Chapter 13


“Luke at chew!” Raoul exclaimed with a frown, heading straight to Mart where he stood in front of the mirror in shock.  Qwat ees dis? Cheur esleevez and cheur pants are too lung. Qwat ess gouing un?” he asked jerking at the left sleeve of the jacket Mart was wearing, which was obviously too long.


“Raoul, dude, I don’t know what is going on with it but you’d better get me looking good quick before Diana comes in here and hurts us both,” Mart replied with a dramatic shudder.


Yo, Raoul,” Brian called out from the other side of the room, tugging on the leg of his tuxedo pants.  “These are too short and riding up in places they definitely should not be.  What are we going to do?”


Raoul’s dark eyes flashed from Mart’s too large and long tux to Brian’s too tight and short one before noticing Jim’s slacks were too short and Dan’s were too long but their jackets fit.  ¡Cómo!” he squawked, moving agitatedly around Mart.  As he tried to determine what had happened since the last fitting, he noticed Bobby, Larry and Terry quietly sitting at a table watching everyone tug and squirm in their ill-fitting tuxedos.  “Hmmm,” he said turning his back on the trio.  An idea formed in his head.  Softly he said, “I seespect someting ees oop and de chunguest are inbolbed. Let me esee chure jacket.”  He placed his hands on the jacket’s collar in preparation of assisting.


Mart’s eyes lifted to the mirror in front of him and he followed the expressions of Bobby, Larry and Terry.  “Mischief afoot?” he queried softly, removing the jacket and handing it to the tailor.


Nodding, Raoul examined inside the breast pocket.  “Chess, jes as I eggspected.  De tearrible tree hab giben chew El Grande’s chacket.  Call hem ober cheer and ve vill swap dem.  I bet de pants are de same.”  Easily, he kneeled at Mart’s side to check the markings in the pant hem to see if they were Brian’s.  He noted with surprise that they were Dan’s instead.


“Brian, come here a sec,” Mart called out to his brother, frowning as he continued to watch the trio grin and snicker quietly.  “Raoul thinks there’s been some trickery,” he informed his brother.  In a whisper with an eyeroll toward Bobby and the other boys, he added, “He’s thinks they’ve mixed and matched us.”  In a normal tone, he grumbled, “I can’t get married in this tux.  Di will be so pissed if we even try to patch things together.”   In an aside to the rest of them, he whispered, “Play along, will you?”


“Holy hell, Mart!” Jim hurried across the room to stand by Brian.  “She will kill you.  And, I think the others, especially our mothers, would help.  Not to mention how mad they’re gonna be at Raoul.”


Dan, who had been studying the three younger men, walked over to join the groom and the group standing around him.  “Mart, you’re just going to have to call the wedding off,” he commiserated, winking slyly at the others grouped around him.  “Di and the rest of the women will be upset and probably cry but there’s nothing you can do.”


Raoul stood and brushed off the knees of his dove grey suit.  “Chess, I yam afraid eet ees true.  Chew vill hab to caunsell de vedding.”


Knowing full-well that Mart would never cancel the wedding even if he had high-water pants and sleeves, Jim played along and laid it on thick.  “Bobby, Terry and Larry, go get your parents and ask them to come here right away,” he ordered.  Shaking his head he continued, “I don’t envy you having to break it to Di that the wedding is off, Mart.  She’ll be devastated.”


“You guys do what Jim says,” Mart requested, seeing his younger brother jump up from the couch where he’d been lounging and the startled looks on Terry’s and Larry’s faces. “We don’t have much time to call it off.  Luckily you all haven’t changed out of your regular clothes yet.”


Exchanging nervous looks, the three boys moved slowly toward the door.  When they reached it, Bobby looked back to see Mart scrubbing his face with the heels of his hands.  “Uh, we’ll back in a minute, Mart.  Just don’t do anything rash, OK?”


As the door clicked shut, raised voices could be heard moving away from the door down the hallway.


“OK, everyone, those three little turds are going to suffer payback,” Mart growled.  “Everyone take off your pants and jackets.  Raoul has markers in each of them that indicate who they fit.”  As he saw his brother and friends comply, he grabbed up his jeans and pulled his cell phone out of the pocket.  “One phone call and some strategically placed straight pins and those guys are going down.  Hurry up before they come back.”


“Raoul, you’re a genius to put these marks on the tuxes,” Jim praised him, stepping out of the too short pants he was wearing before taking the pair being held out to him by Dan.


“I knew dose tree qwere oop to no goud,” he answered as he examined the hem of the pants he held before pushing them at Dan.  “I tell chew, dose tree are tearrible but dey vill remember my piens.”



The fourth zipper had just been pulled up when there was a light knock on the door.


Dan was closest so he answered the door and waved Helen and Peter Belden into the room.


“I wonder where they went,” Helen commented after hearing the story of the mixed up tuxedos.  Stepping close to Mart, she fixed his hair to her satisfaction.  “We need to teach those three a lesson that they’ll not soon forget.  I don’t know what they were thinking,” she fumed.


“Moms, we’ve got it fully under control,” Mart assured.  “Raoul has the tuxes straightened out.  Surprisingly, the trio of terror’s tuxes were just fine,” he snarked, rolling his eyes. 


“Madre Belden,” Raoul greeted, taking her hand and kissing her on each cheek.  “I tuke de leeburty of pooting a teeny pien een de eenseam of dare pants,” he said with an evil grin.  Ebery leetle estep dey take vill epoke dem een de krawch.  Eet vill not ecause eenjury but eet vill remember dem.  Dis vill teech dem to fewl wit de Boob-Whites.”


Helen turned toward the door to keep from laughing as Peter covered his snort of laughter with a cough.


Hearing voices getting louder in the hallway, everyone in the room gathered around Mart and began arguing and acting mad.


“Son, you can’t do this at this late an hour.  It’s not Diana’s fault that someone tampered with the tuxes.  You know she’ll want the ceremony to go through,” Peter argued.


“I know, Dad, but Di deserves to have a perfect wedding.  Having a groom and groomsmen in ill-fitting tuxes is not my beautiful bride’s idea of a perfect wedding.  I think we should cancel,” Mart replied loudly.


The door opened, displaying Bobby, Terry and Larry on the threshold. 


Raoul apologetically said, “Mart, I yam so esorry dat dis habbened.  Cheur vedding ees berry, berry emportante to me.  I vill refunt all cheur mooney.”


“Damn straight you will,” Peter roared, playing his role perfectly.  “And you’ll be hearing from our lawyer.  When he gets done with you, you’ll be lucky if there is a cummerbund left in Bradford’s Menswear.”  Turning to Mart, he added, “You will not, I repeat not, cancel this wedding.”


“Move it, you guys!” Trixie ordered, shoving the trio into the room while being careful to not jostle the baby she held in her arms.  Closing the door after her, she glared at everyone in the room.  “What the hell is going on?” she asked.  Blushing, her voice softened as she apologized, “Sorry, Moms, but I’m mad and Diana is upset and crying.  I didn’t even get a chance to get dressed,” she added, indicating her jeans and button down shirt.  “What’s all this about cancelling the wedding?”


“I called Diana and told her that we had to cancel…” Mart started.


“NO!!” Bobby, Terry and Larry all yelled at once.


Grasping his head, Bobby cried out, “Please tell me you didn’t really do that.”


“Oh, crap, we are so dead,” Terry blurted, slumping onto the couch.


“We didn’t mean for it to go this far!” Larry exclaimed, and plopped down by his brother.


“It was Bobby’s idea!” the twins accused together.


Spinning toward his friends, Bobby angrily argued back, “It was not!  It was your idea as much as mine.”


Peter stepped up beside his youngest son.  “Sit down, Robert.”  The moment he heard his proper name, Bobby dropped down by his friends.


As the three teens glared at and elbowed each other, Peter and the other men formed a wall of in front of the couch.  Each man stood with his arms crossed across his chest and stared down at the trio.


“Robert Harold Belden, explain yourself,” Peter ordered gruffly, focusing on his youngest son.


“We were just messing with Mart and the others,” Bobby said defensively.  “They haven’t been much fun about anything lately.  We thought mixing up the pieces of the tuxes would be funny and make them laugh but all of a sudden they started talking about cancelling the wedding and, well, we didn’t know what to do.”


“Yeah, Mr. Belden,” Larry cried.  “We didn’t know they’d cancel.”  Placing his head in his hands, he added, “Oh man, Di and our folks are gonna kill us.”


“I can’t believe you guys did this to me and Di,” Mart growled, glaring fiercely at his brother and future brothers-in-law.  “This is the kind of thing that will kill Di.  She’s been planning her wedding since she was a little girl.”


“If it was me, I’d kick your rear-ends from here to home and back,” Trixie reprimanded, rocking back and forth trying to sooth a fussy Brenna.  Trixie crossed to Dan and tossed a blanket over his shoulder before handing the baby to her daddy.  “I told you that you’d see your best girl before the ceremony.  Here she is in the special outfit Di bought her for today.”  Turning, she glared at Bobby, Larry and Terry.  “I guess even the baby is all dressed up with nowhere to go.”


“Oh, wow!” Dan said in awe upon seeing Brenna’s purple and white dress covered with tiny embroidered purple flowers and topped with a purple center.  “She looks so beautiful,” he grinned briefly, then frowned.  His dark eyes snapped up to the three youths on the couch.  “How could you?” he asked.  “How could you take an important day for a loved one and turn it into gigantic panic attack and mess?”


“Gee, Mart, we’re really sorry,” Bobby beseeched his brother.  “Please call Di and tell her the wedding is back on.”


“Yeah, Mart,” Terry spoke for the first time.  “We’ll tell you how we mixed the suits up so they can be straightened out.  Call Di and tell her everything is OK.”


Mart rubbed his hands slowly over his face.  As soon as he reopened his eyes, Brian shoved his wristwatch in front of his face.  “It’s time,” he informed everyone.


“Robert, you will be grounded from all activities for one week.  In addition, when they return from their honeymoon, Mart and Diana will determine a punishment or work detail that will be carried out by you without a single word of complaint.  They will have your services for a 24-hour period,” Peter announced.  “Terrance and Lawrence, Mrs. Belden and I will be speaking with your parents shortly so I’m sure you will also be punished.  I plan to suggest a day determined by the bride and groom for you as well.”


Helen stepped forward to stand in front of the trio of terror.  “I am so disappointed in you.  The three of you caused unnecessary upset and worry on a day that is already full of nerves.  You caused needless heartache and you should be ashamed of not only the impact to Di and Mart but also to Raoul,” she fumed.  “He worked many long hard hours on these tuxes to make them perfect for everyone in this room and you toyed with his work and livelihood.  You owe him an apology, too.  Plus, you will work in his store for two days without pay.”


“Yes, ma’am,” Bobby and the twins said in unison.


“Raoul, we’re really sorry.  We’ll help you sort the tuxes out,” Bobby said sincerely.


“We are sorry,” Terry and Larry said together.


A snort and muffled giggle came from Jim’s direction.  A lopsided grin appeared on his face.  “Give it up, dudes,” he directed.  “We’re at wedding minus 60 minutes and we’ve got to wrap this up.”


Uncontrollable giggles erupted from Trixie as she collapsed against Jim’s side.  “This is so awesome,” she blurted between giggles.  “You three never even noticed that the four of them are dressed in well-fitted tuxedos right down to the plum colored cummerbunds. 


Bobby, Larry and Terry looked around at everyone in the room. 




“That’s not fair.”


“When did you figure it out?”


“Is the wedding still on?”


Holding up his hand, Raoul stepped forward.  “Chew tree dint tink I woon’t know my verk?  I marked eet wit markers,” he advised them.  Ve hab eet feexed witeen mennets of chew leafing.”


“Yep, Raoul’s right,” Brian agreed with a grin.


“Gotcha!” the guys called out.


“You still have to serve your punishment,” Peter reminded them with a stern look.


“Yeah, the wedding is still on.  Di doesn’t know anything…” Mart paused when he saw Bess skid to a halt in the doorway.  Her hair and make-up had already been done but she had on an ugly, oversized stylish jacket over bike shorts.


“Trixie!” she cried, trying to catch her breath.  Brunhilda the beautician is working on Tess and you’re next.  Honey sent me to get you before they sent out a search party.”


Placing a quick kiss on Jim’s cheek, Trixie turned to Mart.  “Love you, almost twin.  I can’t wait until Di is my official sister,” she whispered, kissing him on his cheek and giving him a big hug.


“Oh, yeah,” Bess continued.  “Everybody better steer clear of Mr. Wheeler.”  Seeing the curious looks she explained, “Someone has decorated his brain-new limo with shaving cream and condoms.  He is not impressed.”


Trixie laughed from the doorway where Bess was pushing her into the hall.  “Mart, didn’t you tell Bobby that you’re staying here at The Plaza tonight?”


“I guess he wasn’t listening,” the groom snorted.


“I’d better go find Matt and Ed,” Peter said with a chuckle, heading toward the door with Helen in tow.  “Looks like you boys should get dressed for the wedding.  You’re going to be busy after the ceremony cleaning up the limo and answering to Tom.”


The three boys slumped back on the couch and groaned loudly.











Authors’ Notes:


We thank Joycey, Kelly and Mylee.  Our wonderful editors.  They spiff us up and make us look good. If there are errors left within this story, they belong to us, Jenny and Jo.


Background is from


Header and dividers created using MS Clipart manipulated by Jo


Word count – 2503