“You’re a nut.”

“Stop calling me that,” I say for the billionth time, glaring at him.


“A cute nut.” He leans in, kissing the side of my mouth, then runs his fingers down my cheek and I see his wedding band sitting at the base of his finger, which makes my stomach turn. The weekend went by in a flash. Between conferences and dinners, there wasn’t a lot of time to think about the fact we are now married. Well… there was time to think about it, because he insisted on introducing me as his wife to anyone and everyone, which completely freaked me out.

“Where are we sleeping tonight?” he asks, dragging me out of my head. I pull my eyes from his ring and lean down, picking up my bag from the floor, pretending I didn’t hear his question. “Ashlyn.” His hand moves to my denim-covered thigh, squeezing.

“Hm?” I pull out my compact and flip it open.

“I know you heard my question. Where are we sleeping? Your place or mine?”

“You’re sleeping at your place and I’m sleeping at mine,” I mutter, pulling out my chapstick, only to have it snatched out of my hand. My eyes fly to his and I swallow when I see the look he’s giving me. I tried over the last three days to insist we sleep in different beds. That didn’t happen. He would join me in mine or drag me to his, each and every time. And each and every time, I put up a fight, knowing I would lose.

Okay, so I may not have fought that hard.

There was something about sleeping next to him that made me feel oddly whole—something I liked a little too much, if I was honest with myself.

“Fine, we’re staying at my house.” He sits back, buckling his seatbelt.

“No.” I shake my head. “No way am I staying at a house that you bought for another woman. No freaking way.” I snap my compact closed and toss it in my bag.

“I did not fucking buy that house for her,” he growls, setting my teeth on edge.

“I can’t do this.” I shake my head; even the thought of her makes me mental, makes me want to kill someone, mainly him, because he is the one who was engaged to the woman—a woman I’m almost positive has the devil inside of her.

“You’re very wrong, wife. We’re already doing this.”

“Dillon.” I soften my voice, leaning closer. “We each need some time to think about this, to really think about what it is we’re doing. Maybe having a night apart—”

“Not happening.” He cuts me off with a shake of his head then leans across me, pulling my seatbelt over my lap and locking it.

“Yes it is.” I smack his hands away.

“It most definitely is not.” He tags the back of my neck, pulls me close, and kisses me until my body melts into his. “We’ll stay at your place,” he whispers against my lips, and my eyes flutter open.

“You’re so annoying,” I breathe, seeing him smile before he lets me go and grabs my hand, holding it tight until we’ve landed, and then keeps ahold of it until he’s forced to release me so he can carry our bags.

“A limo, seriously?” I roll my eyes when I realize what car he’s leading me to.

“It’s just a car, baby.”

“No, a car is just a car. This is a limo, there are only two of us. We should have used my Uber. It would have cost a whole lot less,” I mutter to his back as he drags our suitcases behind him toward the driver.

“Maybe they have champagne inside.” He grins at me over his shoulder, and I don’t want to think he’s funny, but I find myself smiling back at him anyway.

“You went to Vegas single and came back married.” Our driver, who apparently knows Dillon, laughs, giving him a handshake and a pat on the back. My breath freezes in my lungs and the sound of their voices fades away.

Yes, we have been married for three days and sixteen hours, but it felt different when we were in Vegas. It felt, almost unreal. But now we’re back in Tennessee. Tennessee… where my family lives. Tennessee… where my dad, who owns a plethora of guns, lives. Tennessee… where no one knows about our marriage, but where my very nosey family all resides and is liable to find out. I know my mom is already wondering what’s going on. Dillon had a phone delivered to me at the hotel the afternoon we woke up married so I have been able to talk to her everyday as promised, and she knows Dillon and I were sharing a room, since Dillon wouldn’t keep his hands off me or mouth closed when I was on the phone her.

“Baby.” Coming out of my daze, I blink as his hand comes to rest against my cheek. “Hey,” his face dips closer and his eyes search mine, “are you okay?”

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