“Gabe let’s go! We are going to be late to the wedding.” Tessa’s bitchy voice was really starting to piss me off… and she only arrived fifteen minutes ago. In my defense however, she hadn’t shut up since.
Rolling my eyes, I made what seemed to be my fiftieth attempt at tying the sleek jet black tie that hung loosely around my neck. No matter how many YouTube videos I watched or how many people explained the process to me, I just couldn’t do it. Apparently it aggravated Tessa because she came storming into my room muttering under her breath about how the hell I was straight if I couldn’t do my own tie. Did she realize that her rambles made absolutely no sense at all? Since when were straight guys better dressers than gay guys? Never.
She yanked on the tie, nearly snapping my neck in the process. After tying it, she seized my hand and hauled me through my apartment.
Travie, one of my closest friends, was leaning against the door frame rolling his eyes. He hated Tessa with a passion, but he had never laid her so he didn’t understand why I kept her around.
“Let go of his goddamn arm you crazy twit.” He said before pulling me out of her grasp and shoving me out the door.
“How dare you!? God! Are you gay for him or something? You are always trying to separate us!” Tessa huffed but Travie just waved her off, muttering quietly so that I would hear but Tessa wouldn’t. I chuckled quietly as he called her every derogatory, obscene name he knew.
Tessa stormed ahead of us and stood tapping her foot next to the passenger door. Travie saw this and took a shot. He grabbed the handle of my black Range Rover and flung himself into the passenger seat before slamming the door shut in Tessa’s face, a wide smirk adorning his own face.
I honestly tried to keep it quiet, I really did, but I just couldn’t help the loud laugh that escaped my mouth. The look on Tessa’s face coupled with the smirk on Travie’s… it was impossible.
Tessa sent me a murderous glare, “what the fuck, Gabe?!” she nearly screamed, throwing her arms up in the air dramatically.
“Calm down, Tess. He’s Travie; what do you expect?” Apparently that was NOT the right thing to say because I could’ve sworn I saw the steam shooting out of her ears.
“So you aren’t even going to defend me?!” She shrieked unattractively. I winced before walking towards her. Cupping her elbow, I gently pulled her towards the drivers’ side. I opened the backseat door for her and motioned for her to get in.
“Are you kidding me? I’m the girl; I should be in the front!”
“Should’ve just opened the door yourself instead of acting like a pretentious bitch then.” Travie told her calmly as he flicked through his phone.
Before Tessa could reply, I slammed the door and opened my own. “That’s enough. I don’t want to hear you two going at it all damn day. It’s my sister’s wedding, act like you at least tolerate each other. Please.” I nearly begged.
Travie shot me an apologetic look while Tessa rolled her eyes and crossed her arms but, thankfully, kept quiet.
The thirty minute car ride was eerily silent. The last time these two were together and not throwing constant insults was… well I can’t even remember. I don’t think it has ever even happened.
We pulled up to the Japanese Garden where my sister decided to have the ceremony. I couldn’t thank her enough for avoiding a stuffy church.
We all exited the car but Tessa was still pouting so I decided to try a new approach. I quickly snuck my arms around her stick thin waist and placed a soft kiss on her cheek.
“Just stay away from him and try to have fun okay? Please Tess?” Sighing, she nodded her head in agreement and I watched her normal bitchy presence overtake her body. She may be a bitch, but at least she didn’t have confidence issues; that was never attractive. Please Tessa, keep your mouth shut today I begged silently.
Keeping my arm around her waist, we followed Travie through the gates towards the guests. Looking around I noticed just how gorgeous the garden was; my sister had good taste. I would’ve chosen a beach though personally. Tess and I got drinks from the bar and followed Travie through the crowds. I sent polite smiles to distant family members all along the way.
I wasn’t really watching where I was walking when I ran straight into Travie’s back. Stumbling back slightly, I opened my mouth to tell him off but stopped when I saw the biggest grin he had ever made on his face. His eyes were focused on what seemed to be a guest in the crowd. Ignoring Tessa’s tugs on my arm, I followed his eyes to a woman in a light blue dress and canary yellow heels. Her back was to us, her long dark hair flowing halfway down her back.
“Who is she Tra-“ He was stalking towards her before I could even ask the question. I followed behind, curious to know who this girl was.
He slowed his footsteps as he neared her. Placing his hands over her eyes, he bent his head towards her ear and said something. She jumped slightly at the contact but brought her hands up to cover his. She quickly spun around, squealing his name, and throwing her arms around him. I shifted my eyes from her faintly familiar curves to look at her face.
I choked on the liquid I was about to swallow. What the hell was she doing here? How did she know Travie? How well did she know him? Were they sleeping together?
Completely forgetting the girl on my arm, I closed the distance between us. Her arms were still around Travie’s neck and he had his on her hips. The sudden urge to rip his hands off of her overcame me and I’m sure the scowl on my face wasn’t too friendly either. As I neared them, she glanced at me briefly and looked back at Travie before doing a double take.
“Gabe?” she gasped.
“Hey, Sophie.” I said as calmly as possible, still glaring at the hands on her midsection. I couldn’t believe she was here. I was sure I’d never see her again. Why was she here?
“What are you doing here?” We both said in unison. She wove her fingers through Travie’s before answering. “The bride and groom hired me as their photographer. I’m here working.”
“Holy shit! Sadie?!” I turned to see Tessa had finally made her way over. Her jaw was on the ground as she stared at Sophie. Sophie wrinkled her nose when she saw Tessa. Travis stiffened before taking a small step in front of Sophie, almost protectively.
“It’s Sophie.” Tessa gave her an odd look. “Huh?”
“Sophie! Her name is Sophie. Now leave her the hell alone, Tessa.” Travie demanded.
Suddenly Tessa’s skinny arms were squeezing my waist possessively. “Gabey honey, will you come to the bar with-“
“Soph! Sarah needs you in her dressing room right now!” Kay said hurriedly, tugging gently on Sophie’s arm while glaring dangerously at Tessa. She then shifted her glare to me, hardening it ever so slightly.
“Oh what a wonderful surprise!” She said sarcastically. Sophie rolled her eyes but smiled all the same. “Isn’t it though, Kay? I’m going to go check on Sarah, I’ll be right back.”
I panicked as she began to walk away. “Hey, wait! I’d like to see my sister. I’ll come with you.” I pried Tessa’s hands off of me and jogged up to Sophie, who hadn’t even slowed down to acknowledge me.
“Hey, slow down hun.” I said gently as I placed my hand on her shoulder. Her entire body tensed but she continued walking. I removed my hand immediately but kept pace with her. For a girl wearing giant heels, she was damn fast.
“How do you know Tess?” I asked casually. She snorted and rolled her eyes before answering quietly.
“We went to high school together. She was a bitch and treated everyone like shit but somehow I was her favorite target.”
“You graduated years ago, can’t you both just let it go?”
She spun around, glaring at me. “It doesn’t look like you know her very well and you sure as hell don’t know me so why don’t you just mind your own goddamn business.” She hissed venomously. I had hit a nerve. There was more between her relationship with Tessa than she was letting on and I wanted to know exactly what had happened.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that.” Her face softened but she didn’t reply.
“So, you and Travie are pretty close then?” I asked as we turned down the hall where Sarah was preparing.
“Umm, yeah. I’ve known him for a while now. Aside from Kay, he’s the closest thing I have to a best friend.” She replied, shrugging. “We met at one of his gigs for Gym Class Heroes and hit it off.”
“How long is ‘a while’? He’s never mentioned you. Do you also know Michael?” Why the hell had he never introduced us? He hadn’t even let Michael, his supposed best friend, around me. What an ass.
She gave me a sly smile that I could barely read before answering. “Yes, I know Michael very well. And I’m sure he has mentioned me, you just didn’t know it.”
She stopped at a door and knocked quickly. “Sarah hun? It’s Sophie. Kay told me you needed help with something.” The door swung open to show a distressed Sarah.
Her wide eyes flickered to me and she did her best to smile. “Hey Gabe. I’m glad you’re here. Sophie, come in.” She said in a rush, grabbing Sophie’s arm and jerking her into the room. I followed quickly, turning to close the door.
“Holy fucking shit Sarah! What the hell happened?” Sophie shrieked. My head turned towards her voice and I gasped at the sight. Sarah looked ready to cry while Sophie was holding a beautiful white dress that had deep red stains all down the front of it, her jaw on the floor.
“I’m not sure. The dress was just delivered to my room like this. What am I going to do Sophie?!” She watched curiously as Sophie brought the fabric to her nose and inhaled.
“There’s no way I can get this shit out in the next two hours Sarah. It’s wine. How the hell did this happen?”
Sarah sniffed, “I don’t know. I really don’t.” I felt bad for her. Unlike me, Sarah had planned out her future from a very young age. She wanted a husband, two kids, a dog, and a white picket fence. This wedding meant a hell of a lot to her.
“Hey hey. It’s okay.” Sophie said soothingly. “I’ll fix this, alright? I promise. Just let me take this outside for a minute. Gabe, come with me.”
She gave my back a small shove after placing the dress in my hands.
After closing the door, we began walking down the hall side by side. “What are you going to do to the dress?”
“I’m soaking it in red wine and then we’ll deodorize it.” I gaped at her.
“Excuse me?! That is a seven thousand dollar dress! You are not soaking it in wine. No way.”
She sighed but kept walking. “What do you suggest then Gabe? It looks like shit right now. If I soak it, at least it will be one color.” She had me there; I didn’t have a clue how to fix this.
“Fine, but don’t blame me if Sarah kills you for ruining her dress.” I said dryly.
“It already is ruined moron.” She grabbed my hand and led me around the back of the building towards her familiar bright yellow VW.
After we bought nine bottles of cheap wine, we drove in silence. I quickly noticed that we weren’t heading back to the garden. I shot her a questioning glance.
“We’re going to my apartment. I have a bathtub that we can use to soak it and a balcony so it can air dry.” She rummaged through the purse at her side before tossing me a phone.
“Text Travie for me would you please? Just let him know where I am.” I nodded and searched for his name in her phone.
We soon pulled up to a middle class apartment building. Her apartment was small, incredibly small, but very clean. I took the box filled with wine bottles and followed her down a narrow hallway. She flipped the light switch and laughed softly.
I looked over her shoulder to see a dog lying asleep in the bathtub. “Miri, come on. Out.” Sophie commanded.
“Isn’t that the dog that was with you at the…” I trailed off. The dog, Miri, hopped out but remained next to Sophie who was on her knees at the edge of the tub.
“Yep.” We began pouring the bottles into the tub before she gently placed the dress inside. After about ten minutes of awkward silence, she pulled it out and set it on a towel.
“Dry it off gently with the towel and then bring it out to the living room.” She instructed.
“Yes ma’am!” I mocked. She flipped me off over her shoulder but I caught the small smile that emerged on her face.
I did as she instructed, being careful so as not to stain the suit I was wearing, and walked back down the hallway. Sophie was on her balcony, reaching towards the roof trying to grasp at something. I slid out of the door silently, bending over to set the dress down and listening to her cursing under her breath. She was pressed up against the railing so I walked up behind her, squishing my body up against hers. Her body shuddered beneath my own, making me smile.
“Let me help you, Angel.” I whispered in her ear. Her body pressed closer to me. “I-um-need those pins. So that we-we-can hang the dress. To-um-dry.” She stuttered as I ran the tip of my nose down her neck, inhaling her sweet scent.
I reached up behind her and grabbed the pins but kept them away from her hands.
“Gabe, hand them to me. I need them for the dress.” She reached farther but I was much taller than her, even with the heels.
She turned around to face me so that our chests were touching. “Come on, please. I need to get this damn thing dry so-“ I cut off her rambles by softly pressing my lips to hers, gently cupping her face in my hands. She froze but didn’t push me away, so I continued moving my lips against hers, silently praying for her to respond. To my amazement and sheer happiness, it only took a few seconds for her to begin kissing me back.
Her lips were soft and somewhat nostalgic. I moved my hands slowly down her arms and took her hands in mine, moving them so that they rested on my neck. Before I could even rest my hands on her hips, she was running her fingers through my hair, kissing me passionately. I traced the seam of her lips asking for entrance but she denied me. Pulling back ever so slightly, I jerked my hips into hers, causing her to gasp. I took advantage of her open mouth and invaded it.
She grasped my hair tighter, pulling my face as close as humanly possible. Our tongues explored each others mouths as she moaned softly. Our breathing was becoming ragged and I could feel her beginning to pull away from lack of air so I removed my mouth from hers only to move it to her jaw and neck. She moaned my name lightly as I began to suck on the base of her neck, rubbing her sides with my hands lovingly.
“Ga-Gabe… we need to s-stop. The dress… it needs to…” She muttered almost incoherently. I pulled away and looked her in the eyes, her hands still in my hair. The dazed lust in her eyes made my pants tighten slightly.
Moving faster than I would’ve thought possible, I grasped the pins and fastened the dress to the balcony to air dry. As soon as I turned around to face Sophie, her hands were around my waist and our mouths were connected.
She pulled me back into her apartment, her teeth nibbling and pulling on my lower lip. When we reached the couch, she shoved me back onto it and quickly straddled my waist, causing her dress to hike up. Squeezing her toned thighs, I kissed along her collarbone. Her head lolled back and she let out a breathy moan before grinding her hips into mine, giving me a raging hard on. I could feel the heat in my pants.
I ran my hands farther up her thighs to grasp her rolling hips. “Sophie, baby.” I moaned in her ear. As soon as the words left my mouth, her entire body stiffened and she flew off of my lap, breathing heavily.
“Oh my god… no, no, no, no, no…. dammit…” She muttered while running her hands through her hair.
“Sophie, what’s wrong? What did I do?” I asked hesitantly. For some reason, she reminded me of a ticking time bomb and I was scared of her reaction to my words.
“What’s wrong?! Are you seriously asking me what’s wrong?!” She said, exasperated.
“Angel please, just tell me.” I begged. The last thing I wanted was to upset her in any way.
“Fuck Gabe! You have a girlfriend! We can’t do this, I can’t do this.”
“What girlfriend? I don’t have a girl-“
“Tessa! What about her Gabe, huh?”
“Sophie, she’s my date to the wedding. I swear that’s all she is.” That wasn’t technically a lie; she wasn’t my girlfriend and definitely never would be.
She rolled her eyes but I could tell she was still upset. “Sure Gabe, that’s what it looked like when she was hanging all over you.” I opened my mouth to object but she cut me off.
“No, don’t even say anything. I don’t want to hear it.” With that, she nearly ran down the hallway and entered a room, slamming the door behind her.
That’s the second time I’ve watched her run from me. Damn.