The First Wedding

Cecily Brayton lay on her bed, staring at the edge of the window and thinking about James Haddaway. She had seen him once in the week since their furtive encounter at the Granville Hotel — they had driven one of his father’s motorcars down a solitary country road, with time only to exchange a series of desperate kisses and impassioned sighs before returning to town. She wondered when she would see him again, if it would be today or tomorrow, if he would finally propose, or perhaps seize her in the middle of the night and persuade her to elope in some far-flung locale.

A knock at the door roused her from this familiar avenue of thought. It was Carol, summoning her to breakfast.

“I’m not hungry, thank you,” Cecily called lazily from the bed. The door burst open and Carol stared at her in amazement.

“Not hungry? Go down there and tell Arianna yourself! She made her famous pancakes especially for this occasion! Don’t you want to see Mayhew?”

Cecily sprang up suddenly, her eyes large. “Oh dear! I forgot! Mayhew’s back!” Within a moment she was following Carol down the staircase. “How is he?” she whispered excitedly. “Has he proposed to you yet?”

Carol hushed her with a violent wave of her hand and hurried off to the kitchen, leaving Cecily to wander into the dining room alone. She found her father and Mayhew already seated there, chatting amiably. Cecily greeted Mayhew with apprehension, feeling a twinge of guilt for having borrowed his hotel room without his consent while he had been away, but he seemed glad to see her and gave no indication that he suspected her of anything wicked.

Arianna served her famous pancakes while Carol sat down next to Mayhew, and everyone attacked the meal with vigor, forgetting conversation for a time. Finally Arianna spoke, addressing Mayhew.


“I haven’t heard anything about your trip yet,” she said in her mild way. “Did you find great inspiration for the new hotel?”

The young architect, who had nearly finished all of his pancakes, set down his fork. “Why, yes, actually,” he replied with a grin. “I was so inspired that I drew a set of preliminary plans while I was in Castello and shared them with Mr. De Groff as soon as I got in last night. He seemed quite pleased with them. So pleased, in fact, that he gave me a handsome bonus, which will allow me to buy a house of my own here in May Green.”

Cecily couldn’t help but beam with happiness for Carol and Mayhew as she heard this news, though the mention of Max De Groff had unsettled her for a moment. She remembered all too vividly his face peering at her from across the street when she had slipped out of the alley by the Granville. Had he seen James, too, and would he say something to Mayhew now that he had returned? Blushing uncomfortably at the idea, she returned to her pancakes.


“Buy a house?” Harry Brayton said, raising a distinguished brow. “I thought you’d build your own, given the chance.”

Mayhew smiled as he finished chewing his last bit of pancake. “Oh, believe me, I intend to, someday, of course. But I have to save up for a few…other things…at the moment.” At this he glanced at Carol, who acted indifferent, though a tinge of pink colored her cheeks.


Cecily didn’t know how Carol could stand it. She herself was itching to leap out of the chair and dance around the table in joy for the happy couple, but they sat so poised and patient, as if they were discussing the weather.

As the conversation did, in fact, veer off into weather and other mundane concerns, Cecily assisted Arianna with clearing the table, hoping it would give Carol a chance to be alone with Mayhew. But as long as Harry kept talking, Mayhew remained seated, and eventually Carol rose and entered the kitchen to do dishes. When Cecily caught her eye, she grinned knowingly, causing Carol to blush and shake her head.

Eventually Harry moved into the living room, taking Mayhew with him, and the two talked about the possibility of building a new wing onto the Hutchins Memorial Hospital. Arianna and Cecily joined them, and as the talk grew merrier, everyone wondered where Carol had gone.

“She’s busied herself with chores, no doubt,” sighed Arianna. “I told her she didn’t need to worry about it today, of all days!” She exchanged smiles with her cousin. “Mayhew, why don’t you see if you can find her?”

Grinning, Mayhew rose and strode out of the room as quickly as he could without seeming too anxious. Harry looked after him with his eyebrows raised. “Well, he certainly left in a hurry,” he said, oblivious to the general mood.

“Arianna, why don’t you play a song while we wait,” suggested Cecily, curling her feet up casually upon the sofa and trying to appear nonchalant.

As Arianna moved gracefully to the piano, Harry finally caught up with everyone else. “Oh!” he said, making himself more comfortable in his chair. “Yes, Arianna…play something sentimental…play…’Sweet Mystery of Life’.” He gave Cecily a wink and leaned back, a contented expression sweeping over his face.

By the time Arianna had plunked out the last note of the song, Carol and Mayhew entered the room, glowing radiantly, and proceeded to announce their engagement.

(continued on Page 2)

25 thoughts on “The First Wedding

  1. Hmmmm, I can’t decide where I think this is going. For a second I thought, “A ha! She’ll become involved with a painter.” Then that was dashed. Then I thought maybe Max liked her. But now I’m wondering if he’s going to exploit what he knows.

    Waiting on bated breath!

  2. o.o
    Are you planning on marrying Cecily off?
    God this story arc is going slow @__@

  3. Carol looks radiant at her wedding. I hope she and Mayhew are happy together. What aspiration is he? Hope it’s not romance!

  4. Maaaaaaaaaax! Maxmaxmaxmax! I vote for Max!
    Don’t listen to Mieko. :P I’m loving this story, don’t change the pace or anything!

  5. I love the pace of the story. Though I have to admit, when I first saw the title in my RSS feed, I thought maybe it was Cecily’s shotgun wedding. *VBEG*. Ooooh, maybe she’ll fall in love with the painter, then HAVE to marry James …

  6. Scandal!! I think Max is really too kind and altruistic to take advantage of Cecily. But, it seems as if Cecily is going to have to pay for her sins at some point. And Mayhew and Carol’s wedding was lovely. I love that chapel. Maybe James will “have” to marry another girl. Maybe a shopkeep’s daughter. OOOoooo. I just love finding out what’s going to happen. Thankyou much Jen! :)

  7. Hi Jen. I love the Braytons!!!
    Oh this update is very intriguing. I’m wondering what path you’re taking with the story. Part of me believes you will marry Cecily to James, some part of me still hopes she ends up with Samuel and now you throw in the mix Max. Oh you’re good. But i knew that already. I love how you are keeping us on the guessing with the story. I hope you are enjoying the Brayton as much as we are. I’m really looking forward to another update on Braytons.
    Happy Simmings and thanks for all your hard work. :D

  8. lil, I like that … James quietly marries the girl he’d disgraced, before Cecily knew she was with child. Max will then come riding to her rescue and take the ‘prematurely born’ baby as his very own! *Looks expectantly @ Jen*. :-D

  9. Great update Jen! I’ve been waiting to see what would happen with Carol. I’m happy things are working out for her and Mayhew. :)

  10. Wow. Good job. I thought that maybe James’ brother would get married because of the title but boy was i wrong. Maybe Max will exploit her, but then again he might just fall in love with her..inviting her to his house and all. :D Anyway good job on the update.

  11. Just lettin’ you know that I updated again. =)

    MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAX! *waves picket sign!*

  12. I vote Max but only if he has a dark secret that will put him on equal footing with Cecily, and if he shaves. He has to compete with Jame’s memory and all that :)

  13. Max is my new bestest friend. He rocks *waves a banner with saying ‘We love you, Max!’ with lots of heats on*

    When is Cecily going to realise she loves Samuel and not stinky James? When is Samuel going to burst in out of no where and confess his undying love for her? BAH! Good post, looking forward to the next one :D

  14. I agree with lil! I think it would be awesome if James had to marry another girl (because she’s pregnant), but CEcIlY doesn’t necessarily have to be pregnant. She can meet Max…and the painter…and think more about Samuel. But no, in the end Max will rescue her. Maybe he should get a slight makeover though. I mean, he can have the beard back when he’s an elder but it just makes him look so much more…Santa Clausey. There, I said it!

    *Joins Kay* GO MAX! WE WANT MAX!

  15. oh, IS Cecily pregnant? Did I miss something or do we just not know?
    *Hangs on a cliff holding on with her pinky*

  16. She’s not pregnant…yet. ;-P

    Thanks for all the story ideas, everyone! Unfortunately I have the next few episodes pretty well mapped out…*laughs evilly*

  17. It’s not unfortunate. It’s wonderful. I’d be dissapointed if you were predictable and wrote what we speculated about. :)

  18. I’m afraid you might be disappointed then, lil! Some of the speculations have been right on the mark. I won’t tell you which ones, though. :-)

  19. First I thought it was Cecily who was going to marry her James. But after reading this entry, I’m unsure WHO she will marry in the first place. Great writing as ever. I was so absorbed while reading the I didn’t notice my4-year old was asking me something. Like when I’m reading a good novel ;)

  20. Here’s my theory: Cecily will be pregnant with James’s child, but James won’t marry her; Max will know, or at least suspect, that Cecily is pregnant, and will offer to marry her and take the child as his own. Then, once they’re married, Cecily will begin to fall in love with him.

    Now I want to know if I’m right! When’s the next update? :)

  21. Thanks, Zoe & Catootje. I’m working on another Shanley update at the moment — it’s about half-written. Life keeps getting in the way! But it should be up soon, I hope…and then I plan on working on the Braytons.

  22. Is there going to be another Brayton update soon?? You’ve got my imagination going in about ten different directions!