No, no, no.
I jumped back to avoid the bouquet falling in my direction, but it still ended up right at my feet. My heart slammed against my ribcage as I stared at the bouquet lying by my feet like it was a ticking time bomb, ready to go off any second.
This could not be happening to me right now.
Why couldn’t it have landed next to one of the other bridesmaids who looked more than happy to catch it? Why did it have to land on me out of all of them?
Maybe because my best friend, the bride of the day, had thrown it right at me and even though I’d stepped out of the way, it still somehow managed to hit its target.
My eyes darted around and I took in the number of eyes on me, watching me strangely, probably wondering what the hell was wrong with me. Well, they could judge me if they wanted. They weren’t the ones that had gotten their fates sealed by a fucking bouquet of all things.
Grudgingly, just to get their eyes off me, I bent and picked it up, holding it stiffly and far away from my body like it could bite, and walked away without a particular destination in mind.
I ended up stopping at a table of pastries, the flower still clasped in a death-grip in my fist. With my free hand, I snagged a drink off the tray of a passing waiter and downed the whole thing in one go, slamming the empty glass on the table I was leaning on.
“This is a sign, Laura. You’re next.”
The words were whispered into my ear.
I turned and glared at my best friend, Balery, aka the bride of the day.
“Fuck you.” I whispered harshly. “You did that on purpose.”
“I did no such thing,” She argued, a playful grin on her lips that contradicted her words. “You caught it because you were destined to.”
“What? You’re a soothsayer now on top of everything else?”
She laughed, happy and melodious, and I couldn’t even stay mad at her anymore. I wasn’t really mad at her to begin with. It was just the situation I was angry at, and that was the crazy part.
Catching the flower didn’t necessarily mean that I was up next on the marriage list, but that was what a lot of people believed and a tiny part of me might have believed it too, at least before today.
And that was what terrified me.
Balery’s eyes landed on a spot over my shoulder, but I didn’t turn to see what she was looking at. I still didn’t turn even when she walked away, telling me that she’d be back shortly.
Today had turned out to be a really great day—asides from the whole bouquet thing. Her husband, Jack Summerland, CEO of Summerland and Co Enterprises, a multi-million dollar company, had been unable to keep his eyes off her all through the ceremony—and every other day, to be honest. He was completely smitten with her, and I couldn’t be happier that my best friend had found a man who worshipped the ground she walked on.
She’d worked for him as his assistant for two years, and interest had sparked between them over time. Since his company didn’t have a no-fraternisation policy, there had been no reason for them to not hit things off. It turned out to get pretty serious, they dated for a year before they got engaged and now, they were married.
Speak of the devil. I caught her a few feet away, talking to a man. I could only see his body in profile, so I couldn’t tell what he looked like, but he was tall and dark-haired, that much I could tell.
As if she’d somehow known that I was looking at her, her eyes snapped to mine and I saw a small smile touch her lips. Her eyes stayed on mine even as she said something to the man and it didn’t take a genius to put two and two together.
She was about to play match-maker.
“Excuse me,” I mumbled to no one in particular as I hurried through the crowd, abandoning the flowers on the table. Deliberately.
I hated commitment more than I hated waxing.
A body blocked my path, stopping my progress, and I attempted to side-step, but they only followed, standing in front of me. Annoyed, I looked up and saw that the obstruction was a fairly good-looking man with a head full of curly brown hair and bright blue eyes.
I took a subtle step back. “You’re standing in my way.”
“I know,” He said simply, “You look like you need saving, and I think I can help.”
When you come to think of it, I really did need saving, didn’t I?
Sighing, I said, “Yeah, I do actually.” I found myself admitting. “My best friend’s about to play match-maker and I hate when she does that. What do you have in mind? We pretend we’re locked in serious conversation? Marriage plans?” I joked.
“How about you give me your number instead?”
I laughed, thinking that he was joking too. When I realised that I was the only one laughing, I stopped. “You’re… serious?”
“Giving me your number is a good start, isn’t it?”
Wow. Guys were such assholes.
And here I’d thought he’d simply decided to help he out of the goodness of his heart. I should have known better.
“Your idea of helping me is to ask for my number?”
“Well,” He grinned, sleazy and so fucking disgusting, I took another step back. “Yes. You’re a pretty thing. You loo—”
“Get out of my way.”
When he didn’t budge, I thought; You know what? Screw this.
I walked around him and stormed through the crowd, intent on getting the hell out of here. I just needed to go up to my room, change out of my gown and have a long sleep.
I fished out my phone from my purse and shot Balery a text, letting her know that I was leaving early. She wouldn’t see it right now because she was busy, but she would see it later. I just didn’t want her to worry.
I was keeping my phone back in my purse when I slammed into a rock hard body and suddenly, felt cold liquid running down the front of my dress.
“What the hell is your problem?” I snapped, totally fed up and too pissed to look at the person, so instead, I stared at the mess they’d made of my dress.
The wet spot wasn’t that visible, but I felt it anyway.
I didn’t wait for an apology—not that it looked like I was getting one—before I hurried over to the elevator. The moment I got in, I pushed the button for my floor and leaned back on the wall, exhausted.
My eyes flicked to the elevator panel, to the numbers increasing as it went up. It felt like the ride was going on forever and the fact that I had claustrophobia wasn't helping at all.
Think of something else, Laura.
My eyes landed on the numbers again.
Just as I was about to give a sigh of relief that I was finally nearing my floor—I was on floor 15—the elevator stopped moving and the doors slid open, revealing the most beautiful man I had ever seen in all my life.