Married at Midnight

By: Gerri Russell

“Damn,” he said, releasing a heavy sigh. “Never mind.”

Ellie’s look turned puzzled, and he didn’t blame her confusion. He knew the heated look he gave her didn’t match his words.

“As soon as I find my socks and shoes, I’m going downstairs. I say we start there.” Before he could search for the lost items, a knock sounded on the door. Startled, he opened the door to find four aging Elvis impersonators behind a room-service cart.

“How are our favorite newlyweds today?” asked an Elvis wearing a black wig and a white suit covered with rhinestones.

Ellie’s eyes went wide. “A white Elvis? I didn’t dream it. It really happened.” Her face paled. “We are married. We’re really, really, married.”

White Elvis smiled, ignoring Ellie’s obvious distress. “That you are.”

“All of you were there? You witnessed us getting married?” Connor asked as a wave of disbelief washed over him.

The white Elvis nodded. “You were married at what everyone calls the Elvis Chapel. Best place in Vegas to tie the knot.”

“We brought breakfast. After last night, you should eat something solid,” said a blue Elvis, who stepped out from behind a red Elvis.

The eldest-looking of the bunch was an Elvis dressed in a gold lamé jacket worn over a black shirt and pants. He smiled apologetically. “To be honest, we’re checking in on you two. You both had a lot to drink last night.”

All four men were obviously well past Elvis’s prime, being at least as old as Connor’s own grandmother. Even so, with their stage makeup and false hair, Connor was sure the men could convincingly pass as Elvis impersonators at any Vegas show.

Blue Elvis grabbed two full glasses off the tray and strode past Connor into the room. “Try this. The contents will help shake off the effects of last night.”

“What is it?” Ellie asked as he handed her the tall glass filled with a curiously orange liquid.

“My mama’s secret hangover recipe. One part orange juice, one part beer, one part seltzer, and two crushed aspirin dissolved into the mix.” Blue Elvis pushed the glass into her hand. “Go on—give it a try,” he said with a twang that sounded very much like Elvis Presley.

When Ellie accepted the glass and brought it to her lips, Blue Elvis turned to Connor and offered him the same concoction. Connor didn’t hesitate; he stepped aside, allowing the others to enter as he knocked the glass’s contents back. He would try just about anything to greet this moment with a clearer head.

Blue Elvis remained beside Connor, while the other three removed the warming lids from the breakfast tray. Instantly the smell of bacon and maple syrup curled in the air.

“What is all this? Did we have the foresight to order breakfast last night when we can’t remember much else?” Connor asked, surprised his stomach didn’t lurch. Instead, it grumbled.

“Oh, no, young man. You had only one thing on your mind last night after we brought you both back to this room,” White Elvis said, smiling like a satisfied cat.

Gold Elvis turned to a blushing Ellie and took her now-empty glass. “We were so honored the two of you asked us to be in your wedding that we wanted to come over today and make sure everything was all right.”

“It was a beautiful ceremony,” White Elvis said with a flourish of his hand that sent the red gussets in his sleeves flapping. “You two were insistent that the wedding begin at midnight.” Glancing at Ellie, he said, “And all the little touches you added, like the crystals you laced through the flowers on the wedding bower, and the rose petals you arranged on the floor leading up to the altar, turned your wedding into a real classy event.”

The color in Ellie’s cheeks faded, and she swayed on her feet.

Rather than let her fall to the floor, Connor drew Ellie against his side, tucking his arm about her waist. She didn’t resist.

Gold Elvis reached inside his jacket and removed a thin stack of photos. “Here’s the proof. Your commemorative Elvis pics.”

The man handed the pictures to Ellie. Connor looked on as she flipped through the evidence of their union    .

Her face paled, and she stepped out of Connor’s embrace. “We got married at the Chapel of Burning Love on Las Vegas Boulevard?”

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