Chapter 5

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Robyn was talking to her future parents in law, surely immersed in a deep discussion about when they would be able to expect grandchildren. All the while Marianne was scolding someone from the kitchen crew, probably because of something small being wrong with the food. The hostess really couldn't have picked a better moment to show Kasia and Findlay to the private room the rehearsal dinner was held at. There was lively chatter all around, no one even noticed their quiet entrance. Kasia didn't know what she had expected, but considering the location of the restaurant and the prices of the menu, it definitely hadn't been such a casual atmosphere. She almost felt bad interrupting the party with the inevitable drama her late arrival would cause.

"Kas, finally!" Tom had just come back from the bar area with a full glass of Whiskey. One would think that they'd serve those at the table at a fine dining restaurant, but maybe he wanted to sneak out to smoke. It wouldn't be unlike him. "Robyn was getting all frantic because she couldn't reach you."

He gave her a big bear hug, barely acknowledging Findlay in the process. Now that she was so close, she noticed that the scent of the cigarettes still lingered on him. Secretly Kasia hoped that one day, Robyn would actually get him to quit for real. As much as she liked Tom, she hated that smell.

"Sorry for being late." She mumbled pressed against his shoulder.

"No worries. I bet my bride-to-be will just be happy that you're not murdered somewhere in a ditch. I guess hen night got a little crazy, huh? What was that about you getting left behind at a psychic's shop?"

"Ha! Right ... that! Yeah ..." Kasia didn't know what to do next. She was nowhere near ready to talk about everything like it had actually happened. And she had the slight suspicion that people might believe she had gone full on insane if she ever did. She clearly hadn't thought this through at all. These were her friends and good ones at that, even if she hadn't treated them like it in the recent past. Of course they would have questions, to which she had close to none of the answers; at least not very satisfying ones. She stole a nervous glance at Findlay, who was hungrily eyeing the buffet. Again with the self-service. What did you even pay for in this restaurant? Her nervous glances towards him in hope for any kind of support seemed to finally even make Tom notice him.

"Hey, I am sorry man, but this is a private party."

"No, Tom! That's alright. He's with me."

"Oh ... I mean, oooh! Of course!" Tom winked at her and then started laughing. Neither Kasia nor Findlay knew how to react to that.

"What?"

He took some deep breaths. "I can't wait to see Robyn's reaction to that!"

As if on cue, the bride-to-be showed up right behind them just as Tom was wiping a tear from his eye. Robyn's gaze was a wild mix of anger, worry but most of all surprise at the sight of Kasia's company.

"How rude of me. Robyn, Tom, this is Findlay ..."

"Her date for this lovely evening."

Kasia elbowed him in the ribs, hoping he would understand to tone it down a little. They needed a cover, but he didn't need to make it sound so cheesy. He did his best to play it off with a smile as he shook her friends' hands.

"It is so great to meet you! Please, sit down wherever you like, we discarded our seating arrangement. The chef isn't much of a fan of rules here. You simply must try the cake selection! It is to die for! I just need to borrow your ... date for a tiny second." Robyn's voice had turned a tad too syrupy sweet to be believable, but weirdly Kasia didn't feel like she was in actual trouble. As she got dragged away, she slowly lost sight of Findlay who got introduced to all kinds of people. When she came back, he would probably know more of the guests than she did. She hated to admit it, but she really wished Findlay rather wouldn't leave her side.

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