Liar Ch. 01bysinfully_divine©
Her hair flew behind her like ribbons in the wind as she ran towards the church. Sloane was late, really late. Momentarily distracted by the ringing coming from her clutch, she stopped to retrieve her cell phone. She checked the caller id and flipped it open.
"Hey Gigi," she greeted a little out of breath, "now isn't the best time."
Gigi had been Sloane's college roommate from London. The combination of Sloane's conservative Southern upbringing and Gigi's unapologetic sexual nature proved volatile the first semester of college. However, with both girls being so far away from home, they ended up putting aside their differences and becoming the best of friends.
"Like you're ever on time," Gigi joked, "where are those strappy stilettos with the jewels on them? I was needing them for tonight. I'm already at your flat looking for them. Where are you?"
"They." Sloane responded as she paused to catch her breath, "They are on my feet."
"I see. You're not home, you're wearing those shoes this early in the day, and you're out of breath?" Gigi had that suspicious tone as if she was solving a problem, "You're getting banged by a bloke right now, aren't you? You slag, I must say that I am impressed. I must be rubbing off on you."
Sloane could only laugh in response to her conclusions, "Sorry to disappoint you but unlike my slut friend Georgina Wadsmore-Watts, I wouldn't answer the phone while doing that."
"So very true. You know the only exercise I get is of the sexual variety. No bother, where are you?" Gigi asked.
"Reston." Sloane stated increasing her pace as fast as her sky high stilettos would let her.
"Prison!? Why the hell are you in prison? What'd you do?"
"Not prison. Reston. RES-TON." Sloane enunciated as she rolled her eyes, "As in my hometown."
"Bloody hell, I about had a heart attack," Gigi sighed, before realizing what Sloane had said, "Why are you in Reston? You haven't been home in...well...I don't recall you ever going home."
"A wedding." Sloane explained as she reached the entrance into the church, "I figured I should go since it's my older brother and all. I'm already late so I'll call you later okay?"
"Yes, please do." Gigi responded before Sloane snapped her phone shut.
Sloane made her way through the foyer towards the chapel doors. Peaking into the chapel she realized there wasn't anywhere to sit. She adjusted the gold satin tube dress that managed to slip slightly from her hurried pace into the church. The curve hugging garment ended right below her knees and accentuated her toned and tanned body. She prepared herself to walk back into the life she left behind so willingly all those years ago. She hadn't been back home in 6 years. Thinking back she realized that she had been a different person then, physically and emotionally. She fought for control as she felt a slight anxiety and familiar pain rise up that she wasn't prepared for. Before the feeling could escalate further, she heard a familiar voice behind her that instantaneously calmed her.
"Sloane? Sloane Bennett? Is that you?"
"Layla!" Sloane exclaimed as she spun around to embrace her friend.
"I can't believe you're actually here! Your pa said he didn't know if you were going to make it for the wedding!" Layla exclaimed, "You look so different, I almost didn't recognize you."
"I look different? You look...pregnant." Sloane laughed as she rubbed Layla's belly.
"This" Layla sighed pointing to her belly, "is baby number 3 and havoc on my bladder. I'm using the ladies room every other minute. I'm just hoping this one's a girl for Jackson."
"Speaking of Jackson, where is he?" Sloane asked as she looked behind Layla towards the bridal party that was preparing themselves to walk down the aisle.
"Oh, he's back there...somewhere," Layla said waving her hand behind her, trying to block Sloane's view.
Sloane cocked her head to side, raising her eyebrow at her friend.
"Don't look at me like that. You'll have plenty of time to catch up at the reception. We should head in before we miss the whole ceremony. Luckily for you the ceremony hasn't started yet."
Before Sloane could protest, Layla already had a hold on her hand and was leading her down the aisle.
Sloane couldn't help but feel curious stares as they walked to their seats. Surely I don't look that different, she thought as she politely smiled. She scanned faces seeing people she recognized, looking for the one she told herself she didn't come back for. The one that tormented and haunted her the last 6 years.
The one face to belonged to the man who broke her heart.
Leaning his large muscular frame against the wall outside the ladies restroom, Gabriel Jennings waited impatiently for the wedding to start. Not that he could complain since his impatience was currently being sated by the golden goddess that walked, rather ran, into the church. In her hurry, he didn't have the chance to see her face, but he didn't mind. As she looked into the chapel from the entrance, he looked on from behind in appreciation.
Her raven locks fell in thick waves to the middle of her back, drawing his attention to her slim waist and shapely ass contained in the gold dress she wore. His blue eyes traveled further down her toned calves. He was barely able to suppress a groan as he gaze met the lethal heels she wore. Those were the kind of shoes that a woman wears when she's wearing nothing else. Almost forgetting where he was, he fought for composure.
What am I thinking? I'm in a church and I'm going to walk down the aisle with a hard on! Gabe thought, mentally berating himself. When he was finally able to compose himself, he found himself staring back at the curious faces of his best friends - Jackson, Dean, and Jude.
"What's the matter, Gabe? Did you see something interesting?" Dean, the groom, said grinning.
Before he could word a response, the restroom door swung open by a very pregnant lady.
"Layla." Gabe greeted with a forced smile.
"You all look so handsome." Layla stated ignoring him and only glancing at the other three.
"Hey babe." Jackson said as he bent to kiss her on the lips, "I think we're about to start, you should go get seated."
"I'm headed there right now." Layla responded as she lovingly gazed at her husband. Jackson rubbed her belly before she turned to leave, but not before she shot Gabe an icy glare.
Gabe was amazed that such a small woman could hold a grudge after all this time. It had been 6 years, but Gabe couldn't blame her. Layla had been her best friend before she left. Her. He felt a small ache in his heart as he dared to think about her.
"...Sloane Bennett? Is that you?"
It was as if someone was reading his thoughts, Gabe snapped his head up in time to see the golden goddess he was just lusting over spin around. His whole body tensed as he felt the wind leave his lungs. Those green eyes that haunted his dreams the last 6 years sparkled like emeralds as she embraced Layla.
He felt himself advance towards her as if he had no control over his actions. He thought he saw her look back towards him before Layla grabbed her hand and pulled her into the chapel, away from him. He saw Layla turn around once again to meet his gaze, this time without hate. The look on Layla's face was one pleading for him to stay away.
"She's back?" he heard Jude say as he came to stand beside him, "What are you going to do?"
"The same thing she did." Gabe said turning away. "Nothing."