Chapter Five.

AJ stared blankly at her. At his wife. “Come again?”

“We don’t want this,” she said. “This was a mistake.”

“Amanda,” he began. “It wasn’t like we were drunk off our asses or anything like that.”

“We were CRAZY,” she replied, scanning the room for her clothes. “That’s reason enough. We need to get this.. revoked, annulled, destroyed, whatever you call it.”

“We can’t,” AJ sighed. “Not after the wedding night we had.”

This time, she fought the onslaught of memories before they came. “So we divorce,” she said simply, spotting her shirt on the floor beside the bed and reaching for it.

There was a silence between them long enough for Amanda to fully dress before AJ drew in a slow breath and said, “No.”

Now it was her turn to stare at him blankly. “What?”

“No,” he repeated. “We don’t divorce.”

“AJ, you -”

“I don’t want to,” he said firmly, stubbornly. “I’m not going to divorce you. We can make this work.”

She stared incredulously at him, wondering if he was on something. “We can’t make this work! I don’t KNOW you!”

“That can change,” he fought back. “And you know enough about me to decide that you wanted to run off with me in the first place. Besides,” he added, “people thrown into forced or arranged marriages learn to get along, and they learn to love each other, too.”

“This wasn’t forced or arranged,” she shot back. “This was a mistake.”

“Call it what you will,” he shrugged. “But it’s staying.”

“AJ, listen to me..”

“No, you listen. I grew up with the idea that marriage was a lifetime commitment. Forever, Amanda. Not something we can take for granted, or abuse. I intend to stick by this. I’ve made my bed, and now I’m gonna lie in it.”

“You’re holding me back,” she began again. “You’re making me a prisoner in this!”

“Or so you say.”


“Manda,” he said, trying out the variation of her name. “There was something in you last night.. something I’d never seen before, that could prove you SO wrong right now. I saw, and felt, a fire in you that no one would dare share with another, unless they knew it was perfect. You gave with as much intensity as I did, and that alone tells me this is right.”

“It doesn’t seem right.”

“I’ll take care of that,” he told her. “I’ll make you see how right it is. How right we are.”

[chapter list | chapter six]