It was decided that Butch and Lady would stay with Jim and Darling for a few months while they looked for a house. Jim and Darling insisted that they would pay for everything, Aunt Sarah even offered to rent a fancy motorized car for the occasion, all Lady and Butch had to do was show up. In the few short days after Butch had become part of the Archambeau's life there had already been parties and celebrations and the wedding planning was well under way. This was something he never saw himself doing before and here he was.
Almost a month after the whole fiasco, Butch went to go get his stuff from his train car home and quit his job while Lady, Darling, Sarah and some other girls from the family went to go wedding dress shopping. Butch had used a small percentage of his savings to buy Lady and himself engagement rings and nothing had ever felt more right on himself.
Butch was so ready to leave his old life behind him and never look back. He wanted to start his new life, his better life. He never thought he'd be thinking like this. If only his past self could see him now. What would he say? Would he be proud of him for finding the one thing that gave his life meaning and happiness or would he be shocked that he was letting himself get "tied down"? There really was no way to say. All Butch knew was the here and now. And right now, he wanted to get this over with.
On his way to his old home, he stopped by Peg's bar. She had been released form the jail along with all of her employees. Some loophole in the system that allowed them all to go back to work. He stepped inside and saw her standing behind the bar.
"Hey, Peg," he called, getting her attention.
"Hiya handsome," Peg said winking at him. "What can I do for you?"
"I'm here to pay off my tab," he told her. She smirked.
"I have a room in the back that's open right now," she said, gesturing with her thumb.
"No, Peg," he said, setting a large wad of cash down on the bar, "I'm not doing that anymore."
She looked up at him, eyes widened in shock. Her eyes landed on the ring on his finger.
"Finally settling down, huh?"
"Yup. And I don't think I'll be back around here. See ya Peg."
She smiled as she watched him leave.
"I knew he seemed happier," she mumbled to herself.
It was a short walk to the train car but it seemed like forever. He was really hoping nobody was there. He peeked his head in and sure enough the place was empty. He collected the few articles of clothing he had and the rest of his secret stash of money. Just as he boxed it all up and turned to leave, a person stepped into the entrance to the train.
"Hey, Tramp," Buster exclaimed, "where you been? We all thought you was dead!"
Butch didn't answer, only tried to get out of the car but Buster blocked his path.
"More importantly, where you going?"
"I'm leaving," Butch answered, trying to step the other way but was blocked again.
"Leaving? To go where?"
He suddenly grabbed Butch's left wrist, analyzing the ring on his hand.
"You got yourself a girl."
"That's right. I'm marrying her."
"What about us, Tramp," Buster raised his voice. "What about your friends?! After all we've been through, you're gonna ditch us for some doll?!"
"She's not just 'some doll', Buster. Her name is Laverne Archambeau. I'm marrying her and I'm never coming back," Butch yelled, shoving his way past Buster. "And it's Butch. Not Tramp."
Lady smiled as she saw herself in the mirror. All the ladies were fawning over her wearing wedding dresses, telling her that her big day was going to be so exciting. She never thought she would see her Aunt Sarah with so much excitement, especially when it came to her.
"I like this one," Lady told the girls, seeing herself in a short sleeved, frilly gown, "but I don't think it's for me."
"I completely agree," Darling said, rocking the baby. "I think you have one more to try on, your dad suggested something like it."
Lady went back into the changing room to change into the next one.
"Can you believe it," Darling said to her female family members. "Our Laverne is all grown up."
"It seems like only yesterday she was playing outside and bringing you the paper," Darling's sister giggled.
Lady stepped out of the changing room and all of the girls fell silent.
"This is it," Lady muttered to them, looking at herself in the mirror. It was a simple white dress completely covered in lace with a thick sash going across her waist and long sleeves. She looked at her mother who had started to cry and the other ladies who were covering their mouths or staring awestruck. This was it.
It was really happening. Lady was going to marry the love of her life and be with him forever. At first she was doubtful that they should be moving so fast, especially when Butch proposed to her and asked to run away together but this was perfect. This was all she ever wanted in life, she knew that now. Before she met Butch, Lady was content with her small world and her little family. But now she knew what the world was, how important it was to be able to take care of yourself and to explore all you could. That was the gift Butch had given her. He gave her freedom along with his love and dedication.
She was ready to begin a new adventure.
Butch had come home and dropped his small suitcase of things in what was currently his and Lady's room. He sat down on the bed and rubbed his forehead. He thought about Buster and Peg and all of his old friends. He could only imagine what they were thinking. Butch didn't know it then but this would be the last time in a long time that he thought about them. He heard the front door close followed by the sound of female voices. In a few seconds, Lady was entering their room, smiling very wide.
"Hey, Pigeon. Did you find a dress," Butch asked, holding her hand as she took her small gloves and hat off.
"We did," she answered.
"Do you like it?"
"I love it," she giggled, taking a seat next to him. "Did you get your stuff?"
"Yup. Everything I own is in that suitcase," he said, kicking it. Lady smiled and then turned to him, looking serious.
"Do you remember that night when we went to Tony's," she asked.
"How could I forget," Butch asked, laying back on their bed. "Best night of my life."
"Do you remember all of it," she asked again, laying beside him.
He looked at her with his eyebrows furrowed. She gave him a pointed look and he suddenly realized what she was talking about.
"Oh. Yeah I remember. What is it Pigeon?"
She bit her lip.
"I think I might be..."
She trailed off but she didn't need to finish. Butch got the whole picture.
"You're kidding," he muttered, getting excited. She shook her head, smiling. "It's a good thing we're getting married. Did you tell anyone?"
She shook her head.
"What would you name a boy," he asked, wanting an answer to a question he wondered for himself long ago.
"Samuel," she answered after thinking for a moment. "But I always liked 'Scamp' as a nickname."
Butch felt in his heart that nothing could be more right.
"Hey Pidge," he asked once again, she looked at him once again with a curious gaze. "I love you."
"I love you too."
"Okay everyone, watch the birdie!"
Butch straightened his back even more, being careful not to disturb the two baby girls in his arms. Jim hit the button and the camera practically exploded. He laughed and went to open the window.
"I guess I used a little too much," he laughed again. Lady giggled, adjusting the male toddler on her hip. Her eldest, Samuel was playing with a little rattle while in her other arm, the third of their triplets was sleeping. She set her son down and he went to play with his 'uncle" Junior who was only a year older than him. Lady and Butch switched children expertly having done this many times in the three months that their beautiful girls had been alive.
Darling took Annette from Butch, rocking the little girl. It was Christmas and the little family had come to town to visit Lady's family. This was the first time they were meeting Annette, Collette, and Danielle. Samuel, or Scamp, was almost a year old now so he'd been around his grandparents a lot.
"We have visitors," Jim said from the window.
"Oh, it's Jock and Trusty," Darling said happily. "They must have heard you were in town," she told Lady. She handed Annette to Butch who perfectly balanced her in his arms. Many people could say a lot of things about Butch but he was a great father.
"I'm putting Junior to bed for the night," Darling said as she disappeared upstairs.
Jim opened the door and greeted his neighbors.
"Come in, please! Merry Christmas! If you step into the parlor, I'll see about refreshments."
Butch and Lady set down their triplets to play on the baby blanket so they could hug and greet their old friends. After hugging Trusty and Jock, Scamp began tugging on the end of Jock's pants, begging to be picked up.
"It looks like he remembers you," Lady smiled, helping lift Scamp up into Jock's arms.
"Aw, look at these precious darlings," Trusty cooed, looking at the triplets squirming on their blanket, grabbing at their toys. "No doubt about it, they've got their mother's eyes.
"How's the oil business going, man," Jock asked Butch.
"Quite well," the man answered. "I've just been promoted to head of distribution."
"It turns out that he's so charismatic and good at smooth talking potential buyers that they promoted him in only a few months," Lady spoke up.
"We've been looking for a new house ever since I got the news," Butch said. "Something with a little more room."
Jim, accompanied by Darling, brought out drinks for everybody, each of them grabbing a glass of wine and Scamp being handed to Lady.
"A toast," Jim said, holding out his glass, "to my daughter and her beautiful family!"
"Aye," Jock exclaimed. They all raised their glasses and sipped it down. And as everyone laughed and chatted and fawned over the triplets and Scamp, Lady and Butch held each other close, in awe of the amazing world that they had found with each other, and promising themselves to never let it go.