Marriage by Law

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Chapter 5

6 Months Ago

I started laughing dropping the box. My mother picked up the box scowling and glared at me as I continued to laugh,.

“You’re joking right?” I asked after I caught my breathe. I looked at my father who had a sad expression on his face and stopped laughing.

“You’re serious?” I asked looking back and forth.

“This is a great opportunity-”

“I am barely twenty!” I yelled loudly. My father winced and opened his mouth to say something but as usual my mother had cut him off, again.

“You are turning twenty one soon, you are an adult,” she said. I scoffed, that wasn’t what she said with all my other choices. You are a young girl not mature enough to be an adult, leave the stuff to Father and I she would say.

But now my decision with James was proving her righter by the moment. I shook my head, I didn’t want to think about him.

Was I seriously the only girl in five generations? I knew my father had a lot of brothers and male cousin but I never expected that was in five generations!

“What do you mean, exactly?” I said.

“We mean for you to get married to the man we have picked. He is a direct descendant like you, not a cousin or anyone else. He is q-”

“When?” I asked wearily.

“Soon. It will be a small private wedding. The boy needs to finish his training and so must leave right after for six months. You can take this time to learn your duties and impress him when he gets back. Mistakes will not be accepted Ivory”

I stared at the ceiling, not even a crack visible to divert my attention. Marry a man I had never met for him to only disappear for a month.

“What do you say Ivory?” asked my father coughing as he stood up.

Present Time

By the time I woke up it was Sunday and I groaned. I had slept through my “my” day! I rolled over in bed the sun was rising and the light was coming through my curtains. Again I had forgotten to close them and I couldn’tt sleep in.

Sunday usually meant an afternoon party we had to attend. Only this time would be different. Instead of Rose sitting beside me and gossiping it was my h- Darius beside me probably making some business conversation with some other man.

That reminded me, what was his business. I had never seemed to ask or find out. Mother had probably told me but I never paid too much attention to it.

Like on cue Margret came through.

“Hope you slept well dearie, you were out all night.” she said helping me sit up on the bed and started opening the windows.

“I think I was just tired or something,” I said yawning and standing up. I wobbled on my feet and my vision dazed and I stopped blinking till it returned to normal.

“Indeed. Darius has sent me dearie to remind you of the afternoon party today. It will be your both first appearance as a couple so I had Charles bring by some new dresses you could try on darling. We can try them after you get a good breakfast.”

“Alright I’ll be down in a second Ma,” I said. Margret nodded and left me alone to get ready quickly.

Walking downstairs I could smell amazing smells, it smelt more like lunch than breakfast but looking at the clock it was only half past ten, way to early for breakfast.

“What’s happening?” I asked Margret as I walked into the private dining room. She was setting up plates and I helped served the water. She shot me a look and I shrugged, he wasn’t here so he wouldn’t know I helped.

“Darius doesn’t like the food at the party and so he usually eats in the morning before. Just be careful with what they give you dearie. Miss Alvins cooks it herself and it’s known that her pastries could make you quite sick,”

I let out a small laugh nodding, “Alright I’ll try to keep that in mind,” I said. Personally I thought it was mean that everyone knew it but no one told her anything. Will she not be offended when she realises no one has touched her food?

I rubbed my eyes leaning back in my chair as the chef came out with the food and served it on the table. He probably noticed my face and sent me an apologetic look.

“I can make o-”

“It’s fine, don’t worry” I assured him trying to put on a strong face. He nodded and left and Darius came in and I stared at my plate in shock.

Seafood.

If there was one thing I hated, it was seafood. Great.

I stared at my plate longer and pushed the edible pieces to the side which happened to be the vegetables in the sauce. The smell of the fish and prawns was overpowering and I tried not to show that I was sick.

I looked up and saw Darius staring and quickly grabbed a spoonful and shoved it in my mouth chewing. As soon as he looked away I grabbed the napkin and placed it near my mouth spitting whatever it was out.

It probably tasted good but for as long as I knew I disliked the taste of seafood.

Margret came into the room and looked around to see how things were going and then saw my plate and her eyes widened.

“Oh, Ivory, Charles has come. Would you like to go now or in a while,”

“Now’s fine,” I said quickly before she finished and shot up, a bit too soon. I sent a quick smile around the room and rushed out the room with Margret hot on my tails.

The moment I was in my bedroom I rushed to the bathroom and brushed my teeth again.

“Oh I am so sorry dearie I completely forgot your hatred for seafood,”

“It’s fine,” I said with a mouthful of paste, probably something my mother would kill me and have a heart attack for. So very unlady like she would say, this is now how I raised you!

I walked back into my bedroom and froze looking at the new dresses on the bed and silently groaning.

Oh god,

If I thought dinner and lunch times were awkward sharing a limousine ride with this man would probably be worst.

Seated opposite each other both of us stared out the window not even a word of conversation. Did my parents even know who they were marrying me too?

I finally gave a cheer of happiness when I saw the place but soon died out when I saw how many people were going in.

Most of them were more lavishly dressed than me with jewellery and fancy caps and some of the weirdest dresses I had ever seen. I on the other hand was in a simple deep blue ink dress that make my skin look brights.

Margret had pinned my hair up into an elegant bow with plaits and decorated pearl clips that held up my thick wavy black hair. She placed a bit of eye liner to make my black eyes stand out even more in my tan skin and placed natural lip stick to just make my already natural pink lips shine.

I had never used make up that much and Margret tried not too, she said I didn’t need it but when I saw the other cake face people I always wondered if I should put some more. After all you can’t really tell what you look like.

The door opened and I sighed getting up. I looked around, it was quite warm actually. Darius got up and I followed him as we walked to the entry, as soon as we were in the midst of people he placed an arm on me pretending to be the perfect husband and wife and I rolled my eyes. Yea right.

He placed a hand on my lower back and I moved away giggling. He looked down at me confused.

“I’m ticklish!” I said. He ignored me and placed his hand there anyway pushing me inside and I frowned, well I tried to frown but couldn’t as it tickled too much. I was extremely ticklish and his fingers touching the dress made it even more ticklish than usual.

Just as we entered the place a camera snapped in my direction and my smile vanished from my face as I turned around.

“How does it feel being married at-” there were more flashes and I felt myself being pushed through a crowd to get in. All I saw were black suits and flashes before finally I saw decorated light and a ball room.

Looking around I noticed this wasn’t like the normal ballroom. It was decorated like a kid’s birthday party but it wasn’t one. Maybe this was what Margret meant when she was trying to tell me about Miss Alvins and how she was an odd one in the bunch,

I thought it looked pretty cool.

Darius lead me to our table and pulled my chair out. I sat down looking over my shoulder at the stairs where a lady was dressed in a massive gold dress with what I think were card symbols sewed all over her bottom half.

“That’s Miss Austin,” whispered a voice in my ear and I nodded staring at the woman. She was a plump women but seemed very friendly and childish with her ways. I liked her. I looked back at the table and saw the pastries Margret mentioned about and smiled. You could tell they were made by her by the uneven crust and everything but they looked adorable.

It was hard to believe these things were poisonous.

“Darius my man!” I looked up as a younger man came around the table and hugged Darius. I was surprised, people actually liked him.

“Whatcha up to couz,” he said. He looked at me and flashed a toothy grin, “And this must be the beautiful wife,” he said. He grabbed my hand and placed a kiss on it and I tried not to look disgusted.

“That’s Al- Go-” he looked at me and I sighed, “Ivory,” I said.

“Beautiful name for a beautiful lady, I am Adrian” he said winking. He sat on the other side of Darius and I watched them both talk listening in every now and then.

“No girl this time?” asked Darius a smile on his face. I hadn’t seen one in ages, actually I don’t think I have seen one on him at all. He was always grumpy or glaring or emotionless at home.

“Nope I think I’ll pick up some lovely lady,” he said smiling looking around, “There seem to be plenty here,” he said winking at me and Darius shook his head like he was used to all this and I raised an eyebrow looking away.

I smiled and greeted the people as they stopped to say hi to us and made small talk as the rest of the table was filled up. I was glad both Mr and Mrs Cartwell were in my table. They were two people I got along with in the other parties.

“Oh Ivory, it’s so good to see you!” said Alicia Cartwell practically running to our table and hugging me. I could smell her flowery scent as she sat down. Mr Cartwell smiled before he joined the boys on my other side and I turned to Alicia.

“My you look wonderful in that dress, I bet he hasn’t been able to keep his eyes off you all night,” she said winking and I laughed. Yea that’s if he even looked at me for more than one second.

Alicia had hazel hair and bright blue eyes that matched her bubbly nature that I seemed to get along with. She nearly reminded me of Rose but in this world rather than my normal world.

“Oh tell me about your orchids, have they blossomed yet?” she asked. Darius looked over at us brefily before continuing his conversation and I rolled my eyes at him. I wasn’t bad at public events, they guy needs a chill pill!

“They haven’t blossomed yet,” I said sadly frowning.

“Oh they will soon!” she said more excited then me. She was thrilled when I told her about my little garden, she thought of staring on her self with tulips and an apple tree. There was a shadow over out table and I looked up to see Miss Alvin staring down at us.

“Isn’t she just beautiful!” asked Alicia and I was about to reply when instead Miss Alvin replied, oh the question wasn’t for me.

“She is, if only I had a daughter in law like you, a lucky man you are Darius,” she said.

“Indeed so Miss Alvins,” said Darius standing up and shaking her hand,

She looked at our plated and sighed shaking her head, “You can’t keep the girls hungry, here,” she said leaning over. I wrinkled as her chest was in my face and turned my head away. Alicia saw my face and cracked a laugh. She placed a pastry on our plates and I stared at it.

“Eat up girls, I shall be right back,” she said turning around and leaving.

Alicia and I turned to look at each other, the pastry was small and looked harmless but apperently she was warned about it too. I stared at mine till a hand grabbed it and I watched as Darius placed it in his pocket.

Alicia kicked me under the table and I looked at her.

“What?” I mouthed. She raised her eyebrows smiling and I whispered, “What?”

“Nothing,” she said in a sing song voice and stabbed her pastry with a fork. I wrinkled my nose as she continued to dissect it and I raised an eyebrow at the master peice she was creating. She met my gaze and looked around gasped.

No one else was watching us so she grabbed a tissue and scraped it off her plate.

“I forgot where we were,” she whispered quickly chucking the tissue under the table and I laughed.

The day went by fast as I saw next to Alicia and talked. Every now and then a new couple or someone I briefly met would come down and talk to us but otherwise we were left to ourselves.

When dinner was served I looked at Darius, was this at least edible because I was famished. He picked up his fork and I looked back at my plate and frowned, seafood again. What was with rich people and seafood.

Alicia dug into her plate and I sighed picking up mine and trying to at least eat it.

“What’s wrong?” asked Alicia when she finished hers and mine was still full.

“I hate seafood” I said flicking a prawn around in the plate.

“I love seafood, I just hate crab though,” she said wrinkling her nose. The guys were in a deep conversation so I swapped plates with her quickly and she stared at me till she understood and smiled finishing off my plate for me.

“Thanks, I don’t want to offend anyone,” I said. She waved a hand, “It’s fine the plates were tiny so I could fit yours in there too, just remember I’m carrying your food,” she said and I let out a laugh. I looked around and saw Adrian raise an eyebrow at our plates and I looked away quickly. Damn did he see?

“How about, green roses?” asked Alicia. I leaned back in my chair and thought about it, “I don’t think I have actually ever seen a green rose now that you mentioned it,” I said. A bright light came in her eyes as she sat up.

“We should plant them!” she said. I laughed shaking my head.

“I don’t thik that’s easy”

“We’ll just do what we do to get the blue and black roses with the cloth, if it works it would be amazing if not then oh well nothing to lose right?” she asked. I shrugged I guess we could do that.

“I guess if-”

“This is my favourite song,” she said. I listed and heard soft music from a nearby room where all the couple were dancing and smiled, how on earth did she hear that.

Like a true husband Jake Cartwell asked her to dance and she giggle like a school kid as they rushed to the room. I smiled shaking her head.

I looked back at the fancy tower in the middle of the table that held all the pastries and looked at them. What on earth did she put in there to make them inedible?

“Would you like to dance?” I heard a voice ask me. I looked up to stare into some mesmerizing green eyes and froze.

Did he just ask me to?

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