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Home > Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides #1)(13)

Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides #1)(13)
Author: Catherine Bybee

“Holy shit, how long are we going to have to put up with that?” More friend than employee, Eliza swung her purse off her arm and tossed it on the coffee table.

“They’ll go away in a day or two.”

“You sound so sure.”

“Been there, done that. Our divorce will bring out even more media.”

Eliza tossed a paper on the table. It opened to the now familiar photograph of Sam and Blake laughing. “You two are very convincing.”

Samantha smiled. Despite her desire for the media to disappear, she liked the pictures they’d taken. After all, they were her wedding photos. “We don’t look half bad together.”

“Half bad? You guys look happy as larks.”

“Do larks look happy?” Sam teased.

“I’ve no idea. I’m sorry I didn’t meet him when he dropped you off.” Eliza flopped onto the couch and tossed her long legs up on the coffee table.

“He didn’t, actually, his driver did.”

“Driver?” Eliza had the most amazing chocolate brown eyes that shot up with her question.

“He’s rich. Why on earth would he drive himself?” Samantha laughed and rolled her eyes, doing her best snob impersonation.

“Well, La-T-Da. Excuse me.” But her friend was laughing.

The business phone rang and Eliza jumped from the couch to answer it. “Alliance.”

Samantha lent half an ear while Eliza listened to the person on the line.

Even with him towering over her vertically challenged frame, the picture of her and Blake wasn’t that bad.

“We don’t have any comments at this time,” Eliza was saying. “No, we’re not an escort service… Again, no comment.” With a frustrated sigh, she hung up.

“I should have seen that coming.” The media would tear up her business if given a chance.

“We should probably have a standard statement to give them.”

“Good idea. I’ll draft something and run it past Blake.”

The phone rang again with another reporter asking questions. Within a half an hour, Sam and Eliza gave up and unplugged the business line. With any luck, the hype would blow over soon. The publicity could bring in new clients, so long as Samantha could maintain their anonymity. With every entertainment press sitting on her doorstep, that couldn’t happen so she’d have to put off new customers for a while.

“This is crazy,” Eliza said as she flicked the shades from the living room closed. A few paparazzi had camped out on the street and managed to swing their lenses around every time either one of them popped open the blinds.

“I’ll make us some dinner. You don’t mind staying tonight, do you?” Eliza had lived in the spare room up until she moved in with her current boyfriend six months prior.

“Is that your way of asking me to stay?”

“Hell yeah, I don’t want to be alone with them outside. They’ll just follow you home anyway,” Sam told her.

“Fine, but I get to pick the movie. Tell me you have wine.”

“Don’t I always?” Samantha turned off the lights on her porch and fastened the deadbolt on the front door. The two of them dressed down into sweats and comfortable t-shirts and settled in front of the television with slices of cheap pizza and a nice bottle of Merlot.

“I have a feeling we won’t be doing this much more,” Eliza said between bites.

“Why’s that?” Sam was writing a few notes in her notebook, trying to work a press release.

“You’re a married woman.”

“So?” They both knew it was in name only. Right now Blake was probably asleep in the bedroom on his private plane and not giving her a second thought.

“You’re married to a duke, Sam. Do you have any idea how huge that is?”

“It’s just a title. Like Sir or Doctor. Only Blake didn’t have to work to obtain it.”

“He inherited the title automatically when his father died, right?” Eliza had shifted her feet under her butt and placed a bowl of popcorn between them on the couch.

Samantha nodded.

“But he needed to get married to inherit the estate?”

“In most cases the title and the estate go together to the first male born to the duke and duchess. But Blake’s father was a class-A jerk. He stipulated in his will that his estate was to be divided up… dissolved to all intents and purposes if Blake didn’t settled down by his thirty-sixth birthday. One cousin would get a portion of the estate, a small allowance to Blake’s mother and sister, and the rest to charity.”

“That’s cold. The dad didn’t make it so his own wife could stay in the home she’d made hers for years?”

“I guess not.”

Eliza sat forward. “What an ass.”

“Blake told me that a title without the estate is like a king without a country. The royalty thing boggles my mind.”

Samantha’s cell phone buzzed beside her. Blake’s name popped up on the screen. A wave of excitement rode up her back. “Hey,” she answered.

“I wanted to reach you before you went to bed.” He sounded tired and the background noise made it difficult to hear him.

“And I thought you’d be at twenty thousand feet. Where are you?”

“I was delayed in New York. I’ll be leaving here within the hour.” Their day had started out early and it seemed his wasn’t going to end any time soon. Samantha actually felt sorry for him.

“Listen, the media is nuts here. I thought we should give a press release sooner than later, maybe get them off my back,” Samantha suggested.

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