Two Men and a Baby - Isla Olsen



“I will give you a thousand bucks to take my place in the wedding party.”

I roll my eyes and lift my shoulder to hold the phone up to my ear while I insert the key card and shove open the door of my hotel room. “Ben, even if I thought you had a thousand dollars to spare, there is no amount of money on the planet you could pay to get me to be part of my ex’s wedding party.”

“What’s the big deal? You and Dec are all cool now. You’ve been invited as a guest, haven’t you?”

I dump my duffel on the floor and carefully lay my suit bag on the bed before grabbing my phone again. “That’s beside the point. Yes, we’re friends again, but it’s one thing to be invited and a whole other thing to actually be part of the wedding. Indicated by the fact they asked you and not me, idiot.”

“But I can’t do it,” Ben whines. “You know I can’t. Maybe I could handle it if they’d paired me up with Shay or Alannah, but come on—it’s like they saw into my mind and pulled out my worst nightmare and were like ‘oh this will be fun!’”

“Or they have no idea how uncomfortable you’d both be about being paired up because, oh yeah, you never fucking told anyone about this whole Ross and Rachel thing you’ve had going on for ten years,” I say more reasonably.

“We are not Ross and Rachel,” Ben argues. “Ross and Rachel were totally OTP. Aidan and I were just a couple of unfortunate mistakes that are totally in the past.”

I roll my eyes again. “If that were really the case you wouldn’t be completely freaking out right now.”

“Oh, and like you’re not freaking out about having to watch your ex get married,” Ben says.

I shake my head even though I know he can’t see it. “Nope. Not at all. I couldn’t be happier for them. Talk about OTP—Declan and Heath are definitely it.” And I’m not even lying. I might not want to be part of their wedding party but that’s just because a) it’d be freakin’ weird, and b) if they wanted me in it they’d have asked me themselves. Doesn’t mean I’m not happy to watch them get married, though.

“So then you shouldn’t mind taking my place in the wedding party!” Ben says hopefully.

“Ben, seriously. Get over it, it’s not going to happen.”

Ben lets out a resigned sigh. “Okay. New plan—you and me, we make a break for it and head for the border. Mexico or Canada, which do you prefer?”

“We’re not going anywhere, idiot. You’re not bailing on Declan and Heath, and I’m pretty sure my mom would have the freakin’ FBI looking for me if I didn’t show up to the ceremony. She still hasn’t really recovered from me not telling her I had cancer.”

“Yeah, in hindsight that was kind of a dick move.”

“I was saving her the stress.” Or at least that had been my plan at the time. Since then, however, it seems like her stress levels have just escalated ten-fold; it’s as if she’s constantly worried about what else I might be hiding from her. Drugs? Prostitutes? My secret life as a crime fighting vigilante?

“Look,” I say to Ben after a beat of silence, “You’re just going to have to man the fuck up this weekend and remember you’re doing this for Declan and Heath.”

“Yeah, I guess…”

“And maybe try not to fall into bed with Aidan this time,” I add.

“Last time wasn’t actually a bed,” Ben clarifies.

“Yeah, I don’t need details, man.”

We end the call and I set my phone on the nightstand to charge. Prior to a couple months ago, I’d assumed all this stuff with Declan’s brother Aidan was well and truly in the past. As far as I’m aware nothing’s happened between him and Ben for years, and Ben’s been in a serious relationship for a while now. But I think the fact that Ben and his boyfriend are “taking some time” right now, combined with the whole wedding party dance partners drama has led to some serious tension. Let’s just say this is not the first panicked phone call I’ve received from Ben since Declan and Heath decided on the make-up of their wedding party. Or “groomal party”, as Heath likes to call it.

I make quick work of unpacking my duffel and hanging my suit in the hotel room’s small closet. I might only be here for two nights