Not long after Lalique and Perry announced their engagement Arlene informed Lalique that she was leaving to go back home to Garden City. She thought it would be just too awkward to live with Lalique. After all Pres Everhart might occasionally show up at Lalique's with his brother. Even if they had mutually agreed that the romance was over, they had not really parted on good terms. Bluewater Village was a very small town and very close to Pleasantview where Pres had rented a small house. All of Pleasantview shopped at Bluewater. It was more than likely she would encounter him while shopping or dining.
Explaining that while she was okay with the breakup now that she realized she and Pres were incompatible, Arlene wanted to start over somewhere else. Besides, Perry and Lalique were going to be married soon and the kids would have two parents to care for them. Alain and Desiree no longer needed the very close supervision they once had with a nanny.
Lalique was actually flabbergasted when Arlene and Pres had called it quits. Right after Arlene first found out Ray's true identity his brother Perry had told Lalique about his undercover work. She had thought Arlene would be overjoyed and things would all work out. Only a week or two later had come their split. When Arlene told her that she just didn't feel the same about Pres Lalique didn't know what to make of it. In her opinion he was the same man and she didn't understand Arlene's quick dismissal of him now that she'd learned he was on the police force instead of being possibly on the wrong side of the law. Lalique knew that she wouldn't blink an eye if Perry were to confess that he was not an attorney but, in fact, his job was shoveling whale poop on the bottom of the ocean. She'd probably just sign herself and the kids up for scuba diving lessons in preparation.
Having grown fond of Pres as Perry's younger brother Lalique felt bad for him. Arlene was adamant though, the relationship was over. She even admitted that, once she'd let Pres know her true feelings, he'd seemed to lose interest in her just as quickly. Shrugging she told Lalique,
"There's someone out there for me, I know it. It just isn't him. I thought he was such a sexy bad boy, so tough and yet soft with me. Instead he's a cop with a conventional life planned. Dull. If he'd stayed undercover it would be different--I could help with his work. But no, he says he'll never do that again, that he hated it. I don't like cops anyway, they always try to give me tickets when I'm not even doing anything wrong."
"Well, he couldn't have done such a good job playing that part unless he had a bit of bad boy down deep. A man shouldn't have to be a felon to attract you, Arlene," Lalique muttered. She knew she should just shut up but, honestly, Arlene's behavior was perplexing to her. How could Lalique have known her all this time, lived in the same house as her, yet not realized that under the soft and sweet persona she projected she was rather insensitive and superficial. It kind of gave Lalique the creeps. Why, she didn't even seem to be grieving about the end of what had been an important relationship for her, but rather she seemed slightly resentful and definitely impatient to move on.
"Oh, well," Lalique thought to herself, "Mom always says it takes all kinds to make a world."
The older twins had been prepared that Arlene would someday be leaving, but now that the time had come, and rather quickly, they were very upset to see her go. She was more like a big sister than a nanny, and they loved her. They were quite tearful, although the little twins didn't really know what was going on, and even Arlene's eyes were moist. After she said her goodbyes, the taxi honked and then, just like that, Arlene walked out of their lives, never once looking back. They did not know if they would ever see her again.
Before Alain and Desiree could cry too much more about the loss of an important and beloved presence in their lives, a week later Perry's parents showed up to stay at their house for a few days. Philip and Rhonda Everhart had planned to stay at a hotel, but Lalique asked them to stay in the guest room (Arlene's old room), so they all could have more time to get to know one another. It would be busy around the Flynn house for the next week or so, but the twins were fast making friends with their new grandparents. Both the senior Everharts seemed to be old hands at dealing with toddlers as well so Lalique and Perry stole some time alone to play a video game and talk.
Perry now took the opportunity to press his advantage in regard to the wedding.
"Honey, with my folks here we could marry now and they could stay with the kids while we go on a short honeymoon," he coaxed, "That way they won't have to go home and then turn around and come back for the wedding in three months. And we'll have them to keep the kids since Arlene is gone. Mom's gone nuts over all four of them."
She didn't give an answer yes or no so he continued to convince her the next day as he prepared the grill for her. There would be a cookout that afternoon.
"We'll see," Lalique smiled as she brought the food out, "You can mention it to them today and see what they think."
Philip and Rhonda were all for his plan--Lalique had to wonder if Perry hadn't been doing a number on them for days whenever she wasn't around. And so it was that in a very few days and with a crazy whirl of activity, they pulled together a very small, casual but lovely wedding. They enjoyed the wedding cake out on the deck in back. Only the kids and Perry's parents were in attendance. Errol and Olivia were on vacation in Cannes, France and Lalique knew Olivia would not be happy that the wedding had gone forth without them. She decided she would deal with that later. The only ones who were as happy as the bride and groom that day were Alain and Desiree. Later Lalique and Perry took a break, while still in their bridal duds, to feed Brett and Noelle and the fond look in Perry's eyes as he attended to Brett made Lalique love the man more than ever.
That night was a quiet evening with the family gathered around, including Rhonda and Philip. After the kids were all safely in bed, the adults enjoyed banana splits and felt no guilt at all. Too much sugar late at night for little ones, right?
When she and Perry retired to their bedroom Lalique felt herself wrapped in a contentment she'd never known before. Except for one small thing. Perry wanted to adopt all four children to give them his name. Lalique had no problem with that. But she knew John Lassiter would never agree to Brett and Noelle being legally Perry's children. For now, she intended to enjoy her honeymoon and think about the rest later. Perry knew she was worried about telling John their plans and his hand closed over hers, so strong and warm.
"Why don't you let me tell him, man to man? John and I have known each other professionally for years. I've even played golf with him from time to time. I think I can get him to be reasonable.
"Ha! Anyway, I can't put it off on you. He'd expect me to tell him myself."
"All right, you can tell him, but I'll come along."
When Lalique still looked unsure Perry said,
"I don't want you dealing with him alone, Lalique. I mean it."
That was his "I have spoken" voice which occasionally irked her but actually this time Lalique found it easy to cave. She didn't really want to be alone with John either, especially not in this case.
"All right, but let's forget about it until we get back from Belle Isle," she smiled.
He kissed her; a quick hard kiss, and then his lips came back gently and lingered a long time before he broke away. Lalique felt breathless, as she always did when he kissed her and Perry raised one eyebrow and smiled,
"Not a problem, Mrs. Everhart."
The newly married couple left the next day for their romantic four day island honeymoon. It was hard for Perry to get away from work right then, but they planned to take a longer trip when the time was right.
Next blog update: The Brothers Everhart - Prince Ch. 13 Pepper and the Women