Marriage in a Minute - Alina Jacobs Page 0,1

to signal to the server to pay for my drink. But instead of a waiter bringing me the check, toward my table walked a spaced-out-looking guy in a raggedy sweater, scruffy boots, and—I cringed—sunglasses.

Yeah, that is not going to work for me.

I shrank down in my seat.

“Grace Fulton?” the guy asked. Deep voice, messy hair—he was effortless in that way handsome men often were.

At least his nails are clean.

Um…we are not sleeping with him.

I sat back up and slapped on my best customer-service persona, the one that dealt with crazy brides who were on week five of a sixty-day lemon water, kale, and stress diet.

“That’s me.” I gave a little wave.

Chris slid into the seat in front of me. His sweater was green and yellow and had llamas on it.

“I forgot my wallet,” he said. “So do you mind buying a drink for me?”

Fuck-solutely-not.

But then Chris took off his sunglasses and grinned at me. It was this lazy, sexy smile, complete with deep-blue eyes.

“Please?” He shifted in his seat. There was muscle under that gawd-awful sweater.

Okay, so he’s not the love of your life, I reasoned with myself. Sleep with him, climb back on the dating horse, then move on. One drink is cheaper than an escort.

“Sure!” I chirped, still channeling my inner wedding photographer. “Have whatever you’d like!”

“Really?” His eyes widened, and his smile grew bigger. He had a dimple in his left cheek. I did have a thing for dimples.

Chris rolled up a sleeve and reached for a menu. The tendons and muscle on his forearm rippled enticingly.

Yes, it had been a long time.

Ivy put condoms in your purse.

“No problem.” I leaned forward, hoping I seemed flirty and not creepy. “You can make it up to me later.”

His blue eyes flicked from mine to my mouth.

We’re getting laid tonight! my inner sex goddess cheered.

I admired his strong jaw as he ordered two fingers of extremely expensive scotch.

The cheering of my inner sex goddess faded out as I mentally calculated whether or not my almost-maxed-out credit card would be able to handle that drink order.

“Is that okay?” Chris asked me, resting his chin on his hand. He posed like a model. “I promise I’ll make it up to you.”

The cheering was back.

“Sure,” I croaked out. I took a gulp of my drink and ended up dribbling some of it down my chin.

“So,” I said, wiping it away, “what do you do?”

“Oh.” Chris looked away. “Not much.”

“Like temp work?”

Chris shrugged. “I’m currently finding myself.”

Unemployed, possibly homeless.

We are lowering our standards…

The server brought Chris’s drink. He regarded it, his profile worthy of a luxury brand ad—straight nose, those cheekbones with his eyelashes slightly brushing them.

“You do wedding photography?” Chris asked.

“Yep. I love weddings! But I also photograph all the events leading up. Then I create a scrapbook for the bride documenting the whole journey. It’s part of the full-service package that my company, Weddings in the City, offers our brides who want the once-in-a-lifetime wedding experience.”

Chris rolled his eyes and took a hard swallow of his scotch.

“Weddings are such bullshit. Honestly, all that money, and for what?”

“A lot of our brides are entrepreneurs, or have other high-paid positions. If they want to treat themselves and their families with their hard-earned money, then what’s the problem?” I asked sharply.

My date shrugged and took another sip of his drink. “I just think it’s disingenuous. I bet they don’t even love their husbands-to-be.”

“They are very much in love,” I insisted then wavered, remembering a few of the weddings I’d photographed lately. “For the most part. But hey, who doesn’t like a party?”

“Uh-huh.”

“You’re pretty high up on your moral high ground, mister, for someone who’s drinking a scotch I paid for,” I reminded him.

Chris grinned at me. “And I told you I’d make it up to you.”

The Uber pulled up in front of the address Chris had given me after I’d settled the tab at the bar. Normally I was pretty thrifty and would have taken the subway, but it would have been a long ride, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be alone with Chris for that amount of time. As it was, being in the back seat of the Uber was a lot. He smelled so freaking fantastic—sharp and masculine, with a hint of juniper.

“You live here?” I asked uncertainly as the Uber pulled away, leaving us standing in front of an honest-to-goodness tenement house. Chris heaved his shoulder against the metal front door, and I followed him up the narrow

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