“You…you said you didn’t remember anything.” She says, pointing a finger in my face. I look at her finger and back at her again and roll my eyes.
“I don’t. But the state of the room when I woke up this morning was a clear indication of a good night,” I take a step closer to her, and she cranes her neck to look up at me. “There was a trail of clothes from the door to the bed, which means we were completely lost in our passion to not give a damn about anyone’s type,” I state matter-of-factly and wink at her. “Not to mention you’re sporting my signature ‘fucked out’ look.”
Shayla’s green eyes grow wide, she huffs and takes a big step back putting some space between us. She rakes her fingers through her hair clearly frustrated.
“Wow. I’m not even going to dignify that remark with a response.” She stops pacing and looks at me again. “What are we doing to do? Is this marriage even legal?”
“I’m afraid so.” Her shoulders slump, and she shakes her head.
“Surely they can’t marry us when we were that drunk?” She questions glaring at me. I shrug and set my cup of coffee down and take the marriage certificate off the table.
“Anything can happen in Vegas. Here, I found this in my pocket this morning.” She takes the paper from me and unfolds it.
“What is this?”
“Our marriage certificate. Signed by us both haphazardly but still signed nonetheless.” I tell her, and she reads through the document before she looks at me.
“Oh my God, we’re actually married.” She mumbles, leaning against the dining table. I sigh and rub the back of my neck awkwardly. She looks upset, just staring at the floor and I don’t do well with consoling girls who are upset. I get uncomfortable and clam up.
“Hey, look, it’s not the end of the world. We’ll get an annulment or a divorce, and we’ll go on with our lives like this never happened.” I tell her, and she lifts her gaze to look at me, and I swear the sadness in her eyes sent a tremor through me.
She nods eventually and straightens, “Yeah, I suppose you’re right,” She sighs and looks around the room in bewilderment then frowns a little, scratching her head awkwardly. “Uh,” She chews her bottom lip a little. “I can’t find my dress…” I let my eyes roam around the room. “I also need to figure out how the hell I’m going to get back home.”
“Oh, I’ve sorted that. Our flight to London leaves in two hours.” I inform her, and she nods. “I’ve also arranged some clothes to be delivered for both of us. You look about a size ten. Coffee?” I ask, she stares at me, her mouth agape and nods before she sits on a chair at the dining table. I pour her a black coffee and set it down on the table in front of her.
She continues to stare at me, her brows knitted together. “Thank you. You didn’t have to do that. Please let me know how much I owe you, and I’ll pay you back.” She lifts the mug to her lips and takes a long sip, closes her eyes, and sighs Yeah, that first sip of coffee when you’re hungover is like heaven. I hadn’t noticed I was staring at her until she looks up at me and frowns.
I shake my head and shrug. “Don’t worry about it. It’s no problem. I’m sure you’d like to shower and refreshen up. I didn’t order breakfast, because I wasn’t sure what you would like to eat.” I tell her and disappear into the bathroom. “Why don’t you go ahead and order us some room service?” I suggest, and she blinks at me and nods hesitantly.
After a long, well-needed shower and a couple of business calls, Shayla and I ate breakfast to soak up the alcohol we consumed the night before. My stomach felt queasy, and the avocado toast I had helped settle it. Shayla showered and dressed in the clothes I had arranged for her. She came out of the bathroom looking refreshed in a pair of tight-fit light blue jeans, and a low-cut black tee. We left the hotel and made our way to the airport. Shayla gets out of the car as we pull up at my private jet and stares up at it. “This is yours?” She asks as we walk over to it.
“Sure is, sweetheart,” I tell her and gestured for her to walk up the steps. I honestly cannot wait to get back home. I feel rough, and I have so much work I need to catch up on. I slide into a seat on the plane and watch as Shayla wanders around. She seems apprehensive, and I find myself wondering if she’s a nervous flyer. “You plan on standing there the entire ten hours of the flight? Take a seat. I won’t bite unless you ask.” I tease, and she shakes her head mumbles something under her breath and slides into a seat next to me, staring out of the window, her fingers fumbling in her lap while she nervously chews on her bottom lip.
I wish I could read her mind right now. There is something about this woman. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but she’s different compared to the women I go for usually, and this is by far the longest I have spent with any girl I’ve slept with ever. I don’t even stay the night with them. I usually leave right after we get done doing the deed. Like my best friend Josh says, ‘You fuck and duck out.’ Sounds awful, I know, but I don’t have time for relationships, between my workload and the travelling I do, there is simply no time for a girlfriend or a social life of any sort. After my last relationship of three years crashed and burned a year ago, I’ve made work my priority.
I stir out of my sleep when I hear the captain's voice over the intercom. I must have fallen asleep while reading. Shayla was asleep with her head resting on my shoulder, her arm wrapped around my bicep. I can smell her shampoo again and it’s becoming my favourite smell. I brush a strand of her hair out of her face gently. She’s stunning, even without makeup.
As the wheels of the plane touch down on the tarmac, Shayla jolts awake and lifts those olive eyes, and looks up at me. It takes her a moment to realise her head was resting on my shoulder and she pulls away and sits upright brushing her fingers through her hair, and she clears her throat, looking around uneasily. “How long have I been sleeping?”
“A couple of hours.” She looks at me and frowns a little before leaning over and pulling her shoes on.
“I’m so sorry. You should have woken me.” I smile and shake my head, watching her as she straightens her top.
“Don’t sweat it. I was asleep too. We must have been more tired than we realised.” Shayla nods and rubs her neck as she walks through the plane toward the exit.
“Tell me about it. It’s been a hell of a weekend. Oh god, I've got work in the morning.” She says as we make our way down the steps of the plane. She stops suddenly and looks at the car and then back at me. “Did we use this car last night?”
I nod, and she blinks and looks at the car again. “We left the club in this last night.”
“Huh, I remember the car but nothing else.” She replies and looks at the driver and frowns. “Actually. I remember him, too.” Gerald smiles and nods curtly at her before he opens the door for her to get in.
“Evening Miss.” Shayla eyes him sceptically before she gets in the car. An hour later we pull up at the address she gave Gerald. She steps out of the car, and I follow her out and walk around the vehicle.
“Well, this is me.” She says, looking up at her building and back at me again. "Thank you for getting me back home."
“Don't mention it. Here, this is my card. My lawyer has already started drawing up the divorce papers. We’ll meet up in a few days, and you can sign it. Sound good?”
Shayla takes my card and looks at it, she looks at me and frowns. “Tristan? I thought your name was Cole?” She questions.
“It is. I prefer to be called Cole outside of work,” She nods satisfied with my answer, and tucks the card in her pocket. Wow, she genuinely doesn’t know who I am. That actually makes a nice change.
“Well. I guess I’ll wait to hear from you. I will text you my number,” I nod, and we look at each other awkwardly for a moment unsure of what to say or how to act. Do we shake hands or hug? She turns to walk away but stops suddenly, takes the ring off her finger, and hands it to me. “We’ve never met before, right?” She questions looking at my face, her eyes narrowed.
I shake my head and shrug. “I don’t think so. I would have definitely remembered meeting you.” I answer with a smirk, and she blinks up at me surprised, her cheeks turning pink. Oh fuck. If that isn’t the sexiest thing ever.
Shayla clears her throat and nods, "Thanks again."
I smile at her, “Thank you for an eventful weekend, Shayla Hart.” Shayla nods, mumbles a goodbye, and turns to walk away. “I guess I’ll be seeing you in a few days…wifey.” She stops, turns, and glares at me unamused.
“Don’t call me that.” I chuckle and watch her disappear into her apartment building. What an eventful forty-two hours.
I jump awake when I hear my alarm chirping away on the bedside table next to me. I reach over and feel around for my phone; eyes still closed, I managed to find it and snooze the alarm. Ahh silence. Just as I’m about to doze off again, I remember it's my first day at my new job, and I jump out of bed excited. It was seven-forty-five, and I had to be there at nine o’clock. Satisfied I had enough time I drag myself to the bathroom to shower and get ready.I stare at my reflection in the mirror as I brush my teeth. Eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep and a weekend of heavy drinking had me looking like something out of the night of the living dead. After a steaming hot shower and two mugs of strong coffee, I was feeling a little better. I was trying to convince myself the fluttering around in my stomach wasn’t nerves. Why would I be nervous? I can do this job in my sleep. Ugh, butterflies explode in my stomach again at the thought of work.I was applying my
“You?” I shake my head and look over at Heather and back at the six-foot-something man standing in front of me. “No. No, my boss was an older guy, you’re-”Cole nods slowly. “You must have met my Father. Tony Hoult. He was interviewing for me whilst I was out of town on business.”I stare at Cole and curse the fate that keeps screwing with me. “So, you’re my boss?”Cole nods and fiddles with his cufflinks, his brows fused tightly. “It sure looks that way.”“You’ve already met each other-”“Heather, leave us.” He commands, his eyes never leaving mine and Heather scampers out of the office leaving us alone.“This is a joke, right? Because this can’t be happening,” I mutter, pacing back and forth. “It can’t be.”Cole rubs the back of his neck, watching me pace frantically, mumbling incoherently to myse
“Tristan, we’ve had this conversation before. I’ve had it with your philandering ways. If you want me and your grandfather to take you seriously and pass on our shares to you, you need to prove you’re responsible enough to run a multi-million corporation. You’ll be thirty soon, the time for you to settle down has come. I let you have your fun and sow your wild oats so that you’ll get it out of your system before you settle down.” My father scolds me whilst cutting into his fillet mignon steak. “Hollie comes from a respectable family who has been our dearest friends for generations. She’s a beautiful young lady, and she shares the same passion for architecture as you do. What more could you ask for in a life partner?” He adds, lifting his green eyes to look at me.I clench and unclench my fist under the table. I feel my annoyance grow more by the minute. “Well, I would like to be attracted to my future wife for
“You’re married, you idiot!” He shouts, throwing his hands up in the air. “You can’t marry Hollie if you’re already married. Take Shayla to your grandfather, introduce her as your wife, problem solved.”Oh. Why didn’t I think of this? I am married.I frown. “You mean, we stay married?” Josh nods, widening his blue eyes. “She wouldn’t agree, why would she want to stay married?”Josh throws a cushion at me. “Because you’re Tristan Cole Hoult, that’s why. You’re the most sought-after bachelor in the country—after me, of course.” He says in jest, and I throw the cushion back at him.I roll my eyes exasperated. “Fuck you, arsehole.” Josh catches the cushion and rests his elbow on it, grinning. “She doesn’t care about any of that. She’s nothing like the rest; my fame and money didn’t deter her one bit.”
God? What the hell did I do in my past life for you to be punishing me like this?As I stand there looking at Coles father, utterly humiliated—might I add, he’s just staring back at me confused. “Your wife?” He repeats, averting his gaze to his son. “I don’t understand.”I open my mouth to speak but Cole pipes in, “We’re married, what’s not to understand.” I look up at him, and he pulls me closer against him, and I have the sudden urge to punch the kid in his throat.“I should give you both some privacy,” I say and turn to leave the room.“Stay right there, young lady!” He shouts, and I jump startled at his sudden outburst. I nod and hang my head in silence, shrinking back beside Cole. “Tristan, I hired this girl a few days ago to be your assistant. What do you mean you’re married?” He questions, his green eyes, identical to Coles darting between us waiting for an answer. “What? Did it just slip your mind that you’re married to the CEO of the company?” He ask
“Thank you, Shayla. You have no idea how much this means to me. Honestly.” I nod and pull my hand back. “Well, nobody should be forced to marry someone they don’t love. Even entitled rich boys like yourself ought to have a happily ever after.” I tease, and he scoffs and pokes my side. “I am not an entitled rich boy.” He defends feigning annoyance, but I see the corner of his lips curl. “I work really hard okay.” He says and chuckles when I give him a pointed look. “Ok fine, I work hard.” “Whatever you say champ. Can we please discuss what we are going to tell you, parents, because I’m kind of terrified here?” I question, and he nods. “We just need to get our stories straight. My parents know me very well, especially my mother, so if we are going to convince them that we are in love, we have to act the part.” I shake my head and hold my hand up. “Hold up –define ‘in love’ because, if by that you mean you’re going to be shoving your tongue down
I wish I had the option just to hit pause and stay in this moment for a little while longer. I let my eyes roam over Shayla’s face, her eyes closed, lips faintly parted, just pleading to be kissed, but I know that’s not what she needs right now. If I tried, she would probably punch me. When a knock sounds on my door Shayla’s eyes flicker open, and she looks up at me, and as the door opens, she pulls herself away from me, putting a couple of feet between us. Her gaze drops to the floor, and I would give my left nut to be able to read her mind. Was she waiting for me to kiss her? Did she feel as disappointed as I did when she pulled away?“Tristan?” I look over at Lucy— my publicist when she pokes her head through the door, and I wave her in. “I just saw the article. My phone hasn’t stopped ringing.” She says, walking toward us.“How do we fix this?” I ask her, and she sets the tablet in her hand on my des
Her lips part and stares at me before her eyes narrow, “Maybe I’m just good at faking it.” She responds, pulling her face away from my hand.I look over her face and grin, “You’re right,” I tilt her head up, so our lips are perfectly aligned. “You can’t lie for shit,” I whisper and drop a kiss on her cheek, and she pulls away.“What the hell are you doing, Cole?” I pull my head back and grin.“Playing my part,” I say and step away from her. She frowns, and I gesture with my head to the crowd of employees that just watched our entire exchange. “It seems I was too into fondling my wife that I hadn’t noticed I ‘accidentally’ unfrosted the glass.” She looks around and swallows hard before she turns her stony gaze to me.“Oh, you son of a—” I wink at her and walk around my desk.“Ah, ah, ah you love me, remember?” She