“Oh darling, you look magnificent. Let me admire you.” Barbara held the mother-of-the groom at arm-length and nodded her appreciation. “That navy blue dress is simply perfect with your blond hair.”
Theresa opened big arms and greeted her cousin and best friend with a hug. “I knew you wouldn’t turn your back on me on the day I so badly need your support—the day I’m losing my only son.” Her voice wobbled and she clutched the satin on her heart with a dramatic flourish.
Barbara concealed her smile under a concerned pout. “Losing a son or gaining a daughter?”
“Hmm… I’ll tell you all about it in a moment. You’re the only one I can confide in.” She pulled Barbara inside the left lounge of the First Christian Church on Main Street, but Barbara paused and spun to the door.
Theresa’s eyes rounded at the sight of four toddler girls huddling behind Barbara’s back. “Oh my God, look at those darlings. They are …so cute,” Theresa added with a visible effort. “You’re an amazing grandmother.”
“Yes, they are adorable and so easy to handle, so obedient and well-behaved.” Barbara encompassed her granddaughters with a tender smile. “Sweethearts, say hi to Antie Theresa.”
The girls squinted suspiciously at Theresa, grumbled, “Hi,” and hid their faces in Barbara’s skirt.
“Daughter number one is locked in her hospital to substitute for two other doctors, and daughter number two flew overseas for an important interview,” Barbara explained. “I couldn’t say no, when the overwhelmed husbands delivered their sets of twin girls in my living room and left right away. I wasn’t going to come but you insisted so much—”
“I need your support. I’m losing my only son. That girl put her claws on him from day one and is not letting go,” Theresa lamented. “Her parents didn’t even consult me for the details of the ceremony or the wedding reception. On top of everything, my ex is doing his best to upset me. The bastard is coming with his Barbie Doll, and —”
A huge commotion interrupted her and a high-pitched voice chimed at the door of the lounge. “Samantha darling, we’ll use the lounge. It’s a quiet place where Brooke can put the last touch to your makeup.”
“Oh dear,” Theresa whispered. “My ex’s number three and Greg’s mother-in-law are here with that…that girl who’s stealing my poor innocent boy. I don’t know if I’m going to faint or kick them out.”
“Neither, sweetie. Welcome them with open arms.”
Theresa heaved a deep breath and lifted her chin a notch. “You’re right. I can do it.”
The bride sashayed in, lovely with long curls cascading on her bare shoulders and back. Her gorgeous dress of silk and lace swooshed in the silence. She froze in her tracks and stared at the four little girls running toward her and squealing pree-ty, ve-wwy, ve-wwy pwet-ty.
“Why, thank you little girls. Who are you?”
Behind the bride, a tall woman in a long royal-blue dress stepped forward. “Oh Mrs. Morrison, I mean Theresa, you’re already here?” Her voice betrayed her annoyance. Was she upset the lounge was already occupied?
“Hello Susan, meet my friend Barbara Ramsey Roland, the wife of TV producer Lou Roland. Susan Hunter, the bride’s mother,” Theresa introduced.
“Really?” A young beauty in a skin-tight, little red sheet and silver stilettos, clicked her way to Barbara. “I’m Brooke Williams, the groom stepmother. So nice to meet you, my dear Barbara.”
“So nice to see you, too, dear Brooke,” Theresa crooned, imitating her nemesis’ tone, before Barbara could recover. “My ex’s new one,” she muttered into Barbara’s ear.
Barbara whispered back to Theresa, “The bride seems like a sweet girl. Are you sure—”
“Barbara,” Brooke’s giggle covered the exchange of salutations, her eyes shining with excitement. “I can’t wait to meet your husband. I love his shows. You know I’ve been studying drama.”
“We know,” Theresa nodded with a sarcastic grin. “No one acts as well as you do.”
“We were not going to stay but if you really want them to walk in the cortege, they can hold hands and do it. They’ve already been flower girls at my wedding.”
“Yes, Barbara, stay for my son’s wedding,” Theresa urged. Barbara glanced at her friend. She’d recovered her poise, but deep down she might still need support. If only Theresa could get out of her depressed mood and give a chance to her future daughter-in-law.
Meet Barbara Ramsay and her sets of twin grandchildren in the Holiday Babies Series—CHRISTMAS BABIES, VALENTINE BABIES, MOTHER’S DAY BABIES.