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Cocky Fiance

By:T.L. Smith & Melissa Jane

Chapter 1

Britta


My ass was in the air, hands on the ground for balance.

I could feel the stares, eyes focused on me and the skirt that had inched up my thighs revealing my long legs-and let's be honest-half my ass. The passers-by did nothing to help but seemed content to gawk.

Shit.

"Come on you piece of-"

"Well, well, well... if it isn't a damsel in distress."

I froze, heart pounding, my hands still holding tight to the heel stuck in the grate.

Fuck no.

It couldn't be. Anxiously biting the inside of my cheek, I stared ahead as reality set in, determined to ignore the familiar voice from behind.

Life was being a right bitch if she thought it was fun having my heel wedged between unforgiving metal and having him arrive at that very moment.

Attempting to wriggle the shoe some more, I only met resistance. It was firmly stuck, and no amount of heaving was going to loosen the fucker, my trembling fingers failing to undo the clasp.

"I remember that ass very well indeed," the voice continued, and my face flushed with a mix of emotions. Some part love, but mostly humiliation with a healthy dose of murderous intent.

If I could only get this damn heel free, I'd wedge it in his eye, and I most certainly don't mean the eye on his face. The bastard deserved a little punishment, and I knew just how to do it.

A pair of polished black shoes came to a stop in front of me, and I clenched my teeth hard, so hard they felt like they'd snap. Just another thing I could blame on him. Relenting, my gaze traveled the length of his body.

Still tall.

Still handsome.

Still, with the same shit-eating grin he'd always had.

Roman.

"Relax, Britta," he said, bending down so we were level. "Let me help."

I hadn't a chance to answer before his hands had already moved to my ankle, fingers gently brushing against my skin. I shivered, and I don't think I hid it well. I loathed that he still had that effect on me. And worse still, he knew he had that effect on me.

Roman tightened his grip, turned my foot on a slight angle and with a sharp pull, my heel was set free from the evil clutches of the street. Instead of letting go, his hands affectionately slid up my calf, his thumbs gently caressing, reminding me once more of what we used to have.

"You've changed your hair," he said, attempting to distract me. It worked. My hand went to touch my tresses. It was now a lot shorter than what Roman would remember. Even the color had changed, back to my natural brown shade. Boring, but me.

"Out with the old," I said. Clearing my throat, I was determined to block the sappy emotions. I made to stand, pulling away from his touch.

"So..." he said, eyes alight. "How are you?" Roman slid his hands into his pockets and watched closely, observing any move I made.

"Good," I stammered, although I didn't know why. Roman made me nervous and I couldn't control it. "You?"

His neck twitched. "Ah, really good, actually." He swayed a little on his heel. "I'm engaged."

"Oh?"

What. The-

"Are you seeing anyone?" he asked, breaking through my thoughts.

Perhaps he'd noticed my mouth agape. Maybe he'd seen my wide-eyed shock. Maybe... just maybe... he'd been able to read my mind.

"Britta? Are you seeing-"

"I'm engaged, too!" The lies slipped from my strawberry-coated lips so easily. And now it was his turn to be shocked.

"Oh?" he said, hoping I'd elaborate but not wanting to seem too eager to ask. "Maybe you can bring him to the wedding. I sent an invitation. Did you get it?"

My mind briefly wandered to the trash bag that would now be sitting in the landfill. Somewhere in that trash bag, among the food scraps, is the torn up, once beautiful card cordially inviting me to the wedding of Roman Hopheart and Rebekah Johnson.   





 

He sent me an invitation!

To his wedding!

Is he mad?

Roman was my first love. I'd given the asshole everything. He was my first kiss. My first love. And then, one day after four years of what I thought was a stable relationship-solid enough to be talking white weddings and picket fences-I found him kissing my best friend in our newly renovated kitchen. That best friend just happened to be Rebekah no-moral-compass Johnson.

Tall.

Leggy.

Blonde.

Gigantic boobs.

Everything I wasn't.

After many tears, fantasized bloodshed... and more tears, I had accepted that you can't help who you fall in love with, and we had let bygones be bygones. And now the pair were getting hitched.

Fuckers.

Not that I cared... much. The sex was blah. Too self-absorbed in his own pleasure.

"Invitation?" I raised my brows in deliberate shock. "I'm sorry, I never received it. But that's fine, I don't need to co-"

"I'll have Bek send you another."

... Awesome.

"But you've gotta bring your new man," he said with an almost disbelieving smile.

Why didn't he believe my lie?

Did he think I'd pine for him forever?

Maybe it had been longer than was necessary. But just to wipe the smug look off his face, I agreed.

"He'd love to come," I said, wearing my widest smile.

"Well, I guess that's settled then. Are you still living with your parents?" Roman asked, determined to bring me down a peg or two.

Asshole.

"No... I moved out. Recently."

As if on cue, my handbag began to noisily vibrate. His annoyed gaze dropped to the interference.

"Sorry," I said, feigning an apology. "I have to get this. It's probably my fiancé."

Damn it! Stop digging your hole even deeper.

Fumbling around the debris in my bag, I retrieved my cell, locked eyes with the unwavering Roman and held the cell to my ear.

"Britta speaking..." I cleared my throat, but it only added to the awkwardness.

There was a pause. "I know it's you and you know it's me, so why are you introducing yourself?"

My face flushed and paled at the same time hearing the familiar husky voice that always had me both a little fearful and wet between the legs.

My boss.

I know, cliché.

But there was more to it. Way, way more.

"So... Sorry," I stumbled, flustered. "I was caught off guard."

"The delivery wasn't complete. I'll need you to contact the supplier before five and confirm the rest is coming."

Roman raised his eyebrows.

"Yes, I'll do that."

"Close of business, Brit," he enforced.

Roman was now tilting his head to the side, curious over the stiffness of the conversation.

"Okay, babe, I got it," I said, putting on some flirt.

"Babe?" my boss chimed.

My cheeks flushed with embarrassment and self-loathing. I had no idea how I was going to wiggle out of this one. "Gotta go and make that call. See you tonight," I continued. And then I said the worst thing that could possibly come out of my mouth. "Love you."

"What the fu-"

I ended the call before I dug my grave any deeper.

There was one awkward as fuck conversation headed my way.





THE AC CHILLED MY FLUSHED face as I walked into my work office.

"What happened to you?" Sara, the receptionist asked, raising her annoying perfectly arched brow.

"Why?" It sounded more like a bark, giving the poor girl a fright.

"Oh... no reason." She quickly diverted her eyes and busied herself, refolding the same letters. Sara cleared her throat when I began to walk away. "Your brother is in there. He's been waiting for you."

Biting my tongue, I pushed open the door to my office. There, prowling through my paperwork and absently clicking his pen, was my brother.

"Slate," I greeted, smiling. He turned, also smiling, but that quickly faded when he saw me.

"Britta, what happened to you?"

"Wha- why does..." I closed the door catching sight of my reflection in the mirror which hung on the back. "Jesus!" I gasped. "What happened..." Frantically, my hands smoothed my frizzy and tangled locks and quickly moved to the smear of lipstick. That rotten bastard, Roman, had swooped in for a kiss when I tried to say my polite goodbyes, aiming to plant some on my lips before I turned just in time. Unfortunately, his dirty, still sexy mouth still caught some of me.

"Did you go home last night?" he asked, somewhat amused.

I met his eyes in the mirror. "Yes, of course. Why would you ask that?"

"Other than you actually being dressed properly, it looks like you've done a walk of shame, at..." he lengthened his arm from his jacket and looked at his watch, "... oh, ten-fifteen."   





 

"I'll have you know it's windy outside."

"Liar."

Absolutely.

I wasn't about to tell him about my run-in with ‘Roman-the cunt-Hopheart,' as my brother had so eloquently phrased it when he discovered the truth behind the split.

Smoothing down my skirt, I turned to him. "Why do you care if I'm late?"

"Sister, you and I had a brunch date."

Shit.

I tried to move past him while he replaced a photo frame on the desk. A frame that contained a picture of me and all four of my brothers.

"But..." he continued, "... I can clearly see you've forgotten. As usual. Do you even have a life these days?" Slate tucked a strand of ear-length hair. No matter how often I'd told him to cut it, he wouldn't. Besides, it actually suited him.

"I have a life," I replied indignantly knowing I was already on a roll with the lies this morning so why stop. Work was my life. I enjoyed it.

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