As he walked down the aisle for the second time, I felt the world tilt sideways.
I reached out to grab something, anything, to steady myself, but I knew nothing would make this better --- nothing would make this go away. The entire room was achingly silent as we watched him make his way back down the aisle, striding quickly as he tried to avoid eye contact with anyone in the pews around us. Instead, I felt their eyes on me; felt the overwhelming sympathy and embarrassment as they took in what had just happened to me.
The bridal party exchanged looks around me -- I could feel them, but I didn’t care to look at any of them. After all this planning, all this time, it had all been called off with a soft “I can’t do this” only moments ago. Talk about an anti-climax.
Finally, someone coughed out there in the pews- there were at least a hundred people, but each and every one of them had been utterly silent since the news broke. My head snapped up as I tried to figure out who had made the noise, tried to place it -- but it was futile. The silence was broken, and suddenly a wave of whispers overtook the crowd, and what had actually just happened hit me like a ton of bricks.
Without lifting my head, I paced quickly away from the altar, towards a small door to the left of the chapel that would let me back out into the hotel. I heard some footsteps behind me, some muttered conciliation, but I ignored it. I didn’t want it. How could I? What had happened here, it would never leave me.
This was a life-ruiner, a game-changer. Nothing would be the same after this.
I made it outside before the tears started to fall, and when they did, they came fast and hard and hot, pouring down my face. I blindly groped my way back up to the hotel room. I’d slept there last night, excited and a little nervous, in preparation for everything that was going to happen the next day. How could I not have seen it coming? How could he have hidden this from me? Why did he wait till the moment we were supposed to pledge our lives to each other to tell me that that was the last thing he wanted?
Tam, I needed to find Tam. My maid of honor, my best friend, the only person who might be able to drag me out of the mess I’d found myself in. As soon as I was in my room, I reached for my phone and pulled up her number, quickly dialing and holding it to my ear. She would probably already be pursuing me, and she was almost never without her cell, tapping out messages to unknown suitors.
Before she could answer, I heard a knock on the door. I apprehensively went to answer it- but as soon as I saw who was there, I threw it open.
“Tam,” I managed, and went to put my arms around her. She looked beautiful, long dark hair tied up in a delicate bun at the top of her head, the gorgeous dress we’d picked out together hugging her waist and skimming over her hips. She stepped out of the way of my hug before I could get to her, and pushed past me into the room. She seemed…off.
“What is it?” I asked, a little resentment bubbling in my chest. Why wasn’t she looking after me? Even offering a scrap of comfort? After everything that had happened…
“Kyra, I’m only going to say this once,” she finally turned to me. “Because David was meant to, and he obviously pussied out.”
“Huh?” I blinked at her stupidly. What was she trying to tell me?
“David and I are together,” she replied bluntly, not meeting my gaze. “We never should have let the wedding get this far. I’m sorry, but we’re leaving together. We’re doing it now.”
Her words bounced around my head, catching on the corners of my brain as they went. No. No. This couldn’t be right. The two people I loved most in the world, they wouldn’t do this to me. They couldn’t. They loved me too. Didn’t they?
“I said, I’m only saying it once,” she snapped. “Look, I’m sorry it had to happen like this. But we’re in love and we’re not going to hide that anymore. Good luck with…everything. I’ll get rid of the guests so you don’t have to deal with them.”
And with that, she was gone. I stared at the space she had occupied for at least a minute, blankly trying to take in what she had told me. At first, I refused to believe it. She must have been covering, trying to hide something he’d done, something worse that she didn’t want me knowing. But then…the pieces began to slot together.
I downed the entirety of the complimentary bottle of champagne that had been delivered to my suite that morning as it finally became obvious that what she had told me was true. The nights he would go “out of town” matched up with all the times she’d been out with some mysterious guy, the guy whose name she’d never given me.
All the little looks I’d seen them exchange, and been proud of because it meant that my best friend and my husband-to-be were actually friends, and how many women got to say that and mean it? Those times when I’d left the room and returned to find them both looking…different. All the times when I’d cast it off as nothing, because the alternative was awful. The alternative was this.
A few other people came by my room, tapping on my door; Mom slipped a note under it, telling me that she would be back home when I wanted to talk and we could figure things out. That she and Dad were thinking of me but knew I needed my space.
A hotelier dropped by to call through the door about cancellation fees. Another couple of knocks that I refused to answer, too exhausted and drunk and devastated to think of much else. And then, late in the evening, when I’d assumed that everyone had already left, another knock came. This one was firm and heavy- three short, and two long. I lifted my head, dashing the tears away from my eyes as best I could manage.
“Hello?” I called out, my voice wavering.
“Uh, Kyra?” A voice I recognized came drifting through from the hallway outside. “Can I come in?”
“Sure,” I sighed, and went to open the door.
The man standing outside I hadn’t seen in years before that day; like David, he’d attended the same high school as me. Jones and David had been best friends, sporadically keeping in contact after Jones left to chase a career playing football- I was surprised when David invited him along to the wedding, as his best man no less, and even more so when Jones agreed. Still, at that moment, I was glad to see a friendly face, even if it was one I hadn’t seen for such a long time.
He ducked under the door- at well over six feet, he had to just to get into the room. He towered over me, all strong arms and lean muscle, as he made his way to to the bed and sat on the edge. He was holding a bottle of wine, and proffered it out to me once he sat down.
“You want some?”
“I’ve already had enough today,” I shook my head. Then I took the bottle from him anyway, opened it, and took a swig.
“Yeah, I don’t think there is enough alcohol for today,” he commented, smiling at me sympathetically.
“Is everyone gone?” I asked as I finished my swig, and he nodded.
“Yeah, everyone’s out,” he ran his fingers through his dark brown hair, messing up the perfect styling he’d had done for the wedding. “I told them that I wasn’t going till I saw you, though.”
“Thanks,” I replied, feeling myself choking up again. I swallowed my tears and nodded towards his suit. “I think the last time I saw you this dressed up we were at prom.”
“That long ago?” He grinned, playing along, knowing I needed to be distracted. “Don’t remind me of that.”
“Yeah, I think so,” I nodded, managing a small smile. “You remember? All the dumb music and the drama…”
“Oh God, how could I forget?” He shook his head. “The whole thing was such a build-up to nothing. Everyone thought they were going to get drunk and lose their virginity and I don’t think anyone got past one beer and second base.”
I spluttered with laughter, feeling slightly human for the first time since that morning, when it had all happened. I pushed that thought from my head -- the drunkenness lingering at the corners of my vision was reminding me of the crush I’d had on Jones all the way through high school and how, finally, I was single again.
“Hey, the open bar still stands,” I remarked. “How about we get changed out of these fancy clothes and go get drunk as hell?”
“Sounds like a great idea,” he agreed. “Meet you down there?”
A few minutes later, I had slipped into something far more comfortable -- namely, stripping out of my outrageously pinchy corseted and stiff-skirted wedding dress and into a pair of jeans and a sweater. Jones was waiting for me at the bottom of the hotel stairs, and offered me an arm.
“Milady,” he grinned as I approached, and I couldn’t help but smile. Yes, my entire life had been ripped away from me only that morning, but all I wanted to do at that moment in time was forget about it all and have a little fun. I hadn’t had fun in a long time, what with all the wedding planning, and I was thoroughly looking forward to having a good time with Jones that night.
“The bartenders all went home, but the bar’s still open,” he explained. “I did some tending back in college if you what anything fancy?”
“Can I just have a beer?” I sighed. David had always insisted on drinking fancy bottles of wine whenever we went out, but I loved nothing more than a strong, cold brew. Jones shrugged.
“Whatever the lady wants,” he agreed as we arrived at the bar- the place was dark but for a few emergency lights, and he swiftly vaulted the polished wood bar and pulled out a couple of glasses. I laughed in surprise as he poured me a beer and got himself a scotch. I took a sip, and observed him for a moment.
“Why did you stay?” I asked suddenly. It didn’t make any sense -- why wouldn’t he just go? David was his friend, after all, and it wasn’t like he owed anything to me or anyone else here. He wasn’t the one having an affair with one of the bridal attendants.
“Because I wanted to remind you that not every guy you know is a complete asshole,” he shrugged. “And someone needed to make sure you were okay.”
“Well, thanks for that,” I replied, lifting my glass and touching it against his. “But I’m not sure I’ll ever believe in men again.”
“I don’t think anyone could blame you,” he agreed, looking around the enormous, empty room. “I can’t believe what he did to you. That’s maybe the most douche-bag thing I ever heard of.”
“You know he was having an affair with my maid of honor? That’s who he left to be with,” I leaned in, enjoying the chance to spread some gossip. Jones’ eyebrows shot up, and he shook his head.
“Damn, and to think I came out here to support that fuck,” he shuddered with apparent disgust. “I can’t believe I never saw what a shitty person he was.”
“Hey, don’t beat yourself up, I didn’t either,” I shrugged. “And you haven’t seen him in so long. How were you meant to know?”
“I guess you’re right,” he agreed. “Well, I think you know who’s side I’m on here. Anything you need, I’m with you.”
“Anything?” I cocked an eyebrow playfully, and he finished his scotch.
I stared at Jones for a moment. He met my gaze firmly, his pale green eyes flashing in the dim light around us. I took another swig of my beer, and finally plucked up the courage to do something that I’d wanted to do for a long, long time. My mind flashed back to the first time I’d seen him, in my math class freshman year of high school, and how I’d felt that jolt of attraction, the shot to my heart that told me this guy was hot.
As I stared at him in that hotel bar, wanting nothing more than to do something I actually wanted to do, after so long spent deferring to David and everyone
else around me. I needed some fun after all that had happened and I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to have it.
I leaned across the bar, placed my hand on his cheek, and kissed him. He seemed surprised at my advance, but his tongue slipped quickly past my lips, exploring me, tasting me. Heat pulsed through my veins as he pulled me up on to the bar and laid me down on the dark wood, brushing my hair from my face.
“You sure you want to do this?” He panted.
“Fuck, yes,” I replied, reaching up and grabbing his face again. I knew the CCTV cameras would catch us, and didn’t care- hell, it just turned me on even more. His body felt strong and heavy on top of mine, and I ran my hands down his back, pulling up his t-shirt and exposing his muscled neck and shoulders.
He moved his head, kissing down my throat, and I threw my head back to allow him more access. After everything that had happened, my inhibitions were out the window, completely gone- and it felt incredible.
He moved down, yanking my sweater off over my head and throwing it to the ground, hooking his fingers into my bra cup and exposing my breasts. He teased my nipples with his teeth, lightly grazing my skin with his lips and making me shudder. I was already growing wet as he moved further down, pressing kisses along my hips and slowly shuffling my jeans downs my legs so I was in nothing but a bra and panties. The cold air prickled my skin but I couldn’t have cared less, aching for more, aching for him.
He kissed me once, lightly, through my panties, and I let out a loud groan -- the heat of his mouth against my pussy was too much to bear. I needed him inside me, needed to lose myself to the feeling of him.
“Fuck me,” I murmured, and he looked up, his eyes glowing from where he lay between my legs.
“You sure?” He panted, and I nodded.
“Fuck me!” I repeated, his time with more force, and he didn’t need telling twice. InI a scramble, we tossed aside the rest of our clothes, and he sheathed himself quickly. I climbed on top of him, pushing him down on to the counter. I felt deviant and sexy, totally in control, as I wrapped my hand around the base of his cock and lowered myself down on his impressive length.
“Ah,” I moaned as he penetrated me, his cock filling me in the most satisfying fashion I could imagine. He gripped my hips and watched me as I placed my hands on his chest and began to move up and down on top of him. I took my time at first, using him for my pleasure, and soon began to build up a pace, letting my mouth drop open and my eyes close as I forced him deeper and deeper inside of me.
He felt so good- his chest muscular and strong beneath my hands, his arms powerful as they held me up-when he suddenly flipped me over on to my back, the small growl he let out into my ear was almost enough to push me over the edge there and then.
“Are you going to come?” He panted in my ear, running his hands up my legs and pushing them back so he could get even deeper inside of me.
And that was all I needed to hear -- his invocation, as if he drew it out of me. I let out a small cry and let my head fall back as it hit me, my climax sweeping through my body. It felt almost cathartic as my pussy clenched around him, again and again, as though I was letting go of everything that had happened. As if I was making a statement on my new start.
He came a few moments later, thrusting deep and groaning in my ear before slowly withdrawing himself from me and disposing of the condom. I lay, panting, and watched him as he moved around -God, he was hot. As hot as he’d been in high school, at least. I reached up to run my fingers down his strong arms, and he turned to look at me, grinning widely.
And then, he dived down on top of me once more, gripping and grasping and grabbing at me, and we had lost ourselves to each other once more.