cloudmonet’s kim stories

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Kim and Ron’s wedding album


Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Rufus, Monique, Felix Renton, Wade Load, Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Possible, Jim and Tim Possible, Slim, Joss, and Nana Possible, Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable, Bonnie Rockwaller, Josh Mankey, and Tara are characters from the Kim Possible show, created by Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, owned and copyright © by the Walt Disney Company. The story takes place during Spring vacation of Kim and Ron’s sophomore year of college, nearly three years after “So the Drama,” and shortly after my earlier story, “Circumstantial Evidence.” This story © 2006 by cloudmonet.

“Hey, Bonnie, glad you could make it,” Kim Possible said pleasantly as she opened the front door to the Possible home to let her in.

Bonnie Rockwaller looked at Kim’s eyes briefly, then looked down at the small white box with a bow in her hands, tried to smile, and felt the tears welling in her eyes. “Con- congratulations,” she said.

“Bonnie, what’s wrong?” Kim asked, cautiously reaching for her hand.

“Nothing,” Bonnie replied, pulling her hand away to rub her eyes. “You know what drives me crazy about you?”

Kim hesitated, then asked “Did I do something wrong?”

“No, ever since we both graduated you’ve been nothing but nice to me,” Bonnie said, looking into Kim’s eyes for a moment. “I thought you were just being polite. I don’t understand why you don’t hate me. Of all the people who don’t deserve to come to your wedding! My jaw dropped when I got the invitation. You really want to be friends! So why don’t I like you? Am I just jealing, cause you still always get what you want, like my sisters, and I don’t?”

“Let’s put the high school rivalry behind us,” said Kim. “Please? That was a long time ago.”

“I find myself thinking, you’re getting married tomorrow and I don’t even have a boyfriend. It’s just not fair. I know I’m being stupid.”

“Bonnie, honestly, I want you to be happy.”

“Kim—” Bonnie said, hugging her while fighting back the tears. “This shouldn’t be about me. This is your party.” She stepped backward from Kim and briefly held one of her hands. “I’m okay.”

Kim let Bonnie into the living room, where the sectional couches and a number of chairs were arranged in a rough circle, filled with a bunch of girls and young women. “I think you know just about everyone here. This is my cousin from Montana, Joss Possible. This is my friend from high school, Bonnie Rockwaller.”

Joss, wearing a cowgirl shirt and Los Tauros cowboy boots with her jeans, stood out a bit from the other girls. “Howdy, Bonnie,” she said with a Montana twang. “You wouldn’t by any chance be the Bonnie who helped Kim foil Professor Dementor when he tried to use the electrostatic thang to—”

“She’s the one,” said Kim.

“Oh, right, the bad-accent guy with the red flashlight. Uh, no big!” Bonnie said, then whispered to Kim, “That’s what I’m supposed to say, right?”

“Let’s hope she doesn’t bring up the incident with Drakken’s clones,” Kim whispered back.

“And were you the Bonnie who—”

“The one and only Bonnie,” Kim interrupted.

“Cept of course when Dr. Drakken cloned her,” said Joss. “Of course, they weren’t actually clones, but syntho-chemical duplicates that melted when you sprayed them with soda.”

“Joss is somewhat an authority on my past adventures,” Kim told Bonnie.

“Well, I know ’bout some of your new ones,” said Joss. “You busted Gonzales and Monkey Fist and saved a cruise ship from terrorists and some oil drillers from a blizzard and Lisa Tudor’s private jet. I’d sure like to hear more.”

Kim sighed. “Maybe tonight, Joss.”

“Ya promise?”

“Sure,” Kim said, “and this is Belinda Brockmeyer, my friend from college. She’s—”

“Felix Renton’s girlfriend,” said Monique.

“Hey,” said Bonnie.

“Welcome,” said Belinda.

“As the bride’s best friend, well, not counting the groom, I have appointed myself mistress of gossip,” Monique said. “You may, of course, refuse to answer any of my questions, or lie like a rug, but we’ll know and giggle at you if you do. So, first of all, who’s married? Raise your hand if you are.”

Nobody did.

“All right, then, who’s engaged?”

Kim, Tara, and Hope raised their hands.

“Really?” Kim asked, and Hope smiled.

“His name’s Arthur Melbourne, and he’s a architecture major. He’s about my height, with curly brown hair.”

“All right, who’s got boyfriends?” asked Monique.

All the college girls except Monique and Bonnie raised their hands, and to Kim’s surprise, Joss raised her hand too. Katie and Jill, the two girls hanging around with Kim’s twin brothers, sort of half raised their hands, and moved them up and down.

“This means not exactly,” Katie explained, “but sorta.”

“I’ve been there, believe me,” said Kim.

“I’m not supposed to have a boyfriend, but I do,” said Joss. “His name’s Matt, he’s a ranch hand and he’s a few years older than me. I’m almost seventeen though, old enough. We fight crime together sometimes.”

“Really?” asked Kim.

“Caught some fossil poachers, and busted a weird cult led by a mad scientist. That’s ’bout all.”

“You foiled a mad scientist?”

“Well, he had this drug lab, but what he made didn’t just make people high or wasted. They tripped out and then they obeyed him, like Drakken’s shampoo made people do, so I figure he’s a mad scientist.”

“How’d you foil him?” Kim asked.

“Pretty much like you and Ron. Matt and I dressed in black, busted in the compound quiet-like, fixed the guns and bombs with blue foam, then kung-fu’d the tough guys.”

“Where’d you get blue foam?”

“I made it in chem lab,” Joss said. “Got the formula off the internet. And look!” She pulled a communicator from her pocket and showed it to Kim. “I just got this from Wade. I’m a real free agent now, just like you. I’m number eleven if you ever want to call me or need my help.”

“Why didn’t he tell me?”

“Maybe you’d think I’m too young,” said Joss. “But I’m older than you were when you started.”

“Maybe Ron and I can visit you sometime and show you and Matt some moves,” said Kim.

“I’d appreciate that.”

“Well, mistress of gossip,” Belinda said. “Are you going to ask our blushing bride any questions about the man of her dreams?”

Bonnie rolled her eyes.

“What do you think, girls?” Monique asked. “Is there anything we don’t already know?”

“I’ll do it,” said Tara. “When did you meet Ron?”

“It was September, 1991,” Kim replied “I was four and a half. He’d just turned five. My mom told me I’d make a friend at the preschool. They had this little climbing thing with swings and a tube slide. He just started talking to me. He was funny.”

“When was your first date?”

“Oh boy,” said Kim, “there’s so many possible answers to that. I remember when we were about six. We were playing with some boxes in Ron’s back yard, pretending we were teenagers on a date.”

“Pretending doesn’t count,” said Bonnie.

“We really were holding hands and eye-gazing,” said Kim. “When we were nine we were always going to Bueno Nacho and movie matinees together. It kind of felt like dating. Sometimes we talked about getting married when we grew up. I’m not sure when we stopped talking like that or why. ”

“You always told me Ron was just your friend,” said Bonnie.

“I tried to put him in that place, but he didn’t quite fit,” said Kim. “In retaliation, I guess, he did the same thing to me, but I didn’t quite fit either.”

“Did we keep you guys apart, me and the other cheerleaders?” Bonnie asked.

“For awhile,” said Kim. “Maybe we could say the Middleton Days festival was my first date with Ron. It was the first time we really kissed. Okay, I had the moodulator stuck on my neck set to ‘love,’ but there wasn’t anything I did that I wanted to disown afterwards. Of course, the last dance of the Junior Prom was unquestionably a date.”

“You spent most of the song kissing,” said Bonnie. “I was so jealous. Brick hardly danced with me the whole night.”

“Who picked the song?” Kim asked.

“I did,” said Monique.

“I downloaded ‘Could it Be’ the next morning, and played it over and over. That song was exactly what I was feeling. I called Ron. He said he was about to call me. He wasn’t even that bummed that Bueno Nacho was closed. It would only be closed for a week, but we didn’t know that. We walked through the park holding hands, talking about everything, trying to make a plan for our lives. We never wanted to let anybody or anything come between us again. We applied to the same colleges, and went to the best one that accepted Ron.”

“Who said ‘I love you’ first?” asked Tara.

“I did,” said Kim. “It was one of the first things I said while we were walking in the park. I told him, ‘I never thought I’d get nervous and giggly around you, but my heart’s all pounding and— You know I love you, right?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, and I love you, too. I’ve always loved you.’ ”

“The first thing I saw in Ron’s eyes was you,” Belinda said. “A strong, beautiful spirit with emerald eyes and hair like rivers of fire.”

“You gave him a reading?” asked Kim. “He didn’t tell me about that.”

“Felix and I came to your room— Ron’s room, I mean, while you and Monique were shopping for your dress.”

“You’re psychic?” asked Bonnie. “What do you charge?”

“I don’t use my gift that way.” Belinda pressed her hands together and bowed her head. “If reading you or healing you feels like the right thing for me to do, I’ll do it. This isn’t the time. Maybe Wednesday or Thursday.”

“Belinda let something slip,” said Tara. “What’s this your room , Ron’s room ambiguity about, Kim?”

“As mistress of gossip, I’m ruling that question out of bounds,” said Monique.

“Oooohhh!” said a chorus of voices.

“There won’t be any ambiguity after tomorrow,” said Kim.

“You didn’t ask how Ron proposed,” Belinda told Tara.

“Okay, how?” Tara asked.

“After we graduated, Ron and I went to Africa together. There was a famine in the Central Congo, mostly because a really nasty government and some equally nasty revolutionaries were fighting it out, but we didn’t know this. We were just trying to distribute food from the UN. That’s where we met Luther Tully, the minister who’s doing our wedding ceremony tomorrow. Anyway, Ron and I shared our own tent— nobody separates us or we don’t go! Frankly, I was a little scared. A squad of henchmen I can handle, no big. A whole army, government or rebel, that’s a different story. So Ron and I were in this little dome tent every night, sleeping in our underwear on top of the sleeping bags instead of inside ’em because it was so hot—”

“Whoa— time out!” said Monique. “When you first did, you know, was not the question.”

“Well, yeah, I’m afraid so,” Kim replied, “because it was right when we were about to, you know, that Ron paused and said, ‘We’re gonna get married, aren’t we?’ and I’m all, ‘yeah,’ and I started kissing him again. I’m so glad we were also distributing birth control stuff. I used some. But then Luther badmouthed a corrupt general for being corrupt— never, never do this if you’re in the same country as the general— and we had to help Luther get away. Ron won’t let me say, ‘it was no big,’ about that adventure.”

“When did Ron give you the ring?” asked Tara.

“Later that summer,” said Kim. “We were at this seafood restaurant with a view of the ocean in a little town on the Oregon coast. I was wearing my junior prom dress— was that appropriate or what? Nana cut off the part the robot burned and hemmed it for me. And Ron was wearing that red and black shirt— by this time it was really worn out. And he took out a little box and I went all shaky, heart in my throat. He shows me the ring, drops on his knees, all ‘Will you marry me?’ and I’ve got this big smile that won’t stop. ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ ”

“It’s really happening, Anna,” said James. “Kimmie’s getting married.”

“It’s all right, sweetheart,” Anna replied.

“I know it is. I just can’t sleep.”

“I could try wearing you out,” Anna whispered, wiggling against him. “This is reminding me of how I felt when I was the one in the white dress with the veil. We had a lot of fun that week.”

“Well, I—” James began saying, but then Anna’s lips were on his, and her hands were unbuttoning his pajama shirt.

The alarm rang. Anna reached for her robe and slipped it on. James groaned. “I’ll go make your coffee, dear,” Anna said, putting on her slippers and going downstairs to the kitchen.

Kim was there in her pajamas, pouring milk on a bowl of cereal. “Morning, Mom,” she said. “You know what?”

“What?” Anna asked.

“I’m getting married today, and I want you to come, so hurry up with your breakfast.”

Anna put on the coffee water, and took out the frying pan. “I’ve got time to make omelets and bacon, don’t I?”

“You’re gonna give Dad a heart attack or stroke, feeding him stuff like that,” said Kim. “I know he likes it, but think of his arteries!”

Anna looked at the frying pan, and back at Kim, and took a box of instant oatmeal packages down from the cupboard. “I’ll say we don’t have enough time,” she whispered.

“Enough time for what?” asked Tim, walking into the kitchen.

“What’s for breakfast?” asked Jim.

“Oatmeal or cold cereal,” said Kim. “I made a pitcher of orange juice, too.”

“Thanks,” said Jim. “Happy wedding day.”

“I’m liking it already,” said Kim.

At that moment Joss bounced into the room in flannel pajamas, saying, “Mornin’ everybody! Ya all excited, Kim? Cause I am!”

Kim smiled. “Well, yeah.”

“Okay, Mom, I’m ready,” Kim said, and Anna walked up the stairs from the hallway to the middle of Kim’s floor. Kim was sitting on the edge of the bed, holding up the front of her wedding gown. “Can you zip me up? Be careful. It’s stuck a little bit.”

“Stand up and pull in your tummy,” Anna said, kneeling behind her daughter and wiggling the zipper. “Okay it’s moving. There it goes! Let me get the clasp. It’s hard for me to believe you found a dress that’s tight on you! Can you breathe?”

“I’m fine, Mom,” she said, turning to one side then the other in front of her big mirror and watching the skirt sway back and forth. “How do I look?”

“It’s a beautiful gown and you’re a beautiful girl,” Anna replied.

James sat on the box at the foot of Kim’s bed, wearing a gray suit with a white shirt and a blue tie with diagonal stripes. “Just want to make sure my tie passes inspection,” he said. “You have been known to make complaints.”

“It’s fine, Dad,” Kim said. She was sitting in her desk chair while Anna put dried white flowers in her hair, sticking the stems through the veil.

“I got my dress pre-approved last night,” Anna said with a wink.

“Can I come up?” asked Joss.

“Sure,” said Kim.

“I love this dress,” Joss said, hoisting the pink skirt to climb the stairs. “Could you take a picture, so I can email it to Matt? His jaw’s just gonna drop when he sees how pretty I look.”

Coming behind Joss at a much slower pace was James’ mother, Nana Possible. “Oh, don’t you both look beautiful!” she said, breathing a little raggedly. “I’m so glad I lived to see this happy day.”

James moved to his mother’s side and helped her up the last couple of steps. “I wish you’d stay off these stairs, Mom,” he said. “You wouldn’t want to fall.”

“Oh nonsense, Jimmy, I’m fine,” she protested, sitting on the side of the bed. Anna was almost finished with Kim’s white flowers. “You look like an angel of springtime, Kimberly,” Nana said with a smile.

“Joss, you can take a self-portrait with your communicator and beam it to Matt’s email,” Kim suggested.

“I didn’t think of that!” she said, pulling it out of her bag, pressing buttons, holding still and smiling.

“Joss, Mother, you all up there?” said Joss’s father, Slim. “It’s ’bout time for us to mosey on to the weddin’ chapel.”

“’Kay, Dad, we’re comin’ down,” said Joss, taking Nana’s hand and helping her down the stairs.

“Are Jim and Tim going with us or them?” Kim asked her mom.

“I think they’re going with Uncle Slim, but we’ll check their room on the way out.” Mom replied.

“Are you done with the flowers?” Kim asked.

Anna handed her a hand mirror.

“Thanks, Mom, that looks really pretty. Well—”

“This is it,” said Dad. “You’re getting married.”

“Look at that smile,” said Mom. “Did you ever see anyone so happy?”

“I’ll be a lot happier when I’m with Ron again,” said Kim. “I really missed him yesterday.”

“You should’ve woke me sooner!” Ron said.

“I thought you set your alarm,” said Judith, his mom.

“I left my alarm in my dorm room. I told you this last night.”

“Well, I made pancakes for you.”

“Okay, thanks.”

“I thought I’d at least send you off to your new life with a good breakfast. I know she’s no cook.”

Ron sighed and got out of bed. He went to the kitchen in his pajamas, poured maple syrup on his pancakes, and started wolfing them down. Rufus hopped off his shoulder and joined in.

Ron’s parents were talking as they entered the kitchen.

“Okay, she’s not Jewish and you’re getting married in a church, but she fights terrorists, and how many nice Jewish girls can do that, so I should be happy.”

“You should be happy, Judy,” said Don, putting on his suit jacket and tightening his tie. “Kim saved our lives. She made Ron a hero, too.”

“Does this mean you’re converting?” Judith asked Ron.

“Don’t think so,” he replied. “We’ll celebrate everything, okay? Don’t worry about it. The minister’s a great guy. We met him at the famine and saved him from the general. He’s fine with me being Jewish. So’s Kim.”

“You worry too much, Judy,” said Don.

“Of course I worry. Someone has to worry.”

“Let me eat my pancakes,” said Ron. “Oh, Rufus, you’re getting all sticky!”

“Yum!” the little molerat said.

Donald parked the car in the parking lot of the Foothills Chapel, which was already pretty filled up.

“We were supposed to be here by eleven. It’s eleven fifteen!” said Ron.

“You can’t blame me for Rufus getting sticky,” said Judith. “So where do we sit?”

“In the front row,” said Don.

“I know that. What side?”

“We’ll figure it out.”

Ron got out of the car. His mom fussed over his tuxedo coat.

“I don’t know why you like black,” she said. “It shows off your dandruff.”

“Judy, let the boy get married already.”

“So, I go in and sit down in front, and as soon as the organist plays the wedding march, you come in together,” said Anna.

“See, it’s really simple, Dad,” said Kim, taking the bouquet of blue flowers from her mom. “It’s no big we couldn’t do a rehearsal.”

“I guess,” he said.

Anna opened the front door to the church and walked in. Kim and James walked up the steps to the porch. The sign said, “Tuesday, April 10, 11 AM, Stoppable/Possible,” but it was already 11:30.

The organist played a few bars of introduction before starting the wedding march melody. “Let’s go,” said Kim, and her father opened the door.

The church was a beautiful building, light and airy looking, with steep wooden rafters, stained glass windows, soft red carpeting, and oak pews filled with friends and family.

There was Ron at the altar, wearing a black tux with a white tie, with Wade and Felix, in similar formal wear. Wade was slightly taller than Ron now. Felix, as always, sat on his cyber-robotic wheelchair. Monique and Joss stood beside each other in their pink bridesmaid’s dresses, and Luther Tully, a young black minister wearing a black robe, smiled down at Kim and pointed to the left as she and her dad reached the front of the aisle.

Kim went up the narrow steps first, followed by James. She took his arm again as he led her over toward Ron, who had the biggest smile on his face. James, on the other hand, seemed to be fighting back a tear as he took Kim’s hand and placed it in Ron’s, but then he chuckled when he saw Rufus top of Ron’s head.

“I’m sure you’ll take good care of her, Ronald,” he said. “You always have made her happy.”

He wiped the tear from his eye as he walked down the steps to sit beside Anna, who was absolutely beaming with delight. “Aren’t they perfect?” she whispered to him.

James took her hand and nodded his head, trembling a little bit, looking at Joss, Monique, Kim, Ron, Wade, and Felix. He looked over his shoulder at the second pew, where Jim and Tim were both holding communicators, silently pressing buttons. Tim made a silence gesture with his finger to his lips.

Luther Tully moved to the center, facing the audience, Kim and Ron turned to face him, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen moved back a couple of steps.

“Let me take just a moment to tell you all how honored I am to be asked to perform this marriage ceremony for these two very special people, Ron Stoppable and Kim Possible, without whose help many poor African people might have died in the terrible famine of the year before last, and without whose wisdom and help—” here he dropped his voice from oratory to conversational tones— “I might not be alive either. Okay, Kim, it was no big. I won’t say any more about it.”

A chuckle rippled through the assembled.

Luther began reciting the ceremony from memory, with passion and conviction, but he came to the point much sooner than Kim expected:

“Do you, Ronald, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, to love, honor, and cherish, in sickness and in health, cleaving to her and forsaking all others, as long as you both shall live?”

“I do,” said Ron, looking into Kim’s eyes.

“Do you, Kimberly Ann, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, to love, honor, and cherish, in sickness and in health, cleaving to him and forsaking all others, as long as you both shall live?”

“I do!” Kim cried out with a loud, clear voice.

Luther Tully opened a small velvet box with two gold rings inside. Kim took the larger one and put it on Ron’s left ring finger. She took off her engagement ring. Ron put the smaller wedding ring on her finger, and she put the engagement ring back.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride.”

Kim tilted her head, closed her eyes, and embraced Ron as he embraced her, feeling the sweetness of his kiss, and not wanting it to ever end.

“Okay, ladies,” Kim said, standing on the front porch of the chapel. “I’m gonna turn my back, just to not show any prejudice, so are you ready? Good luck!”

Facing the front door of the church, she tossed the bouquet of blue flowers over her head, and twirled around to see the flowers in the hands of a smiling Bonnie. Joss, who was standing near her, looked slightly disappointed, but smiled and shook Bonnie’s hand. Then Bonnie did something totally unexpected, if not completely out of character. She unwrapped the binding of the bouquet’s stems, and gave a flower to Joss, another to Monique, to Hope, Jill, Katie, Tara, Belinda. By coincidence, or as Belinda said later, karmic plan, there were exactly enough flowers in the bouquet for Bonnie to give one to every girl, and keep one for herself.

The reception was held in the restaurant and dance hall of the Lake Middleton Resort. In the warm sunlight of the afternoon, most of the guests sat out on the balcony overlooking the lake, eating dinner and wedding cake. Cameras flashed at any moment of significance.

Wade was at the reception long enough for dinner and cake. Then he moved to a corner to discuss something with the Tweebs, and after a bit of casual conversation with Monique and her older brother, he excused himself.

“There isn’t any problem, is there?” Kim asked him.

“Nothing that needs your attention,” Wade replied. “I haven’t even had to call Yori. It’s all been stuff regular law enforcement can handle. I just want to go back to the lab, run some searches that are hard to do by remote, follow my hunches.”

Kim smiled and shook Wade’s hand. “I don’t know if I can ever thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me. Working together with you is one of the best choices I ever made.”

“You’re a wonderful girl, Kim,” he replied, and looked at Ron standing next to her. “Ron’s a very lucky guy.”

Ron looked at his bride. “Dude, this goes way beyond luck,” he said, shaking Wade’s hand.

Kim put her arm around Ron’s waist as he put his around hers. “Ron’s here beside me now because he was always beside me, doing his best to help me, encourage me, make me happy. He gave me hope in my darkest moments.”

“Best wishes to you both,” said Wade.

“Thanks so much for coming to the wedding,” said Ron. “This means a lot to me.”

“Really,” Kim agreed.

As afternoon became evening, the resort staff cleared and folded the tables to open the dance floor. Through the windows in the tall doors, Kim and Ron and many of the guests watched the magenta sunset fade to purple over the lake.

Kim was surprised to see two men in resort uniforms carrying in a drum kit.

“We’ve got a live band?” Kim asked her mom. “What kind of music?”

“Your brothers arranged this,” Anna replied.

“I don’t know if that’s more or less scary than you doing it,” said Kim.

“Oh, they’re good,” said Tara. “Don’t worry.”

“Hey, if Tara says they’re good, then they’re, like, good, right?” Ron asked.

Josh Mankey brought in an electric guitar case.

“Josh put together a band?” Kim asked Tara.

“Not exactly. He’s just gonna sit in, play some lead guitar.”

Katie was setting up a keyboard on a stand, and Jill was tuning an acoustic guitar. the Tweebs were setting up microphones and amplifiers.

“Wait till you hear them,” Tara told Kim.

“Jill and Katie?”

“Uh-huh. I’ve heard them rehearse, and, wow! I can understand how they blew away the talent show last fall.”

Blue and red spotlights lit the center of the dance floor, where Kim and Ron stood, her hand on his shoulder, his arm around her waist, their other hands clasped, waiting for the music to begin. Jill started playing a soft arpeggio on her acoustic guitar while Katie added bass notes and a whisper of melody with her keyboard. Kim and Ron began dancing, but it wasn’t till Jill began singing with a sweet fragile voice that they both recognized the song:

“I know we’ve been friends forever, but now I think I’m feeling something totally new—”

Kim looked into Ron’s eyes with with a big smile dividing her lips and tears of joy in her eyes.

“Could it be,” Katie sang, overlapping Jill’s “you and I never imagined,” while the drummer started playing.

Then they traded parts, Katie singing the second verse and Jill doing the “Could it be’s.” Then Josh played a guitar solo, improvising variations of the melody.

All the while, Kim and Ron kept dancing, never looking away from each other’s eyes.

Katie played melodic lines on her keyboard that playfully dueled with Josh’s lead guitar. The acoustic guitar and drums suddenly stopped as Katie played a slowly fading chord, and sang in perfect harmony over near silence, “Cause today is the start of the rest of our lives, I can see it in your eyes.” Jill started chopping acoustic chords with “But it’s real and it’s true,” and then the rest of the band came back.

By this time Kim and Ron were kissing.

In moments the last chorus faded into the final chord. Kim took Ron’s hand and ran toward the band. “Jill, Katie, you sang that so beautifully!” she said. “I love the arrangement you did.”

“I was so nervous,” said Jill, “afraid I’d trash your favorite song.”

“Okay, get nervous again and play some more music. I think there’s some others who want a chance to dance.”

Kim and Ron took their places in the middle of the dance floor, gesturing to the guests to get up and join them.

“This is something I learned from one of my dad’s CD’s,” said Katie. “It’s got a really cool keyboard part. It’s kinda hard, but don’t worry. If I mess up, I’ll just repeat my mistake so you’ll think it’s part of our arrangement.”

Some of the guests chuckled.

“That’s how the pros do it,” Katie said. “Okay, Ken, waiting for my thump.” The drummer made a loud thump and Katie began playing the keyboard intro to the Doors’ “Light my Fire.”

Most of the guests boogied down to this one, but Kim and Ron, not really wanting to let each other go, did a swing dance to it.

Jill and Katie alternated lines through the verse, and sang the chorus together in close harmony. The long jam in the middle gave Josh room for a searing solo.

Kim shut the wooden door, latched the latch, the other latch, and the chain. She sat in front of the mirror, pulling dried white flowers from her hair. “I thought it was really nice, what Bonnie did with the bouquet,” Kim said.

“Too bad she left the reception early,” said Ron, taking off his coat and hanging it in the closet. “And Wade, too. They missed some great music.”

“Felix and Belinda had a great time,” Kim said, removing the last flower and taking off her veil. “I’m really starting to like her.” When she finished brushing her hair, she turned down the light and sat on one side of the bed, looking out the window at the half moon over the lake.

Ron sat beside her. She turned toward him and untied his white bow tie, unsnapped his cummerbund, and began unbuttoning his white formal shirt.

“Where’s Rufus?” Ron asked.

Kim got up, walked to the closet, and pulled the little molerat from the right pocket of Ron’s tux jacket. Rufus blinked his eyes, smiled at Kim, and went back to sleep in her hands.

Ron came out of the bathroom with a towel, and made a bed out of it on top of the dresser. Kim laid Rufus gently on the towel, and Ron tucked part of it over him like a blanket.

Kim pulled off her white shoes, turned her back to Ron, and moved her long red hair out of the way. “There’s a catch at the top of the dress. Careful, the zipper sticks.”

“Fumbling with catch,” said Ron, who couldn’t see it but somehow unhooked it. He pulled the zipper down past her waist into the skirt.

“I’m Kim Stoppable now,” she said. “I’m your wife. You’re my husband. We really did this and it was perfect.” She pulled off her wedding dress and draped it over the chair.

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