Chapter 5 - The Unwanted Bride Of Atticus Fawn

The dress drops from my hand. His eyes wander lower. My heart skips a beat. His gaze lingers. I can barely hear my breaths as intense hunger clouds his eyes. I've never seen a man look at me that way before, and I've never seen that look in his eyes, even when he looked at Anya. It was so new to me.

The sound of footsteps breaks both of us out of our trance. Atticus steps in and slams the door shut before anyone can see me.

The sound is enough to remind me of my state.

I spin around and cover my exposed breasts even though it doesn't make sense now that he's seen them. And I'm not helping the situation by showing him my bare ass either. That is if he's still looking at me, which I doubt he is.

He clears his throat.

"I'll leave when my brother walks past my room." He tells me. Did I mistake it, or was there a huskiness to his voice?

"It's okay," I whisper. "This is your room. I'll be finished in a minute. You can have the room to yourself after."

"No." He disagrees. "There is no need to rush."

There is a slight pause before he softly says, "this will be your room eventually."

A minute passes, and I hear the door open and close behind me. I let out a breath I didn't realize I had been holding as I fell onto his bed. My face hits his shirt, and I inhale even though I shouldn't. Why do even his clothes smell as good as him? It doesn't make any sense to me.

I jump off the bed when the door suddenly opens again, "Autumn, why are you still not dressed?" my mother demands. "What are you waiting for?"

I sigh and quickly put on the dress. She helps me zip it to the back, and then we head back out of the room. Atticus is waiting for us a little distance away, and I can feel my cheeks burn at the reminder of what just happened. He saw me almost entirely naked. Just when I thought things couldn't get worse for me, I had managed to flash Atticus Fawn.

This day was about to break the record for my list of most embarrassing things I've gotten into.

I watch as he walks into the room to change as I have done.

"Your phone is blowing up," my sister tells me as she joins my side. I take it from her and stare at the many notifications.

Oh crap. Everyone from my school knew that I was marrying Atticus already. Just like I had suspected. Some were calling me a fake friend; others were begging me to be their friend now that I would be married to Atticus.

None of those things managed to upset me, like the one message that stood out. It was from Anya.

'How could you?'

It was just three words, but it left the impact that she wanted it to have on me.

It wasn't my intention to marry Atticus. I didn't think he would have agreed to any of this. When I get a chance, I will have to corner him about everything. It couldn't be something simple that made him agree to marry me. Did his parents threaten him and force him to agree? But they were by my side the entire time; they wouldn't have had the chance to convince him. Someone or something else was the cause for his sudden change in decision.

There are ten missed calls from her—my closest friend. She should know that I would never intentionally betray her. This was out of my control. I didn't even know about it to begin with.

Maybe I can meet with Atticus, and we can discuss finding a way to stop the wedding. Even though my heart belonged to him, I didn't want to take him away from Anya. I cared about them too much to separate them from each other.

When Atticus walks out of the room, my heart stops beating for a second. I can't help but stare. The white shirt compliments his eyes, and the fabric pressed tightly against his body leaves nothing for the imagination.

He catches me staring, and my breath gets caught in my throat. I quickly looked away, trying to act normal even though my heart was racing in my chest. This is the effect he always had on me. Except now he was finally looking my way. He never did before. I had his attention, and I wasn't prepared at all for my body's response to it.

He's beautiful. Atticus is the most beautiful man I've ever set my eyes on. Too good looking for his own good.

"Come with me," Atticus says, and I do as he says. He takes us to the photographer. The man looks eager to take our pictures. This must be something he loves doing. Was he accustomed to taking pictures of couples who didn't want to get married? If not, this was about to be interesting for him.

"Put your arms around her." The photographer orders Atticus.

There are other photographers to the back, ready to snap as well.

I bite my lip when his fingers curl around my waist. His hand was warm; his body was too. And it felt good next to mine. His scent was stronger now that he was this close to me, and I think I might faint from this contact.

"I need you both to give me your best smile." He continues to tell us.

Our best smile? Neither of us was happy. How could we do that?

My mother points at her lips, mimicking a smile. I sigh and do as the photographer asks.

I can feel the anger radiating off Atticus. He's pissed that he has to do this with me, and I don't blame him. No one should be forced to do anything they weren't happy doing.

My body is motionless as I wait for it to be completed. I'm trying not to enjoy his nearness, but it's hard to do.

"I'll make this work." He dismissed us suddenly.

After the photoshoot, I followed Atticus back into the house until I got a chance to be with him alone. When he turns to look at me, he doesn't look surprised. He must have already sensed me behind him.

"Why are you following me, Autumn?"

My name on his mouth sends a shiver down my spine. How many times have I wished to hear my name in his mouth? This wasn't how I wanted it to happen, however.

"I want to know if there is a way for us to get out of this marriage," I tell him. "I know you don't want to marry me. I know you love Anya. And she is my best friend. I don't want her to think I'm betraying her by marrying you. I can't get out of it on my own. I'll need your help."

Atticus looks surprised at my words. He didn't expect me to ask him to get out of this marriage. What was so shocking about that? Did he think I was just like my parents?