Edited 9:14 pm Tequila's POV "I.. what?" I gape and he shoos his men away, leaving him and I standing together. "What's your name?" "I. .I'm Tequila." "Oh, my name's whiskey." He raises an eyebrow and I sigh. "It's true." I persist and he eyes me. "What a strange name. . . for a strange woman." He circles me. "Are you trying to seem intimidating?" I scoff and he stops, his face stone cold. "B-because it's working." "Like I said I need you to be my wife." "Why? I mean. . . you don't know me, I don't know you. You're handsome, I look like a frog. They'll be no connection no lo-" "You seem to dwell on my looks a lot Tequila." The way my name rolls on his tongue. dang. "And trust me, we will keep love out of it. To others, it's a marriage, but to us, it's just a business proposal." "Business?" I say even more confused. "Yes. You get to keep your life and I get a wife." "I.. I don't think I'm comfortable with that." I murmur. "Do you want to keep your life?" "Of course I do. but. why can't you just let me go? I won't say anything." "The words from your mouth aren't really a guarantee." He shrugs and I bite my lip. "But. I. you can make a contract!" "I don't do contracts." He most likely lies. "I'm not ready for marriage!" I exclaim suddenly and he sighs. "I'm twenty-two! I have a life. Please I -" "I'll bring your puppy here if you want. But you'll never see your apartment or anything you know again." What? "No. ." Here come the tears. "So I won't have anything? Please don't do this to me. I promise on my life! I won't tell anyone. This never happened-" "Enough," He says sternly and I hiccup. "Yes or no?" "Don't you have a heart?" I whisper, looking up at him and I thought I saw his gaze soften until his next words. "You can't have a heart in this business." × × × "Now that you've agreed, let me lead you to Adrian." "Why?" I ask confused. "So she can get you settled." He stops outside a white door. "Then she'll bring you to my office and we'll discuss further." I only nod and he stares at me for one more second before leaving. I open the door and a curvy woman stands in front of me. "Did you just enter without permission?" She shrieks and my eyes widen. "Have more respect! Get out!" "I-" "Out!" She screeches and I slam the door shut slightly frightened. "Now knock!" She yells and I bring my hand up, slowly knocking. "You may come in." She says in a calmer voice and I step in. "What do you want?" She tilts her head sitting crossed legged on her bedroom couch. Her black hair was in a perfect bun, not a strand in sight, and when she sat, not an even a roll dared to show on her body. "Um. . . the boss. . . sent me in here." I still haven't learned his name. Can. You. Believe. It? "The boss? Oh, you mean Ace?" She sniggers then her eyes widen. "Why did he send you here?" I bite my lip, remembering what just happened and she clenches her jaw. "I'm his fiancé." Was I supposed to say that already? Or no? "No!" She screams suddenly standing and barging past me. Dazed, I watch as she pushes into an office looking door so I follow her, curiously, the door still open. I catch some of her words, and I can't help the frown that etched onto my face. "Ace? How could you?! It was supposed to be me! Me! Look at her. She's so fat and insecure, her hair looks like a science experiment gone wrong and would you look at her height? Oh, wait. She doesn't have any!" She sniggers on and on about my insecurities and I just stand there taking it all up, will it not to bother me. "Shut. Up!" Ace suddenly roars rising to his full height and her eyes clog with fear. "Who do you think you are? Barging into my office, I think you should rethink your status Adrian or else you and I will be having problems and as for my fiancé if you so much as utter, another word about her I will remove your voice box myself. Do I make myself clear?!" He yells at her and she looks as if she was going to pee herself right there. "Y-yes." She stutters. "Now get out of my sight!" He finishes off and she scurries away, scowling at me. He mumbles something before motioning to me to come in. I walk in warily and his eyes never leave mine as I shut the door. "Have a seat."
Edited 9:18 pm Tequila's POV "Now I don't want to overwhelm you. ." He starts off, his face void of emotions. "I'm already overwhelmed." I murmur. "But the wedding's Saturday." He continued his hand folded on the desk and I gape. "Saturday? but today's Thursday." I exclaim. "Apparently. But it's not going to be a real marriage. . just a business proposal." He reminds me and I resist the urge to vomit. "I-I. ." "Now, I'm going to give you this chance to ask me any question you like." "I-I, Y-" My mouth felt dry. "Tequila?" He calls out but I was too far out. I'm getting married? This must be some kind of sick joke, some cruel weird- "Maybe you should get some rest." × × × He said I should get some rest but how could I? How could I sleep knowing that I was going to get married to some total stranger? Worse, a murderer. It's just a dream. It must be a dream. Yes, that's exactly what it is, Hugo was probably licking my hands, trying to wake me up right this instant. I lift my hands to my arm squeezing lightly. Wake up, wake u- "You're not dreaming." I turn around to find the sympathetic blonde from earlier. "What're you doing here?" "I just came to check up on you. . I'm sorry you got dragged into this." He sighs leaning against the door frame and I frown. "Why can't I leave?" "Because, it's against the rules. You saw what happened and that's a risk we're not willing to take. We weren't disguised or anything, you saw us so. ." "I'm stuck here forever?" "I'm sorry." "So what you're saying is. . I'm in a house filled with murderers." "More or le-" I start screaming so loud that his eyes widen. "Hey-" "I can't stay here!" I hyperventilate. "I'm going to die." "You're not going to-" "IM GOING TO DIE!" I scream again and he covers his ears. "Why is this happening to me? I'm stuck in some Drug Lord's house and -" Gasp. "What would Hugo think of me?" "You have a baby?" His eyes soften even more and I nod frantically. "I have the cutest, furriest baby ever known to man-" "Wait wait wait," He blinks. "What?" "My puppy Hugo." I tilt my head. "Your baby is a dog?" He blinks again and I frown at him. "Don't say it like that." I scold. "Gosh you're adorable." He grins at me and I roll my eyes. "I want to leave." I whine helplessly. "It's not that bad here, you might grow to like it." He tries and I scoff. "I'm just as afraid as men in prison when they drop the soap." I hug myself and he bursts out laughing. "I swear, I love you already." "Nice to know." I state dryly. "I'm glad you find my situation amusing." "You're right, you're right I'm sorry." He stops laughing and I shake my head. "This is crazy." "You'll be fine." "Like I said. I'm going to die." He just shakes his head smiling. "Get some rest okay?" I don't think that's possible. × × × Last night was the worst night I have ever had. I was still feeling the effects. I was woken up a little too early and my body was just yearning for some sleep. I knew I was going senile when there were short, and chubby quadruplets helping me get ready as I was a bit drowsy. "Cmon young lady, we can't have you late to see the master." The one with the updo says grabbing my arm and I try blinking away the sleepiness. As soon as they open the door, I am blinded by the sight of a sea of men. Everywhere, in the kitchen, on the counter, in the living room. The four maids, led me to the same office, pushing the door open and dropping me like a hot potato. "Thank you Marie." Ace nods and she smiles, leaving. "Tequila." My names rolls off his tongue sexily and I almost groan by how foreign he made it sound. "How are you?" "Fine." I murmur rubbing my face and his face was as usual, lacking emotions. "We're just going to carry on from where we left yesterday, where you ask me what ever you want." "I don't want to be here." I murmur, not really paying attention to his proposal. "That's not what I asked of you." He grunts and I sigh. "You can't just-" "Enough." He slams his hand down on the table and my eyes widen. "I don't want to hear your whining! Since you seem to lack understanding, I will tell you all what you need to know about me, and you better listen, and listen well, because this will be the first and the last time." "My name is Ace Marcel, I'm twenty five, and I don't have favourite foods, colours, songs or any of that nonsense so don't ask. I own this entire empire, which means I'm in control of everything, you cannot leave the premises without my permission or without security. Anything else?" I just blink and he tilts his head. "Very well, get dressed we have a long day today." × × × We sat in the car together and the tension was suffocating. "You never asked about me. ." "What?" "You know nothing ab-" "Tequila Gardner, twenty two, works as a customer care representative, enjoys crustaceans, your favourite is lobster, favourite colour is black, you own a white hairy puppy named Hugo, both parents are alive, you have a close friend named Reid, You-" "Okay, okay." I breathe and he looks smug, stopping at a red light. "How do you know all of that?" "I'm a very powerful man. .Tequila." He says and I stare outside. "Where are we going?" "Ring shopping." "Don't you think everyone would get suspicious? With me missing and all?" I ask. "I took care of them." "YOU KILLED THEM?!" I scream and he jumps, frightened. "WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? I'M HERE ALREADY! COULDN'T YOU JUST WR-" "I wrote them a note!" He blinks and I calm down. "Oh. ." "Damn, don't ever scream in my car like that again." He warns and I just turn back to the window. Oh ma and pa. . I'm sorry × × × "Pick any ring you want." Ace says standing behind me and the saleswoman looked nervous because Ace threatened her as soon as we got here. "If she doesn't find a ring, you're fired." I don't get how that would be her fault but y'know. Men. They're complicated. I however, I was not in the mood to be doing anything. I just wanted to crawl under a bed and cry myself to darkness. Everything I've ever known is gone all because of my laziness.. I felt a wave of overcoming sadness while the saleswoman just smiled at me desperately. I point blindly and she laughs nervously. "T-that's a mop." Unlike normal jewelry store's, this one had its rings on the wall, sparkling for display. "Tequila." Ace sighs. "Give us a moment please." He walks in front on me, crossing his arms. "You need to pick a ring, and you're going to be wearing it for a long time, so make it something you like. Now stop being so mopey for a situation you can't change. You're getting married don't girls like this?" "It's not a real marriage is it? More like business proposal." I snap back, mocking him and he sighs. "Just pick a ring." I lift my head sadly, scanning the uplifted showcases only to drop my head, like a stubborn child. "Fine." He says harshly and ten minutes later we're walking towards the cashier. The saleswoman looks utterly relieved and I almost smile when she places a hand over her heart. "Oh, it's your lucky day! Its on sale." The cashier says enthusiastically. "Do I look poor to you?" Ace growls at her and she blanches at his scowl. "N-no, I just-" "Just what?" He snaps angrily. "How much is it?" I ask her politely since Ace doesn't look like he was going to try and be nice, not even for a second. "1.7 million is the reduced price." "What?!" I almost scream, while Ace just takes out his cheque book. "Ace-" "I got this." Is all he says, ripping off the check and handing it to her. "Have a great-" He roughly grabs the ring box out of her hand, and pins her with another scowl. "Do you ever stop talking?" "Jeez Ace." I murmur walking outside. "What? She's annoying." "But I talk a lot." "You're annoying too." He shrugs and I roll my eyes. When we got into the vehicle, he gripped my hand and I tried to pull it away, but he tightened his hold, giving me a slight glare. He slipped on the ring slowly, and I wondered if the butterflies in my stomach were from the ring or just the fact that I was getting married. Even if it was by force. × × × The next step was Dress shopping. I hated every second of it. Everything was either too big or too small. Nothing seemed to fit me and it was beginning to take a toll on my self esteem. "Y'know what? I'm not paying you to walk around and get my fiancé some ugly looking dresses, if you can't get her the best, then I'll just have to look myself." He took one look at me, eyes draping down my figure before shooting up and into the dress room. "I'm so sorry for his behaviour." I apologize as everyone turns to me, looking startled. About five pregnant minutes later, he was back with a beautiful looking dress. It had lace sleeves and I mermaid tail. "Try it." He demands and I do as I'm told, stepping into the dressing room. When I finally pulled on the dress I saw someone else. Someone who was supposed to be getting married in the next five years not in a day, to a complete stranger, and it broke my heart. Wiping away the fallen tears, I shake it off and step out. I was protecting myself. Maybe if I ran away I would put my family in harms way. I was protecting them. The room fell silent and I knew then that I looked good, a small smile making its way on my face at how stunned everyone looked. "That's the one." Ace spoke up. "Do you like it?" "Yes." I mumble and he frowned. I just kept quiet, because I knew If I said anything waterworks would begin. . .that couldn't happen. Not in front of everyone. × × × We had cake testing next and I furrowed my eyebrows. "Why do all this if it's business?" "To make other people believe. Plus, this is my wedding, nobody expects it to be anything less than this." We tried out many options but only one stuck with me. "Chocolate!" I said after the vanilla and he graces me with a new sight. A small chuckle. "We have four more options." "Well sure if they want to waste their time. But I choose chocolate." "Very well." We ordered the cake and Ace of course threatened them to ensure it was there on time. By the time we were done with the wedding activities it was night time. I just wanted to crawl into bed, and help my aching feet. Ace cleared his throat once in the car and I turned to him, he looked uncomfortable. "Are you. . okay?" He asks strained and I raise an eyebrow. "If you count mentally shook because I'm about to marry a complete stranger and a murderer 'okay' then sure." His face hardens and it's silent again. "There are some rules we need to go over?" "Like what?" "1. You shall have no partners that the public knows about, it's just me and you. I however, I'm allowed to have my pleasures inside the house." "That's unfair." I scrunch up my face. It's not like I have anyone but still, it's unfair. "Life's not fair." He shrugs. "After marriage, we will be sleeping in the same room, 3. There will be no love, and don't pry, I hate prying." "I don't need to know anything else about you." I state sarcastically. "Great." "And Tequila? Don't fall in love with me." "I don't think that's possible Mr. Murderer." "I hope so."
Tequila's POV The next morning was hectic. I locked myself in the room since everyone decided that they wanted to dress me. I'm not handicap. Putting on the dress, I struggle to pull up the zipper but I made it after a while. I haven't seen Ace since yesterday night and I guess he's busy getting ready too. I eye myself in the mirror, butterflies clogging my stomach at my beauty. Listen, I'm a girl who likes makeup, and although I won't wear it everywhere, a wedding is definitely a place to have it on. "Ms. Gardner!" One of the maids yelled. "Out this instant!" I finally learnt their names, Updo Marie, Pinned Mulana, straight haired Mila and Bob Myah. They were the shortest, cubbiest, nicest most loving maids I have ever seen. They were like sleeping beauty's fairy godparents. "If you don't-" "IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL CRY IF I WANT TO!" I start singing loudly, applying mascara. "I'LL CRY UNTIL THE CANDLES BURN OUT THIS PLACE!" I drowned out their noise and soon I was done. Watching myself in the mirror. This is it. Two days ago I was kidnapped and practically forced to marry a stranger. Now that I stood in front of the mirror eyeing my dress and figure, it has me thinking about the countless times that I was boldly rejected, that men countlessly tried to use me, then dropped me as soon as they realized that it wasn't going to happen. I wonder what this universe has in store for me? × × × Ace's POV "Please be seated." The priest spoke as Tequila and I stood together, her cheeks flushed as she averted her eyes. My eyes drop in amusement to her barefoot since she took off her heels while walking down the aisle. Two months ago I would have never thought that I would be standing here, marrying a woman who I don't exactly know. I was free, a well known bachelor who had hookers left and right, probably every night. Now I want to settle down? It wasn't my idea trust me. My dad who previously owned this. . status, informed me that in order to lure enemies and seem stable in companies or anything that I was going for, I'd have to have a standard and a calm life. Or at least fool people that I did, so here he proposed that I got a wife and here she is looking stunning. I don't plan on showing her affection or going soft. We're just business alliances bonded together by papers and a ring. That's all. "I do." Her words rang me out of my thoughts and just in time to, because it was my turn. "I do." I say with no hesitation as she searched my eyes, and I wonder what she was looking for. "So by the power invested in me, I hereby pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may kiss the bride." Her eyes were wide and I wasn't all a prick, so I spared her, leaning in at an angle that would look like I kissed her, but instead I laid my lips near her mouth. A soft gasp makes itself known and I take her hand turning towards the guest and the room erupts in cheers for the business agreement that the two of us shared. It was just that right? A business agreement. So why do I feel. . happy? × × × Tequila's POV The guests were unknown, I literally knew no one. I had no family, no friends, nothing, and I was 'married'. It sucked. I felt awful as I sat at the table everyone having a great time while I just plastered a smile on my face, pushing around the plate's content. "So, Mrs. Marcel." Came a dark unrecognized voice and I look up to find a man, with dark suspicious eyes looking at me. Ace's hand tightens on mine on the table and I furrow my eyebrows. "We're just dying to hear how you two met? It seems kind of. . skeptic that he suddenly got married." "Oh. .um." I clear my throat searching my brain. "Donavan S—" "We met at the pet store!" I blurted out quickly and everyone eyed Ace weirdly. "A pet store? Why would he be at a pet store?" "He wanted to get a dog." I laugh nervously. "And I already had one, but I needed to get it. . a . . new. .collar." I hear Ace mumble profanities under his breath but I don't stop. "One minute you're looking for a collar, the next some strange man with tattoos is demanding you go on a date with him." To my relief the whole table erupts in 'Aws' or laughter. "I refused at first but he was persistent eventually I gave in. . and he ended up not getting a dog, but getting me." I smile soundly and Ace just eyes me, a bit amused from the corner of his eyes. "A few weeks later, I know it's fast but he isn't a very. . slow person." I say lamely. "He proposed to me and now here we are." The applauded us, and I blew out a breath of relief but Donovan didn't seem to buy it. "And where is that dog now?" Sheet. "He's um . . well Hugo's. . he—" "Here he is. He was giving me a bit of trouble to get dressed." I gape as Gnash, I learnt his name earlier, brings me my baby in a cute puppy sized tuxedo I tried not to act too surprised but when Hugo started barking happily, I lost it. "Hugo!" I almost screamed happily as Gnash lays him on my lap. "Oh my gosh I missed you." I look up after a while and find everyone's eyes on me. "After. . only a few hours. .he's just so easy to miss." They all seemed satisfied, but Donovan just kept analyzing me. "Y'know Ace, I always thought my daughter was the perfect match for you." Donovan drawls slowly sipping his drink. "Yea well Adrian had other tastes." Adrian. . Adrian! No wonder the looked so alike. Its her father. Man he was scary, and he reeked dominance, somewhat like her. "We can forgive and forget. . but it seems it's a little to late for that." His eyes flicker to me once more, showing a bit of disdain before moving back to Ace's. "I wish you guys a very happy marriage." He says but it sounded like he wanted everything but that. "I must be going now." He stands slowly. "I will be so seeing you a lot more often, Mrs. Marcel."