The Unlikely Fiance


Nicholas' eyebrows shot up. "Do I intimidate you, Langston?"

Langston nodded softly. "Yes, a little."

He didn't want to intimidate her. He has had that problem for quite a while where people would cower away in his presence. He wasn't the type to threaten people but he always got things running smoothly. He was quite used to people moving out of his way or calling him a shadow but he didn't want it from Langston. He wanted her to be herself in front of him and not care even if she offended him because by far she was the most honest person he knew. She intrigued him and he wanted to know more about her.

"Well." He sighed as he crossed the room and went to lean on the glass doors that lead to the terrace and the private pool where he loved spending his weekend. "We'll work on that with time."

Langston's laughter surprised him. She looked up at him from her food with amusement glittering in her enchanting eyes. "You sound as if this is a long-term thing."

Nicholas tilted his head to the side and regarded her intently. He watched as color drained from her face and her eyes widened and her mouth fell open. "I want to keep you, Langston."

"Keep me?" She echoed as her eyes darkened. "You want to keep me?"

"Yes I want to try the dating thing." he shrugged.

The look on Langston's face was epic it had Nicholas a little unsettled. Did he say something wrong? How did someone ask for a long-term relationship? He hoped there were no contracts to sign as one of his bed-mates had once made him sign. He didn't want to go down that road. All he could conclude about his agreement with Valentina was that it was never going to work out.

"Oh." Langston suddenly jerked back then frowned lightly. "Well, I'm not ready for a relationship." It looked as if she remembered something disturbing.

He didn't want to make her uncomfortable so he sighed and said. "Okay, let's just hang out then."

Again, Langston laughed lightly. He loved the sound of her laughter even though it made him slightly self-conscious because it was at his expense. Saying such words to a woman were so out of his character but he didn't want to lose her.


"And I never take no for an answer." He assured her before she answered.


Clarissa Langston loved a man for four years only to be dumped mercilessly. Now, although she still believes in love, she is afraid of getting hurt the second time...until she meets the French man Nicholas Renoir who introduces her to an adventure she never expected...

Nicholas Renoir is known as the shadow by both his family and his employees because even though he is around, he never associates with anyone other than his nephew, Christian. He is used to getting what he wants and when he wants it. People tend to his every whim until the day he is scolded by a beautiful, corky and loose tongued Miss Langston. She was something entirely different from what he is used to and he wants her all too himself...even if it means a forced engagement...

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Chapter 1
THE PHONE rang as Clarissa Langston settled herself in front of the empty canvas in her little studio at the two bed roomed apartment she shared with her older sister, Sidney. She humphed loudly and blew away the blond lock that curled down to her nose then rolled her eyes. Just when she was getting comfortable... Ring! These were the times when she wished she had the supernatural powers of telekinesis then she would have pulled the phone closer to her. Argh! Who would call her on a Sunday morning? People were either busy nursing yesterday's hangovers or at church. Screech! The longer she waited for the phone to stop ringing, the louder the friggin thing got! How many rings was it to the answering machine again? She eyed the phone venomously again. Now that she thought of it, maybe X-men's cyclops had a better super power. That way, she could just liquidate the screecher and get on with her work. She turned back to the blank canvas. What was she about to do again...oh yes, she was about to paint that friggin-- "Clarie!" A drowsy sexy female voice droned through the answering machine. "I know you are there. Pick up the phone. I can see you..." the voice drawled. Clarissa hid behind her canvas. Sometimes Sidney made her believe she actually had a super power. She always knew what Clarissa was up to. "I know you are in front of your canvas again. You are going to paint him again, aren't you? I love you, Clarie, but what you are doing in plain creepy and it's a characteristic of a stalker. You guys broke up six months ago. You need to move on!" Clarissa could hear that her sister was hungover. She must have gone home with some guy again. Sidney Langston was everything Clarissa wasn't. She was the hot and sexy older sister that every guy friend she had wanted to bang. She was very beautiful, tall with a model body. She even had a good job and a fancy car. Men queued up like the way you'd queue up in front of a club just to go out with her. She only chose the men with cash and her slutty behavior paid the rent of their cozy little apartment, paid for her car insurance and took her to the expensive holiday locations around the world. The worst part was that the men actually wanted to pay for everything for her and she had no humble bone in her body to refuse. "Clarie, baby, put down the brush, get out of the apartment and get yourself a social life. I know being an art teacher in some prestigious school for some snotty-nosed rich kids sucks but you are a beautiful, young and single woman. There are--" She yelped and giggled and suddenly her message was muffled with a lot of mhhhs and ahmms. Clarissa made a comical expression of disgust. She didn't even want to know about her older sister's s*x life. Now, that actually coaxed her to get up and hang up the phone but as she reached the land-line, the answering machine beeped to show the end of the message. She released a sigh of relief and turned back to the canvas. Rubbing her toes at the back of her other leg, as sighed and dropped the brush and the paint palette. "Oh, Julian. How come I can't forget you like the way you forgot me?" She sank back on her stool, pulled her feet up and hugged them then continued staring at the blank canvas. "Am I really that clingy? Do I love too much?" At twenty three, Clarissa had suffered what she called a never-getting-back-together breakup with her boyfriend of four years. They met in the first year of college and he taught her about love, s*x and everything else in between and now he felt that she was too immature for him so he decided to get married to someone more growed up! Maybe she was but she wasn't sure what made her immature. Was it the fact that she confronted him about cheating on her with her friend? Or maybe it was when she poured red wine on his crisp white suit on a friend's wedding when she caught him making out with the maid of honor? She didn't know. All in all Julian Meyers was a dog but she still loved him so much that, to mourn their breakup, Clarissa painted Julian's face with a dog body of a different breed every exact day of their breakup each month. Ha! So far she had him as a bulldog, a chihuahua, a bloodhound, a beagle and a French poodle. That day, she planned to paint him with a yorkie body but after Sidney's call, she was no longer up to it. Maybe she did need that life that everyone was telling her to get. Sigh... Suddenly, her phone rang and she wailed in frustration. "What?" She snapped when she picked it up. "Down, girl, down." A voice teased. Clarissa sat up straight and sighed. "Hey Pam. Sorry, I'm not having a good day this Sunday." Pamela Rex hummed lightly. "Is it Julian again?" Clarissa was dumbfounded. It was incommodious that the people around her knew a little more of her life than she thought. But Pamela was one of the teachers at the Preston Pre-school and also her best friend. "Oh, why is everyone bringing him up today?" "Because today is the day he broke up with you. What are you doing right now?" Pam's teacher voice rang through the phone. "I'm not sure." She pouted looking around her studio to get at least get inspiration of doing something great for the remainder of her weekend. "Wash up, get dressed and join me for brunch. Meet me at Juliette's Garden in an hour." Pam instructed with that no-nonsense voice of hers. Clarissa blew air over a face to dislodge the hair lock that was tickling her nose again. She didn't plan on going out that Sunday but Pam was a college student with a degree of nagging. "Fine, see you in a bit." "Okay!" Clarissa could hear a smile in Pam's face. "See you soon." She hung up. Clarissa looked down at her buzzing phone and rolled her aching shoulders. The whole world knew about her breakup with Julian, could she be more conspicuous? What else did they know about her? That she was sexually frustrated because she hadn't been laid for the past six months? That she bought chocolate and rum and drenched herself in alcohol and calories just to drown her sadness? That Julian was married and living somewhere in that town happily and not having a slight clue on what she was going through? Clarissa blinked away the tears and slowly made her way to the bathroom. Being dumped sucked and the heartbreak threatened to engulf and destroy her. She had to stop this before she lost herself in it completely... JULIETTE'S GARDEN was a cozy and open restaurant. Clarissa hated crowded areas. She entered the well spaced, well ventilated and well lit building that looked like a tropical garden in a greenhouse and Pam immediately waved towards her. Clarissa smiled and made her way through to the very end by the large wall-to-ceiling window overlooking the busy streets. She was still mourning so she wore her black jeans and a black chiffon blouse and some flat gray pumps with cute black bow ties at the corners. "I see you are in your elements, Morticia Addams." Pam teased as Clarissa took the seat opposite her. Clarissa smirked. "Nice to see you too, Pam. How was your weekend?" Pam shrugged her delicate shoulders. "The usual; drove Danny to his father's for the month, had some old friends come over last night. We drank and went clubbing and now I'm trying this soup which is said to be a miracle remedy for a hangover." "Is it working?" Clarissa peered at her friend. "Not in your life!" She snapped and massaged away the headache on her temple with her long manicured fingers. Clarissa giggled as the hot waiter came to their table. He took her order and all the while Pam watched him intently. Of all the women she knew, Clarissa felt she was the shy and sane one but then again, she always believed she lacked in the elegant and beautiful looks of her friends and her sister. Pam had a rich caramel color that a man would want to lick! She had big coffee colored eyes that always sparkled with mischief and humor. Her hair was always down around her oval face in a slick black bob that slightly brushed her shoulders. She was always dressed to impress and instead of thinking she's a school teacher, a lot of people thought she was some rich business executive. "I'll have some more juice." She pushed her glass to him, her eyes not leaving his face. The waiter gave her a warm smile but his eyes sparkled with more interest than the order. When he left Clarissa turned to Pam with a stupid grin on her face. "How do you do that?" She laughed. Pam faked seriousness and leaned forward. "Just bat those pretty little eyelashes of yours at them, girl, and they're at your mercy." Clarissa rolled her eyes laughed softly. Pam never ceased to amaze her. She was entertaining and in times of trouble, she was the girlfriend every woman needed. Pam was bold and strong and confident. Again, she was everything Clarissa felt she lacked. "So, you still haven't told me about Mr. Mysterious the other day. It was the first time I saw you blush so much, Pam." Clarissa teased. Pam shrugged a shoulder but her eyes shimmered with excitement. "He's name is Anthony and he is a lawyer at the DA's office." Clarissa's eyes widened in surprise. "How do you manage to meet men like that?" Pam grinned devilishly. "We went to school together. We met up again at our college reunion several weeks ago. From there we had some coffee which turned to dinner and finally..." she blushed again and Clarissa giggled merrily. "....a home-cooked meal and a delicious breakfast in bed the next morning." "I'm happy for you." Clarissa was envious of her as well. It seemed that everyone around her had better luck in men than her. "That should keep you busy for a while." Clarissa took a swig of her sparkling water just as the waiter returned with her order and Pam's juice. Pam frowned. "This brunch is not about me, Clarie. It's about you. You need to get laid!" Clarissa choked on the water and spilled the rest on the table. She looked up at the waiter and was very sure his surprised face reflected her own. "Sorry." she said in a small voice. He gave her a polite smile and wiped away the water before setting down her plate and juice and left. "Why did you have to say that so loudly." Clarissa hissed at Pam pinching her playfully on her arm. "Next time just hold up a banger about it, will you?" "Because it's the truth. Your v-girl has been hibernating for the past six months. That's a long time for a woman. You need to get yourself a man and wake her up before she becomes comatose." Clarissa wondered at Pam's choice of words. "So, you want me to get it on with the waiter?" her voice squeaked at the last word as she jerked her head towards the man who just left them. Pam's face cringed and she shook her head. "No, he's a man-whore." "How do you know that?" Clarissa asked incredulously. Pam's head tilted to one side and sighed. "You should know since Julian was no different. I watched him move around the restaurant and he is eyeing every single pretty face like it is a cream pie and he just wants to devour it! He can't control what is in his pants and he is just seconds away from breaking someone's heart." So, that meant she was not pretty since he just gave her a polite smile. She bit her lower lip and fished around her poached eggs. "What you need is a descent rich boyfriend that will make every other man jealous that you are his." Pam's eyebrow quirked up. It only quirked up when she had a crazy idea swimming in that pretty head of hers. "Amen to that." Clarissa answered. "You need a man that will run to your every whim, call you and talk to you until dawn." "Yes." "Dazzle you with mind-numbing s*x and makes you breakfast after." "Oh, yes." "You need to enter the bachelorette auction next weekend." "Yes-uh?" Clarissa's widened. "What?" "Done!" Pam grinned. "I'll just send Frank your name and number." Clarissa shook the haze in her head away and stared at her friend. "What are you talking about?" Pam clasped her hands excitedly and beamed. "For the breast-cancer fund-raising and awareness this year, we are auctioning the single female teachers of Preston to our rich guests for a weekend romantic getaway/fling/whatever you may call it but there are rules." She lowered her voice dramatically. "He is not allowed to do anything that you do not want." "Pam!" Clarissa whined. "I'm going to be a flop! Do you want me to breakdown in front of hundreds of people. I can't do this." "You can and you will." Pam reached for her phone and texted something with her quick little fingers then turned to Clarissa and grinned. "You are a beautiful, young woman and those rich bastards will regret if they don't choose you." That was the second time she heard that comment but she still wasn't convinced. Clarissa shook her head. "I'm not doing it." "The deed is done." a message entered Pam's phone and she showed it to Clarissa. "You are in." Clarissa covered her face with her palms. "But I'm a nervous wreck! I will pass out right in the middle of that stage, Pam." "We have the entire week to work on that-together with your posture." Pam's forehead cringed again. "Sit up straight!" Clarissa straightened her backbone on her chair and pouted. Pam grinned and wiggled her eyebrows. "I can't wait." CLARISSA WENT back home after the long and tiresome brunch with Pamela. She dreaded the moment she picked up that phone in the morning to the moment she left for home that afternoon. She was taking part in a bachelorette auctioning come Saturday. She was being sold on Saturday to a high bidder and he was going to leave with her. Something close to panic coagulated in her blood. What if it was some old short dude with a receding hairline who collected stamps as a hobby and had a thing for children? Or some perverted/stalker/serial killer who kept hair locks as trophies in his tool shed?  Aaah! What did she get herself into? Clarissa noticed her sister's BMW M6 convertible outside their building as she parked her VW golf 7 next to it and groaned. She just hope Sidney didn't have a guest over. She made her way to her apartment and to her utter disappointment and annoyance, Mr. Last Night was frying something over their cooker. Clarissa had to give her sister credit for picking hot guys. "Clarie!" Sidney exclaimed and hugged her fondly. The only times Sidney was huggy and mushy was when she had awesome night consisting of awesome s*x. So, Mr. Last Night could actually turn out to be Mr. Long Term. What about me? Clarissa wanted to whine but she swallowed it back and turned to her sister's bright pale blue eyes. "You are happy." "I feel great!" She sighed in contentment and grabbed Clarissa shoulders then turned her to their open plan kitchen. "I'd like you to meet Mick. Mick, this is my sister-she's off limits!" Mick turned to Clarissa and saluted then continued with his sizzling somethings on the cooker. He was tall with an athletic body. He wore a casual blue T-shirt and gray cargo shorts. He even had sexy legs. His hair was tousled and brown. Very nice... "Clarie, you didn't paint today, did you?" Hope danced in Sidney's eyes as she looked down at her. Clarissa placed her keys and her handbag on one of the counters and shook her head. "No, I didn't." "Awww!" Sidney hugged her again. "I'm so proud of you. This is the first step of the rest of your life." Come Saturday and her life was over. She needed to write her will in case they found her dead and decomposing body in a ditch somewhere on Sunday morning but she didn't have much to leave behind. "I hope you are hungry. I made enough food for four." Mick came over and poured the sizzling somethings in a large white oval plate. Clarissa's eyes bulged in surprise. "You're a chef?" She asked. "That I am, ma'am." He saluted again and turned to three more plates with different types of nice smelling foods. With so much of the saluting, Clarissa passed him as a marine or something but he was a chef. Maybe there were some benefits to this; Mr. Long Term Chef. Clarissa was full from the brunch she had with Pam but just looking at the mouthwatering food in front of her, she felt her stomach pushing aside the poached eggs, colds meats, fruit and crusty bread to make room for this scrumptious man-I mean food! "I guess I could try some." Clarissa shrugged not wanting to give away her excitement as she quickly picked up a fork and knife. "Good!" Mick winked at her and put his hands around Sidney then kissed her soundly. Clarissa didn't bother to look up at the couple as she tried the fried veggies, some butter fried scallops, something that looked like pasta but tasted like heaven and whatever the last dish was. "Can we keep him?" Clarissa blurted out before she could stop herself then covered her mouth and felt her face redden. Both Sidney and Mick laughed and Sidney nodded in mid-kissing. Oh, how Clarissa missed making out. Seriously, she needed a boyfriend and soon or else she was going to a covenant and sign up to be the not-so-virgin nun. Sigh...

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