The sun was streaming into the bedroom, making Rafferty realize he hadn’t closed the curtains before he went to bed. Looking across the room at them, he wondered when had he gotten such tacky curtains? When had he gotten curtains at all?
His window looked out at the wall of his neighbor’s house, which was so close, he didn’t need curtains. Rolling onto his back, he wondered how much he had drunk last night. Too much was the obvious answer.
Wait, his mind finally caught up with him, he was in Vegas with Ruth and Anderson and, of course, s*xy Mia. The last thing he remembered was Mia drunkenly almost getting hit by a car outside the hotel. The car had stopped just in time, and she started cursing and pounding on the hood until Rafferty dragged her off and back into the hotel.
Smiling at the cute, angry Mia Lawson, turning her anger on him until he stopped her with a k!ss. The memory of the steamy k!ss made him realize he was n*ked beneath the thin sheet he had slept under. Turning to see whose hand had just landed on his ch3st, he knew before his eyes saw the brunette beside him.
There she was, the cutest girl in Landstad. Today, she was even cuter than normal because her brown hair was back. He had been shocked to see it when she climbed into Anderson’s pickup yesterday. She hadn’t had brown hair since he’d moved back years ago, always having a weird color instead.
Sighing, he decided he had better get out of there before she woke up and was mad at him for having drunk s*x with her. Except he couldn’t remember the drunk s*x at all. Maybe they were too drunk to do anything but sleep.
Gently, he lifted her hand from his ch3st and was about to put it down next to him when her hazel eyes popped open, and she looked right at him. She was about to say something when she bolted out of the bed and ran into the bathroom, not even able to close the door before she started throwing up last night’s drinks.
Getting up, he put on his boxers then dug through her bag. Taking out a pair of her p*nties and a T-shirt, he went into the bathroom. No longer was she throwing up. Instead, she was sitting against the wall, knees up with a towel between them and her head resting on it.
Slowly, he slid down the adjacent wall and admitted, “I have no idea what happened last night.”
“Me, neither,” her towel-muffled voice answered quietly.
“What do you remember?” he asked, holding out the clothing to her.
“We saw that show, and I lost all my money at the poker table.” Her head came up, and she grabbed her clothes.
“Poker isn’t your game.” He remembered that.
“The house was against me.” Angrily, she pulled her T-shirt on.
“I remember you almost getting hit by a car.” Picking up the p*nties she had dropped, he held them to her again.
“I don’t remember that.” Frowning, she grabbed them before shimmying them on.
“Why were we outside?” he asked. They hadn’t left the hotel, even the show had been there.
“What time is it?” she asked.
“I’ll look,” he said, in case she was going to be sick again. Heading out to the main room, he grabbed his phone. It was 2:00 p.m. They still had two hours before the wedding.
She must have been feeling better because she followed him into the bedroom and picked up her phone. “Two.”
“I see that. We have time to get ready.”
Getting up, he picked up his jeans so he could go back to his room to shower and shave. At least she wasn’t mad at him this morning. She was sharing the blame for getting wasted.
On her side of the bed, Mia screamed and flopped back on the bed like she passed out. He was worried until he saw her hand clenching a piece of paper. With her eyes closed, she flung the paper at him and demanded, “What is this?”
Grabbing the paper out of her hand, he sat heavy on the bed. What she had handed him was a marriage certificate. For them. For Rafferty Lee Brooks and Mia Autumn Lawson.
“Your middle name is Autumn?” he asked. He had never known.
“That is not the important thing on that paper.”
“Well, Mrs. Brooks, this means you love me enough to spend forever with me,” he teased her, looking at the paper.
She rolled over faster than he thought possible and was on him in a heartbeat. Maybe he had gone too far. He was as shocked as she was about this.
Her nails dug eight nice trenches in his ch3st before he could get her flipped on her back and pinned to the bed. He brought her hands with those sharp nails above her head. Her glorious body beneath his.
“Mia, I don’t remember it anymore then you do. I was kidding.” He looked into her anger-filled hazel eyes, but they were more brown today.
“I don’t believe you,” she hissed.
“Why would I want to be married to you?” Rafferty stated, though he couldn’t really think of someone he would rather be married to.
“Thanks, Brooks. You know how to make a wife feel loved.” She mocked his earlier statement.
“If I let you go, will you not scratch me?” he asked and watched her eyes look at his ch3st. They flew back to his when they saw the damage she had done to him.
“I guess, unless you act like a j*rk again,” Mia conceded.
Slowly, he let go of her hands and watched her closely to see if she had been lying about being nice. But she left her arms above her head until he had picked up his phone. Rolling over, he saw her pick up hers from the bed where it had landed. They both quietly scrolled through their pictures.
“Looks like you got married in the purple dress.” He showed her his phone with the photos.
“Lavender,” she corrected. “But at least it was classy. You wore jeans.”
“And a suit jacket.” He grinned at her.
“That doesn’t fit at all.” She giggled a little.
“Hey, I put forth the effort.” Shrugging, he looked through the photos painfully slow as if he was looking for something that would explain why they were getting married. There were only ten, and most were out of focus, and not one had a good reason as far as he knew.
Her eyes swept the room, and she was off the bed in an instant. He watched her pick up the dress from the middle of the floor, where it had been in a pile for who knows how long. Hurrying, she took it into the bathroom and turned on the shower, and came back out. “I hope there’s enough time to get some of the wrinkles out.”
“Are you still going to wear it to Angel’s wedding?” He sat up, not knowing how to help her with the dress.
“I have to; I don’t have another one. And there’s no time to find a new one. And I already sent her a picture of it. What am I going to tell her? That I married her brother in it already?” She looked at the license again. “Yesterday.”
“What?” he asked, grabbing it from her.
“We got married yesterday. At least it’s not the same day. God knows how it would look if two siblings got married the same day. I always thought that was creepy. Well, sort of cute, but mostly creepy.” She went into the bathroom with the dress.
“Looks like the same place, though,” he said.
She stuck her head out of the bathroom door. “Do you think they’ll remember us?”
He picked up the license again and looked at it, loving their names together on the paper. Mia Autumn Brooks, he liked it.
She came out of the bathroom empty-handed, and he put the paper on the nightstand again. “I would think there’s probably a different staff late at night than during the day.”
“Thank god.” She flopped back onto the bed.
“What, not planning the reception when we get home?” he asked, looking down at her.
“No. Planning the divorce,” she admitted.
Oddly, her words kind of hurt. Maybe they should give it a try, see if it worked. They seemed to get along well when they were drunk; in fact, she usually had to be drunk for them to get along.
Both their phones dinged with texts at the same time. Both looked at their respective phones, and both groaned. One hour until the wedding.
Grabbing his jeans and shirt from the floor, he said, “I have to go get ready I’ll see you in an hour. We’ll talk about this later.”
“I’m walking. I need fresh air today.” She didn’t get up from the bed, just said the words to the ceiling.
“Then you have even less time. I’ll see you in a half an hour, and I’ll walk with you. No way am I letting you walk alone down the Strip in that dress.”
“What’s wrong with my dress?”
“Nothing, it’s perfect. You would be kidnapped in a heartbeat for your s*xy body.” He smiled as her head lifted and looked at him. Turning, he poked his head out in the hallway. It was empty, so he rushed to his own room next door.
After tossing his clothes on the bed, he headed for the shower, where he climbed under the hot spray and couldn’t stop smiling. He was married to Mia Lawson, Mia Brooks. He had no idea whose idea that was, but hue didn’t care. It was a great idea. Now he just had to figure out how to stay married to her. That was going to be harder than keeping her in Landstad for the next three months.