When Lightning Strikes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 15 (v.1)

Submitted: April 04, 2012

Reads: 601

Comments: 18

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 04, 2012

A A A

A A A

A/N: So over here in Australia, it's Good Friday tomorrow! I'd just like to say happy easter to all of you! Time to snack on some chocolate ;) xoxo

My head pounded. My eyes felt swollen and I knew they were rimmed with red. My body ached. I didn’t want to get out of bed and face the world.

I haven’t seen Aubrey. When she had come home last night from house hunting, I had bolted upstairs and kept myself locked in my room. I was too cowardly to talk to her, or even look into her face. I’d break all over again. What if I couldn’t hold my guilt in and ended up telling her?

Jason hadn’t mentioned anything. I knew this because if he had, Aubrey would have confronted me already. The problem was that I had to see her today. A few days ago, she had pleaded with me to accompany her and the wedding party to go shopping. Aubrey had already gone over millions of designs for wedding gowns with her designer and today was the day to see the results. Her designer had called her last week to tell her that the dresses were ready – the bridal gown, the accessories, the bridesmaid dresses and the flower girl’s dress.

I couldn’t not go.

It took me a while to convince myself to finally open the door. There was paranoia that once I did, Aubrey would accuse me of stealing her soon-to-be husband from her. The text by the unknown number yesterday also made my heart beat faster. What if the mysterious person had tipped off Aubrey?

Or worse … what if it had been from my sister herself?!

I crept out into the hallway, tip-toeing. No sound.

“Cee, I know you like exercising and all, but I don’t get why you’re trying to be a ninja.”

I swivelled around to see my dad watching me, amused.

“Sorry dad.” I flushed. I must have looked like an idiot. “I was just seeing if everyone was awake.”

He snorted. “Well of course everyone’s awake! Everyone in this house here is an early bird except me!”

I watched as he stalked off into the bathroom, muttering something about how we underestimated the preciousness of sleep-in time. After he shut the door, I made my way downstairs, wanting to prepare myself to see Aubrey. Once I edged into the lounge room and poked my head through the archway, I saw her.

She was flicking through one of the bridal magazines she subscribed to and occasionally with her other hand, she’d pick up her mug of steaming coffee. Her dark curls were piled over to one side of her shoulder to reveal her glittering earrings, and she wore a sleeveless cream blouse tucked into an emerald green pencil skirt. She looked so lovely that I wanted to cry.

“Gracie, what on earth are you doing just standing there?” Mom asked, watching me curiously from the kitchen island.

I jumped. What was with everyone catching me off guard this morning?

Aubrey turned around and smiled dazzlingly at me. I couldn’t return it, knowing the crime I had committed just yesterday. The butterflies in my stomach were too much for me to handle – I felt like both my stomach and heart would burst any second now. I was waiting for the moment when she would throttle me with her bare hands and accuse me of being a backstabber.

“Gracie, you’ve finally woken up! Aren’t you excited?”

I cautiously sat across from her and nodded. What a lie. I wasn’t looking forward to today at all. I would have to see Jason, who regretted kissing me. I couldn’t help but think of the way he held and kissed me. His actions certainly contradicted his words. Or had he just been too caught up in the moment? Why was I sad knowing that he didn’t want to kiss me anyway?

It must be my hormones.

“I can’t wait to see my dress. It’s going to be gorgeous!”

I nodded once again and quietly started to pour myself cereal.

“Oh and I can’t wait to see the men’s tuxedos! Well, I hope they’re wearing them … Jason won’t mind. Tuxedos look amazingly classy anyway. Oh, and we’ll also have to look at the flower arrangements today! I’m still not sure whether to go ahead with baby’s breath though …”

All this talk of wedding plans was making me sick. Even worse – mom joined in and started asking about the location of the reception. Aubrey told her that they were thinking of Fairfax Hall and that we were visiting today for a second time. I knew that Albany Church had already been chosen by the couple and parents.

No one noticed how quickly I went about eating. Right after I dunked my bowl in the sink, I ran back upstairs and locked my room. It was only then that I could breathe properly.

So Aubrey didn’t know about the incident.

I sat absently at the foot of my bed, staring into my open closet and thinking about what today would be like. I would have to smile a lot, I concluded. Wedding stuff was supposed to be fun, but not when you had recently experienced a mind-blowing kiss with a groom who wasn’t yours.

When I heard Aubrey’s footsteps coming upstairs about a half hour later, I hurried to change my clothes. I found a pair of white shorts and tucked a light blue blouse into it. To match, I slid my feet into a pair of white ballet flats and grabbed my sunglasses. I definitely needed them to hide my emotions today.

“Gracie! Jason is here!” I heard my sister call.

I think I was starting to hyperventilate. Hearing his name unnerved me. How could I spend the entire day with him? How could I even be in the same car as the engaged couple?! Oh no! Why didn’t I pretend to be sick when I had the chance?!

Behind Aubrey, I was walking very slowly. I didn’t want to look up.

“Good morning Jason,” my sister chirped as we slid into the car. I was thankful to be sitting at the back – I might as well hide in the corner.

“Good morning ladies,” he replied smoothly.

I took a peek at him. He was doing a very good job of avoiding my gaze. Did he feel nothing?

I never once took my sunglasses off. It felt like a protective mask to me, concealing all my thoughts and secrets.

When we arrived at Fairfax Hall, we were greeted by another car. Out came the three groomsmen. They were introduced as Troy, who was on the local football team, Rodger, who lived actually lived in Minnesota and had come for the wedding, and Henry. And yes, it so happened to be Ainsley’s good-looking father. Apparently, him and Jason were really good friends and worked in the same music industry.

I thought it was cool how they were friends and now Henry’s little girl and Jason’s sister was the next generation friends. Most of us also realised that he used to be the most popular actor in Hollywood once upon a time, but had quit his life there to start a new one with his wife. Everyone swore on their life that they wouldn’t go around blabbing this piece of information.

Henry just became incredibly cuter to all of us, even to snarky Michelle.

The third bridesmaid was Iris, who was training to be a vet. She was very friendly and I loved it. The groomsmen were easy-going also. Conversing with Michelle was just a breach of nature and talking to Jason or Aubrey was … oh god I can’t even think about it.

As our group started up the stone steps of the hall, Henry came over to me. “Fancy seeing you here. Are you Aubrey’s sister?”

I nodded and for some reason, his eyes sparkled knowingly. I shivered. Did he know what had happened between me and Jason? I quickly decided to change the subject.

“How is Ainsley?”

“Ainsley?” He laughed merrily. “She’s doing great as always. She’s got lots of spunk and confidence – it’s great to see her growing up.”

His comment made me smile. “That’s good! And Lainie? How is she? You guys make an amazing couple by the way.”

Henry smiled softly. “Thanks. To answer your question, Lainie’s … a little under the weather right now.”

My face fell. “Oh! I hope she gets better soon.”

Henry had a mysterious smile on his face. “Oh she will. She’s actually pregnant.”

My eyes widened and I squeaked. Aw! News about children and babies always excited me. “Oh my god, congratulations!”

“Thanks.” He looked slightly embarrassed by my enthusiastic reaction.

I was going to say something extra, but I suddenly had the feeling that someone was watching me. I looked up and found myself staring into a pair of deep sea blue eyes. Jason had been listening to our whole exchange and was looking on with a slight glare.

I flinched. Did he hate me? Or did he hate that I was laughing with Henry and not him?

I mentally slapped myself. I could not think like that! He was marrying someone else and had left me after we kissed! He only cared for me as a sister. Nothing more.

“I think having vines around the pillars would look terribly romantic, wouldn’t it?” Aubrey suggested.

Troy groaned. “Why would I know the answer to a question like that?”

Michelle clucked her tongue and bumped her hip with Troy. “Boys! They never have taste!”

Iris laughed. “I certainly agree.”

“Hey!” Henry pointed to himself. “What about me?!”

Michelle wrinkled her nose, pretending to be disgusted by his appearance. “Ew, is that from Salvos?”

“You got that right!”

The rest of us laughed, knowing it was probably a brand like Calvin Klein. After Aubrey finished up writing notes on the decorations for the hall, we headed outside into the day.

“We’ll take Jason’s car so us girls can go and look at our dresses,” Iris suggested, after Rodger asked aloud where we were going. “If that’s alright with Jason of course …?”

Before Jason could answer, Troy did it for him. “Good! I don’t want to be stuck with looking at dresses! We boys need to be looking at important stuff!”

I breathed out a sigh of relief, knowing I wouldn’t have to see Jason until later in the day.

Michelle rolled her eyes. “Like plans for the bachelor party?”

Aubrey’s head snapped to Jason. “I thought you weren’t having one,” I heard her say in a low voice.

“I’m not,” he replied sincerely, but it didn’t look like she believed him. He then narrowed his eyes at Michelle. “We need to go and look at our suits.”

“Come on, let’s go Jay,” Rodger said.

As we started going our separate ways, I felt someone grab my arm. Tingles danced down my spine. It was none other than him. I panicked and looked behind me to see if Aubrey was watching. She wasn’t.

“I’m sorry, but it’s for the best,” he whispered, before turning and walking away from me.

What did that even mean?

* * *

Aubrey and Michelle were bickering in the front seats about how to use the GPS in Jason’s car. Meanwhile, Iris and I sat in the back, amused.

“They’re both as stubborn as each other,” she whispered with a giggle.

No one won in the end as Iris figured it out and typed the address in successfully. We pulled into a rather large white building with large glass windows about twenty minutes later. It was a store selling wedding fashion.

Once we walked inside, Aubrey checked in with the girl behind the register, telling her that she needed to see Reinette Marigold.

We were directed upstairs to the VIP section and the instant we walked in, I felt out of place. There was a small bar off to the corner and the windows overlooked town. You could even see the outline of the nearest business district in the distance. The room was large and circular with dark wood panelling and a small crystal chandelier hanging from the roof. Red velvet curtains covered the dressing rooms covering each side of the room. There was also a large space up further where a podium sat. A bride could stand on the podium in her dress and admire how she looked from every angle. In the middle of the room sat soft ivory couches surrounding a rather large coffee table.

“Wow,” I murmured.

Iris winked at me. “Aubrey loves this type of things, doesn’t she?”

The designer was already there, sitting on one of the couches with papers strewn all over the place.

“Hello Reinette,” Aubrey greeted happily, leaning forward to kiss her cheek. “These are my bridesmaids: Iris, Michelle and Gracie, who’s my sister and maid of honour.”

She beamed at all of us. “It’s so nice to meet you! I just know that all of you will be a vision in your dresses!”

A person working in the store came into the room and served us champagne and a plate of strawberries covered in white chocolate. Yummy. I started to dig in when we were told to try on the bridesmaid dresses.

It was a bit of a struggle to push myself into the dress, but that was only because of the tight ruched bodice. It was made of satin and only flared slightly out to the ground so it was easy to walk in. It was simple yet sophisticated, exactly what a bridesmaid should look like. When I came out, Iris and Michelle were already dressed in theirs and the tailor started jotting down anything which needed to be adjusted.

We all decided that simply putting our hair in a side bun with a Dutch braid would suffice, along with a white flower clipped in. Our heels were strappy and gold also and we would all be wearing the same necklace – a simple one with strands of glimmering pearls.

When Reinette announced for Aubrey to try on her gown, we all became excited immediately.

The gown was tucked away mysteriously in a black bag and Reinette handed it to Aubrey so she could change into it. We bridesmaids waited anxiously as she was in one of the dressing rooms. Michelle was sipping on champagne, I was eating the strawberries and Iris was discussing the designing process with Reinette.

When the curtains opened, I gasped. It was true. Aubrey was a beautiful vision in her stunning wedding gown. Small floral sleeves covered her slim shoulders and her dainty waisted was accentuated by a white bow. Soft tulle covered the white silk bridal train and a few small flowers had been sewed on, giving the dress a romantic look.

Her glossy dark curls were tucked away under her veil, made of Point d’Esprit. She looked so elegant, like a princess.

Aubrey simply glowed in it and I felt like crying – crying tears of happiness because I knew she’d make the most amazing bride and crying tears of pain because seeing her in that dress made me truly realise that I could never have Jason.

It was that moment which made me realise that even though I hadn’t seen him every single day for the past few weeks, I felt a connection with him. I felt so utterly comfortable around him and it felt like I could tell him anything. When he had looked into my eyes that day we kissed, I had told him everything without a thought. That didn’t just include how the story of the break-up, but all my feelings. When I had talked to him, I just knew that he wouldn’t judge me. Don’t ask me how I knew, but I did.

Then there was how I could joke around with him so easily. I remembered that for Vince and me, it hadn’t. It was a teeny bit more strained, while with Jason, I didn’t have to think.

I had thought it was just a friendly relationship, but how could that be? When he touched me, I felt like I was on fire. When we looked at each other, I became lost in his eyes. When he said sweet words to me, my insides melted.

Everything I felt around him was much more intense than what I had experienced with Vince.

I officially came to terms that I had feelings for Jason, because I could feel my heart breaking as I stared at Aubrey. She’d make the perfect wife for him. No matter how much they disagreed with each other, they belonged together. I told myself I could not come between that, no matter what.

Finally, I understood Jason’s words – ‘I’m sorry, but it’s for the best’, he had told me. We couldn’t dream anymore. This was life. This was reality.

The matrimonial ceremony had to go on.

~ For some reason, the pictures won't show up again (ugh), so I uploaded them to my tumblr :)

Aubrey's wedding gown

http://winterwhispersxo.tumblr.com/post/20497427760

Bridesmaid dresses

http://winterwhispersxo.tumblr.com/post/20497494967

Flowers (even though it wasn't mentioned, lol)

http://winterwhispersxo.tumblr.com/post/20497475815


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