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Lena and Astrid’s wedding was a lavish affair attended by about two hundred guests and held in a stunning rooftop garden. Even Miss White, who was not given to displays of sentimentality, felt herself getting a little misty during the ceremony; Jodie was weeping profusely. The vibrations of love and positivity were so strong that you would have had to be a rock not to feel them.
Both brides wore white, but their outfits were not so much gowns as sleek, simple dresses. Both looked radiantly happy and, remembering their pledge of monogamy, Miss White wished them good luck. If that was what they wanted, more power to them. They certainly seemed to be on the right path to be very happy together.
The bridesmaids were Cat, Charlotte, and a third woman who, based on her coloring, had to be Astrid’s sister. It was possible that she was even more beautiful than Astrid, with cheekbones and curves that were almost obscenely perfect. Miss White enjoyed looking up at the group of five gorgeous women and knowing that she’d had four of them. And who knew what the future might hold?
Looking around at the guests, Miss White thought that every possible combination of age, size, gender, and race was represented. It’s the garden of humanity, she thought, and immediately began to inwardly mock herself for being such a new-age dork.
The ceremony was short, secular, and simple, officiated by a tall, dark-haired woman in a loose-fitting, vaguely priestly garment that somehow managed to be both purple and tasteful. She was quite striking, Miss White thought, with bright, glittering eyes that were a unique shade of aquamarine. She was older than Miss White, though it was hard to tell by how much; she was one of those women who age spectacularly well, and could have been anywhere from 40 to 60. Miss White’s best guess was about 45. Her skin was flawless, though shadows under her eyes indicated that she might have had a bit too much fun the previous night.
There was something very familiar about the officiant, whose name was Monika and who spoke with a very slight but detectable, and rather sexy, German accent. Throughout casino şirketleri the ceremony Miss White racked her brains trying to figure out why, and only at the very end did it come to her: This was the woman in the fur coat she’d seen last night. Or at least she thought so; it was hard to say for sure.
When the ceremony was over everyone walked to a huge, high-ceilinged ballroom for the reception. The food was multiethnic and fantastic; the wine was French and vintage. The music, when it started after dinner, was soulful and upbeat, leaning heavily toward New Orleans funk. Jodie raced to the dance floor as soon as it started, and Miss White fully intended to join her, but she had something she wanted to do first.
Throughout the meal she’d been craning her head to get a better look at Monika, trying to make up her mind: Was this the mystery woman, or not? She’d changed her mind a dozen times, but now a spot had opened up next to Monika as people went to dance, and Miss White decided to go straight to the source.
Their eyes had met several times during dinner and Monika had clearly been wondering who this was checking her out and why. Miss White sat and introduced herself, complimented Monika on the ceremony, then made some small talk before finally blurting out the question that she had been dying to ask.
“This might seem like an odd question,” said Miss White apologetically. “But do you own a fur coat?”
Monika cocked her head and smiled. “In fact I do. It was my grandmother’s.”
Miss White grinned like a little kid who’s just been offered ice cream. “I saw you last night.”
“You’re not one of those anti-fur people, are you?” said Monika, in the tone of one who had been down that road before. “Because this particular animal has been dead for more than fifty years.”
“Goodness, no,” said Miss White. “I mean, I’m not personally running around slaughtering minks. But a good fur is…” She searched for the right word. “Divine.”
“I agree, Alexis, absolutely,” said Monika, lifting her wine glass. “Cheers.”
There was a half-full wine glass in front of Miss White, so she drank casino firmaları from it, forgetting for the moment that it wasn’t hers. Then, spotting Jodie gyrating to the throbbing bass booming from speakers across the room, she excused herself. “It was nice meeting you,” she said. “I’m off to the dance floor. See you there?”
“Without a doubt,” said Monika. “I need to change first, though,” she said, looking down at her elegant but hardly dance-friendly garment.
Miss White waded into the crowd and lost herself in dancing, checking out the pretty girls, watching Jodie dance, and watching people watch Jodie dance. When Monika appeared about 20 minutes later she looked completely different: her hair was down and she had on a very small, very sheer black dress that few women her age would have dared; she rocked it with authority. She had, Miss White quickly noticed, absolutely breathtaking legs and smallish but perfectly shaped breasts. On the whole, any woman of any age would have been happy to look as good as she did.
Miss White let herself float around, dancing some with Jodie, spending a little time with Cat and Charlotte, paying her compliments to the brides. She even danced a bit with the third bridesmaid, whose name, she had learned, was Annika. Looking over at Jodie, Miss White saw that Monika was now dancing right next to her, none-too-subtly checking out the way Jodie’s body moved as she danced. It looked like Jodie’s boobs might pop out of her dress at any moment, and Monika seemed inclined to make sure she was watching when they did.
This was interesting; Miss White debated whether to join them, or to stay away and see what might develop. The truth was, she was starting to feel a bit worn out; without her really noticing it, several hours had passed. She decided it would be nice to just sit and watch for a while.
She went to the bar and asked for a cognac, pleasantly surprised to find that they had several to choose from. She asked for an Armagnac. The snifter had just been handed to her when she heard a voice behind her. “That is the best idea anyone’s had all day.” It was Monika, still glistening güvenilir casino with sweat from the dance floor, looking younger and more vibrant than ever.
Cradling their snifters, as if by unspoken agreement, Miss White and Monika walked to the other end of the ballroom, where two overstuffed chairs sat by a window overlooking the lights of Las Vegas.
This time it was Monika who had a question for Miss White. “That lovely young lady I was just with,” Monika said, gesturing in the direction of the dancers, “I believe her name is Jodie?” Miss White nodded. “Pardon me for asking this, but are the two of you… related?”
Miss White sipped her brandy and thought for a moment before answering. “No,” she answered. “Nothing like that. We’re…” And here she trailed off. What was their relationship, exactly? They were lovers, to be sure — more than lovers; Jodie’s devotion to Miss White was near-total, and Miss White had not yet begun to really reckon with the power of her own feelings. But they were also a sorority house manager and a college student; and for Alexis White, discretion and a commitment to privacy were not just habits, they were a way of life.
“Well, it’s complicated,” she said finally.
“I understand,” responded Monika in sympathetic tones. “I have some… complicated things in my life as well. I’m sorry for prying. When I’m curious about something I like to find it out, and sometimes I’m a regular bull in a china shop.”
“I’m the same way myself,” said Miss White. “No offense taken. Here’s something I’m curious about… how do you fit into all this?”
Monika grinned. “Many years ago, I was married to Astrid and Annika’s father, and we’ve remained close.” As if more explanation were required, she added, “That was before I knew who I was.”
After that they sat in silence for awhile — but it was not an awkward silence, more like the serene silence of old friends. Finally Jodie appeared; the party was beginning to wind down. Without a word she curled up at Miss White’s feet and rested her head on the older woman’s lap. Miss White stroked her hair gently and affectionately while looking over at Monika. It was hard to make out Monika’s facial expression in the dimness, but those spectacular eyes were aglitter with life. It had been an interesting day already, and promised to get more interesting still.
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