Being forced to marry for an alliance isn’t the worst thing for Celia Montgomery, who wants nothing more than to escape her hateful family. Unfortunately Brian Armstrong, Celia’s husband-to-be, has no interest in marriage or children—that is, until he meets the feisty Celia. As it turns out, Celia wants nothing to do with ~him~. But Brian is a proud man who doesn’t take no for an answer. He’ll make Celia stay if it’s the last thing he does!
Age Rating: 18+
Original Author: Gallina Brindamour
Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.
The Marriage Bargain by Gallina Brindamour is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.
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Being forced to marry for an alliance isn’t the worst thing for Celia Montgomery, who wants nothing more than to escape her hateful family. Unfortunately Brian Armstrong, Celia’s husband-to-be, has no interest in marriage or children—that is, until he meets the feisty Celia. As it turns out, Celia wants nothing to do with him. But Brian is a proud man who doesn’t take no for an answer. He’ll make Celia stay if it’s the last thing he does!
Age Rating: 18+
Original Author: Gallina Brindamour
Note: This story is the author's original version and does not have sound.
Celia Montgomery stared blankly ahead of her. She didn’t want to hear the demands and screams that were being thrown at her. Cold eyes stared her down, but she didn’t pay any attention.
Why would they care if she was in pain? Why would they bother if she didn’t belong? They wouldn’t. Her family didn’t care about her at all.
“You will do as you are told girl, or I swear on my grave you will be gone this day!” Charles Montgomery yelled, balling his fists in anger. Celia knew this side of her father.
At that very moment, her father wasn’t serene. He was always enraged at her simply for breathing. Celia wasn’t a fool; she knew that she was a mistake. She was the baby that took everything from him.
In return, he took his anger out on her. She was his punching bag.
“Yes, father” Celia murmured bowing her head down in submission. She would not argue when her father was on a killing strike, nor would she argue with the tyrant when he stood near the nearest exit.
She wouldn’t get a few steps even if she tried. Her father would be upon her in an instant.
A ball of laughter in the back of the room chilled Celia to the bone. Henry McGregor, an ally of her father, and her cousin smirked at her. He knew she wouldn’t dare to defy her father.
Although Celia wanted to say what was on her mind, her cousin knew she wouldn’t risk her father’s displeasure.
“she is something isn’t she Montgomery? I wonder if she is the same in bed, or better yet, will she do as a wife is my question.
“Who would want this piece of filth?” Henry’s hatred for her was loud and clear, but it stung neatherless.
“Shut up, boy!
“She will do what she is told, or she will be whipped” Celia raised her head a little bit higher, she didn’t dare disobey her father, for if she did she knew that she would be whipped and wouldn’t be able to walk or sit for a week, or worse yet, she would be laying in some unmarked grave.
“I will do what you say, father-”
“I knew you would come to your senses girl. Brian Armstrong will wed you and give you a home. Children even.”
“I-” she gasped trying to get her breathing and heart rate in order. Brian Armstrong? The man was their enemy and had the strongest clan in Scotland.
Rumor had it that he didn’t spare anyone that was in his way and wouldn’t hesitate to kill you with his claymore.
“Don’t you dare say anything!” Her father growled low, slapping her across the face. Celia didn’t expect it, but when the blow came, it echoed throughout the room.
“Leave her alone Charles. The brat said she would wed the Armstrong.
“The man can’t do any worse than this-” Finella Montgomery, Celia’s mother, announced annoyingly, pointing at Celia with an impatient finger.
“We need the damn alliance! With the raiders coming back, we need more men” one person yelled, grunting with anger. Celia knew it was one of the clansmen. She didn’t know that they were in the room.
The worst part was that people other than her family saw how she was treated and yet they didn’t do anything to stop it.
“Brian Armstrong is a mean-hearted scoundrel; he won’t be able to deal with a wife papa. I hear he has a woman in and out of his bed every day.
“Tis no wonder he has bastards running around-” Jenny Celia’s older sister said glaring at Celia. Anger and disgust in the depths.
“She will learn to adapt. All he needs her for is an heir; once he has a son, I’m sure he will find another to amuse him” Celia’s mother Finelle said grimly.
Celia didn’t know how long she stood in the room, but the time she came back to reality, the room was empty. Tears threatened to fall, but she held on.
She would not show weakness; she would hold on and pray that God had better plans for her.
One day I shall get so far away, that nothing and no one can find me or get a chance to hurt me ever again! She vowed.
Entering her small bedroom, Celia noted that she didn’t even have a room. The bed was slowly falling apart, the tiny wooden shutters on the windows were hanging off their hinges.
The window was cracked, and desperately needed to be fixed, but in the winter did nothing to comfort her. The room was a mess; she had no real clothes.
She wore rags and unwanted garments that no longer were needed and were shredded by the maids. The howl of the cold wind and freezing rain made Celia remember that she needed to escape.
She wouldn’t live among the people who didn’t care about her.
She knew once she married Brian Armstrong, she would be free from her family, and she would be open to escape, and start making her own life.
Brian Armstrong stared at the man in front of him in shock. He prayed he didn’t hear what he thought he heard. An alliance. With the Montgomery’s. It was insane.
“It’s a good reason to wed the girl, my lord, with this you would have another clan’s support. Dougal Findlay, the adviser for the Armstrong clan announced staring into the keeps hearth in thought.
“Why the Montgomery’s? Isn’t it enough to kill my father, and get away with it, but to come back and offer peace, and an alliance to a family wench?
“I would refuse, but with the raids starting again, I can’t risk it” Brian exclaimed balling his hands into fists.
“I understand my lord, but you need extra men to keep the damn raiders off our border, and if I may say so, tis time that you took a wife, and sired an heir- “
“Don’t remind me, Dougal. I have just about all that I can take now.”
“What would you like me to say? The groomsmen are still here; I can send a note to the Montgomery’s. I can see to it that the men leave before dawn-”
“I need to meet the wench. If I think she is worth my time, I’ll wed her. I don’t trust the Montgomery’s.
“For all we know, she could be in on this charade of a marriage.” Brian exclaimed, raking his hand in his disheveled hair.
“Dinner is served my lord” Ashanna, one of the servants, and Brian’s new mistress announced, walking up to the table and leaning over exposing her ass.
Brian turned and grabbed the girl by her waist, and pushed her to the floor, before lifting her skirts, and having his way with her.
Brian Armstrong didn’t want a wife or a child. He wanted his solitude and the warm bodies of the woman waiting to please him. Looking at the woman beneath him, he saw undenied pleasure. Mutual.
That’s how he liked living his life. A wife would destroy all that.
Without a second thought, he gave in to his passion, blocking out all thoughts of his future, and that of the chain already shacked at his throat.
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Celia woke with a jolt. The banging on her door increased, and she couldn’t help but give a soft curse.
It was nearly a week since her father delivered the news that she would be marrying Brian Armstrong, and just the thought scared her to death.
“Wake up Celia you’re needed downstairs!” one of the maids yelled, banging a bit harder on the door.
Celia let out a hiss. She wanted to stay up in her room, and not have to deal with the family that would start tormenting her as soon as she put her foot in the door.
God only knew she had enough of the complaints, the whining, and even things thrown at her to make her understand that she was an unwelcome guest.
“One moment-” she yelled, pulling away from the covers, and walking across the stone floor to the water basin and rinsing her face from the dried-up tears that had shed when she learned that she would be marrying a ruthless, and cunning Armstrong.
Their families were at war. Celia knew why her father was selling her off like cattle.
She knew well enough how much Charles Montgomery liked gambling, and she had a small, strong feeling that he had gambled away their family’s inheritance and thinking that marrying her off would bring some wealth and fortune into the family.
Celia was almost prepared to go down into the hall when voices below stopped her dead. The voices belonged to those of men. Lots of men. Not any of the voices sounded that of her family.
You can do this Celia. You need to do this if you’re to ever escape this dreadful family.
Celia straightened her shoulders and walked down the stairs into the hall. The room was warm due to the fire that was burning in the fireplace.
“There she is! Celia darling won’t you come and meet your betrothed?” Finelle Montgomery smiled acidly. Dead cold sweat made its way to Celia’s neck.
The room was crowded with people and yet no one made time to let her know to dress. Fear and humiliation were the last things that she needed.
She had enough stress as it was on her shoulders and her family didn’t help with the cause. Finelle Montgomery took hold of Celia’s arm and rushed her out of the room in a fury.
“What game are you playing? you stupid bitch? We have guests, and you-you dress like a poor street girl?” she hissed.
“No one told me to-”
“No one cares about your excuses! They’re not here for you, you fool. They’re here to see Armstrong’s. Go upstairs, and dress decently!” Celia bowed her head in defeat.
She wouldn’t cry, wouldn’t show emotion. She refused to let them know how much pain they caused her to feel.
The room was crowded with people she didn’t care to know. The sweet sound of music wafted throughout the room, and as Celia walked into the room, she noticed that almost all eyes were on her.
She stared ahead of her and made her way to the center of the room.
“Behave, smile, and act like we are a loving family. Your father needs this alliance, and if you screw up because of your disobedience, I’ll whip and disown you.
“Do you understand?” Celia’s mother hissed, smiling slightly.
The dinner table was set with her mother’s finest china, and delicate flowers, that increased the fragrance in the room. Celia could feel eyes on her and choked.
She couldn’t imagine being owned by another when she was running from her first.
In the center of the room, she felt displayed, naked. Fear and suppressing tears made her stand taller. She had to get a grip on her emotions or she would be in a grave before the end of the night.
“You shall do your best to gain the attention of Brian Armstrong, if you need to lay with the man then so be it!
“But remember the consequences if you shall fail!” Her mother’s voice screeched picking up an octave, making Celia shrink back in fear.
Across the room, a pair of grey eyes glued themselves to the woman in the center of the room. She was beautiful.
Dark blond hair down her shoulders, her breasts falling every time she took a breath and the rose-red lips that came up when she opened her mouth to say something. Celia Montgomery.
He knew it was she. He should hate the woman. She was the reason he was in the position he was in. He couldn’t take his eyes away from her face.
The more he gazed at her, the more he realized that there was a significant sadness in them. She was trying to hide it, but it wasn’t of any use, and for a second it pained him. No! He wouldn’t care.
She was to be his wife. Once she was, she would be the mother of his children, if he was lucky enough to have any. He thought grimly.
She would do her wifely duties, and once he got a son on her body, he would go back to his mistress. A wife wouldn’t tie him down. A wife was a distraction.
Walking up to her, he noticed that she was near tears, but none had shed. As if she knew someone was near her, she raised her head, and looked at him with surprise, and backed up a bit.
“Celia, am I correct?” he asked smoothly. His tone was gentle and low.
“Who are you, sir?” Celia asked, backing away a step, but then stopped, she had to make them all see that she was not afraid. She would stand tall and take whatever came her way.
“You don’t know who I am? Has your family not told you about my arrival?” Brian inquired.
From the look on her face, he knew she didn’t know who he was, and clearly, her family didn’t let her know about his arrival. After a moment she recognized who he was.
“My apologies, they told me you were coming, but precisely to the day, I am afraid I was not warned-” Celia stopped, her nerves getting the best of her. She tried to get a grip on her senses.
She had to keep it together.
“My name is Brian Armstrong, the laird of Crieff, at your service” he announced bowing slightly.
Unknowingly across the room, Finelle Montgomery stood with her husband overlooking their child’s progress with venom. The brat didn’t know how to act around the man.
Every time he said something she didn’t smile. She edged farther away, and Finelle was furious. The brat needed to do her part to capture Brian Armstrong’s attention.
“She just stands there; she won’t make a move. I swear if she embarrasses us-” she muttered to her husband, who from the look of it, did not care, but watched the scene across the room.
“She knows the consequences my dear; she will not let us down.”
Across the room, Celia looked at her betrothed with curiosity. He didn’t look harmful, but again, looks could be deceiving.
“Do you have bastards, Brian?” Celia asked boldly. Startled, he looked up. Eyes hard as steel, boring into hers.
“Two boys. Why do you ask?”
“I was curious. Forgive me, I shouldn’t have asked.” She whispered.
“It’s alright. They’re my blood; I don’t mind you asking, what else do you want to know?”
“Do they have a mother or are they motherless?” Brian looked at her with shock. No one bothered to ask him of his children, and there was a woman who not only dared to ask but expected an answer.
“No, their mother is dead.”
“I’m sorry, when we marry, they can come live with us, I don’t mind.”
“You don’t care they’re not of your blood?”
“Of course not! Children need a loving home, with two loving parents. Why should I be angry?”
“No woman in her right mind would take in a bastard; you surprise tis all.”
“Do you have any expectations of me? I know my wifely duties; I’ll provide you the son you so desperately need.
“What is it that I should know before I enter this marriage?” Celia asked taking a cup of wine from the servant that walked by.
“I have a mistress Celia. I won’t give her up, and I won’t drop my life simply because you’re my wife. Do your duty. The sooner you give me an heir, the sooner we can see little of each other”
Celia didn’t know why a sharp wave of pain engulfed her, but she knew that she had a chance to escape and live her life.
“You should know my lord, I don’t want this any more than you do, but my family wants this alliance, and it seems I am being pushed in your direction.
“My point is, once married, I would like a peaceful life, so if we can live apart from each other, I would be most grateful” The look on Brian Armstrong’s face hardened.
The muscles tightened, making him look dark and sinister.
“You will live with me, not on your own. Your job is to give me a son. Once you birthed my heir; I could care less about what you do. We will, of course, have separate bedchambers.”
“Of course, my lord” Taking her small hand in his, Brian Armstrong kissed her hand, and a little smile erupted on his face, and without notice, proceeded to announce their engagement.
Once the announcement was made, he leaned down and taking her face into his hands, kissed her.
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