Chapter Thirty-Seven (Part One)

February 14-The Grand Opening

“So what do you think?”

Tony looked up from fastening his tux, and nearly swallowed his tongue.  Words didn’t even begin to describe the vision standing in front of him.  “You look stunning.”

She turned and looked in the full length mirror, “You don’t think it’s too much?”

The dress she had worked for the past month on was simple yet elegant in its design.  It reminded him of something from the fairy tales Pilar used to read.  Tony shook his head to clear the fog from his brain. “Baby you are going to be the most beautiful woman in the room.  It’s taking all the restraint I have not to blow the whole grand opening thing off and spend it showing you just how much I adore you.”

Marah smiled and kissed him sweetly, “You say the sweetest things honey.  But that is going to have to wait till later tonight because I wouldn’t miss your big night for anything in the world.”

***

Michelle held her handy clipboard and checked things off her list.   The band was on stage setting up their equipment and the caterers had arrived and were about to begin the same.  So far everything was going like clockwork.

“I may have had some reservations about this plan of yours but this place looks amazing!”

She turned and faced her husband with a raised eyebrow, “You seem surprised Danny.  Didn’t think your wife could be so cunning and sly?”

Danny grinned wickedly while encircling her in his arms, “Oh honey, I know better than most how crafty you can be.  I am just surprised you were able to hold in the secret.  I am sure these past weeks have been tough on you.”

“You have no idea!  I would have folded weeks ago if it wasn’t for my partner in crime.”

They were both laughing so hard that they didn’t hear when Reva and Josh entered, “My ears are burning.  You must be talking about me.”

Michelle greeted the other couple with hugs, “Only in the most flattering of terms of course.  I was just telling Danny that you kept me from cracking these past weeks.”

Reva nodded, “While not a master of deception she held up remarkably well.  And I have to admit devious looked good on her.” She spotted Marah and Tony coming through the entrance, “Will you excuse us?  Think we’ll go keep the clueless couple occupied.”

They watched the other couple walk away before Danny turned towards his wife, “She was right you know.”

“About?”

“The devious looking good  on you.  It’s very sexy.”  He eyed his wife up and down, “Almost as sexy as this dress.  So who’s taking the kids home after their part in the wedding?”

Michelle quickly covered his mouth with her hand, “Shh!  Not so loud.  We’ve come too far for them to learn about it now!  And Rick will be taking them home with him since he has an early shift at the hospital tomorrow.”

Danny moved her hand from his mouth and kissed it, “So I get you all to myself tonight?”

“Uh huh.  And if you play your cards right you just might get lucky.”

“With you in my life I know how lucky I am every single day.”

***

“You know red isn’t exactly keeping with the theme of the party mom.”

Reva shrugged and did a little turn that sent her dress swirling, “You know me.  Red is my signature color.”

Wasn’t that the truth!  Reva always rocked out the red more than anyone Marah had ever known.  And Marah had to admit the color suited her.  Red was the color of passion and Reva lived everyday with that same fervency.  “Well no matter what the color you look great mom.  You to dad.”

Josh cleared his throat and if Marah didn’t know better she would have thought those were tears in his eyes.  But when he opened his mouth all he uttered was a rough, “You look beautiful honey.”

Reva tried to subtly nudge her husband with her elbow and an entire conversation was conducted between her parents by just their eyes alone.  Finally Josh looked at Tony, “You look nice too Tony.  And looks like Jonathan did a bang up job on this place.”

Tony nodded, “I’ve got no complaints.  Jonathan sure knows his stuff, but I expected nothing less from you guys.”

“Good evening Josh.  Reva.  Michelle is looking for you.”

Rafael looked handsome in his suit, and severely uncomfortable.  Poor guy hated dressing up, “You look nice tonight Rafael.”

“Thank you Marah.  And I must say you make the most beautiful b-” Whatever he was about to say ended on a grunt as Reva slapped his back.

“Let’s go see what Michelle wants.  It sure looks like it’s going to be a full house tonight.”

Sure enough people seemed to be arriving in droves.  “I guess we should go mix and mingle.”

Reva shook her head at Tony, “You two go enjoy yourselves.  Danny has that covered.  Now we’re going to go see Michelle and we’ll catch up alter.”  With a quick kiss on her daughter’s cheek Reva wrangled Josh and Rafael through the growing throng of people in search of Michelle.

Tony held out his hand, “Come on.  You haven’t seen my finished office yet.”

Detecting that glint in Tony’s eye Marah feigned reluctance, “Do you think we should?  I mean this is your party.  I don’t think the host should just disappear.”

Tony rolled his eyes and pulled her towards the stairs, “Your mom said for us to enjoy ourselves and far be it from me to disobey Reva.”

***

By the time Reva dn Josh located Michelle she was “So how are we going to sneak Ray and the kids in without Marah and Tony noticing?” That was one of the things not detailed in Michelle’s itinerary.

“Oh I don’t think that will be a problem.”

All eyes turned towards Rafael and he just shrugged in response, “Look at them.” He pointed to the two figures heading up the stairs towards Tony’s office, “You could bring a marching band through here and they wouldn’t notice.  I’d say you have a good half hour to set up, and knowing those two maybe even longer.”

Josh looked even more uncomfortable while Reva focused on the fact that their plans weren’t going to be ruined.  “There we go Michelle.  Let’s get this ball rolling!”

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