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NOTE: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Epilogue: under the same sky
I breath in through my nose and out through my mouth, trying to listen to Thorin give his speech, but I’m not sure how much longer I can take it. I’ve been chanting don’t puke, don’t puke, don’t puke, for the last thirty minutes but now that the smell of food is in the air, mixed with the end-of-summer heat, I feel like I’m going to hurl. Big time. This is usually the part where I admire how gorgeous my best friend looks in her iconic ivory Vera Wang strapless tulle ball gown, with the crystal-embroidered bodice, and how beautifully her curled, brown hair drapes over her shoulders. How lovingly she looks at her new husband while he waxes poetic about how much he loves her, how she’s the love of his life. Instead, I’m trying not to feel stifled by the heat, and the hundred or so guests filling the tent, all seated around the dance floor. Sadly for me, I’m seated at the table in front of the bride and groom, with Thorin’s mom, Maggie, Reese’s dad, Walker, and Benji, Carson, and Fletch. And Fletch’s date. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be a big deal. I am, of course, the maid of honor, and Thorin’s bandmates are his groomsmen. But, these are not normal circumstances by any stretch of the imagination. With my gaze trained on Thorin, who’s just about to wrap up his speech, thank you mother of Mary, I focus on trying to keep my lunch from coming up—shit! I bolt from my chair, knocking it over, and run out the tent, and oh look, there’s a bush. I bend over at the waste, and toss my cookies. The tent is eerily quiet, but who cares, right? Um, I do, because this is Reese and Thorin’s wedding, and causing a scene was not on the agenda. Then again, neither was having a hot fling with a rockstar, and I did it anyway. And now I’m paying the price.
If I weren’t trying to not throw up my stomach itself, I’d freeze at the sound of his voice, but as of right now, Fletcher Malone Andrews can go fuck himself. Or his date. Whichever will get him the hell away from me. His hand comes to rest on my bare back, and I swat his hand away with the arm currently not clutching at my midsection. Thank God my hair is up, and out of my face.
“Mya?” Reese is at my side, and I sigh in relief. Then I realize I ran out of the start of hers and Thorin’s reception because my stomach contents refused to stay inside said stomach.
“I’m sorry,” I moan, and then retch again. Reese bends down, and tries to look at my face. “Mya, are you okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Oh good, that means my cheeks aren’t pink from embarrassment. Gotta take those small mercies where you can get ‘em, I guess. I cant my head to the side, and give her a pithy nod. “I’m fine. Go back inside, I’ll be—” I hurl again, except nothing comes out.
“Oh dear.” That would be Maggie. “Sweetheart, let’s get you inside the house.”
Another small mercy: Reese and Thorin decided to get married on the ranch, now that the wall is finished, and my house, which used to be Reese’s house, is within walking distance.
“Let me take her,” Fletch says, trying to step between me and Reese. Wrong move, buddy. Reese’s head whips up, and I imagine she’s trying not to throttle him with her bare hands. “Touch her, and I’ll make sure you never lift a drumstick again,” she growls. Actually growls. My girl is fierce. And obviously still pissed, even though Fletch and I were over a month ago. For the record, he called it off. Said he wanted to focus on his music, and that I was a distraction. It’s all bullshit. He got cold feet after we’d been fooling around for five or so months, and I accidentally caught the feels. It’s laughable, actually. Never in a million years did I think I’d fall for a fucking rockstar, but I did. My bad.
“Babe.” Oh for fuck’s sake, Thorin too?
“Hey, everything okay?” And that’s Benji.
When I’m sure my nausea has eased, I wipe my mouth with the back of my hand, and stand, my back to my small audience. Maggie looks at me, brows furrowed, and I swear she knows what’s wrong. She has that motherly instinct about her. My eyes burn but I blink my tear ducts into submission. Not today, Satan. And not in front of the cockhead who broke my heart.
I’m fine,” I say, turning slowly. “Something obviously isn’t agreeing with me. No need to be worried, you can all go back inside.”
Thorin, Benji and Fletch all frown, and Reese, bless her, glares at Fletch as if he’s the reason I ran out and puked in the nearest bush. Technically, he is, but no one knows that yet, and now is not the time to break the news, either. I went to great lengths to protect my secret, driving all the way to Dallas at buttfuck o’clock to avoid being recognized at the pharmacy in town. Last thing I needed was someone seeing me buy six different pregnancy tests. So I drove three hours out of Horseshoe Bay, and used the restroom at a restaurant. All six sticks read ‘pregnant’. I cried for a good hour, whether they were happy tears or sad tears is yet to be decided, and then drove the three hours back to Horseshoe Bay wondering what I’m going to do. Helping Reese get ready for her big day served as a good distraction, and the fact that she got married only a few months after Thorin’s epic proposal should mean she might be pregnant—the media has been on bump watch—but, no, that would be me.
“Reese,” I touch her arm. “I’m fine, go back inside. I’ll just go freshen up.”
“I’m coming with you,” she replies. Her expression goes from angry, and directed at Fletch, to worried, and directed at me. She huffs, and gathers the million layers of tulle floating around her, and starts walking. Fletch tries to grab my arm, but Benji stops him. “The fuck?” He looks irate.
“She ain’t your concern no more, man,” Benji tells him. “Go back to your date.” He spits the word out like it’s something foul, and if I didn’t have puke-breath, I’d kiss him.
“Mya, let me come with you.” Fletch stares at me, his eyes pleading.
“Benji’s right,” I tell him. “Go back to your date.” I give him my back, and follow Reese to my house. An arm wraps around my shoulder, and when I glance to the side, I see it’s Maggie.
“How far along are you?” She whispers. Reese is too busy huffing and puffing a few steps ahead to hear.
“Um,” I bite my lip, and try not to look shamefaced. Maggie doesn’t have a judgmental bone in her body, but I’m so used to being judged by my own flesh and blood that I expect her to do the same. “I’m not sure, six weeks I think.” One of the fancy digital sticks I pee’d on said ‘six weeks’, but who knows how accurate that is. I still have to make an appointment with a doctor, but I’m going to wait until Reese and Thorin go on their honeymoon. Keeping this from her is hard enough, but I don’t want to spoil her wedding or her honeymoon by dropping this bombshell. Fletch and I have caused enough drama, and the last thing Reese needs to be worried about is me. Reese flings my door open, and immediately goes to the kitchen for a washcloth. She’s mumbling incoherently, probably cursing Fletch. I should be doing the same, but I did that for a solid week after he called off whatever we were doing, and then moved on. Sure, I’m nursing a broken heart, but it’s still beating, and I’ve been too busy to mope, anyway. I didn’t even flinch when he showed up with a date, so go me!
“Do you have some ginger ale?” Maggie asks, except this time Reese hears us. She spins, her gown billowing at her feet. “It helps with nausea,” Maggie adds quickly. Reese knows this. Everyone knows this.
“No,” I cut her off. “Definitely not.”
She narrows her eyes. “Why don’t I believe you?”
The thing about true best friends? They know your tells, and they know when you’re lying.
Reese’s face goes red. “I’m going to fucking kill him!” She screams, stomping her way back out the door. I’d run after her, but my stomach churns for a whole other reason.
Fletch is about to find out, along with everyone else, that he’s going to be a dad.
And I’m going to hell in a hand basket.