"I can't believe I have been lured into this fucking medieval claptrap," Maximillian snarled.
"Well, if it is of any help, I have seen the girl," Chris, Max's best-friend, said.
Maximillian Arrington, a thirty-two-year-old billionaire, had everything that a girl desired in her husband: good looks, great personality, money, and a phenomenal cock.
But that wasn't the case here.
While checking all the boxes on the list, Max's name induced fear in everyone.
Girls wanted to be with him, but only for the night. They didn't want to be a part of the darkness.
"What is her name?"
Chris looked at him.
"You have been betrothed for thirteen years! You don't know her name!"
"I made sure I knew nothing about her. I was nineteen when the deal came through. Instead of taking the payment for the loan, my father thought it would be great to forge a marital alliance."
"You will be taking over the entire Williams Enterprise, Max. That's what you wanted."
"I didn't want the girl!"
"You cannot get everything. There had to be a compromise. And just focus on the brighter side, would you? She is astoundingly beautiful. I am telling you."
"I have been with the most beautiful women on this planet, Chris. Beauty does not hold that much value for me, you know that."
"We'll see your reaction when you meet her."
"Do not expect me to be surprised. I will marry her and dump her at the manor. When the time is right, I will put a child into her."
"You do sound like a congested medieval lord. Do you hear yourself? What company would she have there?"
"Mrs. Arrington is with you most of the days. She is a board member and the vice president. She is also not on board with the marriage. Do you think she would be good to Williams's daughter?"
Mrs. Marcia Arrington was a formidable woman. She would not appreciate Williams's daughter.
But it was a done deal that even the Arringtons couldn't back out of.
"I don't care as long as she births a kid to further the line."
"You are making her sound like an object, a broodmare!"
"She is," Max spat. "Even her father thinks the same. Who exchanges their child for financial gain?"
Chris sighed and looked out of the car. Max Arrington was frigid about the deal.
He knew how coldhearted his friend could be. He just hoped that the girl could do something to melt his heart.
"Just…don't hurt her," Chris whispered.
A sardonic chuckle escaped Max's lips.
Chris couldn't trust his friend on this. Maximillian had the quality of twisting a person's emotions ruthlessly.
He knew a man's weakness and could bring them down on their knees if he set his mind to it.
Chris was genuinely concerned for the Williams' girl. She was young, naïve, and innocent.
Some would use the words gullible and exploitable as well.
Spring Williams, the most beautiful woman there ever was. Franco Williams was an overprotective bastard who saw the value in his daughter's beauty.
No journalist ever took a picture of her. It would tarnish the forbidden fruit aspect Spring came with.
Last week, Spring had accompanied her father for a meeting with Chris.
He must have stared too hard because next thing he knew, she was being escorted out by her bodyguards.
Franco glared so hard, Chris shifted in his seat.
They stopped in front of a beautiful Spanish-style villa. It was an architectural beauty.
Franco Williams was a collector of beautiful things.
Maximillian sighed. His dark mood was a contrast against the sunny weather.
He picked his cane made of sturdy oakwood with a bronze knob containing the sigil of the Arrington house.
It was an antique piece which now came in handy.
A motorbike accident had left Max's left leg weaker. Standing on it for too long was painful, and hence, he preferred carrying a cane.
It made him feel older than he was. The ladies loved it though.
They were let into the house and made to sit in the living area. The house was opulent to say the least.
Max came from old money, and he still hadn't seen a home with as much opulence as this.
Franco was definitely a collector of beautiful things; his house was a museum.
"Mr. Williams will be here soon," the butler said while placing a variety of hors d'oeuvres and beverages in front of them.
"Would you like to have some wine, sir? We just received the bottles from Bordeaux yesterday," the butler further asked.
"Don't ask, Davos. Just get the bottle! Crack it open!"
"Crack it open," Max whispered, judgement evident in his voice. "It is not a goddamn beer."
The Williams were nouveau riche.
The Arringtons were one of the richest family dynasties in the entire world. Money had been in their family since the past fifteen generations.
They were earls in Britain before moving to the States five generations ago.
Marriage in their family took into consideration prestige, pedigree, and position.
It still astounded Max that his father promised marriage to a man who simply had access to money.
"Mr. Williams." Max nodded.
"Please call me Franco. We are about to be family."
"I think it is best to get to work. The time has come. Spring is nineteen, and this was the age your father and I had agreed upon. We think next week sounds perfect. Your mother insisted on the wedding being private, which means the guest list won't be very long."
"It is perfect. I hope your daughter has transferred to Arrington University."
"She has. Spring will reside in Arrington Manor and attend Arrington University," Franco said and poured the wine which the butler brought.
"Does it not matter to you that she will be living an isolated life?" Chris asked.
"Spring is safest at the manor. Her safety is of importance. As for isolation, I am sure Maximillian will be more than happy to visit her time to time."
"Where is she? Your daughter…" Chris trailed off.
Just then Maximillian heard a mewl and felt something rubbing against his leg. He looked down and found a Persian cat with fluffy white fur.
He seemed sweet and adorable, not spoiled like cats are expected to be. Maximillian found himself caressing the cat. It purred.
"Mr. Buttons likes you," Franco commented. "He belongs to Spring. Why don't you return him to her? That way she could meet you."
Maximillian picked up the cat in one hand and held his cane in another.
It was best to check the girl out, avoid any surprise on the day of the wedding.
Franco had a broad face with small eyes and a large nose. His features were not good at all. The gods had not been merciful on him.
He expected the same out of this Spring, although Chris said she was beautiful.
He followed the directions he had been given to her room.
The corridor was long. He couldn't help but see that this wing of the house was different than the rest of the house.
While the rest of the house was opulent and grand, this wing was very feminine and delicate in its décor.
Pastel colors stood out, and Max knew he was in Spring's lair.
The windows in the corridor gave view to the beautiful flower patio with a staircase going up to her bedroom. Vines with little flowers wrapped around the balustrades.
God, where was he?
Maximillian reached the room at the end of the corridor and set the cat down.
He firmly knocked on the door. To his surprise, the door wasn't locked, and without any further thought, he entered the room.
It was bright and airy. A beautiful canopy bed with sheer curtains sat in the middle of the room.
There was a pretty little love seat on one side of the room with a table in front of it.
Fashion magazines, catalogues, and a few novels decorated it.
There was a beautiful section in the room, separated by similar sheer curtains and foldable doors.
Max walked toward it and parted the curtains.
It was a wardrobe area with lines and lines of shelves full of clothing and a vanity table covered with beauty products.
Little Miss Spring was a princess.
An ugly taste found itself in his mouth. He was marrying a spoiled girl.
He hated heiresses and socialites; they were vain and their beauty fleeting.
Maximillian had gone through so many of them that he was familiar with Spring's blueprint.
He knew what to expect.
There was a balcony which had a staircase leading down to the patio, which also had a swimming pool.
The beautiful doors of the balcony were open, and Max saw someone climb up those stairs.
Gentle air blew all across the room; it held the scents of beautiful flowers.
And then a girl emerged. She was tiny, very petite. Barely a few inches above five feet and more than a foot shorter than him.
He could pick her up in his arms, and she would weigh nothing. Her little body was very frail looking.
She had a small waist, and her hips flared deliciously.
His eyes travelled up, briefly stopping at her perfect breasts before moving to her heart-shaped face.
This was the face of an angel.
Big hazel eyes shaped like that of a cat and framed with long lashes, a beautiful button nose, and full lips with a pronounced cupid's bow.
Her long blond hair was flowing down her body.
She was clad in a lace bralette and tiny denim shorts.
It seduced the fuck out of him.
"Wh-Who are you?" she asked.
Max could see the fear in her eyes. It was justified. He was frightening.
"Maximillian Arrington," he introduced himself. "And you are?"
Her eyes widened, and she covered her body, an attempt to hide it from him.
Something punched him in his gut, and he stopped himself from staggering back.
This was Spring Williams, and Max couldn't take her eyes away from her
Chris was right. She was the most beautiful girl he had laid his eyes on.
A part of him was elated that she would be his in a few short days.
Max took a few calculated steps toward her, and she stepped back the same number.
"Do you know what I am to you?" he asked.
Max walked to the love seat and sat upon it. He beckoned her to him.
He observed. She was hesitant but eventually walked to him. Max let his eyes run down her pure feminine form.
"Sit," he ordered.
Spring sat down beside him. He loved her shy obedience.
"You understand that we are to be married in a week," Max said.
Spring froze for a second but nodded eventually. Max deciphered her small action.
"Do you not want the marriage? Be truthful," he asked.
Spring didn't say anything. Her eyes were lowered.
Max understood then and there that she didn't want it either, just like him.
But strangely, he was now looking forward to that day.
"Your feelings don't matter." Max's voice was sharp, and she flinched. "This contract came into existence when I was your age. I have accepted it, and so should you."
And with that, Max got up.
"I will see you next week. Make sure you have a damn smile on your face that day."
And with that, he walked out. He was a jerk back there, but he could not let her feminine looks seduce him.
She would be his kryptonite; he knew that, but he would delay that moment for as long as he could.
The cat, Mr. Buttons, followed him back from her room. He looked very pissed. Obviously, Mr. Buttons didn't appreciate Max's attitude.
"You met her?" Chris asked.
"I can't wait for the next week."
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