The Pre - Wedding Chat
The room fell silent as Davey Russell opened up a bottle of 15-year-old malt and poured its golden contents into six large tumblers. The men in the room were smartly dressed in expensive tailored dark blue suits. They’d been summoned by their host but none of them knew why.
Davey Russell was a wealthy man, but certainly not by conventional means. His business style was very much “smash and grab” as opposed to “work your way up slowly”.
His empire had grown quickly and now his main business was a chain of thirty-two pubs and restaurants along the east coast. At long last he considered himself legitimate. Extortion, drugs and money laundering were no longer words in his vocabulary.
Today was his youngest sons wedding day, taking place at his flagship gastropub. The Crown.
He and his five specially selected guests were standing in one of the private dining rooms above the pub, whilst the finishing touches to the glorious day were being attended to by his wife Sarah, the bride’s mother, Carol, and Carlos the wedding planner.
Davey picked up one of the tumblers and handed it to an immaculately dressed grey-haired man with a long drooping silver moustache. It was his Dad, Lenny. Davey spoke for the first time.
“Dad. Today is your youngest grandsons wedding. A day we should all be very proud of. Agreed?”
Lenny replied without hesitation.
“Agreed Son. Very proud indeed.”
Davey smiled and nodded.
“That’s good. So I want you to make me a promise. I want you to give me your word on something.”
The old boy looked confused. Shrugged his shoulders and grinned.
“Anything son. You know that.”
Davey looked him straight in the eyes.
“Good. So today...no fighting! I mean it Dad. Not like the last family wedding when you took a blade to that bloke called Roger!”
Lenny was defiant.
“He was being leary, trying to push in at the bar!”
Davey slammed his fist onto the table.
“He lost a fucking eye and had twenty-two stitches in his left arse cheek! You’re seventy-six for fuck's sake, let it go! I mean it Dad. Not today. Understand? I want your word on this.”
Reluctantly the old boy agreed.
“Okay, okay. I give you my word.”
“Good now drink the scotch and then that’s done.”
The large glass of malt was swallowed in one and the glass put back on the large oak table.
Davey picked up another tumbler and handed it to a man in his fifties. It was his brother Terry.
“Okay Terry, same goes for you. Of all the brothers, you’re the one that likes a scrap the most. But not today. These people aren’t like us. They’re NORMAL people. The brides mum is a school teacher and her dad is an accountant. They won’t want to be asked if they fancy a tear up in the car park just to see who’s the best boxer. Because every family occasion that we have a get-together, that’s exactly what happens and I know that you’re the instigator. So I want your word. No Fucking fighting!”
Terry didn’t argue, he knew better than to go against his brother. He drank down the malt and placed the glass back down.
“You’ve got my word Bruv.”
This time Davey picked up two glasses and gave one each to two men in their forties. These were two of his cousins. Danny and Jack.
“Right you two. I’m relying on you both to keep all the other cousins under control. We all know that once they get a few beers inside them they’ll be quick with their hands. Someone says the wrong thing or looks at them in a funny way and they’ll be off. But not today. I want you to have a discreet word with each of them. Tell them, if they kick off they’ll deal with me personally and that won’t end well. So keep your eyes open. If you think they’re getting a bit over the top, get them away. Put them in a cab and fuck them off somewhere. Agreed? Do I have your word?”
The men drank their scotch and said the magic words.
“You have our word Davey.”
Two glasses left. Davey took one for himself and gave the other one to a man in his thirties. Once again immaculately dressed, over six feet tall, the body of a light heavyweight boxer, piercing blue eyes, short dark hair and designer stubble. If ever there was a perfect specimen of a man, this was it.
His name was Tommy and he was the son of one of Daveys closest friends. Davey treated him like one of his own.
“So Tommy, wondering why you’re here? Let’s face it you’re no bruiser. Not like you to get into a ruck. Agreed?”
Tommy's smile was as big as a house showing off his perfect set of white teeth that had cost a small fortune.
“Agreed Davey. As I always say. I’m a lover not a fighter.”
Davey smiled back.
“And that’s exactly why you’re here. You see, the bride has three sisters. All lovely looking girls but all have partners. Now it’s my bet that you’ll be the best looking bloke downstairs by a fucking country mile. You’re smooth, you’ll say nice things to them, they’ll have a few drinks and suddenly they’re in one of our rooms with their dresses round their waists and their knickers in their handbags. It happens everytime. But not today. Because if there is one thing to guarantee a punch up is some bloke finding out his bird has just been shagged by a fucking David Beckham lookalike. Understand?”
Everyone in the room wanted to laugh, because they knew it was true. But they daren’t. They all kept a straight face.
Tommy drank his drink, put down his glass and made his promise.
“You’ve got my word.”
Davey felt a sigh of relief. Now perhaps he could relax and enjoy the rest of the day without worrying about the family. He was just about to down his scotch when the door burst open. Standing in front of him was Carlos the wedding planner. He had blood on his white shirt.
“I think you should come quick Mister Russell.”
Davey was confused, everyone that might be a liability was in the room with him.
“What the fuck’s going on!”
Carlos started to panic.
“It’s your wife sir. She has the other woman downstairs by the throat and I think she may have just stabbed her in the leg with a fork!”
Davey threw his glass against the wall, marched past Carlos and started shouting.
“For fuck's sake. SARAH!”
The sound of muffled laughter came from the room as Davey headed downstairs...