The Billionaire's Revenge (The Blank Check #6) - Jeannette Winter
Gianna Ionnetty looked in the full-length mirror and could barely see her own reflection. Her vision was as blurry as what had transpired just a few hours ago. It felt surreal, and yet deep down inside she knew she should’ve been prepared for something to go wrong.
She had been able to hold it together at the church, and not break down in front of all the guests, family, and friends. Everyone thought she was just pretending to be strong and covering up her hurt, shock, and anger. The only person she was really angry with at the moment was herself. She was smarter than this…or at least she’d thought so.
It hadn’t been easy convincing everyone that she needed to be alone. They all wanted to be loving and supportive during, what they believed to be, a crushing blow. Eventually, one by one, the church had emptied and she had the limo drop her off at her apartment.
She could almost hear all the chatter from the other tenants as she’d made her way up the three flights of stairs. Gianna hoped that once inside she could finally relax. Instead, the emotions she’d controlled now ripped through her. It didn’t matter if she locked the door, because there was one person she couldn’t hide from. Herself. Tears weren’t going to fix any of this. Only time would. Tonight, she’d kick herself in the ass and feel bad for herself. Tomorrow, she would pick up the pieces and go on like it never happened.
She knew it was easier said than done. Just the fact that she was crying said it was more complex than that, at least for others, if not her. Gianna just needed another plan, and one better than the last. But she knew where her mistake was. She let someone else do all the planning, and she just followed along.
And look where that got me.
Turning away from the mirror, out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of thewhite gown draped across her bed. It was expensive and she should have it bagged and hung up so it didn’t get ruined. As far as Gianna was concerned, it could be cut up and used as rags. It didn’t hold any value to her. Never did. It wasn’t what she had wanted to wear, but Marvin had insisted she get it. Even at a young age, Gianna had always pictured herself wearing something that made her look and feel like a princess, and her wedding day was the closest she’d ever get to feeling like one. This gown had hugged every curve of her body, and was more sexy than sweet. At that time, she didn’t care. It had all been for show. That didn’t mean seeing it laying on her bed didn’t make her stomach turn. The last thing she needed was a reminder of how stupid she had been. She added it to the list of things to deal with in the morning.
She walked over to her bureau and ran her hand over the spray of white gladiolas. Their beauty had already begun to fade. Soon all that would remain would be wilted pedals, faint memories, of what should’ve been something…beautiful! At least under normal circumstances it should’ve been. But she wasn’t a regular bride. She was one step above a bride for hire.
She reached for a tissue and wiped her cheeks once again. Would her tears ever stop? Yes, but not tonight. Even though she didn’t have any real feelings for Marvin, at least not love, it still shook her how it all went down. She wasn’t prepared like she’d thought she would be. But how could she be when Marvin changed the plan without even letting her know? And worse than anything, Marvin didn’t even have the balls to do it himself.
She sighed. Not the thank you I expected from you Marvin. A phone call or a text, anything would’ve been better than this. Marvin didn’t force her to do this. She had been a willing participant.
When she’d agree to pretend to be dating Marvin to make his ex-girlfriend Rhonda jealous, she’d said yes. It seemed harmless at the time. It was just a friend helping out a friend. Couldn’t get any simpler than that. Then Marvin asked her to pretend to be his fiancée. Gianna should’ve stepped back right then and there, but instead she went along with it as well, never giving it any serious thought. It wasn’t like she had been dating anyone.