Chapter 31: Church
“We have to get going, Viper, we’re going to be late.”
He laughed as he got out of the shower, holding open a towel for me to step into. “They’ll wait.” He dried me off carefully before doing himself, and I wrapped the towel around as he gave me the bathroom to get ready. I looked in the mirror; I was old, but I looked good. I still had a good body, one that Viper had ridden with skill last night and this morning. “Are we driving separate?”
“I’m not hiding us anymore, Kelly. The only question is if we ride up together or you ride with me.”
I thought about it for a moment; I loved riding my Harley, but riding on the back of his motorcycle in our world meant you were his Old Lady. “I’ll go with you, then.”
He was smiling as he came back in, dressed in jeans, boots, a black T-shirt and his cut. “Beside me or behind me, as long as you are riding with me I’m happy.” He pulled me in to his chest, the towel somehow pulling loose. “Hey! We have to go!” I walked past him, finding my lingerie and clothes on the bed where he had laid them out for me.
“We will.” He helped me with my boots, then took my hand as we walked out of the bedroom. “Now that we’re official, would you like to move in?”
“And leave my palatial studio apartment with the drug dealer neighbor and the cockroaches?”
“Yes. I want you here with me.”
We made it to the garage, where he opened the garage door and we walked to his big Harley Ultra Glide. I let him get on, then slipped on behind him. “I want to get married first.”
He just laughed. “Fine. We’ll get the license on Monday and Crash can do the ceremony next Friday night. That gives us time to pack your stuff and move it over.” I just hugged him as he fired up his ride. “Unless that’s too soon.”
“This afternoon would be fine with me, we can catch up the paperwork later. As long as we’re surprising everyone, we may as well go all the way.” He pulled out, the door closing behind him as we made the short ride to the clubhouse.
Everyone was waiting outside, enjoying the morning weather. A cheer broke out as we pulled in, and I waved my ring at the girls as we drove to our spot. As President, his bike was parked closest to the entrance. We were mobbed by the time he had backed into the spot and turned off the engine. I no sooner got off than I was hugged by Teri and the girls. They pulled me inside, sitting me at the table as the guys were congratulating Viper outside. “It’s about damn time he popped the question,” Teri said.
My mouth dropped. “You knew?”
“That you two were running around like a couple teenagers trying to hide from your parents? Yeah, we knew.”
Taser laughed. “It was pretty easy to tell, he can’t take his eyes off you, and you lean into him every chance you get.”
”I think we knew you were getting laid before you did,” Teri said.
“And that whole ‘I’m going to Viper’s house because he’s helping me with my bike’ thing, we all saw right through that. He can’t work on it while it’s in the driveway and you’re in the bedroom,” Sheri said. She was Moose’s wife, they married two years ago. She owned a bar in St. Paul, so she was only around in the mornings.
“Well,” Katie said, “her Harley may have sat in the cold, but I’m sure she was getting her chrome polished.” I started turning red.
“He checked her oil,” Sheri added.
“Blew out her pipes,” Teri laughed.
“Polished the headlight,” Taser added.
“Topped off her tank,” said Vivian.
“Oh God,” I said as I put my head down on my arms, hiding my tomato face.
“I heard that too, he must have been waxing your finish,” Sheri laughed.
“Put her up on the lift and checked her out,” Katie said.
“Tested the suspension,” Taser laughed.
“Oiled up her saddle,” Vivian said as she busted out laughing.
“That’s fair, I bet she inflated his tires,” Taser teased.
“THAT’S IT,” I yelled as I glared at them all. “The next one who cracks a joke doesn’t get to be my bridesmaid this afternoon.”
Now it was MY time to smile as their jaws dropped. “WHAT?”
“Viper’s asking Crash to do it after lunch. I finally got him to ask me, do you think there’s any way in hell I’m going to let him get talked out of it?” I looked over at Teri. “Teri, I want you to be my matron of honor,” I said.
“Of course,” she said as she started to cry.
“Vivian, you know the drill,” I said with a grin. “I’d like you to escort Viper down the aisle, you’re his closest family.”
She didn’t say anything, she was nodding and crying before she jumped up and hugged me. “I’m so happy for you,” she said.
“Taser, I need you to book a honeymoon suite for us tonight. You better not tell anyone where it is, either,” I warned. “I’m not spending our wedding night in a guest room over the bar, or at his house.”
“I know just the place,” she said.
“We’ve got church, then lunch. I want to do the ceremony about four, so we can have dinner and party for a while before he takes me out of here. I need someone for decorating, and someone for food.”
“I’ll draft Snake for the food, he has enough time to put something together,” Vivian said. “He studied cooking for years in Grenada, he makes some mean Creole food.”
“Mix in some steaks and potatoes, and remind him this is Minnesota, where people say that ‘Taco Bell food is too spicy for me,’” I warned. “I like it hot enough to burn the hairs off my lip, though, so just make a variety.” She nodded.
“I’ll take decorations,” Sheri said. “I’ve got a bunch in the storeroom at my bar. What’s the theme?”
“Snake and Vivian’s wedding for older people,” I said. And with that, my dream wedding was planned.
We eventually got all the members back in the conference room for church; riders only, so some of the ladies were left to start getting things together for the wedding. I was pulled into Viper’s lap, my place taken by Snake, with Vivian in his lap. We’d have to get more chairs sometime, I thought.
It took about half an hour just to catch everyone up on where we were. We told them about what had happened here after she left. I told about Doc’s funeral, about the investigation into the torching of the clinic. Viper’s quick thinking with the gasoline and the oxygen had obliterated any evidence of werewolves, and the whole thing had been blamed on druggies. The estate settled with the insurance company, and that was that.
A few strangers poked around in the next few weeks, probably wolves, but they stopped coming soon enough. A woman even stopped by to see Moose, asking about Vivian; from the description, she said it was probably Beta Denise. Moose didn’t say a word about her.
None of us had heard from Snake, Vivian, Carson or Jessica since they had fled six years earlier. I was holding onto Viper’s hand with a death grip as they told us of their time in the States, the close calls they had before deciding on Grenada. I loved the island through their eyes, and before they were done I was already plotting how to go on a family vacation there next winter. Finally, Jessica told about finding out she was pregnant.
“Didn’t you use birth control?” Teri had the obvious question.
“Yes, and we stayed in human form, but no birth control is fully effective.” Her hand fell to her belly, she was barely showing. “It doesn’t matter, I’m pregnant now, and we have to plan for what that means.” She had already explained why abortion was out of the question; I didn’t have a wolf in my head, so it didn’t make sense, but they were certain about it.
“All of my equipment, all of my notes were in the clinic when it was torched,” Vivian said. “I need to fix up the clinic here, I’ve got about three months before she reaches the dangerous portion of her pregnancy. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ll do what I can,” she promised. “We need to get the baby to twenty-three weeks, then I’ll give it the shot to develop the lungs. I’ll deliver at twenty-four weeks. That’s how old Jennifer was, and we were able to keep her alive. My plan is to deliver before the SPUDS sets in, giving Jessica a chance to live.”
“You’ll need a lot of equipment, won’t you?” I remembered how much she had in the clinic.
“Yes, I’ve been making a list. I was going to start looking on Ebay and medical auction sites this weekend. I also need to go back to the licensing bureau, get my Minnesota license active again. Since I was in school, and practicing in Grenada, that shouldn’t be difficult. That way I can order the drugs and supplies I need, except blood.”
She had a lot of it stored in the clinic before, and we needed every bag trying to save the women. “You can’t use human blood, right?”
“Correct. She needs werewolf blood, type matched. I can have her donate a couple pints before her pregnancy is too far along, but I really need to find a supply of werewolf blood. IV saline can replace the volume, but it won’t help with clotting and I need that.”
“Can you talk to Packs without getting suspicions?”
Vivian shrugged. “I don’t know right now if there are any Packs that have medical staff, much less a doctor. I can make some inquiries, but if someone finds out I’m alive and in Minnesota, I become the number one target of every Pack. They know I was able to save a baby, that word got out, and they’ll want me to save theirs too.”
“Don’t you want to help,” Teri asked.
“I do, but I have to protect myself, protect Jessica,” Vivian said. “Both of us are targets, even with her pregnant, she’s still a werewolf and a registered nurse. Don’t forget they can still force mate me, take me away from her.” Carson started to growl, and Snake just pulled her tighter.
“All right, first order of business is we have to set protection for these two.” There were nods around the table at this, we were family. “I’m sorry, ladies, but you’re going to be restricted to the clubhouse. We will have at least four club members here with you, all of them strapped, all the time. Hammer, you’ll set up a rotation. Moose, you still have the silver ammunition and knives?”
“Of course, I brought some with this morning when I heard they were back. I’ll pass it out when we’re done.”
Vivian looked sad. “Does this mean we can’t ride?”
“Club rides we can do, plenty of people around, but no rallies or strangers. Carson has to go with, he can ride ahead and make sure the places we stop are clear of werewolves before we arrive. It won’t be often, it’s a big risk,” Viper said. “Also, while they are here at the clubhouse, nobody we don’t know unless they are cleared by me or Hammer, and Carson has to sniff them out first. No dropins or open houses. Got it?” He got nods all around. “Vivian, Jessica, whatever you need, you order it or we can get it for you. You’re our daughters, that’s how we think of you, which makes that baby the grandchild I never thought I’d have. We WILL spoil it, so get used to the idea.” I just nodded as Vivian laughed, I was so excited at the prospect.
“Anything else?” No one said anything.
“Then let’s get out of here, we’ve got a wedding to go to,” I said. I hopped off his lap and made the rounds, hugging each of the guys before we finally left the room.
What a difference a day makes.