I had to jump out of the passenger side of Nick's car and land feet first in front of the courthouse steps as it hovered near a fire hydrant.
"Thanks for the lift. Central isn't exactly across the street from the carrier."
He laughed and gave me a thumbs up. "No problem. I'm sure Eb would've gotten you here even quicker - Duggan tells me that cab has booster rockets! And tell Colt the job is still open if he wants it!" He shut the door and took off as I rushed in.
The Groom was staring into a mirror in the Commissioner's office, adjusting his mask. I knocked on the door. He saw me through the mirror's reflection.
"The door's open!"
"Hi Denny. You're not wearing your black suit?"
"I don't wear a black suit."
"Right, right. So anyway, I'm glad I made it here in time to be the best man and all, filling in for Eb and such. Where's Sam and Blub?"
His mask secure, he began readjusting his tie. He must have been nervous. "Sam's on a new case with Tracy's kid, Junior - and he talked Eb into coming along...a trio of investigators...sheesh. And Blub is with the Curry's in Alaska, fighting winter zombies. By the way, Eb left his cab behind to serve as our chariot - you'll have to drive it, so that's three jobs I've got for you."
"Yeah - Dolan's doing the ceremony after we caught Mr. Carrion posing as Judge Kitchen. You'll need to give away the bride."
He smiled. "Eh..it's looking up. It looked like the bride would be late, but it turned out she found where we left the gown on her own and sent the message to Dolan through one of the bailiffs." Finished, he took one last look at himself. "..and something blue."
I couldn't see the bride under the heavy veil, but the gown was beautiful. It also had a very long train that I almost tripped over when I walked around from behind to take her hand.
The organist began to play the wedding march. As we slowly walked up the room, I took stock of how they decorated the area with loads of Christmas and Wedding-themed decor: pink bouquets, a white cake, a Christmas tree, a table full of gifts (I'm glad I remembered to bring something, although most of the gift boxes were the same size as what I had brought with me - a dreadful thought popped into my head)... Dolan stood at the center, with Denny to his left. I wonder what Dolan was going to say? Or did the Bride and Groom have vows prepared?
There were even two of Santa's helpers - though they looked kind of seedy: the first one was acting as an usher and didn't even fill out his suit; the second was slumped in a chair at a far corner with his gloved hands wrapped around a bottle of rot gut on his lap. He was out for the day.
I also took notice of the crowds in attendance: Family, friends and acquaintances of the Dolan family appeared on the Bride's side...the Groom's side was made up entirely of cops and crooks - the crooks in handcuffs, of course. Among that lot I recognized Satin, Wang, Boil, Cossack, Hussein, Lox, Carrion, Paris, Julia, Sand, P'Gell ... I think someones missing..
And then I almost tripped again! "I've got you," the Bride whispered. She did have a very good grip.
"Yeah, thanks," I whispered back.
And then she kept on whispering. She was talking to herself. "I've got you this time, Gainsborough, in front of everyone, now. There'll be no more cat-and-mouse games from here on."
Her grip was getting tighter, that's when I looked at her hand and notice the gloves she was wearing. They were purple with stripes on the back...purple, purple, purple...
It turned out this was going to be a very short ceremony. Neither side had anything to say and Dolan seemed keener on re-lighting his pipe.
"I left my matchbook in my desk, so if the Groom wouldn't mind putting the ring on her and getting on with it, so I can consider you kids married already.."
"Sure, sure, of course." Denny nervously nodded. His hands were shaking fierce as he reached into the inside pocket of his jacket ... and then became eerily clam as he smiled while he revealed a pair of handcuffs and slapped them on the wrists of his bride!
"Sorry, dear, but I'm afraid I've got cold feet to go with your cold hands." He lifted the veil. The face was familiar: white and blue complexion, with matching blue hair and makeup. Actually, there are three or four nasty women fitting that description, so I waited for Denny to say it. This event was cooling up.
"Louise Lincoln, it's been a pleasure." He reached inside his jacket again. "I believe you were looking for these?" He held up a set of gold wedding bands that revealed inscriptions that glowed and became legible when held up to the light. "The Tibetan Yeti Bands - believed to grant unknown power to the bearer of the ring, if I recall the legend correctly. I just thought they'd make good bait when I had this event advertised in the papers."
"What did she do to Ellen?" I asked.
Dolan laughed. "Who? Seriously, this event was advertised as the wedding of Thomas Gainsborough, here. There was no mention of the bride's name."
The purple gloves on Louise's hand began to change. First they began turning into a paler shade, then they formed a heavy coat of frost before crystallizing and shattering, exposing Lousie's free hands. Her handcuffs become useless when she froze them, breaking them off as well. She then froze Denny, Dolan and myself and grabbed the bands off Denny's palm with ease. All we could do was watch.
"Just because the wedding's off doesn't mean the bride is obligated to give back the rings, Gainsborough! Watch this bride run away!" She turned and began to make her exit. All the crooks seated in the groom's aisle were cheering her, but didn't dare cross her path.
That's when Santa stepped in. "Where's your Christmas spirit? Is that why you're so blue?" He then grabbed the train of her gown and began to spin like a top, forming a tornado that reeled her in. She began using her powers to fight back, but the end result backfired.
Santa took off his suit and revealed another red suit, one with a familiar lightning bolt symbol stamped across his chest.
"Just when I thought I was going to have to pull one of my old tricks and dash for a present, Louise shows up to help me make a gift: an ice sculpture!"
He raced forward and used his powers to thaw out the three of us - generating heat by offering the ultimate pat-down. It would've been very awkward if it lasted longer than 2.5 seconds.
Denny thanked him by admiring his handiwork with Louise - currently serving as a wedding gown tornado preserved in her own ice. "What a pity we'll have to arrest this one and put it in the fridge right away. You do good work, Wally."
"Thanks. I love spending the holidays back home in Central. By the way, those gloves she was wearing..."
I jumped in. "I can answer that one. Those gloves are a big deal this year. I brought a set for you as a gag. And I noticed that drunk Santa wore a pair as well."
Denny's eyes widened. "Santa?" He turned to the corner. There was only an empty chair where the fat man once sat.
Denny looked a bit forlorn. "I missed him...Santa was here...and I missed him."
Wally tried to cheer him up. "Y'know, it might not be who you think it is...I mean, Bats' wore purple gloves, too."