Fucking A. This was going to be awkward. Casually, or as casually as I could, given the circumstances, I scanned the church from one end of the pews to the other. The place was gigantic. Bigger than any church I’d ever been in. Bigger than I expected any church in Las Vegas to be. I couldn’t imagine this place ever filling up with locals. If it did, the bulk of them were likely to burst into flame shortly after walking through the doors. It wasn’t called Sin City for nothing. Which of course begged the question, how fireproof was I feeling today?
From what I could gather I’d landed on the groom’s side of the aisle. Seemed appropriate enough since that’s who I was there to see. Sort of. I hadn’t gotten as close to the front as I’d wanted, but for safety sake, it was probably better that way. In fact, the more time I had to check out the other attendees, the more convinced I became that Carmine needed to start arranging for some type of a security detail.
Aside from fearing I might start to smolder at any given moment just by being present, there were some pretty scrappy looking girls on the bride’s side I wasn’t going to want to throw down with. Judging by their matchy-matchy blonde hair and blue eyes, their perfect little size two bodies, fake boobs and pastel colored dresses, these girls had sorority sisters written all over them.
I hadn’t gone to college or joined any secret same sex societies (frankly I don’t see how that would have been much fun) but I still knew those chicks were hardcore about their sisters. They took vows and shit. They’d for sure be coming after me two seconds after I did what I came here to do, and the shoes I was wearing were not intended for running.
Which was another thing I’d be talking to Carmine about. If I was going to have to keep dressing up for these occasions, he was going to have to spring for a new work wardrobe. Not that I had a shortage of fancy dresses at home, but I wasn’t willing to sacrifice any of them for a church aisle brawl or football inspired getaway run. So, I’d had to make other arrangements.
I glanced down the length of my body. It was covered in some serious gold sequin action from head to toe. My choices at the thrift store had been somewhat limited. Not surprisingly so since the girls unloading their old clothes there were likely a combo of strippers and hookers, or some variation of the two. Not that I didn’t like the dress. It was just likely to garner me more attention than the white one was going to get the bride. It was just as well though. I’d be needing people’s attention here shortly.
As if on cue, the music started and the bridal party began to make their way along the aisle to where the pastor and ‘groom to be’ were waiting. I’d tried repeatedly to get a good look at the poor schmuck ever since I’d arrived, but I had yet to see anything beyond the thick black hair on the back of his head. Just going by his overall build and general air of confidence as he stood there chatting it up with the preacher before the ceremony began, it stood to reason he was at least halfway decent looking. Which somehow made my mission slightly easier.
This was a new conclusion I came to after I’d spent the whole drive here, and the previous two hours (since being assigned this gig), debating whether or not I was doing something absolutely horrible or saving the guy’s life in the long run. I mean, even if I wasn’t about to convey the particular message I had for him, anytime you helped someone escape the shackles of marriage, didn’t that count as assisting in dodging a bullet? Did to me.
Meanwhile, I was backtracking so far into my own arguments, I’d stopped paying attention to what was happening in the chapel. Apparently, the bride had arrived and was now standing up front beside her man. Good. At least this was moving along fairly quickly.
Considering the amount of bridesmaids and the ridiculous little trinkets they’d handed out upon everyone’s arrival, it wasn’t much of a shocker when the bride chose to open the ceremony with a poem she’d written just for the groom. Thankfully, I was too far out of ear shot to make out most of it. As it was, my gag reflexes were maxed out.
Then, at last, I heard it.
"If any of you has reasons why these two should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace.”
And there I went. I was on my feet. I hit play on my music…and I began to sing.
You can’t say yes
And your life’s a mess
She cheated on you
She’s done it before
Just thought you should know
Your bride is a whore.”
I heard a unanimous gasp in surround sound thanks to the tall ceilings and endless tile. I didn’t stick around for anything after that. My shoes in hand, I was squeezing past all the other guests in my row while they were still too stunned to stop me. It wasn’t until I reached the aisle, that shit hit the fan.
What the fuck? I spun around on my bare heel, nearly slipping on some stupid flower petal. “Brody?” This was unexpected.
“What are you doing here? Are you…are you trying to break up my wedding?” I couldn’t blame him for stuttering. Given the chance, someday I’d make fun of him for it, but I couldn’t say it was much of a surprise. I’d figured on the groom taking the news badly. I just hadn’t figured on the groom being Brody Holmes.
Rumor Davis. Holy Shit. I’d seen her earlier. Fuck, everyone had seen her earlier in that number she was wearing, but my eyes hadn’t traveled much higher than the slit that went all the way up to her hips, so it hadn’t been until I heard her voice that I recognized her. Almost instantly, memories of us came flooding back into my mind. Moments which definitely should not have seared through my brain so vividly on my wedding day.
Feeling busted after taking an impromptu trip down the gutters of my past, I turned back to look at Hailey, fully prepared to charm my way out of the monumental mess my past was causing us. Then I saw her face. It was distorted in horror. And guilt.
“Wait. What were you singing about?” Rumor had moved several feet in the short time I’d taken my eyes off of her. She’d yet to say anything to me other than my name.
“Um, I don’t generally deliver an encore unless it’s paid for ahead of time.” She shrugged awkwardly and proceeded to tiptoe toward the exit. Like avoiding the soles of her feet would somehow make it less noticeable that she was making a run for it.
“Dude. She said Hailey cheated on you.” Kyle. My best man. Best friend.
Still too fucking confused to make sense out of any of it, I turned back to the one person I thought I could always count on. “Haise?”
The fact that tears were welling up in her eyes were already a pretty damn good answer. “I’m sorry.” Then it was undeniably confirmed.
“Fuck sorry.” I snatched the ring box from Kyle’s hand and threw it back into the choir loft. Then, I stormed out of the church. I wasn’t nearly as graceful or inconspicuous about it as Rumor had been, but the end results were still the same.