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EPISODE 9

Andy changed his position on the bed as he came awake. His eyes landed on the angelic form sleeping on the bed and his drowsiness vanished. Jessica had never looked more beautiful. She was more than he ever imagined, much more than any man would imagine. She had no clothes on and her only covering was the blanket that he had used to cover her from the night chill.

Ever since his father had left, he and Jessica had barely left the room. They had been too preoccupied with themselves to even notice time. Andy never even thought of work for a second. They were like a newly wedded couple on their honeymoon which was so crazy about themselves. They had laughed and laughed about the present, never for once mentioning the past or the future. Jessica was always beautiful but watching her laugh made her look downright stunning and breathtaking. He wanted to make that happiness resident in her. Of everything that happened, Andy had been thrown speechless when he discovered that he was her first.

To imagine that Jessica would give him such a priceless gift has moved him beyond reason. The realization had shaken him to his very root and he made sure that that moment was special for Jessica too. As he watched her sleep, he felt the intense desire to protect her from harm. He knew almost nothing about the woman he married. He had felt that it was ok to know very little about her. ‘The less you know about a woman, the easier it makes it for you to forget her’ he had told himself. But he wanted to know Jessica. He wanted to know every single detail about her. The only thing she had told him about her during this period of intimacy was the mishap that happened to her family. He had watched with horror as tears slipped down her eyes as she told him the story. It was devastating that she had to pass through so much pain at a tender age.

Andy watched Jessie pull up her knees like she was trying to shield herself and felt the deep urge to pull her into his arms, make her feel safe. This time, he did not resist the urge; he pulled her into his arms and was alarmed by the great delight he felt when she smuggled closer, burying her head in the fold of his shoulder. He kissed her forehead and brushed away the hair playing at her face. Andy yawned and finally went back to sleep.

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Jessica had Andy’s hands around her when she woke up. She adjusted a bit and looked at Andy but he was still very much asleep. She smiled and touched his bare chest with her fingertips. The past day was the best day of her life. Andy had made her feel like a princess; like she was the best thing that could ever happen to any man. But…..

‘No… I would not think about it’ she thought. She refused to think about the fact that she had slept with her fausse husband; her contract. Refused to think about the fact that she had surrendered the most precious gift she had to him also; but of all the men that Jessica had come across, none of them deserved it more than Andy, and maybe no one would ever deserve it more. But why did she do it? Why did she surrender her virginity to someone who would become her ex – husband in a year? She sighed. Somewhere deep down, she had an answer for that question; somewhere in the innermost part of her being she knew that she would never have gotten in the family way with Andy if she did not have some feelings for him.

Andy cleared his throat slightly and Jessie jerked and looked at Andy who was now wide awake, staring at her. She smiled. “Good morning Drew”

He was watching her now, making her nervous. “Good morning sweetheart” he pushed his fingers through her hair and smiled. He knew that she had been thinking but did not want to mention it. He did not want the talk of a contract to spoil the day. “Your skin is so beautiful” he murmured and Jessie blushed. “How was your night?”

She smiled. “I was able to sleep at the latter part of the night”.

Andy chuckled. “Oh… what were you doing?” He raised his brow.

Jessie’s face reddened. “Should be what were ‘we’ doing”

Andy laughed slightly, bent and kissed her. “Should I show you or tell you what we were doing?”

Jessica frowned jokingly. “I think I know what we were doing so none”. They laughed and he kissed her again, lingering this time to enjoy her sweet honeyed mouth.

“I am so hungry now” he remembered that they did not eat dinner.

“It is like I have not eaten for the past five decades” Jessica murmured and Andy laughed.

“You are yet to see three decades”

“Yeah but I surely feel hungrier than that”

He smiled. “Let me fix us something, just relax here”

“Are you not going to work today” she half smiled.

He sat up. “Certain benefits come from owning your own company” he was gloriously naked when he stood up and Jessie’s mouth went dry as she stared at him. Andy noticed her eyes on him immediately he stood up and smiled as he pulled on a trouser. He turned and she instantly averted her gaze. “You can stare at me honey” he grinned but it did not last long. “I certainly am enjoying the view.”

Jessica saw the hunger in his eyes and was alarmed when she looked at herself and saw that the blanket had slipped to her waist. She pulled it up instantly and could not meet his eyes.

He laughed. “Don’t be shy with me honey; your body can drive a man crazy”

“I wouldn’t want you to go crazy now, would I?” he laughed and left. Jessica instantly picked up her camisole and wore it. Andy had seen her entirely naked but that did not stop her from being self conscious. She had always been conscious of exposing herself when someone was watching even if it was a woman. Her friends had helped her get over the feminine part because more often than not, they had to dress up together for an occasion. Getting naked or half naked in front of a guy was totally alien. Even going half naked in front of a prying male doctor for scan had driven her crazy to the extent that she decided to change her doctor to a female doctor. Now that Andy had seen her nakedness, she was almost sure that he was the only man that she would give that privilege to. The surprising part was that she had actually wanted him to see her naked.

Putting on a flimsy short, she started folding the clothes that were littering the floor and straightening the bedspread. Andy entered with a wide tray filled with food.

“Woow” Andy murmured as he took in Jessica’s appearance. “You look divine. What the hell entered you to make you dress the way you used to?”

She smiled faintly. “You have no idea. Bread and eggs, I can eat this everyday” she changed the topic with a smile.

He placed the tray on the bed and they both sat. They blessed the food and Jessica was about to dig in when she paused. “I did not even ask if you were good at this; cooking”

“Are you scared?” he grinned. He scooped up a sizeable amount of egg. “Find out yourself. Now, open your mouth”

“What? No, I…”

Andy pushed the food into her mouth as she spoke and her rebuke vanished as the egg tantalized her taste buds. “Wow”

“Yeah. There was a time when I wanted to be a chef”

She smiled as she started eating. “Well, you are good. Ralph was the only guy I know that cooks”. Immediately she said it, she knew it was a mistake.

It was Andy’s turn to pause. “Who is Ralph?”

She cleared her throat. “My ex”

“Oh…” the food did not taste so interesting to him again.

“He left me at the altar”

Andy froze. “I didn’t get you.” She was silent. “You obviously did not mean what you just said”

“He was the reason I never wanted to get married again, the reason why I never wanted to catch any man’s fancy. He left me feeling stupid and disgraced at the altar on our wedding day”

“Oh my God” he held Jessie as she fought the tears that sprang up. “It is OK honey.”

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“Oh, you are coming over… wonderful… I am expecting you” she said into her phone and hung up. It was the evening already and everything had been magical. She got to the sitting room and sat beside Andy who was listening to the news. He pulled her against him.

“Where are you off to?” he asked.

“I need to make my hair at the saloon. Sonia is coming over. She should be here in about two hours”

“Hope you won’t be staying long”

“No, just want to set my hair.” She stood up.

He took out his wallet to take out some money but she stopped him. “I can manage Drew”

“Well, I don’t want you to manage” he gave her some money, much more than she would ever dream of using for her hair. She reluctantly took it, kissed him and left.

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One hour later, Andy was still in the sitting room. He had asked Ada to go for the day; he wanted to prepare dinner with his wife. He pulled off his top and put it on the chair. He heard the doorbell and went there, expecting to see Jess but when he opened the door, he saw someone else.

“Sonia”, he exclaimed. “It is good to see you. Come in” he murmured. She was earlier than Jessie had said she would be.

“Hello Andy” she cooed. “It is really good to see you”. She eyed Andy stylishly as he closed the door. “Where is my friend?”

“She is at the saloon. She should be here in a few minutes.” He picked up his shirt. “Please have your seat”

“Why don’t you leave it?” she asked.

“Leave what?”

“The shirt” she held the shirt in his hand. “You look so sexy. I wonder what you saw in my S.U friend”

“Excuse me?” Andy was sure he was not hearing properly. She snatched the top in his hand and threw it. “I think you should leave” he murmured as she advanced towards him. She adjusted her top until the larger part of her chest was left open.

“I can give you what my friend can’t give”

“Well, I don’t want it. Please leave before I harass you.” Immediately he said this, she leapt on him, throwing him off balance. He fell on the chair with her on top of him.

“Bloody hell” he gasped out. “Get off me” he roared but she would not bulge. He struggled and rose and turned until he was off the chair and she was sitting. She had her fingers locked around his belt buckle and as he tried to remove her hands, the door opened.

Jessica entered and gasped.

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