“Now that everyone is seated and before we begin to eat,” Andrew said trying to call the room to order. “I’d like to thank all of you for coming. I think this is even a larger gathering than for Luc and Meg’s dinner, which amazes me.”
“It certainly is!” laughed Peter. “More food too.’
Laughter rippled across the room. There were over thirty people seated in the living room, and all of the children except the twins on the front porch.
“As many of you have pointed out, I took my own sweet time to find a mate,” said Andrew. “Granted, with all the newly mated pairs in this family, I consider myself lucky to find Vivien.” He raised his glass towards Sam and Lewis, another late blooming couple.
“So are we! She finally brought a smile to that dour face of yours!” teased Cal.
“Nah, that was just the rictus caused by all the Frisbee catches,” called Jeff. He and his wife Martha were perched on the couch as Martha was eight months pregnant.
“Hey! Those Frisbees have been the best thing this family has had for entertainment since George fell through the floor,” laughed Ysabel as she teased her twin.
“I’d like to get a word in here edgewise,” said Andrew over the laughter.
“No! Why start now?” said Luc. “You realize that your life will never be the same.”
“I’d hope not!” laughed Andrew. The humor had been crazy all evening.
“Yeah! Cruising the AKCwebsite for new dates is not productive!” laughed Kevin.
Andrew put down his glass, and just laughed. Earlier they’d been opening the gifts brought by people and Kevin, Cal, and Peter had asked to have their’s opened first. It had been a sliver spray painted Frisbee mounted on a frame. The plate at the bottom read, “Best in show. AKC 1st Place”. It had led to any number of bad jokes.
“On behalf of my baby brother Xander, I’d like to welcome Vivien to the family,” said Rose with a smile.
“To Andrew and Vivien,” said everyone as they held up glasses of wine or ale.
“And thanks to all of you for such a warm welcome to the family. I know I wasn’t everyone’s favorite person at first and that I had to earn your trust and respect. Thank you for giving me a chance,” said Vivien.
“Thank you for making him happy,” said Ginny. She smiled and blew Andrew a kiss.
“I’d like to thank our cooks for the feast,” said Lisa. She and Rose had been visiting and Lisa was trying to be more social. A chorus of ayes, yeses and hurrays filled the room. People settled down to eat. Unlike all the social dinners Vivien had experienced, her new family thought nothing of eating seconds, or bites off other people’s plates. Kevin and his partner took turns tossing bites of ribeye into the air and caught them in their open mouths. The platters of meat emptied and soon it was time for the desserts.
“I’ll grab the cakes if you’ll get the plates,” said Angie as they tried to make some order of the chaos.
“Alright. This has gone so much better than I expected,” said Vivien.
“May I help?” asked Ginny.
“Of course,” said Vivien. “And thank you so much for giving me a chance.”
Ginny hugged Vivien. “I may be a bitch, but if you make Andrew happy, how could any of us be nasty towards you?”
“Thanks Ginny. It means a lot to me. Here are the plates and dessert forks.”
Ginny took the plates and headed towards the living room. People had cleared the tables and Vivien sat the big sheet caked on the cleared space. Angie brought in ice cream and cookies. The trio had made them. Andrew and Vivien stood up to cut the cake while Angie, Patrick and Ginny refilled glasses.
“Before we cut the cake, I’d like to…” Andrew started when Jesse came into the living room all flustered.
“Uncle Luc! I tried to stop…” was as far as he got before Vivien’s parents and older brother Eric stormed into the room pushing the young man aside.
“Vivien! We came to talk sense into you and discover a wedding party. How dare you marry that man without at least telling us!” said Roger.
“Oh Vivvie,” Emma said in an annoyed tone.
“You are just such a disappointment,” said Eric at the same time his parents spoke.
Andrew moved swiftly to where his in-laws stood. “First of all, I would appreciate if you would tone down your voices. This is a family celebration, and there are children present.”
“I have nothing to say to you. It is my daughter that I am concerned about. She screwed up once before marrying some idiot without thinking. She has made the same mistake again. I intend to remove her from this house if I have to call the police,” said Roger.
“Dad, please leave. You weren’t invited, because I knew exactly how you’d react. You made your opinion of Andrew very clear last time you were here,” said Vivien as she walked up next to Andrew and wrapped her hand in his.
“Oh Vivvie! Does he have you bamboozled? Are you under the influences of drugs?” asked Emma.
“Mom, enough,” said Vivien. She couldn’t believe her parents had shown up.
“Sis, you are such a looser. Marrying a man almost as old as Dad. What in the hell were you thinking?” said Eric.
“Eric! Shut up!” said Vivien, who was acutely aware that the room had gone very quiet. “I want you all to leave now.”
“We aren’t leaving until you come with us. This is not a good situation. You should have come home with us last week. That damn dog of his peed all over our car!” said Roger, his face going red over his cardigan and white shirt.
That remark caused a ripple of laughter to flow over the room as everyone realized what really happened.
“I don’t find destruction of property funny!” said Roger even louder. He stepped forward to grab Vivien’s hand to pull her out of the house.
“You weave my Aunty Twizzler alone!” said Sara from next to Roger’s leg. The two boys were beside her with their little fists clenched.
“What? Go away you little pest!” said Roger shoving Sara as he tried again to move to grab Vivien. Eric saw what his father was trying to do and did grab Vivien.
“Let go of me!” cried Vivien twisting in Eric’s grasp.
“ENOUGH!” Growled Luc, Andrew and George all in one deep sub-vocal shout. The room reverberated with the sound.
Luc moved forward as Andrew removed Eric’s hand from Vivien’s arm. George glowered over the three people after picking Sara up off of the floor.
“Roger, Emma and Eric. I had hoped to welcome you into my family, but the disrespect you showed to Vivien during your previous visit showed me that it was a wasted effort. Your gate crashing of our mating dinner further proves my disdain for people such as yourselves. I love your daughter and know it is reciprocated. I do not have Vivien under any influences except love. If you can’t live with that, then I would ask you to leave now and never grace our threshold again. I am not only a silversmith with a decent income, but the family shaman. Priest if you like. I am the peacemaker. I will have tranquility at my mating dinner and in my house,” said Andrew in a quite sub-vocal tinged tone that sent shivers across everyone’s skin.
While flustered, Roger tried to stand his ground. “I can’t believe you would do this to your family Vivien.”
“I’m in love Dad,” said Vivien.
“Vivvie, why is that dog wearing a dress?” asked Emma.
Vivien blinked, turned and saw that Lisa, Rose and Kevin had shifted. “Oh Shit!”
“That’s because we’re werewolves, said George. He smiled and let his canines show.
Eric pissed his pants, Emma fainted and Roger stood there with his mouth hanging open.