Home > Fake Wife (Crazy Love #1)

Fake Wife (Crazy Love #1)
Author: Stacey Lynn

Prologue


Teagan


I stare at the man, the absolutely beautiful man, across the table from me, completely disbelieving what he’s just said.

I had to have misheard.

He couldn’t have just offered me what I think he did.

Perhaps when I slammed into the back of his Mercedes forty-five minutes ago I gave him a concussion. Maybe the accident gave me a concussion.

“Are you serious?” Propping my elbows on the table, I lean forward to hear him better. “You can’t be. We should get you to the hospital. I think when I rear-ended you it gave you a concussion. Are you sure you didn’t hit your head?”

Corbin Lane relaxes against his chair at our table at Le Chat Noir. His golden-brown hair shines, a bit wavy, long on top but still short enough not to cross the line from professional to hipster. His cornflower-blue eyes haven’t veered from my direction for the last hour.

A typical man would have yelled at me, threatened me with a lawsuit, demanded my insurance information, and returned to his day, doing whatever playboy billionaires do.

Not this guy. He asked for my insurance information, and when he saw the tears streaming down my cheeks, the clothes and boxes strewn all over my cramped backseat, he asked me if I was okay. Then he escorted me to this nearby restaurant, asked me a million questions, and then this . . .

This . . . proposition, as he called it.

“I’m not joking. I think this solves both of our problems.”

I drink the rest of my wine and set the glass aside. The alcohol has made me tipsy.

Corbin smiles again. I’ve seen that smile plastered on the gossip pages and on the news for the last five years, ever since I moved to Portland. So sexy he makes girls stupid, he’s an heir to the Lane Holdings fortune, a great-grandson of one of the Oregon Gold Rush families, and son of the CEO of Lane Holdings. When his father retires, Corbin is poised to run the multibillion-dollar company.

“I think you’re going to have to explain it to me again.”

“It’s simple, really. You need a place to live and I’m offering you one. You need time to find a new job, and I’m providing financially for you to do that. We can iron out the details later, but this needs to last at least two years.”

Two years. Two years of my life spent in close proximity to one of Time magazine’s top-ten sexiest and wealthiest bachelors in the world. Three years in a row.

Yeah, I’m a fangirl.

Shit.

Two more years of life wasted.

Although the money he’s offering will definitely help me set up my dream when it’s over.

“Listen, Corbin—”

“Consider it. Take all the time you need.”

“I’m still not sure I understand what you get out of it.”

Beautiful, luscious lips tip into a full-blown smile and I’m almost blinded by the brightness of his teeth. “Me? I get a wife.”

 

 

Chapter 1


Earlier that day

 

 

Teagan


I brush my hand down Drake’s cheek and kiss his temple. “Good morning, did you get in late?”

My boyfriend grunts and rolls over, throwing one arm over his eyes. “Fifteen-hour shifts are killing me,” he mumbles. “Have to go back this afternoon.”

“Okay, honey.” I kiss him again, wishing we had the time or the energy to take it further. It’s been so long since we’ve been intimate I’ve forgotten what sex with Drake feels like. It’s understandable, though. His residency at Portland General keeps him incredibly busy. “I have to go to work. Have a good day.”

He mumbles again and rolls to his side, away from me.

I stand from his side of the bed and pull my purse to my shoulder.

Drake is the first long-term boyfriend I’ve had. We met our junior year of college, and for the last seven years, I’ve been following him all over the country while he completed medical school and now his internal medicine residency. I would have thought by now we’d be married and living the life he’s continually promised to give me. With each year that passes, I’m beginning to think his promises have been more of a carrot dangled in front of me.

At some point, our plans and our dreams we used to whisper about, bodies entwined after a marathon lovemaking session, have been pushed to the back burner. At least on Drake’s. I still want all the things I always have. A husband, a family, and an equine therapy farm for special-needs children.

“I love you,” I whisper to his back, sculpted and lean, and one I used to spend hours running my hands down. It’s been months since we came together. It’s more than the lack of sex putting distance between us. I’m starting to doubt if he still loves me.

Before I can cry over our messed-up relationship again, I head toward the kitchen. I quickly shove my bagel into the toaster, grab a coffee pod, and pop it into the machine. While the coffee is brewing and the bagel browning, I dig through my purse and apply a fresh coat of lip balm. It’ll come off in minutes, but I’m addicted to the old-school, cherry-flavored stuff.

A quick glance at the clocks tells me I need to get the lead out or I’m going to be late to the library where I work. It’s not much of a job, but I didn’t finish college, choosing instead to quit after my junior year and follow Drake to med school in Chicago, fourteen hours from my hometown in Tennessee. I’m not exactly qualified to do much other than stack shelves, issue new library cards, help visitors, and ride horses.

The last one has nothing to do with the library, but it’s been years since I’ve been on a horse, and the more time that passes, the more I miss them. After my parent’s died, my grandma took me in. She wasn’t the most loving woman, but she lived on a horse ranch in western Tennessee. I spent the majority of my days riding horses and taking care of them, and I’ve missed having horses be a part of my life ever since I moved away.

Shaking off my morose mood, I make a plan for the weekend. It’s Friday and I’ll be home from work just before five. If I hurry, I can throw on a sexy dress, grab takeout, and surprise Drake at the hospital for dinner and perhaps a quickie in the doctor’s break room like we used to do.

Perhaps we’ve been together so long we’re in a rut. That’s all it is. His hours are long and exhausting and more stressful than anything I can imagine. Perhaps he needs some early night stress relief in a form only I can provide.

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