Sentenced to Marriage

Sentenced to Marriage

By:  MadlainQ  Updated just now
Language: English
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"I didn't do anything wrong," I choked out. "You stuck your nose into my private matters," he hissed. "No one can sentence me without proof," I challenged him. He straightened up. Any traces of a smile abruptly disappeared from his face. "You still don't get it, do you? I own this city. It means that if I say you go to jail, that means you go to jail." He leaned over me again, his stare piercing right through me, "And if I say that I want you, that means you are already mine." My jaw tensed as I resisted an urge to talk back. This wasn't a battle I could win, and this wasn't a man I could win against... How did I get myself into all that mess?! *** My name is Cora Bell, and I'm about to marry Aren Lan, New York's most wanted bachelor. A dream come true? I highly doubt that. The guy is an arrogant, wealthy beyond imagination, asshole. Not to mention that our relationship is based solely on a contract, a contract I was forced to sign when I accidentally ruined this guy's engagement... I used to dream of a simple life. I wanted to graduate from university and work as a software programmer, but my fate chose a different path for me to follow. First, I had to give up on my studies to take care of dear Grandma, and now I'm forced to play the role of a manipulative jerk's loving fiancée! The problem is that my husband-to-be is insanely sexy and enjoys teasing me a bit too much. How the hell am I going to survive being close to him throughout the two years of our fake marriage?!

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120 chapters
Meet the Devil
"What the hell is this?" I hissed, looking at the document I was given. A lawyer in a fancy suit corrected his designer-rim glasses. "Your contract," he said. "Why does it say "marriage" on it?" I glared at him, blood boiling in my veins. "This is what my client needs. He needs to get married." The lawyer's expression remained emotionless, making me feel as if I was tossing all my anger into a void. I took a long breath out and glanced at the papers. "I'm not going to sign it," I said, this time more composedly, as I crossed my arms over my chest. The lawyer turned his head towards something, which I assumed was a one-way mirror. The second he did, the door next to the mirror opened with a slam, and a tall, black-haired man barged inside. It was Aren Lan, the only guy in this city whom no one dared to mess with. I looked at him, meeting his cold as stone gaze. I flinched but was unable to take my eyes off of him. For certain, he was dangerous, but he was also the most handsome man
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Getting under my skin
Once I collected all the pieces of my lost rationality, my eyes shifted to the counter, and I slowly made my way there. As I glanced at Marco, I saw his eyes tracing the handsome and shameless guy taking his seat at the table upstairs. Monique shot him a look and chuckled."You're drooling," she said, smugly pointing at the corner of his lips.I smiled awkwardly and hurried to put the dishes into the sink, wishing to erase the last two minutes of my memory. I had never been the type of fangirl who would easily let some handsome guy sweep her off her feet. That black-haired man in a suit was bad news, and I could feel it in my gut. After a brief inward debate, I decided that my temporal insanity was caused by a shock. My brain had become vulnerable due to exhaustion, which allowed me to be affected by the suit's good looks. As soon as I found this explanation, I felt better. With that figured out, I knew that I wouldn't let it happen again, and I had the best possible strategy to keep
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Lan-disorder
Monique and Marco saved my life again, taking care of the cleaning and bringing the order upstairs in a brand-new un-messed-up version. Certainly not that any of them would ever let me forget what had happened. Glancing at the upper floor, I could see that with me gone, Mr. Lan acted composedly-slash-indifferently or even politely! What the hell was his problem anyway?! I stayed put behind the counter, waiting for all three businessmen to leave. I treated it like my personal bunker, keeping me safe from any nuclear reaction that this black-haired man could induce within me. I could breathe again only when the door closed behind him. I crawled out of my hiding place and started wiping the tables, preparing them for another tourist attack. Monique walked over to me with a mischievous smirk. "Here," she said, giving me a hundred-dollar bill. "What's this?" I asked, dumbfounded. "Mr. Lan said that I should give you this. He said that you should buy yourself some good ointment for the h
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More trouble
I couldn't sleep that night. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw Aren's face and his body sketched by my imagination. I had been living a sexless life for three years, but seriously? I wasn't some starving cavewoman, and most of all, I had my dignity. I would never let some arrogant rich boy touch me in real life like that.The next day, I showed up at work looking as if I had died and resurrected twice. I used half of the concealer I had to cover the enormous dark circles under my eyes. It helped just enough so I could stop resembling a panda. I managed to fix my face, but it was harder to fix the mess inside me. I was anxious. I didn't know how I would react if I saw Aren Lan again, especially after dreaming of his... Well, I needed to start acting like a sane person, which was hard considering that I jumped nervously each time I heard a bell ringing and customers walking in.Luckily, he didn't show up that day. The same happened the next day and the day after. My life went back to n
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Fighting
I was in Grandma's room, sitting by her bed, and holding her hand. She was plugged into all sorts of equipment that helped her breathe and monitored her. She looked as if she was peacefully asleep. I only hoped that she couldn't feel any pain while being in her motionless state. I talked to her often, hoping that she could hear me, or at least know that I loved her, and I wanted her back. I had never complained about anything, especially not in her presence. I didn't want her to think that she could have been some kind of a burden to me because she wasn't. She was the only family I had left, the only person I loved in this world, and the anchor that kept me going. But I wished she could tell me what to do because I was tired of being on my own, constantly dealing with all kinds of problems. I was angry and frustrated, and all kinds of "if only" swirled inside my head. If only I had more money... If only I had the diploma... If only I could have a well-paid job... "Help me, Grandma..."
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Negotiations
Two hours had passed since I sat on the sofa in the reception hall of Golden Estate Investments. The red-head sitting by her desk kept flashing me displeased glances. She must have found my presence uniquely bothersome, to say the least. I didn't care. I was on my mission, and I wasn't going to back off… although I was tired, and my growling stomach reminded me that my last meal was twelve hours ago, and that meal was coffee. I quickly decided to temporarily fill my stomach with water. I grabbed one of the bottles prepared for the guests, standing on the table, even though the receptionist didn't bother to ask if I wanted something to drink. I clicked my tongue, looking at her before taking a sip of water. I could see her jaw clench. I knew that she found me annoying, but I couldn't understand why she looked so nervous. As I began to observe her more closely, I registered her glimpsing at the door at the end of the corridor, and realized something else... Every corridor was empty, as
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Proving my point
A brief, hysteric chuckle flew out of my lips. My move was risky. I was practically admitting that I went through the company's files, violating their confidentiality. No one in their right mind would ever admit to committing something like that! The more annoying fact was that I couldn't play dumb while trying to prove I was smart enough to fix their problem. Aren Lan went back to the middle of the corridor where I stood. Mr. Errington followed his boss, although his reluctance couldn't possibly be marked on his face more clearly. Aren looked around. There were plenty of other people gaping at the three of us in that corridor. "Lend me your office," Lan said, his words sounding like an unmistakable order. Mr. Errington twitched his lips but didn't dare to say a word. After a quick nod, he started walking through the corridor and stopped as he reached the corner. "This way." He pointed at the door before opening it for the big boss to walk in. "Miss Cora, after you," Aren Lan tosse
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Job well-done
By Aren Lan's order, Mr. Errington organized a room for me... and a group of babysitters in the form of IT specialists who were supposed to check if I wasn't a secret spy who merely pretended to help. I expected that to happen. After all, I was given access to their sensitive information, like their tenders and bidding offers. Aren Lan didn't engage in the process. He only instructed Mr. Errington to inform him of the results. I took it as a good thing. I didn't think I could stand him as one of my babysitters, leaning over my head and constantly looking at the screen.I quickly established that the infection hadn't missed a single computer in their company. It couldn't be a coincidence. It looked like a planned, precise attack aimed at stealing intel, and the bug must have infected their system no more than a few days ago.Supervised by steadily frowning IT specialists, I called Alan and Norton and told them about the problem. Fortunately, we had already found the best way to fight t
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An old friend
A week has passed since I solved our workshop problem. Alan and Norton called my achievement a victory, but that didn't mean that everything in our lives went back to so-called normal. We didn't have to move out of our basement, but it didn't change much in Golden Estate Investments' plans. The renovation work that was supposed to turn the old tenement into a hotel began two days after I had signed our rental agreement. In a flash, the whole area became a construction site. They might have skipped the basement for now, but even so, they turned our quiet place of work into a freaking madhouse... It took the greatest toll on Norton, whose antisocial nature had been challenged like never before. Fortunately, soundproofing headphones saved us from going insane... or committing mass murder.Certainly, my work at the coffee shop stayed as it was. There were days when Monique, Marco, and I had some fun, but mainly it was energy-draining. Thankfully, the tips made up for the stress, yet it la
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The plan
I stared at Liam for a few seconds, partially glad that he didn't want me to pretend his new girlfriend. Nonetheless, hacking into anything seemed like an even worse idea."Liam… I can imagine that you're hurting, but don't you think that messing up your ex's engagement party seems a little low?" I gave him a dry smile.He narrowed his eyes at me. "You don't understand, but don't worry. You'll change your mind once you know the whole story," he said, gesturing to the waiter.A minute later, we were both holding glasses of scotch in our hands. It wasn't my usual choice of alcohol, but Liam insisted that it was essential to drink something stronger before I'd hear what he was about to say. I didn't get it, but the drinks were on him anyway. I shrugged and took a sip from the glass, letting the liquid bring the heat down my throat.Once Liam confirmed that I had drank one-third of my glass, he started to speak, "Her name is Nicole Saxon, a beautiful brunette with the body of a goddess. I
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