The Russian Orthodox Cathedral at Ennismore gardens in Knightsbridge, was absolutely beautiful. It was a bright autumn day, the leaves were all golden and the air was just beginning to chill. The walls inside were ornate with paintings and icons. The long service in Russian and English was beautiful. A choir sang throughout and the music was just magical. Enhanced by the acoustics of the building. There was a bit of friction between Jimmy’s family and Cassandra. She had everything she could wish for. Money for Boris wasn’t an issue, if he ran out he would just print some more. His false notes were hard to detect. Jimmy’s mother wanted the ceremony back home. But she settled for a blessing back home in Cheshire. And the largest and most expensive hat you could buy. The blessing wouldn’t take place for a while. As there were other blessings that had to take place. One in Europe and another in South America of all places. Jimmy couldn’t quite fathom out, where all these long lost family members came from.
Lemmy was uncomfortable, in his white morning suit and top hat. Despite looking quite the cavalier. Lemmy and a suit just didn’t really go together. If it was any consolation both Jimmy and Yuri even Boris himself. Were also uncomfortable in their stiff starched collars. The only people comfortable with the circus, as Lemmy and Boris had called it. Was Cassandra, her bridesmaids all fresh from Europe and Carl. Who had stepped in as one of the best men. Jimmy had made an emotional plea for him to do the role. Whilst under the influence, when he found out about the pregnancy. Mitch who had become great friends since Berlin, was the other one. Carl had made it very clear who was the best man to Mitch. And he wasn’t about to argue with him. Mitch had been warned that he would be bitchslapped if he stepped on Carls’ toes.
Carl loved the colour schemes and had gotten involved with arrangements. He loved mixing with planners and organisers. The fickle people that hung around Cassandra. The entire day was planned like a military exercise. The gossip magazine had also sent reporters much to Bernice’s delight. She had sent the most extravagant bouquet of flowers to Jimmy’s mum. Dour faced she sat behind his mum with Scott, who was making eyes at Carl. They were ferried to the city of London club for the lavish reception. in a white horse and carriage, complete with outriders. In the back of the cathedral a small boy looked up at his mother and asked. “Who is that getting married mummy...is it.....is it Jimmy?”
“Yes son it is come now let’s not spoil his big day. Yuri has a big surprise at home for you.” They left as quietly as they came in. Jeanette held the tears in check, she couldn’t stand to see him marry that woman. She was there to claim him but lost her bottle. She would have to get Mitch, to become a little more involved with Cassy.
At the reception Boris gave Jimmy an envelope to open later. He was warned about any peeking. The celebrations were enjoyed by at least 200 guests. Alot of shady characters’ from the under and espionage worlds, were mixing with Jimmy’s family and friends. People from the fashion world were there. And a few television personalities, were hobnobbing with some pop stars. All the clientele from the Black Cap had attended too. The pub had closed only for the third time in its history. Rich Harding aka Elizabeth Sandwich was warned not to put his frock on. They didn’t want him to upstage the bride. It was a lavish and sumptuous affair. With ice sculptures, a mix of music and the ubiquitous family rows. Lemmy and Yuri had squared up outside, and Yuri had been unceremoniously put on his backside. This had come as a crushing shock to the man mountain that had never been beaten in his shady fight career. Let alone put on the floor. Jimmy’s mother had glared at Cassandra throughout the reception.
She had made her feelings clear to Jimmy during a rare moment together. This in turn had led to the fracas between Lemmy and Yuri. “And what was wrong with that lovely girl Jeanette that you were seeing, before you went to the Germany... eh??.” Jimmy shrugged. “Mixing with these Eastern Europeans it’s not right Jimmy Patrick Collins....it’s not, your father would be turning in his grave messing with these commies!” Yuri gave her a look which led to the alcohol fuelled mother in law. Who had more than her fair share of sherry to send Lemmy outside with him. “Get outside lad and sort that Ruskie’s mouth for him.” She demanded. Lemmy was stunned she frowned upon his bare knuckle dalliances. “ Ahhh..... c’mon now Aileen... it’s the boys wedding day...leave it go the lad is only standing up for your daughter in law. We all have to learn to live together.” He winked at Yuri who gave a weak smile in return.
Aileen Collins stood all of her 5ft 2 including heels and waved a gloved finger at Lemmy. Her face was scarlet with fury. “Mum please relax I will sort it out.. you are making a scene Yuri doesn’t mean anything by it...he can’t help the way he looks.” Begged Jimmy. Aileen folded her arms and glared at Lemmy. “Ahh mum.... no not the look c’mon now play nicely, remember your blood pressure.”
“Lemmy Michael Fitzgerald Collins...put that drink down and you go tend to your family’s honour.” Jimmy cringed at the look of complete bewilderment on Lemmy’s face. It soon changed and Jimmy knew that look. Tonight there would be blood, hopefully not alot of Jimmy’s. Cassy was totally unaware of the family dynamics that were going on. She was busy with her friends.
Lemmy and Yuri both shook hands and went out into the alley. Followed by Boris and a few of the traveller lads. That had turned up for the wedding. A few minutes later arms wrapped around each other, and a beer in the other hand. Both were sporting black eyes. Yuri and Lemmy bulldozed their way into the dancing guests on the dance floor. That were bumping and grinding to Nene Cherry’s “Buffalo stance.” Cousin Pat swept up Jimmy’s mother and took her back to the hotel. Boris leaned over to Jimmy and spoke into his ear above the noise. “The next time..... Yuri will not be so reserved, call it a wedding present....I shall have need of a man like Lemmy soon. Here Jimmy Collins take this my gift to you and my blessing.” Jimmy gratefully received the envelope and put it into his suit pocket. Later at the Marriot hotel in the honeymoon suite, Cassandra squealed as she opened the envelope. “Tickets to Venice....and.....Jimmy around the world first class...this will come in handy after the blessing in Potsdam!” Once showered Cassy and Jimmy cuddled up together in the sumptuous bed. “Well Mrs. Collins” purred Jimmy. Cassandra kissed him gently on the forehead. “Jimmy darling I am tired and have a headache. Let’s wait until the morning.....after all morning sex lasts longer.” Cassy turned over and within minutes had begun to snore. Jimmy reflected on the reception and the day that had flown by.