The Wedding – Part 16


It wasn’t often that Isa got to speak with the other mothers of Shadow Oaks— Though, she had no idea why she didn’t set aside the time. These women were lovely people, who she got along with well! And especially now that their children were all spending so much more time together, it just seemed a little bit ludicrous that they didn’t see each other more.

At least Carolina Shedskin had suggested they get together in another week or two for a barbecue— Something Dolly Slader had heartily agreed to. She said that her husband, Troy, would jump at the chance to cook ribs with someone. And Tanya Grimalkin had agreed that her husband Baran needed to get out and socialise more…. So the date was set; not this Thursday, but the next, and they’d drag their children and spouses to the Shedskin house for a cook-out.

Be shutting up mouth, stupid veenie man!’ Baran’s voice hissed from not-too-far away, and Tanya rolled her eyes as she turned around and called out to him.

‘Baran, darling! Being nice!’

Baran turned away from a stunned-looking Ken and pouted like a child; much to the amusement of all the women.

‘He is being handful, sometimes,’ Tanya gave a humoured sigh, and shook her head. ‘Alvays causing dramas! Anyvay! Is there being anyone else who should be coming?’

‘Hm…. Perhaps we should invite Igor?’ Isa suggested. ‘I’ve heard that he’s been having trouble getting out of the house, lately.’

‘Oh, and that Stephen Jackson man!’ Dolly beamed. ‘I’ve heard from my boys that he is a lovely person! I’d like to get to know him better.’

‘What about, uh…’ Carolina paused, as if considering something for a moment. ‘My neighbour, Polly? Do you think we could invite her?’

‘Romero’s mother?’ Isa recalled. She’d heard about Polly from Ken— Apparently, before he had met Barbra the two of them had been neighbours, and Ken had been terrified of Romero’s father, Jason.

‘Y-Yes,’ Carolina nodded. ‘It’s just. After the drama with Kevin she could use a friend—‘

‘—Well, why couldn’t Malinka come on her own!’ cried another voice; and Tanya let out another sigh as her son and her husband began to loudly argue.

‘I should be stopping them, shouldn’t I?’ Tanya asked; not waiting for an answer before she turned around and marched over to her boys.

Isa watched as she grabbed them both by the ear and began to scold them for their poor manners, and couldn’t help but chuckle as she saw Ken skitter away to talk to Adam.

Then there was a low whine from her other side and she turned to see Howl (the young werewolf man who was dating Carolina’s eldest daughter) was shuffling from foot-to-foot looking at the kobold woman.

‘What is it, cariño?’ Carolina asked him affectionately.

Howl gave another whine, and looked at the main entrance of the hall.

‘Ah, do you want to go outside?’ she asked, smiling as Howl began nodding frantically. ‘Mhm…. Well. Perhaps we should head off…. We don’t want to be late to let the poor babysitter go home… Howl, can you go find Wendy and Beef?’

‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ Howl exclaimed before sprinting away across the hall. ‘I will! I will! I will!’

‘It was good talking to you again, Carolina,’ Dolly offered a smile to the woman.

‘Yes,’ Isa agreed. ‘I can’t wait for the barbecue.’

‘It was lovely talking to you, as well!’ Carolina beamed. ‘Thank you for keeping me company! I’ll see you then! Adiós, amigas!’

‘Ta, Carol!’ Dolly gave a wave. And then, her eyes darted across the room and she let out a loud bark of a laugh. ‘Oh, Benny— No, Benny!

Isa spun around to follow Dolly’s gaze and saw the woman’s son standing in a circle of his friends with a decorative vase seemingly stuck on the top half of his head; covering just over his eyes so he couldn’t see where he was walking.

Oh my lord,’ Isa breathed. ‘It’s always all at once, isn’t it?’

Yep,’ Dolly chuckled, putting her hands on her hips and shaking her head. ‘Well. I better go save my idiot son before he blinds himself…. If you see Jareth, let him know we’re heading home soon.’

‘I’ll let him know,’ promised Isa. ‘It’s about time Becky had her medication, anyway. And if I find her, I find Jareth.’

‘Hah! Yeah,’ Dolly chuckled. ‘See you, Isa. Have a good week!’

‘You too,’ Isa said, warmly. Then she waved a quick goodbye to Tanya before heading off to search for her daughter.

A quick glance around the hall didn’t show any signs of the boisterous girl…. But after a few minutes of searching she spied Jareth retreating towards the back rooms with a tray of food, and hurried after him.

She missed seeing which room he went into— But she didn’t need to see. She could hear Becky going on. And on. And on.

Oh, no….

She was going on one of her rambles about Mimi….

Isa had heard far too many of those over the years, and had to fight the urge to turn around and head in the opposite direction.

But… she couldn’t. She had to give Becky her medication….

So Isa looked down at the floor, and made her way over to the door with flower petals spilling out from underneath it, and slowly opened it to peek inside.

Ah, there was Becky…. Pacing the room with a feverish energy radiating from her as she explained about Mimi’s third birthday and the party she’d thrown for the creature; all of the gifts, and the meatloaf they’d made it in place of a cake….

Poor Tebyrn had given up taken notes, and was instead staring at Becky with a raised brow— Clearly, they were both entertained and exhausted as they listened to Becky’s excited recounting of Mimi sprinting around the kitchen in excitement as she sung happy birthday….

Jareth, on the other hand, was watching Becky with a look of absolute adoration as he sipped his drink. Like he could listen to her forever….

Isa edged close to him and tapped him on the shoulder. ‘So this is where she’s been hiding, hm?’

‘Yep,’ Jareth nodded, not taking his eyes off Becky.

‘How long’s it been? An hour? Hour an a half?’

‘Three hours,’ Jareth answered, breathlessly.

Three?’ Isa responded in disbelief.

‘Mhm…’ Jareth gave a wistful sigh. ‘She’s so beautiful when she’s passionate, isn’t she?’

Isa looked to her daughter, and couldn’t find herself agreeing. The girl looked like she was going to approach someone on the street waving a sign and talking about the end of days.

Her hair was a mess, one of her dress straps had fallen off her shoulder, and she was flapping her arms like she was trying to take off into orbit; each flap sending a flurry of flower petals from her fingertips as her druidic magic burst from her uncontrollably.

And yet, despite all that, Jareth was looking at her like she was flawless.

His love for Becky was a beautiful thing to see.

‘Becky, honey— Becky!’ Isa interrupted her daughter as she paused to take a breath; quickly taking her by the arm and breaking her focus. ‘It’s time for your medicine, Becky. We have to start packing up, soon; a few people have already headed home.’

‘Oh, is it that late already?’ Becky blinked at Isa, who nodded. ‘Oh. Wow. I didn’t realise.’

‘Ah! Oh, man,’ Tebyrn stood up as they checked their watch. ‘I have to go! I completely lost track of the time! Becky, it was lovely talking to you— Here—‘ they quickly scribbled out something on a page from their notebook, and tore the page out to give to Becky. ‘Email me when you can, okay? Finish your story and send me some good photos to use!’

‘I will!’ Becky promised, waving to Tebyrn as they hurried out the door. ‘Byeee!

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