From This Moment On
by Lori Anderson

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction.  It has nothing to do with Early Edition, Tristar, and Fox Family.

This is a story about Gary and Brigatti's Romance leading up to their marriage.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

From This Moment On
by Lori Anderson

Chapter 1

The alarm went off at six thirty, and Gary rolled over to shut it off before it woke Brigatti up.

He went over to the door, opened it, and saw the cat sitting on the paper as ususal.

"Good morning pal.  Better stay out of sight today.  My lady still is allegric to you," he said reaching down to get the paper gently .  The cat went downstairs before Brigatti could get up and start sneezing.

Gary smiled and shut the door.  He went to the kitchen to pour the coffee for him and Toni.

Brigatti heard the door shut and sat up on the couch looking at her handsome boyfriend.

"Morning Gary.  Got my coffee ready?," she asked going over to him in his robe she put on.

Gary nodded.  "Here you are Toni.  Did you sleep alright last night?," he replied handing her a cup of coffee.

Toni nodded as she sipped her coffee.  "I'd prefer the bed with you next time. You could've warned me what you were going to do at the concert instead of embrassing me like you did.  That was sweet of you though."

"It wasn't my idea honey.  How do you like your eggs?"

"You go and sit down.  I'll fix breakfast.  I don't trust your cooking."

"Wait a minute.  Are you saying I'm a rotten cook?"

"Let's put it this way:  You're not much of a cook .  Go sit down loverboy."

Gary laughed and sat down in his chair opening the paper to see who he had to save that day.

"Not much happening today.  Uh oh. "

"Something interesting in the paper today ?"

Gary nodded.  "Yeah.  Nothing I can't handle, though. "

Brigatti sipped her coffee and put her cup down.  She turned towards the stove to check on the eggs.

"Is scrambled alright?  You want toast with your eggs?"

"Whatever you fix is alright with me."

Toni put the toast in the toaster and pushed the level down.

"Gary,", she said turning towards him, "why are you reading the wrong paper anyway?"

Gary almost dropped his cup of coffee.  He knew that it would come up sometime, but he had hopped it wouldn't be so soon.  "Toni, this paper is special to me.  It's a special issue just meant for me."

Brigatti didn't believe him by the look in her eyes, and Gary knew it.  She put his eggs on the plate and buttered his toast when it popped up.

He went over to her and set him cup down on the table besides hers.

"It's time I was straight with you.  You'd better sit down."

Toni sat down on a stool and waited to hear what he had to say. "Okay Hobson. Let's hear it," she said.

Gary sighed.  "It started a couple of years ago.  My marriage fell apart, and I moved to the Blackstone Hotel.  One day, I heard a meow at the door, and when I opened it, there was a cat sitting on a paper.  It wasn't your typical paper.  It had tomorrow's date on it, and from that day on, I've been getting it.  Whenever I read something about someone in the paper needing help, I rush out and try to prevent them from getting hurt.  I don't know where it comes from, all I know that it comes every morning at six thrity.  You believe me, don't you."

Toni thought for a minute.  She loved Gary enough to take whatever was thrown at her, and vice versa.

She took his hands in hers and looked him in the eyes.  "I believe you.  I love you too much not to.  Go eat your breakfast before it gets cold," she finally said.

"Thanks for believing me Toni.  Just keep it between us, okay.  No one else has to know."

"Don't worry about that.  I'm not going to tell anyone about it."

Chapter 2

"You better be careful going out to your car Toni.  It's a little slick out there today," Gary told her.

Toni finished her coffee and smiled.  "Don't worry about me handsome.  I'll be careful.  I've got to get to work.  I'll see you later.  By the way, don't forgot to get your tuxedo for the ball Saturday night," she replied.

Gary frowned.  "Ball?  What are you talking about?  I'm not going to any ball Saturday night."

"Oh yes you are.  The policeman's ball.  Did you forget?  I told you about it two weeks ago that we were going."

"With everything that's been going on, I must have forgotten.  Okay.  I'll get it sometime this week."

"You'd better.  Bye loverboy.  See you later."

She kissed him and Gary kissed her back in return.  Toni grabbed her coat and left the apartment.

Gary watched her leave and smiled to himself.  What a lucky guy I am, he thought to himself.

He grabbed his jacket and went downstairs to the bar where Marrissa was waiting.

"Morning Marissa.  How's Emmit this morning?," he asked smiling at his friend and partner.

"He's fine Gary.  I take it by the vibes I'm sensing from you that you had a good night," she replied.

"Yes I did.  I finally did it by the way."

"You told Toni about the paper?  How did she take it?"

Gary smiled.  " She took it okay.  She promised not to tell anyone about it.  You know something, I'm glad I asked her to marry me the other night.  She said next time to warn her if I'm going to do something about like that.  Remind me to send Chuck and Amber a wedding invitiation."

Marissa nodded.  "Anything in the paper today?"

Gary opened up the paper and read,"Child Falls on Ice in Front of Truck on way to School."  Corner of Fifth and Main Street in about ten minutes.  Got to make sure she doesn't get hit.  See you later."

"Good luck Gary.  Don't you slip and fall on the ice."

Gary nodded and went out the door.  He carefully went to the corner and checked his watch.

He saw the truck approaching the corner and turned to see the girl starting to cross the street.

Gary ran over and carried the girl to safety on the other side as the truck came by a few mintes later.

"Thanks mister.  I didn't see that truck coming around the corner like that,," she said.

"You're welcome.  Just make sure you look next time, okay," he told her.

The girl nodded, and proceeded on her way to school safe now thanks to Gary. Gary sighed, and waited for the walk sign to cross the street before he crossed the street.

He went back to Mc Ginty's and told Marissa about the save.

"She thanked me and promised to watch next time," he said pouring himself a cup of coffee.

"This time of year always make me nervous.  Not because of the ice, but because of the kids who could get hurt falling on ice patches trying to cross the street to school."

"Well, someone should tell the street department to do something about it."

"Maybe someone will."

The phone rang and Gary answered it.

"Mc Gintys.  Hello Mom.  Did you and Dad get to Florida alright?," he said to his mother.

"Yes Gary.  We arrived safe the morning after the concert.  How is Toni?," Lois replied.

"She's fine.  She went to work. "

"Good.  You and her make a good couple.  I can see the love in your eyes you have for her."

"Okay, what's up?  I can tell when you have something up your sleeve."

"Me?  Not this time.  We just called to see how you and Toni are doing.  Have you seen the engagement ad I put in the paper?  Really nice picture of the two of you."

Gary moaned.  "Not yet.  I'll get one to look at later.  Give Dad my love. Bye."

He hung up and sighed.  "My mother put Toni's and mine engagement in the paper."

"That's sweet of her Gary.  Shows how she proud she is of you."

"I know, but I hope Toni doesn't get teased at work about it."

Chapter 3

Toni arrived at the police station and greeted her fellow officers as she went to her desk.

"I saw your picture and Gary Hobson's in the paper this morning in the society page, Brigatti.  Is it true that you're going to marry him?," Sargent Turner asked her smiling.

Toni nodded.  "Yes it's true sir.  I love him and he loves me.  Is there a problem with that?", she replied.

"No.  We were a little shocked considering how you acted with Hobson in the past is all."

"I admit that there were some rough times in the past, but it's all water under the bridge now."

"I'm happy for you Toni.  You deserve some happiness in your life."

"Thanks sir.  I'm glad to get your and the other's support for my marriage, and I'll let you know when it is."

She watched her sargent walk back towards his desk, and reached for the phone to call Gary.

"Mc Gintys," Gary said answering the phone when it rang.

"Hello handsome," Toni said upon hearing her sweetheart's voice.

Gary smiled.  "Hi Toni.  How's it going?," he asked.

"Fine.  Did you know that our picture is in the paper this morning with the engagemnet annoucement underneath?  You wouldn't happen to know how it got there, would you?"

"I figured you'd see it sooner or later.  That was my mother's idea to put it in there.  She just called from Florida to ask how you are, and told me she had put our picture in the paper with the engagement annoucement underneath.  You haven't been teased by anyone have you about it?"

"No, but my co-workers did say something about it when I came in today."

"I figured that would happen.  Would you want to meet somewhere for lunch?"

"I'll come there and have lunch with you.  See you then.  Good- bye."

Gary hung his phone and smiled.  "She's going to have lunch here with me."

"That's nice Gary.  Too bad she's allergic to your cat," Marissa said.

"I know, but that can be handled with care."  Gary went to pour himself some coffee, and almost dropped the pot.  "You won't belive this Marissa.  Marsha just walked in the door."

Gary's ex-wife came over to the bar and Marissa left to leave the two of them alone to talk.

"Hello Marsha.  What are you doing here?," Gary asked.

"I came to see how you were doing since we last talked.  I saw your picture in the society page in the paper this morning.  Is it true that you're getting married?," Marsha replied.

"Yes, it's true.  Did you think I was going to be alone without you for the rest of my life?  I've finally found someone who loves me and respects me enough to be my wife without worrying about trying to please her father like I did with you.  Sorry if it hurts, but that's the truth."

"You hate me that much to say that about my father?"

"I don't hate you Marsha.  I could never measure up to what your father wanted of me.  It was like I was never good enough for him.  Toni's wonderful to me, and we get along very well together."

"Leave my man alone whoever you are," Toni said coming towards the bar from the door.

Gary smiled when he saw her coming towards him.  "I thought you were coming for lunch honey."

"I am, but I had a errand to run this way, and so I thought I'd drop in to see you a minute.  Good thing I did too.  Who's the lady here?  An ex-girlfriend of yours?"

"You got the ex part right.  She's my ex-wife, Marsha.  The one who threw my things out the window on our annivesary three years ago."

Toni faced Marsha and put her hand in Gary's.  "So what are you doing here? Listen Marsha, you had your chance with him, and you blew it.  You may marry for money or whatever, but Gary deserves better, and he has it with me.  I'd never throw anything of his out the window.  If you're here to wish us well, fine, but if you start to put him down, you'll have me to deal with."  She turned and kissed Gary on the mouth.  "See you in a while for lunch handsome, and don't forgot to get your tux for the policeman's ball."

"I promise to pick it up later Toni.  See you at lunch.  I love you," Gary said, and kissed her good bye.

Toni waved and walked towards the door not looking back once to see Marsha's reaction.

Chapter 4

Gary finished his coffee and went to take the empty cup in the kitchen to be washed not saying another word to his ex.  He had said what he had felt ever since the divorce that had been inside him, and it felt good.

"Tony, I want you to prepare a special lunch for me today.  Toni is having lunch with me today here, and I want it to be special.  You know what I mean,dont' you," he told his chef.

Tony the chef nodded.  "Sure Mr. Hobson.  I know just what to fix.  You leave it to me," he replied.

"Great.  I know she'll love it whatever you fix."

Gary went back out to the bar and saw Marsha still standing there with a shocked look on her face.

"Please leave Marsha.  I've said all I care to say to you, and so has Toni. Find someone else to use," he told her firmly and politely behind the bar not smiling.

"I never used you Gary.  You have to believe that," she said.

"Ha!  First, you have me become a stockbroker while you finish your lawschool, and then, when things go wrong there, and I come home bringing you flowers and candy, you toss everything I own out the window. (Spoliers: Pilot above, The Wrong Man .)   Then, you almost marry my ex-boss throwing it in my face that he's better for you than I ever was.  How did you think I felt when I found out?  You never cared for anyone, but yourself.  You and your Daddy's power was all you ever think about.  You
know what, I'm glad we're no longer married, because you make me sick.  You used me and when you didn't need me anymore for your purpose, you threw me out without caring how I felt.  Now it's your turn to see how it feels like. I am marrying Toni Brigatti, who doesn't care for wealth and the other things that you and your Daddy does.  This isn't revenge if that's what you're thinking.  I am finally seeing what you are for the first time since I first saw you, and I don't like it.  I am finally over you for good and it feels great.  So, please leave and don't come back.  Don't call me or anything.  You are no longer part of my life, and I'm no longer part of yours.  Good bye forever Marsha.  Don't let the door hit you on the way out.  I have some work to do in my office.  I don't want to see you here when I get done."  Gary turned and walked towards his office not looking back once at his ex-wife.

Marsha turned and walked out of the bar, his words still ringing in her ears.

Everything he had told her was the truth, she realized as she got in her car and drove away.

Inside his office, Gary sat down at his desk and breathed a sigh of relief. "I finally told my ex-wife how I really feel, and it feels great to have it all out.  I told her to leave and not come back.  I don't want her to call me or anything," he told Marissa.

"Good for you Gary!  It's about time you got that off your chest.  Now, you can move on without having to worry about that anymore.  So, did you find out who put yours and Toni's picture in the paper?," Marissa said.

Gary nodded.  "Yeah.  It was my mom like I told you before.  Toni wanted to know who put it in the paper, and I told her it was my mother."

Chapter 5

Gary got a bottle of red wine from the wine rack and took it out to booth where he and Brigatti were going to have lunch.  He put in it a bucket of ice to keep it cool, and sat down to wait for her to come.

At lunchtime, Brigatti entered the bar and saw Gary waving at from the corner booth.

"Hi handsome.  I had a real busy morning after I left here.  I'm really hungry," she said kissing him.

"I had the chef fix us a special lunch today Toni.  Sit down and I'll pour us some red wine," he told her.

Brigatti sat down in the seat across from him watching him pop the cook from the bottle.

Gary picked up her glass and poured her some wine from the open bottle.

He set it down besides her, reached for his own glass, and poured some wine in it.

He put the glass down, put the bottle back in the bucket, and sat down across from her.

"Here's to the woman I love and going to spend the rest of my life with," Gary said raising his glass.

"I'll drink to that," Toni said, and raised her own glass of wine.

They clinked glasses, and drank some of the wine in the toast.

The chef came out of the kitchen pushing a cart with some hot dishes on it towards their table.

"I have fixed a very romantic lunch for you both today," he told them smiling.

"You may start putting it on the table Tony," Gary said as Brigatti looked at them.

The chef nodded, and started to set the first dish and course on the table. He set the others on the table, told them to enjoy it, and left them alone.

"It all looks so good!  You didn't have to this just for me," Toni said.

"Nothing's too good for my lady which you are.  Go ahead and dig in."

Toni took a bite of her meat and smiled her pleasure.  "Mmmm!  Just the way I like my steak."

"I'll have to remember that when I fix the steaks after we're married," Gary said.

"I'll be the one cooking the meals loverboy.  Remember breakfast this morning?"

Gary nodded as he took a bite of his own steak.  "Tony is a real good chef. Glad I hired him."

"Did your ex leave after I did?  I don't want to spoil our dinner, but I didn't see her when I came in."

"Toni, she's gone, and I'd rather not talk about her anymore.  You're the only one I want to talk about now, and if you're wondering if I"m going to pick up my tuxedo, the answer is yes.  I am this afternoon."

They ate the rest of the meal in slience just looking at each other with love in their eyes.

"Did I ever tell you that I liked the color of your eyes?," Toni asked Gary sipping her wine.

"No, but you just did now.  Your eyes are nice too."

"The band they hired for the ball is almost the same one we had on the boat that night.  You'd better be prepared to dance the night away with me Friday night."

"Okay.  No problem.  I like dancing with you anytime and anywhere."

"That's what I like to hear.  I've got to get back to work.  I'll see you later on.  Bye," Toni said.

Gary walked her to the door and kissed her goodbye.  "See you after work honey."

Toni nodded and went out of the bar towards her car.

Marissa came towards him with one of the cordless phones in her hands.

"Sorry to bother you at lunchtime, but Chuck's on the line," she told him. Gary smiled taking it from her.  "Thanks Marissa.  Hello Chuck.  How's married life treating you these days?," he asked his friend over the phone.

"Just great Gar.  Is it true what Amber showed me in the paper here?  You and Brigatti are engaged to get married.  Good picture of the two of you by the way," Chuck replied.

"Yes it's true.  I proposed and she accepted.  You and Amber will get a wedding invitation when the time comes.  My mother was the one who put the picture in the paper.  I told Toni about the paper Chuck."

"How did she take it?"

"Good.  We just had lunch together.  I have to pick up my tuxedo for the policeman's ball this weekend."

"Sounds like you're going to have a good time.  Just had to call to see how you're doing."

"I'm glad you did.  I miss you, but Marissa and I are doing well by ourselves.  I hope Amber isn't doing her old thing if you know what I mean."

"She's not a jewel theif anymore.  We're planning on having a family."

"You are?  That's terrific Chuck."

"Thanks.  Well, I got to hang up before Amber complains about me spending too much time on the phone.  Congrulations on your engagement and we'll look forward to the inviation."

"Call again anytime, and don't be afriad to come by for a visit.  Bye Chuck."

Gary hung up the phone and sighed.  "They're planning on having a family Marissa.  It was good to hear his voice again," he told her going towards the office with her.

"He may not have been a good business partner, but he sure was a good friend," Marissa said.

Chapter 6

Gary went to pick up his tuxedo for the policeman's ball like he promised Brigatti he would.

"I see in the paper that you're going to get married Gary.  Congrulations!," the salesclerk said.

"Thanks Rick.  I finally found the right woman to share my life with, and she's wonderful.  She may be a policewoman, but I love her just the same.  You'll get an invitation when the day comes," Gary replied.

"You deserve to be happy after what you've been through."

"I know.  Have a nice day Rick. Got to run."

Gary walked out of the tuxedo shop carrying his tux very carefully so it wouldn't get dirty.

He hummed a song as he walked back to the bar and his apartment .

"Someone sounds in a good mood," Emmit said hearing Gary's voice as he entered the bar.

"Hello Emmit.  Had to get my tuxedo for the policeman's bar like I promised Toni I would," Gary said.

"Yeah.  Marissa was just telling me how you and the lady detective were getting along, and are planning on getting married.  Have you set a date yet?"

Gary shook his head.  "Not yet.  I'm going to ask her that later when we're alone.  Excuse me.  Have to hang this up before it gets dusty or something. I'll be right back."

Gary went upstairs and walked over to the closet to hang up his tuxedo.

His phone rang and he went over to answer it.  "Hello.  Gary Hobson here."

"Hello Hobson.  Can't believe what I'm reading in the paper," Crumb said from his office phone.

"It's true Crumb.  Toni and I are getting married.  We haven't set the date yet."

"I'm glad for you.  I can tell you're in love with her by the way you're looking at the camera."

Gary laughed.  "Sometimes I think you're too much of a detective Crumb."

"Just don't forget to send me an invitation Hobson."

"I won't Crumb.  Thanks for calling."

"You're welcome Hobson."

Gary smiled and hung up the phone after saying good bye to Crumb.

"Meow", the cat said sitting on the window sill.

"I thought I told you to get lost today because Toni's allergic to you," he said frowning at the cat.

Gary sighed and walked over to it.  "Now what does the paper want me to do?"

He opened the paper and on the Metro page was a story about an eldery man being robbed at a gas station.

Gary ran down the stairs and out the door of Mc Ginty's, telling Marissa and Emmit he'd be right back.  He ran down the street looking for the gas station the paper said the robbery would take place.

Gary saw the man inside the station behind the cash registar and spotted the robber wearing the ski mask about to enter the station to rob the owner.

Making sure it was safe to cross the street, Gary ran over to the gas station and inside fast as he could.

"There's a guy with a ski mask coming to rob you.  He's almost at your door now.," he warned the old man.

The man looked out the window and saw the robber coming towards the door. "Thanks mister.  I'll call the police right now," he told Gary.

"You're welcome."

Gary kept a lookout while the owner called the police and reported an attempted robbery.

"They're on their way," the owner said after hanging up the phone.

"Good.  Don't mention me when you tell them."

Gary left the station and returned to the bar before the police came to the gas station.

"I just saved a gas station owner from being robbed," he told Emmit and Marissa.

"We knew you had someone to save the way you ran out of here Gary," Marissa said.

"Yeah.  Glad you helped that gas station owner," Emmit said.

Later, that evening, inside his apartment, Toni was fixing supper for them and brought up the gas station incident.  "Something interesting happened today at work," she said.

"Really?  What would that be honey?," Gary asked smiling at her from his chair.

"We stopped an attempted robbery this afternoon at a gas station.  The owner told us that someone had warned him about the robber beforehand.   You didn't have anything to do with this, did you?"

Gary went over and put his arms around Toni's waist.  "In a way.  I was the one who warned him."

"Enough said about that.  Would you go sit down and relax please?  I have to finish making the spagetti."

"Okay Toni.  I just like holding you this way."

He kissed her and she kissed him back.

Chapter 7

Gary looked into Toni's eyes across from him and smiled.  "We have to set a wedding date honey," he said.

Toni sipped her wine and nodded.  "I know, and I've been thinking about it. Winter is too cold to get married.  I've always wanted to be a June bride.  June sounds like a good month to get married," she replied.

"If that's when you want to get married, okay.  What day?"

"Do you have a calendar loverboy?"

"Sure.  I'll go get it and be right back."  Gary went over and got the small desk calendar that he had.

He went over and sat back down in his chair.  "Let's see, June.  Here we are.  Pick the day Toni."

She looked at the calendar and sighed.  PIcking the day was going to be hard.

"Okay.  I've found the perfect day.  The 15th.  It's on a Saturday."

Gary nodded at her choice.  "Sounds good to me.  The 15th it is, but let's not tell my parents yet."

"Why not tell them we've decided on the 15th of June?  Do you have a good reason why they shouldn't be told that we've finally picked a date?"

"You don't know my mother sweetheart.  If I tell her we've set a date, she'll be wanting to get things organized way before it gets here.  We haven't told your parents yet/"

Toni reached over and touched Gary's hand.  "You tell yours, and I'll tell mine.  By the way, did you get your tux for the ball Friday night?"

"It's hanging in the closet.  Let's eat the dinner before it gets cold, and then, if you want, we'll tell our parents we've set a date for our marriage."

They ate their meal listening to the radio playing jazz music and just enjoying each other.

"I'll clean up the dishes.  You call your parents and tell them we've set a date," Toni told him.

"Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you," Gary said dailing his parent's condo number in Florida.

It rang there, and Lois quickly answered.  "Hello.  Lois Hobson here," she said.

"Hi mom.  It's me.  I've got something to tell you and Dad."

"I hope it's good news Gary."

"It is.  Toni and I have set our wedding date.  It's June 15th."

"The 15th of June?!  Oh honey!  That's wonderful!  I'm so happy.  I'll tell your father right away."

"OKay mom.  Give Dad my love.  Good bye."

Lois hung up the phone and turned to Berine who was watching television. "That was Gary.  He and Toni have set their wedding date.  It's the 15th of June.  On a Saturday."

Berine smiled.  "Good!  Now you can relax knowing they've finally set the date Lois," he said.

"I just knew seeing them together at McGinty's would lead to something wonderful."

Chapter 8

Gary sighed as he took out the tuxedo from his closet Friday night.  He had to pick up Toni at her apartment.

"Guess I look alright.  Better get going and pick up Toni at her place so we're not late for the ball," he said.

He grabbed his coat, put it on, his hat too, and went out the door locking it behind him.

Marissa heard him coming down the stairs and smiled.  "Have a good time Gary," she said.

"Thanks.  You and Emmit have the same when you get the chance.  See you tomorrow."

Gary went outside and got inside the van.  He buckled his seat belt and started the engine.

Gary smiled when he thought about Toni had almost insisted they go in a limousine, and then, she had thought better of it and decided that the van would be alright.

Arriving at her apartment right at six, Gary got out and went up to her door and knocked.

Toni opened the door and Gary's mouth almost dropped opened.

"Wow!  Do you look beautiful in that gown!," he told her as he looked at the gown she had on.

"You look handsome in your tux lover.  Shall we go?," Toni replied as she stepped outside.

Gary escorted her to the passenger side of the van, opened the door for her, and helped her inside.

When she was inside and buckled, he shut the door, and went around to the driver's side.

They arrived at the Marriot around seven, and Gary parked the van close to the front.

He got out, went around to the other side, and opened the door for Toni..

"Ready my lady?," he asked smiling at her.

Toni smiled and nodded as she carefully stepped down from her seat. She slipped her arm in his and they walked towards the front door.

The doorman opened the door for them.

They walked to the room where the ball was held at and handed the doorman their invitation.

"You're going to be the envy of all the ladies here tonight in that gown Toni," Gary said.

"Let them look.  I wanted to be special just for you ."

"Brigatti!  You look beautiful tonight in that.  Hello Hobson.  You're getting a good woman there.  Congrulations on your upcoming wedding," the sargent said shaking Gary's hand.

"Thank you sir.," Gary replied smiling at his lady.

"I'm getting a great guy myself sir.  I knew it the first time I laid eyes on him," Toni told her sargent.

Detective Armstrong and his wife came towards them then.

"Read about your engagement in the paper Hobson.  Congrulations to you both. My wife would like to make you both godparents of our baby if that's alright with you," Armstrong told them.

"We'd be honored Paul," Toni replied smiling.

"Would you care to dance my lady?," Gary asked changing the subject.

He lead Toni out on the dance floor and they danced to the music that was playing.

"That was a surprise.  Asking us to be the godparents of their baby," Toni said.

"Not really.  I saved his wife from drowning once, and this is his way of saying thanks," Gary replied.

"I'll have to hear about that sometime.  Oh, my parents invited us for Christmas dinner.  They called me today after they read about our engagement and I told them the wedding day."

"Promise me I don't have to wear a tuxedo.  Once in a while is okay, but not all the time."

"I promise you don't have to wear a tuxedo when we visit them honey."

"That's good.  It gets a little stiff after a while."

Chapter 9

Gary hung up the mistole above his door so when Toni walked in, he'd point to it and kiss her.

"There.  Now when she walks in, she'll see it and knows what'll happen," he said to himself.

He and Toni were going to her parent's house for Christmas dinner so that Gary would meet his future in-laws and also discuss the wedding with them.

That had been Toni's doing after the ball a month ago.

"You home lover?" Toni called as she entered the bar from outside.

"Upstairs," Gary replied smiling when he heard her voice.

Toni headed towards the stairs greeting Emmit and Marissa as she passed by the bar.

She came to the door, opened it, and entered the apartment.

"Welcome home sweetheart," Gary said kissing her on the mouth.

Toni kissed him back.  "I see the mistole hanging up there above me.  I'm bushed.  I could use a drink."

"Sure.  Sit down, relax, and I'll get you one."

Toni sat down on the couch and Gary went over to the refrigrator to get them each a beer.

"Here you are.  Busy day at work?," he asked handing her a bottle as he sat down besides her.

Taking a sip of her beer, Toni nodded.  "Yeah, real busy.  Had to book two guys who were causing a disturbance in coffee shop down on main street earlier.  You won't believe what they were arguing about."

"Tell me."

"This is going to sound pretty weird.  They were arguing over what was the best coffee either had ever tasted, and one guy didn't like what the first one said.  The owner called us when it became a shouting match and disturbed the other customers.  I'm glad to be home after that."

"People fight over silly things at times."

"Tell me about it."

"Got some good news for you.  I'm ordered pizza for dinner tonight."

"Sounds good to me.  I'm too tired to cook anything right now."

"Let me ease some of the tension from you."

Gary put his bottle down and started to massage her shoulders. "How does that feel?"

"Mmmm.  Feels great.  I could get use to this."

"Anytime you want it, I'll do it."

The pizza arrived an hour later, and they ate it watching television.

The days went by, and Christmas day arrived finally. "Merry Christmas Gary.  This is for you," Toni said handing him a wrapped package.

"I wonder what it could be," Gary said as he unwrapped the paper and opened the package.

He took out a furlined coat with a hood on it.

"Thanks honey." He handed her a package from under their tree.  "This is for you."

Toni opened the box and took out a necklace made of perils. "Gary, it's beautiful!," she said.

"Let me put it on you." He unclapsed the hook and put it on her.

She kissed him and he kissed her .

Later, they drove to her parent's house where they were expected for dinner.

"Mom.  Dad.  This is Gary Hobson.  He's the man I told you I am going to marry," Toni said introducing Gary to her parents and viceversa.

"Hello Gary.  Welcome to our house.  Come right on. Everyone's here waiting to meet you," Mrs. Brigatti said.

"Thank you," Gary said and he and Toni entered the house.

Gary hit it off with Toni's family right off the bat.  Toni was pleased by this as well as her parents.

The dinner went well, and the wedding was discussed of course.

They had to leave before dark, and said their good byes to everyone.

Flash Forward to the wedding day----------

Gary and Chuck were inside his apartment getting ready to go to the church for the wedding.

"Gar, will you stop pacing?  You're going to wear a hole in the floor," Chuck told his friend.

"Why am I so nervous for?  I wasn't like this the other time which I won't mention," Gary replied.

"Just think about how beautiful Toni's going to look in the wedding dress today, and you'll be alright.

The bride's supposed to be the one who's nervous, not the groom."

"Yeah, you're right.  Well, I suppose I got everything ready to go.  This is it Chuck. "

"Yep buddy.  I'm so happy for you and so is Amber.  We'd  better get going."

They drove to the church in the van and parked in the parking space close by.

They went inside and walked towards the room where the groom's party was.

"There's my boy!  Your mother and I are so proud of you today Gary," Berine told his son.

"Thanks Dad.  Where's Mom?," Gary asked.

"Where she should be, helping the bride get ready."

Berine walked towards the door.  "I'll see you in a while at the altar."

"Okay Dad."

Five minutes later, Gary and Chuck went into the chapel and took their places at the altar.

The wedding march was played, and the flower girl started down the isle first.

Then came Toni's sister as maid of honor and took her place at the altar.

Gary turned and smiled when he saw Toni's father leading her down the isle in her wedding dress.

Mr. Brigatti handed Toni to Gary, and went to take his place with his wife.

"Friends, we are gathered here today to join this man and woman in holy matrimony.  If there is anyone present who sees just cause why these two should not be wed, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.  (Seeing that no one spoke, the preacher continued.)  Gary Hobson, do you take Toni Brigatti as your lawfully wedded wife in sickness and in health, for richer, for poor, for goodtimes and bad, forsaking all others until death to do you both part?"

Gary smiled.  "I do," he replied.

The preacher turned to Toni.

"Do you Toni Brigatti, take Gary Hobson as your lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for goodtimes and bad, forsaking all others until death do you both part?," he asked her.

Toni turned to Gary and replied "I do."

"Then by the power invested in me by the state of Chicago, I now prononuce you man and wife.  You may kiss the bride."

Gary lifted the veil of Toni's dress and kissed her.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I present Mr. & Mrs. Gary Hobson!"

Everyone in the chapel stood and cheered at the couple.

Gary took his wife's hand and they walked down the isle together smiling at their family and friends.

Email the author:
Back Home to McGinty's
  Stories by Title 
Stories by Author