My alarm went off at 6 in the morning. I groaned softly as I tried to turn off the annoying sound. Usually, I hated Mondays. Today, however, I welcomed it with open arms knowing that the dreadful Sunday was officially over. I smiled to myself as I got out of the king sized bed and walked into the connecting bathroom to get ready for school. I was extremely surprised and grateful that my skirt-chaser of a husband didn't force himself on me last night.
As I stared at myself through the bathroom mirror, images from last night's heated kiss came flooding back. My cheeks blushed a pretty pink while my fingertips gently grazed over my full bottom lip as I recalled how his beautiful soft lips felt against mine.
I shook my head to dispel the feelings.
No. All kisses were probably like that and last night was no exception, I thought. Not that I had any prior experiences to compared last night's kiss with but that didn't matter. I reminded myself that whatever I felt was part of the norm and definitely not special.
As I brushed my teeth, I mentally noted that I would have to call my father sometime today. I needed to ask him the details of the marriage contract to make sure I won't be missing any important specifics such as producing an heir. I didn't want to be surprised again like last night and let Artemis have the upper hand. It was dangerous to give this already overconfident man any advantage; his head might actually explode due to its swollen state.
I grabbed a coffee on my drive to school. At a red light, I took a sip of my drink and closed my eyes as I savored the taste. Oh how I loved having coffee in the morning. It was one of my simple joys in life. I smiled as I took another sip before the lights turned green.
My first two classes went smoothly since they were lectures and I just had to take notes. The last two were the dreadful ones because I had to participate in discussions for grades. I hated anything that remotely involved public speaking of any kind—even small group discussions. Luckily, I won't have to worry about these awful classes until after lunch. I could handle anything after a satisfying meal. Food was my happy pill.
I exited the five story science building and walked in the direction of the fast food restaurants. My stomach was growling since I had skipped breakfast this morning.
Normally, I would always eat breakfast because my brain needed the calories to function until lunch. Otherwise, I would turn into a grumpy hungry monster and no one, and I mean no one, would want to be around that.
"Grace, wait for me!" Pru called from somewhere behind me.
I turned to see my best friend running toward me with a big smile plastered on her face.
"Hey." I smiled back. "Ready for lunch? I'm starving." I was trying to tame the beast for a little bit longer.
"Oh yeah. I can eat a horse!" She responded with a laugh.
I couldn't help but laughed as well.
Pru and I met when she transferred to my high school during freshman year and we've been inseparable ever since. Now, we were both seniors in college.
She looked me up and down and said sweetly. "I love your outfit. Can I borrow it sometime?"
I had on a simple white sleeveless blouse and a dark pair of fuchsia skinny jeans.
"Of course! You can borrow whatever you want, anytime you want." I reassured her.
My family was not any where near as wealthy as Artemis's but we were not poor either. We were comfortable and my parents had always provided me with everything I wanted and needed.
Pru, on the other hand, was an orphan. She grew up having to do everything herself without much help from anyone. She was probably the nicest and strongest person I've ever met. She was also very smart since she got a full-ride scholarship to go to this university with me. Her one flaw was that she had difficulties asking for help or asking for anything...even something as small as borrowing my clothes.
I wrapped my arm around her small shoulders as we walked and asked. "What do you wanna eat? My treat."
"I'm craving for Mexican food." She said brightly.
We went to a place nearby that we would go to regularly. It was bustling with students. I guess everyone was as hungry as we were.
"You find us seats and I'll go order. What do you want?" I asked.
"Maybe the usual." She said thoughtfully after taking a whole minute to decide.
Her usual consisted of three shrimp tacos and chips and salsa on the side.
I laughed knowing she was going to say that. She never ordered anything new. She liked to order the same thing everywhere she went like she was afraid of change.
"Why order something new when I already know that this would taste good. Why take my chances." She said philosophically and shrugged. "And you do it too so don't you dare laugh at me." She made a face and pointed her index finger at me.
I laughed harder. "I know! It's kinda sad really. We're both too rigid and stubborn for our own good."
I sat down across from Pru once I got our orders in.
"So...wanna hear some unexpected news?" I asked without much enthusiasm.
"Angela's pregnant!" She guessed.
"No. But that wouldn't be unexpected." I said casually. We both knew how Angela couldn't stand to be single for a day. She constantly had to have a boyfriend and she changed them like clothes.
"You got a tattoo!" She guessed again, this time with much more excitement.
No. She knew I was deathly afraid of needles.
"I got married over the weekend." I said indifferently as I put my elbow on the table and rested my face on my palm.
"Ha. Ha. Very funny." Pru was not amused. "So what's the plan for the weekend?" She asked as she grabbed a hair tie from her wrist and put her silky long black hair into a ponytail.
"No. I'm serious." I said with more feeling this time.
"Yeah, sure. And I'm married to Chris Evans." Pru rolled her eyes. "How can you get married when you don't even have a boyfriend?"
"You got me there...but somehow I managed." I gave her a sad smile.
"You're fucking married?!" She exclaimed loudly.
I instantly got up and covered her open mouth with one hand. "Keep it down will you?" I hissed. "It's not supposed to be public knowledge." Not yet anyway, I wanted to add. Artemis planned on making it officially known via a press conference in a month. Hopefully, we would be divorced by then and wouldn't have to go through such an ordeal.
"How?" She whispered. I let go of her and sat back down.
"It happened kind of fast to be honest." I sighed and hunched over as I tried to keep other people from hearing our conversation. "A month ago, out of the blue, my parents told me that their company was struggling and the only way to save it was for me to marry Artemis Jame..."
Pru sucked in her breath the moment she heard the name. "You're married to fucking Artemis fucking Jame?" She interrupted me before I could finish.
Everyone knew the Jame's family. They were practically royalty in this city; hell, probably the whole state.
I scrunched up my nose. "Can you please stop using the F word?"
"No! Because you're fucking married to fucking Artemis fucking Jame!" She spoke with her jaw locked and only her lips moved.
Ugh. She could be such a drama queen.
Finally, our foods arrived and we started digging in like starved pigs.
"Anyway." I said between bites. "As I was saying...after a lot of bickering back and forth between my parents and I, they won, and now I'm married."
She let out a low whistle and opened her mouth to say. "F..."
I glared at her before she could finish.
"I was going to say fudge." She lied and turned serious. "Wow. So you're married. Who would have thought with your dating history. I mean, the lack of dating history—that would be more accurate."
"I know. The story of my life—the girl who has never dated suddenly got herself a husband."
"I thought you would be the last one to get married out of all our friends." She just couldn't fathom the thought.
"I know! All the terrible breakups I've seen you guys go through are enough to keep me away from relationships for another 5 years. My parents' relationship is probably the only one giving me any hope that love does exist."
"Hey. You should thank us. I know we all came to you and stained your shoulders with tears and snots but we dated all the assholes so you wouldn't have to." She said it with so much conviction that I had to laugh.
"I guess that's one way to look at it. Thank you so much for your service and generosity." I said sarcastically.
"Damn right!" She chuckled.
"But you didn't save me from the biggest asshole of all—the king of all philanderers—Artemis Jame.”