Jeff idly strummed an obscure Sarah McLachlan song, “Idle Daydream”, as Hildreth and Elsie cut the cake to the photographer’s abundant enthusiasm. It was one of those songs he’d loved from the moment he’d heard it, but he could never quite remember all of the words. It was always a patchwork guessing game when he’d try to sing it. The chorus was the only part he knew solid.
So, he hummed the verses up to the chorus. Then, he let it fly:
“So, lover. Come with me tonight
And baby join with me tonight
In a sweet and idle daydream.
A sweet and idle daydream.
Ooo–ooo. An idle daydream for me and you–ooo-ooo.
Ohhhh. Oh. Ohhhh. Oh. An idle, darling, daydream.”
The photographer stopped taking pictures and retreated to Master Shinowa. Jeff nearly laughed.
I can only imagine the sort of things Dweeb said to scare him away. Or maybe Elsie said it. Maybe they both did.
No, I’m sure it was all him. Such a dweeb.
Jeff watched as the other guys abandoned their seats and crowded around the bride and groom. He went through one last chorus and ended on a strong high note.
The crowd applauded.
Jeff quickly put his guitar away and joined up with the rest of his guys.
Hildreth grinned at him. “I see the power of cake dragged you over here.”
He laughed. “I’m not admitting or denying anything, dweeb.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t dive into the doughnut holes yet. It’s an amazing amount of self-restraint for you.”
“Oh, I know! But, you know, I had to do this whole dance off/sparring thing with this crazy guy in a nice tux.”
Jeff laughed at that.
“And then, this marvelous hot chick showed up and well!” Hildreth shrugged expressively. “What could I do? I just had to dance with her. Then, this beautiful mess of cake appeared. How could I pass that up?”
“That seems like a reasonable explanation.”
“Oh, it is!”
Jeff gave the cake a quick lookover. “It is quite the cake. Before they go chopping it up, I need to take a picture of it.”
“With or without us?” Elsie asked.
“Both. Actually, I want a picture of all of us in it.”
Hildreth gave Elsie a questioning look. “What do you say?”
“Is it going to be 352,964 pictures of the same darn pose?” she asked.
Hildreth chuckled. “You counted?”
“Don’t worry.” Jeff said. “I just want a couple.”
“Ohh, that’s a risky thing to say.” Hildreth said. “If you take more than a couple, she might beat you up.”
“And I would probably thank her for it.” Jeff heard how that sounded out loud and immediately amended it with, “I know you would.”
“No, he’d probably laugh and then he’d thank me.” Elsie hugged Hildreth’s arm. “He can be very demented that way.”
Jeff exhaled a subtle breath and hoped he didn’t look as relieved as he felt.
She didn’t pick up on it. Good. She doesn’t need to know. Especially now that she’s married to him. What would be the point in her knowing now?
“Okay!” Jeff clapped his hands together. “Let’s get everyone into formation. Edmund, Darius, Shiro, stand here. Master Shinowa and Jim-Marie, stand here. Elsie and Hildreth, stand…Actually, just stay put. That’s perfect.” He pulled out his cellphone and backed away a certain amount of spaces. “Everyone, just move a little closer together. Move. Move. Move. Stop! That’s perfect!”
Jeff kept his word and took just a couple of pictures and nothing more.
As all of the other guys returned to their seats, Master Shinowa stayed behind. He looked at Jeff and held out his hand.
“Farsigh’s turn to pose pictures with Mayhews.”
Jeff smiled. “Of course.” He handed his phone to his master. “Where do you want me to stand?”
Master Shinowa didn’t even hesitate. “On side other of Elsie Mayhew.”
Jeff didn’t let his feelings show. He simply bowed and said, “Yes, Master.”