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The Nights We Almost Met

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“Do you guys know why she brought you here?”

“No clue.” That was Lucy, a little tanned. “Two weeks after I leave for college and she’s calling me back already! No Dave with you tonight, Donna?”

“Most nights, actually, on account of him being a werewolf and a police detective. We manage, though.” Donna smiled, showing fang. “And those nights we’re together—“

“Donna!” Lucy said disapprovingly, and very deliberately did not cover her ears. She took the opportunity to pull her coat tighter around her. It didn’t much surprise her that her younger sister had sent out a stylish invitation with only the time, date, and place to meet. It did rather surprise her that the location appeared to be in a somewhat-abandoned speakeasy. Lucy supposed there was not much call for them anymore, but this one was still in excellent condition—if one allowed for the lack of heat. Donna had even turned on the lights, as compensation for her awful human eyesight, and she could see there was not a lick of dust on the bar, and what little liquid there remained in the bottles gleamed like pale gold.

“Frank just said it was of ‘grave importance’. He scuttled off afterwards like all the hounds of hell were after him.”

“Well—were they, Mr. Jones?”

“No, Miss Lucy Parker, no they were not.” Lucy had the distinct impression he was mocking her somewhat. Harvey screeched above them as PJ pulled his hat over his brow.

“We’re here, we’re here!” came a muffled cry, and Sadie burst through the doors. Her eyes were glowing and her skin was faintly flushed. Unusually, she had no glass in her hand. Equally as unusually, she was wearing white.

Donna squealed. Lucy gasped. PJ murmured something like “dames!” under his breath as Sadie twirled giddily, showing off the veil pinned to her dark hair.

“Mother will be so angry that she didn’t get to plan your wedding, Sadie Knickerhouse Parker!” Lucy chastised, when she had regained her ability to speak and was grinning again. Sadie smiled back at her, still dealing with a tight hug from Donna.

“Well, I knew I didn’t want an uncomfortable society wedding, but I did want my sister and best friend involved. Oh, darling, don’t squeeze quite so tightly, you’ll rumple my veil.” As Donna sniffed happily and let go, Sadie produced a tiny bouquet of violets for her sister, and gave Donna a similar one of daisies.

“What’s your bouquet?” asked Donna, wiping at her eyes. Sadie turned her head slightly to show them the red rose fastened into the knot of hair that held the veil in place.

“PJ! There’s my best man. And my best man’s best dinosaur, which is also the position I would like to give him in this wedding party,” Frank said as he entered. “And of course we needed someone to perform the ceremony, so—“

Dave Henderson strode in, closing the doors to the speakeasy behind him. He looked, Lucy noticed, slightly bemused but altogether rather happy with this turn of events. Before he could be directed anywhere he made a beeline for Donna, who giggled and flapped her hand at him when he kissed her on the cheek.

“Are you ready?” asked Lucy primly, fussing with Sadie’s veil. “So the dress and veil must be new…”

“The shoes are actually old.”

“So that just leaves something blue—“

Sadie cleared her throat as Frank tried to put on his best poker face. “That’s been taken care of, Lucy, dear.”

“What about the something borrowed?”

“Oh, well…” Sadie cast around vaguely with her hands, and Lucy was already taking off her necklace. “Is that really so—“

“Here.” Lucy firmly clipped the dangling pendant around Sadie’s neck. “Now, you’re perfect.”

Fumbling with the ring box, PJ looked up and furrowed his brow. “Ain’t the bride supposed to have her face covered with the veil?”

“Darling!” Sadie’s laugh was rich and effervescent. “Why cover this gem?”

“Well said,” Frank proclaimed, happiness bursting from his voice. He gallantly took her hand and they walked to stand just in front of Dave. Maybe Frank was a little too eager to take Sadie’s other hand, maybe Sadie’s eyes had a touch more sparkle than normal. It suited them.

“We are gathered here today…”

“—in this incredibly cold bar—“

“Hush, Donna!”

“I don’t believe it’s used as a bar anymore. I had PJ get the key, and then I got someone else to clean it for today—“

“—here today to see the joining of Frank Doyle and Sadie Parker in, uh, matrimony.”

There was a pause. Then Sadie said, “Dave Henderson, you left out the ‘holy’.”

“By request, love,” Frank assured her, and squeezed her hand lightly. “Our marriage will be many things, but I doubt ‘holy’ will be one of them. Sadie Knickerhouse Parker, I promise you I’m going to love every second of it.”

“You appear to have skipped ahead to the wedding vows,” Dave said, frowning at the book in his hands.

“Have I?” Frank asked. “Not that I intended to. It’s just how I feel about Sadie…”

“I don’t mind!” Sadie said warmly. “Actually I rather approve. I don’t think I can stand one more second where I’m not wed to you.”

Dave shrugged, a grin on his broad face. “Then by the power vested in me by the—oh—“

“They’re kissing already,” Donna supplied helpfully. PJ looked down at the rings he held and sighed ruefully as Harvey shrieked a little out of embarrassment. Sadie had Frank by the lapels and didn’t appear to be letting go of him anytime soon.

“I now pronounce you man and wife!” Dave said quickly when they finally broke apart. Lucy doubted they were listening. Frank was looking adoringly into Sadie’s eyes and Sadie was gazing back, utterly enraptured. PJ caught Lucy’s glance and raised the ring box, but she shook her head.

“They’ll remember eventually,” she assured him. “In the meantime, should we fix the wedding breakfast?” She indicated the bar behind them, and pulled out two martini glasses from a shelf. Perhaps she held them too closely or yanked them too quickly, but, whatever the reason, they clinked.