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Saturday, July 20, 2013

"We've Only Just Begun...Part 2"

                         
Fr. Kevin readys the church for his sister's wedding
     At twenty minutes before two,  Fr. Kevin O'Kenney parked himself in the the front of the church, and waited for the remainder of the guests to make their way to a seat.  A final check showed everything in order, and it looked as though, just maybe, they would be able to start somewhat on time. The O'Kenneys were not known to be particularly prompt, and he fully expected to see people still wandering in well after the bride had made her big entrance.  He glanced over at the front row of the bride's side of the church, unable to keep a smile from spreading across his face.  Seeing his mother wheeled down the aisle, a team of medical staff in tow, had been a joyful shock, and he still wasn't sure how Beckett had pulled it off.

      It had been Maureen's greatest disappointment to learn that their mother would be unable to make the  trip to Dollyville for the wedding.  In the past few weeks, her condition had deteriorated to the point where her doctor had strongly advised against a two hour car ride, especially without proper medical supervision.  Not wanting to risk her mother's health, or put the burden of her care on any one of her siblings, the bride sadly resigned herself to the fact that neither of her parents would be there on her wedding day.

       But somehow, Beckett had made it happen.  His mother arrived, not by traditional limousine, but by private ambulance, complete with her physician, a nurse, and two orderlies.  And although she hadn't known who he was, the fact that she was in attendance, hair done and wearing a pretty summer dress, surrounded by all her children and grandchildren, made the day sweeter than anyone could have anticipated.  Tucked away in the Bride Room for the past hour, Maureen would be unaware of her arrival, and he couldn't wait to see her expression when she came down the aisle on Patrick's arm, and saw her Mama sitting there in the front row.

      Kevin stole a peek at his watch, and wondered where the groom had gotten off to.  He had seen him come in a half hour ago, but since then, hadn't spotted him anywhere amongst the crowd. The organist began her pre-ceremony repertoire, and the Knights began lining up in the vestibule.  He turned his attention to the left of the chapel, where an usher was seating a young woman.  She looked up for second, caught his eye, and then quickly averted her gaze. He felt his stomach rise in his throat, and then plummet in a roller coaster of emotion.  For weeks he wondered if he would even recognize her.  After nearly fifteen years she would have certainly changed.  But there was no possibility he was mistaken.  Same long, dark hair.  Same heart shaped face.  It was her, and any hope of avoiding his day of reckoning slipped away, as Roxanne Spinelli settled herself in the center of the pew.
                         
Roxie attends the wedding

Fr. Kevin and Roxanne meet after fifteen years
______________________

    By the time Beckett left the Bride Room, the hallway had cleared out.  The sword guys and the bag pipers had gone off to prepare for whatever it was they were there to do, and the only people left were members of the security team he and Nolan had set up earlier that morning.  Dressed in non-descript wedding wear, they were expected to blend in with the guests, and if asked, were to introduce themselves as "friends of the groom".  Knowing they were in place gave him some sense of peace, but he'd have felt a lot better if the crazy bitch was already in custody.  Speaking to the the man stationed nearest the door, he instructed, "No one goes in or out, except for myself, the maid of honor, or the bride's oldest brother.  You've been briefed on who's who?"

     The man nodded.  "Got it covered, Sir."

      Satisfied, the groom wandered down the hall, and into to the church, joining his best man, and Fr. Kevin, who were standing near the altar.

       Nolan clapped him on the back.  "Was wondering when you'd show up?  Thought maybe you got a wave of brain activity, and took off before it was too late."

       Next to him, the bride's brother made a face.  "He's only joking, Padre.  I'm right where I want to be."

      "Have to admit, Beck, I was getting a bit worried myself.  Where were you?"

      He smiled, his face, as always, unreadable.  "Just taking care of some business.  You know...with the security."

       Remembering the whole issue with Cassie, Kevin grimaced.  "You're sure there's no way she can sneak in here unnoticed?"

       "Positive, Kev.  It's all taken care.  If she shows up here, we'll handle it... quickly and discreetly."
                                                   
Fr. Kevin and the Groom before the start of the ceremony
      Not wanting to argue on his sister's wedding day, Fr. Kevin changed the subject.  "Hey...I need to thank you for getting my mom here today.  You have no idea how much this means to all of us, and I know her care and transportation must be costing a small fortune."

       "I'm glad it worked out.  It took some rather intense 'arm twisting' to get the doc to agree, but in the end, everyone has their price.  I hope my bride will be pleasantly surprised."

       "Oh, Maureen will be thrilled beyond belief.  You couldn't have given her a better gift today."  He thought a moment, and added, "How 'bout I introduce you to our mother.  Although, I should warn you...she's very confused today.  She may not understand who you are, and most likely won't remember anything you say to her."

        The two of them approached the frail woman in the wheelchair, who smiled and stared blankly at them.  "Mama, this is Maureen's bride groom...her future husband, Theodore Beckett."

          Beckett reached for the woman's tiny hand, and placed a kiss on her knuckles.  "I'm very honored to meet you, Mrs. O'Kenney.  Thank you for allowing me to marry your daughter.  It's a priceless gift you give me."

       Margaret O'Kenney stared into Beckett's eyes, and grinned.  "You were always the charmer, Johnny.  Handsome as sin, ya be.  I told Annie you'd come back for her.  And I was right as rain, I was."

       To his credit, Beckett just smiled and nodded, looking to Kevin for some direction.  Fr. Kevin leaned in, and whispered in the groom's ear.  "Sorry, Ted.  Most days, Mom lives in the past.  She thinks you're Johnny Callahan.  Her sister Annie's fiance.  He was killed in Korea before they could marry.  Annie never got over his death.  Killed herself a few years later.  I apologize for my mom's confusion."

       Beckett whispered back.   "No apologies needed, Kev.  Was Johnny from the old country"

        "Of course.  Like right off the boat, if I recall.  I think he and Annie knew each other as kids before they both came over.  That is... if I remember the story right."

          Beckett nodded, then knelt down, and taking the old woman's hand in his, slipped into a heavy brogue.  "Herself always knows what's about, Maggie dear.  I could never be leavin' my sweet Annie."

          For the next several minutes, Beckett watched in amazement as Ted became Johnny Callahan right before his eyes.  He switched between perfect Gaelic and brogue infused English, and whatever it was he was saying to his mother, he had her delighted.  She giggled like a girl, patting him on the cheek, and finally, reaching out to hug him, a response Beckett gently returned.

         When he stood up, Beckett looked sheepish.  "Sorry, Kev.  I'm pretty sure she's gonna think that Maureen is her sister Annie.  I didn't want to tell her differently."

         Still in awe of what he had just witnessed, Kevin pumped his future brother-in-law's hand.  "No problem, Ted.  She hasn't seemed this happy in ages.  I'm sure Maureen won't mind.  Besides, five minutes from now, she probably won't remember any of that conversation."  They walked back to their position near the altar, and with only minutes before the ceremony, the priest turned toward Beckett.  "If you don't mind me asking, how did you do that?"

        "Do what?"

        "Become Johnny Callahan.  Just like that.  I never even knew you spoke Gaelic.  You never said a word about it before now."

          Beckett smirked.  "You never asked.  Besides, languages are sort of a hobby with me.  I seem to pick up dialects pretty easily.  Just took a guess on how Johnny might have sounded.  I remember Maureen saying that your family was from County Kerry, and you had said Johnny was from the same area, so it was pretty easy to go from there."

       Kevin shook his head in congenial agreement, but was still stunned as to how easily Beckett had become someone else.  From the dialect to body language, Ted had disappeared, and the long departed "Johnny" had taken his place. Without a doubt he appreciated the man's kindness toward his mother, but the way he had shifted personalities so seamlessly left the priest with an unexplained uneasiness.

      Mike Nolan took the customary spot next to the groom, pulling him closer and speaking softly in his ear.  "Still the Master, Teddy...in more ways than one.  But I hope you used some of that hootchie black magic on your little Foxy.  Otherwise, you're going to feel like a total ass if your pretty pet tells you 'no thanks'.  You standing up here by your lonesome would be one for the records."

      Beckett stood straighter, hands clasped behind his back, feet slightly apart, a smile curling the corners of his mouth.  "Ah, ye of little faith.  No worries, Michael.  She'll be here."

     As the organist began the first few chords of Wagner's Bridal Chorus, the attention of the congregation turned toward the back of the church in anticipation of the the maid of honor, and the sight of a beautiful bride.  As the song progressed, and no one appeared in the doorway, the guests began to look at each other, casting furtive glances to where the groom stood at the altar.  It wasn't long after, Allison stepped into view, and waving at Kevin, made a cutting motion across her neck, signaling that the organist should cease the opening hymn.

      Not having a clue as to what was going on, Kevin hurried over to the organist, suggesting she change tunes to something a little less "bridey".  Face red, he returned and spoke to the groom, who despite his over due bride, seemed perfectly calm.  "Do you have any idea what's happening here?"

      Expression never changing, he shrugged.  "You know Maureen.  My girl likes drama.  Don't sweat it."

      "Do you think I should go over there, and see what's holding them up?"

       "No.  I'm sure Patrick has it covered.  We'll just wait.  I'm sure they'll appear in a bit."  He heard Nolan snicker next to him, and in response, stood straighter, and smiled even wider.

        The men stood facing the congregation as the minutes ticked by, and the whispers and twittering of the guests fought with the notes of the organ to produce a symphony of distraction.  Through it all, Fr. Kevin wrung his hands, shifted his feet, and sweated rivers under his heavy vestments, while the groom and the best man remained unruffled and composed.  In the back of the church, the Knights of Columbus leaned against the wall, and the pipers sat their instruments on the floor between their feet. How Beckett could stand there, unmoved, was beyond him.  A normal guy, by this point, would be in mortal fear of having been stood up.  Hell, a normal guy would be off in frantic search of what was holding up the ceremony.  But Beckett remained in place, not a single muscle moving.  Not even a minor twitch.  When the second hand of the large clock on the back wall reached the half hour point, Kevin could stand it no longer.

       "This is crazy.  I'm gonna go find out what seems to be the problem."
           
Patrick and the Bride finally appear at the back of the church

      Before he could move a single step, Patrick appeared at the back of the church, Maureen firmly in his grasp.  His brother, red faced and every bit of exasperated, waved to him with a roll of his hand, ordering the music to begin.  Fr. Kevin once again signaled the weary musician, and Mrs. Peabody, for the second time, began the traditional Wagner selection, while the Knights stood at attention, swords raised in canopy honor.  To his right, Beckett exhaled, loud enough for the priest to hear, and with a feeling of guilty satisfaction, Kevin silently thought,  "Ah ha...Gottcha!  So... you were worried after all, Mr. Nothing Fazes Me, I'm Way Too Cool.  Serves you right that she made you wait.         

       If the groom noticed the priest's smile of self-satisfaction, he didn't respond.  His entire focus was on the woman coming down the church aisle.  The veiling covered most of her face, so from where he  stood, he didn't have a clear enough view to get a handle on the nuances of her expression.  But from the lock of her jaw, and the white knuckled clench she had on her bouquet, he made her to be still pissed beyond belief at him.  From somewhere down deep, a sudden roll of amusement churned in his chest.  It might have been born from the absolute bizarre nature of the entire situation.  Or maybe from the image of Patrick tugging his sister to the altar like a human tow truck.  Even, perhaps, from a sense of very real, and overwhelming relief.  Where the humor came from didn't seem to matter.  What was important was the fact that he had an overwhelming urge to laugh, despite the inappropriateness of that reaction.  It grew and tumbled, and threatened to escape from his throat, causing his eyes to water and tear.  The harder he worked at stifling a giggle, the wider his smile got, until he stood at the front of the church, before God and all the guests, grinning like the damn village idiot.

___________________________________

      This was not the way it was supposed to be.  One didn't make their walk down the aisle feeling like you wanted to sock somebody in the gut.  Especially not your future husband.  Maureen squinted both eyes in an attempt to see through the heavy veiling, but the view remained distorted.  Needing to get her bearings, she slowed down her pace, only to have Patrick give her a tug forward.  He had warned her in the Bride Room that he "would drag her sorry ass up to that altar kicking and screaming if it were required", and she had no reason to doubt that he meant it.  If nothing else, her eldest brother was a man of his word.

       Hitting the mid-point, she forced herself to look for her groom.  The pompous, controlling asshole she was about to permanently make her husband.   The whole thing hadn't really sunk in, and anxiety  bubbled in her head about what else he might have "forgotten" to mention in their very short courtship, and even briefer engagement.  Of all the crazy, messed-up things he could have told her, this one was beyond belief.  A spy.  A frickn' James Bond wanna be.  If he had confessed to a fetish of wearing women's panties while singing the lyrics of popular show tunes, she would have been less shocked.  How would they ever have a regular life?  And what was she supposed to tell her friends and family when he disappeared for weeks on end?  I'm sorry, Brendan.  We can't make your kid's First Communion party, because my husband is off somewhere shooting someone for the sake of apple pie and the American way.

      But it was the idea of living with the constant fear that horrified her the most.  The knowledge that when he left, there was a very strong possibility he would not return.  As the daughter of a cop, and sister to siblings in law enforcement, she had already come to terms with the risks this life style offered.  Life with Ted represented an entirely different ballgame.  She would never, ever, share total intimacy.  Be a soul mate.  Ever.  There would be pieces and parts he'd keep from her, closing off whole sections of his life.  And that seemed like a pretty shitty way to build a life long commitment, or, God forbid, raise a family.

       Peering from the side of her veil gave her a better view of the altar.  She could see Kevin in the center, smiling, and looking all reverent in his vestments.   Mike Nolan was to the far right, and even in her immense dislike, had to admit the man cleaned up rather nicely.  And then there was Ted.  Her Ted.  The father of her baby.  The man she was minutes away from vowing to love, honor and obey.  Cool, calm, collected Theodore Beckett.  Who at this very moment, was grinning at her, all teeth and gums, like some depraved hyena.

       In their time together, she had been witness to a variety of his moods.  Had seen him amused, aroused, angry...aloof.  But silly?  Gleeful?  Never.  She was in the midst of processing this new wrinkle, when Patrick nudged her, drawing her attention to the first pew.  The scene at first refused to register, her head still wrapped around the issue of the moment.  When she finally recognized the tiny woman in the wheelchair, the air in her lungs let loose in an audible gasp.

       "Surprised, huh?"  Leaning in, Patrick whispered in her ear over the strains of the organ.  "I was tempted to go ahead and tell you back in the Bride Room when you were throwing a hissy, but I didn't want to ruin this moment.  Your husband-to-be wanted this to be his special gift.  The guy does seem to corner the market on overwhelming tokens of his affection."
                                   
Maureen and Beckett join hands at the altar
         With the lump in her throat, and her eyes beginning to tear, Maureen could only nod.  She bent down to kiss her Mama on the cheek before continuing the last few steps to the altar.  Patrick loosened his arm from hers, and stepped back, as Beckett took his place next to her.  She stared down at her bouquet, not ready to look at him, and fearing that if she did, she'd be utterly lost. She might have succeeded in this manner if Kevin hadn't made them join hands.  When she didn't move, Beckett reached for hers, and squeezed hard enough to force a reaction.  She looked up from her bouquet, into those blue depths, and unable to do anything else, began to cry.  First in near silent whimpers, and eventually blooming into full blown sobs.
                                                     
         The organist stopped on one lingering note, and the church, now quiet, echoed with the sounds of the bride's wailing.  Around the couple, the group stood shocked, unable to move, not sure what to do.
Guests in the pews looked at each other in astonishment, sure that they had never witnessed a scene such as this ever before, and wishing it wouldn't be rude to pull out their iphones and capture the moment for inclusion on You Tube.  Both Patrick and Allison stepped forward in an attempt to talk to the distressed bride, but Beckett waved them both off.  Instead, he gathered her into his arms, letting her cry into his shoulder while he patted her back, as the whole church sat in stunned and uncomfortable silence.  When she was down to a few hiccups and sniffles, he handed her his handkerchief to wipe her eyes, and blow her nose.
                             
Beckett comforts a distressed Maureen
        "Better now?"  He took back the used cloth, and stuffed it his pocket.

          Maureen nodded, words still not an option.

          "Are you ready to go on with the ceremony?"

           She paused a moment, and then shook her head yes.

           "You're sure?  Because I didn't quite hear you."

            Narrowing her eyes in true Maureen fashion, she answered, "I'm sure.  Satisfied?"

            Beckett smiled, perfectly calm, as if the drama of the past hour had been just a simple miscommunication. Then turning to a speechless Fr. Kevin, suggested, "We're ready now, Father.  If you could start at the beginning, please."

____________________________________

      Somewhere in southern Massachusetts, about fifty miles outside the small town of Dollyville, Cassie Donaghue raged.  The rain had subsided to a light drizzle, but wet roads and overly cautious drivers made the going slow to the point of annoyance.  She was late.  Really late.  If the ceremony had started at 2 like the paper had said, it would be near over in the next few minutes.  It was close to 3 PM.  How damn long could it take to say "I do"?
 
       The plans at the church would have to be scraped.  She had figured that notion out hours ago, when the road was closed in Connecticut.  It meant a total revamp of everything she had set up before hand.  Still, it could all work out if she made it to the hotel before the wedding party did.  Reaching into her purse, she dug around and pulled out a small bottle. With one hand on the steering wheel, she flipped off the top and shook a few tablets in her hand.  Then, swallowing them dry, she hummed along with the radio, content that the hotel would work just as well.

_____________________________


      From Beckett's prospective, the ceremony took way too long.  Seriously, was it imperative to have three different readings from Scripture, when one would have done the same job?  Plus, there was all that singing.  Totally unnecessary.  Lengthened the whole process by at least fifteen minutes. Lastly, there was the excessive movement.  He'd never understand the preoccupation Catholics had for shifting positions.  First standing, then sitting, then standing, then kneeling.  The whole thing seemed like a cardio workout, and rather out of place at a wedding, but at this point in the game, he was just happy to be almost finished.

     After Maureen's little emotional outburst, things had gone fairly well.  He could tell that Kevin had serious misgivings about Maureen's initial reaction, but eventually had seemed to get into the swing of things, and preached what appeared to be a pretty good sermon, if his opinion as a non-Catholic counted for anything.  They had exchanged vows and rings without a flaw, and if memory served him right, they were honing in on the end of this whole church episode.

       His little vanilla cupcake seemed to be more relaxed, and had even graced him with an occasional smile or two.   He was glad he had chosen her wedding ring without any input.  It was fun to watch the way her green eyes got big and round when he slipped the diamond band on her finger.  The thing was a mite ostentatious, all eleven carats of it.  But it would stand as a constant reminder of all the things he could offer her, when she complained about the things he couldn't.  Despite the rocky start, his fault more than anyone else's, the outcome was satisfactory, and left him free to ponder the later joys of unwrapping his red headed bridal gift.

                         
Introducing...at last...Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Henton Beckett
     
Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved
           



       
         




       

     

 

     








     

     


 

10 comments:

  1. bueno, al menos la ceremonia ha sido mas o menos tranquila , me alegro mucho , ahora a ver como transcurre el resto del dia , espero que Cassie no se lo estropee ,ya tendra tiempo de molestar

    besitos

    Mari

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    1. Saludos a usted, querida Mari!

            Sí ... es bueno ver a los dos finalmente se casan. Ahora cada uno puede relajarse y celebrar. O ¿no? LOL montón de historias divertidas que vienen a esta recepción. Los O'Kenneys realmente saben cómo divertirse!
      Hasta el miércoles, abrazos a usted,
      Vicki

      Greetings to you, Dear Mari!

      Yes...it is good to see those two finally tie the knot. Now everyone can relax and celebrate. Or can they? LOL Lots of fun storylines coming up at this reception. The O'Kenneys really know how to party!
      Until Wednesday, hugs to you,
      Vicki

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  2. So they made it to the altar then : D I am soooo looking forward to the reception it should be interesting to say the least with Cassie as an uninvited guest anything could happen :))) The bride looks beautiful with her pretty dress and flowers. Fantastic story.
    Hugs Maria

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    1. Sigh...
      I was beginning to wonder if they would ever go through with it. The two of them do make a lovely couple. I am very happy with the way Maureen's dress and bouquet turned out. Was a lot of work, and I am very tempted to leave her in it, and get another doll to use for the blog. (one that has full porcelain arms and legs this time.)
      The reception will be fun for everyone, especially, I hope, for my readers. Lots of subplots with all your favorite characters.
      Hope all is well with you. Looks as if you had a very happy birthday! Wonderful gifts from around the world!

      Hugs back at you,
      Vicki

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  3. Whew! Never thought they'd make it! LOL! It seemed pretty close there for a bit. Glad to see Beckett is somewhat human and WAS a bit worried. Sure seemed at first he wasn't fazed a bit. Hmmm must be that spy training that allowed him to become Johnny.... Nicely done. Can't wait to see what Cassie is up to. I'm sure it can't be good.

    How is your other writing coming?

    Susan

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    1. Hi ya Susan!

      Yes, I love revealing the Beckett character one layer at a time. He is always fun to write. Glad you caught the whole "spy" thing in the "Johnny Callahan" scene. That's what I was hoping readers would do, so it makes me happy to know someone did!
      I was a bit worried about having Maureen cry on her wedding day, but after I wrote it that way, it seemed to fit, so I left it. (My husband disagreed with that turn of events. He commented that no one ever wants to see a bride cry on her special day, and that it would make my readers unhappy, so it was a risk to add it)
      How are things by you? Thinking of you...
      Vicki
      PS The novel is still in outlining stages...sigh. But with hubby away this week, maybe I will actually get words to paper on the damn thing. Have some crafty things to do for reception storyline too. Busy week. (And don't even want to think about school starting in a month...Yikes!)

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  4. Does Monday still count as part of the weekend?

    Ahhh they have gone and done the marriage deed. Lots of interesting things that happened at that ceremony, definitely. But it all worked and I dont think any other write would have come out as good.

    I want to start first with my thoughts last week. I thought your Roxie looked so sweet. Ok, so maybe I was wrong on the dress front, but btwn the dress and her hair up she looks so pretty and innocent. (in light of her money making occupation) And I think that contrast was what had gotten my attention. Also, with the reaction Fr. K had after seeing Roxie, I appreciate how human you write him. Ok, I know he drinks, smokes, has emotions, but the one thing that stands out for me is that he has feelings for Roxie that most lay ppl feel priest can/should not have. And with that, I feel for him and again, it hits home.

    Whoa.. super eventful wedding as promised. I think the only reaction Mo could have had was what she did. So many emotions and so many things to deal with - overwhelming. (even tho the spouse did not agree
    with it. Not a drama queen, obvs.) Bet there will be lots of commotion in that household. The bit with their mother just being there was touching, as was Beckett's reaction to what mom had said. I knew in the end these two would tie the knot, but its not gonna be smooth and that is the whole point.

    All the character pics were lovely and beautiful. I know you went all out for this. I really hope there is a lot of gossip about Maureen's reaction at the reception. I am very curious as to what my girl Cassie is up to, and cannot wait for Roxie/Fr K dialog! Until the reception...

    <3,
    B

    I always forget to tell you that I cant believe Dollyville has a hotel property like the Park West. Is it the Park West? I even forgot... :)

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    1. Hi B!

      I am pleased that you enjoyed this post. I agonized over this one...a lot. I knew people were looking forward to this wedding scene, and I kept having this horrible nightmare that I would let them down, and they'd say..."Uhmmm...really? That's it?" But it seems from the comments here, and in my personal email, that readers enjoyed it, and I am thrilled. Wanted to stay true to my characters, and their egos.

      You are right about Roxie. I think the dress looks very nice on her. Tried a lot of things with her hair, but finally decided on the beading. She also has a cute little string belt in purple, but I didn't know if you can tell from the photos. I have some anxiety about the scene between she and Kevin. It can go down in several ways, and still stay true to their personalities. I need to still think on that one a bit.

      I promise that you will LOVE the reception posts! (Notice the plural on the word posts?) Loads of great sub-plots and story lines...just like a real wedding where people get emotional, drink too much, and act like idiots.

      Thanks for the compliment on the photos. I did work hard on the dolls and their costuming, and am pleased with how it all looks. Sometimes the photos are even more work than the writing.

      As always, appreciate your loyal support. I am happiest when I'm writing. Hope it shows.
      Hugs,
      Vicki
      PS The Park West is Dollyville's ONLY hotel, and fancy banquet venue. A nice place, but only has 70 rooms, fairly small for a class hotel, and Beckett has half of them rented. Wait until you see the bed in the Bridal Suite. I've been saving this bed I bought on Ebay for just a "special occasion" as this.

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  5. Hi Vicki! Maureen looked SO Beautiful in her gown!!! Well Done! I know Exactly what you mean about leaving her in it... my Bride is still in her gown LOL!!! I got sidetracked into the Tree House project and Couldn't bear to take the wedding gown off!!!
    As for having her burst into tears... I think it was Perfect! It would have been too much to expect everything to be "normal" if they were so late coming down the aisle! And to see a glimpse of how Beckett "handles" her outburst.... so much the better for her family to see them in a real moment! As for the Evil woman.... things are looking exciting.... I can't wait to see where you are going to take us!!! LOL! I am Much more timid in my story lines... but I have one brewing that is going to be much more developed!
    It's a lot of fun to follow your story!

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    1. Hi Betsy!

      I am so happy that you are enjoying the story. It's hard for me to determine what I love more...the writing...or the mini making...LOL. I've had this whole romance/wedding story brewing in my head since January, and it feels good to finally get it down on the post. The relationship between Maureen and Ted is a complex one, and they are going to give me so much juicy fodder to work with, I have to stop myself from rushing through it. It's been fun to take some "chances" with the plot line, and I'm excited about what's still coming up. I never much pictured myself as a "romance writer", but I'm feeling pretty good about the dialogue between the two of them.
      Thank you so much for your kind comments about Maureen's dress. Coming from someone with your multitude of talents, it means a lot. Your Tree House is spectacular, and I can't wait to see all the stories that project will inspire! (I especially love the little mice...and what you will do with that new piece of real estate!) Your creativity and ingenuity is wonderful, and your writing is charming. I can't tell how many times I've seen something you've made, and think, "Wow...that's so clever." Thanks for sharing that with all of us!

      Hugs to you,

      Vicki

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