“What’s wrong with you, Billy?” Travis Malcolm asked. “Marrying Adrienne after all the low-down stuff you’ve been doing behind her back? I know you’ve been cheating on her with her best friend, Janet Wingo, and I see how you’ve been eyeballing her mother. That’s real low. What? You two got something going on that I don’t know about?” Travis asked. Travis had never understood how Billy Ray could be so unfeeling toward women yet still have them flock around him the way they did. “Why are you marrying her, anyway?”
“She’s a virgin.”
As if that explained everything. Not a word of love had been mentioned. “So? There are virgins still out there somewhere. That doesn’t tell me a thing. Just how do you know she is?”
“I’ve been dating her since high school. I couldn’t get in her bed then, and I can’t
now.” He leaned back in the soft black leather recliner, “Besides, she’s like a prize to me, something I’ve been waiting on for a long time, and now I’m about to have it. It feels good! Anyway, I think I love her. She’s a love trophy,” he grinned.
“You think you love her, and then say she’s a love trophy? Love and trophy shouldn’t be used in the same sentence regarding the woman you’re going to marry. Love should be the only reason that you’re marrying. Your motives are off, man.” He watched Billy; his eyes showed disbelief of what he just heard from his best friend’s mouth. “Your motives are all wrong,” he repeated, trying to shed some light on his friend’s irrational decision. “What about Donna Mitchell? What part does she play in your game?”
“What about Donna?” he laughed. “She’s soon to be my mother-in-law, that’s
“That isn’t what I’ve been seeing. She’s been flirting with you pretty hard and I don’t see you trying to discourage her. I saw you making eye contact with her and I don’t like the looks that passed between you.”
“Who are you, my lawyer? Am I on the witness stand?” He looked at Travis, “Oh, so you’re a preacher, now? Don’t let that little holy book go to your head. Get a life, and butt out of mine! Case closed,” Billy growled. He pushed himself up from the recliner to get a beer from the wet bar. “Want a cold one?” Billy laughed, “Yeah, I forgot you don’t drink. Man, Christian life must be a drag.
“Funny.” Travis watched Billy and knew it would do no good to talk to him now. Whenever Billy said, “Case closed,” that’s it as far as he was concerned. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
When Billy returned to the sunken living room of his two-story executive home, a can of cold beer in his hand, he resumed his position in the recliner.
“You still got the rings?”
“Of course,” Travis said, amazed that Billy actually wanted to go through the trophy-prize wedding. “Man, I just hope you know what you’re doing.”
Billy leaned back in his chair and laughed, “Believe me, friend, I know exactly
what I’m doing. I like Adrienne, and I know she loves me because she tells me often enough and wants me to be the only one to take a ride in her pink convertible.”
Trying not to laugh, Travis looked at Billy and shook his head, “C’mon, that doesn’t sound like the Adrienne I know.”
“I added a little spice to the last statement,” Billy laughed.
Travis looked at his watch and stood up. “We’d better go if we want to get to the
rehearsal on time.”
“You go on ahead. I’ll meet you there.”
Travis gazed at his best pal since elementary school and even though he saw a cool, handsome, mature man, Billy continued to be that same boy on the inside. Maybe that was why he still preferred being called Billy to the more mature Bill or William.
“I thought we were riding to the rehearsal together?” Travis asked.
“That’s where you’re wrong, partner,” Billy replied. “I’ve got some last minute things to do.”
“Like cutting some corner?” Travis eyed him suspiciously.
“Call it what you like.”
“On the night before your wedding?”
“Is that a special day?”
“Man, I give up!” Travis threw his arms up in the air. “Who’s the unlucky young lady?”
“I promised the lucky Sheila that I’d drop by there tonight. I’m going to see what she wants, and then I’ll join you all shortly. Tell Adrienne I had some errands to run, will you?” Billy asked, moving from the recliner and getting his keys and another can of beer. “Sure you don’t want one?” He held up the can.
“I’m sure,” Travis said, walking to the door. “I’ll tell Adrienne something, but you better get there.” His tone held a note of warning. Lord forgive me, he thought. He disliked covering up for Billy, but what could he do. Billy was his best friend and best friends watched one another back’s.
“I’ll be there. It’s my wedding rehearsal. What kind of jerk do you think I am?”
He laughed, walking Travis out the door.
Mary R. Butler
Excerpt from Book
© 2007 Mary R. Butler