Home > My Fake Fiance (The Greene Family #8)

My Fake Fiance (The Greene Family #8)
Author: Piper Rayne

 

Cockamamie Unicorn Ramblings

 

About Piper & Rayne

 

Also by Piper Rayne

 

 

Running an inn in a small town in Alaska wasn’t my dream. I fell into this profession because I’m the responsible Greene. The one who makes sure everyone’s needs are taken care of. The practical one who saw a failing inn and thought it seemed like a sensible investment. It’s not that I don’t enjoy running the place; I do—most of the time. Then there are other times when it makes me question all the what-ifs. But I suppose everyone has what-ifs in their life, right?

Since starting a new marketing plan to bring in more guests—tourism in town is down—I feel as though all I do is check in happy couple after happy couple.

Like this latest couple in front of me who’s fresh off their wedding day since they reserved the honeymoon package. I’m not disgruntled. I’m engaged myself. My new ring even sparkles as I accept the man’s credit card.

“I love your ring.” The woman peers over the edge of the counter. “It’s shiny, which means it’s new.” She says it with the excitement one new bride feels when she meets another.

I glance down at the two-carat, pear-shaped diamond on a platinum band lined with smaller diamonds. “It is.”

Although I also clean it every night. I’m trying to keep it looking as new as possible for when it’s time to give it back.

“So, when is the big day?” she asks.

“Six weeks.”

Her eyes widen. “Really? When did you get engaged?”

I hand over the guy’s credit card and he wraps his arm around his wife. “Come on, honey. Let’s leave her be.”

He winks at me, but everyone knows a new bride wants to give all the advice. She’s spent weeks, months, or maybe years listening to other people lecture her about what she should and shouldn’t do. Now it’s her time to shine in all her wisdom.

When she remains at the counter, I realize she’s waiting for me to answer.

“About a week ago.”

Her eyes bulge out as if they have Slinkys attached to them. “It took us two years to plan our wedding and it wasn’t even half as fancy as most of our friends’.”

I smile. “It’ll just be family and close friends.”

“Exactly what I would have wanted,” the guy says, and she playfully swats his stomach.

“I have you in s​​uite two thirteen. Top of the stairs and down the hall. If you need anything, please feel free to let us know. We want your stay at SunBay Inn to be everything you dreamed it would be.” I hand over the keys with a welcoming smile to yet another happy couple who can’t keep their hands off one another.

I can’t fault the couples. I did a promotion focused on getting couples to stay here to gain some momentum heading into tourist season. Nothing says struggling business more than when you hardly see cars in the lot, people in the restaurant, or walking down the halls.

My phone dings from where I set it under the counter.

The couple glances back at me, but I smile, not reaching for my phone. I thought I’d put it on silent when I got in this morning. Every time I see someone’s name pop up on my screen, I feel anxious because I still haven’t found a way to tell anyone I’m engaged.

My phone dings for the second time.

The woman looks over her shoulder as she reaches the stairs.

I wave them off. “Come down for breakfast in the morning. The pancakes are fluffy and delicious.”

She smiles just as my phone rings.

They’re out of sight, so I snag my phone and hurriedly answer it.

“Amanda Greene!” my mom yells. “Please explain to me what I just got in the mail!”

“Seriously? Is it you who’s been texting me too? I don’t know what you got in the mail, but we’ve been over this. I’m at work. One text or phone call and I will return your—”

“You’re getting married?”

The phone slips out of my grip, dropping to the floor, and the one time I wouldn’t exactly mind if my phone broke, it lands screen side up with my mom’s name still on the screen.

She’s repeating my name like a mantra. “Mandi! Mandi!”

I bend down and pick up the phone. “What did you get in the mail?” A cold sweat breaks out across my body.

“Your wedding invitation. What do you think I got?”

“Oh.” I don’t know what else to say. My stomach twists.

“Oh? That’s all you have to say?”

“The invites weren’t supposed to go out for a few weeks.”

“Mandi, that is hardly the point.” She covers the receiver. Hank, my stepdad, must have come into the room and asked why she’s screaming, because I overhear a muffled version of her telling him the entire story, including me dropping my phone.

“Mom?” I wait a few seconds. “Mom.” She’s still rambling to Hank. “Mom!”

“I’m coming down there.”

“No!”

The chime on my door rings and another couple walks in, examining the small lobby area. They each smile at me. I put up my finger, giving them a “please be patient for a moment” smile.

“I have to go check in some guests. I’ll be by after work to explain.”

“Mandi, I am not going to wait until then. Hank and I are coming to the restaurant.”

Click.

I stare at the phone. She hung up on me. Unbelievable.

After taking a deep breath, I regain my composure and turn my attention to the guests. This couple is just as cute as the last. She’s petite with blonde hair, and he’s tall with dark hair and light eyes. They’re both dressed as if they’re going to attend a polo match. Wheeling their matching luggage behind them, they approach the counter.

“Welcome to SunBay Inn,” I say. “Checking in?”

The man gives me all the information I need while the woman wanders over to the display of brochures for different activities to do in the community.

“You have glass blowing in town?” she asks.

“Yes, and if you enjoy it, you picked the right weekend. Theo has an entire festival going on this weekend. There’s pottery too.”

The man glances at the woman as she blushes and says, “Like Ghost?”

He turns back to me. “She loves that movie.”

“What’s not to love?” I smile and accept his credit card.

Those small things always give me a pang of jealousy. The fact he knew she loves that movie, that it’s a small inside joke between them because he knows her so well. When I think about being with someone, that’s what I’m looking for. I’m not really interested in the big displays of affection like bouquets of flowers or expensive jewelry. Just someone who knows that the minute I walk into the house after a bad day, I just need a hug. Someone who orders my favorite takeout and surprises me with movie night at home on the couch. Someone who shows me how important I am in his life. I think it’s the little things that add up day after day to make a big romance.

“Definitely make sure you take that brochure then. Theo, the owner, is a great host. You’re sure to have a great time.” I hand over their keys and direct them to their room.

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