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Anne & Big Bertha

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Chapter 10

 

Tib went on to ask questions about Ann Walker. This was going to be fun. She had learned so much about Ann Walker in the last few days. She had been sending questions in text messages to Catherine and getting answers. ‘Now, let’s see how much you know about Ann Walker?’ Tib said. ‘What is her favourite colour?’ Anne wrote furiously. She thought she knew. ‘How old is Ann and when is her birthday. You should all know that one. ‘What does Ann do when she isn’t sleeping?’

‘That’s a strange question to ask.’

‘Oh this is an obsession but she hasn’t done much since she met Anne here.’ Then Catherine realised what she was talking about and wrote it down. ‘What does Ann wear to bed? Ann blushed this time but she knew no one would know she slept in her birthday suit. That is no one but Anne now.’If you were to bump into Ann in the street how would she react.’ And at that Ann blushed. She rarely went into town because she didn’t want her tribe to see her and ask her their usual trite question. ‘What would be the best wedding present you could give Ann and it relates to one other question I have already asked.’

When they were done. Anne smiled because she thought she knew Ann Walker so much. ‘Answers please.’ Anne said.

‘Ann’s favourite colour is….’

‘Pink.’ Anne yelled out. Ann looked at her.’Wrong. My favourite colour was black when I was younger. There’s a bikie around these parts who always wears black. I hear she is a badass bitch.’ Anne smiled. ‘It was pink for a while before that but now my favourite colour is most shades of green.’

‘Okay!! I got that one wrong.’ Marian said. ‘I put pink too.’ Catherine didn’t need to answer. She smiled because she got it right.

‘Of course, Ann’s birthday is tomorrow their wedding day. She will be 30. I think we all got that right.’

‘I didn’t I thought she was younger.’ Marian said.

‘How young?’ Ann asked.

‘25. I thought Anne was way older than you. Sorry.’

‘That’s okay. Everyone I know thinks I am younger than what I am.’

‘What does Ann sleep in? A nightgown and fluffy socks in the winter when her feet get cold.’ Tib said.

‘Well, she actually sleeps….’ Was Anne could say when Ann’s lips hit hers and they kissed passionately until everyone coughed loudly.

They jumped apart so fast Anne fell forward into Ann’s lap.

‘Ann loves to paint and she does it as often as she can.’

Anne didn’t know that. So, she didn’t answer that one or the last question.

‘As you can guess from the last question Ann would like paints and brush as a wedding present. Not very romantic, isn’t it?’

‘I just want Anne. As long as she is there I will be happy.’ Ann said. ‘As long as you are there, Ann I will be happy too.’

‘Only a few hours to go. You can always call it off, Anne.’ Ann said. She still wasn’t sure if Anne was doing the right thing for herself. She thought Anne was only marrying her to get her tribe off her back. ‘Ann Walker, Stop over thinking. I am marrying you because I want to and no other reason. Tib, do you have anymore games in that box of tricks you brought.’

‘Yes, but I thought we would take a break. I see Cordingley was busy before making sandwiches and cakes for supper. Shall we partake of them now and play another game later.’ Tib said. They stood up and walked into the kitchen. Aunt Anne was waiting to join them for supper. She had promised they could have their fun and games. She would join them afterwards.

‘Are you ready for tomorrow, Anne and Ann?’ Aunt asked concerned. ‘You do know that this relationship has only just began. You need to remember it is really going to take a while for you to get to know each other. It requires patience and understanding from both of you.’

‘We know that, Aunt.’ Anne and Ann said together. Anne smiled at her wife.’Only a few more hours, Ann. I am so nervous I could scream.’

‘Yes, only a few more hours then I can really call you my wife. It’s going to be amazing. My big bikie wife. The rebel will be mine for always.’

‘Are you going somewhere special for your honeymoon?’ Marian asked.

‘We are going to get the ferry to France and take it from there. Wherever providence takes us. As long as Ann is with me I don’t care where we go. Do you, Ann?’

‘No, dearest. As long as we are together. It doesn’t matter.’

‘Are you taking Bertha?’ Catherine asked. She looked concerned because she hoped they weren’t. Bertha was a big beast and looked as though it would be hard to hold up right. ‘Yes, we are taking Bertha. Don’t worry, Catherine. Ann will be fine with me.’

‘How long will you be away, Anne and Ann?’ Marian asked.

‘We aren’t sure. I have some estate business to deal with before we go and hopefully that will keep the men busy for at least a month unless we are called back. You will tell me if you need us, Aunt? I wouldn’t want to stay away knowing you weren’t well.’

‘I will be fine, Anne. I have Marian to take care of me and Tib is hanging around for a week or two to help Marian out. ‘Is that why you have been eyeing each other all night. Don’t think I haven’t noticed that.’

‘Noticed what?’ Marian said. She could see the wheels turning in her sister’s head. ‘You and Tib. I might not be around here much but I do know when you are smitten with  someone.’

‘Me smitten with Tib. Anne are you crazy.’

‘No! I can see it so don’t deny it.’ Tib blushed and Marian had to hide her face. It had turned beetroot red. Ann tried to defend her sister-in-law. ‘Come on, Anne. You don’t know this. Marian probably likes her as a friend.’

‘Thanks, Ann. I won’t forget this.’ Marian and Tib said together.

‘Ah, see what I mean they even answered together. My goodness, what am I going to do with you two?’

‘Leave them alone, Anne.’ Aunt Anne said. ‘Can’t you see Marian is struggling with her feelings for Tib and Tib is having a hard time thinking she could be your sister-in-law one day.’

‘Ouch. I never thought about it like that. Sorry, Tib. Sorry, Marian.’ Anne said.’Are we going to play some more games?’

‘I want to go to bed, dearest. I am sleepy and we have a big day tomorrow.’

‘We certainly do. Thanks for the fun night, Tib. How much do we owe you for the service you are going to perform tomorrow?’ Ann asked.

‘It’s my wedding present for you and Anne. I hope we can stay friends, Anne. I really do enjoy your company and I would love to get to know Miss Walker more.’

‘Thank you, Tib.’ Ann said.’Yes, I would love to spend more time with you. Maybe we can get together after we return from our honeymoon. I am sure Anne will like that.’ Anne nodded. She couldn’t have asked for anything better than Ann and Tib becoming friends.

‘Would anyone like something to drink before we all go to bed?’ Anne asked. It was getting late but she was thirsty and hungry again. She imagined it was because she was nervous about tomorrow. She didn’t expect she would get an affirmative response from anyone. Ann followed her into the kitchen. They made the drinks and found something to munch on. Ann was hungry too. Ann was hungry for the same reason Anne was thirsty and hungry. She was nervous about tomorrow. They would be getting married. She was hoping that there would be no dramas to deal with before or after or even during their wedding ceremony.

They returned to the sitting room. Aunt & father had gone to bed earlier. Marian and Tib were chatting quietly. ‘Hey, turn on the telly. I think there’s a show on soon that I am sure you would like to watch. Have you heard of the L word?’

‘Didn’t they show the last season quite a few years ago. I loved Shane because she was well, a bit like me.’ Anne said. She could see Ann eyeing her and wondering what she meant. ‘Hey Ann, as you know I am not a skirt chaser now. I was a long time ago but now I have you I am not interested. This heart of mine is closed to any other romantic interests. You close it with your love for me, Ann.’

‘Anne Lister, why are you still worried that I will somehow get fed up with you and find a reason to leave you? Anne, listen to me and I will say this in front of others tomorrow but for now just in front of these people here. I love you, Anne. I’m in love with you. I always have been. There is only one person for me. That’s you. I do trust you, dearest. Okay!’

‘I guess that proves only one thing, Lister. This woman here is nuts about you or is just plain nuts.’ Tib said. She looked at Anne who was about to yell until Ann put her hand on Anne’s knee which seem to calm her down. Then Ann whispered into her ear.’Anne, my love, we both know I am a little crazy in love with you. But that’s our secret.’ Anne smiled. She didn’t want any foolish actions to spoil their evening. ‘Have you written your vows yet?’ Marian asked. She remembered Anne had said they were writing their own vows. They would reflect on how little they knew each other but how much they loved each other.

Only they were going to be private until they were revealed tomorrow. ‘Yes, but they are kinda private at the moment. I don’t know what Anne has written and she doesn’t know what I have written. Do you, dearest?’ Ann said.

‘No, we will find out like everyone else will tomorrow.’

Catherine had been quiet for sometime. ‘What happens if our cousins are there to spoil the day for you? What will you do?’ Catherine didn’t want to put a dampener on the evening but it seemed she had because Ann put her head on her wife’s shoulder and began sobbing quietly. Anne wasn’t annoyed with Catherine but she was a bit disappointed that she had brought this up. Anne wrapped her arms around her wife and whispered into her ear. ‘Adney, Catherine isn’t trying to hurt you. She is worried that if Eliza and William turn up again they will spoil the day.’

‘I thought Elizabeth was going to call them. She said she would call back only she didn’t.’ Ann said. Then her phone buzzed in her pocket. She answered. ‘Hi Liz.’ Ann was surprised she was calling so late at night. ‘Hi Ann, sorry I didn’t get back to you. I have been so busy with the kids. We are over at Crow Nest for the big event. Our cousins are planning on crashing. I told them to leave you alone. It’s a shame they won’t heed my advice cause I feel Anne will rage and that won’t be good for her reputation. Will it?’

‘No, it won’t. Do you want to talk to Anne? She’s right here.’

‘Yes please. I think we need to come up with a plan.’ Ann handed her phone to her wife. ‘Hi Elizabeth. Are you at Crow Nest?’

‘Yes, we are. Only so are Eliza and William.They have been hammering me all night to come over there to fetch Ann before she makes the biggest mistake in her life. I won’t because I know she knows you better than anyone does and I am sure she wouldn’t marry you if she didn’t feel safe with you. She didn’t know you loved her, which you do?’

‘Yes, I love your sister so much. What she is going through right now with your cousins is appalling. I wish they would just let her live her life.’ Anne said feeling anger rise in her voice. ‘I can tell you aren’t happy. What can we do tomorrow to stop them from destroying your day. Do you have any ideas?’

‘We could send Tib over to yell at them. Only I don’t think she wants to move from her comfortable spot and anyway she is sleeping.’ Anne said. ‘What do you think we should do without changing where we are getting married?’

‘No, Anne, don’t disturb Tib. There’s not much we can do right now. We will have to deal with them tomorrow if they should turn up. I hope not. They have just left promising they would.’

‘Shit! Ann just woke up when she heard us talking and wants to know what is going on. Should I tell her?’ Anne hadn’t realise Ann feel asleep until she had spoken out loud.

‘Yes, tell her.’

‘What’s happening?’ Ann asked. ‘Are we expecting interlopers at our wedding?’

‘It seems like it, Ann. Only we should go to bed and deal with it tomorrow. Is that okay? You seem very sleepy, Adney.’

‘I am.’

‘We are dealing with it tomorrow. We both need to sleep on it for now. See you tomorrow, Elizabeth. Bye.’

‘Bye. See you tomorrow. You’re right we can deal with it then.