~ Jayce ~
I'd spent my life in the shadow of my identical twin brother. I was a nerdy introvert and Jordan was a flashy social bug. We hadn't spoken in three years, which was why I was so surprised to be invited to his wedding. Hell, I was surprised he was getting married in the first place. He loved partying way too much to ever settle down with one man.
Against my better judgment, I fly home...but man, my judgment is flawed. I somehow find myself married to a man I've never met before, a man that thinks I am my brother.
~ Joe ~
I wasn't sure I really wanted to get married, but I couldn't find a good enough reason to say no when Jordan was so insistent. I liked him, and figured I might love him after awhile. It's better than spending my life alone. Isn't it?
Once we exchanged vows, I realized that it might happen sooner than I thought. He has an intriguing spark in his eyes that I've never seen before and I want to know more. But after a wedding night I'll never forget, I realize I may not know my new husband at all.
"Jayce, you have to help me."
I groaned as I read the text message that my brother had sent me late last night. Nothing good ever came from those words. Jordan might be my identical twin brother, but the only thing we had in common were our looks.
Well, sort of.
We both had sunlight blond hair and light brown eyes. We were both about five feet seven inches tall and weighted around a hundred and thirty-five pounds. We both had straight roman noses, compliments of our father, and plush lips, compliments of our mother.
That's kind of where the similarities ended.
Jordan was flashy. He was a social bug that actively sought out the limelight, he'd much rather watch a made-for-tv movie than read a book, and he had only finish college because our parents had promised him a lot of money if he did.
I, on the other hand, avoided crowds like the plague, didn't even own a television, and I'd attended college on a full ride scholarship and graduated at twenty-three with a PhD in bio engineering. It had helped that I graduated high school at the young age of fourteen.
If Jordan was desperate enough to send me a text message, I wasn't going to like what he had to say. Considering we hadn't actually spoken a word to each other in over three years, I knew what I was talking about.
Knowing I had no other choice, I texted him back. Maybe I'd get lucky and he only needed money or something. I had no desire to see him.
"What do you need?"
"What took you so long?" Jordan asked. "This is an emergency."
I sighed. "You sent the message in the middle of the night. I was asleep. Now, what do you want?"
"I need you to come home right away."
Not in this century. There was a reason I lived on the other side of the country from my family. Besides the fact that my brother was on the West Coast and if I was within a thousand miles of him, he'd find some way to fuck up my life, my parents were there, and they were just as bad as Jordan.
"I can't," I replied. "I have work."
"Screw your work, Jayce. This is an emergency."
It was always an emergency with Jordon.
"What's going on?" I texted back.
"I'm getting married."
I stared at the words for a moment, stunned. It wasn't so much that I was shocked my brother was getting married, but more that he had actually found someone to put up with his crap. The word "high-maintenance" was invented for my brother.
I found it interesting that I hadn't been told before now, but not surprised. My parents were still upset with me that I decided to stay in New York City after graduating. They hated the East Coast. They had even refused to come to my graduation.
I had been thrilled.
Granted, they were pretty happy that I wasn't living at home because they were basically ashamed of my very existence, but they also didn't like not having me under their thumb.
"When is the happy day?"
"Saturday," Jordan replied. "That's why I need you to come home."
"Saturday? This Saturday? Like, two days from now?"
"Yes, so you need to get here. I can't get married without you here."
I didn't think I was going to get out of this.
"Mom and Dad both want you here," Jordan continued. "We can't have the wedding without you."
I seriously doubted that.
"I was serious about work, Jordan. I'm swamped."I could find a million things to do at work to keep me busy, even putting away stock and sweeping the floors. "I really don't think I can get away."
"You have to, Jayce."
"Look, I'm the one calling you because I know you don't want to deal with Mom and Dad. Just get your ass here before Mom calls. You know what she is like."
I did, and Jordan was right. I didn't want to deal with her, but I would have to if I flew home. Neither option sounded good.
"Are you sure I have to be there for the wedding?"I asked.
"I really need you to be here, Bro. Seriously. I can't get married without you here."
"Fine." I was not anticipating the hell I was about to go into. "I'll see about booking a flight out there tomorrow, but I can't stay long."
"Call me when your flight gets in."
Jordan hung up before I could say more, or argue with him. Maybe I'd wait until I picked up a rental car before calling him. I didn't want him to offer to pick me up and drive me around. I wanted the freedom to come and go—mostly go—if I chose to.
I jumped online and booked a flight out to the west coast as well as a hotel room and rental car. There was no way I'd stay at my parents' place. Besides the fact that I would crumble under the constant pressure from my parents, they had converted my room into a guest room ages ago.
After that, I went to pack a suitcase. I wasn't going to take much with me because I didn't plan on staying long. If I had my way, I'd be flying home right after the reception.
The last thing did was arrange for a taxi the next morning and I pack my laptop. I was currently researching a new compound for a polymer to surround a computer part that my company used in computers. We were trying to make something that was waterproof so cell phones would be safe if they fell into pools and such.
I didn't want to get behind in my work simply because my brother was getting married. My work was very important to me. I didn't have much of a social life, so work was the main motivating factor in me getting out of bed every morning.
I might be a little obsessed.
I gathered everything up and placed it by the front door and then got ready for the rest of night. After making myself dinner, I grabbed the current article I was reading and headed off to the living room.
There was something to be said to living alone. No one bothered me or looked down on me for eating in the living room, something that was strictly forbidden in my parents' house.
After settling myself on the couch, I grabbed the article and then started eating my dinner. It was a great article, written by some Japanese guy that seemed to thing different plants could be harnessed and made into a biodegradable material that could be used in my work.
I was very impressed with what I had read so far and hopeful I could use his idea in the polymer I was hoping to create. Only time—and some trial and error in the lab—would tell.
By the time I yawned a few hours had gone by. I glanced at the clock on the wall and realized that it was nearing midnight. I had been reading for over five hours, which explained my numb butt.
I stuck the article in my bag to finish reading later and then took my dinner dishes to the kitchen. After washing them up, I headed to bed.
It took awhile for me to fall asleep because I couldn't stop thinking about what a shit show this whole trip was going to be. I could only imagine what a wedding for Jordan would be like. A total flashy circus to be sure.
I cringed just thinking about it.
And who would ever agree to marry Jordan? He didn't seem like the type of guy to settle on one person, male or female. At this point, I didn't know who his future spouse was, and frankly, I didn't care.
My last thought as I drifted off to sleep was the hope that I didn't have to wear some brightly covered clothes to the wedding or ostrich feathers or something just as crazy.
I wouldn't put it past my brother.
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