If it were possible, a person could pluck the overwhelming amount of love from the air and create beautiful bouquets for blushing sweethearts and old lovers. A smile or a skipping heartbeat wasn't difficult to find. Even the cats seemed bashful towards the dogs.
One by one, sleek cars and limousines pulled up to the steps of the Grand Mystic Hotel. That day, the steps were lined with large arrangements of roses with gold ribbons tied to each and every stem. They fluttered in the brisk evening breeze. Lost rose petals tumbled across the rolled out red carpet, narrowly avoiding the bottoms of fancy shoes.
As night descended on the city, twinkle lights flickered to life, clinging to the walls of the hotel like speckles of rain drops dripping down a window pane. More lights spun around the railing. It transformed the hotel into a golden palace fit for royalty as if King Midas himself touched these walls.
James had never attended a wedding at night before, but he figured that was to be expected from a vampire wedding. He stepped out of the limo and straightened his tie. The amount of magic seeping out of the hotel forced his neck hair to attention. Once, he shook hands with a powerful witch and her magic made his whole arm go numb. He was on pins and needles for hours afterwards.
He didn’t want to tear his eyes away from the hotel, but he managed and held his hand out to the exquisite Delphine Kelley. She laid her velvet blue gloved hand on top of his and she flashed her signature smile. She rose like the moon greeting the sky, demanding all the attention with her shine. She let out a satisfied sigh and walked ahead so James could close the door. He waved as the car drove away.
When he looked around he frowned as Delphine touched the side of her head, checking for any fraying hairs. Two diamonds sat under her thin eyes. She wore a body hugging blue dress with a gigantic bow resting on her shoulder that reached higher than her head. The ribbon fell down her back and grazed the ground like a train.
James sighed. "Isn't this a bit much? You do know it's not your wedding?"
She rolled her eyes, "I know that."
In her heels and with her black hair up in a high bun, she was barely taller than James. She leaned into him, tightening her arm around his as they ascended the stairs. She clutched his bicep tight, "but Julia is already getting married. She doesn't need to impress anyone anymore and I deserve a little fun. You know, I've work so hard lately."
James didn't hide his laughter. Her idea of hard work was staying at the office until seven twice that week. He couldn't let it die. "Yes, but don't you think during the ceremony, people shouldn't have to look over your giant shoulder decal to find the bride? It's the size of someone's date, Delphine!"
"I was allowed a plus-one."
"I'm your plus-one."
She dismissed him with a wave. "Julia gave you your own invite."
"Yes, but when you were reading your invitation out loud, you bopped my nose when you said plus-one."
She grinned. "I did do that."
Two handsome men in matching red suits opened the front doors and James needed to take a moment to appreciate the lobby. Good postured servers walked around with golden trays full of what could possibly be the blood of virgins or simply O positive. He didn't know what the average price of a good bottle of blood was nowadays. Everyone stood close, chatting over the quartet of strings playing in the corner.
The guests were dressed to the nines, covered in big jewelry and expensive, richly colored garments. Among their kind, they happily showed off their fangs without a care in the world. In this room, James was the odd one out. An older couple couldn't wait and already started slow dancing. James smiled. He loved weddings.
But when he looked down, he couldn't help, but feel out of place in his rented suit. This was Delphine's world and she fit in like the last puzzle piece left. Delphine waved and greeted people as they passed. She knew everyone of course. Society was beginning to remember him too. It made James wonder if, in fifteen years, he'd be just like Delphine.
"Excuse me, sweetheart?" Delphine caught the attention of a weary girl in a plain pants suit. With her frazzled bun, her clipboard covered in sticky notes and the only grimace in sight for miles, she was obviously the wedding planner. Delphine asked, "Where can I find the bride?"
"Um," the girl huffed, throwing her hand at a long hallway while checking the time on her wristwatch. As the seconds dragged on, James watched her age accelerate. "That way," she grumbled and flipped around, hurrying towards another direction. "Pass the gardens."
James and Delphine followed directions, passing large windows that peaked into the courtyard garden. Through the roses bushes, James could spot the archway where Julia and William were going to share their vows, surrounded by more twinkle lights, candles and a sky full of stars. Delphine sighed, obviously she was looking too.
"I should get married," she pouted, leaning into James and laying her head on his shoulder.
"To who?" James wondered.
"I think I saw the Duke Joseph Willard talking to that horrid Maryann Walsh inside. He could use some saving from a life of hopeless boredom."
"Should I call him? Everything is here. Might as well get a quick ceremony in before Julia and William's starts."
With that, she just sighed wistfully again. “Don’t tempt me.”