Marriage Of Convenience

By: Cher Etan


Tommy wanted to get his fireman’s license before they wed and Jaime was perfectly content to wait; as long as she knew they would be together one day. She introduced Tommy to James when he came to New York on business and called on her at her residence. Tommy and she were practically living together at the time and so it was he who opened the front door, dressed in nothing but a towel; expecting the pizza guy.

“Oh. Er, hey?” he said to James who looked him up and down impassively.

“And you are?” he asked much to Tommy’s chagrin. After all, the old geezer was the one who had come knocking at his door.

“I’m Tommy. Who are you?” he asked stretching his hand out to be shook. James stared at the hand like it might have the plague.

“James Maitland. Is my daughter around?” he asked.

Tommy straightened abruptly, his olive complexion not exactly reddening but seeming to glow. “Oh!” he exclaimed. “Er, she’s er, she’s right here,” he said stepping back from the door and gesturing for James to enter. Jaime was sprawled on their couch, knitting a cap for Tommy. She was fairly proficient at it, but it still took most of her concentration and so she wasn’t really listening to the exchange at her daughter.

“Hallo Jaime,” her father said and she looked up startled.

“James!” she exclaimed. “What a surprise.”

“I have told you repeatedly to call me dad,” he said irritably.

Jaime ignored that, putting her knitting aside and standing up. “Have a seat. Can I get you some coffee?”

James looked over at Tommy, still clad in nothing but a towel. “You can explain this,” her father said with a flick of his hand toward Tommy.

Jaime looked at Tommy, who shrugged, and then at her father. “This is my boyfriend, Tommy Leary,” she said. “Tommy, this is James Maitland, the man who donated his sperm to my mother.”

Tommy’s head dipped to hide the grin on his mouth as James frowned. “Pleased to meet you sir,” he said.

James frowned, “I wish I could say the same.”

Chapter 3

“It's awkward enough that I have to deal with that Hailey girl; but I’ll concede that one was my fault. I really thought she was a nice mature girl,” Jaime said.

“She was a nice, mature girl; she just also happened to be a man-eating piranha with absolutely no chill who almost stabbed me to death for engaging in some mindless flirting,” Jonathon said.

“Speaking of, was that really necessary?” Jaime asked.

Hailey Flintstone was the daughter of one of Jaime’s ‘widows and orphans’ friends. Her mother had been a first responder when the twin towers collapsed and hadn’t made it out alive. Jaime and Hailey’s father had dated briefly a few years later, brought together by their shared loss. Hailey had been a sweet girl then and Jaime had thought of her when the prospect of James Maitland’s deadline became an issue. She figured that Hailey and Jonathon would get along quite well given their shared history and if they hit it off, they could give wedded bliss a chance.

It had started out idyllic; Hailey was a pretty girl with curly brown hair and gray eyes who smiled a lot and seemed to genuinely like Jonathon. While he wasn’t exactly head over heels for her, she was okay to be around and they didn’t fight so he counted it as a win. The night he was getting ready to lay his proposition out to her though, they visited a club in the village known as Pegu, where Jonathon was well known. Sadie, the waitress on duty, and he had spent a few energetic nights together in the past and they still flirted occasionally. That night had been one of those occasions and Hailey had gotten extremely quiet. She answered Jonathon in monosyllables and he thought maybe it was the wrong time to lay out his proposition as she was clearly in a bad mood.

As he drove her home though, she reached into her handbag and withdrew a small penknife which she drew up and drove into his inner thigh, just missing his femoral artery by like…an inch.

“I don’t tolerate cheating Jonny,” she growled.

Jonathon was too busy trying not to crash the car or faint from the pain to answer. Luckily by some muscle memory his foot hit the brake and he stopped abruptly, the car swishing across both lanes.

“You stabbed me!” he shouted trying to gauge the damage through touch.

“Did you hear me?” she yelled back at him.

He fished out his cell phone and called 911. Hailey was still screaming at him when he passed out from the pain…


“Was what really necessary? Talking to a bloody waitress?” Jonathon answered in disbelief. “You’re taking the side of the mad woman?”

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