The Reception

Tess wasn’t used to wearing heels. Athletic shoes were more her style, but she’d do anything for her best friend, even if she’d be crippled for a week from wearing five inch heels. At least Samantha had chosen dresses that could be worn again. Although, Tess wasn’t too certain if she’d ever wear the dress again. With three children and catering business, her days of hot dates with her husband were over. But the way Jose looked at her, she knew he liked her dressed up with killer heels. Yeah, she’d get lucky tonight. She smiled brightly for the camera. The only thing she was seeing were spots from all the flashes.

 ***

                     “Okay, I want a picture of the bride and groom with the new mother-in-laws.” the photographer said.

Theresa and Brooke stepped forward about the same time as Nancy Hudson. Greg looked at his father’s newest ornament. “Brooke, why don’t you sit this one out? We’ll just use Mom for this one.”

“Whatever you want, son.

“Why don’t you find Dad, and we’ll take a photo with the two of you with us.”

Theresa seethed as she took her place next to Greg, and Nancy took hers next to her daughter. Theresa would have preferred to take Brook’s overly “smoky” eyes and ripped them out. Instead she forced a smile, and prayed this whole picture gig would be over quickly. She also figured the marriage would be over quickly. No one was as sweet as Samantha. Her true colors will show. Give her a few months.

 ***

                     After being showered in birdseed, Samantha and Greg headed over to her parents’ house for the reception. As she entered the backyard, she decided it was perfect. The sun was shining and all the food was in place. It was beyond what she had envisioned. In the center of one tent, was her wedding cake, next to it was a smaller chocolate cake, and on the far side was a cake decorated in peach. Tess had called it a fruited cake. They looked too pretty to eat. Penny had helped Tess, and between them, the cakes were fabulous. Samantha and Greg began to greet guests.

***

                     Naomi and Bitsy were the first. Naomi was carrying her shoes. Thank goodness! All we needed was for her to break her hip! The woman was loony. Slowly everyone filtered into the yard. The first chance Samantha had, she ran upstairs to her room and changed into a white sundress and Greg shed the tuxedo for a more casual pair of pants and white shirt.

“Aren’t you going to wear that black shirt? We’re going to do that dance.”

“I’m not trying to spoil you day, but it’s way too hot for a black shirt. I’ll be dripping in perspiration in that shirt. I’m not Patrick Swayze, and I don’t have an entourage to keep me looking movie-set perfect.”

“I understand, my darling. But you look so cute dressed all in black.”

“Cute?”

Samantha smiled and beckoned him with her finger.

 ***

                     Brook Williams sashayed over to Nancy Hunter. “Where are they?”

“Oh, the kids are upstairs. The entire wedding party is changing into something more suitable for a picnic.”

“This isn’t a picnic. It’s a wedding reception.”

Nancy shrugged. “It’s what the children wanted.”

“Children don’t get married!” She stuck her nose in the air and took off across the lawn. The toes of her high heels glittered in the sun, but her heels kept sinking into the soft lawn.

Mr. Hunter whispered into his wife’s ear. “She’s aerating our lawn for us.”

Nancy tapped her husband’s arm. “You are so bad!”

He chortled. “That’s not what you told me last night.”

“Shh!”

 ***

                     Barbara, Theresa, and Mona found a nice spot under tree and watched Barbara’s double set of twins playing a beanbag toss game. The two older ones were taking it seriously, too seriously, and the three women laughed as the twins proposed the rules of game. But when one of the younger twins wandered away, Barbara jumped from her seat. She wasn’t quite fast enough. A little hand swiped icing from the fancy wedding cake. The damage was done. It was two little finger marks right at the bottom edge. Maybe no one will notice.

 ***

                     Chris put his hand on the small of Katie’s back. They had never really talked about marriage. Well, maybe a little, but not seriously. But seeing Samantha and Greg together, and the way she looked at Greg. Wasn’t that what he wanted; a wife, settle down, buy a house, and maybe make a couple of babies? Samantha couldn’t hold a candle to Katie in looks or personality. He was the one to always walk away, always wanting more, except this time he had what he wanted in Katie. This time he wasn’t going to walk away.

“I’m surprised at you,” Katie said. “It’s not like I expected Samantha to be some witch, but she’s is a darling. I’m just trying to figure out why you her slip between your fingers.”

He leaned down and pressed a silent kiss on Katie’s neck. “I knew there was someone better for me. I’ve found exactly what I’ve always wanted. And this time, I’m not walking away.”

                      ***

                     Ben stood with his back to the crowd looking at the pond and tall grasses behind it that hid the door to the garage. He knew there were some recent imports of grasses and he wanted to know where these three pots of grass came from, as they would look perfect on his condo balcony. Two fingers walked up his back.

“What is my son’s best friend doing, standing all alone? You need someone to talk to you.”

He looked at wife #3 and thought maybe he’d gag. Brooke’s little pout was a bit much. He looked her straight in the eyes. “You’re a bit young for me. Unlike Greg’s father, I prefer not to rob the cradle. And I have no interest in a married woman.”

“Oh, are you in a bad mood! Too many martinis last night?”

“Excuse me, I need to propose a toast to the happy couple.” He turned his back on Brooke, but Penny caught his eye.

She seemed introverted but not shy. He’d caught her studying the Iris that were blooming. She delicately ran her finger over the beard and smiled. That’s what he wanted, a woman who could appreciate nature. Getting a PhD in environmental bioengineering wasn’t exactly exciting for most women. He laughed to himself. Most people really didn’t care about protecting natural areas. They took them for granted.

He watched Penny as he raised his glass. “To Samantha and Greg Williams…”

 ***

                      Lisa stood with a paper plate filled with delicious tidbits. The lettuce wraps were to die for and the taquitos were yummy. Music started to play and Samantha danced with her dad. Lisa remembered her own wedding. It seemed like such a long time ago. She was so in love with Todd, and maybe she still was. He was still just as handsome. What happened between us? What went wrong?

Todd dropped a double-dipped, dark chocolate under white chocolate strawberry on her plate and the prettiest marzipan rose on her plate. “You missed the good stuff.”

“I was trying to be good and save calories for cake.”

Todd patted her hip with the back of his hand. “A little late to be worrying about a few hundred calories.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Just remember who put the sweet stuff on my plate.”

 ***

                     “And now the bride and groom!” the DJ announced.

Samantha and Greg walked to the center of the yard as the music began to play the song “The Time of my Life”. Carefully rehearsed steps, had the crowd cheering. For all of Greg’s fussing about having two left feet, he bowled everyone over. Samantha’s butterflies settled down, once she was into about the eighth bar of the music, and she just went with it. Everyone was clapping and cheering. By the end of the song quite a few people were dancing with them.

***

                     Jock Mac Laren took Theresa’s hand and led her to the lawn. He loved dancing and Theresa had never had much experience on a dance floor, but she was a quick study. He had plans for tonight. He’d take her back to his place where the champagne was chilled and waiting. The bed was strewn in rose petals and candles were waiting to be lit. She would be his. With no intention of letting Theresa out of his sight for the next three weeks, he’d booked first-class passage to the UK where they would visit Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. She’d return his wife. He grinned at Mathew Williams. The man had no idea what kind of a woman he’d divorced, but Jock was thrilled to step up to the plate and pamper the lovely Theresa for her real beauty came from within.

 ***

                     Samantha and Greg cut the cake and Barbara breathed a sigh of relief. They didn’t act as if they saw the tiny finger marks on the bottom edge of the icing. There were probably less than a dozen children in attendance, but it was her grandchildren that were the youngest. Only hers had fingers small enough to make those marks.

 ***

                     Samuel Hunter walked up to his wife. “Abbie’s on the phone.”

Nancy inhaled. “Oh, no. Did she say what she wanted?” She scurried from the yard to the phone in the living room. “Abbie? Is something wrong?”

“Not at all. I just wanted to check and make sure that everything was on schedule.”

Nancy breathed a sigh of relief. “Everything has been perfect! I’ll email you pictures. It’s been a beautiful wedding. I wish you could have been here for it.”

“I wish I could have been there, too. But I’ll see her.”

“I know she’s looking forward to coming.”

“When are you and Samuel going to come for a visit?”

Nancy giggled. “Now that we have Samantha out of college, maybe we’ll have a few extra dollars to do a few things like visit my favorite little sister.”

“I’d love that.”

“I’ve got to get back outside.”

“I understand.”

“Abbie, are you happy with Jason?”

“Very!”

Nancy said goodbye to her sister and disconnected the call. She wished she were running off to Canada to see her sister’s inn, The Roses, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Abbie had been cagey about Jason. Nancy only knew that the man was younger, but it had been a while since her little sis had something positive in her life. She certainly deserved a little happiness.

Nancy walked into the backyard.

Samuel put his arm around her waist. “Everything okay?”

Nancy nodded and the DJ announced it was time to toss the bouquet.

 ***

                     All the single ladies lined up while the DJ played “Put a Ring on It.”

Tina reluctantly joined them when Hank practically pushed her into the gaggle of single females. She hung back. She and Hank had talked about marriage, but she liked the status quo and so did Hank. He’d been badly burned by his ex and he wasn’t exactly ready to jump in feet first. Now he had a child, Evan.

Samantha tossed the bouquet and either Tina caught it or she’d have it hit her face. She grabbed it before it struck. Heat flowed up her cheeks. Never had she caught a bouquet and she’d attended plenty of weddings.

 ***

                     Greg approached his new wife. Her blue garter had teased him all evening. She put her foot on a small stool her dad had provided and Greg slipped it off. Just touching her inner thigh made him crave her. This was the last thing they had to do before taking off for their honeymoon.

Samantha was a virgin. They had played, done a few things, but she had stuck by her convictions. Tonight, she would be his, and he relished the thought. Together they would learn, and explore their sexuality. He inhaled. None of his buddies knew that he was just as virginal.

He turned his back to single guys in the crowd and stretched the little garter to the max before sending it into the air. He turned in time to see Hank catch it. He knew Ben was hoping he’d be next, but Greg chuckled when he saw the expression on Hank’s face. It was a double whammy for Hank, first Tina, and them him. It was fate. They were next.

 ***

Tess was waiting for Samantha and Greg as they attempted to escape. “It was the most perfect, beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended.”

“Are you certain?”

“Yes! It was amazing!”

“I was so worried–”
“Don’t. I said it was perfect!”

 ###

                      The Authors of Main Street have had a blast bringing this wedding to you. We’re going to try to put this together and we’ll drop it into our files to that it reads in a smooth line.

Don’t forget to explore our books and read more about our characters.

E. Ayers

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6 Responses to The Reception

  1. Jill James says:

    E., you wrapped this up so nicely. This was so much fun.

    Like

  2. leighmorgan1 says:

    Wow, E! You hit everyone. Fantastic ❤

    Like

  3. Kristy Tate says:

    So impressed. Thank you!

    Like

  4. This has been fun. Thanks, Pepper, for organizing it and creating such a great framework for all of us.

    Like

  5. Carol says:

    E! you wrapped up the story very well. I enjoyed writing part of The Wedding. Thank you. 🙂 The perfect ending. Love that you used our characters also. Yes, many thanks to Pepper! And thanks to all the other authors. 🙂

    Like

  6. Mona Risk says:

    Very nice story with a HEA ending. I enjoyed reading it and writing my part.

    Like

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