Chapter Two

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“What are you talking about, Carter?!” Sean asks, enraged by his son's sudden return to his office.

 “I just told you, I have found the girl I intend to marry, and it's Ava.”

 “You barely remember her, Carter. Please don’t insult me by telling me you’ve always had feelings for the girl, it’s ridiculous!” He rubs his temples, feeling as if his past conversation with his son was all for nothing, because there he is treating his situation as a joke.

 Carter slams his hands on his father’s table, “No, father. What is ridiculous is the fact that you want me to marry a stranger and live with her for a year!” He glances at me quickly, and when he sees my slightly hurt reaction at him calling me a stranger, he takes a softer approach and continues, “Isn’t Ava the best candidate? She’s George Montgomery’s daughter, and I seem to recall George being one of your closest friends- that is, until he lost his fortune.”

 Sean sighs and turns to face me, “Ava, please tell me this is a joke. Do you really intend to marry my idiot of a son?”

 I nod slowly, “I know you think this is ridiculous, and I'm not going to lie to you by telling you I don't think it is silly. Whatever you may be thinking, I’m not agreeing to marry him to clear my father’s debt to you.”

 “Yes, that is my suspicion, but do go on.”

 I continue, “I just met Carter an hour and a half ago after eight years of not seeing him, and after he spoke to me about his predicament, I agreed to be his bride,” Sean opens his mouth to speak but I don’t let him, “Don’t think this is a selfless act on my part, actually it’s a selfish act, you see, ever since we were kids I've always had a crush on Carter. No, I’m not in love with your son, we haven’t spent enough time together for me to say I love him, but I do have feelings for him even though I know of his past misdemeanour.” I stop to breathe because I had become short of breath, “But I believe I can change him, if not for myself then for his betterment. He may not have feelings for me at this very moment but he is desperate for a wife, and I say that wife might as well be me, someone you’ve known since I was a child, rather than some stranger who could be using this as an excuse to get into your company and bring about it’s downfall.”

 There’s a deafening silence that follows my speech. Sean’s hard expression gives nothing away, all I can deduce is that he’s thinking about what I just said, but I don’t know if he’ll approve of me. I’m honestly not even sure what I’m going to do if Sean doesn’t approve of me.

 Go back to Bloomsbury and work my ass off to pay off not only the debt I now owe Sean but also the other creditors I owe money to?

 Sean clears his throat and my attention is then focused back on him, his eyes are on me, it feels like he’s scrutinising my every feature, “Okay, fine. I approve of whatever relationship you have with my son.” His hard expression softens, “Welcome to the family.”

                                                   *                      *                      *


 The days following my encounter with Carter had passed by rapidly, I had been told to return to my home and for three days I thought nothing was going to happen. I hadn't heard a word from neither Carter or his father, and so my suspicions that nothing would take place were justified.

 After the third day, however, my phone rang and I was asked to meet Carter at his house. I didn’t know where that was, so someone was sent to collect me and drive me over to the Richmond residence.

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