Buying the BrideBy: Penny Wylder
Whenever I’ve had girlfriends in the past, the twins are always the first to interrogate her. I guess that’s a good thing because they are like bloodhounds and have a knack for sniffing out gold diggers. But I know they don’t do it out of the kindness of their hearts or to make sure their older brother isn’t being taken advantage of. They’re concerned about me getting married without a pre-nup and losing half my fortune to an ex. I’m the heir to my father’s empire and when he dies, I will be in charge of their allowances and they want to make sure no one messes with that.
I straighten the papers on my desk, check my tie for the tenth time. When I look at my watch again, it’s exactly ten. I take a deep breath. It’s time.
The man sitting behind the desk is not who I’m expecting. This can’t be him, but this this is the office the secretary led me to.
“Hi …” I say timidly as I step into the pristine room. It’s a stark gray space with a few shelves with books on them. One of the walls is a big blue print. Everything is modern and sleek, made with different metals and hardwoods. I feel under-dressed in my t-shirt and jeans. “I’m looking for Heath Starre. I think the secretary may have sent me to the wrong office.”
The man behind the desk looks up at me. His blue eyes pierce through the shadows under his deep-set brow. His features are starkly handsome, a razor-cut jawline, straight nose, high cheekbones. It’s the face of a demigod, a replica of Achilles cut from marble. When he stands, I have to look up to meet his gaze. I doubt the top of my head would even reach his shoulders if I were standing right in front of him. He’s wearing an immaculate gray suit with a blue tie that makes his blue eyes stand out even more. Even though he’d been sitting, there’s not a single crease in his suit.
The more I look at him, the more intriguing things I find about his face, like the little dimple in his chin, and the scar on his right eyebrow that cuts it in half. His dark hair is combed back, not a single strand out of place. I’ve never really thought about men in suits being attractive. I’ve always preferred a more rugged man, I guess. Could be because that’s what I’m used to. There weren’t too many billionaire business men where I grew up. But damn, this man wears that suit well and he might very well be the sexiest man I’ve ever seen.
“I’m Heath, and you’re late,” he says.
I’m taken aback by the curtness of his words, though I’m not sure why I’m so surprised. He’s so crisp and polished, it makes sense that his personality would be the same.
“Am I?” I look down at my phone screen. “It’s only ten-oh-five.”
“Our meeting was at ten.”
I watch him carefully to try and figure out if he’s joking. He’s not.
“In business you’re either on time or you’re late. Half the time you’re even late when you’re on time. It’s always best to be early,” he says.
I wonder if that stick up his ass is made of platinum or gold.
“Oh. I’m sorry. I’ve only worked fast food. If you’re late, you’re still there before your boss.” I smile and try to lighten the mood. This is not going at all how I expected. I was expecting him to be a hideous troll and that’s why he needed to pay for a bride. Now I see that it’s just his personality that keeps him single—definitely not his looks because he’s gorgeous.
I clear my throat when he presses his lips together, unmoved by my attempt at humor. He has probably never worked at a fast food restaurant and therefore wouldn’t understand.
“The bus was late this morning. It’s normally on time. It won’t happen again,” I say.
“Don’t you have a car?”
“Um, it’s in the shop. Is that going to be a problem?”
My car has actually been fixed for about a week now, but I couldn’t pay the mechanic, so he’s holding it hostage until I can come up with the money. I was planning on selling it once I got it back because insurance and gas are just more bills I can’t afford to pay.
“I’ll arrange for your transportation,” Heath says.