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Chapter 20

I didn’t regret spending the night with AJ, not one little bit. How could I ever regret a night like that? We were sexually compatible even if we weren’t exactly compatible in any other way. But we both knew that today would be the end and we’d go our separate ways, our lives disconnecting from each other permanently.

Back in my own hotel room, I took a nice long shower, washing away the traces of AJ – where his lips had kissed, where his hands had roamed, etc. I then wrapped myself up in a fluffy towel and walked over to the wardrobe to select what to wear for court.

In just a few hours, I’d be single again! Hurray!

I dried myself and dressed, then straightened my hair and applied a little make-up.

“Very presentable” I said to my reflection in the full length mirror.

I’d not checked my phone since the night before, so pulled it out of my bag and read the few text messages I’d received from my friends, all wishing me luck for today, not that I needed it. How hard could it be? Surely we’d just walk in, do our bit, sign a few papers and leave. At least that’s how easy it looked in the movies!

At about 11.30 there was a knock on my door, not expecting anyone, I opened it warily.

“Thought we could go together…that’s if you’d like” AJ asked, standing there looking the most presentable I’d ever seen him.

Wearing black trousers, a crisp looking white shirt (with the top couple of buttons undone), a tie and a pair of polished black shoes, he looked very, very nice. He’d even ditched the eyeliner! I could quite fancy him now that he looked more refined, he scrubbed up well.

“Sure” I replied, relieved that I wouldn’t have to walk in there alone “let me just grab my bag, come in for a minute”

“OK” he said and stepped inside my room.

A few minutes later and we were ready to go.

“There’s a car waiting outside to take us” he said and held the room door open for me, like a true gentleman (which let me tell you, he was anything BUT).

“But…we’re going to court! Won’t it look a bit, you know, suspicious?” I asked, hardly able to believe he could be so stupid.

“Chill” he smiled “this guy is the soul of discretion; he’s been a part of the Backstreet Boys team for a long time. He won’t say a word to anyone. I’d trust him with my life”

“Well…that’s OK then, as long as you’re sure?” I asked. I needed to know for certain. I didn’t really fancy being caught by the paparazzi outside the court.

“Do you really think I want the world to know I’m married? Hell no! So let’s get going and get this over with” he said and ushered me towards the waiting car.

“AJ, what’s up dude” asked a giant of a man, hugging AJ in a manly embrace.

“Dude, I think you already know” AJ laughed and turned to me.

“Could be worse” he said and I was beginning to feel like a piece of meat on display in the market.

I scowled at AJ and folded my arms in annoyance. How dare he! The sooner I was single, the better. All the good feeling towards him had vanished again.

“Sorry Steph” AJ laughed “this is Paul. Paul, this is Steph, the future ex-Mrs McLean”

“Hey Steph” he greeted me and held the car door open for me to climb in.

“Hi” I replied politely and we travelled the short distance without saying a whole lot else. I was still pissed off with AJ.

“Good luck” Paul said when we pulled up at the entrance “call me later AJ”

“Sure thing” AJ said to his friend/security guy and we got out and walked up the couple of steps into the building.

“Come on then, let’s go and get this over with” I said vehemently.

I was so annoyed with the guy. Why did he have to be such a fucking dick? Why did he have to ruin what we’d just shared only last night? I knew this was the last I was going to see of him, so why did he have to act like that?

“What now?” he asked

“You know something? You really are an unpredictable bastard” I said and took a step forward.

“Thanks” he said appreciatively and trailed behind me.

Arghh, how infuriating!

“Ah look, there’s my lawyer Russell, come on” he said and I followed him across to where a scruffy looking man in his early thirties was obviously waiting for us. It figured that AJ should choose a lawyer as eclectic looking as himself!

“Bad news guys” he said as soon as we reached him “today’s judge is the Pitbull. Oh sorry, let me introduce myself, I’m Russell Brand and you must be Stephanie Mahoney”

“Pleased to meet you Russell” I said and we shook hands. At least he was polite and well mannered, unlike his client.

“Who’s the Pitbull?” I asked curiously “and why is it bad news for us, we’re only here for an annulment”

“I’ve googled her on my BlackBerry and let’s just say, she believes that marriage is for life and not just for LasVegas!” he replied


We chatted for a little while and despite Russell’s exterior, the man knew his stuff. I was confident that we’d left nothing undone and that very shortly, I’d be free of this sham of a marriage.


The court room was just like something you would see from a scene in a movie, although unfortunately, this was reality.

The judge introduced herself as Judge Joan Rivers and looked like a no nonsense type of woman, even if she’d had one too many face lifts (which by the way, made her look hideous).

“I’ve seen everything pertaining to this case, including the wedding DVD, and declare that this marriage is valid” she said coldly, her eyes flitting between myself and AJ.

“But…” Russell began and was interrupted.

“No, you listen here. I’ve had it up to here” she indicated towards her neck “of people like your clients, who come to Vegas for a weekend of careless hedonism and poke fun at the sanctity of marriage. Well, not on my watch!”

“But…” I started to speak; there was no way I was taking this shit.

“But nothing missy” she said in such a tone of voice that I didn’t dare answer her back – she might bite my head off.

AJ and I looked at each other.

“Marriage isn’t something to enter into on a whim, it’s a lifelong commitment. So, I’m not granting your request for an annulment” she said smugly “What I’m suggesting is that the pair of you work on your marriage. You’ll be required to attend fortnightly marriage guidance sessions for six months and if after that time you decide to go your separate ways, then your wish will be granted”

“But I live in England” I protested

Judge Joan Rivers turned to look at AJ “well, there’s going to have to be a little bit of compromise here, but I trust that the two of you will work out a suitable arrangement”

“I’m going back in the studio in a couple of weeks, I can’t drop everything to move to England for six months” AJ explained.

“And I can’t keep flying over here every two weeks” I said and stood facing AJ with my hands on my hips.

“Well, you could…it’s not like you have a job!” he voiced and snorted.

“And what’s that to you?” I defended myself

“Ha!” he retorted

“Are you implying something here?” I seethed at him.

“Oh no, I wouldn’t dare accuse you of being a gold digger” he sneered

“Well I’m glad to hear that, because there is nothing you have that I could possibly want and that includes money! I have plenty of my own” I shot back at him.

“Oh yeah, is that so?” he said patronisingly

“Yes, it is” I replied

“Children” Judge Joan Rivers shouted “I will not tolerate this in my court room. Now it seems to me like you two already act like a married couple, so go and work on your differences”

We were excused then.

“Well, that didn’t go quite as planned” Russell said, scratching his head.

We both turned to look at each other and then turned to Russell.

“Shut the fuck up!” we shouted in unison.
Chapter End Notes:
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