When a man already has everything what else could he possibly want? How about a baby? Nathan Rudolph sets about interviewing candidates: all the single women in his business. The girls imagine they might get a job promotion, but he is carrying a marriage license instead. The winner of the contest is not happy. But Nathan has dealt with difficult folk before and is convinced that, in no time at all, he can win over his new wife.
A Marriage She Didn't Ask For...
The door opened and in walked a delivery man. "This is for you. Will you sign here?" He handed her an electronic clipboard.
She hesitated for a moment but finally signed it.
"Thank you." He handed her the envelope. After he left, she opened it.
"Who's it from?" Danielle wondered before sipping her coffee.
"Thompson & Thompson Law Firm."
Danielle's eyes grew wide and she straightened in her chair. "Is someone suing you?"
"I don't think so." Apprehensive, Amy pulled out the document and started reading it. Color drained from her face.
"What?" Danielle leaned forward, as if she were about to watch whether or not her winning team would get a touchdown.
"I can't believe he did this!" Amy jumped out of her seat, her heart racing in a mixture of anger and horror.
"Did what?!" She jumped up too. Though some coffee spilled from her cup, she didn't seem to notice.
"This can't be legal!"
"What? What can't be legal?"
Amy glanced from her friend to the document and flipped through the pages so she could make sure she understood it right. This couldn't be happening. It had to be a sick and twisted joke! "He just can't do this!"
Danielle finally put the cup down and loudly groaned.
"Will you please tell me already? The suspense is killing me!"
"Mr. Rudolph married me by proxy
"Are you sure you want to do this?"
Nathan Rudolph raised an eyebrow in Tyler Jackson's direction. "You know me better than to ask that question. We've been friends for two decades."
Tyler shook his head. "Yes, but you've never done anything this unexpected."
Nathan ignored the younger man's exasperation. Instead, his piercing blue eyes swept across his spacious office with windows stretching from the floor to the ceiling, giving him an ample view of downtown Omaha. Nathan, the owner and president of Rudolph Travel Agency, was proud of his accomplishments. However, despite all the fame and fortune he obtained over his forty years on Earth, one thing was missing: an heir, someone he could leave his company to when he died.
The telephone on his large mahogany desk buzzed. Swiveling in his leather chair which matched his desk and the two chairs in front of it, he lifted the receiver. "Yes?"
"Miss Debra Raymond is here to see you," Carmen Riles, his secretary, said.
"Good. Tyler will bring her in when we're ready." He set the phone down and shut his laptop. Standing up, he told Tyler, "Give me a quick glimpse of Miss Raymond."
Tyler loudly sighed, shifting uncomfortably on the soft black carpet before reading the list on his clipboard. "Debra Raymond is twenty-nine. She's been in advertising for eight years and has an impressive sales record-"
Nathan held up his hand to stop him. "I don't care about her employment history. I want to know what she's like, what her interests are, has she been married, does she have kids. Stuff like that."
Groaning, Tyler went down the list. "She's single. No kids. She likes biking, canoeing, and mountain climbing."
He momentarily grimaced. His strength came from his mind, and he had no desire to explore the outdoors. His idea of roughing it was to fly coach.
"She occasionally reads fiction but prefers to live life rather than read about it," Tyler continued. "Her parents are both alive and live in San Antonio. She has two brothers and a sister. She has a couple of ex-boyfriends but none were serious. Her longest relationship lasted for five months."
"What caused the break ups?"
"All she would tell me is that they weren't compatible."
"Not compatible? What does that mean? Were her boyfriends not into camping?"
"I don't know, Nate. I couldn't get any more from her than that." Tyler shot him a frustrated look. "It wasn't easy to interview all these women without arousing their suspicion. They believe you are considering a promotion for one of them." He shrugged. "You're the vice president. Sometimes you have to do the not-so-fun part of the job."
"If that's what you can call this ridiculous rounding up of single women in your company," he sourly replied. "Do you want me to continue?" He motioned to the clipboard.
"That's enough. I get the picture. Bring her in. Oh," he began before the blond man could leave the office, "may I remind you that even though you are a friend, you are my employee. I'd prefer it if you didn't show your disgruntled attitude out there. I like to keep the atmosphere pleasant." Though his words were firm, they were also kind.
"Yes, boss." Tyler gave a mock salute, his smile betraying him.
Nathan chuckled. He liked the fact that Tyler wasn't afraid to voice his opinion. In a world where people kissed up to him to get something, Tyler's honesty was refreshing, which was why he hired him. After Veronica, he learned the value of honesty. He shook his head. His ex-wife was safely in the past. When Debra came into the room, he stood up. "Miss
Raymond, will you have a seat?"
The perky thin blond nodded and quickly complied. She was surprisingly stunning. Apparently, she knew it too, for when she crossed her legs, she wiggled so that her skirt was forced halfway up her thigh.
Nathan returned to his seat. "I have a few questions to ask you." He picked up the piece of paper in front of him and read the questions he had written out ahead of time. "What was your childhood like?"
"Did anything happen that might have scarred you for life?"
She giggled. "No. Not unless you count that time I wrestled a rattler to the ground."