It was Friday night and the four friends were at it again. There was a tangible feeling in the air that
evening. Excitement perhaps, or tension. But the group seemed intent on profound merriment that
night. Derek’s wedding was in just two weeks, and his three friends feared their legendary outings were
soon to be no more. Or at the very least, not as adventuresome, and they seemed wont to experience
all the fun they could for the moment. They were incorrigible flirts throughout the evening, the young
ladies of London enjoying the occasion of the gorgeous men showering them all with leering looks and
devilish comments. More than one husband had threatened bodily harm, yet none of them were willing
to follow through with the act of taking on the rowdy quartet. All four were well into their cups, but
when David proposed they go to the Boar’s Head, Joel and Derek were both still clear-headed enough to
quash that suggestion. Though barely three months past, Dominique’s introduction into their lives
seemed a lifetime ago. So many changes had taken place, most of them in Dominique’s realm. But
neither Phillip nor David realized exactly how huge a difference the young girl had made in Joel and
They ended up at a nearby tavern, noisy and warm inside. Many of the patrons looked less than
reputable, but the young men could handle themselves if any fights broke out, drunk or not. After a
game of cards, they decided it was time for a last round of drinks before calling it a night. The
conversation turned to their favorite subject, women, when Joel shocked them all, including himself.
“I have been thinking about marriage.” At the others’ stunned comments, Joel proceeded, “Did I
just say that?” he laughed. “Derek, you’re a lucky man. You are about to marry a lovely woman who
“Come on, Joel,” Phillip countered, “you’ve always said Allison is such a bitch even the devil
wouldn’t have her.” David laughed at the less than pleased look on Derek’s face at that remark.
“Nevertheless,” Joel slurred, holding his mug up for a toast, “here’s to Derek and his bride.”
“Here, here,” they all said, toasting as well.
Derek set his drink down after a long swig and said, “So, you have nothing better to think about
than my marriage? You need to get out more, man.”
“No,” Joel replied. “When I said I was thinking about marriage, I was talking about myself, not you.”
The grins on his friends’ faces quickly turned to frowns at that point, all of them fearing their group
was about to severely diminish in size.
“What the bloody hell is that supposed to mean?” David asked.
“I thought your pet sheep broke up with you,” Phillip joked, the others guffawing at the jest.
“I think it sad that my closest friends are a bunch of drunks.” Joel was unable to keep from
laughing, his facade of severity extremely funny. In fact, everything seemed funnier than it really was.
Had they been anywhere else, they would no doubt have been thrown out by now. Determined to
reveal his innermost thoughts, Joel told them to shut up and listen. Reluctantly obeying, the others gave