Saturday, April 28, 2018
A Butttered Biscuit, Tula, and a Familiar Face
Walter, who was talking with 'Miss' Ella, Rayanne, Mercer and Iris, turned to see what the ruckus was. When he heard Dixie's pronouncement about the 'Mobile Elite', he just stood there. To no one in-particular, he asked, "Who are the 'Mobile Elite' she is speaking of?"
'Miss' Ella and Rayanne started giggling. Mercer spoke up, "You, ol' boy. Walter you are 'Mobile Elite'."
Before Walter could say anything, Ella put her hand on his arm. "Walter, it is a long story. And, Dixie Quinton has had quite enough to drink."
Kathleen stared across the patio toward the Chateau, watching her poor father trying to navigate Dixie through the doors. "I'm just mortified" she said to Jeb.
If Kathleen thought the situation was bad, it was about to get worse. She turned to see Bunny standing behind her. "Bunny, please just ignore what my Mama was saying. She is so drunk she can hardly stand up."
"Oh, Kathleen, I have heard much worse. I did find it humorous that she was confusing me with my mother! Mama would die to think someone mistook me for her."
"Well she had no business accusing you of prostitution."
"No", Bunny laughed. "I'm not a prostitute." She paused. Having had several glasses of champagne, Bunny added, "But Mama has 6 who work for her."
Over Bunny's shoulder, across the patio, Kathleen noticed Anna Belle standing there in conversation with several people. Certainly someone that poised, proper, and well liked by everyone could not be a prostitute. Kathleen just dismissed it. "Oh, Bunny, we all have 'quirky' southern mothers."
.Pivoting, Kathleen, in a very excited voice, asked Bunny, "How surprised were you when Mike proposed this morning."
"Surprised? You could have buttered my butt and call me a biscuit. I had no idea. I'm still in shock."
Kathleen laughed. Bunny continued, "And then when Mike dropped to his knee, all I could think of was good God, he's fallen out. I don't have time to take him to the ER. I've got to get back to Ivy Lane for Kathleen and Jeb's reception."
Jeb laughed, "It's nice to know you had your priorities in order." Then he put his arms around Kathleen. Referring to the scene with Dixie, he said, "I'm sorry you had to go through that."
"I'm not. Personally I am glad that is behind me. Now I can enjoy our wedding day, the way we always wanted to." She looked over at Bunny. "And share it with Mike and Bunny."
"I wouldn't worry about Dixie will showing up at Ivy Lane and making a scene."
"Don't count her our yet."
Just then Kathleen's cell phone rang. "Hey, is everything OK?" She paused. "We're fine Daddy, I'm just disappointed we had to go through that." She paused again. "I know, I love you too. Will we see you later?" She paused. "Great. I love you." She rang off.
"Dixie's not going to be a problem. She passed out in the car as soon as they left. Daddy says he is going home to put her to bed. He'll see us at Ivy Lane."
"See I told you so." Jeb smiled.
Haynes and Colleen joined them and congratulated the couple.
Terse and Vivian walked up. Terse gave Bunny a big hug. "You are a beautiful bride. Vivian and I are so happy for the 2 of you."
Bunny thanked them and commented about how surprised she was.
As, Bunny talked, Vivian looked over Bunny's shoulder. "Dear God, what is Tula doing here?"
"Um, I don't know," said Mike also seeing Tula for the first time. "I'm pretty sure she wasn't on the guest list. At least I didn't invite her." Then he added under his breath, "I'm surprised she is showing her face around here, given there is an outstanding warrant for her arrest."
Bunny trying to lighten the situation. "Well, I can assure you she wasn't on my list." Everyone laughed.
Just then they saw Tula make her way across the patio toward them. Shaking his head, Haynes said,"You never know with Tula."
"Oh, I do. She is pure evil," said Vivian as she watched her mother approach the group.
Haynes looked at Colleen. "I doubt you have met Tula yet. I'll warn you now, we never know what she is going to say."
Vivian added, still watching her mother, "She always has an agenda."
Tula walked up to Bunny and gave her an air kiss on each cheek. "Bunny, what a beautiful bride."
"I think so," said Mike.
"And, Haynes, who is this beauty with you."
"Tula, this is my date, Colleen Cantrell."
Tula stood there a moment before she said anything, "It's so nice to meet you."
Vivian spoke up, "Tula, what are you doing here."
"I was invited."
Vivian looked at Mike.
"Oh, not by the bride and groom," she said giving Mike a scorning look. "Johnson Baxter." She indicated a nice looking gentleman across the patio from where she came. "Johnson asked me as his guest."
She turned to Colleen. Then to Haynes, she asked, "And where did you find this lovely lady?"
"At the Tea Room, where else would you expect?" Everyone laughed. Haynes continued, "Thankfully, she was willing to go out with me."
Haynes introduced the 2 women. Trying not to be nervous, Colleen said, "Nice to meet you."
Tula looked Colleen over, head to toe. "Do I know you? You look very familiar."
"I don't think so."
At that moment Cordelia approached the group, trying to intervene before the situation got ugly. She walked over to Bunny and took the bride's hands in her own. "Bunny, my dear, what a lovely bride. Mike is very lucky."
"I agree", said Mike with a broad smile.
"I haven't seen your grandfather this happy in a long while."
"You know Mr. Pace?" asked Bunny.
"Sweet heart, Walter and I have been good friends, since childhood. I also was good friends with Mike's parents." She paused. "Such dear people."
"So you knew all about Mike and his background?" asked Bunny.
"Of course I did."
"But, you never said anything."
"That wasn't my place." Cordelia smiled and turned to Tula. "And what brings you here?"
"I always found him to be very charitable."
Ignoring Cordelia's comment, Tula said,"I was just telling Colleen here, that I feel like I know her from somewhere."
"Isn't she a dear, just another asset to Gallagher."
"You know her?"
"Yes, Tula I do." She looked straight at Tula. "Colleen is smart and fun. And," she said turning to look at Colleen. "She dresses like she just stepped out a band box." Cordelia paused, "She has such good taste."
"I can see." Tula said. "Now, Colleen I'll warn you, Mr. Duiese here can be be quite randy. Watch out."
Colleen, hoping not to sound sound nervous, laughed and looked at Haynes,"I haven't seen that." She paused, "Yet."
"Oh, I doubt you have," responded Tula sarcastically. "I doubt you have." She took a sip of her champagne and continued before she could be interrupted. "Cordelia, I agree. Colleen here is quite lovely. Amazing how a fancy wardrobe and some make-up can change someone."
Vivian had had enough. "Tula, why do you have to be so rude?"
"Honey, I'm not trying to be rude. I'm just complimenting Colleen." She looked at Colleen,"I'm just saying, I know Colleen from somewhere, but now she has a total different look."
"That's it Tula, you can leave us now."
Tula turned to leave, but not before launching one more barb. "Ms. Cantrell, it was so good seeing you," she paused, "again."
Vivian looked at Colleen and apologized, "I am so sorry she acted like that. But she can be an ass."
Cordelia spoke up,"Colleen, I wouldn't be bothered. Tula is always like that. She just decided to pick on you today." She laughed, "Probably envious of your beauty, and wardrobe."
To change the subject, Mike asked,"Who needs champagne?"
Most of the group indicated they did. "I'll go get it."
Terse laughed, "I don't think that is necessary. Look at the number of staff you are paying to serve everyone. I'll just catch one of their eyes."
"Don't bother. I'll be right back." Mike smiled and added, "With champagne."