Authors: Lexi Archer
Betting My Bride
Copyright 2015 Lexi Archer
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Individuals pictured on the cover are models and used for illustrative purposes only.
First digital edition electronically published by Lexi Archer, May 2015
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Table of Contents
I stared in disbelief at the balance in my bank account. I blinked and looked again to make sure I wasn't just seeing things. I still had a hard time believing the number I was seeing there.
I was used to being a poor college kid. Well, now I was a poor college graduate living off of the good will of my gorgeous fiancée who'd managed to get a job right out of school. I chuckled as I thought of that. She'd gone into business and I'd gone into computer science, but it turned out the job market wasn't exactly the land of milk and honey I was promised when I was going through the program.
Before I'd figured it'd only be a matter of time before I got a job, to be sure, but it was still a pain in the ass to wait.
Only now it looked like the waiting was over. It looked like I wasn't going to have to wait for any callbacks on those interviews I'd done for entry-level positions that asked for five years of experience so they could justify not paying me what I was worth. No, I could tell them to take the job and shove it, and I hadn't even formally entered the job market yet!
Seven figures. A seven figure payday for a stupid game I'd thrown together over the course of a couple of weekends. The smart phone equivalent of a combination maze and puzzle game with a few funny animations thrown in for good measure and self-generating levels of increasing complexity. The thing had been gathering steam over the past couple of months until bam, it made me a multimillionaire in the space of a month. It had taken off in a way I never could have imagined. And I hadn't even started programming any add-ons or new content. When I started that the real money would come pouring in.
In short I'd done the code monkey equivalent of being struck by lightning sent down from on high by Zeus himself. I'd won the lottery. Sure I'd had a lot to do with it making the game and everything, but I'd seen enough apps fail miserably, some I'd done myself, that I knew how big and how rare this was. Though now that I had this one huge success it was having a spillover effect on other things I'd put out and they were starting to rocket up as well which was just adding to the pot as my name reached a critical mass.
And as I was looking at my account balance on the app store, I figured if I won the lottery just once like this it would be enough for me to live off of for the rest of my life with some careful investing. The thing could disappear tomorrow and I'd still be set up with a comfortable six-figure annual income for the rest of my life if I just lived off the interest from what I'd already been paid and what was accumulating right now in my app store balance. Only it didn't look like there was any sign of this just stopping tomorrow. No, the numbers just got bigger every time I hit refresh.
I giggled again and had to resist the urge to kick my feet.
I had to do something. Something to celebrate. And immediately I looked down to a picture of Lindsay smiling out at me in our engagement photos. And an idea hit me. A wonderful idea.
We were engaged. We were living together. We were planning on getting married as soon as we possibly could. Only we didn't have of the money. Hadn't had the money, I corrected myself. The cost of moving to a new city had wiped out all the money we had and added some extra debt on our credit cards. The last thing we needed was to spend even more money on a wedding. Only now I had plenty of money. More money than I could use in a lifetime, though I'm sure I'd find plenty of uses for it soon enough. Enough money to give her the dream wedding she'd always wanted.
And I would give my beautiful blushing bride the wedding she'd always wanted, but I wanted to be married now. And I wanted to be married in style.
I thought about doing the booking online like I usually did, it was a great way to save money, but then I glanced at my bank account. I refreshed and glanced at my app store balance. I blinked when I realized that in a few seconds I'd just earned enough to pay off a good chunk of student debt. And I realized that I didn't have to worry about sparing expenses. No, I was going to do this the old-fashioned way and make sure I got it right.
I was going to get Lindsay one hell of a surprise today. First I needed to make a stop off at a travel agent. Then another stop at the Chevy dealership to get something nice for me. Maybe the jewelry store too. It was time to get both of us a set of nice surprises.
* * *
I pulled up in front of Lindsay's building and let the engine roar on the Corvette. I smiled to myself as I heard that delicious purr. I made that sales guy's day, even financing the thing to throw him a bone because it was easier to do that and pay it off in a month than deal with paying cash and all the pesky regulations that came along with that. Pesky regulations I'd never thought of before because they were well out of my tax bracket.
This was the kind of car I didn't think I was going to be able to afford until I was middle aged and unable to truly take advantage of the glories of a wonderful vehicle like this. That and the special surprises for Lindsay were the only extravagances I was going to allow myself now that I'd come into this windfall.
I pulled out my phone and glanced down at my account summary one more time, still not quite believing it. My balance in the app store was only continuing to go up. I smiled to myself. For one glorious moment, life was fucking good. Though it was looking like that glorious moment was going to keep snowballing which was also fine with me.
I stepped through the front door and nodded to the person at the security desk. It was a decent sized building, a mid rise in the middle of the city, and security was usually pretty uptight. I walked right past the guy and ignored it when he started yelling after me. Whatever. It's not like they were actually going to call the cops. And they'd pissed me off enough times with their stupid "security checks" that I wanted to give them the finger today.
The fuck you money that was quickly going higher and higher in my account was enough to make me feel a little cocky today. I strode over to the elevators, hopped on, and moved up to floor ten where Lindsay's cube was waiting. Once I was up there I breezed past the ancient rotund secretary with a pair of lips that were either frowning or pursed together like a cat's ass as she lorded it over anyone who wasn't a manager with the company.
She blinked and then tried to stop me when she realized I was daring to enter the floor without her express permission, permission that wasn't needed according to Lindsay not that it ever stopped the crone, but again I didn't care. I was a man on a mission, and I wasn't going to stop for anything stupid like corporate bureaucratic red tape. Not today.
I just prayed Lindsay was actually at her cubicle when I made my way over. It would be really awkward if I made a big show of breezing past security and the bitch of a secretary, Lindsay was always going on about how nasty she was to everybody on the floor, and then she was in a meeting or something that would give everyone I'd just snubbed time to catch up to me. So I breathed a sigh of relief when I came around the corner to her cube, leaned against her door, and smiled at her.
Only she didn't recognize me. Not at first. She held up a finger to let me know I needed to wait, but something told me she hadn't actually registered who I was. And so I leaned against the phone and listened.
"Well I'm sorry that all of your wedding pictures were deleted when your computer was repaired, but I have a scanned document in your account here that shows you were clearly told by the technician that all of your data would be removed and you indicated you had backups of everything…"
A pause. A frown.
"Sir, please don't speak to me like that," she said.
I grimaced. It sounded like a nasty call. Her job had something to do with customer service escalations in a tech support call center. She was on a team that dealt with customers who couldn't be helped by the techs. Basically the stop of last resort which meant they dealt with some real winners like whoever she was talking to now.
She came home from work stressed out every day. The stress was getting to her, and even more so because she was working at a job where she had absolutely no support from upper management who would bend over backwards to help anyone who yelled loud enough no matter what the situation. Basically her job was to be a punching bag. The last person to say "no" in the hopes the customer would go away before the company folded completely and gave into their every whim which just trained them to be a bad customer again in my opinion but I wasn't in this line of work so no one ever asked me.
"Yes, I can connect you with a supervisor but you might be waiting on the phone for a…"
A pause. She started tapping her desk. A sure sign she was irritated.
"I'm sorry sir, but I can't get you on the line with a supervisor if they aren't physically available at the moment…"
The tapping got faster and she had a storm cloud on her face.
"No sir, I'm not talking back to you. I'm just explaining that..."
I decided enough was enough. I was already feeling cocky. I was definitely feeling a little salty. And so I decided to do something stupid. Something silly. Lindsay was on a headset, but there was a phone sitting on her desk. So I reached out and picked up the receiver. I pulled it up and immediately my ear was assaulted by what sounded like a very cranky gentleman who was screaming obscenities into the phone. I blinked. I couldn't believe she was actually putting up with this shit!
Lindsay finally noticed me as I grabbed her phone. Surprise registered on her face. Whether that was surprise at seeing me or surprise because I'd picked up her phone was beyond me, but I didn't care. All I cared about was this asshole on the phone who was screaming at my woman. Who was the embodiment of the reason why she was so stressed out that sometimes she went to bed doubled over with horrible stomach cramps because it was so bad at her job.
"Sir?" I said.
"Are you the supervisor, asshole?" he screamed.
"No," I said. "I'm the guy who's here to tell you to go fuck yourself!"
Absolute silence on the other end. Lindsay stared up at me in wide-eyed astonishment. I saw other people popping up from their cubes looking like ridiculous prairie dogs. And all of them were staring at me with open-mouthed astonishment. I smiled at all of them in turn.
"Excuse me? What did you just say to me?" I'll have you know that I'm…"
"I don't give a fuck how much money you spend. I don't give a fuck who you are or what you do. All I know is you're an asshole, and you really need to work on your attitude with people who are trying to help you."
And I slammed the phone down. Damn that felt good, and I'd never even worked a customer service job. Sure I'd read horror stories on tech support forums, it was something I enjoyed indulging in considering my technical bent, but I'd never been directly in the line of fire. I felt like I'd just struck a blow for phone center workers everywhere, even if Lindsay was a little higher up the corporate totem pole than your average entry level phone jockey.
Lindsay looked up at me with obvious panic on her face. "James? What the fuck are you doing? That little stunt could get me fired!"
I shrugged. "Who gives a fuck? It's not like you need this job anyways!"
"What are you talking about? We need this job. Until you get a job we're screwed. Did you get a job?"
I smiled and held my hands out. She took them, apparently the shell shock of what I'd done was still overcoming her anger somewhat.
"Something like that," I said. "Come with me. We're going to have a late lunch. Early dinner. Whatever."
Lindsay glanced around again. "But I can't just leave my job!" I might get fired!"
I winked. "I thought you said you were already getting fired?"
Lindsay held my hands in a tight grip and searched my eyes for an answer that I wasn't telling. Not just yet. "What's going on here? Do you have a good reason for this?"
I smiled and winked. "Don't I always?"
And so she took my hand and followed me. More people were starting to look up. Were starting to talk amongst themselves. It was a constant buzzing as we made our way out of the cubicle farm and back to the elevators. The secretary I'd brushed past was standing there with a phone in her hand and a scowl on her face. The cat's ass pucker was definitely there instead of the thin frown.
"There he is!" she screamed as she pointed, though who she was talking to was beyond me since it was just us, her, and the phone she held.
I turned to Lindsay. "Hey babe? What did you say you'd always wanted to do to this lovely lady?"
"James…" Lindsay said, a warning in her voice.
"No, seriously. Trust me. Just go ahead and let loose. Do it. I promise you won't regret it!"
She looked me in the eyes again, searched there. I smiled and nodded reassuringly then jerked my head towards queen bitch the middle-management assistant.
"Are you serious?"
"Again, babe. You're going to have to trust me on this."
She took in a deep breath and looked at the secretary as though she couldn't quite believe what she was about to do. Then she very deliberately raised her hand and her middle finger came up. The secretary blinked in astonishment and her face turned bright red. She looked like she was on the verge of blowing a blood vessel as she started jabbering into the phone. Sounded like she was talking to security or something. Whatever. It's not like it mattered now. We were on our way out.