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A substitute Bride for the Aloof Billionaire

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Mikayla Sinclair ends her decade-long engagement with Adrian Fitzroy with a sudden impromptu wedding in Vegas to a new police officer. Luckily, there is another sibling available to fill her position in the Sinclair-Fitzroy alliance. Can Skyla Sinclair, her exiled half-sister, win Adrian's icy heart? Is it possible for the relationship to only be an arrangement? Would Kayla be able to stop feeling guilt for having her sister take her place in an arranged marriage meant for her and grant her a tranquil life apart from their family that tossed her out when they deemed her unworthy?

Chapter 1

A wide variety of words can describe Mikayla Sinclair, the choice of those words mostly depending on the person describing her, but both her friends and enemies alike would not be quick to use the word 'irrational' to refer to the eldest of the Sinclair's.

Kayla is a lot of things; exuberant, brilliant, cunning, and even a little callous but irrationality and impulsivity are traits She simply could not afford and she learned that lesson early in his life because when Kayla is irrational she is not the only one who would be affected by her decisions; when she becomes irrational, she had to watch the people around her get punished and suffer.

The grim faces accompanying her own in the overly furnished office room that Kayla had grown to abhor is enough proof of that fact.

It was a mistake. She rationally knows it was a mistake, but somehow, despite all that rationality she may possess, she just can't think of marrying Jace as a mistake.

It was rushed. They hadn't known each other for more than a year or two and whatever they had had between them hadn't been anything close to what would fit the term dating to progress so quickly into marriage.

They had been drunk, stupid, and far away from anything that could remind them of all the reasons why they should not be together, and what was supposed to be another steamy night wrapped up in each other's bodies had somehow ended up with the both of them getting hitched in Vegas.

It was dumb and wild and stupid, Kayla will even admit that she regrets it, but for the life of her she can't bring herself to think of it as a mistake, not when the cheap silver band on her finger feels so right.

Maybe in some way, she had wanted it all along when she had invited Jace to Las Vegas with her to celebrate his promotion at work; but unfortunately what happened in Vegas did not always stay in Vegas, especially when you drunkenly post about your brand new detective husband on all your social media accounts at three in the morning.

Hence, not two days later Kayla was sitting opposite to her red-faced father in the same dreaded office room that had always felt too large and too small at the same time no matter how much older or taller she got.

The room had been remodeled multiple times, but Kayla could never stop associating the place with dread and dire no matter how many elegant paintings were hung or floorboards changed. Neither could her stepmother, it seemed, as she paced around the room, her mouth held tight in a thin line, and the dull sound of her heels on the floorboard seemed to echo with the shallow pace of his heart.

Her father hasn't said anything in a while, it's even worse than the screaming match they had had just a few minutes ago. For a man carrying an entire empire on his back, he could get his point clearly across without the use of words; as the eldest daughter of the same man maybe Kayla could too, it would explain why the air around them was so thick that she felt like she would be suffocated in the room.

It might even help her father save face, better to have a daughter that died out of the blue rather than one that disobeyed his will and tarnished his reputation.

In the end, her stepmother breaks the silence, "They could get an annulment, it's barely been three days- not even a week," her voice is soft, sad, nearly sympathetic, almost disarmingly so.

Kayla wondered just how long she had been holding onto that particular suggestion, probably from the moment she saw those pictures of Kay and Jace with their arms around each other, Kay looking genuinely happy for once as she kissed her brand new husband who was not her predetermined fiance.

She doesn't blame her, she had always been kind to Kayla, kind to all of them, and she could never fault her for favoring her child over Kayla, not when Kayla herself favors her siblings over herself most of the time.

That night at Vegas hadn't been one of those times, that night was one in which Kay had allowed herself to be selfish, and that night had passed onto happy blurring memories.

So if an annulment was what it took to secure the Sinclair empire then Kayla would just have to swallow the lump in her throat and call her lawyer before her actual fiancé and his family did anything drastic.

"The Fitzroys are humiliated, an annulment would never suffice," her father almost scoffs, the glare he shoots at her stepmother is one Kayla is very familiar with.

"I could talk to Adrian, I am sure he will understand-" Kayla tries, but she is not sure if she means it. Despite being engaged for almost a decade, Kayla still didn't know her fiance very well, but Adrian Fitzroy had always been reasonable to her, kind and understanding in subtle ways and sincere gestures Kayla would have never expected of someone who was brought up in the kind of family he was.

"This is not about Adrian! It's about his family, the legacy he holds, and the debt we owe to the Fitzroy," her father shouts, but then his anger seems to peter off with a hand on his chest as if he was forcing himself to be calm.

It's strange to see a man who had always made a point of being the strongest in any given room be so frazzled over a single family name, "Mikayla, You know what they are capable of- what this alliance means to us," her name sounds even stranger in his father's voice, not due to a lack of use, but due to the sudden gentleness in it that Kayla hadn't expected today.

The Fitzroy come from old money, older than the Sinclair or any other long-standing family lines holding the reins of the city.

The kind of old money that wasn't always clean. Various stories are floating around the FizRoy family and their ambiguous origins, of missing men and bloodied secrets, stories no one dares to voice out loud.

Kayla was never sure how far the rumors were true, and despite the long engagement she had with the FitzRoy heir, she had never wanted to ask either. Regardless of all that, the FizRoys were a dangerous family, and no one knew that fact better than her father and Kayla herself.

Kayla had just forgotten, for one stupid, selfish moment, she had forgotten. "We need this alliance," her father repeats to the silent room.

"No," her stepmother finally breaks, letting her tears fall freely as she rushes to her father's side.

It's moments like this that Kayla is reminded just how young her stepmother is, that despite all these long years with her father she still thinks her tears have some value to the man, "Jay is barely twenty-one- I- she is just a kid," she whispers out.

"You were even younger when you married me, Eloise," his father echoes, he doesn't even spare her a second glance no matter how helplessly she pleads at his sides. It's not much of an argument, Kayla hadn't even been eighteen when her fate was tied to a stranger for the sake of family and business, but it's Jaylani, and Jayla is never going to stop being a kid to her no matter how old she gets, surely never old enough to take a fall in his place.

"We are not bringing Jayla into this," Kayla says firmly. Jayla is earnest, she wants nothing more than to prove herself, but no matter how much her younger sister pretends to be bigger and stronger than the rest of them, she is still too gentle of a child, too much of a love-struck romantic, too kind to be thrown into an engagement that had more underlined clauses and indents than Mikayla could hope to remember.

Chapter 2

"I promised the Fitzroy's a daughter of mine, a daughter that did not marry some nobody after a drunken night, and I am not going back on my word," her father sounds firm on his choice, but he remains seated and stares down at Kayla.

It hurts more than any physical harm her father could have done to her, the knowledge that she would be the reason that Jayla would have to suffer.

"Just give me the time to talk to Adrian, father- I am sure I can convince him otherwise, he'll understand," and this time even if Kayla doesn't entirely believe her own words, she wants it to be true.

Despite what his family name might mean, Adrian had never given her any reason to doubt him. The Adrian she knows is reasonable, the Adrian she knows stole glances at her when he thought no one would notice and held her hand tighter than a halfhearted fiancé should need to.

Kayla hoped that there was some part of that childhood crush of the man that wo


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