Thanks to the Haunted Wordsmith for hosting the #3ThingsChallenge. Today’s things are: discovery, lace, basketball.
Credit: Caroline Hernandez via Unsplash
Kate tromped through the bushes, in her wedding gown; at least she’d switched to her flats. The fist fight between her fiancé, and his best man, Jim, had her heart thumping fast. She ran to catch Evan as he disappeared into the pussy willows, into the Woods. The sun burnt her skin, and she swore as makeup and sweat melted in rivulets down her face.
She’d met Ev playing pick-up basketball with friends, walking her fiendish dog, Slash. He was a rescue dog, and Ev abhorred him. Slash won him over when Ev learnt that the accident-prone doxie was left to die by the side of a road — just as him. Both doxie and man had a roped scar down their torso.
Ev had studied law within the military, but had been called up for a tour in Afghanistan. A mine exploded, killing one of his squad and leaving Evan half-dead; his right side slick with blood and guts.
It was two-years since Kate met Ev in the park and nine-months since he proposed, but only six-months with therapy twice-a-week that lessened his nightmares of that insufferable day.
Kate’s lace dress tore as she shoved her train over her shoulder. Where was her made of honor, Rose? She couldn’t get out of her corset alone.
“Ev?” In the stillness of nature she searched. “Where are you? What happened with Jim?” No answer, but leaves crackled. “Ev, please. It’s our wedding.” Little trails of blood marked Kate’s skin as prickled branches scratched.
Kate blew out her breath; a long train and flats made hikes through the woods impossible. “Don’t do this to me, don’t ruin our day because of him. You’re out, and you’re finally getting over the horror — you and Slash. You’re working at you’re dad’s practice, and you’re why I haven’t been drinking these past two-months.”
Kate’s throat was raw, and she heard twigs snap as she neared Ev’s scuff-less shoes cast aside. The pussy willow fluff in the air made her sneeze. She wiped her nose and sniffled. Her allergies alone hadn’t caused her eyes to tinge red and her nose to drip. She rubbed her eyes and screamed. Tears leaked out of her eyes, a constant dripping faucet.
“Kate?” Finally, Ev stepped out from the woods, barefoot. Her handsome guy in a fitted suit. He’d thrown his jacket over his arm, and his sleeves were rolled. He held a beer to his blackened-eye.
“Ev, thank God. I’ve been yelling your name forever. There’s barely cell reception, and we’ve missed our ceremony. What happened with Jim?”
Ev grumbled and rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t want to talk, not today.”
“He’s your best man.”
“Not anymore, Cameron’s in.” Kate sat beside Ev on a fallen tree.
It crackled as she sat, and tore at her lace skirt. “You ruined my dress, you know. My mother will never forgive me.”
Ev rubbed a hand over her cheek. “Your shoulders are sun-burnt and you’re face is red; you’ve raccoon eyes too.”
“How observant of you.”
He grimaced then pressed his lips twice against hers, back and forth. “I would’ve come back. I wouldn’t leave you. I told Cameron to say I needed two hours.”
“Well, Cameron wasn’t fast enough. I saw you leave and ditched my Kate Spade’s. While I searched for you I suffered terrible allergies. Now that you’re discovered, I’m mad at you, Ev.”
“I get that. I still don’t want to talk about Jim.”
Kate huffed. She pushed at Ev’s shoulders. He teetered, but didn’t fall. She shoved him until she was pounding at his chest and shoulders. Then Kate rushed Ev as if she were a linebacker. Ev didn’t fall or talk.
Instead, he sniggered, a hand holding his stomach. “You have to stop! My stomach hurts from holding in my laughter of your whimpiness. Stop running at me; you’re exhausted.”
Kate grabbed Ev’s tie and yanked. “You pick up my train and march us back to the ceremony. Don’t pull this shit on me today.”
Ev’s mouth hung open, and Kate closed it, peach nails digging into his chin. “Bella, luckily, will fix my makeup and hair and even has a little vacuum to get the thorns and twigs from my ruined dress. We’re getting married, screw Jim.”
“You don’t want to know what happened?”
“Not until tomorrow.”
“Shut it. There maybe no guests, but your dad surely knows a judge who can help us before tonight.”
“Listen Kate –”
“No, you listen.”
“He hurt me. When that landmine killed Jace, he pushed me too. Jim was scared, but he was also a trained soldier. I asked him straight out who pushed me three-years ago. Today, he chose to tell me it was him who left me to die; him who never returned for me until twenty-three hours later.”
“Selfish prick. I’d like to deal with that coward myself. I’m sorry, Ev. I would’ve wanted to tackle him too”
“I’d have forgiven him anything as long as he’d been honest. No guy we were with would’ve said a thing, and they didn’t. It wasn’t their fight. But, it’s two-years later and he’s lied all this time. I went through so much. I’m still going through it.”
Kate swore and grabbed her phone from her clutch. She texted Rose.
“What are you doing?” Ev’s grey-eyes were wide. His hand stopped her typing.
“I postponed things. We’ll get married at the hall tonight before the fesitivities. It will be a half-hour, not a whole service, thankfully. This time away’s more important.”
Ev nodded and she gawked as tears ran down his face. “I’ve never seen you cry. Not even in physiotherapy.”
He pulled her down next to him, and buried his face in her neck. A wet cooling sensation flowed onto her collar. She barely flinched when his tears stung her sunburned skin. He needed to get this out, and Kate didn’t want him to notice her pain. She embraced Ev, and didn’t move until he was done.
Eventually, he peered up. “How much time?” His voice rasped and his face was flushed.
“Until 5:30 p.m. Rose and Cameron have it arranged. Everyone saw what happened with Jim. They’ll understand.”
Ev pushed a hand through his chocolate hair and wiped his eyes. “My face is probably as red as yours.” Kate leaned against him and the rip of her skirt up her leg made them both wince.
Ev shrugged. “It’s okay, babe. We’ll deal with it. We’ll get through tonight, and everyday after that. You’re my new bestie, and Cameron’s been promoted too.” She smirked and entwined their fingers.
Her thumb brushed over his mouth and his hand wrapped around her head, as he laid it on her shoulder.
Ev played with her curls. “Now, I look like a homeless wood nymph. Your fingers aren’t helping my hair. Ev kissed her neck beneath her ear.
She rested her cheek against his hair, as he laughed. “I like your new look. The amount of leg where your dress ripped is also an improvement.”
Kate elbowed Ev and he sniggered. He placed his hands around her face. “Is it true I’m the reason you haven’t been drinking? Is it because -?” She nodded and Ev’s eyes twinkled. When he grinned and rocked her back and forth, she knew the wedding would turn out.
He placed his hand on her belly. “Let’s hope Slash isn’t the jealous type.”
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