Calder wasted no time making wedding preparations with Zen. Weeks passed and they agreed on a small party at the Harrisons. The day of the wedding things were confusing as could be expected. His parents were in a good mood over the event but both Calder and Dagmar were surprised at just how jovial Dale was being. He wouldn’t stop telling jokes. He seemed genuinely happy for Calder’s big day.
By mid-afternoon, Calder was dressed and ready to go.
(Seeing his formal wardrobe for the first time I was greatly amused.)
Calder met Zen before the majority of guests arrived. He showed her where she could change (Brendon’s room), smooched on her a bit, and then rushed off to greet the guests. The party got off to a great start with a large buffet and dance music. The mood was high and everyone’s excitement was building.
During this time, Kaylynn walked up to Calder and began talking to him. She seemed to have something on her mind but Calder could not place what it might be. There was an odd look in her eyes, wild, passionate. He had to admit he was definitely attracted to it.
He asked her if everything was alright and she moved closer to him, real close, and said everything was just fine. Her eyes held a strange ferocity. She caressed his cheek, let her other hand drift to his chest. Tosha Go, Brendon’s sweet heart, was also in the room and watched in surprise. Kaylynn moved closer.
“What… what are you doing, Kay?” stuttered Calder with a bit of an embarrassed smile on his face. “This isn’t part of the plan.”
“Oh, yes it is,” murmured Kaylynn. She leaned forward, stroked his arm, and gave him a light, romantic kiss on his cheek.
Unknown to Calder but seen by Kaylynn, Zen had come down from upstairs for some reason and was standing right behind him. In the space of a heartbeat, everything disintegrated. When he heard the intake of Zen’s breath behind him he knew there was going to be trouble.
There was trouble. Zen had seen and heard the whole thing. Kaylynn walked away as Zen verbally attacked him. What the hell was going on? What was that about?
It didn’t take a genius to connect the dots and as Zen pressed for answers Calder was unable to answer in time. Zen let him have it and retreated back up to her dressing room.
Guests scattered from the living room in droves and Calder held his head. What the hell was going on? Kaylynn came over but didn’t know what to say. She seemed dazed herself. Behind Calder, Dale appeared to be having the time of his life.
The wedding party plodded forward. Zen’s mother, Kari, went upstairs to check on her daughter and did not come back down. Brendon asked Tosha to go check on things upstairs and get a report. She did and came back down to report that Zen was finishing up. She seemed to be recovered. The official time for the wedding approached and Calder took his place under the wedding arch. Zen appeared and took her place next to him. Though not in a wedding dress she looked radiant.
Calder was a little worried about the lack of a wedding dress. As he produced the ring and the vows began he soon found out why.
Zen lifted her hand for Calder to place the ring on her finger. Then, suddenly she shook her head and she started to panic. Her eyes hardened and her jaw set. She recoiled from him and stepped away.
She couldn’t do it. She’d spoken to Tosha upstairs and found out more. She was scared enough as it was to get married and now, with everything, she couldn’t take it. She wouldn’t do it. She looked at the gathered party and unable to speak she blasted from the wedding arch and towards the dining room door in a literal puff of smoke leaving Calder at the wedding arch.
The wedding was over. Behind Calder, outside in the winter cold, two glowing feral eyes watched the proceedings calmly, silently.
The wedding was a bust. Calder was in shock and his mother did his best to console him.
He then went outside to gather himself. He was stunned.
Suddenly, while outside, something made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. It was if something was watching him. It was like a feeling from one of his dreams. He looked out from the porch and into the dark winter woods. He saw nothing. Puzzled and tired, he went back inside and up to his room.
The guests streamed out slowly and eventually the house was left with just the Harrisons. Kaylynn acted on old habits and immediately began clearing the mess. The wedding cake was left untouched and Dale, after changing, began to help Kaylynn. The two shared a quiet look but spoke no words. Dale offered a small smile. Kaylynn remained silent.
As the evening grew late, Dale stopped his wife by the wedding arch. “So,” he began, “that was an interesting day. What are your thoughts?”
Dagmar admitted she felt sorry for Calder but she herself was thankful. Then, she noticed something particular about the way her husband had asked the question. “And why do you ask?”
Dale smiled, “Well, I guess I have to admit a thing or two. I started the fighting with Zen.”
“I started it. I made some comments that she would be a good criminal, it would be good to have her in the “family”, things like that. I wanted to see how she would take it. I wanted to see how serious she was to Calder and Calder to her. I also did some checking up on Zen and, well, lets just say she’s got a few other boys on the line than just our Calder.”
“Oh dear,” was all Dagmar could say. “You can take the man out of the con but you can’t take the con out of the man.”
Dale continued, ” It was fun to watch. Calder thought we were interfering, decided to rebel and then did the one thing that would make us mad and that was to marry Zen.” Dale shrugged, “I have to agree with you. He and Kaylynn are too good together. He and Zen are friends but they should never get married. I had to make one last play to see if it could be stopped.”
Dagmar just shook her head at Dale. “I don’t want to know how that might apply to us. So, what did you do?”
“I had a little talk with Kaylynn.”
He explained that he had gone into her room to bug her. He pressed her on how she really felt about things and she told him everything. Calder and her had made a plan to still be friends, maybe even still sleep together behind Zen’s back. Dale asked her if she really thought that was a good idea. She said it wasn’t but that she didn’t care. She still wanted to be close to Calder
Dale got her to agree that she’d talk to Calder one final time before the ceremony, maybe get him to re-think things. He told her, “You gotta stand up for things that are important to you. If Calder’s important to you than you have to do it.” She agreed.
But Dale never expected her to do what she had done. He never would have guessed she’d do something like it. Dale gave a chuckle, “And it worked! The poor boy is heartbroken and has no idea how lucky he’s got it.”
“Dale Harrison,” said Dagmar, “you’re a wonder to watch work.”
The evening grew quiet. Kaylynn and Calder had a gentle talk on the back porch. He was alright, he’d be fine. Kaylynn hugged him and then went quietly to bed in the guest room. Calder stayed up a while longer and was entertained by Brendon who was worried about them. They played video games together and then, it was late and past midnight.
Calder said his good nights and the house went to sleep.
However, outside past the pond and the trees. In the winter moon shadows cast by skeletal trees a pair of glowing yellow eyes kept rapt, silent attention on the house. The owner of those eyes had his own plan and so far, it was working very well. For now, he watched and… he waited.
(Postscript: You know, it’s funny. Check out that pic at the wedding arch! I was so focused on the wedding action I didn’t actually catch the werewolf dog outside at the door until I was processing the screenshots. It literally changed the way the story went down after I saw it. I didn’t even know he was wandering around outside! What a great surprise!)