Arranged Marriage (To A Complete Stranger)

Arranged Marriage (To A Complete Stranger) Episode 29

🔥Arranged Marriage👰‍♀️
To
a
💃complete 👰

👰 stranger👰‍♀️💙

By: worthy stories

Chapter 29

Hailey’s pov 🔥

The day of the reception had arrived. The makeup artist was just finishing up the final touches on my face.

My hair was tied up in a loose bun and I wore the gorgeous gold and white gown. Where I was ready, I was left to marvel at my reflection in the mirror.

I’m pretty, and I’ve always known it. I always had the men’s attention, wherever I went. But the person in the mirror, front of me was a different level of beautiful.

I descended the stairs slowly and graciously, so that I wouldn’t trip and fall. When I reached the bottom, I found Nathan sitting on the couch, tapping his fingers and looking bored.

We hadn’t talked much in the past week, since I let him believe that Michael and I were a couple. When he saw me now, he was met with the same amazement as I when I looked in the mirror.

His eyes widened and he was speechless for a couple of minutes as he studied me from top to bottom. It was all I could do to stop myself from blushing. Finally, he stood up and walked towards me.

“You look beautiful,” he complimented.

“Thanks. You don’t look too bad either,”
To be honest, he looked like Prince charming in that white tux.

All that he needed was a white horse. His hair was neatly swept to one side, and put his sharp dark eyes on display.

The hairstyle accentuated his face and each of his sharp features. He looked smart and handsome, not to mention extremely sexy.

“Um.. thanks,” Nathan cleared his throat and moved towards the coffee table and picked up something from there.

He handed me the canvas which was covered with a white cloth, hiding the picture.

“Go ahead, open it” he instructed.

“What is it?” I asked him, without removing the cloth.

“My first painting in a long time,” he grinned happily. “It’s a gift for you.”

“You’re giving the first picture you’ve painted in years to me?” I asked surprised. “Why?”

“Just open it!” He commanded impatiently.

When I pulled the cloth back, I was rendered speechless. The cloth gave way to reveal a potrait. A potrait of me, more precisely. The painting was drawn to perfection down to every detail.

The paints were colourful, almost bringing the picture to life.

From my dark brunette hair, my hazel brown eyes, to the dimple of my smile, he had captured everything. I had no words to describe how good of an artist Nathan was.

“This is beautiful!” I told him after a long silence.

“So you like it?” He asked me nervously.

“I love it!” I exclaimed. “Wow, Nathan you’re an amazing artist. This piece is truly beautiful. Though I think you made me seem even more beautiful than I actually am.”

“Really? Because I think that the painting doesn’t do your beauty justice,” he said smoothly.

Was I dreaming or did my husband just compliment me? This day was just getting better. My husband thinks I’m beautiful, my heart fluttered.

I can’t remember the last time I felt this way when someone called me beautiful. Perhaps never. I smiled at him.

“Can I really keep this?” I asked him as I clutched the canvas close to my chest.

“Of course,” he chuckled. “Now I think we should leave, or else we’ll be late.”

———————————-

We arrived at the venue after all the guests. We were to make a grand entrance. I could see there was media lined outside, waiting to know the reason behind today’s party.

Nathan stepped out of the limousine first and then walked over to my side, and like a true gentleman opened the door for me and held out his hands. The cameras flashed to get the best pictures of us, while the media hurled different questions our way.

“What is the reason behind today’s party?”

“Are you two together?”

“Are the Anderson’s doing business with the Rodriguez?”

“Is your father, William Rodriguez retiring?”

“Are you the new CEO, Nathan?”

“What is the big announcement of the night?”

We sidestepped all the media persons and made our way towards party. We smiled and posed for a few pictures infront of the cameras, all the while Nathan’s arm was around my waist as I stood so close to him.

I could smell his perfume and I’m sure he could smell mine. He led me to the big double doors and put an arm around me.

“Here we go,” he mumbled under his breath.

The huge double doors swung open and the music that was playing stopped.

I could see that the room was beautifully and elegantly designed all in white and gold, by my grandmothers and my top event management team.

The whole scene screamed money, beauty and romance. Everyone’s eyes were on us and the whole ballroom went silent.

Suddenly the spotlight was on us as we stood there as a couple, my hand in his arm. We were basked in the golden light coming from inside the room and the flashes of cameras from the media around us.

Slowly, we moved forward and descended the steps that led to the dancefloor. As we walked together, the silence broke and people began muttering among themselves.

When we reached the bottom of the stairs, there was a sound from the mic on the stage drawing all the attention away from us. Liam stood on the stage, and was smiling at all the guests.

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen,” he began.

“First of all, I would like to thank you for coming to celebrate today with us. On behalf of the Rodriguez’s and the Anderson’s, I would like to express our gratitude towards you.”

There was a round of applause at that

“I know you all must be wondering, the reason for today’s function, but we don’t have just one reason but three reasons to celebrate.

“First, it is my son Nathan’s birthday today.”

And there was more cheering and clapping while everyone turned to look at Nathan and he waved at them.

“Second, the Anderson’s and the Rodriguez’s have reached a multi million dollar business deal together.”

Even more cheering.

“And third, and also the big announcement of today….” He gave a dramatic pause, as an anxious silence descended upon the room.

“Our two families have been business partners for a long time, and that partnership turned into friendship.

Now that friendship has blossomed into a beautiful relationship. Our two families have united, we’re one!

Today, I am pleased to announce that a few months back, my son and heir to the Rodriguez empire, Nathan Rodriguez married the beautiful and talented Hailey Anderson! Please give it up for the new Mr and Mrs Rodriguez!”

There was a stunned silence all over the room as Liam’s words sank in. And then, as if all in one, the crowd burst into applause.

The media went frenzy and had to be retained by security. Everyone cheered us on and the attention of the room was back on us.

Nathan and my grandparents made their way towards us and hugged us. As we walked further inside, we were greeted by various guests, congratulating us. Soon we were swarmed by people who all wanted to wish the newlyweds.

We were finally free of all the people when the cake was brought out. It looked magistic. People gathered around the cake and the two of us stood in front of it.

I was handed a knife and Nathan stood behind me. Alex stepped forward to raise a toast to our marriage, wishing us a life of happiness together.

After the toast ended, there was a round of applause and then Nathan grabbed my hand which was holding the decorated knife.

He was standing right behind me, as his breath fanned my neck and his other hand rested on my hip. Never had I been in such close proximity with him before and that too in public, it made my feet wobble and gave me a giddy feeling.

I wanted to put some distance between us but I didn’t want to lose his touch. So I stayed put and composed myself, tightening my grip on the knife, while ignoring his touch which was impossible to do.

“Well, happy married life, wifey,” Nathan mocked in my ear. But I just grinned at the fact that he called me his wife for the first time.

“Happy birthday Nathan,” I whispered back in his ear as we cut the cake.

He didn’t say anything but just picked a piece of cake and brought it to my lips. I knew that there was nothing real in his actions and all of this was just an act, but I savoured the feeling, pretending that this was all true affection.

It may be fake but it brought my lonely heart some warmth.

The people all cheered us on and to add extra effect, Nathan dipped his head and gave me a light peck on the cheek. To all those watching, it seemed like a random couple thing, but to me who was not used to such affection from anyone, let alone my husband, it seemed like time itself had stopped, as I froze. I couldn’t believe that he had kissed me, just like that.

“Are you ok?” Nathan looked at me concerned.

“Y-yeah,” I stammered miserably. “I’m f-fine.”

I smiled at him and cursed myself for acting like a silly teenage girl, it was just a peck that means nothing. But it’s so unfair that he gets to toy with me like this.

Before he could say anything, a loud announcement was heard.

“Can we have the couple on the floor for the first dance?”

I sighed. It was going to be a long night. I accepted Nathan’s outstretched hand and he led me to the middle of the floor.

Placing both his hands on my hips as I snaked my hands around his neck, we assumed the dancing position. Music played and 10,000 hours by Justin Bieber was sung by the live band. We slow danced to the beat as the guests formed a circle around us.

I was really tense in his arms and it was evident to Nathan as he began tracing soft circles on my back, but I wished he wouldn’t.

“Relax, you’re really stiff,” he whispered to me.

But my heartbeat only increased. I was getting all the more tense. I couldn’t handle being so close to him, it was making me weak. I was starting to feel things I shouldn’t and it scared me.

Pursuing a relationship was one thing, but actually falling for him was another. Especially when I knew he’d never reciprocate.

If our relationship was to somehow end and I was stuck with these unwanted feelings, I’d be doomed. But now that we were a public couple, I could no longer avoid him.

Our time together would increase all the more, and I would be unsuccessful in resisting him. I was biting my lower lip, my brain going haywire with all these thoughts.

Suddenly I felt Nathan’s finger tug at my lower lip, freeing it from my teeth. This broke my chain of thoughts as I looked at him. I took deep breaths and began to calm down. I let the music soothe me.
‘Ooh, want the good and the bad,

Everything in between

Ooh, gotta cure my curiosity’

The singer crooned making me feel better. Finally the song ended and I broke away from his embrace. Other couples had already joined us on the dancefloor.

Soon we were separated and were whisked away to dance with others. Both my grandfather and Nathan’s grandfather had a turn, as did Liam and Harry and Ethan.

Both our grandfathers told me how happy they were for us, Liam told me he was happy to call me his daughter and that my dad would be proud of me.

Harry teased me and Ethan, the ever worrying brother asked if I was happy and if my husband was giving me any trouble.

When they were finally done, I excused myself and left the dancefloor even though many still wanted to dance with me. I scanned the dancefloor for Nathan but didn’t see him anywhere. Finally my eyes landed on him sitting at our table all by himself.

I walked towards him and slid down in the chair next to him. I reached for my clutch and pulled out a small box from it.
“Hey there,” I greeted him.

“You ok now?” He asked. “You looked pretty tense on the floor.”

“Yea, I was just uncomfortable with someone in my space,” I said truthfully and for a split second I thought I saw hurt on his face but soon his expression changed back to normal.

“Oh, sorry about that,”

“No it’s not your fault. I mean it’s mandatory to keep the act up,” I said trying to mask the disappointment in my voice as he just nodded.

I then slid the box in my hand towards him and he took it confused.

“What is this?”

“A little birthday present. Open it.”

Slow but unsure, he opened the box to reveal an old but expensive vintage watch. The sentimental value it held made it even more priceless to me.

“That watch belonged to my dad. I want you to have it,”I told him.

“Hailey, this-” he was shocked to say the least. “You’re giving this to me? I mean, it’s your dad’s, don’t you want to have it?”

“My mom gifted that watch to my dad on their wedding anniversary one year. It was his favourite. I’m sure he’d want his son-in-law to have it.”

“This is priceless, Anderson… I don’t know what to say.”

“Just say that you’ll keep it safe,”

“Of course,” he paused to look at me. “Hailey, are-”

But before he could continue with what he was saying, I was already distracted by someone standing behind him.

“Michael!” I jumped out of my chair and gave him a hug.

“Hello to you to bella signora,” he chuckled. By this time Nathan too was on his feet and doing his best to hide his frown.

“Mr Rodriguez, I guess congratulations are in order,” Michael stretched his hand to Nathan. Hailey had already told him that she was married to Nathan so he wasn’t surprised at today’s announcement.

“Thanks, Mr Russo,” Nathan replied professionally.

“I thought you didn’t come when I didn’t see you anywhere,” Hailey said.

“How could I miss today when you invited me so sweetly,” he said amused.

“You didn’t ask me to dance,” she pouted.

“We could remedy that, if you’re husband here doesn’t mind that is,” Michael told her.

Nathan tried not to scoff. He suspected that they were having an affair, and was hating this open show of affection as he so wrongly thought.

“We’ll dance alright, but after I introduce you to my grandparents,” Hailey said grabbing his hand and completely ignoring Nathan.

“I’ll see you around, Mr Rodriguez,” Michael said as Hailey dragged him to her grandparents.

Nathan felt hurt at being ignored by Hailey, seeing her with another man, seeing her ignore him in front of her lover.

He felt angry at her behaviour. He was used to having her undivided attention whenever they were together, she was always concentrated on him then. Now she no longer bothered about him and was showering her attention on another man and he couldn’t accept that.

Hailey introduced Michael to her grandparents and her grandma instantly took a liking to the Italian man. They chatted for a while before Hailey excused herself to go and meet her brother.

“Hey there big brother,” she said walking up behind him.

“How the heck can you smile through this farce?” Ace complained.

“Well hello to you to. I’m fine thank you,” Hailey mocked and Aaron just rolled his eyes bending down to kiss his little sister on the cheek.

“But really though, how are you putting up with this?” He asked.

“I’m doing fine Ace, just like I was before getting married. Only my status has changed from single to married and I live in a different house with another person but besides that, my life is the same,” I lied to reassure my brother.

“Besides, look at grammy and grandpa, they are so happy about this,” I pointed out as I slipped my hand into his arm and walked towards a less crowded area with him.

“I wonder if they’ll still look this happy when they find out the truth,”
“They don’t have to”

“I heard Mr douche bag was in town,” Ace started.

Douche bag was Ace’s code name for Roman. He hated Roman to the core and never missed an opportunity to throw shade at him.

“And I also heard that you met with him and that you are his legal aid,” Ace finished.

“Wow you heard a lot sitting in Mumbai,” I commented.

“You know I have my sources and that they are almost always reliable, so is it true? You met with him?”

“Yeah, I did,” I admitted. “I needed answers and had to find my peace. I’m not sorry for it.”

“As long as you’re happy, I have no issues. I trust you know what you’re doing lil sister.”

“Thanks,”

“But I don’t believe you when you said that you are fine with Mr Jerk.”

“Mr Jerk? Seriously? He’s name is Nathan,” I countered.

“Mr Jerk sounds a lot better and suits him,” Ace said with a smirk. “And I know that you are upset with him. Don’t deny it Hailey, I know you much better than you think. I know that you are strong and know what you are doing, so I will not interfere and leave you to fight your own battles. But know that you have me, you’re not alone. If you want to ever get out of this sham, I’ll do anything for you. It’s you who matters the most after all. Mr Jerk really doesn’t know what a jem he has.”

“Thanks dear brother. But you’re right. I have to fight my own battles. But I still believe that our marriage can work. Nathan and I have a chance to be together and I don’t want to ruin it without even trying,” I explained to him.

“I know. But… take care Hailey. Some people are really not worth are efforts,” Ace sighed and I knew he hit a personal spot.

I was making my way out of the ladies room when I spotted an angry looking Harry leaving the men’s room.

“Harry!” I shouted out.

“Oh hey there Hailey, what an honour to finally be graced with your presence,” he mocked.

“Ok, I know we haven’t gotten a chance to hang out recently-”

“Oh no Hailey, not we but you didn’t have time for your bestfriend,” he huffed. “I don’t even know why we are friends when you don’t even have time for me. Oh poor, lonely me!”

“Ok save the drama for the courtroom now, why are you so angry?”

“Saw something I didn’t like,” he muttered.

“What?”

“You don’t need to know.”

“You keep secrets from me and yet you call me a bad friend? This is not acceptable,” now it was my time to huff.

“Hey it’s really something that will just upset you, let it go”
“Now I really want to know,” I told him.

“Ok. So I saw your husband with that bitch in the men’s room. Like the hell? Anyone could enter the room and see him making out with some random bitch at what is supposed to be his wedding party. And-”

Enough was said, not waiting for him to finish I was now storming to the men’s room.
“Hailey wait!” Harry screamed from me.

But I didn’t. I pushed open the door and sure enough there was my husband making out with his mistress in a public bathroom where they could easily be caught.

“Now, now what do we have here!” I spat in an angry voice startling the two love birds.

They broke apart and jumped up, scared by the intrusion.

Shock was written all over Nathan’s features as he was caught in the act and I stood at the door with Harry behind me.

TBC💕

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