Sunday, November 24, 2013
“Your dad's going to kill me, isn't he?”
Rachel laughed, waving her hand airily. “I won't let him! And besides, I think that if he was going to kill you, he would have already sent somebody to murder you in your sleep.”
Grant chuckled nervously. He knew she wasn't joking and it made his stomach churn uncomfortably. His eyes were glued to the mansion they were parked in front of; it looked welcoming enough, but it felt like a death trap!
Rachel sighed and used a hand to make him look her in the eyes. “Look, I told you that my dad's a mob boss because I didn't feel right bringing you to meet him without you knowing. The whole family acts like a mob unit, and it would be pretty hard to miss it. Especially if you happen to overhear them talk about killing someone. I didn't want you to figure it out in the middle of a conversation and freak out, okay? But it's not too late... If you can't handle this, we can still leave.”
“No... I'm... okay. I can handle this... I think,” Grant tried his best to assure her, but his hands literally shook from how nervous he was. The problem was that he had something important to do that was going to be a whole hell of a lot harder now that he knew what he was up against.
“Relax,” Rachel insisted with a smile. “It's only Thanksgiving! It's sucky and awkward no matter what family you're part of! Just think of the bickering you are about to hear as completely normal and you'll be fine!”
Grant nodded, taking a few deep breaths to try and calm his nerves. “I'll try.”
“Great!” Rachel exclaimed happily, kissing him as a reward. “Now, just remember, whatever you do, don't talk about how we already live together and bang like ever chance we get! I mean be honest about it if he asks you directly, but otherwise keep your mouth shut. I'm pretty sure that's one topic that'll have you escorted out behind the shed.”
“Are-are-are you serious?!” Grant stammered, feeling dread rising up his throat.
“Yes. Yes I am,” Rachel stated grimly with a painful shadow in her eyes.
“Got it! Absolutely do not admit that we have even –!”
“Grant! I'm serious! If he asks you anything – no matter what it is – do not lie to him! More than anything, lying will get you killed!” Rachel cried out insistently.
It was taking everything Grant had in him not to freak out and lose it completely. He took several purposeful breaths, trying to control his panic. Finally, it was like the terror let go of him and he was able to function again.
“Okay,” he agreed with a nod. “ I promise that I will not lie to your dad about anything, no matter what he asks me.”
“Good,” Rachel stated in relief. “Now I think it's about time we went inside. I can tell by the fact that at least 10 people are staring at us through the windows that if we wait any longer, we'll be dragged inside soon anyway.”
Grant got out of the car and rushed around to the other side to open the door for Rachel, praying that he made a good first impression to those watching him. Rachel got out of the car and linked her arm through his, looking up at him with unmistakeable love in her eyes. She brushed a strand of hair out of his face, and then smiled at him like he was the only man in the world.
They walked towards the mansion, the front door opening before they were even close enough to reach out for the knob. A man dressed as a servant bowed at them slightly, then looked at them with an almost blank smile.
“Good to see you again, Miss Rachel. Welcome home!”
Rachel returned his smile and murmured a greeting, but then pulled Grant past him and into the main entryway.
“Rachel! Why didn't you tell me that you were bringing someone with you?!” A man demanded, appearing before them as if from thin air.
“Hi daddy, good to see you too. Why yes, I am doing well, so glad you asked! I'd like you to meet my boyfriend, Grant. Grant, this is my father,” Rachel stated in a way that sounded like she was seriously pissed off but trying hard to be cheerful and polite.
Her father huffed, obviously displeased that she didn't answer his question. With an expression like he was tempted to roll his eyes and maybe even ground her, he turned his attention to Grant.
“So, Grant is it? How long have you known my daughter?”
“Six months sir,” Grant answered respectfully.
“And how long have you been living together?”
Grant wanted to dive behind the large plant off to the side and hide, but he forced himself to stand his ground. “Uh... almost six months... sir.”
Rachel's father twisted his mouth in disapproval, narrowing his eyes menacingly. “Hmm... I thought you were going to try and deny it, which would have been stupid since my spies told me the day you moved into her apartment.”
“Daddy!” Rachel shrieked. “Spies?! How dare you spy on me?!”
He harrumphed like he was thinking duh! “Of course I have people watching you! You know better than most people what can happen if I leave you unprotected!”
Rachel wanted to growl and insist that she could take care of herself – which was true, she had been raised by a mob family after all – but she really did know that an enemy could catch her unawares, and then her ability to defend herself would be worthless. She sighed in frustration and let the matter drop.
“Anyway, since you have passed a basic background check, and since you haven't had the audacity to lie to me, yet, Grant, welcome to my home. I trust that you will behave yourself while you are here,” the mob boss stated, gesturing to indicate the rest of his family standing behind him.
Grant felt like his life had been hanging by a thread there, but was now relatively safe. With a sigh of relief, he met each and every member of Rachel's large and boisterous family. Most of the people he met seemed to be hardened men who had the vague title of uncle or cousin. They all watched Grant as if sizing him up; like they were mentally planning out exactly how to make him disappear and never be found.
Rachel eventually led Grant over to a large buffet area, which held a fabulous spread that he couldn't believe. “I feel like we are in a five star restaurant!” He muttered to her under his breath.
“That's because it's catered from a five star restaurant,” Rachel whispered in return. They each filled a plate and then ignored the various groups of loudly bickering people as they made a bee line for the long dining table. Grant looked up and down it in awe, wondering how such a massive and long table got into the dining room in the first place.
Grant focused on eating his food, unconsciously moaning in appreciation. Each morsel was to die for! If he survived the day, he was going to thank every God he could think of for allowing him to eat such a fabulous meal. Rachel giggled at him, kissing him on the cheek.
When he was finally full, the rest of the family had quieted down quite a bit, and was now almost well behaved. As an only child, Grant was frankly baffled at the way everyone seemed to fight even as they laughed and joked and even plotted against other family members. In a way, it was almost like being in high school!
After Grant realized that he and Rachel had been staring at each other with a lovey dovey expression for at least five minutes, he cleared his throat and started fumbling through his pocket. He wasn't sure if he should ask for quiet, or if it was even possible for this group to be quiet, so he simply ignored everyone else and focused on her.
“Rachel... I love you so much; will you marry me?” Grant asked as he opened and held out a small box. Rachel gasped in surprise, grabbing the box to scrutinize the ring more closely. The rest of the family fell silent in shock.
“Oh wow! And here I was waiting to bring up the subject of marriage until I was sure that it wouldn't scare you away!” Rachel threw her arms around Grant, crying on his shoulder from sheer happiness. “Of course I'll marry you!” Their lips fused together in a kiss that made the whole world feel like it was spinning.
A couple of people – such as Rachel's mother and siblings – immediately offered their congratulations, but others grumbled darkly.
“But Rachel,” her father protested gently. He sounded truly concerned rather than angry. “You've only known him six months. How do you know that he's the one you want to marry?”
Rachel finally broke off her passionate kiss so that she could turn her attention to her father. “Daddy... My heart tells me that this is the only man I ever want to be with, so what does it matter that we haven't known each other very long?”
Her father sighed gravely, but then nodded in acceptance. “If that's how you feel...” He stood and beckoned to Grant. “Will you please join me for a private conversation?”
“Daddy...” Rachel growled softly.
“Don't worry, I only plan to talk to him. He'll be returned to you safe and sound,” her father assured her.
Swallowing his nervousness, Grant helped Rachel put the beautiful gold and ruby ring on the correct finger, and then kissed her on the cheek before standing and following her father out of the room. The moment they were alone – except for three men who made certain that Grant knew they were well armed – Grant forced a small smile to his lips as he waited for her father to speak.
“It seriously kills me that I am going to have to accept a pissant like you into my family!” He growled in frustration, running his hand through his hair as if he wanted to pull it out. “You didn't even have the respect to ask me for my permission first!”
One of the three armed men standing behind Grant snorted in disgust. “If he had we would have made sure that he was never seen or heard from again!”
For once, Grant was too curious to be afraid for his life. “Why? Are you so against Rachel getting married?”
“Bah! It's not that! I simply thought she would choose a man who could take care of her, not some shitty courier that barely makes enough to pay his rent!”
“Hey! I resent that! I make quite a bit of money! I could easily support a family, even buying a house!” Grant protested angrily.
“Puh! You think you can support my daughter?! The best house you could afford would be a pathetic little cookie cutter in a lower middle class neighborhood! My daughter deserves a man who can buy her a small mansion at the very least and give her everything her heart could possibly desire! You'll be lucky if you can afford to buy her a new car once every five or ten years!”
Grant sighed, realizing that arguing with Rachel's father would get him nowhere. “You're right. I won't be able to buy her a lot of expensive or fancy things, but that doesn't mean that I can't give her what her heart desires. Her dream is to live on a secluded piece of land where she can create art. She wants to open up her own shop where she can sell art supplies, her art, and even teach kids to be creative. She wants kids someday, and I can give her all of that.”
Her father stared at him with something akin to respect. He was surprised that Rachel wanted something so humble. She certainly didn't take after her mother!
“So you see, sir,” Grant continued. “I truly feel that Rachel and I will be happy together.”
“David,” her father stated abruptly. “You can call me David.”
“Yes sir. Uh... David...” Grant replied hesitantly.
“Despite what you might think,” David informed his son-in-law-to-be, “I only want my daughter to be happy. I hate that she seems to be happy with a nobody like you, but I can clearly see that she is. The way she looks at you just cannot be faked...” he sighed morosely. “So... Welcome to the family...”
“Thank you sir – David – I promise to do my best to always make Rachel happy.”
“You had better pray you keep that promise, because you won't like what'll happen if you don't!” David threatened subtly, and then thrust his chin towards the door. “Go on, go reassure my daughter that I haven't killed you after all.”
Grant nodded at him respectfully, and then left the room.
“It's not too late, Boss. We can still make him disappear!” His three top men reminded him.
“Yes, we could... but I don't want to be the one who breaks my daughter's heart. He is to be left alone; you got that!”
“Yes Boss,” they grumbled reluctantly.
“You're going to love her!” Rachel squealed excitedly. “She's been my best friend since we were little kids, and there's no one I would rather have as my maid of honor. She's going to be so surprised when I tell her we're getting married!”
Grant smiled and cuddled his fiancée close. “I can't wait to meet your best friend. To be honest, I was beginning to think that you didn't have any friends!”
“Well... It's a little hard to meet and trust people knowing that almost anyone could be after me in order to hurt my family,” Rachel admitted.
“How did you know that I wasn't after you?” Grant wondered curiously.
“You're too clumsy to be a threat,” Rachel muttered quietly, wanting to answer him honestly, but also not wanting to hurt his feelings. She hoped he wouldn't actually hear her and then just let the subject drop. “Anyway! I have to tell you something important!”
Grant twisted his lips in a way that let her know that he was both amused and a little offended at her answer. He let her change the subject without a fight.
“Jessica is... Okay, you know how my family is pretty powerful in the organized crime world?”
“Yeah...” Grant replied hesitantly.
“Well, there's a hierarchy, you see? Kind of like the nobility over in England. My family is close to the top, but her family is the top!”
“Oh...” Grant murmured in understanding. Great! MORE mobsters!
“There's more...” Rachel added hesitantly. She looked at her fingers as she fiddled them around and around.
“What?” Grant asked curiously.
The door to their apartment burst open. “I'm here!” A young woman sang out. She set her bag down and then slammed the door shut. “Damn! I was hoping to barge in on you while you were getting your kinky freak on!”
Rachel laughed, and then rushed to hug her friend.
Grant was bone white and felt like fainting. “Tha -Tha -That's...”
Jessica giggled musically and struck a glamorous pose. “That's right! I'm the one and only, world famous, singing sensation!”
“Oh wow! I am such a big fan of yours!” Grant gushed, still not quite believing that he had pop star in his tiny little apartment.
“Of course you are!” Jessica stated with a smirk. “I'd be happy to sign something if you want.”
Grant damn near tripped over his feet as he rushed off to get her latest CD.
“Jessica...” Rachel growled, her eyes narrowed unhappily. “Stop it! That one's mine! In fact... we're getting married... I want you to be my maid of honor.”
“MARRIED?!?!” Jessica demanded incredulously. She gaped at Rachel in open mouth shock. Grant stopped short as he reentered the room and realized that something was wrong.
Jessica turned to look at Grant, looking him up and down for a moment before her expression changed to something that looked like cold calculation. “Married huh? To him?” She asked with a sneer of distaste. “I've found better guys passed out on the floor after one of my concerts!” She huffed snobbishly as she flipped her hair over her shoulder. “Well... If you insist on marrying such a loser, then I suppose I have no choice but to be your maid of honor and make sure that your wedding is perfect. Well, as much as it can be considering...”
“Huh?” Grant mumbled, scratching his head in confusion.
“Don't worry about her,” Rachel informed him, taking his face into her hands. She smiled at him adoringly. “That's just how she is. She's been a bitch since I first met her. It's how she shows her love.”
“But... on TV...” Grant protested.
“Of course I'm all sweet and innocent on TV, duh!” Jessica sneered at him. “You think my albums would sell nearly as well if my fans knew the truth!”
Rachel sighed and shook her head with a knowing smile. “Oh Jessica! When will you learn that you're not really like that! You literally do anything for your fans. You bend over backwards to make them happy. You've hand written replies to most of your fan mail. If you were just a greedy faker, you wouldn't do all that.”
Jessica couldn't decide how to respond to that, so she changed the subject. “So, when is this wedding of yours?” She asked as she automatically took the CD from Grant and signed it. She handed it back with her trademark smile before turning her attention back to Rachel. “Next year? Maybe the year after that? Long enough to change your mind?”
Rachel gave a short breathy laugh. “No! It's going to be next month.”
“SO SOON?!” Jessica blurted out in astonishment. “But! But! How can you plan anything worth attending in so short a time?!”
“We don't want a big wedding,” Rachel told her. “Just a little gathering of family and friends.”
Jessica grabbed Rachel by the shoulders and shook her. “Are you stupid?! Just getting your family there automatically means that you're going to have a good 500 people in attendance! If he invites anybody, then you're going to have a gala event on your hands that is going to need catering and, and... I can't even imagine what else!”
Rachel smiled and shrugged. “No, I mean that it's just going to be my mom and dad and siblings... and bodyguards. His mom and dad, and a couple of his friends. That's it.”
Jessica let her go abruptly and started rubbing her temples like she had a massive headache. “You really must be stupid,” she muttered. “If you don't invite the family – every single member of the family – you are going to find yourself a frickin' target for everyone who takes offense at being slighted. They will think that you insulted them on purpose!”
Rachel bit her lip and looked to the floor. “You might be right, but...”
“You have no choice!” Jessica insisted. “You have to push back the date by at least a month or two and then let your mom and me plan everything! Between the two of us, we should be able to plan an event that won't offend anyone.”
Rachel sighed. “Jessica... I know you mean well, but... I don't want to be part of the family anymore. I don't want them at my wedding, and I don't want anything big or expensive. I've set the date for next month, and that's that.”
“Oh my God, you're gonna get yourself killed!” Jessica muttered as she looked for a place to lay down and fan herself.
Grant looked back and forth between the two of them, a frown showing how concerned he was. “Maybe she's right...”
Rachel simply glared at him for having the audacity to agree with her best friend over her.
“Are you sure?” The man asked in disbelief.
“Daddy, I have decided that this is what I want, and so this is what I'm going to get!” Jessica stated emphatically. She crossed her arms and stared him down until he agreed.
As an only child to a man that was considered the King of all organized crime, she had always gotten everything she ever wanted. Her father bought a big record label when she told him that she wanted to be a pop star, and then he had bought an advertising company to ensure that she was given the proper priority. If she said that she wanted him to buy her a slave so that she could beat him to death and dispose of his body in the backyard, he would do it for her.
Anything to get me out of his hair! She muttered in her head. Her whole life, he had been giving her things so that she would go away and leave him alone. Ever since her mother died, he just didn't have time for her. He didn't even seem to want her around. She suppressed a sigh of depression at that thought.
“Fine. If that's what you want,” he stated as if the matter was no more important than the weather. “I'll see to it right away.”
“Thank you daddy!” Jessica squealed happily and kissed him on the cheek.
Grant paced his cell for the millionth time. He had been abducted three days ago and tossed in this dark cell, only being given food and water twice a day. He had no idea why he was here, and thanked his lucky stars that there was at least a toilet for him to use.
The absolute worst part of the whole situation was that he knew that Rachel had been abducted too, but he had no idea where she was, or if she was hurt. He wanted to shout until someone heard him and answered his questions, but he had already tried that and it hadn't worked. With a sigh, he flopped onto the hard cot provided.
Hours passed, and then he heard an ominous creak as a door opened somewhere. Sharp and rapid clicking told him that someone was coming his way. He sat up straight in eagerness, praying that they would finally let him go.
“I've come with a proposition.”
“Jessica???” Grant asked, rubbing his eyes in disbelief.
“Listen, you are not worth anything to anyone. You will never amount to anything in your whole life, but even so, Rachel loves you. You make her happy. That pisses me off! My whole life, I've never had that! Everyone loves Rachel! They fawn all over her and forget I even exist! She's been happy since the day she was born, and I've been miserable ever since my mom died when I was six! I can't stand it anymore!!!”
Jessica roared in outrage and paced outside the cell. “You are going to love me! You are going to marry me! You are going to make me happy because I will finally have beaten Rachel at something!”
“What???” Grant asked, shaking his head and cleaning out his ear. I couldn't have heard that right!
“It's all set,” Jessica stated. “The wedding will take place tonight, and everyone who should be at a family event has been invited. Even your parents have been brought here for our wedding.”
“Why would I marry you?!” Grant blurted out, truly baffled by her lack of logic.
Jessica smirked at him silently for several long seconds. “Because... you love Rachel. You see, I had her abducted too, and she's been in an even less pleasant cell with barely enough food and water to survive. I can do one of several things... I can simply leave her there until she rots. I can have her killed and disposed of. Or...”
Grant shuddered in horror at the thought of either option occurring.
“I can let her go,” Jessica stated. “Which I will do if you agree to marry me, but you have to be the one to tell her that you are choosing me over her!”
“Uh...” Grant didn't know how to respond. “That's not really a good incentive for me to want to marry you.”
Jessica frowned and stamped her foot angrily. “Maybe I didn't make myself clear! If you don't marry me, I'll have her killed, I'll have you killed, and go on living my life knowing that she will never be happier than me again. However, if you do marry me, she will go free and who knows, maybe she'll find someone else who can make her happy, but it won't be you and it won't be anytime soon.”
“You are insane!” Grant blurted out before he could think about the wisdom of his words.
Jessica shrugged. “Maybe. At least this way I will have finally beat her!”
Grant simply stared at her, his mouth gaping open ever so slightly. In his head, a war was raging over his limited choices. He really wanted to refuse her ludicrous offer, but the more he thought about it, the more he realized that doing so would just be a win for her too.
“Well?” Jessica demanded impatiently.
“Fine... I'll do it,” Grant muttered.
“Great!” Jessica squealed happily. She opened the cell and flung herself into his arms so that she could kiss him to seal the deal. “Now don't get me wrong. In public, you will be treated like any other assistant. I may not ever let my fans know that I am married, but we will be legally and bindingly married. If you should ever try to leave me, or if you should ever try to file for a divorce, I'll send someone out to kill Rachel before you can even finish your sentence! When I get married, it's for life!”
Grant gave her a wry look, trying to push her away without upsetting her. Married for life? To someone she doesn't even love?
Jessica linked arms with him and tugged him after her. “In private, you had better be a loving and attentive husband! You have no idea how lucky you are! You get to marry me!”
Grant rolled his eyes but didn't say anything. He followed Jessica to a room where she had a handful of people waiting to dress him up in a posh suit. Once he was dressed, he stared at himself in the mirror in amazement! I don't recall ever looking this handsome before! I guess a good suit really does make a difference...
“I have to get dressed now,” Jessica informed him. “But before I do, I'll bring you to Rachel so that you can tell her that you'd rather marry me. I'll even be generous and give you time to say goodbye.”
She escorted him to a dank and moldy dungeon-like area. Grant noticed that they passed a couple of guards as they entered the dungeon, but there wasn't anyone in it to actually keep an eye on the prisoner. She could have killed herself and they wouldn't have noticed until they deigned to feed her.
Jessica stopped just inside the dungeon and whispered into Grant's ear. “Here's the key. You have as long as you need to say goodbye, but don't try to set her free. The guards will just have to hurt her, and besides... She'll go free as soon as we are married!” Jessica smirked and then kissed him on the cheek. She left him alone, rushing away to get dressed.
“Hello? Is someone there?” Rachel called out from inside her cell.
“Rachel!” Grant cried out. “I was so worried about you!”
“Grant!” Rachel exclaimed in relief. “I thought for sure that they had killed you!”
Grant wasted no time in unlocking the cell and joining her inside. He hugged her tightly. “I missed you so much!”
“What's going on?” Rachel wondered, still holding him to her as close as she possibly could.
Grant took a deep breath. “I've been given an ultimatum: marry Jessica or we both die. I wanted to refuse, more than happy to be like Romeo and Juliet, but then I realized something important... I love you too much to just let you die for something so stupid!”
“Marry Jessica!” Rachel gasped in astonishment. “Why would she want to marry you?”
Grant shrugged helplessly. “I can't really explain it, but apparently she wants to win against you for once.”
“Oh Jessica...” Rachel murmured sadly.
“So...” Grant took a deep breath and prepared to break both their hearts. “I agreed. I decided that this way, you get to go free and live. More than anything, I want you to be happy, so you have to promise me that you will try to forget about me and... and maybe find someone new who can love you and...” His voice broke, unable to say any more.
“Oh Grant!” Rachel sobbed on his shirt. “I love you too much to let you do this! If you marry her, you'll be stuck in a marriage that makes you miserable! You can't agree to this!”
“The alternative is death, Rachel! Not just yours but mine. How does that help anyone but her? Now listen, I figure that it'll happen like this. You'll find someone else in time and maybe even get married. She won't be able to pull a stunt like this again, and so you'll be able to have those kids you want and a decently happy life. Once that happens, Jessica will grow bored with me. She'll realize that I don't make her happy, that we don't love each other, and that she deserves better. She may even fall in love with someone! When she realizes that she can't stop you from being happy, she'll divorce me, and then I'll be free to find my own happiness,” Grant explained.
“But we won't be together!” Rachel wailed miserably.
“No... but who knows? Maybe when we are old and gray, we'll find that we are both free again and can be together. It's a chance at least; one I'm willing to bet on. I'm not allowed to leave or divorce her, but I can almost guarantee that she'll want to divorce me sooner or later.”
Rachel took a deep breath and then exhaled a long sigh. “Fine... If we have to endure forced separation and wait until we are old before we can have our happily ever after, then... Then I guess it'll be worth the wait. As much as I want to recklessly vow to die rather than let you go, I have too much to live for, especially now...”
Grant tilted his head curiously. “Now?”
“Nevermind that. Just... just make love to me one last time.”
Grant nodded, brushing the hair out of her face so that he could kiss her. They were afraid that someone would interrupt them – especially considering that Jessica said that the wedding was tonight, and neither of them knew what time it was. So, they wasted no time joining their bodies. Grant barely pushing his pants down past his hips.
They were frantic and needy, but still wanted to take some time to show just how much they loved each other. Had the circumstances been different, both would have probably considered this the hottest place they had ever had sex! When he was done, Grant gave her a tender kiss and pulled his pants back up.
“I should probably get going before she comes to see what is taking me so long,” he murmured sadly.
“Yes... Go before I start to cry again,” Rachel agreed.
“I love you!” Grant stated firmly. “Just remember that. She may have won this twisted competition, but she doesn't have my heart.”
“I'll always love you too,” Rachel told him honestly, one hand over her heart. “I just wish that I could have her assassinated for this!” She sighed morosely. “But that would only start a long and bloody war, and she knows it. I can't put my entire family at risk like that...”
Knowing that he would only linger here forever if he didn't leave now, Grant nodded at her in understanding, and then left her cell. He carefully locked the door so that the guards wouldn't think there was any reason to hurt her. Not to mention, leaving it open might be construed as an attempt to help her escape, which would give Jessica a reason to let Rachel rot for a few more days.
She would too...
One of the guards checked on Rachel, proving Grant right, and then – once sure that everything was the way it should be – offered to escort Grant back to Jessica so that he didn't get lost. Grant agreed, knowing that he was really being guarded so that he couldn't escape. His heart sank as he realized once again that there was no way out of this marriage.
He was shown to a room where he waited alone – except for a couple of armed guards – until music started to play and a gesture from the guards told him that he was supposed to go through the door they opened. He strode through the door as confidently as he could, only to discover that he was literally in front of a crowd. Trying not to faint, he went to the place the priest indicated that he should stand.
A nervous glance around showed him that his parents were really here. They sat in the front row next to a huge and menacing man that glared at him murderously. The rest of the crowd was dressed up. Not dressed up as in they were wearing something that looked nice like normal people wore to normal weddings, but dressed up like they were movie stars attending a premier.
The whole place was decorated in a way that must have cost a fabulous amount of money; flowers and ribbons and what looked like jewels everywhere. Grant was secretly impressed that such a lavish event was partly because of him. He wasn't kidding when he said that he wanted a small wedding, but anybody would be thrilled to see such wealth at their wedding! Especially if they didn't have to pay for it.
The music changed abruptly and the doors at the back of the room opened. Jessica floated into the room wearing a dress so beautiful that it took Grant's breath away. He may not be marrying her willingly, but he had been a huge fan of hers for years. To see her looking so gorgeous as she walked towards him was like a strange and twisted fantasy come true.
Jessica cast smiles at people in the audience, radiating joy like a small sun. If Grant didn't know what she was really like, he'd almost be fooled into thinking that she was happy to be marrying him. Instead, she was simply playing it up for her adoring fans – even the mob loved her music!
All too soon, the priest was giving them permission to seal their union with a kiss. Jessica stared at Grant adoringly, muttering just loudly enough for him to hear her.
“Remember, you had better make this look good!”
Grant nodded almost imperceptibly, and then placed his hands on her face so that he could give her a decent kiss – or at least look like he was. Once again, Jessica threw her arms around his neck and gave him a kiss that should have left him weak in the knees if he cared for her at all. Part of him was a tiny bit sad that he felt so cold and numb on his wedding day. He had always thought that it would be the happiest day of his life, but it wasn't.
“It's required, so I am only going to do this once, you got that!” Jessica stated with a growl.
“Do what?” Grant wondered, not having a clue what she was talking about.
“Consummation, of course!” Jessica replied with a tone that implied he was stupid for not knowing what she was talking about.
Grant paled, honestly not thinking that she would take things this far. “Why? We're married like you wanted, so why does it matter if we have sex?”
“Because it's required!” Jessica growled impatiently.
“No it's not,” Grant protested.
“You are only saying that because you have hope that this can be annulled, aren't you?” Jessica demanded angrily.
“No! I just don't see why you want to do it! No one is going to know either way, so let's not and just say we did,” Grant suggested.
Jessica pushed him onto her large bed. “I told you, it's required to make the marriage fully binding, therefore we are going to do it!”
Grant sighed in defeat, realizing that if he refused, she'd probably just threaten Rachel's life again. “Well, if you want to have sex with me, then you are going to have to do it yourself.”
Jessica huffed in protest but then squared her shoulders in determination. “Fine, if you want to be like that, then be like that; see if I care!” She stripped out of her wedding gown, taking care not to ruin it. “It's only my first time after all,” she muttered to herself. “It's not like I expected it to be magical and wonderful and –” She huffed again, throwing her shoe at him. “I saved myself for my husband damnit! The least you can do is be grateful that I am giving this gift to you!”
Grant sighed, feeling like an asshole even though he wasn't at fault here. “Look, if someone had told me a year ago that I would be married to my favorite singer and that she still had her virginity, I would have been the happiest man on Earth, but I fell in love. You can't just expect me to want you after everything you've done to me!”
Naked now, Jessica crawled into bed and started undressing him. “Yeah I get it, I do. I am the bad bitch that tore you from your true love, but I'm not kidding. We have to have sex to make this marriage binding, and so all I am asking for is sex. Just frickin' close your eyes and imagine that you are with her!”
Grant sighed and closed his eyes. He didn't want to picture Rachel at a time like this, so he just let his mind wander. Meanwhile, Jessica exposed his penis so that she could suck on it and work him up.
“Remember, I've never done this before, so you have to tell me if I am doing it right,” she told him. “Hmm... this tastes pretty good. I didn't expect that...”
Grant blushed as he realized that what she was tasting was Rachel. He cleared his throat, tempted to tell her that. Instead, images of Jessica licking Rachel filled his mind and he was surprised to feel himself getting hard.
“That's good,” he murmured. “You're doing just fine.”
“Hmm,” Jessica hummed in thought. “Well it does seem to be working.”
Grant let his imagination run wild with all the possible combinations. He purposely pushed her true nature out of his mind, and then fantasized about her having sex – not only with Rachel – but also with other celebrities that he had crushes on. When she got fed up with orally pleasing him, Jessica sat back on her heels.
“Now what?” She asked. “I've watched porn, but I don't know what you want. Should I get on top and ride you? Should I –”
“If this is really your first time, then you deserve to do it however you want,” Grant informed her, not quite believing that she was a 20 year old pop star virgin. She was a sex symbol after all, who had dated a lot of men over the years.
“Then can I...” She hesitated.
“What?” Grant asked curiously.
“Can I be on bottom? You know, like a virginal bride is supposed to be...”
Grant shrugged. He briefly thought that he should be brutally violent with her to pay her back for forcing him into this situation, but he just couldn't do something like that to anyone. Once she was on her back, he watched her stare at him in fear for a moment before she took a deep breath and opened her legs so that he could get between them.
“If you hurt me, I'll kill you!” She exclaimed threateningly.
“I understand,” Grant murmured, astonished to realize that she actually must be a virgin! He pushed into her gently until he was all the way inside her. She gasped in relief and used her arms to hold him tight.
Getting lost in his fantasies once more, Grant was able to have some pretty good sex. Having just done so earlier, he had more stamina that he would have otherwise. His fantasies got pretty hardcore, and soon, he was pounding into her like she was a well paid porn star.
Jessica started out gasping and panting like she was enjoying what was happening, but eventually, she grew bored. “Jeez! Are you ever going to cum?!”
“If you want me to,” Grant promised breathily, honestly close now anyway. He sped up, grinding into her as much as possible. He grunted in satisfaction as he pumped her full. The moment he was done, he rolled over onto his back.
“There, it's binding now,” he stated before turning away and going to sleep.
Jessica sighed, watching him breathe. “Is this what happiness is?” She wondered softly before snorting derisively. “Of course it is! I finally beat Rachel!” With a grin of triumph, she got comfortable and went to sleep.
In the morning, she woke up to find that they had curled up to each other while sleeping. Grant now held her like she was precious to him, which made Jessica feel something warm and unfamiliar. With a smile, she grabbed her cellphone from under her pillow and pushed a speed dial number.
“It's me,” she muttered into the phone. “You can let her go now. Hell, I'm in a good mood, so you may as well drive her home and even buy her breakfast if she wants.”
She was assured that it would be done, which made her purr as she hung up the phone. I have everything I've ever wanted now!
Grant felt like a chicken with it's head cut off! True to her word, Jessica had made him one of her assistants. She was a bitch to all of them, often talking to him like he was scum and not worth her time. He had gotten very good at biting his tongue and just doing what he was told.
At the same time as he was running errands and assisting her, he was also being taken aside from time to time by her father. At first, the huge and imposing man simply stared at him, not saying a word. Then Grant finally sighed impatiently.
“Look, sir, I'm not afraid of you. The only thing you can do is kill me, and that doesn't sound like such a bad thing anymore,” Grant stated grimly.
He harrumphed a couple of times, which Grant was astonished to realize was a form of laughter. “I like that attitude! Unfortunately, as much as I would like to kill you, I can't.”
Grant raised an eyebrow, intrigued by this information. The King of the Mob can't kill me?
“You'll understand when you are a father,” he informed Grant with a shrug. “I love my little girl so much that I would do anything for her! If she wanted to go to the moon, I would make sure she had a state of the art spaceship to bring her there and a terraformed mansion waiting for her on her arrival. You simply can't imagine how much it hurt me when she told me that she wanted to marry a worthless nobody like you!”
Grant simply shrugged, having long since come to accept that to men like this, he just wasn't good enough.
“But she told me that it would make her happy, and so I arranged for her to have the best wedding she possibly could,” he sighed deeply. “And for that very reason, I can't kill you no matter how much I want to. So, I am faced with a dilemma... Just what exactly am I supposed to do with you???”
“Sir?” Grant asked, not sure why this was such a dilemma.
“By rights, Jessica is my only heir. She's supposed to take over after I'm gone, but she's a bit too public for that... So, I figured that I would simply train whoever she married as my successor, but then she married you...”
“Oh...” Grant murmured, suddenly realizing all over again that he had married into a mob family. Not just any mob family, but the mob family.
With a sigh, Jessica's father gestured to a couple of his men. “I guess I have no choice. Bring him along with you and explain things to him!”
A year went by with Grant feeling like he was caught in a tug of war between his wife and her father. He was treated fairly badly by Jessica when others were around, but then she was surprisingly lovey dovey to him when they were alone. All the while, her father had his men bring Grant with them as they did those mob things that he really didn't want to think about!
The only good thing was that Grant was finally learning some of the fighting skills he had always wanted to since he was a little boy. His parents couldn't afford to put him in karate or anything like that, so he had grown up learning how to fight by watching videos such as anything by Jackie Chan. Then one day, he realized that he had grown up and no longer had time for such childishness. Besides, his job as a courier had him working so many hours that he barely had time to spend with Rachel when he got home!
All that was different now...
“Are you okay?” Jessica asked in concern the moment they were alone in their room that night.
“Your dad made me kill someone today,” Grant informed her darkly. “So no, I'm not okay!”
Jessica perked up with interest. “Really? Who?”
Grant roared in frustration as he threw something across the room. “How should I know?! All he told me that it was an underling who had betrayed the family!”
Jessica laughed. “Well then, you killed a mobster. That's one less to darken the world.”
“How can you be so...” Grant couldn't even think of a word to describe her!
“Heartless?” Jessica asked, and then shrugged. “You would be too if you had grown up having your heart ripped from you every time you thought you might be happy for half a second.”
“Whatever...” Grant muttered, not believing her in the slightest.
“Anyway, I'm in the mood, so get ready to fuck like bunnies! I even bought new lingerie...” Jessica announced, pulling her robe off to reveal the sexy outfit.
Grant growled in frustration. Here he had opened up to her, hoping for something resembling a normal married couple that supported each other, but all she was interested in was what she wanted. Like usual!
Grant was so angry at her that he didn't realize at first that her outfit really had inflamed his lust. It was one of his coping techniques. So long as she insisted that they have regular sex, he had had to replace his tender emotions with the baser ones of lust and selfishness. This time, he felt an urge to kill her!
Grabbing her, he tossed her on their bed. “All you ever think about is yourself! All you ever want me to think about is you! Well I've had enough! How about what I want for once?!”
He grabbed the rope that she had in a drawer full of toys, and then used it to tie her up. He was honestly surprised that she let him, not struggling or protesting in the slightest! He stared at her in suspicion.
“HA! I knew you didn't have it in you! What did you plan to do? Spank me? HA!” Jessica taunted with a smug sneer. Grant responded by grabbing a gag and shoving it in her mouth.
“There! Now you have no choice but to shut up!” He harrumphed in something akin to triumph. “And spanking you isn't a bad idea!”
Arranging her so that her plump and lovely rear was in the air, Grant cupped his hand so that he could whack her. Jessica gasped through her gag. “I bet no one has ever dared to spank you in you whole life, no matter how much you deserved it!”
He spanked her over and over until his anger deflated and his hand throbbed. She had been squirming in an attempt to get free, but now held still, wondering if he was done. He told himself that he was... Then he thought about everything she had done to him and his anger burned hotter than ever. “You know what I think? I think that deep down, you know you are a bad person who needs to be punished!”
Grant opened his pants just enough to expose his hard and ready shaft. He got into position behind her, and then shoved himself inside her without any warning. “Wow... you're wetter than I can remember you ever being before,” he remarked.
Jessica whimpered, squirming to try and get free of her bondage once more.
“You dirty little bitch! You actually like this, don't you?!” Grant asked incredulously, pounding into her as hard as he could. “I bet you secretly wanted someone to come along and put you in your place, didn't you?”
Jessica growled, turning her head to glare at him the best she could since he was behind her and she was tied up face down on the bed. Her expression promised to murder him the moment he let her go! Grant ignored her, continuing to do anything and everything to her that he could think of.
Just before he pumped her full, he wondered if he had gone too far. Her whole body was convulsing in a way that made him wonder if she was in shock, literal clinical shock. The moment he filled her up, he felt bad and untied her, gently pulling the gag from her mouth.
“Oh. My. God!” She stated in a way that made him wonder if she was pissed or impressed. “That was incredible! I had no idea that I could feel like that!!!”
She pulled him close and rained little kisses all over his face. Grant's brows drew together in confusion and surprise. He felt mildly numb, too many things had happened to him today to fully process.
“Wait... You mean you liked that?” He asked.
“Liked it?! That was incredible! I think I actually had an orgasm!” Jessica gushed, still kissing him.
Considering that Grant had never once cared enough to see to her pleasure, it wasn't surprising that she hadn't had one before. He scratched the back of his neck in embarrassment, feeling like a bastard for, well... Being a bastard to her...
“At first, I thought it sucked and that I was going to have to kill you, but then...” Jessica sighed blissfully. “I felt like the entire earth moved!”
Grant sighed and promised himself that he would try to give her a normal orgasm at least once. Considering that she could have easily taken a lover to treat her with something other than tolerance, but she didn't, he felt he owed it to her to be a little more attentive in bed. With a sigh of guilt, he kissed her in return.
“I'm sorry that I haven't been very nice to you,” he murmured in her ear.
“Nice?! Ha, I'm surprised that you haven't murdered me in my sleep!” Jessica laughed. “But – as I've just discovered – perhaps nice isn't what I really want from you!”
“Hmm...” Grant hummed speculatively. He pulled her with him as he lay down. It was a thought for another time, for now, all he wanted was the oblivion of sleep.
“Hey babe?” Grant called out as he entered the bedroom he shared with Jessica. She watched him in the mirror as she brushed her hair, smiling but not saying anything. “Tonight is the last game of the season; I thought it would be nice if you went with me, for once.”
He was referring to the VIP box he and his father-in-law used at the basketball game. It was every bit as ritzy as everything they went to, and was almost worth being married to Jessica for. Not to mention, he had bonded over basketball with Jessica's dad, and now they got along pretty well. It helped that Grant was steadily becoming everything a mob boss – to be – should be.
Jessica smiled at him almost adoringly. “You know, that might not be such a bad idea. I know that my assistants have long figured out that we are married, but maybe it's time to let my fans wonder what's going on between us.”
“Don't they already wonder? After all, you did take me with you to the music awards,” Grant reminded her.
“Bah!” Jessica exclaimed with a shrug. “I take a lot of guys to a lot of events and it means nothing. Never once have I been seen in public with the same guy twice before, so this really will set the world ablaze with speculation.”
She put her brush down and turned to face him. “And then tomorrow night, we'll go to a famous restaurant and let the paparazzi “catch” us. If that doesn't inflame rumors that you are at least my boyfriend, then I don't know what will!” She stated with a laugh.
“We've been married nearly two years now...” Grant murmured. “I still can believe that no one has found out!”
“That's the power of the mob,” Jessica giggled as she stood up and then put her arms around him. “If we don't want something leaked to the press, it doesn't get leaked!”
Realizing that she was in the mood to dance to the music in her head, Grant put his arms around her waist and led her through a slow dance. One great thing about being married to her was that she insisted that they dance together a lot, and to his surprise, he really liked dancing.
“Oh, I noticed that your car got dented today,” Jessica informed him.
“Yep, just a minor fender-bender,” Grant assured her. “It's nothing! A shop can have it buffed out in no time.”
“Nonsense! It's about time that you got a new car anyway!” Jessica exclaimed.
Grant laughed. “A new car?! I've only had this one a couple of months!”
“Yeah, but now they're coming out with new models and you should really be driving the best,” Jessica told him with a pout.
He sighed and shook his head in amusement. “Fine, if you insist... We can go car shopping tomorrow before our dinner date.”
Jessica squealed happily. “We can get matching cars in his and hers colors!”
“We'll see...” Grant murmured, a wry smile betraying the fact that he was amused by how happy the prospect made her.
“Just don't forget, we absolutely positively have to go to that family event this weekend,” Jessica reminded him.
“I never knew there were so many get-togethers in the mob,” Grant stated, finding it ironic that a bunch of law breakers seemed to have a better sense of family duty and togetherness than most regular people he met.
“It's a control thing,” Jessica shrugged.
Grant helped Jessica out of their brand new and insanely expensive car, and then tucked her hand into the crook of his arm like some old-fashioned gentleman. She looked to-die-for in a shimmering, one of a kind, tailor-made for her dress, and he looked fairly handsome in a subtly matching suit. Grant still couldn't get over how different expensive clothing made him look; he could almost pass for a movie star!
This party looked a lot like it was being held by a bunch of snooty rich people. Grant had thought – when he first started attending these parties – that a bunch of mobsters getting together would be a rowdy and somewhat crude event, but instead, they always rented out a high-priced country club and had something fairly close to a ball. It made no sense to Grant!
But he had to admit that it was kind of fun to go to a party where he got to eat rich food and dance with expensively dressed women who smelled fantastic. Even if something should happen – such as two lesser families suddenly breaking out into a brawl – the whole thing was broken up and everyone simply continued partying like nothing had happened. It was so weird to him!
Jessica smiled and chatted with people graciously, acting like a lady that Grant knew she wasn't. She acted much like a pop star giving an interview on TV; never letting any one see the real her. She had everyone convinced that she was some paragon of virtue, much like the Princess Diana had been.
Suddenly, Jessica growled. “There's Rachel...”
Grant felt his heart skip a beat. “Where?!”
Jessica hit him on the arm. “Behave you!” She studied Rachel with an expression of distaste, and then suddenly smirked.
“She's here with a man!” Jessica announced as if Grant had somehow missed this fact. “I simply must go introduce myself to him!”
“Jessica...” Grant growled darkly.
“Shut up and come on,” she snapped out the order impatiently.
All too soon, they were standing in front of the woman Grant really wanted to be married to. Rachel looked surprised that Jessica wanted to talk to her, but narrowed her eyes suspiciously. It would totally be in character for Jessica to try to steal her new man too!
“Rachel, darling! How I've missed you!” Jessica greeted her with a purr, taking Rachel's hands into hers and kissing her on the cheek.
“Jessica,” Rachel murmured the greeting as pleasantly as she could.
“How have you been?” Jessica asked, smiling as if she actually cared.
“Busy,” Rachel stated flatly, but then her expression changed. “I've been blessed with a baby boy, so I feel like I am constantly chasing after him, keeping him out of trouble and playing with him.”
The happiness she felt at having a child was evident on her face. She literally glowed. She cast Jessica a smug look. “And my boyfriend and I just found out that we are going to have another baby in about 7 months! I'm just so happy that I could cry!”
Jessica twisted her lips into a sour expression. “Wonderful...”
“Jordan,” Rachel addressed her boyfriend with a smile. “Why don't you invite Jessica to dance with you?”
“Sure thing,” he replied with a shrug and then held his hand out in invitation.
Jessica harrumphed, flipping her hair over her shoulder as if she were too good to dance with someone like him, but then she placed her hand in his and let him lead her onto the dance floor.
“So...” Rachel began nervously. “How are you?”
Grant shrugged. “Good, I guess. I'm glad to see that you were able to move on and find someone new.”
“Nah! I hired him just to drive Jessica crazy!” Rachel confessed with a laugh. “I mean yes, I do have a new boyfriend, but he is literally brand new. I just met him a couple of days ago... and I want to get to know him better before I drag him into all of this.”
“Understandable,” Grant murmured with a nod.
Rachel smiled at him. “I'm glad to see that you're not miserable. In fact, either you've gotten very good at acting, or you're actually happy with her.”
“What?!” Grant asked, baffled by this concept.
Rachel playfully pushed him with her arm. “Oh come on, I saw the way you were looking at her! She's interesting to you; I bet she keeps you on your toes!”
Grant bit his lip and frowned in thought. “Well... yeah... I guess so.”
“Plus, you look like you belong here,” Rachel added with a smile.
Grant shrugged. “I learned to play the game from the “King” himself, so...”
“This life actually seems to suit you,” Rachel informed him, which made Grant really think. His head was soon spinning, but he realized something very important.
“Yeah...” he whispered incredulously. “It does. I kind of like being able to buy a brand new car just because my “old” one got dented. I like having a top box at the basketball games and eating all this fabulously expensive food... I didn't think I was this shallow, but I guess I am...”
“I don't think you're shallow. I think you're simply happier than you care to admit.” Rachel kissed him on the cheek. “I'm glad. It was killing me thinking that you were suffering at her hands, but now I can truly move on.”
They both saw Jessica returning with Rachel's hired boyfriend. Rachel ran to them and threw her arms around him. “I missed you!” The two of them wandered off to find something to drink, Rachel waving to them as she left.
Jessica grabbed Grant's arm and forced him to look at her. “You better not have dared to plot anything with her!”
Grant shook his head. “No. We only talked about how my life has been, and she pointed out that I look pretty happy.”
“Of course!” Jessica huffed. “You're married to me!” Then she stamped her foot impatiently and crossed her arms. “But she's happy because she's a mom, and that's something I don't have!”
Grant shrugged. “So get off the pill or whatever you're on.”
“I'm not on anything!” Jessica screeched softly, not wanting to attract attention to her behavior.
“You're not? But I thought...” Grant frowned, puzzled.
“Why would I be on birth control?” Jessica asked with a sneer. “I'm married and it's all the rage for celebrities to have babies.”
“Hmm...” Grant thought this over, biting his lip. His eyes glanced towards Rachel for just a moment before falling to the ground. If it's true that she's a mom now, then I guess she's won after all!
The thought made Grant grin. He tucked Jessica's hand in the crook of his arm and kissed her on the cheek. “Maybe you're just not meant to be a mom, and if it's something you really want, we can always adopt.”
Jessica crinkled her nose in distaste – at both options. “No... If Rachel had a baby, then I'm going to have one too!”
Grant laughed. “Okay, if you say so!” He pulled her onto the dance floor, snuggling with her as they swayed back and forth.
“I will not lose to her!” Jessica insisted.
Grant smiled but kept his mouth shut. I think you already have...