Chapt 1

"Does he know?" I asked, emotionless. Sure, most people might be freaking out, but not me. I don't care.

"Umm.... no." His parents looked embarrassed, and only his father could speak.

"Wow. Do you hate your son that much? I mean, unless he's a complete monster, he'll be scarred for life." I was surprised that they'd keep it from him, honestly. My parents just sat in silence.

"The thing is, Colton is.... well, he's a bit of a playboy. Honestly, I don't even care that much about all that, except that he's not taking anything seriously these days and he's going to have to take over the business holdings. I informed him that he had to marry you or he'd be cut off completely." Bart, my future father in law, informed me.

"And you didn't think he should know that his future wife will be dead within the year?" Still, only silence from my parents and his mother.

"Don't take this the wrong way dear, but, I don't want my son to be stuck in a marriage of convenience. I want him to settle down a little and grow up, but I don't want him to have to spend the rest of his life pretending to love someone. When I met your father, the whole plan just seemed to fall perfectly into place. I must say though, I thought you'd.... I don't know, argue about it, or something."

I guess I should explain. My name is Darby Bryan Hollis. I'm 19 years old. And I'm dying. I have a rare heart defect, and honestly it's a miracle I've lasted this long. Sure, I'm on a transplant list, except that I have an extremely rare blood type and I react poorly to nearly all immunosuppressants, meaning the chances of me getting a heart are slim and the chances of surviving the transplant are slimmer. I doubt they'd approve me for it anyway, which is better—better for a viable heart to go to someone who can actually use it.

So when Bart and Kathy appeared with this story of how I was going to marry their son to teach him a lesson, all I could do was laugh internally. On the outside, I showed no emotion. They'd agreed to pay all of my medical bills, which would have been left to me parents to bury them in debt for the rest of their lives. No thanks. It's not a big deal. I've made peace with dying.

At least they have a pool.