WEDNESDAY, March 22. Dress fitting. Me, in frills, as a bridesmaid.
It's my worst nightmare come true. The self-assertiveness course was a
complete waste of time; it was utterly impossible to be assertive in the
face of Ginny's sweet pleading. Lunch with Robert first, though. The
lovely (and very clever) Janine has dumped him and I am, as usual, the
nearest shoulder available. Crocodile tears, of course...but interesting
to see how he takes being on the receiving end of the boot for a
‘YELLOW velvet? What’s wrong with yellow velvet?’
‘Nothing. Probably.’ In its place. Wherever that might be. ‘If
being a bridesmaid was high on my list of ambitions.’ It came five
hundred and twenty-seventh on hers; right after having her teeth
extracted without anaesthetic. ‘Nothing, if I enjoyed the idea of being
fitted into a dress that will display all my shortcomings in the figure
department.’ She glanced down at her chest, which she suspected would be
six inches short of the desired circumference. ‘Or in my case, not
display them.’ Robert’s gaze had followed hers and was regarding her
lack of curves with a thoughtful expression. ‘Nothing,’ she added,
quickly to distract him, ‘if I relished the prospect of walking behind a
girl who is going to be the prettiest bride this century, alongside a
posse of her equally beautiful and raven-haired cousins all of whom will
look ravishing in yellow.’
Was she being petty?
‘Maybe you’ll look ravishing in yellow,’ Robert offered. He
didn’t sound convinced. Well, he didn’t have to. Just so long as he
stopped talking about Janine. She’d heard quite enough about how
wonderful Janine was. If she was that wonderful, he should have married
Her boyish chest clenched painfully at the thought.
‘I’ll look like a duck,’ she said, more to distract herself,
than because it mattered very much. It was Ginny’s day and no one would
be looking at her.
‘Probably.’ Robert, primed to offer at least a token
contradiction, instead grinned broadly. Well, that was why he’d asked
her to lunch, to cheer him up.
The best man had it so easy, she thought, irritably. Robert
would be in morning dress and the biggest decision he’d have to make was
whether to wear a grey morning coat or a black one. Or maybe not.
Ginny’s mother was stage-managing this wedding like the director of some
Hollywood epic and everything was being colour co-ordinated down to the
last button, so it was unlikely he’d even have to worry about that.
No. All Robert would have to do was make sure her brother
arrived in time for the wedding, produce the rings at the appropriate
moment and make a short but witty speech at the reception. She’d seen it
all before. Robert was very good at weddings...particularly at ensuring
they weren’t his own.
He’d arrange a stupendous stag night for Michael and still
deliver him immaculately dressed and sober as a judge at the church in
plenty of time for the wedding. He’d produce the rings dead on cue, make
the wedding guests chuckle appreciatively with his wit and probably have
the prettiest bridesmaid for breakfast.
By the time they’d left the church every female heart would be
aflutter and the eyelashes would be following suit. Well, not the
bride’s eyelashes, perhaps. And the bride’s mother could be forgiven for
being distracted, but the bride’s sister, the bride’s cousins, the
Not that Robert needed morning dress for that. Women fell for
him wherever he went, whatever he was wearing. Beautiful women.
Sophisticated women. Sexy women. And he didn’t have to do a damned thing
Bridesmaids, on the other hand, were at the whim of the
bride’s mother. She sighed. Frills. Ribbons. Velvet. That was bad
enough, but why on earth did Ginny’s mother have to choose yellow
velvet? You’d have thought filling the church with daffodils would be
enough yellow for anyone... ‘You aren’t supposed to agree with me, you
know,’ she scolded. ‘I went to great lengths to avoid being a
bridesmaid. I made Ginny swear that no matter what my mother did or
said, she wouldn’t make me follow her up the aisle.’
‘The best laid plans...’
‘The best laid plans be blowed. I can’t believe Ginny’s mother
permitted such a vital member of her cast to go skiing so close to the
‘I don’t suppose anyone told her about it or she’d have done
her best.’ He smiled. ‘Poor Daisy.’ She would do almost anything to have
Robert smile at her like that. Even suffer the indignity of yellow
velvet. He leaned forward and gently ruffled the springy mop of curls
fighting their way out of the confines of an elastic band. ‘And
actually, you’re quite wrong about looking like a duck. Ducks waddle,
you don’t.’ As compliments went, it wouldn’t ring a fairground bell, but
still Daisy had to work hard to stem a flush of pleasure. ‘Definitely
not a duck.’
‘Really?’ The flush materialised, she just couldn’t help it.
He grinned. ‘No. You’re thinking of ducklings.’
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From the book
BEST MAN AND THE BRIDESMAID by Liz Fielding
Text Copyright © 2001
by Liz Fielding
Cover Art Copyright ©
by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
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