Bad Boy's Bridesmaid(13)

By: Sosie Frost

I returned to our table. Bryce’s brother only just arrived—late, but as he was still in scrubs and transcribing his notes from the day’s cardiovascular rounds, Lindsey forgave him. This time.

Rick looked identical to his younger brother. Both men played linebacker at college though Rick focused more on his studies and went pre-med. They were both handsome, and their skin coffee dark. Bryce got more of his mom’s patience. Rick inherited his father’s uncanny ability to speak without thinking.

He took the seat next to me. “You look like hell.”

I made a face. “You smell worse.”

“I’m fresh off an eighteen hour shift.” He gobbled up his slice of cake. Mom smacked his wrist and told him to wait for his score card. “What’s your excuse?”

I casually scooped my cake onto Rick’s plate and avoided Nate’s questioning glance. “Only eighteen hours? I’ve been on bridesmaid duty for the past three months.”

“She still kicking your butt?”

“Yeah, and skinning it, tanning it, and turning it into a belt to beat me with.”

“Well, if you need to get her a new heart, I might be able to sneak one home from the hospital…” Rick frowned at the cake criteria sheet. “Linds, what the hell is this? It looks like my MCATs.”

Bryce answered for her, either to avoid conflict with his brother or to score points with the bride-to-be. She still refused to talk to him after the Spiderman cufflink situation a day ago.

“We’re judging cakes,” he said. “We want to be sure we pick the right flavor for our special day.”

Nate snorted into his beer. Lindsey heard. That wasn’t good.

“Excuse me for being methodical.” She crushed her pencil against the score card. “And I hate this one. I don’t want chocolate. It’s cliché and trite and—”

“It’s delicious.” Rick said. “Go with this one.”

Oh God, he was here for less than a minute and already he’d damn us all. I tugged on my best friend’s sleeve, but Rick always did like pissing with Lindsey.

“Take it back, take it back, take it back,” I whispered. “Eat the cake and shut up.”

“Rick, I’m looking for a little more consideration than saying it’s good,” Lindsey said.

“It’s…chocolatey.” Nate grinned.

Someone was going to die today. I peeked at Rick’s score card and copied the answers he scrawled onto the sheet. Lindsey stomped her feet.

“If you can’t take this seriously, how can I trust you’ll make my wedding a joyous fucking occasion?”

Rick apologized. “It’s just a cake. I don’t even remember what flavor mine was at my wedding.”

“Oh yeah? Maybe that’s why you’re divorced before thirty!”

Low blow.

“Me-ow,” Nate laughed.

Rick rolled with it. “Single life is feeling pretty damn good right now, huh, Nate?”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Lindsey’s hands coiled at her sides. “You apologize right now or so help me God...”

I edged away from the ruckus, collecting the plates and passing out the next round with Mom. She stilled with the plate in her hand, looked at me, and gave a tiny whisper.

“Maybe a half-bite for you on the rest of these, sweetheart.” She broke a tine off the plastic fork. “We want to be able to see the bride at the altar.”

I gritted my teeth and plopped a plate in front of Bryce. He stayed quiet, simply tasting the cake with a sigh and charting his reaction to it. Lindsey squeezed his shoulder.

“I’m not over-reacting, am I?” She gripped him harder, and Bryce flinched. “Am I?”

“Of course not.” He jingled his empty bottle of beer at Nate—the third lined up before him. “Can I get another?”

“See?” My sister glared at Rick. “If you can’t handle me at my worst…”

I muttered to myself. “Then get the hell out of the wedding party.”

“What was that, Mandy?”

I smiled. “Nothing. I’m admiring your bridal boot camp. The red velvet cake is dry.”

“Write it down. Only nineteen more samples to go.”

Nate and Bryce opened their fourth beers. Lucky bastards.

It took two hours to finish, but I only needed to throw up once. Fortunately, it was right when Nate and Rick doodled something obscene on their score cards prompting Lindsey to kick them out of the wedding. They were reinstated by the time I made it back to the table, and my sister decided on a winning flavor.

She chose a three tiered castle of a cake—the bottom layer classic almond, middle a white filled with a strawberry puree, and the top a cream cheese infused fig and blueberry that Lindsey thought would look fantastic on Instagram.

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