The Shower . . . "Open mine next," Katie said as she dropped a small box on the bride-to-be's lap. Chelsea opened the card and scanned it; blushing furiously at the note Katie had written. "What's it say?" Sarah asked as she saw the color rise on Chelsea's cheeks. "Nothing," she quickly replied, as she put the card back in the envelope. Sarah grabbed the card from Chelsea and read it aloud. "Here's something to *warm up* your wedding night." A chorus of giggles erupted around the room. "Let's see what she got you!" Angie insisted. Chelsea slipped the ribbon off the box and carefully raised the lid. She rummaged through the pale pink tissue paper until her hand closed on something smooth and cool. "Wow," Sarah said enviously as Chelsea pulled a small oval-backed cherry wood hairbrush out of the box. "You're going to love it Chelsea," Katie confided. "I got one just like it when I married Drew last year." Chelsea turned the hairbrush over in her hand and rubbed the satiny surface. "I heard it hurts a lot," she said softly. Katie put her arm around Chelsea's shoulder and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "It's not that bad, honest. I prefer the strap myself, but every bride should have a nice hairbrush." Chelsea bit her lip and stared at the brush on her lap. She turned and whispered to Katie, "I guess I'm just nervous. It's going to be my first time." That confession made Katie's eyes widen. "Oh Chelsea, I'm sorry. I would've waited 'till we were alone to give that to you if I'd known." She paused then asked, "Do you want to see what it's like before the big day?" Chelsea blushed deeply. "No!" she said adamantly. "Michael likes the fact that I've never done it before. I just hope I don't make a fool of myself." "You'll do fine Chelsea, honest. And just because you can't try it out before your wedding night doesn't mean you can't ask me questions about what it's like. Let's have lunch next week and I'll tell you everything, ok?" Wedding Day . . . "To have and to hold . . . for richer or poorer . . . to love, honor and obey . . ." The rest of the day was a blur: their first kiss, first dance, the first time someone called Chelsea Mrs. Henderson. "Nervous?" Michael asked as he held Chelsea close late that night in their honeymoon suite. She nodded tentatively. "A little." "There's nothing to be afraid of sweetie. It's the most natural thing in the world." Chelsea took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Ready?" "Yes," she replied, her voice steadier now. "Good. Now where'd you put your hairbrush?" Michael asked. Chelsea looked at the dresser. Michael crossed over, picked up the hairbrush and brought it back to the bed. Michael handed it to Chelsea, lowered his trousers and gently lay across his blushing bride's lap for the very first time. By the time Chelsea was through, Michael's cheeks were burning as brightly as his bride's.
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