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09 October 2013 @ 08:35 pm
Fic Post: Forsaking All Others  
Title: Forsaking all Others
Author: Montiese
Category: Drama/Family/Romance
Pairing: Erin Strauss/Mark Cramer
Rating: TEEN
Summary: Nothing ever scared Erin so much in her life. She felt like a deer caught in headlights and wondered if it was normal.
Author’s Note: This is #15 in The Story of Us series, which chronicles the life of Erin Strauss and Mark Cramer from 1985 to right now.


September 9, 1988

She looked at herself in the mirror one more time. The hair choice was probably something she’d debate about for the next 25 years. She’d thought about wearing it up, Erin’s neck was one of her most beautiful features. Her mother thought she should wear it down. Joanna Strauss thought it softer since Erin wore it up a lot at work where she meant business.

In the end, Erin agreed. She put on her mother’s earrings, something borrowed, and added more lip gloss. Erin made her own, a combination of pink and raisin red. It suited her lips perfectly. There was a knock on the bedroom door and Erin turned around.

“Come in.”

Kirk opened the door and peeked his head into the room.

“I'm allowed to see the bride before the wedding right?” his tone was almost sheepish.

“You're not the groom so I think the answer is yes. Come in here.”

He walked in, closing the door behind him. She looked amazing but he had no idea how to tell her. Kirk Douglas had always been a man of few words but at the moment he had none. When Erin stood and smiled, his words flew even further away.

“Do I look alright?” she asked.

For a while Kirk didn’t say anything. Erin’s smile faded.

“What's wrong?”

“Dammit.” He muttered.

“What?”

“I need to give you this; it’s something old.” He took the box from the inside of his suit jacket. Walking toward her, Kirk put the box in the palm of Erin’s hand. “I'm going to go now…I didn’t expect to be this overwhelmed.” His kissed her cheek. “Knock ‘em dead, kiddo.”

“I love you too.” Erin said after he’d walked out of the room. She sat back down and opened the box. It was a silver necklace with a double hearted Star of David pendant. There was also a note in Kirk’s hurried but rather neat handwriting. ‘My mother gave this to me the day I married. The two hearts represent those of man and woman, forever intertwined and starting life’s journey together. I love you and am always here for whatever you need. K.D.

“Sweetheart, it’s almost time.” Joanna walked into the room. “Oh my, you look so beautiful.”

“I do.” Erin looked at her mother.

“Of course you do. Are you ready?”

“I need to put on my veil…and my necklace.”

“This will probably be the last thing I have to help you with.” Joanna said.

“Oh no,” Erin shook her head while looking in the mirror. “You are never allowed to leave me. Ever.”

“It’s nice to be needed.” Joanna smiled, taking the necklace from the table. “This is very pretty.”

“Kirk gave it to me. His note says it’s a double hearted Star of David.”

“I think it’s well suited for the day.”

Joanna put the necklace around Erin’s neck. Then she helped her with the veil. Erin stood, walking over to the full length mirror. She and her mother were the same height but Erin wasn’t wearing her heels yet. Smoothing out her dress, she took a deep breath.

She’d decided not to wear white; it was after Labor Day. Her dress was off-white, crisscrossed over her chest, and had sequins that made it sparkle. The waist was belted but Erin had them remove the large flower that was on the side. She didn’t like that at all. It had been the second dress she’d tried on at the fancy bridal boutique in Manhattan her mother took her to.

As soon as Erin looked in the mirror she knew it was the one. Even though she thought she looked beautiful, fear clenched her stomach. She couldn’t believe that she was getting married. Nothing ever scared Erin so much in her life. She felt like a deer caught in headlights and wondered if it was normal.

“Mum?”

“Yes love?” Joanna put the veil over Erin’s face. She turned her daughter around.

“How did you feel on your wedding day?” Erin asked.

“It was excruciating. I felt like I was going to faint or throw up most of the time. While I wasn’t shy by any means, I hated feeling like the whole world was staring at me. I worried that I wouldn’t make a good wife. I loved Erich and thought I was an excellent girlfriend but being a wife was a whole different ballgame.”

“How do you even know that you love someone enough? If you're lucky then the rest of your life will be a long time. If you're unlucky you're going to spend it attached to someone you thought you loved because you had good sex one summer years before.”

“You just ask yourself a few questions.” Joanna said. “Are you happier alone or with him? Does he listen to you, communicate, and do you respond in kind? How do you respond to him when no one is looking? Would your feelings for him be the same if he lost his penis?”

“Mum!” Erin laughed, her eyes wide as she covered her mother’s mouth. “You're not allowed to say that word.”

“Why not?”

“Well because you're my mum.”

“You're here because of that word.” Joanna laughed. “C'mon, we need to get downstairs. Your father is waiting for you.”

“They're all waiting for me.” Erin whispered. She looked in the mirror again and closed her eyes. “OK, I'm ready.”

“Are you sure?” her mother asked.

“Yes, I'm sure.”

***


“You're trembling.” Erich Strauss said.

“I'm nervous. That’s normal, isn’t it?”

“It is.” He nodded. “You look so beautiful. Mark is nervous as well…he told me so.”

“Do you think he’s going to be a good husband, Daddy?”

“He is.”

“He's not your favorite person.” Erin said.

“He's a Republican. I would like it better if he weren’t.”

“I know.” She nodded.

“You get up to that altar, Erin, and you look into his eyes. I guarantee that you'll have the answers to all of your questions.”

“Alright.”

Erin put her arm in his and walked over the threshold into the ballroom. They were going to be married in the Hay-Adams Room with their reception held next door in the Lafayette Room. The Hay-Adams Hotel was across from the White House and one of the most exclusive hotels in the nation’s capital. She wanted a dream wedding, even if weddings weren’t something that Erin really thought about before Mark proposed to her.

She walked down the aisle to Mouret’s Rondeau, which most people knew as the theme to Masterpiece Theatre. Erin closed her eyes for a moment and then looked straight ahead. Everyone was standing up, looking at her. Her stomach lurched forward. It was always the feeling Erin got before she cried not before she threw up.

“Who gives this woman away in marriage?” the Justice of the Peace asked.

“Her mother and I do.” Erich replied. He lifted Erin’s veil, kissed her cheek, and then she reached for Mark’s hand.

“You look stunning.” He whispered.

“Don’t speak.” She whispered back. “I don’t want to burst into tears.”

Mark nodded, squeezing her hand. He was anxious to kiss the bride. Nineteen months he’d waited patiently for this. The last six months they'd been living together in Erin’s large Alexandria condo. He wanted to be married.

It had nothing to do with his father’s veiled comments about whether it would even happen or his slightly conservative boss having no idea that Mark and Erin were living in sin. He wanted to be Erin’s husband; wanted her to be his wife. He wanted to start a family and build a life as a DC power couple. They would be more than that though. They would love each other and be in love. He looked forward to every moment of it.

“Do you, Mark Preston Cramer, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife? To have and to hold from this day forward, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others as long as you both shall live?”

“I do.” He nodded.

“Do you, Erin Camille Strauss, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold from this day forward, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all overs as long as you both shall live?”

Erin looked at him. She’d seen that hopeful look in Mark’s eyes before and it always made her smile. Today would be no different.

“I do.”

“May I have the rings please?”

Alex and James, now known as the Doctors Blake since Alex had her PhD, were designated the maid of honor and best man since the night the couple got engaged. They placed the rings on the open bible.

“These rings represent a covenant between man and woman. Once they are placed on your fingers that covenant will bind you together for life. It’s a covenant of love; love for one another. Mark, turn to face Erin and take her ring.”

He picked up the white gold band and held it in his hand. They’d had the rings engraved with their wedding date and the words you and me.

“Mark, repeat after me. I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness.”

“I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness.” Mark said, slipping it on her finger.

“I marry you with this ring, with all that I have and all that I am.”

“I marry you with this ring.” He said. “With all that I have and all that I am.”

“Erin,” the Justice of the Peace looked at her. “Please take Mark’s ring.”

She took the ring from the bible. Her hands were sweating and shaking; the ring slipped from her fingers and fell onto the carpet. Before Mark could move, James got down on the carpet and felt around for it. It was round; he had no idea how far it could’ve rolled. Luckily, it wasn’t far from Mark’s feet. The laughter from the audience was nervous as James popped up and handed Erin the ring.

“Thank you.” She nodded at him.

“Erin, repeat after me. I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness.”

“I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and faithfulness.” She put it on his finger.

“I marry you with this ring, with all that I have and all that I am.”

“I marry you with this ring,” Erin exhaled. “With all that I have and all that I am.”

The Justice of the Peace put the bible down on a podium. He put his hands on top of Mark and Erin’s which were still joined.

“What love and faithfulness has brought together, the work of no man shall tear apart. By the power vested in me by the District of Columbia, I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.”

Mark pulled Erin in close and she wrapped her arms around his waist. He caressed her face, smiling as the tears finally fell from her eyes. His first kiss was an Eskimo kiss and then he went in for the kill. Neither one wanted to get too passionate in front of the guests; Erin just slightly opened her lips for him. The music was playing again. People were clapping as they walked down the aisle. There were hugs, kisses, squeezed hands, and well wishes.

Mark didn’t feel like his feet were touching the ground as they walked down the aisle toward the door. His father hugged him, he remembered that. It was the only time during the entire day that he felt cold. To combat that Mark held Erin’s hand, still joined with his, to his lips. She looked at him and he loved her face. She looked happy and it made his heart swell. They’d done it, they were finally married.

“Mrs. Cramer.” Outside of the ballroom, Mark pulled her close.

“Someone’s going to see us.” Erin held him close, surrendering to his affection.

“We’re a married couple so I think kissing is OK.”

“A married couple.” She mused between kisses. “Promise me that nothing will change.”

“It’s improbable for me to love you more so…” Mark kissed her again.

“You're so corny. I do love that about you.”

“I love you too, my little Wiener Schnitzel.”

***


I will endure all the time
Hold together in the worst conditions
Forever we knew it to be one of a kind
And as it grew into this love of legend
We both made sure this piece of Heaven would withstand any test
For the strength was made of love, faith and trust
And until all the glitters gone
we’ll be adding on to make it even stronger
True love will never die
long after the love has lost its shine


Erin smiled as she and Mark swayed to the music. They were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Cramer to the clapping crowd. Walking into the ballroom the music started to the Regina Belle song and Mark took Erin into his arms. It had taken forever to actually pick a wedding song. For a while Erin wasn’t even sure they would have one.

Why is this so hard?” she asked one night, putting her glasses on the nightstand. “We listen to cheesy love songs all the time.”

“You think our wedding song is just going to be some cheesy love song?” Mark came out of the bathroom in a towel.

“I think you look amazing in that towel. Have you been working out?”

“I added an extra day to the gym; I just want to make sure I look good on my wedding day. Can we get back to the conversation at hand?”

“What conversation?” Erin asked.

“We need a wedding song, schatzi. What do you want to walk into our reception to? What song do you hear and think of me? What song do I hear and think of you?”

“Keep on Loving You.” Erin said. “But that song is really cheesy and I don’t want it to be our wedding song. I do think of you when I hear it though.”

“I don’t think I'm ever going to forget that road trip to Providence.” Mark smiled when he said it. He walked over to the bed, climbing in with her. Erin laughed and pulled him close.

“God, we had so much sex in that damn car.” Erin laughed.

“Can I pick the wedding song?” he asked.

“You don’t want to leave it to me?”

“I know you and your mom are busy with a lot of other things. Not to mention all that you do at work. I want to do something for the wedding too. We don’t have much more time.”

“OK, you choose. Just make sure it’s not cheesy.”

“Not cheesy, check. Now give me some of that sugar.”

“Oh God Mark Cramer, you are so corny. I love you.


“I have a confession to make.” Erin whispered as they danced.

“What is it?” he asked.

“I was stalling.”

“I know.” Mark nodded.

“You knew?” Erin looked at him. Mark kissed her.

“Erin, I know you. I knew you loved me and you wanted to accept my proposal. You just had to deal with some other things in your head first. I didn’t mind waiting.”

She nodded, hugging him closer. Of course he knew, and Erin loved that about him. He just got her. Mark never tried to make her something that she wasn’t. She wasn’t sure if in the end that was going to be a good thing or a bad thing. Right now Erin just wanted to be in his arms.

“I love this song.” She said.

“I did good?” Mark asked.

“You did great. It’s perfect actually. I know it won't always be this way but…”

“Shh,” he kissed her again. “Live in the moment. Right here, you and me, on one of the happiest days of our lives. Hear the words of the song and just know that’s what we aspire to.”

***


“You know I hate surprises.” Erin rolled her eyes before closing her eyes. She covered her face with her hands.

“You're not allowed to complain on our wedding night.” Mark said as he opened the side drawer by the bed.

They were in the honeymoon suite in the Hay-Adams Hotel. The wedding was amazing and the reception much fun. They ate, drank, danced, and listened to beautiful toasts by loved ones. Erin cried more than she thought humanly possible but they were all tears of joy.

Tears when she danced with her father. More tears when she danced with Kirk. Tears, and laughter, when Alex made her maid of honor toast. She even danced and made nice with David Rossi. He all but crashed the wedding, coming as Kirk’s plus one since Marjorie was out of the country tending to her ill sister.

It was nice to see him and he bought the couple a wonderful gift so Erin didn’t complain too much. After giving herself to everyone else all day, it was nice to finally have some alone time with her husband. Wow, Erin Strauss had a husband. That was going to take some getting used to.

“Are you ready?” Mark asked.

“I'm ready.”

“OK, open your eyes.”

Erin did, looking at the two white boxes on the bed. They were wrapped as most of their gifts had been, in delicate paper with beautiful bows.

“Which do I open first?” she asked. One box was small and the other was three times its size. She had no idea what they could be.

“You don’t even have to unwrap them.” He said. “Pop them open at the same time.”

“Why are you grinning like that?”

“Just open them and see.”

Erin couldn’t help but smile too as she flipped the box lids at the same time. She covered her mouth and laughed as soon as she saw what was inside. The smaller box held a pink vibrator. In the bigger box was a strap-on that looked to be about six inches. The dildo was pink with black straps.

“Oh my God,” she looked at Mark. “Are you serious?”

“I like to call them his and hers wedding gifts.”

“I really love you.” She took his face into her hands and kissed him. “Did you buy these in a store?”

“God no, I'm not that brave. I ordered them from a magazine. I invoke my fifth amendment rights on telling you which one.”

“We’re gonna have a lot of fun with these on our honeymoon.” Erin smiled as Mark pulled her into his lap.

“I knew you were going to say that.”

“Tonight though,” she ran her fingers through his hair. “I just want it to be the two of us.”

“One round of sweet but hot sex coming right up, Mrs. Cramer.”

“Two rounds…two rounds of sweet but hot sex.”

“You're on.”

Erin pushed the boxes off the bed; she could deal with them in the morning. Right now she just wanted her husband’s undivided attention. Living in this moment was something that wouldn’t be difficult at all.

***

 
 
Where am I?: the lair
Feelings: thoughtfulthoughtful
Background Noise: silence