The elevator doors slid open and Kirsty Bennett hurriedly dashed out, glancing around the narrow hallway before noticing the bright white and gold sign up on the wall.
'Blissful Weddings - Your Wedding day made easy.'
Kirsty felt her body physically and mentally sag in relief. She followed the gold arrow on the sign, which led her to the end of the hallway, before her frosted glass double doors with Blissful weddings in Gold lettering across them, told her she was in the right place at last.
After wrestling with the doors for a few moments, as she tried to push them open, she realised she should be pulling instead, so she gave one of them a frustrated tug finally opening it, and stepping into the plush cream carpeted reception area.
A young dark haired woman was behind the desk occupied on the phone talking to someone.
Kirsty hurried over to the desk, hoping she didn't look as flustered as she felt, as she impatiently waited for the young woman to finish on the phone.
She glanced at the large white wall clock above the receptionist head, a new frisson of panic shot through her as she realised she was almost fifteen minutes late
She was suppose to meet with her cousin Alannah here at two thirty, but she had trouble parking her car, and finding the place had been a pain in the butt.
She realised she should have been paying better attention when Alannah had given her the directions over her cell phone the night before.
But Kirsty had been busy ordering drinks at the crowded bar, and she had been rather occupied remembering the order, as it had been her turn to buy the round on her usual Friday night out with her three colleagues who worked along with her in the bookstore.
Kirsty nervously started to drum her fingers on the desk to get the receptionist attention, thankfully the girl seem to see the panic urgency in her grey green eyes, and told who ever she was speaking to on the phone to hang on for a moment, then turned her full attention on Kirsty, with a polite smile.
"Can I help you?"
"Yes hopefully," Kirsty replied, "I was suppose to meet my cousin here, Alannah Bennett, only I am a little late.. She had an appointment to see one of your wedding consultants,
"Oh, so you are with the Bennett party?" The receptionist said in realisation, "She has already gone through to Mr Harrison's office I believe, it's the white door just across from here, just knock and go in" she informed her pointing across the reception area before turning her attention back to the phone
"Thank you" Kirsty smiled gratefully and now hurried across to the white door giving it a curt knock before opening it and sticking her head warily around to look in.
Much to her relief she recognised her cousin Alannah sitting at the desk, a brochure of some kind in her hand, she looked up and caught sight of Kirsty, and immediately looked delighted.
Kirsty had been concerned Alannah might be upset or annoyed with her not showing up when she was suppose to, she knew if she had been in her cousin's shoes she would be a little bit pissed with her.
But then she realised Alannah was not at all like her, and her sweet nature and good temper made her getting pissed about anything, a rare occurrence
"Still, Kirsty stepped in looking very apologetic, "Sorry I am a bit late I had a bit of trouble getting here"
"Oh, It doesn't matter, at least you made it," Alannah beamed happily, "Besides you are not that late, we have only started discussing things," she reassured her
Alannah turned to the man at the other side of the desk from her, he was not much older than the herself , maybe in his late twenties, with slicked back fair hair, and dressed in a pale pink shirt with a satin dove grey waistcoat and matching tie
Anthony, this is my cousin Kirsty, y'know the one I was telling you about," Alannah said with a slight ambiguous smile.
"I see," Anthony eyed Kirsty speculatively for a moment, making Kirsty wonder what exactly had her cousin been saying about her in her absence? Now Anthony smiled and rose from his chair, a little, to shake hands with her
"Its nice to meet you Kirsty, I am glad you were able to join us" Anthony then said, his effeminate tone confirmed what already suspected, that he was most likely gay, but she wasn't overly surprised
"She is going to be my chief bridesmaid, and I want her involved with everything that is going on. That is why I invited her along. Next to my Fiancé Craig, she is going to play a very important role in my wedding, and I will need to rely on her totally" Alannah then announced meaningfully
Kirsty felt herself cringed inwardly at the over importance her cousin was giving to her participation in the forthcoming wedding. She was making it sound like she was on a life saving mission instead of just being her chief bridesmaid
I understand" Anthony replied, in what Kirsty could have swore, was an almost sympathetic tone
But she forced herself to smile, sitting in the chair next to Alannah, who was browsing through the brochure in her hand again thoughtfully
"Anthony was just showing me the different packages they have, there is the traditional, the modern and the Classical" Alannah then informed her
"Ahh," Kirsty nodded, feigning great interest. In truth she would prefer to be a million miles away than doing all this.
She knew Alannah was trying to make her feel important by getting her involved in the wedding plans, and probably feeling a tad guilty because she announced her engagement in the same week Kirsty's own love life had taken a serious nosedive
Her year old relationship with her boyfriend Alan Ferguson, had come to an abrupt end when he decided to dump her for a divorced woman old enough to be his mother.
It had been more than a little humiliating, especially when Kirsty had been on the verge of making the commitment, deciding she was ready to move in with Alan, believing they had a future together
She was still smarting slightly from the whole experience, so she wasn't feeling overly enthusiastic about happy ever after weddings, especially when her cousin's husband- to-be Craig Anderson, happened to be another reminder of her past romantic failure.
Before he had started seeing Alannah, Kirsty had a serious crush on him. she had hoped they might get together one day.. but it was never to be. It seemed it had been her cousin he had always been interested in, and Kirsty had just been a good friend
Happily, Craig and Alannah were totally unaware of her past unrequited feelings, and Kirsty would have been horrified if they ever found out now.
She was very happy for the couple, and thought they were great together. She felt no resentment towards Alannah. Kirsty was just more or less just irked that her own love life seemed to always end screwed up, mostly because she always seem to fall for the wrong guy.
She was beginning to believe there was no Mr Right for her, which was why all this wedding business felt a little like having salt rubbed into her wounds.
But she and Alannah were very close. With just a year between them, Kirsty now the oldest at twenty five, they had grown up together and were more like sister's than cousin's.
When Alannah had asked her to be chief bridesmaid at her wedding because she really wanted her, Kirsty had been a little reluctant. But it had been hard so to refuse, with her cousin staring at her so hopeful with her big brown eyes, and told her she would be really disappointed of she couldn't do it.
Even if her own love life sucked, it did not mean she wanted to spoil it for her cousin, whom she was really very fond of.
So now she sat next to her, also looking at the brochure trying hard to get into the spirit of things
"I really find the 'classical' appealing to me," Alannah then said, "It's so romantic, having a horse and carriage, getting married in the surroundings of an old castle, with the old fashioned rolls Royce as well, and can you imagine Craig dressed up like Mr Darcy?. Now that really appeals to me" she grinned conspiringly
"Yes," Kirsty smiled, remembering her own one time secret fantasies about Alannah's fiancé. Then immediately shook it of, not wanting to go down that road
"That is our most popular package," Anthony informed her with a smile, and I can understand its appeal, it's as you, say very romantic"
'And the most expensive' Kirsty realised silently as she glanced at the price with raised eyebrows. Not that it would matter to Alannah. Her job working for a high flying PR firm. Many of their clients included rock stars and various other celebrities, which meant Alannah received a large pay check every month.
Another reason Kirsty had to quell a certain envy for her cousin.
It was because of her busy jet-setting job, that had her in different parts of the world from one week to the next, which had made Alannah decide to check out a wedding Planners firm.
She knew she would never have the time, and wanted it to be perfect without all the hassle of worrying about all the details herself so this seemed the perfect answer to her dilemma.
And if she was unavailable for some reason, Kirsty would be the go between, as chief bridesmaid and most trusted friend and relation, to make sure the line of communication remained opened between Alannah and Blissful Weddings, so that everything would run smoothly. The reason why Alannah had insisted on her presence today.
"I just wish Craig was here, instead of halfway across the world" Alannah then said wistfully, "Then I could consult him also, but as a backing musician he has to go where his job takes him, It was just unfortunate he had to go on tour shortly after we got engaged"
Kirsty on the other hand, was glad Craig wasn't around. It might have made things a little more awkward for her. She had been able to deal seeing him and Alannah together with out any real problem, especially when she had been with Alan.
But now single again, with no Alan or boyfriend to distract her, she was slightly concerned that some of her old feelings for Craig might return.. That was something she didn't want, or need.
"If he has a lap top, or can get his hands on a computer, you can view our brochure online, perhaps you can show him that way" Anthony suggested helpfully
Alannah's brown eyes lit up, "Of course, that is a great idea, he has a laptop I will try and see if I can phone him later to go online.. Don't you just love modern technology" she grinned happily
"Well that's one little problem solved," Anthony beamed, "Now just give me a moment ladies, I need to introduce you to your own personal consultant, who will be dealing with your needs. Unfortunately I am already all booked up for the next six months with weddings, we seem to be having a boom" he explained.
"Well at least that is good for your business" Kirsty remarked dryly
"Yes, yes" Anthony agreed, it's never been better, but don't worry, Matt is one of our best consultants, so you will be in good hands" he assured them and picked up his phone.
Alannah and Kirsty idly returned to looking at the brochure as he spoke to this Matt person briefly on the other end of the line, Then he hung up and informed the girls that his colleague would be along shortly to meet them.
Fifteen minutes later the door opened, Kirsty glanced round to see a tall young man enter. He was dressed in a similar outfit as Anthony, but it was those deep blue eyes, accentuated with his long dark lashes that caught Kirsty's attention, as they met hers, and send a little jolt of attraction through her body, leaving her momentarily dumbstruck.
Anthony got up from behind his desk, going over to Mr Beautiful Blue Eyes, throwing his arm across his shoulders,"Ladies this is my partner, Matt Crawford, wedding planner extraordinaire" he then introduced extravagantly with a smile
Kirsty recovered, she now took the opportunity to take in the rest of the new arrival, and found it met with her approval.
He was a little heavier built than Anthony, his dark hair cropped very short and dark bristles covered his chin and lower jaw line. He wore a small gold hoop earring in one ear, and had the sexiest little lopsided smile ever.
Kirsty then noticed the way Anthony was looking at Matt somewhat adoringly, his arm still across his shoulders, then she recalled how he had called him 'his partner'.
She felt a sense of disappointment set in, as she realised that this good looking specimen before her, was probably also gay, and also spoken for, by the looks of it.
A sudden swell of envy overwhelmed her towards Anthony. It seemed even he was having better luck than her, the lucky devil.
She tried to get her thoughts back on her cousin's wedding plans, unable to look into those lovely blue eyes belonging to Matt. So she returned to looking at the brochure in her hands with great interest, feeling foolish for being attracted to a gay guy. But that was just typical of how things turned out for her she realised with a small resigning sigh
Matt came over to where they sat, Alannah stood up to shake hands with him, Kirsty decided remained in her seat, after all it was Alannah's wedding, she could deal with him, she wasn't sure she trusted herself to speak to him. But she did manage to glance up and smile politely when her cousin introduced her.
She let Anthony, Matt and Alannah discuss what they had decided on so far, whilst she stayed silent, happily remaining in the background.
Matt congratulated Alannah, telling he was looking forward to helping her with her wedding plans, and gave her a card with his number on it so she could keep in contact with him
Alannah insisted he give one to Kirsty as well, once more explaining Kirsty's important roll in her wedding, which made her poor cousin blush with utter embarrassment.
Matt handed her one of his cards, "So I take it I turn to you, if the bride and groom are not around? that will be handy" he smiled, "And its very sweet of you to help your cousin out, I have to say" his voice was a lot deeper than Anthony's and full of warmth she couldn't help noticing
"Only trying to do my bit," Kirsty mumbled modestly as she took the card from him, still unable to look him directly in the eye in case she made a fool of herself in front of him.
She could just picture Matt and Anthony having a good old giggle between them, if they realised their latest client's, chief bridesmaid, had the hots for one of them.
'Pull yourself together girl" she chided herself feeling ridiculous that Matt was having this affect on her. Even if he was a free agent it was unlikely he would be interested in her, unless she had a sex change.
He would almost be worth it, she found herself musing as she unwittingly met his blue eyes again, and realised with dismay, how low she was now sinking
She was glad when the meeting finally came to an end and they had to leave
She shook hands with Anthony, then Matt, who added he would probably see her soon.
Kirsty just smiled and nodded, hoping by that time, she would be fully recovered from whatever crazy feelings she felt towards him, and she would be thinking more rationally ..
'Hell.' she told herself comfortingly 'she would probably laugh about this whole incident sometime in the near future'
A.N: I noticed all my stories up on FP have had the subject of death and someone dying or losing somone so I decided to give this story a go, which is much more lighthearted, and does not a death in sight:)