Play With Me (With Me In Seattle)(2)

By: Kristen Proby


“To Nate and Jules!” The guests echo and sip their drinks in celebration. Nate McKenna, tall and dark and not just a little intense, folds his stunning blonde fiancé into his arms and kisses her senseless in front of all of us, amid whistles and applause and Will Montgomery, Jules’ brother, yelling out, “Get a room!”

I sip my sweet pink champagne and glance around the extravagant Olympic room of the Edgewater Hotel. For the hundredth time, I ask myself what I’m doing here. I was shocked to receive the invitation to Jules Montgomery’s engagement party. Jules and Natalie and I all hung out quite a bit in college, and it was great to reconnect with them a few months ago, but I certainly wasn’t expecting an invitation to come mingle with their family and close friends.

I’m in a room with Luke Williams for fuck sake. The movie star.

The room is decorated in Tiffany blue and white with simple white flower bouquets on the tables, white table linens and Tiffany blue napkins and touches here and there. It’s incredibly classy.

It’s completely Jules.

It’s a late summer evening, and not quite dark out yet, so we have an amazing view of the Puget Sound, the sky just beginning to change to pink and orange, reflecting on the water. The glass doors are open so guests can come in and out at their leisure, enjoy the veranda and the late summer view, or come inside and dance.

“Meg, I’m so happy you could come.” Natalie taps my shoulder and pulls me into a big hug. “I’ve missed you, girl.”

“Me too,” I respond, holding her close and then pulling back to admire the lovely woman before me. “You look fantastic. Marriage and motherhood agree with you, my friend.”

And it’s true. Natalie’s green eyes shine with happiness and contentment, her dark chestnut hair is pulled back away from her face in waves, and she is wearing a fantastic black sleeveless gown.

“Thank you. I love that dress. Your style hasn’t changed a bit,” she responds with a grin. I look down at my pale silver strapless dress with handkerchief hemline and strappy silver sandals.

“Not much of anything has changed,” I respond with a shrug.

“Except your hair, as usual,” Natalie laughs, pointing at my auburn hair streaked with chunky blonde highlights, and I chuckle with her.

“My hair always changes, and this is pretty tame for me. The kids enjoy it, and well, you know… once a rocker chick, always a rocker chick.”

“You know,” Natalie grins smugly. “I still have those photos we did of you with your guitar, and nothing else.”

“Oh God,” I giggle at the memory of playing around in Natalie’s small college studio all those years ago. “You might want to burn those.”

“No, I’m just thinking we should shoot them over again. You didn’t have that back then,” she points to my inner arm and I follow her gaze to the tattoo on my inner upper arm.

“Maybe someday.”

“So…” she begins but is interrupted by her husband. “Oh, Meg, this is my husband, Luke. Luke, I’d like you to meet an old friend of mine and Jules, Megan McBride.”

“Hello, Megan, nice to meet you.” He offers me his right hand and I feel my cheeks flush slightly before I respond, placing my hand in his to shake. But instead, he raises it to his lips and kisses my knuckles.

“Um, it’s nice to meet you too, Luke.”

He flashes me his movie-star grin, the one that used to grace every magazine cover in the country, and then excuses himself when Caleb, another of Jules’ brothers, calls to him.

“Um, Nat?”

“Yeah,” she replies with a satisfied sigh.

“You’re married to Luke Williams.”

She chuckles and nods her head. “I am.”

“How the fuck did that happen?”

“Long story. I’ll fill you in over wine one night.”

“It’s a date.”

“There you are!” Jules exclaims and wraps one of each of her arms around us into a group hug. “Meg, I’m so glad you made it!”

“I wouldn’t miss it. Although, I was surprised to get the invite.”

“You’re my friend. I wanted you here.” Jules grins and searches the room until her eyes find her man’s.

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