Segment One – One On One

His father had once told him that the hardest people to please were anxious brides expectantly waiting for their wedding days, which happened to be known as the most important day of a bride-to-be. There was the need of choosing the best everything from the place and decoration to the right songs and invitation cards. Each little detail had to meet up to their crazy standards or else innocent people - such as wedding planners, buffet caterers and grooms - suffered with the intensity of their wrath. Just for the accuracy of that statement, he had a hard time believing his old man had many that many more mistakes other than smoking at least a pack of cigarettes every day ever since age thirteen.

Jethro Burrows sighed impatiently and ran a hand through his neatly cut dark brown hair as his older brother, who also happened to be his best friend and best man, laughed on the other side of the phone. It was only three days before Jethro's wedding ceremony and he wasn't even sure anymore if he would still get married because of a silly fight over pastries and cake toppings. The argument between bride and groom seemed to amuse Jethro's brother to the point of making him laugh for ten minutes straight. The man probably had tears in his blue eyes from laughing so hard.

"Are you done yet, Jonah?"

"Not quite, brother dear, but I'll stop if you ask," he replied in a haughty voice.

All the years Jonah Burrows had already spent living in Dublin had increased his vocabulary - and given him a slight Irish accent to boot so that everything he said, no matter how stupid it was in point of fact, sounded like the ultimate truth just because of the posh way he said some of the syllables. It was very annoying and, most times, he did it on purpose to simply irritate his younger brother. Jethro was aware of such fact, but it didn't stop the habit from being somewhat aggravating. Actually, the only reason why Jethro didn't hit his sibling was because they were not in the same room.

At age thirty-one, Jonah was a proud bachelor and had no time to waste looking for the woman of his life. He was sure of the fact that he wasn't going to ever get married, simply because the man couldn't believe that he would ever meet a woman that would keep him interested to the point of making him think about exclusivity. Such thing was a known fact, but it didn't stop the women from falling for or simply following him. When wooing women, Jonah was seductive and his words sounded as sweet as honey tasted. When doing business, he could make grown men cry like little kids and his words sound as hard and cold as steel. And whatever Jonah did, he had to be the best at it - or, at the very least, one of the top three. While Jethro had ultimately chosen to take over the family's construction business, his older brother had escaped to Ireland years before to open up his own restaurant-slash-pub.

The two had a younger sister named Jayden, who claimed to be an artist, even though she really had no idea of what she was doing most of the time. Jayden had dreams of making a living through her art and talents, but, while that didn't happen, she did everything - from painting and posing nude as model for art class to bartending and serving drinks at local joints. It was actually fairly entertaining to see how the girl worked. Their father had died five years before due to an advanced case of lung cancer, which he had managed to hide for longer than anyone would ever think possible. Even though all of them had felt devastated because of his death, it hadn't been such a big surprise in the end. Mrs. Burrows was frequently too busy traveling around the world as part of her intense therapy to cope with her dearly loved husband's death.

Jethro honestly had no idea why he had decided to call his older brother, out of all people, to talk about the fight Holland and he had had earlier that day. He could have called his sister or any other one of his friends, preferably the ones that were in meaningful relationships, for they would understand better what he was going through and not outright laugh at his problem. Jethro should have pressed the red button of his cell phone and taken a cab to his brother's hotel just to punch him on the face, but he resigned to listening to Jonah's advice. The dark-haired man always had a beautiful young lady by his side, it simply wasn't possible that he didn't have a few tricks up his sleeves.

As his brother's outburst started to subside, it was easier for Jethro to notice the music playing in the background. From the distinctive sound of the harmony he could tell it was something classical, which happened to be one of the few musical genres he didn't particularly enjoy or know anything about. Jethro usually didn't like anything older than the artists from the sixties, reason why his fiancée was always giving him speeches about how he should give Mozart, Bach or Beethoven a chance.

"Maybe I should just call Jayden."

"What kind of advice do you expect to get from her?" Jonah asked with evident mockery in his voice. "We know she's as sugary as candy, but our dear sister can't keep the same guy for more than six weeks. Jayden's a jerk magnet."

"Don't say bad things about her," Jethro immediately defended the girl.

"I'm not! I'm stating bad things about her taste in men, something quite different."

He didn't say anything else, because he had to agree with his brother's statement. Jayden was the sweetest girl in the entire world, but she also had the worst luck with men. Both brothers had always been very protective of their young sister and had beaten or threatened their fair share of scoundrels that had hit on the girl and ex-boyfriends that had broken her heart. If it weren't for the fact that she had moved to New York City, they would have kept the habit of having serious talks with the potential boyfriends. They didn't talk about Jayden after that brief mention. Jethro didn't like saying anything even remotely bad about the girl because she had been the one to introduce him to his future wife, a little over a year before.

Jethro had accepted his mother's idea of redecorating the office building where Burrows Constructions worked if only because he knew his father's office hadn't changed a single bit after the man's death and it always bothered his mother to go there whenever she was required to be at the company. Mrs. Burrows had suggested that they could ask Jayden to work on the redecoration project because she had just been hired to work at a small place called Lewis Deco. Three days later, Jethro met Holland Lewis, Jayden's employer, and, half an hour after learning the name of the beautiful blonde, he had invited her to lunch in a very impulsive move and she had accepted it, despite the fact it was ten in the morning.

Two months after that first lunch, Holland and Jethro had started dating seriously. They had shared an incredible year together and were about to put it all to waste just because he didn't like the kind of topping she had suggested for their layered wedding cake. It was enough he had already agreed on the damned pastries she had chosen without even consulting him. He didn't understand why she couldn't just let him have the cake topping he wanted without making a huge deal out of it. Jethro supposed things just couldn't be easy for him and his brother wasn't really helping, all Jonah did was tell him to either let her have the topping she wanted or split the cake in two halves.

"You're so childish! That's seriously your best suggestion…" Jethro was saying, but suddenly had an idea that could make things work out. "Actually, Jonah, you're a genius!"

"What?" the older brother asked completely confused.

"Your idea is great!"

"You're actually going to split the cake in two?"

"I have to go. Don't forget the ring!" Jethro was about to hang up when he abruptly stopped and asked his brother with a suspicious voice: "You do have the ring, right?"

"Of course! What kind of best man would I be if I'd lost it?" Jonah asked with false indignation. "Geez, have a little faith in me, will you?"

Jethro simply laughed at his brother and called him a drama queen before hanging up the phone, giving no time for Jonah to reply. If he wanted his idea to work, he would have to hurry. The brown-haired young man quickly grabbed his wallet and car keys before rushing out through his apartment's door, which he hoped he would still share with Holland as a married couple.

When they arrived at the reception, all the guests were already there. As soon as Jethro and Holland went inside the ballroom, they were greeted by smiling faces and clapping hands. Someone even wolf-whistled and he had a guess it had been his brother. Mrs. Burrows, who wore a dress that made her look sophisticated without making her look strict with a tilted hat that added extra charm, was the first one to greet them by kissing her son and taking the bride away to talk to some of the older women there. As Jethro watched Holland and his mother walking to another side of the ballroom, he couldn't help admiring his wife. Her chest-length hair was up in a loose ponytail with a few soft curls falling over her face and the makeup had been kept to a minimal, only enough to make her light blue eyes stand out.

Jethro didn't notice he had a silly smile on his face until his sister pointed it out to him. She had walked up to him without letting the young man notice it. Jayden had been one of the maids of honor and looked amazing in the baby blue, strapless dress that Holland had picked out for the three girls to wear. Her black hair fell down in a straight cut, reaching the middle of her back and her short fringe had been parted to the left side and was being held with a diamond hair clip. Her green eyes were more vivid than ever thanks to a slight touch of eyeliner and glittery eye shadow. She hugged him tightly.

"I always knew you'd be the first one to get married," she told him with a mocking smirk. "Let's see who lasts longer now, Jonah or me."

"Nobody beats me!" they heard a strong voice say and turned to see their brother.

"You look positively dashing, dear brother!" Jayden said with a shiny smile on her face and a quick laugh escaping her curled lips. Both her brothers looked amazing in nearly matching suits, ties and shoes.

"Thank you, my lady. It's an honor to hear such a great compliment from the most beautiful woman in this amiable gathering," Jonah replied, bowing slightly and kissing his sister's hand.

Jayden was almost done telling Jethro that both Holland and Jonah had told her about the controversy surrounding the cake figurines when they were interrupted by the bride's little sister. Sweden Lewis was a seventeen-year-old girl with bright blue eyes and shiny blonde hair that looked just like her sister's. Her dress was the same as Jayden's, but in a different size, and her hair had been curled up slightly just for the wedding. She wore more makeup than both Holland and Jayden together, but it didn't look bad or caked up. Sweden obviously knew she looked older than just seventeen and used it to her advantage.

The teen girl greeted Jethro with a kiss and a hug, before telling him that she would miss making fun of him dating her sister. Now that they had gotten married, it just wouldn't be as funny. He had to laugh at that and at the way she tried to be nice to Jayden - the two girls had never really gotten along. Jethro guessed it was because both were used to being the baby of their families and getting all the attention. She hadn't outright said it, but Jethro had always had the impression that his sister felt like Sweden was trying to steal him away, something completely impossible. Still, the girls acted friendly and even hugged each other before trading compliments on how the dresses had flattered both of them.

Jethro almost laughed every time he saw how Sweden acted around Jonah. The two hadn't met more than four or five times during the year Holland and Jethro had dated, but the few occasions had been enough to make the teen girl develop a crush on the restaurant owner. Jonah's slight Irish accent and his gentlemanly mannerism had won the blonde's affection in a simple heartbeat. It was obvious that Jonah didn't think the girl really had a crush on him, excusing her odd behavior around him as shyness. It was clear to anyone with eyes that Sweden's crush wasn't going to subside any time soon just by the way her smile grew when Jonah asked her to dance with him.

"He really doesn't see it, does he?" Jayden asked no one in particular as soon as her older brother and the blonde girl were out of earshot.

"I don't think so…" Jethro said and then smirked before teasing his sister. "You know, you sound like a real New Yorker."

"Shut up. You know I pick up accents easily."

"Yeah, right. You probably practice to talk like that."

"It would be pathetic if such thing was true," she said and smacked his arm. "So, I'm curious to know how you dealt with the whole cake topping issue, JT."

Jethro simply smiled in response and hugged his sister once more. As soon as they parted from the embrace, a young man with reddish hair approached the two and introduced himself as one of Holland's second degree cousins. After congratulating Jethro, he turned to Jayden and courteously asked the girl if she would like to dance with him. After a giggle, she accepted the hand he was offering and the two headed to the dance floor in the middle of the ballroom. Jethro didn't have the time to warn the young man not to do anything stupid before a few guests approached him to talk.

When everyone had already greeted, kissed or talked to the newlyweds, they were finally allowed to take their seats around the main table, where their closest friends and family members were also seated. Jethro was sitting at the center of the table with his mother by his left side and Holland by his right one. Jayden was sitting next to their mother with Jonah next to her and Sweden at the end of the table while Holland's parents sat by her side, followed by her best friend and the two groomsmen.

It was almost time to make the toasts and bring the cake out when Holland leaned over to kiss her husband and playfully whispered to Jethro that she hoped he hadn't bribed anyone into changing the cake topping or the song they were supposed to dance to. All he did was smile at her while Jayden announced that she wanted to and would be the first one to make a toast on that night - before she forgot the speech she had memorized during her airplane flight. The blonde bride didn't say anything more and just intertwined her fingers with her husband's under the table and gave a slight squeeze to his hand. He replied to it by squeezing her hand back and whispering the three little words every woman loves to hear.

After everyone sitting around the main table had made their toasts and wished the newlyweds a very blissful life, people had cheered and clapped hands. Then, the buffet staff had brought out the cake. Jethro wasn't the only one to notice when Holland's bright smile fell slightly as soon as she realized that the topping resting on the layered cake was not the one she had chosen. He could tell she was ready to turn to him and complain when one of the staff members brought out a second cake, which was exactly like the first one with the same number of layers and same color of topping. The only difference was that the figurines on the top layer of it were the ones Holland had picked out.

Jonah threw his head back and started laughing loudly with Jayden soon joining his fit. None of the other guests could understand what was so funny about the presence of two identical cakes and simply thought the buffet had made a mistake. Things like that weren't supposed to happen in carefully planned wedding ceremonies. Jethro stayed in silence, doing his best not to laugh along with his siblings, while expectantly waiting for Holland to say something. They had already gotten married, but nothing stopped her from asking for the annulment if she wanted. Surely, he didn't think she would go to such a great length because of a cake figurine.

It was only when Sweden said something about being sure that no guest would be left without cake that Holland finally reacted. Surprisingly so, she started laughing as well and threw her arms around Jethro's neck before kissing him passionately. After a few moments, when both cakes were on the main table already, they parted the kiss and she smiled to him before pecking his nose and turning to make the toast. A staff member gave them the champagne glasses with the bubbly drink and they crossed their arms together to take a sip as a photographer registered the moment with the shiny lenses of his camera.

Soon enough the waiters and waitresses were distributing pieces of cake and more drinks. Jethro and Holland were sharing a piece of cake silently, until she decided to speak. She took a very good look at the figurines the young man had chosen and smirked, saying something about them not being so horrible anymore - although her choice was still better.

"How did you get this idea?"

"Jonah suggested me to split the cake in two."

"Oh, thank goodness you don't take your brother's advice to heart!" Holland laughed. "So that's why he started laughing. And explains why Jayden joined in, given that I told her about the silly fight."

"Silly fight?" Jethro repeated her words with a false look of indignation. "We nearly didn't get married because of it. Not to mention the arguments over musi…"

"Jethro, just shut up. I love you and cake figurines don't really matter right now," the blonde interrupted him with another one of her heartwarming smiles. "We both overreacted, but it's over. Well, except maybe, for the music. You can't give up rock."

"Sure can't and, unfortunately, you can't give up your classical records either. Just promise me you won't make me listen to too much of it."

"I'll try."

Jethro could tell Holland had crossed her fingers behind her back. She always did that whenever he asked her to promise something both of them knew she wouldn't do.

"You can always call Jonah to talk about classical. He was listening to something when I called him to talk about our fight."

Holland simply said she was going to give her brother-in-law a call before one of Jethro's favorite songs started playing. It was a slow song by one of his beloved rock bands and one of the few that Holland could honestly say she enjoyed. So, she did the only thing she could think of: she stood up, offered her hand to him and took him to the dance floor. They spent the rest of the night swaying to the sound of several songs, even the clichéd wedding themes from the eighties that the bands always played.