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Forced to Wed: A Billionaire's Demand

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["I can't do this. I don't even know this man!" I cry out.] Sarah is forced into an arranged marriage with a powerful and respected man, Vincent Sterling. Her dream is to marry her childhood crush and best friend, Jared, so she is crushed by this arrangement. Her father, fearful of this man, pressures her into the marriage and threatens to disown her if she refuses. Despite her protests, Sarah enters into the marriage and uncovers dark secrets about both her husband and his dark world.

Chapter 1

Sarah Whitmore, 19 years old.

I am walking down the aisle. My heart is pounding against my chest as I am walking towards Jared Collins, the love of my life. He is looking devilishly handsome in his Navy blue tuxedo, and his hair is swept back like the prince charming.

Alright, so it's not actually my wedding day. And technically, I'm just sitting on my bed, lost in my own wild thoughts. But let me tell you, I've been obsessing over Jared since the third grade, and in my imagination, our wedding day is constantly playing out. I know, I know, call me a hopeless romantic or a certified weirdo, but hey, this is who I am - a dedicated dreamer!

"Jared," I whisper his name like a prayer. I imagined the way he would look at me on our wedding day, his warm brown eyes filling with pride and adoration, his strong hands holding mine with devotion and..."

"SARAH!"

My eyes snap open as my father's loud voice breaks the spell.

Dammit, I was just about to get to the good part!

"Sarah," my father's booming voice gets closer as he enters my room without even bothering to knock.

His tall, imposing figure fills the doorway, his tailored suit exuding authority and power. Thomas Whitmore is a man who demands respect and obedience, and I had always known better than to defy him.

"Daddy," I acknowledge, trying to hide the tremor in my voice. He is never one for idle conversation or heartfelt moments, so his presence in my bedroom can only spell trouble. "Is something wrong?"

"I need to talk to you, Sarah. I see you are still in bed," he says with a hint of irritation.

I almost roll my eyes, but I know better not to do that.

"Sarah, I have made a decision that will ensure the safety and prosperity of our family." His words are measured and deliberate, leaving no room for doubt. "You are to be married to Vincent Sterling."

Vincent who now?

"What?" I ask dumbly.

The name rolls off his tongue like a weight, heavy with significance and unknown meaning. "Vincent Sterling," he repeats, each syllable slow and deliberate, as if trying to imprint it in my mind.

My heart races as I try to make sense of the words. Who is this Vincent Sterling? And why am I suddenly being told that I am marrying him?

The air in the room takes on a suffocating quality, pressing down on me as I struggle to process the news. This cannot be happening. Not when I love Jared. But now, it seems my fate has been decided without my consent.

"What do you mean I'm marrying Vincent?" I nearly shout. "I don't even know who that is!"

"He is your husband, that's all you need to know," he says curtly.

"I am not marrying a stranger!" I cry out.

My father's face tightens with impatience. I've never spoken back to hum before, but this is about my life--my future. I don't want to marry just anyone. I open my mouth, "So please..."

My words are interrupted by a hard slap to my face. 

I stare at my father who narrows his eyes at me," As a woman, you should know when to speak and when to shut your mouth. How could you not know who Vincent is? He's been making headlines all over the news." His tone grows sharper as he continues, "He's a powerful multibillionaire, owner of several successful companies in the city. And he has agreed to marry you."

My heart sinks at the thought of being married off like a business transaction to a stranger. And what does he mean Vincent is too good for me? I am his daughter! 

Tears burn behind my eyes, but I fight them back. I refuse to break even though my father is treating me like business transaction.

"I can't marry some random guy," I choke out, desperation clawing at my chest. "I love Jared. You can't force me into a marriage with someone else."

"Your feelings for Jared are irrelevant," he declares coldly, his eyes never leaving mine. "This marriage is not about love. It is about securing our family's future. Vincent Sterling is a powerful man, and an alliance with him will ensure our protection and prosperity."

"But Jared and I..."

"Enough about Jared!" my father shouts, his tone unyielding. "You know what is at stake here. My company has been struggling, and Vincent can offer us the funds we need. You should be so lucky that he even agreed to this!"

So this is all about money.

"Why can't he marry someone else in the family?" I know I am being silly, and Dad won't budge. But I have to try everything to get out of this mess.

My father groans in frustration. "You are an only child."

"So, more reason not to marry me off like this!" I shriek. "I am your only daughter!"

My world crumbles around me as my father's words echo in my head. I stare at him, my eyes wide with shock, as if he had just struck me across the face.

"Sarah," my father says firmly, his tone taking no argument. "This is not up for discussion. This is what must be done."

I open my mouth to protest, but no words come out. Instead, I swallow hard, feeling the lump in my throat grow larger, threatening to choke me. My heart races like a wild horse and I fight back tears.

I clench my fists tightly, digging my nails into my palms as I fight the urge to break down in front of him. "How can you do this to me?"

Ugh...I feel like I am stuck in a terrible romance novel.

"Sarah, I am doing this for us - for our family," he replies, his voice unwavering. "You are my daughter, and I have made this decision in your best interest."

My best interest, my *ss. He only cares about money and saving his company. No wonder his wives keep leaving him.

"Daddy, I am asking you one last time," I say, my voice steady despite the turmoil raging within me. "Please reconsider this arrangement. Give me a chance to choose my own person, to find happiness in my own way. Maybe there's another way we can pay off your debts. I will sell my rare collection of voodoo dolls if you want!"

"Enough," he commands, his voice cold as steel. "I have made my decision, and you will abide by it." With that, he walks out the door without looking back.

And in that moment, I knew that my life would never be the same again.

Chapter 2

Sarah

"Show me your ugliest wedding dress, please!" I announce cheerfully.

The store clerk gives me a puzzling look while my friend shoves me playfully. "What are you saying, Sarah? Why would you want an ugly dress for your wedding?" my friend Natalie laughs.

I let out a dramatic sigh, "Natalie, dear, do you really think I'll be walking down the aisle in a designer gown when I don't even know who my groom is? I am not exactly marrying my dream guy. I am being shipped off like cargo to some strange man who could be my father's age for all I know. So why waste time searching for the perfect dress when I'll never get my fairytale ending?"

"Why don't you try to talk to him about it again?" Natalie asks.

"Because my father threatened to disown me if I refused, and I have nowhere else to go," I say, feeling hopeless.

Natalie's expression softens, and she put

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