Beautifully Done

By: Riley Mackenzie

Why the fuck am I barefoot? The sand was cold, colder than you would expect in October, and the salt water spray only added to the chill in the air. At least I was in this monkey suit, could’ve been worse. Half the women lining the beach, waiting to get this show on the road, were freezing their asses off in glorified lingerie. Not that I minded the view.

“Why the fuck are we barefoot again?” I clipped Chase’s arm to get his attention and snap him out of whatever pussy whipped La-La Land he disappeared to.

“How old are you, man? Can’t you stand still for five minutes?”

If I didn’t know any better, the bastard sounded nervous.

“Ash, I’m with you,” Sierra chimed in from across the aisle. “This wind sucks. Don’t be surprised if my nipples cut straight through this dress.” Sierra was Lili’s best friend, maid of honor and probably the funniest chick we knew. I laughed and Chase’s face hardened, definitely not feeling our humor.

“Dude, you look like you’re gonna shit yourself. Sure you want to do this? There’s still time to back out.” Cue the look of death. That was more like it. I grinned and threw my hands up in surrender. “Just sayin’.”

Finally his brow relaxed. He was my best friend, but damn, was he one intense motherfucker.

“What the hell is taking her so long? I’m going back up to the house to make sure everything’s okay.”

There was the real truth. He couldn’t stand being more than two feet away from her for any given amount of time. Overprotective was an understatement; especially after everything they went through last year.

I clutched his shoulder. “No, you’re not.”

I lifted my chin toward the staircase slicing through the sand dunes and tall beach grass just as the music started to play. And not the traditional harp or cello, but acoustic guitar. Nice. Chase’s shoulders relaxed and I slapped him on the back. Lucky bastard.

Lili Porter was take-your-breath-away, instant hard-on beautiful. She was wearing one of those stark white strapless Greek goddess-looking dresses that hugged all the right places. Her long brown hair cascaded down her back, covered by a simple white veil. Her long bangs blew in the wind; the ones she cut last year to help cover one of her scars. This was why I called her gorgeous.

Everyone stood from their white folding chairs and focused on the bride. Cameras clicked and the oohs and aahs briefly muffled the music. Chase struggled to control his breathing. As head over heels as he was for this woman, he would be pissed at himself if he lost his shit in front of all these people. Half the crowd worked for him.

“Really?” I leaned in, trying to sound nonchalant, pointing to the sparkly pumps dangling underneath her bouquet of blue roses. “What’d you pay for those fucking shoes? And she’s not even wearing them.”

He turned and elbowed me in the ribs. “You’re an ass.” Then he shook his head and chuckled. At least he made it five minutes without crying like a pansy. Best man duty fulfilled.

The ceremony went off without a hitch. The women all cried, because women cry. Hell, I even got a little choked up. Marriage wasn’t in the cards for me, but if two people were meant for each other it was these two. All the main points were hit: rings, vows, I do’s and a kiss, if you could call it that. More like a teaser clip of the honeymoon. If it was anyone other than the guy who slept over every time he lost a tooth in the second grade because the Park Avenue tooth fairy sucked ass, and the girl who earned honorary sister status, it would have been hot. Screw it, it was still pretty hot. Too bad I didn’t bring a date to share in the love.

Wedding dates were a huge no, bigger than Saturday night dates. It never just meant and guest, at least not to your plus one. So I didn’t do either. It was that simple. I was a player, but I wasn’t a heartless dick. If I stumbled across a beautiful lady who was already there, well, that was a completely different story. And luckily, this reception had no shortage.

“Forget about it.” Sierra sucked down half of her margarita.

“What? What did I do?”

Sierra’s eyes followed my line of sight. Standing alone at the bar, a petite brunette played with the straw in her pink drink. I wasn’t a boob man, but even at this distance, I couldn’t miss her rack bopping to the beat of the music. I was blessed with 20/20.

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