I laid in bed trying to soothe my bruised ego and mask my shame with a second carton of ice cream. Unfortunately, my inability to process lactose wasn’t doing me any favours. I made a swift run to my bathroom, a groaning and bloated mess. When I was done I hopped into the shower but when the reality of my situation hit me for the billionth time today— I began sobbing.
I sank to the tiled floor as I began reminiscing about my last moments with my grandmother. Dylan and I were arguing when she came up to defuse the situation. Her presence distracted me and Dylan was able to grab his suitcase, which I was keeping out of his reach, and stormed off. She yelled after him, pleading for us to talk it out but it fell on death’s ears. I began sobbing the moment I heard he slammed front door behind him, my grandmother did everything she could to comfort me. Even then I noticed something was off about her but I was too caught up in my own ass to pay attention. What is it about love that makes us so blind? No….so stupid?
I think the only reason I kept taking Dylan back was—stupid…I know—but I wanted to spend the rest of my life with the man that took my virginity. Growing up, I thought being with multiple men made you a whore but now I’m finally realising that it doesn’t. If he’s making you miserable let him go. “This took me too long to realise,” I said aloud. I sighed. “That’s six years of my life wasted with him….fuck. I feel stupid.”
It took me a half hour to gather myself and finally take a shower. After my shower I threw on some clothes and went downstairs to pack. It was when I walked to the living room was when the tears came flooding my eyes. I can’t believe I’m going to have to leave this place—when my grandmother and I just redid the floors. Marble fucking floors. I dropped the boxes at my feet and began to sob. Can you imagine if I had redone the kitchen like I planned to? I’d be hysterical. I wish I could dig up the flooring and shove them in my suitcases. I laughed at the thoughts of the looks I would get from the TSA officers.
A knock on the door pulled me out of my thoughts. I frowned and checked my watch. It’s 9:45. Who could that be? I hope it’s not Dylan. I don’t need him taking advantage of my vulnerable state because I’ll be too weak to insist pitiful and dirty make up sex—fuck—why does that sound so amazing right now? Lord give me strength to resist him! If it is him. I jumped when the knocking got loud harder. Ok! Ok! I’m coming. I ran to the door and looked through the peephole. I frowned when I saw Mr Vyas. I slowly got off my tiptoes, confused. No effing way. I looked again before opening the door. “Mr Vyas? W-what are you doing here?” I asked, looking at his attire. He’s wearing his navy suit from this morning minus his jacket and tie. His white shirt looked about two sizes too small for him. My eyes fell to the backpack and the duffel bag he was carrying. Did something happen? I gave him a questionable look. He kept his face neutral.
“Since we’re ‘engaged’…..we need to make this look as real possible.” He said. My eyes widened and my jaw dropped. Is he for real? D-did he change his mind? Or I am dreaming? I pinched myself and winced. “Starting with living together.” He added. I tucked a strand behind my ear and looked into his cold eyes.
“I thought you didn’t want to be a part of this.”
“I don’t but you have nowhere to go, your grandmother just died—and Lewis begged...I refused to be beaten by a pregnant woman....again.” He confessed. Lewis made you? Did she overhear our conversation…..wait a minute. I gasped.
“She’s pregnant?” I asked in excitement.
“Yes, and was keeping that fact known to just close friends and family but since you’re my ‘fiancée’ you’re an exception.” He said nonchalantly.
I smiled. “Thank you.”
“Don’t thank me, thank Lewis. She’ll be expecting a gift at the baby shower.” He said, shifting his weight to his other leg.
I laughed. “Ok, will do.”
“Are you going to let me in? These bags a bloody heavy.” He said.
“Oh right, sorry,” I said and stepped aside. He walked inside and I locked the door behind him. When he looked around he didn’t seem the least bit impressed. Well, if my salary hasn’t been cut down twice this year I would’ve been able to buy nice things without debating with myself if I wanted to eat or buy furniture I need. So please fix your face—be nice Brina—he’s risking getting jail time to help you. “That bag is massive....how much clothes did you pack?” I asked as I gestured for him to follow me upstairs.
“Roughly 2 weeks' worth of clothes, my electronics and travel kit.”
I opened the bedroom door and he walked inside. “Oh, well this is the bedroom, the bathroom is through that door and you can put your bags in here,” I said, opening the closet for him. He walked in and looked around my small closet before stacking his bags on top one another. He looked at me before walking towards me. He towered over me by a foot or a little over a foot. I never realised how tall he is—he had to be around 6’2 or 3 and crazy enough I never realised that how kind of.....handsome he is. I have never got the chance to truly….look at him. When I was with Dylan I tried as much as possible to not look at other men but now I can see what I was missing out on. Before he was just that man with a stick up his ass that I worked for, and now he’s that handsome guy with a pole up his ass that I’m ‘engaged’ to.
“I’m going to get the rest of my stuff and after….we are matters we must discuss.”
I swallowed a lump in my throat. That doesn’t sound very promising. “I’ll find a drawer for you then,” I whispered. He stuffed his hands into his pockets and left. When his footsteps disappeared down the hallway, I looked to the sky. “Thank you,” I said with a smile. I know what we’re doing is wrong but I promise I’ll work at a soup kitchen or donate half of my clothes to charity. I promised God.
After he unpacked, we sat on the couch and poured a bottle of wine. I watched as he pulled something out of a folder in his backpack and gave it to me. “What’s this?” I asked.
“A contract.” He replied. I glanced at him before skimming through it. “It’s a business/marriage agreement which will end in us getting a divorce 30 weeks after you’ve obtained your green card. It also contains the terms and conditions of our marriage and on the business side of the contract will state that the work I’ll be bringing home will be yours—“ my jaw dropped, “—you shouldn’t have dragged me into your mess.”
I should have known this was too good to be true. I sighed. “Well, I learned my lesson.”
“You better. Feel free to go through it. You have until Sunday, thanks to you.” He said, bouncing on the couch. “I’m not sleeping on this. It’s either you sleep with me on the bed or on this piece of crap you call a sofa.”
I frowned. “There’s no need to be an ass about it.”
“I’m sorry.” He said but I could tell he didn’t mean it. I could give him my grandmother’s room but if I do that I’ll have to go inside to change the sheets and I’m not ready to go in there yet. It’s too soon.
“It’s ok,” I said, watching him take a small booklet out of his bag and gave it to me.
“A guide....of what we’ll be doing for the next couple of days leading up to the wedding, and basic information about myself” He stated. He said wedding very hesitantly.
I skimmed through it and grimaced. “That’s a lot of dislikes,” I said, sighing.
“Memorize much as you can and after the wedding you will be temporarily moving to Manhattan and speaking of which….I’ll have to inform immigration in the morning.” He muttered the last part more to himself. “You’re not afraid of dogs, are you?” He asked. I shook my head.
“Good, I have 2...a Chihuahua named Russo and a Pomeranian named Coco. Coco likes to bite though, she’s young....I’ll have to break her out of that.” He said, taking a sip of his wine. He gagged and put his glass on the coffee table. “That’s disgusting. How do you drink that?”
“No, it’s not,” I said, taking a sip.
“You have no tastebuds.”
I groaned, into my glass as I chugged it down. I’m too tired to deal with his shit. I got up. “I’m going to bed,” I said, taking the contract and booklet with me.
I had a moment of peace for about ten minutes before Aston came up to take a shower. I grabbed the contract and began going through it. My jaw dropped when I got to line three. Even through we’ll be signing a prenup—I’ll be getting half a million when we get divorced. That’s generous of him. Aston’s terms and conditions aren’t horrendous, he mainly wants a clean house, dinner on the table and I’m not allowed to have my boyfriend over. There was a questionnaire in there too asking for my basic information, what I like and don’t and if I’m allergic to anything, which I had already filled out. I grabbed a pen off my nightstand and signed.
I placed the contract on the nightstand and then picked up the booklet. Suddenly, Aston’s body wash filled the room. Hmm, it’s been a few days since I’ve had a nice smelling man in my bed....too bad I’m starting to hate this one. “Do you have a blow dryer?” He asked. Where did I put that thing again? I looked at him and almost drooled. He stood in the doorway of the bathroom wearing his blue striped PJ bottoms low on his narrow hip. His rock-hard abs craved a way to down his V-line. Wow, who knew....sourpuss is kinda hot. His hair laid flat on his head, dripping wet. He shaved reducing his full beard to mere stubble.
“Under the sink,” I replied, turning my attention back to the booklet. Ok, so his middle is Kamal....he just turned 30 in May....he’s 6’3. Ha! I knew it. Ok, wow that’s a lot of information I wasn’t expecting. He’s of south Asian and Italian descent...I knew about the south Asian part but Italian! Damn! He has two brothers named Fabian and Kaden...
I gasped when the bathroom door swung up and Aston marched out after turning off the lights. “I can’t take it anymore—your bathroom is irritatingly disorganised.” He said, crawling into bed beside me. Aston....unclench your ass and relax. Not because it’s not up to your standards means it’s disorganised. He laid quiet for like 2 seconds before out of nowhere he began fighting the pillow. Ok, this man is starting pissing me off.
“Problem?” I said through gritted teeth.
“You can crack someone’s skull with this thing.” He replied. I rolled my eyes. You should have brought your own damn pillow then!
“Anything else you’d like to add?” I asked sarcastically, looking him dead in the eye. He looked unfazed.
He rolled onto his back. “A lot….but are you sure you want to hear what I have to say?” He asked.
I looked away, shaking my head. “No, no that was dumb, that was a very dumb thing to ask.” He rolled back onto his side. He was silent....for like five minutes.
“1 million years later and she still isn’t done reading.” He grumbled. I groaned loudly. Did I just enter hell! Because staying in America isn’t worth this shit.
I wonder if he’s punishing me on purpose. Would he be that petty? I don’t know, today is the most I’ve ever been around him and he usually just sits there watching everyone if he isn’t cooped up in his office. Maybe he was whining to himself about how disorganized everything was. “I’m trying to read what you gave me,” I told him. He sat up and turned to me.
“Sabrina.” I corrected.
“Oh...good thing I didn’t call you what I thinking of calling you.” He said under his breath. I frowned. “It’s midnight, time for bed, we got a ton of shit to do morning.” He said.
“Like what?” I asked as he laid back down.
“Page 50, item 1 in column 2. At 9:30 we pick out your ring then whatever event are listed until 5.” He said. I searched for the page and found a well-thought-out table with dates and time stamps. He wants us to get married at 10 am Sunday—why so early—and at 12 we go to on our ‘honeymoon’....damn he time-stamped even events for the honeymoon. Sex isn’t on the list. Not like it mattered or anything. I mean....although he has an amazing body....that ass of his is clenched too tight. I slide the booklet under my pillow and turned off the lamp. I turned my back to him and tried to sleep. “Stop pushing your ass against me.” He grumbled. It barely touched you!
“Sorry,” I whispered, moving away from him. I frowned when I heard something buzzing.
“What the fuck?” He muttered, turning on the lamp. He sat up and reached under the pillow. He pulled out my bedazzled vibrator. My eyes went bug wide. Oh my....fuck! He looked at me with his brows furrowed. “Are you just going to stare at me or are you going to take it?” I snatched it from him and quickly turned it off.
“Sorry about that,” I said after I shoved it in my nightstand.
“Ahuh.” He muttered, laying back down and turning off the lamp. I facepalmed and shook my head. I completely forgot I had that under there. I laid down, sighing.
I rolled onto my side and opened my eyes with a sigh when Aston’s body wash filled my nose. Why does that asshole have to smell this good? I quickly sat up when I realised I’m laying on his pillow. I stared at it wishing his face was there….so I could punch it. Where is he anyway? I checked the bathroom but it was empty. I decided to take a shower and when I was done I threw on leggings and a baggy shirt before going to the kitchen. When I got to the kitchen I was surprised to see Aston cooking with his phone at his ear. “Yeah, I want it to seem like we put some thought into this.” He said. “Hm. That doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Ok...yeah bye.” He shoved his phone into his pocket and flipped a pancake.
“Morning.” I greeted with a smile. He looked over his shoulder at me then poured coffee into a mug and handed it to me. “Thanks.”
“Sugar or cream?” He asked.
“Both,” I answered with a smile. He got them out of the fridge and slide them to me. “Kitchen was a mess. I spent 20 minutes organising everything.” I groaned.
“It’s way too early for you to be complaining and you didn’t even say good morning.
“Sorry....morning.” He said. I smiled.
“Much better,” I said into my mug. I took a long sip of my coffee. “So good.”
“Hm. Here.” He said, sliding a plate staked with 3 blueberry pancakes and deviled eggs. I looked at him in shock.
“How did you know I like deviled eggs?”I asked with a smile.
“I didn’t want to wake you so I just looked at your answers for your questionnaire, how you liked your coffee was the only thing I was uncertain of.” He confessed. Aw, what do you know? The tin man does have a heart. I smiled. He looked away and he took a sip of his coffee. I dug into my pancakes and boy were they good. When my plate was half-eaten I looked at him and found him staring at me.
“You’re not eating?” I asked. He shook his head.
“I don’t eat breakfast.”
“Why not?” I asked. He shrugged.
“I’m never home this late...I usually wake up early to work out and I’ll drink a smoothie on my way to work.” He replied. Wow, you only cooked because of me? That’s so sweet. I got up with my plate and walked over to him. He stared down at me, frowning. I cut a piece of my half eaten pancake and lifted it to his mouth. “I said I don’t eat breakfast.”
“I don’t care. Eat it. I can’t sit there knowing you’re not going to eat.”
“It’s my choice—“
“Too bad when I’m around you’re going to eat breakfast so....open your mouth,” I said firmly but with a smile. I frowned when he just stared at me. “Eat it....please.” He rolled his eyes and slowly puts the fork in his mouth. I smiled when he began chewing. He flinched when I tried to wipe syrup off the corner of his mouth, his brows furrowed.
“What are you—“
“Sh.” I hushed him as I wiped his mouth. I shoved the plate into his stomach. “Eat the rest,” I said as I pushed him away from the sink. As I began washing the dishes, I could feel his eyes on me. “What?” I asked and looked up at him. He was just putting another piece of pancake in his mouth.
“And you complain too much. Hurry up so I can wash the plate.” I said.
“I didn’t sign up for this shit.” He said, under his breath. I glared at him as he walked away. Ah! You’re so infuriating!
Two hours later, I changed into a beige bodycon dress, stilettos and a short red coat. When I walked out of the bathroom and I met Aston’s stern gaze. He sat on the bed and his eyes roamed every inch of me. “We’re getting a ring—not walking down the runway.” He said, getting up. He’s dressed in a black shirt with the first 3 buttons undone, jeans and a black loafers.
“Is that you’re way of saying I look nice?” I said teasingly with a smirk. He made a face.
“You’ll never hear those words come out of my mouth.” He said and left soon after. I’ll take that as a yes and you look nice too Ash. I followed him to the front door then locked the door behind us and watched him walk to a white McLaren, parked on the curb. My mouth dropped.
“This is your car?” I asked like I didn’t already know. I knew exactly what my neighbours drive and none of them drove a bad boy like this.
“Can I drive it?” I asked, grinning.
“No.” He cornered.
“Aw,” I whined, pouting. I gave him puppy eyes. He rolled his eyes.
“Fine.” He said and handed me the key.
“Yay!” I exclaimed before yanking it from him. I opened the door and hopped in. He hopped in after me before he began lecturing me but I was too busy admiring the interior to listen. I turned on the engine and raved it. I got fucking chills. Man! Listen to that baby roar. I pulled off the curb and then slammed on the brake. I smirked at Aston, who looked ghostly as he stared at me in shock. “Just messing with ya. I’ve test-driven a bad boy like this before.” I said, before driving down the main road.
“You almost gave me a heart attack.” He said. I giggled.
“Sorry, I couldn’t resist.”
“Hm.” He breathed, taking his phone out of his pocket. I glanced at him.
“You don’t talk much do you?”
“I talk when I have something to say.” He replied.
“Oh, understandable,” I whispered. We fell into silence. I glanced at him. He looked serious as hell, at least try to make conversation with him to lighten his mood. “So...um...do you have a favourite sports team?”
“I don’t like sports.” He said, curtly.
“Did you not read the booklet? There’s a list of my likes and dislikes.”
“I haven’t gotten to your dislikes,” I said sadly.
“Well, on top of my list are sports and small talk.” He informed.
“Ahuh.” He breathed. I was just trying to make conversation. I sighed. I don’t need to be a psychic to know this whole agreement is going to blow up in my face. I should have taken being deported like a big girl because I don’t know how much of Aston’s bad moods and complaining I can take. “You’re driving too fast.” He said. I rolled my eyes.