It was only three days before my wedding and I was laying in bed with Duke after meeting his family for the first time the night before who were going to be my future in-laws. Ah! The thought of someone being a future in-law to me was still creepy; in fact, the thought that I was going to be married in several days was enough to scare the pants off of me.
Everything was so surreal. Duke proposing to me right in front of Maria, his ex-fiancee. Me saying yes and then realising I was officially engaged. I even had to wake up in the middle of the night, shake Duke awake and asked him if that really had happened or if I just dreamed it to which he happily assured me we were engaged.
I got home the morning after and told Sophia straight away and she nearly screamed the roof off. I didn't tell Roman although I wouldn't even have had the opportunity as he acted as if I wasn't even there. Sophia and I celebrated that night with a few celebatory drinks and what not.
And now, just days away from my wedding, I was lying in bed with my fiance - another word I had to get used to - just moments after his family had come over to visit their new son-in-law. I had never been so scared in my life.
'They loved you,' Duke had assured me repetitively as he held me in his arms.
Duke had informed them of his rash decision and he admittedly told me that they were very shocked at this but were not angry nor disappointed, just very curious to meet me. I had to meet his parents, his older sister and three younger brothers. I was not looking forward to it at all.
I had put 120% into cooking them dinner and soon enough, there was that fatal knock on the door. Duke let them in and hugged them, welcoming them into his - soon to be our - home. First walked in Duke's three younger brothers, aged 12, 14 and 18. It hit my confidence when I realised my age was closer to his 18 year old brother's as opposed to his. And then flew in his graceful older sister named Phoebe who surprisingly took a liking to me straight away, saying that she had always wanted a gay shopping buddy to which I happily accepted. And then his parents walked in clearly giving me the once over before offering to shake my hand.
'It seems you've stolen my son's heart,' his mother said quite seriously.
I forcefully chuckled, mumbled a few words and patted her on the shoulder light-heartedly before offering her a seat. There were a million thoughts flying through my head at this time and I was too scared to even move so I stood awkwardly next to Duke who noticed my anxiety and found it funny.
Later on in the night, during dinner, his family started to warm up to me and I came out of my shell a bit, instantly befriending his youngest brother and becoming buddies with him. I shared similar video game interests with his 14 year old brother and offered high school advice to his 18 year old brother and in doing so, had won them over completely.
'This chicken is amazing!' exclaimed Mrs. Erving.
I seized this opportunity and offered to take her to the kitchen afterwards and show her what I had done with the marinade to which she accepted and soon warmed up to me. His father was still somewhat off with how he spoke to me but I could see and feel that there was no ill feelings. By the end of the night, I was getting along with his family as if they were my own - which they would be in a few days.
While the men watched a rugby game on the big screen, Mrs. Erving, Phoebe and myself took to the kitchen to wash and dry the dishes and have girl talk.
'I've never seen Duke so happy,' said Phoebe when she knew we were out of earshot.
'Really?' I asked, my heart beating faster than before.
'Yes! Have you seen the way he stares at you?' added Mrs. Erving.
I blushed and shook my head but the Erving ladies assured me that I was clearly the greatest thing in Duke's life and as long as I kept him happy, they were very glad to have me in the family.
'So, my future brother-in-law,' Phoebe said brightly, 'I think we best plan you a bachelor party. Or would you prefer it to be a bachelorette night?' Mrs. Erving jumped at this opportunity to add in her two cents and soon enough, they were bombarding me with ideas such as pole-dancing classes and banana hammock strippers.
The night had finished and Duke and I bid farewell to his family. I shook hands with his brothers and his father and hugged Phoebe and his mother, telling them that I would come and see them tomorrow to iron out the Bachelor Party we were going to have. After they had left, I sighed with relief and fell into Duke's warm grasp.
'You won them over so easily,' he mumbled, 'I have to say, I'm a bit impressed.'
After thinking about it more now, I assumed that they had liked me which made me feel so much better.
'Can you believe we're going to be married in three days?'
'I would've preferred a long engagement but as long as it's with you, this will be perfect,' I said with a smile.
My three-day wedding planning schedule was jam packed. Today, there was suit shopping and bridesmaid dress shopping and we were going to visit places for my Bachelor Party. The next day was cake tasting and wine tasting and I would make the final decision on the menu and then I would have to rush to the rehearsal dinner. The day after consisted of a wedding shower and finally my Bachelor Party and finally, my wedding would come.
This was nearly too much for me to handle, but the light at the end of the tunnel kept me from fainting.
'Would you care if I changed my last name to Erving?' I asked Duke as I tied my shoes to get ready for the day while Duke was lazing on the lounge next to me, his big feet up on my lap as he stared at the basketball on TV.
'I do not expect you to do that at all, but if it's your choice, I will be highly honoured and privileged,' he said, sounding like he cared even though he hadn't taken his eyes off the TV screen.
My family who lived in New Zealand were set to come in the day before my wedding so Duke had to wait until then to meet them. I was planning on letting them stay at my house but Duke had kindly offered to pay for their hotel with which they gladly accepted. My family still couldn't get over the fact that I had managed to score one of Australia's hottest bachelors so they couldn't wait to meet him.
'Quinn Erving,' said Duke, snapping me out of my daydream, 'I like the sound of that.'
There was a knock on the door and Phoebe dashed in with a bright smile on her face.
'Time to go shopping, brother-in-law!' she screamed excitedly.
I pushed Duke's feet off my gently and sweetly planted a kiss on his forehead. He had a day off work today and because he didn't trust himself with any of the wedding planning, I was doing all of the work by myself.
'I envy you so much now,' I whispered to him.
'Have fun, babe,' he said with a wink.
He kissed me once more before I left the apartment with Phoebe wrapped around my arm.
I walked through the door quietly and tried to silently shut it behind me after having the wicked night out with Sophia and Phoebe. I tiptoed into Duke's bedroom and thought I had done a pretty good job of sneaking in undetected but nearly screamed when I saw Duke sitting upright in our bed, watching me with an amused smile on his face.
'Thought you could sneak in?' he said with a grin.
As charming as Duke was, he had declined the chance to have a bachelor party of his own, stating that he only needed me in his life and couldn't wait to have the chance so he spent the day and night with my family, the latter of which told me that they had welcomed him into the family already.
'Sorry,' I apologised sweetly.
I stripped out of my clothes and got into bed in only my underwear and cuddled up to Duke.
'So,' he began casually, 'we're going to be married tomorrow.'
'Tonight you're my fiance,' I replied with a smile, 'and tomorrow, you'll be my husband.'
He kissed me sweetly and got on top of me as we passionately embraced in our bed. Needless to say, we had amazing sex that night before cuddling up together, our last night being single for the rest of our lives.