Quinn sat solemn in a bar in Vegas. It was not every day that he would come to a place like this and sulk, but he was contacted by his lawyer and told that if he didn’t have a wife by years end and drop the whole play boy motif, he could find his company ripped out from under him. He was shocked at the idea simply because he was the owner and paid the board to run it for him. Now they wanted to find reason to cut him from it.
Oh sure he could just grab one of his many lays from the past and marry one of them, but the board thought they were the trouble to begin with. He had to have a marriage license before the board in a few hours or the vote will happen the day after New Year’s Day. Now he sat on New Year’s Eve and the sun had gone down. He wasn’t sure what to do, but he had to do something.
His eyes rose as a woman stepped past him as he sat in the corner of the room. Her red hair was down and she looked down herself. Her green-blue eyes looked on the brink of tears. She looked to be in worse shape than he was. Something about her was like he knew her before, perhaps in another life. The thought crossed his mind to go see her and see what happens. He downed more of his whiskey and slowly got up to make his way over to her.
It has been a hellacious year for Alyssea Harding. She started it out marrying her old high school sweet heart in February and finding out that she was pregnant by him in March. All looked to be going good until she lost the baby by June and then her husband in a drunken driving accident August.
Then she also went through hell with the two families. Her husband did not normally drink, but he was that night. It was a week after losing the baby when he started drinking and because of that he was never there for her. Of course he should not have been driving that night. His family blamed her because she lost the baby and that was what sent him into depression. Her family blamed her for being bad luck and making one more mistake in her life even if she had no control over her husband or the loss of the child. It hurts being the black sheep, they make everything my fault.
After legal battles with his family over what little that the couple had, Alyssea was hauled off to Vegas by a few friends that she maintained only to separate herself from them after a day or two and then they abandoned her as well.
She sat in a hotel bar off the strip drinking. Granted alcohol led to her problems after the baby died, she still found herself drinking now in her misery alone. When it came down to it, she felt all alone in the world and didn’t want to go home. After all, what was waiting there but a bunch of judgmental hypocrites?
Quinn woke up with a head ache but also noticed the red head from the bar lying in his bed with nothing on. He was spooned up behind her when he woke up and sat up slowly. He didn’t want to wake her up just yet. He reached to a paper on the bedside table and took a look. A grin crossed his face…an all-night wedding chapel name was on it with a time stamp of 11:09 pm on New Year’s Eve. He was married. He snapped a quick picture of the license with his phone and sent it off to his lawyer.
A quick text came back of well done, I will let the board know and send them this as proof. You will probably need to stay married to her for a year to get them to keep their mouths shut. In the meantime, we will start replacing them one by one.
He typed back to him…I don’t think that will be a problem.
About an hour later, Alyssea woke up with a hell of a headache and lay in bed unmoving until she realized that it wasn’t her hotel bed but someone else’s. She sat up and realized that she had nothing on.
A guy sat on the bedside, “Take it easy.” To ease things, he handed her a piece of paper that was on the bedside table. “There is an explanation as to why we woke up in the same bed.”
Alyssea was a red head with pale skin. A size C in the breast category and she was curvy despite the slight stomach she still possessed from the premature birth of her child. She held the light blue sheet to her chest and took the paper to read it. “This is a marriage license. You are Quinn Riley, my husband?” She was a little shocked.
The man was not bad to look at. He had short kept brown hair and blue-grey eyes. He was well built with muscular arms and abs. He also wore a pair of dark blue boxer shorts as he sat on the bedside with her. “And you are Alyssea Riley, my wife it seems. It wouldn’t take much to get this annulled, but why don’t we talk about it and decide if either one of us want that? I don’t even have a girlfriend back home. Do you have anyone where you are from?”
Alyssea moved and sat beside him on the bed with the sheet wrapped around her, “No, in fact this year has been hell for me. My friends even abandoned me here and went home without me. After a couple of deaths in my family…my baby and my husband, both families think I am trash and blame me. I am a widow without a friend in the world it seems and I really am not sure I want to go home.”
“I am sorry to hear that. You can’t control everything in the world and you shouldn’t be blamed for things outside your control. I wouldn’t want to go home either if I had that waiting.
“But maybe this is the point where your life turns around. I think annulling this is out of the question at least in my mind. Granted this was sudden for both of us, why don’t we just stay married and you come home with me? We can give it some time and get to know each other and no one is going to judge you at my place.”
“Just who are you and what are you suggesting exactly?”
Quinn understood her reluctance, “I am suggesting that we stay together. You come home with me and spend a year as my wife. We can slow things down a little, get to know each other, and you can see my world. When the year is done, if we cannot stand each other, we can divorce with irreconcilable differences and I will have no problems giving you a million dollars and sending you on your way. But if by the year’s end that we love each other, we have each other and to hell with those who thought ill of you.”
Alyssea was shocked at his declaration, “You would throw a million at me to stay married to you for a year?”
He nodded and took her hands in his, kissing them. “I have a corporate empire that practically runs itself and I live on a large ranch in Montana just south of Cascade. The main house is on the lake itself. There are some nice views, wild life, and small town atmosphere. I have been bored with the place to myself. I would really love the company and the beautiful wife that is next to me.”
She blushed at his comment, “It sounds very nice.”
“Then what say you, Aly? Would you take a chance on a guy like me who at the worst could spoil you for the next year? I do promise you peace and quiet, we will play the sexual side of the marriage thing by ear, and I have a whole world I can show you that will make you smile and more than compliments. I will do everything I can possibly do to make you feel special again.”
Alyssea pondered the whole situation in her mind and then smiled, “You promise me that you are not some axe murderer or serial killer?”
“I swear that I am not. In fact I drove here for a meeting that occurred yesterday when I found you as miserable as I was. With you here right now, I’m definably thrilled. I want to know you, love you, and show you the best in life. Just give me a chance to show you.”
Alyssea thought about it another moment. He wants to give things a year and he is willing to give me a million dollars if it was another mistake. That type of money can set me up anywhere in the world and I never have to go back to Flagstaff. This would just be like an extended vacation if nothing else and who knows; maybe I will love this guy before the year is out. She nods, “OK, I’ll come home with you, Mr. Riley.”
“I will do whatever it takes to make sure you don’t regret it, Mrs. Riley.” He smiled at her acceptance. I can keep the corporation off my back for a year while we replace them…but I never believed in love at first sight until I saw her last night. I will need to spend time with her, but maybe…
“I better not.”
Their lips met suddenly in a shared kiss in the room which also brought back memories of their times between the sheets. The kiss led him to laying her down and when he hesitated, she nodded to him her consent as he helped her relive the consummation memory. He was well endowed in other areas as well.
By midday, Alyssea’s room was packed up and she was checked out. As Quinn was checked out as well, he walked her out to a Ram Laramie Longhorn 3500 series pickup. He loaded her things in the crew cab and helped her into the passenger seat. Then he climbed in the driver’s seat.
At this point, both were dressed casual. Alyssea wore a pair of relaxed fit Lee Jeans with a t-shirt and a pair of tennis shoes. Quinn wore a western style shirt with a pair of Levis cowboy cut jeans and a pair of boots.
“You are not disappointed in the mode of transportation are you?”
Alyssea shook her head, “You…we live on a ranch you said, a truck this high class considering you say you have money is not a surprise. I am not disappointed.” She leaned over and kissed him before he threw the truck into gear and they hit the road.