chapter 3 - a new home

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Phillips POV

The ride home was silent and cold.

But I hadn't expected anything different. I didn't want this marriage and considering that this girl didn't even take one look at me, I doubted that she was a willing party. Not that it mattered. She was a means to an end.

Mother had hounded me for months to get married - and for what?

A business deal.

Sure it was a multi billion dollar deal but it was still a business deal. The investors had a reputation for being family orientated and a 27 year old eligible bachelor - an only son to make it worse - was not considered family oriented.

This girl would be an easy fit, with her family well indebted to my parents, she would be very easy to control, she would toe the line and with the right motivation, present herself as the perfect wife.

I sighed, poring another whiskey into my glass and taking off the heavy and itchy sherwani suit I was wearing.

What was the point of all this I wondered. The pomp, the glamour, the over the top extravagance?

Oh yes, I remembered - my mother.

My mother was like a dog with a bone with this deal, and she was desperately trying to make a good impression with the filthy rich Balaji's.

She had called and complained, whinged and whined and even resorted to emotional blackmail until I finally agreed to get married. As strained as our relationship was, she was still my mother and I wanted to keep her happy, and in doing so, I played directly into her hands.

No doubt she would be on the phone right now to all her contacts in India, talking about her son and his fabulous wedding to a hoteliers daughter.

She knew how to play up a situation very well.

I looked up at the portrait on the wall, a beautiful woman with deep blue eyes, waves of golden hair and smiling face looked blankly back at me, this was the woman I loved, the one I would always love, the woman who had made this mansion our home, and who was taken from me too soon. She was my first love, my only love and I was sure she would be waiting for me, someday when our paths would meet again.

I looked at the plain manila folder on my desk, it was her background check, it was really something I should have gone through weeks ago - but I suspected that i wouldn't find anything interesting in this girls background.

I tossed back the last of the whiskey and skimmed the file.

I was right.

There was nothing interesting, although tonight she looked nothing like her photos.

Not wanting to go to bed yet, I called Richard, my best friend.

' So mate, how does it feel to be a married man?'

' Shut up you arse." The music in the background was loud and I could barely hear him. ' She didn't even take one look at me.'

' Don't worry, I'm sure that once you put on all your charms, she will be putty in your hands...err...bed.."

' Man don't even go there, you know I don't mix work and pleasure.'

' Well why not? The papers been signed, you might as well take advantage of your convenient situation. I mean your married, its not rape if your married. Have a bit of fun! Hey come join me, I'm at the strip club downtown, the girls are super hot tonight. It will help you take your mind off things'.

I was tempted, very tempted, it had been a long stressful day and I would have liked to blow off some stream, but Richard could be a jerk sometimes and his comment about rape didn't go down well with me. He had never had a partner for more than a few weeks and besides, I had a new reputation to uphold.

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