“Can I come in?” Deliosa asked.
Sammy shook his head. “I must wait until my elder meets you and passes approval.”
“We’ve already been together, Samer. More than once.”
He stroked her left arm. “But not in my house. Not yet.”
“What happens if she does not pass her approval? What happens, Samer? What happens to us?”
Newborn kittens curled up with their mother. Puppies chasing rainbow-swirled bubbles. Unending fields of poppies. Aquamarines. Tourmalines. Piles of hematite and fool’s gold.
“I don’t know.” Sammy moved closer to her. “Let’s not worry about it tonight.” He kissed her – a soft, gentle kiss that she melted into. “Tonight, we’re together. We’ll face my mother on Monday and we’ll see what she says.” He kissed her again. His mouth lingered close to hers after the kiss ended. “Tonight, we will go to Ms. Addleston’s wedding together.”
She bowed her head against him. “Okay.”
Barbara fastened as many buttons as she could, but there were too many that were out of her comfortable reach. “Dad? DAD!”
John burst into the room. “What? Oh.” He came up behind her and went to work buttoning buttons. “Are you going to take a change of clothes to the reception?”
“Yeah, I was going to take the dress I wore on my date with Ambrose. I know it isn’t terribly original. I should have taken the time to buy something new. But I really love that dress. He took me dancing in it and oh! Did we dance!”
John chuckled. “Then, I take it you don’t have to worry about him stomping on your feet and tripping over his own ankles during your first dance?”
She giggled. “Definitely not.”
He focused hard on fitting the buttons through the small loops.
“Dad? This is going to sound strange and maybe a little creepy.”
“You know the whole wedding tradition of something borrowed, something blue?”
She hesitated. “Can I wear Mom’s sapphire tennis bracelet?”
His hands stopped.
“I know she can’t be with me. Maybe she’ll see me. Maybe she won’t. But if I wear her bracelet, I’ll feel like she’s there.” She wrinkled her nose. “Am I sounding morbid to anyone but me?”
“Not at all. I completely understand the sentiment.”
She tucked her hands under her hair and lifted it so he could get to the buttons leading up to the collar.
“You’ll need some help getting this all undone.” he said.
“Don’t worry. I’ll recruit either Sarah or Aunt Olivia.” She smiled. “I won’t ask you to unbutton me.”
“I will if you need me to.”
“Annnd last button is…buttoned. There you go.”
She let go of her hair and turned to face him.
“My goodness.” he said.
She smiled. “What?”
“You look beautiful.” He kissed her forehead. “I’m sure Ambrose will agree.”
Excitement bubbled inside of her as she imagined his reaction. She giggled. “I know he will.”
Robin ran up the driveway to the front door and burst into the house. He sniffed the air. Ambrose’s scent was still present, but it was thinning out. “Good. He ain’t here yet.”
He went upstairs to his bedroom.
He opened his closet door and stared warily at the plastic bag-covered tuxedo. “I dunno. I could get myself all dressed. It ain’t all that hard. But I just know I’ll put somethin’ on wrong or crooked or wrinkled and Raven will do a full body freak out. Ain’t no one wanna see that.”
He closed the door and sighed. “Guess I’ll wait around for Ambrose. See what he wants to do.”
Ambrose opened the front door and stepped into the house.
Robin’s tangerine scent zinged him as soon as he took a breath. “Yep. Robin’s here.” He smiled and unzipped his hoodie. “I bet he’s already dressed.”
Ambrose removed his hoodie as he sauntered towards the stairs. “I might as well get myself dressed too.”