Marriage of Convenience by Katy Kaylee

Chapter 30

Sara

I woke wondering what new drug Glen had given me. But as I opened my eyes; the room seemed brighter. Smelled cleaner.

“There you are, honey. Tell me how you’re feeling?” A middle-aged woman with sympathetic eyes wearing a pink shirt looked down on me.

“Where am I?” Had I died?

“You’re in the hospital. You’re going to be fine.”

Immediately my hand went to my belly. “My baby.”

The woman, who I realized now was a nurse, put her hand over mine. “I’m sorry. You miscarried. You expelled everything, so we didn’t need to do any procedures there.”

I looked around the room but no one was there. Not even Chase. I couldn’t blame him for not coming. I was more trouble than I was worth. When he learned about the baby, he’d want to be rid of me for sure. Maybe he already knew, and that’s why he wasn’t there. No one was here. I was alone.

I started to cry and tried to turn over but there was a tube in my arm.

“You’re on fluids,” she said. “I’m going to ask the social worker to come in. You can talk to her.”

“Can you call my parents?” It was time for me to give in. I was too tired to fight against it anymore.

“Sure honey.”

I told her the number, but wasn’t sure they’d even come.

“We’re going to keep you in her a little longer, then we’ll move you to your own room. You rest for now.”

Not having anything better to do, I let her give me something for pain that made me sleepy. When I woke again, I was in a new room.

“Sara?”

“Mom.” She stood next to the bed. I looked to the end of the bed where my dad stood. They both had disapproving expressions. “You came.”

“You’re our child, of course we came,” my mom said.

“I hope you’ve learned your lesson. Living in the devil’s temptation just brings ruination,” my father said.

“What sort of bullshit is that to tell a young woman just terrorized by a crazy religious zealot?”

I looked up and saw Chase’s father walk in. “Mr. Raven?” Was he there to tell me Chase was done with me? I’d expected his lawyer, Mr. Lister.

“I beg your pardon,” my father said. “This doesn’t concern you.”

“The hell it doesn’t.” Mr. Raven’s eyes narrowed studying my parents. “Who are you?”

“We’re Sara’s parents.”

His eyes grew wide. “Do you condone that young man beating your child?”

“He was trying to save her. She has to pay for her sins.”

It broke me to know my parents had known Glen was going to kidnap me. Did they know he was willing to hurt me? That he’d harmed their grandchild?

“You wanted me to marry him. He did this to me.”

“Good lord you wanted that man to marry your daughter?” Mr. Raven’s voice was incredulous.

“He’s a good Christian boy,” my father said.

“He beat your daughter up. What the hell kind of Bible are you reading?”

“Sir, can you please leave us? We need to care for Sara,” my mother said.

“No, I will not.” I’d gotten the feeling that the Raven family wasn’t close, but now I realized that despite their differences, they were loyal and would have each other’s back.

“We’ll have you removed,” my father said.

“You can try,” Mr. Raven straightened. He was an imposing man, not just in size but in the way he exuded power.

Just then the door flung open and Chase came rushing in. “Sara! Oh God, Sara.”

My mother jumped out of the way as he reached my bed.

“You alright?” His gaze scanned my face and arms, then came back up. “Are you in pain?”

I shook my head in confusion. “You’re here.”

“Yes, I’m sorry it took so long.” His hand gently stroked my cheek.

“He was nearly arrested,” Hunter said as he walked in the room. “Fortunately, it wouldn’t be for murder. The fuckhead will live.”

“I beg your pardon. None of you have the right to be here, I demand that you leave,” my father looked from Chase to Hunter and back to Chase. Chase moved, turning his body toward my parents as if he was ready to protect me.

“How is she?” Ash said as he looked in through the doorway. He walked in with Kade following. They were all there.

Finally, my brain filtered back to Hunter’s words. “Arrested?”

“He beat the shit out of Glen. Safe to say he won’t hurt you again,” Hunter said.

“Stop!” my father yelled. “All of you out. Only Sara’s family is allowed.”

Chase straightened looking even more imposing than his father. “We are Sara’s family.”

“You are not,” my father said, fisting his hands at his sides.

“I’m her husband. Who the fuck are you?”

“They’re her parents,” Mr. Raven said. “I thought I was a bad dad, but this guy is worse. Keep that in mind boys.”

“Sara isn’t married,” my mother said looking at me.

“I have a marriage certificate that says otherwise,” Chase said.

“I told you it was too late for her,” my father said. “She’s chosen a life of sin.”

“What did you say?” Chase stalked toward my father. Hunter’s guard went up, but he didn’t move to stop Chase.

“She’s full of sin, just as all of you are,” my father said with righteousness.

“I won’t deny that I’m rotten to the core, but this woman, your daughter, is as good as they come. She’s smart and sweet, despite your fucked-up version of love. You need to leave and go home to read the chapters of the Bible that you’ve clearly missed. I’ll have you escorted out if needed.”

Hunter stepped up behind my parents. Ash took a position by my mother and Kade by my father.

My parents looked at the imposing men surrounding them.

“We’re done Sara. We can’t abide by this kind of life,” my father said. He took my mother’s arm, but she resisted. There had been many times growing up when I wondered if my mom really believed the stuff my dad spewed or if she went along because she didn’t think she could fight it. She looked at me and for a moment I thought I saw sadness and regret at leaving me. But she didn’t fight it, and she let my father pull her from the room, and presumably out of my life.

“Come on boys, let’s give Chase and Sara a minute,” Mr. Raven said.

“Thank you for coming,” I called.

“Of course, honey. You’re family,” Mr. Raven said.

When they were gone, I couldn’t look Chase in the face.

“Sara, baby.” He took my hand, but the endearment made me weep.

“Are you in pain?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Let me get a nurse.”

“No. Nothing can fix me.” My heart was so broken, I couldn’t imagine it ever being put back together.

“Oh baby.” He rested his head against mine. “What can I do?”

“You should just go.”

He straightened and looked down at me with his fierce gray eyes. “I won’t leave you, Sara. Not now. Not ever.”

I closed my eyes. “I’m no good for you. You should find another woman who can give you what you want. You can keep the money.”

He flinched. “You think this is about money?”

I finally turned to him. “I’m bad for your family.”

“No, honey, you’re not.”

“I lost the baby. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to have more. I can’t give you what you want.”

He gripped my hand and pulled it to his heart. “What I want, Sara is you. I love you.”

What? The fact that he didn’t react to the news about the baby made me think he already knew.

“God, I wished I’d told you that I loved you sooner. I’ve felt it for some time but have been too much a coward to tell you,” he said.

“What about the baby?”

“I’m sad about the baby, but I’m so happy you’re here. I want us to be real Sara. No more business deal.”

“What if I can’t have another baby?”

He wiped a tear from my cheek. “No more business deal, Sara. It’s not part of this. I love you and want to be with you. If we want babies—”

“I do want babies.”

“If we can’t make them anymore, we’ll adopt them.”

“I think I must have died.” It was the only way to explain my wishes coming true again. Not all my wishes because I still had no baby. But Chase was here saying all the things I longed to hear.

“Why would you say that? Don’t say that,” he said.

“I thought you wouldn’t want me anymore.”

“I want you, Sara.” He took a deep breath. “Do you want me?”

I realized I hadn’t told him how I felt about him. “Yes. I love you. I’ve always loved you.”

“Even when I was an asshole?”

“You’re not always an asshole.”

He smiled, but it was bittersweet. “We’ll be alright, sweetheart. As long as we have each other, we’ll be alright.”

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