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The Guest List by Lucy Foley Read Online (FREE)

‘Yeah but you don’t want to drink too many,’ Duncan says. ‘Or you won’t care enough about it.’

‘Oh shut it,’ Angus says crossly, colouring. But he’s still pretty pale and I get the impression he’s doing everything he can not to look over the edge.

‘I’ve got gear with me this weekend,’ Pete says in an undertone, ‘that would make you think you could jump off and fucking fly.’

‘Leopards don’t change their spots, eh, Pete?’ Femi says. ‘Raiding your mum’s pill cabinet – I remember that kit bag of yours rattling when you came back after exeat.’

‘Yeah,’ Angus says. ‘We all owe her a thank you.’

‘I’d thank her,’ Duncan says. ‘Always remember your mum being a bit of a MILF, Pete.’

‘You better share the love tomorrow, mate,’ Femi says.

Pete winks at him. ‘You know me. Always do well by my boys.’

‘How about now?’ I ask. I suddenly feel I need a hit to blur the edges and the weed I smoked earlier has worn off.

‘I like your attitude, J-dog,’ Pete says. ‘But you gotta pace yourself.’

‘You better behave yourselves tomorrow,’ Will says, mock-sternly. ‘I don’t want my groomsmen showing me up.’

‘We’ll behave, mate,’ Pete says, throwing an arm around his shoulder. ‘Just want to make sure our boy’s wedding is an occasion to remember.’

Will’s always been the centre of everything, the anchor of the group, all of us revolving round him. Good at sport, good enough grades – with a bit of extra help here and there. Everyone liked him. And I guess it seemed effortless, as though he didn’t work for anything. If you didn’t know him like I did, that is.

We all sit and drink in silence for a few moments in the sun.

‘This is like being back at Trevs,’ Angus says, ever the historian. ‘Remember how we used to smuggle beers into the school? Climb up on to the roof of the sports hall to drink them?’

‘Yeah,’ Duncan says. ‘Seem to remember you shitting yourself then, too.’

Angus scowls. ‘Fuck off.’

‘Johnno smuggled them in really,’ Femi says, ‘from that offie in the village.’

‘Yeah,’ Duncan says, ‘because he was a tall, ugly, hairy bastard, even at fifteen, weren’t you, mate?’ He leans over, punches me on the shoulder.

‘And we drank them warm from the can,’ Angus says, ‘’cause we didn’t have any way to cool them down. Best thing I’ve ever drunk in my life, probably – even now, when we could all drink, you know, chilled fucking Dom every day of the week if we wanted to.’

‘You mean like we did a few months ago,’ Duncan says. ‘At the RAC.’

‘When was this?’ I ask.

‘Ah,’ Will says. ‘Sorry, Johnno. I knew it would be too far for you to come, you being in Cumbria and everything.’

‘Oh,’ I say. ‘Yeah, that makes sense.’ I think of them having a nice old champagne lunch together at the Royal Automobile Club, one of those posh members-only places. Right. I take a big long swig of my Guinness. I could really do with some more weed.