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Not-So Temporarily Married

By:Fiona Davenport

Chapter 1


Zoe


It was supposed to be just another day at the office. A relatively safe  one, too. That's how I thought of the days when I wasn't going to spend  much time with Landon Heath-my incredibly sexy boss who was too damn  tempting for my own good. We'd wrapped up a project the week before, and  my focus had shifted to the designs for a hotel that was in the final  stages of construction.

For four blissful days, I'd been able to hide away in my office and  avoid basically everyone while I immersed myself in lighting plans,  fixtures, finishes, hardware, furnishings, textiles, window treatments,  paint color, wallpaper and accents. I threw myself whole-heartedly into  the project for two reasons. First, I still felt like I needed to prove  myself, even though everyone was more than happy with my work over the  last couple months.

But I knew I'd been lucky to land the interior designer job at Heath  Construction. I'd only earned my bachelor's degree a couple weeks prior  to the job being posted, and they could have gone with a more qualified  applicant. They also could have chosen someone who didn't have the  complication of needing a work visa to stay in the United States like I  did.

Not that it was incredibly difficult to get one since I was Canadian.  All I'd really needed was proof of a job offer-which Heath Construction  had provided-and to be able to show I had strong ties to my home  country. With my parents, three older sisters, two older brothers, and a  bunch of nieces and nephews living there, that had been easy enough to  demonstrate.

The second reason was a tad bit more complicated. Okay, more than a tad  considering Landon was about nine inches taller than me at six foot  three. With a lean, runner's body, thick, light-brown hair and intense  hazel eyes; he was a distraction I didn't need, considering he was my  boss... at a job I needed to keep if I wanted to stay in the United  States. Which is how I'd been able to summon the super-human willpower  it had taken to tell him no each time he'd asked me on a date over the  last two months.

Almost every single day since I'd started working here. Quickly heading towards one hundred times.

It was so damn hard to keep turning him down, but I knew it was for the  best. I loved my job, my cute little apartment, and the freedom I had  from my family that living in another country provided. A family who  loved me so much, they thought they had the right to interfere in every  facet of my life. I wasn't willing to risk it all because Landon was  sexier than sin. Or at least that's what I kept telling myself. Over and  over again.

"Damn him for being so persistent," I mumbled to myself.

"Did you say something?"

My head jerked up at the sound of the feminine voice in the doorway. It  was Samantha, our receptionist and Landon's younger sister.

"Nothing important," I assured her.

"Okie-dokie." She walked towards me and dropped a stack of mail on my  desk. "Lots and lots of catalogs for you, as usual. But there's an  envelope in there you may want to look at ASAP ‘cause it looked  important."

I dug through the pile and found the envelope she was referring to at  the bottom. It was impossible to miss with US Citizenship and  Immigration Services listed on the upper left corner.

"Crap. Crap. Crap," I chanted to myself as I tore it open. Then it  turned to "fuck, fuck, fuck" as my heart dropped. I read through the  letter quickly the first time around, and then much more slowly to make  sure I wasn't misunderstanding what it said. Unfortunately, the meaning  didn't change the second time around.

"I'm fucked," I groaned.

"Not yet you aren't," Landon growled from the door as he barged into my  office and slammed it shut. "If you were, I'd know it because I'd be the  one doing the fucking."

His raspy voice slid over my skin and heated it. Just the sound of him  talking had my panties wet, and I'd been avoiding him all this time  because I'd thought he'd be the reason why I had visa problems.

"All those wasted opportunities," I muttered.

"Not wasted," he corrected. "Foreplay."

"I don't have time for this right now, Landon. Not when my whole world is falling apart," I cried, waving the letter in the air.

"You sound as bad as Samantha did when she told me to get my ass in  here." He tore it from my hands, and I dropped my head to my desk while  he read through the letter.

"It's just an additional interview, Zoe," he said soothingly, in a failed attempt to calm me down.

"My visa was approved by an immigration officer at the border two months  ago. It was easy peasy. I showed him my TN visa application letter, my  bachelor's degree, and my passport. I answered some questions about how  long I planned to stay in the country. About how often I planned to go  home to see my family. Boom, I was approved. Which means they shouldn't  have any additional questions for me," I retorted as I jumped to my feet  and paced back and forth. "Except, someone apparently has it in for me  since they received a tip that I lied about my intent to stay here for  only three years. Who would do something like that?"         

     



 

"Calm the fuck down," he ordered, as though it was that simple.

"Calm down?" I parroted. "That's easy for you to say since you're not the one in danger of being deported!"

"Neither are you."

"I beg to differ"-I stormed towards him and jabbed my finger in his  chest, absently noticing how firm it was-"since an appointment at an  immigration field office sure sounds like the start to yanking my work  visa to me."

"You know what?" he drawled. "Don't calm down. Feel free to freak the  fuck out because in the end that will work out even better for me."

"What in the heck are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about you and me, Zoe. You've been denying what's happening  between us for two, fucking long as hell months," he growled, his eyes  lit with determination. "You've used your work visa as an excuse to keep  yourself away from me. Well guess what, Blondie? Giving in to me is  your way out of this mess."

"I still have absolutely no idea what you mean. Maybe you can dumb it  down for me since I'm blonde and all," I muttered sarcastically, not a  big fan of his nickname for me.

"Fine," he bit out. "I'll make it as simple as one word-marriage."

"What? No," I gasped. "We haven't even been out on a date!"

"And whose fault is that?" he countered. "It certainly wasn't for a lack  of trying on my part. If I'd had my way, you wouldn't have a single  doubt about how damn serious I am."

Gah! He was absolutely right, and it was so darn frustrating. I couldn't  blame him for our lack of dating history, but he was missing the  biggest flaw in his plan. "Nobody is going to believe we got married for  any reason other than me receiving that letter. The timing is too  coincidental."

"Not if you didn't get the damn thing before we were already married," he suggested.

"That's impossible, Landon. I already received it."

"Nobody but my baby sister knows you did," he countered, moving towards  the door and yanking it open. "Samantha! We need you in here for a  minute."

"What's up?" Her gaze was worried as she peeked her head inside my office.

"If anyone asks, Zoe and I were already gone for the weekend when this  arrived." He stuffed the letter back in the envelope and handed it to  her.

"Anyone, as in mom and dad? Or anyone, as in the authorities?" Samantha asked.

"Both."

"You can't ask her to lie for me," I objected. "She could get into serious trouble."

"Sure he can. That's what family is for," Samantha disagreed, flashing  me a smile before turning to her brother with a calculated look in her  eye. "It just means he's going to owe me big later on."

"Whatever you want, consider it done."

"Hot damn!" she crowed. "You do know you're probably going to regret it later, right?"

"Zoe's worth it."

"Holy crap," I breathed out, not even knowing how to respond to the certainty in his voice.

"That she is," Samantha agreed. "If I was a nicer person, I'd do this  for you out of the kindness of my heart because I want you to be happy."

"But we both know you're too mercenary for that," Landon chuckled.

"Pot meet kettle," Samantha quipped. "Where should I say the two of you went when everyone asks?"

"Vegas."

Holy crap, he was serious about marrying me to fix my visa problem.





Chapter 2


Landon


"We don't even know each other, Landon. How would we convince anyone  that we were together, much less decided to get married?" Zoe squeaked,  looking a little shell-shocked.

I rolled my eyes. "Just because you've been stubborn and haven't been on  a date with me doesn't mean I haven't gotten to know you, Blondie." I  knew the nickname irritated her and my intent paid off when she went  from looking freaked to annoyed. "You hate coffee, even the smell. You  drink tea instead, with cream and sugar. You have a weird aversion to  certain fruits, particularly peaches-"

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