Claimed As His (Mail Order Brides, 2)

By: Jenika Snow & Sam Crescent


And that’s how she felt most of the time … plain and unattractive.

And now she was married to a man she wasn’t even sure she liked, who was handsome and wealthy, but his personality was the opposite.

“It’s nothing,” she said.

Of course to him she’d been perfect. He’d told her she was the complete opposite of what all of his family wanted. But she didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

Yay.

“Come on, you can tell me.”

“I just don’t think I’d like to meet your parents on my wedding day.” She stared down at the white dress, wishing she wasn’t a virgin, and that today hadn’t made her feel sick. “It’s … been a really long day.” She gritted her teeth and stared out of the window.

“You’re right. Let’s head to my place. It’s best you see where you’re going to be moving into.”

“Moving into?”

“We’re going to be living together now. We’re married.”

“We didn’t discuss this.”

“I know, but I figured it was a given. You’re my wife, Lucy. I want to take care of you.” His hand moved across her shoulders, and she didn’t fight him.

She didn’t like him but her body did.

She wasn’t naïve in thinking she wouldn’t be staying with her husband, but with Ian this was a different situation. This was a marriage of convenience, so a part of her hoped that maybe he’d only want her around when his parents were involved, when he needed her on his arm to piss them off.

He was the first man in her life that ever made her ache the way she did now. Her body, in that moment, wasn’t her own. Ian took her hand and locked their fingers together. She noticed he seemed to touch her every single chance he got.

“I’m a wealthy man. I don’t want you living in that small apartment above a pizza place anymore. In fact, I hope you don’t mind but while we were at our wedding, I decided to get some moving men into your place. They’re putting your stuff in my home right now.”

“You just went ahead and did that without me?” she asked, shocked and slightly appalled at what he’d done.

She wasn’t happy.

That apartment belonged to her.

She didn’t have much in the world but her apartment meant everything to her. Growing up in foster care, she’d had nothing. Being passed around constantly, hoping a home would open up for her, she’d come to realize the few important things in life were a home and food.

The moment she left at eighteen, she’d found a job, settled down, and made a life for herself. She earned a living, rented that apartment with the sweat and tears of her hard work.

People were not to be trusted, even though Ian was nice to her.

He wanted something.

He was using her, and she had to keep remembering that.

While he wanted to rub his parents’ faces in the fact that she wasn’t perfect, she had to come up with a plan B.

The limo turned around and they headed into the city.

“We’re not going to your parents’?” Had he really listened to her?

“You’re right. Going to them on my wedding day is in really bad taste. I don’t know what I was thinking. We could stay home, have a quiet meal, enjoy each other. Learn everything there is to know about one another.”

She stared at him for a long time. “I thought you said we knew enough about each other.”

“I’m starting to think I talk trash.” He pressed a kiss to her cheek, and heat filled her entire body. “Tell me something I don’t already know.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. Your parents? How come they didn’t appear at our wedding? In fact, I noticed that no one came to our wedding. Just people I knew who could act as witnesses.”

She licked her dry lips. “I don’t have any parents.”

“Come on, everyone has parents.”

“Mine left me in front of a church when I was a baby. It was freezing cold out, and I had a card placed on top of me asking for someone else to deal with me.” She still owned the card, which was now faded. Every time she had any doubt or started to trust anyone, she’d look at it, and realize there was no one in the world she could trust.

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