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Punk Rock-A-Bye Baby

By´╝ÜJenna Galicki

Chapter One

Tommy Blade tugged at the tight-fitting collar of his starched, white shirt and fidgeted with his bow tie. He hadn’t worn a tuxedo since his own wedding day. He eyed the rows of white folding chairs strung together by a garland of cream-colored roses and the white silk runner that stretched down the center aisle. The pergola above him was weaved with fragrant magnolias that cascaded down the four columns at each corner. Central Park had never looked so pristine.

The grass was exceptionally green against the bright white décor, and the clear, blue sky let the sun bathe the atmosphere in a warm glow of pale yellow. Tommy spanned the array of 300 guests, all dressed in their best formal attire. The affair was an extravaganza far beyond anything he imagined.

“Why do you look so nervous, mi amor? You’re not the one getting married.” Angel Garcia looked like he had just stepped off the runway in his perfectly-fitted Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo.

“The head of every major record label is here. Security blocked off two major entrances to the Park. I had no idea this was going to be such a high-profile ceremony.”

Jimmy Wilder and Audra Abelman’s wedding was a long-awaited event. As the heir to a wealthy record empire, Audra was a socialite worthy of front-page news. Marrying Immortal Angel’s drummer, one of the most notorious rock star bachelors in America, pitted their wedding as the go-to event of the season.

Jimmy’s foot bounced on the ground with a hard thump. He alternated between stretching his neck down the long aisle, impatiently waiting for Audra, and drumming his fingers against the leg of his slacks. The poor guy was a nervous wreck.

Tommy leaned forward, past Jimmy’s two brothers. “Relax. You’re marrying your dream girl. You have no reason to be uptight.”

Jimmy exhaled a deep breath and some of his tension disappeared. “You’re right. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. Thanks, man.” A smile radiated across his face, and he rested his hands on his son’s shoulders. “Still got the rings, little man?”

Mason straightened the small velvet pillow he held at chest level, serious about his job as ring bearer. “Right here, Daddy. When are we gonna marry Audra?”

Jimmy chuckled. “Any minute now, Mase.”

The six-piece band came to life, and the familiar sound of the Wedding March echoed through the stately oak trees. Rows upon rows of guests rose to their feet, and all heads turned in unison. They let out a series of soft exclamations as Audra and her father slowly made their way down the center aisle. Jimmy’s eyes never left her, and his foot and fingers rested without the slightest bit of apprehension.

Audra stepped onto the floor of the pergola, glowing with an effervescent smile that she could barely contain. Mr. Abelman kissed her cheek and shook Jimmy’s hand.

Mason’s excited squeal broke through the silence. “Audra! You look pretty!” He dropped the pillow and wrapped his arms around her legs, lost in the chiffon of her flowing gown. A low rumble of laughter followed, accompanied by several murmurs of “Aww” from the guests.

Audra laughed and cupped the crown of his head in her hand. “Thank you, Mason. You look very handsome.” She gazed at Jimmy. “Just like your daddy.”

Damien retrieved the pillow, along with the little velvet pouch attached to it that contained the rings, and handed them back to Mason. “Careful, little dude. You don’t want to lose these.”

Mason let out a tiny gasp when he realized he had absentmindedly discarded the pillow and quickly took it from Damien. He stood back in line with the groomsmen and held the pillow in front of him, steady as a rock.

“The kid just tossed Audra’s diamond wedding band on the floor,” Damien whispered to Angel. He let out a small chuckle. “It was fifty grand.”

Angel bit back a smile.

As Tommy watched Audra and Jimmy exchange their wedding vows, memories of his own wedding day transported him back in time. He was standing in a church in Brooklyn with the most beautiful woman in the world in front of him, dressed in an Alexander McQueen wedding gown that probably cost more than she made in a month. Her hot pink hair was a striking bolt of color beneath the stark white veil. The sparkle in her eyes was a mere glimmer in comparison to the fireworks going off inside Tommy’s heart. He had never been happier.

Jessi caught him staring at her, and his thoughts returned to the present. Her bare shoulders were two mountains of velvet over her strapless, floor-length bridesmaid’s gown. The ruby red roses in her hand mimicked the bouquet she held on their wedding day. He mouthed “I love you” to her, and she puckered her lips in a kiss and silently said “Love you” back to him.