The Von Haunt Estate was abuzz with preparations, the budget spent on the venue and Emilie’s perfect dress. Rylan kept the guest list small, Ziva, their usual suspects and a few colleagues from work. Sunlight danced on the water, illuminating the greens, and spray from the waterfall glittered in a flawless display. Summer had blessed them, the flowers flourished, Emilie captivated guests and onlookers, she floated through the gardens in a crisp lilac gown. Sai nudged Rylan; the question on the wedding guests mind was how he had managed to get this lucky. Ziva pulled at her dress those extra few pounds made it tight across her waist. Sai put a friendly arm across her shoulders a compliment helped her relax, sighing she wondering if she could look as good on her big day. Nerves got the better of Rylan, he stuttered through the vows, as Emilie giggled excited, spoke quick, with eager intention they married.
The wedding party made their way the main house, snapping photos, discussing the menu, what food they would consume and taking bets on how long it would be until Emilie would be pregnant. Houda, Rylan’s colleague, remained at the house, the patio beckoned her, distracted by beautiful surroundings, Houda found herself engulfed by the summer heat. Her skin blistered, unable to get back into the house due to curious visitors, Houda erupted in flames. The body lay smouldering on the floor, shattering the illusion of romance and joy.
Grim arrived, surprised by the formal dress, assessed the situation. Ziva and Sai comforted Emilie, tentative, Rylan stepped towards the reaper. Hands clasped, eyes pleaded, Houda was one of the few colleagues Rylan could banter with, her strange life choice and consumption of blood unnerved him, but she was his friend. The reaper gazed weary, the sombre gathering, the pleading man, this creature had eternal life, she cheated death for centuries, it was against Grim’s nature to release a soul appearing next on his list. Today would be an exception, a gift to the newlyweds, Houda restored in her vampire form, this was one soul that could wait.
The celebration moved indoors, shocked by Houda’s death and resurrection, staff guided her to a room to rest, her body needing time to heal and she needed to keep a distance from warm-blooded temptation, in her weakened state the hungry remained uncontrolled. Sai led the way to the bar, a few drinks should calm the anxieties and get people back into the party spirit, besides, Rylan had married a beautiful woman and saved another from permanent death, they should revel in the wins.
Von Haunts estate provided a delicious spread, dishes catering to a variety of tastes, the guests gorged themselves on Butternut Gnocchi, Chicken Saltimbocca and Lobster Thermidor, the chef struggled to keep up with demand, as visitors to the estate helped themselves. Upstairs the pianist entertained, the dance moves were uninspiring, clumsy as Rylan twirled Emilie, they both laughed and stumbled, he held her in his arms, in an unusual public display of affection.