Chloe spent the entire day thinking about last night. She was drunk, but not to the point of forgetting everything. That kiss was alive in her memory but it was his reaction that kept her intrigued.
Why Evan didn’t accepted her answer? Was he having second thoughts? Did he still have feelings for Jill?
With those questions stuck on her mind, Chloe made her way to the closet but her phone rang which made her stop halfway.
“Chloe honey!” the woman sighed. “It’s your father.”
“What’s wrong? Are you ok?” Chloe became worried.
“Yes, now we are fine. But your father felt bad last night. I took him to the hospital and the doctor said his heart is weak. He needs to go under treatment otherwise he can have a heart attack.” her mother’s voice was tearful.
“Oh Gosh, how come? I can’t believe it!” Chloe was nervous. “Can I talk to him?”
“He’s sleeping now. We just arrived from the hospital.” the woman said. “I don’t know how we’re gonna make it, daughter. I’m really worried.”
“Mom, please. I’ll find a way to make it work. Dad’s health is our priority now. I have some money saved and I’ll send it to you. It’s not much, but… And I will visit you as soon as possible, I promise.”
“Oh baby, we don’t deserve such a good daughter! You’re an angel, Chloe! You deserve the best, always. Don’t ever accept less than you deserve!”
“Thanks mom! I love you and please, keep me updated. Tell dad not to worry about anything.”
“Ok darling. I need a rest now. Call you soon.”
After hang up, Chloe was feeling devastated. Her parents were everything she had in life and in a blink of an eye, she could lose one of them. Tears welled up in her eyes and for the first time Chloe felt vulnerable. She wished she could have someone by her side to support her and to share her pain.
Chloe walked to the bathroom sadly. Why nothing in her life went as planned? She was about to take a life changing decision, but she was feeling uncomfortable instead of happy.
At 8pm she was ready. Mr. Bailey texted her saying he was downstairs.
When Evan saw Chloe in that low-cut red dress, he almost had a heart attack.
“What’s this?” he asked trying to control his anger.
“Good evening to you too, Mr. Bailey.”
“What kind of dress are you wearing, Chloe?” he asked nervously “Are you trying to catch my attention? Because you did it. And all the men around are looking at you as well!”
“There’s no one here except you.” She said rolling her eyes.
“Change it to nicer clothes.” he ordered.
“No way! You’re not the boss here, Evan!” she exclaimed firmly.
“We have a deal!” he stated angrily.
“I didn’t accept it yet.” she said confidently. “If you still wanna have dinner, get in the car. We are late.” Chloe would not accept his commands outside the company. If he wanted that deal, he’d better respect her. She remembered her mother’s words saying she should not accept less than she deserved.
Evan made a spoiled child face that gets angry when doesn't get the toy. He turned around and got into the car. Chloe gave a little smile and did the same.
After they were comfortable at the restaurant’s private room, they ordered the dinner and Chloe started to wonder how her life would be like if she accepted that deal. Her nervousness was controlled so she decided to go straight to the point.
“So, what are the terms of the contract?” she asked calmly.
“You didn’t care about the terms yesterday.” Evan mocked.
“You lost your chance yesterday. Now I wanna know.” she wasn’t there to play. They were talking about her future.
Evan smirked, making himself comfortable on the chair. Chloe came ready to kill, literally. She kept a watchful eye and precise movements. Different from before, Chloe knew exactly what was on the table.
Evan was impressed by that attitude and once more her smart mouth attracted him.
“Basically we will stay married for one year, playing happy couple. Relationships outside the marriage are not allowed. You should respect and obey me; show up in public events with me…” he was reciting the main points when she interrupted him.
“Obey you?” Chloe was discredited.
“Yes.” He simply answered. “Look, I know what it’s best for you during this period. The media can be cruel so you need to follow my rules to protect yourself.”
“Can you have relationships outside?” she asked dryly.
“I am generally faithful. But this condition is not explicit in the contract.” Evan gave a malicious smile. “If you're good enough, I won't need it by the way.”
Chloe needed to focus on the contract to understand what she had to lose, therefore she ignored his teases.
“What about feelings?” her heart missed a beat at that moment. She knew she could fall for him. But could he fall in love with her?
“No feelings involved. Chloe, don’t expect flowers and lazy Sundays under the blanket watching movies together.” Evan was being clear since he had never did it before.
“Great. Don’t expect a lovely wife either. What about sex?” Chloe was sarcastic.
“We can discuss it.” He answered with sparks in his eyes.
“What if I don’t want you to touch me?” she provoked him.
Evan narrowed his eyes and studied her for a moment.
“Question is: Could you keep yourself away from me, Ms. Rodriguez?”
“Could you, Mr. Bailey?” She asked as she leaned forward, allowing a better view of her cleavage.
Evan swallowed hard. She was playing his seduction game tonight and he didn’t expected.
How much longer would they endure that situation?
Could Chloe accept a marriage without love?