Decided to do two parts to the wedding shower! I hope you guys enjoy The Reality Stunt. There is so much in store for Frary and we get to meet their extended families in these couple of chapters.
"Mother, are you busy?"
Mary listens to the sound of a lot of movement and her mother is scolding someone over the line and she sighs heavily, rolling her eyes and waiting for the great Marie de Guise to listen to her.
"Now, I'm not," her mother finally says with a sigh of relief. "I am just organising your grandmother's bed. She's coming to stay over for a bit, remember?"
"Right," Mary drawls, biting her lip. "So... Is there anything new with you?"
Marie chuckles. "Other than managing your career and making sure your brother doesn't burn your father's business to the ground, there is nothing new with me, my darling."
"Is there something new with you?" Her mother asks.
Mary smiles. "Francis proposed and I said 'yes'."
"Ah," her mother replies softly. "Wow. Mary, I'm happy for you-"
"I hear a 'but' coming, Maman," she says softly.
Marie sighs before tutting. "No 'but's on my end. And Francis is great, he's really good for you. I just thought it was too soon."
"Mum, it's not too soon," Mary tells her. "We're really happy and well, we're planning a long engagement for now. Keeping it under wraps."
"Then I'm happy," her mother states firmly. "Your father would be so proud... Oh, God, here come the waterworks..."
Mary laughs now, blinking away her own tears. "So, will you, Jim and Meme make it to the wedding whatever that Kenna's planned? You're invited anyway despite the impromptu proposal."
Mary chuckles softly. "I can't miss the chance to give my daughter's best friend a wonderful wedding present! Now, I've got to hunt for one to give you and Francis. Ooh, two weddings, how exciting. You know what, maybe I should come down for a bit to help you plan-"
"I planned your father and I's wedding and it was the best event of the year," her mother continues on. "Oh! Maybe you'll wear my wedding dress and-"
"Mum, I've got to go! More calls to make!"
Mary hangs up, sighing in relief when Francis looks over at her in confused amusement. She gestures to her phone, shaking her head with a roll of her eyes.
"My mother wants to plan our wedding," she explains.
Francis snorts. "Shame you called her after I called the great Catherine de Medici and was manipulated into agreeing."
Mary laughs, snuggling into his side when he takes a seat beside her on the sofa. "Let's agree now, neither of our parents will plan our wedding, okay?"
"Agreed," her fiancé replies, pressing a kiss on his forehead.
"Now," Mary starts, unlocking her phone once again. "Got to tell Jim and the girls..."
The wedding shower theme is gold and black and it's very elegant and classy. Sophistication is everywhere and it slightly overwhelms Mary that she wishes she spoke up and told Kenna not to include her and Francis on what is supposed to be a day dedicated to her and Bash.
But for as long as they can remember, they've always shared stuff.
What's a wedding shower?
"Do you like it?" Kenna asks fretfully. She points over at the glass sculptures. "I managed to get the dove sculptures here on time."
Mary lets out a breath of disbelief, smiling widely to calm her best friend's nerves which in turn, calm hers. "It's perfect."
Kenna squeezes her hand, grateful for her answer but Mary can still see the worry in Kenna's face. "Why don't you get dressed," Kenna tells her distractedly as she heads off to see what the caterer's doing.
Mary heads upstairs to the guest bedroom where Francis and Bash are huddled together, watching a phone screen. She clears her throat, making them jump and turn to her and she grins. "What are you doing?"
Francis shows her the screen. "Football."
"Of course," Mary mutters, pulling Bash up. "We have to get dressed otherwise Kenna is going to murder us and I'm telling you now, she and I have known each other far longer than we've known you."
Bash chuckles, rolling his eyes as he has Francis promise to tell him the match scores before he slips out with Mary following to lock the door behind him. She turns to Francis, a smirk on her face as he raises an amused brow.
"Are we really meant to get dressed or was that an excuse?"
"Kenna knows I take forever to get dressed," Mary replies, coming over to lift his t-shirt up and off his body.
Her lips press against his and he groans, his hands cupping her cheeks as she continues to undress him, her fingers finally undoing the strap of her wrap dress and letting it fall down her shoulders.
Pulling her deeper into his body, Mary's arms wind around his neck and he lifts her, placing her onto the bed with a chaste kiss on her nose before he starts trailing them to her jawline and collarbone.
"No bites, my dress is strapless," she breathes out as he makes kisses on her skin, tingling the surface as he makes his path down.
"I love you," he mumbles against her thigh.
"I love you too..."
Her dress is a tight-fitting black dress that reaches her knees as Kenna wears a similar style that reaches her mid-thighs instead. They're decorated with gold jewellery and they greet each and every guest, Mary getting to know more of Francis and Bash's family as they gush over her.
She wonders why Francis and Bash who are in matching black suits and gold bowties aren't greeting their guests but they are still being the perfect, little hosts by humouring their parents and grandparents across the room.
Mary itches to be near Francis and she politely laughs when jokes are said and she extends pleasantries when needed. Kenna is far better at this than her, but her friend is still feeling the motions, her smiles coming out forced and nervous whenever she believes someone will bring up her recent scandal.
By the time their castmates and the crew to Spy of Hearts arrive, they relax and Louis brings Lorna forward who is looking more pregnant than ever.
"Wow," Mary breathes out, hugging Lorna as Kenna briefly hugs Louis, almost downing more of her champagne. "I'm sure you guys can't wait to see the baby."
"We really can't," Lorna says before handing Mary a gift box as Louis gives Kenna a similarly shaped one. "Congratulations on both your impending nuptials."
Louis nods. "You've chosen good men even though I don't know them well," he says lightly.
Kenna chuckles, gesturing to the people behind them. "Thank you. Make yourselves at home."
Before they walk off, Lorna stops. "I might get tired during the party-"
"Upstairs to the left are many guest bedrooms. Choose one that will make you most comfortable," Kenna tells her with a warm smile before the couple finally leave. "God, how many people did I invite?"
Mary shrugs. "I don't know," she says, meeting Francis's eyes as he gives her a grin before his grandmother pinches his cheek. "Seems like they're enjoying this just as much as us."
Kenna looks over at where their fiancés are being prodded and pulled by their female relatives and it brings out a genuine smile on her face. "We ought to save them."
Leaving the guest greeting duties to Lola and Greer, she drags Mary over to their men, the women in the group shuffling back so fiancées meet fiancés.
Mary's arm wraps around Francis's waist and she grins when he kisses the side of her head. "I missed you," she says quietly just for them but his grandmother's hearing aids must have been put on full volume because she awes.
"My father's mother," he reminds her as Meme Claude takes Mary's hand much to the younger woman's surprise. "She's a hugger."
Mary laughs, squeezing Meme Claude's hand. "So Claude's named after you?"
"Unfortunately," Meme Claude says, making Francis and Bash almost choke.
"Grandmother!" Francis chides her with a blush as he spots Claude across the room with the other groomsmen. "Well, she just doesn't do herself any favours..."
Bash clears his throat. "Meme, why don't we find you something to drink?"
"It better be strong. Like Vodka. Give me anything light and I'll hit you. You're never too old to receive discipline from your elders," Meme Claude mutters, accepting his arm and leaving as she bemoans the fact that she was stuck on a flight with Catherine of all people.
"Okay, Meme," Bash replies, rolling his eyes hard as they head to the drinks table.
"What a character," Kenna mutters, making Mary nod in agreement.
"Anymore crazy family members?" Mary asks her fiancé teasingly.
Francis winces. "My father's father is a kisser."
Just then Mary is spun and a kiss is pressed onto both of her cheeks before a brief one is planted on her lips and she steps back, stunned as she blinks, turning to Francis as he chuckles to himself.
"Okay..." Mary says as his grandfather does the same to Kenna, leaving the brunette yelping.
"H-He's a bit of a flirt," Francis says under his breath as he plays with a strand of Kenna's hair, asking her questions about how she managed to pull such an event together in the space of a couple of weeks.
Mary coughs a little. "I can tell."
"Okay, Pepe Francis, let's leave Bash's betrothed alone, shall we?" Francis asks, leading his grandfather away.
"Wow," Kenna breathes out. "I need more alcohol inside me if I'm going to get through meeting all of the crazy Valoises!"
Mary laughs, covering her mouth to prevent giggles. "I'm right behind you!"
Luckily, the Stuarts and the Beatons aren't as overbearing as the Valois-Angoulemes and Francis finds himself genuinely relieved to meet a family as normal as Mary's.
Her brother's kind although firm and strict and he listens to threats of what James would do to him if he ever hurt his beloved sister. It surprises Mary but she slaps his chest and warns him off Francis who doesn't mind, saying he's the same for his many sisters.
"Francis, my grandmother, Nana Margaret," she says nervously, eyeing her late father's quiet mother.
Francis extends a hand and Nana Margaret places hers in his before he kindly presses a kiss on the back of hers. "It's an honour to meet you, Mrs Stuart."
Nana Margaret smiles. "It's actually, Douglas. Mrs Douglas."
"Grandmother, when did you get married?" Mary asks in surprise.
Her grandmother smirks. "What? An old lady can't find some romance in Vegas, now?"
Francis laughs. "I say, life's too short."
"I've mourned two husbands," Nana Margaret informs them. "I'm allowed to have someone by my side in my old years." She eyes Francis up and down. "If I was forty years younger..."
"Nana!" Mary cries out, blushing as Francis laughs even more. He gives her a coy wink, genuinely flattered by her grandmother's flirting.
"I wouldn't mind your brother either," Nana Margaret continues, glancing over to where Kenna and Bash are in a corner, hugging. "Those blue eyes..."
"Okay, who gave you alcohol?" Mary demands, laughing as Francis sputters in more laughter.
Nana Margaret rolls her eyes. "Oh, you never let me have fun! And that old hag's here."
"Who?" Francis asks curiously.
Mary swallows hard. "My mother's mother," she explains. "Meme Antoinette. She's..."
"A witch and a bitch," Nana Margaret says loudly, making Mary hush her quickly when Meme Antoinette looks over with a stern glare. "Why did Kenna invite her?"
"She told me my son was no good for her daughter! Let me tell you now, her angelic daughter was sneaking up my pipes to meet my son!"
Francis howls now, Mary slapping his chest in order to quieten him down. "Tell me more, Nana!"
Nana Margaret beams. "Okay, so one day back in... Oh, dear God, I've forgotten the year but they were seventeen anyway. I hear something outside in the dark and I see Marie de Guise of all people running away in nothing more than her undergarments!"
"Okay, that's enough talking from you," Marie says, whisking Nana Margaret away as Meme Antoinette joins the couple.
"Meme, this is-"
"Francois," Antoinette says in a thick French accent. She studies him and he falters under her gaze. This grandmother is not one to joke around with. She humphs, turning to Mary. "Not what I'd approve for you but at least his family is rich..."
Antoinette shrugs indifferently. "I guess he's handsome too," she says as her husband joins them. "Claudie, meet your granddaughter's... future husband."
Claude is more lenient than his wife as he gives Francis a tight hug, almost lifting the blonde up from the ground in his unexpected strength. "Un plaisir de vous rencontrer."
Francis nods. "It's a pleasure to meet you too, sir," he says, being dropped back onto the ground with a heavy intake of breath. He gives Mary a surprised glance.
Mary chuckles. "He is a French veteran," she informs him. "He still keeps up to date with his exercise."
"Well, sir," Francis starts. "You might be stronger than me!"
That makes Claude grin as he turns to Mary. "I like this one."
"I like this one too," Mary tells him happily.