Beach weddings... I hate beach weddings. Too hot, too humid, too windy. Thank Tyr, I am standing under the tent and not out there on the sand.
“I am warning you, brother,” Wood tries to gain my attention for the millionth time.
“About what?” I look at a girl in a minuscule bathing suit that passes by.
“I am focused. I am super focused.”
I look at the girl’s ass as she passes by. On second thought, beach weddings are the best.
“Don’t pull a Vik on me.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I look at him innocently.
“You know what I mean, Vince.” Wood rolls his eyes.
“Hey, you wouldn’t ask Jimmy Page to tone the awesomeness down, would you?”
“Tamie will be holding Devon, Vince. No swearing,” he raises a finger at me.
“Fine, brother! If it’s for the kid, I’ll minimize the swearing.” I promise.
I like Devon. He is the happiest kid I have ever met! Seriously, I have never seen him cry or act out. Wood is a lucky son of a bitch. His woman is a sweet, clever girl – and hot as hell – and the kid he adopted is even sweeter and cleverer. My man deserves as much. He is finally smiling more and living life not barely surviving.
“Minimize? How about-?” Wood starts but I cut him off.
“Sh, they are here.”
Wood turns and looks upon the car that has just arrived. Tamie gets out of her sister’s stunning car and positions Devon on her hip. Iris gets out as well in her light green dress and Rage growls. Lauren, Tamie’s friend gets out as well with her son and this time it’s Lil’Ed that tenses. He hasn’t claimed the woman yet, but I can see the signs.
Ava’s still pathetic save-the-planet car comes next. Ava, Lysa and Chiara get out. Chiara sure looks good in her dress and she too holds Sofia in her arms. The baby is fast asleep and Ironhand jumps up, almost taking all the chairs with him, to go grab his daughter.
When did this happen? Not long ago we were a bunch of bitter badass bikers and the only women around were rotters. Sworn bachelors the lot of us. And now we are up to our necks with Valkyries and babies and chew toys and little cars all over the place. And rotters fawning over Devon’s grey eyes more than dick.
I take each of my brothers in and I all I see are stupid smiles. The groom has a longing look on his face and he couldn’t care less if the rest of us would disappear. Bjorn smiles at his wife holding Ariadne in her bright summer dress and Vik is up and clapping like an idiot at his stunning wife. As for Rage, he is eyeing Iris with a deep, almost carnivorous look. Only Runner is looking at the white tent set on the beach. The reason is simple.
“Wow, the dresses are cool!” Magda says by Wood’s side, stunning in her white suit.
“Dο you regret being my best man?” Wood smiles at her.
“Not a moment, big bro.”
Tamie walks up to Wood and her eyes are brighter than the blue sky above us. OK, I kind of get why the brothers considered tying the knot and dedicating themselves to their Valkyries. There is some appeal to having someone look at you like that. And when Devon sees Wood and starts clapping shouting “dada”, I get a little teary, I have to admit.
Tamie comes up and she and Wood hold hands. Makes you feel kind of unnecessary. Those two have pledged their lives to each other and they don’t need me to make this official. There was a lifetime when I too was ready for this kind of commitment. I chuckle. It was really a lifetime ago, another me, a stupid me, a naïve Vince that thought-
“Vis,” Devon screams the name he has for me and gets me out of my wanderings.
Have I said I like the kid? I do. I smile at him and he extends his arms to me. Damn it, Devon. I take him in my arms and he giggles.
“Now, Dev boy,” I say. “I have a few questions to ask you.”
He giggles even more enthusiastically.
“Do you want Tamie as your Mommy?”
“Mommy,” he points at Tamie and his face is shining.
Tamie smiles her sweet smile and she is barely keeping her tears back.
“How about this guy?” I point at Wood. “Do you want him to be your Daddy?”
“Dada Dada Dada,” he seems twice excited about Wood.
Wood tickles his belly and Devon keeps on giggling.I am covered in honey right now!
“How about you, Tamie? You want this lucky son of a bitch?”
“Bits,” Devon shouts.
Clever, clever boy.
“Vince!” Both Tamie and Wood yell at me.
“What? He is a Rider brat. He needs to know the basics.”
Tamie takes Devon from me and hands him to Iris and behind her I notice that all the Valkyries are sending me dagger looks. What? I raise my hands in defense.
“Get it over with,” Wood says through tight teeth.
“So Tamie? Are you OK with spending every waking moment with this fine gentleman here?”
“You sure? You do know he doesn’t like his food touching, right?”
“Hey, what’s wrong with that?” Magda demands.
“What about pasta?” I ask both Wood and Magda. “How do you deal with pasta?”
“Vince!” Wood warns once more.
“OK, OK just wondering. Moving on. Wood, do you take Tamie as your wife, to love and fucking cherish cause she is Rage’s sister-in-law and you are a dead man if you don’t?”
“Ha,” I chuckle. “I’d marry a dog if Rage was threatening me. Though dogs are more loyal than women, trust me. I am not saying that any of you girls are-” I look at all the Valkyries.
“VINCE!” they all say at the same time.
“Sure, attack, poor Vince for speaking the truth. Anyway, you got any vows?”
“Yes,” Tamie’s face lights up.
“Of course you do,” I roll my eyes.
Magda hands them the rings and the happy couple looks at each other. Great, the vows, I pray to have this over with quickly so I can get hammered and go after some girl.
I hear Wood’s voice in the background, Tamie sniffling and the Valkyries go “awww” but there is a blonde, juicy girl spreading lotion on her already tanned skin. I could be doing that instead of this. I must be liking Wood more than I knew.
“Vince?” Magda demands.
“Do you mind finishing here before you go after some girl like a rabid dog?”
I look at everyone and they look back at me with a scowl. Again, what?
“Alright alright. I see the rings are in place. So, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the lights out of the bride but keep it rated, Devon is watching.”
Wood takes Tamie tenderly in his arms and kisses her lightly on the lips. The mated Riders eye their women longing to do the same. As for the rest of us, the bachelors... Wow! There aren’t many of us left. Tar and Jab and beside them I see Tor looking extremely bored, barely stifling a yawn.
“OK, fuckers! Let get shitfaced!”
The party is well underway, and I had to fend off Galina for the millionth time. The Russian is so drunk, she can barely stand, and I can see that there is a desperation in her attitude. After all Ava is here with her husband and daughter and her other half in crime, Tanya, came in a posh car, accompanied by Derek. She has resigned from the escort and it seems to me we will be going to a destination wedding soon. Though I am not sure I will be invited. I have fucked Tanya a couple of times.
“Tamie,” I approach the happy bride. “Can I hold Devon?”
“Oh, it’s OK, Vince. Thank you for offering.”
“No, you don’t get it, girl. Holding a baby is a guaranteed pussy magnet.”
“Vince,” Tamie shakes her head, “you need to find a girl and have your own baby.”
I love Tamie but I can’t help it. Just the thought of a family... That’s not for everyone. Certainly not for me.
“Nah,” I say in disgust. “I want the baby to get laid. If I am married what’s the point? Now, can I have him?”
“No, Vince. I am not giving you my son to use as your accessory to lure some poor girl.”
“Poor girl? I am about to make that poor girl’s day by ruining her pussy. Now, divorced or widower?”
“No, Vince,” Tamie turns strict.
“You are right. No woman would ever leave me. Widower,” I decide and make a move to take Devon when I hear my phone ring, probably for the best cause I see Iris getting irritated and that means an irritated Rage and that is bad.
I smile at Iris and wink at Devon that chuckles before going a bit further to answer the phone.
“Mr. Thompson?” A woman asks.
Wow, haven’t been called that for a while.
“Mr. Thompson, my name is Rachel Tazel and I am an associate at Garner & Merkal, Sacramento.”
A lawyer?I look for Daniel instantly.
“I am representing Mr. Carter,” the lawyer continues.
The wave of the past is drowning me. That is one name I never thought I would hear again. Everything around me spins and I am not sure where I am exactly. There are somethings you walk out from and you never thought they’d find you again.
“You must be mistaken,” I say strictly.
“Vincent Albert Thompson?”
Double wow! I do not think I have ever been called that. Ever.
“Sure, that’s me but I do not think Old Joe would want to do anything from me even if he was dead.” I chuckle.
Silence. Too long a silence.
“Mr. Carter is deceased.”
I get further away from the party and I sit on a bench. What is this? Am I playing in Four Weddings and a Funeral? Old Joe… Old Joe is dead. The man I remember was a Superman. Then again, ten years have passed since then.
“I am sorry for your loss,” the lawyer says.
“I… I haven’t spoken to the man for a while. So, I am sure-”
“Mr. Thompson, the opening of the will is on Tuesday at 11 o’clock. But I have been requested by my client to meet with you an hour before that.”
“I do not think that this has anything to do with me.”
“It was my client’s last requests to me.”
“I will be there.”