Karen loved her best friend, she loved his new wife, she loved getting to be a part of the wedding party as one of his grooms(wo)men (the clever title bestowed on her by Foggy), and she even loved getting dressed up in a fancy dress and heels. However, Karen Page hated weddings. As a woman, she knew she was expected to find them romantic and want nothing more than to go to them and catch the bouquet from the bride. That’s what was expected of her – and it only made her hate weddings even more than she already did. If, and that was a big if, she were to get married, Karen had always thought she would rather just elope in Las Vegas or get married at the court house.
But if her Grandmother asked, she was really looking forward to a giant wedding.
She stood to her feet – again – and head over to the bar for a third drink, her favorite things about wedding. She knew that Matt and Claire would not disappoint when it came to the bar. Karen climbed up on one of the stools and ordered another margarita, craning her neck around to look out at the dance floor. Matt and Claire were on their third or fourth dance and it brought a smile to her face. She never wanted any thing else than her friends being happy.
“Hey, baby.” A voice said from behind her and Karen turned her attention to him. It was someone she didn’t know or recognize, so she assumed he wasn’t invited. “What’s a beautiful woman like you doing all alone?” He slid in between the space between the stool she was on and the stool next to her, which only made Karen cringe.
She opened her mouth to say something nasty, but was cut off by a voice and a hand pressed on the small of her back. “She isn’t.” The voice was unfamiliar and rough, but the lips that pressed against her cheek were gentle. “Just go with it, call me Frank.” Karen had no idea what the man was talking about by ‘tracking’, but anything to get this guy away from her. “Sorry I’m late, sweetheart.”
Karen swallowed and looked to him, putting a smile. “You can make it up to me later, Frank.” She said as the mans hand moved from her back onto her side and turned to look at the man who had slid between her and the stool. He lifted his hands up and moved out from next to her and walked away. Karen shuttered and moved to pull her margarita close to her, only to have it pushed away from her by the man who had interfered. “Hey, that’s mine.”
“Yeah, unless you want to pass out, you won’t drink it.” He said and leaned over the bar, dumping it out by the trash.
Karen knew what he meant and she craned her head back to see if she could see the guy again. He had disappeared into the crowd. “Creep. Thanks for that.” Karen said, turning back to look at him. Frank nodded and waved the bartender down. She didn’t hear what he ordered, but heard him order a margarita for her.
“Drinks on me.” There’s a hint of a smile forming on Frank’s stern but handsome features and Karen let out a laugh.
“It’s a free bar.”
He turned to look at her and his grin widened.“That’s the point.” Karen shook her head at Frank and took the margarita from the bartender as he brought it over, lifting it to her lips and taking a drink from it through the straw.
“I’m Karen.” She said, crossing her legs and turning her whole body so that she was facing him. She got a better look at him this way, able to just stare at his face for a few moments. He’s probably less than five years older than her, maybe a bit more. His hair cut short, sides shaven. She can tell just by looking at him that he’s a military man. He’s broad and muscular, the jacket of his suit fitting over his muscles nicely. “Is your name really Frank?” Frank nodded, lifting his drink – whiskey – to his lips to take a sip of it. “Do you know the bride or the groom?”
“Both.” He responded as he set the drink down. “I’d ask who you know but..” Even having sat far in the back, he recognized Karen as the only woman standing up by the groom.
“Yeah, I stood out a little bit up there, didn’t I?”
“Best looking one up there.”
Karen’s eyes widened just a bit and she let out a laugh, bringing her hand to her face. “Just because you saved me from that creep doesn’t mean you get free reign to hit on me, Frank.”
“Would you rather I leave and that creep and his friends come looking for you?”
Karen pursed her lips and leaned over to find his ear to whisper; “How about some shots, dear?”