Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, they belong to Janet Evanovich. I just like to play with them for a bit.
I really want to thank everybody who has ever reviewed this fic – without you guys giving me feedback and comments, this fic would still be unfinished. This is the final chapter – I hope you guys like it.
Warning: this fic is not Babe or Cupcake.
What Comes Next?
The Trenton Times – 28th December 2010
Surprise Wedding Trumps Trenton
I was lucky enough to have been in attendance at the surprise wedding of Mr. Lester Santos and Ms. Stephanie Plum yesterday. Yes faithful readers: the Bombshell Bounty Hunter is now Mrs. Stephanie Santos.
The wedding was held at Saint Francis Church. Pale red and white roses were prevalent within the church, providing a heady scent to accompany the four-string quartet playing quietly. As I watched the guests roll in I was amazed at the variety and amount of people who had showed up, from Burg locals, to reformed criminals, it seemed the majority of Trenton was present. There were even some local celebrities present, including Sally Sweet, who looked fabulous in a blue satin ball-gown.
When I looked at Mr. Santos, who was standing at the bottom of the alter, with Father John, he looked calm and relaxed (not to mention very tasty in his dark navy blue suit!) – something I found surprising considering who he was marrying. I had the fortunate luck of sitting next to Mrs. Santos' grandmother throughout the ceremony. It turns out that Mr and Mr Santos had quite the odd engagement, where despite living together, did not engage in sexual activities. Grandma Mazur stated to me, "I always told Steph that you have to try and buy... She should have come and talked to me if they were having any troubles in bedroom related activities – I could have given her a few quick tips."
Thankfully, the guests settled down and the quartet struck a new tune. Everybody turned and expectantly watched the church doors. A cheer rippled through the church when the former Ms. Plum started to walk slowly down the aisle accompanied by her father, Frank Plum. The new Mrs. Santos wore a delicate cream satin dress, simple, but beautiful.
The ceremony was short, but tasteful, and afterwards everybody started to trickle towards the Ballroom where the reception was being held. Along the way I heard many comments about how the whole wedding had been planned without Mr. or Mrs. Santos' knowledge, and that they had only found out about it two days earlier. What a present for Christmas!
The Ballroom was decorated in the same colour scheme as the church, and instead of a formal sit-down menu, there were small tables scattered around the edge of the dance floor with tasty (and surprisingly filling) morsels to pick from. One woman who claimed to be a friend of the mother-of-the-bride was scandalous about the food arrangement, though I later heard her proclaiming to whom I presume was her husband that it was better than a formal meal.
Once the bride and groom arrived, the dreaded part of any wedding reception started – the speeches. Though I shouldn't have been surprised by the break in tradition, I was when Mr and Mrs Santos went up onto the stage to start the speeches.
Contrary to all weddings I have attended, or participated in, the speech given by Mr and Mrs Santos was a definite eye opener. It turns out, that their entire engagement was a fake. A hoax played to perfection by both of them for the benefit of Mr Santos' aunt. Shocked gasps and looks of amazement from the majority of guests followed this statement. Mr and Mrs Santos continued their speech, saying that it had taken a surprise wedding to be gifted to them to realise that they were completely in love with each other.
As the reception continued, a swing band playing merrily from the stage, and the guests stopped gossiping and started to dance, I bumped into Ranger, Mr and Mrs Santos' employer. When posed with the question of what he thought about (what I am dubbing) the greatest hoax of Trenton and the surprise wedding all I managed to glean from him was a slight smirk and, "No comment." However, Mrs Santos' partner at Rangeman, Bobby, was willing to make a statement on behalf of the company, "Steph and Lester – we're all really happy for you. Congratulations... And thank god Steph wasn't late for her own wedding."
I posed the question to Helen Plum, Mrs Santos' mother, about whether she knew it was fake engagement. Mrs Plum proceeded on a lengthy speech about how she almost couldn't believe her daughter had participated in such a hoax, but ended with the statement, "While I believed the engagement was real, I picked that they were in love with each other way before they admitted to each other anyway."
I managed to eventually corner Mr Santos' aunt, Skye Santos, after the delicious wedding cake had been served to ask her what she thought of the revelation. Once again, I was left surprised as she stated, "Oh dear – I knew they weren't really engaged the whole time, especially once I arrived in Trenton. That's why I convinced Helen, Stephanie's mother, that a surprise wedding would be fabulous Christmas gift. I knew it would force the two of them to come clean with each other about how they felt." When I asked how she knew they weren't really engagement, the only answer she provided was, "The cards told me."
I unfortunately did not have the chance to interview Mr and Mrs Santos, but would like to wish them congratulations on behalf of the Trenton Times, and hopes that whatever comes next for the couple is filled with happiness.
- Joanne Smith, journalist