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Bryant narrows his eyes on me, interrupting my gawking. “What’s wrong?”

I perch my eyebrow. “Want the list?”

Bryant chuckles then looks back toward the priest. “Begin.”


“Get in the car, Isa,” Bryant growls into my ear while his hand is pressed firmly against my lower back.

I smile my ‘smile’ and give one last polite wave to our family and friends before gripping my dress in the palm of my hand and slipping into the backseat of the limo. Bryant’s family was normal which surprised me. I didn’t quite expect his mom to be so…. Motherly? I don’t know, but a man like Bryant just screamed to me mommy issues, so that left me with thoughts of his father, but was proven wrong there too. His father, all though he seemed rather brooding, was in my opinion, normal. Everything about his damn family was normal and just… nice. My family and their rich ass friends were always such assholes to other people. I always thought it was money that made people assholes, but nope. Bryant’s parents sure shat on that theory.

My smile drops as soon as I’m in the enclosure of the limo. I reach for the unopened bottle of champagne, unwrapping the cork and quickly popping it off. Without seeking out any wine glasses, I bring the rim of the bottle to my mouth and pound it back, letting the bitter rich liquid bubble down my throat. In the corner of my eye, I see Bryant slide into the chair opposite me, but I keep drinking.

I’m a wife.

A. Fucking. Wife.

I feel like I should be wearing a “ain’t no wifey” shirt right now. I’m not fucking wife material, I’m life-changer, will-fuck-your-world-up, bitch-with-problems, material.

Bryant chuckles, slamming the door closed and that’s when I lower my lovely bottle of champ while wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. All class, obviously. Hashtag classy wifey.

“What!” I snap at him, raising the bottle once more to take a drink.

“I didn’t say anything, wife,” he snarls. The pet name sets off goosebumps, or pissed off bumps, over my flesh. What the actual fuck have I done? I’ve made a lot of very questionable decisions in all my twenty years, but this…oh this has got to take the crack cake.

“Easy on the wife,” I add, as the limo drives away from our guests.

“I’ll call you what I want, but for the record, that’s exactly what the fuck you are.” He loosens his tie and tosses it across the seat. His dark eyes come to mine, and I take this time to scan his features, what with the soft lighting in the limo casting shadows over his chiseled jaw. There’s no denying how stunning Bryant Royal is. No questioning at all. But then again, that’s never been the issue.

“Why me?” I ask, you know, classic me, spitting out whatever is on my mind before I can throw up any kind of filter. “I mean,” I rest the bottle of champagne between my thighs, “I mean, just why me?”

He pauses, and my eyes come to where his index finger is working his upper lip. Just when I’m about to tap out and look away from his annoyingly sexy glare, he answers. “Would you believe me if I said I don’t know?”

“No.” I want to scoff, but I can’t find the will to do it. It’s somewhere between all the tension that has heightened to dangerous levels, and the urge to punch him square in the nose.

He exhales, reaching forward and taking the bottle from between my legs. “Good. At least you have something switched on in that brain.”

“Not funny.” I throw back at him, my eyes narrowed.

“I’m not trying to be funny, Isa.” He takes a large gulp of champagne, his Adam’s apple bobbing past his swallow.

“Well then what, Bryant. I know what I did to your brother… but why would you want to marry someone who took someone so close to you?”

He stops, his eyes snap straight to mine and if I didn’t know any better by knowing that it wasn’t (actually) possible, I’d say flames roared inside those dark pupils. “Why the fuck do you have to ask so many questions?” He tilts his head and runs his eyes over my body. “For someone who didn’t ask fuck all questions when she was supposed to, you sure ask a lot now.”

“That’s not fair,” I flinch, mumbling it more to myself than to him because truly, someone like Bryant doesn’t give a flying fuck about what I think is fair.

“A lot of shit isn’t fair,” ding, ding, ding, maybe I should have been a psychic, “but you being incapable of asking questions is not one of them.” Oh, we’re definitely going to kill each other before we’ve even reached the boring phase of marriage.

Deciding to ignore him for the rest of the trip, I lean my head against the cool window and watch the passing of trees. All these recent events have had me thinking about Brooke a lot. I think she’s with her dad somewhere, I haven’t heard from her in some time.

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