Prologue + Chapter 1

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I was two seconds away from screwing my future to the level no curses would ever be strong enough to justify.

As if my life wasn't complicated enough, I was going to add even more shit to it... By marrying a girl who hated me more today than yesterday, but not as much as she would tomorrow.

Fuck, I can't do this...

I looked at the guests who came to witness me making the biggest mistake of my life and more doubts crept up my chest. I felt sick, and stressed, but more than anything, I felt like I was about to win the biggest prize I had ever dreamed of.

Because I was about to marry the love of my lifetime.

Oh, yeah, you heard me right. Unlike my beautiful fiancé, who probably felt like she was selling her soul to the devil, I couldn't wait for the moment I would put a wedding band on her finger.

She was everything to me: everything I ever wanted, everything I ever needed, and everything I could never have. Not even after the wedding.

We made a deal. A deal that ruined her and praised my every damn dream about her.

It was a deal that turned her into my prisoner for the rest of her existence. Not that I was proud of this achievement, but I just couldn't imagine losing her to another idiot who had no idea how much she meant to me. Letting her go once was more than enough. Now it was time to catch up for all those years I spent jumping from one bed to another, hoping to get her out of my system. Figures, my attempts were not successful.

I looked around the beautifully decorated church and more curses ran though my head. I hoped God would forgive me for my thoughts; he should have known better than to bring her back into my life. At some point I lost hope to see her ever again. Then she crossed the threshold of my office and I was lost. Lost to everything and everyone but her. Again.

Fuck, I shouldn't do this...

Apparently, a part of me – the one that remembered about the existence of conscience – knew that I should stop whatever was going on around me before it was too late.

"Hey, you okay?" Kameron asked. He was my best man and one of a few people who knew I would never put myself into a marriage - the very millstone I swore off putting around my neck a long time ago.

"Yeah...just nervous...a bit." I sighed and forced a smile. I hoped it didn't look like a grimace.

He smirked. "No wonder you hated the mere idea of getting married. You are scared shitless, aren't you? It's not like the priest is going to choke you. No, wait... Is your fiancé that much of a monster? Does she like beating the crap out of you? Is she bold? Does she have three pairs of eyes? Or better – a hook instead of her right hand?"

I chuckled. "Shut up, smartass."

Neither he nor the rest of my childhood friends ever saw Rhea. Long story short – she and I had a history that neither of them ever heard about, because right after we graduated from high school, I left Pittsburgh and moved to New York where I met my future wife. Even though it was still so hard to believe that she and I managed to get to this very 'big-day' point without killing each other on the way. But despite everything she and I had been through, my feelings for her never died.

"No, she's amazing," I said to Kameron, not a bit exaggerating.

"Then it must be the night after the wedding."

I blinked and turned my head to the left to look at my friend. "What about it?"

"Admit it, Jeff, you are scared to get laid by your future wife."

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