Inevitable - Briar Prescott
Drew Holloway took a sip of his champagne and absently let his gaze slide over the dance floor. The bride and the groom were in the middle of their first dance, smiling ear to ear, looking exactly as happy as people should look on their wedding day.
As far as weddings went, this one had been nice. Sharon had brought her no-nonsense attitude to her celebration, so the whole day had progressed with the efficiency of a well-oiled machine.
Sharon and Nick were one of those couples that had just fit from the start. They’d have a perfectly uncomplicated life together, where everything moved in logical steps. Major life changes would interrupt the more monotonous everyday life, giving it color and flavor. Drew could see them growing old together. They had a good life in front of them.
As if on cue, Sharon’s gaze landed on Drew. He raised his glass and smiled at her. She nudged Nick toward where Drew was standing with practiced ease, and the two of them danced over.
“Still no Bas?” she called over the music. “You could have brought a real date, you know?”
He sent her a pleasant smile. Sharon had never gotten him and Bas, and Drew had known Sharon long enough to read between the lines and figure out the basics of what was said about him and Bas behind closed doors.
“I didn’t feel like bringing a date. As for Bas, I guess he forgot himself again.”
He was used to Bas’s ways, but that didn’t mean the quick flash of disapproval in Sharon’s eyes didn’t register or sting a bit. It was stupid. He didn’t usually care about other people’s opinions.
Bas was the closest person in the world to him. The two of them had been through hell and high water, and if Bas happened to lose himself in his work and forgot he promised to show up somewhere, Drew didn’t really care. It would have been nice to have Bas there with him, sure, but that was mainly because Drew missed him. They’d hardly seen each other over the last couple of weeks, both of them too busy with work, their various projects, and commitments.
“Maybe he’ll be here for cake,” Sharon said with forced enthusiasm that made Drew chuckle.
“Most likely not, but we’ll see.” He finished his champagne in one gulp and lifted the glass. “I’ll go see if I can snag another one.” He clapped Nick on the back as he made his escape.
He placed his glass down on the tray of a passing waitress and headed toward the exit. The end of November in Boston was far from beach weather, so he grabbed his coat as he went outside. He’d had enough of people for a while. He nodded toward another couple of wedding guests who’d also felt the need to get some fresh air and made his way toward the little side street for a quick breather.
He fished his phone out of his pocket while walking and dialed Bas’s number. It went straight to voicemail. Not exactly a surprise. It didn’t stop Drew from dialing the number again, just to listen to Bas’s recorded message. Maybe Sharon was onto something when she assumed the two of them were unhealthy. He sighed and pocketed the phone.
Bas had gotten lost in his music once again. No doubt he’d forgotten all about the wedding.
Bas always had good intentions, but then he’d think of a note and add another one, and soon enough, he’d be sitting at his piano, trying to recreate whatever it was he heard in his mind.
Only once he had the notes stare back at him from his laptop screen, the melody safely recorded, could he return to the land of the living and remember every other commitment he’d made. It was a good thing the man was successful enough of a musician that he could make his own hours. He’d never survive a nine-to-five day job.
Drew leaned against the brick wall and took a deep breath. Winter air tickled in his nose. It was cold enough that after a few breaths, it started to feel like the inside of his nose was slowly freezing.
Somewhere farther down, a door was propped open, and Drew heard the sounds of the kitchen through it. The clanking of pots and pans, plates clattering, something sizzling loudly.
“I need cilantro!” somebody called out. Drew made a face.
“Plating,” somebody else bellowed. “Two fillets, one rare, one medium, one heritage salmon.”
Voices echoed the order. Drew stood still, fascinated by the different