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This leads on from Well, What Did She Expect.


Terrence re-entered the room by holding the door open for Boscailo, who was carrying two large pots of coffee, plus Filia and Rubia’s eldest girls who were carrying a tray of mug and the sugar and milk respectively.  Boscailo saw them out again with a cheerful, “Thank you, girls,” and an aside to the room, “It turned out that I didn’t know where the mugs live in the kitchen but Gemma and Franca did.”

Julia poured his the first coffee and he sat at the table.  While everyone else helped themselves, Terrence asked, “So, what happened?”

“I won’t bore you with the details,” Boscailo sipped his black brew, “But Septima is marrying Rodolfo Desideri a fortnight from tomorrow, probably at Cappella degli Altichieri or Basilica di Sant’Erasmo da Specola.  The time has yet to be set since they’re not sure which church it will be in.”

“What!”  Terrence reacted with shock, then realised that the women, including his wife, were nodding and pleased.

“I spoke to Septima,” Boscailo told the Count apologetically, “And she seems quite happy to marry Rodolfo.  When I spoke to our wives and Septima’s other sisters, they wanted her to be happy, safe, and protected.  Marriage to Rodolfo fits the bill.”  He drank some more coffee.  “Frankly, Rodolfo seems like the cat who got the cream.  I doubt you’d get her away from him now.  I’m sorry I took so long getting back, but I went with them to file the paperwork.”  He drank more coffee.

“So,” Julia was nursing her mug of creamy coffee in both hands, “Who is making the arrangements and paying for everything?  When will we know the ceremony details?”

“The Desiderii are paying for everything,” Boscailo told her, “Dress, priest, reception, the lot.  We cannot all attend – Count Bartolo was quite firm on that point.  I will receive an invitation.  I may bring my wife,” he smiled fondly at Tertia, “Our children, my mother-in-law,” Julia looked pleased, “And Septima’s unmarried sisters.  No-one else,” he finished firmly, looking around the table.  “Due to the short time frame there will be no bridesmaids or flower girls, so both sets of nieces will miss out.”  He grinned, “Count Bartolo and I thought that was fair.  Oh,” he added, “Her name has been officially changed to Astanthe Giustina Rosina Maia Strefagi – it was some of the paperwork we put in.”

“Astanthe,” Count Terrance rolled the name around on his tongue, trying it out for size, “It could be worse.  With her birthday’s saint and both grandmothers?  That was gracious of him,” he acknowledged.

“He doesn’t seem to bear her any personal ill will,” acknowledged Boscailo, “And he seems to genuinely believe that she and Rodolfo can be happy together.  There is one little thing he wants concerning Terris though.”

“Oh yes?”  The Count’s eyes turned to Terris who gulped nervously.

“He wants sponsorship signage for a Desiderii business on Terris’ racing car.  Nothing big,” Boscailo shrugged, “A flash on each front door.  The firm concerned is a car detailing business they have in Broscina.  All it does is car detailing,” he sipped coffee before admitting, “We checked it out when it opened up, but it’s just out of our area and it doesn’t touch bikes.  No competition.  Rodolfo Desideri is one of the directors though, and as he will be married to Terris’ sister by the time the qualifiers are underway it won’t be too surprising that the firm is sponsoring him.”

“Vaguely humiliating,” Terrence conceded, “But that would be the end of the parts issue?”

“Yes,” confirmed Boscailo, “He agreed to that.”

“I can do that,” Terris spoke up, “I checked the book price for those parts and he really did offer a good deal, if I’d had the money...,” he trailed off.

“Word to the wise, Terris,” Boscailo offered, “Never buy motor vehicle parts or firearms that have had their identifying information removed, it just leads to trouble.”