Accidental Husband

By: Nikki Chase

Tessa





“I think I’m going to die.” I sit up and groan, resisting the urge to vomit, and shield my eyes from the nasty sunlight streaming through the windows. “Really, this time, my head’s going to explode and I’ll get blood and brains all over these expensive sheets.”

My best friend Claire is sitting at the end of my bed, and her expression isn’t exactly sympathetic. In fact, it’s fair to say that she’s looking amused at my misery, which isn’t a very nice way for a best friend to behave.

“Claire! You could at least pretend to care!”

“You’ve only got yourself to blame, Tess, you sneaky little liar! You told me you wanted to get an early night, and then you slink away and have the wildest night of your life.” She fixes me with a stern look and folds her arms in front of her. “Without me.”

The wildest night of my life? That’s a pretty high standard to beat, seeing as I’ve already survived a mobster husband.

I reach for my handbag, every single movement pure agony, and rifle through it until I find some Tylenol. There isn’t any water, so I just swallow them down dry. That doesn’t help my nausea any, but I don’t think I can manage the walk to the bathroom just yet.

“What are you talking about?” I croak. “What did I do?”

Last night is still a complete blank, as my mind struggles to catch up through the hangover.

Claire looks at me with a mixture of pity and amusement.

“Oh, Tess, this one’s a doozy, it really is. I think you’re going to struggle to ever top it, to be honest. What do you remember?”

I frown, trying to think back, then immediately stop because it hurts too much.

Okay, no frowning. In fact, no movement or facial expressions at all.

“I uh...we had dinner, right? Yeah, and then some guy came and started chatting you up, and I left once the two of you started eating each other’s faces instead of your food.”

Claire rolls her eyes. “Wow, you have such a way with words. Anyway, yeah, that’s a crude and gross representation of what happened. Thanks for that. You said you were going to go up to the room and soak in the tub, then get an early night, which is the most blatant lie I have ever heard in all my life.”

She picks up the TV remote and flips through the channels, as if she’s looking for something specific.

I remember all that. And I remember really looking forward to that bath and then relaxing in this ridiculously comfortable bed with its 1,500 thread-count sheets. It’s not every day I get to experience luxury like this, and I wanted to make the most of it.

I’m more of a couch-surfing kind of gal. I love to travel, but I don’t have the kind of income that allows me to live it up everywhere I go.

To be honest, I’m cool with that, and even kind of enjoy the random people and the cool experiences you can have in hostels, but I’m visiting Vegas with Claire this time. Claire would not be found dead in a hostel—she’d freak out at the mere concept.

She’d insisted we stay at the Bellagio, penthouse suite, her treat. Well, her Dad’s treat. She has access to his credit cards, and she is not afraid to use them.

The fanciest restaurants, spas and massages, room service whenever we want . . . I’ve actually started to feel kind of guilty imagining the running cost of everything in my head.

Claire had invited me to visit her, in celebration of me getting the new job I’d been angling for. It was an admin/PA role in one of the big Fortune 500 companies. The salary isn’t anything to write home about, but the opportunities for advancement are amazing.

After working dead-end jobs for so long, landing it had been A Big Deal. I finally feel like a real grown-up with a real job, and of course the first person I’d called to tell was Claire.

“Oh my Goddd, that’s amazing!” she’d squealed down the phone. “When do you start?”

Upon finding out that I still had a week to go, she’d immediately, and without consulting me, booked me flights to visit her in Vegas. And so that’s where I found myself—here in this fancy hotel room, nursing the hangover from hell, and wondering just what the hell I’d done last night to get her so excited.