Tasha and I were at the restaurant for almost an hour now. The dishes were delicious, the wine was spectacular and the atmosphere... Damn, I felt like some superstar here. People all around us were wearing fancy and beautiful dresses and suits. The light music played by a band of musicians. Yeah, I wasn’t used to this kind of place, but just for one night, for one special night – it felt right.
Tasha and I spent this time talking, remembering our childhood, funny stories about our time at high school. It was good, so fucking good, so I allowed myself to relax. I didn’t even know that I was so tense. It’s just this feeling that I had since my plane landed at the airport. I was afraid of running into Tyler. I was afraid to see him again. It would hit right where it hurts the most. Still hurts.
Seeing Tasha and Jake so in love and so close to their wedding day. It was nerve-wracking, because not so long ago I was thinking that my wedding will be just 2 months after theirs. Shit! I shouldn’t have let myself even think about it. This night was about Tasha and about our friendship. I must focus on it.
“Tasha, I need to use a bathroom. Don’t have fun without me, okay?” I stood up and winked at her, she only shook her head laughing. I walked to the bathroom and stared at myself in the mirror. What was I doing? Bringing my feelings up again. I forbid myself these thoughts and here I was, mulling it over inside my head. Fuck, I need to get a grip on myself and fast!
I was waiting for Vera to come back from the bathroom, scrolling through my phone. She was gone for 5 minutes already, but somehow, I knew why she wasn’t coming back that quick. Talking about our high school years must have brought her memories about Douglas. I was sure of it. I also was sure of my words to her and Chloe. If this jerk will try to reach her again, she would be with him without hesitation. But it will be only possible if his wedding will be canceled. I honestly prayed that he will go through with it and will become the married man. That way their story would end naturally.
Nate was a good guy. He was kind, passionate and generous. He cared about her. And God, this man had looks. He was stunning, even I thought so. I wasn’t sure why he was holding back. He should have scooped her in his arms and held her there, coaxing her, saying sweet words, until she would give up. I wanted to ask her to bring him to my wedding with Jake. I wanted to talk to him. I should have done this a long time ago. I shouldn’t have listened to Jake. It was him, who suggested to me not to mess with Vera’s life. Right now, I wasn’t sure, that it was the right decision.
Thoughts were swirling in my head, I stared at my phone absentmindedly until I saw shadow leaning to the table. When I looked up, I barely restrained myself from cursing out loud. Fuck! Why now? Why here? Tyler Douglas was standing next to the table, towering over me in all his glory. He was in his expensive suit. The smile on his smug face. He had guts to smile at me! Fucking asshole! I registered movement on his left and right near him appeared his bloody fiancée. Holy shit! What was I going to do now?
They both stood still, looking at me. Tyler with the smile on his lips, his fiancée just stared at me with curiosity. The girl hadn’t had any idea, why he stopped. They must have gone here to have dinner. Good for them, this place was a part of their world. Not mine, not Vera’s. We were guests here only for one evening, while Tyler and his company were too familiar with it. I swallowed and stared hard at Douglas. What was his deal anyway?
“Hey, Tasha. Didn’t expect to see you here.”
“Douglas. Your Italian chick.” I nodded at them and started silently praying that Vera won’t come out of the bathroom any time soon. Douglas’s fiancée frowned, grasped her hand around his elbow and tugged.
“Honey, your friend has some very bad sense of humor.” Obviously, she was having a very hard time, trying to understand what the deal between me and Douglas is.
“Do I remember correctly, that your wedding will be in two days?” He didn’t even acknowledge her question, he bore his gaze to me. But I was surprised not by his behavior to her, and by the fact that he remembered the date of my wedding. It was bad. It meant that he still was thinking about Vera. It meant that he hoped to see her at my wedding. Shit! Please, Vera, stay in the bathroom.
“Oh, you’re getting married? It’s amazing! My congratulations to you and your happy fiancé in advance! You must be so excited about it!” Fuck! This woman was too loud and too annoying. I kept my mouth shut, thinking that maybe that will make them go away. “Our wedding with Tyler is planned for August and I honestly can’t wait for it! All of our preparations are at the final stage and I want time to go faster! I want to be able to call Ty my hubby...”
“Tasha, you look gorgeous tonight. Are you here with Jake?” Okay, he continued to ignore his fiancée. He kept pushing me to talk to him.
“Your flattery doesn’t work with me, Douglas.”
“I know.” He smiled, even the corners of his eyes were smiling. “So, is Jake here?” I know why he was so adamant to know about Jake being here. He hoped, that I was here with her.
Just then I saw her. Vera walked out of the bathroom and froze on the spot. My poor sweet girl... She wasn’t ready to see him. Not with this fucking woman! I tried hard to think of what to say, but it was too late. Tyler was too smart. He read my reaction like an open book. He looked away from me and turned his head to her. I was stunned by this moment. There were too many emotions in here. She needed to come back to the table, her purse was here and we still didn’t eat our desserts and didn’t pay the bill. I observed her. She tried hard to hide her pain. I saw her closing her eyes for a moment and after she started walking. Tyler followed her every movement. I was mesmerized by this too. I don’t know what will happen, but it will change everything for good or for bad, that’s for sure.
Silently Vera came to our table, her smile was back and it even seemed sincere. That girl learned how to deal with her pain the hard way. But I knew her too well and if I was right in my thoughts, Douglas could see right through her too.
“Hey, Tyler, Penelope. Nice to see you, even if I didn’t expect to actually see you.”
She said it so easy and so carefree, sitting back to her chair. I turned my head to look at Douglas’s fiancée. She wasn’t happy to see Vera, it will be an understatement to say otherwise. Her lips were pursed in a thin line, her grip on Tyler’s hand tightened. But he hadn’t seemed to notice. His eyes were glued to Vera. He was mesmerized by her. I saw his eyes traveling from her face to her body, lingering on her cleavage and her lips. He was having it bad. Suddenly I felt sorry for him. Unbelievable! But it was so pure and so clear. He missed her, just like she missed him. Why was everything so complicated between them?
“Vera.” He almost murmured her name. The face of his fiancée became more like a mask now. She started to feel pissed off. Serves her right, though. “It was my line, you know.”
“I came back to New York for my best friend’s wedding. There is no surprise in here.” She narrowed her eyes at him.
“Tyler. This is ridiculous. We came here to have dinner. Just the two of us. I want to sit at our table already. I am tired of standing.” Penelope tugged on his jacket.
“Go, I will join you later.” He didn’t even turn his head to her.
“Hell no! Quit staring at this girl! You’re marrying me. Me!” She raised her voice. People started to turn their heads in our direction. I saw Tyler’s jaw clenching. Oh, Good Lord, how angry he was!
“Fine! Let’s go.” He pulled his elbow from her grip and strode off to their table. Penelope followed him. She thought she won. But right now, I would give everything to bet on her lose. She will lose, I hadn’t had any doubt about it.