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White Wedding [IC]


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Date: December 15th, 2009

Sunrise 7:11am, Sunset 4:35pm. Overcast, high 54, W wind ~5mph.

In the end, after what accounted to the Battle Royale, Taylor got most of her way on the wedding with her mother. She did manage to win the 'small, intimate' ceremony that was not at their traditional church with the comprimise that they could invite everyone to a large party afterwards. Taylor claimed that she wanted to have the ceremony on break from school over the winter, which made it a very fast turn around time. That did raise a few eyebrows ("Are you sure there isn't anything you want to tell us? You know you can tell us anything, Taylor."), but after loud and somewhat fervant protests that that was frankly impossible, the questions subsided to only the occasional sharp-eyed glance from her mother. They settled on a smaller version of the tea ceremony with her parents in the morning, a private family only ceremony, and a party in the evening. Which also made the tradition three outfits easy to plan as well.

Other than some mystical effort put in by Taylor so that Jack would actually show up on the photographers film, and a little help from Elena with the paperwork, the rest of it fell neatly into place. Not only would both of those be difficult to explain around, both were actually important to Taylor to have.

She had been surprised to find herself near tears in the morning with her parents. It was not a day Taylor had ever expected to see and so the sentimentality that swamped her at certain moments caught her off guard. Still, the ceremony had gone almost surprisingly smoothly. Jack had found himself provided with a best man courtesy of Jackson who was in on the other half of their lives. Acting the wingman, Jackson had easily stepped into fill not only the neccessary good natured ribbing for the ceremony but also had quietly helped Jack cover for the facets of his nature that could not be worked around, like eating. It did mean that Jackson was listing a bit after drinking the double share of alcohol but he gravely informed Jack that it was his familial duty, before giving him a cheerful grin and downing another glass. The civil ceremony was both poignant and sweet and more importantly, uninterrupted by catastrophe.

In contrast, the reception was a rather large affair that was filled with both friends of the family, and friends of the couple. After some debate, Taylor and Jack had decided to invite the friends that were aware of their mundane identies. That did mean there were some oddities on the guest list but between Jack's 'connections at work' and Taylor's 'friends from school' they managed to explain most of them to her parents' satisfaction.

The reception itself was held in a large banquet hall not far from Taylor's parents house in the suburb of Kingston. Since Taylor's mother had been confined to a small wedding, she'd thrown herself into the reception as Taylor had quickly washed her hands of that aspect. The place was done up in a wintery theme with fat red ribbons serving as accents. There was room for both dinner and dancing, with a buffett style dinner set up to one side and waiters mingled carrying hors d'oeuvres and drinks as the guests arrived.

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Showing up just late enough for his entrance to be noted but not so late that it woudl disrupt the reception Ace Dangers custom Bently came to a gentle stop in front of the hall. He sprang from the vehical resplendant in his white tie atire and handed the somewhat astonished valet the keys with a wink, "Take good care of her she's a personal gift from the Queen."

With a quick step he rounded the car and craked the door gently helping the stunningly beautifull Moira Morley from the passenger seat. He took the young goddess' arm and slowly escourted her into the hall itself pausing briefly to shake Taylors fathers hand and press a quick kiss on each of her mothers cheeks.

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Stesha had arrived hours before the reception and was still busy with last touches in the banquet hall when the guests began arriving. Her wedding present to the couple, well, to Taylor at least, had been the use of all her skills and connections to get the hall looking like a winter fantasy with only two weeks notice. Mrs. Chun had secured the hall, and then she and Stesha had put their heads together for some very intensive planning. Stesha had been cagey on her source for unlimited flowers on short notice, but it had certainly helped the schedule, and after Joseph's wedding in the fall, Taylor's mom knew her well enough to trust her. It had meant some long nights forcing dozens of white roses in her living room, but Stesha was very pleased with how it had all turned out. Calling in some big favors had gotten the vases, ribbons, and all the wedding accessories as well, for which Stesha suspected she'd be working baby showers and bridezilla weddings for a year. It was for a friend.

She was still moving table decorations around as people began filtering in, finally giving up and taking a deep breath. Being done with all the preparations meant having to focus on the fact that Taylor was actually married to a vampire, which was the last thing she wanted to do. It was time to celebrate, not necessarily to think about the reason. While she waited for Derrick to arrive, she collected a glass of champagne and went to socialize with the few people she knew who had arrived. She was easy to spot in the crowd, her violet gown subdued compared to the waterfall of green hair that she had let fall in loose curls all the way down her back this evening. As she spotted Ace and Moira, she began working her way in their direction.

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Colt had the pieces of both his rifle and his revolver laid out in front of him on the desk in his room. He finished polishing the final piece, and set it lovingly on the desk with the rest. He then drew out a small box from one of the drawers. Setting it on the desk and opening it, he began to exchange identical piece for identical piece. The only thing that set the new pieces aside from the old ones is that they were white instead of grey, and they would form new trimming of his guns. These were pieces he had specially made to match his outfit for the wedding day.

His outfit was all white. From the white cowboy hat, which was surprisingly difficult to find, right down to the long white cowboy boots. The tuxedo jacket, shirt, and pants were also white, but the vest and bow tie were burgundy to match what Grim said she would be wearing. He gazed at the outfit standing on the rack in the corner.

He quickly finished the ritual of piecing his weapons back together, a task he often did with his eyes closed, and placed them in their proper holsters. Colt hated having his weapons leave his side, but Grim had been insistent. In the end, they agreed that he would leave Marlin on his cycle, and he managed to procure a white leather shoulder holster so that he could still have Jericho with him, though it would be out of sight.

Once he was finally dressed and ready, Colt found himself waiting in front of the brownstone, looking like a cherry dipped in white chocolate, leaning against his motorcycle waiting for his lovely escort, Grimalkin.

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Moira knew why the car was fashionably late. Ace was being himself and Moira was being the same. It really wasn't helping them get ready any faster. She didn't mind really. In fact, fashionably late was her forte. When they finally did get dressed, they both looked great. She wore a cream colored silk gown. Due to the tryst with Ace her hair wasn't in any formal fashion. It didn't matter though. She liked the wearing-it-down look.

Ace was a perfect gentleman when they arrived. He escorted her out of the car and down into the hall. It was touching really. Following manners, she greeted Taylor's parents also. There were many people there. Some faces she knew and some she needed to get to know.

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When a small number of guests had filtered in to join the family members already present for the reception, the deep-voiced DJ leaned into his microphone to announce, "Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please? The arrival of the WEDDING PARTY is about to begin!" As this was no normal wedding, the process was a short one. He started off with the best man Jackson Chun, escorting the witness and putative maid of honor, Elena Guerrero, and then the mother and father of the bride. And then, as a grand finale, now that champagne or sparkling grape juice was in everyone's glass...

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE WELCOME THE NEW MR. AND MRS. JACK AND TAYLOR FARETTI!" As he walked into the room, dashing in an expensive tux, Jack thought this day was absolutely insane. What right did _he_ have to get married? But Elena had intervened on his behalf, exerting pressure behind the scenes even as they began organizing what promised to be a very exciting court case, giving Jack the ammunition he needed to be legally married in Freedom City. And if their honeymoon plans went well, he wouldn't even have to explain this day to his people for a while. He waved as the room applauded.

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Taylor beamed at her friends and family, quickly stepping forward to exchange hugs and happy words with their guests. She'd changed out of the white silk dress she'd worn for the ceremony itself for the gold thread embroidered scarlet qi-pao. With her thick black hair pulled back and braided up under a glittering ornament, it was easy to see Taylor smiling as she accepted the greetings and well wishes of their guests.

"I didn't realize it was going to be quite this many people." Taylor said in undertone to Jack as she tilted her face to smile at him, her hand curving to rest on his arm. She had been nervous for the ceremony, but as the day had progressed as well as any bride could hope, Taylor had shoved the worries to the back of her mind. She had asked for one day where there was no catastrophe and thus far the universe had proved obliging. She examined her new husband thoughtfully, "You're looking philosophical again. Relax."

Taylor turned and for the first time took in the decorations and her eyes widened. She turned first to her mother and then to Stesha as she approached, "It's breathtaking! Thank you so much!"

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Stesha stepped forward and gave Taylor a hug, presenting her with a little bouquet of white roses tied with a scarlet and gold ribbon. "It's a big day," she said with a smile. "Your mom deserves most of the credit, she did all the organizing in no time flat. If I ever decide to start a business or plan a war or something, I'm calling her." She turned and shared a smile with Mrs. Chun, the smile of people who have finally pulled off an impossible task. "Anyway," she went on, "here's your toss bouquet. I wasn't sure if you'd picked one up already, and I figured you'd want to keep your flowers from this morning. The stems are weighted, so it'll be easy to throw." With a quick wink, Stesha added, sotto voce, "Throw hard, I'll stand in the back."

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This was likely the first social event John'd been to in years, he thought, as he shaved away three days of stubble. He'd even found a kilt among his various bags of 'useless items'. So it was that his bike roared up to the reception before it got too busy, and John Fraser was clad in an uncharacteristically gaudy kilt in his clan tartan. He'd donned a shirt and suit jacket, but in deference to his profession he kept him collapsible quarterstaff in the sporran and the knife in his sock wasn't the usual ornamental sort.

Grabbing some champagne from a passing waiter, he walked up to the happy couple and extended a hand to Jack. "Not great at these things, so, um... congratulations."

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Jack shook John's hand with a firm grip, a slightly stunned smile seemingly stuck to his face. It wasn't a look Arrowhawk much associated with Avenger. "I'm glad you could make it," he said automatically, glad for the distraction that kept him from having to deal with Stesha. "Try the beef when you get the chance, it's supposed to the best." He grinned. "It's really nice to see you, John."

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It was amazing how Atlas didn't stick out more than he did. He spent most of his time sitting down (on 3 chairs by the way) letting people come to him, rather than *ahem* muscle his way through the crowd. He was just giving people time to realize that there was in fact a BIG RED MAN in the corner. He had dressed in quite possibly the fanciest suit he had ever seen let along worn. Mostly due to the fact that it had to be personally tailored to him, which was the case with most of his clothes these days truth be told, but he went the extra mile for this one.

Soon after the arrival of the guests of honor, Atlas started to make his way over to them. The going was... interesting. The guests got out of Altas' way quickly enough, but Atlas went very slowly because he really wanted to avoiding squishing any of the other guests, especially the few kids that were running about; the little buggers only came halfway up to his shins. There were however 2 saving graces. Firstly, he could easily keep track of anyone in the room from his vantage level. And secondly, and more importantly, he didn't have to worry about anyone walking into his drink, as it was suspended a foot over their heads.

But soon enough, Atlas had made his way over to Jack and Taylor. He gave Taylor a small hug, or whatever qualified as a hug anyways, quietly muttering "You look beautiful. Make sure you enjoy yourself, da? You earned it." Atlas rounded on Jack next, clasping his paw on Jack's shoulder. "Jack. I vill put it to you straight. If she ain't happy, you ain't happy. And if she ain't happy, ve gonna need stronger drinks." chuckled Atlas. Yeah, that was all the relationship advice Atlas could give.

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James came out of the back, smiling. He was happy for the couple and their day, but he was also just as happy with the rather stunning waitress he had just...met. Sure it was shallow and short term. And since he didn't have a girlfriend, he was perfectly ok with that. And the date he had with the twins after this. He'd just have to make do as best he could until he found the right girl.

He headed back out to the reception, smiling and greeting people as he went. He looked around for the happy couple. He headed over to Taylor and Jack and waited for his turn to greet the newly married couple. "Congratulations you two. So you guys heading out to a honeymoon right after this? I'll cover for Taylor's 'job' for a couple days. Everyone should take a vacation now and again."

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Dark Star

Unsurprisingly, Dark Star was running late. He always went from one catastrophe to another, always busy. And given his area of care was pretty much the entire galaxy, he was often not on time, despite his sincere attempts. He was just thankful Stesha was so forgiving. That and the fact that she didn't break up with him. He was amazingly thankful for that one, even though he still wasn't exactly sure how he'd screwed up in the first place.

He opened the wormhole in low orbit, blasting through it at top speed. Still concealed, he honed in on the banquet hall. He flew through and into the bathroom. A little tk to lock the door and he settled, slowly working on containing his powers. A little while later, Dark Star was gone. Derrick, already in his tux, opened the door and headed out into the hall. He looked around for Stesha first and the new couple next before heading towards his girlfriend. She could hopefully fix his tie too.

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Taylor shifted the boquet to one hand so she could return Stesha's hug and beamed at her as she agreed, "Don't worry. I've got you covered. Just be ready to catch it. I'll give it a little nudge in the right direction."

No sooner had she released Stesha than she was quickly engulfed in a careful hug from Samael and then James. They just needed Deadhead and the team would be complete although most of the guests here would be both shocked and amazed if they realized the alter egos of the rest of the people surrounding Atlas. Perhaps also appalled. She stepped back to Jack's side and nodded her agreement with James, "We won't be gone from the city long. Between Jack's work and mine, it's a little hard to get away. I have a trick or two up my sleeve, though. We won't be far if something comes up however. At least, not for your skills."

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Once he was finally dressed and ready, Colt found himself waiting in front of the brownstone, looking like a cherry dipped in white chocolate, leaning against his motorcycle waiting for his lovely escort, Grimalkin.

For some reason, Lynn seemed very nervous about attending this particular wedding, even though she'd claimed Taylor was a good friend. She'd taken forever going through hair and dress selections, but finally skipped nimbly down the stairs, looking absolutely stunning in a deep red dress. A stylish black leather biker jacket was over her shoulder and a motorcycle helmet tucked under one arm, both glamoured up for the occasion.

"I'm so sorry, honey; I haven't been to a reception this nice in, well, ever, and I hade a bit of a freakout. Sorry to keep you waiting."

She stood on tip-toe to give him a kiss, then turned to let him put on her jacket as she rested the helmet on the seat of his bike; she never got cold (the jacket was to keep up appearances), but for some reason she was clearly shivering.

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Colt took notice of her shaking in his arms as he put the jacket on her. After being with Grim for the few weeks that he was, he had noticed her apparent endless supply of body heat. So the shaking puzzled him a bit. After the jacket was on, he turned her around again. Giving her a look, he said, "Reckon I don't see nothin' ta freak out about. Ya look a beauty in that there dress." Then with a more serious look he added, "Can't be nothin' wrong with'a formal gatherin'. Reckon y'd tell me if'n there was, right?"

When she was ready, Colt started up his motorcycle and drove to the reception hall. He knew they were fashionably late, at best, but he was never one to complain. After all, she was the one with the invitations.

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Lynn smiled at the complement, and got a little pink in the cheeks and ears, though she'd smoothed down their points for this very public gathering.

"Can't be nothin' wrong with'a formal gatherin'. Reckon y'd tell me if'n there was, right?"

She started to gnaw on her lower lip, then indicated the bike with a jerk of her head.

"C'mon, let's get going; I'll tell you about it on the ride over."

Lynn slid the helmet on, then hopped on the back of the motorcycle and put her arms around Colt's chest once he mounted up. She didn't say anything for several blocks, but finally she raised her voice over the engine.

"Taylor's great; she's a good friend and I want her to be happy, but the fact is I'm not 100% sold on her fiance, well, husband by now."

She rests her head against Colt's back and sighs deeply.

"Jack's a bit of a reformed bad boy, but sometimes I wonder if it's gonna take, y'know? Is he gonna hurt her, even by mistake? He's a real charmer, but sometimes those guys are the scariest ones of all."

She's quiet again for a bit, squeezing him tight as they zoom through the wintery streets; when at last she speaks, it's with a heavy heart.

"I wanna be a good friend to Taylor, and respect her choice, but I think it's gonna be hard, y'know? Seeing them together, with her family and friends all around. That's all."

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Ace artfully guided the beautiful Ms. Morley through the growing crowd to greet the guests of honor.

"Little Taylor Chun all grown up," He said as he embraced the young bride planting a quick kiss on each cheek, "It seems like only yesterday you were sitting at Harrys knee asking for another story before bed." He continued playing to his role as family friend with casual ease.

"I think you've met Moira before." he added as he presented hid date of the evening and turned to Jack, "And Jack Faretti you lucky dog, you best take good care of our little Taylor." he joked with a genuine seeming smile as he took Jacks hand in a firm grip, "We wouldn't want to have to come after you." Ace continued with a jovial wink.

To the casual observer nothing more than good natured ribbing of the newlyweds by an old family friend. But Jack could easily see the steel in Aces eye as he spoke and knew the comment to be one hundred percent heartfelt ont he part of the imortal adventurer.

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Though he didn't say anything along the ride, Colt reached down and gave Grim's hand a squeeze. He was listening, for sure, but he was also concentrating on weaving in and out of traffic.

When they got to the reception hall, Colt clicked the bike's remote control, sending it off to find a parking spot (likely on a roof somewhere). Before they entered the doors, Colt held Grim's hands and looked her in the eyes. "People gotta make their own choices. Marriage ain't somethin' girls take lightly. Leastways not where I'm from. Reckon it's the same here." Colt began to lead her by the hand towards the front door. "I reckon if'n Taylor chose ta marry, she believes it that decision fer one reason're another. Best way ya c'n be a friend is ta be supportive, if'n ya ask me. Second best way's ta be protective. If'n somethin' goes wrong, then ya step in. Not before."

As they approached the doors, Colt shrugged his shoulders, "Just one man's opinion, is all. Bein' said, ya should know that I'll support ya, whatever ya decide ta do. They're your friends after all." Colt kissed Grim on the cheek as they pressed through the antechamber doors.

The two slipped into the hall largely unnoticed, the time for introductions past. From there, Colt defaulted to following Grim's lead as to figuring out who was who...

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"Just one man's opinion, is all. Bein' said, ya should know that I'll support ya, whatever ya decide ta do. They're your friends after all."

Lynn warmly returned Colt's kiss, and his words warmed her heart; one of the reasons she found herself loving him was his stability, his sturdiness. Whenever she felt out of touch with the rest of the world (which happens from time to time when you're a crimefighting, shapeshifting pixie), or she was struck by nameless fears out of nowhere, Colt was her anchor. She squeezed his hand fiercely as she led him into the room.

"Wow, quite a turnout! I'm glad her family's here, I'd like to meet 'em."

She craned her neck, trying to take in everyone; there might be some odd introductions, since many of these same people had fought side by side during the Invasion, but she would let everyone else decide how much to reveal about themselves.

"Well, there's Ace and Moira over there, looking pretty darn friendly; that should keep any papparazzi busy for the rest of the night. And I think I see...whoa, Taylor looks phenomenal! Check out that dress! She's pulling off the coveted 'hot as hell/cute as a button' combo like an Olympic champ! C'mon, let's go say hi!"

Lynn practically drags Colt across the room in Jack and Taylor's direction, and the Scrappy Lil' Vamp Everybody Loves was, she had to admit, a vision of manliness.

The hot ones are always gay or vampires...or cowboys. ;)

Once they reach the bridal party, the petitie brunette can't help but squeel in delight.

"Omigod, Taylor, you look amazing! I'm so happy for you!"

Ever the spirit of decorum, Lynn throws her arms around her former teammate, and gives her a hug that literally lifts her off her feet.

'This is just so cool! And Jack! Handsome Captain Jack!"

Lost in the happiness of the moment, she gives him almost as firm a hug as Taylor's. Finally releasing him, she takes a step back to take it all in.

"You guys...are superstars; I want pictures, if you can spare 'em. Oh, I'm sorry!" She turns to introduce Colt. "Taylor, Jack, this is my attractive cowboy friend, Colt. Colt, meet Mr. and Mrs. Faretti, newlyweds."

She waves at everybody else, but does take a moment to give Ace a quick peck on the cheek.

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Jack prioritized at this new chain of events, dealing with things in the proper way. "Glad you could make it," he said to Lynn with a smile, hugging her back and shaking her boyfriend's hand with an ebullient expression on his face. He knew coming had been something of a challenge for Grimalkin, and meant every word. "And with a friend no less." He didn't know Colt, but Lynn seemed happy; honestly maybe a little happier than he'd ever seen her with Wesley. At least he's not likely to cut her head off. "Nice to meet you. The barbecue may not be up to cowboy standards, but I hope you'll enjoy the party too."

With that said, he moved on to Ace, or rather, back to Ace after neglecting him in favor of someone else. "Ace Danger, how you doin'?" He shook the man's hand with the energy of a dead fish; just another politician greeting yet another constituent on the campaign trail. "Good to see so many of Taylor's friends could come out for our special day."

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Taylor squeaked as she was lifted off the toes of her strappy heels and into the air by Grim's sheer exuberance. She did her best to return the hug although her expression was slightly strained. It wasn't that she minded the hug at all, it was from the effort of focusing on not revealing her nature in front of everyone she knew. Taylor though even the combined story-spinning of Jack and Ace wouldn't be able to explain that away.

Do not phase out in front of your entire family. Do not phase out in front of your entire family. Do not phase out in front of your entire family.

She kicked her feet a little trying to make certain she landed back on the heels without spiking and twisting and ankle. Taylor retreated and neatly stepped into the saftey of Jack's arm, resting her hand against the small of his back. In a crowd, she trusted his senses better than hers and she was more confident at his side that he'd intercept anyone that might catch her by surprise. Who'd have thought being normal for an entire day would have taken such effort.

After thanking both Grim and Ace and returning their affection with a ready warmth of her own, she held her hand out to Colt and gave him a smile that dimpled both of her cheeks, "Its a pleasure to meet you, Colt. We're so glad that you could both come today."

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Elena Guerrero's outfit was the same crimson base with gold accents that was beginning to become her trademark at events such as these. However, unlike most high society galas, a discerning eye would notice that for once Elena had spared no expense on her outfit. A show of respect for the occasion, a gesture she rarely felt the situation warranted. And if it seemed as though she positively floated across the hall in those heels...well, maybe she did (a little). I feel for you, Taylor, not being able to fly in those things without "outing" yourself.

Almost as soon as she entered the main hall, Elena's face darted suddenly up and to her left, as if she had just heard a noise. She left in a hurry, "Pardon me, sorry," and returned about twenty minutes later, looking not quite as immaculate as when she first entered and somewhat out of breath. She had two responses ready, depending on whether or not any given person she interacted with was "in the know."

"Sorry. Blackberry went off. Rhodes had an emergency shareholders meeting, and I had to cast a couple of proxy votes in a hurry. You know how it is - money never sleeps."

Sorry. Precognitive vision turned out to be a hostage situation. It's under control now.

She smirked as she saw the exchange between Jack and Ace, and made no attempt to shield her thoughts from either of them, or the woman they shared such intense bonds with. I must admit some pleasant surprise on my part that you're both on your best behavior today.

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Colt made the proper introductions when he was introduced. "Jack, it's a pleasure to meet you." He said, heartily shaking the groom's hand.

"And Taylor, reckon yer more beautiful than Lynn's told me." He bent at the waist to kiss her hand, "An' she's told me a lot. An' Congrats ta ya both." He said with a smile.

"Ace," Colt tipped his hat to the other hero. This one he HAD met. "Reckon business's been boomin' since ya helped me out. I ain't in that line'a work no more, but all the same. Still fightin' the good fight, I hope?" Colt made the ambiguous comment sound as if it could mean Ace was in any line of work.

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