If I were to be honest with myself, 'not happy' would be an inadequate way of describing my feelings at this precise moment. I give a quick look at my watch and feel my heart sink. It's nearly two. I'm four hours late.
Becky's neighbour's house is not hard to spot. As she had told me, the driveway is full of cars and each tree has a balloon tied to it. I can see the marquee, decorated with colourful flags.
Despite my mood, I have to smile. Colourful flags? For a wedding? Becky wasn't joking when she said 'everyone' was making a 'big deal' of her neighbour's son's wedding.
At the thought of Becky, I felt my smile widen slightly. She really is one of the best things that have ever happened to me. Being with her makes me forget all about everything else, at least for awhile. And that is why I'm here, at her insistence, to attend a wedding for a couple I've never met (I glance at the invitation. Tom and Lucy.) and to meet her parents (Graham and Jane) even though this has been a particularly busy week for me.
I quicken my pace and hurry towards the marquee, checking my phone as I walk. Becky hasn't replied to any of my messages, which is odd, since she usually replies within seconds and more than once.
"Oh my God, he exists!" is the first thing I hear as I stride into the marquee. I quickly pick out the speaker, one of the bridesmaids. How do I know she is a bridesmaid? Well, they are all dressed in bright pink, large skirts with glitter and matching hairdos. I decide at once that when Becky and I get married, the bridesmaids need not dress like clones. As quickly as that thought enters my head, I dismiss it. It's a bit too soon to think of marriage.
I scan the crowd for Becky. There aren't many people, maybe about 200 but she is nowhere to be seen. I notice that a few people are nudging each other and pointing at me. I suppose that I deserve it, since I am late and none of them know me.
Figuring that she went to freshen up or I just haven't spotted her yet, I decide to offer my congratulations to the newlywed couple. I am just making my way towards them when an older lady plants herself firmly in front of me.
"Angela Harrison, mother of the bride," she says in a somehow suspicious voice. "And you are?"
"Luke Brandon," I say, giving her the smile I give clients when they are convinced that the article they saw in FT is actually about them. (Well, one of my clients likes to think that. A lot.)
"Really." She says, looking somehow... mocking? "You're not a look-alike that little Miss Bloomwood hired as a last ditch attempt?"
I frown, not understanding her at all. "You mean Rebecca Bloomwood, my girlfriend."
"You're a really good actor, you know that?" to my astonishment, she's raising her voice. "Hey, look, everyone! Rebecca even thought to hire an actor for her sad little charade!" People are gathering around and looking at me like I'm some rare piece of art. I really need to ask Becky about this.
Oh, great, here comes the bride, with a reluctant looking groom in tow. I have to stifle a laugh. If Gary were here, he would no doubt make a joke about how he would never settle down, because look what happens, you become stuck with a dragon in heels. Though even Gary had to admit that Becky and I have a partnership. Neither of us are 'in charge' and we enjoy each other immensely.
Now the bride is glaring at me with narrowed eyes while her new husband seems to be thinking of his happy place. "How dare you," she hisses.
"I'm sorry?" I say, taking care to maintain my voice as calm and even.
"Where did she get you, hm? Some agency for ruining weddings?" she's smirking now and I feel indignation bubbling up. Becky Bloomwood is the kindest girl I have ever dated. For this stranger to bound up to me and arrogantly act like Becky is some sort of gatecrasher is just unacceptable.
Keeping my cool, I extract the invitation card from my suit pocket and hand it to her. Then, I reach for my wallet and take out my Citizen Card, along with my Gold Card and Brandon Communications pass. "I am here for the wedding ceremony of Tom and Jane, as the date of Rebecca Bloomwood. I am Luke Brandon. Is the identification I have provided sufficient?"
The bride looks gobsmacked and I feel a bubble of childish triumph.
"Congratulations on your big day," I say, smiling charmingly. "And may I compliment you on keeping such close tabs on your guests!"
Angela Harrison, mother of the bride and the bride seem to be stunned into silence. Tom shakes my hand and thanks me for my kind compliments, his face flushed and his hand wet. He points me to the direction that Becky went and with a last smile at the small group that have gathered to watch the show, I take two glasses of champagne and go to search for Becky.
A/N: I always wished we got to read about how Luke made his entrance at Tom and Lucy's wedding in Shopaholic Aboard. I tried to get Luke's voice, but even I can see that it's a bit OOC. Still, please review!