Reception and Departure

The elder led us all in loose procession back down the bramble path back to the clearing. While we were in the meadow, the Oinurte and coals, and rain water basin had been removed and been replaced with a large oaken table with a solid marble top.

There were two chairs beside it, and an ink well with an ornate feathered Quill pen on the top The official marriage certificate sat dead centre on the top. The pastor and the elder had already signed it. It was now up to us to finalize everything legally. We stood at the table as Aunt Sarah and Mike signed as official witnesses. then mom came up and signed the permission certificate, which was kind of funny, since we were already married. It was sort of like closing the barn door after the cows got out. Then we sat at the table and signed. amid cheers and hundred of flash cameras going off. As soon as we were done, we took it to our table. A copy of the signed document would be sent to the authorities that be to prove that we were indeed married.

The marble table was left in the centre to hold the cake. I hadn't even seen it yet. I liked all the cakes in Haddie's album, so I asked Haddie which one she liked best, and she said that she didn't think any of them were suitable, given the nature of our bi racial union.

"Well, I trust your judgement." I had told her when she first arrived on the island for the wedding. "The head chef has been informed to give you all her assistance. Anything you need that we don't have will be ordered immediately."

She smiled a little uncertainly. "I'll do my best." She told me.

"That's plenty good enough for me, Mrs. B." I said as I kissed her on the cheek. I hadn't seen her much since then.

.Everyone took their time returning to their tables. The reception wouldn't begin for another half hour as the catering people got everything ready to be transported in heated rolling carts. The table had already been set.

Sarah Morgan had woken up in the meadow, so mom took her in the shade of some bushes, and changed her into her lovely little lavender gown. A high chair had been set between mom and I, but most of the time before the food arrived was spent in her daddy's lap.

The cake wouldn't even arrive until after the reception. I looked at Haddie's empty seat at our table. I worried that something had gone wrong with the cake. I certainly hoped not. I had seen Haddie briefly at the table at different times during the wedding, and I saw her in the meadow, then she disappeared. I leaned over and spoke to Morgan.

"Could you call Mrs. B. to see if everything is alright? I don't want to start the reception without her."

Morgan nodded and took her cell phone out of the little bead bag she carried. She turned away and spoke quietly for a moment.

"Every thing's fine. She'll be here soon. She just had to make sure that the cloth covered all of the stretcher."

She laughed at my bewildered expression.

"Oh, I haven't had a chance to tell you. I helped grandma at the beginning before I got so busy with my maid of honour duties. The cake kept getting bigger and bigger, and we didn't know how to get it to the clearing. Grandma came up with the idea of putting it on a stretcher. We asked the elder to ask a couple of elves to help carry it. It has to be covered with something to disguise it, and my seamstress friend came over with a bolt of silk and a bolt of lace. They're just covering the stretcher now. Grandma will be here soon.

The servers were already serving the plates of food when Haddie arrived. I stood and went over to her as she took he chair. I gave her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.

" I was so afraid you'd miss the reception. Mrs. B."

"Are you kidding? I was in the kitchen when the caterers were getting ready. I'm starving! "

The reception went ahead as planned. Usually, the Best man and maid of honour stand up and give speeches, but there was nothing like that to even it up in Elven traditions, so we left it out. I think .Morgan was greatly relieved. I know that public speaking is a special kind of nightmare for shy people, so I decided I wasn't going to put her through it.

Thalion and I just stood as a couple and thanked everyone for coming, and helping to celebrate our special day. The elder then chanted a prayer to the gods for a well being, and the pastor said grace over the meal. After that we all enjoyed the meal, which was a combination of Human and Elven dishes.

Thalion had ordered the elven dishes, so I really didn't know what I was in for.

"There isn't going to be anything that squirms, is there? I won't eat squirmy things. You might as well know that right now." I whispered apprehensively.

Thalion let out a sudden belly laugh that he toned down, not to embarrass me.

"No, nothing squirms," he was able to say in a minute or two.

When the meal was finished, the servers came and cleared the tables, but left dessert cutlery. Mrs. B. left the table and went to get the cake. Mrs. B walked down the path ahead of them to guide them. Everyone stood to watch the cake arrive. It had been mounted and secured on the stretcher with folds of silk and lace draped over it. Only the handles showed. It was indeed stupendous! When they arrived at the table, the thick stainless steel slab that the cake had been built on was slid off the stretcher on to the table by two strong servers. As Mrs. B. returned to the table I stood and met her midway, and stopped to face the crowd. I announced proudly.

"We would like to thank Mrs, Haddie Baker for the planning, design and construction of this magnificent cake!"

I led the thunderous applause. Haddie said several thank you's then we returned to the table.

When it was time to cut the cake, I stood and stared at it for several long moments.

"I can't cut it, it's too beautiful to cut!" I said.

Thalion said. "Wouldn't Mrs. B. be insulted if she went to all that work and nobody ate it?"

I couldn't argue the point. I took several pictures of it first from every angle. It was a large step layered cake. It rose from an ocean to the orchard to the Amazon. The shape of the cake itself was the island. The Amazonian forest was represented by black liquorish trees, the orchard by red liquorish.

The bridal centrepiece stood on a step halfway between the two flanked by a small brazier that represented hearth and home.. A blue river flowed from the heart of the Amazon, passed near the couple, until it spilled into the ocean. Candied shells dot the beach. Underneath it all was a thick fudge brownie cake. It was was dotted throughout with clever little white peppermint sticks and flat hard sheets of glaze on the steps to hold everything up, and still be fully edible. Everything was light and airy, yet not too sweet for sensitive teeth.

It was so high that Thalion had to reach up and take the bridal centrepiece off for me. I couldn't really tell what it was from that distance. When he handed it to me my jaw dropped in surprise. It was us, complete with Sarah Morgan! I kind of thought that Haddie would give the groom pointed ears, but this was a confectionery sculpture! I wrapped it up in a serviette and ran it back to Mrs. B.

I kissed her cheek and handed the little sculpture to her.

"Will you keep this safe for us until we're done with the cake?"

"Of course my dear. You go back to the cake cutting now."

I grinned and ran back.

We cut the first piece together and fed each other in the traditional manner, then we did the whole photo op thing with the cake. After that everyone lined up, took a plate and we served each one. People started asking for favourite pieces of it. Some wanted a licorice Amazon tree, or a red orchard tree, or candied shells.

When we got to the top we cut a special little piece for Sarah Morgan with Mrs' B's  two signature bluebirds of happiness on it. Finally we got back to the table.

Sarah Morgan loved her little bluebirds. Fancy Anne made herself invisible, and flitted the little bluebirds around as though they were really flying. Sarah Morgan giggled and clapped her hands together trying to catch them.

"Were you going to keep them Gloria, or can she eat them?" Fancy Anne's voice floated over to me out of nowhere.

"Let her eat one, and we'll keep the other one with the centre piece."

Fancy Anne flew one blue bird into Sarah Morgan's hand, and she promptly popped it into her mouth.

When everyone was done eating, some of the musician stayed and some of the guests danced, but we couldn't stay.

We thanked everybody, and gave hugs and kisses, but everyone knew that we would be leaving for the Amazon with Sarah Morgan and Thalion's parents right after the reception. We would return in about a month.

As the royal couple of their clan, they couldn't stay away too long. The Van Helsings were not only hassling vampires, they went after all magic people whether they were good or not.  They had to return home to organize the training of the archers, and other combatants for the big battle on the island.

After a teary farewell to aunt Sarah and uncle Ben, I asked mom to come with us, but she said that she preferred to stay and get to know her sister all over again.

We had already packed everything we needed for ourselves and Sarah Morgan, and loaded it into the twin engine plane. As we settled into the seats with our child between us, we flew off into our new life as husband and wife.

The End

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