The Guest List by Lucy Foley Read Online (FREE)
‘It’s all going to work out fine,’ he says. ‘I promise. It will all be perfect.’ He kisses the top of my head. I’ve had a great deal of experience in this business. But then I’ve never worked on an event I’ve been so invested in. And the bride is very particular – which, to be fair to her, probably goes with the territory of what she does, running her own magazine. Someone else might have been run a little ragged by her requests. But I’ve enjoyed it. I like a challenge.
Anyway. That’s enough about me. This weekend is about the happy couple, after all. The bride and groom haven’t been together for very long, by all accounts. Seeing as our bedroom is in the Folly too, with all the others, we could hear them last night. ‘Jesus,’ Freddy said as we lay in bed. ‘I can’t listen to this.’ I knew what he meant. Strange how when someone is in the throes of pleasure it can sound like pain. They seem very much in love, but a cynic might say that’s why they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. Very much in lust might be a more accurate description.
Freddy and I have been together for the best part of two decades and even now there are things I keep from him and, I’m sure, vice versa. Makes you wonder how much they know about each other, those two.
Whether they really know all of each other’s dark secrets.
The waves rise in front of us, white-capped. On land it’s a beautiful summer’s day, but it’s pretty rough out here. A few minutes ago we left the safety of the mainland harbour and as we did the water seemed to darken in colour and the waves grew by several feet.
It’s the evening before the wedding and we’re on our way to the island. As ‘special guests’, we’re staying there tonight. I’m looking forward to it. At least – I think I am. I need a bit of a distraction at the moment, anyway.
‘Hold on!’ A shout from the captain’s cabin, behind us. Mattie, the man’s called. Before we have time to think the little boat launches off one wave and straight into the crest of another. Water sprays up over us in a huge arc.
‘Christ!’ Charlie shouts and I see that he’s got soaked on one side. Miraculously I’m only a little damp.
‘Would you be a bit wet up there?’ Mattie calls.
I’m laughing but I’m having to force it a bit because it was pretty frightening. The boat’s motion, somehow back and forth and side to side all at once, has my stomach turning somersaults.
‘Oof,’ I say, feeling the nausea sinking through me. The thought of the cream tea we ate before we got on the boat suddenly makes me want to hurl.
Charlie looks at me, puts a hand on my knee and gives a squeeze. ‘Oh God. It’s started already?’ I always get terrible motion sickness. Anything sickness really; when I was pregnant it was the worst.