Bride for Rent (sample)

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Chapter two

Katherine got home looking lost, how is she going to go about this? What will she tell her niece? How is she going to put it so that it won't sound like she is giving her away for ten million and a promotion? But come to think of it, she really is isn't she? Katherine heaved a sigh and turned off her car engine, she grabbed her handbag on the passenger's seat and got out of the car.

She walked into the house to see Felicity sleeping on the couch, she looked so innocent and naïve, her honey gold hair sprawled all over the couch and her face, Katherine chuckled and made a move to walk closer to her when she heard a sound coming from the kitchen, she changed her direction and walked to the kitchen instead only to see nanny Mercy cooking Hamburger "I wasn't expecting to still meet you since I run a little late today."

Nanny Mercy looked up from what she was doing and smiled "I can't bear to leave her alone."

"Thank you" Katherine returned the smile "sometimes I don't know how we could have survived without you, I can't bring her to work and I also can't leave her alone or with anybody."

"That's right. Even though she is like this, you can't deny that she is a woman and a beautiful one at that."

"Yes" Katherine nodded "sometimes I wonder what my brother and his wife would do if they come to know what their death did to their little princess."

Mercy sighed "I'm sure they are watching over her wherever they are now. I just feel sorry for her and you too."

"Why?"

"Look at you Katherine, you left your marriage to take care of her and you have been alone since then."

"It wouldn't have been like this if Carl had agreed to stay back with me" Katherine sighed "and when I offered to bring Felicity over, he refused and the next thing I know, he sent me the divorce papers" she looked at Felicity who was sleeping on the couch "I might have lost my marriage for her sake, but she is the best thing that had ever happened to me. When I'm with her, I always forget that I can't have a child of my own because she filled that space in my heart."

"If only they will be a nice guy who can marry her and be good to her, then you can find yourself someone to spend the rest of your life with and you both will be happy" Mercy said.

At the mention of marriage, Katherine remembered the situation on ground and her heart grieved, if only her boss can be trustworthy, then she will willingly and happily leave Felicity in his care but too bad he doesn't care about women, all he knows how to do is to change them every time. If it wasn't for his grandparents, she doubts if he would ever talk about getting married in his life and now she has to leave her sweet niece in his care for one good year, what will happen in those days, what will he do to her?

Yes her niece might be like a child but one must not forget that she is already a ripe woman, with full round boobs and a sexy curve, if she is to treat her like the woman she already is, men will drool when she pass but can she bear to watch those men lust after her? Can she bear to see her in the arms of a man? If there is one thing she doesn't want in this life is to let her niece see the danger in this world, to witness the lustful nature of men, to witness the pain that comes with heartbreak.

So if locking her in the house will protect her from all those then she will willingly do that, she never let's her out of her sight and should Felicity throw a tantrum of going out, she always go with her, to keep an eye on her so that she won't innocently follow a man away. She has tutorials in the house, she has never been to school since her parents death. Her only friend is Grace and that's because she is the daughter of her tutor, they have been friends since childhood.

And now, everything she has been avoiding is about to happen, Felicity is going to live with a man and not with any man but Raymond Baldwin, who doesn't know Raymond Baldwin and his lecherous ways? She has been protecting her niece from houseflies only to lure her to the lion's den. Just how did Morris and the boss find out about her niece, only close relations knows about her, so how did such a man like Raymond Baldwin know about such a trivial matter? Katherine sighed.

"I hope she will be lucky too Mercy, I hope so too" she sighed.

Mercy could sense the worry in her tone and walked closer to her, she placed a hand on her shoulder and comforted "everything is going to be alright. Felicity will find love like her parents, you will see."

Katherine smiled "just where did my brother find you Mercy? I don't think I have ever seen a nanny who is so patient and lenient like you. You spoke only positive words and wish my niece all the happiness in the world. Even though I don't pay you as much as my brother did, you never left."

Mercy smiled then "Felicity is a good child and I love her. I know it's not anyone's fault that what happened to her happened but that doesn't mean we are going to abandon her right? She deserves all the love in the world. Experiencing such shock at a tender age, who wouldn't be affected?"

Katherine nodded "the doctor found nothing wrong with her, so he said it's still the shock, that we just have to wait for it to wear off" she looked at Mercy "I only hope should Felicity get married tomorrow, that you will still take care of her."

"That's if her husband will want me too."

"He will, he will need someone to look after her after all."

"You sound so sure, tell me, is someone interested in our Felicity?"

Katherine winced when she realized she had said too much, she walked to the dinning table and sat down, Mercy turned off the stove and sat down too "you can talk to me you know?" She urged.

"My boss. He somehow found out about Felicity and he wants to marry her" Katherine said.

"Oh my! You don't mean Raymond Baldwin do you?" Mercy was shocked.

"I don't have any other boss do I? So yea, it's him."

"Oh my God, but why does he want to marry our Felicity?"

"I don't know" Katherine shrugged.

"Katherine, are you hiding something from me?" Mercy watched her intently.

Katherine was at lost for words but decided to open up to her "I overheard his discussion with his assistant. His grandparents refused to hand over their family's business to him unless he is married, so he wants to rent a bride for a year which is the duration his grandparents gave him that his marriage will last before he becomes the owner of the Baldwin Empire. As a punishment to me for eavesdropping on his discussion, he decided to make Felicity his rented bride" she shuddered as she mentioned Felicity as a rented bride.

"My, my, that's a whole lot to take in."

"Exactly!"

"Hmm, so what are you going to do now? You can't say no to a man like that and what's worse, he is your boss."

"That's it Mercy, that's why I'm confuse" Katherine buried her face in her palms.

"But why would he choose to fool his grandparents like that?"

"I don't know. I guess he just doesn't want to get married for real."

"So, his plan is to divorce Felicity immediacy after owning the company?"

Katherine nodded "but he said the wedding will be fake."

"And he offered you some money didn't he? I mean you need to use money to rent something right?"

"Ten million dollars and a promotion."

"My goodness that's a whole lot of money!" Mercy exclaimed "you wouldn't finish spending that in the next five years!"

"And I will have a promotion on top, which means bigger salary" Katherine grinned before sighing "his offers are tempting but my conscience..."

"You are worried he would hurt her don't you?"

"Yes. I mean he doesn't have a clean record with women."

"But you know this is inevitable right? I mean, Felicity is a woman, she deserves to witness the world the way that it is. You can't keep her locked up forever, if we want her shock to leave her then we have to let her socialize with people, she needs to know she is a grown up and who is the best to show her that but your boss? When he brings her to all those social gatherings and she learns to interact with people her age, she will start bringing herself out from her shock with is her hideout and live her life to the fullest."

"Are you saying I should give it a thought?"

"I'm saying that you should accept and like you said, I will go with her and I will take care of her. Now, Raymond Baldwin is paying to use her to get his family's company while we will use him to educate Felicity on basic etiquette, a sense of fashion, how to act in public, it's a win for us in all angle. One year with a man like Raymond Baldwin will do wonders for our Felicity don't you think so too?"

Katherine nodded as a new understanding dawned on her "but what if she falls in love?"

"Love is something one cannot control. Hiding her inside here won't stop her from falling in love if she will. So it's better we let her pass through the lessons of life. You cannot protect her from all of these, falling in love will be a step taken for her to grow up."

"Mercy, it's not like I don't want her to fall in love, I just don't want her to fall in love with Raymond. I want her to fall in love with someone that will reciprocate it to her."

"What if Raymond Baldwin does?"

"He wouldn't."

"You never can tell..."

"He said so himself that he wouldn't."

"Hmm, well, we just have to wait and see but I must have you know, I have not seen anyone who met Felicity without loving her, she is so adorable so I'm sure her innocent charm will hook even the almighty Raymond Baldwin."

"I don't know, I just don't want her to get hurt and Raymond is the one person that will shatter her to pieces."

"Then we can always tell her not to fall in love and don't you forget that I will be there to guide her, I won't let him hurt her, we will add it in the contract."

"He already promised me not to hurt her."

"So that's settled then" Mercy smiled "we need to let her take this chance, you don't know what the outcome will turn out to be."

Katherine sighed and then nodded "I guess we can give it a try."

"That's good, let her live a little" Mercy smiled.

Six days later, Katherine walked into Felicity room at night, she had been thinking all those days concerning what both Mercy and Raymond said, Mercy was right in what she said and Raymond's deadline was tomorrow, so she really have to talk to Felicity this night if not, she doesn't even know what her boss will do.

Felicity was flipping through the pages of a picture book when her door opened, she looked up and a charming smile graced her lips when she saw her aunt "why aren't you sleeping aunty Katy?"

"Oh my dear, I should be asking you that too" Katherine chuckled and walked closer to her bed, Felicity made a space for her to sit beside her on the bed which Katherine gladly took, she caressed her face with a sweet smile on her lips "you look so beautiful, just like your mother. I have always believed that her beauty was one of the things that charmed my brother to her."

Felicity giggled "aunty, whenever you talk about how beautiful I am, you want to ask me for something. So which will it be this time? We are supposed to go to the amusement park on Saturday, do you want to cancel?"

Katherine laughed softly "then I guess this doesn't work on you anymore."

Felicity nodded eagerly "I have grown past that."

"Okay, I am going to cancel on our outing this Saturday but there is a reason for that."

Even though Felicity already guessed it, she still looked disappointed and lost her cheerfulness, she mumbled "what is the reason this time, you have to work overnight again or you are following your superior on an outside work?"

"No, no my dear, it's none of those. It's because " Katherine paused "you see..." She was still lost for words.

"What is it aunt? Is something bothering you?" Felicity climbed out of her bedcover and touched Katherine's forehead "are you sick? Do you want me to take you to the hospital? I can't drive but I can call nanny Mercy. Let me call her" she made to climb down from the bed but Katherine stopped her.

"No no my dear, I'm fine. I'm not sick, not at all, is just...something arose in the office and I'm found guilty and you are the only one who can save me."

Felicity sat back down on the bed, she was looking worried as she picked up Katherine's hand in both of hers "what happened aunt, tell me. I will save you, you know that."

"Yes I do and that's why I want to tell you" she paused "my boss saw your picture and he wants to marry you."

"Marry me?"

"Yes, but it will only be for a year."

"No!" Felicity shook her head ferociously "I don't want to get married, I don't want to leave you."

"Who said anything about leaving me?"

"Grace said that when a woman gets married, she will leave her parents house to live with her husband. If I should get married, I will leave you to go and live with my husband, so I don't want to get married, I don't want to leave you" tears were already forming in her eyes.

"Sweetheart, but you must get married, you are a woman."

"No, but you are not married. Since you are not married, I won't get married."

A tinge of pain struck Katherine's heart but she still smiled "but I was married. I got married even before your father married your mother."

Shock was evident in Felicity's face "you were?"

Katherine nodded "mm hmm."

"So why didn't you leave your parents home to go live with him?"

"I did do that. We were living in London, I came back after your parents death to stay with you."

"Why didn't your husband come back with you?" Felicity frowned.

"He did come back, he attended your parents funeral alongside me and you. He only left the next day and he wanted me to go with him but I couldn't."

"Why didn't you? He is your husband."

Katherine pinched her nose with a soft chuckle "silly girl, it was because of you. You were so lonely and I couldn't bear to leave you alone so I decided to stay with you."

"Why didn't your husband come back and stay with us?"

"He got married again so he forgot all about us."

"He is a bad uncle" Felicity pouted "I don't like him."

Katherine chuckled softly "so you see, I was married but you, you have never been. Which is why you have to marry."

Felicity remained silent for a while before saying "I don't want to live far from you."

"No you wouldn't, your husband is leaving here in New York, so I can visit you any time you want."

Felicity's eyes brightened "really?"

"Yes, any day and any time you want."

Felicity's eyes dimmed once again "but I don't know him or anybody there, what if they don't like me? Who will I be talking to when you don't come?"

"Don't worry, nanny Mercy will be living with you and besides, who wouldn't like you? You are so cute and adorable, everybody loves you" Katherine pinched her cheeks.

Felicity's face lit up once again as she smiled "they will like me, including my husband?" She went moody again "Grace told me that before a man marries a woman, they have to be in love with each other. Does my husband love me, is that why he wants to marry me?"

Katherine was at lost on what to say "your husband...of course he loves you which is why he is going to treat you fine. He is going to make you happy" she smiled.

Felicity pouted "if he loves me then do I love him?"

Katherine opened her mouth to speak but no words came out "sweety, listen to aunty okay, you must not fall in love with him."

"But why not? Grace said that in order for a marriage to last, the husband and wife must be in love."

"Honey listen, you marriage is only going to last for a year."

"Why?"

"Because" Katherine paused "I don't know if you will understand but I will tell you nonetheless. You husband only wants to marry you for a year, after one year, he will divorce you and you will come back to me. So you see, you mustn't fall in love with him. In short don't fall in love, save your love for the one who will marry you forever, do you understand my darling?"

Felicity bit her lip and nodded "yes aunty."

"I'm sorry my dear, I didn't mean to drag you into this."

"It's okay aunty. So if I marry him, does that mean I have saved you?"

Katherine nodded "yes dear."

Felicity smiled "then I won't feel bad anymore, if marrying him means I will be saving you then I will marry him because I want to save you and after one year, I will return back to you and we will live together again forever and ever."

Katherine chuckled "yes."

Felicity hugged her "I love you aunty."

"I love you too my dear."

"So when I'm I going to see my husband?"

Katherine winced when she heard the question, guess it's now inevitable "soon."

"Okay."

"Felicity?"

"Yes aunt Katy?"

"Do not fall in love with him okay?"

Felicity nodded in her arms "yes aunty I won't fall in love with him."

"That's my darling" Katherine hugged her tightly.

The next day, Katherine went to work only to froze when she saw Morris standing beside her desk, she gulped and mustered the courage to walk up to him "good morning assistant Morris."

"Good morning Katherine McCarthy, how are you today?"

"I'm fine thank you. I trust you are well too?"

"As you can see" Morris smiled before clearing his throat "the boss wants to see you. He said you are to meet him before doing anything today."

Katherine felt her heart missed a beat "of course, I will just login my computer and go see him."

Morris smiled "you don't get it do you?" He shook his head "the boss wants you to see him before doing anything today."

"Oh, I guess I can drop my bag first then?"

"That will do and after that I will escort you to his office."

"Sure thank you" Katherine smiled but cursed him in her heart. She dropped her bag on her desk and said to him "lead the way."

"With pleasure" Morris answered and walked ahead while she tailed behind. They got to the office and Morris knocked before pushing the door open, they both walked inside "McCarthy is here boss" he reported to the man who was sitting on the chair like a king and was on phone call.

Raymond looked up and nodded before answering to the person on the other side "sure, of course. I will let you know when it is possible. Okay then, bye" he hung up and a sly smile graced his lips when his eyes met Katharine "McCarthy, I trust you have been well since our last encounter?"

"Yes sir, thank you" Katherine answered simply.

Raymond relaxed on his chair and his fingers drummed on his desk "so, I believe you have something to tell me today?"

"What could that be sir?" Katherine decided to act nonchalant for a while.

Raymond smiled "I believe McCarthy knows fully well what I'm talking about and wouldn't like to toy with me" his eyes turned dangerous and Katherine gulped out of fear.

"It's a deal sir. She accepted but she also placed a condition."

Raymond frowned "I am done hearing conditions from you McCarthy" he said, who knows if they want to ask for more money or what he couldn't do?

"Then I'm sorry sir, I guess you will need to look for a new bride to rent."

Raymond sighed and he looked like he was undergoing difficulties before forcing out "fine, what does she want and it better be the last condition McCarthy" he warned icily.

"She only wish that her nanny will go with her to your place."

Raymond wanted to say something but when he heard her, he forgot what he wanted to say and smiled "oh, that is very much possible except that you will have to tell the nanny about the deal because I wouldn't want someone asking questions why I won't be staying in the same room with my wife."

"Oh, don't worry sir, the nanny already knows."

"Very well McCarthy but I hope she can keep her mouth shut, I wouldn't want another ear hearing about this if so, don't blame me for being heartless."

"That won't be necessary sir, Mercy can very much be trusted, she has been the one taking care of her from when my brother was still alive so she wouldn't do anything stupid."

"If you say so then why should I worry? He smiled "did you tell her about me or why she has to marry me?" He irked an eyebrow.

"Not really sir, I mainly told her I was in trouble and only her can save me and saving me means marrying my boss for a year."

"Oh, that's...and interesting way to sum it all up which is also for the best, at least not everyone knows the reason I want to marry, not even the bride herself, very good McCarthy" he smiled and Katherine had to force herself not to roll her eyes.

"Thank you sir" she still said "should I tell her you accept for her nanny to live with her?"

"Since that's what she wants, why should I refuse? It's a deal" he smiled "so, when are you taking me to see my bride?"

Author's note:

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