Undercover Groomsman

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Chapter 17

I didn’t stop until I reached home 8 hours later. During the entire drive, my phone was going off in my purse. I didn’t have to look at it to know it was Declan. He had every reason to be hurt as I did. Even after everything that happened, I just left. I didn’t give him the opportunity to fully explain himself. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stay there because I knew it would only be a matter of time before I forgave Declan. And right now, I just wanted to be angry.

When I dragged my back into the house, I finally found the resolve to look at my phone. Sure enough, there were multiple missed calls from Declan as well as several texts. Not surprisingly there was also a missed call from Audrey as well as a voicemail.

I sighed as I dialed the number for my voicemail box. Audrey didn’t deserve this. It’s her wedding day and I was her maid of honor. She didn’t deserve any of this shit.

“Hey, Margaret- “Audrey let out a shaky breath. “I just heard from Thomas what happened. I’m so sorry. I know you really liked Declan. Part of me wants to be pissed because you left your best friend on her wedding day, but I understand. You couldn’t be around all this love and happiness when your heart had just gotten crushed. I don’t blame you.”

“I know you’re driving home right now so I don’t expect you to answer but I do want you to call me tomorrow morning before we leave for our honeymoon. Don’t think you can’t get away from me that easily Margaret.” I heard the sound of soft chatter in the background. “I’ve got to go. Take care M, I love you.”

It felt as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders after I finished listening to the voicemail. Knowing that Audrey understood why I did what I did, for the most part, eased the tension. No matter what I did I knew I would feel guilty about what I did to Audrey.

Exiting my voicemail lead me to my text conversations, reminding me that I had 4 unread text messages from Declan. I stared at them for a few moments before clicking on the conversation. Just because I open them doesn’t mean I have to respond.

I mean it when I say I’m sorry about this Maggie. I never meant to hurt you.

Everyone here at the wedding misses you. Including me.

I wished things could have ended differently for us in Nashville.

But mark my words Margaret, I will do whatever it takes to get you to forgive me. I don’t want to lose whatever we have, even if it isn’t much.

I slammed my phone on my kitchen table, the screen clinking against the glass tabletop. Though my heart fluttered at the words, I couldn’t stop the irritation and anger that coursed through my body. Declan never meant to hurt me, I get that, but he still did.

Just because he didn’t mean to hurt me doesn’t mean I can erase the pain and forgive him just like that. It’s going to take time.

It was a blessing to walk into my bakery the next morning and throw myself into my work. Olsen’s Bake Shop may be small, but it was my home away from home. And with everything going on right now, this is what I needed.

I had just finished restocking my cases when the wall phone chirped to life. I couldn’t stop the skip from entering my step as I made my way over to the phone.

“Olsen’s Bake Shop, this is Margaret speaking. What can I help you with?”

“Hi, I’m sorry for this being so last minute but I was wondering if I could place an order for 3 dozen cupcakes for tonight?” The voice was deep as it spoke, a frantic edge to his voice.

“It’ll be no problem, but there will be an extra charge of five dollars for giving us short notice.” I answered, immediately pulling out the pad of paper I kept in my apron. “What’s the occasion?”

The man on the other end paused for a few moments before speaking. “It’s the grand opening of my bar tonight. My previous caterer- dipped at the last minute due to an emergency. Other than making half the cupcakes chocolate and the other half vanilla, the rest is up to you. I’m just grateful that you’re able to do this with such short notice.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle as I jotted the notes down. “I’m happy to help small businesses such as myself. Ok, the order should be done by 4 o’clock at the latest. The total’s going to be 23.75 and that’s with the extra five-dollar charge.”

“That’s perfect. Thank you so much, Margaret, you’re a life savior.”

“And what will be the name for the order?”

The man once again paused, making me wonder if he was still on the end. After a few moments, he cleared his throat. “It’s- Derek. I’ll be there at four to pick them up.” Just like that, Derek abruptly hung the phone up. I found myself staring at the phone after he had hung up. I don’t know what it was, but there was something about his voice. It’s almost like I’ve heard it before.

I shook my head as I entered the kitchen. It’s official, you’ve lost it, Margaret! Lots of people have similar voices! Just because you recognize the tone doesn’t mean you’ve met the man before!

Even after I chided myself, I couldn’t get the sound of his voice out of my head. It brought color to my cheeks and made my heart flutter which is the LAST thing that I wanted to happen.

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