DISCLAIMER: CSI New York and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement is intended. Eden Ashley is an original character. All mine.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To debrafitzakerley[at]yahoo.co.uk

Eden Ashley Chronicles
By EdenAshley


Part 14

It has been a hectic few days, but certainly a happy few days. Ashley and Stella are currently lying in bed Ashley laid in Stella's arms, neither speaking, both just laying content. They are both aware they will have to move soon to get ready for work. But for now they are simply enjoying the moment.

Ashley has been thinking about their recent engagement, and starts to verbalise her thoughts.

"We should get you a ring."

Stella is awoken from her blissful thoughts, by Eden's words. Slightly surprised by the noise, she looks down at Eden, who pulls herself up so she is eye level with Stella, she can't remove the smile that's plastered all over her face. Stella can't help but lean in for a kiss.

"Good morning."

"Morning." Ashley reciprocates the kiss, and then gets back to her original train of thought before she is fully distracted by Stella.

"Seriously, we need to get you a ring." Ashley gives Stella her serious face, so she knows not to try anymore 'distracting'.

"Okay." Stella isn't really sure how this will work. Ashley senses Stella's confusion, so decides to explain herself better.

"Well you're engaged too right?"

"Well yeah obviously." Stella's brow furrows.

"So do you trust me to pick you out a ring, or do you wanna go pick one out together?" Ashley is secretly hoping she will let her choose, she already has the perfect ring in mind.

Stella mulls it over and decides she wants Eden to get it; it will just be more special if it's from her alone.

"I trust you." She decides to be playful "But you better not disappoint, I want the perfect t ring." She smirks as she says it, and Ashley immediately picks up on the playful tone.

"Ha, I didn't realise my fiancé was so demanding, I may have to rethink my acceptance of your proposal."

"Not a chance Ashley, once you say yes to me there's no going back. You're stuck with me for life."

Ashley pretends to um and ar, until she receives a swift smack on the arm from Stella. Which causes her to burst out laughing, the mock hurt face Stella puts on is classic.

"Ha ha I suppose I can live with that." Ashley snuggles back down into Stella's arms; Stella gives her a kiss on the head as she makes herself comfortable.

Ashley still has about a million questions on her mind, they have been so caught up in the bliss of the last few days, that they hadn't really discussed what was going to happen. Now the happy haze was starting to lift, Ashley's nature is to organise, she can help herself.

"So, do you want it to be a long engagement?" Stella again looks down at Eden, chuckling to herself, she knows she won't be happy until she has a least an idea of what's going to happen, and a loose timeline.

Ashley doesn't seem to notice Stella's chuckle, probably because she's going through all the scenarios in her head. Stella is very clear about what she wants.

"Well, we wanna get married don't we?" She doesn't wait for an answer, because it's abundantly clear. "So I don't see any point in waiting around. I think as soon as possible. But if you wanna wait, I don't mind."

Stella is careful to make sure Eden knows that if things are moving too fast they can slow it down. Eden smiles, Stella has basically said exactly what she wanted to hear.

"The sooner the better for me." A smile burst's onto Stella's face at Eden's words. Now that was settled it's Stella's turn to ask a question.

"Where do you wanna get married?"

Ashley has been giving this some serious thought; she decides to think out loud for Stella's benefit.

"Well, I was all for suggesting heading over to England." This takes Stella by surprise, and Ashley immediately see's the shock in her face, so she quickly explains herself.

"You know 'cos it's legal over there, and I wanna get married somewhere that means something to us. I wouldn't have been happy to just go to some random state where it is legal."

Stella is really touched by the amount of thought Eden has put into this, Ashley just smirks at her, as she continues.

"But it kinda seems like fate, that within days of you proposing they legalise same sex marriage right here in New York. The place that means everything to us as a couple, cos it's the only place we've known as a couple."

Stella was stunned and extremely happy when New York voted for gay marriage, it really did feel like everything was falling into place at exactly the right time. Eden was right about this place too, and its meaning within their relationship, she couldn't think of anywhere she would rather get married, than the place she's known and loved her entire life.

"I think New York is perfect."

Ashley is glad that's two things ticked off of her mental list. The cogs have started turning in her head details wise now.

"Right well you're in charge of venue, I guess we need to decide that first of all so we know when they can fit us in."

"Erm excuse me Miss Ashley, why am I in charge of venue?"

"Because, New York is your neck of the woods, you must know a million places, I haven't even been here a year yet, I've barely scratched the surface."

Stella has the perfect place in mind. "Cool, leave it to me."

Ashley jumps up out of bed, feeling like she could actually explode with happiness.

"Right wifey, get up, we've gotta get ready for work." She winks at Stella as she heads into the bathroom. Stella just sits in bed grinning like an idiot.

It was a largely uneventful day at work, Stella and Mac had arranged to go out for a bite to eat after shift, it seemed like so long since they had a real chat, and so much has happened in such a short space of time. Stella is really looking forward to this, they have just been seated at their table and Mac has just finished ordering drinks. He looks over at Stella who seems to be lost in her own world, he can't believe how incredibly happy she looks, he's not gunna lie it took him a while to get used to the idea of Stella and Ashley, but the look Stella has on her face right now, assures him that it is definitely right.

"So Stella, it seems like forever since we last did this." Mac smile as he takes a sip of his beer. "How are you?"

Stella smiles, as happy as she is with her life at the minute she has missed spending quality time with Mac.

"I'm ecstatic. You?"

"I'm really happy for you Stella. I've never seen you like this before. You deserve it."

"Aw thanks Mac."

Mac decides to turn conversation to the impending nuptials. He guesses there is nothing a woman would prefer to talk about.

"So you're getting married?" Stella can't help the smile that erupts onto her face as soon as Mac mentions the wedding, Mac obviously notices, and can't help but reciprocate. "How's the planning going?"

"Well we haven't really planned anything yet. Well except that were definitely getting married in New York."

"That's excellent news, may as well take advantage now it's legal."

"Well exactly." In fact Stella has something to ask Mac, no time like the present.

"In fact Mac, while we're on the subject of the wedding." This has perked Mac's interest. "You know you are one of the most important people in my life, well in fact along with Eden 'the' most important person in my life."

Mac smiles, truth be told he feels exactly the same way about Stella. There was a time in the past he thought maybe something romantic could happen between them, but now he feels more like a father figure, well no that makes him sound a million years old, more like a brother. Stella continues.

"I really want you to be a part of the wedding." She looks up into Mac's eyes, and see's what she hopes is pride. "Mac I want you to give me away."

Stella suddenly nervous, suddenly worried Mac might reject her, begins to nervous chatter, before Mac has a chance to answer.

"Because you know you're like my family, well not like, you are my family and my only family at that. . ."

Mac chuckles to himself; he can tell Stella is obviously nervous. He decides to put her out of her misery, he reaches across the table and grabs her hand, this instantly shuts Stella up, and when she looks up into his eyes, they are sparkling.

"Stella I would be honoured." He swallows hard feeling quite emotional. Stella picks up on this and becomes a little overwhelmed herself, she can feel the tears starting to formulate at the back of her eyes.

Mac takes a deep breath and shakes his head, the last thing he wants to do is cry, even if they are tears of joy and pride, Stella takes the opportunity to compose herself also.

"Thank you." She moves round the table and pulls Mac into a bear hug, which he gratefully accepts. The mutual love and affection between the two of them apparent for all to see. Stella is so happy he has accepted her offer.

Stella sits back down and they fall into a comfortable conversation. Both extremely content with how the evening has gone so far.

Meanwhile across town, Eden is on one of her 'boy's nights out' with Adam and Flack. They are currently in their favourite sports bar watching the Knicks game.

Flack arrives back at the table with another round of beers, he is eager to turn the topic of conversation to Ashley's Wedding, he is off course extremely happy for Ashley, and Stella for that matter, but it wouldn't be right if he didn't give her some gentle ribbing, and the wedding will definitely give him more material.

"So Ashley, finally settling down huh?"

Ashley can tell where this is going by the cheeky glint in Flack's eyes, but she knows it's all in good spirit. She just nods at Flack to confirm her agreement with his statement, Adam smirks, Flack continues.

"Well we better savour tonight then, this could be the last time we get to hang out, you know what wives can be like."

Adam decides at this point he needs to join in. "Yep the old ball and chain; Stella might not like you hanging out with the guys once she has you up the aisle."

Ashley just shakes her head, will these guys ever learn, she loves the banter she has with them, but her game is far superior.

"Okay first, what do you two know about wives?" The smirks immediately drop from Adam, and Flack's faces, it's almost as if they have magically transmitted to Ashley's face.

"Second, while we're on the subject of weddings. . ." Ashley had been waiting for this moment all night, she knew the topic of the wedding was inevitable, and now the moment has arrived she is slightly nervous, but oh well here goes nothing.

"I was wondering if you guys would be my bridesmaids?"

Ashley smirks as she looks up at them, the look of utter shock on Flack's face is classic and Adam who had just taken a mouthful of beer, actually spits it out in surprise, this makes Ashley laugh out loud, she obviously needs to explain further.

"Well I don't mean actual bridesmaids obviously." This seems to calm the two of them down, Adam was having visions of himself in a pink meringue gown, not a pleasant thought. The ability to speak still escapes the two men, so Ashley continues.

"I suppose technically you would be my best men, except I guess women don't really have best men, so maybe male bridesmaids is the correct term . . ." Ashley is rambling now, she's nervous, mainly due to the fact that neither man has actually said anything.

Adam picks up on the straight away, and immediately envelopes Ashley into a bear hug, he actually feels quite emotional that she has asked.

"Ashley I would be honoured." Flack immediately follows suit throwing his arms around the both of them.

"Me too Ash, it really would be an honour."

They stand there for a good few minutes enjoying the embrace, the can all feel the love, respect and friendship that exists between the three of them. They stay like this until they hear the sound of someone clearing their throat next to them, they all turn slowly, to see Stella standing with her hands on her hips, with Mac just over her right shoulder, laughing at the look on their three faces.

"Oh so is this what goes on when you three get together is it?"

Their brains are still a little hazy from the emotional exchange a few seconds earlier, none of them really has the brain power to decipher if Stella is joking or not, they just look at each other and then to Stella and Mac, Stella can't help but put them out of their misery, as she bursts out laughing.

Ashley somewhat relieved, pulls Stella into a hug.

"What are you doing here?"

Stella smiles. "Well Mac and I were in the area, and I thought we could walk home together."

Flack, who has recovered from his previous trance like state can't resist. "Oh, I believe the Mrs is telling you its home time Ashley, nighty night." He winks at Ashley who just smiles. Stella can't help but fight for her woman's honour, even if it is only silly banter, she knows she can better Flack.

"Oh believe me Don the things I'll be doing to her when we get home, she wouldn't dream of being anywhere else."

Ashley beams at Flack, who chokes on his drink, Adam and Mac burst out laughing. Stella satisfied with her winning comeback, turns to Eden.

"Erm, but I haven't actually come to take you home." Ashley raises her eyebrows, slightly disappointed. "I thought we could stay for a drink?"

"Cool fine by me." Ashley smiles and leans in and steals a quick kiss from Stella, she's been dying to that ever since she walked in.

The five of them have been happily chatting for the last 20 minutes or so, Ashley decides it's time to tell Stella about her best men, she didn't actually discuss it with her previously, not that there should be a problem of course.

"So Stel, I've asked these guys to be my bridesmaids." She looks over at Flack and Adam wiggling her eyebrows as she says it.

"Cool, I'm gunna ask Lindsay and Lucy to be mine, so the four of you should probably get together to discuss dresses and stuff."

Stella manages to keep a deadly straight face as she says it, and just looks over at the two boys expectantly. Ashley catches eye contact with Mac, and it takes all they have not to burst out laughing.

Flack and Adam, don't really know what to do, they just sit there playing with their bottles, trying to think of some intelligent way to tell Stella that there's no way they're gunna be wearing dresses.

Stella can't hold it in any longer and breaks into a fit of laughter, at the little boy lost look on each of their faces, Ashley and Mac follow suit.

Relief washes over Adam and Flack. "Oh very funny." This is best flack can do at the moment; a more witty response escapes him.

Stella wants to bring proceedings back on topic. "I've asked Mac to give me away."

Ashley smiles and looks over to Mac, who oozes pride at the moment; Ashley can see how happy this is making both of them.

"That's excellent." Ashley is really starting to get excited now; there is a real sense of occasion building. Ashley meant to ask the next question in private, but she can't help herself.

"So I was thinking maybe we could move your stuff into my apartment sooner rather than later?"

They had already discussed living arrangements and had decided that Stella would move into Eden's apartment, well their apartment, she already spends most of her time there so it makes sense, but they hadn't actually discussed when. Stella's lack of response makes Ashley question herself a little.

"I mean, y'know if you want too?"

Stella realises she hasn't verbalised the happiness she is feeling right now, she has wanted to move in for a while now, but didn't want to be too pushy, so she was waiting for Eden to ask.

"Of course I want too. As soon as possible."

Now it's Ashley who is overcome by a wave of relief, she looks over to Flack and Adam.

"Well that all depends on my movers extraordinaire over here."

Adam smiles. "Well you know the rules Ash, you provide the beers and the pizza, and we'll provide the muscles." Adams starts posturing, causing everybody else to laugh.

"Well I'm free this weekend. That work for you Adam?" Flack looks over for confirmation which he receives by way of a nod. "Does that work for you ladies?"

"Works for me." Ashley smiles.

"And me." Stella agrees.

Stella and Eden had arrived home about ten minutes ago, Stella is out on the balcony, taking in the view, she loves this view, especially at night when the whole city is lit up like this. This city that she has known her entire life, but she feels like it's changed somehow over the last 9 months, since she's know Eden, New York had lost some of its sparkle, it became a dull place full of murder and crime, and Stella had become bogged down in it all. But now it has some of its wonderment back, I mean the dingy crime ridden New York is still here, Stella can't escape this, she deals with it every day, but at night, when it's like this, and she's with Eden, New York gets it's romance back.

Stella is brought back from her thoughts, by Eden slipping her arms round her from behind, and kissing the side of her face.

"It's beautiful isn't it?" Stella just nods in agreement, still lost in the moment, Ashley moves round so she is now next to Stella, leaning on the balcony wall, and looking out into the city, she continues her musings.

"It looks magical tonight."

Stella couldn't agree more. Ashley continues again, she wants this to be perfect.

"You know I've only ever seen one thing more beautiful than New York City at night."

Stella is intrigued. "Oh yeah what's that?"

Ashley just turns and looks into Stella's eyes, Stella can tell immediately that Eden was talking about her. The look of pure love in Eden's eyes right now, takes Stella's breath away.

Eden decides to pounce while they are both ensnared in this magical moment. She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a box; Stella watches her movements but can't actually formulate a sentence, which is good because Ashley needs to speak.

"Never in my life, did I think I would be lucky enough to meet and fall in love with someone like you." Ashley takes a deep breath to steady her nerves.

"Let alone ever believe that you could love me back." This causes them both to chuckle. Ashley opens the box, and Stella's eyes are immediately drawn down to the beautiful ring. Its white gold, very similar to Eden's except instead of just clear diamonds, it has blue one's running through it as well, it really is beautiful.

"So I was thinking, since I've agreed to marry you and all, if you wouldn't mind wearing this ring, so the whole world knows you're mine?"

This causes them both to laugh; they are both on the verge of very, very happy tears though. Ashley slips the ring out of the box, and onto Stella's finger. And then pulls her in for a kiss, and that's how they stay, embracing with beautiful, sparkly New York in all its glory as the back drop.

Part 15

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