With A Wedding Fast Approaching, There’s Still So Many Preparations To Make!
Spring, Year 5
“You still okay for tomorrow?” Andrea asked as she snuggled into Jared.
“I am. I’m working from home tomorrow so I can go to the city with you in the morning and get some work done after lunch. Do we have any lunch plans?” Jared asked, kissing her.
“No, but you have that lecture at Foxbury at 1.30. So you might want to rethink that.” Andrea laughed. “Honestly, what would you do without me?”
Jared grinned. “I’d probably have lost my job by now,” he admitted.
“That’s a thought. You said ages ago that you were thinking of quitting. Something about working with my Dad.”
“Yeah, I know. I don’t think it’s a great idea. Ethan’s already planning to work with your Dad and I think three might be a bit much.” Jared shrugged. “To be honest, the job’s grown on me. It pays well and let’s be realistic; we need steady finances for when we’ve got children.”
“You think Ethan’s being a fool then? Working with Dad, I mean?” Andrea frowned.
“No disrespect to your Dad; he’s a lovely guy. I don’t blame him wanting to strike out on his own and I think he’ll do fine. Realistically though, starting a business from scratch takes time and money, both of which your Dad has. It’ll also take time before it turns over a significant profit; meaning Ethan would be paid probably very little to start with. A growing family and virtually pennies coming in? Not a good idea.” Jared sighed. “Ethan probably hasn’t thought that through yet. He’s also got all those student loans to pay off too.”
“Never thought about that.” Andrea was thoughtful for a moment. “Do you think I should say something to Dad?”
“I don’t think so. He’s a grown man; capable of making his own decisions. Your Mum’s still working, anyway. Your parents will probably be fine.”
Andrea sat up and kissed Jared. “Thanks. Come on, let’s get off to bed. We’ve got an early start tomorrow.”
“Okay, we’re here.” Jared pulled a face. “And you really needed me along for this?”
“I know, it’s not your thing. But the girls are all busy and it’s the only opportunity I’ll get until the wedding to get my dress!” Andrea wailed.
“I thought I wasn’t supposed to see you in the dress before the wedding anyway?” Jared asked hopefully. He hated shopping and while he loved spending time with Andrea, a whole morning in a bridal boutique was not his idea of time well spent.
Andrea laughed. “I’m not exactly what you’d call superstitious. I’m not worried.”
Andrea tried on several dresses until finally, she found The One.
“You look amazing,” Jared eye his fiancée up and down as she stepped out. “You like it?”
“Like it? God, I love it.” Andrea’s eyes widened with excitement. “This is definitely The One.”
Once she’d found the dress of her dreams, Andrea left Jared chatting and went to investigate the hair salon next door. She’d booked an appointment there to finally do something different with her hair. Apart from coloured streaks a few years ago, she hadn’t changed her hair for years and she felt it was time for something different.
She loved the result. She was admiring it in the mirror when her future father-in-law walked in. “Magnus!” She cried in surprise. “I didn’t expect to see you here!”
“Padre?” Jared was surprised to see his father. He was certain Magnus was supposed to be at work, not hanging around the fashion district of San Myshuno. “What are you doing here?”
“I wanted to talk to you.” Magnus hugged his son. “It’s about Andrea.”
After a short conversation, Magnus left and Jared watched him go. With only a few months to go to the wedding, Magnus had announced he didn’t like Andrea at all. Jared had been wanting to know for ages what his father thought about her; ever since the disastrous dinner Magnus had had with Zoe and Rohan. To hear the words so bluntly put had startled Jared; especially as he’d always had the feeling Magnus had liked Andrea a lot.
Feeling a bit despondent, he set off for the station with Andrea. They needed to get moving for the lecture he was giving at the Foxbury Institute that afternoon.
When Jared went off to give his lecture, Andrea settled herself down at Larry’s Lagoon. The venue had undergone a massive refurbishment since she’d last been there and it was lovely to see the venues looking so lively with this year’s students. She made a few calls to confirm work on a policy she was organising, then got chatting about the environment with some passionate students, some over from Ubrite. She loved listening to other environmentalists but to hear from some of the students was always refreshing.
After his lecture, Jared stepped out into the bright sunshine and felt proud. The lecture had gone incredibly well and the students had asked some incredible questions. He felt very pleased with himself. He had some work to do on the computers, so he set off for Larry’s Lagoon, where he’d left Andrea earlier. He might as well get the work done in a studious environment, rather than a distracting one.
He settled down at one of the computers and was highly amused to find the previous browser had been looking up Woohoo techniques. Curious, Jared scrolled through the page and became quite engrossed in the various suggestions present on the page.
Since his lecture had finished and there was no hurry to go home, Andrea suggested they take the short flight over to Sulani so she could get some photos of the flora and fauna for work. Jared had no objections; floating on a lounger at the water park sounded like an ideal way to end a very busy day. He’d successfully put his father’s words to the back of his mind. He was refusing to take it too seriously; he rather suspected Magnus was having a problem with them all growing up.
The following morning dawned just as bright as the last and Jared and Andrea set off for a healthy run. Conifer Station looked beautiful in the early sunshine and the couple set off on their own individual routes.
Jared spotted his father jogging towards him and was stunned. His family lived in Oasis Springs; what the hell was Magnus doing jogging in Evergreen Harbour? He must have caught the train over incredibly early.
He gave his father a filthy look but didn’t speak as the two men jogged past one another. He had the awful feeling of being stalked and he didn’t like it at all. If Magnus didn’t ease up, the wedding in the summer was going to be a disaster.
Later that day, Jared was at work, trying to solve some engineering problems when his father’s words from the previous day came back to haunt him. He began to wonder what the rest of his family thought of Andrea. Feeling paranoid, he texted his mother.
“Jared, I adore Andrea,” Marie reassured him. She’d insisted he came out for dinner with her and some of his siblings so they could sort it out. Magnus was working so it was an ideal opportunity. “Your father’s having a problem with you all growing up so fast. I know he was rude to Rohan and he’s been rude about Andrea.”
“I just don’t want him to make a scene at the wedding,” Jared said worriedly.
“I won’t let that happen, Jared.” Marie said firmly. “Your father will be on best behaviour.”
“Won’t Rohan be there as well though?” Alex asked.
“Well, yes.” Jared said, biting his lip. “He’ll be Zoe’s plus one.”
Alex laughed. “Oh great. So if he doesn’t slag the bride off, he’ll probably piss Zoe off instead.”
“Alexander, language!” Marie snapped. “Stop taunting your brother. You’re in enough trouble as it is!”
The family talked throughout dinner. By the end of the evening, Jared felt a little more secure about the wedding.
While Jared was eating out with his family, it gave Andrea a chance to get some planting done in the garden, a job she’d been meaning to do for some time. She still had some work to do on the computer for the Strangerville mystery but the garden took precedence. She hoped this dinner with his family would help Jared to feel better about things. The situation with his father had really thrown him off and she hated seeing that. Sometimes families had a lot to answer for.