Bride For Order

By: Jenika Snow & Sam Crescent


The agency would handle everything in terms of date and marriage, but Landon was impatient. He knew this would take time, but he wanted Anna now.

“In the end this is your call.”





3





Several months later



Anna breathed out roughly as she stared at the two-story cabin. She was still in her car, the engine running, the backseat filled with her bags. The lease for her apartment had been up, so breaking the contract hadn’t been an issue. But she couldn’t believe she was actually doing this, agreeing to marry a man she didn’t even know. There were no other options open to her.

But on the heels of that she also couldn’t deny this weight had lifted off her shoulders when she got the check from the agency and had been able to send it to Jack for the care of their mom. She’d do anything for her mother, and marrying a stranger was just one thing on the list.

She even had enough money to put some in the bank, a little nest egg for the “what ifs” and “just in cases.” She’d even had a little splurge on herself. It had been some time since she’d been able to shop for some nice lingerie. Thinking about Landon and what might be, she purchased some special items with him in mind.

Anna exhaled once more and continued to stare at the house. She could see Landon‘s truck off to the side, and on the other side was an impressive sized garage. He seemed like a nice enough man, not overbearing or wanting to own her like a piece of property, but also she felt he was holding back.

The only saving grace in all of this was that she knew this wasn’t a forever kind of arrangement. If things didn’t work out she had the option of leaving. She had the option of divorce. She sobered at that. Divorce. She never thought she’d be married, let alone knowing that if this didn’t work out she could get a divorce. Just the thought of it left her feeling cold. This wasn’t about love and she needed to remember that.

Their wedding hadn’t been anything more than them going to the courthouse, an officiate from the agency there to make sure all the documents were in place, and all the t’s were crossed. But a part of her had wished she’d had a big wedding, that love had been involved, that her brother and mother had been there. There were a lot of things in life she wished she could change. The main one being her mother’s illness. She’d take that away in a heartbeat. Landon, now her husband, was helping her, and she wouldn’t forget that.

This isn’t about that. Keep that in mind. This is about Jack and Mom.

Even now she thought about the phone call she’d had with Jack before she headed up to Landon‘s place. He wanted to know where the money had come from. And she had told him the truth. She’d been honest, because that’s what her family was about. She told him about the marriage, how she would do it all over again if it meant helping him and their mother. He’d been shocked, to say the least. But in the end she was an adult and it was her decision. This was her life.

No time like the present.

She turned her car off and opened the door, stepping out. A second later Landon opened the front door and came onto the porch. Anna couldn’t deny that this was a beautiful house, and a gorgeous location. It was a few hours from where she’d been living. There were no neighbors around, not for miles. It was clear Landon liked his isolation.

The only reason she wasn’t scared out of her mind right now was because she felt that Landon would honestly give her the time she needed to adjust. He seemed genuine, and she went with her gut instinct that hopefully things would work out. He said he wouldn’t push her, that if she needed space she had it.

She just hoped that’s how it was, because this certainly was going to be an adjustment. Attraction and desire didn’t make for love, and although she had plenty of the former where Landon was concerned, love was another matter.

He started making his way down the front steps and she turned and went to the back passenger side door, opened it, and started pulling out her bags. The feel of Landon’s hand on her shoulder had everything in Anna tingling, stilling. At least she knew her attraction to him was real. She looked over at him and he shook his head slowly.

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