Seemore's Strange Side-paths.

Alex frowned at the view she had out the big windows facing the garden, jumping when Nick laid
a hand on her shoulder. She frowned at Nick and Derek, who were standing very close together.
"When did we get a horse and how did Nick attach the horn?" she asked, pointing outside.

Derek smiled, reaching over to pat her arm. "Alex, that's not a horse. That's Seemore." He and
Nick continued on their stroll.

Alex frowned, going back to watching Kat chase the unicorn around trying to pet it.


Kat strolled into the kitchen, grabbing an orange out of the bowl in the middle of the table as she
walked past. "Hey, Mom, did you see the new house pet?" Rachel shook her head so Kat
hopped up to sit next to where she was working. "It's really pretty. Pure white, just like the
legends." Rachel's head popped up at that. "You haven't seen the house unicorn yet? Nick said
his name's Seemore. Said he showed up just as soon as he and Derek got together, the next
morning actually."

Rachel dropped her pen and rubbed her eyes. "Kat, sweetie, unicorns aren't real. Not even here.
And I doubt one showed up while Alex and I were gone." She patted her daughter's arm.
"Really, believe me, they aren't real. You couldn't touch it, right?"

"Well, no, it kept running away." Her mother's mouth fell open. "I told you about that night at
the sleepover, now I guess I was right." She shrugged and hopped off the table. "I'm going to go
find Alex and talk to her." Her mother grabbed her arm. "What?"

"What sleepover? This is the first I've heard of it. You're fifteen, Kat, you're still not supposed to
have done that."

Kat rolled her eyes. "Mom, get real and join the rest of us in the actual world. There was a girl in
my seventh grade class that was pregnant and at least two each year since then." She got free.
"We're doing everything younger than your generation did, mom, not just hitting puberty." She
waved and walked away. "When you're ready, you can come ask me questions," she said in a
dead-on impersonation of her mother.

Rachel's mouth fell open again and she could only stare at her daughter's back as she left.

Kat found Alex in her room and closed the door behind her. "Expect to hear yelling soon,
apparently I didn't tell my mother about the questionable night I had at my last sleepover before I
let it slip." She sat down in Alex's rocking chair, looking at her. "So, Alex, I need information
and you're the only woman I know who can give it to me." She started to peel her orange, taking
the hand towel she was given with a small smile. "Thanks." She considered her friend's still body.
"What's it like between two women? I mean, what do they do, why? Does it feel that good? I
was kinda out of it that night and don't remember a whole lot."

Alex shifted so she was looking at Kat. "Well, you were right about one thing, I'm the only
person in the house you could ask." She gave her a smile. "We do it for the same reason men
and women, or men and men, get together. It feels good and gives us companionship. That's
why we date." She reached over, tweaking Kat's knee. "As for what we do? It's about the same,
it's only missing one part and most of the time you really don't miss it that much."

"So not having a penis there isn't a big thing?"

"Hon, if it is, that's why some intelligent woman created prosthetics." They both smiled. "You're
sure you're over the line now?"

"I know and accept myself as bi," Kat said formally. "No more but maybe less." She shrugged.
"Have to try both sides to figure that last part out."

"True, that is the only way to tell, but each person varies. It's always best to judge a person on
*who* they are, not what they're carrying and not what they do. All those fairytales about
dockworkers and things?" Kat nodded, leaning a little closer. "They just aren't true, sweetie."

Kat giggled. "I take it this is first-hand information?"

"Primary source."

"Cool. Then I won't listen to the other girls who said it's true."

"No, all those 'big nose' and 'big hand' comparisons are *real* off. There's no correlation between
them." Kat nodded. "Now, what did you really want to know? How's, why's, or whats?"

"I'm still in the why's. I mean, there's this woman, okay, she's older than me by a few years but
she's still young, and I like her a lot. I'd like to proposition her but ..." She stopped as her mother
walked in. "Hey, just talking about whys."

"Kat, you know I don't support you in this choice of yours." She glared at Alex. "I would
appreciate you not giving my daughter that sort of information."

"Mother, chill. I'm bi, get over it already. Accept me or let me come live here."

"No," Nick called as he walked down the hall. "School would become really difficult."

"Nick, come in here," Alex called. He walked in, looking at them. "Kat's asked me for some
information about women on women sex. Rachel's still not accepting."

"It's different when it's your kid," Nick pointed out. "She's not real fond of Derek and I being
together, but she's seriously upset over Kat being bi." He shrugged, giving Kat a smile. "Hey,
Kiddo, I gotta change my oil, want to help?"

"Sure." She stood up, walking past her mother. "I'm not going to stop dating women because
you're freaked, mom. Deal with me as a real person who can make my own decisions or don't
deal with me at all." She walked out of the room, following Nick.

Alex shrugged. "She's right, Rachel, she is what she is. She's getting information so she's careful
and safe, she's a smart girl."

Rachel shook her head. "She's not bi, it's a phase and popular culture." She walked out. "Don't
do it again, Alex, I don't want her taught about that."

"She already knows," Alex reminded her. Rachel stopped and turned to glare at her. "She said
she told you."

"No, she doesn't. She isn't sure what happened that night and I know she didn't do anything like
that in *my* house." She stormed away, leaving Alex rolling her eyes.


Kat checked to make sure her mother was nowhere nearby and followed Alex into the Control
Room. "Okay, so I like this older woman," she started again, "and I know she's into women but
I'm not sure she's into me because of my age and inexperience. How do I get her attention?"

Alex smiled at her. "Why her? Is it just looking for a teacher or is it something else?"

"I feel kinda connected to her. She's my perfect mate all rolled up in one person. Smart, kind,
gentle. The only difference is our ages."

"Hmm. That could be a problem. Since you're underage, your mother could have her thrown in
jail for statutory rape." Kat winced. "Yeah, so maybe you ought to get to know her better, start
off small and build until you're old enough by law."

Kat nodded and stood up, leaning over to kiss Alex on the mouth. "Thanks. When you think I'm
old enough, yell my way. I'll wait." She walked out of the control room, followed by Nick's

Alex sat there in shock, even after Nick had hugged her. "She..." She hopped up and followed
Kat out, finding her in the garden. "Katherine, we need to have a long discussion." She sat down
next to her. "You can't do that. *Especially* not with your mother around. She will throw me in

Kat gave her a pitiful look. "I'm sorry. If I could have afforded flowers I would have done it that
way instead." Her pitiful look changed to a naughty grin. "But you agree?"

"I think we'll be having a *long* talk in the near future, my dear." She patted Kat's arm as she
stood up. "At least one." She looked around. "Can I bring..."

"Nick already knows so Derek can. Just not it."

"Hey, no problem there." She ruffled the blonde hair. "Slowly, Kat."

"Slowly," Kat agreed. "I'm not in a hurry, you're going to be here for a long time." She shrugged
and gave her an innocent look. "I said I'd wait."

"Oh, yes, you will," Alex said, giving her a smile. She jogged back into the house and into
Derek's office, giving him a desperate look when she found Rachel in there. "Derek, do you have
a minute?"

"In a few moments, Rachel's asked me to mediate between the two of you." He waved at a chair.

She burst out laughing. "Oh, God. Derek, hall, now please," she said, giving him another
desperate look. He stood up, following her and she leaned against him so no one could overhear.
"I'm the woman Kat's interested in, she just kissed me." She pulled back to Derek's shocked look.
"Yeah, and for some reason the idea feels right, but I'm still very confused right now."

Derek sighed and shook his head. "This isn't going to be easy, is it?"

"She's agreed to wait and to talk about it with me but otherwise, no." She gave him a smile.
"For some reason, I feel like I should be tapdancing down the hall."

Derek smiled at her. "I've felt that way before." He smiled at Nick as he walked past them. "Just
be discrete. I'll calm Rachel down." He headed back into the office. "Go talk with Nick,
maybe he should talk to your ... admirer about appropriate conduct at her age."

"Admirer?" Nick asked, popping his head back into the hall. Alex nodded. "Oh, that one. Sure."
He waved Alex closer. "Good or bad?"

"I feel like I should be dancing down the hall," Alex told him, giving him a hug. She smiled at Kat
as she walked in. "Your mother asked Derek to tell me to leave you alone and to not tell you

Kat snickered. "I'm going to go talk to my mother." She stopped in front of them, giving them
both hopeful looks. "You really feel like dancing?"

"And singing and all that corny musical stuff," Alex assured her. "I just didn't realize it until in the
Control Room."

Kat smiled at her. "Cool. Later." She headed for the office, and soon there was shouting and
Derek hurried out.

"She's going to come stay with us for a few weeks," he said delicately. "They agreed Rachel
should calm down." He patted Alex's shoulder. "I know what you're feeling very well, my dear,
but please don't break the law." She nodded, frowning at him. "I know, but Rachel is vindictive
right now and she would have someone come for you."

Alex nodded. "I know, we're going to wait until she's old enough. That'll give us time to make
sure it's not a crush and that this is what she really wants."

Nick hugged her. "Good plan, Alex. I'll be here if you need to talk to me or him." He let her go,
giving Derek a small kiss. "You know, you promised to marry me one of these days."

"I accept," Derek said with a brilliant smile. "When and where should I show up?"

Nick's mouth fell open. "You were waiting on me to ask you?" Derek nodded. "Why?"

"Because then I knew you'd be ready." Derek pinched his cheek. "How about in the garden," he
said, leading Nick toward one of the living rooms and shutting the doors behind them. "We can
invite Seemore."

Alex leaned against the wall, laughing. She smiled at Kat as she walked out. "Nick just reminded
Derek he agreed to marry him someday and Derek accepted his proposal."

Kat giggled. "Cool. Looks like we need to go shopping." The living room door opened and a
wallet flew out with the word, 'Blue'. "Okay. Want to go shopping with me?"

"Yeah, we should." She wrapped her arm around Kat's shoulders, wincing as they turned to find
Rachel there. "Derek and Nick are getting married. We're going shopping for clothes. Want to

"No," she ground out, glaring at her daughter. "You will come home now or you will never come
home again."

"I'll come pack my stuff tonight," Kat said simply with a shrug. "At least here I'm welcomed no
matter who I sleep with." She led Alex past her mother. "So, blue? This time of year in the
garden? Heavy fabrics?"

"Good plan," Alex agreed, smiling at Rachel as she walked past her. "She'll be fine, I'll watch
over her."

"I'm sure you will," Rachel said, her eyes narrowing. "I'm very sure you will, up close and

Alex stopped, turning around. "Rachel." She stopped to think then looked at Kat, who nodded.
"Yes, your daughter asked me to consider her for a future mate, and I will, but not until she's old
enough *by* *law* to do so. I'm not a child molester and she's still much too young." Rachel's
stance changed, becoming more confrontational. "I don't care that you don't like the fact that
your daughter likes women, or even me, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let you get away with
hurting her over who she's chosen and I'll be double damned if I let you ruin my life in the

Derek cleared his throat. "Rachel, you know Alex won't touch Kat until she's legal and that she'll
protect her until such a time occurs. Actually, knowing Alex, Kat'll be older than legal before
anything happens between them and more than an adult herself. You cannot penalize your
daughter over who she wants to date because you wouldn't do the same yourself." He laid a hand
on her shoulder but it was shaken off. "If you feel that way, fine. Kat is always welcome to stay
here, or even move here permanently if need be. You know I'll protect her and make sure nothing
untoward happens."

Rachel shook her head. "No I don't. She never had these ideas until you and Nick got together."
She shrugged off his hurt look.

"Whoa," Kat said, stepping forward. "Mom, I've been playing with the poster of Kathy Ireland
that's in my room since I was twelve. This isn't a *new* thing by any means. Gods, I've never
even really seen what men are good for, well except for these guys, but I *certainly* wouldn't
want to date one. I mean, how ewwish is that? If you think about it, the Puritans had a certain
rightness about sex being dirty."

Nick shook his head. "Kathy Ireland?"

"Sorry to burst your bubbles, but I'm a tad on the shallow side, I only like beautiful women." She
took Alex's hand in hers, squeezing it. "I fully intend to court Alex to the best of my abilities until
I wear her down and she wants me the same way I want her." She looked her mother over.
"Maybe if you would relax and consider this, you'd see it's not such a bad thing."

Rachel shook her head and stormed out of the house, driving away.

"Can I have some help tonight, Nick?" Kat asked quietly. "I'm not going back there except to

"Sure, kiddo," Nick said, ruffling her hair. "I'll meet you over there in a few hours. Oh, and
medium blue, long dress. Get something cute but that you won't freeze in, it'll be early evening."
He led Derek back into the living room and shut them back inside, locking the door.

Alex looked down at Kat. "Come on, we'll talk while we shop."

"Okay. Just so long as you don't bitch about what I said to her."

"Nope, I had to keep myself from saying something about her not getting laid since you were five
and not remembering." She smiled. "Impulses can be very bad."

"Yeah, they can," Kat said, "but I almost made the same point." She jogged out to the car. "Can
you teach me how to drive?"

"Sure, but I thought Nick was going to do that." She slid in behind the steering wheel.

"Oh, he is, but I think I could use a calm influence too." She laid a hand on Alex's leg to rub her
thigh gently, but it was put back. "Too fast?"

"Much too fast, young lady. Touching is not permissible until after you're sixteen." She turned to
look at her future girlfriend. "I'm only doing this to protect you, Kat, please don't be mad."

"Why would I be mad?" Kat asked, giving her a small, secretive smile. "I'm not mad that you're
trying to not end up in jail. But I demand the right to have private moments with you where you
set the limits of my behavior."

Alex chuckled. "Okay, once you're sixteen and it's not quite so illegal." She started the car,
reaching over to smooth a piece of hair behind her girlfriend's ear. "We'll do okay, I know we
will. We just have to take things *real* slow."

"Oh, yeah. 'Cause otherwise we'll start keeping Derek and Nick up when I get impatient." Kat
grinned at the shocked look. "Please, I want that with you too."

"Oh, I knew, I didn't realize your fantasies went in that direction."

"Yup. Loud and passionate. Always loving and caring but always loud and hard and shower-
needing." Kat pushed the legs of her jeans down so they weren't bunched up uncomfortably.
"Come on, mom got on the last ferry, we'll be safe."

"I have the feeling I'm not going to be safe for very long," Alex muttered, putting the car in drive
and heading down the long driveway.


Alex looked through the dresses that were on the sale rack, shaking her head. "All of these are
for proms." She turned and smiled at Kat as she modeled a southern-style dress. "Not quite,
dear. That look makes you look flat chested."

The saleswoman walked over, looking at Kat. "What color do you need and where is the
ceremony being held?"

"Outside, early evening, and medium blue," Alex said. The woman nodded, pulling Kat over to a
rack to talk privately with her. Alex watched as the saleswoman bundled Kat back into the
dressing room with a long piece of fabric. When Kat came back out, Alex's mouth fell open.
"Stunning," she whispered, walking over to turn the girl to let her look in the mirror. "Absolutely
gorgeous." She smiled at the saleswoman. "You did good."

The saleswoman smiled. "Thank you. Girls her age often want to look sophisticated and that
dress certainly does it for her." She handed over another one. "I think this should be your size,
dear, and the style should look equally as good on you."

Alex walked into the dressing room, putting on the simple corset-like bodice and long, full skirt,
coming back out so someone else could do up the buttons. She looked at the person in the
mirror, smiling as she saw it was Kat helping her into the dress. "I feel like a princess in this," she

"Good, 'cause I look great in it so we're getting these." Kat did the last button with a little stroke.
"There, go look."

Alex considered the full sleeves in the mirror then looked around before she shifted her breasts up
so they stuck out better, nodding. "I like these. We'll take them." She looked over her shoulder
in the mirror, smiling at Kat, who had watched the whole thing. "Derek will love them."

"Coolness." She waved the saleswoman back over. "We'll take these. How high of heels, Alex?"

"You'll want thicker ones because we'll be in the garden and not more than two inches." Alex
turned to look at her, smiling at the woman she saw in front of her. "We'll take pictures in these
at the ceremony, send one to Rachel. Maybe it'll make her see you're not that young."

"She's not that young," the saleswoman said as she wrote up a slip. "Can't be under eighteen."

"Not quite," Alex said with a small frown.

"Which is our problem," Kat said, giving the saleswoman a smile.

"Ah, yes, but the woman is the only animal with impulse control." She handed Alex the slip. "I'm
sure you can both wait that long." She winked at Alex. "Come see us the next time you need
something for another reception, Ms. Moreau."

Alex smiled at her. "Family is family." She headed back into her changing room, slipping out of
the dress a lot easier than she had getting into it. She met Kat at the register, taking money out of
Derek's wallet to pay for their new dresses. "Let's head over to your house, maybe Nick's over

"We'll call from the car," Kat decided. "They locked themselves in the living room, I'm not sure
they could see the clock." She bit her lip to stifle the grin when Alex shook her head and rolled
her eyes. "Well, they are men."

"Point," Alex said, taking the change. "Very good point. Grab the bags and lets go." She led the
way to the car, getting the trunk so the young woman could put the dresses in there. "Family is,"
Alex told her, "usually a good bet to shop with. He's really nice."

"She was a drag queen?"

"Trannie. We've talked before. I trust his opinion." Alex got into the car, starting the engine,
waiting until Kat was ready to back out. "Call Nick."

"Yeah, we should." Kat picked up the carphone, dialing the house. "Hey, Nick, it's me. No, just
wondering if you were already on your way over or not." She nodded and hung up. "He'll be on
the next ferry."

"Okay, so shoes?"

"Bras. I need new bras. Mom keeps buying all these sports bras and frilly things, and she gets the
wrong size."

Alex shook her head. "Never, ever, let anyone buy underwear for you. They always get the
wrong size." She pulled out onto the street. "Sports bras are comfortable, you should enjoy

"Not the ones she buys, they pinch and leave marks."


Alex looked at the bras Kat was picking out and shook her head. "No, get things you can wear all
day. The one you just picked up you can't wear more than an hour." She picked up one she
liked. "Try this one, you'll need something under the dress."

Kat took it, looking it over. "It's awfully plain."

"Dear, who's going to see it?" she asked with a small smirk.

"Point. I'll get the comfortable ones and maybe one showy one." She put a few of them back, but
kept the one Alex had handed her, taking another six back into the dressing room. She came back
after a few minutes nodding. "Okay, good point." She handed her basket over, heading for the
table of underwear, picking out ones that matched her new bras. "At least it's sale time," she
muttered. "There's no reason to have to spend nine dollars on a pair of underwear."

"Very true, we can go to the outlet place later." Kat gave her a smile. "Got enough?" Her
future girlfriend nodded, taking back her basket, heading up to the registers. Alex handed her a
credit card from her own wallet. "Here, my treat this time." She walked away to look at an outfit
that was sparkling in the store's light. "Hey, Kat," she said, holding it up. "Who wears this stuff?"

Kat shuddered. "Not me." That made Alex laugh and rejoin her at the counter. "Need you to
sign it," she said as she handed over the slip.

Alex signed her name, handing it back to the woman behind the register. "Okay, let's go meet
Nick and get your stuff." She took one of the bags, heading out to the car.

They met Nick in front of Kat and Rachel's house, going up together to get her things. Kat
knocked on the door and Rachel opened it, blocking their access. "My stuff?" she asked.

"I paid for it, it's staying."

Kat shook her head. "Not everything and not my files on the computer." She stared her mother
down, who finally let her inside. "I'll be right back, it's not that much. Most of it was from my
grandparents, who wouldn't have cared if I was sleeping with a football team." She headed into
her room, slamming the door in her mother's face. She sat on the bed, looking around at all the
things she would be leaving, holding in her tears. She clamped a tight hold on her emotions,
turning on her computer so she could get her files off it, and grabbed one of her bags, a present
from her grandmother the year she had died.

"Kat," Rachel called, knocking on the door, "you still have a choice."

Kat ignored her, grabbing everything she could possibly claim, and a few of her favorite outfits.
She moved the files off her computer onto a cd, tapping her foot as it burned, wanting to get out
of that house. When it was done, she turned off the computer, grabbing her things and heading
out. She had to come back for one last load, her mother thankfully nowhere in sight, and
remembered to grab her jewelry box, tucking it under her arm as she picked up her last bag.

"Freeze, that's not leaving here."

Kat glared at her mother. "My *father* bought that for me, not you. I'm sure he would accept
me for who I am. If you have that much of a problem with it, then bitch when you're at the

"I bought that and put your father's name on it."

"He gave it to me, that's all I need to know." She pushed past her mother, heading out to Nick's
car to put the last things in it, gratefully accepting his hug. "Home?" she whispered.

Nick nodded, putting her in his car. "Alex will follow us." He looked over at Alex, who nodded,
then got in. "Got it all?"

"Everything my father ever gave me but one doll I couldn't find." She stared out the window on
her side of the car as they drove away. "Gods, this sucks."

"Badly," Nick agreed, "but I'm sure it'll all be worked out eventually. She'll have to see that
you're still her daughter, no matter who you love." He reached over to pat her arm. "It'll be
okay. We still love you, Kat. You're still my little sister."

She smiled at him, the tears starting to fall. She didn't even notice when he pulled off the road,
she just let it all come out now as she clung to him.


Derek waited until after supper to pull Kat into his office, watching as she sat down. "I've called
your school and explained to them that you were sheltering out here while you and your mother
fought. Apparently Rachel's told them the same thing so everything should be fine." She
continued to stare at her hands. "Katherine, I know this is hard, but it will get better. She will
realize what a mistake she's made and come back."

Kat looked up, shaking her head. "Derek, you know how stubborn my mother is. Can you
honestly say this isn't permanent?"

He shook his head. "No one's sure of anything." He got up, coming over to sit next to her. "Kat,
we're here when you need us, you can still consider us your family." She nodded. "We'll do
everything we can to make this an easy transition for you."

She gave him a small smile. "It'll be okay. Some of the kids at school will even quit bothering me
if they knew I was so into this that I left my house." She shrugged at his confused look. "They
said the same thing about it being a 'popular' thing right now to be bi."

Derek shook his head. "Katherine, if it were that, we'd all know and have tried to dissuade you
from this move." He patted her arm again. "What did you have to leave? I noticed your lack of

"Mom said I couldn't take anything she had bought me. I managed to sneak some of my clothes
and my computer stuff, but nothing else really. Most of that was mementoes that my father had
given me. Fortunately, I have access to some money that my grandmother left me, I'll use it to
replace most of my clothes. I was about to outgrow a lot of it anyway."

He nodded. "We'll help you anyway we can." He stood up. "Now then, for the serious matters
at hand. The rules as it were." She looked up at him. "You are not allowed to push Alex to
move faster, she's moving slowly for your own protection." Kat smiled at that. "Goot, I'm glad
you won't fight me, or her, on it. You will have to keep your room neat, as usual, and you will
have to do your homework. You will have to try at school, otherwise your allowance will be
cut." She opened her mouth but he smiled at her. "Kat, it's been a long while since I was your
age but I do remember the importance of having your own money. Just see that you don't spend
it all on presents for Alex, all right?"

She grinned, looking more like herself. "Thanks, Derek." She stood and gave him a hug.
"You're the greatest." She walked out, heading up to her room, going to unpack everything else.
She flopped down on her bed, reaching over to grab her bag of new underwear, running her
fingers over the smooth surface. After a few minutes of contemplation of the satin, she got up,
doing what she had to do so she could hide in her bathtub and think and react.


Nick looked over at Derek, who was reading beside him on the bed, then rolled to kiss his cheek.
"We should replace some of her things."

"We will," Derek said as he flipped pages in his Anthropology journal. "I know you and Alex
already have it planned, I'll have a check for you to cash in the morning." He glanced down at the
man who was soon to be his husband. "All right?"

"Not quite," Nick said, kissing his shoulder. "I would like a kiss."

Derek put aside his journal, shifting down to hold his fiancé tightly. "Nick, if I start that, I won't

"Derek, I'm not a blushing virgin."

"Love, don't ruin all my illusions," he said with a mock-frown.

"Uh-huh, I knew that the unicorn had a special thing for you." Nick sat up, looking down at him.
"Derek, I love you, I'm not running away just because you're going to kiss me and ravish me."

Derek shook his head. "Nick, I'm not that way." He reached up, rubbing a knuckle along the
underside of Nick's chin. "It looks like we both have a lot of misconceptions about each other."
Nick nodded, pulling his fingers up to kiss. "We should talk."

"Yup, we should," Nick said as he nibbled on the fingers he was holding captive. "You really
won't ravish me?"

Derek withdrew his fingers, giving his love a small kiss to replace them. "No, I won't. I tend to
be a passionate man but not that much of one." Nick pouted. "You can do it to me if you'd like

Nick smiled and hugged him. "Deal, and I can be as innocent as you'd like me to be other times."


Nick checked on Kat and Alex's progress, smiling at the mess Alex's room was in. "Girls, one
hour," he reminded, tapping the face of his watch. Then he ducked the hair bow Alex tossed at
him. "Sorry. So, what do the dresses look like?"

"Nope, you're just going to have to be stunned like everyone else," Kat said as she curled some of
her hair into a ringlet. "Like that?"

"Yeah, like that," Alex told her with a smile. "I agree with Kat, we look good so we're going to
steal attention from you."

Nick shook his head, leaving them alone and heading down to the kitchen to make sure all the
food was ready and waiting on them. "Dominic," he sighed, sitting down with the cup of coffee
he had been handed, "you're a saint. Thank you for doing this on such short notice."

"A wedding is a joyous occasion, sir, we don't get many of those here." The butler handed over
an extra canape, watching as it was tasted and savored with a look of intense pleasure. "I take it
they're up to standards?"

"More than ever," Nick joked, grinning at him. "Thanks."

"You're welcome. As I said a joyous event such as a wedding comes too infrequently to this
house." Dominic turned back to his task.

Nick finished sipping his coffee, staring out at the tent set up in the garden.


Alex finished buttoning Kat into her dress, smiling as she caught sight of the young woman in the
mirror. "Do mine," she said, turning, adjusting her breasts so they stuck out just right.

Kat mimicked her move and sighed. "Oh, that's much more comfy." She nimbly fastened the long
row of buttons, smoothing down the soft fabric on each side when she was finished. "There." She
stepped into her shoes, watching Alex put on hers. "Why did you get sandals?"

"Because I need the straps, otherwise I'll slip out of them." Alex frowned at one curl that kept
falling, grabbing a bobby pin to fix the errant hair. "There, perfection again." Kat giggled.
"Come on, we should go down and take our places."

Derek stuck his head in the door, his mouth falling open at the sight of them. "My," he said,
licking his lips, "I had no idea you were getting this dressed up." He walked in, examining the
dresses closer. "You did a very goot job, ladies. Come, we should go down and arrange
ourselves." He lent each one an arm, walking them down.

Nick met them at the bottom of the stairs, mouth gaping open as he saw Kat. "Wow. You look
much older in that dress, kiddo." She rolled her eyes. "Too big for that, huh?" he asked,
tickling/poking her.

"Just don't mess up her hair," Alex said, continuing on their stroll to the garden. "Come on, guys,
we have to go do this."

Nick wrapped an arm around Kat's shoulders. "Yeah, it's time to do this."

To Be Continued.