Miami and the Mafia Billionaire
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When Miami's father first suggests an arranged marriage between her and Bryson Stark- the hot British billionaire, she is reluctant to go on a date with the man. On realising the dire state of their family business and the stress it puts on her beloved parents, Miami makes the bold decision to go ahead with it. Her family comes first. What she expects is a cold, cordial marriage. What she hopes is for their relationship to eventually lead to something more, as was the case with her parents. Ambitious go-getter that she is, Miami takes it upon herself to make her calm, controlling, anti-romance husband fall helplessly in love with her. But what she doesn't expect is to be drawn into Bryson’s BDSM world of chains and whips, doms and subs. Will Bryson’s love be more than Miami can handle ? How would this two co-habit with their differences? Read on to enjoy the drama !
"You will be fine, Mia," Pa starts. "After all, your ma and I never married out of love, but look at us now." His brown eyes take on a dreamy look and my lips curve into a small smile that disappears as soon as his gaze returns to my face. "So in love."
He takes my left hand in his, squeezes it as his way of reassuring me but I am far from reassured. A foreign emotion claws at my throat, tears burn the back of my eyes and I make a sound between a choke and a sob.
Why me? Why us?
I steal a glance at Pa's face, there's no sign of laughter. Instead, I'm met with lines that have etched deep into his forehead, sunken eyes from lack of sleep and cracked lips.
The tiny mole on his nose seems to have grown bigger, maybe it is my imagination. His shoulders are hunched, eyes hold great wisdom like they have seen things he must not voice out. His movements are slower than they should be as if he has thought long and hard before deciding to move.
When did Pa grow this old? He looks to be somewhere around his mid-seventies when he is ten years younger and I wonder if they lied when they said, Black don't crack. Maybe they did.
Because Pa has cracked or will crack soon unless I agree to his offer.
A weight settles on my shoulder, the idea in itself makes me shudder involuntarily. This request he asks of me will change my life forever but I know I will do it. I will do anything for my parents to be happy again.
"I'm doing this because I love you." I place a kiss on my father's forehead, towering over him with my 5 '11 height, one of the qualities that earned me modeling gigs before I quit. "I hope this works out well."
"I love you too and it will. I won't set you up for this if I wasn't so sure." His eyes water a bit but he doesn't cry.
"You know this, Mia."Do I? This is a set up, the only option is yes.
For his sake.
Sighing, I sink into the worn-down chair in this dilapidated office with chipping paints and rat-infested ceilings. If I look closely, the mold on the ceiling will have a more definite form. Sometimes, it's a map, other times, it's any shape my mind conjures.
"Say hello to ma for me," I say as he stands with a groan, "I'll swing by next week."
He sweeps his coat to one side so he can place a hand on his waist. We stare at each other long enough for me to glimpse the disappointment and hurt brimming in his eyes but he doesn't say anything. I have not been home in days, weeks; it reminds me too much of all we have lost.
They might act like all is fine but it isn't and I can't pretend.
Pa finally sighs in defeat, he can already tell they will not be seeing me at home this weekend or next.
He blows a kiss in my direction and I return it without looking him in the eyes. I am a bit angry at him, Ma and myself for the things I cannot change.
His fragile footsteps are slow and calculated but the wooden floor still creaks under his weight. Some of the nails of the floorboards are missing, a little misstep and you will be slapped into oblivion by the unforgiving wood.
The whole place needs renovations but it guarantees privacy for talks like this.
At the door, Pa turns around to face me, waving lovingly at me as if to say he knows he has asked too much from me already. And I send him a smile that is the opposite of what I feel on the inside. I have to do this for them. They have already done enough.
When he is gone, I locate my black handbag on the floor, the hand-me-down from Ma I have owned for more than three years. My fingers brush the brown envelope and I withdraw them sharply as though it burns. I shove the file deeper into my bag, wishing this is a dream so I can wake up and declare this a nightmare.
But it is not; this is real.
I make my way out to the front of this single-storey building, stopping to stare long and hard at what used to be our favorite place in the world. The letters, N PAR, hang precariously from the building, I step back. It used to be ANN PHARMA written in gold letters but the other letters have fallen off.
Pa claims it was named after Ma whose full name is Annika; she is his good luck charm. When Ma got tired of correcting people for mispronouncing her name, she decided to go by Ann instead. Only Pa can pronounce her name correctly, it means grace unlike my name, Miami which means Extinct.
I shiver a bit as the cold evening air lashes angrily at everything in sight, pulling my coat tighter to my chest. Ignoring the catcalls that are thrown in my direction, I start the short journey to my apartment.
The wedding is a small one, held in the backyard of my new home with my handsome husband. He is white, British to be exact. Pa must have left out those parts or if I had gone through the file like Pa asked me to do, I would have known. But it's a welcome surprise-a young husband.
I steal more glances at him as he saunters to greet one of the many unfamiliar faces present for the reception, doing my best to be subtle. His brown locks are swept back, staying in place with the amount of gel he must have applied and I feel a warm sensation spread through my chest.
He's a beautiful man to look at and I don't mind spending the rest of our reception staring at him.
His lips are not as thin as you will expect from a British man, they are pouty, full and I want another taste. My cheeks heat up at the thought, I cough and his amber eyes narrow slightly in my direction before returning to his guests. Keeping to the shadows to get a better glance at his stiff profile, I pout. His nose is crooked like it has been broken and fixed one too many times.
All these features sit on a face that tells a story-a dangerous one at that and I find myself getting attracted to him. To uncover the secrets that lie behind those eyes searching for me.
Pa did try to set us up many times, I never showed up. I wonder now if that will put me in my husband's bad book, he looks like one who never forgets. My husband? The word tastes like sour grape, I'm unsure if I like it. Is he as uncomfortable as I am about this whole arrangement?
I frown when his head falls back with laughter at something his guest-a female says, my heart clenches and a corner of my lip twitches until I give into the small smile. I love the sound of his laughter. Snapping out of these weird thoughts, I move to stand behind an empty seat. I must have looked stupid, standing a few feet from the main event, smiling alone. His guest places a hand on his shoulder, I force down the urge to stomp over and slap her tiny hands off him or throttle her with her bleached weave. That is my man. Is he? I swipe the strand of hair that keeps falling over my forehead with aggression, he is my husband so that makes him my man.
"You look so beautiful, Mia," Ma is saying. My head snaps in her direction, I offer her a smile. She takes a sip from the flute of champagne perched between her fingertips with an elegance that surprises even me.
My smile widens, I squeeze her in a brief hug, she cleans up real good.
Her fingers brush my hair, keeping in place that
stubborn strand that has come undone from the high puff I managed to make from my wild curls.
My hair has a mind of its own, today, it will have to deal with the style I want.
"Thank you. You look wonderful yourself," I repay the compliment and she smiles as she does a little twirl.
She is dressed in a black off-shoulder gown that
stops just above her knees to reveal her toned legs.
Her skin glistens in the sun, she has truly been sun-kissed and her dimples are prominent when she smiles. Ma no longer has those hollow spaces in between her collarbone and I am glad I decided to marry this man, Bryson. The name is foreign like many of those rich kids I attend school with but I don't scoff at hearing it.
Instead, I like the way it settles on my tongue like it's my favorite candy and I bite down on my lip to keep from staring in his direction. He is still with that lady, why can't they talk later?
Speaking of the devil, Bryson walks up to us with a glass containing similar content as Ma then whispers into my ear, "Your mother is right, Miami, you look beautiful."
I want to be angry at him but the proximity wipes off all reasonable thoughts and I freeze. "You make a beautiful bride."
Bryson's voice takes a few seconds to settle in, when it does, my heart gallops and my nipples harden behind my armless gown. I suck in a sharp breath, the mirthless giggles escaping him tells me he noticed my little disorientation in his presence.
He places a kiss on the back of Ma's hand and she excuses herself with a sly wink, something about giving the new couple privacy.
Without Ma, the atmosphere grows awkward real quick. I clear my throat, he shoves a hand into the pocket of his pants and I turn away under his smothering gaze. I can't stop myself from glancing in the direction he came from, his guest is gone and my body relaxes at the knowledge.
"Are you enjoying..." ." he trails off at the speed my eyes return to his face and that mischievous smirk returns to his lips at my failed attempt to raise a brow. "Are you enjoying the party?"
"Yes." My voice is raspy, the nerves have seeped into it so I clear my throat and say, "Yes, are you?"
The distance between us diminishes, Bryson arches an eyebrow like he knows I am lying. Does he expect me to say otherwise? It is my-our wedding, I am supposed to be happy. I have to be happy. Sparing a glance at our seated guests, he offers me his hand but I am hesitant to take it.
"Can you dance?"
Dancing has never been my forte but I don't want him to know that. More than anything, I want to impress him and I have no idea why. He's the one who wanted the marriage, not me. His smile fades, hand lowers and I smoothen the front of my gown.
"I don't feel up for dancing."
Bryson nods, I bite the inside of my lip when he strokes my cheek, trying and failing to meet his gaze. His breath fans my face, our eyes finally meet and I lean into his touch when his thumb caresses my lip.
Shivers trickle down my spine, my tongue runs over my lips in anticipation and his eyes tail the move. I forget everything around me and wait, wait for a kiss that never comes.
"You had this on your face," he says, his eyes darting to the almost invisible speck of dirt on his index finger. My disappointment is palpable, I grunt in reply, murmuring a barely audible gratitude and he lets out a chuckle that has me rolling my eyes. I didn't even want to kiss him.
Seconds after he steps away from me, my eyes follow him to a couple. They are watching us and I can't help feeling the show of affection was solely for their sake. He raises his glass to them and they do the same, observing each other in terse silence that makes me clear my throat.
"Cheers," he says, standing beside me. Maybe it is just me but I detect sarcasm in that word.
The band on the makeshift stage continues with their soulful rendition, they play all kinds of songs, the type I would have wanted at my wedding and my head bobs to the rhythm. I do not consider this wedding mine, it's too flashy and the only people I know here are my parents.
Bryson dumps his glass into the tray of a passing server, wraps his hand around my waist from behind. He tucks his head into the space between my neck and shoulders.
"Relax, Mia." The knots in my joints loosen, I nod and his arms tighten around me. "Relax and enjoy the moment."
There's a strange sense of comfort I feel at having him in such close contact with me as we watch different couples dance in the space we created at the center of the small field like it is their wedding.
I feel it then; I know we'll get along.
"We should bath together," Bryson says for the third time.
We haven't had time to do any talking since we got back inside the house. I can tell his temper is hanging by a thread with the way his jaw clenches but it doesn't stop me from shaking my head in the negative.
I feel shy.
I am standing in nothing but a yellow lace bra with matching panties. Ma gifted it to me for my honeymoon night. She claims the color brings out my beautiful melanin skin in a way no other color can and I need to look my best for my husband. I cringe. I hope I can get used to saying that word.
My breasts threaten to spill over in this-this barely-there lingerie and I cover my chest with my arms. Bryson is standing naked by the bathroom door, unashamed as he strokes his little man lazily and I avert my eyes.
"I will say this one more time, as long as we are a couple, we will bathe together." There is an edge to his voice that I do not dare disobey a
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