"Hi, Peter," she said, sounding uncomfortable. "Where is she?"
"Upstairs in her room," Peter answered. She went up there as soon as Alice arrived."
"Thanks for taking care of the cake, Alice," Kelly said. "Have you seen Lou yet?"
"No, she's been in her room since I got here. But Peter said he told her about my pregnancy earlier this morning."
Kelly went upstairs and knocked on the bedroom door.
"Lou, it's Kelly. May I please come in?"
"Sure," Lou said glumly.
"I guess you're having a tough morning," Kelly said sympathetically.
Lou sighed. "I went away to a conference for two freakin' days, and I came back to find out that my best friend's getting married the next day, and that Alice and Dude are having a baby together."
"I understand that you're upset," Kelly said. "But this is Regina's day, so you've just got to hold it together for her. It's only for a couple of hours, because she and Bill want to get an early start to the campground."
Bill arrived. "The yard looks great, dude. Regina will really like it--that's exactly what she wanted. Anything I can do to help?"
"And they'll probably have the NIGHT off, too, if Regina has any sense," he added.
Regina hadn't wanted to hire a musician; she had just asked Dude to bring his guitar.
"Congratulations on the baby, Alice," Lou said, unsmiling.
"Thank you, Lou," Alice replied. She was relieved for even that crumb from Lou.
"Very tasty, honey!" Derek complimented his wife. "You're definitely getting better as a mixologist!"
"Well, I'm no 'Alice,' but I AM improving!" Kelly laughed.
"So," Peter asked Bill, "who's going to bring Regina over here?"
Bill look confused. "No one," he answered. "I'm just going to call her cellphone when we're ready. My woman does NOT need assistance to walk half a block!" he said proudly.
"You are the most perfect girl on earth," Bill told Regina as they met at the wedding arch.
She looked into his soul, he thought.
"I'd LOVE to hang out and bust your balls some more," Derek told Bill, "but I've got to go to work--because SOME of us have actual jobs. And you're leaving on your ridiculous 'camping honeymoon' in a half hour anyway, right?"
"Something like that, yeah," Bill answered. "Thanks for coming, asshole."
"Your dress is exquisite, Regina!" Kelly exclaimed. "And your earrings! Where did you get them?"
"They were a wedding present from Bill," she replied.
"Because they match your eyes," Bill said, with love in his own.
"And what did Regina get YOU as a wedding present?" Dude asked, as he was sitting down to eat.
"She bought us a top-of-the-line tent for our honeymoon!" Bill exulted.
"Not exactly," Regina said excitedly. "The reason we're doing this in such a hurry is that the ONE private campsite in Granite Falls suddenly became available--there was a cancellation!"
"That's right!" Bill added enthusiastically. "It's separate from the communal campground, so we'll have a little bit of privacy."
"Speaking of," Regina said, getting up, "I've got to go get changed, so we can start out for Granite Falls."
"We have GOT to plant some bushes here, so I don't have to look at this ugly house next door," Lou muttered to Peter.
Custom contents credits--thanks to:
inabadromance for Regina's wedding dress
NataliS for Regina's earrings
Shylaria for Regina's wedding band
RedCat for Kelly's dress
Kanoya for Kelly's earrings
fortunecookie1 for Alice's dress
Pinkzombiecupcakes for Lou's dress
NatiliS for Lou's bracelet
JohnByron for Peter's shirt
Shylaria for Bill's wedding band