Once again, all of the Bloomers and their extended family gathered at the wedding venue Yenn had once built. The place has seen been the place to start off the joyous matrimony of Chell and Knox, as well as the catastrophic marriage of Newton and Mara that had the shelf life of a fruitfly.
But Scarlet and Monty didn’t worry about that. They’d been in each other’s lives for long enough to know neither had any intention of going anywhere.
As the couple were saying their vows, Newton slipped in at the back of the room.
Liv smiled at her friend: “You came! I thought you might… I’m glad you’re here, Newton.”
“I wouldn’t miss it,” Newton said simply.
“My boy’s getting married, can you believe it?” Liv shook her head.
“You’ve raised a man Liv,” Newton smiled.
Liv was not the only emotional one. Yenn and Booker spontaneously hugged right after the ceremony. The two of them had never been terribly close in their younger years, but the long-lived siblings have been through so many things over this years this almost felt like another lifetime. They’ve both lost and gained a lot over the course of time, and found a new appreciation for one another.
Not to mention, even more unlikely friendships have formed…
“Wow Janet, the baby is coming any day now, isn’t it?” Liv said, amazed.
“It sure is,” Janet nodded. “We’re really excited, of course, though a part of me is wondering if I can do it all again.”
“Don’t worry, you’ll be great,” Liv smiled. “You’re a wonderful mom. And you have Mal, He’s capable of practically anything.”
“Good point,” Janet laughed, looking over at her husband affectionately. Liv turned her attention her attention towards the same direction, surprised by the unlikely trio of Malakai, Newton… and her father?
“What are you boys up to?” Liv sat down at the table.
“Ah you know, I was just learning from the youngsters,” Booker grinned.
“Make no mistake uncle Booker, we’re not the youngest generation anymore either,” Newton pointed out.
“True,” Booker nodded. “I remember watching the three of you play on the pirate ship behind our house back in the day. And here we are now, at our Monty’s wedding. Then again, how much has really changed? The three of you are still best friends, maybe even closer than back then.”
Liv’s eyes immediately shot to Mal and Newton, but both of them were smiling and nodding. Perhaps it wasn’t quite as simple as Booker described, and there were a couple of hiccups on the way. But the bottom line was there, they were there for each other, friends once again.
A younger trio of friends was reminiscing on their childhood as well, though the newlyweds can’t keep their eyes off each other.
“I should give you guys some space,” Tylor stood up as Scarlet purred at Monty.
“Ah please, we just agreed to spend the rest of our lives together,” Monty shook his head. “We’ve got plenty of time. Let me buy you drink, Ty – if you’ll excuse us for our last men’s talk, Scarlet?”
“Yeah right, like your bromance will ever end,” Scarlet smirked. “I know what I signed up for. You boys go ahead.”
“So, how come you didn’t take Arjuna to the wedding?” Monty asked as their drinks arrived.
“Turns out, she was cheating on me,” Tylor said matter-of-factly.
“What? Are you ok?”
Tylor shrugged: “I’m fine, really. I have no time for cheaters. My dad cheated on my mom, and she’s been broken ever since… until she met your dad.”
“So what are you gonna do now?” Monty asked.
“I might just play the field for a bit,” Tylor grinned. “I mean, some of the ladies that shop at the bakery are pretty fine… Not to mention, if I focus on the store more now, it’ll give you two lovebirds some honeymoon time.”
“Thanks man,” Monty beamed. “You’re a good friend.”
Malakai sat down with Heather for a moment: “So, how are things going with Liv? Are we going to be attending your wedding any time soon?”
“I doubt that,” Heather laughed uncomfortably. “We’re taking things slow. I don’t want to pressure her…”
“Give her time,” Malakai said. “She does care about you, you know. She gushes about you all the time.”
A grin spread across Heather’s face.
The part was nearing its end, and the newlyweds made it quite clear they were ready to head off. Liv seemed inappropriately excited by it all.
As they were making their way out, Liv and heather stumbled upon a sleeping Malakai.
“Hey Mal, wake up,” Liv shook his shoulder gently. “The party’s over.”
Malakai looked around, slightly dazed: “Our boy is all grown up, isn’t he?”
“He sure is,” Liv smiled.
“Well, I’m going to find my bed. And my wife. That’s right.”
Heather and Liv laughed as Mal walked away.
“You want to sit down for a moment?” Heather gestured towards the bench, suddenly more serious.
“Liv, I just wanted you to know that I’m in no rush,” Heather started. “I like where we are, and I completely understand that you…”
“Would you like to move in with me?” Liv interrupted.
“I’m at the top of my career,” Liv explained. “I can finally open the bar, so I’ll be converting the ground floor of our house, and will just keep the top floor into a small apartment. It won’t really be big enough for my whole family to live there, so Monty, Scarlet and aunt Yenn are moving to the house next door. But… it would be big enough for the two of us.”
Heather was speechless.
“Oh, and by the way, I did catch what you said over at the Garden of Eden the other day,” Liv said nonchalantly. “And I wanted you to know that I love you too.”
Yenn was the last person left at the property.
“Ethan,” she looked at the grave next to her. “Not a day goes by that I don’t miss you. I wish you could see all the things that are happening. Our little Monty is not so little anymore, married and ready to start his own life as a successful business owner.
And Liv, I’m so proud of her. She’s finally taking charge of her life. Taking a risk. Opening that bar she always wanted to have. And taking a plunge with a really nice lady.
I do wish you were here so that we could share it all. It feels so strange sometimes, that it’s just me.”
“But you know what? Life is good.”