Ch9 - "Your Palace"

“Here we are. Welcome to your new palace, my lady.” David informed Mariane.

Mariane couldn’t help but awe while staring at the gigantic mansion owned by none other than David Cruz.

‘Wow… This guy I married is really rich. I couldn’t imagine staying at this kind of house.’ 

The size of this 30,000-square-meter mansion is staggering. After entering the gate, a park lawn will immediately greet you with a circular path for cars leading to the entrance. In the middle of the circle, there was a golden fountain fish design that catches Mariane's attention. Because of the light coming from the LED lights attached to the ground and focused on the fish, the fountain shines as if it were brilliant gold. 

“Is it made of gold?” Mariane asked, pointing to the fountain behind them.

David turned to look at what Mariane was talking about. 

“How’d you know? Well, it was a mix of gold and cement. There’s a part of the fish that has gold. Can you guess which part of the fish has gold?” David challenged her.

Mariane narrowed her eyes as she went closer to the fountain. She pointed to the scales of the fish. “This one, right?” she asked.

David smirked. It surprised him when Mariane distinguished between genuine gold and cement and got only painted with gold color. Where, in fact, the said gold in the fountain was unrecognizable.

“How can you say so?” He asked.

Mariane shrugged. “I just guess it.” David raised his brows in disbelief.

“So, was it your intuition?” he asked, making Mariane nod.

“Yes,” she simply said before she turned her back on the fountain and went to the entrance.

‘I’m just guessing. It really all looked like made of gold.’ She thought.

“Can we get inside?” Mariane asked.

“Sure. Sure.” David said.

David led the way, opened the double doors, and asked Mariane to enter the house. Mariane got surprised when David's servants immediately appeared. From the male and female butler to a gardener to cook, followed by the cleaner, the washer, the two personal assistants, the driver, and George, David’s secretary, lined up at the entrance to the very first step of the stairs.

“Welcome home, Madam Mariane,” Servants greeted her with a smile plastered on their faces.

Mariane smiled. “Thank you,” she said.

David called one of the personal assistants. “Mariane, this will be your personal assistant here in the house. Her name is Agatha. If you need something, you can ask her.” He informed Mariane.

“I can take care of myself. I don’t need a personal assistant,” Mariane refused.

‘You’re just planting me a human surveillance camera to report all my deeds here in the house.’ Mariane wanted to say it out loud, but she chose not to.

“Alright. Do you want me to fire Agatha in this instant?” Mariane’s eyes widen in shock.

“Why will you fire her?” she asked in disbelief.

Mariane looked at Agatha, who was about to cry when she heard that her boss, David, would go to fire her. ‘Was he crazy? Is this how he treats his people?’ she wondered.

“Because you said, you don’t need a servant to serve you. So, do you want me to fire them all? Just so you know, Mrs. Mariane Ramos-Cruz, I only hired them for you. If you don’t need them, then might as well fire them all.”

Mariane shook her head in disappointment. When her eyes darted to the poor servants, Mariane sighed exasperatedly.

“Fine. I need all the servants. Just don’t fire them.” Mariane said.

The servants who looked depressed earlier became happy. They mouthed thanks to Mariane, who was now stressed. She knew that aside from servants. He also hired them to report everything that she will be going to do.

‘I need to befriend these servants. Like they said… Get your friends close and your enemies closer. I cannot trust all the people here.’ she thought.

“Alright. Agatha, send Mariane to her room.” David ordered.

Agatha led the way. “This way, Madam.” She said, which made Marian nod and follow her.

“Can you just call me Mariane? I’m not used to being called Madam.” Mariane said.

“I’m sorry, Madam. We are not allowed to call our bosses by their names.” Agatha said apologetically.

Mariane heaved a sigh. “Alright. But when there’s only the two of us… Just call me by my name. And don’t worry, I will not tell David about it.” She raised her brows, waiting for Agatha’s response.

But when Agatha tried to reason out again, Marian interrupted her. “No more buts, alright? And that is an order.” Mariane smiled.

Agatha smiled at her, and eventually, she nodded in disperse. “Thank you. I thought you were as strict as our Master. But you weren’t. Thank you also for saving me earlier. I thought I was gonna lose my job,” she said.

“Madam, we have arrived in your room,” Agatha informed Mariane.

Agatha opened the door for her. And she got mesmerized by the interior of the room. Spacious, minimalist. It has a king-sized bed in the middle of the two bedside tables. There was a long vanity mirror with two single round couches. And when they went to the wardrobe room, Marian noticed that it had men’s clothes hanging on the cabinet.

‘Was it David’s clothes? Does it mean we're sharing the same bed?’ Mariane’s eyes widened at her own thoughts.

‘No… This can’t be. I don’t want to be in the same room as David.’ She muttered.

“Um… Agatha… Is there any room aside from this? I think this is David’s room.” Mariane asked, making Agatha confused.

“Uh… But Master said this is also your room. I don’t think he will allow you to have a separate room since you two are married.” Agatha stated the fact.

‘Right… We’re married. But I don’t want to be with him.’ She shrugged as she pouted at her thoughts.

‘I should talk to him.’

Mariane was about to speak when the door suddenly opened. And it was David.

“Leave us for a minute. I will call you back to fix the luggage. I just need to talk to my wife.” David ordered Agatha. 

Agatha bowed as a sign of respect for her employers before exiting the room.

“I thought it was MY room?” Mariane asked David after Agatha closed the door for them.

“It is your room. Well, legally speaking, your room is my room. And this is also MY room. Since we’re married.” David stated. He sat on the edge of the bed. He even emphasized the word ‘MY’.

Mariane groaned and massage her head. “I want my room,” she asked.

“Sorry. I can’t have you that. We are married in papers.”

Mariane sighed exasperatingly. “In papers, yes. But that doesn’t mean we will be in the same bed together. And I don’t want to sleep with you when I don’t have feelings for you.” Mariane said as a matter of fact.

David sighed in defeat. “Alright. I will ask Agatha to prepare the room next to mine. Happy?” He asked in a sarcastic tone.

“Yes. And also… I want to discuss our terms for this setup.” Mariane said, making David frown.

“Terms?” He asked.

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