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First Few Chapters

“Cary, Cary!” Tom called to the sitting figure. He was hunched over and wiping down the greasy tools. The figure didn’t move and Tom was feeling impatient.

“Cary, come on!” Erin rolled her eyes hoping he’d figure it out.

“Sorry Ted, Cary isn’t here right now.” She called standing up. Tom blushed slightly.

“Oh hi, Erin sorry er-” It’s bad enough having a boy’s name let alone looking like your twin brother. It didn’t help she was wearing his clothes. Work boots, jeans and dragon T-shirt. She had her surprisingly long hair up in braided bun, close to her head.

“He’ll be back soon.” Erin answered, hoping to be rid of him, “But I don’t know when exactly.” She added.

“Okay, uh yeah.” He nodded. He turned to go. They both turned the direction of high pitched rumble of Cary’s go-cart. He pulled up and into the drive. Ted’s face lit up. Cary got out of the go-cart dressed very similarly to Erin. He’d looked pretty normal for teenage boy, which was pretty abnormal for Cary. He moved in and Erin returned to tool box. She half listened as Ted gushed over how awesome the cart was. Asking what parts Cary put on it and questioning his driving skills. He basically asked the same questions he asked every afternoon, Cary rolled his go-cart out of the garage. Finally, Ted satisfied walked off.

“He thought I was you again.” Erin declared. She looked his outfit up and down, “You really need to get a new style.”

***

Cary and Erin walked into the kitchen to wash up. Erin washed her hands at the sink while Cary flung his cap onto the table.

“When dad’s getting back from the school?” Cary called form the bathroom. He took off his shirt, to reveal a undershirt.

“About 6pm, he invited Michele over for dinner.” Erin added the second part with a bit of wicked satisfaction. Cary emerged with a look of shock.


“Again? She was over last night!” Cary demanded as he pulled on a fresh shirt, “Why doesn’t he just marry her?”

“No! We don’t that, can you imagine her as our step mom?” Erin asked as she peeled a banana.

“No, but he could stop torturing as with this prolonged courtship.”

“They’ve been dating for three months.” Erin and Cary sat in silence for a few moments.


“You packed yet?” Cary asked, “I am.” He pronounced proudly.

“I was hoping dad would change his mind last minute.” Erin sighed.

“We’re leaving tomorrow morning.” He countered. Erin shot him a dirty look. She got up and headed to her room. She had tried to pack before but she usually got distracted by the absurdity of it all. Cary leaned outside the door.

“Michelle decided that’s it time for us to meet her family,” Erin started the speech they had both had repeated since the beginning of summer. “So her sister invites us to her neighbors daughters wedding in Georgia! And dad says yeah sure!”

“He must really like her.” Cary guessed,

“Or, he doesn’t and he’s trying to let her down easy.” Erin countered hopefully.

“Either way it’s an eight hour drive Georgia.”






Chapter 2


Eight hours is a long drive and Erin spend most of is plugged in and staring out window. She notice little things about the drivers and passengers around her. Like the family from Iowa who was obviously headed for Orlando, with two small children Mickey mouse t-shirts. The lonely ex-girlfriend heading in the farthest direction away from her boyfriend. She kept his picture in her sun visor before throwing it into the backseat. The music trio hopefully heading to an audition. The drummer wouldn’t stop fist pumping the guitarist.

“So this is it?” Erin said slamming the truck door. They had pulled up to rather large house, that exactly like the other houses on the street. Red brick, shuttered windows, and stone steps leading up to the door. Erin scanned the house briefly. Red shutters, and matching door. Six stepping-stones to porch stairs.

“Yep, this is it.” Michelle replied not even looking up from her phone. She answered a minimum of 250 text messages on the way down.

“So did you used to live here?” Cary asked, coming around from the other side.

“Oh god, no!” Michelle replied rolling her eyes. It kinda made sense since she looked like she stepped out of Vogue magazine.

“So will be staying with your sister?” Erin asked, Michelle gave her a funny look, “I just wondering if you’re decorating style was anything like your sisters since we’ve seen so little of your own home.” Erin gave Cary a sideways glance, purposefully avoiding her dad’s gaze. Michelle sucked in a breath while puffing her chest. She was interrupted from lashing out by the front door being yanked open.

“Oh my gosh, you’re here!” A woman called excitedly from the porch. Erin turned to see Michelle’s sister standing on the porch looking ecstatic. Except, she was Michelle’s twin sister. A small detail Michelle forgot to mention. Even their dad’s jaw dropped.

“Hello!” She called. Lightly stepping down the porch step. As she approached noticed two things. 1. She was very pretty but in a lees intense way then Michelle. And 2. She looked normal…like someone who was genuinely excited to see their sister again and meat her potential brother-in-law and his two children.

Ashley came up and gave Michelle a big hug. Cary thought he saw Michelle cringe ever so slightly.

“Hello, ah how are you? I so glad you guys made it.” Ashley gushed. In spite of himself, Cary smiled he liked Ashley’s warm approach.

“Great.” Michelle said, smiling thought not quite as bright as Ashley. “Oh and this is Caleb Darcy and his two kids - Cary and Erin.” Ashley shook Caleb’s and turned just in time to see Michelle point to Cary and Erin. They both watched her stop for a second.

“Oh.” She slipped and blushed., slightly.

“Wasn’t out first choice either.” Cary replied, venturing for the to offer his hand. Ashley laughed and shook it.

“Hi, so nice to meet, I have heard so much about. I’m so excited to finally meet you all. Well come in, come in. I’ve got plenty of room.” She gestured to the house and practically skipped up the path.

Erin and Cary pulled the duffel bags out and followed suit. Cary noticed Caleb giving Michelle a sideways inquisitive look.

Stepping into the two story parlor, Erin and Cary both noticed one thing immediately. No Vogue issues, no dictionary-size folders, or stiletto heels lying around. Things that characterized Michelle’s life and style. No, instead there was the TV guide, a rather large brand new cookbook, and sneakers. And instead of leftover takeout there was the warm smell of…something baking but it was rather hard to identify.

“So make yourselves at home, there’s plenty room. Four bathroom’s and three baths, with a very spacious and luxurious kitchen - which is my home base, so pick a room and when your finished you can find me in here and will chat.”

“Okay,” Cary and Erin said simultaneously. The parlor opened up to the den to the right, the kitchen to the left and the staircase in back.

Ashley walked back to the kitchen wrapping her arm around her sister.

“Did you get the cookbook, I sent you.” Michelle whispered. Erin noticed a picture sitting on the counter of the twins sitting by a river when they were little. She noticed Michelle as the one with her hair in pink pigtails, while Ashley had hers in a mess.



Cary closed the door the spare bedroom.

“Can believe it?” He was practically bursting at the seams, “Erin she forgot to mention she has a twin.”

“Dude, when has she ever told us anything?” Erin replied.


“Did you see the way Dad looked at you when you said about Michelle’s style?” Cary asked.

“I had no idea dads knew how to do the ‘look,’ he’s an expert he did better than mom!” Erin replied.

“But did you notice how normal she is compared to Michelle?”

“Yeah, but I noticed more than that,” Cary challenged, both being very observant, they quizzed each other on certain things.

“Oh really…”

“Yes, Ashley has always been the adventurous outgoing one since they were little. However she didn’t seem to aim as high as Michelle. And she seems to be okay with that, except I’m guessing that Michelle is totally jealous of her. She hasn’t seen her sister in five years. The photo hanging in the den showed them at the 2006 Fashion Week. Notice how Ashley went to visit her. And Michelle is a little leery of Ashley’s cooking skills, she sent her a cookbook that arrived yesterday afternoon.”

“Very nice,” Erin clapped. Cary bowed and waved off the attention.

“You know I feel bad for Dad,” Cary said suddenly, Erin looked up from her luggage.

“Why?”

“Well, he drove eight hours for his girlfriend’s sister’s neighbor’s daughter’s wedding to find out that his girlfriend hadn’t even told her sister was a twin. And then we have to stay in her house. It’s just all very weird.”


“Cary that’s what I have been saying since May 31st.”
***

“So tell a little about yourselves.” Ashley asked, pulling a tray of something out of the oven. After Cary’s observation, both were a little leery of her cooking skills. Caleb was unpacking, Michelle was on the back patio taking a business call. Erin and Cary were sitting at the granite topped island in the kitchen.

“Well,” Cary started, “ Erin and I are also twins. Our Dad is a professor in psychology at our local college. And our mom died when we were eight.”

“Oh I’m sorry,” Ashley said plopping down the oven mitts, “Well, that’s okay for a start, but I have a feeling there’s more to than that.”

“Michelle must have told you all the boring details.” Erin spoke up. Cary kicked from the side. Her knee bumped the mahogany wood.

“Um no not really,” Ashley called from the sink filling up a pot of water. “But we don’t talk very much anyway.” Ashley added, slightly sadly, “We’re both so busy.”

“Of course,” Cary said, “But really there’s not that much to tell. We’re both pretty boring.”

“Speak for yourself,” Erin snorted before she could stop herself. Ashley laughed,

“Which on of you is older?” Erin raised her hand. “Do you always let him do all the talking?” She asked. Erin gave her a sideways grin,

“No.”

Chapter 3


Ashley convinced Erin and Cary to go exploring, while she finished cooking the still unidentifiable dish for dinner. Cary and Erin both avid skateboarders took their boards down to Main Street. Ashton was a small town in rural Georgia. Picture: small country town, city hall, grain silos, corn fields, and beat-up Chevy trucks. Ashton wasn’t anything like that.

“You know, I’m really not trying to sound stereotypical or anything but,” Erin started, she stepped of her board once they had reached Main Street, “When I hear Georgia I think small town, country music, rugged pickups and barn dances. Not Lamborghini and Gucci bags with leopard print stilettos.”

“It’s train of wealth flowing into this town.” Cary pointed out as more foreign cars. “It’s like a miniaturized metropolis in the middle of Main Street.”

“You’re proud of yourself aren’t you.” Erin teased and Cary nodded.

“Why are they all here?” Cary added.

“Well, I have to say this entire town doesn’t look to shabby.” Erin asked, walking around a couple who looked like they stepped out of fashion shoot, “But it still doesn’t explain why they’re coming to Georgia?”

“Speaking of which why are we here?” Cary added, “Did you notice something when we pulled up?”

“Oh yeah what’s that?”

“Ashley doesn’t have any neighbors, her house is the last house in town.”

“Yeah and what’s more is the closest house to her is 62 sidewalk squares away, I counted, and it’s abandoned. This family is notorious for forgetting very important details.”

“Which brings us back to our original question of why we are here?” Cary added, “Especially since Michele and Ashley are in such tentative terms. Why would she accept such a ridiculous invitation or drag her boyfriends family with her?”

“I don’t know but I definitely want to find out.” Erin stopped short at the corner of the street, an very overly dressed woman was teetering up to a Starbucks. “Okay that’s a little excessive - fur wrap, it’s July in Georgia.”
***


“So Ashley.” Erin spoke up for the first time all evening. They seated around the dinner table trying to selectively eat Ashley’s dish. Cary was right, coconut crusted tofu and beet salad. The conversation was boring at best, non-existent at worst. Ashley had asked Dad polite questions, but they seemed to make Michelle uncomfortable. She even rebuked her sister for not having her “own” boyfriend.

“Whose is getting married?”

“Oh, right, I’m sorry it’s Renee Hillary and Peter Willoughby.” There was a loud clatter, as Michelle dropped her fork.

“Renee Hillary and Peter Willoughby?” Michelle looked shocked, “Are you sure?”

“Uh, yeah. It’s been the biggest news for weeks.” Ashley replied, picking up her glass, “Why?”

“Why? Why? Hillary and Willoughby were some of the biggest names in Manhattan until they moved down here. There were at every fashion week, Marilyn my boss has designed or authorized every piece of clothing that touches their body. And now I am in the same town as them?” There was an awkward silence, for a second. Michelle looked like a school girl yearning to be noticed by the cheerleader captain.

“So why are invited?” Dad asked. While his kids silently thanked him.

“Oh the whole town is invited, in fact I think their televising it. See Willoughby and Hillary are rival owners of app companies. They have created some of the most viral applications for smart phones. Supposedly all created and marketed to target specific human psychological tendencies. It’s very scientific - so they say.”

“Really?” dad said casually, but from the look in his eyes, Erin could tell his was very interested.

“Yeah, so this marriage is basically ‘symbolic’ a.k.a. publicity stunt of their joining of the their two companies.” Cary smiled at Ashley’s blunt honesty.

“That must have been why we saw all the foreign cars and fur coats downtown.” Cary spoke up.

“Yes, but the Hillary family specifically have poured a lot of funds into the town since they moved. So the presence of the rich is not totally out of place for us.”

“Oh my gosh,” Michelle jumped up from the table, “I have to let my boss know, this could really be my big break. Getting the inside scoop of a major fashion event like this?” Michelle answered her own question with a little squeal. She ran off into the kitchen.

“Uh honey?” Caleb got up and followed, Erin heard him say, “Sweetie what about the whole non-working vacation?” He asked. Michelle didn’t answer because she already talking to her boss.

***


“Can you believe how Michelle reacted to the news about the Willoughby and Hillary wedding news?” Cary asked, he closed the bedroom door.

“What was more interesting was the fact that Michelle didn’t even know who was getting married. Which makes this whole thing even more ridiculous.” Erin said plopping down on the bed. “You know for aw much as we examine Michelle, maybe we would make good psychologists or at least good investigate reporters.”

“Um Erin what do want?” Cary asked cryptically.

“Well right now, I want to get some sleep.”

“I mean about the bed situation?” He pointed to the bed. Only one bed. Erin propped herself up on her elbows.

“How did we not notice that earlier?” Erin asked. Cary shrugged.

“We did share a bed when were little.” Erin offered.

“That was a long time ago.” Cary retorted.

“History does have a way of repeating itself.” Cary gave her a sniper-grade look.
***

“Mom?” Erin asked. She made her way down the hospital hallway. “Mom?” Her voice echoed, and she started to run. Room 206, came up on her right. She heard the heart monitor on beeping. She made it into the doorway, when it flat lined.

“MOM!” She called into the darkness. She sat bolt upright. She was panting and her heart was racing.

“What, what happened?” Cary asked sleepily. He started to sit up. It was almost dawn.

“Nothing, just go back to sleep.” She mumbled easing herself out of bed.

“You expect me to sleep with you kicking and yelling.” He counted, he pulled himself into a sitting position. Then he stopped as Erin examined her reflection in the dimly lit window.

“You had another nightmare?” He asked the obvious.

“Yeah every year on the week of June 19th.” Erin said methodically, but she sounded sad, “I don’t miss her - I mean I miss her.” She explained sitting on the edge of bed, “I just wish I remember more about her except that day.”

“So do I,” Cary reached on patted her shoulder, “Sometimes I think I still remember the sound of her voice.”

“Well,” Erin sucked in a breath, “I won’t be going back to sleep.” She grabbed a sweatshirt, which Cary could’ve sworn was his. She snuck down the hall. She snuck into the kitchen and poured herself a glass of orange juice, she climbed on the stool at the island. She noticed the mail sitting on the counter by the door. Mostly junk. Profile Matchers renewal subscription. She turned and got off the stool to take a closer look at the photos hanging in the den.

“You okay?” Some called from the stairs. Erin spun around.

“Whoa yeah,” Erin stammered she couldn’t tell if it was Michelle or “Ashley…?” She said it more as s question than a statement.

“Yeah,” She shuffled down the stairs in a robe and slippers with surprising ease. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. Do you always get up this early?” She asked, she seemed genuinely concerned or at least curious.

“Oh no,” Erin said, “I had a nightmare…about my mom.”

“Oh.” Ashley said very knowingly.

“Not about her.” Erin explained quickly, “I just miss her, or at least wish miss having a mom.”

“I understand, my dad died recently. Well, it was ten years ago, but it doesn’t make a difference.” Ashley explained, looking sad.

“Wow, I’m really sorry. Michelle never mentioned it.” Erin blurted out.

“Her and Dad were never close.” Ashley added, somehow Erin felt like she said something wrong.

“Well, Michelle doesn’t tell us much anyway.”

“That’s Michelle,” Ashley said rolling her eyes, walking back to the kitchen, “She was always so quiet until she didn’t like something. No one expected her wanting to be a ‘writer.’” Ashley made air quotations. She poured herself a glass of cranberry juice. “However I’ll give her credit that she seems to have made things pretty nice for herself. Especially with your dad.” Erin shifted her seat.

“She certainly has.” Erin propping her elbows on the table and resting her chin on her intertwined fingers.





Chapter 3


“What are doing?” Cary asked, when he found Erin on the back patio. She had a fashion magazine in her lap.

“I’m reading.” Erin replied, matter-of-factly. Cary lifted the corner of magazine to read the cover.

“Reading? A fashion magazine?” Cary asked dubiously.

“This article,” Erin sat forward, “was written by Michelle.”

“Okay,” He said taking the magazine, “is it any good?”

“Yeah, for a…uh…fashion magazine. There’s not a whole there. It’s basically just reporting the latest trends in the quote-un-quote real world.”

“Why are you reading this again?” Cary asked.

“Well, I thinking that maybe Michelle hasn’t reached out to us because she doesn’t feel we care.” Erin offered, Cary thought about for a second.

“Why are you reading this, again?”

“Cary.” Erin said, standing up.

“Just say it your bored.” Cary shrugged. Erin looked around for second,

“Okay listen, there’s a lot Michelle hasn’t told dad, I was talking to Ashley and she told me that their dad died ten years ago.”


“Wow, I didn’t know that.”

“I know, now in all fairness, Ashley said Michelle and her Dad weren’t very close.”

“Well, you know what they say about girls and their fathers?” Cary pulled form out of blue.

“No.” Erin stopped, losing train of thought.

“Girls marry their fathers.” Cary added matter-of-factly.

“Oh, okay whatever. I don’t (capital D) want to get involved with Dad’s love life. However, this all brings us back to unexplained long standing original question - why are we here?” Erin noticed something over Cary’s right shoulder through the window to the kitchen.

“Cary, come here.” She walked back inside. The kitchen was right inside the patio. She looked to the cork board by the fridge. Post-it note: Password - mymatch<3. She then made her way back to the den to scan the photos on the wall. All within the past five years, showing only Ashley.

“No boyfriend?” Erin asked, “A women like Ashley signs onto a personality profile matching website and five years no boyfriend?”

“Erin, Erin!” Cary kept nudging her.

“Ah, what?!”

“What website was it?” Cary asked. Erin turned back to the counter, but the mail had been moved.

“Uh, Profile Matchers.” She remembered. Cary turned to her, with a look of inspiration.

“What? Cary, what?”

“Erin, Profile Matchers is the same website Dad met Michelle on? What are two identical twins doing on the same dating service?” Cary asked.

“Personality profile matching service,” Erin corrected. “Hey remember, what Michelle said last night about Ashley not having her ‘own’ boyfriend.”

“When Dad joined the website - they specifically stated that it needed to be renewed every five years.” They both turned toward the picture of the 2006 Fashion Week.

“The last time they were together, was when the account was set up. So Michelle could have easy access to login in.”

“So, either Michelle is very guilty or Ashley is starting to get jealous.”


“Or both.” Cary added.

“Wow! We figured it out.” Erin said, making her way back to the patio.

“Uh shouldn’t we tell dad?” Cary asked following her. He closed the back door.

“Why?”

“Oh, I don’t know maybe Dad would be interested to know he’s dating the wrong woman!”

“Shhhh! Cary, I told you I don’t know want to get involved with dad’s love life.” Erin countered. “Besides he’ll figure it out.”

“The why did you go snooping around?!” Cary asked exasperated.


“For one reason and only one reason, to answer the to unexplained -”

“long standing original question, I know.” Cary finished, rolling his eyes.

“Besides, now we know and I relax.” Erin finished, ready to plop down on the lawn chair.
***


“Oh gosh I’m starving.” Cary said as dug into his Chinese food, Erin rolled her eyes while she spread cream cheese on her bagel. They were just walking out of a local Chinese noodle shop.

“Ashley just made you breakfast.” She said. Erin stopped slurping with have a noodle in his mouth.

“You didn’t eat it either.” He countered. “Besides even Dad didn’t seem very keen on Cantaloupe-Cilantro Juice, with Pineapple muffins.”

“So you get Chinese food instead.” Erin teased.

“Yeah, I did realize when I brought spending money, I’d be spending on food.” Cary stuffed a mouthful of noodles.


“Isn’t that what you normally spend it on?” Erin chided. “Maybe she’s trying to tell us something.”

“Really what are we going to do?” Cary asked.

“Why don’t we check the infamous wedding?” Erin suggested.

“Cary, do think they’ll let us snoop around?” Cary asked.

“Erin, it’s being televised I’ll doubt their shy of visitors, besides were invited.”



“Whoa! This redefines the country house.” Erin and Cary were standing by the gate of the massive.

“It thirteen bathrooms, 17 bedrooms and twelve TVs. For three people.” Cary filled in. He had googled the Hillary Villa on his phone. Erin looked around and noticed a car parked but the hedges boarding the driveway. Unmarked squad car, siren light in the backseat.

“Okay we need a cover story,” Cary began.

“No we don’t, we just going to look around.” Erin replied, “We’re guests remember?” She made her way through the open driveway gate. Several vans were parked there, workers were unloading chairs, flowers and various decorations. They were unnoticed as they walked right in the front door.

“Excuse me!” Someone called from a podium by the front door.

“Who are you? And where are your badges?” Erin and Cary begrudgingly made their way over. Cary noticed the obvious gaudiness of the parlor. It was two stories tall. Gold marble, deep reds and velvet plush everywhere. People ran to and fro.

“I’m sorry we’re guests to the wedding.” Erin was saying. The clerk looked skeptical, looking down at their non-designer clothing. Especially the girl, who was dressed very similarly to supposed brother.

“I’m sorry, the town-folk aren’t are prohibited until the day of the wedding.” The clerk said, Cary couldn’t help but notice slight distain the way she said ‘town-folk.’ But Erin wasn’t paying attention. She was noticing the newly spackled drywall around the precariously swaying chandelier.

“Excuse me,” Erin replied, “Was that chandelier newly installed?” The clerk looked surprised.

“Yes, why?”

“It’s about to fall.” Erin replied. The clerk whipped around just in time to the crystal chandelier crash to the ground. Thankfully no one was directly underneath.

“Oh my god!” The clerk rushed off, toward the disaster. Leaving Cary and Erin standing there.

“Come on, follow me.” Erin said. They made for the left side of the U-shaped staircase that framed the parlor. The stairs joined in the middle creating a isle to other rooms. People rushed around, some were angry others were just plain cared. Cary made it to the top first. The broken chain was swinging. But the chain wasn’t broken, it was cut.

“I can’t believe I was right.” Erin was saying, “I’m glad no one was hurt.”

“Erin, look.” Cary pointed to the chain, “It’s been cut, anybody could see that.”

“Are you saying somebody sabotaged this?”

“Yeah, and they weren’t hiding it either.” Cary added. Erin was contemplating this when they both heard a scream. A young woman came running out of the farthest room to the right. She was crying.

“Oh my, somebody please help,” She cried, “there’s a body in there!” Cary and Erin took off in the direction of the door. Cary made it into the room first, Erin on his heels, with the young women crouching behind her.

“Whoa!” Cary stopped short, with Erin colliding into his back. A bloody white garment hung in the middle of the room.

“That’s not a body.” Erin said behind him, Cary inched forward. The ‘body’ was really a wedding dress. That been torn up, and splattered with a some red type of paint and hung from the ceiling fan.

While Cary inspected the dress, Erin gave a quick glance around the room. It was a rather large bedroom suite with large windows and French door opening to a balcony. It was extravagant to say the least. Button tufted bed by the balcony and sitting area, where the dress hung in the middle of the room, and a desk in far corner. Burned shards of paper in the trash pail next to the paper shredder.

“That’s weird.” Erin said to herself, but before she could make her way to the pail, some burst into the room.

“What, oh my god!” A young women said she was accompanied by several others. She looked around at all of the but then her gaze landed on the original young woman who still looked teary eyed.

“What did you do?” She roared, all of the other woman’s tears evaporated into her own rage.

“Nothing! I came here to apologize!”

“Well, you can add this to your list! Security! Get her out of here!!” She shrieked. Two burly looking black clothed guys arrived. Cary and Erin both cringed.

“I won’t have anybody ruining my wedding!!” The women shrieked at the top of the stairs.

“It doesn’t matter anyway,” The other called “Because you can’t pull this off without me! We’ll see you ends up apologizing!”

She turned back around while the other following her gingerly tried to pull the dress off the hanger. Renee sucked in a breath, almost prepared to blow up again.

“It’s ruined,” She said simply, “A $10,000 gown ruined, I’ll have to postpone the wedding. Agh! Why can’t security keep unwanted visitors off my property and out of my house?! Now I’ll have to get a new dress, the wedding is in a week.”

“Actually,” Erin raised her hand carefully, “I know someone who might be able to help you with that.” Renee’s gaze narrowed.

“Who?” She breathed the word.

“Michelle Princeton, she writes for Vogue magazine,” Renee raised an eyebrow, “I’m sure she could get in touch with someone you could help.” Erin added.

“Princeton, I read her articles,” A women from Renee’s posse spoke up.

“Well, don’t just stand there,” Renee snapped, “Go -get in touch with her.” Erin and Cary made their speeding escape.

“You not really going to get Michelle are you?” Cary whispered while they scurried down the stairs.

“I think I have to now.” Erin replied. “But I also intend to ask Ashley if there’s anything else she forgot to tell us about this wedding?”



“Ashley is there anything else you can tell us about this wedding?” Erin asked as she breezed into the kitchen. She stopped short when she saw her Dad and Michelle in there. He gave her a look. Cary noticed Ashley was either caught mid-laugh or mid-blush.


“Sorry I thought,” Erin started to back pedal. Cary kicked the back of her shoe. Erin noticed three plates on the counter and Michelle in background through the window - on the phone yet again.

“Wow, I’m starving.” Cary spoke up, moving toward the pot of whatever was on the stove, “You know, Erin were exploring around town and we keep seeing all these really, really expensive cars and their rich drivers pulling in.” Erin nodded in agreement, Cary was great on a fly.

“Yeah, like I said last night it’s a pretty big deal,” Ashley said, moving over to the pot Cary was inspecting.

“It must be pretty weird, to rival companies coming together, to merge especially with the marriage of the future heirs.” Cary added, slyly.

“Yeah,” Erin spoke, “I’m surprised their not screaming catfight,” Cary gave her a warning look, “Or at least the case of the bridezilla.”

“Well, there was a rumor,” Ashley started, “But it only lasted for like a day or two, but still word gets around.” Erin and Cary perked up.

“Really?” Caleb said curiously. They both silently thanked him.

“There was a rumor,” Ashley confirmed again, “That either there was tension or difficulty between the bride and her best friend.”

“Why?” Erin asked.


“Well, the rumor said that…Shelby, the Renee’s best friend had…‘accidentally kissed’ the groom.” Dad burst out laughing,

“ ‘Accidentally kissed’?” He repeated, “That has to be the worst excuse ever - and I heard a lot of them. But it sounds like that will definitely create tension.” Caleb used air quotes when he said the word tension. He then continued laughing. Erin and Cary just looked at each other.

“Why are you guys so interested in this wedding anyway?” Ashley asked.

“Well, because-” Erin started,

“Erin was nice enough to get Michelle access into the wedding.” Cary filled in,

“Something happened to the original wedding dress,” Erin added, “And suggested that maybe Michelle might be able to do something about it.” Erin realized how bad that sounded after she said it. But the other didn’t seem tot share her opinion.

“What?!’ Michelle shrieked from the patio door. “You did,” She rushed over, “Oh Erin thank you! This could really get me promoted off that stupid little 4X4 insert. I’m going to call Amy right now!” She squealed, rushing off again. Erin admired her skilled motions on such high heels.


“I cannot believe you fell for that.” Erin said, as they walked back to the Hillary Villa.

“What are you talking about - you ran too?” Cary countered.

“Cary hello, that dramatically crying women had to be Shelby. Remember she said, ‘I came here to apologize’? And you had to go all prince charming on her. Besides what better MO could you have for wreaking a wedding then if you cheating with the groom?” Erin stopped talking as they reached the platform,

“Hi were here to see the bride,” Erin blurted out, leaning on the podium. Thankfully it was different clerk. Cary looked around and noticed the former clerk talking with a security officer. They made eye contact.

“There you are!” Renee called from the top of the stairs. “I was beginning to think you weren’t coming back. Not that you had anything better to do.”

“That’s her that’s the girl, who saw the chandelier fall.” The former clerk announced, but it was more a accusation.

“Alice!” Renee shrieked a silence fell over the room, “I already fired you 45 minutes ago. At least somebody noticed it was about to fall. Security!” She looked directly as the officer, “Can any of you do your job? It shouldn’t take the FBI to keep the peace around here!”

“Renee please,” A women who appeared to be Renee’s mother hissed, She ushered her daughter back into the room. Cary realized where Renee learned her commanding poise. The mother reappeared.

“Back to work.” She said and the room ignited once more. She pointed directly at the twins and motioned for them to come. They obeyed. When they entered the room, Renee was gone and only her mother remained.

“I wanted to speak with you personally before you talk to my daughter, Renee’s been through enough already - poor dear.” Mrs. Hillary cooed, “But as she so bluntly announced, the security around this delicate event has been…compromised. Which makes it very suspicious how you called the chandelier right before it fell.” Her eyes narrowed.

“Mrs. Hillary, it was really quite simple. I and brother Cary, notice things.”

“Really?” She sounded skeptical at best.

“And I’m guessing the chandelier wasn’t the first incident,” she paused, creating suspense, “Was is a photograph? The evidence against Renee’s best friend and her fiancé.” Mrs. Hillary stiffened, “In fact you didn’t shred it, you wanted it gone you burned it.” Mrs. Hillary didn’t say anything, instead she turned her back. And Cary feared his sister went to far.

“I’m going to be frank with you, I normally don’t like people who jump to conclusions, but this case I’ll make an exceptions. Your job here is to do exactly what I and Renee tell you to do. Both of you.” She emphasized her point by pointing to them, “Now, find me that photographer.”

“Harold!” She called and a pointy looking man in black rimmed glasses rushed in.

“Tell Renee we have a replacement bridesmaid.” She announced. Harold nodded and rushed off. Cary and Erin were left standing alone, once Mrs. Hillary took her leave.


“Excuse me,” Cary broke silence, “What just happened?”

“I think I was just drafted for a wedding.” Erin replied.



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