Undercover Groomsman

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Chapter 7

After picking up the stuff at the bakery, Declan and I headed back towards the house. Since we had left the bakery, Declan has been- oddly talkative with me. I was weirded out by it but didn’t question it. Figured its better than constantly being at odds with the guys. I am only going to see him for a little over a week, I can be civil for that long.

Arriving back at the house, I set the stuff I bought on the counter and entered my bedroom. In order to do Audrey and Thomas’ wedding cake justice, I needed to sketch it out. Which meant it was time to grab the sketchbook. Every major design I have had since opening my bakery was in that sketchbook. It was, for all intents and purposes, my baby.

Grabbing my sketchbook and the small bag of colored pencils, I entered the kitchen and sat down at the kitchen island. With a glass of iced tea and my headphones, I sat down to sketch their cake. The idea I had in my head was a square, four tied cake. The first and third tiers would be covered in white fondant. The second and fourth-tiers would be covered in a brown fondant, then stenciled over with the wood stencil I picked up today. With some lilac flowers to match one of their wedding colors, I was thinking it would be simple yet classy.

I had just finished sketching the cake design and was about to color it in when an earbud fell out of my ear. Without taking my eyes off the paper, I reached my hand to put the earbud back in but before I could, someone pulled the other earbud out. Glancing back, I saw Declan a mere inch away from me.

I squealed, causing myself to fall backward off the stool. Declan reached forward, grabbing a hold of my elbows, and set me back on the stool.

“Whatcha doing there?” Declan asked, his face lighting up with a boyish grin on his face.

“Before you scared the living daylights out of me? Working on the wedding cake Audrey suckered me into.”

“Oo, that sounds fun.” Declan walked around me, grabbing my iced tea before sitting across from me.

“Excuse me that was mine you asshole.”

“Hey, I’m just living up to my asshole nature.” He smiled once more as Audrey walked into the house, sweat coating her forehead. When she saw the two of us sitting in the kitchen, her eyes lit up as she nearly skipped into the kitchen.

“Just the two people I wanted to see. Thomas and I have decided to have a night out with the wedding party at this local bar. If you two are free, we were hoping to have it tonight.”

“Tonight?” I choked out, my eyes floating down to the sketchbook. My heart began wildly beating in my chest as I responded. “That’s going to be a no for me, Audrey. I’ve got to plan your wedding cake out.”

“Come on Margaret, it’s one night. Socializing with people for one night is not going to kill you. You need to be there as my maid of honor!” A determined look crossed Audrey’s face as she stood there, hands on her hips. “Besides, it’ll be fun. Declan hates people too so maybe you’ll be able to spend the night sharing your hatred of people.”

“Hey, I don’t hate people. People fucking suck, I can’t help it.” Declan raised the glass of tea up to his lips, drinking half of the glass in one go.

Audrey narrowed her eyes at Declan, mumbling something under her breath before trudging up the stairs. Once Audrey was out of view, I turned my attention fully on the sketchbook and began lightly coloring in the sketch.

The silence hung between Declan and me for a few moments before I started word vomiting like I normally do when I am anxious. “You’d think after knowing me for so long Audrey would know this isn’t my scene, but no. Of course, she knows I am going to end up going and hating every second of it. It’s for her wedding so of course, I’m going to oblige just to make her happy.”

I took a quick breath before continuing. “It’s not my fault I have severe social anxiety. It never used to be this bad, but when you have a boyfriend that berates you into changing who you are it gets worse. It’s my lot in life and I’ve got to deal with it.” It was not until I finished shading the section that I realized what I said. And who I had said it to.

I raised my eyes to meet Declan’s, which seemed to be filled with understanding. He stared at me for a few moments longer before shaking his head, the smallest of smiles sliding onto his face.

“Like I said Margaret, People suck.” He downed the rest of the iced tea before walking out of the kitchen and up the stairs.

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