Introduction

Growing up as a Hamilton I always kind of knew that one day I’d be pawned off on some sorry soul who couldn’t manage to fall in love naturally so he had to have an arranged marriage. Every little girl dreams of a happy life. A happy little white wedding with the man she loves, her knight in shining armor. Well not me. Sure, I could dream about it but it would never happen. The day I turned sixteen I had suitors eyes gliding all over me. My mother and father would always have parties to introduce me to all of the eligible bachelors. ┬áThen if you could believe they held an auction on my eighteenth birthday. My hand went to the highest bidder. That lucky gentleman was none other than the famous actor Matthew Hamming. My parents couldn’t be more thrilled.

Of course I was unaware of this until a few months later when my mother plopped me down in front of my vanity table.

“Vanna, you’re getting married.” She stated so matter-of-factly that I had no say.

“Mother..”

“Ah!” She shot a hand up in the air. “You’ll be marrying the gloriously handsome Matthew Hamming. He’ll be here for dinner soon, so you two can get to know each other.”

“But…”

She shook her head. “No buts. I can’t have you marrying someone you don’t know..”

Right? I sighed, this was a losing battle. How did I tell her that I wanted love.

“What about love?” I managed to spit out.

Her eyes narrowed. “Now who needs that? Your father and I have made a great pairing for you. Matthew is good looking and wealthy, what more can you ask for than to have lovely children that are well off?”

“Don’t you love Father?”

She laughed. “I’ve grown to.” She spun on her heel and left.

Now it’s not that I didn’t like Matthew. He was very sweet and quite the gentleman, pulling my chair out for me, waiting for me, giving me his full attention when I spoke. I tried hard to hide my disappointment at being there.

“Vanna, that’s such a lovely name. Arisa and Milo told me so much about you.” He said, refering to my parents, though I can’t imagine what they could possibly know about me.

“Thank you.” I said softly. I had been taught to only say what was nessecary to a man.

“I think you will be very pleased with my, well soon to be our, home. It’s a very lovely venue. I think you’d really be able to appreciate it. Do you have any passions?”

“I enjoy gardening.” I admitted shyly.

He looked taken aback. “Really? Not many women of means take to meanial things like gardening. They always hire a gardener.”

“My mother thinks I shouldn’t because of that same reason.” I hissed.

His confused look softening and he smirked. “Well, if that’s what you like, I’ve got a lovely garden. I’ll just fire the gardener. He doesn’t do that well any how.”

I smiled softly and glanced down at my salad, shoving it around the plate.

Matthew was much more observant of my mood than I thought.

“Is something wrong, dear?” Just met and he was already calling me dear. But then again he did pay my parents a large amount of money to wed me and he didn’t know me at all.

“Oh.” I shook my head. “No, nothing.”

He nodded and excused himself to go speak with my father.

I leaned back in my dining chair and sighed heavily. Everything was wrong, I wanted to scream! Instead I headed up the stairs to my room.

I curled up into a ball on my bed. I wanted to cry but for some reason I couldn’t manage that. I wanted love, who didn’t? Instead I would be forced to marry someone who was socially acceptable and desireable. Someone my parents deemed worthy. My mother was given as a bride to my father by her father and that pattern wasn’t going to change with me. Couldn’t she see that I was unhappy? Didn’t she care?

As I got dressed for bed that night there was one thing that I knew and that was that I needed to break the cycle. I needed to find a way out of this marriage. We were set to be wed at the end of the year in the Butterfly Pavillion. I had 5 months left and I was determined to get out of the arranged marriage if it was the last thing I did. I was determined to be the one soul in my family who actually found true love and married the man she wanted to.