"So, you call him Carlo?" Drake marveled at the idea of his friend, whom he had known as long as he had known the entire Randolph family, was on first-name basis with Hollywood legend and statesman, Carlo Vincente. It was on par with being friends with Charlton Heston, if he were still alive, and being allowed to call him Chuck, or having long, cozy talks with Maureen O'Hara over tea and cookies.
"I don't want to even get into how long it took for Max to figure out what to call him. Her brothers -- the Vincente brothers, anyway -- told her she should call him 'Pop,' but that's just too casual, too close. There were a few times, I thought she'd be afraid to even talk to him, because she didn't know what to say. Then they had a long talk, and she settled on just using his name." He pushed the back door open and they both winced at the hard gust of cold air that slapped their faces.
"Wow. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her. It's hard seeing anybody but Mr. Randolph as her father."
"Like Max puts it, Joel is her dad. Carlo is her father. And he's such a great guy. You could almost wish her stepmother would be nasty about some things, but..." He shrugged and gestured over at a car parked four spaces down from the brightly illuminated doorway. "I keep telling her Joel won't mind if she has him and Carlo both walk her down the aisle, but Max is afraid of hurting both of them by asking, or not having anyone."
"I wish. But Miss Emily and Jeannette -- that's Max's stepmother -- they're having a great time planning the wedding, all the fuss. And we're hearing a lot of griping about your sister depriving the town gossips of the wedding of the century. Between the world finding out Miss Emily is here and the accident last spring and Joel being at the U and everything else--" He laughed as he unlocked the car, opened the door, reached into the back seat, and pulled out a box that looked approximately ten inches on each side. "If we elope, we better not come back to town at all."
"Then Di owes you two, right?"
"It's getting the payback that's the problem." He settled the box in Drake's hands and slammed the car door shut.They chatted about mutual friends as they made their way back into the building and down the hall to the lobby area again. Drake was pleased when he mentioned he wanted to do an internship in the area, hopefully at Tabor Christian, after he finished with seminary, and Tony showed excitement about the idea.