Danni was awakened the next morning by the smell of breakfast cooking and the low conversation between Peter and Kayla drifting up from the living room. Kay wasn’t a morning person by choice – left on her own she’d stay up half the night and then sleep till noon – but the bond she had with Peter had changed her hours drastically.
Danni closed her eyes again, trying to catch a few more minutes of sleep, when she realised that she was unusually warm – and that Micky was the reason why.
He was spooned up against her, his chin resting comfortably on top of her head, and his long arm was curved around her stomach, holding her gently but firmly in place. His snores weren’t as loud as they usually were – hadn’t been since her transformation, she realised – and the gentle rise and fall of his chest as he breathed was clearly felt against her back.
“Micky!” she whispered urgently. “Wake up!”
“Mrfl…” he replied, pulling her closer.
“Micky! I said wake up! Peter’s going to send Kay to wake us up any minute now!”
“….s’matter….” he mumbled, and somehow she could sense his eyes opening slightly.
“Do you want Kayla to see us like this?” she asked bluntly, gesturing at their intertwined bodies.
“Like….” He lay still, his sleep-fogged brain processing the information. “…oh….”
Reluctantly, he removed his arm and rolled over onto his other side, back to her, scooting to the edge of the bed.
Just in time, as Danni heard footsteps on the stairs, followed quickly by a knock on the door. “Rise and shine, you two. Breakfast is ready!” The door swung open and Kay’s dark head popped in. “Are you guys awake?”
Danni scrambled out from underneath the bedclothes. “I am. I don’t know about him!” She pointed at Micky.
“I’m awake,” he said, sounding somewhat startled by the fact.
“Then get out of bed and get in gear! Breakfast is getting cold.” And with that, Kayla closed the door.
Micky sat up, frowning deeply. “Danni….something’s….happened.”
“What are you talking about?”
He looked up at her with terrified eyes. “I woke up when I lost physical contact with you. Instantly.”
She sat down heavily on the edge of the bed. “Tell me that’s a joke, Micky,” Danni demanded. “That can’t happen – you slept the other nights without me!”
Micky looked at her, and she read his answer in his horrified eyes.
“You’re not joking, are you?”
Slowly he shook his head. “You know me, Danni… Davy and I shared a room for months. You know I don’t wake up this far in a matter of seconds – but look at me!” He spread his hands uselessly.
Danni looked at the alert posture, the bright eyes with no signs of drowsiness whatsoever. Micky was as wide awake as she’d ever seen him!
“But how?” she cried. “It wasn’t like this the first nights!”
“I don’t know,” he gasped. “I don’t know… everything was the same as before, except –“ His head shot up, his eyes narrowing in anger. “Except Kayla rigged it so we’d share a bed and I woke up with you in my arms! That’s what she meant by ‘we’ll see’! She knew this would happen!”
“I’ll kill her.” Danni marveled at the calm way she took the news. “I’ll bloody well kill her for doing this!”
“Stand in line, take a number…” Micky said, jerking to his feet and stalking toward the door.
Danni was hot on his heels. Together, they stormed out of the bedroom and down the stairs, their combined anger practically radiating from them. “Kayla Tork!” Micky yelled. “We need to talk to you!”
Kayla looked up from the morning paper. “What’s the matter with you?” she asked sweetly. “Get up on the wrong side of the bed?”
“You might say that, yes,” Micky snarled. “What the hell did you do to us?”
Her smile disappeared. “Micky? What’s wrong?” she repeated, serious now. “I didn’t do anything…”
“You pushed our beds together, knowing we’d have to share it – knowing I’d wake up holding her – knowing what would happen when she or I moved!”
Kayla stood, her meal forgotten. “What happened when you moved…” She drew a sharp breath. “Do you mean that ---“
“That’s exactly what I mean!” Micky snapped, not even aware that this entire time he’d had a firm grasp on Danni’s hand, or that his thumb was now lazily tracing patterns on her knuckles. “The instant I rolled over this morning, I woke up!”
“Oh, man…” Peter breathed.
“Exactly!” Danni said. “Now we’re like you two! How could you do this to us, Kayla?”
Kayla swayed slightly, dropping back into her chair and burying her head in her arms. “Oh, man…” came the muffled words. “I didn’t mean anything by it… I’m sorry….”
Micky looked at Danni, then back at Kayla. “What?” they gasped at the ebony-haired woman simultaneously.
The dark head rose slowly, and Kayla turned watery eyes to Micky. “It was just…just a joke,” she choked out. “You did it to Peter and me! I didn’t know anything like this would happen, honestly!”
Peter nodded. “We just thought it would be funny… us doing to you what you’d done to us…. We had to sleep together… you didn’t…. until now….” The last two words were a whisper and his dead eyes seemed to search for Kayla.
“I’m so sorry!” Kayla repeated. “I wouldn’t have wished this on you for anything…” She broke off as the tears started to roll down her cheeks.
Peter laid his hands on her shoulders, trying to calm her. Micky looked at Danni helplessly.
“Don’t, Kay.” Danni approached the crying woman. “We know you didn’t mean it. It was a shock, that’s all. You couldn’t have known what was going to happen.” Danni looked back at Micky. “Isn’t that right, Micky?”
He nodded, then looked at their joined hands and breathed in sharply in shock.
Kayla dried her tears, sniffling a little. “Thanks, guys. I wouldn’t hurt you for the world.”
Micky didn’t answer. He caught Danni’s eyes and raised their joined hands mutely.
Shock drove away the last of Kayla’s tears. “Look at you—you’re touching… just like we do….”
“I know,” Micky said, eyes not leaving Danni’s face. “Something’s happened to us…and it’s scaring the hell outta me.”
“And me,” Danni echoed. “What are we going to do?”
“What caused this?” Peter asked. “Aphrodite’s curse?”
Kayla snapped her fingers. “That must be it! It’s got to be part of the spell!”
“Like it was part of your programming?” Danni asked.
“Exactly! She must have thrown this in on top of everything else!”
Micky released Danni’s hand. “I don’t want any part of it!” he snarled. “I’m going back to bed for an hour! Wake me up then – maybe we’ll all have come to your senses!” He went up the stairs and slammed the door.
Peter sighed. “Good luck,” he whispered.
Kayla bowed her head. “What have I done to them, Peter?” she whispered. “Why couldn’t I have just left them alone…”
“You didn’t know….” Her husband soothed, caressing her hair. “You couldn’t have known…Danni? I can sense you’re still here…We’re both sorry…we had no idea….”
“I know that, Peter.” Danni looked up at the bedroom door. “He’s just taking this hard…”
“We’ll test this,” Peter said. “Eat your breakfast… stay here for an hour, then go up to him.”
Danni sat down, helping herself to a slice of toast. After two bites, she sat it down again. “I wonder if he’s asleep…”
Peter suddenly grinned. “I’m sorry….” He said, shaking his head. “This sounds too familiar…excuse me.” He moved to the downstairs bedroom and closed the door.
Danni blinked at Kayla. “What was that about?”
“The flip side of the bond,” Kayla explained. “When Peter can’t sleep, I can’t sleep. It works both ways. I assume it will with you and Micky also.”
She stood. “Then he needs me there to sleep.” She began to move toward the stairs, only to be stopped by Kayla’s hand on her wrist. “What are you doing? I have to be with –“ Her eyes widened. “What am I saying?”
Kayla studied her face, then released her. “You’re saying what you need to say – what you need to do to make me let you go. You need to go….” She swallowed. “To go to the man you love.”
Danni’s jaw worked for a long moment, then she sighed and nodded. Resignedly, she headed up the stairs.
Micky was laying in bed, shaking slightly.
“No luck?” Danni asked as she closed the door behind her.
Micky closed his eyes and shook his head.
“Need me to be close to you?” she whispered.
He nodded, misery on his face.
Danni moved to sit on the edge of the bed, hand extended in silent invitation.
He took it and closed his eyes… then opened them a few moments later, sighing in frustration.
“What’s the matter now?”
“Can’t relax.” The agony in his eyes showed the sincerity.
She lay down behind him, draping one slender arm over his shoulder to give him a quick squeeze. “Better?”
“Thank you.” His eyes closed and his breathing smoothed out. The now-soft snores began.
Danni felt the sudden stillness come over him and she, too, relaxed. Within a moment, she was asleep as well.
Peter came out of the bedroom. “Kay? You here?”
“By the window,” Kayla called, voice unusually quiet.
Peter found her and lay his hands on her shoulders. “What’s the matter, Honey?”
She leaned against him, letting herself find comfort in his strength. “I feel so bad, Shotgun. If we hadn’t pushed those beds together…”
“They would have found out that dimension to their curse eventually.” Peter kissed the top of her head. “We had no way of knowing. Por favor, Amorita…. Stop beating yourself up about this.”
“All right,” she sighed. “Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll forgive me.”
“Maybe they already have.” He squeezed her gently. “Micky was just upset… he didn’t mean his accusations, Amorita, and you know it.”
“I’ve never seen Micky that angry before. And I don’t really blame him.”
“It’ll be fine,” he whispered, then repeated the phrase in each of his languages as he kissed her head, neck and shoulders.
“I hope so.” She turned to face him, wrapping her arms around his neck as he nuzzled her throat. “Did I ever tell you that you have a way with words?” she asked playfully.
“Before or After the Change?” he teased, grinning.
“After,” she replied. “Definitely after!”
“Mmmm…. Only about a million times.” His grin grew.
“Oh, good then. I don’t have to say it anymore!”
“Don’t you dare stop,” he laughed.
She pulled him down to whisper in his ear. “Not in this lifetime.”
He captured her mouth unerringly with his, enjoying the taste of her. Smiling, he whispered into her mouth, “You’ve been eating strawberries again.”
“Busted,” she said, laughing softly. “Would you prefer something else?”
“Not in the slightest. Just…what is it with you and strawberries? Shampoo, perfume….your favourite food… he never liked them! And you can’t get enough!”
She shrugged. “Beats me. Some weird aspect of the programming?”
“Must be.” He suddenly frowned. “Come to think of it… didn’t I used to wear Nehru shirts all the time?”
“You know, you’re right! Why didn’t we notice these things before?”
He shrugged. “Now all I wear are pullovers or button-downs – except for the black Nehru you like so well.” He grinned. “Who knows? Maybe some subtle shifts in the personal tastes – side-effect of the conditioning?”
“It’s as logical an explanation as anything else we’ve got,” Kayla answered. “Why else would our tastes have changed so much?”
Peter’s frown returned. “What colours do I wear now?” he asked suddenly. “What do you dress me the most in?”
She blushed, glad for once that he couldn’t see her face. “Blue. A lot of blue.”
The dimpled smile broke onto his face. “I got a wolf-whistle in Connecticut.”
“You got a what?” she demanded. “Who did it? I want names!”
He laughed. “If I knew her name, believe me, I’d tell you. You were in the ladies’ room at the airport and suddenly there it was! She called me honey-cakes and said I looked hot enough to fry eggs.”
“She obviously has excellent taste,” Kayla commented. “And possibly a death wish, because if I ever find her….”
Peter laughed and held her close.
The alarm clock shrieked upstairs at that moment.
He sighed. “They’ll be down soon.”
“Again.” Kayla frowned. “I hope Micky’s in a better mood this time.”
Micky’s eyes opened as the alarm shrieked. He looked at it – one hour. He slammed it off and rolled out of Danni’s grip, feeling himself come instantly awake.
Danni stirred, disturbed by his absence. “Time to get up again?”
“Yeah.” He sighed, bowing his head and resting his elbows on his knees. “Again. It happened again.”
“We’ll work it out, Micky.” She hated seeing him looking so dejected. “Somehow.”
“There’s only one way,” he moaned. “You have to sleep with me. There’s no other way now we can sleep.” The last was a strangled whisper.
Danni knelt on the bed, wrapping her arms around him from behind. “I said we’ll work it out, Micky!” she said firmly. “And I meant it.”
“You know I love you.” His voice was a flat monotone.
“Then you know this is what I wanted…. But not like this!” he cried, punching his legs with his fists.
“Stop it!” she grabbed his hands. “This is not your fault. And it’s not Kay’s fault, either.” She took a deep breath. “In fact, if anyone’s to blame, it’s me.”
“You?” he gasped, turning to look at her. “Your fault?”
“Or I should say Davy’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Aphrodite angry, she wouldn’t have done this.”
He studied her for a long moment, then suddenly he lunged, pushing her back to the bed and kissing her till she could barely breathe.
When he lifted his head, he was gasping. “I don’t regret that, Danni. Not for one minute.”
“How can you say that, Micky? Look at the mess we’re in because of it…”
“I’ll adjust,” he whispered, nuzzling her neck. “I’ll adjust… oh, Danni….” And his lips returned to hers as he pulled her to a sitting position and moved her to his lap.
“We shouldn’t be doing this,” she murmured, between kisses.
“Yes…. We should….” He whispered, tangling his fingers in her hair as his other hand roamed up and down her back, pulling her closer as his kisses deepened.
“Peter and Kayla are right downstairs….”
”…..and they’re not coming up.”
She tried another tactic. “Maybe we should stop….while we still can….”
“…do you really want to?” he whispered, zeroing in on her neck again.
She pulled his face up, looking into his eyes. “It’s too fast,” she said regretfully. “Way too fast.”
He gasped, trying to get his breathing under control. “How… how slow do you wanna go?”
“I don’t know,” she cried. “It’s been less than a week!”
“I can’t deny how I feel… I won’t. I won’t stop kissing you, touching you….” He cupped her cheek. “I love you, Danni. So much…”
“I’m not asking you to deny it. I just need some time to figure out how I feel.”
He smiled and kissed her again – just as deep, just as thoroughly as before. But this time he was the one to pull away. “I’ll see you downstairs. I’m hungry.” Another kiss on her forehead, and he headed for the stairs.
Danni sat on the edge of the bed, head in hands, wondering how to cope with this newest obstacle. Not the desire Micky felt for her – but the need she felt for him.
They adjusted in silent torment to the reality of having to hold each other every night. Slowly, the torment turned into a sweeter torture. They had many discussions and discovered that for all their teasing, both of them wanted to wait to take the next step until they both felt very comfortable.
Soon, their talks turned to a hypothetical marriage.
Hypothetical became very real when Micky got down on one knee one morning in his pajamas and asked her very seriously, “Danni Jones…will you become my wife?”
She studied his face, scarcely daring to believe she’d heard what she’d heard. “….what?”
He nodded. “I mean it. I want to marry you.”
He smiled and brushed his fingers against her cheek. “I know you do, darlin’, I’m not expecting an answer n….” He froze and brushed his fingers against her cheek again. “….Danni, are you feeling all right?”
She considered, then shook her head slightly. “I’m feeling all worn out…”
“Right…get dressed.” Micky stood up and headed to his own dresser. “We’ll get you fixed up right as rain.” There was no answer. “Danni?” he asked as he pulled on his pants and turned around. “DANNI!”
Danni had collapsed back onto the bed, revealing the one thing that could affect her and not Micky.
Micky scooped her up, shivering at the fever that rolled over her, and ran down the stairs with his precious bundle, screaming to Peter and Kayla that he was going to the hospital now!
When the verdict came, it was frightening. Danni had a raging infection in her intestinal tract. The doctor delivered the words in gentle tones, but the impact was the same. Danni was on a ventilator to support her as the fever had climbed higher and higher and she was being given massive doses of medication for the infection.
But so far she was not responding to it.
Micky leaned against the wall and began to shake. “Well… worst case?” he asked.
“If she doesn’t respond to the medication….” The doctor made a helpless gesture with his hands, refusing to put his answer to words.
“Could she die?” he whispered.
“We’re doing everything we can, Mr. Dolenz, but you have to prepare yourself. She’s in very serious condition at the moment.”
Micky closed his eyes. “Can… can I see her?”
“Just for a few minutes.”
Micky sat beside his lady love, brushing the hair from her face. “Hey, babe,” he whispered. “Get well for me, okay? You know I need you.”
There was no response, save for the faintest twitching of the closed eyes.
Micky leaned forward and kissed the corner of her lips, which were still forced apart by the ventilator tube. “I love you, Danni Jones.”
The cool hand that Micky held moved slightly, as if the words had somehow made their way into her unconscious mind.
He smiled and finished, “They’re kickin’ me out, sugar. I love you and I’ll be back as soon as I can. You get well, you hear me? Get well.”
Her hand gripped his slightly, then relaxed, falling from his to lay on the white blanket.
Tears fell from Micky’s eyes as he trudged from the room. He jammed his hands in his pockets – and froze.
Slowly, he pulled his right hand from his pocket and the tears fell anew. “….you shouldn’t hide your faith….” Danni had told him.
In his hand, Micky now held his rosary.
After calling the Torks, Micky began to wander the halls of the hospital. Eventually he found himself inside the spartan chapel. After blinking in the dim light, he sighed and walked to the altar.
He sank into the front pew. He closed his eyes and crossed himself, whispering the familiar words as he took the rosary and began to say a decade for Danni’s healing.
He was still in the chapel hours later when a nurse walked in. Going up behind Micky, she placed her hand on his shoulder. “Excuse me…. Are you Mister Dolenz?”
“Yes…” He rose shakily to his feet.
She smiled. “We’ve been looking all over for you!”
“What’s happened?” he gasped fearfully.
“It’s all right,” she assured him. “Ms. Jones is much better. Do you want to see her again?”
Micky raced past her for his answer.
Danni’s eyes were open as Micky nearly ran into her room. They’d removed the breathing tube, and she reached a weak hand for Micky to take.
“Hey, gorgeous,” he whispered, taking her hand with the one that still absently held the rosary.
“Micky….” Her voice was very raspy, barely audible even in the quiet room.
“Yeah, Danni. I’m here.”
Danni’s mind whirled as she struggled to think of a way to say what she desperately wanted him to know. Finally, the pain in her throat forced her into a one word answer. Squeezing his hand, she looked into his eyes. “Yes,” she whispered.
He frowned. “Yes?”
“Marry you… yes!” she rasped out, swallowing painfully.
His eyes filled with tears as he kissed her hand. “Once you’re outta here, love. Once you’re well.”
She nodded, tears rolling down her own cheeks as her eyes closed and she gave in to sleep.
Micky looked up at the doctor. “May I stay with her?”
His request was considered. “Well… I can’t see where it would do any harm,” the doctor mused. “But don’t disturb her. She needs the rest.”
“So do I,” Micky whispered, gazing at Danni.
The doctor nodded. “I agree. The nurses will be in periodically, but don’t let it worry you – it’s all routine.”
Micky nodded. When the doctor left, he toed off his shoes and climbed into the bed with Danni, holding her close.
When the nurse came in half an hour later, she smiled at the sight of the pair sound asleep, spooned against each other. She took Danni’s vitals and adjusted the IVs in her hand. Then the nurse drew a coverlet over both of them before she slid from the room.
Micky smiled at the expression on Danni’s face. “Honey, it’s hospital policy.”
“I don’t care – I don’t want to ride in that thing!” She shot a baleful look at the wheelchair.
Micky laughed and helped her into it – and she saw the rosary in his jeans pocket. “You brought your rosary….”
He smiled slightly. “Yeah. I did.”
She smiled back. “You were praying over me?”
“I always do, babe. I don’t hide it anymore.”
She reached to take his hand. “That makes me feel pretty special, sweetheart.”
Micky smiled. “Danni… can we get married by a priest?”
Danni looked pensive. “If that’s what you really want, I don’t mind. Will they let us?”
“I know a priest that might. He’s a little… uh… unorthodox.” Micky grinned. “He’s of the view that as long as you believe, denominations don’t matter.”
“That is unorthodox. One of the reasons I stopped going was because I always found it too rigid – they always seemed to think that their way was right, period.”
Micky smiled. “Father Michael is different. He is devoted to the church, but he understands that there are other people who love God and chose to worship another way. He’s performed several ‘interfaith’ marriages.”
She nodded. “Let’s go talk to him, then.” By now they were at the car and she stood up, grimacing as she moved too quickly. “As soon as I can stand up straight for more than five minutes he can perform the ceremony.”
He laughed and kissed her on the forehead. “You’re gonna be fine. I’ll take care of you.”
Danni wrapped her arms around him. “I know you will. You already do.”
Peter came from the bathroom, whistling a jaunty tune. He cried out as he ran into someone, knocking them both down. “I’m sorry!” he gasped, recognising the shocked gasp. “Danni, are you all right?”
Danni laughed. “Be careful, Peter! I just got out of hospital – I don’t want to go back!”
He laughed. “Here, let me help you.”
She took the offered hand, letting him pull her to her feet. “Thanks,” she said, brushing herself off.
“Trouble with being blind is I can’t see anyone in my way!” he joked, one of his clouded brown eyes closing in a wink.
“Stop flirting with me!” Danni ordered with a chuckle. “Save the winks for your wife.”
“Flirting?” he gasped, a hand flying to his chest. “You wound me, Danni! Peter Tork doesn’t know how to flirt!”
“Right. Just like you have no idea what those dimples can do to a female!”
“Why don’t you enlighten me, Amiga?” he teased, smiling full-force.
“Oh, no you don’t,” Danni laughed. “Micky is the only one whose flirting gets to me!”
“I swear,” Peter said, completely oblivious to the fact Kayla had been watching this, “I am not flirtin’ with you!”
“Pull the other one, Shotgun,” came the familiar voice from behind him. “It’s got bells on.”
He turned the megawatt smile on her. “Bells on?”
Kayla started to explain, then sighed. “Never mind. Why are you two just standing there, anyway? We’ve got work to do.”
“Okay.” Peter smiled and reached for her. In Spanish, he quipped, “*How about I start by making you smile?*”
She rolled her eyes. “And he says he doesn’t flirt!”
“Soy que no!” he protested. I don’t!
Kayla grinned. “Yes, you do, and don’t ever stop.”
Switching to French, he purred into her ear, “For you, I don’t intend to. For Danni…. Well, I think Micky would kill me.”
She slapped at him playfully. “I wouldn’t test that if I were you. He’s nervous enough as it is.”
“The wedding’s when, mañana?” he asked, frowning.
“Right – and Micky’s a basket case. I’ve never seen him like this before!”
Peter shook his head. “Where is he? I’ll go talk to him.”
“Upstairs in the bedroom -- probably practicing tying his tie again.”
With a nod of his blond head, Peter made his way to the staircase and up. He knocked on the door. “Mick?”
“Come in.” The drummer’s voice was tinged with impatience.
Peter walked in. “So what are you doing/”
Micky ripped the loosened tie from around his neck. “Trying to get this stupid tie to look right!”
”Hand it over.” When Micky did, Peter took his arm. Sitting Micky forcibly on the bed, the blind man tied the tie expertly. “There.”
“How did you do that?” Micky said. “I’ve been trying to tie that all morning!”
“Easy,” Peter laughed. “I’ve been blind for nearly two years. Tying ties was one of the first things they taught me in that reorientation class Mrs. Purdy sprang for shortly after Kay and I got married.”
“I wish they had an orientation class for marriage,” Micky grumbled.
“They do,” Peter smiled.
Micky perked up. “Really?”
“What are you getting at, Peter?”
Peter found Micky’s shoulder and lay his hand on it. “I’m talking about talking to someone who is married. Me.”
Micky snorted. “Yeah, I guess you are the only one who knows how strange this whole situation is!”
Peter’s megawatt smile shone out. “Cause you’re marrying your best friend. Who only six months ago was your best male friend.”
“You said it,” Micky replied glumly. “Doesn’t it freak you out to think about that sometimes?”
“Truth to tell, it did… till something happened and I’ve not seen her as Mike since.”
“What was that?”
“I made love to her on our wedding night. From that moment on, Mike was just a memory. Only Kayla remained. And only Kayla remains.”
“You mean by tomorrow night I won’t feel like I’m about to fall apart?”
“Exactly. After the wedding night, Davy will be only a memory. All she’ll be is Danni… Your wife.”
“I sure hope you’re right, man… If this keeps up, I don’t even know if I’ll make the ceremony….”
Peter laughed. “Ask Kay…. I threw up all morning the morning we got married!”
“You’re kidding!” Micky gasped. “You didn’t seem that nervous!”
“When we were altered, the aliens gave me emotional controls similar to what Mike had. I seem calm a lot of times when all I wanna do is scream or cry.”
“Wish some of that would rub off on me.”
“Trust me.” Peter hugged him. “After tomorrow night, you will be fine.”
Micky returned the embrace. “I’m glad you and Kay agreed to stand up with us. At least you can catch me when I pass out!”
Kayla stood in the best man’s place, tugging on her uncomfortably short dress skirt. She nudged Micky. “Settle down!”
“I can’t help it,” Micky replied. “And the best man is supposed to support the groom, not nag him!”
“I am supporting you, you goof,” she grinned. “Shut up and look there. Here they come.”
Micky gulped, looking to the opposite end of the aisle, where Danni and Peter stood, arm in arm. “Beautiful,” he whispered. “Just beautiful.”
“Yeah….” she breathed. “And Danni’s not bad either….”
He nearly choked trying to hold back the laughter. “Thanks, Kay,” he said as he wiped his eyes. “I needed that!”
As Danni and Peter reached their destination, Micky held out his hand for his bride.
Danni took it, beaming at him, her large dark eyes frightened behind her veil. Kayla took Peter’s arm and guided him to stand beside Danni then returned to her place.
“Are you as nervous as I am?” Micky whispered.
“I’ve spent all morning throwing up!” she whispered back, and Micky didn’t miss the ironic grin that spread across Peter’s face as his quick ears caught the conversation.
“Don’t worry – I have it on good authority that there’s a very pleasant cure!”
“I hope so,” she whispered back, then they paid attention as the priest began to chant the Latin Wedding Mass.
Thirty minutes later, the vows and rings had been exchanged, and the priest intoned, “By the power vested in me by God Almighty and the state of California, I do hereby pronounce thee husband and wife! In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, I pray blessings upon they marriage and thy lives! Go in peace, my children.”
Micky smiled at Danni. “That’s it.” He then bent in to kiss her, raising her veil.
“Didn’t hurt a bit,” she murmured as their lips met in their first kiss as man and wife.
They forewent the reception in lieu of a party promised after their next gig. Kayla and Peter packed for the return trip to Connecticut to be with his father one last time.
After they saw the other couple off, Micky smiled at Danni. “We’re alone now.”
Danni grinned. “I was kind of hoping we could use some of that miracle cure you mentioned….”
Micky smiled and laughed. “It’s upstairs.” He scooped her in his arms and carried her up the tornado staircase, playfully threatening to drop her twice.
“Can’t you ever be serious?” Danni gasped as he gently tossed her onto their bed.
“Being silly is a stress-reliever!” he laughed, swinging a pillow at her.
She ducked, reaching behind her for some ammunition of her own. Grabbing the other pillow, she took a hefty swing.
The giggling fight lasted for about ten minutes, till Micky hurled the pillow and caught hers out of her hand. Flinging both away, he lunged and caught her wrists, knocking her backwards onto the bed. “GOTCHA!”
“No fair!” Danni protested. “You cheated – I was just about to win!
Micky grinned. He bent his head and kissed her tenderly. Then he looked down at her, smiling as he saw her shirt was riding up. “Seems like we’ve done this before,” he giggled.
“I remember – this is where we stopped, wasn’t it?”
He nodded and kissed her again, releasing her wrists and moving his hand to the buttons her shirt. “No stopping this time, my wife…”
Huge brown eyes stared up at him. “No stopping,” she repeated softly.
“I love you,” he whispered. “I’ll be gentle…but this time it’s right.”
“I know it is – I love you, too.”
Micky kissed her tenderly as he undid her shirt.
And this time, indeed, there was no stopping.
The phone in the upstairs bedroom jangled just as morning broke through the clouds.
Danni groaned, burying her head against Micky’s chest. “Answer the phone…”
Micky kissed his wife on top of the head and answered the phone. “H’llo?”
“Hey, sleepyhead,” Peter’s baritone laughed.
Micky squinted to look at the alarm clock. “Peter! It’s only 8 o’clock – of course I’m still sleepy!”
“Eight?” Peter sounded baffled. “It’s noon!”
“Time difference, love,” Kayla called.
“Shit, I forgot about that. Sorry, Mick.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Micky said through a yawn. “How’s it going back east?”
“Dad’s goin’ fast,” Peter sighed. “Mom’s hysterical and the kids are all weepy. Oh and Kay’s pregnant again.”
“Hey, I’m sorr—what?” Micky bellowed. “How did that happen?”
“Micky, if you don’t know by now….” Peter giggled.
“Yeah, yeah… you know what I mean! That’s great!”
“Yeah, round Christmastime you’ll be an uncle and aunt!” He lowered his voice. “Another strong-willed Capricorn…think a Pisces and Aquarius can handle three of them?”
Micky laughed. “Well, if it’s a girl we should have enough experience to handle it!”
Micky looked down at his wife, who had taken advantage of him by dozing back off while he talked. “Yeah,” he said softly. “Davy is well and truly gone – or just a memory, at least. I can’t see him at all anymore.”
“That’s how it works,” Peter said just as softly. “Once your marriage is consummated, the weirdness of it turns into rightness.”
“Seems like it,” Micky commented. “So, when do you think you’ll be able to come home?”
“About a month after Dad passes on,” Peter said. “We need to stay till the estate is straightened out.”
“You take good care of yourself then – and Kay and the baby, too.”
“Don’t worry – my girls are in capable hands.” There was a smile in his voice. “You take care of your girl, okay?”
“I already do,” Micky answered, smiling back. “I already do.”
“Great. And Micky? Love ya, pal.”
“Back at ya, man. Keep in touch, huh?”
“Sure will. Call you tomorrow – at noon YOUR time!”
“See that you do!” Micky laughed.
Peter hung up.
Danni mumbled, “Whazz’e want?”
“He wanted to see if the cure he told me about worked.”
“In my mind, you were born Danni – born just for me.”
Her smile was clearly felt against his chest. “I love you…. So much….”
“And I love you….we’re both so lucky….”
“We are,” Danni sighed as she tilted her head and smiled into his eyes. “Aphrodite’s curse turned into a blessing.”
Return to The Realm