Don Redmond (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In Family Traditions I had a very short wedding scene between Callie and Felina. Callie decides she’d like to do it up proper.
It was Friday and somehow Felina had managed to get the weekend off. She had invited Callie over to spend the weekend with her and Callie had readily agreed. Of course, Callie arrived late since she always worked late on Fridays to get things finished for the week. This was despite the best efforts of Felina who began calling Callie at around two in the afternoon and her secretary who finally left in despair of ever getting his boss out of the office. Callie finally arrived at Felina’s apartment around six and was scolded at the door by Felina for wearing herself out.
“Next time I come to your office and carry you out of there. You need to take a vacation.” Callie looked at her lover who, as usual, was wearing her casual wear of short shorts and halter-top. She smiled and said, “I thought that’s what this weekend was for.”
“You misunderstand then. I’m not planning on resting up this weekend at all.” Felina smiled lasciviously at Callie and struck a provocative pose.
“I’d better get going then.” Callie momentarily missed not being at her apartment because she couldn’t take her Friday night bath to soak the cares of the week away. Instead she’d have to settle for a shower to wash off some of the week’s cares. She trusted to Felina to help her take care of the rest of them. When she got out of the shower and remembered where her clothes were kept in Felina’s bedroom she quickly slipped on her tank top and shorts. She could smell that Felina was fixing sweet and sour shrimp and almost didn’t know whether to drool over the shrimp or the kat fixing the shrimp. She walked into the kitchen and walked up behind Felina. She slid her hands up under the back of the halter-top and pushed her fingers through the fur she knew so well. Fortunately Felina wasn’t doing anything important with the cooking at that moment and, purring, she leaned back against Callie. Callie obliged and slid her hands around to the front of Felina’s body with only a momentary stop off at the breasts. Callie clasped her hands together around Felina’s waist and kissed Felina’s neck.
“I know we have dinner to eat, but we can stand here for a little bit can’t we?”
“Mmm.” As the two kats stood in the middle of the kitchen Callie could now smell more of Felina’s scent than the food being cooked and Felina leaned into Callie happily entertaining the personal illusion that she was sinking into and becoming her lover. The two kats would have stayed that way much longer, but the timer went off and they were brought back to reality. After dinner the two kats were sitting on the couch in the living room supposedly watching a videotape as they drank the rest of their dinner glass of wine, but neither of them were paying much attention to it. Callie put her glass down on the coffee table and looked at Felina for a moment.
“This may seem like an odd question, but have you ever wanted to get really married?”
“Married? Us? But we can’t do that.”
“I don’t mean a civil ceremony.”
“Then we’ve done that.”
“But that was just a private ceremony between us.”
“And my brother and his wife.”
“But we didn’t know that. I want to go to a temple and be public about it.”
“Don’t you think that what we did on the island has any meaning?”
“Of course, it did, but …” Callie caught the look on Felina’s face and decided that this discussion had run its course for the time being.
“It was just a thought.” Callie leaned over and kissed Felina who responded in kind. Soon both kats left their wineglasses on the table and the VCR shut off as they headed to the bedroom to engage in other pursuits. Over the weekend Callie brought up the marriage idea a few more times, but never tried to force the issue. She knew better than to get Felina’s hackles up as Felina was the only kat she knew that could be more stubborn than she was. With that in mind she only mentioned this topic when she could fit it in somewhere naturally. Most of the time the two kats had other things on their minds. During the next few months Callie kept after Felina, but she knew to never push. On a few occasions Felina didn’t dismiss the idea out of hand and she and Callie were able to discuss Callie’s reasoning, but, as usual, Felina remained noncommittal. One night the two kats were out walking in the park after a movie. Callie was trying to think of a way to bring in a discussion of the marriage idea when Felina stopped walking and put her hands on Callie’s right hand.
“I’ve been thinking this over and I think you are right about going to the temple.”
“What? You’re not just saying this to get me off your back, are you?”
“I don’t mind you on my back.” Felina chuckled and then went on, “Since you keep bringing it up I realize that this is very important to you and the more I thought about it the more I realize that it is important to me. We don’t try to hide our relationship, but it is sort of secret …”
“Known to much of MegaKat City.”
“… and while being married at the temple is not quite the same as telling Ann Gora in front of a camera it is a public profession of our relationship.” Callie threw her arms around Felina and held her tight for a few moments. This had made her very happy and she wanted to savor the moment. Finally, she pulled back a little so that she could look at Felina’s face.
“When do you want to do it?”
“What’s the hurry?”
“Strike while the iron is hot. I don’t want to force you to do this and I’m not going to love you any less if you really don’t want to do this. You’ll still have time as we have to talk with a priest or priestess first.”
“Been checking into this already?”
“It never hurts to be prepared.” Felina looked at her watch.
“I hate to ruin a magic moment, but we’d better hurry if we’re going to get to the restaurant on time.”
Callie arrived at the temple a little early for a change and had to wait for Felina. After half an hour and no Felina Callie decided she’d better go see the priest who had agreed to marry them lest he think neither of them were coming. She knocked on the door to the room she had been led to and was told to enter. She saw a red-furred tom-kat sitting in a wheelchair behind a desk. She remembered him from those times that the mayor had come here for some reason or another. If she remembered rightly his name was Michael. The priest smiled as he watched Callie run through her mental rolodex.
“I see you remember me, Deputy Mayor.” He spoke in a quiet, but strong voice.
“I’m sorry, I do this all the time. I guess it comes from being the mayor’s right-hand kat. I’m the one who has to remember the particulars.” Callie was going to mention something about the mayor’s attention span being limited to golf, but decided to forego the swipe at her boss.
“Call me Callie.” The priest indicated that Callie should take a seat in one of the two chairs that had been placed in front of his desk.
“I’m sorry I’m late, but I was waiting for my partner and she’s late. Usually I’m the one who’s late.”
“That’s okay. We can talk for awhile and then when she shows up I can send you away and question her.” He smiled at Callie to indicate it was a joke, but she had heard about such tactics too often from Felina to be completely relieved.
“So, why do you two want to get married? You know that the state will not officially bless this union.”
“It’s not the state we want to bless it. Some time back, as an impromptu thing, Felina and I married each other. We just felt that something like that was called for at that moment, though we have always, once we got together, thought of ourselves as each other’s true kat. I thought it might be nice to have things formalized a little more.”
“Your partner is in agreement with this?”
“Yes and no. She thinks this is unnecessary, but she is willing to do it.”
“But why …” The priest’s question was forestalled by a knock at the door. He told the kat to enter and Felina, still wearing her Enforcer uniform, came in. Callie smiled at her at first, but quickly jumped up and went to her when she saw the tears in the uniform and the scratches on her face. Callie put a hand to Felina’s face.
“Does it hurt?”
“It’s nothing.” Callie led Felina to her chair and as soon as both were seated they reached out between the chairs to hold hands.
“I’m sorry I’m late, but we were chasing the Puma Sisters after another of their attempted bank robberies. They insisted on making things difficult even though we had them outmanned and outgunned. We got them cornered and I got these,” she indicated her face, “when Anna Puma and I did a little hand to hand.” Callie squeezed Felina’s hand.
“Michael this is my partner Felina Feral. Felina, this is Michael.” Felina saw the priest looking at her.
“Yes, I am one of those Ferals.”
“I know your uncle, the Commander of Enforcers. Does your job treat you well?”
“Callie was telling me that you were against getting married.”
“At first because I figured we’d already taken care of it. I don’t know if I’d’ve thought of our little ceremony if it hadn’t been for the circumstances. But now I see Callie’s point and it will be good to renew our vows, to ourselves and to the Goddess. We don’t hide our relationship, but we don’t advertise it either. This is about as public as we can get in announcing this.”
“Yes, you will be saying it to a stranger, me, and anyone else who cares to show up. You’d be surprised at the number of kats who just like to come to weddings.” The rest of the conversation dealt with the ceremony itself and what each kat’s part would be. Several times Michael stopped his presentation to ask if either of the she-kats had any questions or if they wanted to change anything. At the end Felina and Callie thanked Michael for his time and told him that they’d meet him in two weeks.
During the two weeks between the meeting with the priest and the wedding itself the two she-kats managed to behave as if nothing was going to happen. They hoped no one found out about it because they weren’t really eager to find their friends at the ceremony. Still life went on in its ordinary way for them. What worried Callie the most was that Felina would find a way to get injured and they would have to postpone the ceremony.
The day arrived and both kats arrived from their respective jobs on time. Felina was amazed to see Callie there on time and Callie was surprised to see Felina wearing a causal summer dress just as she was. Soon after they arrived they met the priest, Michael. He told them they could begin any time the two kats wanted. Michael led the two kats to an outdoor enclosed patio and told them that he’d be back in a moment. The two kats walked around the patio and looked at the flowers and the little waterfalls. Before long Michael returned, wearing his formal robes, and called the two she-kats up to the altar. The altar was a simple rock with a small bonsai tree going in it. Michael sat on one side of the tree and the two kats stood together on the other. Neither Felina nor Callie noticed if any one else had come to view their ceremony as they focused on the rite they were to take part in. Michael began.
“We are gathered at this time to witness the marriage of these two kats before us. We ask that the Goddess also witness the words spoken by the voices and by the hearts of all present at this ceremony. We ask that the Goddess bless this ceremony and all of those who partake in it or witness it.” He turned to Felina.
“Felina, do you truly desire to marry this kat and to make her your one true kat in the eyes of all kats and before the Goddess?”
“Yes.” She then turned to Callie.
“My beloved, I ask that you accept this token.” Felina offered Callie a copper bracelet that was stamped with a variety of abstract designs. Callie held out her left arm and Felina slipped the bracelet on.
“I give you this bracelet as a physical symbol of my love for you so that all who see it shall know that we are true kats. Let it also show that my heart and my soul are now your heart and your soul, my beloved kat. Let its unity show that we are one.” Callie kissed the bracelet.
“We are one.” Michael spoke to Callie.
“Callie, do you truly desire to marry this kat, to make her your one true kat in the eyes of all kats and before the Goddess?”
“Yes.” Callie turned to Felina.
“My beloved I ask that you accept this token.” She offered Felina a silver ring with a fire opal set in the center. Felina held out her left hand and Callie slipped the ring on her finger.
“I give you this ring as a physical symbol of my love for you so that all that see it shall know that we are true kats. Let the fire in the stone symbolize the fire that burns in my soul for you and that welds us together heart and soul. My heart and my soul are now your heart and your soul.” Felina kissed the ring.
“We are one, my love.” The priest looked at the two kats.
“These two kats have pledged their souls to each other and we ask the Goddess to bless this union. Let the sky above and earth below celebrate this union.
“Felina, Callie,” Michael looked at each kat in turn, “Let your love be strong so that you can overcome the storms to come. They are transitory, so let your love be eternal. Be freely giving of your warmth and affection for each other and know that the Goddess shall always be with you. In this marriage there is no second partner as both partners are equal in the Eyes of the Goddess.
“You have given each other tokens of your willingness to join together in this marriage. I ask you once again.
“Callie, do you take Felina as your one true kat and life partner?” Callie nodded at first because she could not speak. However, she finally managed to whisper, “Yes.”
“Felina, do you take Callie as your one true kat and life partner?” Felina spoke strongly, but with a bit of a quaver in her voice.
“We have all heard their responses. Let it be known to all kats that Felina and Callie are true kats.
“May only joy, happiness and prosperity lie on your life’s road and may the Goddess bless this eternal union.” Michael looked at the two she-kats before him and broke out into a great smile.
“You two may kiss.” The two kats kissed, though almost chastely, and then embraced. There was a little applause and the two she-kats, for the first time, realized that there had been others to witness their wedding. Both kats felt very happy and glad they had decided to go through this ceremony.
“Congratulations.” They turned to see a smiling Commander of Enforcers standing a few feet from them and they went up to him.
“Uncle, why are you here?”
“Michael told me about your plans and I decided to come. I am glad I did.”
“Thank you!” Felina threw her arms around her uncle almost as enthusiastically as she had around Callie.
“Commander …,” Callie started, but was interrupted.
“Call me Ulysses, please. After all, you are now my daughter-in-law.” Feral had an odd smile on his face.
“Ulysses, we know how you feel about our relationship. I don’t understand why you would come for this.”
“As I told said when I adopted you into the clan I want Felina to be happy.” Feral turned to his niece.
“I assume you are happy.”
“Good. Also I had to come to bring your wedding presents.” Both she-kats looked at each other and then at Feral.
“Well, they are both a little intangible. The first one is dinner at Emperor’s Palace.” He looked at his watch.
“We should be there soon. We can continue this conversation when we get there.” On the way out Feral shook hands with Michael.
“It was a very nice ceremony.”
“It is easy when the Goddess cooperates.” He smiled. Felina and Callie each said their thanks as well as all three kats headed out of the temple and to their cars. They were scattered over the parking lot of the temple and soon each of the three kats lost sight of each other. It was only when they arrived at the parking lot for Emperor’s Palace that they came together again.
When the three kats entered the restaurant Feral took care of everything. They were led to a table that was somewhat separated from the others and Callie was reminded of her birthday dinner here that Felina had given her before they had been together. She recalled that it was then that she had first thought of the possibly of Felina as a lover. Now they were back again and celebrating something more important than a birthday.
“So uncle, what is the other present?”
“I’ll tell you after dinner.” Even though their interest was piqued the two she-kats had no trouble getting through their dinners. Callie loved the sesame chicken while the Ferals both had sweet and sour shrimp. The talk during the meal was light and inconsequential. Neither of the she-kats could get Feral to tip his hand either during the meal or while they finished up the dinner wine afterward. Feral finally let on out in the parking lot. He told the other two kats to meet him at the MegaKat Hilton. When they got there they found Ulysses Feral at the desk and he turned when he saw them.
“Every marriage needs a honeymoon, and so my second gift is a stay here for a night or two.” He handed the room key to Felina.
“I guess there is one other present. This one is from the Commander of the Enforcers. Lieutenant,” Felina, though not in uniform, came to attention anyway, “You have permission to take tomorrow off.” Felina threw her arms around her uncle again.
“Thank you. All of this is wonderful.” Callie, with less eagerness, also gave Feral a hug.
“Thank you for your friendship.” Feral took a step back from the two beaming she-kats. Seeing them like this made it hard for him to dislike their relationship. He knew how hard it was to find happiness in this world, much less love, and who was he to deny any two kats, in particular his niece, a chance at happiness.
“I’m sure you two have better things to do than talk to me. I’ll see you,” he nodded at Felina, “in a couple of days.” With that Feral turned and walked out of the hotel.
The first thing Callie and Felina heard when opening the door to their room was running water. At first they were afraid that they’d gotten a bum room, but when they finally entered the room from the entrance hallway they found the source of the running water. There was a hot tub in the room and hanging from the ceiling above it were various aquatic plants in baskets. It was from these that the water came. Callie sat on the edge of the king size waterbed while Felina explored the room. She lingered over the hot tub, but liked the waterbed and the large couch, which was in front of a TV/VCR set up. She looked at a few of the tapes that were there.
“I see they have a good idea why someone rents a room like this.” She waved one of the tapes at Callie and smiled.
“The Katrasutra.” Callie grinned in response. Felina walked back to stand next to the hot tub.
“Callie, I’m not sure that tomorrow is going to be enough to try everything in this room.” Callie had watched Felina’s exploration from her spot on the bed.
“I guess we’ll just have to come back later. Right now, why don’t you join me? We can start with the familiar.”
Two days later Callie was back at work and was greeted by her secretary as he always did when she arrived for work. He noticed that she seemed to be a lot more cheerful than usual even after he told her that the mayor wanted a speech for another park opening by the end of the day.
“So how was your special assignment with Lieutenant Feral?”
“Commander Feral called yesterday and told me that you wouldn’t be in because the two of you were on special assignment.”
“Oh that. It went spectacularly well.” Callie continued smiling, mostly to herself, as she walked into her own office.
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