Picture Perfect 5
An hour later, leaning on a tree in the gorgeous garden belonging to Taylor’s aunt, Victoria watched Eric focus his lens on a laughing Beth. They were standing by a bush of pink roses, Beth holding one up to her nose. Her wedding dress gorgeous in the afternoon sun. Victoria wondered what Eric was thinking as he took photographs of a woman he wished had been his. She watched him smile at Beth and frowned when a tinge of jealousy stirred inside her. Turning away from them, she pushed off the tree and walked to the gazebo. Eric’s bag was still on the bench. She retrieved her purse and perched on the bench. She took her phone out and dialed Grace’s number.
“I was wondering when you’d call,” Grace said in greeting. “The reception is going very well. We have just finished serving the guests lunch. We’re now waiting for the bridal party.”
She looked around and saw Eric and Taylor talking as the rest of the bridal party headed to their cars.
“We should be on the way over in the next ten minutes or so.”
“How is it?”
“Glamorous,” Victoria said studying the ranch-style brick house looming a few feet away. “Taylor’s aunt has a gorgeous house in Upper hill. You’d never believe such a place exists so close to the CBD.”
“What else can you expect from such a family.” Grace sighed. “I have to go, some kids are running and causing havoc. Call me when you get close to the hotel.”
“I will,” she said and Grace ended the call.
Returning her cell phone into her purse, she watched Eric part with Taylor and head back to the gazebo.
“Victoria,” Eric said. “Why are you hiding away in here?”
“I’m not hiding, just resting my feet.”
She looked behind him to see Beth and Taylor kiss and head to their car. They looked blissful in marriage. She decided they were a very beautiful couple.
“I’m hoping we’re headed to the hotel now.”
“Yes, we are,” Eric said, then paused to study her. “I thought you liked it here. Don’t you want to stay? The house is empty and Taylor’s aunt won’t mind us exploring her compound.”
Victoria rolled her eyes at him playfully.
“I can just imagine that. Beth and Taylor will be angry with me if I keep you from your important job.”
“I’d much rather an afternoon with you exploring the outdoors,” Eric said then as he closed his camera bag.
Remembering how he’d smiled at Beth, she stood up and started for the gazebo steps.
“Then the faster we get to the hotel the better, that way this day will end quickly.”
“Wait,” Eric said behind her, but she didn’t.
Her steps fast as she walked along the gravel path to his car. He caught up with her just as she reached the Jeep.
“You’re upset. What did I say?”
“I’m not upset,” she said with a sigh. She didn’t have the right to be upset that he was still hang up on a woman who was now married. “What’s there to be upset about?”
Eric frowned as he met her gaze. “Nothing.”
“Exactly,” she said with a tight smile and hurried around to the passenger side. “Great, let’s go then.”
Victoria avoided Eric when they got to the reception at the Savon Hotel. She busied herself with activities that constantly had her working outside the ballroom. She helped Grace deal with the demands from the guests who felt entitled to the finest in life and therefore kept making orders that had the waiters on their feet.
She helped the wedding planner deal with the wedding gifts that filled the section they’d set aside. When Olive showed up at around four o’clock, Grace urged them to head to the bar on the second floor.
“She’s driving me insane,” Grace said with a sigh. “She’s dressed in a gorgeous red dress, and all she can think about is work.”
“Hey, that’s not fair,” Victoria said keeping a watchful eye on Eric who was taking pictures of children eating candy.
The children sat on the floor in one corner of the ballroom and she would never have noticed them had it not been for Eric standing over them.
“Who’s the handsome photographer?” Olive asked slipping a hand over her right elbow. “He looks yummy.”
“Eric Kabuto,” Grace said. “Vicky’s date, she’s spent the last two hours avoiding him.”
Eric lifted his head as though he’d heard them talking about him. She looked away from him fast and started for the door.
“Grace, you’re right. You don’t need my help. We’ll be at the bar upstairs if you need anything.”
She dragged Olivia out of the ballroom.
“Wow, you haven’t acted like this since that guy you liked in college. What was his name?” Olive said as they headed upstairs. “Gatheru, Gatheri-,”
“Gathanga,” Victoria said. “You never liked him much.”
“He was an idiot,” Olive said.
Victoria laughed suddenly remembering Eric’s comment about ex-boyfriends and how women labeled them.
“How is that funny?” Olive asked as they entered the Tropical Isle bar. She led the way to a set of high stools set around a polished mahogany counter.
“I just remembered how much Gathanga was afraid of you. You threatened him with a knife once when he stood me up on a date. I think you’re the reason we broke up.”
Olive placed her purse on the counter and smiled.
“He didn’t deserve you.”
Victoria settled on her stool and studied Olive. She’d chosen a pink empire waist dress. The silky fabric framed her figure as she sat on her stool. Her long black natural hair falling down her back made her look younger; Victoria doubted anyone would believe Olive was a doctor.
The bartender took their orders and Victoria sat back on the high chair with a sigh.
“What’s with the photographer?” Olive asked when their drinks came.
Victoria sipped her white wine and shrugged. “He’s handsome.”
“I agree,” Olive said picking up an olive from her martini with her toothpick and popping it into her mouth. “Why are you running in the other direction?”
“In case you didn’t notice, I just recently broke up with a guy I could have married.”
“What does that have to do with the handsome photographer?” Olive asked with a frown. “Who is currently walking up to us.”
“What?” Victoria turned and gaped when she saw Eric walking up to them without his camera. “What are we going to do?”
Olive patted her cheek and smiled. “Make him pay for the drinks.”
Victoria shook her head wondering if there was a way to escape Eric without seeming rude. Since they’d come back from the photo shoot, she’d decided that it was better to keep her distance. She was starting to like him and he wasn’t available. Emotionally anyway, his thoughts belonged to someone else.
To be continued…Thank you for Reading. ^_^