"Come on, be sensible," Rachel encouraged, pulling her arms tighter around Alistair's neck. "You
CAN'T carry me all the way back to the hotel!"
"Watch me," he muttered, continuing to walk.
"Alistair, please, let's find one of those horse-drawn carriages or something. We'll take that."
"Rache," he said through gritted teeth. "It's 2 am. We need to walk, NO one else is around. The
ground is wet. You're feet are bare. We're halfway back to the hotel already, there's no point in stopping now."
"I don't believe you'd carry me all that way," Rachel said softly.
"What can I say?" he asked, shifting his arms slightly and causing her to grab for his shoulders.
"Put me down. I'll walk. It's all right," she said after a moment.
"I will not," he answered. You would probably catch a cold and then where would we be?"
"I'm sorry," she said softly.
He laughed. "Well you should be."
"Well you should have watched the shoes!" she snorted indignantly.
"Well if you hadn't insisted on learning the damn polka-"
She shook her head, starting to laugh. "We aren't going to argue remember?"
He laughed and continued to carry her down the street.
Nervously Rachel let herself back into her suite with the key. She breathed a sigh of relief as she realized it
was still quiet and the lights were off. As she flicked them on she screamed and quickly stifled it as she realized
the person sitting on the chair was Katherine.
"Katherine!" she exclaimed guiltily, "What are you doing up?"
"Where were you?" Katherine asked coolly.
"Out," Rachel answered simply after a long moment, turning to shut the door.
"Does mother know?" Katherine demanded.
"No." Rachel admitted after a second. "But if you tell her, so help me god, you won't be in the
"The wedding?" Katherine asked in a strangely hopeful voice. "Does ALISTAIR know you were out?"
"Of course," Rachel laughed. "He was with me."
"Oh," Katherine replied, face falling. Suddenly she raised her eyebrows. "Where on EARTH are you're
Rachel blushed. "I - well, I misplaced them."
Katherine looked at her as if she had grown a second head. "You took them OFF?"
"I was dancing," Rachel answered, a dreamy expression on her face.
Katherine shook her head. "Why would you need to take them off to do that? Rachel! You should never take off
shoes in PUBLIC!"
Rachel nodded, slightly bemused. "All right Katherine. I'll bear it in mind."
"You should!" Katherine snorted. "After all, you're about to become a SOCIETY wife."
Rachel nodded. "Yes, I know. I know I really must work on it."
"Well good," Katherine nodded, turning. "I guess I shall go back to bed then."
"I should too," Rachel agreed.
Suddenly Katherine turned to look back at Rachel. "How did you walk back without shoes? It rained - the ground
is still wet."
"Alistair carried me," Rachel said softly, blushing again. Katherine sighed as a single tear rolled down
Alistair waited impatiently in the lobby, checking his watch. The plane was scheduled to leave in an hour and a
half. Rachel and her family were supposed to have been downstairs five minutes ago. The elevator opened and Elizabeth
stepped out, closely followed by Katherine.
Elizabeth went to the front desk to check out while Katherine went to stand by Alistair.
"Is Rachel coming?" he questioned.
"Yes," Katherine nodded. "But for some reason she's very tired this morning. It's SO unusual -
usually she rises with the sun."
Alistair coughed awkwardly. "Yes, well, we all have bad days," he said quickly.
Katherine rolled her eyes without realizing she was doing so. "Yes, I suppose so."
"So how have you been, Katherine?" he questioned.
"Well, thank you," she answered, turning slightly to smile at him. "And you?"
"Wonderfully," he said at once. Her face fell as she realized that was at least partly because of her
"That's nice," she answered. Her brow furrowed. "I'm sorry - do you mind if I fix you're tie? It's
a bit crooked."
"Please, go ahead," he said, shrugging.
She reached up slightly and began to straighten it. "There," she smiled. "My father always said
if you're going to be a professional you need to look professional."
"I think that's very wise," he smiled.
"So do I," she nodded. "But I'm not sure Rachel would agree. She's so free-spirited, you know."
Alistair laughed. "Yes, I know. I worry about her sometimes."
"Do you?" Katherine inquired.
"Just a bit," he smiled, "But really I love that about her. Well in any case," he said after
a pause, "Thank you for fixing my tie." Casually he kissed her cheek. She blushed.
"Good morning," Rachel smiled, coming up to them. "You aren't making a move for my man, are you?"
she asked teasingly.
Katherine paled and looked slightly guilty as Alistair laughed. "Relax Katherine," Rachel smiled. "I
was only joking. I know you would never."
Katherine managed a halfhearted smile as Rachel turned her attention to Alistair.
"Katherine!" Elizabeth called out from across the lobby.
"Yes mother?" Katherine asked obediently, going to her at once.
"I want you to stop it - for your own sake."
"I'm not sure what you mean," Katherine said coolly.
Elizabeth sighed. "Yes you do. If Alistair JUST wanted a classy wife who was entirely politically correct
he would have randomly picked the richest girl at the country club. He doesn't. He fell in love with Rachel. He
IS in love with Rachel, flaws and all. He loves her flaws TOO. Get over him."
"I don't think-" Katherine began softly.
"I do think," Elizabeth cut her off. "Look at them. REALLY look at them. They'll be married in two
weeks. And they're very in love."
Rachel laughed at something Alistair said at that EXACT moment. Katherine turned away to hide the tears in her