Susan wants David to wear a blindfold to the reception. He refuses at first, arguing loudly enough to distract their driver, but then Susan looks at him, veil askew, and says, "Oh David, please?"
He ties it himself.
"We're here," Susan says, and before David can ask where that is, exactly, he's being pulled out of the car, up familiar steps, through heavy glass doors, and around several corners. She's a terrible guide, offering only occasional, and almost always late, warnings of obstacles.
"Susan, you are aware that I can't see," David says, after one particularly perilous stumble.
"Oh, I'm sorry." She stops so suddenly that David finds himself with a mouthful of veil. "Well, here we are again, David."
"Here we are," he says, pushing the springy fabric of her veil away. "Now Susan, if you would just slow down a bit–"
"You're absolutely right, David," she says, but a few steps later her heels are clicking as quickly against the marble floor as they were before.
"All right," David says a short while later, rubbing his hands together. They've finally come to a stop. "Now, I wonder, where could I be? Niagara Falls, perhaps. Or maybe Atlantic City?"
He knows precisely where they are, of course: the museum, secondary exhibition room, home of the pterodactyls and one partially-constructed triceratops. He's been after the thirteenth vertebra for six weeks now, and Susan has been sneaky and underhanded in a way he'd attributed to wedding nerves. She must have been preparing for this dramatic gesture.
"Don't be ridiculous, David, we weren't in the car that long."
She reaches up to untie his blindfold, pressing against him. Her perfume is stronger than it usually is, and her breath warm against his cheek. He opens his eyes and she's all he can see, blurry at the edges but still beautiful. He feels a bit lightheaded, and has to place a hand at her waist to steady himself. The perfume and the sudden light, he knows. A natural reaction.
"You do look marvelous without your glasses," Susan says.
He kisses her.
Halfway through their first dance as husband and wife, David is still recovering from the shock.
"You're speechless," Susan says, delighted. "Honestly and truly speechless! Well, I've done it, haven't I? They thought I was joking the first time I called –"
"I can't imagine why." David nods at his mother across the room, smiling uncomfortably at a tall man in a turban Susan introduced earlier as a childhood friend.
"But I simply had to do it. You wouldn't choose anything you wanted for the wedding and I know this is your favorite place. It wasn't until my aunt got involved that they started to help me, of course – "
"Of course," David says. He cranes his neck to see if either of the two hanging pterodactyls could possibly still be up there amid the sea of lavender and pink balloons.
"Then things started to fall into place." Susan sighs happily and rests her head against his shoulder.
"Hmm. Yes, I see. But Susan – where did everything go?" He tries to keep his voice calm and quiet, but it doesn't quite work.
"In the back, I expect," Susan says. "Isn't it marvelous?"
He takes a moment to find the best lie.
Susan lifts her head, her expression uncertain. "You do like it, David?"
An ornate table piled with hors d'oeuvres stands where the triceratops should be, and the sterile, serene museum walls are splashed with pink and lavender decorations. He can see two of his colleagues laughing together behind their wine glasses, pointing at one of the strange, spiny orange-pink flowers Susan chose for the centerpieces.
David takes a deep breath. "Well, Susan, I have to say, it's certainly -"
Susan stops dancing, eyes wide. "Oh. You don't. You don't like it at all. Oh, David."
Suddenly the expression on her face is more troubling than the triceratops. "Well, now, I wouldn't say –"
Susan shakes her head. "Mr. Hofstopper said that I was being quite ridiculous, but I thought that he was the one being ridiculous, being so possessive about a thing like a museum exhibition hall. But I was being ridiculous, wasn't I?"
"Susan, no –"
"I was. I didn't listen, because I was so sure you would like it, but you don't at all, and –"
"Susan. Darling," he says, using the hand at her waist to jostle her quiet. She looks up at him, eyes bright. "Do I like it? What a question. Of course I do. It's perfect."
He smiles down at her until she smiles back. "You just called me darling."
"I did," he says.
"And you do like the party?"
"I do," he says. He watches the worry fall away from her features, replaced by the same exhilarated expression she's worn since she arrived next to him at the alter, and most other days besides.
"Wasn't it a lovely surprise?" Her cheeks are pink from dancing and the excitement of the day. Her veil is off to the side again, and her smile is wide and wonderful.
"Lovely," he says, and pulls her close.