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It was supposed to be a quickie. Now there’s a ring on my finger.
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This is a terrible idea. I know it the moment the newly refilled drink is put in front of me, but I pick it up and down it anyway, grimacing at the sharp taste of vodka contrasted with the sweetness of cranberry. I should sip it, slow down. But fuck it, this is Vegas, right?
I slam the empty glass down on the table and give up a cheer. It’s echoed by my friends, all just as drunk as I am. We’re not totally gone, but I can feel it. The perfect buzz to have a good time.
“How are you feeling, Sandy?” The voice is loud in my ear. Anna is my no-bullshit best friend and this whole trip was her idea.
“I’m okay.” I yell back. It’s loud in this club and yelling is the only way that she’s going to hear me.
Elizabeth leans over the table. Of all of us, she looks the best tonight, blonde hair bouncing in giant curls and a sequin dress that makes her body look fantastic. She grabs my hand. “We need you to be better than okay! We need you to feel fucking awesome! Fuck Wyatt. You don’t need that piece of shit.”
My stomach drops. For a few minutes I’d actually forgotten the shit that is my life. The last two weeks feel like they’ve been some kind of nightmare. But if you can’t wake up from the nightmare, what can you call it? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself because I can’t fucking wake up. Two weeks ago today, I was sitting in a cake shop, waiting for Wyatt to come help me choose our wedding cake. He was late and not answering my texts. And then the call from my mom to come home immediately. The wave of rage that hits me in the gut is so strong that I think it might knock me over.
I didn’t see it coming even though I feel like I should have. Wyatt was gone, and so was Laura. My younger sister. Together, on a trip to Mexico. Shit. I feel like I’m going to throw up again. The same feeling I get every time I think about it. That, along with a crippling rage that makes me want to choke the life out of Wyatt. My sister. My sister?
Naomi hits Elizabeth in the arm. “We’re not mentioning the W-word, remember?”
“Shit.” Elizabeth sees the look on my face—probably nauseous. “Sorry, Sandy.”
I wave a hand. “It’s okay.”
“Seriously though,” she says. “I know that we’ve said it a lot, but it’s messed up. If it were my sister…”
“What am I supposed to do?” I ask, rolling my eyes. “She’s my sister, and I don’t own Wyatt. Maybe they’ll be happier together.” Though I really fucking doubt it. Can’t say that I’ll be surprised when he pulls the same shit on her that he pulled on me. It’s a good thing we don’t have another sister. I guess he’ll need to find a new family to traumatize.
“Well,” Naomi says, “I know for a fact that you will be happier without that asshole. If only for tonight.”
I manage a laugh. “And how do you know that?”
She moves her head pointedly across the club. “Mr. Tall, Dark, and Delicious over there looking at you. I’ve been keeping track and he’s barely taken his eyes off you.”
“There are four of us here, Naomi. He could be looking at anyone.”
“No, he’s looking at you.”
I know she’s trying to distract me, and it’s working. “You can’t possibly know that.”
“I can. Because when I went to get the last round of drinks, I asked him.”
Elizabeth gasps, “You did what?”
Naomi gives her a look. “The whole point of this trip is to take care of Sandy. Let her have a good time, get drunk and get laid. Well, tonight’s our last night and as her roommate, I can tell you that getting laid hasn’t happened. So I’m taking things into my own hands.”
Anna has her hands over her mouth, stifling laughter. I’m not sure whether I want to join her or if I should be shocked like Liz. I’m somewhere in between. The alcohol in my bloodstream is enough to relax me. And to be honest, even though we were engaged, Wyatt and I hadn’t had sex for a while. Probably because he was having sex with my sister. Another wave of anxiety hits me. I refocus on the man that Naomi has pointed out across the room. It’s dark and people are passing between us, but I feel a jolt of electricity between us. I probably imagined it; everything feels more dramatic since Naomi’s declaration. But he’s definitely looking at me. A strange blend of anxiety and anticipation shivers down my spine.
“What did you say to him?” I ask Naomi.
“I asked him if he was looking at you. He said he was. So I told him that staring from across the room isn’t going to do anyone any good. So if he means it, he needs to buy us a round of drinks and come over.”