Confessions of A Bridesmaid by Narcissus87
Summary:

"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." - George W. Bush


This story is the product of what happens when you mix families, homecomings, childhood rivalries, weddings and love.


Categories: Music, Original Fiction Characters: None
Classification: None
Genre: Action-Adventure , Comedy , Drama, Family, Friendship, Romance
Story Status: Active
Pairings: None
Warnings: Work in Progress
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 14 Completed: No Word count: 45987 Read: 15675 Published: November 21 2020 Updated: September 09 2021

1. Chapter One by Narcissus87

2. Chapter Two by Narcissus87

3. Chapter Three by Narcissus87

4. Chapter Four by Narcissus87

5. Chapter Five by Narcissus87

6. Chapter Six by Narcissus87

7. Chapter Seven by Narcissus87

8. Chapter Eight by Narcissus87

9. Chapter Nine by Narcissus87

10. Chapter Ten by Narcissus87

11. Chapter Eleven by Narcissus87

12. Chapter Twelve by Narcissus87

13. Chapter Thirteen by Narcissus87

14. Chapter 14 by Narcissus87

Chapter One by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

"If you mess with the big sister, there's always a younger, crazier little sister behind her that you don't want to mess with." -Unknown


Song Inspiration: "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett

I can’t believe it went this far. 


“Please turn to the left, Miss Noble.” 


I mean, all we were trying to do was help my sister get her man back. I swear it was for a good cause... or at least 10% of it was. And the rest was all reserved for our dear old gal pal, Daisy Montgomery. 


“To the left, Miss Noble! Otherwise, the Detective will assist you if you’re directionally challenged,” the snippy officer ordered.


Looking over in the direction of said Detective, the combination of humiliation and anger fueled me all over again. I turned my body completely to the left so that a mugshot of my profile can be taken. I knew something bad was going to happen, but not to this extent. My own harebrained scheme not only got me into trouble with the law, but Leslie (the sister I was helping) and our younger sister Callie. 


We look absolutely hideous in these hot pink and leopard print bridesmaids dresses (you read that right, leopard print). We were covered in mud and let’s not even touch the mess that is our hair. We kind of got carried away. I just hate that this was another mess added to Leslie’s pile and we still came out the losers — a fact Daisy always loved to remind us of. 


Poor Leslie, she looks like she’s about to have a breakdown. We were all bridesmaids for Daisy’s wedding, not the normal supportive kind, but the kind that purposely goes out of their way to ruin the special day type. Daisy may have won the battle, but my sisters and I are going to win the war, that’s if they’re not too mad at me. Even if they are I can promise that one way or another I’m going to make Miss Daisy Montgomery pay. She went too far this time. This isn’t over by a long shot. 


I know that may sound a little bitter, but trust me when I say this feeling isn’t coming out of nowhere, this has been building up for years, and just like every teapot that comes to a boil, it starts to sing.


You’re coming in on the middle of this story let’s go back to the beginning to catch you up on why I’m about to have my name added to the system. Let’s go back about 32 years. 


Daisy, Leslie, Callie and I grew up together since we were babies. Daisy’s mother, Jacqueline Montgomery was friends with my mother before we were born. So naturally, our mothers scheduled regular play dates. Leslie is actually Callie’s and my cousin, she was adopted by my parents after she was born.


Leslie was born four months before me. Unfortunately my dad’s sister, Auntie Lauren, had died after she gave birth, and since Leslie’s father had split long before she was even born, my dad stepped up and took Leslie in. As dad tells it, mom happily took her in pregnant and all with no mumbling or grumbling. They made our family work. My parents treated Leslie just the same as me and my other siblings. They called her their daughter and she called them her parents.


Though Callie was a year younger than us, that didn’t stop our trio from becoming thick as thieves. We also had a big sister, Bianca, to teach us the ways of the wise. 


We all loved hanging out with each other and Daisy. What made our relationship challenging was that she had a knack for allowing her spoiled ways to ruin our times together. Everything had to go Daisy’s way or it was nothing at all. It was ridiculous, but what made us keep her around was her home, better known as the Montgomery Estate. It was like heaven on earth for us. Secret passageways, the most extravagant flower garden and the best sleepovers.


The house itself was magical for us. As little girls we played every game by Daisy’s rules and if she thought we weren’t playing right, she’d scream for her mother, Jacqueline, to back her up and of course she would automatically take her daughter’s side. I hated that Daisy would purposely call on her mother and tell on us because Jacqueline always threatened to send us home and if that happened we would get into so much trouble with our mother. Daisy took joy in the downfalls of others especially the Noble girls. 


By the time high school rolled around Daisy used to go behind our backs to steal our spotlight. If Callie earned the leading role in the school play, guess who literally bought their way into the spot? When Leslie earned a high grade, who do you think would throw the biggest tantrum just to upstage my sister? Or if I practiced day and night for the solo at the spring concert, who would play teacher’s pet and would manipulate them causing another student to lose their spot? And let’s say a guy showed any of us any bit of interest, who could we always count on to flirt her way into the guy’s radar? If you guessed Daisy, thank you for paying attention. I like you already!


There was this unspoken knowledge that Daisy was the queen bee and we were her colony. Her reign ended during our senior year of high school. I couldn’t take it anymore. Not only was she sneaky, she was evil. There was no level too low for her. As for me; I had limits and Daisy had crossed me for the last time. 


When I graduated from Kennedy High School, I moved to the city to pursue my dreams. Callie moved in with me a year later. She’s an actress and I’m a singer. We definitely learned the true definitions of broke college students who were also struggling artists, however we survived. 


Two years after my departure from my hometown, I ended up pregnant with twin girls. Their names are Eden and Aspen, who are now twelve years old. They’re the joys and loves of my life. Their father is a totally different story, there was no love lost between us.


He’s a decent father, but Montell wasn’t ready for parenthood and 10 years later his actions still proves he’s not ready. If you let his mother, Ms. Evelyn, tell it like it was she would admit to her son being trifling, but nothing and no one would get in the way of her relationship with her granddaughters. Ms. Evelyn never gave me a hard time or pressured me to make things work with her son. We had a great understanding she was like a second mother to me. And the girls adored their Grammy. 


When I realized where Montell’s head was when I told him I was pregnant, I knew I was going to have to step up to the plate and be a single mom. Adoption or abortion was an option for me, I was still determined to be the girl who would chase her dreams even if I had to continue writing songs for some of the biggest names in the industry for a while. At least my foot was in the door. 


Though it sucked to not be in the spotlight like I always dreamt, this woman had mouths to feed, bodies to clothe and roof to keep over some precious heads. Even with all the unexpected highs and lows, the plan never changed for me to stop fighting for my chance to be a star. Now that the girls are older, it’s easier for me to go a little harder to turn my childhood dream to reality. 


Leslie stayed home after our high school graduation. She became a high school math teacher. She told us that she was dating a guy named Issac, who was her co worker's brother. Apparently they met at some type of open house event and hit it off. According to our eldest sister Bianca, the art teacher at the same high school, Isaac is a good guy. 


So when Leslie, a relatively private person, recently updated her relationship status on social media to “in a relationship.” We knew it was serious and another reason to meet and grill the lucky guy. Leslie was a sweet girl and we tended to be overprotective of her. 


I guess one could say that coming back to our small, country and quaint hometown was the break we didn’t know we needed. In all honesty I didn’t want a break. You know that saying, when it rains, it pours? Well, right now we both were currently in a drought. Callie couldn’t land any roles worth acting. She ended up picking up a job as a waitress to help pay the bills. I told her I had us covered, but she refused to be dependent on me when I had two growing girls to raise. I respected her decision, but I always let her know it wasn’t necessary. I just didn’t want my sister to give up on her dreams. She is honestly one of the best undiscovered actresses.I know it’s a matter of time before she finds the role that changes her life. 


I, on the other hand, had writer’s block. It was weird, I could write songs for everyone else, but when I wrote a song to fit me and my voice, I drew a blank. I knew every topic I wanted to address, but not even a complete line would come to me. It was frustrating! Ever since I was a little girl, I could write a song about anything. My first song was about bubble gum. 


“I think it’s dumb

That I can’t eat bubble gum, 

but Bianca can have some.

Mommy keeps telling me wait till you’re older,

She thinks I’ll stick it in places all over. 

But it’s not fair, I just want a taste

Of chewy strawberry, great grape-ilicious or even boring spearmint that tastes like paste!

Mama, don’t hum, please give me some gum!”


That little diddy earned me my first piece of chewing gum. Thank you very much. I always go back to that song to remind me that I was born to be a singer/songwriter. Writing lyrics came to me as easily as it is to breathe, but as of late I’ve been suffocating and coming back home was only going to prolong the process of this block. 


However, I really had no choice in the matter because Bianca was getting married to her high school sweetheart, Harrison. Fate had forced me to go back home. And boy, was I in for quite a few surprises. 


I packed the bags for myself and the twins. I was extra nervous. Going back home was always a different experience. The last time I was home was for my grandfather’s funeral that turned into a boxing match between my uncles. My mother was so embarrassed, but my sisters and I got a major kick out of it. The reason they were fighting was because my Uncle Frank felt he and his family should have walked in first behind my grandmother because he was the one that took care of our grandparents. Instead, Uncle Pete and his family came in first behind my grandmother because all of the siblings, except for Uncle Frank, agreed that the procession should be led by the eldest child with the youngest sibling at the end, which was him. 


We were in a church, but my grandma got her sons together as if they were five year olds cutting up in class. She didn’t curse them out, but her tone held just the same amount. Everyone knows that the universal motherly tone meant you’d better shape up before you get your behind wore out. And she made them apologize in front of everybody. My sisters, our dad and I were crying laughing. The ushers bought us Kleenex because she thought we were emotional over our grandfather. As classy as my mother is, you would never believe who her siblings were, but we loved them all the same. 


This trip back home would be for a more joyous occasion. Drama had a way of following us Nobles. I was hoping it would’ve been different this time around, but like my grandma says, “that would be too much like right.”

End Notes:

I hope you've enjoyed what you read and you're ready to read more. This story was inspired by one of one my favorite movies (Revenge of The Bridesmaids). There are some similarities, but the characters and a lot of parts in this story are solely my ideas that I've been brainstorming for the longest time. My plan is to finish this story and give the rest of the sisters their own stories. 


I've written stories before, but they've never felt organic. This time around I'm feeling more confident with this. Let me know what you think. 




Thank you for reading! 🥰

Chapter Two by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

Song Inspiration:

"Somewhere" by The West Side Story Cast

"Heaven On The Ground" by Josè James ft. Emily King

 

Callie and I were walking into the area of the castle where the ceremony would be taking place. We’d gotten our hair and make up done. But we were still in our jeans and button up shirts. I was nervous meeting the conductor of music alone, so I drug Callie along with me. We left Leslie and Bianca in the room to get ready. I told them I needed to call our parents to check on the twins and that I needed some air so I wouldn’t sweat my makeup off.


Bianca had no clue that I’d be singing one of her favorite songs from her favorite movie, “Funny Girl.” She used to beg me to sing it all the time when we were younger. I finally got so tired of singing it, I told her if she wanted me to sing that song then she would have to pay me. And because she never paid me, I never sang it again.


Her fiancé called me a few weeks ago asking me to sing the song at their wedding since I wasn’t in the wedding party, which is TOTALLY fine with me. I actually enjoyed being a part of the crowd at weddings. This was a fact that my sisters were well aware of. When we used to have our numerous yet random sister chats I vowed to them that on their wedding days I would be their personal assistant for the entire day with the condition of them letting me sit and watch their wedding as a guest instead of being a bridesmaid. Bianca being the first and only Noble sister to be married so far, took me up on that offer. 


Even though I made that silly protest to only sing her favorite song if I was paid, obviously I would sing for free. In fact, I never charge to sing at weddings. It’s an honor to sing at them and there’s always a certain magic in the air. Singing at weddings always gave me tingles and inspiration for new music. Coming up with original lyrics was priceless. Not everyone was born with the gift to write. Callie interrupted my thoughts. 


“I knew that Harrison was crazy about Bianca, but not the spoil her like crazy type and give her a straight out of a magazine wedding.” She stated, looking around the wedding venue.


Her observation was accurate, Callie wasn’t exaggerating. Not even a little bit. Anyone who knew Bianca, knew she loved all things flowers, natural lighting and elegance. The mansion had large windows that allowed the sun to shine through perfectly without blinding anyone. 


While we were in the midst of taking in our surroundings, the butler approached us with a silver tray topped with glass flutes of champagne. He offered us the drinks and we graciously accepted them and thanked him. He nodded and turned away. After taking a sip, Callie broke the silence. 


“This castle is way better than the Montgomery Estate! All the flowers that’s draped all over the place are real. And Harry even got the Laurel Springs Symphony Orchestra to play the music for the ceremony and reception all because BeBe absolutely adores them. Speaking of the orchestra, are you nervous to do your solo with them playing behind you?” Callie asked with concern.


“I’m not so much worried about singing with an orchestra. I’m more concerned about singing this song in particular. The last time I sang it out in public was when we were little. My voice has changed. I just hope Bianca is happy with the result,” I answered her solemnly. Then to distract myself from more worrying I continued the conversation about the wedding decorations. “Did you honestly expect anything less from Harry? After all their times of being on and off again, and his surprise marriage and baby with his psychotic ex-wife, Ivy. Harrison owes Bianca the world. I’m just happy that his daughter and Bianca get along so well.”


“Yeah, me too. We have to admit that our big sis has done well for herself,” Callie smiled as she held her flute of champagne up for us to toast to the newlyweds’ interesting journey.


There were so many people against Harrison and Bianca for so many reasons. Different racial backgrounds, economic status and career choices. The thing was, Harrison is what many of these southern belles would consider a hot commodity. Ever since their high school years there were more haters than supporters. Now they’re grown enough to ignore opinions and traditions and follow their hearts. Most importantly, I was glad they survived the storm known as Ivy. But that's another story for another time. *Hint, hint!*


“The ceremony starts in 45 minutes, why aren’t you two dressed yet? And did you even speak to the conductor yet, Sophia?” A voice spoke from behind us. Both Callie and I turned to them.


“Oh me, oh my.  Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes.” I complimented. 


“Yes. Leslie you look absolutely beautiful.” Callie added. 


Leslie was in her full maid of honor wedding attire. She wore an all black long chiffon dress with a modest v- neck that led down to a satin waistline, the back of the dress was much more daring with its crisscrossing back straps design. Her makeup was flawless. The artist in Bianca couldn’t settle for just a simple natural look. So, though their foundation, highlighter and lipstick did give off a natural feel, it was glamorized with the eye make up. Leslie’s eyeshadow was a vibrant glittery blue color, which matched perfectly with the wedding’s accent color. And Leslie donned a very luscious and full looking pair of lashes. Her burgundy dyed hair was styled in a high ponytail with some hair hanging down her back. Needless to say, she looked flawless.


“Thank you, but shouldn’t you be getting ready?” She asked matter of factly. 


“Chill out,” I answered. “It’s my job to worry about making sure everyone is set. Now you two wait here while I go meet with the conductor really quick.” I dismissed myself to go handle my business. Though there wasn’t an actual run through of the song because we didn’t wait tip Bianca off, I just wanted to formally introduce myself to the orchestra since we’d only worked with each other through technology. After my greetings I headed back over to my sisters who were talking and sitting in some of the chairs set up for the guests for the ceremony. 


I sat down to join their conversation. I finally had a chance to finally ask the question regarding one of the main reasons we were here. “So, big sis, where’s Isaac? I saw the pictures you posted of you two at his sister’s birthday last month. I’d like to meet the man that stole your heart.” I grinned happily. 


Callie nodded her head in agreement, “I know that’s right. Your man must sit in the Noble Sisters Hot Seat. If Harrison had to sit in the seat, so does Issac. Go ahead and text him now and have him come to the mansion early so we can at least meet him before the wedding starts,” she smiled brightly.


The best way to describe Leslie’s expression was a mix between nervousness, fear and sadness, however she was an expert at deflecting. “The hot seat isn’t a real thing,” she responded to Callie’s request with a dry laugh and waved the butler over for a glass of champagne. If I didn’t know better I’d think she was trying to avoid eye contact. 


“Umm... then what do you call breaking into Harrison’s house to greet him after his and BeBe’s first date after finally getting it together?” I inquired.


“Girl, the nanny let us in,” Leslie laughed for real this time, “but we sure did scare him to death!”


We all roared with laughter thinking about him walking into his study turning the lights on only to find us posted up at his desk. I sat in his chair while Leslie and Callie stood on either side of me. Leslie instructed him to sit on his own couch directly across from us and we laid down the law. He knew we loved him for our sister, but we had to make it clear that her happiness was not to be toyed with. We had no biological brothers; it was just us four girls, but best believe our daddy put us in so many martial arts classes just in case we needed to protect ourselves or each other.


I had Callie demonstrate what we would do to him with an apple and a pocket knife. That girl was so doggone clumsy. Clumsy, I tell ya! She couldn’t get the apple to stay in place and then she almost cut herself. I had to stop the fiasco.


To get everyone’s attention, I slammed my hands down on the desk to stop her foolery and stop Leslie and Harrison from snickering. All three of them jumped. And I used a tone I hardly ever use unless someone had disrespected me.


“I’ve had enough of this,” as I snatched the knife from Little Miss Clumsy One. Pointing the knife in his direction, “Listen here, Harry. We like you, but if you do anything to hurt Bianca I will end you.” With the knife in my dominant hand, I stabbed that same apple one good time while staring him in the eye the entire time. “You got that?” He nodded. I stormed out of the room without another word.


I was halfway down the hallway and noticed the girls weren’t with me. I shouted their names and heard their footsteps whispering goodbye to Harrison.


Good times, I smiled to myself. I looked down at my smart watch and realized we were getting closer to time. “It’s time to get ready. Callie, go get dressed. Leslie can you go with her to make sure she doesn’t rip, slip or tear up anything?” I asked. 


“Hey!” Callie blurted out. 


“You can’t help it that you’re slightly uncoordinated. You get it from mom.” I responded. 


“I resent that,” she retorted. 


“It’s about time you accept it instead. Now move along. Chop. Chop. Chop.” I ordered, clapping my hands with ‘chop I'd verbalized. 


The girls headed to the dressing room. They barely took five steps before Leslie suddenly stopped to turn back to me and mentioned casually, “Oh yeah, Gunnar Beck is coming to the wedding.”


“What's that supposed to mean?” I asked nonchalantly.


“Nothing, absolutely nothing,” she grinned like she knew some that I didn’t know. “I just thought you would want a heads up.”


I did, but she didn’t have to know that. “Well, I’m not. He is so 2000s. I’m a grown woman with children now, who's still thinking about boys from high school? Now can you go help Callie get dressed please?” I asked with an uncomfortable smile. 


My sisters looked at me like they knew that I was lying straight through my teeth. Instead of fighting me on it, they obeyed my request and left to go get dressed. I shook my head. I went to Bianca’s room to see if she needed anything, her mother-in-law was there and told me she had everything under control and told me to get dressed. I nodded thanking her for her help and she waved me off for being silly. I liked Mrs. Hawthorne. She was always so nice to us. 


I went to my own private dressing room where I could practice the song and center myself. One thing I valued before a performance was silence. It gave me time to focus on the notes and the emotions I needed to convey to make people feel the music. The last time I sang in Laurel Springs, I embarrassed myself to the max. I even promised myself I would never sing in this town again, my teenage self didn’t learn yet that I should never say never. 


I pulled my dress out of the garment bag and popped my wireless headphones into my ears. I listened to some lo-fi hip hop music to calm my nerves. I’d gone over the song enough times. I put on the dress I was wearing for the wedding, a black long sleeve faux wrap dress with a plunging neckline and a front slit that came up to my mid thigh, it definitely put me in the scene where Fannie Brice sings her heart out. I slid my feet into my blue pumps. My makeup is not as glamorous as my sisters, I decided to stick with the Fannie Brice aesthetic. I had the makeup artist give me a natural look and a dramatic cat eye with black eyeliner. My hair was growing out from the pixie cut I had been sporting for the past few years, I parted my hair to have a side bang and the rest I brushed to the back. Nice and simple. I looked in the mirror, finally preparing myself for what was ahead. I could do this. My phone buzzed. 


Picking it up, it was a text from Leslie letting me know that our parents and the twins were here. I put on my long silver drop earrings and was on my way to Bianca’s dressing room. Once I made itinside, there was so much hustle and bustle. Eden and Aspen ran up to me. They were too big to be flower girls and Bianca wanted them in the wedding, so they were her junior bridesmaids. 


They wore black dresses with the top half being a lace bodice style boat neckline that flowed down to a sheer tulle trumpet skirt. Eden wanted her hair in its natural curly state and Aspen wanted hers straightened so that they didn’t look alike even though they were identical twins. 


“Look at my babies! You look gorgeous!” I beamed. 


“Thank you, mommy!” They answered in unison. 


Opening my camera app on my phone, I had the three of us take a selfie then of course Callie and Leslie jumped in and we invited my new niece, Harrison’s daughter, Morgan, to join us. We took silly and cute pictures. Until my mother called for order. 


“Alright, girls. Are you ready for the big reveal?” She beamed.


We all cheered and when Bianca finally walked out we were all stunned. 


“Auntie, you look so beautiful,” Aspen spoke up first. 


“Don’t cry. Man up,” Callie said aloud. 


“Oh my goodness, mom! You look amazing! Dad is going to lose his mind when he sees you.” Morgan ran up to Bianca to give her a hug. 


“Oh, thank you Sweet Pea! I really hope he likes it.”


“Oh trust me,” Leslie said.  “He will. You look perfect.”


Bianca’s wedding gown was definitely her. It was light, it was elegant, it was detailed and it was simply her. She wore a lace bustier gown. The lace design went throughout the dress giving so much detail and it perfectly complimented her figure. The skirt of the gown continued down to lace that was more than enough to have a train.


I stepped up to her, “You look stunning, BeBe! Are you ready to get this show on the road?” I asked her excitedly. 


“I’m so ready to marry my man!” She answered. We all cheered again happily. We heard the orchestra playing “Somewhere” from the musical West Side Story. 


“Girl, you really love musicals,” I teased her. 


“Shut up,” she smiled. 


There was a knock on the door. “It's me.” Our father announced. 


Our mother went to open the door. “My. My. My. Bianca, you look beautiful, baby girl.”


“Thanks, daddy.”


“It’s time for us to take our places. Let’s make the most of it! Ashley will lead us followed by Callie, Eden and Aspen, then Morgan and then Leslie. Mothers of the bride and groom go first. The ushers are waiting to take you to your seats. Remember to smile.” 


We all headed out. As everyone took their spots next to the groomsmen they would march with, I walked down the line to make sure everything and everyone was in place. I made my way to Callie to check her dress and hair and makeup. 


“Gunnar Beck. I haven’t heard that name in a long time. Callie said casually. ”I haven’t heard that name in a long time. He was the most popular and cutest guy at Kennedy High. He was in my grade and if I remember correctly YOU had a MAJOR crush on him!” She was squealing at this point. I tried to get her to stop, but she continued on. “But you were too scared to even speak to him. He played on the Varsity football, soccer and basketball teams all four years. Girl, I remember you wouldn’t shut up about him.”


“You are tripping. Just because I mentioned he was cute doesn’t mean I had a crush.” I moved on down the line to check out the rest of the bridal party. I stopped at Leslie. 


“Lord, please don’t let lightning strike her down.” Leslie prayed looking up to the sky. 


“One, he was younger than me.”


“By a year,” Leslie rebutted.


“Two, I was not checking for him.”


“So you coming to my classes when the bell rang had nothing to do with the fact that Gunnar was in the same classes as me?” Callie asked incredulously. 


I rolled my eyes and continued on. “And three even if I was checking for him I would have never had done it because I knew Daisy would have sunk her claws into him.” I hoped I sounded believable, but by the looks of it Callie still wasn’t convinced.


“You got that right,” Leslie mumbled and  started shifting from side to side as if she’d suddenly become annoyed. I looked at her, but said nothing. I just filed it away as something to bring up at a later time. 


Callie spoke up, “You know my junior year, Gunnar and I were lab partners and he casually brought your name up in conversation.”


Suddenly, I felt like that 15 year old girl again. “Really?” I asked with slight hope.


“Nope. But for your sake I hope he’s single and fine, because the way your whole face lit up tells me all I need to know,” Callie pointed out.


I smacked my teeth and rolled my eyes as the entire wedding party laughed this time.  


 “Whatever, I was just playing.” I said lamely. 


The guitar started playing the beginning notes of Heaven On The Ground,” by Josè James and Emily King. 


“Ashley and Brett, you can start the procession. Remember to stop for the photographer, everyone.” I handed Ashley her bouquet. Once they took their picture when they were in the middle of the aisle I handed Callie her bouquet and she and her partner headed down the aisle. I gave my daughters their bouquets. Watching them walk down the aisle next to the preteen boys had me feeling some type of way, I shoved it down and kept going. I handed Morgan her bouquet and she walked down the aisle with one of her best friends from school. There were no flower girls or ring bearer to worry about.  I handed Leslie her bouquet. 


“I’ll signal to you if I see Gunnar,” she joked. 


“Girl, if you don’t walk down that aisle, I’m going to signal for an ambulance to pick you up,” I warned her. 


She laughed and walked down the aisle solo, as she was the maid of honor. 


Bianca and my dad stepped up. She was ready to move down the stairs as the song ended. She looked at us worriedly when she heard the reverend continue speaking after he asked everyone to stand as the bride made her entrance. She looked at us confused. 


“What’s going on?!” 



End Notes:

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think so far. 

 

Chapter Three by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

Song Inspiration: "My Man" by Lea Michele (Glee Cast Version)

One by one each pair made their way to the front of the room. It finally came down to Bianca and our father marching down the aisle. Before Bianca could take another step she heard the reverend speaking. 


“What’s going on?! This wasn’t in the rehearsal.” She spoke with a panicked look. 


“Calm down, dear. Just listen.” Their father soothed her. 


“Daddy—” Bianca started to worry again. 


“Listen.” He smiled to reassure her. 


“Ladies and gentlemen. The groom and the bride came to an agreement in regards to allowing Harrison, here, to choose the song for Bianca to walk down the aisle to. He told me that when she was a little girl, her mother had her and her sisters watching old Hollywood films. Bianca apparently fell in love with a certain movie and song. She had one little sister in particular that had a voice that even the angels adored. 


Bianca had her sister sing the song everyday until the little sister got tired and quit singing that song until today. Sophia, please make your way up to the front.” He called out. 


We heard the guests all abuzz. Bianca looked at me. “You’re really going to make me cry on my wedding day. That’s so not fair. Remember, payback is a mother,” she said with a shaky voice. 


“I love you too, BeBe.” I kissed her cheek and walked to the spot I was supposed to sing. 


I knew I had to blow the socks off of every person in the room. The last time I sang this song wasn’t when Bianca kept forcing me. The last time I sang this song was when I auditioned to get into college. 


The song was emotional just watching the movie, but singing it live, if you had the right muse, made it even more emotional. And for my 17 year old self “My Man” was Gunnar Beck. Back then I was convinced that he was the one for me. I had walked into that audition, introduced myself and pictured the face of one of the judges as Gunnar. I cried real tears singing that song thinking of him. It was a wonder my voice didn’t crack. 


I made it to the side of the bridesmaids to stand in my designated spot. Let’s see if 17 year old Sophia can make a quick comeback. I needed a face to be my focal point. I quickly scanned the room and noticed the silhouette of a man's head that had blond hair and a full beard. I couldn’t focus on the face because he was standing facing the aisle waiting, like the other guests, for my dad and Bianca to make their appearance. 


I imagined this face as the man I loved even if he wasn’t aware of how devoted I was. I wanted this song to be so powerful that he felt like I was singing directly to him, even though he’s a stranger to me. If he turned away from Bianca’s procession for even just a few seconds to look at me, I knew my goal would be accomplished. 


I’m dramatic like that. If you haven’t noticed yet, you will after a while. Stick around.


I took a deep breath and began the song, the conductor and his orchestra were ready. 


“Oh my man I love him so, he'll never know

All my life is just despair but I don't care

When he takes me in his arms

The world is bright, alright


What's the difference if I say "I'll go away"

When I know I'll come back on my knees someday

For whatever my man is, I am his

Forever more…”


By the time I made it to the end of the first half of the song and the song was beginning to modulate I felt eyes on me. I opened my eyes, I didn't realize I closed them. I could’ve sworn I was looking at Gunnar, but I doubted it was him. I think my imagination was working overtime, but I went with it anyway. 


My eyes were starting to well up from the emotions coursing through me. I continued on until I came to a flawless finish. On my last note I opened my eyes to a standing ovation and room full of teary-eyed people, even the twins were crying. Finally coming back to myself, I felt tears streaming down my face. I took a bow and blew a kiss to the couple and left the ceremony with as much composure as I possibly could. 


I went to the dressing room to gather my bearings. I was stunned by how my heart could still be attached to emotions I felt for someone well over 10 years ago. I needed something to drink. When I was little I asked Leslie why do people always offer someone water when they’re upset or crying. With all the conviction a 10 year old could possess, she said “Because you can’t cry and drink at the same time.”


Ever since she told me that, I tried it and she was right. Or maybe that was just me. Finally making my way to the kitchen, I got a glass of water and chugged it down. I was feeling better already. 


I watched the rest of the ceremony on the balcony. It was safer to stay away from people when my emotions were still riding on a high. 


By the time the officiant gave the couple permission to kiss, I was back to normal and I also had new lyrics running through my mind. I told you I love weddings.


The newlyweds and the bridal party walked down the aisle together and headed towards another room to wait for the wedding guests to clear out. I went to go meet them. On my way there I ran into the conductor. 


“Ms. Noble, it was truly wonderful to play alongside you.” The older man complimented.  


“Thank you, sir. The honor is all mine. If you and the symphony ever needs a singer please know that I’m always willing to come back to support my hometown.” I joked. 


“I’m glad you mentioned that. This year we wanted to showcase some of Laurel Springs talent for our annual Christmas concert. We were going to hold auditions, but my assistant and I agree that if you accept our offer to be our headliner then we can cancel the auditions.” He smiled. 


“Oh wow. Are you serious? I would love to be a part of the Christmas concert. Our family used to go every year. It would be a dream come true!” I beamed with happiness. 


“Wonderful, my assistant will contact your manager to work out details!”


“Sounds like a plan,” I responded. I noticed an older lady walking towards us. 


“Young lady, your performance blew me away. My husband said you had the voice of an angel and I believed him, but I just wasn’t prepared for how you took that song and owned it. Well done young lady. I expect great things from you in the future.” She shook my hand and I thanked her for her kind words. 


Wow, I was offered to sing at a major engagement without even trying. Could this day get even better? I thought to myself. 


I began making my way through the crowd to get to the wedding party. I kept getting stopped by the guests who were complimenting and asking me if I was in the music business. It was weird having all this attention from the small country town where the people always had a knack for trying to talk high school graduates out of leaving home because the city had nothing to offer. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them. 


“Excuse us. Coming through. Pardon us.” I instantly recognized the voice of Aspen. Eden on the other hand was a lot more blunt and wasn’t a big fan of crowds. Her manners would have flown out of the window. When they finally made their way to me, Eden took my hand. 


“Mom, everyone is looking for you. Grandma Noble asked us to bring you back to the room,” she informed me. 


“Alright, Jelly Bean. When grandma calls, we must answer,” I looked at the group of people who had bombarded me with questions. “It was very nice meeting you all and I hope you enjoy the rest of the festivities, but I must go and join my family,” I smiled graciously and allowed my twins to lead the way.


On our way back to the room, we walked down a long hallway where it was just us. I broke the silence. “Okay, you two. How did I do?”


“Do you want the brief review or a full review?” Aspen inquired. 


I sighed, the girls were my biggest fans and also my biggest critics. One thing they were not shy about was telling their mama the truth. If they didn’t like a wardrobe choice or a song lyric I could count on them to keep it real. “Give me the full review. I want the good, the bad and the ugly,” I said answering her question. 


We slowed our stroll to a complete stop, and Aspen faced me. “Honestly, you were…” she trailed off trying to find the right word. “Fantastical!” Her eyes sparkled with excitement. “When you first started the song, she sang in a sweet voice that perfectly mimicked mine, “Oh my man I love him so.” She was being so dramatic with her head and arm motions.  


Eden and I cracked up laughing. “Penny, quit playing. I was not that dramatic.”


Eden disagreed. “Actually mom, she’s right.” Then it was her turn to imitate me. She sang the section of the song where the song began to crescendo. “Oh my man I love him so,” next thing I know both girls are singing together in unison and in perfect pitch. 


“He’ll never know.” Then they took turns singing each line.  


“All my life is just despair,” Eden belted. 


“But I don’t care,” Aspen followed up. 


“When he takes me in his arms,” sang Eden. 


“The world is bright,” Aspen sang.


“Alright!” They both sang together. “What’s the difference if I say.” They sang with that line with so much fervor, they stopped right after that part falling into a bunch of giggles. 


I could do nothing but smile and shake my head. “So I take it that mommy did a good job.”


“Mama, Aspen is right. You were fantastic. Everybody cried their eyes out.” Eden responded. “There was even this guy who was sitting in the crowd and he was sitting next to this lady, I guess she was his date, she kept trying to talk to him, but he looked bored and was ignoring her. I felt bad for the lady. She looked so desperate trying to get him to notice her. It was embarrassing. Anybody could tell he didn’t want to be there. When you were walking to your spot after the reverend introduced you he still wasn’t paying attention he was on his phone, but the second you started singing it was like he woke up all of a sudden, his body turned from looking at the aisle to fully look at you. I don’t think he stopped looking at you until you left out when you were done,” she shared her observation. 


All I thought at that moment was, wow. I knew I had set my eye on a target to gage if I could move the audience, but Eden’s observation did help if she saw what I saw. 


It was her gossiping that I had a problem with. “Edie, you know there is nothing wrong with taking in your surroundings, but when you start adding your extra two cents about it it turns into gossip and you know how I feel about that.”


She blew her breath in response, “Yes,” she groaned. “Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make you shine brighter.” 


“Right, so keep all that extra stuff out otherwise it could blow up in your face down the line,” I warned.


We once again began our journey to meet up with our family. “Guess what?” I asked the girls. 


“What,” they both responded in unison. 


“I know how you two were bummed out that your auntie and new uncle’s reception is for adults only, so I talked to Auntie Leslie’s best friend Ms. Island to see if her daughter, Quinn, could watch you two.”


The girls started jumping up and down gleefully. The last time we were in town, I needed a sitter and Leslie had suggested Quinn. When I picked up the girls, all they talked about was how great she was. How pretty she was. And how cool she was. I was happy they had a good time and Quinn wasn’t a bad influence on them.  


“Yay,” exclaimed Aspen. “I’m so excited we get to see Quinn again. I hope she can teach us some new cheers!” 


“Me too,” Eden agreed. 


We finally made it inside the room where everyone was celebrating and taking a break. I was bombarded by Bianca. “Oh my goodness, Sophia. You sang my favorite song,” she proclaimed hugging me tightly. 


“I hope you liked it,” I said hugging her back. 


“I loved it! I’m so glad you and the girls are here” She responded. 


“Great, I’m glad to hear that. And where else would we be on your special day? Bianca can I ask you for a favor?”


“Sure, anything.”


“Can you let go? I can’t breathe.” I asked as my cheek was smooshed against hers. 


Letting go immediately, she apologized and thanked me profusely for singing. I told her she didn’t have to thank me, but she couldn’t help herself. “You know when it’s your turn to get married, I’m going to make you ruin your makeup, like you ruined mine with all the tears I cried listening to you. Sophie, your voice has gotten stronger,” she said seriously. 


Harrison came up to us, “She’s right. If you need any financial support or help meeting the right people let me or Bianca know, we will gladly help you where we can. I know some people out there.”


“Thanks, bro. I will definitely keep that in mind.” I gave him a hug. Harrison was truly a good guy. With the songs I’d written for major artists I had connections of my own. I wanted my first solo album to be born from my hard work. I saved up and prepared for this moment. Nothing or no one was getting in my way. 


I raised my voice to everyone in the room. “Everybody, we made it through the ceremony. Now it’s time to partaaaayyyyyy,” I screamed, dragging out the last word. 


Eden came up to me while the wedding party was cheering and getting pumped for the second half of the day. “Mommy, I thought you said the reception wouldn’t be a party, just adults eating nasty food and listening to boring music.”


Busted, I had to do damage control. “Eden, sometimes adults have to hype themselves up about events that they really don’t want to attend. We are trying to be positive about going,” I tried to explain. 


She just stared at me like I was a clown. I shook my head, because I didn’t even believe the crap that came out of my mouth. “You know what, I’m sorry, I should’ve kept it real with you and your sister. The reception is going to be fun for the adults, but not fun for children. You won’t be able to roam and play around like you would at home. And I have to stay late to help Auntie Bianca and I don’t want to leave you two unattended. That’s why I asked Quinn to watch you and your sister.” I looked down at my phone, “Speaking of Quinn, she should be on her way to pick you up in her brand new Jeep,” hoping she took the bait. 


“She can drive now?” Eden gasped. “And she has a Jeep?! Wait until I tell Aspen!” Forgetting about me, she ran to go find her sister and share the need. 


I grinned, shaking my head. Even though the ceremony was over, I still felt my past nagging at me. I couldn’t quite say I wasn’t surprised, but I knew I couldn’t ignore it either. 



End Notes:

Is the story interesting yet? Yes? No? Maybe so? Let me know. As always, Thanks for reading! 😊

Chapter Four by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

“There’s always gonna be evil people in the world who just do negative stuff.” 

-Nicki Minaj 

 

Song Inspirations:

"Are You That Somebody" by Aaliyah 

"Have You Ever" by Brandy

"I Can Love You" by Mary J. Blige ft. Lil Kim

"Unbreakable My Heart" by Toni Braxton

"Back That A** Up" by Juvenile

 

**FLASHBACK**
October 2004 - Kennedy High School - Cafeteria - Junior & Senior Lunch Hour 

“Sophia, you have two weeks to come up with a song and performance as a finalist to be the main act for the Sadie’s Hawkins Dance. Have you picked a song you want to do yet?” 16 year old Callie asked me as we entered the cafeteria with our lunches in hand while heading toward our usual table. 


We were considered popular so our table was smack dab in the middle of the room and to the right of us were the athletes and to our left was where the top performing arts students sat. Kennedy High specialized in arts and athletics. 


Taking our seats, I answered my younger sister’s question. “Since the dance is 90’s themed, I was actually thinking of doing a mix of Monica, Brandy, Britney, Christina, N’Sync, you know, the staples we listened to in middle school.” 


“A word of advice, you only have a five minute time limit. I think you should pick one song by someone you really like and kill it,” Callie suggested. 


I looked at my sister who’d dyed her hair this vibrant orange color and was wearing some oversized round eyeglasses. She was wearing her light green contacts as well. When we were younger, girls used to tease her about her natural eye color being a light hazel brown color. We got into many fights because kids constantly tested her gangster. As cliche as it all sounds, Callie knew that just like having a certain skin tone, your eye color did not make you better than anybody either. Our mother raised us to embrace our differences and love ourselves and others even if they looked different. She always told us beauty fades, good looks can never take the place of intelligence or a good personality.


Callie read the “God Don’t Like Ugly” book series, the summer after her freshman year, and the main character’s best friend was dark skin with green eyes and was as crazy as they came. Now granted, Callie wasn’t psychotic, like the character was, but she was down for all things drama and that included changing up her look at the drop of a hat. The mint green color surprisingly fit her perfectly. Our parents hated it at first, but it grew on them. When she started her sophomore year she came back to school with the new eye color and no one had seen her natural eye color since.  She loved to keep people guessing and wondering about her. That's the number one reason why she wanted to be an actress. Callie marched to her own beat of the drum and never apologized for it either. That’s what made her so amazing as a person. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. 


“Kill what?” Leslie asked, coming up to our table and pulled out her chair to take a seat. She looked like she came straight out of a Delia*s Catalog. She wore a black ¾ length sleeve top with a leopard print skirt that had a hem lined with black lace and wore a pair of black chunky knee high boots. Ever since our mother allowed us to wear makeup, Leslie always wore her signature silver eyeshadow and black eyeliner and DKNY Be Delicious lip gloss. Her relaxed, black shoulder length hair was perfectly in place.


Callie explained the situation to her while I debated on which artist I wanted to represent. Then suddenly I knew exactly what singer to pick. “Aaliyah, Are You That Somebody!” I blurted out, but definitely not loud enough for my competition to hear. 


Leslie squealed, “That song used to be my jam. I can’t wait to start practicing the dance. It’s going to be so tight. You are definitely going to win with that choice!”


“I hope so,” I responded. “Anywho, have you two asked anyone out to the Sadie Hawkins dance yet?”


“I did.” I asked Devin from my math class and he said ‘yes,” Leslie bounced in her seat. 


“That’s what’s up, Leslie! I asked Patrick, who's on the football team, out and he accepted my invitation so I’ll be going to Sadie Hawkins with a date,” Callie informed us. 


“Callie, do you know if Gunnar accepted anybody’s offer to go to the dance yet?” I inquired nervously. 


“As far as I know, not yet, but I wouldn't leave it to chance for too much longer. He’s a hot commodity around here. I’m sure he’s waiting on the right girl to ask him out,” Callie hinted. 


“I’m working on it. I’m just waiting for the right moment. It’s like every time I get the nerve to speak to him, I lose my thought.”  I confessed. 


“If you wait any longer it might be too late. Just go for it, Sophia.” Leslie smiled trying to encourage me. 


“You both are right, I just need to do it. The next time I see him I will ask him out,” I stated firmly however, on the inside I was shaking like jelly. Looking away from my sisters, I noticed a small commotion at the entrance of the cafeteria. “Here comes the queen bee,” I lamented. 


“B for biotch,” Callie chided. 


“Callie!” Leslie warned. 


“Remember, don’t mention a thing about Gunnar,” I warned. 


“Chill out, we are not dumb,” Leslie assured. 


“Hey y’all,” Daisy Greeted us and took a seat at our table. “What are you up to?” She asked, pushing her blonde micro braids from her face. Wearing her low rise jeans and long sleeve lavender mid-drift top to showcase her belly button piercing, which had a Playboy Bunny charm.


“Nothing much,” I answered. “I just decided on a song that I’m going to do for the finalist competition.”


“Oh,” she commented as if she wasn’t impressed. “I’m surprised you made it this far.”


“I don’t see how. Sophia is the best singer at Kennedy. And most importantly she’s going to win the competition,” Callie challenged Daisy. 


“Thanks Callie,” I smiled and began taking my lunch out of my bag. 


“Ugh! You still use paper bags to carry your lunches? That is so tacky. You’re almost 18, Sophia. You really need to grow up.” Daisy spoke in a disgusted tone. 


I looked around at my sisters and they looked just as annoyed as I felt. “We sure do. It’s a tradition that our mom has been doing for us since we were little. It’s her way of showing she cares for us. And she even packs a little note for us. I pulled out a bright piece of blue paper. “See she even writes it on each of our own favorite colors,” I beamed. “Doesn’t your mom do anything special for you?” I asked knowing the answer, but I still did it because one thing I won’t allow is disrespect towards anything that deals with my mother. 


“Please, my mom doesn’t cook or make lunches. She gives me her credit card to buy all the things I want.”


“Oh that's special for sure. Nothing shows that you care more about someone then giving them shopping sprees. Must be nice.” I answered sarcastically with a shrug of my shoulders. This heffa.


“Anyway,” Leslie said, breaking the tension, “When are you going to hold the auditions, Sophie?”


“I’m going to send a mass text out this afternoon. Since today is Monday, I’m going to hold them on Wednesday. I really need this performance to be perfect, I’m going to add it to my senior portfolio.” I responded.


“Don’t worry about it. It will be,” Callie reassures me. 


Pulling the top off my lunch container, I began to eat my veggies. Daisy thought it was the right time to bring up dates for the dance. “Have you girls asked anybody out to the dance yet?”


“Yeah,” they both responded and told her who they had asked. They knew it was alright to share the names of their dates because they weren’t the big men on campus. 


Daisy looked over to me. “What about you, Sophia?”


I continued looking down at my lunch, eating my chicken salad. “I haven’t asked anyone yet.” I responded with an even tone.


“Why not? I’m sure there is some guy here at Kennedy that has tickled your fancy?” 


Tickled your fancy? How old is she 80? I thought to myself rolling my eyes. I could not and would not tell her who I was going to ask, because Gunnar was the big kahuna around here. And the moment she got a notion that I was interested in him, I could kiss my chances at a date with my crush goodbye. 


“There’s a few guys, but right now I’m more focused on this competition at the moment. Everything else is on hold.” I answered truthfully. 


Before she could respond to pry for more info, she was interrupted by Anthony Sims and some of his teammates who played varsity football. “Hello, ladies.” He addressed us kindly. “Hello, Daisy. How are you?” He asked in a deeper tone. 


I had to stop myself from laughing so I pulled out my spoon and chocolate pudding from the bag. The guys began to do a bunch of small talk with the girls. I, for one, hated small talk. I’d rather just get to the point and be done with the conversation. It was a shame I couldn’t even do that with Gunnar. I’m such a punk. 


I was in the middle of opening my pudding when I looked at the group and noticed Gunnar was looking directly at me with his deep ocean blue eyes. His blond hair was combed to the back and stopped at the nape of his neck. What I wouldn’t give to run my fingers through it. Unconsciously, I either tugged on the tab or squeezed the pudding cup too hard because the next thing I knew, the pudding was all over my white shirt. 


I heard the guys laughing along with Daisy. The only ones who didn’t laugh were my sisters, Patrick and Gunnar. Once everyone quieted down, Daisy couldn’t resist commenting on the matter. “Oh my goodness, Sophia. You’re so clumsy. I’d hate to see you choke at your performance,” she grinned evilly. 


I wiped the blob of pudding off my shirt and rose from the table. Thankfully there were no stains on my light blue jean pants I was wearing. I was also grateful that I kept on my favorite olive green bomber jacket. I zipped it up and collected my belongings and then looked Daisy straight in her light brown eyes. 


“No, Daisy. I think you’re confusing yourself with me. You’re the queen of choking when it comes to performances… On your knees.”


I stormed off, with my sisters trailing behind me. The guys started laughing harder and instigating. I kept my head held high and kindly excused myself. I brushed past Gunnar, he smelled so good. He grinned at me and mumbled, “Nice job.” 


“Thanks,” I muttered and left the cafeteria. 


“Oh. My. Gosh.” I froze once we made it into the empty hallway.


“What? What’s wrong?” Callie asked worriedly. 


“Gunnar Beck just spoke to me and I spoke back to him.” I started screaming and jumping for joy. And like good sisters so did Leslie and Callie. 


*************************


Two Weeks Later - Kennedy High School - Girls Locker Room - Football Homecoming Game & Finalist Talent Competition


“For goodness sake, would you be still?!” Bianca yelled at me as she applied my makeup. 


“Sorry,” I huffed. We were a few minutes away from the half time, my nerves were at an all time high. There were talent scouts for both the arts and athletic students. This was a night that would make or break a lot of us seniors. 


“It’s cool. Now close your eyes,” Bianca told me in a calm voice, she must’ve realized how nervous I was. She started applying my eyeshadow. “Do you know how hard it was to find galaxy gray lipstick and chrome chronicles eyeshadow? I had Harrison take me all over the world to find the right shade.”


“You have a car of your own. He didn’t have to take you,” I pointed out.


“Stay out of grown folks business.”


I laughed, “Girl, you’re only three years older than me.”


“Nevertheless, mind your business. And if Harry didn’t want to take me he could’ve said no at any time.”


I opened the eye she wasn’t working on and stared at her, “Yeah right. You would’ve given him so much crap for not taking you. And he would’ve been mad that you went all around looking for the makeup by yourself. He’s so in love with you. It’s cute.”


“Close your eyes,” she commanded, ignoring my last comment. “Are you going to follow through with asking that guy to the dance?”


Sighing deeply, “Yeah that’s still the plan. My heart starts beating so hard when I think about asking him. Callie said he still hasn’t accepted anyone’s offer, I hope he’s waiting on me to ask. I hate this stupid rule of girls asking guys out.”


“Well I think it’s good practice for girls. I know many people aren’t into a girl asking a guy out, but sometimes you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong though, I don’t mean you should go chasing guy after guy either. Just be smart and brave about things. Follow your heart. It won’t steer you wrong.”


Bianca applied my lipstick in silence. Once she was done she stepped back to admire her work. “Man, I’m good. Go take a look.”


I headed towards the full mirror in the locker room. I gasped, shocked at my reflection. “Bianca! I look like Aaliyah. 


“Of course you do!” Bianca laughed. 


She styled my hair and wardrobe as well. I had mini waterfall ponytails at the crown of my head while the rest of my hair was hanging down to my back. I had the dark silvery colored makeup on. And my outfit was the replica of what Aaliyah wore in the video. 


I wore a pair of blue oversized cargo pants that hung low on my hips to show off the shiny silver shorts underneath it. I also had on a gray long sleeve crop top. I wore a thin silver belly chain. I wasn’t skinny, I was on the curvier side. I wasn’t ashamed of my body type. I respected and embraced my body. On my feet were my blue and white Nike Air Max. I was glad Aaliyah was a tomboy, I don’t think I could do all of the choreography in heels. 


“Bianca, I owe you big time.” I went to give her a hug.


“Just go out there and knock them dead. And then ask Gunnar out. If he turns you down then he’s the crazy one. Not you. You got that?” She asked. 


I nodded silently. 


Gathering her makeup bag we headed out to meet with the rest of the group. As soon as I opened the door I bumped into Daisy, wearing her green, black and white cheerleading uniform. “Hey, Sophia! I was just coming back to wish you luck and to see if we were good since that little mishap from lunch the other day.”


Not really thinking much about her or Pudding Gate, I gave her the basic it’s all good response. I was getting my mind focused on the task at hand. As she walked off, Bianca broke my chain of thought. “Watch out for her. I know y’all have been friends with her for years, but I don’t trust her.”


I smiled, “Trust me. I’m already on to her. She doesn’t know all my business and I keep it that way.”


“Make sure you do because the minute you turn your back that knife is coming out,” Bianca warned me. 


I nodded. At the moment I had bigger fish to fry. “Is Damon and his friends here with their motorcycles yet? The dancers and I are going to ride around the track to get to the stage.”


“You really do love to keep up with themes.” Bianca jokes. “Yes, they’re here. They came in a while ago.”


A stage crew member came to hook me up with a cordless headset mic and informed me that my competition, Jeremy, had just gone on stage. 


I went over to my group for a huddle. We hyped each other up on our energy and we prayed for a good performance. The background singers, the male dancers and Freddie, the guy I had do the rapping parts of the song, went ahead to get on stage after Jeremy and his crew was finished. The next thing I knew it was time to go out.


I hopped on to the back of my cousin Damon’s bike as he led the charge to the stage. The music began and Fred started the intro of the song. The girls and I got off the bikes at the checkpoint and walked onto the field to get on the stage.


"Dirty South, can y'all really feel me

East Coast, feel me

West Coast, feel me

Dirty South, can y'all really feel me..."


We all stood in our designated spots. I stood front and center and gave this moment my all. 


"Boy, I've been watching you like a hawk in the sky

That flies, and you were my prey

Boy, I promise you if we keep bumpin' heads

I know that one of these days

We gon' hook it up, pro'ly talk on the phone

But see, I don't know if that's good

I've been holdin' back this secret from you

I probably shouldn't tell it, but if I


If I let you know

You can't tell nobody, I'm talkin' bout nobody

Are you responsible?

Boy I gotta watch my back, cause I'm not just anybody

Is it my go? Is it your go?

Sometimes I'm goody-goody

Right now naughty-naughty

Say yes or say no

Cause I really need somebody

Tell me are you that somebody?"


By the time I made it through the first verse and the chorus my adrenaline was pumping. I even noticed that the football teams even stopped going over plays in the locker room to come and watch the show. The next verse had a tricky move and I had to sing on top of that, thankfully because of the perfectionist that I am, we practiced this part a million times and tonight it was executed perfectly. Before I knew it the song was over and our principal and music teacher were ready to present the winner. 


“...Sophia Noble!” 


I was so shocked, I froze for a few seconds because I couldn’t believe my ears. My sisters and friends congratulated me. I was speechless and of course my teacher asked if I would like to say something. This was it. My mic was turned back on by the stage crew and I began to thank everyone for their help and other formalities. 


“Finally, there’s a guy here at Kennedy that I’ve grown fond of. It’s like every time I see him I lose my nerve to ask him to the Sadie’s Hawkins dance that’s happening next week.” The crowd started cheering. “I knew he was special from the first day I saw him. So here it goes.”


The crowd is going wild and even began chanting, “Ask. Him. Out. Ask. Him. Out.”


I was looking for Gunnar, but the teams were wearing their helmets. Thankfully I knew his jersey number. 17. And then I saw his face only because Daisy was standing in front of him and lifted his mask to kiss him. 


My heart. That was all I could think at the moment. 


I balled my fists to keep my composure. Get it together, Noble. You’re a star in the making. Don’t let this phase you! My internal pep talk must’ve worked. With the crowd still chanting, my next words brought their voice down. “You know what, some things are better left unsaid. You all enjoy the rest of the game and thanks again for your support.” I took off my headset, handed it to the principal and ran off stage. 


I went back to the locker room to grab my belongings. My three sisters came barging in. “Sophia, what happened? I thought you were going to ask Gunnar to be your date.” Leslie asked with true concern. 


Holding back my tears and clearing my throat, “I changed my mind. I don’t think he’s interested in me.” I answered her as if she asked me what the weather was like. “It’s not a big deal,” I shrugged. 


“Not a big deal?!” Callie snapped. “No, you’ve been constantly talking about that boy for three years and up until five minutes ago it’s no big deal?!” I don’t believe it or you!”


I remained silent. There was nothing to say. I saw it with my own eyes. Daisy got to Gunnar before I did. I missed my chance. I think if it was any other guy, I would’ve been okay, but not this time.


With a softer tone, Bianca reached her hand out to me, but I didn’t accept it. “Sophia, help us understand what made you change your mind.”  


Before I could give her an answer, one of my dancers came in. “Hey, did y’all hear the news! Daisy Montgomery and Gunnar Brock are an item. They went public tonight while Sophia was giving her speech. They’re going to be the hottest couple on campus,” she squealed and ran back out of the locker room.


My sisters must’ve realized that I saw Daisy and Gunnar’s public announcement with my own eyes. The girls were about to try to comfort me, but I didn’t want it. “Hey, I’m fine. I promise. I’m not mad or angry or anything. How could I be when we only shared four words between us? I’ll see you all at home. Thank you all again for helping me win. I owe you big time.”


I knew I sounded pathetic, but I refused to let them see me cry over a dude. I was embarrassed enough as it was. I got in my car and drove until I hit my favorite getaway spot. Lucinda’s 24 hour diner. It was the most gorgeous 50’s styled place ever. 


I walked in and greeted the staff. I was a regular, “Hey, Sophia will it be the usual?” Lucy asked as I walked to my favorite corner booth. 


“Yes ma’am, but could you make a large shake this time?” I requested.


I pulled out my phone seeing a ton of missed calls and text. 


Once my onion rings and large blue moon shake was brought out to me I felt a few tears ready to fall. Fighting them back I took tiny sips of my shake until I had a brain freeze. You can’t cry when you’re drinking. 


************************


One week later - Kennedy High School - Gymnasium - Sadie Hawkins Dance


"Have you ever loved somebody so much

It makes you cry

Have you ever needed something so bad

You can't sleep at night

Have you ever tried to find the words

But they don't come out right

Have you ever, have you ever..."


The student body clapped when I finished the song. “Thank you everyone. I’m going to take a break, but Jeremy Graham aka J.Graham Will now be taking over for the next 30 minutes until I return. Enjoy your evening.”  


I stepped down from the stage and headed towards the drink table.


“Sophia, I swear on everything I love, I will call mama and daddy to pick you up if you sing another depressing song!” Callie threatened me after she and Leslie stormed up to me. Neither one of them looked happy. 


“What are you talking about? All of my song choices are from the 90’s,” I defended myself. 


“Yeah, and they’re also on that mixed CD you created called Heartbreak 2004!” Callie revealed. 


“So what? As long as it’s a good beat no one cares, right Leslie?”


“You started the dance off with “I Can Love You” by Mary J. Blige. And then as soon as you saw Gunnar you sang “Unbreak My Heart” by Toni Braxton.”


“And your point would be?” I ask dumbfounded. 


“You’re depressing us!” Leslie blurted out. “Look, we get it. Your feelings were hurt after seeing Gunnar and Daisy, but did it ever occur to you that you can’t claim dibs on a guy you never held a conversation with? You didn’t even know if he was interested in you. If he was, he had ample opportunity to speak up and say something, but he didn’t. And you know what, Sophia? That’s his loss. He missed out on the most talented and beautiful girl. If he was dumb enough to look you over for Daisy then chick, you dodged a big bullet, don’t you think? 


Your senior year can be as promising as you make it, but for the love of God, please don’t make the entire school suffer. That’s not fair. If you want to make Daisy and Gunnar suffer, then you need to have the time of your life and act like you’re unaffected by their so-called relationship. There are still plenty of good looking guys here tonight that didn’t get asked out. Let’s live it up. This is your last homecoming dance.”


“Well said, big sis,” Callie chimed in. 


Leslie was right on all accounts. I was living in a fairytale world thinking everything had to go my way. I never considered the fact that there was a possibility that Gunnar wouldn’t be interested in me or that he already had a girlfriend. I owed my sisters an apology. Before I could give them one, Jeremy’s musicians started playing the intro to “Back That Azz Up” by Juvenile. 


Leslie started dancing backwards to get to the dance floor. Callie went over to her and started dancing. They beckoned me over, I tried to resist, but who can resist Juvenile? I went to go dance with my sisters. This would be one of the last times I could live carefree I was going to enjoy the moment. 


As I continued dancing with my sisters and their dates, my eyes coincidentally caught Gunnar’s. He smiled at me and I waved back. He stood by the bleachers alone with no Daisy in sight. Though things didn’t work out between us as I’d hoped, there was no rule against us dancing with each other. 


I used my head to gesture that he came to where I was. He made his way to me. I stuck my hand out, he accepted it. “Hi, my name is Sophia Noble. It's nice to finally meet you,” I smiled genuinely and confidently. 


“Gunnar Brock and the pleasure is all mine!” He grinned. “I was wondering if you would like to dance with me?”


“I’d love to!”


And with that I shared my first dance of the night with Gunnar Brock to “Back That Azz Up.”I was glad to find out that he could keep up with me on the dance floor. Daisy came strolling in looking pissed, but who cares, I was living in the moment.

End Notes:

Apologies for the delay, hope you enjoyed the update. I hope you continue to have a safe and happy holidays! 🥰

Chapter Five by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

Song Inspiration: "Gonna Love Me" by Teyana Taylor

It’s amazing how one song can bring back so many memories. Currently my memories had me hiding in the bar of the hotel with a slice of cheesecake with strawberry syrup drizzled on top. 


I used to wish I could go back in time and do some things over, but now at 32. Sadie Hawkins was the last time I saw Gunnar, in school. His father’s job relocated and their family had to move immediately. The news didn’t hurt me as much as I thought it would. And then when I turned 20, I got an email from Gunnar and after a while it turned to phone calls and a few visits until we were a long distance couple for a year.


He had started acting differently. Our communication was dwindling, not because of me. He also would disappear for long periods of time. And every time we talked it would turn into an argument, so we both mutually agreed to walk away. It hurt, because he was my first relationship, but I wasn’t going to lose my mind over a guy. I refused to give my power away that easy. 


Gunnar and I had wonderful times together, but our lives were taking us in different directions, we still had more growing to do. The next time I saw him was when I came back home to be with my family while I was in the late stages of my pregnancy. Callie stayed out in the city to continue her classes.


**Flashback**
12 Years Ago - Lemke’s Groceries


One night Bianca, Leslie and I went for a late night run to pick up snacks for a random girls night in. We were in the ice cream aisle trying to decide what to get. “Sophia?” My sisters and I turned to look at who called my name. 


There he was in all his fine and muscular glory. “Gunnar, oh wow! It’s so nice to see you!” I went to give him a hug, but cringed just a little when my stomach touched his body.


I stepped back. “I guess congratulations are in order,” he smiled looking down at my protruding belly. Do you know what you’re having?”


“Thank you and I’m having girls,” I stated. 


His eyes widened, “Twins? Soph, that’s so great. I’m sure the little angels will be just as beautiful as their mama!”


“You’re so sweet. Thank you. Right now the little angels keep kicking the daylights out of me, the doctor says they should be arriving any day now,” I said while rubbing my tummy. 


“Wow. I always thought you’d be a terrific mom,” he got quiet all of a sudden as if he wanted to add more. 


Before it got awkward I decided it was time to wrap the conversation up “Well, it was nice seeing you again. And my number hasn’t changed, so don’t be a stranger. I worry about you from time to time so just text me and let me know you’re doing okay,” I encouraged with a smile.


“Wouldn’t your boyfriend get mad at you for talking to another man?” He inquired. I could tell he was trying to find out my relationship status because I wasn’t wearing a ring. 


I laughed, “Real smooth, Brock. But no. I don’t have a boyfriend. He decided he wasn’t ready for parenthood and bounced and I’m okay with that.”


“You need me to come take care of him?” he asked in a serious tone. 


“Calm down, Tiger. It’s not that serious, but I’ll keep you posted.”


“You do that,” he said. “Alright, let me get out of here. I’m on a beer run for poker night with the guys.”


He brought me to him and wrapped his arms around my waist and like old times I kept my arms at my side and leaned my forehead in the center of his chest. I leaned my forehead on his shoulder. Man, oh man, did I miss him. He whispered in my ear, “Don’t hesitate to call me if you need anything. My number hasn’t changed either. Okay?”


I nodded my head, fighting tears. I lifted my head still looking at his chest, he lowered his head to kiss my forehead. I stepped back and looked at him for what I thought would be the last time. “Good night, “Leslie and Bianca.”


“Good night,” they said in unison. 


He nodded and sauntered away. When I gave birth, he came to visit me and the babies in the hospital. Montell, the girls’ dad, tried to get mad. I was about to set him straight, but Gunnar handled it. When I went back to the city with the twins to pick up where my career and education left off, he called to check in on us and visit here and there. 


We never officially got back together but the girls recognized him when he was in town, but by the time they were four years old, he started his disappearing act again. I made it clear that I and my girls need stability and if he couldn’t handle that then he should bow out before it was too late. 


And he did just that. 


**End Of Flashback**


When I was about to dig into my cheesecake slice, I noticed another fork headed towards my dessert. Distracting me from my daydreaming I head turned quickly to see who the offender was. And of course it was the one person I didn’t want to see. 


“What part of ‘never speak to me again,’ didn’t you quite understand.”


Laughing as if I told the funniest joke of all time, “I know you didn’t mean it.” He then addresses the bartender, “Whiskey Sour, please.”


“Like hell, I didn’t. Gunnar, I told you the last time I saw you that you had to make a choice. Love me openly or not at all. You chose to go. Now you have to deal with the consequences of your choices.”


“So it’s back to Gunnar, now?” He grinned, completely unfazed by what I just told him. The bartender brought his drink over.


“You really don’t get it. I’m so glad I didn’t waste my time with you, I announced. 


He dug his fork into my cheesecake and ate some more, contemplating his next words. “I had my reasons, but trust and believe when I tell you that my leaving had nothing to do with being finished with you.” He looked into my eyes with an intensity I wasn’t expecting as he took a sip of his drink.


I looked away, breaking the tension. I was about to stick my fork into the cheesecake when he slid the plate over to him and helped himself to my dessert. “This is really good,” he exaggerated, taking another bite. 


“You are so irritating,” I grumbled watching him enjoy my treat. 


“How are the twins?”


“Fine,” I huffed, crossing my arms. 


He smiled looking at me, “Edie and Penny are way too sophisticated to be just fine.”


I bit my lip trying my hardest to hide my grin because he was right. I gave in, I never missed an opportunity to brag on my pride and joys. “They’re wonderful. Their grades are great and they want to be singers like me. They even started taking piano, drum and guitar lessons.”


He lifted his fork with cheesecake to my lips. I accepted it. Gunnar knew that the girls were my weakness and right now he was playing on it. “That seems like a lot of noise in the house,” his gray eyes held a sparkle in them. I knew the girls made lasting impressions on him and they probably don’t even remember him. 


“Yeah it is, but thank God for soundproofed rooms,” I chuckled.” He offered me more cheesecake. I ate it. 


“How is their father,” he asked casually.


“We wouldn’t know.” I answered blandly. I wasn’t hurt nor was I angry. I knew what it was from day one. “We haven’t heard from him in a few months and the last time I did hear from him, he was trying to talk me into getting the girls to go into the music business now to build up their revenue and make them rich and famous. I told him in so many not so nice words, ‘hell to the no.’ He got mad at me, cussed me out and hung up.” I shrugged, I was used to my children's father’s antics. “I know the girls can sing their tails off and could go far at 12 years old and beyond, but being in the business myself, I refuse to expose them to that lifestyle until they’re old enough to be responsible and can resist peer pressure.”


He fed me more cheesecake and then fed himself a piece. “If it's worth anything, I’m proud of you.”


I rolled my eyes, then an important question came to mind. “What are you doing here? Are you stalking me?” I asked bluntly. 


He laughed deeply. “No, I’m not stalking you. Harry’s family and mine go way back. We’re good friends.”


“Isn’t that convenient?” I mumbled. He fed me another piece.


Feeding himself the last piece he responded, “You would think so, you always had a hard time trusting me, but if you don’t believe me you can meet my parents if you’d like. They’re in the waiting area with the other guests. I can bring them in here, if you’d like. They’ve been asking me why I haven’t settled down yet, I'd like them to meet my reason why,” he grinned mischievously.


“No. As a matter of fact I shouldn’t even be here doing this,” I gestured to him and the long gone cheesecake, “With you.” I got off the bar stool and left a tip on the countertop. “Stay away from me and the girls, Gunnar. I’m not up for any of your shenanigans. You’re going to try to come back and then you’re going to disappear. It's what you always do. I mean it. Stay away from us.” With that final statement I stormed off. I needed to find one of my sisters. 

 

“You sang beautifully today,” he shouted right before I exited the bar. 


Making my way through the lobby and into the waiting area I searched for Leslie or Callie. Seeing them both talking to the groomsmen, I grabbed their wrists and dragged them to the restroom. When I checked to make sure the stalls were clear, I locked the door and turned to them. “I saw him!”


“Who?” Callie asked “Isaac?” She inquired. 


“No,” I shook my head. 


“Your baby daddy?” Leslie asked. 


I scrunch my nose to make a stink face, “Ugh, no. Why would he be here?”


Suddenly Leslie has a bright smile on her face, “I know!”


“Who is it?” Callie inquired. 


“Gunnar Brock.” She said looking at me. 


Callie turned to look at me as well and laughed. “Ha, no wonder she’s all hot and bothered. I didn’t see him at the ceremony. Is he still fine?”


“Girl, fine is for teenage boys, that man was smoking hot! Forget a snack, he was looking like a whole meal in that three-piece dark blue suit. Oh, and that beard and fresh cut,” Leslie gushed describing my ex. 


“For real? It’s like that? Now I gotta go see him. I wonder if he remembers me,” Callie wondered aloud headed for the door I was standing in front of.


I held my hand out to stop her. “Where are you going?” 


“To see my old classmate, we were lab partners after all,” she teased. 


“Whatever, you’re not going anywhere,” I declared. 


“Why not?” Leslie asked. “Are you really afraid of seeing Gunnar again? We all know you two were together for a hot second, so what’s the big deal?”


“The big deal is, the last time I saw him I told him I never wanted to see him again. Now eight years later we’re sitting at the bar and he’s feeding me my own cheesecake!” I blurted out. 


“Forget looking like a meal, ol’ boy most definitely gotta be looking like a five course meal if he did all that,” Callie remarked. Leslie busted out laughing. Soon enough I joined in. That’s why I loved my sisters. They always managed to talk me off the ledge. 


Once we got our giggles out Callie asked, “Do you feel better now, sis?”


I nodded and unlocked the door. We heard the music playing, the guests cheering and silverware tapping against the drinking glasses in the ballroom, meaning Bianca and Harry made it in. Before we set foot into the room we heard some loud voices behind us. We turned to see who it was. 


“Please don’t tell me that is who I think it is,” I rolled my eyes. 


“You already know it,” Callie confirmed. Leslie remained silent. 


“Oh my gosh, is that Callie and Sophia Noble?!” The woman shrieked. 


“Maybe we can make a run for it and pretend we didn’t hear her,” suggested Callie. 


“I can’t,” I replied. 


“Why not?”


“Because I’m teaching the girls to face their fears that includes monsters and witches. It would make me a hypocrite to duck out. And we can’t have that,” I answered. 


“No, I suppose not,” Callie grimaced. 


“It is you!” Daisy and her entourage of three stood around her. Giving us air kisses we weren’t even bothered to return, she continues the conversation that neither of us were interested in. “It’s so good to see you all! Sophia, my mother told me how you had twins and how their father left you high and dry. You know I really have to give you kudos for rocking the whole single mother life. You go girl! And Callie, my mother informed me that you are still trying to make it big as an actress. Good luck with that.”


“Alright, bye,” I said dismissing ourselves from the one sided conversation. It’s our sister’s wedding and I could not be held responsible for anything I did if I stayed around her any longer. We turned to walk into the reception. 


“Wait, did y’all hear the good news? I’m getting married! I’m sure Leslie must’ve told you.” Daisy informed us. 


“Congrats, to you and the sucker,” I mumbled the last part, causing Leslie to  elbow me in the side. 


I saw a familiar face entering the hotel and headed our way. “Hey, Leslie isn’t that Is—,” before I could get the name out, I saw Daisy smooching the man. When she finally came back up for air, she addressed us. 


“Ladies, I’d like to introduce you to my fiancé, Issac Palmer.”


Before we could say anything, Jacqueline, Daisy’s mother, peeked her head out into the hallway to bring Daisy and her entourage to come sit at their designated table. “Mama, you remember Callie and Sophia,” Daisy offered. 


“Yes, I remember. Now come in before they start serving the meal,” Jacqueline demanded. 


“Hold on a second, I want to introduce the girls to my bridesmaids.” She told her mother. “So ladies, this is Gwendolyn, my maid of honor. And these are my bridesmaids Island, Isaac’s sister, Camille and Monica. And obviously you know Leslie. It’s too bad you won’t be here for the wedding,” she pouted. 


“Yeah, it’s something,” Callie answered, staring at a sad looking Leslie. 


“Okay, we’re going to head inside. Enjoy your evening.” She made a show of grabbing Isaac by the hand and leading him inside followed by all of the bridesmaids except for Leslie who stayed behind with me and Callie. 


“So is that the reason you haven’t given us a straight answer about Isaac all day?” I interrogated Leslie. 


“Look, it's Bianca's day, I didn't want my drama ruining her day. Long story short; Isaac and I had an argument and after two days of not talking, I went to go see him. He was with Daisy. And yes, now I am a bridesmaid for Daisy, she asked and I couldn’t say no. 


Anyway, let’s just go in this reception, get lit and turn up. I don’t even want to think about it at the moment. We’ll talk about it later. I promise,” she told us. 


I wanted to press her for more information, however she was right. It was Bianca’s day and I didn’t want to mess up her perfect day either. “Fine, but we are going to talk.”


With that final statement. Callie led the way and we headed for the table where our parents were seated. 






End Notes:

Daisy strikes again! Fun times ahead because the Noble Sisters won't take this lying down... Though my writing is far from perfect, but I still  hope you find the story entertaining and interesting. All the best 😊

Chapter Six by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

I'm back with another installation of Confessions! Yay! I'm so excited for where things are headed, things are finally going to start taking off. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Song Inspiration:

"No Role Modelz" by J. Cole

"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye & Tammy Terrell

Three Weeks Later - Tweety’s Soul Food - Laurel Springs 


Taking a sip of homemade peach iced tea, I was interrupted by Bianca. 


“I can’t believe you two have been here for almost a whole month, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think you two were contemplating moving back.”


“Umm, no. We’re only here to figure out what’s up with Leslie and how Daisy sunk her claws into him. And then stop the wedding from happening. Daisy can hurt me as much as she likes, but she crossed the line when she hurt Leslie the way she did,” I fumed. 


“Right, we’ve been out of high school for well over 10 years now and she’s still pulling the same crap she used to when we were teenagers. And can you explain why we’re all in black?” Callie exclaimed. 


“In movies whenever major moves are about to be made only the best main characters wear black,” I informed them.


“You sound like your 12 year old daughters. But y’all know I never trusted that heffa. And I’m still convinced Daisy heard Sophie and I talking in the locker room the night before her big performance and made a move on Gunnar,” Bianca accused. 


“She did,” I confessed. “When Gunnar and I hooked up a few years later, we talked about it and he told me she ambushed him. And then word got out, via Daisy, about my failed attempt to ask him out. So to save my feelings he went to the dance alone.”


“Aww,” Bianca smiled “How sweet. You know, he and Harry are friends, we can set up a double date dinner at our house for you to spark things back up,” her eyes beamed with delight. 


“Been there. Done that. I respectfully decline that offer. And I spoke to him at the reception, he knows not to come near me again.”


“But what if we have cheesecake for dessert, would that change your mind?” Bianca asked. 


With breakneck speed, I turned to look at Callie, “And this is exactly why you’re the last to know about everything. You can’t hold water.”


She and Bianca laughed out loud. A few minutes later our food arrived. Everything was served family style so there were large bowls of  classic soul food dishes placed in the center of the table by the waitstaff. After thanking them, we said our grace and ate in silence for a few minutes. It was Noble family rule that great food must be cherished. 


“Can someone tell me why we’re here and Leslie isn’t?” Callie asked. 


Wiping my mouth and hands. “We’re here because we need to stop Daisy once and for all. I want to make her regret ever knowing us. And Leslie isn’t here because she’s too nice. I know she’ll try to stop our plans.”


“Agreed. What do you mean by stopping Daisy?  Like killing and torturing her?” Callie inquired with a spark of interest.


“No, crazy! I mean ‘stop her’ as in  stopping the wedding from happening and teach her a lesson or two along the way,” I clarified. 


“Sounds childish, but I’m in. I can’t stand her. How about we contact a journalist at Laurel Springs Times and do an exposè? We have plenty of stories and receipts,” Callie offered. 


“No, that won’t work.” Bianca responded, forking up more yams. “Harry told me that they are going out of business and about to be bought out by a national syndicate. Pretty soon, Laurel Springs won’t have a local newspaper outlet anymore.”


“Crap,” I said, “That was a good idea though, Cal.”


“Okay, I got it!” She perked up again. “What if we pay a stripper to get Isaac in some compromising positions and film it and make it public?”


“No,” Bianca said. “You want to expose Daisy not make everyone sympathize with her.” 


Callie sighed in frustration. “You keep shooting down all of my ideas, what do you suggest we do, dear big sister?”


“I’m glad you asked,” she smiled. “If you want to beat someone like Daisy, you have to think outside the box and there are times where thinking inside the box doesn’t hurt either. Whatever you decide, you have to be smart about it. 


I sat silently taking in my sister’s words. 


Think outside the box. Think inside the box. If I’m on the outside, the enemy can see me coming. If I’m on the inside, then the enemy won’t know I’m an enemy… because I’m one of them or so she thinks. 


I snap out of my mental brainstorming. “I got it. We become bridesmaids!”


“What? How is that possible? She already has her bridesmaids,” Callie offered. 


“When it comes to Daisy, anything and anyone is disposable.”


“Now you're cooking!” Bianca raised her glass to us for a toast. “Let’s get ready to rumble!” 


We clinked our glasses together and took a sip of our drinks. “Since this might turn out to be a big operation,” I started, “I’m going to need you to watch the twins when I’m busy.”


Bianca waved me off. “Do what you got to do. The girls are always welcome.”


******************


Three days later - Lucinda’s Diner 


“Thanks so much for inviting us to this diner. It's so retro!” Monica, one of Daisy’s bridesmaids gleamed. “It’s also nice to meet Daisy’s friends from high school, maybe you can give us some pointers on her childhood for one of the bridal shower games.”


“That would be totally awesome!” Daisy’s other bridesmaid, Simone, cheered. 


“Sure, we’d love to help!” I beamed. 


“So ladies,” Callie started. “How’s the wedding planning going? As you know, we just married off our big sister and let me tell you I’m glad it’s over. All the late nights of assembling the favors and her demanding ways. It got so bad I started creating a list of ways to silently kill her.” She held her head back and laughed like she just told the funniest joke. 


I chuckled along with her. Monica and Simone on the other hand looked at her awkwardly, however I saw them glance at each other as if they could relate to Callie’s story. 


“I’m just kidding,” Callie dabbed the corner of her eyes to control the tears she shed while she was laughing. She was still chuckling to herself as if she was still thinking about her joke. She took a sip of her milkshake and continued on. “In all honesty as much as I love Bianca, she was a hot mess. I didn’t know how much more I could actually take before I told her I would sit in the crowd and watch. She was a bridezilla to the max. I hope things are going a lot better for you two though,” she innocently suggested. 


My little sister is definitely the greatest undiscovered actress. IJS. She was playing this role perfectly. Her makeup was done perfectly, as usual. She looked like a Barbie doll. Her outfit was fashionable enough to look like she belonged in Daisy’s clique. Her hair was in a neat bun, with a blunt bang that covered her forehead, she tied a red bandanna in a bow to give it that girly flair. Instead of wearing her contacts she went back to wearing her oversized circular glasses that displayed her doe eyes. Her outfit was a white off the shoulder top that she paired with her denim shorts and red wedges. 


If I knew that her heart was really into becoming an actress I would’ve found an agent who could have taken Callie’s career straight to the top a long time ago. When she commits to a role. She commits. 


There it is! Monica and Simone looked at each other with those sad gazes, again. It was my turn to interrogate. 


“You know if you two are having a hard time with all the wedding planning, you can tell us. I’m sure we can offer some tips and advice to help things run smoothly. Right, Cal?”


She nodded in agreement, “Growing up, Daisy and her mother  weren't always the easiest to deal with, so nothing you say will shock us.”


The two women across from us sat quietly, but Simone finally took the bait. 


“We can handle her, Daisy. It’s her mother. Jacqueline treats everyone like they’re lower than her and she’s deep into all of those old wives’ tales and superstitions. We have to watch everything we say and do, otherwise she has the biggest meltdowns.” Simone bit into her onion ring. She looked as if she unloaded the biggest burden. 


Bingo, we got them both where we wanted them. 


“Oh no. I remember when we were younger and Callie almost walked under a ladder, Jaqueline almost lost her wig. We couldn’t come over their house for a month,” I shared this true experience with them to make the ladies feel better.


“You know,” Callie perked up. “Not all superstitions are bad luck.”


“That’s true,” I chimed in. 


“Really?” Monica inquired. “All I really know about good luck is the four leaf clover and the rabbit’s foot and Jacqueline already has a rabbit foot, which is creepy when you think about it,” she shuttered. 


Simone nodded. 


“If you’d like we can give you a few tricks of the trade to help Jacqueline relax a little bit. I’m sure Jacqueline and Daisy could use some good luck,” Callie offered.


“If you don’t mind, we’ll take any help we can get as long as it gets that she devil off of our backs,” Simone responded. 


“Okay, you may want to take notes, we have lots of ideas,” I guaranteed. “First of all, do either of you know the song ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’?”


The ladies nodded. “Awesome sauce! That’s Jacqueline’s favorite song. When you all gather for dinner, after everyone has been served, one of you should start singing that song,” I instructed. 


“Simone looked at me quizzically, “Isn’t that bad table manners.”


Callie and I looked out at each other and broke out in giggles. “There’s always an exception to the rule. When we were little we used to sing at the table at all the time. Jacqueline loved it and Daisy always lead the charge,” Callie answered. 


“Sing Jacqueline’s favorite song at dinner,” Monica recited. “Got it! Do you have anything else?”


“Sure do,” Callie answered. “Yellow is such a bright, refreshing and friendly color, so bring in a bunch of yellow floral arrangements. Jacqueline would appreciate that too!’


“Yellow flowers, cool! I’m so excited, I can’t wait to help Jacqueline calm down and not go overboard with this wedding stuff.”


“Oh here’s one more suggestion, when proposing a toast, do it with a glass of water.” 


We all looked over to Callie. “Why water, Callie?” Simone asked. 


Leaning forward, she responded “Because when you water your mind, you water your soul.” After her statement, Callie leaned back and tapped her right temple with her index finger. 


“Ahhhh,” I said as if I’d just been enlightened. “That’s deep, sis.”


“Yeah, you’re so... so...” Monica was stumped trying to find the right word. 


Full of it?


“Wise!” Simone spoke up. 


“Yeah, that’s the word. Wise!” Monica agreed with her friend. 


“I wish I could take credit for that quote, but when you find something you connect with, you hold on to it,” she answered solemnly. 


I told y’all. This girl was good!


The bridesmaids we would soon replace left a few minutes later thanking us profusely for our advice. We went up to the counter to pay the bill. Bianca wanted us to keep her updated on our plans, so Callie was texting her about completing the first half of the mission.


A guy came from the kitchen area wiping his hands on a towel, he wore a white apron over his all black attire. I figured he was the chef, because Lucy wasn’t here. Being a regular at this diner, even when I sporadically came to visit, Lucy hardly had any new staff so seeing this guy was a shocker. And I would certainly remember seeing him. 


He was a tall guy with tattoos all over. There was even one over his right eyebrow that said “Loyalty,” in cursive. The chef was blessed with a nice physique. He had broad shoulders and wasn’t overly muscular, but it was clear he worked out regularly. His face was perfectly chiseled. Though he wasn’t my type, even with the excessive tattoos and tough guy features he would still be considered handsome.


“You two were wrong for that,” he nodded in the direction of the booth we occupied.


“I beg your pardon,” I replied, handing him our bill. 


Taking it, he began ringing us up, “All those superstition tips you gave those girls were for bad luck,” he stated while calculating our on the register.


“What are you? A history buff or something?” Callie asked, her head still buried in her phone. 


“I guess you can say that since I did major in it. $31.23.” He responded. Callie finally finished texting and looked at the guy who was talking to them. She went silent, which was unlike her. 


“Oh… Cool,” she answered awkwardly. 


I handed him my credit card while I let Callie continue to ogle the man. “I’ve never seen you in Laurel Springs before, are you new here?” Callie inquired. 


“I'm not from here. My Aunt Lucy needed my help since she is recovering from her surgery.”


“That’s awfully kind of you,” she smiled sweetly and batting her long lashes.


Shrugging, he handed me the change, “Family first, right? You ladies have a nice day.” He said to us both. 


We thanked and wished him the same. Once we got into the car, “So you’re into chefs now? I thought you were more into actors and artists,” I teased cracking up.”


“Shut up,” Callie laughed and playfully punched me in the arm. “However, I will say, we just fed Simone and Monica to the main she-wolf herself.”


I laughed, “That’s what happens when you mess with a Noble.”


**********************


**FLASHBACK**
Two days ago - Noble Residence - Charles Nobles’s Home Office


Callie sat at my father’s desk as she waited for my instruction on what to research. I paced the floor back and forth. “How do we get two bridesmaids kicked out of the wedding?”


“Give them a surprise vacation,” Callie guessed. 


“No, that’s too easy. We’ll leave that as plan B. There has to be a way we can get in, without looking suspicious.” As I kept pacing, our mother came in the room. 


“What are you two doing?”


“Nothing,” we answered at the same time. 


“I’ve been a mother for over 30 years and nothing always means something when it comes to my daughters,” she challenged. 


Instead of acknowledging her statement, I changed the subject. “Mom, I thought Isaac and Leslie were on the up and up. The first time we see him Daisy is on his arm. Leslie said they had an argument and she thought they would make up the next day.”


“She’s right, they did argue, but when you have a woman like Daisy Montgomery, no heterosexual and rich man is safe.”


“What are you trying to say?” Callie asked. 


Our mother looked like she was ready to spill the tea, but couldn’t fully enjoy doing it because her daughter was involved. “Normally, I don’t include you girls in on grown folks business, but I suppose you both are grown and capable of making your own choices and opinions.”


We nodded. 


“It’s a business move,” she confessed. “You know, your dad is Jacqueline’s lawyer. She inherited her 5th husband’s company after he died. Through the years, all she cared about was the money and neglected the business.”


“Let me guess,” Callie cut in. “They’re going broke.”


“Bingo! She’s not the marrying type or kind because she’s not getting younger, but her daughter is still ripe.”


“This is where Issac enters into the picture,” Callie said. 


“Correct again. Issac’s family comes from old money. All Daisy needed was an inch and that argument gave her just the right amount of wiggle room to push things along.”


“Thanks for telling us, mom. I knew something was off at the wedding every time we asked Leslie about her boyfriend. It all makes sense.”


“All I can do is hope you girls take care of your sister and that little tramp. She almost ruined your senior year and thankfully you bounced back. As far as  Leslie goes, her heart is a lot more delicate, please look out for her because Daisy is definitely playing on all of Leslie’s weaknesses.”


I nodded my head, “Yes, ma’am.”


If the contract was legally binding, we definitely couldn’t stop the wedding from happening, but that didn’t mean we had to give up our plan to still mess with Daisy. Laurel Springs was small, so there's no doubt she didn't know about Leslie’s history with Issac, yet she deliberately asked Leslie to be in her wedding knowing. Our plans definitely weren’t cancelled. In fact, this mission got a lot more personal and I got a spark of inspiration at the same damn time. 


After promising our mother to protect Leslie, she left the room closing the door behind her. A mother plays an important role in a girl’s life and she will do anything to protect her young. I refused to move from my spot until I could fully grasp where my creativity was leading me. 


If you place a mother’s child in jeopardy she will cut the threat off. Everybody has a shortcoming, even Jacqueline. 


“Callie, I need you to look up uncommonly known superstitions. The ones that bring bad luck.” I heard typing behind me. 


She was silently clicking through random articles until she shouted, “I got it! 101 Bizzare Superstitions You Never Considered.”


It sounded promising, so I took a seat across from the desk as Callie read them off. 


“Singing at the table,” she read. 


“What’s so bad about that?” I inquired.


“In the Netherlands, they believe that if you sing at the table, you’re singing to the devil for food.”


“Weird, but I’m pretty sure Jacqueline is well versed on all things superstition. What else you got?”


Callie continued to read different things until she mentioned one that caught my attention. “Giving yellow flowers to friends.”


“Yellow flowers? Isn’t that the sign of friendship?”


“I thought so too, but allegedly the Russians believe that gifted yellow flowers means your sentencing your friend to a life of infidelity.”


“Perfect!” I shouted. “Let’s look for a few more to feed Monica and Simone.”


Callie went back to reading the list of superstitions. “Don’t propose a toast with water. It’s a German superstition and they believe that doing a cheers with water is wishing death on the people you’re toasting with.”


“Thank God, I don’t believe in this stuff, but I know Jacqueline will. She’ll get so mad and freaked out, she will kick them out of the wedding before they realize we set them up.”


“Mission 1: Scope out and eliminate the competition, is officially a go.” I declared proudly. 


Callie and I smacked each other high fives as we had successfully come up with our first plan. 


End Notes:

So... What'd ya think? I'm debating on whether to link my Pinterest Confessions Of A Bridesmaid story board/character inspiration. I know most times readers have their own ideas about what the characters look like in their heads and I don't like messing that up, lol. Also, I want to give a HUGE thank you TO YOU for reading and/or commenting. I truly appreciate it. Happy Holidays. Stay safe and stay healthy! 🥰

Chapter Seven by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

Welcome back! Here's another installment of Confessions of A Bridesmaid.

Song Inspiration:

"Mascara" by Jazmine Sullivan 

"Back To Black" by Amy Winehouse 

"Cool Off" by Missy Elliot

"First Began" by PJ Morton

One Week Later - Montgomery Estate - Living Room

I’m doing this for Leslie. I’m doing this for Leslie. I silently chanted to myself over and over. I wasn’t sure how much more I could stomach listening to Daisy ramble on and on about herself. She didn’t even pretend that she was interested in our lives, but that was just fine with me. 


“Sophia and Callie, I’m so glad you two came to visit so we could reminisce on old times. I remember you two and Leslie would get into so much trouble!” Daisy laughed holding her hand to her chest. 

 

“All thanks to you,” Callie responded. I laughed to cover her sarcasm. 

 

You know the quote, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m pretty sure that fondness was reserved for unique cases because right now my heart was telling me to just beat her the hell up and get it over with, but my brain was telling me to stick to the plan and to avoid jail time. It was time for us to get to the point so we could get out of here. 

 

“You know, Daisy, Callie and I thought about it. We would have felt really horrible about going back home and not be able to partake in your big day. So if it’s okay with you we’d like to come to the ceremony and just watch from the back. We wouldn't be in the way. We would just sit and watch from the audience. It’s not like we would have to be in the front like we're bridesmaids,” I said hoping she caught the subliminal message. 

 

Evidently she did. Her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. “O. M. Geeee!” She squealed! “I have the most perfect idea!”

 

“What idea is that?” Callie asked nervously. 

 

“So you know how you met my bridesmaids the other night at your sister’s wedding?”

 

We nodded. “Yes,” I responded. 

 

“Well, Simone and Monica started acting weird. First, they were singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” at dinner and you know how much my mother hates that song. So the next morning, I guess they were trying to make amends for the mishap and they brought in some beautiful yellow flowers. My mom had the maids and butler throw the arrangements out. Later on that day Monica had the butler bring in a tray with glasses of water for everyone and she wanted to propose a toast. 

 

My mother lost it then and there.” Daisy explained with wide eyes. 

 

We feigned shock and gasped at the news. “Oh no. Why was your mother upset?” Callie questioned our host. 

 

“I think it had to do with all that superstitious stuff she believes in. She was going off, hollering about begging for food from the devil, being with a habitual cheater and dying. To be honest, I never kept up with that mess. I would never let something as silly as that control my fate. If I want something to happen or not happen, then I do whatever I can to ensure my happiness.”

 

We slyly fist bumped each other as we stared at our nemesis in fake disbelief. “Oh no, I hope Jacqueline is okay now.” I said. 

 

Daisy waved her hand at me. “After my mama kicked them out of the house, she started burning sage everywhere. It was a hot mess. I’ve been trying to impress Isaac’s sister, Island, but she looked horrified. It’s bad enough that she already doesn’t like me, but now I have to make up for any ground I lost with her,” she shared with us. 

 

“Hopefully Island keeps in mind that you aren’t your mother.” It took everything in me not to choke on that lie. 

 

Daisy smiled at us. “You know after all these years and what went down between us our senior year, I never thought we’d be talking again. I’m so glad the both of you are here to make up for all the things that you did. I guess this is the sign I’ve been waiting for.”

 

Callie was ready to pop off, I felt her sliding toward the edge of the couch to ready to chin check Daisy. I held her hand to apprehend her. “You know Daisy, we’re all adults now and it’s best to let the past stay where it is. Today is a new day. So what was this sign that you got?” I asked curiously. 

 

“Brace yourselves. I want you to be my bridesmaids!”

 

“Are you serious? I mean, it’d be a dream come true to be in your wedding! Don’t play with me.” I exclaimed. 

 

“Sophia, I am dead serious, who else would be better to stand behind me on my big day than the two girls who used to follow behind me when we were growing up?”

From my peripheral, I noticed Callie was moving her neck from side to side and rolling it around as if she was loosening up her muscles to prepare for a beat down. It was definitely time to wrap this up. 

“Daisy it would be an honor to be your bridesmaids,” I beamed. 

Daisy looked over at Callie, “What about you, Callie? How do you feel about being my bridesmaid? You’ve been quiet for a while,” her eyes held a challenge. 

With the most beautiful smile and bright eyes, she responded, “Daisy, making your day unforgettable will be my number one priority if I’m your bridesmaid. Nothing would make me happier than to watch you walk into your destiny.” The entire time she spoke, she was still holding my hand, squeezing the life out of it and had the most pleasant sounding voice with her picture perfect looks. 

I told you she was a bomb actress, didn’t I?

“Well now that that’s settled I need to tell my mother the good news!” She jumped from her seat clapping happily. 

“Sounds good,” Callie spoke up. “We’re going to head out and update Leslie! This is so amazing. We were only here to ask to attend your wedding and now we get to be a part of it. I’m so glad we came back and see you again!” 

Daisy pulled us into a hug and walked us to the door. 

As we headed for the car with enough distance for Daisy not to hear us, Callie made her intentions clear. “I’m giving myself 3 days before I choke this girl out. She got one more time to say something slick, Sophie. I’m not playing.”

We got into the car. “I know,” I huffed. “I gave myself 2 days, if it makes you feel any better.”

“We better come out on top otherwise I will use every last one of my skills to knock her out.” She shook her head and stared out the window.

I couldn’t talk her out of something I was feeling myself. Instead I blasted “Mascara” by Jazmine Sullivan through the speakers.

*******************

30 Minutes Later - Kennedy High School - Gymnasium - Cheerleading Practice

 

We stood outside of the doors of the closed gymnasium. We heard constant whistle blowing and Leslie yelling at the squad. Callie and I looked at each other because Leslie didn’t sound like her normal self.

“Is this what she’s normally like?” Callie asked me. 

I shook my head, “No, most times she’s her normal sweet self. I hope this change has nothing to do with Daisy and Isaac. Ever since we found out what happened, she’s been avoiding my calls or keeps it really short.”

 

“Same here,” Callie second. 

 

“She can’t avoid us now. We gave her every opportunity to explain what’s going on, so now we’re going to sit her down and make her tell us how those two got together so quickly.”

Callie opens the door, “What in the world?” 

I knew exactly what she was referring to. Though Leslie always looked stylish, she always stuck to bright colors, at this moment she was wearing a black blazer with black tank top layered underneath it and black pants and heels. There was absolutely no pop of color in her ensemble. The rest of her appearance that tipped us off that something wasn’t right. She was wearing her gray eye contacts, black lipstick and her burgundy colored hair was pulled into a bun at the crown of her head showing off her neck tattoo and multiple ear piercings. She normally wore her hair down and makeup to cover her tattoo, but today it was clear that she didn’t care. 

“Uh oh. This is bad, real bad.” I sighed. 

“Brandi, if you don’t aren’t in the correct position to spot Andrea then she will fall and break her neck! You don’t want that burden on your head do you?” Leslie questioned in a cutthroat tone. 

 

The student shouted out a firm “No, ma’am,”

 

“Then I suggest you stand in the right place,” she paused and blew the whistle. “Again!” 

 

The cheerleaders practiced the stunt again with no mistakes and exactly how their coach taught them to do it. “That was sloppy! Do it again.”

 

We headed over to Leslie, she saw us and immediately her demeanor changed. “Take a 20 minute break. If one of you is late everybody is running laps. Dismissed.”

“Hey sis,” Callie greeted wearily. “Are you doing okay.”

Leslie flashed her bright smile and bubbly tone. “Hey y’all! I’m great. Why? Is there something wrong?” 

“Umm, yeah. I was expecting to come to a high school cheer practice not boot camp led by a drill sergeant in stilettos,” Callie said. 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m always strict on the team.”

 

“Strict, but never callous.” I responded. “Leslie, we need to tell you something very important, but you need to let us know what happened between you and Isaac first. We’re not taking no for an answer and if you don’t want us to embarrass you in front of your squad by being super petty, you’d better start talking.” 

 

We had a stare down, but I won. Leslie wasn’t a pushover, but she also wasn’t confrontational. “Fine,” she huffed. We all went over to the bleachers to take a seat. 

 

“One night, Izzy — I mean, Isaac and I were having a movie night. And it was about how this woman who thought she was dying decided to clear out her savings account and live out every dream in her goals book. She was suddenly admired by all that she came into contact with, she had such a bubbly personality and never flashed her money in their face. 

 

There was this one rich guy who didn’t know her and he didn’t like her because he thought it was all just a front. He worked hard to find out her secret and who she was. The rich man was so used to buying people just to be liked and feel important. He couldn’t understand how this woman could naturally make the same people, who were in his crowd, gravitate towards her and she not once brought up the subject of money or business. 

 

So I said to Isaac that it was sad that some rich people think everybody can be bought and be truly happy within. 

 

Out of nowhere he snapped on me. He told me how people spend and make their money has nothing to do with me and I would do the same thing too if I had the opportunity. 

I asked where this was coming from, he just stayed silent and said I wouldn’t get it because it was a rich people problem. I told him if he felt that way, then we shouldn’t be together. He left out my house without a second glance. I was so distraught and I didn’t want to tell you two or Bianca because you three have the tendency to overreact.”

“Only when we have a good reason to,” Callie interrupted. 

Leslie looked at her with disbelief. “Anyway, since I had no one else to talk to,”

I cut in this time. “You told Daisy.”

She silently nodded. “At the time I wasn’t thinking straight, I just needed to vent. After I told Daisy what happened, a whole week went by. Isaac and I still hadn’t talked. I was miserable. I missed my baby. Since we’ve been together we haven’t gone a whole day without at least a quick good morning or good night text. So I broke down and went to go see him, but first I had to make an appearance at Daisy’s birthday party. 

I saw his parents and his sister there, which was really odd to me because with Island being my best friend, I knew she didn’t like Daisy. Before I could ask Island why she was there, I heard people gasping and cheering. I looked in the direction of where everyone’s attention was and I saw Isaac down on one knee in front of Daisy.”

“Oh no,” Callie and I said at the same time. 

Leslie nodded and dabbed at the corner of her eyes to stop the tears. 

“Yeah, apparently during the time we were apart, their parents were finalizing the arrangements for their pending engagement/marriage. I was so humiliated, I ran out of there before anybody saw me. Island tried to stop me, but what was there to talk about or say? Leslie won again. How could I compete with that?

Oh, and to add icing to the cake, I just found out she’s two months pregnant.

One day I was grocery shopping and I saw Isaac, he was alone. I tried going the other way, but he stopped me. He tried explaining how he tried to find ways out of the arrangement, but couldn’t and then I asked about the baby. He said he didn’t remember sleeping with her. 

Can you believe that? He doesn’t remember. Talk about dodging a bullet. I ended up deleting my social media page rather than updating my relationship back to single because I was with a man who was betrothed to another woman that was supposed to be my friend. So Daisy asked me to be in their wedding, she knew me turning down the invite would’ve been ammunition to call me jealous, so I told her I would do it.”

We all sat in silence for a few minutes letting the whole story sink in. Callie spoke up, “Rule number one: no matter how bad it is, tell your sisters first, they’ll always have your back. Rule number two: never tell a gold digger about your relationship problems, all they need is a tiny crack to get in and mess up everything you built.”

Leslie nodded, “You're absolutely right, I was just dealing with my pride being hurt and Isaac never gets angry with me and for him to just be so mean to me made me feel so confused.”

“We get it. Relationships are tough.” I told her. “Just don’t isolate yourself, we are here to help you. We’re on your side.”

“Speaking of helping you,” Callie perked up. “Guess who the replacement bridesmaids are?”

“No way,” Leslie shook her head in amazement. “How did you two manage that?”


“It’s a long story, we’ll fill you in later, but in the meantime as bridesmaids we’re going to make sure Miss Montgomery doesn’t get a not so happy ending.” I smirked. 


“No. Absolutely not. Whatever you two had planned, cancel it. We will not be the cause of a broken family. There’s a baby involved, now. I grew up without my biological parents. That is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. So if Daisy and Isaac have a chance at making things work with their unborn, then I don’t want any part of making their relationship fail.” Leslie declare with finality. 


We couldn’t argue with her on that point so we gave in. “Fine, but we can still be bridesmaids only for you so you don’t have to be alone,” I conceded. 


Leslie smiles, “That’s fair and very adult of you.”


“I don’t know about the adult part,” Callie proclaimed, “But you two have a fair warning warning that Daisy has only one time to step out of line and it’s a wrap.”


Leslie laughed again. “That’s fair.”


“Now, that that’s settled, take it easy on your team.” I suggested. 


“No can do. We have a competition coming up in a few weeks. They’re used to this side of me.”


“The black lipstick, piercings, tattoo and contacts? Normally you look like Little Miss Sunshine,” I inquired. 


“Well today was the exception. I was feeling some type of way about everything, so I decided to express myself through my wardrobe.”


“Mission accomplished,” Callie responded. 


“Where are the twins?” Leslie asked me.


“At mom and dad’s house, doing their online classes. Since they’re homeschooled, their teacher is doing online sessions with them. I love that they can travel with me and not miss a day of school.”


“I’m glad that’s working out for you. By the way, there is a bridesmaids photo shoot in four days. Please be on time. We’re supposed to be getting our hair and makeup done. Daisy’s going all out for this wedding, she’s trying to get a spread in the Laurel Springs Wedding Magazine.”


Our phones began to vibrate and chime at the same time signifying that we had received a text. “It looks like Daisy just sent the entire wedding party a mass text to do a meet and greet at some stuffy French restaurant tomorrow night,” Callie summarized. 


Leslie noticed our frowning faces, “Remember the part you said you would do this for me?”


“Fine, we’ll be there and on our best behaviors,” I grumbled. “But I’m about to make a friendly suggestion there’s no way I’m about to spend my Friday night eating overpriced food and bored out of my mind,” I began typing my text to the group and I read it aloud. “Hey, Daisy, can’t wait to meet everyone, however Callie and I haven’t been able to go out since we’ve been back home, in Laurel. I was wondering how everyone feels about meeting at the Velvet Bull Saloon on Astor Avenue. We all would be comfortable and get a chance to have some real fun. What do you all think?”


I pressed the send button and watched as the bridesmaids and groomsmen and even the groom responded that they liked my idea and finally Daisy texted that it would be fine. We could all read the tone of her text that she was irritated.


“You’re up to something, I can feel it.” Callie stated. 


I only smiled neither confirming nor denying her observations.


“Whatever, just keep me out of it. The less I know, the better. Now, I have to get back to practice, ”Leslie informed us. 


“You know, I can step in and show the squad how it’s really done,” Callie stated, as she stretched her arms and legs. 


“Oh really?” Leslie asked with intrigue. 


“Yes. Are you doubting my skills?”


Leslie grinned and shrugged her shoulders, “Absolutely not. I’m just saying, I haven’t seen you be active in a long time.” 


“That sounds like a challenge to me,” Callie laughed. She started taking off her earrings and handed them to me. “Hold this,” she said. She then started taking off her brown wedges. “Not active in a long time, my butt,” she grumbled. 


As Callie was preparing for whatever it was she was about to do, the cheerleading squad started making their way back into the gym. “Clear the floor, people!” Callie shouted, “Your coach is about to put her money where her mouth is.”


She walked over to the students that were manning the Bluetooth speaker. While they were getting the music situated the doors opened and Bianca walked in and smiled brightly, headed towards us, she was wearing her blue jean overalls covered in paint splatters and a yellow tank top underneath it. “A little birdie told me two of Kennedy High’s alumni were here. I had to see if it was true. What are you doing here and why is Callie barefoot?”


“Hey, Sis! We only stopped by to let Leslie know we’re in Daisy’s wedding and then of course Leslie and Callie had to challenge each other to see if Callie still had her cheerleading skills.” 


“Oh this should be good, she hasn’t cheered since she graduated from college. And good job on accomplishing the first mission,” Bianca high-fived me. 


“Hold up,” Leslie exclaimed, “You’re in on this too, BeBe?”


“Yes and no. I am offering advice. Let’s face it. You three would be lost without me,” she grinned. 


Leslie rolled her eyes, “Whatever.”


The music suddenly started, the intro to “Cool Off” by Missy Elliot. 


“Please, not this song,” I rolled my eyes. “She and the twins learned the entire routine when it first came out.” I whined, shaking my head.


The cheerleaders were cheering Callie on as she did the dance that went viral over the summer and added some of her own flips and moves. Once the song started coming to an end she danced to the corner of the gym and held her arms up signifying that she was going to do something big, she lowered them and started running for a good momentum and then began doing a bunch of gymnastic flips diagonally across the large gym floor. 


Callie was blowing everybody away. We all rose to our feet clapping and shouting for her. Her flips started becoming uncontrolled and instead of her continuing to go in a diagonal path, she started going straight. If she did a few more flips she was going to hit a wall. Everyone was trying to tell her to stop, but between the music and the yelling it was hard to distinguish the warnings. 


She was still on her way to hitting the wall when the football team came through the doors. Either the coach had quick instincts or reflexes because he ran to the area where Callie would have hit the wall and he caught her mid-flip. The students went crazy after witnessing the close call. Some had even caught the action on their phones and were playing it back. It was pretty impressive if I said so myself. 


The coach, who was holding on to Callie, was wearing a vintage black and white graphic tee, which probably had an old rock band logo on it, with black jeans and biker boots. He placed Callie back on her feet and she looked up at him. Knowing exactly who it was, I quietly sat back down in my spot.


“Gunnar!” Callie shouted, jumping back into his arms for a hug. 


When Gunnar and I officially started dating, he and Callie became cool with each other. They laughed at the same weird jokes and watched the sci-fi shows. I didn’t get it. Once, I joked that he chose the wrong sister, instead of him getting mad he brushed off my comment by kissing me deeply and told me he chose right. That was the moment I knew I moved from being in like to being in love. 


He wasn’t cocky or over exerting his masculinity to make me cower from my statement. Gunnar understood me in ways that I didn’t always have to explain. His kindness towards me and others, his ability to make me smile without even trying and his protectiveness of me was never under the disguise of possessiveness. He genuinely was a kind hearted person. 

 

**FLASHBACK** 


“Who else is going to sing to me after I’ve had a hard day? What other woman can make me watch a bunch of musicals all day? And who else would I ever consider when I’m making my future plans besides you? Callie is like a sister to me. You are much more than that. You’re the one I want to marry, have my children with and grow old with. I know exactly who I chose.” 


I stared at him dumbfounded, “I love you.” I instantly slapped my hand over my mouth and rose from the couch. He stopped me, pulling me into his lap. I couldn’t move my hand from my mouth, I was trying to prevent myself from saying anything else unpredictable. 


He smiled sweetly at me, as I sat sideways on his lap and my head was resting on his shoulder. “You love me?”


I could only nod, my hand still blocked my mouth. 


He laughed, “Could you at least look at me and nod?”


I sat up and removed my hand. I was now staring at my hands, wondering why I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.


“Sophia,” he gently called my name. 


Looking into his eyes, I exhaled and repeated the words again. “I love you, Gunnar. No matter how different or far apart we are, you always manage to still make me feel like taking every risk to be with you. What I feel for you is more than a school girl crush. You stay up and listen to me blab about my classes and when I have late nights at the studio, writing, you never get angry or jealous. You let me be me. I just hope I do the same for you.”


“Sophia Noble, I love you too. There’s no other woman for me. I knew you were the one, that day in the cafeteria. You walked with your head held high and a big ass pudding stain on your shirt.”


We laughed so hard at that memory. 


“Shut up,” I hit him in the chest. 


“Seriously. Not many girls would have been able to take the words of a mean girl, in front of a bunch of jocks and still manage to cut her back with your words. You delivered it without tears or whining. Just courage. I knew at that moment. You were supposed to be my girl.”


“I used to get so angry that nothing came of us after the dance,” I pondered. “But I think it worked out better this way. It was definitely flattering to know that a guy I had the hots for looked me up even though I had moved across the country.”


“Yeah?” He asked. 


I nodded,” Because we’re both adults,” I kissed one side of his neck. “Who can now,” I then kissed his jawline. “Do adult,” I gently bit his earlobe, hearing him moan. “Things,” I finally moved to his lips, kissing him deeply. 


“Now we’re talking!” He playfully threw me on the couch and got on top of me. I couldn’t help the giggles that fell out because he started tickling me. 


“Gunnar, quit playing! I tell you I love you and you start tickling me? How romantic,” I mused. 


He stopped to stare at me. “I love you, Sophia Christina Noble. Nobody will compare to you, ever. No matter how you try to push me away or second guess our relationship, I will always choose you, like you chose me.”


I smiled up at him. “Kisses,” I said. 


He graciously granted my request. 


**END OF FLASHBACK**


Taking a deep breath in and then releasing it, I reminded myself why I was overstaying my time here in Laurel Springs and it didn’t include Kennedy High’s football coach. I was here specifically for Leslie. Gunnar wasn’t on my agenda and it was going to stay that way. It had to.













End Notes:

So now Sophia and Callie know the full story. And Leslie wants no parts of their shenanigans. Will that stop the sisters from cutting up? Absolutely not! Lol!

I hope you've enjoyed this chapter. Let me know what you thought about it. Was it good or bad? Too much detail. Not enough detail... As always thank you for reading and I hope you stay safe, healthy and happy! 🥰

Chapter Eight by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

Song Inspiration:

"Crime" by Mayer Hawthorne

“Please explain to me again, why we’re actually going to sit back and let Daisy off the hook?” Callie asked, laying on her back in the pillow pit in the corner of my childhood room, tossing a small ball in the air and catching it. I laid on my stomach with my feet up staring at some random reality show playing on the television. 


This room was exactly how I’d left it when I graduated from high school. Colorful and dramatic. If you remember MTV Cribs Destiny’s Child episode, particularly Beyoncé’s room, that was my number one inspiration.


I shamelessly begged my parents to change my room. They told me if I got straight A’s during my entire last year of junior high then by the summer I could remodel my room. Needless to say, I crushed that goal. It was the place for my sisters and I to congregate. Now, as a grown woman, all I get is Aladdin’s Arabian Night vibes. I can’t believe they really let me decorate a whole room like this.


“Hello? Are you even listening to me?” Callie interrupted my thoughts.


“My bad, I was daydreaming,” I answered honestly. 


“About Gunnar?” Though I couldn’t see her facial expression, I could tell she was smiling. 


“No,” I responded disgustedly. “Will you get over him already? That was a done deal a long time ago.”


“So, I guess I shouldn’t tell you what he told me in the gym today,” she said, rolling onto her stomach grabbing a small turquoise pillow to prop her elbows looking at me. 


I turned on my side to face her, squinting my eyes. “You did that to me at the wedding, I'm not falling for it again.”


“He told me you were playing hardball this time. I guess he was right about that part too,” she shrugged her shoulders. 


“What were the other parts?” I shook my head, “You know what? It doesn’t even matter. I’m not here for him. We’re here for Callie. By the way, you may need to go back to work soon.”


Callie quickly sat up with wide eyes and a slight look of skepticism and slight excitement written over her face. “Weren't you the one nagging me that I needed to take a vacation?”


“Yeah, but this is for our sister.”


“What does Leslie have to do with me going back to work?” She inquired seriously. 


We both looked over to the door because it swung open and Callie stormed through the door and slammed it shut. “This is killing me. Before I completely give up on Isaac, I need to know for sure if Daisy is actually pregnant.” She finished taking a deep breath and falling on the bed, face first.


“There! I said it,” she mumbled into the bed. Callie sat up with the most pitiful look on her beautiful face. “I might be in her wedding, but that doesn’t mean I trust her. She will do anything to get what she wants, she’d even stoop as low as faking a pregnancy.”


I looked back over to Callie and pointed to Leslie, “That’s what you have to do with it. I need you to access Daisy’s medical file and see if she’s really pregnant.”


Callie looked happy, but instantly froze up. “I’m down, but should we be talking about this in front of her?” She used her head to nod in Leslie’s direction. 


Leslie waved her hand and smacked her lips. “Newsflash, I know you’re a cat burglar.”


I wasn’t shocked because I’d told her a few years ago when Callie and I got into a horrible argument and I needed to speak to someone who was level headed and definitely wouldn’t judge her. Leslie was that someone. Though she wasn’t happy to find out about Callie living dangerously, and honestly neither was I, she listened and gave me the best advice on how to deal with our sister. 


“You told her?!” Callie accused, looking over at me shocked. 


“I did. Who is she going to tell? You haven’t gotten a call from Mom and Dad yet, have you?” I asked. 


Callie thought about it then visibly relaxed. “I’m glad you know, Les. It’s hard talking to Sophie all the time. She’s always nagging me about being careful and quitting. I finally have a new person to vent to. By the way, don’t call me a cat burglar, I’d prefer to be called a grifter. It’s kind of an easier pill for some to swallow and no one says cat burglar anymore.”


“Girl, bye! And besides that, I agree with Sophie. She told me about your last venture. You almost got shot and ended up twisting your ankle trying to escape.”


“That comes with the job, I’m fine. Now, back to you. You both want me to get Daisy’s file. That’ll be simple. Who is her doctor?” Callie asked, getting straight to business. 


“Doctor Ferguson. He’s still practicing privately in his office, so you don’t have to worry about going through a hospital or anything large. He has a new office assistant, her name is Penelope Samuels,” Leslie offered. 


“That name sounds familiar,” Callie replied. 


“It should. She was in your grade. Remember she had the red hair and sort of geeky?” Leslie recollected. 


“Oh yeah, she was always asking me to hang out with her. She was a cool girl. Just a little too high strung for me. Thanks for the info. I’m on it.” Callie pulled out her phone and started typing away. 


“Cal, this is the only job you’re doing.” I add firmly. “You’re still going to lay low.”


“Yeah, yeah. Lay low, I know,” she mumbled. I knew she was in her happy place, but I had to keep the reins on her until things cooled down. Somebody had set her up, and I needed help to figure out who it was and also who was still after her, but I digress, that’s another story for another time. *Hint, hint.*


Ignoring Callie, Leslie turned her attention to me. “Is there anything I can do to help out?”


I glanced at my sister, she looked lost. This all back attire wasn’t her. I knew she wanted to help out to get her mind off of how bad things were. What I needed her to do wasn’t necessarily for the benefit of our next mission, but it would definitely help me see if it was worth us getting her and Isaac back together even if the marriage was arranged, there are still ways to get out of it. 


I sat up on my bed, “I need you to follow the advice you once gave me when I was losing my head over the one who shall not be named,” I said, making her laugh. “You need to have the time of your life and act like you’re unaffected by their so-called relationship.”


“I said that?” She asked, knowing good and well that she got me together on the night of our homecoming dance. 


I nodded, playing along, “You sure did. And you were right! Don’t give Isaac any lingering glances, but don’t ignore him either. Remain cool the entire night. For the moment we’re letting Daisy think she has the upper hand, so continue to let her run her mouth. She will have her day,” I put my hand on her knee to let her know everything would be fine. 


Leslie nodded, “I can do that! Thanks for helping me out, you two.” She gave me a hug. 


“That’s what sisters are for,” Callie assured her. 


She rose from the bed and headed for the door. “Alright I’m gonna get out of here and start channeling an unbothered mood,” she claimed. 


I laughed, “Good luck with that.”


“Thanks,” she waved and left the room.


“Knowing the perfectionist that she is, she’s going to kill it tomorrow night,” Callie said stil on her phone. 


“I think so too, I’m curious to know if Isaac still has eyes for our sister or if he was using her as a side piece until it was time for Daisy and his engagement was to become official.”


“That’s a good idea, also Penelope is going to meet us at the bar tomorrow. She accepted my buddy request on Friendsy. She gets off late tomorrow so she’ll be coming from work. This will be like taking candy from a baby,” my sister bragged. 


“You better enjoy it while it lasts, because you won’t be doing this again for a while. I don’t care what your boss says,” I warned her once again. 


“You are such a buzzkill. And Dominic wouldn’t put me in harm's way,” she groaned. 


“I prefer to have that killed rather than you,” I admonished. “I’m serious, Cal. Don’t go overboard with this. We just need to see the pregnancy test results, that’s it.”


***************************


Friday Night - Velvet Bull Saloon - Lower Level - Montgomery/Palmer Wedding Party Meet & Greet


This bar was pretty cool. It was definitely like a scene out of an old western movie except there were some updates to not make it look totally outdated. Daisy had texted all the ladies in the wedding that our attire should be country chic just in case she wanted us to take pictures. I wore a white and brown high-low cheetah print dress that had a split that went up to my mid thigh. The dress was low cut, so I wore my long gold charm necklaces that fell between my breasts. To keep up with the southwestern theme, I wore my brown cowboy boots that I’ve had since high school, they were in great shape because I hardly wore them.


I was waiting at the bar to order a drink for myself and Callie. Leslie told us she and Island, Isaac’s sister, would be late. The school had a football game tonight and she had to be there with the squad. I just received a text from her that Kennedy won and she would be here in 15 minutes.


“What can I get you?” I looked up and recognized the unforgettable face. It was Lucinda’s nephew. “Hey, you work here too?” I asked. 


He smiled at me. It almost looked sinister, but I figured with his chiseled facial features that was just his normal smile. He leaned on the bar and continued our conversation not at all phased by my question. “Actually, I just bought this place. Mr. Jacobs retired and was going to shut this place down and Aunt Lucy will be returning back to work soon, so I figured why not set some roots down here in Laurel and live out one of my dreams and run a bar.”


“Good for you!” I smiled genuinely. “Are you single?”


He laughed heartily. “Depends on who is asking.”


“I am, but not for me. I’m asking for a friend,” I  answered somewhat honestly. The “friend” I was referring to was Callie. She always dated guys that weren’t about much except for money and fame. I wanted her to date a man who actually worked and not some overgrown trust fund baby. 


I felt hands wrap around my waist and their body drawn close to mine. “I think he’d be good for Callie too, sweetheart, because you’re definitely off the market.”


I rolled my eyes and turned to face the intruder. “Move around, Gunnar. And why are you here so early? Les, just told me the game was over and that she’d be here in 15 minutes. You’re the football coach, so how did you beat her here? And how do you know I was talking about Callie, I could’ve been asking for Leslie.”


“We have an assistant coach and I didn’t want to be away from you for too long. And as for why I said Callie is because Leslie is more into clean cut guys,” he looked at the bartender, “No offense.”


“None taken,” he responded, watching the couple in front of him. 


He’s such a know-it-all. Leslie was never into bad boys. She preferred nice and wholesome guys. Instead of telling him he was right, I turned to the bartender ready to place my order when Gunnar interrupted me, again. 


“What’s up, Theo? Let me get a pitcher of whatever kind of beer the guys already ordered and a Cosmopolitan for the lady.”


“The lady wasn’t ordering just for herself. She was getting drinks for her sister too,” I scolded.  


Without missing a beat he put in another request without asking for my input, “In that case I’ll also need a Moscow mule, put it on my tab.”


“Not necessary.” Theo responded. “Isaac already informed me that your entire party is taken care of. I’ll go get your drinks, I’ll be back in a few.”


While Theo went off to prepare our order, I turned to face the occupants of the bar. There were some faces I remembered from high school and new faces as well. My eyes landed on the engaged couple. Daisy was sitting on Isaac’s lap while he drank his beer and she was chatting with the maid of honor, Gwendolyn. I wondered how anybody can manage to listen to Daisy for even five minutes without wanting to put a muzzle on her.  


Gunnar laughed, making me realize that I must’ve said that out loud. Oh well, it was the truth. “Is the engagement a legit arrangement or is it because of the baby?”


Gunnar turned to face me and leaned on the bar. “Both. The engagement is 100% real. The question is, does he really want to marry her? His pops made a business deal to buy Jacqueline’s business for about 5 million dollars, which is pretty low, but she accepted the offer because she wanted to make sure that Daisy was taken care of in case she ran out of money again.”


“So she threw her own daughter into the transaction,” I guessed. 


“Pretty much.” 


I shook my head, “It would have to be a cold day in hell before I even think about auctioning off Eden and Aspen as if they are property to bargain. That’s a shame.”


“Yeah, it is bad, but when money is your motive for everything, shame goes out the door.”


Nodding in agreement, I asked one final question, “Was Isaac and Leslie’s relationship the real thing or was he biding his time before he had to propose to Daisy?”


“I was pretty sure he’d found the one when he met Leslie. They complimented each other so well. Then the next thing I know, he’s telling me they’d broken up and he was going to propose to Daisy. He was ready to get out of the contract even though he would lose his inheritance. What made him finally give up looking for a clause or walking away was when he found out Daisy was pregnant. 


Honestly, Isaac hasn’t been the same since then. He barely jokes, he’s become a workaholic and on top of that his family is giving him a hard time. Between his sister who keeps calling him stupid for leaving Leslie and his parents adding pressure on him to not back down and ruin the family’s legacy he’s having a hard time. For him, this marriage is more out of duty than love.”


Was he serious? It was the 2000’s, do people still get married because there was an unexpected pregnancy? No judgement, but marriage doesn’t alway promise the life of peace and a happy family. But then again, if he did try to find a way to get out of the arrangement or tried to make things work with Leslie, she wouldn’t let him do it. She was the most unselfish person I’d ever known. Leslie was the type to sacrifice her own happiness for the well-being of someone she loved. Especially when it came to families. 


Though Isaac sounded like an honorable guy that was loyal to a major fault, something still didn’t feel quite right to me. Thank God, I had sisters who had a ride or die mentality.


“Hearing a thumping on the bar behind me, I turned around. “Here you go. A cosmopolitan for the lady, a Moscow mule for her sister and a pitcher of beer for the gentleman,” Theo announced as he served us. 


“Thank—”


“Hey, it’s the history guy,” Callie came up to us. At the bar. “Ooh, my favorite,” she picked up her copper mug and sipped her drink from the straw and then looked into the bartender’s eyes. “You made this?”


He nodded, “Yeah.”


“Well, sir, you made a fine cocktail. She lifted her mug to him in a toast-like fashion and said, “I’ve decided to save a dance for you. Don’t hide behind that bar all night,” she winked at him. 


“Yes ma’am,” he saluted. 


Callie, finally took notice of me and Gunnar, “C’mon, lovebirds. We got a mission to carry out.”


“What is she talking about?” Gunnar whispered in my ear. 


“Who knows?” I shrugged as naturally as one could without looking suspicious. “She claims she’s on a mission to get everybody drunk.” I headed to our table, but he grabbed my hand. I turned to look at him.


“You know I have my ways of finding out what you’re doing,” he warned. 


“I’ll advise you to mind your business. However, I may need your help with something else.”


I read the look in his eyes and knew what he was thinking and laughed, “Not that type of help, Brock. Get your mind out of the gutter, but it’s nice to know that I can still be thought of as a woman and not just a mom” I slightly joke. 


“Then you’ve been dealing with the wrong man, sweetheart,” he raised my hand, that he still held, to his lips and placed a gentle kiss on the back of it. 


I felt my cheeks growing hot. Grinning at the 6-foot man of my teenage dreams, I withdrew my hand from his and playfully pushed him away. “Smooth talker.”


He laughed, “It’s the truth. Have dinner with me.”


“I’m not here for long. And I’m working on an album, so I wouldn’t have time to date,” I replied.


“That never stopped us before,” he refuted. 


I laughed, “You still don’t quit.”


“When it comes to you, never,” he answered. 


I walked away, with nothing to say because I knew he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and to be honest, I’d end up agreeing to go out with him. Not out of pressure, but out of pure want. 


God, help me. 




















End Notes:

Happy Belated New Year! My apologies for the delay. I had a lot going on and it was causing me to have writer's block, but as you know when you give yourself time to process, things can finally go somewhat back to normal.

Anywho, I have a few completed chapters I plan to post another chapter either today or tomorrow. Please let me know what you think. This story kind of started taking a life of its own and I'm just here for the ride. 

Thanks for reading and I wish you well 🥰

Chapter Nine by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

As promised, here is the second chapter of the night. Happy Reading!

Song Inspiration:

"My Babe" by Columbus Short

"Good Man" by Ne-Yo

The meet and greet was in full swing. Leslie and Island had made it. Leslie kept her attire super simple with a plain white v-neck tee, dark wash jeans and some white Converse. We were all sitting around chatting, drinking and eating appetizers when Daisy rose from her fiancé’s lap to make an official announcement. 


“Excuse me, may I have your attention please?” Once we all quieted down she continued. “Izzy and I want to thank you all for coming out tonight and for being a part of the wedding.”


“She did not just use the nickname you had for him,” Island muttered to Leslie. 


“Shh…” Leslie tried to quiet her best friend down. 


“No, Isaac has always hated nicknames and when you stepped on the scene with a nickname for him he didn’t complain. Even then he still didn’t let his own family call him anything but Isaac. Now all of a sudden he’s cool with her calling him by a nickname that you gave him?! Oh hell no!” She fumed about to stand up and address her brother, but Leslie held her down. 


“Would you sit down?! Please don’t make this more awkward than it already is. Isaac and I are over with. If he’s okay with his fiancé calling him by a nickname that’s not my business.”


“This isn’t right, this night should have been for you and Isaac, not Southern Belle Barbie,” Island declared as she sipped her margarita. 


Callie and I eyed each other. That was one more ally we had on deck. Daisy continued introducing everyone and told us how the bride and groom knew everyone. We honestly could have done without the speech because we made our own introductions, but Daisy loved being in the spotlight. 


She finally stopped talking and everyone was holding their own conversations. I decided to learn more about Island besides the fact that she was the mother of the twins’ babysitter, Quinn. “So Island, Leslie told me that you recently became the head librarian at Kennedy.”


Island smiled, “Yes, I did. Even though I’m still on probation, I’m happy for the promotion.”


“That’s great. I don’t remember seeing you around the halls at Kennedy when we were in school, did you go to the private school Albright Academy?”


“No, I was sent off to boarding school. Which is a long and boring story. Now let’s talk about something more interesting,” she grinned mischievously. 


“What would that be?” I asked amused. 


“A little redheaded princess told me that you were in a relationship with one of Laurel Springs’ top five most eligible bachelors, that just so happens to work in law enforcement.”


I looked over at Leslie, who was trying not to laugh at Island’s inquisitive nature, pushing her bone straight red hair behind her ear. Though I wasn’t expecting the inquiry, I wasn’t pressed about it either. 


“The princess was right,” I confirmed. 


“You really, dated thee Gunnar Brock?!” She leaned into the table, “Girl, do you know how many women have thrown themselves at him and he turned all of them down? Actually there is one lady that he hasn’t turned down yet, at least, that’s what she tells me. But I honestly haven’t seen him with anyone else publicly,” she said spilling tea that I was trying my hardest to stay away from.


“He's a grown man. How he spends time or selects his female company is none of my business. He doesn’t belong to me,” I sipped my drink trying to look unbothered. And now I was also curious to know who the mystery lady is. 


“If I were you, I’d climb that modern day Viking god like a tree and remind him of who he once belonged to. Don’t get me started. Do you know what it’s like to see him run past your house on his morning runs? Muscles all glistening and shit. And then he has the nerve to run shirtless too,” she fanned herself. 


“It’s his eye for me,” Callie added. 


“He definitely has a nice swagger, a true gentleman,” Leslie commented.


“No. It’s his ass. He’s always had a nice one. Still does.” I stated. Then I turned to look in his direction, his back was towards us and he was at a different table talking to some people. The way his black Henley top stretched over his back and his distressed jeans covered his lower half so perfectly, I got chills. Our group was quiet, I took it as they were admiring the work of art too. 


“I see what you mean, sis. You definitely need to go climb that tree,” Leslie blurted out and then quickly covered her mouth. 


We all stared at each other for a second and began to laugh so hard everyone started looking at us trying to figure out what we were talking about. 


Callie rose from her seat, she saw Penelope had just come in and waved her over. “Penelope, it’s so great to see you,” she exclaimed hugging the natural redhead. 


“Same here, thanks for the invite. It’s not that often that I get to go out and have some fun with people outside of my family,” Penelope answered honestly. 


Callie introduced us to her former high school classmate. After taking a seat, Callie went to go order a drink for Penelope. 


“Do my eyes deceive me or is Callie flirting with Theo?” Leslie asked, as we observed her bent over the bar and smiling seductively   


I nodded, “Yeah, we met him briefly at Lucinda’s the other day.”


Leslie shrugged her shoulders, “God help her. I know his looks screams bad boy, but he’s actually quite the opposite.”


Penelope chimed in, “Agreed. Theo is a true sweetheart, but he’s a nerd and there’s no mistaking it once you see him in his true element. It’s cute though. I hope Callie’s into that type of thing.”


Leslie giggled, “We will certainly find out by the end of the night.”


Before we could continue our conversation, we were interrupted by the bride-to-be, “What are you ladies doing over here?”


“Oh, you know, just regular old girl talk,” Island answered. 


Daisy nodded her head and looked over in my direction and just as quick as I saw her eyes widen, she played it off smoothly and acted as if she wasn’t phased. “Penelope, what are you doing here?” She asked. 


“Oh,” Penelope began shifting in her seat nervously and not giving eye contact almost as if she was intimidated by Daisy. “Callie invited me. She wanted to catch up on old times. I hope that’s alright. I don’t want to intrude on your event or anything,” she answered bashfully. 


Before Daisy could respond, I stopped her. “Don’t be silly, Penny. A friend of Callie is a friend of ours. Isn’t that right, girls.” They all nodded, Daisy included, but her smile was tight. “Now that that’s settled let’s get some shots!” Leslie, Island and Penelope cheered.


We left our seats and headed to the bar. Callie was sitting at the bar with a perplexed look on her face. Though we came in the middle of their conversation it sounded like Theo was explaining to Callie about the prohibition era. 


This was definitely a new speed for Callie. I couldn’t wait to see how it played out. Once Theo finished his history lesson he addressed us. “What can I get for you ladies?”


“We’d like to order some tequila shots, with some salt and lime slices, please,” I requested. 


“Coming right up,” he saluted and headed off to prepare our order.


“Congratulations,” I beamed, smiling at my younger sister. “You found a man with a brain.”


“I hope he’s good at giving it too,” she huffed. 


I laughed at her dismay. “Seriously, Sophie. That man is fine as hell, but he’s super smart. I’d ruin him. I can’t have that on my hands.”


“Give him a chance, sis. You never know what could happen.” I tried to encourage her, but she shrugged her shoulders. 


“Here you go ladies,” Theo announced, bringing the shots, salt and lime to us. 


We toasted to a great night ahead of us, licked the salt that was sprinkled on our hands, drank our shot and sucked the lime. I noticed Callie hadn’t taken hers. “I can’t get too crazy tonight,” silently hinting about our mission. “Leslie, drink this in my honor.”


Leslie shook her head. “No, I can’t.”


We all began to chant her name until she gave in. With that settled, I shouted “Let's dance!”


We made our way to the dance floor and it felt like all eyes were on us. Though the music was a mix of every genre, old and new, we were still able to vibe and have a good time. “My Babe” was playing. I was still dancing with the girls when I felt someone twirl me around. The secret object of my affection whispered in my ear, “One dance won’t hurt, will it?”


I allowed him to pull my body close to his. His arms wrapped around my waist and mine around his neck. “I guess not.”


Leslie and the rest of the girls danced with other patrons of the bar. Callie was dancing around the entire floor working her magic dancing with couples and singles, her ability to blend in while she worked was astounding. She winked at me flashing Penelope’s work ID and concealing it seconds later. I gave her two thumbs up behind Gunnar’s back while continuing our dance. 


“I saw that,” he mused. 


“Stay out of it,” I warned. His only response was a chuckle. 


The music slowed down and Ne-Yo’s voice blared through the speakers singing “Good Man.” It appeared that the majority of the bridal party was on the dance floor. I noticed that Daisy and Isaac weren’t too far from Leslie and one of the groomsmen, named Matt. 


She looked like she was enjoying herself. There weren’t any romantic vibes between them. It was clearly two people just dancing and chatting. They stood a good distance apart with their hands in respectable areas. 


“You think it’s a good idea for them to be that close?” I asked Gunnar. 


“Who?” He asked, confused. 


“Leslie and Issac.”


He turned his head observing the couples. “They should be fine, but Isaac better be careful. Daisy will notice him giving Leslie those pitiful puppy dog eyes.”


“And nobody wants that,” I concluded. 


“Did you and Montell ever try to make things work once we ended things between us for good.”


I stared at him wondering where this was coming from, but I had nothing to hide so I answered honestly. “You know, there were times I really considered it, but he was so unstable and always hanging out with shady people, I didn’t want to be a part of that lifestyle.”


He didn’t respond, he was just listening as we continued to sway to the beat. There was something that was bugging me, that I had to find out about. “Is it okay for me to be dancing so close to you? Rumor has it that there’s a lady that’s interested you and you might be too.”


Gunnar turned to look me in my eye. I could tell he was deciding how to respond. I preferred the truth, he knew that, but if he hesitated any longer I would know for myself his relationship with this woman was a lot more serious than anyone in Laurel Springs really knew. 


We continued to sway as we stared in each other’s eyes. I didn’t want to be led on by a taken man and the more silence he allowed between us the more I knew it was time for me to make my exit. “See you around Gunnar. By the way, she’s lucky to have you.”


I left him standing there. He owed me no explanation even if I secretly placed a childish dibs on him. And once again it was the proverbial splash of water on my face to wake me up and remind me why I’m still in this little country town. I needed to help Leslie and then get out. 


******


Monday Afternoon - Kennedy High School


“Would you tell me the results already?” I begged Callie as we stood outside of Leslie’s classroom. 


“No. You have to wait. It’s better you find out with Leslie so she doesn’t feel left out.”


“Fine. How did you give Penelope her ID back?”


“Once, I photographed Daisy’s paperwork, I left out the back of the office and came around to the front to return her ID and told her I found it in the car since I was the designated driver and took all you drunk heffas home.”


“That was a good plan,” I complimented her. 


“That was child’s play,” she said disappointedly. 


The school bell rang indicating the end of the school day had come. The hallway was suddenly filled with teenagers boisterously headed towards their lockers. Once Leslie’s class cleared, we came in and closed the door behind us. “Hey, sis!” I announced 


She turned from the dry erase board she was clearing of math equations, “Oh, hey y’all.” She looked over to Callie, “Did you get it?”


“Duh.” Callie answered. Pulling out her phone she unlocked it to get to the pictures she took of the file. We gathered around her eager to find out the results. Either it was impatience or she needed a closer look, but Leslie snatched the phone from Callie. 


She was silent as we stared at her back as she looked at the phone. “What does it say? Is pregnant or not?” I asked my sister. 


“She’s pregnant,” Leslie turned to us with a blank look on her face. “For once she actually told the truth. And now that that’s settled we can go back to getting this show on the road so I can be done with the both of them forever.”


Handing the phone back to Callie, Leslie went to her desk packing up her items. “Say something!” Callie whispered harshly to me. 


I was at a loss for words. “Les, I know this must be tough, but we still have your back. You have nothing to be ashamed of,” I offered. 


“I know you mean well, but you don’t have to bother with the pep talk. I feel stupid for honestly thinking that I had a chance with Isaac in the first place. He was way out of my league to begin with. I got so happy and comfortable with my life that I forgot that the upper class, in this town, hold on to old traditions and don't care if the lower class get caught in the crossfire. They can break hearts, promises and whatever else they want just because they have money and a family name to back them up.”


She had a point. 


“Maybe we can regroup tonight and come up with a game plan, we can still sabotage some of Daisy’s plans,” I suggested. 


“No! No more. I’m done. I refuse to give her any more of my time or energy. The wedding is this next Friday, meaning I won’t have to deal with them much longer and then I can finally move on with my life.” Callie ran out of her classroom before we could stop her. 


I sighed, “I hate to admit this, but she’s right. We can’t argue with facts. We have to let it go and be there for our sister especially when she needs us the most.”


“Are you serious?” Callie asked incredulously. “I snuck into a doctor’s office file room for nothing?” 


“It wasn’t for nothing, we got the answer we needed and though it wasn’t the answer we wanted, we have to deal with it.”


Callie sat quietly for a few seconds with her arms folded and jaws tight. “She won’t get away with this. One way or another, Daisy Montgomery is going to pay!” She headed for the door. 


“Where are you going?” I asked. 


“For a walk. I’ll see you at mom and dad’s.” And with that she was gone. 


Left alone in the classroom, I felt like I was at a loss. I had no clue on how to help or what to do. I knew when to throw in the towel, but because of who we were dealing with, something told me to not give up yet. 













End Notes:

Let me know what you think. I really hope you're enjoying the story!

Take care and stay healthy 🥰

Chapter Ten by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

Once again, thank you for coming back to catch up on the latest update of COAB. Enjoy!

Song Inspiration:

"Go Crazy" by Meg Thee Stallion ft. Big Sean and 2 Chainz

"Truth Hurts" by Lizzo

"Things Are Changin'" by Gary Clark Jr. 

 

Montgomery Estate - Bridal Party Photo Shoot - Pool Area - Tuesday Evening 


“Oh my gosh! What is taking so long? And what’s up with this elevator music? This is supposed to be a pool party.” Callie complained. 


“Calm down, don’t get everybody riled up. None of us are too happy about being here except for Gwen.” We both looked in her direction watching her chatting it up with the photographer telling him about her good side and asking for pointers. 


“There is no way that anybody can be that happy about a wedding, especially this shotgun wedding,” I commented. 


“Ha, that’s what one would think.” Island butted in and took a seat on the lounge chair next to mine. “She along with all the elite black families in Laurel are quite pleased about this arrangement. Isaac and Daisy are the epitome of the millennial African American power couple. And add the love triangle scandal on top of that. This is an event of the century.”


“That’s a bunch of crap if you ask me.” Leslie stated. 


“Sorry, best friend, but you know it’s true and you also know how these bourgeoisie people are around here. They thrive on money and gossip. I wish Isaac would just man up and be his own person.”


“Is that why you drive a Toyota instead of a Benz?” Callie asked without a judging tone. 


“Callie!” Leslie hissed. 


“What? I just asked a question. She doesn’t have to answer if she doesn’t want to.”


Island chuckled. “It’s cool. And you’re right. I’m in a Toyota because following my dreams of being a young adult author, let alone, a high school librarian doesn’t mesh too well with the Lowell family legacy. Then add a failed marriage to the mix. That alone, almost got me disowned.”


“Damn, that’s messed up” I mumbled. 


“That’s exactly what I thought. And then I moved on with my life. I love my parents, but they can’t control me with money. My happiness is worth way more important than that. I just wish my brother would get a clue though.” Island said. 


“Why did she have to choose a pool party themed photo shoot? I hate swimming and I promise if I get my hair wet it’s a wrap for this whole thing,” I warned. 


“Here comes Cruella,” groaned Island. 


The patio doors opened, and Jacqueline walked through with her sleeveless, knee length striped black and white dress and black kitten heels. She donned a wide brim hat and oversized sunglasses. We looked at the host and had to hold down our laughter. 


“Does she always have to dress like she’s going to Sunday morning service?” I joked. The ladies tried and failed to cover their giggles. 


“When a successful woman has a closet the size of your little two bedroom apartment, Sophia, then that woman has every right to flaunt her wardrobe. Right, Gwendolyn?”


Gwen quickly turned from the photographer and came over to Jacqueline obediently to answer her, “Oh, absolutely. Ms. Jacqueline. You’ve always had a passion for fashion!” She smiled, touching Jacqueline’s shoulder. 


Jacqueline not so subtly shrugged her off. Another thing about Jacqueline was that she was a major germaphobe.  


“William,” she called out the butler. “Wet wipe. Now!”


Right on queue, William appeared with a silver tray and a container or wipes on top of it. I was ready to say something slick, but Callie stopped me.


“Don’t even go there,” she whispered. 


“Is Daisy ready yet?” Leslie asked politely.


“Just about. Beauty takes time, dear. It would do you well to keep that in mind when you finally meet a man fit for you.”


Leslie’s demeanor shrunk instantly. And the over protective sister gene rose up in me. “She did, but your daughter—”


Callie interrupted me. “Oh my!” She jumped in front of me, blocking my view of Satan’s wife. This sun is really beaming down on us, am I right?” She chuckled holding her hand up to her chest. “I could really go for something cold to drink. Is there a way I can get some lemonade, iced tea, or maybe even something stronger?”


“William,” Jacqueline called out, while she was still having a stare down with me. 


“Right away, madam.”


I rolled my eyes. What was taking Daisy so long? We were only taking pictures. And I didn’t know how much more I could take Jacqueline’s smart mouth before I embarrassed my parents because I was on the edge of disregarding every bit of home training they taught me. I believed in respecting my elders, but as an adult, I refused to be talked down to. 


“Are you ladies bringing a plus one to the wedding?” Jacqueline inquired. I could tell she was digging for information to use against us. 


“No, ma’am. As I told Daisy before, we are dedicated to making her day special and bringing a guest would only be a distraction.” Callie answered. 


“Well, that’s mighty nice of you girls. I know the groomsmen are bringing dates of their own. Even that handsome Detective Brock is bringing his lovely lady friend. What’s her name?” Jacqueline asked no one in particular and made a complete show, trying to remember it. “Alexandria! Yes, Alexandria Greene, but everyone calls her Lexi for short. I think she even went to school with y’all,” she smiled wickedly. 


Outwardly, I gave nothing away, but on the inside I was a tad bit salty because Alexandria was actually a really nice girl. The main thing I remember about her from our school days was that she was in the beauty pageant circuit and wanted to make a career out of it. I heard she went pretty far with it. 


There was no way I could compete with that. The handsome hometown hero and a beauty queen sounds like a match made in heaven. I was a single mom of twins chasing a music career in her 30’s. Damn you, Gunnar Brock for almost making me fall for you again. 


Jacqueline may have won this round, but I could guarantee that we’d win the war. 


“Alright, ladies! Whose ready to have some fun?” Daisy asked, stepping out of the mansion headed in our direction. She wore a one piece leopard print swimsuit with cutout pieces and a short white veil in her head. “Marco and Phoebe, it’s so good to see you two!” She exclaimed, giving them both air kisses on each cheek, la bise style. “Mwah, mwah! Girls, I know I said we were having a photo shoot, but this won’t be just an ordinary shoot. I have been selected to do a full spread for Blushing Brides Magazine!” She jumped and clapped. 


Gwendolyn squealed and cheered along with the bride. 


“Kill me now,” Leslie groaned. 


“Okay, bridesmaids and bride to be, during this shoot I just want you all to have fun and act natural. Marco will take it from there.” Phoebe kindly instructed. 


We all rose from our seats taking off our short silk hot pink robes to reveal our matching hot pink one-piece swimming suit that had the words “Team Bride” in white block letters. 


“This is humiliating,” I mumbled. 


Gwen ran past me, with a plastic beach ball in her hands. “The last one in the pool is a rotten egg!”


“How old is she?” Island asked, walking over to the stairs that led inside the pool. 


Laughing, I went to go sit on the edge of the pool to get my feet and legs wet first and then I would eventually get in. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to swim, I just didn’t care for it. I slid my white heart shaped sunglasses over my eyes and put on a smile that I was hoping didn’t come off as fake. 


My sisters were lounging on some inflatable pool floats. I saw one shaped like a donut. Once I settled myself on the floating device, I took a deep breath and began to relax and think of ways to help Leslie cope with this situation since she wouldn’t let us go through with our original plans. I also needed to make peace with the fact that there was nothing left to entertain between Gunnar and me. I knew he was naturally a flirt, but for him to try to dredge up old feelings in me wasn’t cool. I was starting to find that staying past my initial visit was a bad idea, like something worse was headed my way. And I didn’t need anybody playing games with my head. We should’ve taken Leslie home with us to cheer her up then I wouldn’t be in this predicament. 


I was pulled from my thoughts when I felt a splash of water hit my legs and stomach. I jumped a little from the shock of the cold water. I looked over to the culprit. “Watch out Gwen. Can you splash the water in a different direction? I don't want to mess my hair up.” I knew it was a lame excuse, but I hoped that would’ve been reason enough for her to respect my wishes. 


As I went back to lounging and daydreaming on the float, I thought I heard her say something about loosening up. Then all of a sudden I felt a large amount of water being splashed all over me and because I wasn’t ready for what was coming, I fell into the water.


Trying my hardest not to panic and get my footing. I rose back up in the water. My sunglasses were abandoned somewhere on the pool floor and now my eyes revealed my true attitude. I treaded over to Gwendolyn who was still splashing around and playing in the water. 


I came from behind her and began repeatedly dunking her in the water. “I asked you nicely to not splash me, now look!” I told her in an angry tone. 


Between Leslie shouting my name and Callie’s uncontrollable laughter, I heard Island yell, “Water fight!”


“Yes!” Phoebe shouted. “Let’s finally have some fun. I love it! Now this is what I call a pool party. This is absolutely perfect! Marco, are you getting this?” Phoebe questioned and used a device to change the humdrum music to “Go Crazy” by Megan Thee Stallion, at a high volume.


Island and Leslie were splashing crazy amounts of water at Daisy and each other. And I could’ve sworn I saw Callie with a large water gun, spraying everybody in sight, mainly Jacqueline. 


Once I had my fill of releasing some pent up energy, I pushed Gwen away from me. Since I was already drenched I swam to the pool stairs to get out. I went to my lounge chair to go put on my robe and slid my feet into my sandals. Heading for the pool house to dry off and leave, Leslie called out to me. “Soph, are you okay?”


I stopped and turned and realized that Leslie and Callie were in their robes as well. “Yeah, I’m good, Les. You don’t have to leave because of me.”


“Girl, please! Seeing you get Gwen back was the highlight of this entire ordeal, she said with the first genuine smile I’d seen from her in a while. Plus attacking Daisy with water didn’t hurt either,” she giggled.


I took in my surroundings, I saw Island talking to Marco asking to see certain shots of when I dunked Gwen and when she and Leslie splashed Daisy. She laughed harder and harder after every shot she saw. Gwen and Daisy were still in the pool crying crocodile tears. While Jacqueline was trying to apologize to Phoebe about the mishap all the while Phoebe would have none of it. “Jacqueline, honey! This is one the most spontaneous photo shoots I’ve had in a long time. You need to thank those young ladies for saving a story that would’ve bored our readers to death.”


Jacqueline let out a scream and stormed into her house angrily. Gwen’s and Daisy’s cries became obnoxiously louder. 


I figured it was because the groom and his groomsmen had just made their entrance. They looked confused, I’m sure Jacqueline and Daisy would find a way to spin it to make us look like the bad guys. 


“Suck it up, you big babies! We were having fun,” Island teased from the poolside. 


My sisters and I, once again, started heading for the pool house. 


Isaac, addressed my sister, “Leslie, what’s going on here? I thought it was just supposed to be a low key pool party. Everything is wet and why are they crying?” He pointed over to the pool. 


“Something that only poor people would understand, now move around, rich boy,” she answered with a straight up attitude and pushed him out of the way and into the water. 


Quickly covering her mouth after realizing her mistake, Callie and Island laughed all over again. It was pretty funny watching such a prim and proper guy who was fully dressed get pushed into the water. Daisy started crying even harder. I smirked at her antics. 


I noticed Gunnar looking at me instead of laughing like everyone else, refusing to give him anything, I continued on my way out. 


*******************************


Soundscape Garden Park- Jazz In the Park - Wednesday Evening


Enjoying the warm breeze and the guest artist’s music, everyone cheered as he finished the first half of his set and would be back shortly. 


“Mom, Laurel Springs may be slower, but I kind of like it better than the city life,” Aspen said. 


“Really?” I asked, shocked. 


“Yes. I love being able to see gramps and gran everyday and our aunties, uncle and cousin more often,” she offered. 


“Aspen is right. Something about this town feels right to me, like there’s something special here for us,” Eden spoke up. 


I stared at my daughters, taking a sip of my water. “Where is all of this coming from?”


“Don’t get us wrong. We enjoy traveling with you, but if we had to choose a place to settle, it would be here. The people are friendlier, there’s a great music program here and we can actually see the stars in the sky at night,” said Aspen. 


“And, I wrote three songs, since we’ve been here. Three, mom!” Eden exclaimed. 


Sitting on this picnic blanket with my girls are the types of moments I cherish. Having them share their thoughts, ideas and opinions with me is what I loved. I always wanted them to feel comfortable to talk to me.


An older man was walking around with a small rolling cart selling popcorn and cotton candy. “Sir,” Aspen called out to him. 


“Yes, Little Miss?” He smiled politely. 


“May I have a bag of the blue and green cotton candy?”


“Ahh, the mystery flavor,” he beamed. “Not many are brave enough to go for this one.”


“My grandfather says you make the best cotton candy in the world and that he’s never had a mystery bag he didn’t like. He said that one time his mystery bag was the flavor of peach cobbler and vanilla.”


The old man chuckled, “Yes, that became one of my best sellers. I’m hoping the flavor in this bag becomes the next big hit. He handed her the bag.”


Aspen handed him the money, “No, Little Miss. This is on the house. And you tell your grandfather that Charles says ‘hello.’” The man requested. 


Eden gasped. “You remember our grandfather?”


The old man laughed, “Of course I do. How can I forget the man that bought peach cobbler and vanilla flavored cotton candy for three months straight? Hello, Sophia!”


“Hi, Mr. Langston! It’s so great to see you again.”


“Likewise, your father told me you had twins, and how beautiful and well-mannered they are. Keep up the good work. Don’t stay away so long anymore.” He advised. 


“Yes, sir.” I answered.


“Well, I’ll be on my way. You ladies enjoy the rest of your evening.” He tipped his hat and left. 


“See what I mean? Everyone knows everyone.” Eden suggested. 


“I make no promises, but I’ll think about making Laurel Springs our forever home.”


The twins squealed and began smothering me in kisses. 


“Well isn’t this a picture perfect moment?” A male’s voice spoke, casting a shadow over us. 








End Notes:

A little bit of drama 🎭, fun 🙃 and mystery 🕵🏾‍♀️was wrapped into this chapter. I can't wait to share the rest of this story. I'm excited to see where this goes. I won't drag it out, but I also won't rush it either. We're closer to the end than the beginning. However, I'm really enjoying writing, it's been a great stress reliever and hopefully you all still find this story interesting. Either way, I appreciate you for sticking around for the journey. Whether you comment or just read. I'm grateful for it all. 

Stay healthy and safe! 🥰

Chapter Eleven by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

Hey y'all, I'm back with another update of Confessions of A Bridesmaid. Whether you left a comment or just read the story, THANK YOU!!!!! Your guesses and theories are quite entertaining and interesting! This chapter is a bit heavier and I'm really nervous about posting it, but the show must go on. Please be advised that this chapter does have some violence, yet and still I hope that you enjoy this chapter and makes you ready for the next chapter. 

Song Inspiration:

"Daddy Lessons" by Beyonce

"Over (When We Said Goodbye)" by Thirdstory

Enjoy! 😉 

“Montell, what are you doing here?” I asked, with the feeling of fear and nervousness coursing through my body. The girls and I hadn’t seen nor heard from him for almost a year. Having your children’s absent father randomly appear on a family trip that he wasn’t notified of or privy to was not a good sign, nor did it leave a good feeling. And if his appearance was any type of hint that something wasn’t right, then every siren, red flag and any other warning signal known to man was going off. 


He looked awful. His hair that he once used to take pride in and brushed day and night to have his defined waves was now an unkempt afro and in dire need of a haircut and a shave. His clothes were stained and he smelled of alcohol and weed. It also looked like he lost some weight too. 


I stood up because I didn’t feel comfortable having his 5’11” frame standing over us as if he was in control. After examining him, my intuition was shouting at me to be on guard. This man wasn’t just operating under the influence of alcohol. Something else was in his system, and it was stronger than marijuana. Without taking my eyes off him, I spoke to the girls, “Edie and Pen, why don’t you two go take a bathroom break before the band comes back.”


Knowing better than to argue with me, they simply replied “Yes, mama.” They also knew it was code for go find a safe space and call Callie. 


“Hold up! You two aren’t going to speak to your father? You both are just as disrespectful as your damn mama.” He expressed with disdain. 


The girls stood frozen in place. I could feel their energy. They were ready to attack. I knew that training from Callie was kicking into high gear. I had to gain control of the situation. “Girls, say hello to your father and go to the restroom, now.”


“Hi,” they mumbled and both left together. 


Once they were out of earshot, I was ready to let this dude have it. “Montell, what the hell are you doing here? Are you stalking us?” I asked straight up. 


He laughed with an evil tone. “Don’t flatter yourself. I have just as much rights to my daughters that you do.”


“That’s where you’re wrong. Had you not missed the court date two years ago, you wouldn’t have lost what little bit of rights that you did have. Remember you were so high out of your mind that you didn’t show up.”


“The government can’t dictate if I can or can’t see my children!”


“You’re right, they can’t. But I sure as hell can. I told you, you need to sober up before you see them. And clearly you’re under the influence of something right now.”


“Look, I ain’t gotta explain myself to you. I’m just trying to see my kids. Have you given any more thought about putting them in show business?” He asked seemeing a bit more focused yet antsy and at this turn of the subject.


Placing my hands on my hips I sighed heavily, “Like I told you, then and like I’m telling you now, the answer is ‘no.’ They’re not ready for that. Do you know how many vultures are in the industry waiting to eat them alive?! You know what I went through. So why would you think I would put them through that as children? When they’re 16 or 17 I’ll entertain the idea, but for now only school, friends and family is their main priority. Music is just a hobby for now,” I said with finality. 


“Why can’t you just ask the girls what they want to do? It’s not about you. Let them live, Sophia. Damn, you can’t keep them babies forever.”


“Live?! They’re only 12. They don’t need pressure on them to push out record after record or be subjected to comments that will challenge their self esteem. They’re still growing and developing. They’re not cash cows!”


“It’s not about money, Sophia!” Montell said tiredly. 


“Yes, it is. Otherwise you wouldn’t be pushing this so hard. When was the last time you saw them? As a matter of fact, which one was Eden and which one was Aspen? You know, the better question is how much do you owe this time?” I asked. I was tired of beating around the bush with him. He came all this way to corner me. Now it was my turn to find out what he was up to. 


“You have always been an uppity bitch. I hated how you acted like you were too good for everything and everybody, including me.” He remarked, never answering any of my questions. 


“So because I won’t let your 12 year old daughters support your drug habit, I’m uppity? You can miss me with that b.s. And what you’re NOT going to do, is pimp my daughters to the music industry like you tried to do to me. So tell the drug dealer, that you’ve been ducking and dodging, that you’re flat out broke and take your punishment like a man! You thought because I don’t talk to you, you mother doesn't reach out to me?” I snapped. 


All of a sudden, I felt his hand come across my face. He slapped me so hard my ear started ringing. I heard gasps and people yelling at him. But I stood there in shock for a few seconds and snapped out of it. “That’s the last time you’ll ever put your hands on me and today is the last day you’ll ever see the twins.” 


I was ready to walk away leaving the blanket and food. I didn’t bring a purse. My ID, cards and phone were in my pockets. I was willing to be the bigger person because if I stayed, I would’ve killed this man. Turning to walk away, he grabbed my hair in the back of my head. “Where do you think your ass is going? Don’t you dare leave when I’m talking to your ass, bitch!”


I didn’t scream or yell, I just went into self defense mode. 


Because he was holding me by my hair, I stopped moving forward and put both of my hands behind my head and grabbed his hand that gripped my hair, with both of mine. I pulled my elbows down and bent forward at the waist and began to spin out of his grip. This motion ended up twisting his arm, causing him to yell out in pain. Making me happy on the inside. 


Because I still had his arm twisted, he let go of me as I now faced him. He turned his body to the side, slightly to get some relief, but moving quickly, I brought my knee up and stomped down on the back of his knee joint, bringing him down to the ground. 


I straddled him and started firing blow after blow on his face. “Don’t you ever in your life touch me again. Or I will kill you!”


He was screaming and crying, begging me to stop while trying to cover his head. “I put up with a lot because you’re the father of my children, but I’m done with this shit.” I wasn’t letting up on my assault. “You have no kids. Those two are mine and mine alone. They aren’t for sale. If you try anything else. I will end you myself. We don’t owe your ass a damn thing. Be a mother fucking man, for once in your life!” As I was about to wrap my hands around his neck, I felt arms wrap around my waist pulling me up and away.  


“Let me go!” I screamed and started kicking at Montell’s body. 


“No, you did enough damage.” The voice calmly spoke to me. 


“The hell I did. He hit me and he’s still alive. I need to finish him,” I answered. 


“Don’t worry about it, he’ll be taken care of,” the voice said with finality. 


For some reason that calmed me down. They must have felt it too, because they let me go. I turned to face the owner of the voice. My eyes widened. “Please don’t tell him.” Then I began crying my eyes out once I realized what had taken place.


The man wrapped me in his arms and I heard the twins asking if I was okay, but I couldn’t answer them, because my tears wouldn’t stop. I was so angry about a lot of things and it was all coming to a head. The man asked the girls to show him where the car was, they told him we walked here so he said to follow him as he carried me bridal style to his pickup truck. 


The girls hesitated before they got in looking at the man warily. “Trust me,” he smiled. “I may not look like it, but I’m the good guy.” 


“Mom,” Eden called out to me, ignoring his words. 


I nodded to let her know that we were safe. 


“Just so you know, if you try anything, our auntie taught us three forms of martial arts and we are not afraid to use them,” Eden warned. 


“That sounds fair,” he stated. 


I was placed in the front seat, mute and staring at nothing. I heard the voices of my daughter and rescuer, but I couldn’t get myself to focus on their conversation. Never in my life have I ever been hit by a man. My own father never slapped me. Sure, he spanked me when I was little because I was out of line, but NEVER had my father or any man I dealt with put their hands on me to belittle me, until today. 


I feel like I'm having an outer body experience. Oh my goodness! Did the girls see what happened?! I can feel my breathing pattern changing again. It was now heavier and more labored. What if the girls saw what happened? They had to have seen their father laying on the picnic blanket bloodied and crying like the little bitch he was.


“I. Can’t. Breathe.” I croaked. 


“Calm down, Soph.” The man said. 


“Mommy, what’s wrong? Why are you breathing like that? Do you need a doctor? Should I call Auntie Bianca and Auntie Leslie this time? ” Aspen asked in a panicked tone. 


Oh shit, I hadn’t considered my sisters finding out about this! “Can’t. Breathe. Girls… Saw... What… Hap… Pened… Sisters… Will… Be… Mad.”


“The driver must’ve known what I was talking about, because he answered my concerns, “Your sisters will be upset, but not with you. And the twins didn’t see anything. Everything was cleared up immediately”


Still fighting to find my breath, I looked over at him strangely, and asked “What… Do… You… Mean?” 


Everything went black. 


******


I woke up in a bedroom that was unfamiliar to me. With a slight headache and great thirst for water. Everything that happened this evening came flashing back. How could such a beautiful moment turn so ugly? Montell unleashed a side of me that I work hard to keep and check, but when you cross my boundaries the gloves come off and I will do what I have to in order to protect myself. 


I was glad it was Theo that stopped me from going too  far, because I was dead serious about killing Montell. I didn’t forget that I instructed him not to tell Gunnar. I needed to keep my distance from him as well, something was off about him this entire time I’ve been back to Laurel Springs, the random questions and the two-timing was throwing me off. 


I could take care of myself. His interference would only complicate things and I don’t want to get between him and his girlfriend’s relationship. 


I decided to get up from the bed and find the homeowner and my children. Walking in the hallway I heard voices talking about the history of music and how it changed throughout the years. I followed the sound of the voices. 


Though I was nervous to talk to my daughters and see how they were doing, I couldn’t put it off forever. They were in the kitchen, but before I made my presence known, something told me to wait. 


“So, is anyone going to tell us what’s going on?” Aspen asked aloud. 


There was silence for a second, “C’mon, Auntie Callie, we know something went down when our dad showed up. I know our mom and Grandma Evelyn tried to cover up his absence, but our father is a bum!” Eden said. 


“Eden!” Callie scolded. 


“What?” She asked. “He used to text and email us asking for money.”


“He did what?” Callie shouted. I could tell she was getting angry. I was too. 


“He asked us for money. At first we thought it was a joke because he kept telling us we could be music stars and make a bunch of money.” Eden further explained. 


“Yeah, but don’t worry, we never gave him anything. We talked to Grandma Evelyn about him, because we figured since she probably saw her son more than we ever did, we thought she could help us,” Aspen added. 


“Did she?” Theo asked my girls nicely, but I could tell the nerd was upset too. 


“Yes,” Eden admitted. “When we told her, she said to send her screenshots of what he sent us. We could tell she was mad, because she started cursing under her breath. She apologized and told us to block his number and email address and she would take care of him.


We did what we were told. And we didn’t hear anything else from him.”


“You tell your mom?” Theo followed up. 


“No,” Eden answered. “We thought because Grandma Ev took care of it, we didn’t have to worry any more and plus we love her and we didn’t want mom to make us stop seeing her.”


“I get it,” Callie replied, “But you should’ve told somebody something. You can’t leave stuff like this unspoken. And I know Ms. Evelyn didn’t tell your mom because I know she would’ve told me,” she answered with finality. 


The front door opened and slammed. “Where is everybody?” A voice called out. 


I rolled my eyes. I thought I told Theo not to tell. Snitch! He lost a few cool points with me. 


“Hey! You’re the one that kept staring at our mom when she was singing at Auntie Bianca’s wedding!” Eden exclaimed. 


“Wait, don’t you have a girlfriend? It’s kinda late, you should be home with her,” Aspen declared. 


That's just like Aspen to be the one that tries to keep everyone in their place, I grinned to myself. Tell him baby girl, so he can go home and I can continue to avoid him. 


“Her name is Alexandria, and she’ll be fine. And for the record, I wasn’t staring,” he responded. “I was paying attention like any good audience member would do.”


The girls and Callie started laughing their heads off. “Really, bro?” Theo asked. 


“He’s funny. He’d be good for mama. Too bad he has a girlfriend though. She’s not a home wrecker and she won’t start now either.” Eden told her twin.


“Wait, what makes you two think that your mom would be interested in someone like him,” Callie asked, trying to get them to spill some tea.


“She would kill us if we told,” she was quiet for a few seconds, but decided to continue on. “One day we asked her about having crushes and her first love. And though she didn’t mention any names, the guy she described looks just like him, just older and because this town is small and probably hardly gets any new people we figured it might be him.” Aspen dished. 


“So are you our mom’s first love?” Eden asked. I could tell she knew the answer. She only needed him to confirm it. 


Before he could answer. I had to stop it. This was not The Parent Trap. And they were not Hallie and Annie or Sharon and Susan, (you pick whichever version you like best). And most importantly I wasn’t going to fall in love with him again. 


“Hey, y’all.” I said, stepping into the kitchen. 


“Hey, sis. How do you feel?” Callie asked. 


“Small headache and really thirsty,” I answered honestly. 


“Come sit here, mommy,” Aspen tapped an empty bar stool between her and her sister. 


I went to join them. “Mr. Theo made some—”


“What did I tell you about that ‘Mr.’ stuff?” Theo asked. 


“Fine, I just had to do it in front of my mom so she wouldn’t think we were being rude,” Eden responded. “Okay, Mom. Theo made some sandwiches for us and there’s one left over for you.”


“That sounds nice sweetheart.” I replied. 


She went to get the sandwich and bottled water out of the refrigerator. 


“I’ll go get the medicine,” Callie offered. 


“Do you even know where my medicine cabinet is?” Theo asked. 


“No, but I can figure it out.”


“So you can roam freely through my place? No thanks. Come on,” Theo took Callie’s hand and left the kitchen. 


“I feel like watching tv,” Aspen said. 


“Me too, let’s go!” Eden said. They both left the room.


And then there were two. 


“If you’re going to ask what happened, I’m sure you already know, Detective. I’m not in the mood to think or talk about it.” I switched the bottle of water from one hand to the other.


“Okay then, why didn’t you tell anybody that you knew he was in town?” 


I froze and looked up at him. Busted. Granted, I may or may not have been in denial about the amount of times Montell has contacted me, but it was always on some get rich quick scheme b.s. or him cursing me out because I kept ignoring his messages and calls, but in my defense I never responded.


You see, the thing is that even though I’m very much independent and love challenges. I had a knack for either turning a blind eye or downplay situations that make me highly uncomfortable. Case and point: Montell. His unpredictability, his rage and his desperation terrifies me. So I brush off a lot of what has been really going on. I just don’t want everyone worrying about me. Because worrying turns to pity and judgement. Two things I could do without. 


“He harasses me all of the time and 99.9% of the time he’s all talk. Do you honestly think that I would volunteer information to someone I don’t want near me?” I answered him nonchalantly. 


Ignoring my question, Gunnar pressed on. “Harass you?! Hold up, so you were lying to me at the hotel bar when I asked when was the last time you’d heard from him. You said it was when he snapped on you for not letting the girls do music publicly. So was that really the last time?”


“Am I under investigation or something?” I asked, getting defensive, moving uncomfortably in my seat.


“No, but your well-being matters to me. Why did you lie to me?”


I laughed. “Stop being so dramatic. I omitted some things, but I didn’t lie to you. Montell talks to me. I, on the other hand, never responded to him since that time he went off. And if I mattered to you, then let’s figure out why you tried and failed to start something up with me knowing you had a girl at home?” 


“What does Ally have to do with this,” he sighed. 


I leaned forward with a smile. “A lot.”


Ignoring my attempts to deflect from the subject at hand, he continued on with his questioning. “Sophia, quit playing. Why did you omit, as you put it, the truth?”


”I’m not playing and most importantly you’re not my man. I don’t owe you a rundown on my life. Did you really expect me to come back home and spill my guts to you? But I’ll admit this, it was cute how you thought you could butter me up to get some info. And now all of a sudden my well-being matters… to you. 


I literally haven’t talked to you in years and it’s like the minute you saw me at Bianca’s wedding, you were interested in me again. Since I’ve been here I can’t get you to stop talking to or eyeballing me whenever we’re in the same room. And there may be some tension between us, but don’t try to cheapen what we had for a case you’re working on. The least you can do is be upfront. 


You haven’t called or emailed me since I told you to make a choice to either stay or go. You left, came back here and started a whole new life without me. You couldn’t even bother to send a damn reply to a simple ‘happy birthday’ text I send to you every year.” It's scary how fast a woman’s intuition works. 


“I also know that you’re not the type to sleep around or cheat on whoever you’re with. Just admit that I am a job to you. I happened to come into town for a wedding where you know the groom,” I put up one finger. “I stayed longer than expected.” I added another finger. “We travel in the same circles so that’s easier access for you so I wouldn’t have a clue on what you were up to,” I put up a third finger. “It was the perfect opportunity to get what you needed. No wonder you kept asking me about what Montell was up to and if he and I tried making things work every time every time you see me. He must be a part of one of your cases.”


No response, but his silence told me I was right about two things. Montell was in trouble and Gunnar saw me as an opportunity. 


“Well, Detective Brock. You’ve managed to not only be my first and only love, but you also managed to truly break my heart more than Montell did tonight.”


“It’s not like that, you know you mean more to me than any job I’ve ever had.” He finally spoke. 


“Quit lying to me!” I hit the counter top. “You think Jacqueline wasted anytime telling me about you and Ally? Even though my sisters are gung-ho on me getting back with you, the whole town knows about you two, just like I’m sure they all know about my incident today. You tried to get me to fall into the trap of those blue eyes and smooth talk all for some clues about a crackhead that I’m trying to avoid like the plague? Is this what we’ve come to? You pump me for information, then you get to go back to your perfect home with Miss Universe and you both can live your perfect lives. 


No outside kids, no baby mama or baby daddy drama to deal with. I really wish you had been honest with me from the minute you came up to me at the hotel. I probably would’ve told you everything, but now You're a stranger to me now, because the Gunnar I knew and loved wouldn’t have dared to come at me like you've been doing lately. I don’t know you, so I don’t trust you. You led me on and used me. I’m all for personal growth, but I don’t like this new you.”


I left my food and water andi went to the living room to watch tv with my daughters. At this moment anyone outside of my immediate family could not be trusted. Absolutely no one. 


Only one good thing came out of this night. New lyrics. Every album needed a good heartbreak song. 

End Notes:

Okay so I hope this chapter didn't throw you off, but added another dynamic that makes you more interested in Sophia's background. Anywho, as usual thanks for reading and don't be afraid to let me know what you thought. Was it too much? Just enough? In between?

Stay Safe and healthy 🥰

Chapter Twelve by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

Hello again! Once again thank you all for reading and reviewing. I accidentally deleted a review where they questioned what was going on with Gunnar, all I can tell you is stay tuned there's more to come. I won't keep you any longer. I hope you enjoy this update! 

Song Inspiration:

"Mister Chameleon" by We Are KING

"A Moment" by Riley

"Scars To Your Beautiful" by Alessia Cara 

The rest of the week went by too fast. I basically kept myself locked up in my childhood bedroom and had the twins stay with Bianca and Harry, where I knew there’d be more security until I could get a handle on things with Montell and be done with this stupid wedding. 


I would still be in bed right now had it not been for my mother literally pouring a bucket of ice cold water on me and telling me to shake it off. When I explained everything to her she understood, but told me I needed to handle things one at a time otherwise I’d find myself back in my bed in the city with the girls still here in Laurel Springs with them until I got myself together. 


So my to do list at the moment was looking pretty straightforward

 

 

  1. Get through this wedding
  2. Find out what Montell was up to and figure out how to keep him away because I knew a restraining order, to him, would mean nothing 
  3. Finish my album
  4. Get over Gunnar Brock

 

You’re supposed to save the hard stuff for last, right?

********************************


Montgomery Estate - Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal - Garden - Sunday Evening 


“Everyone, thank y’all so much for being here on time,” Daisy began. “Now if you will all be so kind enough to listen to our wedding planner, Ms. Francine, will give us direction on who your wedding partners are. A lot of money has been put into this wedding and I don’t want any of you spoiling my day. Ms. Francine, take it away,” She smiled, hanging on to Isaac’s arm. Daisy wore a white flowing off the shoulder bohemian style dress that stopped mid thigh. Her honey blonde hair was in loose curls. 


“Lord, if You’re merciful, like I know You are, could You please make my partner anybody but him?” I prayed aloud. I didn’t have any marks or scars on my face from when Montell hit me, but to avoid eye contact with people and to deter them from looking too close at me, my eyes were covered with my black Ray-Ban sunglasses and I had put on a black leather baseball cap backwards. I wore a sleeveless black jersey dress that stopped right above my knees and layered it with an oversized camouflage jacket. And finished the look with a pair of all black Doc Martens boots. It was nothing to write home about. I was comfortable and that’s the best I could do at the moment. 


“Gwendolyn, the Maid of Honor will obviously walk with the Best Man, Isaiah. Callie and Matthew. Leslie and Philip. Island and Gunnar. And finally Sophia and Irvin,” The wedding planner read from her itinerary. 


Though I had to stand behind him in line, I’d take it. “That's why You’re the GOAT,” I whispered, looking up to the sky. 


“Hi, I’m Irvin. You can call me Vin.”


Looking in the face of my wedding partner, I realized he was clearly still a teenager. He had braces, a little bit of acne and he was clearly trying to use his newfound deep voice to impress me. 


“Boy, if you don’t quit playing,” Island came behind him and hit him on the back of his head. 


“Ow!” Came a high pitched sound from the teen. 


“Sophia, this is our younger brother, Vin. Don’t let him fool you. He’s 17 and a good boy who will be going off to college in the fall,” island introduced us. 


I grinned. “It’s nice to meet you,” I stretched my hand out to him. 


“Man, Island. You ruined my chance at trying to win this beautiful lady over,” he grumbled and shook my hand. 


“Don’t worry about it,” I offered. “I’m off the market anyway.”


“You got a man?” He asked. 


“No, but I won’t be dating anyone younger or my age for a long time.”


“With an unruly baby daddy and rambunctious set of twins, I understand why you don’t want to put anyone through that,” Jacqueline chided, walking up to us. 


“Ahh, the legend herself! If only I can be like you and figure out how you poisoned your exes, I could do the same and finally get my millionaire too.”


“Aim lower, dear. You’d be lucky if you got a sanitation worker, because a high school football coach doesn’t even want you back.” She retorted. 


I laughed dryly, “You know, I still have time on my side being a lot younger than you. You, on the other hand, are getting closer to being joined in unholy matrimony with your true match made in Hell.”


“At least that’s one more person who wants me more than you,” she said, taking a drink from what was probably her fifth glass of wine. She strolled away. 


I was about to snatch the function alcoholic's wig off her head, but Leslie came and stood right in front of me. “Sophia, did I tell you how happy I am that you and Callie are here with me? I wouldn’t have been able to get through this without you,” her eyes twinkled. 


Her gratitude wasn’t working on me. I was numb and heated, still planning ways to help speed up the progress of not only Daisy’s demise, but Jacqueline’s too. 


“You and the girls being here longer made me think that maybe you all can move back home,” she suggested innocently. 


I chuckled. “That’s a good one, Les. I hate this town. If it weren’t for you, our sisters and parents I would never come back here. This place is nothing but bad news!”


Leslie’s eyes went wide and were watery. I could tell I’d hurt her feelings. I was telling the truth though. If you aren’t rich or have a certain profession, you’re a nobody in Laurel Springs. Though my parents weren’t filthy rich they were definitely far from poor. My dad was a lawyer and my mom was a professor. They both had lucrative careers. But they didn’t come from old money, which was what truly set families apart. 


I wasn’t ashamed of my family, however, I was tired of people treating us like bottom feeders. We weren’t less than anybody. And neither were my daughters just because I had them out of wedlock. 


Callie stepped in, “Leslie, ignore her. You know she’s a little stressed right now. She has a lot to deal with, trying to get her to come back isn’t a good idea right now,” she glared over to her left looking at the culprit who was trying to act like he had nothing to do with my anger. “Give her some time. Who knows she may change her mind.” Callie offered with a kind smile. 


After taking a few deep breaths, I apologized to my sister. “Leslie, you didn’t deserve that rant. I’m just losing my mind right now.”


“Trust me, I know.” She said looking back at the engaged couple kissing awkwardly. 


“Alright, how about we get through this rehearsal and get drunk at the dinner tonight, since Isaac’s footing the bill again?  Leslie and I took off this entire week so we all can really let loose.” Island offered. 


“Best idea, ever!” I exclaimed. 


We all went to go take our places to begin the run through and it was needless to say this wedding was going to be all types of extras. I’m talking dove releases, bubbles and smoke machines, horses and carriages, four wedding dress changes, ice sculptures, tents, water and lights show, fireworks, a 10-foot cake and extravagant candle and flower decorations. 


**********************************


Island’s home - Monday Morning - Guest Room


After multiple kicks to my shin I was awoken from my sleep thanks to a wild sleeping Callie. I sat up, instantly regretting it. It was safe to say we overdid it with the lemon drop shots. But we sure had a lot of fun last night. All I can remember is a mechanical bull, bad karaoke and multiple dance partners.


Daisy kept reminding us bridesmaids that we were on wedding favor assembly duties the next day while she, Isaac, Gwen and Jacqueline did a final cake testing. “Sounds good, Paisley.” Island had been calling Daisy Paisley all night. 


I wasn’t quite sure if it was to annoy her future sister in law or if she was drunk and her slurred speech was the cause. Either way we took to it and began calling her Paisley for the rest of the night too, even sweet darling Gwendolyn slipped up a time or two. Daisy was too scared of the repercussions if she challenged Island, so her jaws were tight for the rest of the night, I could tell she was ready to say something slick, but she couldn’t ruin her image. Good times. 


I felt the bed moving. I looked behind me slowly. Callie was waking up. “Never again,” she groaned. 


There was a knock on the door and then Island’s head popped in. “Rise and shine sleepy heads. We need to get ready to put these stupid wedding favors together this afternoon.”


“You'd think with the money her mother just got, they could afford to have favors that a company already glued and tied together,” I grumbled. 


“And have Daisy lose her faithful servants? Yeah right,” Callie answered. 


“Good morning, sisters,” Leslie entered the room with a chirpy attitude. 


“How are you two not affected by the amount of liquor we drank?” I asked frustrated. 


“I told you I wasn’t going to try to keep up with y’all. Island, over here, has a high tolerance, I kept trying to warn you both, but you both said you were grown women and could hold your own,” Leslie smiled innocently. “Besides that, you two needed a good time and to truly let loose.”


“Well, that’s the last time I’m doing that. We’re too old for this,” I whined. 


“Speak for yourself. I’m still young,” Callie rebutted. 


“Only by 15 months,” I replied. “You’re old too.”


“What’s for breakfast?” Callie inquired, ignoring my last statement. 


“Bacon, eggs, grits and biscuits.” Leslie informed us. 


“I put new toothbrushes and towels on the sink for you both. Leslie also picked up some clothes from your parents house this morning for you both,” Island announced. 


“Thank you,” we said in unison. 


“No problem, we’ll see you downstairs.” They both left the room leaving Callie and I to gather ourselves. 


“Callie, when this wedding is over, the girls and I are not going back to the city.”


“Excuse me?” She asked, sitting up slowly. 


I shrugged my shoulders. “Eden, Aspen and I are leaving for a while. Somewhere, that’s far away from here and the city. I need to keep Montell away from us. He’s desperate for money and he sees the twins as a lottery ticket. If he could easily hit me because he was mad, imagine what more he would try if he thought I was getting in the way of a potential cash flow. I can’t stay here too much longer.”


“Sophie, you know I know people. And though you’re mad at him I know Gunnar would help—”


I held my hand up to stop her. “Don’t even go there. I don’t want, nor do I need anything from that liar. He would only make things worse and I don’t want the girls falling for his tricks either,” I told my sister firmly. 


“When we’re gone, I’ll keep in contact with you, but do not tell anybody the reason why. Okay?”


“Fine, but the minute I think things are starting to go left, I’m singing like a canary,” she warned. 


“Fine,” I conceded.  


**********************


Montgomery Estate - A Few Hours Later - Kitchen


“I can’t believe we are seriously doing this!” Island fumed. 


“To be honest,” Leslie chimed in. “It could be worse.”


Island stopped what she was doing to pay full attention to her best friend. “Les, we’re in hair nets and aprons, dipping strawberries into chocolate and decorating them with sprinkles and shit!”


Callie burst with laughter. “Sprinkles and shit. That sounds like it could be one of the coolest bakeries ever!”


“It could be,” I said. “But I highly doubt people would patronize simply because they don’t want to purchase their food from a place that has the word ‘shit’ in it.”


“Yeah, but what if it is the shit?” She asked. 


“Shut up,” I rolled my eyes. 


“I’m just saying. Don’t be surprised if you see me in the future with a bakery called S&S,” Callie shrugged. 


“You two definitely live up to the shenanigans your sister tells me about,” Leslie stated. 


We smiled at her and continued to work again. “Leslie, back to you. What could be worse than this.”


Leslie looked over to the kitchen door.


“You call this cake? It’s dry as a sponge. Are you trying to kill my daughter, future son in law and their guests?!” Jacqueline berated the pastry chef. “Answer me!”


“That,” Callie answered. 


“In that case, hand me more strawberries.”


We heard footsteps coming through the door and sniffling. “And don’t come back in here until you can mind your business and take constructive criticisms like a woman!” Jacqueline yelled. 


Gwen stood in the corner of the kitchen trying, yet miserably failing, to get herself together. “I don’t use the word ‘hate,’ when it comes to people because it’s such a strong word, but I hate that old bat,” she cried into her hands. 


The four of us stared at each other, willing someone to step up and offer their shoulder. In this case it was lucky souls to diffuse the situation. I guess it was my dumb idea to be here, so I had to take one for the team. First, I grabbed some tissue and a bottle of water from the refrigerator, then I went over to Gwen and gave her a hug and talked to her like she was one of the twins. “Oh, Gwen,” I coddled the woman, giving her a hug and handed her the tissue. “Are you having a rough day, darlin’?”


Callie shook her head. “Normally, I can take the harsh words that Jacqueline throws at me. All I said was that the chef is doing their best and there was no need to be so harsh to them. Then she starts going off on me. She is such a bitch!” Suddenly her eyes got wide and she looked over at the other three bridesmaids staring at her in shock. I could tell she was about to shut down. I needed her to open up and make her feel like we were all on the same page. 


“Ladies,” I addressed them sweetly. “Do you mind giving us a moment?” Still frozen in their spots, I gave them the evil eye to beat it. They clearly took a hint and left the room. 


“Thanks,” Gwen gave a watery smile.


“You’re welcome. Now, let’s sit down and drink some water to keep those tears in check,” I said as I offered her the bottle. “We know Jacqueline isn’t the easiest to deal with and I see it doesn’t usually phase you, so what’s the difference now?” I asked with concern. 


“Handling Jacqueline is one thing, but when you throw in Daisy when she’s upset, into the mix, it gets to be too much. If I’m completely honest I don’t know how Isaac still picked her over your sister; with or without a contract. They'll get what’s coming to them one day.” She mumbled the last sentence with a dark look on her face.


“Excuse me?”


She instantly perked back up. “Oh, nothing. All this wedding planning is driving me crazy. I’m not the one getting married, so why am I the one so stressed out? As long as Daisy’s happy, that’s all that matters.”


“No. Your happiness is just as important even if you aren’t the bride. You can’t keep letting them walk all over you. You’re a nice girl, you don’t deserve their mistreatment.”


“Thanks for saying that. And I’m sorry about the other day. Daisy said you loved all things aquatic, so when you asked me to stop splashing you, I thought you were being bashful for the camera. I just wanted everybody to have a good time,” she said ashamed. 


“It’s okay. I apologize for the way I reacted. I took it too far.” I said honestly. 


“No, I would’ve done the same thing if I were you.”


I laughed  “Yeah right. You and Leslie both have the good girl gene.” She looked like she was about to deny it. “That’s not a bad thing, you know? If I can offer you some advice, don’t let people take advantage just because you’re nice. Alright?”


Gwen nodded. 


“Good, now go in there and be the best, bright and sunny Gwendolyn that they have ever seen. And don’t you dare let them make you cry ever again!”


“Okay!” Gwen jumped up from her seat and ran back into the cake tasting. 


The girls came back into the kitchen. “How’d it go?” Callie inquired. 


“It was fine. We just cleared some things up.” I rose from my seat and headed back to the counter so we could finish the strawberries. Daisy really pulled the rug from under us with this assignment. 


She had better enjoy it while it lasts.



















End Notes:

What do you think? Sophia is definitely has a lot going on. Hope you enjoyed it. 

Stay Safe and Healthy! 🥰

Chapter Thirteen by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

Hello again! Thanks for returning for another installment of Confessions and to see what antics the Noble Sisters are up to. I won't keep you any longer, but I sincerely hope this chapter gets you excited for what's ahead. 😉... Without further ado, let's get into it!

 

Song Inspiration:

"Un Homme Et Une Femme" by Nicole Croisille and Pierre Barouh (if you look this song up, I guarantee, you've heard it a million times. I needed a froufrou song for the beginning of the chapter, lol)

"Don't Make It Harder On Me" by Chloe x Halle

"Where My Girls At" by 702

Dream Dresses Boutique - Final Fitting - Tuesday Morning


“What in the entire hell was she thinking?” I grumbled to myself, as I turned from side to side in front of a large ceiling to floor mirror. Trying to find at least one nice feature about this hideous bridesmaid dress was like finding Jacqueline shopping at a thrift store. Never gonna happen. I knew Daisy was going with a hot pink and leopard print theme, but this dress was fugly. 


To make matters worse, Marco and Phoebe were here to get more pictures for Daisy and Isaac’s wedding magazine spread. Watching Marco aim his camera at me preparing to take a photo, I stopped him dead in his tracks. “If you take that picture I will break your fingers.”


Marco snatched the camera away from his face and found a new subject immediately. A beaming Gwendolyn strutted out of her fitting room. “Oh my goodness, Sophia! Don’t you just love these dresses? The color, the print, the ruffles, the tulle. And look,” she began twirling around. “It even has a train.”


I looked at this grown woman oddly. She couldn’t be serious. I waited for her to tell me she was joking, but that moment never came. She was dead serious. I shuddered. “You know, Gwen. You have such a bright outlook on life, I hope I can be like you one day,” I smiled, no sarcasm included.


“Oh, how sweet,” she said, placing her hand on her chest. 


“I know you fucking lying!” Callie said as she came out. 


Island chimed in, “I tried to warn y’all.”


“Yeah, but I thought you were exaggerating,” Callie responded. 


“I wouldn’t lie about a fashion crime we're all about to voluntarily commit. I used to think brides choosing ugly dresses for the bridesmaids was a thing of the past, yet here I stand corrected.”


The four of us stood in front of the mirror, looking like a melting pot of mixed emotions. From itchy to confused, irritated and chipper. “Is Daisy really that insecure?” Callie wondered aloud. 


“No, it’s not like that!” Gwendolyn tried defending her friend. 


“How so?” Callie inquired. 


“Daisy said she wanted us to look like big cupcakes because everyone loves them,” she giggled. 


“Well that just makes everything all fine and dandy doesn’t it?” Island sarcastically remarked. 


“It sure does. We all look like princesses, but that is not even the best part! Instead of carrying bouquets, we will hold, drum roll please,” Gwen excitedly requested. 


No one obliged, but that still didn’t stop her from sprinting over to the couch that had five boxes stacked neatly next to it. She opened one and pulled out the contents putting them on with her back to us and turned around. “Ta-da! Don’t you just love it?” She squealed. And distributed a box to each of us. “Go ahead and put it on!” 


She was a little too happy about this. We all put on the newly acquired accessories and turned back around to look at ourselves in the mirror


“Oh, hell naw. The dress is one thing, but the lace gloves and mini umbrellas!” Callie shook her head violently. “Nope, I didn’t sign up for this.”


“It’s actually called a parasol,” Gwendolyn corrected. 


I stared in disbelief and looked over to Island, “Did you and Leslie know about this?”


Island’s eyes were still on the atrocity that we all wore. “If I knew about this, do you think I’d be a bridesmaid? I don’t care if Isaac is my brother. I would’ve gladly sat with my parents during the ceremony.”


“Marco came up behind us ready to take another photo, “If you value your eyesight, walk away.” Callie threatened. 


“You ladies are feisty, but I like it,” he said with intrigue and went on his way. 


We all went to go take our seats on the large white couch waiting for Daisy to come out. “Where is Leslie? She should’ve been here by now,” I said. 


“I know. She texted saying she was about five minutes away, but that was twenty minutes ago.” Island mentioned with concern. 


“Umm, Houston, we have a problem,” Callie announced from behind us. 


We turned around. “What?” I asked, irritated by all the sounds these dresses were making and the difficulty to simply turn around on this couch. 


When I looked at what Callie was looking at I gasped. “Oh no. That cannot be good. Can it?”


Island shrugged, “Probably not, but I’m totally here for it.”


We were looking outside the boutique window watching Leslie and Isaac talking. They both looked like two love sick teenagers. One could only guess what they were talking about. 


“Maria. Where are you? Daisy’s having trouble with the zipper.” Jacqueline shouted. She was in the fitting room, but the more she talked the clearer her voice sounded, meaning she was coming out to where we were. And there was a possibility she would see Leslie and Isaac too. 


“Stand up and open your umbrellas!” Callie whispered in a demanding tone. 


“It's a parasol!” Gwen corrected again. 


“Whatever. Just do it. Now!”


We all stood and played up the parts of happy bridesmaids and swinging our parasols to add to the distraction we were trying to create. “How do we look, Jacqueline?” I asked sweetly. 


She paused, looking each of us up and down and simply responded “It’ll do.” And moved on in search of the owner. “Maria, we need you!”


Maria met up with Jacqueline and they went back into the dressing room. I rolled my eyes and plopped back on the couch. “That was close.”


Island went over to the window and tapped on it to get the couple’s attention. Leslie jumped out of her trance and hurried into the boutique leaving Isaac in his same spot. Isaac started laughing so hard he held his stomach. Island stuck her tongue out and her middle fingers up at her brother when he saw what she was wearing, which only made him laugh harder. He then pulled out his phone to video call their brothers. Next thing we knew, Island ran out of the shop in her dress with her parasol in her lace covered hands chasing her brother down the street, threatening to beat him up. 


“Did that really just happen?” Callie asked. 


“She’s the only girl. She was born to keep up with them,” Leslie answered. 


“Hmm,” Callie shrugged and came to sit next to me.


“I see we have new things added to the dresses,” Leslie said.


“Yes, isn’t it just adorable?” Gwendolyn curtsied. 


Leslie only smiled. “Well I guess I should go put my dress on.”


Just as she was about to go back, Jacqueline came out again. “Don’t bother.”


Leslie froze with fear that she’d been caught, truth be told we were too. 


“Why is that?” She asked nervously. 


“Because Daisy isn’t feeling well this morning so we’re going to come back later.”


“Oh, okay.” She said with a sense of relief. “I hope she gets better soon.”


“Me too. Leslie, be a dear and come help me with Daisy,” Jacqueline requested


“Yes ma’am,” Leslie answered dutifully and went to the back with her. 


“That sucks. Morning sickness was the one of the many things I don’t miss about being pregnant,” I said sincerely. 


“Or maybe it’s because we turnt up last night at that King Red concert,” Gwen gloated. 


Callie and I turned our heads in her direction as soon as we heard the words slip from her mouth. 


“Pregnant girls can’t turn up. Right?” Callie asked, looking to me for confirmation. 


“Not at a King Red concert. And I know for a fact that nobody just goes to a King Red concert and doesn’t get at least one drink.” 


My sister and I both eyed Gwen, who was trying to shrink into her dress with fear in her eyes.


**********************


Bianca & Harrison’s House - Backyard - Tuesday Night


“Everything is a mess, Bianca.” I whined. 


“How so?” She stared at me from the other side of the fire pit. 


“Well Montell’s here, in Laurel Springs.”


“Behind bars.”


“Gunnar used me.”


“And you checked his ass!”


“The girls want to move here, but I want to move somewhere far away.”


“You can’t keep running.”


“And this bridesmaids mission is starting to get out of control.”


“You have a few more days to go.”


“Must you be so positive about everything?” I snapped. 


Unbothered by my attitude, Bianca shrugged. “Somebody has to. Look, Sophia, I’m gonna keep it real with you. You ignored so many things and it piled up. Now you need to handle it. You can’t keep creating distractions, you're going to have to face your fears. It's time.”


“But it’s too much. Why didn’t anyone warn me about the dangers of adulting? All I want to do is make music, make sure the girls are safe, eat whatever I want without weight gain, and have a personal assistant handle all the rest of the hard stuff.” I whined. 


“Trust me, you can handle being an adult. You're a great mom. You haven’t been homeless since you left Laurel Springs. You can defend yourself. You haven’t let your circumstances stop you from chasing your dreams. And even with twins you still can manage to put up with Callie’s antics. But you have to remember that we have to keep growing and improving in order to be our best selves.


And a word of advice, ask for help. You have a lot of people who would give their last to help you even those you’ve written off.”


I rolled my eyes, knowing who she was referring to. “Why would you try to set a double date for us when you knew he was with Ally?”


“He begged us. Now I know the motive behind it, but I know it all wasn’t an act. I think he still cares about you.”


I rolled my eyes. “It doesn’t matter. His intention wasn’t genuine. His job was the only reason he was able to speak to me after all these years. I wish I could just punch the shit out of him, but I already know it won’t make me feel better.”


“Because you still care about him.”


“Unfortunately,” I sighed, crossing my arms and poured  like a little girl. “Bianca, when I gave him that ultimatum, I thought he would stay or we’d come up with a plan to make things work, but he left and never looked back. Everything he did made me feel like he wanted me and the girls in his life, but he would fall off the face of the earth and then randomly come back.”


“Did you ask him why he wasn’t keeping in touch on a regular basis?”


I nodded, “Every time, but he’d just say school or family stuff kept him busy. Even though I didn’t fully believe him, I couldn’t question him like I wanted because we weren’t a couple. That was the reason I made him make a choice. I thought it would force him to tell me the truth and he decided to go. I  know he was hiding something, I just couldn’t figure it out.”


Before Sophia could say something, probably in defense of Gunnar, Leslie ran across the lawn of the backyard to get to the pit where we were, carrying four wine glasses. Callie trailed behind her with a casual gait, holding two bottles of wine. 


“OMG, guess what?!” Callie asked excitedly, handing each of us a glass and took a seat next to Bianca.  


Bianca laughed. “It must be really good news if you brought wine. I haven’t seen you this happy in a long time. What is it?”


“I can’t tell you until Callie gets here.”


We all glanced over at our youngest sister who was still moseying along. “Would you hurry up?” I demanded “Les, is about to burst into flames if you don’t get here in the next 5 seconds.”


Callie huffed audibly, “I’m coming.” Adding a little pep to her step, she finally joined us. “Now can you tell us what’s going on?” She directed her question to Leslie. 


Leslie clapped her hands and opened one of the bottles and began pouring each of us a drink. “Okay, so you know how I was already going to be late to the fitting? Well, I was on my way inside when Isaac stopped me. I was going to do everything in my power to avoid him, but I thought it was best if I stayed to get closure. So we’re talking and then he tells me he still loves me. And I told him that I still loved him too!” She squealed. 


My sisters had an amused look on their faces while I was unimpressed and upset. “What is it with these Laurel Springs guys? They think they can have their cake and eat it too.” I downed my glass of wine. 


“Congratulations?” Callie sounded unsure how to respond. 


“So, does that mean he is going to break things off with Daisy?” Bianca asked gently?


Leslie’s smile dropped from her face, as if reality sunk in. Her eyes were welling up, “I’m so stupid,” she cried with tears falling from her soft brown eyes.”


“Oh, no. Don’t cry. That wasn’t my intention. I just thought since he told you how he felt he was going to stop this foolishness and be with you after all,” Bianca tried cheering Leslie up, but failed and made her cry even harder. 


I was growing more agitated by the second. A normal Sophia would’ve found optimism in this moment and babied my sister, but all I wanted was some space and air that wasn’t in Laurel Springs. “Okay, Leslie. Here’s the deal. We can help you get your man back but we can’t have the tears. Because what we’re about to tell you will change the entire game.” I poured myself some more wine. 


Callie spoke up. “When you went to the back to help Daisy change out of her dress because she was sick. We got some news about Daisy.”


“What is it?” She asked, wiping her eyes with her sleeve. 


“She wasn’t having morning sickness when we saw her. She had a hangover,” Callie answered. 


In the middle of sipping her wine, Bianca choked and  coughed out the question, “Say what now?”


“You heard her correctly.” I answered. 


“But that can’t be. She’s pregnant. She can’t drink.” Leslie said in defense. 


“Sophia mentioned that morning sickness was one of the worst side effects of pregnancy and Gwen let it slip that they were at a King Red concert last night.”


“Hold up. King Red? He’s the king of getting wasted by any means necessary.” Leslie commented. 


“Right. So I used some of my special tactics, to get her to spill the beans,” Callie smiled wickedly. 


“And,” Leslie demanded. 


“Daisy is not pregnant. She never was.”


Leslie looked over at me, “Is this true?”


I nodded the affirmative. 


“But she went to the doctor.”


“Yeah, to get a pregnancy test, not a drug test. They don’t monitor you as closely as when you’re coming in for a regular pregnancy test. At least that’s what Penelope told me.” Callie shrugged. 


We looked at her strangely. “Is there something you need to tell us?” Bianca asked. 


“You can chill out with that. I was just asking Penelope some questions under the guise of my period coming late and what the procedure was to take a pregnancy test at her doctor’s office. So rest assured, there’s no bun in this oven,” and took a healthy gulp to confirm her declaration. 


“So how did she get a positive result?” Bianca asked. 


“Here’s where it gets nasty. Gwen’s sister is pregnant.”


“So you mean to tell me,” Bianca couldn’t finish the sentence. 


Callie and I nodded. Bianca covered her mouth and made a gagging noise. 


“That’s disgusting. Daisy carried urine around with her? She’s on a whole new level of psychotic,” Leslie shook her head. 


“That’s not the worst part,” Callie continued. “Remember how Isaac kept telling you that he doesn’t remember the night that he and Daisy slept together?”


Leslie shut her eyes tight and sighed aloud. “Please don’t tell me she drugged and raped him.”


“You got the drugged part right. Daisy didn’t sleep with Isaac at all. She just added something to his drink and then when he passed out she went back out to party with Gwen and came back to bed with him and set up a scene like they had sex the night before,” Callie reported. 


Leslie got up and started pacing. “So you mean to tell me that this conniving, evil witch who already had Isaac added a fake baby in the mix to ensure she kept him? Is that what you’re telling me?” She asked us.


“Pretty much,” Callie answered, drinking her wine. 


“That b—” the word wouldn’t come out her mouth, but we knew she wanted to say it. 


“Go ahead and say it. I promise you’ll feel a whole lot better,” I grinned. 


“She has a point. Let it out,” Callie encouraged. 


Leslie still fought the urge to use foul language. “If it helps, no one will hear you from here. We’re pretty far from the house.” Bianca told her. 


As if she couldn’t hold it anymore, Leslie screamed at the top of her lungs. “THAT BITCH!” Her breathing was hard and the pent up frustration was finally being released. “Not only did she and her mother ruin my life, they're trying to lock Izzy down so he couldn’t back out of the contract.” She turned to us quickly, “Does Island know?”


“No, if she did, she’d probably be in jail. We decided to leave the ball in your court and let you know first.” I told her. 


“In that case, I’m taking my life back.” She turned and headed for the house. 


“Where are you going?” I shouted.


“To tell Isaac, what’s been going on,” she answered without looking back.


“Hold up, I’m going with you. I'll drive.” Callie jumped up from her seat to catch up with Leslie. 


“Us too,” Bianca shouted, Chugged down her wine and then slammed the glass down. “Come on,” she ordered me. 


I sighed and did what I was told. 


“Fine.”












End Notes:

What do you think? Is Leslie gonna back out of it? Is Sophia's head still in the game because of her situation? And let's not forget about Daisy! Talk about a true scheme queen! I guess we'll find out soon enough. 😳😂 Thanks for reading and reviewing it's always appreciated. 

As always stay safe and stay healthy 🥰

Chapter 14 by Narcissus87
Author's Notes:

Song Inspiration 

"Bounce Back" by Big Sean

"Ain't No Way" by Aretha Franklin 

"Fire" by Babyface & Des'ree

Lowell Family Estate - Montgomery-Lowell Family Dinner - Tuesday Evening 


Callie pulled up in front of Isaac’s parents’ home. She turned the engine off which also gave our poor ear drums a break and gave our stomachs time to settle and eyes to focus after all of the unnecessary speeding and lane changes while playing Big Sean’s “Bounce Back.”


“Was it necessary for you to drive like that, Cal?” Bianca asked from the back seat. 


“Look, I don’t question your technique when it comes to art, so don’t question my driving skills. We made it here alive and in one piece, didn’t we?” She countered. Though she had a point, I would never admit this out loud, but she was actually right. True, Callie drove like a bat out of hell, but her turns and lane switches were flawless. 


“Thank God for that,” Bianca deadpanned. Taking off her seatbelt she then reached her arm out in the middle of the driver and front passenger seat with an open hand, “Give me the keys. I’m driving us back home.”


Callie rolled her eyes and smacked her lips, “Fine, you big baby, but I’ll remember this the next time you need a getaway driver,” she pressed the button on the key fob and we heard the trunk open. She finally put the keys in Bianca’s hand.


“Why did you open the trunk?” I asked. 


“I brought one of Morgan’s softball bats along  just in case something or somebody wants to pop off,” she answered matter of factly. 


The car was silent and the three of us stared at our youngest sister in annoyance. “Get your crazy tail out of this car. You’re not using a bat. Can you at least try to pretend like you have some sense? Now y’all see what I have to deal with,” I grumbled. 


“What? I’m just trying to offer my support to Leslie.”


“By beating someone with my daughter’s bat?” Bianca inquired. 


Callie giggled, “Don’t be silly, of course not. You know Jazmine Sullivan’s song “Bust Your Windows.” That’s what I was going to use it for,” she answered us like we were the crazy ones. 


Leslie wasted not another second on remaining in the car trying to understand Callie’s logic. Instead, she hopped out the car and headed for the doorstep of the Lowell family residence. The three of us rushed out of the car as well and followed her. We said nothing while we waited patiently for someone to answer after Leslie rang the doorbell. 


Though I couldn’t see her face, I knew she was mentally preparing herself to expose Daisy. Leslie rarely caused any trouble, but for her to stop a marriage that was a few days away was major, that’s why the three of us were posted up behind her. We had her back and no one was going to come at her as long as all of the Noble sisters were around, otherwise they would’ve had an even bigger problem on their hands. 


The front door finally opened and Island’s eyes widened with shock. She came out on the porch where we were and covered her arms because the night air had gotten a little chillier. “Hi ladies. Not that I’m happy to see people who don’t make me sick, but why are you all looking like you’re ready to fight the neighborhood bully?” She joked. 


“No, no. It’s nothing like that,” Leslie assured her, putting her behind her ear. “I was wondering if your brother was home,” she confessed. 


Island smiled wickedly. “Now, Leslie, you know I have multiple brothers, you have to be more specific,” she challenged her best friend.


“C’mon Island. You know who I’m referring to,” Leslie whined.  


“Actually, I don’t,” she smirked, now with her hand on her hips. 


Leslie sighed. “Fine. Island, is Isaac here? I really need to speak to him and it’s urgent that I do so as soon as possible.”


Island’s facial expression changed from teasing to serious, “Is everything okay, Les?”


“Yes, but mostly no. That’s why I need to see him. Is he here?” Leslie questioned yet again. 


Island shook her head no. “I’m sorry he and the guys left about an hour ago headed to the lake for his bachelor party. And I’m sure they’re there already and you know that area can’t get a phone signal either.


“Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit! No, this can be happening,” Leslie cried and walked away from us. She began pacing as we stared at her with concern and sadness. 


“It’s okay, Les. We can all just drive there and tell him,” Callie offered. 


“What difference would it make? The wedding is almost two days away. It doesn’t even matter anymore,” sounding defeated. She stopped her pacing. 


“Don’t give up, it’s never too late when it comes to love. All we have to do is—”


The front door of the house opened and Issac’s parents along with our father and Jacqueline and Daisy stepped out. “Well, would you look at this? Charles, all four of your girls are here. Hello ladies,” greeted Mr. Lowell. 


“Hello,” we all greeted her in unison. Mrs. Lowell came to stand next to her husband, looping her arm around his. “Bianca, it’s so nice to see you. You had such a beautiful wedding ceremony. How is the newlywed life treating you?” Though her voice was pleasant her face told another story. She never took her eyes off of Leslie the entire time she addressed Bianca. As if she was trying to scare her off. 


“It’s going just fine. Thanks for asking,” Bianca said. 


Jacqueline looked like she was on guard while Daisy looked ready to attack. The mother and daughter duo were working my nerves and they hadn’t even spoken to us. 


“What are you girls doing out so late?” Our father asked. 


“Daddy,” I chimed in, “It’s not that late.” Knowing my dad saw right past my antics, he stared at me until I gave him a straight answer. “We were just driving around town and going to some of our old spots to reminisce and Leslie remembered that she needed to share some information with Island about work. 


Don’t judge me. I said he was looking for a straight answer, not the truth. And to make matters worse, I felt like a little girl because I knew he knew we were all up to something. My dad may not have gotten a son, but that didn’t stop him from being involved in our lives and knowing the four of his daughters like the back of his hand. He knew stuff about us before our mom caught on. He spoiled us, but he also let us know we had limits. Right now, he stared me down and looked just about ready to treat me like a hostile witness. 


“Daddy, calm down,” Leslie smiled, walking up to him. “I wanted to stop by and speak to Island and now that I have, we’re leaving. You all have a good evening. My apologies for interrupting your dinner.” She kissed our father on the cheek and waved to everyone politely before heading back to the car. 


My sisters and I fell in line and got back in the vehicle. Bianca adjusted the front seat to give herself more leg room and rearranged the rear and side view mirrors, “So are you going to let it go or try to get in contact with Isaac?” She asked while making the adjustments. 


Leslie shrugged. “I want to, but maybe this is God’s way of telling me to stop.”


“Grandma used to always tell us that He also works in mysterious ways,” Callie countered. 


“Yeah, she did,” she shrugged looking out the window.


I could see the will to fight for love slowly dying inside of her. I didn’t like that. “How about this,” I offered. “You go home and sleep on it and if you wake up in the morning and you’re really willing to let it go, we’re on board with you, but if you want to drive through those woods, we’ll be on the road with you.”


“You’d really do that?” She turned in her seat looking back at me surprised. 


“We’ve come this far, why stop now?” 


She smiled kindly. “Thanks, I’ll think about it.”


“Cal and Soph, I’m dropping you two off first,” Bianca announced. 


“Did y’all notice how Daisy looked at us?” I inquired. 


“She looked like her normal shifty self to me,” Callie responded. 


“I saw her. Even though she was trying to intimidate us, she looked nervous. Are you thinking she knows we know her secret?” Bianca asked me. 


“I don’t think she has a clue that we know that there’s no baby, otherwise she would’ve done everything in her power to get us off of the Lowell’s property. Keep in mind she has no level of going too low to get what she wants,” I reasoned. 


A few minutes later we were outside our childhood home. Coming to a stop, Bianca put the car in park. “It looks like mom has company,” she said. 


“I’ll pay you twenty bucks if you drive off,” I told her without a second thought. 


“Excuse me?” She laughed. 


“Fine, fifty,” I bargained. 


“Why are you offering me money to leave?”


“Okay, two hundred. That’s my final offer. Take it or leave it. Can we go now?” I asked desperately. 


“No. You need to handle your business,” my big sister advised. 


“Don’t worry, I can take him down, Soph,” Callie spoke in an upset tone. 


“No you won’t,” Bianca ordered. “We’re going to let Sophia be a grown woman and hear him out.”


I began to whine, “Why? He’s the one that made me think he was available when he’s been in a whole relationship with a beauty queen. I’m tired of being the bigger person.”


“Well, I’ll tell you this. The longer you let this situation simmer between you two the worse and more awkward things will get. And I don’t think you want that,” Leslie finally offered her two cents. 


I sighed audibly. “Fine, whatever.” I opened the door and exited, Callie slid out behind me. “See y’all tomorrow.”


“Bye,” Leslie and Bianca said in unison and drove off. 


Callie stood beside me, “I know what Bianca said, but I’m still willing to kick him in the nuts and then you can run in the house.”


I giggled, “As tempting as that is, you know mom would have a fit.”


Callie chuckled, “You're right, but it'd be worth it. Let’s go.” She held my hand, like we were little girls. As we walked up to the front door where our mother and Gunnar sat on the front porch swing talking and laughing. My heart was beating so hard, I had no words for him, yet and still I knew I needed to get this over with. 


“Hi mama,” Callie greeted. “Gunnar,” she glared at him. 


At the moment I didn’t possess the confidence or power to look up. For the life of me, I couldn’t get my act together. “Sophia Christina Noble!” My mother called to me, causing my head to snap up and pay attention. “Are you going to stand there like a lost sheep or are you going to use the manners your father and I taught you and speak to our guest?” 


Looking at Gunnar, I say a quick hello. He greeted me back with a friendlier tone than I offered. The tension was thick to say the least. My mother must’ve felt it too because she cut in after a while.  


“Callie, honey, come in the house with me. I need your help to bake some cookies for the bridal shower tomorrow.”


Upon hearing those words, I grasped tighter to my sister's hand that I was still holding. 


“Ouch,” she whispered sharply. “You’re cutting the circulation off in my hand. Would you relax? Just talk to the man. It’s not like he's going to kidnap you. We’ll be right here in the kitchen if you need us.”


Though her words were meant to soothe me, I was still tense. Knowing that I would keep her with me forever if I could, I reluctantly loosened my grip on Callie’s hand. She left to go in the house with our mother. I stood in my spot silently waiting for him to speak. 


“Would you like to sit?” He offered me the open spot on the swing he was still sitting on. 


I shook my head no and walked up the stairs to stand across from him. I felt a mixture of nervousness, frustration and I don’t know why or how, but there was still a magnetic pull towards him whenever he was around. Granted the man was like wine and got finer with time, but it was more than his physical features. It was the fact that he made me feel like no other man could. Of all the men I have dated, none ever came close to him. Montell was close, but that was before his true colors started showing. 


And despite Gunnar using me to get information about Montell and ghosting me for years, he was my one and only true love, but that didn’t mean I was going to be a fool for anybody, true love included. No sir. No ma’am. 


Dealing with Gunnar wasn’t going to be easy by means, especially considering how strained things were between us. Therefore, I had to think fast and create boundaries, mainly for myself, to remember that he was no longer mine. “How may I help you, Detective? Do you have more questions about Montell? I’ve already told you all that I know,” using my professional voice. 


“No, I’m not here because of that,” he paused and ran a hand through his hair. I took this time to look and see what he was wearing. He must've come here after work. He wore casual black boots, dark denim jeans, a light blue button down shirt, the sleeves were rolled up to his elbows and a dark blue tie underneath a forest green waistcoat. His clothes did nothing to hide his physique, it only enhanced it. He started talking again, “Well, I am here for that, but not to question you. I’m here to apologize,” he clarified. 


I looked at him strangely, “For doing your job? Don’t be silly, your job is to keep Laurel Springs safe. No apology is necessary, Detective.” I waved him off, feigning ignorance like what happened last week hadn’t deeply hurt my feelings. Weakness wasn’t a good look for me. I had to be strong. 


He sighed, knowing I was going to be stubborn until the end. “You know what I mean, Sophia,” he replied. “Look, I know I really fucked up by leading you on the way I did. It was disrespectful and you deserve better.”


I stared at him, unmoved by his generic apology. “Is that all?” I asked, ready to be done with this conversation. 


“What do you mean ‘is that all?’ I came to apologize and you’re acting like…” He stopped mid sentence and leaned forward resting his elbows on his knees with his head hung down. I continued to allow him to gather his thoughts because the minute he came at me sideways, I would no longer be held responsible for my actions. 


He rose from the swing and walked over in my direction. I was trying to stay calm, but I always admired the way his confidence shined through. I had to look away. I needed to get myself together. I’m still supposed to be mad and use it as leverage to leave without looking back, but the closer he got the more I felt my resolve dying. I put my hand up to stop him from getting closer. 


“Though I think I’ll regret asking you this, why are you here, Brock?” 


He finally looked at me without any hidden agenda or fear. Who would’ve thought me calling him by his last name like I used to would snap him out of the weird state of mind he’s been in since I’ve been back in town. “I wanted to know if you really meant what you said about not trusting me anymore.”


“To be honest, I don’t think you’d ever do anything to put me or the girls in harm’s way, but there’s something different about you now. You’re more guarded and I don’t think I ever gave you a reason to feel like you had to hide things from me. When you decided to leave after I gave you that ultimatum and you cut me off, I knew we wouldn’t be the same, but I didn’t think I’d come back to this either,” I gestured my hands to his form. “You’ve changed.”


He unexpectedly grabbed my hand. Looking down at our hands that were joined, it felt exhilarating, but also tainted with more questions and grief. My will to stay neutral was depleting by the second until I couldn’t hold back any longer. “Why her? Is it because she comes from a rich family? Did you cut me off because I have children with another man? Tell me the truth. Don’t string me along like I’m some back up plan, Brock.” I rambled. 


He lifted my gaze by raising my chin with his free hand and answered, “Listen to me, sunshine. It’s none of those things. And I know it’s my fault, but it makes me upset that you would think that low of me.”


I heard myself speak in a tone that I haven’t used with him since we first got together that was shy yet curious. “What else was I supposed to think? You never answered any of my texts or updated me about what’s going on in your life. I never stopped caring about you. I was left to put the pieces together and figure out you didn’t want me anymore.” I was so open, and I didn’t even care. This is why it was dangerous for me to be around him because teenage Sophia was making a comeback. Insert face palm emoji here. 


He was still holding my chin, and he was a lot closer to me. It was the type of close that was enough to make the good folks of Laurel Springs gossip about it. “I know my actions made you think that I didn’t care, but that was far from the truth. I had a lot going on and didn’t want you and the girls in the middle of it. My plan was to come back to you three.”


“After you had your fun with the beauty queen though,” I stated bluntly, removing his hand from my face. 


“No, it’s not like that. I can’t explain it right now, but I promise I will,” he answered. There was clearly a lot left unsaid. 


“It’s work stuff, right?” I asked sarcastically. He didn’t answer. He didn’t have to. “I won’t chase you around town, like Leslie. You only get one strike.” I surprised myself with my response. Using my index finger I poked him in the center of his muscular chest (that I was trying not to focus on) to warn him of his fate if he crossed me. “You make a fool out of me, Brock, I swear I will kill you myself.”


He smiled, wrapping his arms around my waist. I instantly melted into him. “I guess it's a good thing I always play to win. 


“Is that so?” I asked. Here’s where I blame my next actions on old habits truly dying hard. I wrapped his tie around my hand and brought him down to my height and placed a gentle kiss on his lips and moved my head back and gasped in shock. With an apology on the tip of my tongue, I made the mistake of looking him in the eyes. He wanted more. It was at this moment I knew I was a lost cause. I threw both of my arms around his neck to hold on to the moment and went in for another kiss that held every emotion and feeling that I had for this man. I wanted him something fierce. As I was trying to make him feel a way, Brock certainly was doing the same for me. His touch and embrace felt like home and floating on air. 


Finally pulling back, we rested our foreheads against each other. It didn’t take me having eye contact with him to know he felt exactly what I felt and saw. Undeniable chemistry and fireworks. 


Before you roll your eyes and write me off, I did warn you about there being a magnetic pull. If you need any more proof of unexplainable behavior, we can refer back to the cheesecake incident. To be honest, maybe subconsciously I wanted to remind him of what he would miss out on. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come back to bite me in the butt. 


“Gunnar, honey. What’s going on?” A feminine voice spoke.


Spoke too soon. 


Reality settled back in. I separated myself from Gunnar quickly. It was his girlfriend, Alexandria. And that’s when spontaneity left me high and dry and now I was silently panicking about what just took place. Oh my goodness! How could I let myself fall so easily for this man again? Maybe he’ll break things off with her. He isn’t a two-timer, or maybe he is and he’s just playing more mind games. My thoughts were going crazy. 


“Lexi, what are you doing here?” He asked nervously.  


She stared between the both of us suspiciously and finally answered his question. “I saw that you forgot your toothbrush and I stopped by Isaac’s parents’ home to catch you before you left for the bachelor party, but Daisy told me you had to stop by to ask Sophia more questions about her incident, but it looks like that wasn’t the case,” she said disgustedly. 


I shifted uncomfortably, realizing that that floating on air feeling came from Gunnar lifting me off the ground. I was also surprised to realize my legs were wrapped around his waist. I could only imagine how this looked, especially to his girlfriend. I gave his shoulders a strong tap to put me down. Taking the hint, I was once again standing on my own two feet. Great, now Laurel Springs had yet another reason to talk about me. Hold up a minute, he told me he wasn’t here to question me and I’m sure that Alexandria has no reason to lie even though she did catch us in a compromising position. And why do I feel like what’s about to follow will lead this night further into the pit of regret?


I decided the womanly thing to do was apologize with the small town belle charm and grace my mother taught me. “Goodness gracious,” I raised one hand to my forehead and the other to the center of my chest and chuckled lightly, but not too much. “Miss Alexandria, I’d like to apologize to you. I threw myself at poor Detective Brock not knowing he was courting someone. Don’t be mad at him. It was all my fault,” I gave her my most pitiful look, which was quite easy to display at the moment. 


Gunnar’s girlfriend looked at me skeptically. After a few more seconds she gave in. “No worries,” she smiled. “I know that my Gunnar Bear has such an irresistible, old fashioned gentleman-like charm, it can dazzle even the strongest of women. Am I right?” She giggled. 


You’re preaching to the choir, sister. 


I turned back to Gunnar, hoping he would understand what I was actually trying to say to him. “Detective, I’m really sorry about what happened earlier. I forced myself on you and said things that I didn’t mean. It must be all this fresh air making me light headed and causing me to speak out of turn and act so out of character. Please forgive me for that mishap.


You and Alexandria make such a lovely couple and I will not be the one to stand in the way of something so beautiful. Now if you two will please excuse me,” I walked over to the door. “I have to prepare for more bridal events for Daisy in the morning.  Have a safe trip to the bachelor party, Detective and I hope you two both have a lovely evening.” I hightailed it into the house so fast you would’ve thought I was running from a psychopathic serial killer. 


When I finally made it to the safety of my childhood bedroom, I fell back on my bed and laughed at the irony of the predicament I found myself in. From trying to sabotage a wedding, to the fiasco with Montell and Gunnar’s personality switches, all the way to being caught trying to climb him like a tree a few minutes ago. Tears started falling from my eyes from how hard I laughed. I couldn’t tell if it was from joy or sadness. At this point maybe it was both. 


“It’s really time to get out of this town and I need to add ‘get a man of my own’ to my to do list,” I said aloud to myself. 


Come on Friday.












End Notes:

It's been quite some time since my last update, but I hope you've enjoyed this new update. All I can say the fun never ends when you're around the Nobles. Also a big thank you to all who have reviewed and found the comedic relief in the story. Considering the times we're living in a little bit of joy never hurt anybody. Thank you so much for reading.

As always stay safe and healthy 🥰🥰🥰

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