The Wedding Bells- Part 13

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Once again, a group of writers from different geographical regions gather together to create a wonderful story. The photograph above serves as the inspirational theme for the 6th Flash Fiction Chain hosted by Jithin of Photrablogger. Give his beautiful site a visit and feast your eyes on the inspirational photos or read about his adventures.

A comprehensive list of characters in the story: (Main)

Anna Brighton- 32 year old CEO who owns and runs a publishing company

Alex Burns – well established author, Anna’s ex, Toby Blackwell’s cousin

Melissa Doyle –the bride, Anna’s dear friend

Toby Blackwell – co-owns the Blackwell estate, Alex’s cousin

(Supporting characters)

Jenny- Anna’s secretary

Adam – Owner of Adam and Eve’s

Harrison – Melissa’s fiance.

Percy Tuppence – Owner of the ring shop

Part 1 : Written by Sona

Part 2 : Written by Yinglan

Part 3 : Written by Priceless Joy

Part 4 : Written by Frenesthetist

Part 5 : Written by Dr. KO

Part 6 : Written by Sweety

Part 7 : Written by Tobias

Part 8 : Written by Ruth

Part 9 : Written by Austin

Part 10: Written by Rashmi

Part 11: Written by Phaena

Part 12: Written by Manvi

Do read these parts before mine to get a clear picture of the story!

The Wedding Bells-Part 13

Anna waved furiously to the newly wedded couple in the gleaming red limousine, about to leave. She held one hand up to her temple, pressing it with her perfumed handkerchief. Perfumes always made her ill; it was no doubt she had a headache. Why on earth had she worn a perfume instead of her usual deo she could not fathom herself. She looked down at her now crumpled dress held together at the back rather cleverly by pins that Alex helped her with.

“God! What a mess”, she thought. “One dress, two wardrobe malfunctions in a single wedding ceremony! Wonder what my luck would be at my own wedding”, she half muttered as the smiling flower girl, Sara skipped towards her. “Hey, Anna! You have crumpled the bouquet too much! It is good luck! You are the next to get married!”, chirped little Sara.

Anna squinted against the afternoon sun to see who had overheard them. She was in a group of people all excitedly chattering about the just married Melissa and Harrison, now off to their honeymoon destination. Anna felt a strange emptiness. The anticipation of the wedding was now over, and so was the adrenaline pumping through her body all morning because of her journey to fetch the bride’s ring and her subsequent encounter with Ms. Beaumount which turned ummm.. rather violent. Anna was amazed at herself. She, the sensible businesswoman, away from all matters of the heart and frivolous behaviour was at that very day been acting like a… giddy teenager!

She coloured a bright crimson at the thought of her stolen kisses with Toby and the memory of their physical closeness and the possibilities made her go weak in her knees all over again. At the same time, guilt stabbed at her, for she could not get Alex’s speculative look out of her mind. His tenderness as he helped her with her dress zipper the second time it came apart was too sweet to be dismissed. No sparks flew; his fingers did not linger on her body; his breath was not hot and urgent but his face screwed up in concentration with pins in his mouth reminded her sweetly of their high school dating years. She could hear their shared laughter and innocent jokes as they walked hand in hand beside the lake near her parent’s house.

Anna came out of her reverie with a start. There was raucous laughter behind her as the group of Alex’s friends and cousins came closer. She heard Toby before she saw him. He was obviously drunk with a wild look in his eyes. They were making jokes about the married couple and Toby’s smirk left her shaken.

” Miss Brighton, there is a call for you on the telephone in the house”, managed the breathless housemaid. Anna stared at the flowers in the maid’s hair as she followed her back into the rambling Blackwell Estate. It was difficult for Anna to locate the library where the telephone was situated on her own. The entire staff was dressed in their finery on account of the wedding reception, the remnants of which were being cleared from the mansion’s grounds.

“Dad!”, Anna shouted into the telephone receiver. “It has been the best wedding ever and Melissa looked such a stunning beauty!”

“Yes, Dad, they received your congratulatory telegram and I miss you and Mom so much.”

“Yes, I can visit you now that I am here, nearer home but I need to get back to office to work out things. My business is suffering.”

“Umm, OK, I suppose so, if this means just another day… but I can make it some other time. There are deals that need to be signed”, intoned Anna weakly as it brought to her mind the contract that had been signed with the eminent author Alex.

“Uh, Dad, just book my flight for the next day from home. I sure must come and see you both”, said Anna twisting the telephone wire around her fingers.

” Damn”, said Anna angrily as she ended the call and tried to reason her own elation at seeing Alex again at work. She badly needed her parent’s comfortable and sensible presence to pull her out of this vortex of emotions.

Anna raced up the stairs to her own room to get her cell phone. She had to inform Jenny, her personal secretary of her absence of another day and to find out if there were any other pressing issues at work.

As she pushed open the door to her room, Anna staggered back in shock. There was Toby, unmistakably charming with ruffled hair, kissing the housemaid. She stared at the now crumpled flowers in her hair, her head spinning.

“Ah, Anna! I was looking for you”, smiled Toby, slurring his words. Anna felt her cheeks flush from the anger in her.
“You are drunk. You are kissing the maid in my room”, said Anna coldly.

” Just looking for you, darling!”.
“And as you said, I am a little drunk, so the confusion”, winked Toby at the housemaid, patting her bottom. The maid rushed past Anna to go out of the room.

“Out”, said Anna to Toby gesturing at the still open door, her voice cracking a little. She was losing her composure again, she realised.

Toby lurched towards Anna and held her waist in a vice like grip, almost leering. That was when she heard someone walk in. She turned with a desperate look in her eyes and saw Alex.

To be continued by Yinglan

The Wedding Bells-Flash Fiction Chain # 6

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The beautiful photograph above serves as a photo prompt for Flash Fiction Chain #6 hosted by Jithin of Photrablogger. In this chain, many authors from around the world and from different time zones participate, writing consecutive parts in a beautifully orchestrated story telling.

The present chain chronicles a love tale.

I am writing the first part of the story.

The Wedding Bells

Characters in the story

Anna-a 32 year old publisher

Alex- a well established author

Jenny- Anna’s personal secretary

Anna walked briskly among the cubicles nodding her greetings to her coworkers. She could hear her desk phone ringing even as she swung open the door to her office and flicked the light on.

“Anna Brighton”, she said in a clipped accent.

She listened on, frowning and then relaxing a bit. “Fine, in that case I will get in touch with Alex and sign him on”. Next, Anna dialed a number from memory and tapped anxiously on the table, waiting for her call to be answered. The phone went unanswered and she slammed down the phone receiver.

“Bastard”, she muttered.

There was a tap on her door and her personal secretary, Jenny walked in. “Here is today’s mail and this bunch needs immediate attention.” Jenny placed two piles of mail on Anna’s table. She also slid that day’s newspapers across the huge mahogany desk.

Anna liked to peruse many newspapers and magazines to keep herself updated. As the founder-CEO of the publishing house, she had to be sharp and in tune with the market trends. This business was her baby and her passion. She had nurtured it and fought a competitive battle to bring it to this enviable position.

The day wore on; and it was a typical day for Anna. Strategy meetings, operational decisions and the day to day running of the company. Anna lunched alone, at her desk, one hand holding a sandwich and the other some business papers.

” Come in”, she intoned as there was a knock on the door but no one entered. Then the door opened noiselessly, and in strode a tall man with chiseled features.

“Alex”, she gasped, almost springing out of her chair. “Anna”, drawled the man. They stared at each other for a few moments before Anna broke the silence. “I called you this morning”.

“And that is the reason I am here”.

” Ah, I thought you did not want to talk”, said Anna with a suddenly dry throat.

“I could not take your call but I understood it had to do something with the contract I am going to sign with your company. So, I dropped in.”

“Yes, please take a seat”, said Anna recovering her composure. She asked Jenny to come in with the contract that had been made ready. Anna’s heart beat fast. Alex was one of the most sought after authors and his association with her publishing house would catapult her into the big names of the business. But that was not the only reason Anna was excited.

Anna’s association with Alex went back to her school days. They were together at school and even lived in the same neighbourhood. They had a common friend circle. Although they played together as children and went to the same church with their parents, they were not particularly close. But that changed when Anna entered her teens. Suddenly aware of her popularity amongst the opposite sex, she became attentive towards her more ardent admirers. And Alex was one of them.

The attraction was mutual and they were a couple when she graduated from school. Life soon took them their separate ways as they pursued further education. They had gotten over each other, she thought and maybe he felt the same, Anna rued but the attraction wasn’t completely dulled whenever she went visiting her parents and met him in their hometown. And now their paths had crossed once again with the future indicating more interaction and collaboration.

Alex finished signing the papers and walked out after shaking hands with Anna. That little touch alone made her nerves tingle. The unexpected encounter had left her emotionally unsure and on edge when the musical tones of her cell phone sounded.

“Dad”, Anna nearly shouted into the phone. “How are you?”, she asked joyfully. After a long and animated conversation with her father, Anna called in Jenny and announced, “I would be out for 3 days.”

“Three?”, Jenny was surprised.

” Yes, best friend’s wedding”, said Anna twirling her short black hair that framed her youthful face. “I am going to be away from my work after a long time”.

“No, this is the first time you are going to be away”, said Jenny firmly with a smile in her voice.

“Anyway, I am rather looking forward to it. Melissa is such a dear and she deserves all the happiness of this world. She is marrying her childhood sweetheart. The wedding is to be held in their private estate and I am sure to run into more of my friends”, said Anna dreamily.

“Ah, just a hitch! My mother goes crazy at the sound of wedding bells. She starts talking of when I am going to get married-as if I have the time!”, said Anna rolling her eyes.

“Well, have a great time”, said Jenny as Anna turned to go out of her office. “You might meet someone interesting”.

“Let’s see”, laughed Anna which was a rare sound.

Would Anna meet someone special? Would love blossom for her here at the office?
Read on. The next part is by Yinglan.