Arthur, of everyone preparing for the wedding was having a field day compared to everyone else. He got to look over the menu, accompany Reggie while his suit was being tailored, make suggestions on how the decorating should be done, and even review the guest list. Of course, hardly any of his input was even considered, but Arthur was having too much fun to care. He did miss Viv, but he knew she was safe. She went to sleep and woke up in the same building that he did every day, and she was thriving in her part of the preparations. That was enough to get him through three weeks without talking to her.
When only a week remained before the wedding, Reggie and Arthur attended yet another fitting for Reggie’s suit. As he stood in front of the mirror, a girl hardly older than him fiddling with different parts of his outfit, he had a thought. Why hadn’t he talked to Arthur yet? They’d been spending time together for weeks, but he hadn’t spoken to Arthur once during that time. It was high time he changed that. Besides, Arthur was probably his only way of avoiding Viv, yet still learning about her. Except for the option of following her around and eavesdropping on her every conversation. He didn’t really find that one appropriate.
“So, what should I know?” asked Reggie as the seamstress adjusted the golden lapels of his suit jacket. Arthur had grown accustomed to Reggie staying silent during their time together, so he was surprised when he realized the question had been directed at him. Reggie turned at the seamstress’ request, facing Arthur now. “I mean, about Lady Vivika. If I’m going to be married to her in a few days, I should at least know something about her.”
“Well, what do you know about her already?” asked Arthur, perking up in his seat. He had been very eager to share things about Viv for weeks now, but he didn’t feel it appropriate when Reggie wasn’t in the mood for conversation. He had had an arsenal of stories prepared from when Viv was younger. A few about when she was learning to ice skate, another about the time she dragged a bucket of frogs into the banquet hall, and still another about her first crush. He prepared them neatly in his mind and returned to the discussion at hand. “What has she told you already?”
“Oh…well…Nothing actually,” said Reggie. The seamstress stooped down, making a few adjustments to the cuffs of his pant legs. Arthur cocked an eyebrow at that comment. The whole reason Viv had come to Alterra two months before the wedding was so that she and Reggie could get to know each other beforehand. What had they been doing with their time, if not spending it with each other? “I haven’t really gotten the chance to properly speak with her yet. We’ve both been so busy, what with the wedding preparations and all. And, to be honest sir, I’d really rather speak to you about this situation.”
“That’s a bit… unorthodox, but I suppose I could help,” said Arthur, leaning forward slightly. “I am one of the people that know her best, after all. So, what would you like to know about her?”
“What’s she like in the mornings?” asked Reggie instantly. That had always been the thing he wondered about most. If he was going to be with her basically every night for the rest of their lives, he had best know what to expect when she woke up. Arthur laughed out loud before he could even register that he was doing so. Of all the questions, that was his first? Reggie flushed a little, wondering what he had said that was so funny. “Well…I just figured…Since I’m going to be with her every morning, I should know what to expect.”
“Fair enough. And as for that question, all I can say is try not to wake her up before nine,” said Arthur. He winced at memories of long-ago mornings before he’d learned that valuable lesson. She’ll grip and groan and throw pillows and all sorts of other childish things. But in the middle of the night, when she’s sleeping, she sleeps. You couldn’t wake her up with a cannon shot directly in her room. If you do have to wake her up before nine, bring breakfast in bed. That meal will be your suit of armor, and you will need it. It’s saved me so many times over, I can’t even count. She’ll still complain, but it’s hard to be angry while you’re eating French toast.”
“French cannons before nine at breakfast,” said Reggie, turning to face the mirror again at the seamstress’ insistence. He had absorbed very little of what Arthur had actually said. The seamstress removed his eggplant-colored coat and began fiddling with the seams of the pastel violet waistcoat underneath. “But what about at night, what’s she like then?”