Yes, he saw her when he entered the bar but at thirty-nine he was stealth. He was with his crew. Mates from childhood. All American as they say. He wanted her, instantly.
She was there for business and sat alone on a bench near the window, listening to the band and considering if she even liked their music. For one thing the front man had a creepy vibe. To her sensibilities the music was undanceable but it had something and she thought she might interview them for the local rag.
“I love you!” she heard the drunks declare as they entered and stood wobbly right in front of her. Drunken Irish she guessed and laughed to herself. She knew their story: a bachelor party though she couldn’t peg the hubby. She made sure not to make eye contact.
Before the music finished one of the men had spun directly up to her, blue eyes staring, friendly, and he asked her to dance.
No, she mouthed, automatically and kept her gaze forward on the musicians. He crumpled and returned to his pod. She had honed this effective routine.
She decided she’d leave the instant the band stopped. She could interview them another day.
Which is when another of the men took a step back. And another step until eventually and definitively he was standing to the left of her.
“What are you drinking?”
She flashed her bottle of water.
This is going to be difficult he noted but he was determined. He had to. The hunter in him bore down, running on instincts, and the balance slowly shifted. She forgot about the band and next she lost the plot and two whole days. They were inseparable and walking arm in arm and talking of Camus. His friends hated her. No one believed them but they never touched, not once, except for a chaste kiss goodbye.
And yes, of course, he was the groom. A good guy.