Dani touched up her lipstick again then looked out
into the hallway to see Meredith in a matching bridesmaid dress coming
out of her room with Justin behind her.
"Wow you guys," Dani said with a smile, "Don't you look prom-ish."
"Hey," Justin said, "I never had one, so leave me alone."
"You went to mine," Meredith said.
"That doesn't count," he said, "We only stayed for the pictures."
"Please don't tell me a sex story. I don't want to hear it."
"No," he said, "I flew in for the dance and took pictures with her then
some girl found out I was there and we had to leave."
"Yeah," she said, "It sucked, but he took me dancing at his house."
"It wasn't the same though," he said, "I didn't get to get drunk in the
bathroom and I didn't get any action after the prom."
"Again...don't need to know if you're gonna get laid tonight."
"What about you?" Justin asked.
"What about me?" she countered with.
"You and Chris were talking last night," he said, "Before we left anyway.
Are you going to be getting booty after the show?"
"Justin." She sighed. "You sound like a tabloid reporter
"I could sell the story to the Star for a pretty good price. Come
on...I need the dough so I can get Meredith a dress that isn't like yours."
Dani smiled and prayed that she wasn't blushing. "That's none of
your business and even if I did get booty, the last person on the earth
that I'd probably be getting it from would be him. He and I don't
work anymore. That's the one thing in life that I know is for sure
at the moment."
"Dang girl," he said, "If I'd known that you needed it that bad I would
have shared a little of the wealth."
"Gross Justin!" Dani said. "If you weren't dressed so pretty I
would take you out back and beat the crap out of you, but since--" She
looked at her watch. "--since we have to get to the chapel in time
for Joey and Kelly we're going to have to save the ass kicking until later."
"Thank you kids," Meredith said.
"Come on ladies," Justin said and held out an arm for each of them and
they went down to the first floor and piled into Justin's SUV to go to
Joey's to meet up with the rest of the wedding party. The girls would
be meeting up at Joey and Kelly's house and Justin was going to go meet
up with Joey and the other guys at Joey's parents house.
The car ride to Kelly's didn't take long and soon they were in the living
room waiting for Kelly to come downstairs. Dani became nervous at
this point. She was ok with the whole wedding thing, but seeing her
friend get married before her really threw reality in her face. She'd
wanted to be married to Chris a few years ago, but had been really hesistant
to ever bring up the subject with Chris. He might have spent two years
with him, but marriage had never even been a subject that they'd discussed.
Seeing Kelly and Joey so happy now just made it clear that Dani and Chris
were years away from where they should be relationship wise. Joey
might have been a little backwards in his ways of getting Kelly to be his
wife, but at least the subject had come up.
The room that they were in to wait for the ceremony was tiny. Chris
had been in a million tiny off stage rooms like this, but today wasn't a
performance. At least for Joey it wasn't. Chris was a different
story. He needed to walk out there and somehow make everyone believe
that his heart wasn't broken and that the woman who had torn him apart and
could maybe put him back together was only a few feet away from him.
"I can't believe that you're actually going through with this," Chris
said with a sigh.
Four sets of shocked eyes stared back at him. He leaned back against
the wall behind him and kicked his foot against the wall. "I didn't
mean it like that," Chris said, "I just wasn't sure that any of us would
ever get married."
"You were the one who we thought was gonna get married first though,"
Justin said tugging at his tie. He'd already tied it and untied it
three times since they'd gotten there and still seemed to be bugged by it.
"You just were inside looking out rather than outside looking in."
"Really?" Chris said, "You thought that Dani and I were marriage material.
I can't ever see myself at that stage with someone. I don't know...at
least no one that comes to mind seems to be able to put up with me on a
"You can't?" Lance said. "I may be single at the moment, but even
I can see myself up there saying vows." He took a seat and looked over
at Joey. "I knew that you and Kelly would eventually end up together.
It's been a long road for you guys--"
"Oh please!" Chris groaned, "Let's save the sappy stuff for the
Lance frowned. "Does it ever occur to you that this might be the
reason you're still single?"
"Yeah right," Chris complained, "Like you're romeo ways are really getting
"I've got my eye on a few girls. You just have to be picky when
it comes to something like dating someone."
"Like finding someone who isn't going to marry their ex?"
"Chris," JC sighed from the doorway where he was peeking out into
the church, "Let's not even get into all the stupid things you've
done in relationships. I don't think any of us have enough time to
listen to all of them."
"Why does everyone chose to point out all the reasons why Chris is single?"
he said, "It's like I'm that game Where's Waldo? except everyone is trying
to find out all the bad things about me."
"Shit Chris," Joey said and moved his tie a little. "Don't pull
this now. No one was saying anything about anyone. We just always
thought that you'd be the first to go. Justin and Lance just were
saying that--" He paused. "--Everyone is just wondering why
you haven't gone back to her and gotten on your knees and begged her to
come back to you. Everyone saw that you guys had a good time last night
and I believe that you were babbling drunk about her last night to the
bartender for a while."
"I was?" he asked trying to remember what really had gone on the night
before. He remembered leaving dinner with the guys, but didn't know
where exactly they went. It had been a bar and of course the manditory
strippers were there, but all those places started to look the same after
"Leave it alone guys," JC said coming over from the door. "I think
that we're about ready to start so get in order."
"You're a producer," Joey said with a laugh, "Not a choreographer."
"Whatever," he said, "I'm the one keeping your ass out of trouble because
if we walked out there in the wrong order Kelly would flip her lid."
"Sure. Sure." Joey joked.
Chris took a deep breath and prepared himself to see Dani again. He
didn't know when he had begun to have to prepare himself to see her, but
he knew that when he walked out that door he wanted to be calm cool and
collected. He ran his hand over his chin nervously and remembered
that he'd shaved his goate down. he normally would have tugged on
the longer strands of hair a little, but couldn't this time.
As they started to walk out the door Chris patted his pants pocket. The
pills were there and he knew that today he'd need them. If he was
going to follow Michele's advice he was going to have to stay level headed.
Once the boys were at the front of the church everyone settled into their
seats and music began to play. His heart rate went up as the girls
entered the room and somehow he made eye contact with Dani as she walked.
He expected her to break eye contact with him, but he didn't see her
do that until the wedding march began to play and everyone's attention was
turned towards where Kelly was coming through the door.
"You look great."
Dani turned around and found Chris standing there watching her. She
smiled and moved her hand to smooth down the front of her dress. "I
hate being a bridesmaid," she said. "I have only been one three times,
but that's enough."
"Feeling a little lonely?" he asked.
"Have you already gotten yourself drunk?"
"No," he said, "I meant are you feeling a little lonely over here. You've
been sitting over here spacing out for about twenty minutes. I almost
thought you'd fallen asleep over here."
"I was just thinking," she said and looked towards where Joey and Kelly
were already on the dance floor dancing. It wasn't that late into
the evening, but the couple couple were looking tired already, or maybe
that was just their way of slow dancing. Joey's arms were holding her
close and the two of them had their eyes almost half closed.
"Can I ask you a question?" Chris said, "Well two questions, but the first
one is more important than the second one."
"Ok," she said, "Pull up a chair though. I feel like I'm in trouble
if you stand over me."
"Sorry," he said and pulled a chair over to her.
"So what's up?" she asked.
"I was thinking today and Justin said something and I just wanted to get
your opinion on it."
"Ok?" she said still feeling confused to why he was over here babbling
at her like a nervous highschooler.
"Did you ever think we'd get married?" he said, "I mean when we were dating
did you ever think that we'd end up that way?"
"Why did this come up?" she asked, "I mean I know the whole connection
to the wedding and all that, but why all of a sudden are you so obsessed
"I was just thinking about it," he said. He sighed. "Truthfully
it makes me feel really old and really lonely to be around people who are
getting married. I mean both of them are five years younger than me
and they've got their whole lives planned out."
Dani looked over towards the couple dancing again. "They don't have
everything planned out Chris," she said, "They just know that whatever comes
ahead of them that they want to be together to face it."
"So if you think of it that way," he said, "Was it that I was doing something
that you didn't want to do or--"
"Do we have to talk about this now?" she asked. "I know that you
want to talk about this and that it's on your mind, but do we have to bring
this up today?"
"Well," he said, "That leads to my second question."
"Which would be?"
"Will you go out on a date with me?" he asked, "I mean a real date. Dinner
and a movie or something so we can talk. I know it's not going to fix
everything and that there is a long way to go before we get back to where
we can hang out and stuff, but I just wanted to talk to you."
"I guess," she said, "We can probably do that."
When Chris smiled at her she smiled back and then watched as Justin came
over and pulled him away. She watched the boys weave their way across
the room and sighed.
"Girl if you mope this whole night away I'm gonna have to kill you." Mereith
plopped down next to her and smiled. "So are you and Chris leaving
here tonight together or what?"
"Nope," Dani said, "We wouldn't go home together anyway. I've got
babysitting duty tomorrow for the kids so I'm gonna be out of commission."
"At least you're talking again, right?"
"Yeah," she said with a smile, "He's being all strange and serious, but
yeah, we're talking."
"Come on," she said, "Lets go grab the boys and get drinks and start up
"You're the singer," Dani said, "Speaking of that. How is your career
going? I mean I know you've been doing a lot of work, but how has it
been treating you?"
"I'm definitely going to need another drink if you start that one."
"Ok," she said, "Let's grab another one and tell sob stories about work."
"Sounds good," Meredith said.
They walked across the room towards the bar and joined the guys as they
started to pour shots. Chris was standing with his back to her and
she wished that they were on better terms because she wished that she could
wrap her arms around him an hug him. Instead she tapped him on the
He was in the middle of telling a story and didn't see her when he turned
around. She didn't notice the glass of red wine in his hand, but when
he turned around the drink went splashing across her front.
She saw that he was upset instantly about what he'd done but it still
didn't excuse him for what he'd done. He dropped the wine glass onto
the floor and instantly grabbed for a towel.
Chaos ensued, but she pushed everyone away from her dress, glared at Chris
more time before she took a breath. "I can't believe you'd do something
like this to me. You know how you asked me that question earlier Chris?"
"This," she said pointing down at her dress, "This is why I didn't see
us together. You can ruin my day in two seconds."
"Dani," Justin started.
"Leave it alone Justin," she said, "If you'll all excuse me I think I'll
be going home now." Tears filled her eyes as she left the room and
her shoulders began to shake as she made it to the door.
She knew it was horribly rude to leave early, but she was in need of some
air and some space.