Excerpt from “Immortal Relations, Love and War” p.p. 60
It was a short flight from Moscow to St. Petersburg. There our party was met by two limousines and whisked along to the historic Hermitage Museum. Arriving, it looked to me like the whole world was there. I didn’t know why President Kolukov had asked me to wear the Russian General’s Uniform he gave me, but I wanted to humor my good friend. We exited the limousine onto a red velvet carpet that had wide gold piping down each side and which looked to be almost 400 meters long. I thought it odd that President Kolukov had me stand to his left and next to him, when Stephan was senior in rank to my uniform. When we got to the head of the carpet, we turned. Stephan and Adam moving behind us, I looked up and turning the corner onto the same red carpet we had just traveled was someone I would recognize anywhere, under any circumstances. It was Magdalena, on the arm of Roger, our doctor. At first I was confused, but when I saw the dress she wore, an exact copy of her hand made blue dress, only in brilliant white and then heard the music, I realized what was happening; Magdalena and I were getting married! My friends had somehow arranged all this without even a hint that I picked up on. I had already glanced at some of those on either side of the isle and thought I recognized some political figures from various countries.
An Eastern Orthodox Priest spoke the vows, translated into English for me. Magdalena didn’t need a translator as she spoke several languages, Russian being one of them. We both answered “I do” and “I will,” then I was asked to put the ring on Magdalena’s finger – I started to panic, but Kolukov stepped forward and handed me a ring. My eyes bulged when I looked at it as it must have been five caats of a Red Ruby mounted in Gold! He said just a little bobble courtesy of the Russian people and the Hermitage. I placed it on the finger of my bride, we were officially married and we kissed. Maggie read my thought and on impulse we both turned and kissed Kolukov, each of us on one side of his face. He broke out in loud laughter and said, “Everything has been taken care of for tonight, but the car will be there to pick you both up at 0900 tomorrow. That’s 9 am in case you’ve forgotten Gary.” He joked, as if I’d ever forget the 24 hour military clock.
The two of us shook hands with Stephan, Adam and Roger, and then we made a bee-line to the limo that pulled up nearby, as the driver beckoned to us. I was too busy looking into the dark pools of eternity that were Maggie’s eyes! There were a million questions to ask on how they’d done all this and kept it a secret, but I didn’t want to break the spell I was under, I wanted the spell to last forever (or at least until we had to board the aircraft tomorrow morning).
A few minutes after arriving at the hotel and we’re in our rooms, I then heard a knock at the door and went to open it, when I did; I was dumb struck to see the face I never expected to see in a hotel. He asked, “Will you invite me in?”
I stammered, “Of course, sir, you are most welcome, always!”
I think Maggie was as surprised as I was as Vlad walked into our honeymoon suite.
Vlad said, “I watched your marriage ceremony from the roof of the roof of the Hermitage Portico, I think it went very well. I hear you both are flying back to Prague in the morning. I am leaving by train in an hour or so, but I wanted to stop by and give you both my congratulations and my profound appreciation for all you have done!” With that Vlad, took Magdalena’s hand and kissed it in formal European fashion, shook my hand, turned back to Magdalena and handed her a small box, smiled at both of us, then turned and walked out the door.
I have to admit, I stuck my head out the door but he had disappeared into thin air. I turned back to Maggie, who looked as amazed as I felt. I said, Wow, I’ll have to tell Grandmother about that!” But I heard a voice inside my head that said, Oh, I already know…Vlad keeps me in the loop when he is meeting those from my coven. My congratulations to you both, and now I’m leaving you alone.
I went to the closet and found my good suit hanging there, as well as my old suit, the one that had once had bullet hoes in it from the terrorist ambush it had been expertly repaired. I doubted any tailor in the states could have done that quality of work – our society would have just thrown it out. Maggie had hung her new dress up and when I looked she was wearing a beautiful white set of lingerie...
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