Stacy kept the smile plastered on her face as she stared at the bright bulbs of the camera. Next to her, Mary and Gwen had their arms wrapped around her waist, holding her tight as they tensed up for the ten thousandth pose they had to endure since this morning.
“And that's…” trailed the photographer, a handsome man about Stacy's age with a shadow of a beard and a custom-fitted suit. His camera flashed twice and then he lowered the heavy-looking black device. “I think that's it, ladies.”
“Oh, thank god,” muttered Gwen as she stood up. Her dress was a yellow-green which set off her deep tan. She lifted her hand to wipe her face, then stopped. Giving Stacy a grin, she lowered it. “I'm sure there are more pictures.”
“Not from me,” said the photographer. “That was the last of the ones on Nancy's checklist.”
Stacy stole a glance at him. He looked familiar but she couldn't place him. She knew that she would remember a smile like his, it was almost infectious despite the six hours of wedding preparation, ceremony, and reception. His eyes twinkled in the light from his umbrella lights.
She caught him looking at her and turned away. She wasn't in the mood for a long-term fling, not at least until some other messes in her life cleared up. Stepping away from him, she let the other bride-maids swarm together.
“Stacy?” It was Nancy, the blushing bride in brilliant yellow. The silk chiffon clung to her breast, giving her the impressive of a cleavage despite only being a B-cup. At the same time, she had made sure that Stacy's larger bust was carefully packed into her sage green dress.
Stacy smiled and brought the plastered smile on her face. “You look beautiful, Nan.” And her friend did, but it was still six hours of looking at her.
Nancy pursed her lips and shook her head. “You are still a terrible liar. Too many people?”
Stacy glanced around the yard. It was Nancy's parent's place, a three story mansion sprawled out across a hill. It had a hot top and a tub, both where carefully chained off in case anyone decided to go for a spill. She grinned and shook her head; if Nancy's parents knew what the girls did in their pools, they would fill it with concrete.
“Oh, maybe a little. It's a bit crowded.”
“And you want to go back to your hole and wait for Mr. Perfect?”
Stacy shook her head. “Not for another seven months, three days.”
The smile faded slightly but the Nancy perked up. “Your life isn't going to stop just because of a court order.”
Not wanting to make a scene, Stacy fought with the urge to snap back. Instead, she shook her head. “It feels like it. Boys, boots, and booze. What else was there in my life?”
Stacy gave her friend a mock angry look. “I'm not looking to get hitched. I'll let the rest of you girls enjoy the joys of matrimony. I have a few more boys to play with.”
“And boots to put on.”
Gwen stepped up, her smile chipper. “And booze to put—”
At Nancy's and Stacy's glare, she stopped.
Gwen came around and hugged her tightly before slipping away.
Nancy gave her a hug too. “Just a few more months. Until then, you'll just be…”
“The designated driver?”
Nancy grinned. “Yeah, but you still aren't driving the limo. We want to make it to the airport.”
Shoving down her emotions, Stacy smiled and kissed Nancy on the cheek. “I won't be a buzz-kill, I promise.”
Nancy leaned into her, delicate hands on her shoulders. “We are starting the toasts.”
“You may not drink, but the judge never said anything about joints. There are a couple under the mattress in my room. Go hide there for a little bit, I'll send someone to get you once Billy gets over his speech. He's already plastered.”
Relief flooded through Stacy. She leaned over and kissed Nancy firmly, briefly remember the few time they all experimented during their sleepovers. “Thank you.”
“Go on, you know where to go.”