The Marriage Deal

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Chapter 5 Part I

“Too far-fetched to believe, too obvious to ignore”

He had stopped less than an inch from her lips. She wanted to say “yes.” Oh, how desperately she wanted to say “YES” but, her voice had deserted her. She could feel his warm breath and it made her think of all his previous kisses. Since her voice had deserted her, she did the only logical thing she could think of doing.

She tilted her face and pressed her lips against his. She had read countless books and had even researched about the concept of kissing for one of her research papers but, none of the information that her brain had read and retained came close to the feeling.

His lips were warm, soft and gentle but, she could sense the underlying need in him. It seemed that he was holding back his needs. His one hand crept to her face while the other slowly wrapped around her waist. The gesture warmed her and made her feel treasured. Her hands rose of their own accord to tangle in his soft hair. She didn’t know what she wanted but, she wanted more. He licked her bottom lip and pulled on it. The simple action exploded in her system. She pushed herself against him, rising on her tip toes to kiss him more forcefully. His arm locked around her waist and his hand entangled in her hair.

She wasn’t thinking anymore. Her body was following its own primal instincts. She wanted him to let loose that control and need that he was keeping so firmly locked. In an unconscious move, she shifted against him so that her belly rubbed against his erection.

For a split second, he stilled and when she repeated the move, he went wild. He pushed her more forcefully against the wall and ravaged her mouth. Tongues thrusting, hands exploring and senses exploding, they were locked in their own frenzied passion. He trailed open mouthed kisses along the column of her neck, licking off the water droplets. When he came to the dip in her collarbone, he set to work, sucking on the spot, biting it and soothing the skin with open mouth kisses and licks. She dragged his head up and kissed him full on the mouth, with tongue and teeth, and all the finesse of a rookie kisser. He hardly noticed.

Bring! Bring! Bring! Bring! Bring! Bring! Bring!

Violet slowly became aware of a constant disturbance. They both pulled away at the same time, panting and out of breath. She was suddenly grateful that he too seemed out of breath. She looked up into his eyes and managed to control her shiver. Barely.

For some reason, her eyes kept trailing down towards his lips and she longed to kiss them again. She wondered if she kissed him again, would this kiss also be different than the previous kisses. His hand had moved from her hair to her neck while the other was resting on her waist. He trailed it down her arm and on her waist, rubbing his thumb in back and forth motions, making her curl her toes in pleasure. She lifted her eyes to gaze into his and noticed that he was leaning towards her again but abruptly stopped when the phone rang again.

“Your phone--” she started saying but was cut off by his reply.

“Let it be.” She shivered at his husky voice. The move made his lips quirk up in needy amusement.

“It seems important.” He started saying something when the phone stopped ringing and started up again in the next few seconds. They both sighed together, which made Violet blush at her behaviour. He smirked, then dropped a light peck on her lips, grabbed his phone and strode out towards the balcony.

It should be totally illegal to look this good in the morning, Violet thought.

And he should be totally locked up for kissing like that, her conscience whispered. That way, no one else but her can kiss him. She started blushing at her own thoughts but, widened her eyes when she realized that she sounded like a possessive and jealous wife.

JEALOUS! She thought frantically. Violet Cartwright never got jealous. It was just not possible. She was a strong, independent, and confident woman. She had never felt the need to get jealous for the twenty six years of her existence and she wasn’t bothered to start now. It was just a hangover of the pleasure from kissing him. It was a perfectly normal reaction. She had kissed only three boys in her life and pecks on the cheek from your relatives or best friend didn’t really count. This was a new experience and her brain was just a teeny bit muddled. It really was and she had to just take a deep breath and file it away to analyze later. In fact, there was no need to analyze anything. There was nothing here. Of course, there wasn’t, she tried to reassure herself almost desperately.

Hoping that Michael’s call would keep him away for quite some time, she hurried towards the walk in wardrobe. She rolled her eyes at the larger than life wardrobe. Who wore so many clothes anyway? Apparently, billionaires she thought with a snort. She wanted to drop by her house and pick up her books, so she dressed in her favourite pair of blue skinny jeans and a pink tank top and slipped her feet into converse, smiling fondly at her shoes and remembering her best friend, Ethan.

She caught the end of Michael’s conversation and realised that he was wrapping it up. Panicked, she rushed out of the room and headed downstairs in search of the kitchen. However, she was distracted by the house.

It was white and clean. There were no pictures on the walls, no personal touches anywhere. There were large windows that let in the morning sunlight but none were open. She frowned. It was too beautiful a day to not allow the breeze and sunlight to warm up the house. Decision made, she opened the windows and stared at the view, basking in the sun and enjoying the light breeze. When her stomach rumbled, she looked around embarrassed at the inhumane sound and set off again in search of the kitchen.

Fifteen minutes of wandering around aimlessly in the mansion, and Violet was regretting her decision of not visiting the house before. Michael had offered to take her to his house once but, she had refused thinking that coming to his house would somehow seal the deal completely. Annoyed with herself now, she sat down in the hallway with her chin on her fist and a moody scowl on her face. She contemplated going upstairs to her room but, the thought of running into Michael made her discard the idea.

Well, this was it. The wedding was over, her marriage had begun and she was the wife of a ruthless businessman. She had already bid adieu to her dream of being in love and married but, that didn’t stop her from hurting. She had to look forward now because looking back wasn’t an option anymore. You are making it sound worse than it really is, her conscience spoke up. In a twisted sort of way, it was true. Michael had promised her that he would pay off the bank loans by Monday. But, the surprising part about the whole deal was that the phone calls from the bank about “foreclosure of property” warnings had also stopped. She had never told him about the tri-weekly calls but he must have overheard her talking and guessed. The thought made her feel warm and fuzzy and she tried to ruthlessly push aside the feeling.

And why was he suddenly insisting on being faithful? She didn’t know the first thing about having sex! The heated encounter after her shower was the closest experience of sex. She grimaced at her lack of experience, cursing herself for being too busy with her studies and degrees. In fact if it wasn’t for Sera, Chloe and Ethan, she wouldn’t have ever just kicked back and relaxed once in a while. She was suddenly overcome with nostalgia at her thoughts. She sighed and pulled up her knees to rest her chin on it.

“What are you doing here?” She jumped startled at the woman’s voice. She scrambled up in a clumsy manner and stared wide eyed at the matronly looking woman. She was shorter than Violet by a few inches. She had hard eyes and an unsmiling mouth. Violet was tempted to roll her eyes at the familiar expression but, resisted.

“I couldn’t find the kitchen, so I was just wandering about.” She was suddenly proud of herself for not stuttering. The pride disappeared when her stomach growled loudly, again. She blushed fiercely but caught a faint look of amusement in the woman’s eyes. She sighed in a defeated manner.

“My name is Violet and I am really hungry. Could you direct me towards the kitchen?” She outstretched her arm in a handshake as she approached the woman. She knew that the woman was amused and figuring that she was the only ticket to the kitchen, Violet went along with the embarrassment. It didn’t particularly bother her anyway. You couldn’t compromise when it came to food, Violet thought resolutely.

The woman laughed heartily and pulled Violet in a hug. “Ah, Michael chose wisely I see. I am Ruth, the person responsible for feeding Michael and you. Come on, I’ll fix you some breakfast.”

Violet was left stunned at the sudden change in the woman’s behaviour. The laugh lightened Ruth’s eyes and made her look almost grandmotherly. She smiled uncertainly but brightened up when they reached the kitchen.

“I made some pancakes. Since Michael likes blueberry, I made him blueberry but I wasn’t sure about you so I played it safe and made chocolate pancakes for you,” she smiled again. Her eyes crinkled and her mouth settled into the well used laugh lines. She dished up a plate with chocolate pancakes, drizzled chocolate syrup on top and placed two strawberries on top of it.

Violet eyed the plate hungrily and gave a big smile to Ruth. She dug in instantly and moaned in delight after the first bite.

“Are you an angel of God?” Violet asked with a dreamy smile. Ruth laughed again.

“Who is?” Violet jumped in her seat at the husky voice from the doorway. Her breath caught in her throat when she saw Michael leaning in the doorway, with one ankle crossed over the other and his arms folded across his chest. The dark blue t-shirt he wore accentuated his broad shoulders and muscular chest. Her eyes trailed down his body and she felt her body temperature rise by a few degrees. She looked into his eyes and gulped at his intense stare. He smirked at her cockily and tilted his head in acknowledgement, letting her know that he had caught her staring. Violet glared even as her blush deepened.

“Your wife thinks that I am an angel for making her pancakes,” Ruth said with a chuckle, breaking Violet and Michael out of their staring contest. She blushed at her thoughts and turned to dig into her pancakes.

“Well, you certainly are an angel for cooking for us,” Michael said and kissed her cheek in appreciation. Violet smiled at the exchange and silently dug into her pancakes again.

“So Violet, what do you do?” Violet was startled again, too engrossed in her short lived affair with the pancakes. She licked her lips to make sure that there were no bits of food around her mouth and answered with the familiar comfort of someone too used to answering the question. The rest of the breakfast continued in the same way; Ruth kept throwing questions at her and she kept answering them while eating her pancakes in a dream like bliss.

“Can I have some more strawberries?” Violet asked. Ruth nodded and dumped a few more on her plate. She was awarded with a dazzling smile.

Ruth watched on perplexed as Violet proceeded to drizzle the chocolate syrup on the strawberries. Ruth watched her and Michael shrewdly. She liked Violet. There was an innocence and lack of guile around her that made her instantly likeable. She also watched Michael watch her. There was something else going on here, she thought with a frown.

She had watched Michael grow up from a young and innocent boy to a hard and ruthless businessman. As such, she was completely aware about his history and personality. He hardly allowed anyone to enter his life and guarded his feelings and affection like guards guard prisoners but this girl was somehow different. She had to be if Michael had married her but it wasn’t love, of that Ruth was hundred percent sure. But, there was definitely something there.

She had been completely taken aback when Michael had announced his plans to marry but, had refused to bring the girl home. She didn’t want to admit it but she was hurt by Michael’s disregard for her. That was till Cybil had turned up a few days ago to ask Ruth about the mystery girl. It somehow made Ruth feel better that Michael hadn’t allowed even Cybil to meet Violet; not because she was jealous but because she knew that Cybil was obviously more important and he wouldn’t introduce the girl to Ruth if he hadn’t introduced her to his own grandmother. She had spent the afternoon with Cybil, plotting about ways to make Violet run away if they didn’t like her but she didn’t particularly want to use those now.

Well, she would figure it out sooner or later, she determined.

Violet dipped the strawberries in the chocolate syrup and bit into them. Ruth almost laughed at Michael’s reaction. He stiffened and stared at Violet with lusty eyes. Ruth swallowed her chuckle and breezed out of the room to call up Cybil and give her an update. She didn’t bother letting them know where she was going guessing that interrupting them would be too cruel. She gathered the dishes, placed them silently in the sink and quietly slipped away.

When she turned at the doorway, Michael was rubbing Violet’s lip and leaning in to kiss her. She laughed as she walked away.

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