Shotgun Groom: The Wedding

Well, Joel and April are now officially married.  I want to bring Tom, Joel and April in for one or two interviews in the next day or two, depending on how things are around here.  Since it’s Labor Day weekend here in the United States, Monday is a holiday and that means things are busy around this house.  So we’ll see how things play out.

The interview(s) I want to do will be more fun if I put in the wedding scene so you can read the “joy” Joel and April experienced during the ceremony.  Without the scene, the interview(s) won’t be as fun.  😀

You probably know the drill by now about the editor, this being a first draft, blah, blah, blah, so I won’t bore you with it.

Without further ado, here’s the wedding….

***

shotgun groomRick tucked the paper to another page in the book and motioned to April to join them.  “We’ll get this ceremony on the way.”

Though April appeared hesitant, she joined them and clasped her hands in front of her, and Rick began performing the ceremony.

“I can’t believe this,” Joel muttered as Sep raised the rifle.

Exactly where did Sep think Joel was going to go?  He might be able to get away from Tom or Rick, but he wasn’t stupid enough to believe he could tackle both of them, especially since they were older than him.  Letting out a loud groan, he lifted his eyes to heaven and wondered what awful thing he did to deserve this fate.  Rick went on and on about something that had to do with this disaster, but Joel refused to pay attention.  Why would he care to listen to the words that sealed his doom?

Beside him, April said “I do” in a tone that indicated she’d rather not but had no choice.

Joel rolled his eyes.  That was just great.  His bride showed as much enthusiasm for this marriage as she did the dust she wiped up when she cleaned.  Oh yes.  This marriage was going to be just the thing he needed to complete his life.  When it was his turn to say “I do,” Tom nudged him in the side and pointed to Rick.

Narrowing his eyes at Tom, he refused to speak the dreaded words.

“Come on, Joel,” Rick said in a gentle voice.  “It’s not as bad as you’re making it out to be.”

“How would you know?” Joel snapped.

“Because I’ve been there.  Well, not with a gun and a judge like this, but I didn’t think I’d fall in love with your sister when we first met.  And look at us now.  I can’t imagine my life without Sally.  Sometimes love takes a while to develop.”

Joel shook his head, but Tom nudged him again.  “Say it, Joel.  Let’s complete this wonderful event.”

A gun clicked from across the room where Sep stood, and Joel made sure to groan before he muttered the words that sealed his future for the worst.  “I do.” He winced and blinked back tears.  He used to be a happy man, and now…

Rick let out an exasperated breath and asked, “I don’t suppose you’d like to kiss the bride?”

“No!” Both Joel and April shrieked at the same time.

“But that’s the best part,” Tom said.

Joel scowled at him, but Tom’s lips curled up into an amused smirk.  “You need a heart, Tom.”

Sep lowered the gun and relaxed.  “It’s done, right Judge Johnson?”

Rick nodded and placed the marriage certificate on the table.  “All I need are your signatures, but it’s a done deal.”

“Oh good!” Tom rubbed his hands together and hurried over to the table where Rick handed him the fountain pen that was tucked inside his suit jacket.  “I’ve been waiting for this day for years!  I can’t wait to tell everyone Joel’s a married man.”

“You live to torture me, don’t you?” Joel called out, unable to believe Tom went so far as to give a little leap before he signed the certificate.

“I’ll notify Doctor Adams of the marriage, and Sally and I will bring your things out tomorrow.  Sally will want to meet you, April,” Rick said.

Joel glowered at his brother-in-law.  “Doesn’t Sally have anything better to do than to stick her nose in everyone’s business?”

“She’ll want to welcome April into the family,” Rick clarified.

“Which is another way of saying she’ll want to see April so she can tell everyone else what she’s like.  She does it whenever anyone new comes into the family.  Next thing I’ll know, I’ll have to take April, Nora and Sep to a family get-together.”

“Well, now that you mention it, Christmas is coming up.”

Tom walked over to Joel and handed him the pen.  “That’s right.  April and Sep, you’ll love Christmas at the Larson household.  Ma and Pa like to make a special day.”

April glanced at Sep, and Joel couldn’t decide if April was pleased or apprehensive about the idea of meeting the Larson family.  Given that it would be just April, Sep, and Nora, he figured they might be overwhelmed with the size of the Larson family.  Six siblings who were married and had children of their own to bring out to the house.  It was going to be a hectic day.  But maybe that was good.  He could run off and hide for awhile.  With any luck, he’d find a hiding place so good that April wouldn’t be able to find him and drag him back to this prison.

“It’s your turn to sign,” Tom said, giving Joel a harder pat on the back than necessary.

Trudging to the table, Joel scrawled his name and then shoved the pen at Tom.  “There.  Your dirty work is done.”

Tom held the pen to April and said, “You’ll have to forgive Joel.  He wakes up on the wrong side of the bed every day.  I assure you, the rest of us Larsons are much more amiable.”

Joel crossed his arms and watched in dread as April and Sep signed the certificate.  This was it.  He was now a husband whether he liked it or not.  After Rick recorded the marriage in his book, he wished them health and happiness, adding a “Be patient.  Joel will come around,” to April who didn’t look convinced.

Once Tom and Rick left, Nora woke up from her nap and cried.  If there was one saving grace in this whole travesty, it was that Nora was a part of it.  April seemed to be more than happy for an excuse to run upstairs to get away from him.

Figures.  Not that Joel cared.  Maybe now that he was strapped to her for the rest of his life, she’d leave him alone.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to www.ruthannnordin.com or check out https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com.
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