“No friggin way! I’m not saying it like that. It goes against everything I believe in,” Melora groused. To further underscore her point, she ripped up the paper he’d handed her to read and tossed the scraps into the air. They fell to the ground like dying magician’s doves.
“But that’s the traditional wording,” Mike said. He could feel his pulse quicken, the pressure building behind his eyes. This was not going well. Melora’s high handedness was yet again rearing its ugly head.
“You can say it then. I’ll say your part. How about them apples?” She stood and planted her hands on her hips, her puss in a peevish pout.
“Melora, honey, be reasonable.”
“Why is that an unreasonable suggestion? Why do my vows have to include ‘obey’ and yours don’t?”
“These are the only vows my church will permit,” he lied. In truth, they were the only words he’d accept, the only ones he’d honor.
“Then let’s go to a different church that’s more modern-thinking.” Shuffling through the folders in their wedding planner, she withdrew a sheet of paper and handed it to him. “I’ll say these vows and only these.”
Mike took the paper from Melora and focused on the words printed there. These again. They’d already had a knockdown, drag out fight over these vows and he thought they’d compromised and moved on. Obviously, she hadn’t, otherwise why would there still be a copy in the planner?
He gritted his teeth and said, “We have already discussed this and agreed that these are inappropriate and unacceptable.”
Melora walked over to him and said in a voice she’d stolen from an old Marlene Dietrich movie, “Those are the only vows, I’ll utter.”
He shook the paper, cleared his throat then began to read, “I, Melora, do promise to love and respect Michael…” He paused and looked up at her, at the smug look on her face. Just reading the words aloud made him feel queasy. “…until my last breath on this earth is drawn.”
Melora smiled and said, “Perfect.”
“But what about honor and obey? What about promising for all eternity?” He should have recorded their argument from last time so he could remember all his points against these pitiful excuses for marriage vows. “Is honor not to be a critical component of our marriage?”
“Respect covers both sufficiently. Honor sounds too subservient as does obey,” Melora snapped. “If you respected me, you wouldn’t demand this of me. If you loved me, we wouldn’t be having this argument again.”
Touche. She’d whipped out the “If you loved me” gun, pointed it at his heart and pulled the trigger.
“The vows I want were fine for Stacy, Robin, Carla and Velma,” Mike said, handing her back the paper.
“Yeah and look what happened to them,” Melora said tucking the page back into the planner. She shot him an evil glare that dared him to disagree, yet was oddly erotic too. In truth, he could not disagree, but his previous wives’ fates had less to do with their vows than their willingness to break them. They had been…expendable and the truth was Melora might also be expendable one day but her refusal to promise to honor or obey him would certainly make getting rid of her that much more difficult.
“Don’t you sweetheart me. Listen, it was already going to be hard enough to be married to a demon. A girl’s gotta take proper steps when she falls in love with the spawn of Satan. And the number one rule I’ve already learned just from dating you is that the devil is ALWAYS in the details.”