My mother smoothes my dark locks, kissing me on the cheek. I always wanted to look like her, when I was little I thought she looked like a Disney princess. Blonde, blue-eyed and beautiful.
As I grew older, I realized I got the best of both of my parents. I'm tall, but I have just the right amount of curves. My hair is dark, but I inherited my mother's blue eyes.
My mother is soft and my father is hard, I can be gentle when I need to be, but I can pull out my gun and shoot if I have to.
"Now be nice to the boy." She points her finger at me.
I snort. "He's hardly a boy!"
I'm still upset my father chose that idiot for me to marry, but at this point it's a done deal. My fate has been sealed and there's not much I can do about it.
We're being photographed today, we're supposed to have a fun day out with our friends. Not that I have any friends.
My "friends" consists of Rachel, who is more like a sister to me. One of my mother's organizations rescued her from a human trafficking ring when she was only fourteen, she was a shell of the person she is now. Because her mother was the one to sell her in the first place, my parents decided that she was to stay with us, and she's been glued to my side ever since.
Then there's Pablo, who is my cousin, but also serves as my bodyguard. He likes to say he was raised to protect me, but I like to remind him I can take care of myself all on my own.
"There's a reason your father chose him." My mother reminds me.
I roll my eyes. "So I've been told."
"I think he reminds your father of himself at that age." My mother continues.
I honestly can't see the resemblance. "I doubt it."
"You know your father wasn't the man he is now when we met." There's a shimmer to my mother's eyes and I'm reminded why my father wants to take a step back.
This is not the life my mother ever wanted. I know for a fact she hates the facade she has to put up all the time, but she constantly reminds me how much she loves my father and if this how she has to live her life to be with him, then so be it. I also like to remind her that my father would never let her go, not in a million years.
Rachel once asked me if I didn't wish I had a love like theirs and I told her no. Where in the world would I find a man strong enough and willing to take over my father's business?
I can fall inlove with other things, like a luxurious house and maybe one day when I have kids of my own, I can submerge myself in their lives and not think of the fact that I despise my husband.
"My father is an honorable man, I don't see how you can compare him with the likes of Mason Rossi." I get up from my dresser and check myself out in the mirror. The sexier I look, the better.
"That your father is, yes." My mother crosses her elegant arms across her chest. "But he was also once like Mason Rossi, a son to a single mother who worked very hard to keep food on the table. Yet they did everything they could and succeeded to get out of a life of poverty. Maybe that is what your father is seeing."
I hate that she's right.
Our family is everything, and maybe Silk values his family like my father does his. I can't fault the man for that, I just wish he wasn't so sleazy.
Just thinking about his hands all over the women he has been seen with in the press, makes me want to vomit.
Rachel enters my bedroom and I sigh. "Rach, you can't wear that."
We're going to a pool for goodness' sake. She looks like she's going to a business meeting.
A blush covers her cheeks as she looks down at her attire. "But I'm wearing a skirt."
Rachel is beautiful, but with her history, she likes to keep her body covered.
My mother walks up to her and lays her hands on her shoulders. "Lets find you a nice maxi dress, okay?"
Rachel has been in therapy for years because of the ordeal she's been through, so I understand her dress sense, but I hate to admit that I'm slightly nervous, so I need her to be in on this with me.
As my mother fusses over her, I take one long look at myself. Today I'm wearing a white bikini from my swimsuit line, and it shows more than enough skin to get the world talking. I throw on a short summer dress over it and brace myself mentally for what's to come.
Even though I've known since my teens that one day I'll be in an arranged marriage, the time has come to give myself to one man, and now I don't know if I'm ready for that.
Pablo chats animatedly to the driver on our way to the resort Silk's staying and Rachel is typing away on her laptop, no doubt organizing my life and I'm staring out the window, pensively thinking of how my life as I know it will change forever.
Maybe I wouldn't even have to have sex with the guy, there's lots of other ways to conceive children nowadays.
The beach restaurant is relatively empty when we get there, no doubt courtesy of my father and the hostess looks at me with stars in her eyes, but she keeps her pose as she leads us to the swimming pool area.
Pablo winks at me when I catch him checking out her ass and I roll my eyes at him.
Outside there are no other patrons apart from the three men standing at the bar, all their heads turning when we arrive.
I take in a deep breath and steel myself as I walk over to them with fake confidence. Inside I'm a bit of a nervous wreck. This is my life now, a life I have to live to protect the legacy of my family.
Silk straightens where he was leaning on the bar and I have to say the man is mighty fine. If he wanted to, he could take a chance at modeling with the way his dark hair flops over his forehead in a careless gesture, the dark scruff on his chiseled jawline making him appear even more dangerous and lethal.
"Olivia." He nods, his light-brown eyes roaming my frame and in a fashion I was not expecting or anticipating, he stalks to me and thread his fingers through my hair, tilting my head to leave a scorching kiss on my lips.
The kiss tastes like tequila and bad decisions, but I can't deny the flutter that spreads through my abdomen.
What the hell was that?
This a business arrangement, there will be no butterflies.
He pulls away with a smirk as if he knows what I'm thinking, his eyes going above my head.
That's when I notice the drone.
This is all for show.
Real smooth, Mr. Silk