Chapter 14 : Chapter 14: As long as you want me to.
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I only own baby Nicole, and other characters that are not familiar, please bear with me it's my first time to do a fanfiction! And please leave a review! Thanks! HP Characters belongs to JKR! Enjoy everyone! :)
**special thanks to Connie (Misty_Dreamer)! my new beta, i love you girl!! :* <3
As long as you want me to.
Was this his idea of a joke?
A joke would fit with their conversation. He’d told her an amusing story a couple of minutes ago, so this could very well be –
It wasn’t. Nobody told jokes when they stared at you as hard as Draco was staring at her. Hermione snapped her hand from his and sat back.
“Are you crazy?”
“Do you have a better idea?”
His tone was as flat as his eyes. He was dead serious. Tension made it hard to breathe.
“She knows what she saw, Hermione, and she thinks it was dead wrong.”
His eyes flashed. “The hell it was!”
“I am Nicky’s nanny. You are her uncle.”
“You’re a woman.” His voice roughened. “An incredibly desirable woman and I’m a man, we’ve been dancing around that since the night we met.”
“We have not!”
“This isn’t the time to argue about it. I did what I had to do. For all I know, the social worker could have taken Nicky on the spot.”
She couldn’t argue with that. He had done what he had to do to protect Nicky, but marriage…
“I know,” he said softly, as if she’d spoken the words aloud. “Marriage isn’t at all what you want for yourself. Well, it isn’t what I want, either. You know those magazine articles? One hundred things to do before you die? Trust me, Hermione. Getting married wouldn’t even make into my top thousand.”
Nor into hers, but then why there is this sudden ache in her heart?
“Don’t look at me that way.” He said gruffly. “Do you think I’m happy, asking this from you?”
Did he think she was happy, hearing him first suggest the impossible and then describe it as one step up from hell?
“Look, if I could come up with another idea, I would, but I can’t. If you don’t marry me, I’ll lose Nicky.”
Hermione reached for her purse. Anger was safer than whatever other emotion was trying to push its way through.
“Just listen to yourself, Malfoy. I do not agree to some things I do not want, you will suffer the consequences.”
“That’s not what I’m saying and you know it. It’s Nicole who’ll suffer the consequences.”
“Why don’t you just obliviate the social worker?”
“Granger, it’s on our law not to do magic on a muggle. And if the ministry finds out, I’ll be sent to Azkaban, and then I’ll automatically lose my custody of Nicky.”
“You’ll find a way around it. You always do.”
“There is no way around it! We get married, or Nicky goes to the hands of the social worker.”
Tears burned her eyes. “How can you do this, Draco? It’s not fair! To make me feel responsible for my baby’s future…”
“Did you just hear what you said? You called her your baby.”
Hermione froze. “A slip of the tongue.”
“The hell it was. You say you love her but you’d let her go into foster care, or into the hands of an avaricious woman who sees dollar signs whenever she looks at Nicky?”
He was pushing all the right buttons. She could feel herself weakening. Desperate, she shook her head.
“No, it’s insane.”
“Because – because of what you said. That neither of us wants to get married.”
“I agree. But this wouldn’t really be a marriage.”
She blinked. “It wouldn’t?”
“We’d only have to stay married until my guardianship of Nicky is secured.”
Hermione stared at him. “You mean, we would have – what do those romance novels call it - a marriage of convenience?”
“I don’t know the term but, yeah, that’s what it would be. My attorney would draw up an agreement. We’d both sign it. You can file for divorce as soon as Nicky’s custody is settled.” His eyebrows rose. “You didn’t think I meant we’d do the ‘until death do us part’ thing, do you?”
Of course, they’re going to get married in the muggle world, and divorce is as fast as being confounded. And that was exactly what she had thought. Now she realized how foolish she’d been. Draco was not an ‘until death do us part’ person. Well, neither was she.
The why did his words stab at her heart?
“Hermione,” he reached for her hands, clasped them lightly in his. “I know I’m asking a lot.”
She nodded. It was the understatement of a lifetime.
“If there were another way…”
She nodded again. He was right, there wasn’t.
“We both love Nicky.”
Hermione nodded another time. All this nodding, was that the reason for the ache blooming behind her eyes?
“So, we do what we have to do to keep Nicky safe. A civil ceremony, something quick but legal, and once Nicky’s situation is resolved –“
“We end the marriage.”
“Right. I’ll tell my attorney to find the fastest way to do it.”
“A quick marriage, a quick divorce,” she said brightly. “Who could ask for anything better?”
“Of course I’ll make a generous settlement on you.”
Hermione’s face whitened. She pulled her hands free of Draco’s. He knew right away he’d made a mistake.
“Do you think I would take your money?”
“Okay. Okay, no settlement.”
“If I did this – if I did it – it would not be for payment!”
Her eyes had gone hot with anger. Draco nodded. He’d have to tread carefully.
“A job, then. Don’t look at me like that. I was going to tell you anyway. There’ll be an opening coming up in my company in a few months.” A lie, but meaningless compared to the other lies of the night. “It’ll be perfect for you.”
“I just said – “
“Look, we can argue over the details later. Right now, just tell me you’ll agree to be my wife for a few months.”
Her expression went blank. “That long?”
Why did that question annoy him? It wasn’t as if he’d gone down on his knees and offered her his heart.
“I don’t know,” he said bluntly. ”Just however long it takes, okay?”
She swallowed. He could see the movement in her throat and that made him remember the softness of her skin there, just there at the hallow, where he could see the swift beat of her pulse.
She leaned back in her chair. “I need time to think.”
“There is no time.” Urgency crept into his voice. “The Fray woman will be watching us like a hawk and I told her we’d be getting married right away, remember?”
Hermione’s eyes darken. “Why is everything all about you? You came up with that ugly lie, and it was all because you forced yourself on me!”
“I what? Hermione! Damnit, what the hell are you doing?”
A stupid question. What was she doing was bolting from her chair and racing out of the restaurant. Draco cursed, shot to his feet and dropped a handful of bills on the table.
The captain hurried over. “Mr. Malfoy, sir, is everything –?”
Draco didn’t bother answering. He ran, oblivious to the stares, the whispers, flung the door open and stepped onto the street.
Clouds had been scudding high over the city’s concrete canyons most of the day. Now those clouds had opened up. A warm light rain was falling, drawing a green, woodsy scent from the sycamores that stood like sentinels along the curb.
Where the hell was she?
There! Half a block away, running barefoot, her spiked heels clutched in her hand. Draco took off after her, caught her and spun her toward him.
“Forced myself?” he jerked her to her toes. “You wanted what happened as much as I did, Lady.”
“That is not true!”
The rain was coming down harder. Drops of it glittered like diamonds on the tips of Hermione’s lashes.
“Stop lying to yourself.”
“You are the liar, Draco Malfoy. Liar, liar, li – “
Draco kissed her. Hermione tried to twist free but he thrust his hands into her hair and held her fast, angled his mouth over hers, kissed her and kissed her without mercy, without pity…
Without stopping, until, at last, she sobbed his name. Draco, the way he loved to hear her say it, and slid her arms around his neck.
He groaned, drew her closer. She was so soft. So delicate.
Somebody laughed, somebody else whistled. “Hey, man,” a male voice said, “get a room.”
Slowly, Draco raised his head. He looked at Hermione’s rain-bedraggled hair, her gently swollen mouth, her lashes damp with rain or maybe tears. He had hurt her tonight; he knew he would always despise himself for it, just as he knew what he had to do now.
“Hermione.” He took a deep breath, and then slowly expelled it. “What I did tonight – it was inexcusable.” He lowered his forehead to hers. “You’re right. Asking this of you was wrong. I’ll find a way to deal with – “
Hermione laid her fingers lightly over his mouth.
She was watching him as if he was trying to see deep inside his soul. If she could what she’d seen, it won’t make him proud. What he’d just told her was the truth. All of this was his fault.
He’d built his life around discipline. Raised as the son of Lucius Malfoy, and clawing his way into his father’s expectations, surviving a harsh childhood, coerced into doing things against his will or putting everything in his power to raise his family name into good terms with the people and building the family business back into where it was before and more. He has made it this far with Blaise’s help, his only true friend, who stayed with him until the very end.
Now Blaise was gone and he’d screwed up so badly that he was on the verge of losing all that remained of him. But to try and make Hermione help him clean up the mess he’d make was dead wrong.
He took her hand in his and kissed it.
“I’ll find a way, and it won’t involve you. I should never have – “
“I’ll do it, Draco.” She took a deep breath and looked firmly in his eyes. “I’ll marry you and stay married for as long as you want me to.”
AN: liked it? want some more? I would love to hear more from you! hit the review button please?! :)) i hope you guys enjoyed this one! :D LOVE YOU ALL! :*
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