My mind kicked into overdrive as Declan continued leaning in. Just as I found my knees going weak at the close contact, his free arm snaked its way around my waist to pull me up against him.
“Something making you nervous Margaret?” His voice came across as a whisper as it brushed over my face, an edge of laughter in his voice.
“Nope- me nervous?! Never. What are you talking about?” I internally groaned when my voice came out in a squeak. Of course, my body had to betray me now.
“I have to say, it’s nice to know I have an effect on you. Let’s me know that everything I’m doing isn’t for nothing.” As his lips hovered over mine, the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs caused Declan to back away a few inches.
Audrey came bounding down the stairs with a smile already on her face. When she saw the two of us together, the smile on her face grew wider as she stood at the foot of the steps.
“Did I uh- interrupt something here?” She dragged her finger between the two of us, all with her eyes dialed on me.
“No.” Declan and I spoke simultaneously as he pulled his hand away from my face. His arm tightened around my waist when he registered that I had said no.
“Ok then. Margaret, I’ve got the final headcount for the wedding for you. That way you can get started on the dessert menu. I trust your expertise, but I want a rough idea of what you’re thinking in the next day or so.”
“I can get on that right now. Matter of fact- “With some difficulty, I managed to pull myself from Declan’s grasp and approach the kitchen island. “I was thinking of keeping it simple. Since we already have a rather rich flavor for the cake, I don’t want to overwhelm the guests with decadence.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Audrey’s eyes darted between Declan and me as she made her way towards the front door. “Leave the poor girl to work Declan. She’s not going to be able to focus with you standing over her shoulder like that.” Audrey proceeded to leave the house, once again leaving Declan and I alone.
I finally set the milk down on the counter and continued with the forgotten task of the wedding cake. As I started to mix the various ingredients together, I felt Declan’s hands rest on my hips as they slowly slid around the front of my legs. He gently hooked his fingers in my belt loops to pull me against his chest.
“Don’t think this is over Mags.” Declan’s voice was hoarse as he brought his lips down to my neck. He placed his lips on the side of my neck, leaving them there for a moment before peeling them off. Within a matter of seconds, Declan had removed his fingers from my belt loops, pushed me away from him slightly, and walked off towards the backyard.
I found myself staring at the empty room long after Declan left, the imprint of his lips on my neck burning into my skin.
Four Days Later…
We were officially down to the last 24 hours before the wedding. For the past four days, I’ve been elbow deep in pastry dough and icing. I don’t know how I managed to do it, but not only did I make the entire wedding cake I made four different pies, 2 types of brownies and god knows how many batches of cupcakes. I practically lived in the kitchen for 98 hours straight but I fucking DID it!
I have also been expertly avoiding Declan during the past four days. He wasn’t happy about it, but I was thankful for the distraction. Ever since the day in the kitchen, I’ve been out of my mind trying to think of anything but him! He’s all that’s been on my mind and that’s not like me. I’m not the type of girl that falls for the guy like some love high schooler yet here I am! With one kiss to the neck, I was practically a quivering mess. Who knows what would happen if something did actually happen between us.
I’ve always been scared of change. Have been since I was a little kid. Declan’s come in and changed so many things about me that I don’t know if I’m ready or wanting everything to be changed.
I had just finished placing the last of the cupcakes on the display trays when Audrey came scattering down the stairs, dressed in a white cocktail dress and wedges with a panicked look on her face.
“Margaret, what are you still doing? We have the rehearsal dinner in an hour! You need to get ready!”
Glancing at the clock, I did in fact see that it was already 6:00 pm. “Shit, why didn’t you tell me sooner?!”
“You were in the zone; I didn’t want to disturb you! Thomas and Declan are already there, Kate will meet us there. While I put our stuff for tomorrow in the car, you get ready!” By the time Audrey had finished her sentence, I was already back in my room and stripping down to our underwear.
“Got it- wait, our stuff?!”
“Yes. After the rehearsal dinner, you and I are staying at a nearby hotel. Groom can’t see a bride before the wedding nonsense. Come on, lets MOVE IT!” I rolled my eyes as I got ready with lightning speed.
Audrey and I managed to get to the small banquet hall the rehearsal dinner was being held. Since it would only be Me, Audrey, Thomas, Declan, Kate, and a few others the space was rather small. I could see that through all the excitement, Audrey was a nervous wreck. She was getting married in 24 hours and though she loved Thomas with all her heart, she was absolutely terrified.
I, on the other hand, was terrified for a completely different reason. This would be the first time Declan and I were going to be in close proximity since the ‘kitchen incident’. I’m sure it was only a matter of time before I started sweating through the gray skater dress I was wearing.
Stepping through the front door, I noticed the small crowd that had gathered at a circular table set in the middle of the room. Though I knew everyone in the room and there were less than fifteen people, I couldn’t stop the anxiety as it climbed its way up my throat.
“Gray’s a good color on you.” A quiet voice whispered over my shoulder. I squealed, causing everyone in the room to glance in my direction. Turning to look behind me, Declan stood behind me, a smirk growing on his face as he straightened the cuffs of his suit jacket. “Then again, any color you wear looks good on you.”
“I highly doubt that’s the case but thank you.” As I started to walk away, Declan grasped my wrist and spun me around to face him.
“You’ve been avoiding me the past couple of days Maggie.” The furrowing of Declan’s thick eyebrows took me back. He wasn’t angry that I had been avoiding him, he was worried.
“I haven’t been avoiding you per se- I’ve just been busy with the stuff for the wedding. I’ve barely eaten and slept during those days, let alone thought about talking to other people. I’ll be so thankful when this wedding shit is over with so I can go back to a somewhat normal life- “My rant was interrupted as Declan bent down, swiftly placing his lips against mine.
I raised my hands up in defense, not really sure to do with them. Declan pulled me towards him, letting me go as he picked his head up a few moments later.
“I’ve been wanting to do that for the past four days now.” Declan’s voice took on a gravelly tone as his hand reached for my fingers.
I chuckled under my breath as my eyes fell to the floor. “That’s one of the worst things I’ve heard come from your mouth. And that’s saying a lot.”
A laugh escaped his lips as he looked back down at me. “Thanks for that. Let’s get to the table where I’m sure everyone just watched what happened.”
I found myself nodding my head as Declan and I headed towards the table, his fingers tightening around mine the entire time.