Love Struck (Miss Match #2)

By: Laurelin McGee

Luckily, bridezillas were almost Lacy’s specialty at this point. She knew how to handle them. She wasn’t exaggerating when she said she’d sung at enough weddings to know what they were like. At last count, there were almost thirty. It didn’t mean she thought Andy would turn into a nightmare bride, exactly. Just that, if she did, Lacy was prepared.

“I wasn’t freaked about the wedding until I met Tim. I know he’s well meaning. But he’s also terrifying.”

Lacy doubted that. He wouldn’t be the best in the city if he were honestly terrifying. But she didn’t want to argue, so she closed her eyes for the remainder of the ride to avoid discussing it further. A sharp elbow to the ribs told her where they were at the stop, unnecessary since she wasn’t actually asleep. She swallowed her irritation and held her sister’s hand as they walked up the tiled path outside Boston Brides as she remembered another thing from her own wedding planning—getting married was the scariest shit ever.

She’d almost forgotten that. The little doubt-spiders that had crept up her spine constantly. Forever? Creep, bite. With one person? Bite, bite. Putting the whole event together? Bite, venom, coma.

Even though she’d wanted it. Even though she’d known Lance was The One. There had still been the fear. She squeezed Andy’s hand to reassure her. Or herself. Maybe they both needed a little squeeze.

But when they weren’t even up the steps and the door burst open so forcefully that Lacy was concerned it would fly off its hinges, she started to wonder if she should have given Andy’s remarks more credibility.

“There you are! It’s about goddamn time. We’re behind!”

Lacy drew up short, tightening her grip on her sister’s hand. The man in the doorway was only about her height, five ten maybe, with beautifully coiffed blond hair, a pressed suit, and black-rimmed glasses. He looked like he should be the butler in a movie about an Italian fashion designer. The crass words that came out of his mouth, however …

“Told you,” Andy muttered. “Tim! We’re early, actually.” She leapt up the steps and gave the man a kiss on the cheek. He wiped it off, semi-surreptitiously, and glared.

“Barely,” he told her. “Who’s the blonde?”

“My sister. Remember? I told you she’d be with me.” Andy was much more patient with her planner than called for. Then again, he was the best.

“But you didn’t tell me she was blonde.” This time Tim’s glare went past Andy to fall on Lacy.

“You’re blond too,” Lacy reminded him.

He narrowed his eyes further but directed his comment to Andy. “She’ll throw off my color scheme! It was built around your hair. Are you dead set on involving her?”

Lacy’s mouth fell open. Was he really suggesting cutting her from the wedding just because her hair was the wrong color? Maybe he just had an odd sense of humor. The kind that wasn’t funny.

“Yes, Tim. That’s a non-negotiable.” So far Andy appeared to be perfectly capable of handling the man by herself. If Lacy wasn’t so stunned by him, she might have suggested her sister take the meeting without her.

Tim sighed overdramatically. “Well, screw everything. We’ll have to revise. You better come in.”

Lacy fingered her scheme-destroying curls as Tim led them inside to a wood-paneled room filled with low tables, portfolios, and very expensive-looking rugs. With each step, he winced, as if he had hidden nerve endings in the carpets. He stopped at a table and flipped open a binder.

“You see this?”

Lacy and Andy leaned down to study the pictures before them. “You did the Jen Jankovich wedding?” Lacy asked, recognizing the elite heiress socialite celebrity in the photos. It had been one of the biggest events in recent Boston history.

Tim theatrically clapped his hand to his chest. “God, no. If I’d done that event, the city would still be talking about it. That planner had absolutely no taste. There’s far too much white going on and far too few elephants.”

“I didn’t realize there were elephants at all.” Andy seemed to actually be imagining how to incorporate pachyderms in her ceremony.

“There weren’t. That’s my point.”

Lacy bit her lip. “Terrifying” wasn’t the word Lacy would have used for him. “Hilarious” was better. He was so strange, so outrageous, so intense. It was hard to imagine that his plans for the big event wouldn’t reflect those same attributes. Now that was terrifying.

“That was an example of what not to do.” He slammed the portfolio shut. “Your event, on the other hand, is going to be gigantic,” he informed Andy. “The talk of the town. The ceremony of the century. A mind-blowing pain in the ass.”

Lacy was baffled. Wasn’t that a good thing for someone whose living was made off gigantic events?

“I know, Tim.” The desperation in Andy’s voice was at least half put on. “That’s why I need you. I’m completely overwhelmed.”

Lacy would have sworn he actually puffed up like a fancy bird.

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