Page 4 of Stealing the Bride

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Maybe I’ll start with the bridal shop and see where that takes me.

Chapter Three


Of course now that I ran out on Nick, my phone won’t stop blowing up. What is there to talk about? He’s been cheating on me with multiple women. At once! I’m sure they aren’t the first and won’t be the last, but I’m not sticking around to find out.

The more I think about our relationship, the more I see all the stupid signs I tried hard to ignore. For some reason, I made up a lot of excuses.

Maybe it’s because it was the first time I thought I might belong somewhere and that I was chosen over everyone else. When I first met Nick, everyone fawned over how perfect he was and what a gentleman he could be. That’s laughable now. He checked all the boxes that women are supposed to want in a man. It made me feel special that out of everyone, Nick saw something in me that made me different.

It must have been that I’m a giant sucker.

My phone vibrates again, and I know if don’t answer, he might show up, and I really don’t want that. I want to go home and take a shower and think about what I’m going to do next.

“Will you stop!” I say when I finally answer the call. He’s going to kill my battery.

“Vanny, listen.”

I cringe because I hate it when he calls me that. He thinks it’s a sweet nickname, but Vanny is what they called me in my third foster home. That was a nightmare, and I should have taken that as a sign too!

“There’s nothing to listen to, Nick. I think we both know it’s over. It’s been over. We don’t need to draw this out.” I can’t believe he’s actually that shaken up over this. If anything, he wants to save face, but I’m not going to go around and tell everyone what happened. We can tell people the real truth, which is that we're not in love.

“Don’t be dramatic.” It takes everything in me not to shout back that I’m not dramatic, but that would only play into his narrative. Truth be told, there isn’t a reason for me to get worked up.

“Nick, I walked in on you with two women. I think that kind of says it all.”

“It’s only sex. I’d never fuck you like that.”

I open and then close my mouth because I’m unsure how to respond. Then it hits me. I’m the doll on the shelf. I do as I’m told and play the part. I was going to be his wife, and he would make polite love to me while having dirty fucks on the side. Why wouldn’t I want my husband to fuck me and make love to me? Why can’t it be both?

“I’m not mad,” I say calmly because if I think about it, I let myself be put on the shelf. I was too agreeable with him and his mother and always went along with whatever they said.

“Good.” He lets out a long breath. “Mother already sent out the save the date cards.”


“You know how she can be.” I do, and I’m glad I don’t have to deal with her any longer. In fact, I’m over trying to please anyone.

“That’s not what I meant. I meant, you seriously still think we’re together? I said I’m not upset with you because I get it. We’ve never been the most affectionate couple.” That was another sign I glossed over.

“I want a virgin on my wedding night,” he blurts out, and I stop walking.

A few people knock into me, telling me to get out of the way. His words are almost as shocking as me walking in on him with two women.

“You want a virgin.” I step to the side so I’m out of the way. Clearly, I don’t know Nick, and he sure as hell doesn’t know me. “I can't do this right now. I’m standing on the sidewalk.”

“Okay,” he agrees quickly. “I’ll pick you up early tomorrow for the charity event or whatever bullshit we’re supposed to go to. We’ll talk then.” I swear I hear a giggle in the background. The women are still at his home. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Vanny. I knew you'd understand. You’re always so rational and dependable.”

“Thanks,” I mutter as I rub my forehead where the headache is forming.

“Bye,” he calls out almost absentmindedly before he hangs up.

When I stare at the blank screen, I think long and hard about tossing it in the trash. Nick actually bought it for me, and at the time, I thought it was a sweet gift. My old one would never hold a charge for long, but I think the truth is he was embarrassed when I pulled out my four-year-old phone in front of others.

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