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Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Reception


An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

   The Author     

                             
A deserted restroom at the Park West Hotel
                                    

     Fr. Kevin was positive that Roxanne's blue Dodge Charger was only a few cars behind his when he turned into the driveway of the Park West Hotel.  But after parking his Toyota in the section reserved for the bridal party, he didn't have a clue as to where she had gone.  The lot was full, cars as far back as the eye could see, and in the drizzle, it was hard to make out one color vehicle from another.  He walked to the lobby door, and waited, unsure as to what proper etiquette required him to do. Was she expecting him to wait for her?  Should he be non-chalant, make general chit chat, and ignore the giant gorilla hanging between them?  Or was it better to jump right in?  Say what needed to be said, clear the air, and move on from there?

     When she didn't appear after several minutes, he began to feel stupid standing in the lobby with his hands in his pocket.  It was as if she had up and disappeared.  Had he some how missed her arrival?  Maybe she entered the hotel before he did, and had already made her way to the ballroom, not giving a thought to his personal angst.  Worse case scenario, she thought the sight of him too horrible to endure, and had turned around and left.   Giving the parking lot one more inspection, he turned and made his way to the reception, leaving the dreaded conversation weighing on his conscience.

______________________________

     She was no shrinking violet, and had never run from a fight.  But this was different.  She knew that Kevin...correcting herself...Fr. O'Kenney... would most likely be waiting for her at the entrance of the hotel.  Good manners would require that he make sure she arrived safely inside the building, after gallantly rescuing her from bad directions.  Unless, of course, he felt that a Jezebel such as herself... daughter of a con...and someone who took her clothes off for a living.. was undeserving of the niceties of etiquette reserved for good girls.

     Wandering through the aisles of parked cars, she could make him out, red hair a dead give away, standing in the main entrance way.  Despite scolding herself for acting like a teenager, her heart couldn't help but jump with a bit of self satisfaction.  He had waited.  Was obviously looking around for some sight of her.  Hidden by a large SUV, she debated the possibilities regarding the direction of the conversation she knew was coming.  It was likely that the man thought the whole thing was water under the bridge.  Some stupid kid experience that she was expected to have gotten over.  If that was the case, then she'd have to put on her best poker face.  The one she used in the club that silently shouted "I don't give a shit."

        Of course, there might be the smallest chance that he realized how bad he had hurt her, and perhaps, just maybe, would apologize.  Or at least explain his reasoning for ripping her heart out, and stomping on it with half the school as an audience.  Worse case scenario would be if he remembered the whole thing as a joke, laughing over his immature, childish behavior, and her reaction to it.  That would suck the most, and be the hardest to choke down and walk away from.

       In the minutes it took Roxanne to ponder her options, the annoying light drizzle turned to pain in the ass rain.  As it had been doing since early that morning, the gray sky opened up, covering the town of Dollyville with a watery blanket that drenched everything underneath it.  She was a least 30 feet away from the main entrance, and despite her best run in six inch heels, found herself completely soaked down to her underwear.  The pale silk dress clung to her like a used bathing suit, and if there had been a wet T-shirt contest going on inside, she was sure to be named winner.

      Catching her breath under the hotel's awning, and ignoring the leering approval of what appeared to be security personnel, she looked in panic for another door into the building. There was no way in hell she was walking into that wedding reception looking like this.  Not in front of the rest of the O'Kenneys.  Not in front of Maureen's new husband.  And most certainly not in front of Fr. Kevin.    Determined to refuse offers of assisstance from Mr. Grinning Security Guard, she rounded the corner of the Park West, bent on discovering an alternative entrance, as well as a restroom with the necessary privacy to make her self presentable.

__________________________

          With her one hand, she held the bag of ice in place, and with the other, tugged off the wig and cap, and shoved it in her bag,  The bruise was going to be nasty, running from under her left eye, all the way to her temple, and already blooming in dusty shades of purple, red, and gray.  Using a full bristled brush, she buffed in a thick layer of foundation over the earlier application, going for maximum coverage.

      It was her own fault.  She had underestimated the dosage of Ketamine required to put the man down, giving Porter an easy opportunity to take a few brutal swings.  Realizing that he had been set up by the tiny brunette, and that the promised play time was never going to happen, the catering manager's anger turned to outright violence.  Grabbing her by the hair, he had gotten in one solid punch, before she could connect her stiletto heeled foot with his groin.  He spent the next several minutes rolling on the floor, succumbing at last to the effects of the drug.  Shame on her for being less than prepared, but when the bastard woke up in about six hours, he wouldn't be using his dick for awhile, in addition to nursing several broken ribs.

      She had chosen this particular ladies room because it was tucked at the far end of the lobby, and no where near the hotel ballroom where the wedding reception was being held.  Expecting complete privacy, she was shocked when the door squeaked open, and a tall, shapely woman joined her in the restroom.  It was obvious that the other woman wasn't planning on company either, as she suddenly stopped, her face a startled reflection in the mirror.  A very wet face, in fact, with eye make-up smearing her cheeks, and her hair hanging down in a messy, dripping pony tail.
Cassie and Roxanne meet in the ladies room

     This was a worse case scenario.  With the wig and glasses off, there was the slight possibility that she could be identified, but only if the woman had any idea that she was the reason for the increased security.  For a second, she debated about knocking the bitch out cold, and shoving her in a stall.  She had come too far to have this random encounter mess things up.  Looking her over, it was plain that the chick stood two heads taller than she, was solidly built, and would not go down easy.  It was a relief, therefore, to observe that the woman was solely focused on the goal of fixing the mess the rain had made of her appearance.
       
     Using a piece of kleenex, the sopping woman rubbed back forth under her eyes, trying with no avail  to wipe away the moons of melted mascara and eye liner.  Seeing her frustration, and hoping to speed her damn departure, Cassie pulled a small tube of cold cream from her bag and slid it over the counter toward the woman.

     "Here...try some of this.  At least it will take the black stuff off."

      The woman attempted a weak smile.  "Thanks.  This day has been nothing but a frickn' disaster.  I should have stayed in bed."

       Cassie nodded, not wanting to engage in extended conversation, and went back to buffing out the foundation over her bruised cheek, as the brunette began to unsnarl the tangles out of her hair with a small comb.  They worked in silence for a few minutes, until Cas realized the other woman was staring at her out the corner of her eye.  Her anger rose like molten lava.

        "Why don't you take a damn picture already?  It would last longer."

        The woman blushed, embarrassed at having been caught gawking.  "I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to be be rude.  It's just that..that's a really bad bruise you have.  I...I know it's none of my business, but..."

        "You're right.  It is none of your business.  So shut the fuck up, and stop staring at me."

        The brunette paused a second, and then moved closer to her.  "It's not going to stop, you know.  No matter what he says."

         For Cassie, the situation had gone from strange, to something out of the Twilight Zone.  All she cared about was fixing her face, and getting into that kitchen before the window of opportunity closed for good.  Now here she was, stuck in the damn toilet, having some nonsense conversation with a crazy bitch.  "What the hell are you talking about.  You don't know jack shit about me."

        "I've been where you're at.  In the same place.  And I'm telling you from experience...his hitting won't stop.  You need to get out of that situation before it's too late.  Before you end up really hurt...or worse yet...dead."  The woman grabbed a piece of paper towel from the dispenser, and took a nub of a pencil out of her purse.  "I'm going to give you a phone number.  Use it if things get any worse.  This group is located in Boston, but they will come pick you up here if they have to, and give you some place safe to stay.  I'm also putting down my cell number.  In case you ever need someone to talk to."  The woman shoved the paper at her, wagging it in insistence.

      The humor of absurdity bubbled up in Cassie's throat.  The pitiful brunette thought she was some kind of battered woman.  In need of help, no less, to get out of a bad relationship.  The irony was simply too much, and it took every ounce of fortitude not to laugh in her do-gooder face.  The bitch was an idiot. No doubt about it.  But a small part of her hoped that this woman was not one of those destined to drink the sparkling cider that was going to be served at the bridal table.  Anxious to get back to Plan B, Cassie took the paper, tucked it into the pocket of the chef's jacket, and mumbled a brief thank you.

     "No thanks needed.  I just really hope you'll call.  Before...anymore happens.

     Grabbing her bag, Cassie headed for the door, hoping she could find yet another deserted spot to put back on the wig before proceeding to the hotel's kitchen.  But the woman was not quite done with her.

    "You know...it wasn't a coincidence that we ended up in this restroom together.  I don't believe in coincidence.  We met so I could give you that phone number, just when you needed it most.  It's destiny.  Pure and simple."

     With a half smile on her face, Cassie replied, "Yeah...destiny alright."  Then she opened the door, and disappeared into the direction of the hotel's kitchen.

_________________________
                                                       
The bride and groom still posing for photos
     It took the better part of an hour for Roxanne to dry off enough to become a presentable wedding guest  As she wandered through the halls toward the main ballroom, she fretted over the thought that dinner was already being served, and she'd have to hunt to find the appropriate seat.  But to her relief, the crowd was still milling about, enjoying cocktails and appetizers, while the bride and groom posed for photos near their gigantic cake.  In need of a alcohol herself, she headed to the large bar at the far end of the room, debating the merits of a vodka martini.
                 
    She had barely taken a sip, before turning around and coming face to face with Fr. Kevin Seamus O'Kenney, all 6'4" of him, in the flesh.  Glass paused at her lip, she stood momentarily turned to stone, unable to respond to his cheerful greeting.

    "Roxanne.  It's good to see you!  I've been looking all all over for you.  Where did you disappear to?"

     "Oh...I've been...here and there.  Mingling."

     "I must have missed you when you came in the main lobby.  Honestly, I'm so glad you made it to Maureen's wedding."

        Roxie watched his mouth move, seeing his lips form the words, but not registering a single one.  She instead used the opportunity to look at him, closer than she had in over fifteen years.  There was still that faint scar under his chin.  The one he told her had gotten when his brother, Brendan, pushed him off a swing.  He wore his hair short now, cut close to the scalp, so there was none of the natural curl around his ears.  But it was still the same copper color, like new pennies, and without any hint of gray.  His eye were as green as she remembered, the kind of green that reminded you of early Spring.  And kind.  She always thought he had the kindest eyes.
                                     
Fr. Kevin and Roxanne chat at the bar
       "...so how was I to say no, right?"  He looked at her, expecting a logical response to his question.

     Having not heard a word he said, she stammered, searching for a non-commital answer that wouldn't sound stupid.  "Of course, Fr. Kevin.  You had no choice.  I'd have done the same."

       Behind him, a member of the waitstaff carried out a large tray holding a tray of filled champagne glasses, and a half empty bottle of sparkling cider.  The woman placed the tray on a stand behind Kevin, and when she looked up, directly caught the eye of Roxie.  The waitress's eyes fluttered a bit, and then, head down, she made her way back through the door behind the bar, and into the hotel kitchen.

        The PI wanna-be knew without a doubt it was the same woman she had met in the ladies room an hour before.  Except now, she was sporting a short gray wig, and thick framed glasses.  That fact seemed to make no sense at all.  Seemed rather suspicious, actually, and she thought about mentioning it all to Kevin. Then she remembered the woman's black and blue cheek, and the conversation that had followed between them.  It was possible that the poor woman was in disguise to hide from an abusive husband or boyfriend.  And making a fuss wouldn't help the woman's situation.  Might even put in her in harm's way.  Roxie decided to hold her tongue, and went back to focusing on what it was the priest was saying.

       "Anyway, Rox, like I said.  I'm so glad you decided to come to this wedding.  There's something I need to say.  Something that should have been said a long time ago."

        Before he could continue, they were interrupted by two young children, chasing and pushing around the bar area where they were standing.  The girl, who looked to be about 10, hid behind Kevin's  legs.

       "Uncle Kevin, make William stop chasing me.  He keeps putting his fingers up his nose, and telling me he's gonna put boogers on my dress."

        "I did not!  Shelly is making stuff up, Uncle Kevin.  She took my Dad's iPhone from me while I was playing Angry Birds.  Make her give it back!"

        Kevin sighed, and pulled the two children in front of him.  He went to squat down, intending to look both of them in the eye while he doled out his advice.  But the tight space at the bar required him to shift back a few inches...directly into the stand holding the filled champagne glasses.  The tray teetered back and forth, and then crashed to the floor, the sound of shattered glass echoing throughout the venue.  For a second, the entire ballroom grew silent, all eyes turned to the bar area where the accident took place.  Then sensing it was no big deal, the crowd went back to laughing, drinking, and conversing, leaving Fr. Kevin red faced amidst a puddle of spilled cider and broken glass.

      The two children, fearing blame, took off in the direction of their respective mothers, while Roxie and Kevin began picking up the lethal shards.  They assumed someone would come out from behind the bar to help them with the mess, but the bartenders, already overworked with the high spirited crowd, left them to their own devices.  When they had recovered most of the sharp bits and pieces, Kevin went off in search of a mop from the utility closet down the hall, while Roxanne, still curious about the strange woman, left to hunt down information, as well as paper towels, from the hotel kitchen.

______________________________

       As he maneuvered his way through the guests, Kevin searched for the bride and groom, expecting some type of tirade from his sister over his clumsiness, and the resulting damage.  But the two of them were no where in sight, and he assumed they were off somewhere, taking yet another posed photograph.  Considering himself lucky to avoid that confrontation, he headed toward the hall outside the room's main doors.  He recalled seeing a small utility closet at the far end when he first came in, and assumed there might be a mop in there that he could use to clean up the mess.

      Locating the spot, he turned the handle and flung open the door, only to be greeted with a high pitched shriek, and the door slammed back in his face.  It took only a few nano seconds of time for his brain to register what his poor eyes had seen, and before he could choke out a few words, Beckett's voice spoke through the door, holding back a laugh as he did so.

      "Uh...sorry Kev.  Thought I had locked that door."

      Mortified beyond belief, Kevin could only sputter.  "Damn.  You guys couldn't wait a few measly hours?  This is a hotel, for pete's sake. Get a regular room!"

      There was the sound of muffled giggles, and Kevin could only shake his head, and walk away, wishing with his entire soul that he could wash his eyeballs of the sight of his baby sister, her hands tightly pinned over over head by her new husband, and the top of her gown unbuttoned and opened, baring her all the way to her waist.

                                               
Interrupted in the utility closet

12 comments:

  1. pues si que se esta complicando la boda, pero al menos los novios por el momento se lo estan pasando bastante bien
    estoy deseando saber como continua el banquete

    besitos

    Mari

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    1. Saludos Mari!

          No espere que Cassie a renunciar tan fácilmente. Esa chica está muy decidido a causar estragos en Beckett y Maureen.
      Gracias por el apoyo! Un abrazo a ti,
      Vicki

      Greetings Mari!
      Don't expect Cassie to give up that easy. That girl is very determined to wreck havoc on Beckett and Maureen.
      Thanks for the support! Hugs to you,
      Vicki

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  2. Hehe naughty Ted and Maureen :))) What on earth is Cassie going to do now that her plan seems to have been destroyed by Fr Kevin ? I am sure she won't be giving up that easy. I like that Roxie even more now :)))
    Hugs Maria

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    1. Hello from across the pond, Maria!

      You have to envy Ted and Maureen a bit. They can't seem to keep their hands off each other. LOL Isn't that just the cutest picture of them in the closet, with Fr. kevin standing outside? I wish I could sometimes change the dolls expressions. Oh well, you will have to use your imagination on what his face might have looked like.
      Cassie is sooooo much fun to write. She is the perfect bad girl, while Roxie is her needed foil. Roxanne is a character I really can't
      wait to develop, whether here in the blog, or in her own series. Sigh!
      So many story ideas...so little time to write...especially with school starting back up in 3 weeks. Wish I'd win the lottery, so I could quit my job and write full time. Double sigh!
      Thanks for all your lovely support! I am very grateful!
      Hugs back at ya,
      Vicki

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  3. Hi Vicki!

    How funny that Kevin is the one to walk in on Beckett and Maureen ;-) It seems he's always destined to find himself in the most awkward situations and the clumsiest too given the spilled beverages! It's too funny that clumsiness foils Cassie's plan, for now. I doubt she's done unless Roxie catches on to her. Hmmm.... That would be perfect.

    By the way, I don't think it's bad at all you talk about possible or not publishing woes. I'm interested as are probably others. Anywhoo, I hope things go smoothly for you when you either publish this or some other story. One of my favorite current authors publishes ebooks through Amazon only. If people have a Nook or other device she provides them the version they need but they have to purchase the Kindle version and then email her for the correct version. I'm trying to remember if she even sells hard copy books..... Anyway, there are so many ways to do it on your own but it (the process, etc) interests me. I think it's that hidden author that has pretty much been repressed since the sixth grade and probably will remain so :-) Oops sorry this got so lengthy.

    Susan

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    1. Hi Susan!
      Hope all is well on the healing end of your life!
      I'm really enjoying writing this whole wedding plot line. It has let me really unwrap layers of the different characters' personalities within the action. I like the way Cassie and Roxie interact in their dialogue. They are both very strong woman. (Although you have to feel bad for Roxie's crush on Fr. Kevin. Poor thing.)
      I can totally relate to your "repressed author syndrome". Have been carrying that feeling around for years. Outlined my first novel when I was in the 8th grade. (Yes, I was a total nerd, thank you very much) The first fiction words I put down for public viewing were written last June, when I started this blog. I was 52. My advice? No time like the present. And after the heart attack, it has become my mantra. If you are not ready for blog publishing, get a journal and write something every day. You'll know when it's time to share t with the world.

      Hugs to you,
      Vicki

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  4. LOL, Vicki! Love that Kevin caught them in the utility closet!

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    1. Hi Sophia!

      I love that scene too. Laugh every time I look at the photo of Maureen and Ted in the closet. My husband teases me all the time about writing "dolly porn".
      Best to you,
      Vicki

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  5. I HAVE NOT ABANDONED YE! HONEST! Just have been busy...

    This reception story line is really tickling my fancy. I love how sharp Roxie is and want to believe that btwn her and Kevin, they will overthrow Cassie's plot. And speaking of plots, thinking the vial in Cassie's purse was poison was definitely on the right track! Kevin has no idea how fortunate he was to spill the glasses of champagne and cider! I was thinking how cruel it would be to have guests die, especially with children involved. But who knows? Cassie may have a plan C in the back of her head. I am happy Roxie is onto her.

    As much as I know you would never compromise Kevin's priestly vows, I sure wish he would fall to Roxi. The forbidden element would take it up a notch in the 'hot' department. And I like Roxie. I think she is way too hard on herself. In a way they are alike, Roxie thinking she is not worthy to be by Kevin, and Kev second guessing his actions most of the time. Both are doubtful of themselves at times. I like those two together. Anyway, a girl can dream.

    So far, the reception has been eventful as our dear author has promised it would be. Excited to read more, but alas, will take some time for catching up.

    <3,
    B

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    1. Hi B!
      LOL! I know you would never desert me! I'm glad you are enjoying this part of the story. I always thought that wedding receptions were a hot bed of drama. The bride and groom's tale is only a tiny part of what's going on. The inter-personal communications between the guests is always way more interesting! And there's still more to come at Ted and Maureen's celebration.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts on Kevin and Roxie. Their relationship...or lack of it...is complex...to say the least. Unfortunately,that's all I'm going to say on the subject. (And you really wouldn't want it any other way, now would you? LOL)

      Don't turn your back on Cassie. She's one crazy bitch, and won't be happy that Kevin has gotten in her way.

      Hugs to you, girlfriend!
      Vicki

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  6. LOL... how can I possibly forget the utility closet!?!
    Good stuff...

    B

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