Twenty six- Dates by Design
Dane had six more stretch limousines for their guests to use at their disposal. Local photographers were welcome to photograph the wedding ceremony, apparently, the news leaked that the d’Anise, and Mon Chéri’, would join in matrimony. The bride, and groom posed happily even sitting inside the coolness of their private limousine comfortably, as the driver took off. They sat holding hands, smiling together, and shaking off the initial shock of their big day. At one another, they kissed, one of many times they would do that in their new lives.
They admired their wedding bands. Millicent held out her beautifully sculptured hand, in admiration of the ensemble, and Gordon thanked her for his wedding band too, and explained how he hadn’t even thought about one, and thus, it was a surprise. He kissed Millicent. Gordon knew she would be the one to fit the mold, or fill in the blanks, and his wedding band fit just right. It’s heavy enough for him to remember, yet out of the way, as he was now a celebrated man. Gordon, and his beautiful new wife, and Millicent, with her tall, smart, handsome husband.
Traveling through the sultry land, they were breath taken, of them, and the beauty of the land.
“My ring is perfect. You didn’t have to...” Millicent took her husband’s face and placed her finger tenderly on his lips, but he interrupted anyway, “All the trouble, you...”
“What trouble? No trouble. Did you expect not to have a ring?”
“I had not thought about it. You know me Babe.” Millicent knew about Gordon to know he was into watches. He loved them. Gordon hooked on different watches each day, and had his eye on a watch for Millicent, and bought it.
Nice jewelry complimented Millicent, and he loved giving it. Millicent has seen many of Gordon’s watches, and would have a hard time choosing a watch not in his collection.
“I know that about you Babe. You’re my guy. You don’t think about yourself like that. I know,” Millicent sang, and leaned into a triumphant kiss in the privacy in the back seats of a tinted limousine. Autumn leaves peeked and shadowed them in the back of their car. There was romance in the cascading colors, and high sunset.
“That I am Babe. I’m your guy.”
They held hands, and quietly enjoyed the ride, with their hearts affectionately on the same page in a gaze of love in the warmth they share between them.
“Babe? Do you think it alright if I remove my jacket?”
“No my love. It’s not alright yet. Not even when we sit formally for dinner, but you may sit, or stand unbuttoned, but not for the first dance.”
“Photographers.” Millicent snuggled into the side of Gordon’s body.
They rode quietly, separated from their guest’s through scenic parts of town, they will meet them at the reception. With the sun shining above their heads in the limousine, they finally overlooked Meridian’s cottage. Gordon leaned over, and kissed his wife. If it hadn’t been for Meridian, they would have never met. Dane’s boat was docked where Meridian’s grandparents used to keep theirs. Seeing that, they had not mentioned a word of business. It was their time purely for pleasure. They were a true and special couple responsible, and non-stop pursuing their goals and dreams, but will soon find out if Meridian’s house zoned for Millicent’s purposes.
They will love the drive to the marina by the bay, up to the man-made cliffs where the reception will be held.
“Oh Babe.” Millicent had no idea how amazing she looked, Gordon looking at her from the side of his eye.
“You are a terrific and gorgeous man!” Gordon was quiet, and Millicent knew how deep in thought he got.
“You too Babe.” He reached over, took her chin, and directed a kiss from her. “And I mean that.” Millicent liked when Gordon’s voice was deep with conviction.
He pulled her lips to his again, holding her chin, they pecked, and had not stopped wanting each other, so they sat. The limo pulled up to the pavement, to the valet entrance of the fortress, where the wedding reception began. Millicent took Gordon’s hand out of the back of the limousine, and many cameras flashed. The couple was asked to pose, and in fun of mockery, Millicent, and Gordon played, winning debut, from all the attention, and so he twirled Millicent, as did Fred Astaire and she, Ginger Rogers. The wedding party awaited their arrival. There were twenty excited people waiting to greet them.
As planned, they were the last to arrive at their reception, and everyone already made their way into the ballroom which seemed completely hung over a cliff, seeing outside the enormous cage. Below, the grass is green, the ocean clear, the skies are blue, and the sun rays, and moon’s light, make the waters glow. They could see, and hear the white water whooshing against the mountainous rocks, thick with the brushes of green algae growing adrift wet, and shining from the waterfalls which looked of cascading shadows of green, gray and purple.
Strolling around the aquatic atmosphere was very entertaining. From the veranda looking in, people appeared as if they were inside a fish bowl, from afar, a glass egg. Inside the ballroom, their guests were taken with the sheer elegance of being inside an octagon dome, and then passed inside an open elegant building structure. There contained powder rooms, and other exhibits until through that quarter mile of outstretched plateau, and no expense was spared.
Beryl had already been out on the veranda, where the option to dine and dance open. Outside catered a wet bar for their needs, so that if you felt so inclined you could let your heart, and imagination drift either way, laugh, talk and play completely above the moat, outside the perimeter. The marina’s staff had everything perfect, they had three dinner menus to choose, and the wedding cake Padimye’s uncle made looked amazing.
The flavor of the cake was good enough to taste by smell. Dane walked in impressed, shit hadn’t been his for a change, and all so dazzled, the Mr. Mon Cheri,′ knew what he was doing. Phillip was familiar with the ice sculptures, showing intricacy, and Meridian grabbed Dane from staring so that they would proceed, onto the rotating floor. The marina was elaborate, had a lounge, a country club, other features, and that grand ballroom. Champagne flowed off the beak of the ice dolphin sculpture, surrounded by little dolphins.
The huge room in the chateau was brass, and nautically nice, in a rustic charm way. The grounds held two tennis courts, and a golf course as well, and Dane promised his wife they would become more aquatic when the twins were born, and Meridian was all for it, but for the moment, was hungry. The glass octagon encased with polished nautical brass shines more golden in the sun in the structure at least fifty feet high. Inside and out, the delightful scent of autumn flowers in vases on each table clothed setting, in the colors of beige and purple flowers fragrant in uniformity, welcomed guests as they arrived.
Wedding favors were set at everyone’s name for dinner. Guests piled gifts where designated. When the newlyweds arrived, everyone wished happy hopes for Millicent’s dreams, and Gordon’s wishes, and all their dreams and wishes were coming true. For dinner, outside seating was available on the veranda. According to the guests choice, music played inside, and out on the veranda. Seafood was a main course, tnice eaten outdoors, watching the sea, feeling the cool mist from below, and watching the skies change around the cliffs, enjoying the fresh air of the picturesque atmosphere.
Without a push, the reception began in full swing. The entire guest was wonderfully social, as their first course orders were filled, twelve servants at a time, while making sure all champagne drinkers had glasses full. A prayer, and toast was intimate before the meals were served, after that, servers went around to fill wine glasses. Three salads, and soups of Manhattan, or New England clam chowder, and Tomato Basil, all delicious, were served in edible bread shells. Waiters waited tables dressed in black, white, and taupe accents, and the band played soft, wonderful tunes.
The music was soothing, playing through their first course. The roast beef dinner had choices of three vegetables, rice pilaf or roasted red potatoes. The same was for Cornish game, duck, fish, or lamb requests with its garnishes, and plenty of seafood on deck. Between each cuisine, the waiters and servers set and reset tables in a blink of an eye. Fresh taupe linens, silverware, water glasses, filled champagne glasses, and took orders for the barmaids to deliver.
The waiters helped guests decide menus for the main courses, and toast after toast, everyone stepped up to congratulate the newly wed couple, whom with the maid of honor, and best man sat at the wedding table for dinner. The elaborate desserts, and wedding cake was tempting with its decadence, standing seven graduating tiers at the table of honor. Beryl sat with Enid, Charles and a few other guests, but at the round table behind her, she rubbed elbows with a friend of one of Millicent’s relatives, who would be in town another day or two, and a drinker.
Beryl looked around, maybe for Vernon, but had not seen him, nor bothered to mention him unseen, but had it in her heart, he wanted her. Beryl thought she looked that good. Vernon was a nice person, treated her well, but she thought she could hustle him. Not! Beryl believed Vernon had a business meeting of some sort, and she’d been right. It’s true, Vernon had a meeting with Teale, and while Vernon had gone, Beryl and the man behind her met twice upon the open bar. Impatiently waiting on the server was how they met, and once served, they were gold.
They returned to their tables, and Jeffrey Penance turned his chair around, and Beryl seemed good company to him. Enid smiled, and knew it was a matter of time before Beryl would leave with the man, and so there was a countdown. Dane looked at his watch, and then Gordon. Gordon looked at his wife, and she looked at Padimye. Padimye looked at the Mon Chéri’, tilted her head towards Millicent, and Gordon, who looked at Dane, who stood with his arms folded, looking at Beryl, and the Mon Chéri’ looked at Enid, Charles looked at them, shifted his eyes over to Beryl, and rolled his eyes. They knew what that look meant.
Beryl was getting gruff, and negatively charged before that drink, and Charles' look triggered Meridian. Before Millicent and Gordon married, Vernon took Teale out of town one weekend, for a bridge tournament, and won. Vernon handed Teale ten thousand dollars, and asked her to enjoy it. Enid didn't know they were dating at first, but loved Teale as a person, and then found out they'd become an item. Miss Enid enjoyed young Miss Teale’s company over Beryl’s. She was nicer to go out with, well rounded, and a positive person. Beryl and Enid only saw each other at la Boutique.
Vernon arrived at Teale’s in time to zipper her dress. He knew for sure, he would devote all his time to that one woman. He adored her, in as much as she was adorable, looked great in her off the shoulder strap, russet, coral dress, one of her dress designs, which accentuated her lightly tanned skin, and brought out the gray ashen flecks in her dark teal eyes. Vernon not only thought Teale beautiful, but well poised, exceptionally classy, cultured and smart.
He was well dressed in that double breasted teal gray designer suit. Teale looked lovely in a simple pair of heeled sandals that Steve Madden sent her out of his collection for her birthday, with the matching clutch with the silver chain, just in case she used it to wear on her shoulder. It matched the stylishly comfortable, sexy tee strap leather shoe.
“You, my Dear, look triply beautiful, gorgeous and stunning.” Vernon placed his hands on Teale’s shoulders, and gave her a kiss on the cheek, and their body language said they had a common interest, and mutual respect.
Teale led Vernon inside her one bedroom flat with a great view of the city, especially at night, and now Vernon had her hand, and she smiled, having him near, and knew he had something vital to say.
“Thank you. What’s up?” Vernon mentioned having dated Beryl, the verbose woman, admitting her showing her true colors too early in the game. He said that he hadn’t any relationship with the woman, but tried to be nice to her a few times, and took her out with their crew on dates. He assured Teale that his relationship with Beryl was brief, which had not turned serious.
He said she was around for the wedding, because she imposed, and that, “The d’Anise former housekeeper Beryl, is nosy, a bad drunk, and just around for the frills. Enid Rae is sorry she hired her for the shop," Vernon complained, and mentioned how he had to escort her to the affair, “But they have a watch on her. She’s almost through. Depending on how she acts, they will have her escorted out, and it would do them good to fire her completely.” Teale clipped in her other earring. “At worse, you'll see how things weigh.”
“Well baby cakes, I hate to say this, but with that woman showing up the way she had, you being out of town made the event easier to deal with.” Teale had a lot of respect for Vernon mentioning his dilemma with Beryl, a trouble maker. She understood, Vernon was grateful. He hoped Teale knew she would not stand alone in case the wrath of Beryl’s scorn rages in public, or in the ladies room. Before the main course, Beryl offered the gentleman the seat next to her. Sipping along, Beryl missed Vernon’s arrival with the lovely Teale Carlisle by his side.
Vernon was a good catch Beryl missed, but he did not want to be her meal ticket. Teale grabbed her deep coral crocheted bolero, while Vernon made a quick phone call to Dane who sent two of his bodyguards outside immediately. Suede Forrest greeted them entering the grounds, and Vernon was confident nothing would happen to Teale from his car, and escorted them inside the dome where Dane greeted them. As long as Suede, and John McClure kept an eye on them the entire affair, they were going to have a great time too.
At that affair, there had been special plans concerning Teale’s future. Vernon, and Teale arrived only forty- five minutes later, and was stunning. Teale was ambitious, and talented, and in the scheme of things, began to make a lot of money. She held onto Vernon’s arm, and they blended in beautifully. The marina was in full swing, and Meridian, and Millicent were very happy to see Teale when she made their presence. Dane had someone he wanted Vernon to meet, who made major endorsements, and was at a fashion show Teale featured. He remembered her, was impressed, and was interested in her label.
Teale was impressed. The meeting went well, and now Teale will have major exposure to her work. Vernon thought Teale, well worth in investment, and certain he wanted to be around her for as long as she would have him. Among three hundred guests in the huge hall, with a dance floor, Beryl had not seen the excitingly handsome Vernon Shelby, and Teale Carlisle, a great couple. They looked as if they should be together. Because they ate so little, Beryl and her new found friend Joseph, Jasper, Caspar, no, Jeff, were fully booze loaded.
They danced out on the deck, making friends with people like themselves, the lives of that party, drank, laughed, and became angry, in outbursts. All together, the food was great, but Meridian felt as if she was starving again. After the first course, she felt better, and finished the remainder of the food courses. A half an hour later, Meridian was ready to cut the cake, and so Dane had the server bring her a bowl of fruit. The affair was elegant, and synchronized to the utmost. The servers scaled back tables and chairs to create a more spacious dance floor for the happy guests, and the ones already tipsy.
The crowd was lively, only settled down for best wishes, toasts, speeches and congratulations to the happy couple. Monitoring Meridian, she was ready to cut the cake, after she ate that bowl of fruit an hour before, and all eyes were on Millicent and Gordon, but Padimye, and Linux were a lovely couple. He seemed to really be into Padimye. They were as Millicent and Gordon, in the beginning of their happy and ever-growing relationship, everyone certain they would marry next, or soon in the works. People were having a ball, and not in such a hurry for the affair to end.
Everyone danced. Millicent, and Gordon could not thank their wedding party enough, as they handed out elegant departing gifts. After Millicent and Gordon’s official first dance, it was not long before the dance floor filled, and party music began. People were full of food, fun and drinks. A wedding planner tapped Gordon on the shoulder, and asked if he felt time to cut the wedding cake. Seven tiers of the beautiful wedding cake Padimye’s uncle created, awaited them. The white frosting and light taupe pastel icing with pecans matched the decorative autumn color of the day.
Padimye, her uncle and his lovely family received a special gift in appreciation for the generous and delicious gesture. Forty minutes later, the wedding planners called Millicent with her husband onto the middle of the ballroom. By then, the sun moved to the west side of the dome, and decorative lights lit from above, and the night was young. After each guest had their cake, coffee, tea, or whatever else they drank, it was time to toss the garter belt, and throw the wedding bouquet, and the crowd was lively.
Beryl and Jasper, no, Jack, no, she meant, Jeff disappeared. They split the scene according to John after they wobbled off with their wedding cake portions, and Dane sure they’d gone. Once Jeff drove out of the property, security would have to clear their return, and certainly would not. They were too full of souse to re-enter the affair, teetering, happy as hell, but having a hard time placing their empty plates onto a flat tray.
They used two hands. Beryl and her boyfriend juggled with their cake plates as they were leaving, and managed to blend with guests, becoming as tipsy as they were. They might have danced off their tipsiness, but was too roughed up from the free booze. The band played and Beryl and Jeff in their own world, swayed their way to the exit. They left grabbing yet another flute of champagne, swinging gaily in a room full of three hundred sixty degree motion, and offered a gurgled toast before they sauntered out, arm in arm.
Suede watched them clomp out across the plank over the moat, down the passageway on the bridge, and trot arm in arm to the valet. Jeff drove a Chevrolet. Dane thanked Suede, and John for their report, and asked if they will still be playing golf next Saturday. John said he would not miss it for the world, “With bells and whistles, man.” Dane thanked him again for looking out for him, and then Suede said he’d be leaving himself, and would make sure once more the coast was clear.
The spectacle began, and it was only two more hours before Dane and Meridian left the affair. Millicent and Gordon’s surprise arrived after the bouquet, and garter belt toss. Smiling from ear to ear, their cheeks hurt in similarity to everyone’s joy and amusements. A few moments went by, before Millicent, and Gordon realized something was going on. From the planks of the bay a fancy yacht pulled up to the dock, and no one hesitated to look. Millicent and Gordon were as curious as everyone else, of the rather large late model vessel, which had a banner attached to the side of it.
The banner read: Welcome Aboard Newlyweds!
Millicent clasps her face with her hands, and looked at her father who was standing next to her. Millicent, and Gordon knew they were going on a private cruise, but still had not known their destination. They looked thrilled. Phillip winked at Gordon who was surprisingly puzzled, and then clanged the glass of the lead crystal with his wedding band, and immediately had everyone’s attention. Phillip, smiled proudly down at his daughter, and waited until he was able to speak plainly. He bent towards Millicent’s ear whispering.
“It’s a honeymoon cruise, my Dear. A wedding departure gift.” Face to face, guests toasted after Phillip raised his glass.
“To the happy couple!” Birdseed flew in the air with cheers, and squiggly streamers, and confetti floated everywhere!
“Now,” Phillip said, “When you two get to your flight they will hand you an envelope. It will have the tickets, and all the info you will need for your trip. Trust me. I want you two to have a terrific time, and my guess is that you will, and I will not settle for less than that.” They listened, in a quick huddle, and then strolled down the red carpet, out, and onto the vessel. On the yacht’s plank, Phillip took his daughter’s hand, and their guests became anxious, and started yelling, “Bon voyage!”
Phillip grabbed his daughter, and kissed her hard on the cheek, while Gordon trailed aside them, while their guests cheered, and wished the couple luck as they walked. “Sweetheart, we’ve been looking forward to this moment since the day you were born,” Phillip said, and as amazed as Millicent was, Phillip smiled, all their guests were ecstatic, happy, and almost losing control. Bernadette laid her glass on the waiter’s tray. She was happy, and overwhelmed to the point of tears, nodding her head in support of her husband’s statements as their guests gathered around.
Their guests threw bird seeds instead of rice, because even on the cliffs, throwing rice at weddings, chokes, and kills birds. The Mon Chéri’ gestures were warm, sincere, and complimented Gordon. The thought of what Phillip said touched the magnitude of the ceremony, touched his heart, and each couple held each other close, and as confetti and streamers saturated the sky. The Mon Cheri' cuddled unconsciously, walking the red carpet. Cameras flashed profusely, and videotape kept rolling. It was a proud day for the Mon Chéri’ and a memorable day for the newlyweds.
Beryl and her boyfriend missed the boat. They'd already gone over an hour ago, thirsty, and no telling what the outcome of their evening possessed. Enid Rae hoped for the best when Beryl left with that strange man, missing the entire yacht ordeal, but at least saw Beryl, and her new friend swing around, in a toast for Millicent, and Gordon before they left, sloshed, and so Enid took Beryl’s gift to one of the wedding tables after she left, and then her, and Charles enjoyed a stroll to themselves.
The excitement went on, while they kissed, and waved good-bye. It would be soon before they set sail. Enid will miss the couple, she, and Denim went to Niagara Falls for their honeymoon. He was not a romantic, and didn’t even want to do that. He drank, invited a few of their friends and gambled their time, but he treated Enid Rae well, and that’s what she remembers most. Millicent and Gordon’s guests hovered around in delight of the new vessel’s classic wood grained beauty.
Noisemakers, and streamers were never ending in the breeze among the open air. The sun was going down as the band played in the octagon, soft tones, and then Millicent, and Gordon stepped onto the plank of the yacht, connected to a cliff of the marina. Phillip fooled around, and acted as if Gordon was as strong as Popeye, with a handshake of tremendous grip.
“Hey young lad. Save your strength for your honeymoon,” he turned to Millicent, “You take good care of Gordon.” Gordon was modest, and smiled.
Millicent hugged her father, and assured him she would bring Gordon home in one piece.
“I will do the same,” Gordon assured his new father-in-law.
“Daddy, I love you! You made my wedding special! Surreal! More than dreams come true!” Phillip kissed his happily overwhelmed daughter, and was overjoyed. He checked his watch, smiled to himself, it was departure time. Seeing Millicent, with Gordon made Phillip believe they’d done a good job. “All right you two,” he said, “It’s time to be off!” Millicent gave her parents one last hug before she went onto the boat.
Phillip called out for them, and waved, “Have a wonderful, marvelous great time!”
“Good- bye mom! I love you!” Gordon waved as Dane made it through the crowd, hooting, whistling, and waving his hand as if lunatic. Enid, and Charles blew a kiss, and Meridian squeezed in, aside her husband, and blew kisses too. Dane put his arm around her, as Millicent’s voice started drifting away. Gordon had still been waving, with one arm clutching his wife close, and blew back good-bye kisses to their guests, with Meridian, Dane, Padimye, and the entire wedding party shouting cheers of good luck.
They could see them from afar, waving, and throwing colorful streamers and sparkling confetti, shrinking into the distance. The weather was mild lately, but still hot, so the mist of cooling air whimsically whirling softly around them was refreshing. Bon voyage! Millicent and Gordon set sail aboard the yacht. Phillip having the most pleasant, happy expression on his face holding his wife in his arms, took a deep cleansing breath. They stayed on deck with their guests, until they could no longer see the boat.
The excited guests watched the ocean until the romantic candle lit vessel sailed into the silence which wrapped around them. The vessel’s compliments included champagne. Having a chance, they snacked quietly on the food tray ahead of them, and on a trip of a lifetime. Phillip, and Gordon’s friendship was much father and son, and Phillip was an optimistic man who wanted to spend eternity with his wife.
Enid regretted extending the invitation for Beryl to work with her. The boutique collections were beautiful, and being the owner had its privileges. Charles came around when Enid worked. Charles and Enid’s quaint relationship started to feel the pull Beryl tugged, and as a joke, tried to get between them. She was nosy, wondering what they’re talking about, and if in fact it’s about her. Charles and Enid Rae communicated well, ignored Beryl, who Gordon kept an eye.
Charles felt there’s no reason anyone should behave like Beryl, because she enjoyed making fun of people, and thrived to be the center of attention. She was too much, for too little, and Vernon rather enjoyed a woman who exposed a formal sense of normality, he could stay attracted. A woman who exposed her breast, bare legs that looked too easily spread, was not the greatest company. Protecting Teale was getting old, and silence did not mean Vernon was available, or not doing much, it just meant he was not doing anything with Beryl.
Exhausted, from the excitement of the music, food, fun, and games at the Gordon, and Millicent’s wedding reception, Meridian and Dane made their rounds to say goodbye, which took a lot longer than they thought, but made it out of there, and went home. Ruben was a lampshade away from selecting the color light bulb he would be, having a great time, and his wife said they would leave in the next hour, but there was no telling what time they actually left the affair. Meridian enjoyed the excitement, and entertainment, but got sleepy. When she, and Dane arrived back at the manor they had the entire mansion to themselves.
Dane led Meridian to the third floor landing, and sat her down on the slotted stairs, and kissed her.
“I’ll be right back.” Meridian waited after her eyes followed her husband’s huge athletic frame through the slats of the staircase, heading towards the kitchen. Just as Meridian began to become impatient, Dane returned with her favorite dessert, and drizzled walnuts on her cherry chocolate bordeaux ice-cream, and said to his gushing wife, “I had this sent especially for you.” He brought his portion as well, two spoons, walked to the third floor, went to the terrace and sat at the bistro.
They took in the moonlight, talked, cuddled, and then all together, called it a good night. The next day, Phillip Mon Chéri’, checked his watch. It was exactly three forty seven pm, and thought, Millicent and Gordon should just be approaching their destination. The Mon Chéri’danced at Millicent’s wedding, as if never before, and for Vernon and Teale, the night was, some enchanted evening.