After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.This year, it is my turn.
My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.
But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.
Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…
“You were right, Ivy,” [Bishop] says quietly. “It does bother me. The way our choices are taken away from us.”
I’m almost scared to breathe. He is confiding in me, opening up to me exactly the way my father and Callie wanted. “Why didn’t you say something right then?”
Bishop sighs. “I’m not…I’m never going to be the guy who lays it all out there. That’s not me. Until I really know someone, not much gets out. It’s just the way I’m built.”
“Okay,” I say, waiting. If nothing else, I understand what it’s like to have a part of your personality that’s not easy to change.
“But it doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings,” he says. “That things don’t matter to me.”
I take a sip of water. “I shouldn’t have said that, the morning we fought, about you not feeling anything. That wasn’t fair.”
“I understand why you might think that,” Bishop says. “But it’s not true.” He pauses. “I wanted something else, too. Something more than being your husband.”
“Like what?” I ask.
His eyes drop away from mine. “Nothing that matters now. This is what we have. This life. Each other. This house.” His hand thumps downward. “This couch.”
My heart jumps. Was all this a prelude to getting me into bed? I’m already kicking myself for sitting down on this stupid sofa.
“Relax, Ivy,” he says, a smile in his voice. “I’m not asking for anything.”
But someday he will. As far as he knows, this relationship is forever, and I can’t imagine he’ll want to sleep on the couch for the next fifty years. I’m not sure what I’ll say if he does ask. For the sake of my father’s plan, I know my answer has to be yes.
“Well, I’d better get to bed. Work in the morning.” I stand, set my cup down on the coffee table.
Bishop’s voice stops me before I get to the hallway. “You told me you were trying, remember?”
I glance back at him. “Yes,” I say, cautious.
“I’m trying, too.”
“I know,” I say, watching the way his eyes shine in the moonlight. I turn and go back to bed.