Home > The Wedding Pact Box Set

The Wedding Pact Box Set
Author: Denise Grover Swank

Chapter One

 

 

It was only ten thirty, and it was already a craptastic day.

Megan Vandemeer stared at the airplane on the tarmac. What the hell was she doing? The Alaska Airlines flight was taking off in twenty minutes, and she was actually going to be on it.

Her phone rang and she dug it out of her purse, cringing when she saw her best friend Blair’s name on the caller ID. She answered anyway.

“How did she take it?” Blair asked.

“Well . . .” Megan glanced up at the digital sign by the gate. Five minutes to boarding.

“Wait.” Blair’s voice was short. “Tell me that you told her.”

“I told her.”

Her friend paused. “You’re lying. That’s your lying voice.”

Megan shook her head. “I have a lying voice?”

“It goes up half an octave and gets tight at the end.”

“Should it worry me that you know me that well?”

“We’ve been friends since kindergarten. I’d hope I know you that well.” Blair groaned. “You might be trying to change the subject, but your mother’s going to notice when you don’t show up to your own wedding.”

The overhead PA system blurted a staticky message about a changed gate, and Megan covered the microphone on her phone.

“Megan, you have to tell her!” Blair said in frustration.

“I will.” The digital sign now said four minutes to boarding.

“When?”

“Later this afternoon.”

“Why not just call her now?” The overhead PA sounded again and Blair gasped. “Are you actually at the airport?”

“Blair . . .”

“You never canceled your flight, did you?”

Megan brushed her hair out of her face and leaned forward, lowering her voice. “Honestly, Blair. I forgot.”

“Lie.”

Tears stung Megan’s eyes. “I need a friend right now, Blair. Not a damned lie detector.”

“I’m sorry.” Blair sighed. “You’re right. Trust me, I understand why you’ve stalled. Your mother scares me, and you know I don’t scare easily. But you have to tell her, Megs. The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be.”

“I know, but I want to tell her in person. At this point, I could hardly do anything else.”

“So you’re really coming home?”

Megan cast a glance at the gate. “I’m boarding the plane in two minutes.”

“Okay.” Blair was quiet for several seconds, and Megan knew she was making some kind of plan. Blair was the one person you could count on in a crisis. If there was ever a zombie apocalypse, her best chance of survival was to stick by Blair’s side. “You’re going to need to escape tonight. Maybe you, me, and Libby can go out.”

Megan swallowed the lump in her throat. “Thank you.”

“What are best friends for? Call me when the deed is done, although I suspect I’ll hear the yelling all the way downtown. If you need to stay at my place, I have a spare bed for you.”

“What about Neil?”

“He’s on a three-day business trip and won’t be home until Friday. But even so, he doesn’t like to spend weeknights together.”

“But you’re getting married in three months. Aren’t you going to be living together?”

“Of course,” she said, sounding defensive. “We’ll work it out when we need to.”

“I don’t get it,” Megan muttered, shaking her head.

“Says the woman boarding a plane to fly to her wedding even though she broke up with her fiancé five weeks ago.”

“Six.”

“Sadly, that makes it worse.”

An airline employee at the gate counter picked up the microphone. “We are about to board Flight 365 to Kansas City. First class passengers will board first.”

“Blair, I’ve got to go. They’re boarding first class. Considering how much the ticket cost, I might as well board first and get something out of it.”

“Don’t forget the alcohol. You get free drinks.”

Megan rolled her eyes, even if the gesture was lost on her friend. “It’s not even eleven o’clock in the morning, Blair.”

“Mimosas. Bloody Marys. Screwdrivers. There’s a whole assortment of brunch drinks.”

The overhead PA switched on again. “Now boarding our first class passengers.”

Megan grabbed her purse and stood. “They’re boarding. I’ll call you later.”

“You can do it, Megs. What’s the worst she can do?”

She shuddered. “I don’t even want to consider it. I’ll let you know how it goes.” She hung up and stuffed her phone into her purse, eyeing the gate with apprehension.

The thought of boarding the plane made her nervous for another reason. Turbulence gave her horrible airsickness. But her coworker had suggested she take Dramamine as a preventive measure. While Megan hated taking medication, even aspirin for a headache, she had enough to worry about once she got off the plane. The last thing she wanted to do was spend every moment on board battling nausea. She pulled a bottle of water out of her bag, shook two pills from the travel-size container, and swallowed them, hoping they worked in time.

She stood behind a businessman with a bad comb-over, who looked to be a good twenty years older than her.

He glanced over his shoulder and grinned as he eyed her up and down. “Have you considered your retirement needs?”

Her eyebrows rose. “Retirement?”

“What are you, thirty-two? Thirty-four?”

Megan shot him a glare. “Twenty-nine.”

His grin widened as he moved forward with the line. “It’s never too early to start. Maybe we can chat about it on the plane if we’re sitting next to each other.”

The way her life was going lately, it seemed almost inevitable.

But thankfully, he sat in the front row and she was in seat 3D. She stuffed her purse under the seat and looked out the window, remembering when she and Jay had bought the plane tickets to fly to Kansas City to their wedding. That should have been her first clue that Jay was an asshole she shouldn’t marry. He’d insisted that they each pay for their own ticket.

“Can I get you something, Ms. Vandemeer?”

Megan turned to look at the pretty flight attendant who was smiling down at her. She was perfect, from the top of her blond head to the tips of her fashionable yet practical shoes. To the untrained observer, her smile appeared friendly, but Megan had spent eighteen years under the tutelage of her impossibly perfect mother—long enough for her to know a fake smile when she saw one. And the reminder of her mother was nearly enough to send her over the edge. “Uh . . . a mimosa?”

The attendant nodded. “Coming right up.”

Other passengers filed past Megan, and after a while she realized that the only open first class seat was next to hers. Maybe Jay had forgotten to cancel his ticket, too. Though that didn’t seem likely. Jay was a penny-pinching snob. But what else had she expected from an investment banker? His idea of a wild night was moving her 401K into high-risk mutual funds. Creepy financial planner dude was a year too late.

The flight attendant brought her the drink, and Megan sipped it faster than intended, trying to quell her nerves. The knots in her shoulders were just loosening up when one of the attendants started to shut the cabin door. The woman stopped mid-action, holding the door open to let one last passenger on board. He stood in the front of the aisle, his gaze taking in the empty seat next to hers.

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