Sound Of Silence
Author: Rose Hala

Chapter 23
Sound Of Silence by Rose Hala



Bruce and Daniel had barely pushed on the door when they were met with strong words.

“Whoever you are, go away. This kitchen is off limits until further notice.”  After so many hours of work, Maggie wasn’t about to compromise the surprises now.

The two women stepped back and admired their handiwork. They had really outdone themselves. The Groom’s cake, shaped like a guitar and “dressed” in a tuxedo, looked fabulous. The neck was the black tie and the frets were it’s stripes. It “fit” Samuel perfectly.

The wedding cake’s multiple layers were positioned on a large square platter and decorated with items indigenous to both the bride and groom. There was a koala and  kangaroo and a detailed miniature of the Eiffel Tower.

The tiny bridal couple on the top were complimented by four suited figures at the base. Maggie thought she had struck gold when she found the novelty figurines in town.


The horses had been bathed and groomed the day before but Jiayi and Diana were up early  plaiting the manes and tails with white sashes.

They would cut pink and red roses at the last minute and put the beribboned baskets of petals in a cool corner of the barn and then get ready themselves. 


Mac and Stan were working on the rotisserie. The only thing the coals would need in another hour was a match. Once they were glowing, the marinating chateaubriand would be skewered and cooked slowly and evenly. A container of Maggie’s special basting mixture was in the fridge. No one really knew what was in the basting mix and, if the truth be known, Maggie just threw a handful of ingredients into the concoction and never measuring anything.

While the meat slowly turned, Mac and Stan would take turns with the basting brush. It was going to be really delicious when cooked. Roasted vegetables for the grill were in

foil-lined metal baskets. Carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, pumkin and corn on the cob were brushed with a herb infused olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, fresh rosemary, basil, and sage. Already they smelled delicious.


The kitchen was in the last stages of cleanup when Rachel knocked on the door. The coast was clear for visitors now.

“Good morning. Isn’t it a beautiful day? I’ve come to ask two favors. I know it’s a bit untraditional but, Annie, would you join Bruce in giving me away? I would feel like my parents were here.” Annie hugged her.

“You know, you’re both like our own children. I’m honored. Does Bruce know about this?”

“I thought that you might like to surprise him by arriving at the aisle with me. Then standing by his side afterwards.” Annie hugged her again and when Annie stepped back there were tears in her eyes.  “Oh, that sounds wonderful, Darling.”

“And, Maggie, I can think of no one I would rather have as my Matron Of Honor. I’ll need help with my dress and Jiayi tells me you’re one of the best with hair.” Rachel pulled a  magazine from under her arm. “Do you think you could help me with this style?”

“I’d be happy to. You’re going to be so beautiful you’ll make everyone’s eyes go pop-pop.  My Sammy’s going to stop breathing when he sees you. I’ll be at your cabin at eleven o’clock so you’ll have plenty of time to get ready.” Maggie kissed both Rachel’s cheeks. “You make two old women very happy today. And, phew, you sure are going to make Sammy very happy tonight….”



“What? It’s true, isn’t it?….Well?”

 The three women shared a hearty laugh before Rachel thanked them and headed back to her cabin.


The Choir Boys rehearsed in Utah and Carl’s cabin as soon as Samuel arrived with his clothes. They did a quick acapella run through of Ave Maria and then let Samuel sit out Amazing Grace since he wouldn’t be singing it during the first dance with his bride.  There wasn’t any critical difference with out his voice part. One had covered for the other many times.


Tears rolled down Maggie’s cheeks as she beheld the vision in white before her.

“Darling, our Sammy’s eyes are going to pop right out of his skull when he sees you. You mark my words, one look at you, and that boy’s brain is going to be like a mashed potato.”

Maggie stood mesmerized until at the knock at the door made her jump.

“It’s me. Annie.” Quickly closing the door behind her, she stopped in her tracks.

“Oh my darling girl! I’m going to cry. You’re radiant. The dress… and your hair!!  You’re going to drive that poor man crazy with those curls. Maggie, you’ve done a fantastic job.

“Her hair is already gorgeous. I just put it in the right place.” Rachel turned to the mirror.

The appliquéd, off-the-shoulder candlelight dress gave her tanned skin a translucent luster.  

The bodice was appliquéd with flower petals, outlined in shimmering pearl beads with clusters in the centers. They ran to the clinched waist and down the narrow skirt to more appliqués. The dress was beautifully complimented with the tiara of pearls she had chosen in place of a veil. The absence of a veil allowed her to showcase her exotic hair-do, which was a work of art. From the styled knot at the top to the cascade of curls trailing from it, the whole thing looked like it would come apart at the slightest touch. Her only jewelry was the cross and chain from Samuel.


“Here’s something new for you, Rachel. I hope you like them.” Annie smiled as she extended a small box. Rachel gasped when she opened it. The small pearl earrings were perfect. Rachel had to blink fast so she wouldn’t cry.

“This is something borrowed.”  Annie latched a pearl bracelet on Rachel’s arm. “This was my gift from Bruce the day we got married.”

 “Now, here’s your something blue.” Rachel giggled as she slipped the pale blue garter Annie handed her over her foot and ran it up her leg. “And this is something old.” It was a square of delicate linen with a hand-tatted border that was clearly an heirloom. 

“Oh, Annie. It’s exquisite, are you sure?”

“I’m sure. My grandmother made it for my mother’s wedding day and it has been carried by the other women in our family since. Now it’s your turn. Please. I want you to have this with you today.  It will bring you much happiness and good luck – my mother told me that on my wedding day.” Annie tucked the fabric discreetly in the bodice of Rachel’s dress.

“Now I’m ready, shall we go?


The guests were seated and the girls were mounted on the horses, wearing red silk blouses and black designer jeans and button-hole bouquets of roses and baby’s breath in the clips in their hair.

At the sight of Jiayi, Daniel turned to his father. “I think you better oil that shotgun, Dad.”

They were in for some trouble soon. Boy trouble. Jiayi was nineteen and had had boyfriends before but no one serious. David had a feeling that would all be changing very soon.

Bruce was wearing a black suit, Rhythm & Hymns were dressed in their formal stage suits, and each had a red rose in their lapel.  The guests, Mac’s team, had also dressed formally. They were already seated. 

Samuel was feeling a bit nervous. He had sung Ave Maria plenty of times with the guys but today he was afraid he would forget the words. Little did he know, he had nothing to worry about.

 Maggie came up from the cabins, that was the cue for everyone to get into place. She took her position opposite the guys. At her signal, the girls on horseback started forward, slowly sprinkling the rose petals down the path.

Bruce was in his place waiting for the bride but all he could see was a sheet coming toward him held on either side by Janey and Cathy.

Rachel was being hidden from view, obviously, but where was his wife? As it got closer Bruce realized there were two shadows visible through the sheet and he gasped as his beautiful wife and Rachel stood beside him. It took him back to his own wedding so many years ago.  He looked at Rachel, wait ‘til Samuel sees his beautiful bride. Bruce knew from experience that his first sight of her would be a moment Samuel would remember forever. 


A nod from Janey, started Carl singing and then the sheet was removed. Three Choir Boys sang while the fourth couldn’t do anymore than stare at his beautiful bride. With Annie and Bruce on either side, Rachel walked on rose petals down the path.

Samuel was in shock, it was hard for him to take in. The woman he was so in love with, the exquisite vision heading his way, was going to be his wife?

Everything on either side of her was a blur. The crowd had disappeared. All she could see the man who was waiting for her. He was so handsome and the stunned look on his face made her love him all the more. She smiled at him and gave him a saucy little wink that seemed to jolt him back to moment at hand. He smiled back and held his hand out to her just as Ave Maria came to an end.

Samuel wanted nothing more than to take her in his arms and kiss her, until that ‘I dare you to touch me’ hairdo came apart. There were loose tendrils that curled over her bare shoulder that just begged to be played with but he would have to wait. The celebration came first.


After their vows, came the words they had been waiting for,

“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.” Samuel didn’t hesitate. He had wanted to do this from the moment she had winked at him. He put his arms around her and they kissed hungrily and longingly.

Someone coughed; once, twice, too subtle...

 “Utah, grab that bucket. We need water to put this fire out.”

Samuel raised his head and looked over at Carl.

 “I seem to remember calling in the fire brigade when you kissed Jo Jo at your wedding.”


At the beginning of Amazing Grace, Samuel looked at his new wife. He felt ten feet tall.

“Mrs. Ziarre, may I have the pleasure of this dance?” The newly married couple moved onto the dance floor for the bridal dance and beckoned Bruce and Annie to join them.

When “Amazing Grace” ended the couple’s first dance, Daniel took over as DJ with CDs he had selected that morning. From the activity on the dance floor he had chosen well.

After an hour of music and a champagne toast by Bruce, the buffet was presented. Dinner was served.


As delicious as it was, Maggie couldn’t wait to see the reactions to the cakes.

“Ooh’s” and “aahhh’s”  were followed by applause when they were unveiled. Rachel stood by the table and admiring the surprise.

“It’s almost a shame to eat them,” she sighed as she took in all the work those two women had unselfishly invested for such beautiful creations for their wedding day.

Samuel, sneaking between Maggie and Annie, slipped his arms through theirs and walked them to Rachel who handed the knife to Maggie. What did they want her to do? Maggie was puzzled. Surely it wasn’t her place, infringing on a rite that belonged to the bride and groom. She shook her head. She couldn’t possibly.

 “Please. We want it this way.” Shaking, she lowered the tip to the icing and Sam steadied her hand by covering it with his. Rachel gestured for Annie to follow. She would go last.

With their hands stacked together, in a single motion they cut the cake. There wasn’t a dry eye anywhere and Carl captured it all on video. A true ‘Kodak Moment’ for them to savor.


Rachel wound her arms around Samuel during their last dance and lightly drew little circles on the back of his neck with her fingernails. Samuel sucked in a breath and led Rachel off the floor. It was dusk and time to go, but not before he spoke words that were in his heart. 

“We appreciate all of you being with us today. To our new friends, thank you. Annie and Bruce, there are no words to describe the extent of our gratitude. Stan and Mac, everything was delicious. Jiayi and Diana, the horses were fabulous, well done. Maggie, you are treasured more than you know.

My brothers, you have my love and gratitude. Steven, thank you for being the man you are in our Choir Boys family. My life has changed in so many ways. Thank you all.” 


In one final tradition, Rachel walked to the top of the knoll and threw her bouquet. Her aim was perfect. Maggie caught it just as Rachel had planned. Samuel, laughing at the look on Maggie’s face, joined his bride and the couple waved and turned to the path to their cabin.

“Hey, Brother. If you need some driving instructions, call me.” Carl laughed as Sam hurled a one-fingered insult in his direction.


As soon as the door closed Samuel kissed his wife with a hunger. He plunged his tongue deep and ran his hands through her curls. Rachel returned his kiss with the same intensity, rubbing his neck and pressing against him with her hips. She turned around and he undid the small pearl button at the top of her gown, she felt the fabric give way to reveal the zipper. As the dress loosened, Samuel ran his hands under the loose fabric and found the two raised points he was seeking. Rachel shuddered and raised her arms up around his neck.

“You’re going to make me fall apart,” she said moaned as he lowered his hand to another erogenous zone.

“Shatter for me, Sweetheart,” he said in her ear, his voice firm. “I want to see you shatter in your wedding dress.”  His demand was so erotic that it pushed her to the point of no return. He watched her in the mirror. The image was so intense that he thought he was going to follow her over the edge.

Stepping out of her dress, Rachel reached for the fasteners on his shirt. The release of every button was followed by a feather kiss on his torso as Rachel lowered to her knees.

“I’m on the edge here, Baby,”  he groaned as  his trousers crumpled to his feet. 

He reached for her, but she was too quick for him. Her lips closed around him as she knelt in front of him. What was fair was fair.

“Rachel!!” The little death… He braced one hand against the door to steady himself. Aftershocks were coursing through his body. She stood and they leaned together, skin against skin, catching their breath.

“Hard work, this being married, eh?” Rachel said as, laughing together, they made their way to the bedroom.


Mickey was pleased. He had heard his sentence would, by all accounts, be no more than twenty-four months with the possibility of early release in a year if he stayed out of any trouble.  He was over the fire that had demolished his apartment. What was done is done. He was alive. In all honesty, he hadn’t expected The Ring to give him a second chance. For a while he had seriously considered himself to be a walking dead man.

Out of everything he had to do without while in police custody, there was only one thing he could say he truly missed. He craved one of his specially blended cigars. 




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