A Visit To VentureRealm Part 7

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The six kids got to help with the infants while the teens were out enjoying a night of bowling and a movie with Mitch. It was carefully choreographed so they were not in the same place that Sylvia would be, as Nicole, Danica, and Michelle took her out for a night of fun. They were all going with several other ladies from the park and with Nicole's close friend chef Andre Babineaux acting as a babysitter for Jennifer Colefield. Jennifer was the designated parent for the ladies that evening and while only a couple of years older than the three princesses she was one of the most respected park employees.

Sylvia felt upset that she didn't have a chance to talk with Mitch during the evening thanks to him telling her that he had "plans with the guys he couldn't break" but the ladies kept her from dwelling on it and Jennifer offered her a caring grin while trying to deflect her need to call Mitch just to hear his voice. It took a lot of effort but it worked, with the ladies going bowling then watching a movie at a private screening and laughing at the choice of movie. It was a screwball comedy with raunchy jokes and a few sexy scenes but fit perfectly with the unknown bachelorette party theme, especially as it was centered on a group of ladies trying to give their friend one last night of fun.

Sylvia was exhausted when she was dropped off at the Gibson home, Mary had to help her get ready for bed while Les got the ladies to tell him what happened. Jennifer was thanked for keeping them in line while also praised for taking the night off and giving herself some fun away from her daughter. It was rare that she was apart from her daughter for so long, but little Bethany was happy to have the night off as well especially if she got to help Andre cook for the staff who didn't go with the ladies.

The ladies had a lot of fun and even little Bethany was smiling as her mother took her up to bed. It was tough for any of them to sleep but they all went to bed and awoke early for their shifts at the park. The same was true for Mitch as he woke up early after fighting the urge to text Sylvia his apologies for not calling her the night before. Reed had to hide his phone and laptop so he wasn't tempted to throw out tradition and talk with his bride before the wedding and unintentionally give away his secret.

The entire family went down to breakfast and were given looks of intrigue and shock over the organized chaos that John and Valerie were at the center of. Once the teens and kids had eaten the four adults were able to eat with Mitch joining them instead of going back upstairs. He was told the plans for the day and wasn't surprised to hear that the wedding was bigger than just the 31 that he knew of.

The teens and kids returned and were led by John out to the park. They were met by the Olberlins as well as Dave and his security force. The group was concerned about them being there but Dave just grinned and explained "we are here to hold your bags before the ceremony. I don't think you want to spend the next few hours walking around in your uniforms."

John, Willie, Will Bollinger, Eric Vincent, George Daniels, and Scott Nelson were happy to be relieved of their uniforms while the ladies gave them smirks. The ladies had their own dresses ready to wear, all hand stitched by members of the tribes that were represented at the park. John paid them a large fee for creating them, with the dresses being authentic and crafted with pride by the tribeswomen.

The clothes were put away and the group allowed to enjoy themselves in the park. It was tough for the pregnant Stacy Nelson and Christina Finn but they didn't mind being the designated babysitters as Michael and Courtney Finn and Rick and Jaimie Samuels enjoyed the rides without the need to keep an eye on little Sylvia and Johnny. John stayed with them as he didn't want to join the rides lest he loses his breakfast so he got to be the infants' joke yet again causing the two expectant mothers to feel better about not joining in on the full fun and seeing a preview of what was to come yet again.

Rick Oberlin, Mace, and Saffron were by the teens' sides as they enjoyed the rides and lost all anxiety about being around the group. During a wait in line, Courtney told Saffron "it's no big deal that you are what you are, we know too many lesbians, and in fact have several who are directly related to us, to say anything bad about your love life. You learned your lesson about treating people and moved on, none of us will say anything especially as we understand your reasons for acting that way."

Rick had a hard time keeping his eyes off the ladies but he didn't do anything to make a fool of himself. Mace was feeling left out and stuck by Rick's side but abandoned him when Missy came into view. She had a big smile on her face and was happy to be there with him especially after knowing what had happened to his father the night before.

Saffron acted like Rick's escort and relieved some jealousy in him. She was happy to be by his side, he was appreciative of her and enjoyed her presence more than Mace did. The others were too used to one another to get too close to, but the cousins were doing just fine together once Mace left for Missy.

The group went from section to section, enjoying various rides before time started to catch up with them and they had to get dressed. John happily gave the infants back to their parents while he received glares from the two of them. John didn't play their game, he ignored both of them while he checked over Cat, JD, and Billy giving the two infants a taste of their own medicine.

The teens were enjoying the day at the park until Ginger and Pepper appeared and started to show an interest in the guys. It lasted for hours and was ignored by the guys, they were happily entrenched with their spouses and fiance and not about to let two floozies entice them away. They weren't aware of just who the two were but from the way they acted it was clear that they were bad news.

As they were skulking around the park looking for dates to take their minds off of their fathers' issues, Mitch caught the girls' eye, especially as he was talking with the ladies like they were his personal entourage. They noticed Saffron and Mace among them and wanted some blood from the two of them, seeing the group as a way of getting revenge as well as get Mitch away from the group. They couldn't have picked a worse group to try to use against the trio, their plans were foiled before they could start.

The ladies were spotted before they got within earshot and led to Saffron telling the group that they were about to get unwanted visitors. The 15 looked over at the girls and could see what she meant, while Mitch rolled his eyes at the two girls. He angrily told the others "they are trying to get me to knock them up, they are nothing but gold diggers. Ignore whatever they try to say to you, don't give them any ammunition to use against you or they will make your time here a living hell."

Claire Peterson burst into laughter and casually added "let them. They are going down in flames. Reed already told the guys about them, they are going up against guys who have endured far worse from better looking, smarter, and more ruthless girls. And that's just Rick's and my sisters!"

The others burst into laughter while Rick Samuels cringed as he told her "my sister Al is just about the most outspoken, sharp-tongued, logically sound person out there. Only Jaimie is better at those things but Al lacks a filter that Jaimie developed so it's worse coming from Al. They are in deep trouble."

The girls got close and gave a glare to Mace and Saffron while the seven ladies walked off but stayed close to them. Saffron didn't acknowledge the girls which only caused them to become infuriated and give her a harsh glare followed by Ginger telling her "buzz off of these fine men. They don't want some cheap skank slut claiming to be a dyke around them. Take the shrimps with you, but leave that hunk of man meat. He will learn to appreciate real women tonight if he knows what's good for him."

Missy had to be held back by the grinning Reed, who pointed at the hovering OverWatch drones that were clearly recording what the girls were saying. He knew what they were doing and it was brilliant, it had to have been noticed by the others as well since Will was all smiles while the others felt like it was a big deal. Will recognized the make and model right away and was going to get them to act just right to ensure the proper response from security, leaving no room for chance.

Will was the only one who wasn't married so he took the lead in putting an end to the girls' actions and causing them to be humiliated in a way that would live on in town and park history. He produced his trademark smirk that was giving the girls the wrong impression but he was all too happy to make them look like fools for what they had done to Reed and tried to do to John. He may have avoided the bulk of the issues that some of his friends endured over the years but he had a strong hatred for bullies and that was what he saw those girls as being- just a couple of bullies.

Will asked the girls what they had against Saffron, as she was a beautiful young woman who treated kids like they were people and got them to laugh and have fun. The girls took the bait and went for the most obvious flaws of Saffron, with Ginger blurting out "she's trying to steal our men. She spreads rumors about us trying to get with a married man and said we tried to get a good looking boy arrested. She says she is into women but we know that she has slept with a dozen boys. She's just a cheap skank who can't get a real man so she is trying to go after peoples sympathies by lying about liking women."

Ginger noticed his size and muscles and started to get closer, while Pepper started to rub up against him and flutter her eyes at him. Ginger asked if he had a girlfriend, getting a quick "no" which got the girls to say "that's a shame, you are better than any of the guys in this town. They are just a bunch of hicks who either are stuck working for their parents or are sucking up to that freak who owns this park. You are the best thing to come around in a long time, it'd be a shame for you to leave without some fun."

Will had to force himself from gagging at their bad flirting while thinking about a response that would take care of the girls. He grinned then asked "what do you have in mind? I'm only here until tomorrow. I can't stay, I have to get back home."

Ginger smiled and admitted "anything you want. We are into everything you can think of and have done it all with guys. Both of us have. You probably have a huge 'thing', we know some things that will make you never want to be with another girl again."

Will had them now. He looked at Claire who was fighting the urge to strike them but was held back by the smiling Jaimie and Stacy. Will just smiled and shot back "as good as that sounds, I'm in a committed relationship with the most beautiful woman I ever met. She's trying her hardest not to rip you to shreds for trying badly to entice me. I'd back away and leave while you can, I doubt her cousins can hold her off any more and the way you two are acting I am inclined to let her do it."

The teens around them laughed loud and hard at Pepper and Ginger, while Will added "why would I want to be with girls who have just admitted that they have been with dozens of guys? No guy wants that, not unless they want an STD! And you're what, 18? 19? You had to have started young to have amassed that kind of experience with guys making it disgusting. It's a miracle that you two haven't gotten pregnant already but judging how you are acting I say it's only a matter of time until it happens."

The girls were outraged that Will had just made them admit their darkest secret to the town, and with it being shared by everyone with a phone with several recording it for posting online. Ginger thought that she had to do something and threatened Will, saying "I'll ruin you! I'll get people to hurt you! You won't get out town without being beaten to within an inch of your life!"

Will just smiled, then asked "is that right? Did you just threaten the brother-in-law of a state trooper, nephew-in-law and cousin-in-law of four police officers, and nephew-in-law and cousin-in-law of two federal agents? I heard what happened to your fathers overnight, how exactly can you do anything if you don't have any money to pay for people to hurt me in the first place? Your fathers are in jail and their bank accounts are frozen. You are broke, unless you have a secret bank account then you are in serious trouble as my aunt-in-law and mother will ensure that you two are sued and every penny that you have is looked at and reported to the proper tax collectors with the two of you on the hook for every cent that you illegally earned."

Will hated pulling out the "mom card" but it was the brutal truth. Valerie alone would ensure that they barely had the clothes on their backs and got him a pretty penny. The girls picked the wrong person to threaten, Will was becoming a Finn by marriage and coupled with his mother's accounting magic the girls were in for a rude awakening.

Ginger got bold and slapped Will for daring to challenge them. Pepper did the same, while Ginger told him that she would get him back no matter what. Will just grinned, pointed at the security officers, and told them harshly "please try to do just that, I know for a fact that you are both out on bail and are in a big heap of trouble when you go to trial. By all means, try something. I have 17 witnesses who will say that you threatened me. I have done nothing to provoke you except turn down your unwanted sexual advances so you have no defense for anything."

Will walked off, with Claire grinning as Dave took great pride in telling both girls "you are hereby banned from entering VentureRealm ever again. Your passes are revoked and your faces logged. Any attempt to enter will result in immediate arrest for trespassing. Just be glad you aren't facing assault charges as he has more important things to do than deal with you two."

Ginger tried to say that they couldn't do that, that they had done no wrong. Dave retold exactly what the girls had said, word for word, and played the audio recording of them saying it. They tried to claim that they would sue the park but Jimmy Sloan, Dave's lieutenant, explained that they forfeited their rights to sue as they violated the park's rules each of which they agreed to upon entering the park and which had specifically been told to them just two hours before.

Ginger slapped them while Pepper kicked Dave's shins earning both an arrest for assault with the two security officers behind the girls quickly grabbing and cuffing the girls. Dave casually added "that's a violation of your bail conditions, you are going to be remanded to jail until trial now. You would have just been removed from the park but as you felt the need to assault security we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law." Both girls gave him a glare and threatened him as they were hauled away but Dave simply told them that he was going to play the threats to the deputies awaiting them at the gate and have additional criminal threat charges added.

It was the final nail in the girls' coffins as they were never going to be the same again. There was no way they could escape their charges and with no money to bribe people to lie or extort people to help them, they were looking at several years in prison. It was a sad sight but one well earned for them.

The group moved on and didn't speak about what happened, but Will did get a big hug and kiss on the cheek from Saffron for defending her honor. He happily said, "just my luck that the first girl other than Claire that kisses me is not into guys." Claire shot back a witty "that's because I lost a bet and was stuck with you, all of the other girls in school wouldn't go near you."

Saffron was fighting a laugh but lost causing Will to give her a smile followed by a kiss on the cheek and a hug from Claire to show there that she was happy for her. Will felt good about getting one over on someone who needed it and seeing Saffron ease up was worth the ego bruise from Claire. Claire's dig was a calculated dig that was easy to make and was waiting for the right moment, Will played it perfectly and gave Claire just what she needed to ease Saffron and impress Mace all in one stroke.

Time was slipping by and saw the teens' phones ringing and the group rushing to WildForest to get ready for the wedding. The guys went to one side with Saffron while the ladies changed into their new dresses. Saffron was stuck hanging around with nothing to do, Kennedy saw her boredom and gave her the easy yet time fulfilling task of watching the infants so she and Valerie could dress.

The two didn't react to Saffron watching them, in fact, they were happy to put on a show for her and do the usual "I'm a cute baby" act while keeping her attention on them. Her maternal instincts kicked in and gave her a bit of heartache but it wasn't anything she couldn't deal with. It felt good to be needed and the two gave her a needed sense of purpose.

It took 20 minutes but the ladies came out of the dressing room, each dressed in a slightly different dress that showcased their natural beauty as well as beautiful bead and stitching. There were simple patterns but together made for an ornate looking dress that felt like a second skin to them. The ones who were the happiest were Stacy and Christina, their dresses had a little extra room so their wombs weren't constricted and their baby bumps weren't on full display.

Reed, Rick, Miles, and Michael were decked out in traditional shirts, pants, and shoes of the tribes as each was representing the individual tribes with Jaimie, Christina, and Courtney wearing dresses of the same tribes. There was one extra dress, Jaimie looked at Saffron and had to smirk. She was the right size for it and would be acting as Reed's counterpart for the ceremony.

Jaimie picked up little Sylvia and asked Saffron to go inside and put on the fourth dress. She tried to refuse but Jaimie explained "Reed needs you to wear the dress. It's the Lakota version, it'll be part of the story as they don't have a normal marriage situation so you and Reed work out perfectly. It was going to be Reed's girlfriend Jessie but she wasn't able to get time off of work to come with us."

Saffron thanked her for including her, then put the fussy Johnny back in his carriage and got dressed in the fourth dress. The other ladies were decked out in similar dresses but not intended to be out in front like Jaimie, Courtney, Christina, and Saffron. They were fine with being with Will, Eric, George, and Scott during the ceremony, it meant more to them anyway as they knew Sylvia better than anyone.

John, Willie, Scott, Eric, George, and Will were out next and were dressed in their full Class-A dress uniforms. The kids were next out, with Cat twirling in her dress while JD looked unhappy to have a matching outfit to Cat but without the turquoise necklace. Kylie blushed as she felt her breasts jiggle under her dress, it was the first time she had been without a bra in public that didn't involve her wearing a swimsuit and while it was something she wanted to do before actually doing it was entirely different to actually have her breasts freely moving around only covered by the dress and necklaces.

Trent, Missy, Mace, and the Oberlins entered next and were dressed normally, but were each handed turquoise necklaces to wear. Mitch was the last to enter, he was dressed in a loose-fitting pair of pants, white shirt, beaded necklace, and wearing a headband with a feather. He had no problem wearing the outfit, it was able to be customized to each tribe in seconds and meant a lot to the representatives that he would include their customs into his wedding so that many others could observe and learn.

The group was brought into the reservation and introduced to the Council of Nations with the head of the Council, Elder StormDawn, greeting all as they approached. He required Linda JumpingDoe to translate for him. The elderly Lakota man was commanding and earned your respect immediately, he was not one who looked like he would accept insults or rude behavior from anyone especially kids.

John was intimidated by the man. The others sensed this anxiety and waited for something to happen but Linda walked with Elder StormDawn and greeted John as if he was expected as the head person in the group. John was fighting for words but Elder StormDawn greeted him warmly and offered him his apologies for not meeting him the other day when he visited the park.

Linda asked where they were all from, noticing the accent on several of them that was clearly from far off. John had to fight for the right words and explained "we are from a small city called Winnisimmet, Massachusetts. It's near Boston. It's a 'blink and you miss it' place that has been seen in movies before."

She gave a smile and asked about the name. The others gave groans with the Oberlins not realizing her mistake. John was happy to tell her what she wanted to know, it was his lifelong obsession!

John had to think for a second then happily explained "it's a Massachusett dialect of Algonquin word meaning 'good water here', named after the springs on the hills of the city. It's a pain to spell and pronounce right but it's one of the few tribal names that have endured. Saugus, Swampscott, Nahant, Natick, Mattapoisett, Neponset, Mystic, Mattapan, Mashpee, and Aquinnah have endured alongside it but ours gets the most notice thanks to being in the news so often. And yes, Mystic is a native word. It means 'big river' in both the Massachusett and Pequot dialects. The infamous puritan settlers let it go for a good reason, it wasn't connected to the other meaning until two centuries later."

Elder StormDawn was smiling at the man understanding his history and willing to tell others about it and with enthusiasm. Linda translated the words and seemed to understand what John meant when he said "Algonquin". John asked, "have you encountered members of the various tribes who speak it?"

She nodded, adding "it was part of a cultural exchange and event to garner federal attention to for the needs of our peoples. They were from the Cheyenne and Ojibwe who share some of the basic words and meaning but the base root of the language is still there. It is good to know that some words still survive even if only a few of the people have."

The two watched as the representatives from the Navajo, Cherokee, and Pueblo tribes entered and got their items ready for the ceremony. Maggie Red Blanket, the Cherokee leather craftswoman who had created Sylvia's dress and oversaw the designs of the other eight dresses and the five guys' suits, was glad to see a large crowd there already but even happier to hear that they were all part of the wedding. She looked over the dresses and was pleased that they were comfortable and the ladies loved them.

Jennifer Colefield arrived with her daughter and set up cameras to record the event, placing them at all angles so they could be edited together into a cohesive video. Cat saw Bethany and introduced herself, then took the scared girl off to the side to play with the other kids while Jennifer worked. Jennifer was about to say something but John explained "she knows what the equipment is and is not going to pass up a chance to get in the good graces of Queen Tessa by trying to act like a young lady and not a brat. She doesn't know when those will be turned on so she doesn't want to upset our other family members who are going to watch the wedding from home."

Cat glared at him but Jennifer smiled as Cat led the timid six-year-old Bethany away. Cat showed Bethany to JD and Billy with both not taking much attention of her. Cat whispered "they are just bored, they don't like weddings. They want to get back to the park."

Bethany giggled at the boys but understood their reasoning. The girls played on their iPads until more kids arrived, being led by Princesses Michelle, Danica, and Nicole. Taylor immediately sought out Cat and hugged Bethany, asking if she was going to join them another time.

Bethany nodded, she was busy with some youth programs in town and had to forgo dancing with the girls but was going to do it next time especially as it was going to be part of the park's program now. She asked if Blaire was coming, getting a happy nod and a cheer from Cat. Cat added, "Blaire gets to meet my big sister, she gets to meet a big girl like herself."

Bethany gasped but Taylor added, "Cat showed me her picture yesterday, she's really pretty." Cat gave a giggle then pointed to Jaimie sitting with her husband, saying "she's here for the wedding. She's with her daughter. She's a mommy now. The baby is not nice, she poops when daddy is around."

The girls giggled at that and saw how Sylvia was reacting to John whenever he walked by giving them a sense of the fun she was having at his expense. Blaire arrived next with her mother and sought out Taylor and was happy to see Cat there. Cat pointed to Kylie and told her that she was going to introduce her to someone special to them, giving Blaire a big smile as she did so.

It took all of her might to get up the nerve to walk over to Kylie but Kylie hugged Blaire and offered a soothing "you have to meet my cousin Jaimie." Kylie walked Blaire over to Jaimie and gave her a hug, then announced "I told Blaire that she had to meet you. She just started to transition like us."

Jaimie looked over the timid Blaire and smiled at her, pausing for a bit before telling her affectionately "you are beautiful. I can't say I like the hair but it's growing out and will look cute in a little pixie cut in September. And wow, you really took to those hormones! You are going to be bigger than other girls soon, especially if your family runs large."

Blaire was blushing and was having trouble believing that this young woman was like her. Jaimie asked if she was alright, to which Blaire meekly explained: "I don't believe that you are like me, you look too much like a girl to ever be like me." Jaimie smiled then asked if she wanted the full story or cliff notes.

Blaire looked around and saw that they had time, so Jaimie explained what happened to her at her age and why she was able to get so large. Kylie added "it happened to me too, but hers was because the boy who hurt her was being badly hurt himself and he had no choice but to hurt her. You will get there, your mom is average size but she has a small frame so it looks large on her."

The trio talking got Madeline, Blaire's mother, concerned. Kennedy walked over and hat to explain "she is talking with the best person possible to talk to. She's Jaimie Samuels, another girl like herself and who had a lot happen to her before she transitioned. She's the catalyst for all of our lives changing."

Madeline asked if she suffered like Kylie, getting a nod and quick "and she forgave the boy who hurt her especially as he was being hurt too. He's that young man with the lovely young women sitting quietly next to the girls, trying hard not to say something about who he is. It hurts him to hear the story again."

Scott was doing his best to not react, which only caused Madeline to see what Kennedy meant. She asked about the others, getting a happy "they are either direct family or her best friends. They have all supported her since she admitted her past and had already won them over before they heard her story. They all got together because of her and she caused ripples that helped dozens of more people as well."

Things came to a halt as Tessa arrived with her "royal guard" security contingent. They were spread out throughout the clearing and were acting as ushers for the adults and children who were involved in the ceremonies. Tessa had a seat of honor in the front while being flanked by the Nicole and Danica, with Michelle acting as an emcee and as a performer for the ceremony and sat at the end of the aisle.

Tessa walked over to John and Valerie and asked if all was set, getting a nod while John looked over the crowd to keep out of Johnny's line of sight. This little action caught Tessa's interest and led to trying to speak with him more while Valerie had to stifle a laugh as Johnny stirred and in her arms to get a look at the new person with his grandparents. He caught sight of John and let out a cry, which made for a funny sight as John tried to ignore him but failed.

John let Valerie handle things and walked off to take his seat, brooding in his frustration over Johnny putting on another show for a new person. Tessa looked over at Valerie for clarification and was told "it is a tradition among the babies of the family to treat John like an unwanted person especially if they are around a new person. They ignore him, snub him, cry, release their bodily fluids, and finally refuse to even go to him. It's all for show, you are just the newest person to catch the act. He likes John, he only did it because he saw you and knows you are important."

Tessa tried to remain stoic but did afford herself a smirk while thinking to herself "poor guy, but it's funny as hell." Valerie realized that the 14 were awaiting an introduction and introduced each of them, with Jaimie and Rick being the last to get introduced. Johnnie was handed off to Courtney and Michael for a nap while Sylvia was handed off to Valerie for some attention with Tessa trying to keep herself from asking about the little tyke as she saw some of the elder Sylvia's traits shining through in her.

She was the spitting image of Rick and shared some of his prominent features such as his cheeks and nose, but her hair was a lighter shade of brown and matched Jaimie's hair but was a little lighter. Her eyes were a lighter shade of brown as well, with both Jaimie and Rick having darker hazel eyes. She was a beautiful baby, it was painful to know how she was conceived but she was clearly loved.

She held Sylvia at Jaimie's insistence, getting an odd look from Trent but a content look from Dave. It was a tender moment for the normally aloof and commanding woman, but she could only act separately from her emotions for so long before having to show some TLC to a little one who deserved it. She had done it before in befriending Taylor when she first met the little girl but normally was all business during the hours that the park was open, giving her a reputation as tough but fair and caring boss.

Sylvia wanted Jaimie after a few seconds of giving Tessa a tender moment but gave Tessa a look as if she knew that Tessa had what she needed from her. She was like her birth mother, even if it was not acknowledged there were still some personality traits that were clearly ingrained in both. Tessa didn't say a word over the affection, just letting the little one calm down and Jaimie return to the others.

Valerie received a text from Les that they were five minutes out which prompted Michelle to get all into their positions for the wedding ceremonies. When the trio finally arrived, Sylvia was in tears as she saw the 14 sitting in front while Mitch was out of view of her. She was trying to form words but none were coming prompting Jaimie and Christina to hug her and lead her off to the side to help her get into her dress for the ceremonies.

When they were alone, she finally asked "what are you all doing here? How did you get here? Where's Mitch? Oh god, please don't tell me he is hurt!"

The two were trying their hardest to calm her, with Jaimie having to have her sit and explained "he's here. He's off to the side and is awaiting his cue. This is your wedding, your friends at the park wanted you to have something memorable and special. They arranged everything, including getting us here. That fun you had last night? That was your bachelorette party."

Sylvia dressed in her white dress, which was complete with tassels and beads and looked beautiful on the slim Sylvia. They added a headband similar to the other girls but with a more ornate pattern of beads. It was then followed by necklaces featuring carvings that had special symbolism to the tribes.

She was ready and were about to leave but were interrupted by Valerie entering with Michelle. They were told that as Sylvia had no family willing to attend, Valerie was going to serve as her maternal figure and give her away to Mitch as per the customs of the tribes. Valerie happily added, "I told you before to call me 'Aunt Valerie', well as your aunt I'm exercising the right to hand you off."

Jaimie giggled while Christina added "as the head of our family it's your right. Don't kid yourself, mom, you are the only person who any of our aunts and mothers would want to do this. It's your job to do it for Sylvia, none of them would allow you to forgo this right."

Sylvia took Valerie's arm and could see off to the other side that Mitch was on his mother Mary's arm as she would be doing the same as the head of his family. She understood now why Valerie was doing it for her instead of Mary, she couldn't do it for both of them and Valerie was like a second mother to her.

Before the two duos entered, a fire was lit in the center of the clearing. A prayer was then offered to the ancestors of all in attendance as a blessing for the future of the couple about to be bound together. It was moving as each of the four tribal representatives offered their own versions of the same prayer and blessing, each burning sage and other fragrant sacred herbs as prayers were offered and the elders spoke in their native tongues.

Finally, the formal ceremony started. Elder StormDawn offered a Lakota creation story while Linda translated for him. He then offered the traditional prayer of:

0 Morning Star!
When you look down upon us, give us peace and refreshing sleep.
Great Spirit!
Bless our children, friends, and visitors through a happy life.
May our trails lie straight and level before us.
Let us live to be old.
We are all your children and ask these things with good hearts.

It was then followed by the girls and women of the dance troupe performing the traditional dances, with Taylor and Blaire both sporting big smiles as they kept in step and performed flawlessly. This was followed by a blanket being held in the air and the couple being led under it as traditional music was played by Lakota musicians and another Lakota elder led the couple under the blanket and around the fire in a circle as Linda proclaimed it to be a procession through the village.

This was followed by Linda proclaiming the couple joined together as one in the eyes of the Lakota people. Elder StormDawn smiled and offered his personal thanks for allowing his peoples' customs to be shown, even if they were altered for size and convenience. He took his place alongside the other elders and was replaced by the Cherokee representatives with the men and boys lining up on one side and the women and girls on the other.

The Cherokee wedding ceremony saw Valerie taking out a basket containing an ear of maize and a blue blanket and Mary taking out a basket containing a portion of venison and another blue blanket. The couple was led in by their female guardians and led to the front of the fire where the baskets were placed together. They looked into each other's eyes and felt the love of one another while the audience shed collective tears at the subtle beauty of the moment.

The elder started to recite the traditional Cherokee wedding prayer as the couple stood together:

God in heaven above please protect the ones we love.
We honor all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together.
We honor mother-earth - and ask for our marriage to
be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons;
We honor fire - and ask that our union
be warm and glowing with love in our hearts;
We honor wind - and ask we sail though life
safe and calm as in our father's arms;
We honor water - to clean and soothe our relationship -
that it may never thirsts for love;
With all the forces of the universe you created,
we pray for harmony and true happiness as
we forever grow young together. Amen.

Sylvia then folded her blanket into Mitch's blanket and put her maize into his basket to which he put his venison in her basket as Michelle recited the reasons for such movements. Valerie, John, Les, and Mary then put a white blanket around the couple as a symbol of the two becoming one. The elder of the Cherokees pronounced "the blankets are joined" symbolizing that they were now married in his tribe.

The next to step forward was the healer for the Navajo people, who accepted a gift of the skin of a deer that Les had hunted during the previous hunting season. This was then followed by Les asking John and Valerie for permission for his son to marry their niece. With the blessing of the healer, John and Valerie agreed to the union allowing for the next part of the ceremony to occur.

The group walked around the fire, stopping with each step around the fire to recite a vow that the healer had told to them. This was then followed by the couple being seated on a blanket on the ground and a vase of water and woven bowl being brought out to allow the couple to wash their hands. Sylvia first washed Mitch's hands then he washed her hands, symbolizing cleansing themselves.

The couple dried their hands and listened as the healer then recited the traditional wedding blessing:

Now you have lit a fire and that fire should not go out.
The two of you have a fire that represents
love, understanding and a philosophy of life.
It will give you heat, food, warmth and happiness.
The new fire represents a new beginning......
a new life and a new family.
The fire should keep burning; you should stay together.
You have lit the fire for life, until old age separates you.

It was moving and was only heightened as the healer put down a basket filled with cornmeal mush and started to make a circle with a cross in it, then told the new couple to dip three fingers in the mix. They ate the mix and with the symbolism complete the basket was given to Mary to retain for the couple as a sign of their marriage's longevity. The guests were given a similar mix which all ate out of respect, with only the two infants not eating any due to their young age.

The Navajo portion ended and the couple cleaned their fingers, waiting for the Pueblo portion of the ceremony to start. The elder offered a traditional prayer to the spirits and the ancestors asking for their blessing and to keep the couple in good faith and in eternal happiness. He then brought the couple forward and offered his own blessing for their happiness and strength to go forward in life.

The couple was seated on another blanket and instructed to drink from a vase with two spouts and a handle connecting the spouts that formed a circle. Mitch drank the herbal tea first from one end, then Sylvia drank from the other end. Then, both drank from each spout giving them a symbolic joining.

The ceremony seemed to be over but Elaine stepped forward and offered a fifth tradition, that of the traditional wedding vows and ring exchange. Sylvia didn't have a ring to give to Mitch but Les produced two rings, which Mitch recognized as his grandparents' wedding rings. His grandmother's ring was a simple gold ring that had a small diamond embedded in it with rubies around the perimeter, it looked high fashion when it was first made but not what he would have bought for Sylvia.

She was too misty-eyed to refuse the gift and thanked Les and Mary for including their family into the ceremony, showing her that she was now part of the Gibson family and no longer on her own. Elaine performed the ceremony with the couple signing their marriage licenses and having John and Valerie sign off as witnesses making the marriage legally binding to go along with spiritually binding. Elaine had to feel great pride as her small part was the least moving part of the ceremony yet Sylvia reacted to it as if it was the most important part, the impact of being a Gibson shook her that hard.

The rings were exchanged and Sylvia's ring fits perfectly. She looked at Mary who calmly explained "it was resized to fit your finger. It was two sizes larger but then again my mother-in-law was a large woman. I hope that you like it, I was hoping that you would."

Sylvia nodded and hugged her tightly, crying into her shoulder as Mary hugged her back. There was nothing else to do so the next part started, that of dancing and enjoying being with others. It was part of all of the tribes' ceremonies and was what each could happily agree needed to be included.

The kids started to dance with one another followed by the teens. John had to blush as he received a few texts from others with one, in particular, causing him to blush. He looked over at Tessa and calmly told her "the Lords and Ladies Smith send their regards and their thanks for hosting the wedding and making Sylvia's special day even more special in allowing all of them to observe it."

Tessa raised an eyebrow and explained "all of my sister's family watched the wedding. Her mother and father-in-law watched it with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren over in England while she and her husband watched it in Winnisimmet. You were seen by an honest to goodness English lord and lady, a marquess and marchioness at that."

Valerie added "two earls, a countess, a future earl, a viscount and viscountess, and a baron and baroness not counting their infant children. You already have a real knight as well, but he hates to be reminded of that bit of information." Tessa grinned and despite knowing Michael's secret she had to ask anyway.

John shook his head and added "my son, but I think you knew that. The whole family saw it, and I am not in the least bit surprised if the governor saw it as well. His grandchildren are at his home today."

That was a surprise but a pleasant one. Tessa just smiled and let it go, it was something that was out of her control and he was an ally to the family if not a member by default so it wasn't going to lead to a problem for her. Her own governor wasn't in the same party as the one in Massachusetts but both share a common bond in putting people first and trying to govern via example.

The elders approached John and Valerie and asked to speak with them about the ceremony. John steeled himself for any criticism but they were proud to have conducted something so sacred to their peoples and give a good start to the new life for a couple who had deserved it. John deflected the praise to the elders themselves as they were the ones to make the ceremony special, earning respect from the elders.

John was finally asked about the couple as it was rather odd and there were rumors about Sylvia and her connection to John and Valerie. John sighed and explained "she and my son-in-law were raped by a group of students who got them both drugged up and drunk nearly a year ago that resulted in her becoming pregnant by him. We gave her help and got the people responsible put in prison. She fell in love with Mitch, who supported her and helped her deal with the problems at the college. She gave up her daughter to be adopted by my daughter but kept close to my daughter and daughter-in-law. She did the noblest and hardest thing a mother can do- give up her child because she can't support her and gave her to someone who could never birth a child of her own."

The elders sensed there was more to which John proclaimed "she is transgender and can never have a child even if she was with a woman. She lost her manhood years ago and before she was 'man' enough to procreate. Her husband fell in love with her at an early age despite knowing she could never birth a child for him. He is proud to be the father to his daughter and she the mother even if not biologically."

The elders understood what he meant and felt pain for Jaimie but pride that she was the right person to be the mother of her new daughter. Linda explained to John "two-spirit people like your daughter are the forgotten people in cultures. She is a treasure and exuded a light that shines brightly."

John nodded in agreement, adding "you have no idea how true that is. Dozens of people are touched by her ability to be the most generous, empathetic, understanding person. She is one to turn an enemy into an ally and help bring the best out of you. She is beloved by anyone who meets her and will try to help out your own people as much as she can as a thank you for helping her friend Sylvia today."

Across the clearing, Sylvia was walking over to Jaimie and shed a tear as she realized that Jaimie was holding the younger Sylvia in her arms. As soon as she got within sight of the infant, the little one was bouncing in Jaimie's arms and trying to go to Sylvia. It took all of her might to not cry at being so close to the baby that she chose to give up, but little Sylvia was happy and healthy and that mattered most.

Jaimie handed her off to Sylvia and sat down to get a break from her daughter's affections. Little and big Sylvia hugged tightly, with the infant giving her a happy smile as she recalled Sylvia's voice. It was a touching moment, with the elder Sylvia seeing how much the younger Sylvia was starting to grow to look like her father and show love to her new mother.

It was a moment that her therapist had hoped that Sylvia would have, one of acceptance that what she did was the right thing to do for her daughter and even though she wasn't her mother anymore she was still going to be in her life as her aunt and help her as a guide rather than a parent. She would never be the parent Sylvia needed, Jaimie was too perfect for the little one and Rick was a package deal giving the infant a full battery of love and affection along with support form countless family and friends but all Sylvia could offer her was a single parent, stepfather, and grandparents who hated her.

Little Sylvia started to fall asleep and was put into her carriage allowing Jaimie to hug the elder Sylvia and cry into her shoulder over accepting her as Sylvia's new mother. Jaimie feared that Sylvia would not feel as she felt before and may want to rescind their adoption agreement, but Sylvia had no feelings like that and wouldn't dare to think about going back on her word. Jaimie was now little Sylvia's mom.

The two sat for a while as their anxieties and fears dissipated, with Jaimie finally telling Sylvia "she is your niece and will be your niece until she can learn the truth. I don't want you shut out of her life, you are still bound to her as family. Rick and I can't just leave you out of her life, we want you to be there."

It meant the world to hear those words. Jaimie was a friend but this was different. Hearing the two talk made Valerie and John get a warm feeling in their hearts and a tear in his eye. He looked at Valerie who nodded, Sylvia had become part of the family and would become even closer when they got home.



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