Marriage by Law

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39

Sorry for the delay, been really busy with work

I waited in the room, walking up and down, for Darius to finish getting ready so we can leave. I caught my reflection in the mirror and paused. I wore the white dress. It was long and I wore matching cream heels that the dress covered.

So no one can really tell me off for not having matching shoes. I had placed my hair up in an elegant bun that took me more than half an hour to do and the pain in my upper arms was still there from holding still in a position for a long time.

The dress complimented my tan complexion, but what irritated me were the strings at the back that dug into my skin. Though it made my back look hot, it was uncomfortable. It felt like rough rope scratching against my skin.

“Alright, I’m ready!” The room door burst open and Adrian sauntered in. He paused, doing a double take and giving me a wolf whistle.

“Why do you have a key to our room?” I asked, seeing the gold card in his hand. He just shrugged and walked over and pushed me away from the mirror and fixed his hair, ruffling it. He wore the checkered suit he bought before and I tried not to tell him how he really looked when he asked.

“Because I am charming and everyone wants me in their bedrooms,” he said, spraying himself with the cologne on the dressing table. I looked in the mirror as the bathroom door opened and Darius walked out, trying to fix his tie.

“Just give me a - Oh, you came,” he said, seeing Adrian join us. Adrian turned around nodding as he sprayed the air and walked under the mist. “I will smell and look fabulous.”

Darius shook his head in frustration as he pulled the tie away, about to throw it away.

“Wait, I’ll do it,” I said, grabbing it from him.

“You know how to do ties?”

“Of course. Clearly you can’t,” I teased him as I put the tie around his neck. He scoffed with a shrug and I sighed. “Who does your ties?”

“Marge.”

Of course. I should have known that a businessman as successful as him can’t even do a proper tie. I looped the tie across as I felt him stare at me. I could hear Adrian in the background saying something as I pulled the tie across the other way.

Darius was wearing a black fitted suit that made him look sinful. It fitted perfectly across his shoulders. He wore a crisp white shirt that was tucked underneath and the white tie that seemed like it had velvet patterns on it.

“Done,” I said, looking up.

“Your hair is up.”

“Yep,” I said, tightening the tie and fixing his collar. He raised a finger, pushing a stand of my hair away, and Adrian chose that moment to clear his throat, loudly.

“If you two are done making babies, can we go? We’ll be late.”

I looked over my shoulder and gave him a dirty look. Way to ruin the moment. No one even asked you in, you little piece of - I shook my head. No, calm down.

“Whatever,” I muttered, grabbing my jacket off the bed. “I’m bringing it.” I showed it to Darius who laughed.

“You don’t need it. Leave it,” he said.

I pulled it on, ignoring him. “And then freeze to death and listen to you say, ‘should have brought a jacket’?” Not a chance,” I said, buttoning it up. Rather be safe than sorry.

The three of us made our way downstairs where Jesse was waiting with the limousine. I smiled at him as he got in with us, talking to Darius, and I looked out the window while Adrian did whatever he was doing on his phone.

The ride to the pier was short and I was glad I brought a jacket. It was freezing by the time we got out and walked toward the massive white ship that was decorated with lights. It looked spectacular.

“You guys have fun. I’ll be back soon”

I waved a hand as Darius walked off toward the other side of the boat where more men dressed in suits were standing around. I followed Adrian to the music.

“Whoa,” I said as I looked around. It was like this was a whole new area from where Darius went off to. That one looked all business while this one looked like I stepped into some high school graduation party.

“Ever been to a party before?”

I looked at Adrian, offended. “Are you kidding? I got suspended five times because of it. I am the definition of party.” I felt like seventeen again. He raised his eyebrow and nodded toward a table and I looked over. Jenga? Game on.

“You lie.”

“No. I fly,” said Adrian, pushing another glass toward me. I groaned, placing my forehead on the table. Who knew drunk jenga was this hard. The whole game was the same as jenga, but every time it fell, you took a shot. And I had lost how many shots I’ve taken.

“I thought you were quite the party girl. Drunk already?”

I scoffed, waving a hand but nearly falling backward. I was out of practice. I grabbed the plastic cup, refusing to lose, and took the cranberry vodka shot, shuddering. I hated vodka. Give me cocktails and I would down them. Vodka? Let me throw them down on you.

“Y -” I coughed, hiccupping. “Your turn.” I was already feeling cold. Where was my jacket? I squinted and looked around. Wait, there was a crowd? Was that money being bet on us? The only thing I could focus on was Adrian’s checkered suit. It looked sober compared to everyone else and myself here.

“I got this,” he declared as he leaned over the table. The jenga tower was getting big and out of hand fast. It was ‘let the best engineer win’. But neither of us did engineering, so it was ‘the best luck wins’.

“Ta-da,” Adrian announced, with his arms outstretched.

I sighed. Damn, he was good. He was drunk and good.

“Your turn, Silver.”

“I am Aluminium,” I corrected him while looking at the tower.

“But silver is more expensive. Are you calling yourself cheap?”

I glared at Adrian across the table. “Well, my metal has chemical components that allow me to bend the easiest, unlike silver which is a large chunk. I am very good at conducting electricity.”

“What?” Adrian looked absolutely confused. I shrugged. I was sure I just made up everything I just told him. I looked at the tower and randomly picked a block, pulling it and wincing as the tower fell. There were boos and screams from the crowd before another shot was pushed toward me and people started going back to the dance floor.

I was feeling sick. “Do I have to?”

“Yes. This is the last one. Darius is going to kill me if he finds us drunk.”

I grabbed the blue shot and closed my eyes as I swallowed it. I pulled a face, chucking the glass back on the table.

“Well, we’re not technically drunk. Let’s hide,” I said, grabbing Adrian’s hand and turning around only to smack straight into the pole. He burst out laughing and I walked around it toward the bright lights. Such bright lights.

“Aluminium!”

I stopped, suddenly feeling my head sway. I turned around looking at Adrian. “Yes, Adrenaline?” I called as he caught up, laughing.

“I think we had too much.”

I scoffed and waved a hand. I turned around just as one of the white doors opened. Did they really open or was I seeing things? “Can you see that?” I asked Adrian, squinting as some men walked out. Was that Darius?

Adrian swore, straightening up and placing an arm on my shoulder to pull me upright. “Hey,” I protested. I liked my head on the railing.

“Shhh,” he said. I gave him a confused look before turning around to see Darius walking toward us. I giggled. I saw that his tie was ruined. Again. What was he doing?

“Hey,” he said, walking up to where we were standing.

Adrian and I both lifted a hand up in a wave, keeping our heads slightly positioned to the ground. Would he be able to tell the difference? No. He looked over the railing as he loosened the tie and I frowned. I spent good time doing that tie up. Adrian ribbed me and I looked away, realising I was glaring at him. Well, it was my time, or a tie I did.

“It’s cold,” Darius observed. “Where is your jacket?”

“Don’t speak,” whispered Adrian from beside me and I scoffed. Please, I can act like I was sober.

“Cold air hot take,” I said, waving a hand and stopped. Darius stood up, raising an amused eyebrow at us as his eyes went from one to another.

“Are you drunk?”

“She did it, not me.” Adrian pushed me, making me trip over yelping as my head hit the railing.

“Are you okay?” Two hands grabbed my shoulder and pulled me up. I laughed, turning around to look at Darius. Aww, poor buy looking concerned.

“Don’t worry. Nothing damaged,” I said as I leaned back against the railing.

“Are you okay?” he repeated, pulling me upright. I held up a finger till I stopped laughing and then looked up at him. Whoa, was he always this tall?

Were his eyes always this green?

“You have green eyes,” I said the obvious.

“I know,” he said. Was he smiling?

“Guess what color of eyes I have?” I said, yawning. I moved closer so I could lean my head on his shoulder. I closed my eyes. Can I just sleep?

Darius spoke. “Come on. Let’s get you a seat.”

“I don’t want a seat, like who even thought about the word ‘seat’? It is such a weird word, isn’t it?”

“Sit,” Darius ordered and I obliged, placing my butt on it and folding my hands on my lap. He sat on the other bar stool and I looked up and smiled as the bartender winked at me.

“Back for more?” he asked, walking toward us with two glasses.

“Enough for her,” said Darius with a shake of his head. I frowned as I looked at him, making him know of my disapproval. Party killer. Did he even party?

I tapped my fingers while looking around the bar, bored. The music was loud, maybe I should go dance. I looked up at Darius who had his eyes on me, with an unhappy look on his face.

Maybe not. Something told me that he was probably not going to let me go party. After all, he was the party pooper.

I slumped in my chair thinking, can we just go? Then realising that I couldn’t see a dock or pier in the distance, I resigned to the fact that it was going to be some more time before they let us go. A waiter walked by carrying a tray of alcohol and I plucked myself a glass while Darius got distracted by something else.

“Thanks,” I muttered, raising the glass to my lips but Darius’s hand wrapped over mine, preventing me from downing the glass.

“Hey, I was going to drink that!”

“No.”

“But I am thirsty.” Duh.

He signaled for the bartender and ordered something clear. Vodka?

“Drink this,” he said as he gave me the glass.

Gladly.

I took the glass, gulping down half of it before I realised what it was and wrinkled my nose. “Ew.”

“It’s water.”

“Excatly. Ew,” I said. Who drinks water these days?

I leaned on my hand that was on top of the counter as I watched him type away on his phone. Does he ever go anywhere without his phone?

Sorry, three phones?

I yawned and looked around for Adrian. The party was boring without him. Where did he go?

“Dairy,” I muttered, playing with a strand of my hair that came out of the bun.

“Dairy,” I called out louder.

“Yes?” he said, not even glancing up from his phone. What was so important? I reached over and plucked it from his hand before he could react. I looked at the screen.

Emails? Ew.

“Ivory, I was working.”

Ooooh, Ivory, so scared. I moved my hand before he could grab it and hopped off the chair.

“This is a party, so you party,” I said, walking off. I could hear his footsteps as I walked toward the railing. Maybe I could just throw it over.

“Aluminium,” he groaned as I leaned over the railing. Just a bit more and then it will join forces with the water. But, of course, Darius seemed to know exactly what I wanted to do and pulled me back, trying to get the phone.

“No. At a party you don’t use phones.”

I changed it over to my other hand and held it behind my back.

“Can I have my phone back?” he pleaded.

“Magic word.”

“Please.”

“No.”

“I said please.”

“That wasn’t the magic word.”

“Ivory.”

“Darius,” I replied, matching his commanding tone. He looked down at me and I looked right back up, not scared by his face. Actually, it was a really nice face; there was no reason to be scared of it.

Unless he saw a dead rat. Then he’d look scary.

“See, it’s a beautiful day, and we are on a boat cruise. You can’t be working. It’s called taking a break, or a kitkat, okay?”

He sighed in resignation.

So I thought of something. “I’ll give you your phone back if you don’t take it out for the rest of the night.”

“Deal,” he said, placing his palm out. I watched him, curiously thinking, would he behave? I shrugged and placed the phone back in his hand and he kept it in his pocket. He held his hands up, palms faced toward me.

“Good, let’s go,” I said, turning around and heading back toward the loud music. I grabbed a glass from the waiter and turned around.

I didn’t realise how close he was following me and ended up sloshing the liquid all over him.

“Oh no!”

His shirt was stained by the brandy and I frowned. “What a waste of good alcohol,” I said, and he replied, “It’s okay. I have more suits.”

I looked up to meet his eyes. “Oh right, poor shirt.”

No, the shirt was not poor at all. I can’t believe I wasted good quality brandy on him. He took out his handkerchief and wiped his face.

“Sorry.”

“It’s fine,” he said, shrugging.

“I was talking to the alcohol.”

He smiled, putting his handkerchief back in his pocket and looking down at me. “How much did you have to drink?”

“Not much,” I said, realizing that he missed a spot on his face. A drop of brandy remained on his lips. Before I could double-guess what I was doing, I tiptoed and wrapped my arms around his neck, or tried to in my half-drunken state. Only now I realised that even in my heels I was short. I pulled his lips to mine.

I could taste the strong essence of the brandy on my lips. Then I realised what I was doing and pulled away but Darius wrapped one hand around my waist, holding me in place while his other hand was in my hair pulling at something.

I shivered, feeling my stomach churn. Was I seasick?

We pulled apart and I didn’t feel so cold anymore. “Don’t put your hair up,” he said and that was when I realised that he took away the clip holding my hair and now it was in a messy tangle. That took me a long time to do. That bun was my finest bun!

“You ruined my hair.”

“You ruined my suit, so I guess that makes us even.”

I huffed. I guess he has a point. Maybe I can buy him a new suit, like how he bought me a - I leaned back up, placing a quick kiss on his lips.

“What was that for?” he asked and I realised that I had never made the first move. Until now.

“For getting me the dog, even though you said no.”

His eyebrows knotted and he looked confused. “What dog?”

“The dog from earlier, the husky?”

“I didn’t buy it,” he said and my jaw dropped.

“But I saw a sold sign!”

“Someone else could have bought it,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders. I felt sad, and to think I kissed him.

“I want my kiss back.”

“Fine.”

“Fine,” I snapped and realised what he said. Fine? He was willing to give it back? He leaned forward and I leaned back. “What are you doing?”

“I’m giving your kiss back.”

“Nah, I don’t want it anymore. Give it to Adrian.” I shook my head and placed my hands on his chest, trying to push him away.

“No refunds.”

His hair fell across his forehead, framing his emerald eyes, as I stared at him. Was he serious? He was serious.

“I need to pee,” I blurted out just as his lips touched mine. He pulled back, raising an eyebrow. I gave him a sheepish smile as he let go. What the heck was that?

Did I want him to kiss me?

Yes.

Then why did I have to yell that out?

“Rain check. Go.”

I nodded, turning around and heading through the crowd. Do I need to pee?

Yes, that’s why.

I rushed into the bathroom, my heart hammering in my chest. I washed my hands and looked in the mirror, wincing as I caught my reflection. My lipstick smudged and my hair a bird’s nest.

So attractive. I washed my face and wiped the lipstick off. I pat my face dry with tissues and rana hand through my hair as I walked out.

“There you are!”

I looked up to see Adrian and waved, walking up to him. I looked at the glass in his hands.

“For me? Thank you.” I grabbed it before he could say anything and drained every last drop as he laughed and shook his head.

“Haven’t you had too much?”

I shook my head. Since when did the lines on his suit move?

“No. Let’s get some more,” I said, waiting for the buzzy feeling to pass. I grabbed his hand and looked around for Darius before rushing to the bar.

Everything was bright and out of focus and I pushed the cup away. Cocktails were the best. I bounced up and down on my seat, waiting for Adrian to finish his drink.

“I can’t do it anymore,” he moaned, shaking his head in surrender.

I rolled my eyes. “Coward,” I called him as he stood up and walked with me toward the dance floor.

I wanted to dance, did you want to dance? I bounced up and down with a huge grin on my face as I turned around.

“You are wasted,” said Adrian, laughing as I grabbed his hand.

“Bounce with me!”

The clearing of a throat made me stop bouncing and turn around and freeze.

“Hi?”

“It took you forty-five minutes to pee?”

I shrugged. “Hey, mother nature called,” I said with an annoying giggle as I looked at Darius’s face. Grumpy pants. His pants were grumpy. I laughed helplessly, doubling over and nearly falling over in my heels.

Darius sighed as he helped me straighten up. “Adrian,” he said, warning him and Adrian muttered some vague excuse as I leaned over.

“Let’s get you downstairs,” said Darius, pushing me and I followed blindly, not being able to stop laughing.

I was bouncing, making it harder for him to drag me down. I heard a wolf whistle and blindly blew a kiss, not having a clue who it was.

“Ivory,” Darius said warningly as he pulled me to some stairs. “Walk.”

Grumpy bumpy.

“You know what?” I said, taking the steps at a time since poshness was blocking half the stairs with his fat ass insisting he was going to hold onto me. I wasn’t going to fall down the stairs.

“We should go skinny dipping,” I suggested. We were on a boat after all. He faltered and I nearly tripped over.

“And you call me drunk!” At least I could walk straight.

I heard him mutter something as he helped me down the last few stairs and we got to some type of sit out that had a fireplace going. I rushed over and sat on the floor beside it.

“Don’t move,” he said and I looked up.

“Why?”

“I’ll be back,” he said and I shrugged.

“Okay.”

Like I was going to move, the fire was just so warm. I smiled contentedly, leaning forward and placing my hands over the fire, liking the way it warmed me up. But it got too hot after a bit and I stood up, swaying on my feet.

My head hurt and I looked at the white door, walking toward it. I felt sick. I pushed it open and nearly cried at the sight before me. A bed!

I rushed over, kicking my shoes off. I can sleep. I dropped onto the bed and sighed, feeling the soft mattress. I love sleep.

I felt something ticklish waking me up and I tried smacking it away.

“Stop it,” I muttered as I felt his hand around my waist. Couldn’t Darius see I was trying to sleep here?

“Darius, stop,” I said in my half-sleep state, turning around and pushing his hand off my shoulder. I was dreaming about dogs. If he just bought me a dog, I wouldn’t be dreaming about it.

“Ivory.”

I froze, my attempt to pull the blanket back failing. Even in my half-sober state, I knew something was wrong with that voice.

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