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"How many of our guests are pregnant?" asked Vera.

"A few," answered Shirley. "Why?"

Suddenly, the answer dawned on her.

"I'll tell them not to attend, and warn the others to stay away if they don't want to run the risk of being exposed," said Shirley, checking her guest list. "However, that presents a new problem."

"You mean Maggie can't come?" cried Charlie in dismay. "She's my matron of honor!"

"It's dangerous for Maggie's unborn baby," explained Vera. "There's no choice, Pumpkin. You need to choose someone else."

"I'll let you two work it out," said Shirley, turning to go. "Let me know what you decide."

"I can't believe this is happening!" exclaimed Charlie, sinking back onto her bed in disappointment.

"Pumpkin," said Vera, after Adam's sister had left, "you need to make your decision soon, because the ceremony is in a few hours."

"I know," conceded Charlie, sadly. "I just feel so sorry for Maggie."

Soon after, room service showed up with Charlie's lunch, for Vera had already eaten. The young woman found it difficult to eat, and for once, Vera discouraged her because she still had a fever.

When Shirley returned, it was to report that Eliza was doing fine, but needed to remain in the hospital under observation; all pregnant women were notified of the danger, and decided to refrain from attending the ceremony or the reception.

"We'll send wedding cake to their rooms," said Shirley. "That only leaves the question of your matron of honor. I told Jeff and Maggie of the situation, and Maggie assured me that she understands. Have you made your decision, yet?"

"I'd like you to be my matron of honor," requested Charlie, gratefully. "You've worked harder than anyone to make this a memorable wedding."

Tears came to Shirley's eyes as she hugged Charlie.

"Thank you," was all she could say.

When Shirley left, Vera began to fix Charlie's hair, while the seventeen year old started putting on her makeup.

"I wish Adam would get here," sighed Charlie, nervously checking the clock. "It's almost three, and he still hasn't flown in yet!"

"I'm sure he's doing everything he can to be on time," assured Vera, glancing at the clock herself.

After Vera had finished arranging Charlie's hair in an elegant French twist, and her makeup was on, the young woman climbed into the silk petticoat. Then Vera lifted the delicate wedding gown over Charlie's head while she put her arms through the sleeves.

"After I lace up the bodice," said Vera, smoothing out the gown over the petticoat, "I want you to take your cold medication again. How's your head? Are you still warm?"

"I'm feeling pretty good," replied Charlie, hopefully. "Maybe, I'm through the worst of it, already."

"I don't want you pacing back and forth," instructed Vera. "You'll wear yourself out."

"I can't sit in this dress, or I'll wrinkle it," she answered.

"Then stand," sighed Vera. "Only be careful not to overexert yourself. You're fighting a cold, and you don't want to make it worse."

"First a sprained ankle threatened the wedding, and now a cold," sighed Charlie, trying to hold back a cough.
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