezed his hands to encourage him.

“I was a fool to let you slip out of my life twenty years ago. I wandered aimlessly to and fro, looking for happiness in all the wrong places, with all the wrong people. I had no direction, no real purpose….I got lost missing you.” His eyes brimmed with tears. “Then one day I looked up and there you were….my heart, my life, my most precious love.” He reached out and caressed her cheek with his thumb.

Eve leaned her cheek into his caress as she listened to his heart, tears shining in her eyes as well.

“I never dreamed that I would ever get the chance to mend the wrong I had done by you. But I thank God, from the bottom of my heart that he gave you back to me. You have completely changed me, Eve. If I am a better man, it’s because of you. You gave me love that I didn’t deserve, and hope when I thought there was none.” He smiled into her beautiful eyes, watching her lips part slightly as she listened to his words to her.

“I know, in my heart, that you and I were destined to be together from the beginning of time, and I promise that for the rest of our lives and beyond, I will stand by you, and I will be true to you. I love you, Eve, with all my heart and soul.” He bent and kissed her lips tenderly.

The minister coughed. “That is for later,” he said when Julian wouldn’t break the kiss.

The audience laughed and cheered his enthusiasm.

Eve pulled back and laughed, her eyes shining with happiness. “I love you too, Julian,” she said. “What I have to say to you, I have decided, along with our daughter Whitney’s help, to sing to you.” She smiled, a little nervous.

Julian’s jaw dropped in shock. “You’re what?” he asked in disbelief.

Whitney got up along with Chad, who went to sit at the piano. She took the two mikes off of a nearby stand and approached Eve, handing her one, and then returned to stand next to Chad as Eve’s backup singer.

“I am going to sing to the man I love. Chad, Whitney and I have been secretly working on this,” Eve said, reaching for Julian’s hand and holding it firmly in her free one, as Chad started the music. Then she began to sing:

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I’ll be forever thankful, baby
You’re the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You’re the one who saw me through
Through it all

Julian sucked in his breath, his heart pounding, desperately trying to keep his emotions under control as he listened to Eve sing. Her voice, just like he remembered, was beautiful, rich….so wonderfully expressive, like she was the song. He shifted his gaze to Whitney when she joined in. She sang beautifully….so like her mother.

Chad beamed as he played the piano. He had never felt so proud.

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand; I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love; I had it all
I’m grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don’t know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was
loved by you, ooooh

Eve smiled deeply into his eyes. She knew she was delivering the song with all the love and emotion that was in her. His eyes, never leaving hers, were shimmering with tears as her voice mesmerized him.

The audience sat in stunned awe as they listened to Eve and Whitney sing. Their harmonies rang throughout the private beach and into the main foyer of the hotel, where the staff suddenly stopped what they were doing and stood listening to the song.

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me, ooooh

Eve squeezed his hand, watching him as she sang. He was obviously very affected by her performance, and she was giving it her all.

You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
A light in the dark shining your love
Into my life
You’ve been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place
Because of you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me.

I’m everything I am
because you loved me.

A tear escaped and rolled down his cheek as Eve crooned the last notes of the song. He simply didn’t know what to say.

Eve handed the mike to Whitney and turned back to Julian. “I feel truly blessed to have you in my life and that we have found each other again. There are no words that accurately describe the love that I feel for you, Julian. You are the love of my life; you always have been, and you always will be.”

Ignoring the minister, Julian stepped closer and pulled Eve into his arms. His lips settled on hers, kissing her passionately, as her hands slid onto his broad shoulders.

“Well, I may as well pronounce them man and wife.” The minister chuckled.

The audience clapped as Eve and Julian continued to kiss, not caring what anyone thought, or how tradition went.

Her lips, soft and sweet under the pressure of his, parted to deepen the kiss, as her fingers combed through his soft, lightly ruffled hair….She suddenly jumped back, breaking the kiss, when the baby kicked strongly against the wall of her womb.

Julian felt it too and laughed. He reached up and brushed his thumb along her bottom lip, trying to wipe off the slightly smudged lipstick. “When is he due?” he complained good-naturedly.

Eve laughed and rubbed her lips together to smooth the color again.

“OK, you two, you have papers to sign.” The minister pointed them to a table that the hotel staff had just set up, ready for them to sign the paperwork.

Eve sat on a chair, while Julian bent down next to her. Together, they signed the marriage license, legally making them man and wife.

When they had finished, and Whitney and Chad had signed as witnesses, the minister stepped out of their path as they made their way to the front of the audience. “For the first time ever, I am so pleased to present to you Mr. and Mrs. Julian Crane.”

As the guests clapped, Julian took Eve’s hand, and together they walked back down the aisle, through the arch of roses. There Julian stopped and drew her into his arms, once again taking her breath away with a sweet and passionate kiss.