“You’re kidding right?” The words fly out of my mouth before I can even try to stop them. “Marry Dominic, Dominic Caldwell? Please tell me your joking.” But I know my father and when it comes to money, his money, he is never joking.
Dominic Caldwell is well known for three things: being insanely rich thanks to his father, being a player, and being extremely handsome. We are not friends but we’re not enemies either. Just because our parents are friends doesn’t mean we have to be too.
“I’m sorry honey, but the company is failing and Alister offered to help, but he had some conditions.”
“Conditions? Marring off your daughter isn’t a condition Daddy.” I look over towards my mother for help, any kind of help but get none. I'm the perfect mixture of my parents' DNA. I get my dirty blonde hair and high cheekbones from my mother and my dark blue eyes from my father.
“It’s not a permanent marriage, just temporary. Alister is worried about his son’s image and getting married would solve a lot of those problems.” My father says, my eyes darting back to him.
“So I’m just some fucking publicity stunt, and you sold my soul for how much?” I watch as my father looks over to my mother before looking back at me. “How much am I worth to you?”
“Tessa,” I hate the tone in my father’s voice, he is trying to calm me down but it’s not working, not this time. He agreed to terms he had no right to agree to without consulting me.
He sighs, “130 million.”
I scoff, “a hundred and thirty million, your only daughter, your only child, is worth 130 million?”
“Tessa please, honey, calm down.” My mother finally speaks up.
I turn to look at her, anger flows through me, “You sold me for 130 million dollars and you want me to calm down, do you have any idea how crazy you sound right now, both of you?”
“It’s only temporary,” I hate how calm my mother is in all of this. I thought she would at least be on my side, but I guess you never really know people do you? I thought my parents loved me, cherished me, but they love their company more.
“It’s only my life,” I say before turning and walking out of my father’s home office, slamming the door loudly behind me.
I make my way towards my room, hurt and upset at what just happened. I was sold like I am a piece of property like I’m not even a person. Tears fall down my face as I enter my bedroom. This isn’t happening to me, this is just some fucked up dream I’m having and any moment I will wake up and this will all be over.
Only it isn’t a dream, it’s real and it’s happening.
I sit at the large dining room table with my parents but I can’t even look at them. The contract is sitting in front of me, staring at me in black and white. Dominic’s and my name sit at the top of the paper, I can hear my father’s voice talking to me but I can’t make out what he is saying. All I can do is stare at the paperwork in front of me.
My eyes scan the page, 2 months engagement, 13 months married to Dominic Caldwell.
“Did Uncle Rob look over this?” I ask, interrupting my father.
Uncle Rob has been the family lawyer for longer than I have been around, my father met him in college, I trust him with my life.
I don’t respond, just reach out and grab the pen that sits above the contract, and sign it. Sign my life and soul away for two people who care more about their business than me, their own flesh and blood.
“I never want to see you two again,” I say standing up from my chair, “I hope you are happy.” I walk out of the dining room, ignoring their calls for me to come back. I don’t care anymore, I can’t care anymore. My life isn’t my own, for the next 15 months, I belong to someone else entirely. I belong to Dominic Caldwell..