Claimed As His (Mail Order Brides, 2)

By: Jenika Snow & Sam Crescent


He felt her hands tighten around his. Damn, that guilt was a whole new feeling for him, and he didn’t like it.

“What?”

“I don’t want you to take anything they say seriously, okay? Imagine they don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. They say shit about everyone, look down on everyone.”

He watched her take a deep breath and nod.

There was no point sitting in the car, waiting. Climbing out, he rounded the vehicle to her side and offered his hand.

Hers shook just a little as she placed it within his. Giving her a squeeze, he tried to offer her comfort through his touch.

She linked her arm through his as they made their way up the steps of the lavish house. Like always, the butler stood outside, looking regal and a little worried.

Ian nodded at the man, and entered the home that really shouldn’t be called that. It was more of a museum. A statement that his parents liked to make of how much wealth they possessed.

He’d hated this home growing up. There were no good memories, just cold ones. Nights filled with anger and rage.

Pushing those thoughts aside, he made his way toward the main sitting room. That’s where all his family would be. They loved to show off, and only the best furniture and who they considered the best people were allowed to grace their home.

He heard his name being announced even before he stepped into the room.

All eyes were on the two of them. He found his mother and father instantly. They were standing close together, and both of them turned their attention to Lucy. She wore a designer sundress that he’d made her buy. It wasn’t overly fashionable or showy. The name was designer, as he didn’t want to completely ruin their Sunday lunch. Lucy didn’t need anything more, and he’d found since being married to her, he didn’t either.

“Who is this?” his mother asked. “Are you bringing your work staff to dinner now, Ian? Please,” she scoffed, as if that was beneath her.

“Everyone, I’d like you to meet Lucy. She’s my wife,” he said.

The shock went around the room as he stared at his family, waiting for the drama to unfold. He didn’t have to wait long at all.

His mother threw her head back. With no cameras or outside world seeing, she didn’t have to pretend. She was surrounded by family and friends with like minded attitudes. To the people in the room, there was a social and cultural divide. They had money, and that made them better people. Those that didn’t were scum.

He’d always felt the complete opposite. He’d never felt at home here, or part of their world. When he was in the kitchen with the family cook, and the people they paid to clean, he felt at home. They had more love inside them than any of these people.

They were what was wrong with the world today, no one else.

“Please, Ian. We don’t have time for your ridiculous games. I mean, seriously. She’s your wife? No, that’s not happening,” his mother said.

Lucy tensed up by his side.

“This is my wife. We’re together. She holds my name.” He wrapped his arm around her, pulling her in close. “You see, Lucy, this is my family. I can’t guarantee this is going to be a pleasing experience. They can’t stand that you don’t come from their circle of wealthy assholes.” He looked at all of them.

Some of them couldn’t meet his gaze, and he didn’t mind. It was why he never did business with any of them.

“This is ridiculous,” his father said. “You want to make a mockery of our name, is that it?”

“It was already a mockery long before I married her. Lucy is my wife. You’re going to have to get used to it.”

“You’re nothing,” his mother said to Lucy. “She’s not worthy to stand by your side, to bear our name. How dare you do this to your own family?”

He held Lucy’s hand tighter, and refused to let her go. Lucy visibly looked uncomfortable, but he couldn’t blame her. Ian couldn’t handle it anymore.

This was what he’d wanted when he first decided to get a mail order bride. Not now, not like this. Lucy didn’t deserve this kind of treatment.

She was all things good and kind. Nothing like the people he grew up with.

They didn’t deserve to know her.

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