An Instant Connection, Cemented by a Sweet Gift

On a Sunday night in early September 2017, Kara Eileen Cheever called her sister. She had just gotten home from her first date with Fuery Thomas Hocking, after matching with him on the dating app Bumble. What was supposed to be a casual afternoon walk in Central Park with Ms. Cheever’s dog, Percy, had lasted into evening.

“I called my sister to say that I didn’t know what Fuery would be, but I could tell he was going to be someone in my life,” said Ms. Cheever, 31. “We just clicked, I guess. I had never really felt that way about a guy before.”

Although she didn’t know it at the time, Mr. Hocking was thinking the same thing.

“Immediately we could just talk to each other like we’d been friends for a long time,” said Mr. Hocking, 31.

On their second date, another park walk followed by queso at a nearby restaurant, Ms. Cheever, who works as an attorney at Kirkland & Ellis in Manhattan, mentioned that her birthday was the next day.

She didn’t think much of it, until she received a box of cookies, without a note, at her office the following afternoon. She suspected Mr. Hocking, who works as an assistant district attorney with the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, had sent them, but reached out to her friends and family first.

“I felt like it was him, but I didn’t want to text him asking if he sent me cookies,” Ms. Cheever said. “I only went on two dates with him.”

When she finally got up the courage to text him, Mr. Hocking said yes, he had been the one, inspired by her telling a story about how her family used to send her cookies on her birthday, but had stopped the year before. Ms. Cheever was touched, and so were her parents, who were now invested in the mystery cookie sender.

“They were now aware of his existence, and loved him because he sent me cookies,” Ms. Cheever said.

In early November 2017, after only a few months of dating, the couple took a weeklong trip to Montreal, to visit one of Mr. Hocking’s friends. They were a little nervous about spending so much uninterrupted time together so early in their relationship, but any apprehension they felt faded away long before they crossed the border.

“I was shocked by how much fun we had on the drive,” Ms. Cheever said.

A few weeks later, and now back in New York, Mr. Hocking’s father visited from Georgia, and met Ms. Cheever.

“I remember him saying, ‘You know, you’ve really got something special here,’” Mr. Hocking said. “At that point, that’s when I kind of knew I was in love with her.”

Within a year they were talking about marriage, and in early 2019, the couple picked out a ring. On a trip to Minneapolis in March 2019 with Mr. Hocking’s brother and one of his friends, Mr. Hocking asked Ms. Cheever to marry him on the Stone Arch Bridge. Mr. Hocking’s brother and friend hid behind an umbrella nearby to take candid photos of the moment.

The couple originally planned a 200-person wedding for May 2, but rescheduled because of the coronavirus. As their new date, Aug. 15 approached, they decided to postpone their wedding again because of the pandemic. They married on Nov. 21 at the Olde Homestead Golf Club in New Tripoli, Pa., in front of about 25 guests. The Rev. Kent Foster, a Universal Life minister, officiated.

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