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COERCED TO MARRY MY NEMESIS

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“I can't believe you've been lying to me, you b*st*rd!” I cried, banging his chest while tears ran down my face. “Settle down and let me explain!” He exclaimed, trying to hold my hands in place. “After everything that's happened between us, do you even love me?” I asked, the pain in my voice evident. “Cerise, could you please let me explain?” He continued trying to hold me in place. “It's a yes or no answer, do you love me?” “Yes, I do…” ************* Cerise Hughes finds herself in an arranged marriage, after her family business undergoes a crisis and their only solution is seeking help from a longtime business partner who offers to help them with the condition that she marries their Narcissist Son, Rhys Erion. On the course of their honeymoon, Rhys switches from being the self centred man he usually is to a loving and caring husband, surprising Cerise and also making her uncertain if he had indeed changed or if he had other ulterior motives…

NEWSFLASH: YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED

The bridal chorus echoed through the massive hall as the orchestra intensified the pace of the music with every passing note. I stood at the entrance of the hall, about to walk down the aisle. Instead of the usual feeling of elation and joy during this moment, I was filled with hate towards the man waiting down at the altar for me.

A feeling of foreboding washed over me as I proceeded towards the altar to marry my sworn enemy.

How did I get here? What could I have done differently to change this outcome? Those thoughts clouded my mind throughout the entire wedding.

Every story has a beginning and mine began two weeks ago.

I woke up that late that morning, around 10 am, you could say I woke up at the wrong side of the bed and there was this feeling of foreboding as I got ready for work and it wasn't worry that I'll get fired for showing up late as the company I worked for is owned by my family and is pretty much going bankrupt, a bad review by Forbes had put the company in a pitfall, of all the newspapers to give us a bad review it was Forbes, well long story short I put it away that feeling as nothing.

I got to work, ready to get a mouthful from the CEO a.k.a my dad, for showing up late. To be honest, I graduated a few months ago and haven't gotten the hang of this work-life balance, but I'm confident I'll get the hang of it.

Anyways, I got to work that morning. I didn't get a mouthful, but I saw an unexpected visitor, the patriarch of the Erion's, Aloysius Erion. Now I wasn't a stranger to Mr Aloysius, his daughter is actually my best friend and he's a long time business partner of ours, but it's unexpected seeing him visiting the company, his last visit was when I was when I was seventeen years old, and that was five years ago, which tells how rare his visits are.

He walked past me, and looked at me with what seemed to be a cheeky grin as we exchanged greetings. I decided not to pry and head straight to my mum's office, I took the lift and went straight to the fourteenth floor where my mum's office was.

As I was about to open the door with the name plate ‘The Office Of Yuri Hughes’ on it, my earlier feeling of foreboding became stronger and I really knew something was wrong when my dad was also present in her office, usually he'd be in his office and if he wanted to have an audience with her she'd go to his office or they'll head to a conference room but there he was sitting down on the nearest seat, patiently waiting supposedly for me.

This felt like one of those times when I did something wrong and my parents wanted to scold me, they'll both carry these serious looks on their faces. I was worried and had to ask, “Have I done something wrong?”

My mum spoke first, “please take a seat” she said, gesturing to an empty seat. I obeyed sitting down on the seat opposite where my dad was sitting and then he spoke, “You're getting married.” His statement was followed by an awkward silence.

When he said that I only felt two things, shock and confusion. A myriad of questions crowded my mind ‘married? how? why? to who? when?’

I had always feared a day like this would come, growing up most of my friends and indeed most girls were betrothed, and this was a recurring theme in most business dynasties, marriage between two of their offsprings in order to fuse business empires and make them stronger financially, and boost their reputations, it's an unfortunate dark side to the rich and famous, I had thought that my family was an exception, my parents had managed to extinguish any marriage proposals but it looked like ever bleak now as our business now hangs in the balance and now depends on this.

I snapped out of my daze, the silence still remained. I decided to break the ice, “Married? how and to whom?”

He looked at me and although he had on his poker face, beneath his spectacles I could see a hint of sadness in his eyes, “Yes, married. To Rhys, Rhys Erion.”

Now Rhys was a character, he was many things, your typical rich playboy, basically lives in the night club, runs through girls and treats them as tools, doesn't care about the feelings of those around him, instead surrounds himself with yes-men to boost his fragile ego.

In other words, the nicest definition of a narcissist. Is this who I'm going to spend the rest of my adult life with? This'll be a marriage devoid of love and affection, you're wondering how I can be this presumptuous, I'm not, his lack of redeeming qualities is secret to none, and even more so in school, I went to the same school as Rhys along with his sister Tanya, my best friend.

He was two years my senior, and Rhys was what you'll call a bully, he never does anything that won't be in his benefit.

To quench my curiosity I asked, “Is that why Mr Aloysius came to the company?”

He replied, “Yes, as you know this company has taken a nosedive ever since that product review and we are on the brink of collapse.” he paused, maybe to see my reaction or facial expression.

“Yes? We've undergone serious backward development and a general distaste in the market for our products.” I was unsure where this was going.

He looked away from me as he relayed the next information, “Yes, well Mr Aloysius has decided to help our company out of the mud but it comes under condition, you'll have to marry his son.”

Confusion and shock slowly turned into rage, disgust and distrust. I looked at my mum and she couldn't maintain eye contact with me, she had a guilty look in her eyes, she could see the wrong in this.

“Surely there's a better way to do this, to get financial assistance?” I asked, looking to and fro my mum and dad.

My mum responded this time, “No investor is willing to risk that kind of money in a dying company and we're not getting any loans given our reputation, believe me if there was a better way, we would have gone for it but there isn't, so now you've got to do what's best for the future of our family and this company and get married so we'll get our feet of the ground."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and decided I needed to process this. I excused myself and headed to the bathroom to clear my head, while washing my face I made a decision that I wasn't going to get married to that man, Rhys.

He was the last person I wanted to get involved with, given his personality and now I had to marry him? I think not. I quickly texted Tanya, my best friend and Rhys's sister about everything going on and prayed she'd come up with anything at all that could save me from marrying her brother.

SORROWS

“It's already been agreed upon, you're getting married and that's settled.” My father lifted two fingers, “Two weeks, you're getting married in two weeks, so prepare yourself.” My dad dropped the bombshell after my return from the restroom break. I was speechless, that soon? That's unreasonable. I felt like a pawn, like a tool in all of this. I couldn't stand for this. I'll run away, I'll show them, they can't just impose what they want and I'll follow. I have to wait and bide my time then when no one's expecting I'd make my move. I wondered what was taking Tanya so long to reply. I really can't have this. I stormed out and headed to my office. I had to clear my head. I crashed on my chair and went through my phone. Tanya still hasn't replied so I called her. “Married? Rhys? Two weeks? This isn't a prank is it?” I told her about what just transpired in my mum's office and she was bamboozled, just like any other person that just found out that their best friend was getting marr

Heroes

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