Chapter 1: 1
Barry Horowitz- former bellboy, permanent telepath, and current boyfriend of Godric Sparks, vampire sheriff of Area Nine- awoke happy, as he had every day for the past four months. Sighing, he twisted and looked down at the vampire in bed next to him. It had taken him a little while to get used to sleeping next to someone who didn’t breathe, but at least Godric didn’t snore...
Yawning, he sat up and checked the time- a little past five in the afternoon. Full sundown wasn’t until at least six thirty, and even though Godric could rise early, Barry didn’t want to completely exhaust him before the night had even fallen…so he got out of bed, yanked on some pants and a shirt that may or may not have been his- but smelled clean- and shuffled sleepily down the stairs.
His telepathy naturally sent out little psychic feelers throughout the house, but the only live brainwave he could pick up was one down in the kitchen, happily humming waffleswaffleswaffles. He smiled at the thought of breakfast.
“Waffles, waffles, waffles,” he could hear the voice chanting as he entered the kitchen.
“Morning, Marigold,” he greeted cheerfully.
“Blueberries or chocolate chips in your waffles?” she replied.
“Blueberries, please,” Barry requested. “I’m trying to eat healthier.”
Marigold Worthington turned around and shot him a look she had apparently learned from Isabel, full of utter snark and disdain. “Seriously?”
“Well, at least you didn’t say ‘I’m cutting down on carbs’, that would have been a little gay even for my taste,” she muttered, expertly flipping a waffle onto the tray. “What’s the agenda once our corpse buddies wake up?”
Barry shrugged. “I think a friend of Isabel’s wants to borrow my special abilities to find out whether or not her husband is cheating on her, I might go apply for a part-time job at the library, and…oh, I have to fix the car’s engine.”
“How manly,” Marigold commented. “Hey, can you recommend a good interior decorator? I think Godric wants to renovate the sculpture room.”
“Marigold, just because I’m gay does not mean I have an interior decorator programmed into my phone,” Barry chastised. “I have five.”
The young woman grinned.
“Hey, have you fed Smokey yet?” Barry asked a few minutes later. As if on cue, the big gray kitten strode in, head held high and some sort of dark, unidentifiable substance around his mouth. Barry sighed. He’d probably be finding a headless rodent in his shoes again.
“Looks like he’s fed himself,” Marigold commented. “Have you been giving him extra food or something? Like…steroids?”
Barry shook his head. “I was going to ask you the same.”
They looked at the cat, who had begun stalking Barry’s left shoe with great concentration. They had adopted Smokey four months ago, as part of a rather successful plot to bring Godric out of his depression, but the kitten wasn’t any older than six months. And for six months, Smokey was big…and ferocious. Barry was privately worried that he would try to take on a coyote one day.
“Hey, want to watch the latest episode of Glee?” Marigold proposed.
Barry decided that the mystery of Smokey’s growth could wait.
Besides, it’s Texas, he reasoned. Everything’s bigger in Texas.
Godric came striding silently into the living room barely two minutes after sunset.
“Good evening,” he smiled quietly, leaning over the couch to kiss the top of Barry’s head. The telepath smiled and let his man pretend that he was taller, if only for a moment.
“Good evening,” Barry purred up at his vampire, and might have done more if not for Marigold staring at them from her end of the couch with a strange intensity.
“No, no- by all means, continue,” she encouraged.
Godric chuckled, a light lilting sound that never ceased to thrill Barry.
“As soon as Isabel and Stan finish their beauty regimes, we’ll have our meeting,” the sheriff informed them, exiting stage left to do something- Barry wasn't quite sure what, but he thought that Japanese flower arranging might be involved.
“Stan has a beauty regime?” Barry asked.
“Bears require lots of maintenance, dontcha know,” Marigold replied. “Actually…don’t you know? Being a man and all?”
“At risk of great offense to myself, I think we can all agree that I am the least manly person in this house,” Barry said with grave seriousness.
“Unfortunately, that is correct,” Isabel said, passing through on her way into the kitchen, boots clicking ominously against the tiles.
“I suppose we should get up,” Barry sighed, heaving himself off the couch and walking into the kitchen, Marigold bouncing along behind him.
Godric and Isabel were already seated at the kitchen table, Isabel sipping from a bottle of True Blood and Godric looking over the headlines of the local newspaper.
“Did anyone get the mail?” he asked mildly.
“Ooh! Ooh! I did!” Marigold squealed happily. “Let me get it, I put it in the other room!” She leapt up exuberantly and barreled out the doorway, before her momentum was swiftly and rudely interrupted when she collided with Stan.
“Oof!” She pinwheeled backwards desperately, and only Stan’s vampire reflexes stopped her from falling over.
“Thanks, Deputy Dead!” she chirped.
“Watch where you’re going,” Stan grumbled congenially before moseying into the kitchen. Marigold returned thirty seconds later, clutching a pile of letters.
“Three bills, Entertainment Weekly for Barry, New York Times for Godric, Gentleman’s Quarterly for Stan- seriously, Stan? Seriously?- and…ooh, Isabel! You get a letter from the government!”
She slid the official-looking envelope over to the Latina vampire, who eyed it disdainfully.
“Maybe it’s Social Security,” Barry commented offhandedly, flipping through his magazine. Geez, there were a lot of vampire shows on lately. And this was just the stuff they could show on daytime television…
“Oh, shit,” Isabel choked. The rest of the household looked at her in alarm.
“What is it?” Godric asked urgently. Silently, Isabel handed him the letter and buried her head in her hands.
“Oh dear,” the sheriff commented, a worried look in his eyes.
“What? What? What!” Marigold yelped almost hysterically.
“I’m being deported,” Isabel informed them bluntly. “Kicked out of the country. Back to Spain I go.”
“Wait you come from Spain?” Barry asked at the same time Marigold said “Can they deport vampires?”
“I came here as a human, and evidently they can,” Isabel sighed, shaking her head.
“Don’t worry, Iz, we won’t let them kick you out,” Stan growled, awkwardly patting her on the shoulder.
“You can do something, right?” Marigold asked Godric urgently.
“I’m afraid not,” the sheriff said sadly. “I would if I could- you know that, Isabel. You are one of my closest friends and I have no wish for you to leave. But we must abide by human laws. Now, if there was a way to legally keep you here…”
“There is!” Marigold shrieked suddenly, leaping six inches off her seat. “Isabel needs to get married to an American citizen to obtain a green card!”
Everyone looked at her.
“What? My mom’s a Congresswoman.”
“Who could you marry, though?” Barry asked. “I mean….Stan? Are you a citizen?”
“I’m vampire-American, not American-American,” Stan snarled. “Which means I don’t get the same civil rights as the bloodbags. Ah…no offense.”
“None taken,” the two humans chorused.
“Wait, vampires can’t marry vampires?” Barry asked, confused.
“Sort of,” Godric answered. “They can marry, but as vampires are not yet full American citizens, we do not get the full gamut of rights as humans.”
“I’d marry you, Isabel, but this is Texas,” Marigold said sadly.
“Also you’re straight,” Barry added.
“Well, yeah, but that doesn’t mean I won’t help a friend out by marrying them!” she replied. “I’d marry you, if you needed my help.”
Suddenly, the whole table went quiet as everyone turned to stare at Barry.
“Oh God,” he muttered, reading Marigold’s mind like a book. “No. Oh, no. That would be such a bad idea for so many reasons.”
Stan glared at him. Marigold glared at him. Isabel did not glare at him, as she still had her head in her hands. But Godric…
Fuck, Barry thought. Godric was doing the kitten eyes again. Barry couldn’t- and had a sneaking suspicion that he never would- resist the kitten eyes.
“Are you- would you be okay with-” he awkwardly asked.
Godric nodded. “To keep this family together.” He leaned forward slightly in his seat, enough to be ominous. “And only to keep this family together.”
Barry grinned. He was still Godric’s.
“Isabel?” he began awkwardly, getting up from his chair and kneeling next to hers. “Will... ah- oh, hey, can somebody give me a-”
“Here!” Marigold chirped, whipping off one of her many rings- she was a lady who liked her accessories.
“Thanks,” Barry grinned, before turning his attention back to his vampire friend. “Isabel. Uh…my one true love? Will you do me the honor of being my bride?”
Isabel grinned, then chuckled, and finally laughed, a high, tinkling sound. “Oh, Barry! Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!” With a completely ridiculous flourish, Barry slid the ring on her finger before kissing her hand dramatically.
“This calls for a celebration!” Marigold announced, dragging a bottle of wine out from the cupboard. And even as he sipped the fine merlot and listened to the joking of his adopted family, he really couldn’t help but wonder.
What on earth have I gotten myself into?
Chapter 2: 2
In which Stan rallies the troops and Barry gets carried away.
In the past, when Barry thought of marriage- a rare thought- somehow, this particular scenario had never crossed his mind: marrying his female vampire friend in order to keep her in the country. But Barry liked to think of himself as someone who adapted to unusual situations- exhibit A: telepathy, he thought- and so he was doing his merry best.
“So…when should we, ah, do it?” he awkwardly asked Isabel.
“Soon,” she replied. “I only have three months, so it would be best if it happened quickly.”
“How about in one week?” Godric proposed.
Barry’s jaw dropped almost to the table. “A wuh-wuh-wuh-”
“Close your mouth, you look like a fish,” Stan growled.
“We could always just go down to the county courthouse,” Isabel suggested. “You know, a quick, legal wedding with a justice of the peace presiding-”
“No!” Marigold, Godric, and Barry exclaimed at the same time.
“I want a bridesmaid’s dress!” Marigold said.
“My mother will kill me!” Barry explained.
“I’m the sheriff of Area Nine,” Godric stated.
“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” Marigold muttered.
“I knew a Sergeant Obvious once,” Godric mused. “Late seventeenth century England, I think it was-”
“Godric, sweetie, not that I don’t enjoy your historical asides, but could we please focus on the matter at hand, mainly, my wedding?!” Barry said, voice rising hysterically.
“Of course,” the vampire nodded. “Well, you understand why we can’t just have a small, quick wedding, right?”
Barry looked blank.
Godric sighed. “I’m sheriff. Isabel is my second-in-command, which ranks her quite high in this region, and well enough in the whole Texas hierarchy-”
“-and it will look odd if I have a quick, tiny wedding,” Isabel finished.
“So we need to put on a quick, big wedding,” Marigold concluded.
“And you’re giving yourself a week to do it,” Stan drawled, mildly surprised.
“No way,” Barry shook his head. “No way. There’s way too much to do- we need to get a dress for Isabel, not to mention dresses for the bridal party…which means we need to find a bridal party, and we have to rent out a hall- I don’t think vampires are crazy about church weddings, right?- and oh, God, we have to get a caterer and hire a band and order flowers which, knowing you, will be privately flown in from fucking Hawaii or something-”
“I was thinking Japan, actually,” Godric quietly interrupted.
“Oh, Japan, fucking great, and then there’s the limo and the cake and the shoes and the- and the-”
“Barry, calm down,” Godric said, laying a hand on his arm. The touch was instantly soothing. “Deep breaths, love.”
Barry took tiny, stuttering breaths, drawing in enough oxygen to keep him conscious, but not enough for his face to return to its normal color.
“Calm down, Barry,” Marigold ordered. “You’re headed for a full-fledged gay hissy fit.”
The telepath breathed in through his nose and out through his mouth, applying the same techniques he used to keep his little psychic problem in check. Besides, Godric was calm, and that helped.
Blood bonds are awesome, Barry thought.
“Troops, the situation requires us to rally,” Stan told them, voice projecting authority. “Isabel, Barry, this is your wedding, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the preparations. Godric, Marigold, this means it’s up to us.”
Everyone in the room stared at Stan in shock, including Smokey.
“Stan…do you know anything about planning weddings?” Marigold asked incredulously.
“You bet your ass I do,” Stan replied brusquely. “And damned if I’m not going to throw the goddamn dream wedding of the year. Those upstarts down in Austin have been on us for months about being human lovers. Well, we’ll show them just how much we love humans.”
“I’d really rather not do that in public,” Barry commented.
“The first thing you two fake lovebirds need to do is go down to City Hall and request a marriage license,” Stan ordered.
Everyone stared, stunned at Stan’s sudden show of competent authority.
“Hop to it!” he grunted, punctuating the order by clapping.
Isabel and Barry rose slowly and awkwardly. “We’ll, uh….we’ll just take the car then,” Barry stammered.
“You do that,” Stan nodded. “Meanwhile, we’ll be making some phone calls.”
“Drive safely, darling,” Godric bid, flashing out of his chair to give Barry a quick kiss before settling back at the table in the blink of an eye.
“We will,” Isabel promised, before dragging Barry out the door by the collar.
“I hate bureaucrats,” Barry mumbled, looking up the giant marble steps of City Hall.
“It’ll be all right,” Isabel soothed. “Just remember that they are old, fat, and ugly, while you are still young and handsome.”
Barry sighed. Isabel took his hand.
“To make it more convincing. Darling.”
“Oh. Of course, sweetie-pie.”
Together and hand-in-hand, they walked up the steps of City Hall, Isabel’s boots clacking loudly, announcing their presence to all and sundry. Upon entering the great swinging doors, Barry shut his mind down like a mainframe gone haywire- dozens and dozen of active, caffeinated brains were buzzing all around him.
“You all right?” Isabel whispered.
“Sure, sure,” Barry mumbled. “It’s just….loud.”
“Indeed,” Isabel replied absently, her vampire hearing picking up all sorts of whispers. She led them over to a desk that conveniently had a sign saying “Marriage Licenses” hanging over it.
“How may I help you?” the perky young woman behind the desk inquired, smiling a brilliant and artificially white smile up at him, which had- according to her brain- cost an arm and a leg.
“We’re, uh…looking to get married?” Barry smiled awkwardly.
“Oh, congratulations!” the girl bubbled, pulling out a stack of papers. “Here, you’ll need to fill out these forms and, uh…are either of you Vampire-American?” She grinned sheepishly, obviously expecting them to gasp in horror at such a suggestion.
“I am,” Isabel informed her imperiously, and the secretary blanched. Her mind began emitting shrieking rays of disgust and fear- apparently, she was a member of the Fellowship of the Sun. Barry chuckled, imagining what she would think if she knew the identity of the vampire Barry was actually in a relationship with.
The secretary picked up her phone and dialed an extension. “Mr. Smucker? I have a couple here who wants to…yes, yes….the woman. All right. All right. I’ll send them right in.”
She jerked her head towards a previously unnoticed side door, smile dimmed. “Go on in.”
Isabel shot her a disdainful look and Barry restrained herself from commenting on her hideous blouse. Instead, they made like a happy couple and strode into the room, which appeared to be a small office. A grumpy-looking, slightly overweight middle-aged man sat at the desk.
“Mr. Smucker, I presume?” Barry greeted, sticking his hand out. Mr. Smucker shook it reluctantly. “My name is Barry Horowitz, and this is my…fiancée, Isabel Martinez.”
“Nice to meet you,” Mr. Smucker muttered, clicking at his computer. “Ms. Martinez, I see you are not an American citizen?”
“Correct. I’m Vampire-American.”
“No, well, that too, I suppose, but I mean you aren’t an American citizen. Your file says you’re being deported in three months.”
“That is also correct.”
Mr. Smucker looked at them and raised an eyebrow. “How long have you two been…together?”
“A year,” Barry answered smoothly.
“And Ms. Martinez, your potential deportation has not effected your decision in the slightest?”
“It has not,” Isabel sniffed haughtily. “I love my Barry.”
Boy looks like a goddamn queer, Mr. Smucker thought. Barry gritted his teeth. Yes, so he actually spent some time on his hair, and yes, his jeans were a little tight, and yes, he quite possibly had some mascara on, but by God that was no reason to call him queer!
But, for Isabel’s sake, he ignored it. Barry had a sneaking suspicion that this guy was the only way they were going to get that stupid piece of paper that would let Isabel stay with the family. He even let it go when Mr. Smucker grumbled about Barry being a goddamn fangbanger who got lucky in his head.
But he was not willing to let it go when Mr. Smucker began directing a barrage of mental insults towards Isabel, a whole host of derogatory terms centering around both her undead status and her ethnicity.
“Mr. Smucker, just because you find it impossible to stay faithful to your fat cow of a wife, doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t have a dedicated lifetime commitment!” Barry informed him, putting on his fiercest gay voice and snapping his fingers to boot. Both Mr. Smucker and Isabel looked at him in open shock, but Barry wasn’t done yet, oh no. “For that matter, you have no legal right to refrain from giving us a license, and if you even think about getting up on your moral high horse, you should probably stop spending your church’s donation money on drinks instead of, you know, church stuff!”
Isabel and Mr. Smucker looked absolutely gobsmacked.
And then, still in the heat of a good, righteous verbal smiting and recalling every Disney Princess movie he had ever seen as a child- meaning all of them- Barry grabbed the six-hundred-year-old vampire next to him, dipped her (thanking Godric for his generously donated blood), and planted a sound kiss on her very surprised lips.
Isabel strode out of City Hall with a marriage license in one hand and a nearly-catatonic Barry Horowitz in another.
“Thanks for that,” Isabel said awkwardly.
Ewewewewewewewewew, Barry’s mind repeated in an endless loop.
“No problem,” he squeaked.
“Got a little carried away, did you?”
“Perhaps we should not tell Godric about the last bit.”
“You smell like Barry,” was the first thing Godric said to Isabel when she walked in the door.
“We held hands,” Isabel replied, nodding her head decisively. “To make it seem more convincing.”
“Convincing,” Barry echoed, a glazed and terrified look in his eyes.
Godric raised an eyebrow. Barry snapped out of his shell-shocked mental state.
“I’m sorry!” Barry sobbed a little melodramatically, flinging himself at his vampire boyfriend. “I just got carried away and the man was stupid and I swear I didn’t mean to and I’m really, really gay and it was gross- no offense, Isabel- and I’m sorry!”
“Shhh, Barry, it’s all right, really,” Godric soothed, rubbing circles on the telepath’s upper back. He looked over Barry’s shoulder at Isabel, expression curious.
“There may have been a kiss involved,” she shrugged.
“Ah,” Godric said.
Barry straightened up. “I’m good. I’m good.”
“You are,” Godric grinned up at him.
“You’re a lucky man, Godric,” Isabel commented winking. Barry turned an interesting shade of magenta.
“I am,” Godric replied, smiling quietly before Stan and Marigold came barreling into the room.
“You haven’t signed them yet, have you?” Marigold asked a little wildly.
Barry shook his head. “No…don’t we do that at the ceremony? In front of all your vampire minio- friends?”
Stan nodded. “Now look, Barry, this is important.” He glared at Marigold, who glared back. “Would you rather sign the documents with a fountain pen or a quill?”
Stan may have been an ancient, badass vampire- if a little silly in the cowboy getup- but Marigold was scary as shit, and they were both glowering at him to take a side, any side. So Barry said the only thing he could think of.
“How about a sharpie?”
Chapter 3: 3
In which there are several phone calls, a few minor arguments, and drag queens.
When Barry woke up, the first thing he saw was Godric looming over him.
“Jesus!” he yelped, sitting bolt upright and nearly braining himself on Godric’s forehead.
“Actually, I’m older than-”
“I know, I know,” Barry panted, trying to get his heart rate down. “Look, Godric, you’re not Edward fucking Cullen, you don’t sparkle, and watching me as I sleep is creepy.”
“Actually, I do sparkle,” Godric informed him, turning on the light.
“Whoa…” Barry blinked. “You’re- that’s-”
“Marigold proposed putting body glitter on the bridal party,” Godric explained, shrugging his shoulders, which caused a puff of silvery…stuff…to rise off him. “So I had her test it out on me.”
“Okay, no,” Barry stated, sitting up and dusting Godric off. “I will not have my- I mean Isabel’s- bridal party covered in tacky-ass drag queen glitter.”
“But…don’t you like drag queens?”
“Yes, of course. But glitter...it's the herpes of craft supplies.”
“Have you ever dressed as a drag queen?” Godric inquired, nose twitching slightly, as it did whenever he was curious.
“Er, not me personally,” Barry confessed. “But I worked as a lighting technician in one of the drag clubs in Austin.”
“You should dress in drag,” Godric said, shifting from the chair to Barry’s lap and subsequently drenching him in the glitter.
“For the wedding?”
“No, silly. For me.”
Just as Barry was actually weighing the pros and cons of stealing a pair of Isabel’s heels, a shrill voice wafted through the floor vent.
“Barry! Godric! Get your gay butts down here, we need you in the phone call brigade!”
Godric sighed. “Foiled again.”
“Marigold Worthington, the ultimate cockblocker.”
“Actually, I think the wedding is the real cockblocker.”
“We are not seriously discussing this.”
“Oh, I think we are.”
Barry sighed and pushed Godric off him. The two extracted themselves from the now-sparkly sheets (which were going to be a bitch to wash, Barry realized) and shuffled downstairs.
“You look like the queer truck exploded all over you,” Stan informed them gruffly.
“I don’t know, Stan, I think the glitter brings out the gray in Godric’s eyes,” Isabel mused.
“You said something about a phone brigade?” Barry asked Marigold.
She nodded. “Yeah. We have to call people and announce the wedding. I couriered out a bunch of invitations earlier today, but I suspect some of our nearest and dearest don’t want your engagement to be a nicely mailed surprise.”
Barry blinked. “You mailed out invitations? Does that mean we have a place to hold the wedding?”
Marigold nodded. “Hummel Hall. It’s on Glee Street, in the historical district.”
Barry gaped. “You managed to reserve Hummel Hall for a wedding on less than a week’s notice?”
“Anything is possible when you have the undead on your side!” Marigold chirped.
“Okay,” Barry nodded slowly, before realizing. “Shit.”
Godric looked a question at him.
“I have to tell my mom,” Barry moaned, pressing the heels of his hands into his eyelids.
Stan handed him a shot glass.
“Whiskey,” he said gruffly.
“Thanks,” Barry gasped gratefully, tossing it back in one go and letting the alcoholic burn fortify his nerves. Then, he walked into the living room, sat on the couch, and speed-dialed his sister.
“Pick up, pick up, pick up,” he muttered.
“How’d you know it was me?”
“You’ve got your own ringtone,” Jennifer Horowitz informed him. “Macho Man, in case you were wondering.”
“Glad to see you’ve come to grips with my sexuality.”
“Obvy, Barry. So what’s up?”
“I’m getting married.”
There was a shriek that sounded suspiciously like “what the fucking fuck,” and a crash that sounded eerily like someone falling out of a chair.
“Jen? Are you okay?”
“But gay marriage isn’t legal in Texas!”
“I’m not marrying Godric.”
“Well, who the fuck are you marrying?”
“Isabel. Isabel Martinez.”
“Hold on, let me check sexyvamps.com.” There was some typing that Barry could make out over the cellular connection. “Hmmm. Not bad, Barry, but it doesn’t change the fact that she is a WOMAN.”
“Technically, she’s a vampire.”
“Why are you marrying a woman?! You’re gayer than a baby born at a Cher concert- oh wait, you WERE born at a Cher concert!”
Barry sighed. The story of his birth had been in the realm of family legend by the time he was nine. “Long story short, she needs a green card, I was volunteered, and tomorrow you’ll be getting an invitation in the mail to a big, fancy wedding.”
“So how is your boyfriend taking this?”
“It was his idea.”
There was an awkward pause on the line. Then-
“Do you want me to tell Mom?”
“Jen, have I ever told you that you’re the best sister ever?”
“I know, bitch. Don’t hang up the phone. Mom will probably want to talk to you.”
Barry gulped as the phone was set down with a light thump. He could hear his sister yelling for his mom, footsteps, and something that sounded suspiciously like “Barry’s getting married to Isabel the vampire! Surprise!” Then there was a very loud thump.
“So how did she take it?” Barry asked, once he was reasonably sure the phone was picked up.
“She fainted!” Jen chirped. “Don’t worry, she’ll be fine in a few, I put her feet above her head so the blood will drain back.”
“No problem. So when is it?”
“Saturday at midnight. Or…Sunday at midnight? I dunno. One of them.”
“We’ll be there with bells on.”
Barry almost thanked her, before taking a moment to pause and think. “You…don’t mean actual bells, right?”
“…how formal is the dress code?”
“Jen. No bells.”
“Bitch, you know it.”
“I’ll get there Friday. Love you.”
“Love you too.”
Barry grinned and strode happily back into the kitchen, which was headquarters for the Epic Vampire Fake Dream Wedding Committee (Marigold’s name). Isabel was chatting in Spanish on the phone, Godric was looking over a list of numbers, and Marigold and Stan were arguing loudly about what type of flowers to order- Stan was pulling for lilies, and Marigold felt that roses were the only appropriate wedding blossoms.
“Roses are symbols of love and passion!” Marigold yelped.
“Yeah, well, lilies are a glamorous classic,” Stan countered.
“What do you think, Barry?” Marigold whirled and asked.
Barry blinked. “Uh….how about daffodils?”
Stan looked at Marigold. Marigold looked at Stan.
“Daffodils might be an acceptable compromise,” he began awkwardly.
Marigold nodded. “I like daffodils just fine.”
“Barry, how did your mother take the news?” Godric broke in.
Godric raised his eyebrows.
“She’ll be fine, once Jen gets a few drinks in her and explains the situation properly,” Barry finished.
“Is there anyone else you wanted to tell?” Isabel inquired.
Barry shook his head. “Nah, they’re pretty much my only family.”
“I sent an invite to that mind-reader in Louisiana,” Marigold informed him.
Barry blinked. “Marigold…do you even know her?”
“Well, I’d better call her then, hadn’t I?”
Barry hit the speed dial. Ever since he and Godric had gotten together, he had started calling Sookie more and more often- at first, to ask awkward vampire dating questions, but then, as time went by, to discuss telepathy and the varied ways in which it was used. By now, they usually talked twice a week, sometimes for an hour or more.
“Barry! How are ya!”
“What are you doing next Saturday?”
“As far as I know…nothing, except work.”
“Can you get it off? I’m, ah, getting married.”
There was another awkward pause. By now, Barry was getting quite used to them.
“No offense, and I’m certainly happy for you, but…ah…is that legal in Texas?”
“I’m not getting married to Godric. I’m marrying Isabel so she can stay in the country.”
“Should I still say congratulations?”
“It’s not like it’s going to make a difference to anyone’s living arrangements. I think. Anyway, will you and Bill come? I think I’m going to need some major moral support.”
“Aww, Barry. You want me to think encouraging thoughts at you when you’re at the altar?”
“I’ll be there.”
“Take care, Barry.”
“She’s coming,” he announced to the room.
“Good, I like her,” Isabel said.
“Think she’d be willing to be in the bridal party?” Marigold inquired, chewing on the end of a pen.
“That’s my pen,” Stan grumbled, but everyone ignored him.
“Shit, yeah, we need some bridesmaids, don’t we,” Barry realized. “Who is the maid of honor?”
“Marigold, of course,” Isabel smiled.
“But we still need bridesmaids,” Godric interjected. “Do you know any women?”
Barry furrowed his brow. “Uh…define women.”
“Hello, you have reached Lola Fabulousa’s cell phone, hang up now if you cannot be described with the word ‘scrumptious.’”
“Lola, it’s Barry.”
“Barry, honey! How are ya?”
“I’m good. Listen, can you rally the girls? I need a favor.”
“After you saved our asses in Vegas? Anything, baby.”
“I’m afraid it’s a bit more serious this time…”
“You did not just shanghai a trio of drag queens into being Isabel’s bridesmaids,” Stan said slowly, attempting to process the fact.
“You bet,” Barry said, scooting his chair closer to Godric’s. “Don’t worry, they’ll tone down the makeup for the wedding.”
“How are we going to get shoes in men’s sizes?” Isabel wondered.
“Don’t worry, they’ll bring their own,” Barry assured her. “Once I tell them what color their dresses are. Speaking of which, when are we going shopping? Someone needs a wedding dress…”
“So does Isabel,” Godric teased. Barry poked him in the arm.
“We’ll go tomorrow, and I’m wearing a tux. A manly tux.”
“Of course, love. Of course.”
“Would you two cut that out?” Stan growled. “At least, not at the table?”
“Hey, I didn’t mind,” Marigold protested as Barry disentangled his face from Godric’s. “Stan, you’re such a party pooper.”
“Just because I have standards of decency…”
“Psh, you’re just jealous because you haven’t gotten laid since the Victorian era-”
“That is a lie. How dare you-”
“Marigold? Stan?” Isabel broke in. “Could you please argue later? We need to call some florists.”
Stan sighed and dutifully dialed a number. “Hello, is this Flora’s Fancy Florists? Yes, I need to order two dozen daffodils…”
“Godric, what’s the matter? I felt-”
“Nothing, Eric. Everything is fine. I’m just calling to tell you that, ah, Barry’s marrying Isabel. It is just a necessary, legal thing.”
“Godric, he’s your human.”
“Exactly. I volunteered him.”
“You know what they will say.”
“They won’t do anything. I could crush them like insects. Easily.”
“But can you handle the slander? They won’t just go for you, Godric…they will go for your lover.”
“I am fully prepared to take the bulk of the talk. And that is all it is- talk.”
“Are you sure?”
“No. But…it was all we could think of. You will come, yes?”
“I don’t know, Godric. I don’t know if I can see you do that to yourself. If I can feel this much already-”
“Eric, I am fine, and I will brook no more accusations otherwise.”
Chapter 4: 4
In which Godric loves the environment, Stan is a little too large, Marigold is caffeinated, Isabel is elegant, and Barry is a fierce bitch.
The next night, Barry reluctantly dragged himself out of bed and lumbered downstairs, eyes mostly shut and making his way by feel. He had gotten a maximum of four hours sleep the previous night- the vampires had just barely made it into bed before dawn, and then he and Marigold ran around the city trying to fit all their normal daytime errands on top of the hectic wedding schedule. Finally, at half-past three in the afternoon, Marigold had sent him to bed, where he had promptly passed out without even trying to molest Godric a little bit.
“Gnnnrghshhh,” he greeted as he walked into the kitchen.
“Good evening!” Marigold chirped, handing him a warm mug of…something. “It’s coffee! I even spiked it a little, to give it some extra oomph!”
Barry swallowed down half the cup before opening his eyes fully and staring at his friend. “How much sleep have you had?”
Barry gaped in amazement. “Are you telling me you have been awake for the past twenty-four hours…?”
“You bet!” Marigold grinned.
“How…?” the telepath inquired warily, backing away and trying to remember his catechism classes, in case he had to perform an emergency exorcism.
“Red Bull and Mountain Dew and gum with caffeine in it! All together!”
“Christ, Marigold, you’re vibrating,” Stan grumbled as he shuffled into the room and popped a bottle of True Blood into the microwave.
“So have you decided where we’re going shopping?” Barry asked.
“Yeah, the September Roses bridal galleria, over near the mall,” Marigold explained, calming down.
“I approve,” Isabel announced, striding regally into the room. “I hear it is a classy boutique. They have vampire hours?”
“They do. And afterwards, we can pip by the food court in the mall to get a bite to eat. Well, Barry and I can. The rest of y’all can just deal. Speaking of which, who’s coming?”
Isabel and Barry dutifully raised their hands.
“I will be accompanying everyone,” Godric informed them, having entered the kitchen silently, as befitted a two-thousand-year old vampire. “After all, it is I that is footing the bill.”
“Technically, the father of the bride is supposed to do that,” Barry commented.
“Well, in this case, I suppose it will be the boyfriend of the groom,” Godric smiled up at Barry, nuzzling against his collarbone.
“Well, I have no intention of being left behind with Smokey,” Stan said. “Damn cat’s getting downright vicious.”
“And big,” Isabel added.
“I was wondering about that,” Barry sighed, but decided it would have to wait until another day. “Which car are we taking?”
“The Prius, of course,” Godric replied. “It is the best for the environment.”
“Ah, Godric…” Isabel began. “I’m not so sure that will, ah….work.”
“We are some of the most powerful vampires in the state of Texas,” Godric said. “We will make it work.”
“Godric, sweetie? I don’t think this- Godric? Are you in there?”
Barry peered into the backseat of the Prius. Some cars just weren’t meant to accommodate gentlemen of Stan’s stature, and the two smaller companions in rear had about six inches of space between his shoulders and the doors.
“I can’t breathe!” Marigold squeaked from somewhere underneath Stan’s left shoulder.
“Neither can I,” Godric’s reply floated out.
“Yeah, well, you’re dead,” Marigold countered. There was a large rustling noise, and Marigold’s gasping head emerged awkwardly. Her body was mostly nowhere to be seen.
“The ride isn’t all that long, guys,” Barry reassured the backseat as Isabel stepped on the gas. “Think you can hang on?”
“The Great Revelation is such a good idea,’ Nan Flanagan said,” Stan muttered. “It will improve everyone’s standard of living,’ Nan Flanagan said.”
Isabel drove a little faster.
“Air, sweet air!” Marigold gasped dramatically as she fell out of the Prius. Stan and Godric clambered out with slightly more dignity, and Barry straightened everyone’s clothing and made sure they were presentable before they went into September Roses, which looked extremely classy- and expensive.
“Only the best for my best,” Godric had declared before sticking several shiny pieces of plastic into the pocket of his jeans- which Barry had bought him, and was happy to see him wearing. Before the telepath had come along, the sheriff had been clothing himself almost exclusively in white and gray. Barry shuddered at the memory.
The bell over the door jingled as the party of five walked in. The store was all glitz and chrome, but spaced out in a very organized way. Barry approved. Stylish. There were several different sections of the boutique, including shoes, bridesmaid’s apparel, tuxedos, and- lined up and illuminated against the back wall- wedding gowns. Barry sighed a little sigh of envy.
“May I help you?” a smartly-dressed assistant came up to ask. What she meant was do you have an appointment?
“My name is Godric Sparks,” Godric introduced himself, inclining his head in lieu of shaking her hand. “We spoke on the phone?”
“Oh, yes! Welcome to September Roses, my name is Jane. Now, what may I do for you today?”
“We need some wedding apparel,” Barry stated.
Thank you, Captain Obvious, he heard Marigold think at him.
“Any particular style?” he heard the assistant asking. What she was thinking, however, was that Barry and Godric were cute little gay men, which means…cowboy’s the groom?
“I’m the groom!” Barry blurted before he realized everyone was looking at him funny. “Ah. Uh. I mean…”
“Congratulations!” Jane smiled brightly. “Would you like to browse through the stock on your own, or will you require assistance?” Weirdo.
“I think we are capable of looking around on our own,” Godric smiled. “Isabel, go into the changing room. We will bring you dresses.” He nodded to Stan, Marigold, and Barry, who each buzzed off to look through the racks. Stan emerged first and tossed a white confection over the door to where Isabel was waiting.
“Thank you,” the muffled voice came.
After Barry had handed Isabel a gown- a lovely strapless thing that he felt would accentuate her shoulders excellently- he began poking through the bridesmaid’s dresses, trying to find ones with wide enough shoulders for Lola, Candy, and Chi-Chi.
“What do you think?” Isabel said, stepping out.
“Oh, hell no,” Barry replied immediately. “Those arms are way to tight, and the bodice is the wrong cut. Which one of you lugs gave her that dress?”
“It looked nice on the rack!” Marigold defended.
Isabel sighed and used her vampire-speed to the greatest ability to change into the next two gowns. The strapless one, alas, was not the right color, and the one Stan had tossed over was far too lacy.
“I think the problem lies with the white,” Isabel said from behind the door. “White is a symbol of purity, and correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think anyone in here is all that pure.” There were rustling noises, then quiet. “I think this one might work.”
She stepped out, and everyone stood stock-still.
“That one! That one!” Marigold squealed.
“It’s very pretty,” Stan conceded.
“Some sapphire jewelry, and you’ll be all set,” Barry advised.
Isabel smiled lightly and smoothed the silvery material of the gown. It was sleeveless, with a long skirt that swooshed around her slim body and made her look like a goddess. The simplicity of the dress- no embroideries, beads, or weird pleats- was what gave it its utter elegance, and by God, if Godric wasn’t probably possibly the love of Barry’s life, he might go a little bit straight for Isabel.
She’s so fierce, he thought happily.
“That one, definitely,” he said aloud. “And…hmm…we’ll definitely need blue bridesmaid’s dresses as a coordinating color.”
“How about that one?” Godric suggested, pointing to a dress hanging on the wall- strapless, so they wouldn’t have to worry about the bridesmaids’ shoulders fitting into a dress meant for women, with a cocktail-length skirt. The color, however, was what sold him- a deep, sapphire blue, with a simple black band around the center.
“Right, we’ll need four,” Barry said, snapping his fingers to summon the saleslady. “Jane, was it? Yes, we’ll need four of the blue dress- one about a size…eight?”
“One size eight, and three a size…whatever the feminine equivalent of a men’s sixteen.”
Wide-eyed, Jane nodded. Barry could tell that she was curious- even without the helpful aid of telepathy- but withheld the information. Even in the relatively progressive area of Dallas, you didn’t just go around broadcasting that your bridesmaids were drag queens.
“Hey, I’m hungry,” Marigold mentioned awhile later, after some measurements had been taken on Isabel’s dress. “Anyone up for ice cream?”
“Ooh, me!” Barry grinned, raising his hand with a flourish. “Let’s go. Maybe over to the food court? Didn’t they just get a new ice cream bar?”
“That they did,” Godric replied. “I would like to go.”
Stan and Isabel certainly weren’t going to say no, and besides, they wanted to find out if there really was a True Blood-flavored sorbet for sale. It wouldn’t beat the real thing- or even the fake thing- but wanting something cold to eat was a problem plaguing many, many undead…
“Choices, choices,” Barry sighed, staring up at the dizzying array of flavors. “Uh…could I get a medium mint chocolate chip, please?”
The lady behind the counter nodded and scooped a full-to-bursting cone for the smiling young man. Gladly, he took it and started eating as Marigold ordered her favorite combination- chocolate marshmallow and praline pecan. Nobody asked.
After the frozen dairy treats were finished and the people in the food court were thoroughly people-watched, Barry stood.
“I’d like to mosey on over to the bookstore,” he announced.
“Sounds good,” Stan assented.
“Yes, I hear the newest issue of People magazine has a list of the twenty hottest vampires in America,” Isabel informed them.
Godric grinned up at Barry and nodded. “Come on. Maybe one of our friends has made the list.” As was his habit- Godric was strangely touchy-feely- he linked hands with his boyfriend. The close contact helped him control his telepathy even more than simply having his blood in him, and the mental voices of the world faded out to a hum.
Then he heard it. A fake whisper, loud enough to carry across the air to reach even Barry’s human ears.
Godric’s hand clenched around his, and Barry sighed. He would have been willing to let it slide- after checking to make sure Marigold hadn’t attempt to knife them, the girl had quite the protective streak- but then another one came, louder.
“I’ll take care of this, sweetie,” Barry murmured to Godric. “Make sure Stan doesn’t go all John Wayne on these guys, hmm?”
Godric nodded and looked over at Stan, who had both his arms in firm grips by Marigold and Isabel, respectively.
Barry walked over to the douchebag- clad in the baggy jeans, sports shirt, and buzz cut his kind usually wore- and did a quick mental evaluation.
“A homo, huh? You’re one to be talking.” He propped his left hand on his hip in the gayest confrontation pose he could muster up.
“The hell you talkin’ about, fairy?” he protested, acting tough. Barry looked around at the group he had with him- typical bunch of bros and hos, and one in particular who seemed to be his girlfriend. They laughed along with their big bad leader.
“The name’s Barry, actually, and I’m talking about last Friday, under the bleachers, with that guy from science club,” he replied, adding as much gay to his voice as possible. Usually, he was a very masculine guy, or so he liked to fancy himself.
“Fuck you, fag!” the douchebag wittily replied, and Barry clucked his tongue.
“Sorry, sweetheart, not going to happen,” he said sympathetically. “I belong to that guy over there, and he’d be pretty unhappy if I indulged your closeted little fantasy. What, you didn’t know?” he turned to the skankily-dressed young woman next to him. “Hon, your boyfriend’s pretty much in Narnia by now. Don’t worry, there’s therapy for people like you, although you might want to get that nasty case of genital warts looked at first.”
Satisfied, he turned on his heel and began to walk back to where his grinning family awaited, letting his hips swing to show off the full effect of the tight jeans.
“So your pussy boyfriend needs you to defend him, yeah?”
Some people just never learned.
Barry turned back around. “Godric, baby?”
Godric ambled up to Barry and rested his head on his shoulder. “What?”
“These gentlemen here think that you need me to defend you,” Barry informed him, sliding his hand around to Godric’s back pocket. “What do you think?”
Godric smiled up at him. “Oh, of course, honey.” He turned his grin towards the group, before letting his fangs slide out.
Barry laughed as the group of teens- or they may have been older, it was hard to tell around the cloud of cigarette smoke- beat one of the hastiest retreats he had ever seen.
“Well, Barry, it seems I must revise my opinion of you,” Stan grumbled.
“Uh…is that a good thing?” Barry blinked.
Marigold whapped Stan upside the head. “What Deputy Dead here means is that you were super badass.”
“So chivalrous,” Isabel added.
“You could learn some lessons from him,” Marigold reprimanded Stan as the group walked out of the mall.
“I was there when they invented chivalry,” the cowboy vampire protested.
“I’ll always remember being courted that knight with the black horse,” Isabel sighed. “So romantic.”
“Me too,” Godric mused.
Everyone stared at him.
“What?” he shrugged. “Sometimes it’s fun to be a woman.”
Chapter 5: 5
In which Barry gets a quiet bachelorette party, Godric heads for a relapse, and Marigold and Stan attempt to save the day.
The next few days passed by in a terrifying blur of fittings, catering samples, phone calls, registration at the Hotel Carmilla for all the visiting vamps, makeup, drag queens, and one near-catastrophe involving a gun hidden inside a cummerbund. Finally, though, Barry awoke the day before his wedding, with his face covered in cold cream and cucumbers on his eyelids.
“Dude, you look so gay,” he heard Marigold’s voice comment, and her brain helpfully supplied the image of what he looked like. Wow.
“It’s soothing,” he replied, removing one cucumber. “Plus, it rehydrates my skin. And seeing as how I’m getting married tomorrow…”
“Your skin needs to be soft and dewy, okay,” Marigold nodded skeptically.
“What time is it?” Barry yawned, sitting up. “And for that matter, where’s Godric?”
“Your man-candy and Stan are a little bit busy at the moment, which is why I have to take you out for coffee,” she replied.
“What?” Barry blinked, removing the other cucumber, which Marigold promptly popped into her mouth.
“All will be revealed,” she informed him, mouth full. “Now, you have ten minutes to be dressed and downstairs.”
Twelve minutes and thirty-seven seconds later- there had been cream stuck in Barry’s hair- the telepath was down in the kitchen, shoving a phone and a credit card in his pocket.
“So…Starbucks run?” he asked.
Marigold snorted. “What, and pour our money into the black hole of corporate greed? Nah, we’re going to Setos. You know, the new coffee café down near the historical district?”
“Yum,” Barry agreed, and followed his friend out to the Prius, which was a much better fit now that it was the two of them.
The drive to the café was relatively short, as it was Marigold driving, and Barry blasted the radio- it was ‘80s week on WDED, the Dallas vampire station.
“You spin me right round, Barry, right round. Like a record, Barry.”
It was right after they had sat down to sip at their respective lattes that Marigold popped the question.
“So…do you really want to do this?”
Barry looked up, surprised. “What, and deprive you of your chance to be a maid of honor?”
“No, I just-” Barry could see straight into her brain- Marigold was a ridiculously loud broadcaster- and all he could feel was worry…worry about him.
“Really, I’m fine with it,” Barry replied. “Isabel’s like…my family now, and Godric asked me to, and I’m not in love with Isabel or anything.” There was a pause. “Although, I’m sort of worried about Godric not…protesting at all. I mean, isn’t vampire ‘ownership’ of humans, or whatever you call it, a big deal?”
Marigold nodded. “I think it can be. But I don’t know, maybe in your case you’re a household human? Like me? So it doesn’t matter who you marry, as long as it’s Godric, Isabel, or Stan…”
Barry gave an involuntary shudder at the thought of being married to Stan.
“Hey!” Marigold poked him. “Be nice to Deputy Dead. He’s made lots of progress.”
Her brain was giving off a weird, happy hum. “Wait a…you like him, don’t you!”
“I do not.”
“You so do.”
“Marigold, I can read your mind. I win.”
His friend rolled her eyes. “Well, if you know everything in my brain, then you obviously know that I am a modern, independent woman who won’t go simpering after the big, bad vampire.”
“Waiting for him to come to you, eh?” Barry teased.
Marigold looked down at the table. “Something like that, I suppose.”
Her brain wasn’t humming anymore.
Barry wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when Marigold finally let him back into the house, but the ABBA music probably wasn’t it.
“What the-” he began as he walked into the kitchen, but was cut off by the sight of Stan hunched over the stove, wearing an apron in lieu of his cowboy hat.
“Wasn’t my idea,” he grumbled as Smokey wound around his legs, begging for some of the tasty human food.
“It- I….I didn’t know you could cook,” Barry stammered.
“I’m nine hundred years old, you don’t think I could have managed to pick up a couple of gastronomic tips in that time?”
“Ahh…” Barry was saved from having to formulate a reply, because just then, Godric ambled in, grinning.
“You’re home. Good.”
“Godric, was this…your idea?”
His vampire nodded. “Of course. I figured you should have a bachelorette party, but this week has tired you out, so we are having a movie musical night!”
Barry blinked. “That sounds gr- hey…don’t you mean a bachelor party?
Godric pretended to consider. “Hmmm…nope. Bachelorette.”
“I swear,” Barry sighed even as he allowed himself to be led into the den. “When we visit Louisiana, I’ll have to wrestle an alligator just to prove my masculinity.”
“We’re watching Victor/Victoria first,” Godric informed him by way of reply.
Barry sighed with happiness as he settled into the giant squishy couch. “Julie Andrews is fabulous.”
Somewhere in the middle of The Lion King, Barry turned his head up to look at Godric. This was actually a rather complicated maneuver, as the two had managed to get themselves tangled up in a jumble of limbs all in the name of comfortable movie-watching. Besides, they had had to make room for the surprisingly tasty food Stan had cooked.
“I love Jeremy Irons,” he commented.
“He does voice a good villain,” the vampire replied.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“You just did.”
“I mean another one.”
Barry took a deep breath. Godric could hear it.
“Why you what?” Godric countered. “Why are you marrying Isabel? Because you-”
“No, I mean…why did you choose me, when you could have anyone?”
Godric chuckled. “You aren’t like anyone I’ve ever met before. And at my age, that fascinates me.”
“But you told me before that you’ve met- what, three other telepaths?” Barry protested. “And you’ve probably come across scores of gay men.”
“Legions, actually,” Godric corrected. “And you are unlike any of them. You’re…smart, and funny, and just a little bit stressed out. You cared enough about me to bring me out of the sadness- remember? With the lilacs, and Smokey, and the fashion advice?”
Barry laughed quietly. “Well, Smokey was more of a family gift.” Together, they watched the kitten shred an innocent rubber mouse.
“You know, I’m getting a little worried about Smokey,” Godric commented.
“Yeah,” Barry sighed.
“Besides, you’re psychic,” Godric said.
“Telepathic,” Barry automatically corrected. “You know, if you were just looking for a mind-reader, you could always have recruited Sookie…”
Godric giggled. “I don’t think that would have worked out. Her boyfriend would have gotten very angry. He’s so entertaining- youth always is.”
“I love how you consider a guy who’s a hundred and seventy-something to be young,” Barry snickered.
“Well, I love you.”
Barry smiled. A few minutes later, he drifted off to sleep.
Godric smiled down at his telepath before gently picking him up and carrying him upstairs. Barry was so exhausted that even with the coffee in his system, he didn’t wake. The ancient vampire felt a flash of protectiveness towards him, but he quieted it down and tucked Barry into bed.
A little while later, Marigold, having fielded half a dozen curious phone calls, corrected a wedding announcement in the paper, and watched an episode of Rome- god, she loved HBO- walked out of her room to go pick up Isabel’s gown from the store. On her way out, she passed the sculpture room, whose door was ajar. Naturally curious, she looked in. Godric was staring mindlessly at the wall.
At first she wasn’t overly worried. Sometimes vampires zoned out for awhile- it was sort of like their version of napping. So she left the house, mind busy with upcoming wedding preparations.
When she returned two hours later, Godric was still in the exact same position.
“Fuck,” she whispered to herself. Godric could hear someone sneeze a block away, and a whisper that close should have made him whirl around to check who was there…but he was as still as the sculptures he stared at.
“Shit!” she yelped, sprinting down the stairs as fast as she could. She couldn’t bother Barry or Isabel about this- they were getting married tomorrow, crap, this was not good.
Barry didn’t know- or if he had any idea, he certainly hadn’t mentioned it- but before he had come to work for the vampires, and certainly before he and Godric had started dating, Godric had been in…bad shape. He had been gripped by ennui that had nearly consumed him- not caring about what clothes he was wearing, refusing to talk to anyone, nearly starving himself, and staring off into space for hours at a time, steeping himself in memories.
Marigold’s own memories whirled around her as she jumped down the stairs. There had been some terrifying nights before Barry had shown up- Isabel desperately calling Eric in Louisiana in the hopes that he could reason with Godric, herself breaking down Godric’s bedroom door, only to find himself carving fucking runes into his skin with silver…and the worst, by far, when Stan had snapped awake and sprinted outside seconds before dawn to drag Godric back inside…
“Stan!” she yelped, and the vampire flashed into the kitchen.
“Christ, Marigold, what’s wrong?” he snarled, before looking down at her face. “Er…I mean…”
“It’s Godric,” she told him frantically.
“What’s happened?” Stan asked, worry flashing across his features.
“He’s staring at the wall,” she explained.
Stan blinked. “He does that a lot.”
Marigold shook her head. “No, no, you don’t get it- he’s been doing it for two and a half hours.”
“All right, well, first you’re going to have to calm down,” he said, awkwardly patting her on the back. Marigold took some deep breaths- it didn’t help much, but it did prevent hyperventilating.
“Got a plan?” she asked shakily.
“Never,” Stan replied. “I do, however, have an idea.”
He pulled out his cell phone.
Chapter 6: 6
In which there is a highly unusual bridal party, Elvis, several tuxedos, Smokey, mild panic, family, romance, and an unexpected guest.
Barry Horowitz’s wedding day dawned in a panoply of red-orange hues, but he didn’t know that, because Barry slept in until nine o’clock, which was late for some people, but mind-numbingly early if you were on a vampire schedule, and even more so if you had spent the past week rushing around planning a wedding.
Barry spent a befuddling moment trying to figure out what woke him when he heard his phone blaring- Lady Gaga singing about “boys, boys, boys.” Marigold had installed it as his ringtone as a joke. Real funny…
“H’loooo?” he answered sleepily.
“Barry, it’s your wedding day. Get out of bed. There’s work to be done.”
“You couldn’t climb the two flights of stairs to tell me this?”
“Get down here in two minutes and I’ll give you a scone.”
Suffice to say, Barry was down there in two minutes- he had always had a soft spot for scones.
“Let’s go over the checklist,” Barry said, mouth full.
Marigold nodded. “Okay. Uh…flowers?”
“For Isabel and the bridesmaids, check and check.”
“Did you seriously just- I don’t even know. Check, for humans and vampires. Officiator?”
Barry blinked. “You were supposed to take care of the officiator.”
“I thought you were!”
“So you…didn’t hire one.”
“You didn’t hire one!”
Barry groaned and let his head fall to the table. It made a satisfying whunk. “I’m getting married in twelve hours and there’s nobody to marry us.”
Marigold sighed. “Fuck.”
“What are we going to do?”
“I don’t know!”
“Okay,” Barry began, removing his head from the tabletop. “Okay. If our life was a sitcom, what would we do?”
“Call up our uncle the minister, who would turn out to only be licensed in the state of, I don’t know, Arkansas or something, and so we would have to take a road trip-”
“No road trips,” Barry said.
“Well, do you know anyone with the power to legally marry people in the state of Texas?”
Before Barry could answer, the doorbell rang.
“Who’s that?” Marigold whispered.
Barry did a quick mental scan. “It’s the bridesmaids!”
“Are they supposed to be here this early?”
“I think so- I mean, everyone in the wedding party is getting ready here, right?”
“Well, let’s go say hi.”
The two friends, upon opening the door, were immediately smothered in a large, orgiastic group hug involving three flamboyantly gay men, one semi-flamboyant gay man, and Marigold.
“Hi, ladies,” Barry squeaked once he was able to get some air into his lungs.
“Oh, Barry, we haven’t seen you in forever and now you’re all grown up and getting married!” one squealed.
“And who are you, darling?” another one asked Marigold.
Introductions were made, and Lola, Candy, and Chi-Chi turned out to be three guys named Luke, Carl, and Chuck- out of costume, of course.
“Sweetie, you look absolutely peaked,” Luke clucked. “What’s the matter? Cold feet?”
“We haven’t got an officiator,” Barry replied.
Carl blinked. “You forgot to hire someone to marry you at what all the blogs are calling ‘the biggest vampire wedding of the year’?”
Barry felt his world go woozy. “They’re calling it that?”
“Crap!” Barry squeaked.
“Don’t worry,” Luke soothed. “I think I know someone who can help.”
“Who?” everyone asked.
“Bob,” Luke replied. “Remember? He did some shows with us?”
“Oh no,” Barry shook his head. “No, not Bob. Isn’t he-”
“Yes, but I know for a fact he’s available tonight. Besides, who else are we going to get this short notice?”
Barry heaved a massive sigh. “Call Bob.”
Bob turned out to be an Elvis impersonator who had been kicked out of Nevada for performing an illegal wedding ceremony- he wouldn’t say between whom. He was very nonjudgmental. He also didn’t mind that he was marrying a vampire and a human for reasons that weren’t quite on par with true love in a ceremony involving of drag queen bridesmaids.
“You see weirder shit in Vegas,” he shrugged.
“Are you going to be wearing that for the ceremony?” Barry asked in reply.
Bob looked down at his rhinestone-covered suit. It was pristinely white, but that was the only thing it had going for it.
“Stan will probably like it,” Marigold offered.
“It’s Stan,” Barry sighed.
“Well, have you got a better idea?” Marigold snapped.
Barry shook his head and whipped out his cell.
bad news, bb- no officiator. had to hire elvis.
Godric’s reply flashed back less than a minute later.
He’s back in Texas?
Barry pondered that for a good, long moment.
i meant an impersonator.
Oh. Well, see you at sundown! ILY.
“Texting your boy toy?”
Barry rolled his eyes at Carl. “Bitch, you know it.”
“Barry, why don’t you show our guests where to put their stuff?” Marigold prompted, hand against the phone in her pocket. The telepath nodded gamely and took his friends away, listening to their happy chatter.
The minute Barry was out of sight, she opened her phone and read the incoming text from Stan.
Plan still on?
Plan still on- arrival at 6.
He heard the delighted cry with his mind a split second before it reached his ears. A moment after that, he was faced with an armful of flying young woman.
“Jen!” he yelped by way of greeting as all the air promptly evacuated his lungs. “Get off me!”
His sister reluctantly let him go and sized him up. “You look…stressed out.”
“I’m getting married today.”
“Awww, cold feet already?”
“No, I- hey, you know who has really cold feet? Godric. I mean, he’s dead and all, but-”
“God, I know, right?”
“You know Godric’s feet are cold?”
“Uh…no. Remember, we agreed not to steal each other’s boyfriends like, back in high school. The no-tapping rule?”
“Then how would you- Jen! Are you dating a vampire?”
“I wouldn’t call it dating, exactly…”
“Oh- kay, I don’t want to know.”
Jen grinned up at her big brother. “It’s nice to see you, Barry.”
“You to, Jen,” he replied. “But- uh…where’s Mom?”
The Horowitz siblings looked around the airport.
“Over by the baggage claim,” Jen pointed. Barry looked over at the familiar, slightly tottering form of his mom.
“Is she supposed to be walking like that?”
“She had a bit of the complimentary liquor,” Jen explained. “By the way, thanks for paying for the first-class ticket and all.”
“Hey, it wasn’t my idea, it was Godric’s,” Barry protested. “If I had my way, y’all would have been suffering in business class along with the other plebeians.”
“Well, what fun is having a super-rich vampire boyfriend if you aren’t going to spend his money?”
“You have a point,” Barry conceded. “Hey! Mom! Over here!”
Evelyn Horowitz looked over at her son and smiled a bleary-eyed smile. “Barry! Honey! Oh, you’ve gotten so big!”
“Pretty sure I’m the same size as when you saw me last, Mom,” he mumbled as he hugged her. “Thanks for coming on such short notice.”
“What, and miss my only son’s wedding?”
“Well…the vampires and all…”
“Oh, pish-tosh. Now, where’s your lovely undead husband?”
Barry sighed. “Mom, Godric won’t be awake for another two hours, and anyway, I’m not marrying him, I’m marrying Isabel.”
Mrs. Horowitz blinked. “Oh. Well. Where’s your wife, then?”
“Still sleeping, Mom.”
“Well, I will be delighted to meet her. Did you know that one of your sister’s new friends is a vampire? They’ve been spending lots of time together.”
Barry looked over at his mother’s head at his sister, who looked more than a bit guilty.
“New friend, eh?”
Jen nodded and winked. Barry threw up his maximum-security telepathic shields- that was one thing he really didn’t need to know about.
“Well, let’s get y’all home,” he said.
“Will we get to meet your roommates?” Mrs. Horowitz asked.
“Well, only Marigold will be awake at the moment, but you can meet the vamps after dark,” Barry explained.
“How are we getting to your place? Did you hire a limo?” Jen inquired eagerly.
Barry shook his head. “Nah, I drove. We’re saving the limo for the wedding. Tonight.”
“Oh, my little boy is growing up!” Barry’s mom squealed and pinched his cheeks.
Barry clapped his hands over his ears as the girls’ shrieks raised to a pitch usually reached only by opera singers or men who had been kicked in the balls. His sister and his best friend jumped on each other and hugged like monkeys.
“You haven’t actually met in person, have you?” Barry inquired confusedly.
Marigold shook her head. “Nope.”
Jen grinned. “Total strangers.”
“That’s the general definition of ‘strangers.’”
“We just recognized each other.”
“I think our souls may have bonded.”
“We could always run away to Massachusetts to get married.”
“Adopt some golden retrievers.”
“Live happily ever after.”
“Seeing as we’re obviously one person in two bodies.”
“Two fantastically sexy bodies.”
“You know it, bitch.”
“Okay, we can stop with the creepy hyperactive twin act now,” Barry informed them.
Marigold and Jen laughed and let go of each other, with one last fist-bump for posterity.
“Hey, so, why don’t you go introduce Jen to the bridesmaids, and Mom…uh…why don’t you have a drink. Godric’s got quite the liquor selection,” Barry suggested.
“Good idea, darling,” Mrs. Horowitz smiled serenely.
“Then you can take a look around the, uh…”
“The sculpture room,” Marigold finished.
“Yes. The sculpture room,” Barry nodded.
“You have a sculpture room?” Barry’s mom gasped. “Sweetie, you’ve scored a good one.”
“I know,” Barry sighed. “I know.”
A few hours later, Barry stared forlornly at the tuxedo lying on his bed. In the other room, his brain could hear the happy chattering and squeals of the bridal party- missing the bride, but Barry assumed she would be awake and downstairs in a few minutes, ready to get dressed and proceed, in limos, to Hummel Hall….where she would marry Barry.
Barry groaned and fell face-first onto the bed.
“Barry?” he heard Godric in the doorway. “Barry, aren’t you supposed to be wearing that?”
“It’s comfortable,” he mumbled into his tuxedo.
Barry felt himself being gently- but firmly- lifted off the bed. Burying his face in his boyfriend’s shoulder, he groaned.
“I so don’t want to do this.”
“It wasn’t my choice either,” Godric replied, rubbing circles on Barry’s back. “But sometimes, in life…things need to happen.”
Barry nodded and straightened up. Godric promptly tucked himself underneath his chin.
“We should probably go get ready,” Barry said after a few minutes. “I can hear the bridal party already.”
“It’s just you, me, and Stan,” Godric replied. “And I think Marigold was helping Stan with his suit.”
“I’m sure,” Barry mumbled. “So it’s just us?”
“It is,” Godric grinned. “Now…let’s get you into that tux.”
“Really?” Barry replied, already dutifully removing his comfortable t-shirt. “Really, you’re going to lead me on like that, and just…deny my manly lusts?”
“You cannot sully yourself with a man on your wedding day,” Godric chastised. “Isabel is a good woman. She deserves the proper wedding.”
“Oh, but however will I deny my screaming loins,” Barry deadpanned as he buttoned up the perfectly ironed dress shirt.
“Ah, but I didn’t say anything about the wedding night,” Godric winked. “So if-”
“No no no,” Barry clucked. “You made your bed, now lie in it. Alone.”
“You wound me deeply,” Godric smiled, adjusting Barry’s collar.
“Hey, lovebirds!” a gruff voice said outside the door, accompanied by knocking. “Cover up and let me in!”
“We are clothed, Stan,” Godric replied, and the door swung open. There stood Stan, holding his suit over one arm and looking as pathetic as a six-foot-three Southwestern vampire could look.
“Marigold kicked me out of the second floor,” he explained. “The rule apparently applies to ‘all men of the house, excepting those in the bridal party.’”
Godric blinked. “The entire second floor?”
“You wanna argue with her?”
The most powerful vampire in North America shook his head. “Oh, no. Marigold scares me sometimes.”
“I think my sister is a bad influence on her,” Barry said, yanking on his pants.
“How much worse can she get?” Godric pondered, adjusting his own bow tie before helping Barry with his.
“I can get that, you know.”
Barry took a deep breath and bit his lip before setting foot on the stairwell leading to the second floor. Quietly, using every ounce of vamp-blood-aided stealth he had, he crept down the stairs- thank God this wasn’t an old, creaky house- and went down one step…two…three…
“AAIIIEEAGGH!” he shrieked as something gray and yowling came flying towards his face.
“No boys allowed!” he heard someone who may or may not have been his sister yell.
“You can’t see your bride until we get to the wedding!” Marigold added.
“Get this off of me!” Barry yelped, but it was muffled by Smokey, who was clinging onto his face like his little kitty life depended on it.
“Barry?” he felt, rather than heard, Godric’s presence next to him. “Barry, you seem to have something on your face.”
Godric must have been a cat whisperer, because Smokey detached himself and curled up in Godric’s arms, where he promptly began gnawing on Godric’s thumb.
“You’re bleeding,” Godric commented.
“Did it get on my suit?” Barry asked worriedly, looking down at the extremely expensive tuxedo.
Godric shook his head. “Nope. Here, let me-” and Barry felt the weird- but also kind of awesome- sensation of someone licking blood off his face. “There. All clean!”
“Great,” Barry sighed. “Now I’m going to have clean claw marks on my face at my wedding.”
“Well, that will not do,” Godric replied, unsheathing his fangs and making a quick slice in his lip, so that just a drop of blood welled out. Barry, understanding the cue, bent down and gave him a quick peck, taking with him the blood and the welcome sensation of his face healing.
“That cat has been getting way too vicious,” Barry said. “We should- hey, doesn’t that hurt?”
Godric looked down to where Smokey was happily chewing on his arm. “No. It tickles.”
Barry blinked as the cognitive wheels churned. “Godric…does Smokey bite Stan and Isabel too?”
“I would assume so. I don’t think they would feel any pain.”
“Yeah, they’re gonna want to stop letting Smokey drink their blood.”
“But he’s not-” Godric’s eyes widened. “You think that is the cause of Smokey’s…issue?”
“It has to be,” Barry deduced.
“Well, then,” Godric nodded, putting the cat down with some amount of effort. “No more drugs for Smokey.”
“Now, let’s get you to your wedding.”
Barry’s smile faded fast. He turned around too quickly to see Godric’s do the same.
“I can’t do this.”
“Yes, you can.”
“No, I can’t.”
“Yes, you can.”
Barry and Marigold both turned around as the Louisiana blonde entered the room. She walked straight up to Barry and gave him a big, big hug.
“How are ya?”
“Thank you so much for coming, Sook,” Barry said by way of reply.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” she grinned up at him.
Barry glanced around the back room, where he was waiting to enter the Hall…where he would get married. “Where’s Bill?”
“He’s waiting out there,” she answered. “We sat in the groom’s section, is that okay?”
“Well, I’m gonna go get into my seat,” Sookie smiled. “Oh, and Barry? He still loves you.”
Barry blinked, but before he could formulate a reply- or even shield the rest of his thoughts- she was gone.
“I’m just going to, uh…go,” Marigold chirped. “I need to herd the bridesmaids. And Stan.”
“You go, girl,” Barry grinned.
“You’ll be all right?” his friend asked, concerned.
“Yeah,” Barry replied. “Fist bump?”
“Fist bump!” Marigold smiled, before performing said act and flouncing out in her utterly fabulous- if Barry did say so himself- dress.
Barry took a deep, deep breath, allowed his mind to clear and focus, and stepped out.
The hall was full. The hall was very, very full.
Barry stood awkwardly at the front, eyes swiveling and face fighting to remain calm. He looked out over the crowd- a whole bunch were vampires, that much was clear, and not very friendly either, if their expressions were anything to go by. In the front row- on the groom’s side, now wasn’t that sweet- was Godric, looking pale as ever. In the row behind him was a woman wearing an impeccably sharp business suit, sitting next to a hulking man whose nose looked to have been broken more than once.
Marigold’s parents, Barry thought.
Sookie and Bill were in the row behind them, the blonde waving enthusiastically when she caught Barry’s eye and the vampire looking less than happy to be there. But he was trying, and Barry had to give him credit for that.
Then music began, and Barry almost fainted.
Don’t faint! Sookie mentally yelped.
I’m good, I’m good, Barry replied.
Think of something good! Like…
And several images of Godric in various states of- imagined, he hoped- undress popped into his head.
Not while I’m standing in front of a hundred and fifty people, Sook.
Barry looked up the aisle, petrified, but smiled slightly as the three bridesmaids strutted in, looking fierce and making the more conservative heads in the audience turn. Those were his gals.
And speaking of gals- Marigold came moments later, arms awkwardly linked with Stan’s, who- by reason of default- was the best man. The ridiculous height difference between the two- five-six to six-four- was painfully obvious, and Marigold’s mind was turning over multiple curses. Apparently, there had been an issue with the hat- namely, Stan wanting to wear it. Marigold won.
Suddenly, time sped up and Stan was standing next to him- and Barry never thought he would see the day he found that even mildly reassuring- and the music was swelling and a cheesy Elvis impersonator was on his other side and there was his wife-to-be.
As usual, she looked fierce, if not radiantly happy. Oh, she looked great in silver...
“Dearly beloved, we gather here today…”
Barry smiled, and nodded along, and waited until Elvis- Bob- came to the part when the officiator said the words that had disrupted the plot of thousands of soap operas.
“And if there is anyone here today who has reason for these two not to be wed in holy matrimony, speak now or forever shut up and deal with it.”
At that moment, however, the silence of the hall- all occupants of which expected this part to be just a formality- was disrupted as the great doors swung open. Instantly, human brains leapt in confusion and Godric, from where Barry could see him, sat up straight.
“I have reason why these two should not be wed!” the bellowing voice of Eric Northman boomed through the hall. All eyes swiveled to where he had entered in the back, dragging what appeared to be an extraordinarily confused Jason Stackhouse behind him.
Chapter 7: 7
In which there is a wedding and a dance.
Usually, Barry Horowitz’s telepathy gave him a heads-up on certain events, but it had most certainly failed him this time. He knew the two figures walking up the aisle- Eric was Godric’s child, or whatever the vampire term was, and Jason was, of course, Sookie’s brother- but what on earth were they doing at his wedding?
“I object!” Eric cried out again.
“Eric, what are you doing?” Godric hissed, standing, as did many of the guests.
“Godric, I can’t let you go through with this,” he answered.
“I can make my own decisions!”
“No, you can’t.”
“Uh…pardon me, dude, but why do you object to this sacred union?” Elvis asked.
Eric snorted. “Sacred. Yeah.”
The blonde vampire turned to his maker.
“Do you really want to let him go through with this?” he asked quietly. “Do you really want to let him go?”
“It is in name only,” Godric replied, voice pitched so softly that only the other vampires- and Barry, whose hearing had been magnified with Godric’s blood- could hear him.
“Does that matter?”
Godric had no answer.
“I object on grounds that these two-” Eric pointed to the rather confused bride and groom- “are not in love, and that these two-” gestured to Barry and Godric- “are.”
“Uh, Eric, not that I don’t totally appreciate your dramatic entrance, but there are certain other factors at stake here,” Barry hissed. “And sorry about the pun.”
“Forgiven,” Eric waved a careless hand. “And if you need someone to marry, Isabel, you are more than welcome to Mr. Stackhouse.” He gave Jason the vampire’s version of a gentle pat on the back, something most people would refer to as a “shove”.
Jason grinned and winked.
Isabel raised an eyebrow.
“Er…ma’am,” Jason began awkwardly.
Eric turned to Isabel. “Isabel, do you really want to marry Barry?”
“Fuck no,” she replied eloquently. “No offense, Barry.”
“Barry, do you really want to marry Isabel?” Eric prompted.
“Not at all.”
“Then this matter is settled,” Elvis pronounced.
“Oh, thank god,” Barry sighed quietly, making a beeline for the empty seat next to Godric. “You should have said something, you know.”
“Sometimes I do not think,” Godric whispered, taking hold of Barry’s hand. “Forgive me?”
The rest of the wedding guests were sitting around, confused and unsure of what was happening. The bridesmaids were fiddling with their bouquets, Elvis was doing some sort of back-and-forth shuffle that might have been a dance, and Jason was awkwardly proposing marriage to Isabel.
Is my brother going to marry her? Barry heard from two rows behind him.
Probably, he thought back.
“So…what are we going to do with this wedding?” Jen asked awkwardly, boisterous voice carrying over the quiet murmuring of the crowd.
Suddenly, Barry’s telepathic conversation with Sookie was broken off as Marigold’s brain emitted a high-pitched squeal. Godric’s hand tightened around his as the two looked over at the front of the church, where Stan appeared to be kneeling in front of Marigold- which brought him to around roughly her height.
“He isn’t,” Lola whispered to Candy.
“He is,” Candy murmured to Chi-Chi.
“Will they?” Chi-Chi hissed at Lola.
“So…” Stan began.
“You jumped into this without a plan, didn’t you,” Marigold sighed.
There was another awkward pause as one hundred and fifty pairs of eyes stayed riveted on the scene at the front of the hall.
“I must admit, Sookie, this is much better than your television dramas,” Bill whispered to his paramour.
“Hush up, it’s romantic,” she replied.
“So we’ve got ourselves a fine wedding right here,” Stan stated.
“Of course we do, we planned it!”
“Well, why let it go to waste?”
“Stan, are you proposing?”
“I think so.”
“And you couldn’t possibly make it a little more…romantic? I mean really, you’ve been around for nine hundred years.”
“I could try it in French?”
“I don’t speak French.”
If Barry leaned forward any more in his seat, he would fall into a big pile of squealing gay telepath all over the floor. Fortunately, Godric had a- very literal- death grip on his hand.
“Marigold Worthington, light of my life, soul of my soul, the very epitome of beauty and the reason for my existence…will you marry me?”
“Much better,” Marigold whispered. Then she spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. “And yes, dumbass, I will totally marry you!”
To Barry’s surprise, when the rest of the hall exploded in cheers and Elvis whipped out his microphone to burst into a chorus of “Love Me Tender”- and Stan produced a ring from a pocket that Barry could honestly say he didn’t know he had- Godric burst into tears.
“Jesus, honey, are you okay?” he yelped.
“It is so beautiful,” the ancient vampire sniffled.
Silently, Barry handed him a handkerchief.
“You carry around handkerchiefs? Good greats, Barry, I have not had one since the forties!”
“My mother always said that you never know when you’ll need a good hankie,” Barry lectured. His mother, two rows behind, waved dazedly. His sister was too busy watching Stan and Marigold get married to pay attention. The drag queens were sobbing dramatically, Bill Compton looked like he had swallowed a lemon- that might have been due to Eric Northman’s close proximity to his lady- and everything was right in Barry’s world.
It was as Barry was walking down a back hallway, heading for the wedding reception after a stop in the men’s room that a hand shot out of a previously unnoticed closet and yanked him in. He was too surprised to yelp, but the self-defense classes he had taken after the Lorena Incident gave him great reflexes, so he managed to dig an elbow into his attacker’s throat before his eyes adjusted to the dark and he realized it was Godric.
“It is a very good thing I do not breathe.”
“What was that all about?”
“I felt- could you please remove your fingers from my eyeballs?”
“Sorry, sorry. That was one of the weak spots we learned to go for in the self-defense class.”
“Barry, I am a two-thousand-year old vampire. I can honestly say I have no weak spots.”
“Oh, really?” Barry grinned and raised an eyebrow. “What about…this!” With that, he proceeded to mercilessly tickle Godric. Unfortunately, Godric didn’t have much of a reaction.
“As I told you. No weak spots…”
“You are mine, Barry.”
“I know that-”
“And now everyone will know.”
Cramped in such a small space, Barry had no time to react- even if he had wanted to- when Godric unsheathed his fangs and bit roughly into his neck. Distantly, he noted that Godric had purposefully chosen a spot well above the cover of his collar.
The ancient vampire let his hands roam roughly around Barry’s upper half, angry and possessive but gentle at the same time, still sucking roughly at Barry’s throat. At one point, Barry let out several gasping moans that later he would deny ever making, and Godric dragged himself away from the feast that was Barry’s jugular, kissing him roughly with bloody lips.
Unfortunately, Barry’s telepathic ability was still working on a subconscious level even if his logical thought had stopped working.
The closet, Barry? Real subtle, he heard Sookie think from outside.
Barry yelped and jumped, banging his head on the wall.
“Are you all right?” Godric inquired.
“I- uh- maybe we should get to the wedding party now?” Barry suggested nervously.
Godric stepped back as much as he could- which was about six inches- and surveyed his boyfriend. Then he adjusted his tie.
“There we go. All neat!”
“Except for the gaping holes in my neck,” Barry mumbled, but there wasn’t any venom in the statement. Barry rather enjoyed the slight twinges of pain, and he enjoyed Godric’s possessiveness even more. Taking hold of his- his- vampire’s hand, they walked quickly down the hall to the reception area.
“Whose idea was it to have this as the wedding song?” Barry whispered to Godric as Marigold and Stan swirled over the dance floor to the eighties’ hit “Walking on Sunshine.”
“Marigold’s, of course,” Godric replied. “She said something about it being post-modern irony.”
Barry shrugged. “Well, it’s quite catchy.”
“Come on,” Godric tugged as the tune changed to something light and with a great beat- Barry noticed Elvis was the DJ. “Let us dance!”
Laughing, Barry allowed himself to be pulled out onto the dance floor. A whirlwind of other couples was already out there- including Eric and Sookie, much to Mr. Compton’s obvious displeasure. Barry wasn’t worried, though- nobody would try a fight with Godric in the room, not even the Austin vampires, who looked as if they didn’t really want to be there.
“They bicker like an old married couple already, don’t they,” Barry murmured to Godric as the newlyweds danced by, arguing about whether or not Marigold would change her last name. (Barry was pretty sure that they were going to end up being Mr. and Mrs. Worthington-West.)
“They have been bickering like an old married couple since the day Marigold showed up on our doorstep,” Godric informed him. “I am beginning to think it is how they express their love for one another.”
“Agreed,” Barry nodded. Marigold’s brain was broadcasting waves of happiness, and he didn’t need to be a telepath to read the smile on Stan’s face.
Look to your left!
Barry glanced surreptitiously over his shoulder, only to see Jason and Isabel draped all over each other.
Looks like Isabel gets to stay in the country after all.
You gonna come down to Bon Temps for the wedding?
What makes you think it’ll be in Bon Temps?
It’s going to be. Sookie’s mental tone brooked no argument, but like every other brain in the building, it was genuinely happy.
“Look! A conga line!” Godric grinned, pointing to where Lola, Candy, and Chi-Chi had started one up.
“Let’s go!” Barry laughed, drunk off the happy physical and mental sensations. He grinned to himself as the conga line began gaining participants and momentum- Marigold and Stan, Isabel and Jason, his mom and sister, Bill and Sookie- heck, even Eric. And above all- a laughing and smiling Godric.
Oh yeah, Barry thought. Life was good.