By: B. B. Hamel

Chapter One: Alexa

It all started with a mistake.

A big, stupid mistake, but I couldn’t help myself. Not when he grabbed me by the hips and steered me through the doorway, whispering, Come on, be my fake bride. I want to consummate this trip until you can’t stop screaming my name. I was powerless when it came to him, and he knew it. We barely knew each other, but I’d learned enough over the last few days to know that he got what he wanted. I didn’t even bother saying no anymore, because I knew that saying yes would feel so much better. He had deep blue eyes, a perpetual five o’clock shadow, tattoos all over his body, and muscles that just didn’t quit.

Frankly, he was the most attractive man I’d ever seen, let alone touched, and he definitely knew it. Cole was cocky, too cocky, but he had the swagger to back it up.

Come here, girl, he whispered in my ear. You’re going to be my bride of paradise. I’m going to sink my cock deep into that pretty little pussy of yours, right after we say these words.

We didn’t understand what was really happening. The staff didn’t either, but what did they care? They didn’t know what we really were to each other. We were just some stupid tourists, a little drunk on wine, a little drunk on each other. When we asked for the deluxe ceremony, they figured we understood what we were really getting.

They figured we really wanted to be married. Legally married, not just as some stupid joke.

We stood there in front of the priest as he spoke in Thai, a language neither of us knew. The air was thick and humid, even at night, and Cole held my hand the whole time, his eyes drilling holes in mine. We were in paradise, one of the best vacations of my life, even if my best friend had ditched me on the second day for some lawyer she’d just met. I wasn’t going to let it ruin my good time.

It was all fun and games until I met Cole. Then it was much, much more.

Later, much later, his strong body pressed up against mine in the cool white expanse of my bed, our bodies sweating, pleasure rushing through my skull. Is that how you like it, little wife? he whispered into my ear.

Yes. Please.

His fingers moved down between my thighs and did things I’d never felt before.

“Are you kidding me?” Lacey said, exasperated. “Your dad got married again?”

“Yeah, and this time he didn’t even bother telling me about it.”

I stood with Lacey in line at Starbucks, my backpack heavy from my last day of class. Finals were over and done with, which meant I was headed back home for the summer.

Junior year was finished. I was pretty sure I already had senioritis.

“Typical Frank. Always thinking with his dick.”

“Gross,” I said, laughing. “He’s still my dad, you know.”

“Sorry, but it’s the truth. Your dad is the biggest horndog I’ve ever met.”

“Okay, that’s enough.”

“I know it’s hard to hear, Alex, but it’s the truth. Your father is a grade-A player.”

I sighed, shaking my head. Nobody likes hearing about their parent’s sex life, but unfortunately, in this instance, everything she was saying was the truth. My dad, Frank Miller, was on his third marriage, plus however many girlfriends he’d had over the years. He seemed to constantly go from one “true love” to the next with no real regard for anyone else around him. He insisted that it was different this time, that things were going to last for a long time, but he almost always said that.

I was pretty used to it, though. These new women appeared in my life like a hurricane, trying to be my friend, sometimes trying to be my mom, but they never lasted long. Frank didn’t have “commitment” or “monogamy” anywhere in his vocab, no matter how hard he tried otherwise.

“Yeah, well, I haven’t even met this one yet,” I said.

“Seriously? He got married again and didn’t even invite you to the wedding?”

“Supposedly it was a low-key thing. She’s this high-powered CEO of the company that just bought him out.”

We got to the front of the line and ordered our coffee. As we moved over to wait for the drinks, Lacey gave me a look.

“Her company bought his, and now they’re married? Seems pretty weird.”

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