No I have not forgotten, just waiting for the right moment.
Katherine emptied yet another bottle of champagne and gave a heartfelt sigh as she signaled to her husband to catch his attention. When Donald noticed her, Katherine pointed towards the empty bottle, and then turned it upside down to indicate that it was empty. She didn’t need to tell him what she wanted.
Enikő watched the exchange between Katherine and her husband with only a touch of interest. Enikő could tell that Donald didn’t want them to have another bottle, but when he frowned and shook his head, Katherine made a move as if to rise, Donald quickly headed for the bar to do her bidding. Katherine gave a happy giggle as she crowed. “That should make the skiver move his kilt. He doesna even know how to wear it properly anymore.” With that secret out of the bag, Katherine leaned over to share even more information. “A real Scot doesna wear breaches under them. Donald has either forgotten that, or he is getting too old to want to share what he is hiding.”
Enikő nearly spurted her last mouthful of champagne out through her nose as she burst into laughter. She didn’t know where or when the Scottish accent had suddenly popped up in Katherine’s speech, but it was definitely noticeable mixed in with the regular North American English she commonly used. Before this, Katherine often spoke with a slight Texas drawl, which Enikő thought was sweet. No matter which was prevalent, the way Katherine spoke could be blunt and shocking at times. Of course, those were mainly when she had overshot her limit of alcohol.
Enikő and Katherine had met through their children, when the two young lovers had announced their intention to get married. This had happened shortly after Katherine and Donald had moved from Dallas to Mississauga. Enikő and Katherine had hit it off right from the beginning, starting with a remark Katherine had made about Enikő’s neighbor. Enikő had agreed with Katherine’s observation wholeheartedly and told her so. After this, they would meet on Enikő’s porch during the afternoons to watch the man mow his and her lawn. The two women spent their time ogling his bare chest and perfectly formed rear as they agreed a woman needed something like this to appreciate a man with a great physique. This was especially true when you shared the view with a friend who brought the perfect wine to go with the conversation.
As Donald placed a couple more bottles of champagne before Katherine and Enikő, he warned. “Katherine, no more. Remember, you need to be able to stand to say goodbye to our children when it is time for them to leave.”
Katherine snorted, “As if I can’t hold my liquor.”
Donald made a helpless gesture and then looked at Enikő for a second, unsure if he should ask her for help. He quickly decided it was probably a waste of time. Enikő was in worse shape than Katherine. Donald’s thoughts were interrupted by the master of ceremony, and he turned to see what was about to happen. “It is time for the bride and groom to leave. They have asked for all of the single men and ladies to gather before us for the tossing of the bride’s bouquet and garter. Would the ladies come forward first?”
At the announcement, a flurry of giggles and excited chatter from the young women echoed throughout the room as they raced to the podium for a chance to catch the bouquet. Katherine looked expectedly at Enikő, and when her friend didn’t move, Katherine challenged. “Well, are you going to just sit there, or do you intend to uphold the honor of our generation?”
Enikő was just drunk enough to rise to the challenge. She tossed a smug grin at Katherine then rose to weave her way over to where the other girls stood. She noticed how some of the young women gave her demeaning looks, and she decided she would show them what she was made of. The bride ignored the byplay going on in front of her, as she closed her eyes, turned around three times, and tossed the bouquet high and far.
With a bellow, Enikő ploughed through the young women in front of her, stumbled, and tripped. On the way down, Enikő reached up and caught the bouquet before landing with an “oomph”. When Enikő regained the use of her lungs, she laughed, rose to her feet, and turned to face Katherine. With a bow she announced, “Our honor has been upheld.” Enikő then weaved her way back to where she had been earlier, while all eyes turned to watch her progress.
As Enikő reached her table, the master of ceremony gave a laughing cheer as he congratulated her. “An epic catch from the mother of the groom. Now it is the turn of the men to see who will catch the garter.”
Still cheering from her position at the sidelines, Katherine welcomed Enikő back to the table. When Enikő arrived, Katherine handed her a celebratory glass of champagne and crowed. “You sure showed them.”
As they giggled, Katherine noticed someone enter the banquet hall pointed at the new guests to catch Enikő’s attention, “Your handsome neighbor has just arrived.”
Enikő gave a derogatory snort as she commented. “I don’t know why Raith bothered, another half an hour and he would have missed the whole event.”
Katherine frowned as she took a sip of her drink and noted. “He looks different in a suit. I still think he could use a haircut.”
Enikő studied her neighbor as Raith made a beeline straight for Katherine and her. She commented, “I happen to like his hair.”
Katherine just shrugged as she held to her opinion. “Granted, it does focus your eyes on his shapely ass, but it must take him hours to care for each day.”
It was as Enikő sat down that she noticed the second man trailing behind her neighbor and challenged. “Find fault with that one, Katherine.”
Katherine agreed. “If I was an Irishman, I would call him Fae.”
By now Enikő’s neighbor was close enough to hear Katherine’s comment over the noise of the crowd. Raith replied, “I am not so certain Athïan would like that. He is rather proud of who and what he is.”
Enikő responded, more to take the onus off of Katherine’s remark than anything. “You have missed most of the reception, and all of the wedding, Raith.”
Raith answered, “Couldn’t be helped. I had to meet Athïan’s plane, and it was late coming in.”
Katherine gave a snort, “Now there is a newsflash. A plane that is late, as if they all aren’t.”
Raith ignored Katherine’s remark as he turned to his cousin and began his introductions. “Athïan, the mother of the bride, Katherine.”
Athïan bowed, as he took Katherine’s hand and raised it to his lips to the back of it in greeting. “My pleasure.”
As soon as Athïan rose, Raith turned his attention to Enikő. “The mother of the groom, my neighbor, and good friend, Enikő. Enikő, this is my cousin, Athïan.”
Enikő couldn’t stop staring at the man Raith called Athïan. Every move Athïan made seemed to mesmerize her. The way Athïan bowed, the way he took her hands into his and lifted them to his lips to kiss. When Athïan touched her knuckles with the tip of his tongue, his touch sent a tingling sensation through Enikő from where she felt it right to the tips of her toes. Enikő allowed a barely audible sigh to escape from her. Athïan, despite his long hair and courtly manners, was all man and left no doubt in Enikő’s mind whether this was the case.
“Enikő?” Katherine called out to catch her attention. “Are you alright?”
“What?” Enikő asked, as she pulled her mind back to what was going on in front of her.
Katherine repeated. “I asked if you were alright.”
Enikő quickly answered. “Of course I am.” She then took a second look at Athïan to see if her earlier impression was the same. It was.
To Enikő, Athïan was absolutely perfect in every way. His long blond hair hung down his back in a braid that ended at the curve of his ass. His eyes seemed to vacillate from one color to another, being a light shade of blue one moment and green the next. His smile lit up the room as it held her in its spell. Athïan had kissed Enikő’s hands, and although they had been hurting slightly before, there was no sign of the pain now. This couldn’t be real. Enikő’s hands had given her trouble ever since she had hurt them several years before. What she was feeling now had to be the result of all of the champagne she had drunk earlier.
Katherine placed a hand on Enikő’s arm to catch her attention and said, “Donald has signaled for us to join him. It is time for us to say goodbye to the newlyweds. They are about to leave.”
Enikő nodded in a preoccupied manner, and then excused herself to follow Katherine to the exit where Donald was waiting along with their children. It would only be a few more moments, and then the limousine would arrive to take the newlyweds to the airport. The couple would then catch a plane to Bermuda where they would first enjoy a honeymoon, before reporting for work. They would not be returning home for a long time after this.
Faced with life on her own now that her son is getting married, Enikő is not prepared to face the emptiness that looms before her. Can she face a life where there’s little more for her to do than sit on her porch, read or listen to her favorite books and maybe watch the rest of the world pass her by?
Athïan has come to meet the woman he has been told is his Life Mate. Can it be true? If so, can he persuade her they were meant to be? It isn’t going to be easy with her best friend trying to sabotage every effort he makes.
Part of the: Twist of Fate 2021 Multi-Author Compilation. Releasing Feb. 16/21