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The Wedding
A Bring Back Milly Production
by Michelle Palmer

Chapter 16: The Wedding

Lucas could feel the sweat on his palms as Lou slowly descended the stairs and nodded her head.  “She’s ready,” she announced.

Lucas felt as if his heart was about to pump from his chest when he heard the piano, brought in from the saloon, play the wedding march.  He stared at the top of the stairs and waited.  The preacher stood in his place, Bible in hand, waiting.

Milly opened the door and fluffed her dress up one more time.  After pinching her cheeks, she walked to the top of the stairs and looked down.  She smiled down at Lucas and slowly started down the stairs.

Lucas stopped breathing when she appeared.  Her dress was pure white with green ivy laced in the hem.  Small, yellow flowers could be seen in her hair, which was beautifully placed on top of her head with a few curls around her face.  The silk sleeves sat off her shoulders, which were only covered with a thin lace.  The front of the dress was low, revealing her throat and the very top of her chest.

Lucas kept his eyes on his bride as she slowly ascended the stairs.  The bouquet in her hands hid their beauty.  When Milly got to the bottom step, she stopped and gasped when she saw the gash on his face and his dirty clothes.  Lucas stepped forward and took her arm, shaking his head slightly.  Milly nodded, then placed the smile back on her face, never taking her eyes off Lucas.

Lou stepped forward and took the bouquet from her.  Lucas took Milly’s hands in his and smiled deeply into her eyes.

Reverend Gathers cleared his throat.  “Dearly beloved, we are here to join this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony.  Who gives this woman to be wed?”

“I do,” Jenny announced through her tears.

Reverend Gathers turned and nodded at her.  He turned back.  “Marriage is a Holy union, not to be entered into lightly.  It is a lifetime commitment.  By marrying the other, you don’t only agree to accept the other’s beauty and strengths.  You also agree to accept your spouse’s faults and short comings.  You agree to work through your problems.  And you agree to always love and stay faithful to each other.”

Reverend Gathers cleared his throat.  “Lucas Mark McCain, do you take Milly Josephine Scott to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad, happy and sad, forsaking all others as long as you both shall live?”

Lucas stared into Milly’s eyes.  He swallowed the lump in his throat as his eyes grew moist.  “I…” He cleared his throat.  “Oh yes, I do!”

Milly smiled and batted her eyelashes as she stared into his eyes.  “Milly Josephine Scott, do you take Lucas Mark McCain to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad, happy and sad, forsaking all others as long as you both shall live?”

Milly bit her lip.  Her eyes danced with tears.  “I…I…” She felt tears fall down her cheeks.  “I do.”  Lucas winked at her, giving her strength.

Milly’s hands were shaking as Lucas turned toward Mark.  He held out his hand, but Mark continued staring at Milly.  “Mark, the ring!” Lucas declared through clinched teeth.

“Oh!”  Mark dug in his pocket and took it out.  Lucas took the ring from Mark.  He took her hand in his and looked into her eyes.  “Milly Scott, today I stand here before God, our family, and our friends to confess my love to you.  I’ve loved you for so long.  Mark told me last night that I loved you from day one.  I can’t tell you the day or hour I fell in love with you, but I will tell you that the day you showed up on my doorstep, I knew in that moment that I was going to marry you.

“Milly, I wish I could stand here and promise you that I’ll only bring you happiness.  Everyday will be full of sunshine and there will be no rain.  I want to promise you that we’ll always speak kind words to each other and never raise our voices, that you’ll never need to cry because they’ll only be happiness.  I can’t do that.

“But I do promise you that as long as I have breath in my lungs and as long as my heart beats, I will love you with everything I have.  I’ll hold you when you cry.  And I’ll always be there through the bad times.  As I make you my wife today, I won’t promise that I’ll be the perfect husband, but I will promise you that I will always…always love you.”

Lucas slipped the ring on Milly’s finger.  “With this ring, I thee wed.”  He kissed the ring on her finger.  Then he lifted his hands up to her face to wipe her tears.

Milly took the other ring from Mark and took Lucas’s hand.  She swallowed.  “I’ll try to get this out.”  Everyone laughed.  “Um…I’ll admit, Lucas, that I wasn’t too fond of you that first day.  But in the days that followed, I watched you at times when you didn’t even know I was watching.  I didn’t only fall in love with you, but I was in love with your son as well.  I knew I…” Milly lowered her head as she tried to regain composure.

Lucas laid a hand on her cheek. “You can do it, honey,” he whispered.

She lifted her head back up to him and nodded.  “The day I left on that stage coach and then finally to the train, my heart was broken because I knew that day that…that…I loved you!  Oh Lucas, the year we were apart was so…so hard.  I clung to your letters like a lifeline, and when I came back, I came back to stay.

“Neither will I promise you there will always be sunshine.  You know that these last three weeks haven’t exactly been walking through a rose garden, but…” Milly bit her lip.  “Lucas McCain, I love you more than I can ever…ever express!  You are my world, and there is no other man who could ever…ever come close to you.  Lucas, I want to wake up next to you every morning.  I want to lay down beside you every night.  I want you to hold me when I cry and walk with me through the storms of life.

“But today…I don’t only want to be your wife…I want to…” Milly looked at Mark.  “I want to be a mother for your son, and for any other children God blesses us with.  I want to take care of him as if he were my own.  He’s already in my heart.  I couldn’t love him more if…if he was my own.”

Mark softly cried beside his father.  Lucas put his arm around Mark and one around Milly as the new family shared an intimate embrace.  After they parted, Milly once again took Lucas’s hand and slipped the ring on Lucas’s finger.  “So with this ring…I…thee wed.”  Tears again slipped down her face.  Lucas wiped a tear from his own face as he smiled into her eyes.

“By the power vested in me, I know pronounce you…man and wife!”  Joy filled Milly’s eyes as tears of joy streamed down her face.  “You may kiss the bride.”

Lucas lowered his face to hers as he wrapped his arms around her.  He kissed her deeply.  Milly kissed him back and they were soon lost in the kiss.  Everyone stared, many with tears on their faces, as they realized the love husband and wife possessed for each other.

Reverend Gathers cleared his throat.  “Well, I’ve never had to say this before, but…You may now stop kissing the bride!”

Lucas and Milly allowed their lips to part as everyone laughed.  But Lucas continued staring into her eyes, a hand on each of her cheeks.  “I love you…Mrs. McCain.”

Milly’s eyes filled with tears again as she cried.  “And I love you…Mr. McCain!”

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I now I present to you…Mr. and Mrs. Lucas McCain!”

Cheers filled the room. Mark embraced his parents.  The three shared a three-way hug.  Mark kissed Milly on the cheek.  “I love you, Ma.”

Milly threw her arms around Mark.  “Oh, I love you too!”

Everyone gathered around the newlyweds excitedly.  Milly received hugs and kisses from the men and women while Lucas received firm handshakes.  Mark received a mixture of all three.

Lou allowed the couple to be smothered for only a few minutes before she clapped her hands and ordered everyone to fill their plates with food.  Lucas and Milly were led into their seats as the family and close friends sat in the dining room with them.  Lou served the bride and groom, but they really weren’t hungry.  They just stared into each other eyes, their hearts pounding with excitement that the wedding had finally come to an end.  Lucas kissed her softly again.  “So, was it all worth it, Mrs. McCain?”

“It was VERY worth it, Mr. McCain!” Milly declared.

“Would you do it all over again if you had to?” Lucas asked.

“Marry you?  YES.  Plan a big wedding in three weeks?  NO!” Milly laughed.  She put a hand to his forehead.  “Now, tell me about this gash, husband.”

“I was just excited about getting to the wedding, my love,” Lucas whispered as he took her hand and kissed it.

The couple slowly ate as Lucas kept an arm around Milly’s shoulder.  Suddenly, the sound of silverware hitting the table could be heard around the room.  Both Milly and Lucas knew what that meant.  Lucas turned to Milly and kissed her as everyone cheered.  As their lips parted, Lucas said, knowing my brothers, they’ll do this every two minutes.  Seems to me I’ll only be able to handle so much of this in public.”  He kissed her nose.  “Especially since we’re married now.”

Milly chuckled softly.

Mark stood up then.  Lucas stared at his son as he tapped his spoon on his lass.  “I’d like to make a speech.”  Mark cleared his throat.  “Um…I’m not much on speech making, but as my Pa and Ma can tell you, I’ve never been short on words either.”  The room filled with laughter.  “I remember when my mother died and how heart-broken my Pa was.”  Mark looked down at his father.  “He tried to hide his own hurt, but I saw it.

“The day Milly came into our lives, something changed in Pa.  There was a sparkled in his eye that I’d never seen before.  Maybe Pa and Ma didn’t realize it themselves, but it was love at first sight.  Oh yes…” Mark nodded with a laugh.  “Sometimes they fought like crazy. And as most of you have witnessed recently, they STILL have…” Mark cleared his throat…”Heated arguments.  But they love each other.

“Anyways, I just want to say that I am happy for my father.  He’s finally found someone to complete him and I wish you both all the luck!”  Mark started to sit down.  But he stood back up and with a grin, said, “Oh, and if you want to give me a dozen brothers and sisters, that’s okay!”  Everyone laughed and cheered as Milly blushed deeply.  Mark cleared his throat.  “Just…don’t ask me to babysit!”

Mark sat down again.  Lucille Bennet sat across the way and began clearing her throat loudly.  Mark raised his eyebrows at her.  She nodded toward the door.  “Oh!”  Mark stood up again.  “Um…the children of the North Fork school have been working on a special surprise for you.”  Mark and Lucille hurried to the door.  “First, it’s the children from the first three grades.”

Milly turned to Lucas as her eyes filled up with tears.  Lucas put an arm around her shoulders as the children were led into the room.  “Those are my children, Lucas!”  The children all held paper in their hands.

Lucille cleared her throat.  “Mrs. McCain, we have been working with the children.  They wanted to describe in one word things about you.  Each child was assigned a letter.  Milly and Lucas watched as each child stepped forward and held up their letter.  Then they said what their letter stood for.

A: Allegance.  Every day she makes us pledge it to the flag.

B: Beautiful

C: Kind! (Matthew smiled).

“Kind starts with a K, dummy!” Stephanie declared beside him.

“Oh!”  Matthew started crying.  Mark hurried over and whispered something in the little boy’s ear.  He smiled.  “Caring!”

D: Dear

E: Early!  She’s ALWAYS there early and gives us extra help!

Milly turned and smiled at Lucas.  Lucas raised his eyebrows at her.

F: Face!  She has one, you know!

Everyone laughed.

G: Great!

H: Honest

I: Im..Im… Mark whispered in the little girl’s ear.  “Oh!  Imagic-station!”

J: Joy

K: KIND!

L: Love

M: Mrs. McCain!

N: Knows!  Lucille bent down and whispered.  “Oh!  Nice.”

O: Open!  She opens her mouth and words come out! (everyone laughed again)

P: Person

Q: Quiet!  She’s always saying that!

R: Red.  She wears that a lot.

S: Sweet

T: Teacher

U: Upset!  She gets that when when I say…

Lucille hurried and put her hand over the little boy’s mouth.

V: Very, very nice!

W: Wonderful!

X: EXTRA Special!

Y: YES!  She likes that word.

Z:  Zero!  That’s the number that comes before one.

Everyone cheered as the children held up their signs.  Then they sat down on the floor and waited quietly.

Mark pulled up a chair and sat down with the guitar on his lap.  The older children came to stand in rows behind the younger children.  They all wore spurs on their feet.  Lucille nodded to the younger children, allowing them to stand.  Mark began strumming on his guitar.

Lucas took Milly’s hand and smiled at her as they listened to the song.

Mark started tapping his spurred feet as he played.  The older children stood and tapped their spurs in rhythm to the music.  Then they started singing:

I got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle
As I go ridin' merrily along
And they sing, "Oh, ain't you glad you're single"
And that song ain't so very far from wrong

Oh, Lillie Belle
Oh, Lillie Belle
Though I may have done some foolin'
This is why I never fell

I got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle
As I go ridin' merrily along
And they sing, "Oh, ain't you glad you're single"
And that song ain't so very far from wrong

Oh, Mary Ann
Oh, Mary Ann
Though we done some moonlight walkin'
This is why I up and ran

I got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle
As I go ridin' merrily along
And they sing, "Oh, ain't you glad you're single"
And that song ain't so very far from wrong

So I'll jingle on along

Everyone laughed as the little kids tried to sing the words.  They repeated some of the words.

The children all sat down.  Mark cleared his throat and strummed on the guitar.  “I tried to find the perfect song for you, Ma and Pa.  I wanted this to be my wedding gift to you.”  Mark cleared his throat as he said, “I actually had another wedding gift, but that idea sort of…blew up in my face.”

Lou burst into laughter.  Then she shot a hand to her mouth.  “Oh, excuse me!”

Lucas and Milly looked at each other and shook their heads.  They wondered what the explosion was that had happened in their home.  Mark cleared his throat as he started singing:

The first time that I looked at her,
It wasn’t hard to see
She is something special
Especially for me.

The bluest eyes that I’ve ever seen
And pretty as can be
She is something special
Especially for me!

I’m lucky that I found her
On that special day
I want so much to tell her
The Things I cannot Say

If she would only look my way
I know that she would see
She is something special,
Especially for me!

Something special…
Especially…for me!

Mark smiled as he sang another song:

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;
Sounds of the rude world, heard in the day,
Lull'd by the moonlight have all pass'd away!
Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,
List while I woo thee with soft melody;
Gone are the cares of life's busy throng,
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Here’s one final song.  Everyone knows this song, I’m sure, so please join in with me on the chorous!

Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam
Where the Deer and the Antelope play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not cloudy all day.

A home! A home!
Where the Deer and the Antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not clouded all day.

Oh! give me a land where the bright diamond sand
Throws its light from the glittering streams,
Where glideth along the graceful white swan,
Like the maid in her heavenly dreams.

A home! A home!
Where the Deer and the Antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not clouded all day.

Oh! give me a gale of the Solomon vale,
Where the life streams with buoyancy flow;
On the banks of the Beaver, where seldom if ever,
Any poisonous herbage doth grow.

A home! A home!
Where the Deer and the Antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not clouded all day.

How often at night, when the heavens were bright,
With the light of the twinkling stars
Have I stood here amazed, and asked as I gazed,
If their glory exceed that of ours.

A home! A home!
Where the Deer and the Antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not clouded all day.

I love the wild flowers in this bright land of ours,
I love the wild curlew's shrill scream;
The bluffs and white rocks, and antelope flocks
That graze on the mountains so green.

A home! A home!
Where the Deer and the Antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not clouded all day.

The air is so pure and the breezes so fine,
The zephyrs so balmy and light,
That I would not exchange my home here to range
Forever in azures so bright.

A home! A home!
Where the Deer and the Antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not clouded all day.

Everyone clapped as Mark stood up and walked back to his seat.  The children all stood up.  Lucille smiled and announced, The children worked hard all week and made you something very special for your home. “  She cupped her hands to her mouth and shouted, “Bring it all in!”

Milly and Lucas stared as a large cloth was brought in and presented to them.  “The children…boys and girls…all learned about patchwork quilts this week.  Though they didn’t have time to make a full quilt, they all sewed together patches of material that meant something to them.  This is our final wedding gift to you.”

Everyone cheered as the children exited the dining room.

Lou clapped her hands and announced it was time for cake.  She motioned for Lucas and Milly to come up as everyone watched in anticipation.  Lucas picked up the knife, a white ribbon tied around the handle.  Milly placed her hand on top of her husband’s as they smiled and cut two small pieces of cake.  They each picked up the cake.  Milly looked up at Lucas as they prepared to feed each other.  “You know…you DID leave me waiting for three hours, Lucas McCain!” Milly declared.

“And I told you I couldn’t help it…Milly McCain!” Lucas replied.  They lifted their cake to the other’s mouth.  Lucas opened his mouth to receive the cake as he put the cake in Milly’s.  Suddenly, Milly smeared the cake all over his face.  Lucas stuffed the whole piece in Milly’s.

Everyone laughed and cheered.  “You go, Milly!” Mark piped up.

Lou smiled as she handed Lucas a napkin.  “You deserved that, Cowboy.”

Lucas wiped the cake off of his face as he nodded.  “So, that’s how it’s going to be?” he pouted as Milly pecked him on the lips and giggled.

“Let’s see if you can do better with the punch!” Lou suggested.  Milly and Lucas picked up the glasses.

Abraham stood up and lifted his cup.  “A toast to my brother, the lover!”  Everyone cheered as Lucas and Milly wrapped their arms around each other’s and took a drink.

Suddenly, everyone started banging on the tables again.  Lucas lifted his eyebrows as he took his wife in his arms and kissed her quite passionately.  The kiss left them both frazzled.  Everyone cheered.

Various people came up to talk to Lucas and Milly.  Johnny Drako came to the punch bowl to get another cup full.  He grinned at Lucas.  “About ready to call it a night?” he asked with a grin.

“Anytime my wife says let’s go.”

“What about the barn dance?” Johnny asked.

Lucas smiled as he patted Johnny on the arm.  “Johnny my boy, it’s all yours.  Knock yourself out.”  Lucas started to walk away from the table, but he looked toward Lou.  “In fact, Lou is a pretty feisty red-head.  I think she’d love dancing with a famous gunfighter.”

“You wouldn’t, by any chance, be trying to marry her off, now would you…Lucas Boy?” Johnny grinned at his friend.  Lucas just smiled.

He searched the room for Milly.  She locked eyes with his.  He hurried over to her.  “You want to stay for the barn dance?  Or are you ready to uh…” Lucas grinned.  “Go home?”

“It’s been a long day, Lucas.  Can we leave?”  Lucas nodded.

“I’m sure they can go on celebrating without us,” he smiled at her.  Lucas found Lou and announced they were leaving.

“Wait!  Milly has to throw the bouquet!’ Lou declared.

Milly walked to the stairs as all the single girls gathered around.  She stood backwards at the top of the stairs and held the bouquet over her head.  “Everyone ready?”  She heard cheers.  “Okay…one…two…three!”  She threw the bouquet.

Everyone watched to see who would catch it.  They watched as the bouquet flew over the head of every woman in the building and landed…

Mark gasped as he caught it.  He suddenly threw it in the air, not wanting anything to do with that.  Lucille gasped as she caught it.  Lucille turned and stared at Mark.  Mark turned and stared at Lucas.  Lucas turned and looked at Micah.  “Lucas Boy, I’d say that’s trouble.  I’ve never seen a bouquet thrown quite like that before…That could be a sure sign of…”

“Shut up, Micah!” Lucas growled.

“Pa, did you see that?  Did you?” Mark gasped in wonderment.

“I’m afraid to say I did, son.”  Lucas sighed as he shook his head.

“I know that when a woman catches it, she’s the next to marry.  But what happens when a man catches it and throws it to a woman?  Does that mean…” Mark stopped when he saw the look on his father’s face.  “Nah!”  Mark hurried away.

Lou laughed at the sight she had just seen.  Then as she turned around, she caught the eye of Johnny Drako.  He smiled at her and held up his cup to her.  Lou turned and looked at Jenny Scott.  “He’s awfully cute, don’t you think?” she asked as she waved at him.

“Oh yes,” Jenny answered.  “And he seems like your type!”

“Hm…” Lou put a finger to her chin.  “Well, we just may have to see if he can dance!”

Lucas walked to the stairs as his wife walked down and smiled into his eyes.  She held her bags in her hands as they smiled and looked into each other’s eyes.  Everyone held rice as the couple started out the doors to the hotel.  Milly paused when she saw a surrey with fringe all along the roof.  There was ribbon tied to it with a sigh that said “Just Married” on the back.  “Lucas!” Milly gasped as she threw a hand to her mouth.

Lucas smiled.  “The wagon broke down.  Nils had a surrey, and I jumped at the opportunity.  Are you pleased, my Love?”

“I am very pleased!”  Milly put her arm around her husband’s shoulders as he picked her up in his arms.  Everyone threw rice and cheered.  Lucas sat her on the leather seat and she waited for her husband to run around and get in on the other side.  Then Milly threw her arms around Lucas as he sat on the seat next to her and they shared one last kiss as rice continued flying at them.

After their lips parted, Lucas said, “Let’s go home, Milly McCain.”  Milly nodded, excitement dancing in her eyes.  She laid her head on his shoulder and smiled as they rode away into the darkness…alone…just the two of them.

The Wedding — The Wedding Night

This is a story based on the TV series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!

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