I raised my eyes and took another bite, "Wow, Pete, this is good." I pointed my fork at the boneless pork ribs on my plate, "When did you learn how to cook?"
He shrugged, smirking, "This is just one of the things Mel showed me."
"I bet she showed you a bunch of things." Garrett cracked, chewing.
Mom elbowed him, laughing, "Not at the dinner table Gare." She looked up at him.
Garrett bent down and pecked her lips, "Sorry, maybe somewhere else?" She responded by pulling him closer and turning it into a full blown kiss bordering makeout.
I splayed my fingers over my eyes, This wasn't anything I wanted to see in my lifetime: two, relatively old people making out. Okay, so they weren't old, I know that my mom was only 48, and Garrett was like a year older.
It's weird how they met. At my Grandma's last wedding, earlier this year, she happened to invite an old flame, more specifically, an ex husband. So, It just happened that this ex had a son, mom's age and apparently mom and Garrett 'clicked' according to the story. I didn't really like him, but he kept mom busy.
Thankfully, interrupting the display of affection, the doorbell rang. I was the first to stand up, so I scurried to the door and opened it to see mom's friends, Will, Amir, and Natalie. Will and Amir were together, and Nat's husband and daughter weren't with her. I'd grown up with Will and Nat, so they were like my aunts and uncles that I never had.
"Will!" I gave him a hug, pulled back and fist bumped Amir.
He smiled one of his big ones, "Hey, Paige!" I moved aside to let them in and they dispersed into the kitchen where everyone was eating.
"Ooh, what's for dinner?" Nat inspected the kitchen and spotted the ribs. She gave a questioning glance to mom.
Mom waved her hand, "Help yourself, Pete made it." Everyone had already ransacked the kitchen without her permission anyway, Will was attacking the cake in the refrigerator and Amir stole a soda from the pantry.
"Pete can't cook. He burns air." Nat pointed out, chewing.
"Hey!" Pete protested, smiling.
"Well he made this, although I swear he just picked it up from the store."
"Did not." Pete gaped.
I hugged him, "I still love you despite your inability to cook, and your tendencies to lie about it."
Mom stood up and hugged Will and Amir and introduced them to Garrett.
"So, Christy, when is everyone else coming?"
Mom picked up some of the dishes from the table to take them to the sink, "Well, Macy should be arriving with Jason and Chris this upcoming Monday, Mom and Dad are coming in tomorrow, speaking of Mom and Dad, Paige, did you make sure that you've booked them in two different hotels on the opposite sides of the town?" Mom asked.
I nodded, "Taken care of, although they're going to see each other anyway, I still think it's pointless to keep them apart." I muttered.
Mom rolled her eyes and continued. "Jared and Emma will arrive on Tuesday, Garrett's mom and dad are going to be staying at his house with his sister, and mostly everyone else will be coming on wedding day." She smiled
Will took a bite of the cake, "You did invite Charlotte and Liz, right?" Mom's eye's darkened, any mention of anything that had to do with him brought her down "You have to make sure they're invited, you know it's as hard for them as it was for you." Will continued. He was never the sensitive type.
She shook it off, "Yeah, they're coming Wednesday."
Will nodded, satisfied with the answer, "Good."
Everyone was quiet until Pete spoke up, clapping his hands together, "Okay, so who wants to help me clean up the dishes?" We all blinked at him and Natalie snorted. Pete rolled his eyes and stood up with his plate, and muttered something about a little red hen.
"I just have to grab a few more items." I told Cat. We were at the electronics store shopping for some DVD's for the family. I would have to find some way to entertain the guests once Mom and Garrett were off. I was sure that there would be a bunch of stragglers with no place to go and nothing to do. I'd already reserved a few rooms in the house for family members. Lucy was coming home too.
Cat tightened her fingers around her purse that was strapped over her shoulder, "Okay, I'll just wait at the checkout lines, I spotted a hottie." She wiggled her eyebrows and went off to the front of the store.
I rolled my eyes, this was so like her. She spots a guy, goes to a club with him, gets drunk, throws up on him, he runs away, and we have to start the cycle over again.
I looked through the wide DVD selections, I was looking for a movie of each Genre, maybe a Rom-Com, a family Disney movie, an adventure movie, and maybe a horror to quench the thirst.
"Need any help?" A perky voice said beside me. I peeked at the guy wearing the bright blue vest that read, 'JUST ASK ME FOR HELP.' He had really short blonde hair, and he was awkwardly tall. I knew I'd seen him before, but I couldn't place it. I knew he wasn't a one night stand or anything, because I normally have taste, even when I'm drunk.
I looked briefly down at the DVD's that I'd already picked up, "No, I'm fine. Thanks though."
"No, no. Let me help you," He said, wide-eyed, pointing at his vest, "See? Just ask me for help."
"I don't need help." I said simply.
"Please? My boss say's I've got to help people more." He gave me puppy eyes, which weren't that hard to do, due to the fact that his eyes were already big anyway. This guy looked desperate for help. "A favor for friends?" He said, quieter.
I pointed my finger between him and me, "Were not friends. I don't know you."
"But you know Matt and Bryce who are my best friends." He smiled, putting his hands in his pockets and rocking awkwardly side to side. Then his eyes widened again, "Oh, and you're Ryan's Paige, right?"
That caught my attention. I threw my hands up, "No, I dumped him!"
He looked taken aback, "Geez, sorry. Ryan talks about you all the time. It's weird, but even though Ryan and Matt are never around each other, they're so much alike, I mean, Matt's always talking about some chick named Paper or Sheets or something kooky like that."
I blinked after his rant, did he just say kooky?
"I don't know your name."
He smiled and gangly pulled his hand out of his pocket, "Simon!"
I shook it. "Alright then."
He narrowed his eyes as he looked over my shoulder, "So how about that friendly request, my boss is looking at me behind you."
I sighed, racking my brain for a favor he could do, "Okay, can you go fetch me Season 1 of the show, Ghost Whisperer?"
He put up a finger, "One second!" And he whisked off.
I smiled. This guy made me tired from talking to him. He just had too much energy.
In less than a minute he was back with a DVD at hand, smiling widely. I thanked him loudly because his boss was supposedly looking and went off to find Cat again who was waiting for me at the checkout.
I couldn't see who she was talking to behind her head, but I could see the blue vest, not unlike Simon's.
I emptied the DVD's onto the counter, "Alright I've got enough."
"Paige! This is…" Cat's eyes rolled up, she couldn't remember his name. I turned and faced the checkout guy.
I groaned, "Fancy seeing you here, Matt."
After a gawk from Cat, he smiled at me and lifted himself from his relaxed position and started checking out the DVDs and bagging them. "So what are all of the movies for?"
"They're for entertaining after the wedding."
He nodded, taking that in, "Oh, yeah, the wedding."
I narrowed my eyes, I didn't remember telling him about that.
"How do you know about the wedding?"
He handed me my bag over the counter, smiling, "Garrett's my uncle."
Oh, yeah. That was why Ryan was in the wedding, and they were brothers. I nodded, taking the bag.
"So why aren't you in the wedding?"
"I'm not related to Garrett, and we don't really get along."
I blinked. This made no sense.
I guess he sensed my confusion because he explained further, "Ryan and I are half brothers. My mom first had me with my dad, then my dad died and she married my step dad and they had Ryan, and my step dad's brother is Garrett."
Cat scratched her head, "That's confusing." I'd almost forgotten that she was next to me.
He grinned, then cocked his eyebrows, "Yeah, so you guys are graduating technically next week, right?"
Cat practically bounced with the answer and she smiled widely, "Yep! I can't wait!" She clapped her hand around my shoulder, "Paige here graduated in the top of the class," She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively at him.
I'd almost completely forgotten about graduation with the wedding going on and everything. Since my GPA was just under Ian Black's I just missed my chance of being salutatorian, but I was third in the class, tied with one other student.
I smirked at him, not modest at all, "Are you coming to the graduation?"
"Yeah, Ryan's graduating too you know."
"Right, I keep on forgetting that he's you're brother." I said seriously, "He never mentioned you while we were dating."
Matt laughed, "Yeah. Well you owe me $19.43."
I blinked then switched with the sudden conversation change. I pulled out my purse and paid then thanked him as Cat and I stepped out of the store.
"You know hun," Cat started as we walked through the parking lot to the car, "If I weren't dating Charles I'd be all over him."
I rolled my eyes, "You're attracted to any creature with two legs and a penis."
Cat snorted, "I don't like Lady Gaga."
I lightly swung the shopping bag so it hit her on the shoulder softly.
"Don't be a bitch."
She shrugged unapologetically, "Just sayin' Matt is hot, and he's not yet afraid of you like most guys."
I tripped her in the parking lot.
"Come on! You've got to let some people stay with you!" I complained to my sister over the phone. She was being stubborn and selfish and didn't want people bunking at her apartment. Our house was filling up though, and I felt bad about making some family members get a hotel. This was a common argument that he we had every year when mom decided to get married.
She groaned, "No, Leo coming home with me, I want some alone time with him!" Then she changed the subject, "By the way, Paige, are you feeding my plants?"
"No, I don't drive all the way to your apartment to feed your damned plants, they're no doubt dead by now."
I snickered and took a sip of my coffee. I was currently sitting at one of the shops in town after dropping Cat off at work. I'd driven back to a coffee shop across the electronics store. I'd sat down with my notebook and I was making sure I'd crossed off every single detail on my wedding checklist.
"Lucy, you're coming home for the summer and Leo will be with you for half of it." I reasoned, "I only need you to house people for a couple of days and you and Leo can do… stuff." I frowned.
She relented, "Okay.
I sighed, my reasoning skills had gotten better. "Good, you got your bridesmaid dress fine?"
"Yes." She paused, "Geez, Paige, you're so uptight you need to chill out, everything's going work out fine. Go have yourself some fun."
"You know, if something goes wrong it'll be blamed on me. Fun can wait."
A coffee slid in front of me, and a body slid into the chair facing my own. I looked up, this time, not surprised to see Matt sitting across from me with a book and a coffee of his own. I held up a finger.
"Well you volunteered for it." Lucy said, and then giggled, "Leo, not now, this is my sister." She whispered into the receiver.
I ignored that, "I know I volunteered, that's why I'm trying to make this turn out right." I glanced up at Matt, who happened to be looking at me.
Lucy giggled again, "You know what, I've got to go. I need to make use of the time I have before I get home and have to share my apartment with cock blocking freaks."
"Or family," I supplied.
She hung up.
That was Lucy for you. One minded, dramatic, and selfish. But I loved her… at times.
"Everything okay?" Matt asked. I'd forgotten he was there.
I gathered my papers together, "Yeah. Just tying up some loose ends." I narrowed my eyes, "Did you follow me?"
He held his hands up, "No. I wanted some coffee. Here I am."
He smiled, immediately forgiving. I swore I saw something sparkle in his eyes. "It's fine. When I saw you here, I remembered, there was a question I'd been meaning to ask you."
Had I already called the place where the bachelorette party would be held? I scanned through the sheet then looked up at Matt, satisfied that I may have finished everything. "Shoot."
"Do you know what fun is?"
I scoffed, "Yes. I go to the club all time."
He nodded, "You're the one night stand type."
"Every once in a while." I pondered that, "There's a one night stand type?"
He shrugged, "Yeah, the commitment phobes and non believers."
"I'm a believer."
"Really." He said, non convinced.
"Yeah, the world will definitely end December 21, 2012."
He rolled his eyes. "I'm just saying, fun is not sex."
I shot him a look.
He held up his hands in mock surrender. This guy was over confident, but he didn't have a really large ego, which was surprising, but he was obviously an extrovert.
"All I'm saying is that sex is fun, yes, but fun is not sex."
I took all of my now stacked papers and slid them back into my bag and picked up my coffee before looking down at him as I stood up, "What's the point of this?"
I sipped my coffee.
"I'm just saying that you need to have some fun."
I snorted, he sounded just like my sister. "I have plenty of fun."
He looked amused, "Okay, but just know that you're missing out on a once in a lifetime offer."
"Thanks, but no thanks." I tilted my coffee cup at him. I checked my watch, "I should get going, I've got some working to do."
By now I was already at the door, "I'll try."
Sorry for the delay, things are going on. I've got somewhere to be now so i've got to answer the comments next chapter... and trust me, it won't take this long for next time.
I've just started to set up the ain idea for the story, so things should flow nicely from here.