Willow's Wedding Vows - Debbie Viggiano Page 0,1

issue, she was old-fashioned enough to want a wedding band and loads-of-sex honeymoon before stretchmarks and nipple shields.

Sipping her birthday champagne while Charlie chatted away, she’d quietly weighed things up. She and Charlie had lived together for almost a decade. It wasn’t like they didn’t know each other’s little foibles. Okay, he drove her slightly mad with his habit of leaving clothes inside-out and dumped on the floor, but she irritated him by nicking his socks and borrowing his razor. Charlie’s flirting had never got out of hand – other than when she’d gone on a girly night with Emma to a club where Charlie just happened to also be. He’d been snogging another girl. But Willow had mentally shaken the memory away. That was waaaay back, and not long after they’d met. They hadn’t been living together. They hadn’t even been “exclusive”. And he’d never done it since, had he?

I wouldn’t trust him, sniffed the little voice in her head.

Good, she silently replied, because you’re not the one who wants to marry him, so why don’t you just bog off, eh?

Willow had decided to broach the subject of getting hitched whilst out celebrating her birthday with Charlie. Finishing her lamb, Willow had put her knife and fork together. At that moment, Charlie had leant across the table and romantically taken her hand in his. As he’d smiled at her, the soft candlelight had flickered across his handsome face, lending a golden glow. It had seemed like the perfect moment.

‘So,’ she’d beamed, aware that birthday champagne had made everything deliciously fuzzy as well as emboldening her. ‘Can I ask you a question?’

Charlie’s smile had expanded. The last time Willow had used that very suggestive tone of voice, she’d been faintly drunk – like now – and feeling randy. She’d later gone on to initiate some mind-blowing sex which had been amazing, especially as most of the time their love life was not an earthmoving experience. He supposed they’d been together too long for her to stir his loins more than a perfunctory once-a-week coupling. Charlie allowed himself a little daydream. Perhaps his girlfriend was going to suggest something outrageous, like… having a threesome. Wasn’t that every man’s fantasy? He knew that Willow’s bestie was back on the dating market. Perhaps the girls had been gossiping behind his back whilst sharing a bottle of wine between them. Maybe Emma had tipsily confided that she’d always fancied Charlie, and what about they shared him for one night of no-strings passion? Charlie wouldn’t mind that at all. Her boobs weren’t as big as Willow’s, but her lean and wiry body indicated a capacity to crawl all over a man’s body like a spider on amphetamines. Willow was now squeezing his hand, her tongue flicking over her lips to wet them. How suggestive and delightful.

‘What is it?’ he’d murmured huskily. ‘Tell me, darling.’

‘How do you feel–?’

Willow had paused, suddenly looking awkward.

‘Go on!’ he’d smiled encouragingly.

‘About getting married?’ Willow had blurted.

Charlie had frozen. There’d been a moment of stunned silence and then he’d whipped his hand away from hers.

‘Married?’ he’d yelped, loud enough to have the couple at the next table turning to look at them speculatively.

‘Y-Yes,’ Willow had quavered, her bravado popping as quickly as the champagne bubbles in the ice-bucket on the table.

‘I thought you were going to ask–’


‘If I fancied… dessert,’ Charlie had blustered.

‘I do,’ Willow had said.

Those two words had further unnerved Charlie. Help. Was she saying her wedding vows already?

‘I don’t.’

‘Don’t want dessert, or don’t want to get married?’

‘Neither,’ he’d said, aghast.

Willow had promptly burst into tears. The ear-wigging couple at the next table had looked upset on her behalf.

‘Give him time, love,’ the lady had said, leaning across and patting Willow’s arm.

‘I’ve already given him well over nine years,’ Willow had sobbed.

She’d pushed back her chair and stood up, leaving Charlie frantically summoning the waitress for the bill.

Willow had cried all the way home. Charlie had sat silently beside her as he’d steered the car. Once home, he’d feigned a headache and disappeared upstairs. Willow had stayed downstairs and popped the cork on a birthday bottle of Prosecco. She’d drowned her sorrows while watching old re-runs of Friends. Willow had known exactly how Rachel had felt about wanting to marry Ross, but not being able to have him.

At some point Willow had fallen asleep. Upon waking, cold and stiff on a Sunday morning, she’d discovered Charlie had gone out. There was a note beside her.

Sorry about last night. I’ve