Page 29 of Buying the Bride

“We’ve been doing a little research on your fiancée,” Theo says.

My heart plummets. I knew they would be intrusive, but I didn’t know they’d go as far as to dig up dirt on Sylph. I’m fairly confident anything they’ve come up with I already found in my own research, so I won’t be too caught off guard. But there’s always a chance I missed something.

“Turns out your girlfriend’s best friend deals in brides for hire,” he says.

“How do you know who Sylph’s best friend is?”

“I saw the number she was texting while we were dress shopping and looked up the name,” Arora says with a superior grin.

These two are sneaky. I didn’t realize the lengths they would go to. I shouldn’t have underestimated them.

“Yes, Sylph has told me all about Mandi’s business. Seems lucrative. A bit insane if you ask me, but to each their own,” I say, shrugging it off.

I’m not at all taken aback by their revelation. I prepared myself for that information to get out. But just because her friend deals in brides for hire, doesn’t make Sylph an employee. I would’ve been more concerned about it had I not found out this is Sylph’s first job—and last if I have anything to do with it.

The twins look disappointed that this doesn’t shock me, or that I don’t come right out and confess that our relationship is a fake. But they don’t look ready to give up so easily.

Arora has a piece of paper in her hand and waves it in front of her face as if it were a fan. “Did you know she was married before?” she says with a smug look.

My breath catches in my throat and I hold it. Now this is definitely a surprise. How did this not show up in my own research? That’s a big thing to miss.

Arora and Theo look at each other and smile. Clearly, I’m shocked by this news. It’s impossible to hide the confusion on my face. But somehow I manage to regain my composure.

“No, I didn’t know that. But I do know Sylph and if she didn’t tell me about it, maybe there’s a good reason for it.”

Sylph walks up to us right then. She looks concerned when seeing my face. “Is everything okay?” she asks.

“Does it look like everything is okay?” Arora snaps at her.

Sylph loses the sweet façade she’s been putting on for my family and glares at my sister. “What the hell is going on?”

“Maybe we should be the ones asking you that. It seems you’re the one keeping secrets after all,” Arora says.

Sylph’s expression shifts from irritated to worry. She looks at me like she’s not sure what to say. I wonder if she’s trying to figure out which lie they’ve uncovered. How many other things is she keeping from me? I don’t want to be suspicious, but I’m hurt that she would keep something like this from me.

“I don’t think you really know your future wife at all,” Theo says. “I think you bought a fake bride to get everyone off your back and now you’re about to let Mom and Dad spend a fortune on this sham of a marriage.”

I take Sylph by the hand and give it a gentle squeeze, and say, “I don’t really care what the two of you think.”

“Maybe not, but once our parents find out about all of this, I’m sure you’ll care what they think.”

I ball my empty hand into a fist and fight the urge to hit my little brother.

Arora turns her vicious stare on Sylph and says, “You’re a great actress. When you were blushing and talking about how great Heath was, I really thought you meant it. But really you’re just a gold digger like all the other dumb bitches he’s dated.”

Sylph takes an aggressive step forward and Arora backs away. My sister is used to fighting with poisoned words, but Sylph wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. I imagine she fights much differently. She looks like she might actually hit Arora. I wouldn’t try to stop her if she did.

Sylph doesn’t hit her, though. Instead she gets right up in her face and says, “Hand me a pre-nup. I’ll sign it right now.”

“Bull shit,” Arora says. Theo looks disbelieving as well.

“I have a pen right here.” She digs into her purse and pulls one out. “Just point to the arrows and I’ll sign.”