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the blessed quiet before the bridal suite is overrun by the wedding party—my twin sister stares critically down at a freshly painted shell-pink fingernail and says, “I bet you’re relieved I’m not a bridezilla.” She glances across the room at me and smiles generously. “I bet you expected me to be impossible.” It is a statement so perfectly dropped in the moment, I want to take a picture and frame it.
The Unhoneymooners PDF Book by Christina Lauren
|Name of Book||The Unhoneymooners|
|PDF Size||1.5 MB|
|No of Pages||320|
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I share a knowing look with our cousin Julieta, who is repainting Ami’s toes (“It should be more petal pink than baby pink, don’t you think?”), and gesture to the bodice of Ami’s wedding gown—which hangs from a satin hanger and on which I am presently and painstakingly ensuring that every sequin is lying flat. “Define ‘bridezilla.’
” Ami meets my eyes again, this time with a half-hearted glare. She’s in her fancy wedding-bra contraption and skimpy underwear that I’m aware— with some degree of sibling nausea—her dudebro fiancé Dane will positively destroy later. Her makeup is tastefully done and her fluffy veil is pinned in her upswept dark hair.
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It’s jarring. I mean, we’re used to looking identical while knowing we’re wholly different people inside, but this is something entirely unfamiliar: Ami is the portrait of a bride. Her life suddenly bears no resemblance to mine whatsoever. “I’m not a bridezilla,” she argues. “I’m a perfectionist.” I find my list and hold it aloft, waving it to catch her attention.
It’s a piece of heavy, scalloped-edged pink stationery that has Olive’s To-Do List —Wedding Day Edition written in meticulous calligraphy at the top, and which includes seventy-four (seventy-four) items ranging from Check for symmetry of the sequins on the bridal gown to Remove any wilted petals from the table arrangements.
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Each bridesmaid has her own list, perhaps not quite as long as my maidof-honor one but equally fancy and handwritten. Ami even drew checkboxes so that we can record when each chore is completed. “Some people might call these lists a little overboard,” I say. “Those are the same ‘some people,’ ” she replies, “who’ll pay an arm and a leg for a wedding that is half as nice.”
“Right. They hire a wedding planner to—” I refer to my list. “ ‘Wipe condensation off the chairs a half hour before the ceremony.’ ” Ami blows across her fingernails to dry them and lets out a movie-villain laugh. “Fools.” You know what they say about self-fulfilling prophecies, I’m sure. Winning makes you feel like a winner, and then somehow . . . you keep winning.
It has to be true, because Ami wins everything. She tossed a ticket into a raffle bowl at a street fair and walked home with a set of community theater tickets. She slid her business card into a cup at The Happy Gnome and won free happy hour beers for a year. She’s won makeovers, books, movie premiere tickets, a lawnmower, endless T-shirts, and even a car. The Unhoneymooners PDF Book
Of course, she also won the stationery and calligraphy set she used to write the to-do lists. “If you look at some of these family photos,” Ethan says, gesturing behind him to where teenage Ethan and Dane are skiing, surfing, and generally looking like genetically gifted assholes, “you’ll see that I was the quintessential big brother. I went to camp first, drove first, lost my virginity first.
Sorry, no photos of that.” He winks charmingly at the crowd and a flutter of giggles passes in a wave around the room. “But Dane found love first.” There is a roar of collective awwws from the guests. “I hope I’ll be lucky enough to find someone half as spectacular as Ami someday. Don’t let her go, Dane, because none of us has any idea what she’s thinking.”
He reaches for his scotch, and nearly two hundred other arms join his in raising their glasses in a toast. “Congrats, you two. Let’s drink.” He sits back down and glances at me. “Was that sufficiently on the cuff for you?” “It was quasi-charming.” I glance over his shoulder. “It’s still light out. Your inner troll must be sleeping.” “Come on,” he says, “you laughed.” The Unhoneymooners PDF Book
“Surprising both of us.” “Well it’s your turn to show me up,” he says, motioning that I should stand. “It’s asking a lot, but try not to embarrass yourself.” I reach for my phone, where my speech is saved, and try to hide the defensiveness in my voice when I say, “Shut up, Ethan,” before standing. Good one, Olive. He laughs as he leans in to take a bite of his chicken.
A smattering of applause carries across the banquet hall as I stand and face the guests. “Hello, everyone,” I say, and the entire room startles when the microphone squawks shrilly. Pulling the mic farther away from my mouth, and with a shaky smile, I motion to my sister and new brother-in-law. “They did it!” Everyone cheers as Dane and Ami come together for a sweet kiss.
I watched them dance earlier to Ami’s favorite song, Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love,” and managed to ignore the pressure of Diego’s intense efforts to catch my eye and nonverbally commiserate about Ami’s famously terrible taste in music. I was genuinely lost in the perfection of the scene before me: my twin in her beautiful wedding dress, her hair softened by the hours and movement, her sweet, happy smile. The Unhoneymooners PDF Book
“Details are good! We smelled like campfire the entire next day,” I say, “but didn’t care because we were so happy and having lots of celebratory tent sex.” The elevator falls deathly silent. I look over in a strange combination of horror and joy that I’ve managed to render him speechless with the prospect of sex with me.
Finally, he mumbles, “Right. We can probably leave out that detail for your boss.” “And remember,” I say, loving his discomfort, “I didn’t mention you, or being engaged, even at the more casual lunch at the interview, so we need to look a little windswept by it all.” The elevator dings, and the doors open into the lobby.
“I don’t think we’ll have any trouble pulling that off.” “And be charming,” I say. “But not like, likable charming. Passably charming. They shouldn’t leave wanting to spend any actual time with you. Because you’re probably going to die or turn out to be terrible in the end.” I catch his small, irritated scowl as he heads into the lobby and can’t help but throw in a little dig. The Unhoneymooners PDF Book Download
“Basically, just be yourself.” “Man, I am going to sleep so well tonight.” He stretches, like he’s prepping to starfish on the enormous bed. “FYI, watch the left side of the sofa. I was reading there earlier today and noticed there’s a spring that digs a little.” Soft music echoes through the lobby as we make our way to the exit.
The restaurant is just off the beach; it’s convenient because when all this blows up in my face, it will only be a short walk to drown myself in the ocean. Ethan opens the door to the expansive courtyard and motions for me to lead the way down a lighted path. “What is this company again?” he asks. “Hamilton Biosciences.
They’re one of the most well-known contract biologics company in the country, and on the discovery side, they have a new flu vaccine. From all of the papers I’ve read, it sounds groundbreaking. I really wanted this job, so maybe mention how happy we are that I was hired, and that it’s all I’ve talked about since.” The Unhoneymooners PDF Book Download
“We’re supposed to be on our honeymoon, and you want me to say you’ve talked nonstop about their flu vaccine?” Ethan tosses his wallet and key card onto the counter. I swear the sound of the items landing on the marble is like a cymbal crash. “What?” he says in response to my dramatic startle. “Nothing. Just.” I point to his stuff. “Jeez.”
He stares at me for a lingering beat before seeming to decide whatever I’m going on about isn’t worth it, and turns to toe his shoes off near the door. I walk across the room, and my feet on the carpet sound like boots crunching through knee-high grass. Is this a joke? Is every sound amplified in here? What if I have to go to the bathroom?
Do I turn on the shower to muffle the sounds? What if he farts in his sleep, and I can hear it? What if I do? Oh God. It’s like a death march, following him down the short hallway to the bedroom. Once there, Ethan wordlessly moves to one dresser and I move to the other. It’s the quiet routine of a comfortable married couple. The Unhoneymooners PDF Book Download
Made super weird by the knowledge that we’re both ready to crawl out of our skins from the tension. The massive bed looms like the Grim Reaper between us. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s only one shower,” he says. “I did, yeah.” While the second bathroom is simple, with a toilet and small sink, the master bathroom is palatial.
The shower is as big as my kitchen back in Minneapolis, and the bathtub should come with a diving board. I dig through my drawer, praying that, in the mad dash packing post wedding pocalypse, I remembered pajamas. I really didn’t realize until now how much time I spend in nothing but my underwear at home. “Do you usually do it at night?” he asks.
I spin around. “Uh, pardon?” Ethan sighs the deep, weary sigh of a long-suffering ghoul. “Shower, Oscar.” “Oh.” I press my pajamas to my chest. “Yes. I shower at night.” “Would you like to go first?” “Since I have the bedroom,” I say, “why don’t you go first?” Lest this sound too generous, I add, “Then you can get out of my space.” The Unhoneymooners PDF Book Download
“Such a caretaker, you.” He steps around me to the bathroom, closing the door behind him with a solid click. Even with the bedroom’s balcony doors shut, I can hear the sound of the tide coming in, the waves crashing against the shore. But it’s not so loud that I don’t also hear the rustle of fabric as Ethan undresses and drops his clothes onto the bathroom floor.
His footsteps as he walks barefoot across the tile, or the soft groan he makes when he moves under the warm spray of water. We fall back into silence, but we are so close, and across the deck there’s only the wet sounds of Sophie and Billy making out. Ethan and I can’t not talk. “What’s your favorite drink?” He looks at me with pained patience, growling, “Do we have to do this?”
I nod over toward Ethan’s ex and her new fiancé, who look like they’re only seconds away from dry humping. “Would you rather watch them? Or we could make out.” “Caipirinhas,” he answers. “You?” “I’m a margarita girl. But if you like caipirinhas, there’s a place a couple miles from my apartment that makes the best ones I’ve ever had.” The Unhoneymooners PDF Book Free
“We should go there,” he says, and it’s clear he’s done it without thinking because we both immediately let out the ha-ha-ha of the Oop, that’s not going to happen! laugh. “Is it weird that you’re not as unpleasant as I initially thought?” he asks. I use his monosyllabic tactic against him. “Yes.” He rolls his eyes.
Over Ethan’s shoulder, the Molokini Crater comes fully into view. It is vibrant green, crescent-shaped, and stunning. Even from here I can see that the clear blue bay is dotted with boats just like ours. “Look.” I nod to the horizon. “We aren’t lost at sea.” He lets out a quiet “Wow.” And there, for a single breath, we give in to a really lovely moment of enjoying something together.
Until Ethan decides to ruin it: “I hope you don’t drown out there.” I smile down at him. “If I do, the husband is always a suspect.” “I take back my ‘unpleasant’ comment.” We confirm that we’re planning to Snuba, too, and Ethan hauls me up with apparently zero effort, using arms that are remarkably strong. The Unhoneymooners PDF Book Free
He sets me down an arm’s length away in front of him, standing behind me. It’s a beat before he seems to remember we should stay in newlywed levels of constant contact, so he folds his arms across my chest, jerking my back against his front. I feel the way we’re both already clammy in the heat, and how we immediately suction together.