Page 4

Dana pulled out her phone and opened a delivery app.

“Are you two in, too?” she asked Carlos and Angela. They both nodded.

After a few clicks, Dana looked up from her phone.

“Okay, it’s on its way here. Where were we?”

She took another sip of her drink. Thank God for bourbon.

“I don’t know where we were, but to tell the story backward, that toast was because these two pretended to be long-lost friends of mine to save me from a camera crew. God bless them.”

“A camera crew?” Courtney stared at her, then at Carlos and Angela, Nik guessed to confirm she hadn’t lost her mind.

“Yep.” Carlos nodded. “We were sitting a few rows behind Nik and saw the whole proposal happen. And then when we saw the camera crew walking toward her, we knew we had to do something.”

“Where did you even come up with that idea? That was brilliant!” Dana said.

He nodded and lifted his glass.

“Thank you for that; I agree, it was brilliant.” He grinned at Nik, and despite herself, she grinned back at him. “But I have to admit, the credit all goes to our cousin Jessie. She told me a story once about a woman in a parking lot doing that to her when there was a creepy guy following her, and I guess it stuck with me.”

Angela laughed.

“I was going to let my brother take the credit for that idea, even though I knew he got it from Jessie. I’m just glad to know he pays attention to the women in his family.”

Nik couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen a man voluntarily give credit to a woman for an idea. That was one of the major reasons she’d gone freelance, all of the men talking over her and pretending they’d come up with her ideas, even when everyone had heard her say them out loud.

“Oh, please,” Carlos said. “I pay probably too much attention to all of you.”

Nik finished her drink, and within seconds another one showed up on the table in front of her.

“Thanks, Pete,” she, Courtney, and Dana said in unison.

“You three must tip very well,” Carlos said.

They all laughed.

“That, and Pete’s had a crush on Dana for at least two years,” Courtney said. Dana grinned and shrugged.

“Okay, okay.” Nik took a sip of her new drink and set it down. “And now for my part of the story. Here is the most important thing: I had NO IDEA that anything like this was coming. I was racking my brain on the way here for where this came from, and I swear, I had no hints.”

She’d actually started wondering within the last few weeks how much longer this Fisher thing would last. Not only did he bore her, but she didn’t really think he was all that interested in her, either. She didn’t look like the models his friends all dated, he didn’t even pretend to be interested in her work, and she found his laughable. A great recipe for a marriage!

“Anyway. The game was whatever, fine, boring, sunny, et cetera. And then all of a sudden, Fisher told me to look at something. I thought it was some stupid baseball thing, so I looked at the field, but then he pointed toward the JumboTron. And up there, in twelve-foot-high letters, was something like ‘I love you, will you marry me?’”

“You forgot the most important part,” Angela said. “It said ‘Nicole, I love you, will you marry me?’ Nicole with a C!”

Dana and Courtney gasped in unison. The appropriate response.

“He spelled your name wrong in his proposal?” Courtney asked.

“Yes!” Nik said. “But wait, think about that part later, let me get the whole story out first. So when I saw the thing up on the screen, I thought it was some sort of joke or that he was just showing me because that’s my name and it was someone else in the stadium, or something like that. He’d never even said I love you to me before—which, if he had, this whole nightmare today never would have happened, because I’d have cut that thing off in a heartbeat, but anyway. Wait, where was I?”

“You saw it up on the screen . . . ?” Dana prompted her.

“Oh, yeah. So I turned to him, and he was down on one knee. With a ring box in his hand!”

“What did the ring look like?” Courtney asked.

“The ring?” Nik paused. She’d been so freaked out at the time she hadn’t even looked at it. “I have no idea. I don’t think I even saw it. Hell, I don’t even remember what I said to him, something about how we should have talked about this before, and then he said something like, ‘Are you saying no?’ and I told him I wasn’t saying that out loud, and then he told me to just live a little. LIVE A LITTLE. Like deciding to get married on a whim is the thing all the cool girls are doing these days. And when I again refused, he got furious and stood up and left and his friends followed him.” She turned to Carlos. “Did I forget anything?”

Carlos made a face. Oh shit, what had she forgotten?

“Just that . . . just that there was a camera on you the whole time, so the entire thing was broadcast to the whole stadium. No one could hear what you were saying—I mean, we could, we were just a few rows behind you and your dude talked pretty loudly—but what was going on was probably pretty clear to everyone.”

“Oh yeah, right. That part.” Nik put her head down on the table. “I think I need to just stay here for the next few days. Throw a blanket over me and just leave me here in the bar, and for the love of God, take my phone with you. Maybe by the time I resurface, everyone will forget that any of this ever happened.”

Dana patted Nik on the back and Courtney took the phone that Nik had tossed on the table and tucked it away in her pocket.

Someone pushed her drink against her hand. She grabbed it, lifted her head, took a sip, and put her head back down on the table. Thank God for bourbon.

“Did I forget anything else?” Nik sat up and pushed her hair back.

“I saw the ring,” Angela said.

“WHAT?” the whole table said in unison.

Angela looked at Carlos.

“You didn’t see it? Oh yeah. He opened the ring box when he first got down on one knee, and the camera zeroed in on the ring. I can’t believe you didn’t notice.”

She knew there was a reason she’d wanted Carlos and Angela to stay.

“Well?” Nik asked. “Don’t keep me in suspense. What did it look like? Please tell me you remember.”

Angela paused.

“Okay, you know the Kate Middleton ring, right? The Princess Diana one? With the huge sapphire in the middle and diamonds all around it? It looked just like that. Except smaller.”

Nik banged her drink down on the table. It sloshed everywhere, but she was past the point of caring.

“Does he think he’s some kind of a prince?” She took a deep breath. “Wait, that sounded mean. That was mean, I guess. But . . .”

“But you are not a princess ring kind of person,” Courtney finished.

“But I am not a princess ring kind of person!” Nik said. “Nothing against princess rings, but IF I wanted an engagement ring from him—which I absolutely did not—it wouldn’t have been a replica of a princess ring. He obviously doesn’t know me that well; I’m not a baseball-game proposal kind of person, either. But seriously, a princess ring? For ME?”

“You did get up at four a.m. to watch Harry and Meghan’s wedding though,” Dana said.

“That was different,” Nik said. “Anyway, is there anything else I missed about the proposal?” she asked Carlos and Angela. “Am I remembering the forlorn look on Fisher’s face correctly?”

Carlos shrugged. “He looked more outraged than forlorn, really. Like a kid having a tantrum.”

Yeah . . . that sounded like Fisher, unfortunately. She mopped up her spilled drink with some of the extra napkins Pete had left on the table.

“Carlos is right,” Angela said. “No offense, but he seemed like kind of a baby.”

Nik shrugged and sighed. Fisher had been kind of a baby. A baby with beautiful blond hair he constantly admired in the mirror and great abs. So yeah, it made sense that he would yell and storm off when she’d publicly rejected his proposal.


***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com