Chapter 11 : A Probationary Period

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Katelin's POV

There's no sign of Raul when I wake up. For a moment I wonder if he's changed his mind about this entire arrangement and he's with his lawyers right now drawing up the divorce papers.

I groan, burying my head under a ridiculously soft, fluffy pillow. I should have told him I'd never been with a man before. Men like Raul would stay away from inexperienced women. I didn't know what I was doing, so the sex must have been terrible for him.

A flush spreads across my face as I recall how it felt to be naked in his arms. Even now I still feel my body humming with pleasure from last night. Everyone said your first time would be awkward and unpleasant, but it wasn't that way with me at all. It was... I search my brain for the words to describe being in bed with Raul. It was magical. Better than I've ever dreamed it would be.

Also, it's probably the last time I'll get to have that experience.

This isn't a real marriage after all. He's free to have a lover, as am I. He can have his pick of beautiful women and between that option and a plain, inexperienced wife of convenience, there's no doubt which one he'd choose. As per the terms of our contract, he's allowed to have us both, but there is no way I'd agree to that. As amazing as my so-called husband is in bed, I can't be with him knowing he would be with another woman the next day.

I lie in bed, wishing I had a job to go to. Work is good. Work keeps me from overthinking things like I'm doing right now.

The board meeting. That's today. Shit. How could I have forgotten? Of course, Raul isn't here, he had to go to work. What did I expect, breakfast in bed?

I let out a shaky laugh as I drag myself out of bed. At least I know he's at work and not with his divorce attorneys. Yet. But it's not practical to dwell on such thoughts before breakfast. Right. Coffee first, unhealthy thoughts of an impending divorce later.

It was nine a.m., still early enough to make it to the breakfast buffet. I wince. The idea of the hotel staff greeting me with a "good morning, Mrs. Marin" as I make my way through the hotel was not very appetizing. I felt like a fraud yesterday and I still feel like one now.

Room service it is, then.

"I'm sorry for springing this on you so suddenly," I say to my sister, later as we sit down to coffee, croissants, ham, and tapsilog which surprisingly one of the chefs assured me he would have no problem whipping up for us. I stare down at the plump, bright yolks that look like they're about to burst. Malasado, just as she requested. "His aunts caught him off guard and well... This was the best solution."

Maricar doesn't seem to share my lack of appetite. She is digging into the pile of savory beef strips and fluffy rice with enthusiasm. "I know," she mutters between bites. "Are you all right?"

My gaze snaps up to meet hers and to my relief, there's only concern in her eyes. There's no judgment, no censure. "I'm great," I say, smiling. "Did you sleep well? How was your room?"

She sighs. "Are you kidding? That was probably the most amazing bed I've ever slept in." wrinkling her nose, she adds, "Too bad I have to get back home today."

"We'll be here until Saturday. We booked that suite until then, so you can stay."

"Nah, I have to get back to work." She takes a long swig of orange juice. "You spoke to mom yet?"

"Yeah, yesterday." They were a little confused at first — who wouldn't be?— but when they understood that I was getting married, they were only too happy to give their support. My parents are nothing if not pragmatic. And desperate for grandchildren.

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