The morning of Gaby's high school graduation, Alex came back to New York with his wallet in one pocket and a long velvet box in the other pocket. Having enlisted in the army three years ago, he was on a weekend pass. Hopefully he would be able to see his friends while he was here.
Going to Gaby's room, he was once again stunned silent by Tina, who was videotaping Gaby getting ready. "Alex, you came," said Gaby. "Of course I came. I wouldn't miss your graduation."
Feeling panicked, Tina started packing up her equipment. "I'll see you at the ceremony Gaby." "Ok. Two reserved seats." Glaring at Gaby, she quickly headed to the door. Sighing when she felt Alex's hand on her shoulder, she said, "Goodbye Alejandro." Not wanting to let him see her tears, she rushed out of the house, bumping into Alex's mom. "Tina, are you alright?" "I can't tell him yet." "He's home all weekend, honey." "I know. I have to go reload and change. I'll see you there."
/A Year Ago…"Tina Nguyen." Standing up to get her diploma, she smiled at Gaby and Alex, who came to see her graduate. When the ceremony was over, she hugged her parents, brother, sister, and Gaby, leaving Alex for last. Kissing Tina gently, Alex slid a gold bracelet onto her wrist. "Thank you. It's beautiful." Kissing him again, she hugged him a little bit longer before taking pictures with her family./
Going back to the apartment, Tina changed, coming out of the bedroom in time to see Linda changing the baby's diaper. Anyone with eyes could tell that Alex was the baby's father. Her hair was black but her face was definitely her father's junior. Putting a clean dress on her daughter, she put her in the car seat. Double checking that she had four bottles, six diapers, two pairs of pyjamas and two dresses, as well as her stuffed toy dolphin and her cosmetics bag filled with various supplies, she picked up the car seat and carried it to the van. Securing her daughter's seat, she got in, putting on her seatbelt. Once everyone was in the van, they headed to Mead High School, going to watch Gaby, the baby's aunt, graduate.
/At 11:00 pm that night, after a party with Tina's relatives, Tina left with Alex. He was going back to the Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida at 12:00 noon the day after tomorrow. Since he would be spending time with his family tomorrow, they only had tonight to spend together.
Going back to his hotel room at The Steadmore, he ordered five dozen finger sandwiches (chicken salad, tuna, egg salad, four cheese – cheddar, mozzarella, Suisse, and gouda – and vegetarian – lettuce, tomato, green/red/yellow peppers, mushrooms, cucumbers; as well as four pints of ice cream: chocolate, vanilla, mint chocolate chip and cookies and cream, as well as a whole tiramisu cheesecake. When the food arrived, he paid for it, stunned silent when Tina came out of the bathroom in her pyjamas. She was wearing a long black tank top with Devil or Angel? on the front in red letters accented in white. She had worn short shorts before, but this was a completely different situation.
"What?" she asked. "You look really good," he said, abandoning the food and walking toward her. "Thanks. What did you get?" "Sandwiches and ice cream." "Good. We can eat that later. Right now I'll just have some cake." Cutting two pieces, she put the rest in the fridge for later.
When Alex and Tina were finished their cake, they went to the bathroom where they brushed their teeth and washed their faces to get rid of the sugar. Leaving the bathroom, Tina got into bed, Alex taking off his shirt before doing the same. Through her peripheral vision she watched him, liking very much what she saw. Smirking at the fact that she wasn't trying to look, he settled down into bed, rolling to face her. Pulling her into his arms, he kissed her, holding her tightly against him. After a full minute, he broke the kiss. "Tina." "Shh." Kissing him again, she held him tighter, both knowing what was going to happen. "Are you sure?" he asked. "Yes." Kissing her again, he rolled on top of her, their connection not being broken for a few hours.
"Gabriella Fernandez." Gaby stood up to get her diploma, smiling at her family. Mr. and Mrs. Nguyen were five rows away, the baby with them. Everyone understood that Tina wanted to tell Alex herself, alone, not surrounded by prying eyes and ears. Tina just hoped that Alex wouldn't be angry.
/By 12:00 noon the next day, they left the hotel room, her walking a few feet ahead of him. They were both still shocked about last night and they just couldn't find the words that wouldn't offend or hurt each other. After giving themselves to each other completely, there was no going back.
Arriving in the lobby, he said, "I'll take you home." "No thank you. Your family is expecting you for lunch," she said, waving at Gaby. "Ok. I'll call you tonight." "You don't have to. Bye." "Bye." He didn't understand why she was so cold all of a sudden, but he let it go for now./
"Congratulations Gaby," Tina said, hugging her best friend. "Thanks Tina." "I'll be right back. I have to go talk to my parents." "Ok. The three of us should take a picture together." "Ok."
Going back a few rows, she sat with her parents. "Is she alright?" "Yes. She slept the whole time." "Good." Kissing her daughter on her forehead, Tina said, "Please take her home now. Alex and I will be there later." "Alright." Hugging both of her parents, she joined Gaby and her family, keeping a good foot away from Alex.
/At 12:00 midnight, April 2nd, 2000, after only two hours of labour in the living room, car ride and delivery room, Tina gave birth to Alexis Faith Nguyen. She had dark black hair and her father's nose and ears. Her eyes were still closed but when they did open, Tina saw that she had her father's eyes too. Crying as she kissed her baby, she fed her right away, knowing instinctively that she was hungry. It took three tries to get her to latch on, but she did it eventually and was now feeding from her mother's breast. Even though Alex was gone, she would still have some male influences...her father, her brother, and Alex's father./
Going back to Gaby and her family, she took a picture with Gaby and Alex, Gaby sneaking away after the picture was taken. It took a full minute before Tina realized that she and Alex were still being photographed, together. "I have to go. I'll be at your house in about two hours." "Why?" "I'm baking a cake for you." "Ok. See you later."
Seeing Tina rush off hurriedly, Alex went after her. "What's going on Tina? I've known you for years and I've never seen you bake." "I guess you don't know everything about me." "What's wrong with you?" "Nothing. I'll see you later."
Going back home she picked up her baby and hugged her, kissing her little forehead. Sitting down, she got set up to feed her. While she did that, she cut her nails, then changed her outfit after giving her a bath and a clean diaper. Triple checking to make sure she had four bottles, six diapers, two extra outfits and two extra sleepers, as well as her dolphin, her rattle, and her extra blanket, she set her down for a nap before going to the kitchen to bake.
Making a three layer cake…marble at the bottom, coffee in the middle, and strawberry at the top, she used purple icing to write congratulations on the top tier, Gaby on the second tier, and Class of 2000 on the bottom tier, she still had to use the rest of the dough. Figuring she would use extra salt to balance the taste with the sugar, she ran the dough through the pasta maker her parents gave her for her graduation, making fettuccine, rotini, and macaroni noodles. Finally, she baked two dozen apple spice muffins, leaving four at home for her family. Gathering her bags of equipment, balancing them on her shoulders and she carried both containers of food, she asked her mom to put the pasta noodles away. If he was still talking to her tomorrow, she would invite him over for dinner.
Going outside, she was about to head to the Bodega when she saw Alex standing by his car. "Hey. Ready to go?" "Yes. But what are you doing here?" "Come on. Everyone's waiting." Taking her bags, he put them in the trunk while she set the containers of food on the floor in the back. Getting into the car next to him, she buckled up, waiting for him to get in. "Come on Alex." Getting in the car, seeing that she wouldn't look at him, he buckled up, driving them back to the Bodega.
Three hours later, after dinner, presents, and dessert, Alex and Gaby's grandparents were about to leave when Tina's parents arrived, her father carrying a present for Gaby, her mother carrying the car seat. Rob, Jamal, Lenni, Hector, and Casey were as surprised as Alex and his grandparents were. Gaby moved to stand behind her parents, just in case there was yelling. "Tina, what's going on?" Alex said, clearly shocked. "Alex, I'd like to introduce you to our daughter," picking her up from the car seat, "Alexis Faith Nguyen." "You're not serious." "Incredibly serious." Taking her hand, he said, "Come on. We have to talk." Handing Alexis to Gaby, Tina let him lead her upstairs.
Slamming the door behind him, he said, "How could you keep this a secret from me? I missed out on everything." "I have pictures and videos. Gaby saw her everyday and your parents took care of her every weekend." "But she lives with you." "Of course. Why wouldn't she?" "Sorry. I'm just trying to figure this out." "It happened last year graduation night. We had that wonderful night together at The Steadmore." "Wonderful? You ignored me the next day." "I'm sorry. I was still stunned about finally being with you, I didn't know how to act." "I thought you hated me." "Never Alejandro, never."
Moving into his arms, she hugged him. "I'm sorry. I know that doesn't make up for a year without your child. I'll do whatever I can to make it up to you." "Fine. Marry me." "You're joking right?" "No. I haven't been able to stop thinking about you. It's probably why I've been yelled at so much this year." "I don't want to marry you just because the best part of both of us is being carried by her aunt." "I don't want you to say yes just because we have a daughter together. Only say yes if you love me."
Pushing away from him she went to sit down on his bed. "I do love you and I want to say yes." "But?" "I'm afraid for you. You're in the army. I'm terrified that one day a man in a uniform will come to the door and tell me my husband has been killed." "Tina, we're only 19 and 21." "I know that." "But nothing." Reaching into his pocket, he set the long velvet box on Gaby's desk, getting down on one knee in front of her. Opening the small velvet box in front of her, he for once stunned her silent.
"Alex." "Tina Nguyen, I love you. Will you marry me?" Seeing the huge rock in front of her, she swallowed a few times. "How could you afford that?" "Don't worry. It's all legal." "Good. Huh?" "I asked you" "Yes. Yes. Yes." Following the third yes, she dove into his arms, knocking them both onto the floor. Kissing him, she hugged him tightly. After a full minute, he slid the ring onto her finger, helping her stand. They were so engrossed with each other, hands all over the place, they didn't realize that the team came in, all watching as the couple made out.
Hearing someone clear their throat, Tina pulled away from the kiss, seeing everyone smiling widely. "What?" she asked, smiling as Alex kissed her neck. "Alex, we have company," she said, moving out of his arms. Picking up Alexis from Gaby's arms, she handed her over to her father, who kissed her little head and did his best to hold her, given the fact that it was the first time ever. Grabbing Gaby's camera, she took a picture of them, loving seeing them together. Being pulled away by the girls, the boys joined Alex, who was just staring at his daughter's sleeping face.
"Is that what I think it is?" Lenni asked. "Yes. Alex and I are getting married." All four girls squealing woke up the baby, who screamed louder than all four of them put together. Rushing over, Tina picked her up. "Sorry love. Mommy's just excited." Within in minutes, little Alexis stopped screaming and started gurgling instead, her head turning towards Tina's chest. "Huh. Ok. Gaby, could you get my nursing blanket? Alexis is hungry." Getting it for her, she pulled down the room shades that divided the room. "Alex, come over here," Tina said, making herself comfortable on Gaby's bed. "Are you sure?" "Get over here."
Watching Tina feed their daughter was the most amazing thing he had ever seen. Kissing them both on their heads, he just sat and watched. After a while Tina adjusted her clothing while Alex tried to burp her for the first time. It took a good 10 minutes but she eventually burped. Her head growing heavy, Alexis rested her head against her father's shoulder, Alex unable to speak. They had only just met today and she trusted him completely. Kissing Tina, he set Alexis down on the bed, surrounded by pillows. She was already the most precious being in his life and he would do anything and everything to protect her.
"Ok boys, get out. We're going to start planning the wedding." "It's my wedding too Tina." "You seriously want to help?" "Anything you want." "Ok. I'd like a $10,000.00 diamond wedding dress, the car should be a gold Rolls Royce and you should wear a grass skirt and coconut bra," she said with a plain face, everyone else trying their best to hold in their laughter. "Ok. I get it." "Good. See you later." As they heard the boys laughing down the hallway, she kissed him, hugging him tightly for a few moments. "Please send our mothers here." "Ok." With one more kiss, he did as his bride asked, a very simple request.
"Gaby, how would you like to be my maid of honour?" "I'd love to." "Good. Lenni and Casey, would you like to be my brides' maids?" Both squealed, hugging her. "What about Linda?" "She's also maid of honour." "But there are more girls than boys in our group." "Don't forget my brother." "Oh right," said Lenni. "Don't worry Lenni." "I won't. Have you decided on a colour?" "Yes. There is no way Alex will wear the traditional Spanish or Vietnamese costumes. I'll be wearing a modern version of the Vietnamese wedding dress in red. All of you will wear a similar dress but in royal blue. Gaby, you can be in either royal blue or silver, it's up to you." "Shoes dyed to match?" "Of course."
"Tina?" her mom asked. "Come in." Moving to stand between both moms, Tina faced Alex's mom. "Are you alright with this Mrs. Fernandez?" "Of course I am Tina. My son has been in love with you since he was in Grade 7." "I wouldn't exactly say that." "I would. I would love to have you as my daughter-in-law." "Good. I hope you don't mind wearing a Vietnamese dress." "Of course not. Should we take measurements now?" "Soon. What colour would you like? Silver, royal blue, red? I'll even take navy blue or cream if you prefer." "That's very considerate of you." "Ok. I would prefer to have Mai for the wedding but if we can't find them, I'll just use red roses. They will go with all of our dresses. Mom, could you make the dresses? I'll pay for all of the materials." "Of course Tina. I'd love too. What colour are the men wearing?" "Royal blue. Our dads can wear grey, tan, or royal blue. The only acceptable black will be socks and shoes." "What about Alex?" "He doesn't know it yet, but he'll be wearing white. I'll be wearing red. One of us has to wear white." "Can I be there when you tell him?" Gaby asked, a hint of laughter in her voice. "No. I'll tell him tonight."
At 11:00 pm that night, Tina carried the bassinette into Alex's room, who was on the bed just staring at their daughter. "Come on love," Tina said, picking up the baby. Giving her a bottle of freshly pumped breast milk, she covered her with the blanket, Alex moving to sit next to her. "I can't believe we made her," Alex said, obviously still in complete awe of her. "I know. I never thought I could love someone as much as I love her." "How about me?" he asked, kissing her cheek. "How about tied for first place?" "I'll accept that." "Good." Kissing him, she got up to get the magazine her mom gave her.
"What are you doing?" "I'm looking for a wedding dress. My mom got it from the Vietnamese restaurant by The Steadmore." Going through the magazine fully, she flipped back to page 75, finding a red sleeveless sequined dress floor length with an A-line skirt, bare shoulders, the back fully covered. It had a solid triangle bodice with a high collar, the top layer being see-through throughout the entire skirt, a giant flower at the bottom of the collar. "I've got it," she said dog-earring the page. "Yes." "You found it already?" "Yes." Putting the magazine in her bag, she said, "Now, about what the men are wearing." "Ok." "Tuan, Jamal, Rob, and Hector will wear royal blue pants, vests, and blazers with a white dress shirt, black socks and shoes and either a navy, royal blue, silver, or red tie." "How about me?" "Oh, I don't know," moving into his arms, kissing his cheek.
"What do you want Tina?" "For you to wear all white?" she asked, kissing his neck, resting her head on his chest. Settling down so that he was lying down with her, he said, "Wouldn't it be weird if I wear white, considering we already have a child?" "Come on love, I'm wearing the traditional bridal colour red. You have to wear white. Please?" she asked, kissing him gently. Continuing the kiss for a minute, he pulled away. "Is this how you're going to try to get your way? Seduce me until I give in?" "Yes. Well?" "Ok. I'll wear white." "Good." Kissing him again, she smiled against his mouth, running her hands beneath his shirt. Rolling on top of her, he deepened the kiss, holding her tighter in his arms. Breaking the kiss, she said, "Thank you love." "You're welcome." Kissing her again, he pulled off his t-shirt and the shirt he lent her. "What are you doing Alex?" she asked, smiling widely. "I thought it was obvious," he said kissing her again, stifling her laughter. Pulling the sheets over their heads, she kissed him again, the couple trying their best to be as quiet as possible, so as not to wake their daughter.
The next morning, Alex still asleep, Tina picked up the Jimmy Choo catalogue. They were expensive, but since it was her wedding, she figured she deserved it. Finding a pair of classic red suede pumps with a narrow heel and pointed toe, she saw that it also came in navy blue, black, and silver. Dog-earring that page, she settled back down into Alex's arms, smiling as he wrapped his arms tighter around her.
"Good morning love," she said, rolling so that she laid above him. Resting her head on his chest, she kissed his neck, smiling as he rolled them over so that he was on top. Making love again, they had just finished when there was a knock on the door. "Who is it?" "Gaby. Move away from each other please." "Hang on Gaby," Tina said, putting on the shirt she borrowed from Alex. Buttoning it up, she pulled on her underwear before opening the door. "Hey." "Hey. Breakfast." "Ok. We'll be down in half an hour." "Ok."
Closing the door, she grabbed a dress and clean undergarments, picking up her cosmetics bag. Heading to the bathroom, she showered and changed, coming back 15 minutes later. "Go Alex." "Are you going to be bossing me around for the next 60 years?" "Most likely." "Ok." Kissing her, headed to the bathroom, coming back 20 minutes later to see her feeding their daughter. When she was finished, Tina handed her over to Alex to burp her while she made the bed and finished getting ready. Opening the windows, they headed to the kitchen to have breakfast.
A Month Later
Coming back from the tailor shop, she went into hers and Alex's room, surprised to see a suitcase by the bed. Turning around, she dropped the garment bags, running into his arms. Kissing him all over his face, her arms and legs wrapped around him, he laughed, moving them to the bed. Making out a little bit, he pulled away. "I take it you're happy to see me." "I love when you're home. How long are you staying?" "A month." "Good." Breaking the kiss, she called the girls to come over, having given Linda her dress already. When they got there, Tina was sitting at the desk making notes in her notebook. "Hey girls. Go try your dresses. Alex. Go." "Why?" "You don't get to see them until the wedding. Besides. If you see them, you'll pretty much know what my dress looks like." "Ok. The guys and I were going to play baseball anyway." "Ok. Be good." Kissing him, she nudged him out of the door.
At the batting cages half an hour later, Hector, Rob, and Jamal played the bases, Alex was pitcher first, and Tuan was batter. After two hours, Hector got five runs, Rob got seven, Jamal got three, and Tuan got 10, Alex getting 12. Since Jamal lost, he was to pay for lunch and since Hector had just two more than Jamal, he gathered all of the equipment and brought them to the trunk of Alex's car. Buying tacos, the went back to the bodega, seeing everyone surrounding Tina, who was obviously crying.
"Tina what's wrong?" he asked. Running into his arms, she cried into his shoulder, wetting his shirt. "The wedding is a week away and the florist where we ordered the roses burned down last night. We have no flowers," she said, hyperventilating. "Hey, Tina, Tina look at me." Tears cascading down her cheeks, she looked into the eyes she loved. "We will have flowers, even if we have to go to New Jersey, Boston, or Chicago to get them. Our wedding will be perfect. I promise you." Smiling at him, she kissed him, running her fingers through his hair as they hugged tightly. "Ok. What did you get?" she asked looking towards the bags. "Tacos." "Good. I'm starved. Dig in everyone," she said, kissing Alex before going to get their daughter so that she could visit with everyone.
On Thursday, August 5th, Alex left for the base to pack his things and bring them home. Tina, both moms, and the girls went to the salon to get manicures, pedicures, facials, hair cuts, wash/set, and new make-up colours, as well as lip/brow waxes. The men had their polish free manicures and pedicures yesterday, along with facials and hair cuts, getting shaved before the rehearsal and dinner.
When he got back to the base, he did his laundry, then packed four suitcases, taking him four hours to do it. With an 8:00 pm flight to New York, He would only have about an hour to spend with Tina before midnight. Tina would be spending her last night of maidenhood in her old room at her parents' house. Leaving five pairs of jeans, 10 t-shirts, two pairs of pyjamas, his new boots, a new package of black tube socks, and a new wrapped package of boxer shorts, he packed those things in his regulation army duffle bag, putting it up on the shelf in his locker, which was next to his bed. Emptying the nightstand drawer, he put the documents in a manila envelope, tossing the envelope in one of his suitcases. He was going to put it in his safety deposit box at the bank for safe keeping. He forgot what these documents were, of course, but better safe than sorry. With new sheets on his bed, his clothing in his bag in his otherwise empty locker, he put up four pictures before leaving…one of the entire gang, one of Tina and Alexia, one of him and his family, and finally, one of him and Tina. Going to the bathroom and getting cleaned up, he got into the van that would take him to the airport.
At 11:15 pm that night, Alex arrived at Tina's house, his parents bringing his luggage back to the bodega. Answering the door, Tina smiled, jumping into his arms as she kissed him. Leading him to her bedroom, glad she didn't share with anyone, she locked the door, pushing him down onto the bed. Stripping each other of their clothing, they moved to lie beneath the blankets, making love for the last time before 12:00 midnight.
At 11:58 pm, both were dressed the two of them just making out. A few moments later, Tuan and Linda came in, intending on pulling the couple apart. The boys were staying at the bodega and the girls were staying over here tonight. At exactly 12:00 midnight, they kissed one last time. "See you soon love," Alex said. "You bet. I'll be the one in red coming towards you down the aisle." Kissing the back of her hand, Tuan led him away, Linda holding her back from following him.
At 12:30 pm the next day, the boys' limo arrived at the temple. The Vietnamese ceremony would be held at her temple at 1:00 pm, followed by the ceremony at his church, St. Dominic's at 3:00 pm. They were both glad that they were having two ceremonies, to honour both such proud cultures. They would teach Alexis to speak three languages, Vietnamese, Spanish, and English. She would most likely be quadrilingual, since the schools also taught French. The more languages she could read, write, and speak fluently, the better for her future.
Walking down towards the aisle, her parents on either side of her, she stared straight a head, smiling at him. Fortunately, she her parents had found a place where they grew Mai, adding them to her bouquet of red roses. Standing in front of him, she took his hand, him kissing the back of it. Hugging their parents, they went up to the altar, lighting the incense, as part of Vietnamese tradition. Both bowing to their parents, they then bowed to each other.
Having a formal tea and candle ceremony, followed by speeches, they served the tea to their parents, his parents apart of the official ceremony. This symbolized the joining of both families. Having purchased ruby and garnet jewellery, taking up three paycheques, Alex handed it to his mom, he took them out of the boxes. Inside were two silver dragon clips, encrusted with the garnets and rubies. Once Mrs. Fernandes put them in Tina's hair, she also fastened a diamond/ruby/garnet broach to the front collar of her dress. After being pronounced husband and wife, it was time for the procession, the entire entourage following behind the bride and groom, who walked in front of the Buddhist monk. Going once around the block, they came back to the temple, taking pictures before getting into the limousines and heading to St. Dominic's. They were all tired from the walk but once Tina and Alex downed a bottle of water each, they felt better.
At 2:45 pm, Tina was handed the traditional Hispanic wedding bouquet, with orange blossoms, to symbolize a life of fulfillment and happiness. Changing out of her red dress, she wore a white strapless dress, the skirt being generously ruffled, the bodice being expertly embroidered by both mothers. Alex stayed in the all white tuxedo, just as Tina wanted. Neither of them wanted him to wear the traditional Vietnamese or Spanish costumes, but he was grateful that she changed into more a Spanish dress for the second ceremony.
Walking down the aisle towards him, she kissed him gently, seeing as they were already married. Leading her to sit at a table, he handed her a velvet box, waiting for her to open it. Inside were 13 coins, to represent Jesus and his apostles. They are the groom's pledge to his bride that he will provide for her. The coins were then blessed by the priest, the same one that baptized both Alex and Gaby, and married their parents years ago.
Everyone looking towards the priest, he said, "Alex y Tina han escrito sus propios votos. Ahora recitelos por favour." (Alex and Tina have written their own vows. Please recite them now). Handing the microphone to Alex, Alex cleared his throat.
"Tina, I realize our relationship hasn't been easy. We were friends for many years but I liked you from the first moment I saw you. Jamal and Gaby had a good time after you left, teasing me. Now that we have a daughter together, I'm going to do my best to make both of you happy and keep you safe. If you'll have me, I guarantee that you will never be sad or hurt again." Kissing the back of her hand, he handed her the microphone.
"I love you Alejandro. It took me a long time to admit it. We were only 10 and 12 when we met, but you were the only boy to stir those feelings in me. When you got on the Dragons basketball team, I was so happy and proud of you. But soon I realized that you were going to get hurt. When you finally came to your senses, a weight was lifted from my heart. Now that we have this precious child, I am finally ready to surrender my heart to you. As the captain of my heart, I charge you with responsibility of keeping our love safe."
After exchanging rings, they sat down, Lenni and Rob coming up to wrap them with a Lasso in the shape of the rosary. This insured the protection of the union.
At the reception, Tina was nervous. His mom had taught her the traditional wedding dance, the Sequidillias Manchegas. It took three hours of practice every night to get it just right, but he was definitely impressed. Deciding on a seafood buffet, they had crab and corn soup, lobster thermadour, king crabs, jumbo shrimps, crab legs, lobster tails, various dipping sauces, crab/lobster/shrimp cannelloni mixed with Manchengo and Tetilla cheeses, as well as scallop/mushroom/parmesan fettuccine alfredo, Caesar salad, mashed potatoes with gravy and cheese sauce, as well as packages of butter and margarine, and the traditional Spanish almond cookies and Vietnamese sesame and peanut candy. They also had chocolate chip cookies, plain cookies, an ice cream buffet, and a selection of miniature cheese cakes.
Later on, Tina tossed the bouquet, Lenni catching it. Alex went under her dress, removing the garter with his teeth. Leaning down to kiss him, she stood up, helping him up too. Tossing the garter, he smiled when Rob caught it. Even though Lenni had dated Tuan, there had always been an attraction between Lenni and Rob. After both couples danced, the rest of the guests were able to dance too, joining the bride and groom on the floor.
Gathering the women, Tina pinned dragon broaches on all of the girls who were single. Gaby, who also got a pin, announced that the girl who lost her pin was believed to be the next to get married. This made Lenni happy and even that much more cautious about her pin. While she did that, Alex handed out cigars, simply to celebrate his manhood and his marriage. He only took three puffs though, because it reminded him and Tina too much about the trouble Kevin had caused them.
Going to brush and gargle, he came back to her, pulling her into his arms as he kissed her. She kissed him back, but he could tell she was disgusted that he smoked. "I'm sorry Tina." "Don't be. Just know that you'll be castrated if you ever smoke again," she said in a sweet voice, kissing him. "I promise. It'll never happen again." Kissing again, she was dragged away by the girls to dance, while the guys dragged him into a few games of poker.
At 2:00 am, they arrived at the bridal suite at The Steadmore. Carrying her over the threshold, he kicked the door shut, kissing her again and again. "Hold on love." Taking off her shoes, she headed to the bathroom, taking off her dress, putting on the negligee she bought. Putting on the matching robe, she came out, carrying her comb. "Go change," she said, kissing him. Dipping her, he kissed her deeper, causing her to drop the comb. When he came back, her hair looked really big, all of the pins in a pile on the bed.
Taking the comb from her, he started combing it, wanting her to relax. If they were to be together for the next 80 years, he wanted to start their marriage out right. An hour later, she rewarded him with a kiss, pulling him to lie on top of her. Focused solely on each other, knowing that their daughter was being taken care of by people they trusted, they made love over and over again, giving all of their energy into pleasuring and loving each other.