“You tricked me!”
“I did no such thing.”
She stared at him, utter disbelief etched in her face. He, on another hand, stared back with easy confidence in his handsome face.
He was so, so dashing. She feared for her sanity as she stared at him. It wasn’t just physical attraction, although it was a huge bonus which came to her advantage, it just that he has a wonderful mind which never fails to bewitch her, completely at his mercy.
The bastard knows it.
Henry never resisted to use it for his advantage, her weakness of him. Alice, though she always complained and moaned about how much of a headache he was, revel in the fact that her friend knows her like the back of his hand.
They were seated in the middle of his private quarters, out in the field of a summer house his grandparents had given to him when they passed a few years back. Wilhelmina and Harry had always loved their first grandson, everyone knows he was the one to inherit their assets. Every penny, his sister, Aurora, used to tease him relentlessly about it.
It wasn’t that he was ungrateful or bitter about the will, Henry just disliked how people tend to act like he was a celebrity or such over his wealth.
Alice loved him for it.
They met through her brother, Leo, who shared a flat with him during their university years. Everyone never failed to tease them about how their meeting was a ‛meet cute’, something out of a sitcom.
Leo had just filled out an ad for roommate when Henry bumped into him. The two of them was quick to hit it off, but not in a friendly way. They got into some sarcastic banter. In about a week, they became roommates.
Ever since that incident, they had always been friends.
“Long day?” Henry’s head lifted off the sofa as he reclined on it, eyes glued on the telly.
Alice let out an annoyed grunt in response as she took off her heels and left her bag on the counter. She shook off her coat, then went to stretch her long legs on the L shaped sofa.
Henry glanced at her, amusement clear in his deep blue eyes.
“Want to talk about it?”
She shook her dark hair out of the sleek ponytail, lost in thought for a moment.
“I guess.” Lips pursed, she composed herself while straightening her posture.
For the next half an hour, she launched into the story of how her client made her team redo a whole design of an upscale fine dining restaurant they had been working on for the last three months.
It was one among the many things she had grown fond of, the way he listens to her. He would ask if she need an advice, or just a listener.
Before anything else, he was her friend.
“Are you hungry? We can order takeout.”
She liked to cook sometimes, but he knew she was in no mood for it. Not to mention there was no time for it, as they were already having a late dinner.
“Chinese sounds good.” Alice gave him a charming smile, one reserved for her dearest only, as she told him she’s off to take a shower while he gave a thumb up and went to order.
Around twenty minutes later, the pair were perched on the living room, happily munching on the food while Bodyguard plays in the background. Alice claims she’s going to get around binge watching the show, yet she never really got to it.
“Almost forgot,” Henry piped up as she collected the rubbish and stopped to look at him. “Your mail is on the table.”
“Oh, right. Thanks.” Alice went to wash her hand on the sink before she checked on the said mail.
“Check it out.” She ripped the envelope and pulled out an invitation, absentmindedly tucking a stray of blonde locks behind her ear.
“What is it?” Henry turned off the telly and walked closer.
In her hand, she held out the invitation to a wedding.
Not just a wedding, it was their friend’s wedding. Julia and Wendy. The pair were alumni of Cambridge, where all of them had attended on the same time. She remembered their fiery, lively personality. Julia had been the life of the party, though she had significantly slowed down and mellowed as years passed by. It was also with the support of Wendy, who was the calmer version of her soon-to-be wife. Not to get her wrong, Wendy gets loud and doesn’t mind to get her dancing shoes out, but she’s always been the mother of their group.
It was years ago. They still see each other from time to time, especially during the holidays and birthdays, but when the happy couple had moved to France about three years after they graduated, they had to be satisfied with online meetings through occasional Skype calls.
Now, they’re getting married.
“My, how time flies.” Alice said, a wistful smile on her lips as she fondly remembered their days together.
The same day, they received an email from Wendy, telling more details about the upcoming union and they had the opportunity to catch up. Much to Julia’s annoyance, Wendy dished about how her fiancée was hesitant about it, since even without the marriage license, they had been a married couple for the last decade.
“Are they moving back here?” Henry inquired when Alice told him about the message.
“Right after the wedding, yes.” She had replied, reading off the said message in glee.
Even without saying it, they are all glad the group was about to be reunited.