Page 7 of Stealing the Bride

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Stupidly, it was one of the things I liked about Nick. When I didn’t want to go further with sex, he let it go. Now in retrospect, it makes me feel undesirable.

Of course, it’s terrible for a man to force himself on a woman, but Nick never showed much interest. Even as I tell myself that men shouldn’t do that, there’s still a dark voice that whispers What if I was forced? Not by Nick, but the idea is one that I’m not proud of.

Am I one of those girls that plays hard to get? Am I a tease? It isn’t something I think about, but maybe that’s part of the dirty secret inside me I keep hidden.

It sounds nice to have someone fight for me because to them there is something about me that completes them, and they need me to live.

I guess I should be careful what I ask for because right now Nick is standing in front of me demanding I remain his fiancée. I don’t even have a ring to give back to him. I was supposed to get some family ring, and at the time, it was a sweet idea. It would have made me a part of a family, but now the cost is too high. It had to be sized still, but I think his mother is holding on to it for as long as she can. Good thing she did because she can keep it.

“Do not make a scene.” Nick grabs me by the arm. “I’ve been waiting out here for over an hour! Why aren’t you answering my calls?” He glances up and down the sidewalk to make sure no one is paying attention. We wouldn’t want people to know he’s not perfect, would we?

“I told you we’re over,” I whisper, trying to grant him some level of respect. He might not be able to do that for me, but clearly, we were never the same.

“No, we said we’d talk about it. What am I supposed to tell everyone when you’re not with me tonight?”

“That we broke up.” Nick really isn’t as smart as I thought he was. That Ivy League degree didn’t do much for him. The spoiled rich boy is boiling to the surface, and his fingers tighten on my arm so hard I’m sure he’ll leave marks.

“We are not breaking up,” he grits out. I try to yank my arm from his hold, but it’s useless.

“Nick.” I glare up at him. “Let. Me. Go.” I punctuate each of my words, and his brows lift. I’m sure he’s shocked at my hard refusal.

“How much?” he hisses.

What the hell? How does this man—no, boy—keep surprising me?

“I’m not a whore.” I raise my chin, and he barks a laugh.

“Obviously. You’re a cold fish. The money is to pretend. Don’t make me ask again.” I hold back the emotion that claws at my throat. “Think about it, Vanny. You could get so far as my wife. We can come to an agreement.” He smirks. “Then maybe you’ll finally spread those thighs.”

I gasp with a mixture of shock and rage. This time when I pull on my arm, I get free but not because of my own strength. Out of nowhere, a fist comes swinging between us and slams into Nick’s jaw. Nick hits the ground like a concrete block in a crumpled heap.

“One hit.” The man who threw the punch laughs, glancing at his own hand, but there’s no damage. “Vanna.”

Slowly I look into the handsome man’s eyes. He just turned Nick to a pile of nothing, and I think it’s time we get the hell out of here.

He takes my hand in a gentle hold, and I must be in shock because I let him.

Is he a knight in shining armor? Ha! Not with my luck.

Chapter Six


“Come on, let's get you to my car and you can sit down,” I say, pulling her with me away from the asshole fiancé.

“Oh god.” She puts her hand on her head and wobbles a little on her feet.

“Hey, easy does it.” I reach out and put my arm over her shoulder to keep her from tipping over. “You okay?”

“Sometimes I get a little…” She swallows hard, and her face is flushed. “Overwhelmed? I guess? I feel dizzy.”

“I’m parked right over here.” I pull out the keys to my car and hit the button so she can see the lights come on. “Do you feel like you’re going to pass out?”

She nods and swallows hard again. “Or throw up.”

“I’ve got some water in my car.” I guide her to where I’m parked and slide my hand around her waist. “Be careful stepping off the curb.”

“W-what’s your name?”

“Lawson.” Her body is soft against me as I open the passenger door for her and help her take a seat. “Put your head down as far as you can and try to breathe. I’m worried you’re going to pass out.”

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