By 5pm, Marian had gained no ground with her parents.
“You’re a big girl who has to accept the choices she’s made. You’ve never been a quitter. We won’t let you start now,” her father’s slow single nod was the period at the end of his wife’s sentence.
Marian would not shame her parents by quitting the argument.
“This is not quitting. This is acknowledging the fact that my so-called marriage is a hoax. At the very least except that there are extenuating circumstances. I am experiencing memory loss.”
“Yes, about that honey, they’ve proved you didn’t have a stroke and you didn’t contract syphilis. You fainted…swooned…passed out…blacked out…fell into a sitting stupor. That’s it. No memory loss, if, and or buts about it.”
“Dad, so you’re saying that I’m what, faking it, pretending I don’t remember sharing a bed with that sleazeball.”
Her mother gasped. “Be careful what you wish for Marian. Now enough of this. We’re going home. Drake will be back to check you out by six.”
“This isn’t a hotel mom. And I never wished for any man to share my bed. If I ever did marry that…man, I am sure it was under duress, at gunpoint, or some manipulation that you two most certainly were apart of.” She paused before speaking again.
At that moment Drake glided in the door, his gaze almost blinding her. She inadvertently shuddered.
“No, my dear. I shoot bla….,” he stopped when realizing they were not alone. Trying again.
“I mean to say, I have immunologic infertility. They think its because of a case of measles I had as a child.”
She could barely control the laughter arising out of her gut. He noticed her shoulders shake and glared.
“What, you think it’s funny that I had a serious illness as a child, or is it the part that I can’t father children?”
She was surprised he had it in him. He was always slick as Crisco cooking spray.
“So, you’ve got anger issues. Good to know. My reasons for annulment are stacked. And the killer one is that I was slipped a couple of roofies before the ceremony.”
Sensing more discomfort and awkward revelations would follow, Marian’s parents exchanged a look before fleeing the scene.
“Oh, that’s mature guys. And very suspicious, I might add,” Marian called after them.
She turned eyes shooting fire to Drake, “Aha, they aren’t really my parents are they! I’ve seen this show before. Cobra Commander has Doctor Mind-bender formulate those clay clones, so Shipwreck believes he lives in a small town and has a wife and daughter. ”
“Two things sweetheart. Number one, your life isn’t cool enough to resemble a G.I. Joe episode, and two, nobody’s gonna issue you an annulment. Try a quickie divorce.”
She was surprised he offered that thoughtful suggestion. Still she countered,
“That would require me to actually admit I was ever stupid or drunk enough to stand up with you in front of someone qualified to sign a marriage license. Speaking of which, let me see a copy.”
“You don’t drink. As far as I know you’ve never been intoxicated. And I resent the accusation that I would need Rohypnol to get you into bed.”
“Good. Go ahead and resent me. The sooner the better. In fact, when the nurse comes back in you can take a free swing at me. They’ll clean me up before they ship me out.”
“You know, we all tire of your games, Mara.”
“And another thing. Stop calling me that. That’s not my name.”
His grin stretched to his cheekbones. “Oh, but it is my dear. And we both know exactly how much you love it. But let’s save some fun for later; I’ll tell them you’re ready to be discharged.”
He turned to leave, and she found herself, for first time that she could remember, utterly lacking control.