Hello again. Welcome back to Tuesday Tales. Once more this week, I’m giving you another scene from Wedding Bell Blues, one that follows almost directly after last week’s.
Glancing up MJ realized the couple approaching the table was the one who’d been arguing in front of her when the boat had landed. Neither looked particularly happy about their current situation. She hoped she and Paul were doing a better job of hiding their feelings. Before proper introductions could be made, Antoine arrived with her cocktail and Paul’s beer, and took orders from the others at the table.
Monsieur St. Louis materialized in front of them.
“Is everything to your liking?” he asked the woman, no doubt noting her agitation.
“It couldn’t be better,” she answered. The smile she gave him didn’t reach her eyes.
“Am I to understand we’ll be a team of six looking for the treasure?” her husband asked, annoyance barely hidden in his voice.
MJ realized that all of the other groups were groups of eight.
“Oui et non. You will be joining Monsieur Leroux and his team. As they say, you six will have the advantage.”
“That’s great, isn’t it honey,” Mrs. Smith said, her smile genuine. “I’m a huge fan of his.”
The manager nodded. “C’est bien. Monsieur et Madame Davis, you will meet me in my office at nine in the morning, yes? That way we can wrap up the details before you go on your daily excursion.”
“We’ll be there,” Paul said, raising her hand to his lips and kissing the palm. Despite knowing it was all an act, the gesture thrilled her.
“I guess that’s my cue. As ‘Best Man’ I get to kick off the festivities,” he said, grinning broadly.
MJ glanced around the room, noting everyone was seated. Her friends were at a table just in front of them, Lindsay’s face hidden by the camera she clicked furiously.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Bear with me. I’m really not used to doing things like this.”
The crowd laughed softly.
“You’ll be great, mate,” someone said from the back of the room.
Australian or New Zealander?
She hadn’t realized people would come from so far away for this.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence. For my first toast, I would like to welcome everyone here and thank you all for choosing Paradise Island for your honeymoon. I hope your marriages bring you all the love and happiness that I’ve found in mine.” He raised his glass. “To all of the lovely brides.”
MJ forced herself to sip her cocktail.
“This is really good. What’s in it?” she asked.
“Orange liqueur, champagne, and a dash of Quimbois magic,” Cindy said, holding up the small card with the information printed on it. “I check all the ingredients because I can’t have chocolate. It makes me sick. It is damn fine, isn’t it?”
“It is,” MJ agreed, taking another sip.
“We can all use a touch of magic right now,” Paul whispered in her ear.
“It’s going to take more than a touch of magic to get us out of this,” MJ answered softly. “Maybe we should find Lucette’s grandmother and find out what’s next.”
He chuckled. “I don’t know. Sometimes a surprise or two is nice. Like having you here with me and all of this.” He indicated the head table. Reaching for her empty hand, he squeezed gently. “We’ve got this.”
“If you say so,” she answered honestly, unable to hide her unease.
“Why don’t we forget about what could go wrong and enjoy ourselves like we said we would? I’m with the most beautiful woman in the room. I want to eat, drink, and be merry.”
For tomorrow we die echoed loudly in her head.
That’s it for now. Please take the time to check out the other Tuesday Tales.