May Vasquez turned the page and stared at the paper, she tutted and flicked it closed. There was never any good news these days, she picked up a piece of toast and refilled her coffee. Taren Hoffman entered the kitchen and took the paper from her; he dropped it into the bin and helped himself to some breakfast.
"I'm saving you from yourself" he said as May raised an eyebrow at him. "It'll only put you in a bad mood and you've got work today." May smiled, she finished her coffee and picked up her bag and her equipment before struggling to the front door.
"I don't need any help, thank you sweetheart!" she called back, her voice dripping with sarcasm. Taren laughed and jogged out to the hallway to take some of the photography equipment from her.
As May opened the front door, a smart little bright red convertible pulled up outside. May's partner, Sandy Marsh, jumped out and spread her arms.
"What do you think?" May opened her mouth but she couldn't seem to find the words.
"That boys got a guilty conscience about something" muttered Taren. May shushed him before walking to the car to unload her stuff.
"I like it. Another present?"
"Yep. An early wedding gift from my lovely Jess!" May nodded and shot Taren a warning look as they loaded up the car. He didn't like Jess Hallerin but Sandy was old enough to make her own choices. And her own mistakes.
The drove into the town centre and showed their passes to the security guard outside a building marked Prentiss Pictures. They parked in their usual spot and headed for the elevators with their equipment. May led the way when they stepped off at the third floor. It was thickly carpeted with chocolate covered shag; the walls were muted beige and covered in photos that the staff had taken. Sandy unlocked their office and they hurried inside, it was decorated in black and silver and both of them loved it. May dropped her things onto a black leather sofa and winced as her back crackled.
"Let's see what we have today, May!" said Sandy in a sing song voice. She giggled as she began to flick through their diary.
"We find a new rhyme today because that one is getting right on my wick" snapped May. Sandy bit her lip and mumbled an apology before bringing the subject back to work.
"Right. Four portraits this morning, all dogs and a wedding at 5pm." May groaned.
"I hate those frigging portraits. Those mutts never sit still." Sandy stared at her for a moment; May took a deep breath and tried to calm down. Where the Hell had this mood come from? May walked across the office and picked up what she would need before turning to Sandy.
"Come on. Let's do these pups and then we'll get a break before the wedding." Sandy smiled and followed her out.
Taren was adjusting his tie when Jess walked into his office. They both worked at an estate agent but had only become friends in the last few years, which was how Jess had met Sandy. But Taren was almost positive that Jess was messing around with the secretary they shared, so all bets were off.
Jess handed Taren his post and began flicking through his own. After a moment, Taren decided he had better made polite conversation as he had been invited to the wedding.
"Anything exciting in there?"
"Nah, not today. Probably a good thing. I've gotta pick up the honeymoon tickets today." Jess grinned and through all his post into the nearest bin.
"I've gotta pick some tickets up today. I thought I'd take May away for a few weeks while you two are away. Do you want me to get your tickets at the same time?" offered Taren. He dropped his own post into another bin and stared at Jess.
"Yeah, can do. That'll be a big help as I've got a meeting this afternoon too." Taren raised an eyebrow, he thought but did not say, Oh yeah? Jess handed him the receipt for his tickets and left the office. Taren sighed and grabbed his jacket before heading into town.
Weddings were dull. Sandy bit her lip as she suddenly realized what she was thinking. Other people's weddings were dull; hers would be a triumph of grace and excitement. She helped May set up their equipment at the side of the room where they would have a good view of the head table when the speeches started. The father of the bride glanced over at them as May attached the last cable, she gave him a small nod and he rose to his feet. As the Father introduced the best man, May made a few quick adjustments and turned just in time to see the bride rising to her feet and pushing the best man back into his chair.
"What's this?" whispered Sandy. May shrugged, she checked the itinerary but there was nothing about the bride making a speech for another hour.
"My friends and loving family, thank you for coming to my wedding" said the bride. She was a petite blonde named Annabelle, there were a few confused looks and worried smiles as Annabelle continued to speak.
"First, I would like to thank my parents for their love and support throughout the years and for this beautiful wedding." May and Sandy glanced at eachother again but they continued to take photos, the guests seemed to be relaxing a little but something about Annabelle's almost medicated clam seemed to be unsettling a lot of people. Especially the groom who seemed to be trying to pull her back to her seat. Annabelle pushed his hand away and began to speak again.
"Thankyou to my friends for your devotion and kindness and I know you will all be there for me through the hard times that are coming. I would also like to say a big thank you to my maid of honour." The smile dropped Annabelle's face as she glared across at a voluptuous red head sitting at the end of the head table.
"Uh oh" said Sandy.
"You're kidding" replied May; she snapped a few more photos.
"Thankyou, my maid of honour for fucking my groom last night and showing me what a scumbag he really is."
The air in the room was suddenly electric as a collective gasp seemed to echo from every corner. May and Sandy glanced at eachother as Annabelle strode across the room and slammed her way out of the main door. Before anyone had the chance to move, the fire exit opened and a man dressed in a long coat with a skull mask covering his face strode to the head table.
"What the fuck is this now?" muttered Sandy. May shrugged and stared as the man took a gun from his pocket and pointed it at the groom. His voice when he spoke was surprisingly clear through the mask.
"Cheater." He pulled the trigger and the room erupted in screams before he swung round and shot the maid of honour too. The man managed to escape in the resulting chaos.