"Big day for you, eh, Berjes?" Kennedy asked his former butler, after the latter had helped him re-knot his tie. Berjes was getting on in years, and had forgotten how to to do many things, but his skills at formal attire were still unparalleled.
"I cannot believe this day has come, sir," the elderly man exulted. "I could not possibly be happier."
Though Berjes had retired as the Andropovas' butler--and moved in with them--3 and a half years earlier, Kennedy had never been successful in getting Berjes to call him "Kennedy" rather than "Sir", and had long since given up trying. "Your granddaughter is a wonderful girl, Berjes, and she'll have a terrific husband in Randy," Kennedy assured the older man. "Yelena and I have known Randy for 20 years, and he's as good as they come."
Yelena was outside giving the bartender instructions.
Calista was putting the finishing touches on her makeup in Yelena and Kennedy's bathroom.
"You look just beautiful, Calista," Meadow complimented her friend. "Where did you get that gown?"
Calista beamed. "I bought it in Tokyo a few years ago. Did you know that red is the most popular color for Japanese wedding dresses?"
"I did not know that," Meadow grinned.
"Also," continued Calista, "I'm showing a bit, and this gown helps hide that, so that Granddad doesn't realize I'm already pregnant. I don't want to upset him."
Meadow thought it was very kind how attentive Calista was to Berjes's feelings.
Randy was out in the living room, having a last-minute talk with Father Powers: "You've got an interesting girl, Randy," the elderly priest said, "and sometimes these are the most challenging marriages. If you truly love Calista--and I believe you do--you must stay true to your commitment to allow her to be her own unusual self, and flourish. "
Nearby, Marcus--who looked very natty in his "toddler tux"--was keeping himself amused with a toy.
Randy and Father Powers went outside, and Calista went to the living room to wait for her grandfather, who would be giving her away at her wedding. 'I am sooooo happy I could burst,' she sang to herself.
Berjes entered the room. "Are you ready, dearest?"
"Yes, Granddad," Calista replied, embracing him.
"I cannot tell you how happy I am for you and Randy," Berjes told his granddaughter. "I could be happier only if you and Randy would give me a great-grandchild--sooner rather than later. I'm not getting any younger, you know."
"We'll see what we can do, Granddad," Calista smiled. Berjes took Calista by the arm and walked her over to Randy, who was waiting under the wedding arch.
Father Powers began. "We are gathered here today...."
A few minutes later, the priest continued, "...do you, Randy, take Calista for your lawfully wedded wife?"
Randy looked meaningfully into Calista's eyes. "I do, and I promise to support her in all her ambitions, including her paranormal career, and raising any children we may have in whatever way she sees fit, even if I think it's unusual."
"And do you, Calista, take Randy for your lawfully wedded husband?"
"I do," Calista replied, "and I promise to support him in all his ambitions, including having a huge car business, and making millions of dollars, since that will make him really happy, even though I personally don't care at all about money."
George coughed. Yuri muttered into Berjes's ear, "Gee, I guess they wrote their own vows, right?"
Randy gave Calista a ring,
and she gave him a ring,
and they were married.
"I always cry at weddings," Yelena sniffed.
Brittany asked Tosha if she was nervous about her own wedding, which would take place the following weekend.
"Not really, but Calista will certainly be a hard act to follow!" Tosha laughed.
Rebecka asked Calista if she and Randy were going on a honeymoon. "No," Calista answered. "I'm still so queasy I don't feel like flying. Maybe after Granddad's moved in with us, and the baby's arrived, and things have settled down a bit."
"I think it's wonderful that you're having Berjes move in with you," Rebecka remarked.
"He's really looking forward to being a great-grandfather," Calista said, "so he might as well live with us and have the experience full-time!"
"Where are your kids?" George asked Meadow.
"Ophelia's asleep inside the house, and Marcus is over there grooving to the music," she laughed, pointing out her young son, who was camped in front of the stereo, singing along loudly and making up his own lyrics.
"He's been looking forward to the party all day," Meadow explained. "Orlando said he
found him dancing in the nursery just before we left our apartment."
Berjes started the toast to the newlyweds,
and everyone joined in.
"You guys look great!" Yuri remarked to Kevin and Chloe. "How're you doing, work-wise?"
"Can't complain," Kevin answered. "We don't have the jobs we want, but at least we're working."
"Yeah, I think it's only Yulia and Orlando who have so far managed to get jobs in their fields," observed Yuri.
"And George, of course," Kevin pointed out.
Calista called Randy over so that she could feed him a piece of wedding cake. "Okay," he laughed, "but you have to promise me you won't smear it all over my face."
"You mean like this?" Calista said, mischievously.
Marcus got up and started dancing all by himself.
Yelena took her cake and sat down with Randy. "How's business, Randy?" she asked.
"A little slow at the moment, but hopefully that will change soon," he replied.
Kennedy joined them. "You know, Randy, I could use a little help at my architectural practice. Yelena and I are going on vacation, and I need someone smart and organized to run the office and handle the finances in my absence. How about it?"
"That would be great!" Randy exclaimed. "Thanks so much!!"
As evening fell, the girls got a smustle dance going.
"Come on, guys--join in!" Calista cried.
"You heard the bride," Randy coaxed his friends.
The girls squealed with laughter. "All the guys look like they're taking a dump!" Chloe hooted. "Especially Kevin and Derek!"
Meadow, out of breath, went inside to check on Ophelia, and decided to bring her out to join the party. "Are you going to be a good dancer like your big brother?" she asked the baby.
She turned Ophelia around so that the baby could see Marcus, who was flapping his arms and making chicken sounds.
"I think Marcus needs someone to play with, so grow up soon, okay?" She kissed her daughter softly.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Join us next week to see how George and Tosha are doing, in the week leading up to their wedding.