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Confined Four Years

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~~~~~Complete~~~~~ Forced into a marriage by her parents and his, Julia Sinclair grows to despise her parents regardless of how much they loved her as a child. Now, not only did they choose to force her into a marriage, but they also forced her into having children with her husband, a man she does not love. As time goes on, Marcus Thomas does his best to find proof of their intent while getting the Board of Directors on his side to cancel out his parents' power in the company. ​​​​​​​Meanwhile, Zachariah Thomas (Marcus's Brother) enters their home with an infant he claims to be his, and he begs for their help in learning to raise the child. Julia agrees to help him learn to become an amazing father but has to make both families believe the baby belongs to her and Marcus. What will she do when she falls for the eighteen-year-old college student? With thousands of people's jobs at risk, will their love go up in flames or will the flames of passion consume them?

Romance / Drama
Age Rating:

Unexpected Arrangements


Julia stared at the date on her cellphone with dismay as she came to a stop outside the door of Estates Realty. Her mother and father called her here for a meeting of some sort, though she did not understand what purpose it served. She was not part of the business; her desires for her future lying elsewhere. Julia sighed softly as she looked up at the enormous building in front of her before walking through the window-like doors. Maybe they had good news about the family business, but to her, it felt far too serious to be about something like that. As she waited for the elevator, she thought about the classes she still needed to attend today.

When she reached the top floor, she stepped out of the elevator and looked around before finding the secretary her father told her to seek. Five people waited in the meeting room the secretary led her to, two of which were her parents. Julia forced a smile to her lips and nodded to the strangers before taking a seat next to her parents. She stared at the two men, who favored each other enough to be father and son and the woman at their side. The woman must be his mother, she thought as the woman and younger man had the same-colored eyes, a deep chocolate brown color. Tense, awkward air surrounded them before the older woman across from her opened her mouth.

“Miss Sinclair, you truly are as pretty as a painting.” She said, leaning forward a little as she spoke. “Strawberry blonde hair with emerald green eyes. You look about five foot six, too, and maybe one hundred and twenty pounds. What a delicate figure!”

Julia winced and shifted nervously, feeling as though she were being examined like a piece of meat. Her eyes moved to the younger man next to the couple, who focused on her and realized he felt just as uncomfortable as she was. As the woman, who was clearly his mother, continued to appraise her, anger flashed across the man’s face. When Julia moved to say something about this, however, her mother sent her a silencing look before flashing a smile at the other couple. Silence fell and grew tense as her mind presented her with all the distinct possibilities for reasons her parents had for asking her to come there. As soon as she realized the exact reason, however, her mother spoke.

“Marcus and Julia would be the perfect couple to take over the companies after the merger.” As she spoke, Julia’s heart sank, and a look of disbelief flitted across her face. “Well? Your son is the perfect candidate for her.”

She could hardly believe the words coming out of her mother’s mouth. Why were they saying these things as though she did not sit right there in the room with them? Julia looked around the room to see her father directing a glare at her, the strange couple watching her with interest, and the young man she decided must be Marcus directing an angered glare at his own parents. Is this some sort of joke? Julia wondered as she leaned back against the leather office chair she sat in. Something her parents were doing to make fun of her? Were it not for their serious expressions, she would have laughed.

“I agree. Marcus, this will be your wife in a month. Her name is Julia Sinclair.” The older man next to Marcus said as he waved at Julia. “Do you have any issues with this?”

“Several…” the man finally spoke, his voice deeper than she expected. “Like…”

“Think before you speak, son. Do you want to be the CEO of Estates Realty?” His mother countered sharply. “You don’t want your brothers to go through this, right? Or to be banished from the family and the business?”

“But… we don’t even know each other…” Julia tried to protest, but her father leveled a glare at her. “I haven’t even graduated college yet…!”

“Do you want to graduate? Or for Betty, April, and Johnathan to suffer your fate instead?” Her father questioned, shocking her into silence. “Even if you graduate without our help, your mother and I can make sure you never get a job. Is that what you want, Julia?”

Who are these people? She wondered as she shared a glance with Marcus. Are they really the mother and father who loved her? It seemed impossible for them to be the same people who taught her all she knew of love. From the look in their eyes, she could tell they meant what they said, and she swallowed thickly. Could she marry a complete stranger? She opened and closed her mouth several times, unable to think of what to say in this tense situation. The tense silence which enveloped the room did not abate and the oddity of it made her feel like a child being reprimanded. How could she do this? A lump formed in her throat as her parents stood.

“We’ll leave you two alone to decide.” Her father continued, and his parents stood as well. “Just remember what we said.”

When they left, Marcus and Julia remained sitting there, staring at each other in complete silence. Her mind ran through all the different methods she could turn down their outrageous demands, but she came up short. She needed to graduate, and she did not want her parents to even consider putting her younger sisters and brother in the same situation. If they could easily do this to her, she did not doubt them doing it to them. Tears of frustration and anger welled in her eyes, and she looked at the table between herself and this strange man. She felt like she had no choice in her own life.

As she continued to stare at the table, a piece of paper entered her view. It was a list like format with the details of the man in front of her, the man himself holding the corner. His name is Marcus Thomas, and he is twenty-five years old. She glanced at him before back at the paper, confused by his actions. Marcus is six foot four inches tall and weighs one hundred seventy-five pounds. Though he was physically attractive, Julia read through his hobbies and goals and realized he was beyond different from her. They had nothing in common at all.

“They gave me a similar paper with your information when I first arrived.” He said when she looked up at him again. “Besides being extroverts, we have little in common at all. It seems they hoped we would compliment each other and make up for our individual weaknesses.”

She could believe it. For every item he lacked, she could do. He did not like classical music, but she played the piano. Though he used technology, he did not favor it like she did. He was an athletic person, where she preferred to stay indoors. Their personality traits were at odds, too. If she were to agree to this marriage, she felt as though she would fight with him a lot. It made little sense to force them together, even if it was for a merger. She sighed, her hand falling to the table with the paper in its grasp. What could she do? There was no way she could put her siblings through this.

“I see.” She replied finally, releasing the paper from her hands. “We do not know each other, have nothing in common, and do not love each other.”

“On the other hand, we have little choice. Our own parents are holding our siblings and financial futures hostage.” Marcus slammed his fists on the table, causing her to startle. “If we do not marry, my brothers… your siblings, hell, what are we supposed to do but agree?”

“They have us backed into a corner.” She nodded with a sigh. “They also mentioned a merger. I’m sure with our marriage, they mean to combine the companies and have you take the position of CEO.”

“We have no choice but to agree.” Marcus muttered, his shoulders slumping in defeat. “There is nothing about you I could grow to love, so I propose we keep our relationship open. If you find someone to love, I won’t stand in your way.”

“Right, and same to you.” She nodded, feeling her throat close up. “I won’t stop you from loving someone else, either. Until we find that person, though, we should be loyal. At least for public opinion.”

The pair nodded, understanding in an instant what was at stake. Their parents wanted a capable person to run the business, and could only accomplish that by marrying off their children. Marcus and Julia were being forced into this marriage to appease the Board of Directors for both companies. It was all a show, their parents, the directors who wanted to retire. They pulled the strings and even if the two refused, they could set into motion a series of plans that could destroy their futures and the futures of their siblings. Once Marcus and Julia nodded to each other, their parents picked that moment to reenter the room with knowing expressions. They knew Julia and Marcus had no intention of refusing.

“I take it you’ve decided the best course of action?” Julia’s mother asked, and she looked at Marcus with a sharp nod. “Remember what is at stake.”

“We agree to marry.” Marcus replied, and Julia nodded. “I’ll never forgive you for this.”

“It’s what’s best for you, son.” His mother countered with a bright, cheerful smile. “You’ll thank me for this later.”

Julia highly doubted that, she thought with a glare at her own parents. They backed her into a corner and now sat next to her with radiant smiles on their faces. She felt betrayed, but could do nothing as they began planning for the ceremony she knew would be coming. With one more glance at the diamond-shaped face of the man she would marry next month, she sighed. Sure, he was attractive, so much so it hurt to look at him, but she could tell they would be unhappy together. There was no emotion on his face. In fact, he looked bored. Indifferent. Julia was someone who smiled a lot. How could she deal with a man like him?

A month passes far too fast, she thought as she made her way down the aisle with her father. At the end of the aisle, a complete stranger stood, the man named Marcus Thomas. He wore the same forced grin she had on her lips. It would be impossible to be happy on a day like this when the plan involves a marriage to a complete stranger. Her first kiss would even be all part of this act, only to appease the Board of Directors for both companies. She felt like a glorified prostitute and her own parents; the ones selling her right to choose over to a family she did not know.

The warmth of her father’s arm felt cold, and she wanted to pull her hand away, but the glare he sent her stopped her. Her father was a man unopposed to using dirty tactics to get what he wanted. The thought sickened her to the point of depression. When she finally arrived at the end of the aisle, she did not say a word to her father as she took Marcus’s hand and did not pay any attention to him when he walked away. Part of her wanted to turn tail and run straight out of the church, but her only option was to stay there. She could not be selfish since her siblings did not know what will happen if she backed away now. Though she could hear their whispers in the background.

“Isn’t that her fake smile?” Betty asked in a low whisper. “Doesn’t she look sad?”

“Yeah, she does. I thought she would be happy today. I mean, her husband is a total hunk.” April whispered back, just as quietly. “Even his brothers are hot. Did you see them?”

“Would you two be quiet?! This is a ceremony…” Little Johnny hissed as the priest began. “Though I am worried about that smile.”

“I do.” Marcus said clearly before looking down at her, the scent of his expensive cologne filling her nose.

“Do you Julia Sinclair…”

As the priest continued his questioning, she simply zoned out. It hardly seemed fair to put someone through this when there were better options. She spoke the words required of her, saying ‘I do’ to a marriage she did not want while staring at the priest, who seemed happy with her answer. She and Marcus turned to each other at the same time and he lifted her veil before pulling her closer and closing his lips over hers. As the cheers went up around us, no one noticed she did not even respond to the kiss, or that she felt uncomfortable. The only thing they cared about was another successful wedding.

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