Bachelor Father
New Chatham,
maybe you could get a church on short notice.
    Pausing at the Thayer House door, she looked
up the street for Brett, only to catch him turning the corner to
Hacket Boulevard. She didn’t have time to go after him now, but
she’d set him straight tomorrow, remind him that their deal was
strictly business.
     
    Brett whistled as he strode toward his
Wrangler. He’d sure gotten to Molly with his public proposal. Did
her good. She needed to lighten up, have some fun with the
situation. He couldn’t get over her expression when he’d added that
comment about Pastor Larry saying the church was free any Saturday
this month. It was priceless.
     
    Molly took a deep breath. Might as
well get it over with. She dialed the number, pacing the length of
the phone cord as she counted the rings. One, two, three. She and
Brett had agreed on next Saturday for the wedding. And, as she’d
soon learned from Brett, it was possible to get a church on such short notice.
Four, five, six.
    She fingered her Celtic cross. Seven, eight,
nine. The thought of being married in a church still made her
uncomfortable. While she wasn’t a particularly religious person,
saying vows she and Brett didn’t mean to keep in church had a ring
of deceit about it. But Molly hadn’t had much of a choice. When
she’d called City Hall, she’d found a five-week waiting list for
weddings. Korean Child Welfare wanted Jake placed in foster care
long before that.
    “Donahue residence.” At the sound of the
housekeeper’s welcoming voice, a warm calm flowed through
Molly.
    “Helen, it’s Molly.”
    “Molly, sugar. How are you? We haven’t heard
from you in months, not since your little brouhaha with Scott about
the Judge not releasing the money you needed to buy your
condo.”
    Molly swallowed her guilt. She hadn’t called
or written home since she’d met with her stepbrother about the
trust fund last summer. “That’s a moot point, now.”
    “Pardon?”
    “Nothing, just thinking out loud. Is mother
home?”
    “No,” Helen Potter said, the disappointment
for Molly quite evident in her voice. “They left this morning for
Washington. You know how the Judge likes to be in the thick of the
electioneering.”
    Yes, Molly knew well, as she knew how much her
mother liked to be right along beside him playing the perfect
hostess to his perfect host. She wondered if her parents would be
home for Thanksgiving or if her half brother and sister would be
spending the holiday vacation at boarding school or pawned off on
friends as Molly had often spent her holidays.
    “I guess I should have called yesterday,”
Molly said. “I wanted to tell Mother that I’m getting married a
week from Saturday. If they’re on the campaign trail, I doubt
they’ll want to change their plans and come up here for the
ceremony.”
    “Sugar. You’re getting married? I’m so happy
for you. I’m certain your mother and the Judge will want to come.
Now, when my Alicia got married this summer, they sent her and Brad
the loveliest silver setting.”
    Molly shook her head. Helen, the eternal
optimist. Her mother hadn’t come to either her high school or
college graduation. What made Helen so sure they’d travel 500 miles
to her wedding, especially on only a week’s notice?
    “You give me all the details, Molly, and I’ll
tell your mother when she calls this evening. You know how she
likes to check in when she’s away to collect her messages and make
sure everything is running smoothly at home.”
    Yeah, Molly certainly knew how devoted her
mother was to her lovely home and busy social schedule. She gave
Helen the time and place of the ceremony.
    Helen repeated the information to make sure
she had it right, then said, “You have to tell me a little about
your fiancé, the arrangements, and your dress. I just know you’re
going to be beautiful bride.”
    Helen seemed so genuinely happy for her, that
Molly didn’t have the heart to tell her the real

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