Page 25 of Buying the Bride

I leave without another glance.

9

Heath



Sitting at my desk, there’s a pile of work in front of me that needs to get done, but I can’t concentrate. Sylph’s words haunt me: ‘It felt wrong, picking out the dress, since this is all fake’. Maybe the marriage is fake but it isn’t all fake. At least it’s not for me.

But maybe it is for her. I keep asking myself, if this is just a job for her then why has she been intimate with me? The only answer I have come up with is because she must have feelings for me. But now I wonder if maybe she just enjoys sex. I can’t fault her for that. I too enjoy sex. But with Sylph it’s more than that. Now I’m starting to realize it may be one sided.

I shouldn’t have walked out on her the way I did. She’ll think I’m mad.

Sighing, I know there’s nothing I can do about that now. There’s only a few more hours until I have to go meet up with my family.

10

Sylph

Heath’s family hates me. It’s been several days since we met them for dinner and they haven’t made any effort to meet up with me or get to know me since. I guess I should be thankful for that because they are awful. Not his mom, and I guess not his dad, really, since he didn’t really say much throughout the dinner, but the twins are the worst. I knew Arora was going to be a handful after dress shopping with her, but when she and Theo get together, they are a freaking tornado. The way they deliver underhanded insults is a true talent because while they’re tearing you apart, it feels strangely like a compliment and I never really felt the digs until later when I laid in bed and thought about them.

Heath was mostly quiet through dinner with his family, only speaking up on occasion to tell the twins to back off. If he was wanting to sell the relationship between us, he was doing a poor job of it. He did nothing but brood the whole night, then, when we got home, he went straight to his room and didn’t come out the rest of the night. I’d wanted to knock on his door to see if he wanted company, but had the distinct feeling his broodiness had something to do with me.

It’s Friday evening and close to time to leave for the rehearsal. I go to Heath’s room and knock on the door. We haven’t really spoken since we had dinner with his parents—not in any real way. Not like we had been before that.

He opens the door, a towel wrapped around his waist, his hair wet from his shower. There’s still a few specks of shaving cream on his chin and the sides of his face. He wipes them off with a hand towel as he stands there waiting to hear why I’ve knocked.

I take several deep breaths to calm my racing heart. Why am I so nervous right now?

“Hi,” I say.

The corner of his mouth twitches into something like a smile. “Hi.”

“Can we talk?”

“Of course.”

He steps aside, letting me into his room. I walk in. The air is humid. There’s condensation on the mirrors. He must have taken a hot shower with the door open.

“What’s up?” he asks.

He sits on the bed and pats the empty spot next to him. I sit.

“I shouldn’t be nervous about today, right?” I ask.

This will be the first time since that awkward dinner that I will spend any real time with his family.

“Of course not. I’ll be right there with you.”

I shake my head. “But you won’t. You haven’t been here with me since we fooled around in my room. I did something wrong. Or maybe I said something, but ever since then, you’ve changed. I just … I want you back. The way you were with me. I don’t think I can pull this off without you.”

I hadn’t realized how tense he was in my presence until I see his shoulders relax. He reaches for me and puts his hand on my cheek, brushing his thumb across the line of my jaw. I feel myself melting into his touch.

“I promise, I’m here for you.”

“Then kiss me.”

He hesitates. It’s only for a second but it’s there. He leans over and gives me a soft peck on the lips. But I want more. I want to feel him all over me, inside of me. I want the comfort of his weight on top of me. I try to deepen the kiss, but he pulls away.

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