Getting to the Church on Time
"You cannot be serious!" yelled Stu on the phone. "What about...?"
They wheeled Doug out in a wheelchair, covering him with Ava's sunhat and glasses. He drank a Fuji Water, his hands shaking from the pain. Ava bought SolarCane to spray on him. He looked like a lobster...with pasty white legs. Oh God! He looked terrible.
"All the flights to LA are booked," Stu whined.
"Dude, we can make it," Ava said. "I'm sure of it! Just don't stop. Do you guys know if you can get your tuxes on the way?"
"Yea," said Alan. "I'll call my buddy Neeco. He can deliver them to us."
While they waited for the car, Doug saw his twin sister chatting away with Stu. He always suspected there was a kind of chemistry between his friend and his baby sister.
"Is Stu missing a tooth?" Doug asked monotonously.
"Yea," Ava said, hands in her brother's pants pocket.
"Did you fuck my friends, Ava?" he said, suspiciously.
"Just Stu. That's it. I swear." she assured him. "Why? What else do you remember?"
"What are you talking about?" he said confused.
Ava heaved a sigh of relief. OK. So Doug didn't remember finding out that she gave Phil a blowjob as teenagers. Nope. That secret she would take with her to the grave. So did Phil.
"Nothing. It's not important. The only person I slept with was Stu. And don't beat him up, OK? I made the first move on him...and I really love him. I promise you he was a real gentleman to me."
"Really, baby sis? You and Stu?" he said softening. She nodded. "If you say so. Did you two do anything else that was crazy?"
Ava and Stu looked at each other, both sucking in their lips, trying not to laugh. They definitely shouldn't tell him that they got married. Nope. They would keep that to themselves.
"Nope," Stu said. "Just fucked pretty much everywhere..."
Doug laughed painfully. "You two are such whores."
They sped down the highway, Phil driving with Alan in front. Stu, Ava, and Doug smushed in the back.
"Well, at least the trip wasn't a total disaster," Doug said.
"Why do you say that?" said Stu.
"When I woke up on the roof, I happened to find $80,000 worth of chips in my pocket."
Ava and the boys laughed and laughed.
"Looks like we're going home with some money boys."
"Doug...I got something for you." She reached into her pocket and gave him the $480 she stole from Chow. "This is for you and Tracy. I know it's not much..."
"Thanks, baby sis."
The men got their tuxes from some dude name Neeco who apparently was a buddy of Alan's. He tossed them their tuxes in the car. They pulled over and dressed in their tuxes, hurriedly and clumsily. Ava dressed herself in Stu's dress that he bought her...the guys didn't care this time that she undressed in the Mercedes, even Doug.
Panting, they made it! Scrambling out of the car on top of each other, trying to get through the door. The Garners looked over at the heap of the quartet: Alan with a black eye and a huge bruise on his forehead. Phil with a split lip. Doug with a sunburn. And Ava had a black eye as well.
"Hey!" said Stu, panting. "Apparently, Ava's Mapquest app took us on a crazy route."
"Yea," laughed Ava. "Stupid iPhone! I think I need a new one."
Now the wedding could begin! Ava and Phil, Best Man and Best Maid, walked down the aisle together. Next it was Stu and then Alan. They fumbled with their corsages. Ava rolled her eyes and fixed them. Boys! she thought. There was a mingle of thanks from her friends and big brother.
"Are you ready, big brother?" she asked, looking at Doug.
"Yea," he said quietly.
"I'd hug you...but..."
"Thanks. You're a good sister, Avers."
Ava smiled and went to stand with the other bridesmaids. She stuck out like a sore thumb in her red dress with black velvet roses. Her pixie hair was a bit wild, but she managed to wet it just before getting out there.
Soon, the wedding march played on the string quartet. Sid walked Tracy down the aisle. Ava was starting to tear up.
"Where were you?" Tracy hissed mad. "And why are you so red?"
"It was my fault," Ava said coming to her brother's defense. "I should've been looking out for him. I haven't been a really good sister, Trace."
"Well, at least he's in one piece, Ava," Tracy said. "Thank you."
"I promise you," said Doug. "As long as we're married...I promise you I'll never, ever put you through this again. Can you forgive me?"
Doug's wedding was beautiful. Ava felt tears seeping out of her eyes as she watched her big brother and her new sister, taking their vows. All those memories came flooding to her when they were kids. He looked good, despite the red sunburn.
She stared over at Stu, who smiled back. She twisted the ring on her finger. She knew he'd want it back soon, but eventually she'd come to love him. She and Stu exchanged looks, silently. The man who was her husband. She giggled to herself. Once Doug and Tracy exchanged rings, they kissed...it was magical.
On to the reception where the MC announced Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Billings. Then, there were toasts from Phil first...and then Ava. She stood up, looking out at everyone, who stared up at her.
"I'm Ava," she said. "Being the youngest, I always felt...that Doug got more attention than me...and yea, I know, I'm the youngest. You'd think it'd be the other way around."
There were light chuckles.
"Well, Doug is not just my brother, but my best friend. And although we're twins, we are kind of different. Yet...sometimes...we think the same. If anything, he taught me a few life lessons. I remember when Dad bought me my first pair of roller skates when I was ten and the second I put them on, I skated down the neighborhood, enjoying going so fast that I didn't want to stop. I guess...Doug taught me that I had been skating by through life too fast...and if I don't slow down, I might...miss a few beautiful things in life. I guess once I slowed down, I found that I did."
She looked right at Stu, who was already smiling.
"That love...can be right there when you don't expect it," she continued. "And once I slowed down, I learned to appreciate it. And that's what life should be: you can skate all you want and as fast as you want...but slow down a little and enjoy the scenery."
She looked at Tracy. "Tracy, I'm really glad you met my big brother and I hope you will do the best to make him happy. And maybe we can do some sisterly stuff once the honeymoon is over and you can get to know me a little. Anyway, welcome to the family, sis! And...just to let you know, Trace: if you break my brother's heart, I will beat the crap out of you."
Tracy laughed, knowing that was her sense of humor.
"To my brother Doug, and my new sister, Tracy!" She raised her champagne glass and everyone drank.
Ava sat at the bar. Stu joined her.
"Hi," he said.
"Hi," Ava replied.
"What are you doing?" she giggled.
"You said you wanted to take it slow...so I am."
Ava laughed, but decided to play along. "Nice to meet you, Stu. I'm Ava."
They shook hands.
"So, could I buy you a drink, Ava? Do you come here often?" he joked.
Ava laughed. "That would be a yes to both."
"Great speech, Ava," Stu said.
"Thanks," she said. She looked at the hole in Stu's mouth, then felt her own broken tooth, still throbbing. "Remind me to make an appointment to get my broken tooth fixed."
"Sure thing. When do you want to come in? We can do it right after the wedding. I do emergency work on weekends."
"Cool! You're getting yours fixed, right?" she joked a little.
"Of course!" he said.
"Well...it kind of...looks funny," Ava laughed. "I kind of liked...sticking my tongue through the space though. I guess it's a first for me. I've never kissed a guy with a missing tooth before."
Stu laughed, reddening.
Stu and Ava drank their drinks. All of a sudden, the She-Bitch came marching up to Stu. Ava trilled the Wicked Witch of the West theme song from The Wizard of Oz.
"Stu?" said Melissa's sharp voice, her hands on her hips. "You avoiding me? And what's she doing here?"
"Want me to get out of here?" Ava whispered.
"No," said Stu to Ava. Then, turned his attention to Melissa, "Hey...what's up?"
"Oh my God! What happened to your tooth?"
"Have you met Alan? Tracy's brother?" he said, trying to change the subject.
Melissa placed her hands on Stu's face, forcing him to open his mouth to see the big gaping hole. Ava wanted to punch that bitch in the face for being so rough with him.
"That is disgusting!" she said. "Why haven't you returned ANY of my calls?"
"Well, there was a snafu in..." Stu began a little afraid.
"I called that bed and breakfast in Napa. They have NO record of you checking in! And I saw the video, you cheating sonofabitch! Don't bother coming home now that you have that filthy slut's disease on you!"
"Excuse me, I wouldn't be talking, bitch," Ava said dryly. "At least I use protection."
"What the FUCK going on, Stu?" Melissa demanded, ignoring Ava.
"We didn't go to Napa. We went to Las Vegas..." Stu asserted.
"Las Vegas? Why would you go to Las Vegas?"
"Because my best friend was getting married...and that's what guys do."
"That's not what YOU do!" she jabbed a fist into his chest.
"Hey, psycho!" Ava said. "Stu's not your bitch. You don't own him...so don't treat him like that!"
"Yes..." said Stu. "You heard her correctly...and by the way, the answer is yes: I fucked Ava, five times in Vegas...and had a threesome with her. And let me ask you something...why did I do it, huh? Riddle me that?!"
Ava stifled her laughter. Melissa scoffed, unable to believe what she was hearing.
"You know...sometimes I think you want me to do what YOU want me to do," Stu spat angrily. "I'm sick of you doing what you want me to do all the time! I think in a healthy relationship...a guy should be allowed to do what he wants to do."
"Amen, brother!" Ava said in agreement.
"THAT IS NOT HOW THIS WORKS!" Melissa screeched.
The music came to an abrupt halt, everyone was staring at them in stunned silence.
"Well good!" said Stu. "Because whatever this is...ain't working for me!"
"Oh, really?" scoffed Melissa.
"Yea! And by the way, I'd rather be Ava's whore...than your boyfriend."
"Since you FUCKED that bartender on the cruise last June. BOOM!" he slammed the table.
Ava's mouth dropped open with amazement. Stu had stood up to Melissa! She couldn't be more proud of him. What an AWESOME burn!
"You told me it was a bartender," said Alan.
"Oh yes," said Stu. "You're right...I stand corrected...it was a bartender...you fucked a bartender."
"You're an idiot!" she spat weakly.
"Really?" Ava said, shaking her head. "That's all you got? That's pathetic, Melissa."
"SHUT UP, YOU SLUT!"
"Better a slut than a frigid bitch," Ava said with a shrug.
"Yea. You know what?" said Stu. "Rrr...you're a bad person...all the way to your core! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to dance...with my NEW girlfriend...who actually appreciates me."
"One moment," Ava said. "I'll be right there." She turned to Melissa. "By the way, you can pick up your shit tonight on the curb because Stu said he's taking out the trash...which he should've done...three years ago."
Ava sashayed on the dance floor to join Stu, leaving a stunned, yet pissed off Melissa. The music started up again and they danced...she and Stu and Phil and Dougie.
"I'm really proud of you, Stuey," Ava said. "That was the awesomest burn you gave the She-Bitch. I couldn't have done better myself."
"Thank you," Stu said with a proud smile. "I had you to...inspire me."
Ava shrugged. "I do what I can."
After a couple of fast songs by the Dan Band, which Ava and the boys had fun doing. She danced with all of them, laughing. Then, Stu went up to the band and handed him some money, whispering a song...
"Ladies and gentlemen, here is a song that Stu would like to dedicate to a very special girl," said the Dan Band.
The song began to play...the song she remembered that day...
There's such a sad love
Deep in your eyes
A kind of pale jewel
Open and closed within your eyes
I'll place the skies within your eyes
Stu took Ava and slow danced. Ava's eyes were misty. It was the song...the song when she and Stu first slow danced when she was drunk...when he picked her up and ended up puked on his shoes. She laughed to herself, thinking about it.
There's such a fooled heart
Beating so fast
In search of new dreams
A love that can last within your heart
I'll place the moon in your heart
"I thought this could be our first dance...as husband and wife," he whispered.
Ava blushed a bit. "Great choice." she whispered.
They staring into each other's eyes and enjoying their new-found blossoming love.
I'll be there for you-oo-hoo-ooo
As the world falls down
"You want to break the rules one more time?" he asked.
"Oh?" She raised her eyebrows.
"Coat room. Right when the song ends." He grinned with wickedness.
"Your wish is my command..." she smirked.
They kissed...and listened as As the World Falls Down. Ava listened as she pressed her cheek against Stu's cheek, hearing the song...getting lost in Stu...
Falling...falling...falling in love...
The boys and Ava sat on the porch, drinking beer. Ava and Stu held hands, still giggling since their crazy fling in the coat room.
"I gotta tell you, Dougie," said Ava. "This was a gorgeous wedding."
"I give it six months," said Stu.
"You're a dick," Doug said, giggling. "I don't know what to say. Thanks for the bachelor party, I guess?"
"Yea," laughed Stu. "I actually wish I could remember some of it."
Ava nodded, smirking. She only could remember just the bathroom fuck they had.
"Hey, guys," said Alan. "Look what I found."
"That's...my camera!" exclaimed Stu.
"Yea. It was lodged in the backseat of the car."
"Huh," Ava said.
"Oh G-" Phil said shocked. "Are there photos on it?"
"Yea. Some of it's even worse than we thought," Alan said.
The boys argued over what to do...
"Dammit, guys!" Ava said, yanking the camera out of their fumbling hands. "Calm the FUCK down!"
"Ava, just give me the camera," said Doug. "OK. We look at these photos together...then we delete the evidence."
"I say we delete it right now," said Stu nervous.
"Are you nuts?" Phil said. "I wanna find out how I wound up in the hospital."
"Yea. I'd like to find out how you lost your tooth, Stu!" Ava said, excited.
"Guys. One time," Doug insisted. He turned to his twin sister. "Baby sis, you better swear you will never speak of what you saw."
"May I fall down and die in my tracks should I reveal anything, big brother," Ava said, crossing her heart, then made a stabbing motion.
They all gathered around Doug to look at the pictures...
"OH!" they all exclaimed.
Alan chuckled. "Classic!"
Ava laughed with the guys as she saw the usual crazy shit that boys did at their bachelor parties: strippers, at the craps tables, stealing the cop car, they even snuck into Mike Tyson's house while he was asleep with some chick! SHIT! Even Ava climbed into bed with Tyson! Ooh! Doug laughed when he saw Ava doing her Cherry Girl trick, which was also on the camera.
They found out that Stu actually removed his own tooth! And Ava was right there when it happened...along with the other guys, grimacing!
"I guess you are a good dentist," Ava laughed.
And they found out that Stu and Ava had more sex than they actually remembered! Wow! They showed a pic of Stu downstairs while in the elevator at the Bellagio...in a back alley by the liquor store...
"You two seriously are whores," Phil said, looking at Stu and Ava.
"I guess it's a match made in heaven," laughed Ava with Stu.
Ava moved out of Doug's house as soon as he and Tracy went on their honeymoon. She and Stu threw Melissa and her stuff out of the house. Ava and Stu are currently in a steady relationship...going slow as they agreed...
Ava still has all the money from Las Vegas, which she has put away and intends to invest it. She completed her teaching degree online and has found a job as a daycare worker. She still plays roller derby.
STU AND AVA WILL RETURN IN THE UPCOMING SEQUEL: THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE