The Anthropologist's Daughter

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August 2014

Hestia Cook was running frantically for the room in which the groom was preparing. She knew her dance partner quite well. Connor was likely to be freaking out in a way that only he was capable of. She knocked before turning the handle and bolting into the room, bridesmaid dress flying every which way and her put together hair just about falling apart.

"Hestia! What are you doing?" Jack asked, eyes thrown open wide in surprise.

"Keeping your snark from winding someone up," she bit out, looking around for Connor and spotting him pacing back and forth in front of the windows in nothing but his bathrobe. He finally looked up at her, then back down at himself.

"Hestia!" he yelped, throwing his arms as a protective barrier to keep the bathrobe closed.

"Oh, like I haven't seen you walking around your own apartment like that," she said, grinning. "And from what I've heard, Wren's seen you walking around like that, too."

"Wren was practically a permanent fixture at the time." It was clear to Hestia that the topic had distracted the soon-to-be-married man when he said the next words - "Why did you break up with her, Jack? You two seemed like you would last forever?"

Hestia looked at Jack. She didn't know everything. In fact, what she did know was all from Wren's point of view. Wren strongly believed that she had gotten attached to the man too quickly and that the reason he had broken up with her was the simple fact that they were acting like a married couple within only a couple of months. She had spent every night in the apartment that Jack and Connor shared.

Jack shrugged. "I honestly felt, at the time, that Wren had more feelings for me than I did for her. Feelings don't just grow over night, Connor." Connor frowned.

"You love her now." Connor's statement was no surprise to Hestia. Jack had dated Hestia for a couple of months. Jack's treatment of Wren for the weeks preceeding that had been so all over the board that when he told her of the fact that he was planning to date Hestia, Wren had gone off to her parents house with so much anger in her heart that she got into a minor accident on the way home. She spent the next month with her left wrist in a caste. No matter how much she tried to deny it, the whole ballroom dance team knew it was Jack's fault. Wren's avoidance of the subject and of Jack didn't help that notion. Wren and Jack never said another word to each other, even when Hestia desperately tried to get her friend and boyfriend to talk to one another. As it happened, Jack broke up with Hestia two months after the accident. Hestia suspected that he had developed feelings for the girl whose arm, and heart, he had helped crush.

Jack's face went stony. Hestia sighed. "I just came in here to make sure you were both ready. Clearly you're not." She waved her arm at Connor's state of undress. "Get ready, or I'm sending Wren in. You know how scary she gets." Connor shuddered at the thought of Keri's maid of honor running in and screaming her head off at them.

"We'll get ready," he assured her. Hestia smiled and closed the door behind her.


Keri was not looking like her usual confident self.

"What did I do to deserve him, Wren?"

"You were yourself, Keri. That's all you've ever been. And look, he asked you to marry him. You're in a church wearing a beautiful gown and you're going to go down that aisle and smile at him as you go." Keri smiled at her friend.

"What did I do to deserve having you here?" Wren smiled. Keri knew that smile.

"Nothing at all. It was the lack of men waiting at my door that brought me here." Keri laughed.

"Oh, you think you're so funny."

"Well I'm not dating any of the groomsmen. They usually say that's the best perk of being part of the wedding party." Keri frowned.

"I am sorry about that, you having to be walked back down the aisle at the end of the ceremony by Jack." Her face was sincerely apologetic.

"Keri, it's okay. Honestly. We're just not talking, that's all."

"He's in love with you, you know." Wren walked behind Keri to start putting the finishing bobby-pins in her hair.

"No he's not, Keri."

"No, honestly. Connor and I have talked about it. Even Hestia agrees. She thinks it's the reason he broke up with her." Keri carefully watched Wren in the mirror.

"Keri, it'll never happen. I'm fine with the way things are now."

"No, you're not." Wren frowned. "You're not!" She paused when Wren raised an eyebrow at her. "You want a family, same as the rest of us. Maybe you more than the rest of us. Do you remember when we used to have those girls’ nights? You used to tell us your grande scheme if you got to be this old and you didn't have any children yet, you remember?" Wren nearly choked.

"Keri! Honestly!"

"You used to talk about kidnapping hot guys you knew and stealing their semen. You said you got the idea off of an episode of Ugly Betty."

"I was joking, Keri."

"I know that. But honestly, it was the one thing you wanted more dearly than a boyfriend. A child of your own. It couldn't be adopted, had to be your own flesh-and-blood." Wren stabbed another pin into the bride's hair.

"What's the point in telling me this, Keri?"

"Maybe this is your chance, Wren. Maybe you can finally have that kid with Jack." Wren sighed.

"Why don't we just let fate decide? If he talks to me tonight, we'll see."

Keri clapped her hands excitedly. "Good! Oh, you won't be disappointed! I have Connor talking to him now!" Wren groaned.

"Keri!"

The door swung open and shut with very little ceremony in that instance. Hestia had entered the room. Keri was instantly distracted from her query.

"Hestia! Your hair!"


The ceremony was gorgeous. Walking down the aisle at the end of the ceremony being lead by Jack was awkward. Both having been pushed and prodded by the scheming Connor and Keri, neither was quite sure what to do. Wren, however, stood by her word. Jack had to speak to her first. If he did not, she wasn't going to speak to him.

Jack, for his end of things decided that it was easier to leave things as they were, which ended up vexing Keri to no end. Keri knew that Wren was a woman of her word. Jack had to speak first. The two people who hadn't spoken for just about four years were going to continue in their silence. Little did they know that it would be a good three years before the couple saw each other, let alone spoke to each other, again.

Hestia opened the door to her apartment, unsure of who could be standing on the other side of the door. The last thing she was expecting was Wren to torpedo past her, plastic bag crinkling in her left hand.

“I need to use your bathroom,” Wren stated.

“Hello. Nice to see you too,” Hestia said. “Why can’t you use your own bathroom?”

“Because I’m house sitting for Connor and Keri while they’re away and it feels weird to do this in their house.” Hestia raised an eyebrow. Wren couldn’t seem to get the words out about what she needed Hestia’s bathroom for. Then Hestia really took in the plastic bag, the word “pharmacy” spelled out across it in blue lettering.

“Oh boy...” she said, looking at the bag. Wren gave her a grateful look, took off her jacket, and slipped into Hestia’s bathroom. Hestia then went into the kitchen to make them both tea.
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