I got along surprisingly well in London. After a few weeks of training and some classroom hours, I was working for the Scotland Yard as a field agent. Jay and I were both really busy—the guys were working on a new album and I was running around London, but despite all that, Jay and I always managed to make time for each other. Even if it was just having a beer before going to bed, we always did something.
Jay was helping me cook dinner that night. It was a regular evening for us, a movie on in the background while Jay did more harm than good. I was humming quietly to myself and chopping carrots when he came up behind me, wrapping his arms around my small frame. “What are you making?” Jay asked, resting his chin in top of my head.
“Vegetable soup,” I replied. I had gone vegetarian after a few weeks of trying to cook two different meals every night, and I actually didn’t miss meat. “Mind making a pot of coffee, babe?”
“Sure thing,” Jay said, pulling away from me. He kissed my neck and moved around the kitchen. “Claire, would you think I was crazy…” He started, his voice dropping off at the end.
“Jay, I already know you’re crazy.” I laughed.
“And you still love me.” He said smugly.
“No, I just love your body.” I rolled my eyes. “Come on Jay, spit it out. It can’t be that crazy.”
Jay was quiet for a minute. “Can we just go somewhere? Like Italy or Greece or something and…”
Did I hear that right? “Just go off somewhere and get married, not tell anyone?” I said, a disbelieving tone in my voice.
“Yeah!” Jay said excitedly. “I have our passports, we wouldn’t have to be gone long. I just love you and I want to marry you but skip the wedding part.” He was standing there in the kitchen, his face bright red and he was shaking.
I just watched him for a second as I sorted through things in my head. I wasn’t really a marriage person, but thinking about it, I realized I’m just not a wedding person. All the pomp and circumstance and wasted money—you’re there to get married to someone you love. Flowers and dresses and crystal candle holders shouldn’t matter.
So here he was, Jay McGuiness, the man I loved. It was only thanks to fate that we were even here right now. Met at a concert, love at first sight. I moved halfway across the world just to be with him. This wasn’t a high school romance that would fizzle out in a few weeks. There was no one else out there for me, and even though I resented conventional practices, marrying him just seemed like the right thing. It wasn’t an attempt to prove anything—we’d be together in a way we hadn’t before.
“Well then, what are we waiting for?” I said excitedly, and Jay’s whole face lit up.
“You’re saying yes?” Jay shouted incredulously. I laughed and ran towards him. I threw my arms around his neck and he kissed me, spinning me around before setting me back down. “Okay, let’s just go!”
“What about clothes and stuff?” I asked.
“We can buy whatever we need there. Where do you want to go? Anywhere in the world, Claire.”
I thought about it for a second. “Vegas. Perfect place for the two of us, isn’t it?” I grinned.
Jay just laughed as we ran though the flat. I grabbed my purse and he got his wallet. He already had the passports, and we called an airline while we were in a cab. The two of us were laughing and giggling, unable to wipe the smiles off our faces.
Jay and I got onto the airplane without being mobbed by fans or photographers. We settled down into our seats and got ready for a long ride. We slept on top of each other most of the way, waking up in time for the layovers.
We were in Vegas and jetlagged. It was midafternoon when we got there, so we checked into a hotel and went to buy some clothes. It was getting dark, so we found a chapel and dressed the part. I was wearing a skintight white dress and heels, a tiara on top of my head. Jay was in dark jeans, a white shirt, and a nice jacket with a loose tie around his neck.
Jay and I were married in Vegas that night by a man dressed like Elvis. We skipped the rings, deciding that we could mess with that later. We got pictures and went out that night, gambling and drinking and kissing and such until it was morning.
We stayed in Vegas for a few days before flying back to London. We didn’t tell anyone what we had done, but we liked it that way. Jay and I were happy together, married and laughing and surrounded by people that loved us. Our whole lives were one big example of fate, but what more could we have asked for?
Time wore on, we got old. His hair turned gray and we both had wrinkles. I broke a hip and he had heart problems—we were in the hospital but we insisted on being in the same room. I was ninety and so was Jay. It was our anniversary, and he got out of his bed and laid down beside me. “We had a good life, didn’t we?” I whispered, taking hold of his wrinkled hand.
Jay kissed me on the forehead. “We did, sweetheart. And I think it’s time to go. I love you, Claire.”
“I love you, Jay.” I stared into those familiar blue eyes one last time. I kissed him and leaned into his chest.
“I’ll be seeing you.”