Icing on the Cake

A wedding was to take place. It would be wonderful, and Clarabelle Darling, best friend of the bride, couldn't be more ecstatic for the happy couple.

What the woman did not need, however, was her own happy ending with a man that she found to be intolerably insufferable: completely the opposite of all she looked for in a man. However, there was no escape, as he just so happened to be the groom's best man.

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3. Chapter 2

Time seemed to tick by slowly for Clarabelle as they marched around the corner, Abigail careening her towards where, she hoped the tipsy girl knew, the reception was being held.

Each step felt like a weight was being pressed against her shoulders; as if her tardiness somehow meant this was karma's way of teaching her a lesson - looking after the drunk bride (or atleast making sure atleast she made it back in time).

"Abi," she gasped as they took a sharp corner and she almost bowled into a man as she apologised quickly with a flushed face. "Are you even are of where you're going? We've been wanding for 5 minutes now." And she was sure she recognised the arrangement of paintings on the corridor wall...

"Oh, hush, Clara!" she exhaled excitedly. "We're almost there. Can't you hear the sound of music in the air? It's simply exhilarating!"

However, Clarabelle, her face distorted with amused confusion, could not. Either she was truly getting old, and therefore deaf, or the tiny woman beside her had finally reach the end of her tether - she had gone simply insane.

Before she could begin her protests of asking someone for help, the ssmall brunette swing them around the sharp edge of a corridor that lead to the entrance of two rather large white double doors.

"Oh," Clarabelle was startled. "I do believe I stand corrected," she muttered sourly under her breath as Abigail giggled at her.

"We may now start the rehearsel!" The bride-to-be hollared as she pushed both intricately designed doors open with a flourish, exciting a loud uproar of bellowing from the men and women, clapping at Abigail's enthusiastic entrance. No doubt most just wanted it over and done with by this point.

There was no account for bad taste in the room; it was spotless. The walls were cream, with intricate designs gracing the ceiling where a giant diamond chandelier hung, the sparkling light embracing the room and its occupants in a glowing manner that felt like the moon was spilling in through the roof. The circular tables were lined with white table-cloths, upon which stood a small bouquet of red roses in the center with five sets of silver plates and cuttlery spaced out.

The brunette traipsed into the room, heels clicking on the marble floor, and all eyes on her, while Clarabelle's hand was trapped inside her claw, dragging her along for the attention-riddled ride.

"Now, you just have to meet Ethan's cousin, Virgil. He's simply to die for, Belle!"

"Abigail." She scolded quickly, fiercly, and the girl flushed sheepishly.

"Sorry, Clara."

Said woman dismissed it with a wave, but her face showed otherwise as she was frowning, thoroughly peeved by her mistake.

Sensing her friend's quarrel, even in her inebriated state, Abigail's own elated mood faltered for just a moment, before she stoppded them both by a table of children, who seemed to be using the lovely white table-cloths as colouring sheets.

The smaller woman turned to Clarabelle, eyes drunk with love, as she took both of her hands in her own between their bodies. "Clara, do you remember the first time I met Ethan?"

The woman snorted lightly, covering her fault up with an embarrassed chuckle, "Of course I do. There were several haughty, if not rude, words exchanged. There was also a poor octopus used in the line of fire, if I do remember correctly."

"And several batches of pudding gone to waste after they were discarded on Ethan's head," Abigail laughed to herself, placing both hers' and Clarabelle's right hand over her mouth to stifle the laughter.

"'My new hunting coat!'" They cried together in attempted masculine voices, mocking the man who was no more than 30-feet away, and no more aware of their conversation than anyone else in the room.

Abigail broke hands to wipe away the glistening tears that threatened to smudge her mascara and sighed, her drunken giggles coming to a close. "I didn't quite expect this," she glanced around, almost melancholic, at the festivities taking place, "After that meeting."

Clarabelle smiled gently, her face finally relieved of stress. "I believe you aren't alone. I imagine anyone who had the please of witnessing you both our second year would have seen body bags rather than wedding rings." She joked, but hel a certain amount of truth to her words.

For a moment, she thought Abigail was going to reply with an equally as amusing anecdote, but Clarabelle was instead surprised when Abigail instead burst into another fit of giggles, and the blonde sighed heavily.

"Gosh, we were such troublesome buggers!"

Clarabelle smiled, her mood now dapper. "That is certainly one way to put it," shaking her head lightly, she hooked her arm into the babbling brunette's as she recounted stories of the couple's hate-love relationship as students. Instead of paying attention to the woman, she rather focused on maneuvering around drunken uncles and scattered children as they scuttled around on the floor.

She almost thanked the lord outloud, as blasphemous as it was, when she caught sight of a certain dark-haired handsome as he stood at a table towards the bottom-centre of the room, in front of a small stage, marble-white like the rest of the room, with a string-quartet playing symphonically, with a glass of champagne in his right hand as he was talking to several other very handsome, very muscular men in black tuxedos.

Feeling more than a little intimidated, yet obligated, she marched over to the men and the circle of testosterone broke as Ethan's sparkling blue eyes caught sight of his soon to be bride, placing his glass down.

Clarabelle mozied straight past the men, and gave Ethan a questioning look. "I appears you've lost a fiancé."

Ethan guffawed loudly, grinning at her. "And found a maid of honour!"

Clarabelle smiled as he wrapped his huge arms around her in a tight, quick bear ug, kissing Abigail's forehead after. "You look good," he said, appraising her attire.

And suddenly, she felt rather uncomfortable in her little black dress as she tugged on the bottom near the middle of her thigh, hoping to add another inch onto the material.

"As do you, Charlton." She smilde, their playful banter ever present as they bounced off one another. "I wasn't aware I knew an escaped convict, but apparently I'm learning a fair few things tonight."

Ethan smiled goofily as he ran his hand across his dark cropped hair. It reminded Clarabelle of a marine; he certainly had the build to pull it off, though.

The man in question laughed in a wiley manner. "It was a shock to Abigail this morning, too."

The blonde watched as Abigail turned a distasteful, drunken eye towards his now less-than-full head of hair.

"I now see why she's consumed her own body weight in alcohol." She eyed the bride, then him, with a raised brow.

"It's a wedding reception, sweetheart; if you're not getting drunk, you're doing something wrong." A sudden voice interrupted, a loud guffaw present from the strange man's lips.

Clarabelle eyed the man that stood next to the groom - the one with a cheeky smile on his handsome face. She had never seen him before in her life, but he wasn't one to be easily forgotten. Built like a house, the man was huge; his arms looked like they could snap a tree trunk in his white undershirt, and his pecs gave a very good insight as to what the rest of his insatiable body was hiding.

She managed to force her eyes up to his face. "Is that so?" She asked, her manner droll and unimpressed.

He, however, grinned a gleaming, pearly-white grin. "Indeed it is." His plump lips formed a devilish smile that turned his strangely alluring hazel-green eyes into a creased-line.

She stared at him, gaze relentless and full of pure distaste. "Well, thank you for your input." It was then that she decided upon ignoring him. It was clear he was a pompous man who indulged himself in alcohol and, with that strong, squared jaw, women, too. And Clarabelle had no need associating herself with such men.

Appropriately, the unforgotten pixie-like drunk spun to attention. "Can we start now? I fear if we wait any longer your cousins will have devoured the entire buffet table!"

Ethan smiled, giving the arrogant mystery man a pat of the back. "Fetch a glass of water for the bride," the man rolled his eyes in return, reluctant, yet left the confines of the male-riddled group, yet not before tossing Clarabelle one final, unnoticed glance. "And then we shall start, dear." He wrapped his arm around her petite shoulders and she leaned into him.

It wasn't up until that moment that Clarabelle finally wondered aloud. "Where am I to be seated?"

Ethan blinked at her, well aware that he was going to have to take the bullet for his little drunken brunette. He glanced towards the now sparce circle of men, down to just two, of which he was talking to previously, as the rest of his rugby team had found either more alcohol or were off chasing numerous women somewhere.

"Well, as we're not in the appropriate seats tonight," Clarabelle had no idea what that meant, "because, obviously, we're meant to have a much larger room, you'll be seated on table 3. Just there."

He pointed to the identical table two down from them where one of the previous muscle-bound men was already seated.

Clarabelle's head immediately whipped back around, her curls bouncing off her cheeks at the sudden movement, and she threw him a murderous look, which Ethan slightly shrank back at, yet composed herself a moment later.

Livid at being placed next to complete strangers, she managed to reign in her insatiable need to shake the man by his lapels and straightened her posture.

"I understand," she noted. "But there will be words in the morning."

As she stomped in her high heels over to the table, scraping her chair across the floor as she sat down, Ethan nodded for his friend to follow her footsteps.

All he knew now was that, after the celebrations tonight, he had another eventful meeting to look forward to in the morning.

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