Chapter 1

The sky was turning a soft shade of purple as the sun slowly sank behind the stands, throwing its waning light over the rows of graduates as they sat in their seat and tried to keep themselves from sweating too much. Julian Halley felt as if she were suspended in nothing. She wasn't excited about graduation, she hadn't been excited in a long time. Everyone thought her life was perfect, she had money, the rich boyfriend. Basically her life was set out before her and she had nothing to worry about, but it wasn't her decision. It wasn't what she wanted. It was too perfect, too planned . . . Too safe.

Her gray eyes were dull and had been for years now and her beautiful black hair was pinned at the back of her head and big ringlets spilled down her back to her shoulder blades. Her nails were perfectly manicured and her makeup looked professionally done and her skin was flawless.

A diamond necklace rested against her chest and a matching bracelet was on her wrist. Dangly diamond earrings hung from her lobes and there was no doubt that she was wearing enough money to buy a large house. She felt fake and she didn't like it, but for as long as she could remember she had been pampered, treated like a princess and as a child it was nice but she wanted something different for herself.

Like a robot she stood with the rest of her row, walked up to the stage and received her diploma. Flashes went off and she could hear her mother's high pitched voice and it made her want to puke. With an empty heart she moved off the stage and back to her seat to wait for the rest of the students to get their diplomas. It wasn't long before their class song was playing and then the entire field was flooded with parents and family members, rushing out to hug their spoiled little rich children, who had too much money for their own good.

Her mother enveloped her in a tight hug and air kissed her cheeks. She was dressed in a long form fitting gown and her make up and blonde hair were flawless.

"Oh sweetie I'm so proud of you!" she moved aside so Julian's father could get to her. He was dressed in a black suit, with a white shirt beneath it. He hugged her stiffly and then stood next to his wife so the rest of the family could see her. Julian gave her fake smile and pretended to be just as excited as everyone else. Not long after that, her boyfriend, Cameron Abernathy, found her in the crowd and wrapped her in a hug. He kissed her softly and she put on her façade and hugged him back.

As Cameron turned to greet her family, Julian took her time to study him. He was handsome she gave him that, but she never really had strong feelings for him. She was often unhappy with him, he just didn't please her or make her heart race, but her family loved him. She didn't have much say in her life, not even when it came to boys. So it seemed she was stuck with him. His father was a business tycoon and their family, like hers, was worth millions. She was just another accessory to go on his arm.

"Cameron what are your plans for you and Julian this evening?" her mother questioned as she hooked her arm through the younger man's.

"Oh I think we will visit with you all first and then I'm going to take her to see my family and then to dinner at that new restaurant that just opened."

"Oh that sounds lovely. We will see you back at the house." he smiled and kissed her cheek and then turned to Julian. She looked up at him, hoping for something that would prove her wrong, that she did love him after all, or even just liked him. But there was nothing. She felt nothing when she looked at him, only controlled.

"Shall we?" he questioned and held out his hand. Julian took his hand and allowed him to lead her out of the bowl and to his shiny black jaguar. He opened the door for her and Julian slid on to the cool leather seats. She unzipped the front of her graduation gown and slipped it off, revealing a knee length black silky dress. The straps were made from sheer material and bunched at the top of her shoulders before disappearing down her back. A small row of rhinestones was beneath her breast and the material clung to her form perfectly.

Cameron climbed into the drivers side and smiled charmingly at her before starting the car and driving out of the crowded parking lot. He didn't seem to notice Julian's silence, only took her hand in his and squeezed it lightly. Julian sighed and looked out the window as the scenery of large fancy houses passed by.

They soon arrived at her house and Cameron quickly punched in the code and waited for the wrought iron gate to open. The car coasted up the long winding driveway and came to a stop in front of the large fountain that decorated her front lawn.

The house was a two story mansion with pillars on either side of the white marble steps that led up to the front door. The shutters were painted a royal blue and there was a circular drive around the fountain. Behind the house was a large fancy barn with a red roof and ten stalls inside, each with a horse occupying it. Next to the barn was an arena where numerous jumps were set up. There was also a water garden and another garden both surrounded by tall hedges. A pathway from the house led down to the enormous Olympic sized pool. Tall oak trees surrounded their property line and hid the fence that kept intruders out.

Cameron hurried around to her side of the car and helped her out. Julian smoothed out her dress and allowed him to lead her up the steps and into her house. She stared up at their large chandelier before he dragged her into the ball room where her family had gathered.

Tables had been set up with numerous types of food and expensive crystals. Everyone smiled and sent congratulations as they stood in the center of the room. Julian sighed and Cameron spoke to everyone. It was her family but it was like they loved Cameron more than her. He turned his eyes to her for a moment before kissing her cheek and asking her to go get him a drink.

She walked to one of the tables and poured him a cup of punch and then watched as her family crowded around him, completely ignoring her. She stared at Cameron as he shook hands and laughed. Once he had spoken to everyone he walked over to her and took the cup from her hand. He took a quick drink before setting it aside and taking her hands. All eyes were on them as he sank down onto one knee and reached into his pocket.

Julian knew what was coming and all she felt was dread. She didn't want him, but her family did. He pulled out a small velvet box and opened it to her.

"Julian. Will you marry me?" she stared at the beautiful princess cut diamond ring and felt dead inside. Suddenly a wave of excited voices erupted and the next thing she knew her mother was hugging her tightly and her family was talking all at once approvingly. Without even waiting for an answer, Cameron stood and slipped the ring onto her finger before sweeping her into his arms and kissing her deeply. She didn't respond, but that didn't seem to matter. Nothing she thought mattered. He finally released her and took her arm in his.

"We're going to show my family now if that is alright with you all if I steal her away." everyone nodded and watched the young couple slip out of the house.

Julian stared out into the night. She wanted something more, but felt as if there was nothing she could do. Her family had made the decision for her. She would be known as Mrs. Cameron Abernathy for the rest of her life.

She could feel tears stinging her eyes and squeezed them shut tightly to will them away. The ring was heavy on her hand and Julian wanted nothing more than to rip it off and toss it out the window.

The drive to Cameron's house didn't take long and she soon found herself staring up at the massive home. It kind of looked like a castle with his two towers on either side. Its sides were painted grey and the trim was blue. He had an indoor pool and around back there was a tennis court and a hedge maze. Lamps lit the driveway all the way to the house.

Julian was shaken from her thoughts as Cameron opened her door and offered her his hand. She took it and slipped easily from the car. He then led her into his house where his family was waiting. They gushed over the ring and praised their son and hardly even looked at Julian. She sighed and stared out a near by window.

Julian soon found herself seated in a corner, away from everyone. They all seemed to be talking excitedly with Cameron, questioning him about college and the wedding that would need to be planned. They were all so proud of him, his family loved him. Why couldn't her family treat her the same way?

When they had finally finished at Cameron's he took Julian to a new fancy restaurant called The Golden Glow. A man wearing a gold vest with a white button up shirt beneath it, took the keys from Cameron and handed him his ticket. Cameron nodded and then took Julian's arm and led her into the restaurant.

The hostess looked up and smiled sweetly.

"Name please?"

"Abernathy." she checked over a listed before nodding and leading them away to a corner booth. Julian let her eyes glance over the restaurant and she couldn't help but admire the beauty of it. The ceiling was a large vaulted skylight and showed off the star filled night sky. In the center of the restaurant was a dance floor and the entire place was decorated in various reds and golds. Waiters and waitresses moved about dressed in black slacks with gold silk vests over long sleeved button up shirts. One approached their table and smiled down at them.

"Can I get you something to drink?" Julian opened her mouth to reply, but Cameron beat her to it.

"We'll both be having cokes please." Julian stared at him as she thought in her mind that she didn't even like coke. Cameron caught her gaze and smiled charmingly, but Julian felt nothing. Sighing she glanced at her menu but blinked as Cameron took it from her. "I've got it sweetie don't worry." he then ordered her a chicken salad and himself a steak.

Feeling defeated she glanced out the window they were seated by and watched the lights of the city glitter. They were up two stories and people could be seen walking about on the sidewalks below. She felt a pain grip her heart at the sight of a couple laughing and holding each other as they made their way past the restaurant.

Julian envied them and would give anything to have their kind of relationship. She wanted to feel love and be loved and she wanted to make her own decisions. With Cameron it was like she couldn't even talk, because he did it for her. She looked up as Cameron's hand covered hers. His smile was flawless and his teeth perfect.

"I'm so glad we're getting married Julian. I love you so much." she just felt empty. Her heart didn't skip a beat and she didn't get butterflies either. She faked a smile, nodded and then looked back out the window.

The rest of the evening passed slowly for Julian. She listened as Cameron went on and on about their wedding, what colors they should have what her dress should look like, who she should have as a made of honor. Every detail was being laid out for her. He didn't say think about it, he told her how it would be.

He wanted to get married at a very prestigious hotel where they had a banquet hall called the crystal room and the silver room and both would be rented out for the night. They would have three thousand plus people, most from his side of the family although her side was quite large as well. He said their colors would be blue and white which he believed to be her favorite when her favorite colors were green and purple.

Julian was glad when the dinner finally ended and Cameron drove her back home. He pulled up in front of her house and sat silently. Julian glanced at him, before reaching for the door handle. She stopped though when Cameron grabbed her arm and pulled her to him. His lips pressed firmly against hers. Julian kept her lips pressed closed and was grateful when he pulled away and smiled at her.

"Goodnight I'll see you tomorrow."

"Goodnight." she murmured and quickly slipped from the car. She hurried up the marble steps and turned to watch Cameron's car circle around the fountain and disappear down the driveway. Letting out a sigh of relief, Julian opened one of the large double doors and entered into her house. Everything was quiet, signaling that her parents were already asleep. She walked slowly up the large winding staircase that lined both sides of the entrance room and curled around and met in the center.

At the top of the stairs she turned right and headed through a door that led to her wing of the house. She always felt so alone in her own home. Her parents had their own wing and so she rarely saw them at all. Only when the maid had announced that it was time to eat.

It wasn't long till Julian was in her room. Her room was decorated in pale lavender and green. Her floor was hardwood and her furniture was made from oak. Her bed had a pale green comforter and her curtains reached to the floor and were a soft lavender. Two large French doors led out onto a balcony that looked over their back yard. Two more glass French doors lead into her bathroom which was quite large and had a white marble counter and jacuzzi style bath and a shower stall was next to that. She also had a large walk in closet where hundreds of clothes and shoes were stored.

With a heavy sigh, Julian sank down on her bed and stared down at the engagement ring. She slid it from her finger, having no urge to wear it, and set it down on her bedside table. She stood up again and quickly removed the dress she was wearing and let it slide to the floor. She wandered over to the floor length mirror and stared at her reflection.

At five eight, Julian was a lot taller then most of the girls and she had a somewhat athletic figure. She worked out often in their weight room down stairs and went for runs when ever she could. She was proud of her body and glad that she didn't have the anorexic look that most girls were going for today. She had her mother's eyes, but they no longer held any life. Her shiny black hair was long and reached nearly to her waist when it wasn't in ringlets, so it only reached to mid back at the moment.

She turned away from the mirror and walked briskly to her closet and stepped inside. She pulled open a dresser drawer and grabbed out a comfortable, but form fitting pair of boot cut jeans and pulled them on. She then grabbed out a silky blue camisole and tugged that over her head. Slipping on a pair of stylish cowboy boots, Julian walked to her bathroom and pulled all her hair up into a ponytail. She then grabbed her phone and punched in a number and waited for the person to pick up.


"Clara . . . I have a favor to ask of you."

"What?" Julian took a shaky breath, trying to get her nerves in check. She was never one to sneak out or disobey her parents, but she felt like she needed to do something for herself before she was trapped for the rest of her life.

"Well I was wondering, if you would come with me. I want to go out tonight and I didn't have anyone."

"What about Cameron?"

"No he just left. Besides I really need to talk to someone." Clara was probably Julian's closet friend, but they weren't like sisters. They didn't tell each other all their secrets, but Julian needed somebody.

"Well sure I'll come get you in about a half hour."

"OK thanks." Julian flipped her phone shut and laid back on her bed. She stared up at the cathedral ceiling. She closed her eyes and let her thoughts wander to her deceased grandparents. When they had been alive things had been different. They had loved Julian with all their hearts and had made sure she got enough attention and treated her like she was the most precious thing in the world.

Sadly though, they passed away when Julian had been six and after that everything had changed. she had been paraded around like some sort of prize to be won. She wasn't allowed to speak only to be seen. Whenever her parents hosted a party, she was allowed to make an appearance but had to return to her room as soon as everyone saw her.

She had spent many nights in this room crying herself to sleep because she knew she wasn't wanted. She couldn't remember how many times her parents had cursed her because she wasn't a boy. Besides what would they do with a girl, but to marry her off to someone rich and that would have use for her.

A tear slid down Julian's cheek and she quickly wiped it away. She knew it was no use crying, nothing would ever change. Julian lay quietly on her bed and sat up when her phone rang. Grabbing the phone, she was happy to see it was Clara.

"Hey I will be down in a minute."

"OK I'm waiting." Julian slid from the bed and hurried out onto her balcony. She didn't want to risk going out the front door in case her parents were up for some reason. She grabbed on to the railing and swung her leg over. Getting a footing on the ivy covered lattice, she began the slow decent down. When she got closer to the ground she dropped onto the freshly cut grass and snuck around the house to the driveway where Clara was waiting in her candy apple red jaguar.

Julian slipped into the luxurious sports car and buckled her seatbelt as Clara pulled away. Clara stopped at the end of the driveway where the road started and glanced at Julian.

"So where're we going."

"Lets go get some ice cream first." Clara didn't want to question her. She had seen the defeated look on Julian's face so many times that it was almost a part of who she was as a person. A defeated, unloved, rich girl.

The drive to the ice cream parlor was silent and only the sounds of the soft rock coming from the car broke the silence. Julian enjoyed the feeling of the wind blowing through her hair and imagined what it would be like to be a bird and not have a problem flying away from here forever. She knew Clara was curious, but Julian wanted to wait until they had their ice cream and were left along in the ice cream parlor.

They pulled into the small parking lot of the old fashioned ice cream parlor. Julian slipped from the black leather seats of the Jaguar and walked beside Clara into the small building. The place was old fashioned and decorated in light blue. The seats

Were also light blue and tended to stick to your legs during the summer when it got too hot.

Julian slid into one of the booths and watched Clara sit across from her. They still said nothing as they looked over the menu and their waitress came over and waited with a fake smile.

"What can I get you?"

"I'll have a regular sundae with chocolate syrup." Julian replied and Clara ordered a milk shake. The waitress nodded and walked away and Clara's chocolate brown eyes moved to Julian.

"So what's going on?" Julian took a sip from her water and quietly tore the corners of a napkin.

"Cameron asked me to marry him." Clara's eyes brightened as she sat up and smiled.

"Are you serious! That's awesome! You said yes right?" Julian stared at her friend, not believing that she thought this was good.

"Clara I don't love him."

"Then why have you dated him for two years?"

"Because my parents like him." Clara stared at Julian and looked at her as if she were crazy.

"So. I don't get it."

"I've never been allowed to make a decision my entire life. When Cameron asked me out he did it in front of my parents. Before I could even say anything my mother was hugging me and telling me how excited she was for me and that gave Cameron the go ahead that I was his." Julian's soft voice was hard to hear, but she had always talked like that. Not confident enough to speak any louder for fear of getting in trouble. "And tonight he asked me in front of my parents and I never even gave him an answer. Mom jumped in before I could turn him down and suddenly I'm engaged and my freedom is being threatened."

"Julian I think you are being over dramatic. Cameron is a good guy and he'll take care of you. You'll never have to lift a finger and all that will be expected of you is to be a loving wife. What more do you want?" Julian stared at Clara in disbelief.

"I want to make my own decisions. I want to travel and see the world and marry someone I love. Its not fair. Just because I wasn't the boy they wanted they think they can control everything I do."

"But they can. You can't do anything about it Julian. I don't think you realize how lucky you are. You're going to be married to a rich family and you will be taken care of for the rest of your life. Seriously what more do you want?"

Julian stared down at her torn napkin in defeat as their waitress returned with their order. Maybe Clara was right. Maybe she was ungrateful and should just stop complaining, but deep down she knew she wanted something else.

They didn't talk about it again and instead kept to small talk. Like how the graduation ceremony went and who would leave soon and who would stick around. Who would become famous and who would end of poor. Clara was always interested in hearing everyone else's problems. But if anyone mentioned Clara's nose job or her tummy tuck then she was pissed and acted like she was betrayed.

They finished their ice cream and wandered back outside where a cool breeze was blowing. Julian stared up at the night sky and Clara stood next to her still chatting about all the gossip. Feeling like she may be already trapped, Julian walked over to the shiny red Jaguar and climbed in. Was this how caged animals felt? Freedom was right there on the other side of the bars and Julian knew she couldn't reach it.

Clara slid in beside her and she seemed to have finally ran out of things to say. Her light brown eyes shifted momentarily to Julian's grief stricken face, before craning her neck around to back out of the parking spot. She reached forward and turned on the radio as Beyonce's Irreplaceable song flooded the car. The tires spun on the road and let out a piercing screech into the night as the jaguar peeled away.

Once Clara pulled into Julian's driveway, Julian opened the door and stood from the car. She started for the marble steps but stopped when Clara called out to her.

"Hey." Julian turned slightly to look back at her friend. "This is what's best for you, trust me. You'll learn to love him." then she was gone, driving away into the night.

"But I don't want to." she murmured. She turned back around and made it up the stairs and slipped into the house. No one was up and Julian was able to get to her room without incident. She showered quickly and changed into a light blue tank top and a pair of boxer shorts. The material was cool against her skin and so were the sheets on her bed as she slipped in between them.

She lay awake, staring out through the large window where the moon was shining full and bright. A single tear slipped down Julian's cheek and she gripped her pillow tightly. She stifled a sob in her pillow as she thought about her life. Slowly she cried herself to sleep.


The next morning Julian awoke fairly early and laid in her bed. She stared up at the ceiling and didn't even listen when the maid informed her that breakfast was ready. She wanted nothing more then to lay in her bed all day. She laid for a few more minutes in her bed before slipping out and wandering into her walk in closet.

She changed into a beautiful white halter sun dress with flowers printed on the wide skirt and fitted bodice. She pulled on a pair of white sandals and pulled her long black hair up into a low ponytail. With one final glance in the mirror, Julian stepped out into the hallway and shut the door behind her.

Her mother was at the table when Julian entered the kitchen, and she was dressed in a pale pink pant suit and a silk button shirt. She smiled at Julian before taking a sip of tea and eating a bite of her low fat yogurt. Julian sat in the seat at the other end of the table and smiled up at their cook, Maggie, as she set a plate of bacon and eggs in front of Julian. Maggie was a plump woman with short wispy blonde hair. She was in her early fifties and had two young grandchildren. She had been working for the Halley's for about four years and Julian had found a friend in the older woman. She often made time to listen when Julian needed someone to talk to.

Mrs. Halley looked up from her cup and stared at Julian's plate in disgust.

"Darling you really ought to start watching what you eat so we will be able to find you a wedding gown. How much is it you weigh now?" Julian blushed unwillingly as she stared down at her plate. "Well?"

"125 mother."

"You should be around 115. Perhaps we should hire you a personal trainer."

"Mother really you don't-"

"Don't worry I will take care of it right away. Maggie take away that plate and give her a yogurt." Julian opened her mouth to protest but her mother had already blocked her out. Maggie gave her an apologetic smile before taking away the plate and setting the small container of yogurt in front of her. Julian stared at it before reluctantly grabbing her spoon and taking a small bite.

When Julian had finished her "breakfast" her stomach growled angrily up at her. She sighed and rested her hand on her stomach before standing up from the table. She didn't have any plans for the day and knew it would be uneventful. With a heavy heart, Julian trudged back up the stairs and disappeared into her room.

She quickly went through her drawers and pulled out a forest green bikini and changed into it. Sweat was already trickling down the back of her neck and the heat and humidity were extremely unpleasant. Barefoot, Julian walked out to the pool and stared for a moment into the clear blue water. She walked around the edge until she came to the deep end. Taking a deep breath, she dove in head first and welcomed the refreshing feel of the water.

It welcomed her with open arms and Julian would give anything to be able to stay in the water. With closed eyes she floated on the surface and let the sun beat down on her face. She frowned as a shadow fell over her face and she slowly let her eyes flutter open. Cameron stood there, in slacks and a polo shirt, looking perfect and rich. She vaguely wondered how he could stand wearing pants in this heat, but she didn't feel like questioning him.

"Hey babe you almost done?"

"Um . . . What are you doing here Cameron?" he smiled his perfect straight smile and it made Julian sick.

"Well I thought maybe we could go find a caterer."

"Already? When did you want to get married?"

"Well not till next spring of course, but its best to get things done now. So hurry up and get dressed." he didn't wait for her reply as he turned away and walked up the path back to the house. Julian swam to the side of the pool and pulled herself out. She stared at Cameron's back before grabbing a towel and following after him.

It didn't take her long to change and she soon found herself in Cameron's car on their way into town. Julian chanced a glance at him, before looking away quickly. She didn't want to get married yet. She wanted to be out on her own to experience the world, but she knew once her and Cameron were married she would be stuck at home as his wife.

Cameron pulled up in front of a elegant building and smiled over at Julian before he got out and ran around to her side of the car. He held the door open and helped Julian out of the car. Then taking her hand he pulled her into the building. A short petite woman greeted them. She brushed short brown hair behind her ear and it appeared to Julian that she was currently undressing Cameron with her eyes. Julian looked away, already wanting to go home.

"How may I help you?"

"Yes me and my fiancée need a caterer for our wedding." Julian looked back and watched the woman's eyebrows shoot up in surprise. Her eyes darted to Julian and then back to Cameron. She quickly pasted on a smile and nodded.

"Alright if you'll follow me." she led them into an office just off to the side and they sat down in front of her desk. They spent an hour going over what should be served and getting all the information. Julian didn't say one word and only got to sit and listen has Cameron told the woman all the information.

Julian let her eyes move over the room and examined all the paintings that hung on the wall. Most of them were of exquisitely decorated dishes. Her eyes shifted to the clock on the wall and she saw that it was almost one o'clock.

When they finally finished, Cameron led her back out to the car and opened the door for her. He then drove them to a popular little restaurant and proceeded to order Julian a salad and a steak for himself. He handed their waitress the menus and smiled at Julian.

"I know how much you love salads." Julian faked a smile and tore the corner of her napkin off. She didn't like salads that much. They ate their meals quickly, Julian only eating half of her salad. Cameron then drove them back to her house and then invited himself to stay for a swim. She watched him from a lounge chair as he did laps around her pool.

She tried to imagine her life even a year from now and didn't like what she saw. She would be expected to go to parties and play the part of the ever loving wife when there was no love at all from her. What if he wanted children? There was no way Julian could have children with him when there was no love involved.

Cameron pulled himself out of the pool and stared over at his fiancée. she seemed kind of down as she stared at the water, with a sad look in her eyes. She hadn't said much about marrying him, but she was never one to get excited over anything. Shaking off his uncertainty he stood up and walked over to where she sat.

She looked at him as he sat beside her. She smiled slightly and it made Cameron's stomach flutter. She was truly beautiful and he was thankful that she was his. Leaning forward, he brushed his lips against hers. She didn't respond at first and Cameron frowned slightly before she finally return his affection.

Julian was the first to pull away and her grey eyes studied Cameron as he buried his right hand in her hair.

"You're so beautiful Julian. I'm glad you're marrying me. Are you excited?" Julian opened her mouth to respond but they were interrupted by Mrs. Halley's high pitched voice.

"Julian!" Julian glanced over her shoulder and watched her mother walked down the cement path that led from the house to the pool. She had changed from the pink pant suit and was now wearing purple spandex pants and a purple and white spandex shirt with a white head band holding her hair off of her forehead.

"Mom? What are you doing?" Mrs. Halley smiled happily and clasped her hands together in front of her chest.

"Your trainer is here and I have decided to participate with you so I am in top physical condition for the wedding as well. Now go inside and change into some clothes you can work out in and meet me in the gym!" she turned and fluttered away, leaving Julian and Cameron alone.

"I knew you were excited about the wedding! I'm flattered you'd hire a personal trainer just so you will look your best at the wedding." he kissed her once more before standing up and offering his hand. She took it and stood up, not wanting to go inside. "Well I better go and let you get to your trainer. See you tomorrow sweet heart." with a final kiss to the cheek he was off and disappearing into the pool house where he had left his clothes.

Julian turned and stared up at her house. She could almost see storm clouds magically forming overhead. Slowly she trudged up the walkway and into the house. She walked up to her room and quickly dug through her drawers. She pulled out a pair of spandex shorts she had worn for the one and only time her mother had allowed her to play volleyball, even though she loved the sport. After the club season had ended and Julian's mom saw the bruises and scrapes it left she forbade Julian to play again.

After pulling on the shorts, she put on a racer back sports bra and pulled on a form fitting tank top. She had to dig around in her closet for a pair of tennis shoes, but once she found them she pulled them on and trudged down stairs to the gym.

The room was filled with weight sets and exercise machines. Everything had been placed against the wall and her mother stood in the center of the room with three mats on the ground and three sets of five pound weights. Next to her mother was a guy, wearing a black tight fitting tank top and long basketball shorts.

He looked to be around 25 or 26 and had a tall lean body and wasn't overly buff. His eyes were a beautiful golden color and his hair was light brown and sun kissed. His smile was perfect and his teeth white and he smiled charmingly at Julian.

"Oh Julian there you are! This is Jason and he's going to be our trainer."

"It's nice to meet you Julian." he reached out and took her petite hand in his much larger one. His eyes bore into hers as he pulled her to him and kissed her hand. Julian blushed and quickly took her hand back as he let it go. "Alright lets get started. First we're going to do some stretches and then we're going to see what you can do."

He led them in a few stretches and then walked over to one of the tread mills and pulled it out. He set it up just off to the side and turned to Julian and Mrs. Halley.

"Alright Julian you're first. I just want you to get on the tread mill and we're going to run some test just to see where you are physically." Julian nodded and stepped up onto the machine. She waited while Jason attached a device that would test her heart rate and respiratory rate. The machine started and Julian began jogging as the speed picked up. Jason held up a stop watch and waited while Julian continued.

After a few minutes he told her to stop and then wrote down some information on a clip board and then smiled over at Julian's mother.

"Your turn Mrs. Halley."

"Oh please call me Kathy."

"Alright Kathy just hop up on the tread mill and we'll run the same tests." he proceeded to do the same things he did with Julian and then wrote down the information. He smiled at Kathy and instructed her to get off and wait while he went over the information. He wrote out a few more things before walking back to Julian and her mother.

"Alright so far so good. Julian you are in excellent condition. Now we just need to weigh both of you. If you'll come over here please." Jason motioned to a small scale and waited for Julian to climb on. "117, you're actually a little under weight, but it seems you've been taking care of yourself. Do you play any sports?"

"No. I played club volleyball for a year, but after that mother wouldn't let me play again. I do try and run regularly and lift some weights if I have time."

"Alright thank you. Kathy if you will please step on the scale." she did as he said and stared down at the numbers. "You are at 102. You are also a little underweight even though you are 5'4''. I will be recommending a diet and I will ask that you follow it. It will allow you to both be at a healthy weight. Please step off now." Kathy stepped from the small device and walked over to Julian. They waited while Jason wrote more information down before he once again joined them.

"OK we're going to start with toning. We'll start with the shoulders, so grab your five pound weights and I want you to lift front and then to the side." Julian did as he instructed and raised a brow as her mother shamelessly flirted with the younger man. Julian rolled her eyes and grabbed the weights. She had to hold back a laugh as Jason shook her mother off and led her over to her own set of weights.

They worked on their shoulders for about five minutes before starting squats and then lunges. An hour later, they had just finished crunches, which was their last activity for the day. Julian lay for a minute on her mat as sweat trickled down her back and face. She took a few deep breaths before pushing herself to her feet and following along with the cool down stretches.

"Alright ladies that's all for today I'll see you next week. Just remember to do this workout everyday and next week we will work on cardio. It would be good to start jogging for about a half hour in preparation for next week." Julian's mother was suddenly on his arm and smiling up at him.

"Oh don't worry we will. Please allow me to show you out." Julian watched Jason gather up his bag before allowing her mother to lead him out of the room. Feeling extremely tired, but good at the same time, Julian wiped her face with a towel and left the gym room to go upstairs to her room so she could shower.

As soon as she had left the shower, Maggie knocked on the door and her voice was muffled as she called through the door.

"Miss Julian dinner is ready."

"Alright thank you Maggie I'll be down soon." Julian quickly pulled on shorts and a halter top as her stomach growled angrily at her. Hoping her mother hadn't influenced Maggie's cooking tonight, Julian hurried down the stairs and smiled when she saw the salmon on the table along with a salad and rice pilaf. "Wow Maggie this looks great."

"Why thank you. Your trainer left your diet plan. Don't worry Miss Julian you will no longer have to eat what your mother tells you." Julian smiled and slid into her seat at the table. A few minutes later Julian's mother swept into the room wearing a black sleeveless shirt and slacks.

"Wasn't that fun Julian. And the trainer is so handsome."

"Mom he's like half your age and you're married."

"It doesn't hurt to look Julian. Who can resist looking at those muscles." Kathy sat down and served herself a very small portion of the meal. Julian ate quietly and watched her mother pick at her food.

"Where's dad?"

"Your father had a meeting that ran late he should be home later this evening. Do you have any plans with Cameron tonight?"

"No. I'm just going to go to sleep early tonight."

"But darling you kids are still young you should be out having fun." Julian wanted to ask, that if she was so young then why was she getting married, but she kept that comment to herself and instead finished off her salmon, before pushing her chair back.

"I'm going to my room. Dinner was delicious Maggie."

"Why thank you miss Julian." Julian smiled and left the room. She climbed the elegant staircase and shut her bedroom door and fell face first onto her bed. She wasn't really tired, but there wasn't really anyone she wanted to be with at the moment. Sitting up she turned on her TV and stood to put in a DVD. She lay on her bed watching the screen and thinking about her wedding. It was really going to happen. She was going to be Mrs. Cameron Abernathy and it was definitely not what she wanted.


well please r&r and hope you enjoy the story.