Chapter CHAPTER 9
Luke had offered to get me a glam team for my hair and makeup but I had refused, because I would
feel more uncomfortable than I already was if he kept throwing favors my way.
I am getting ready when the door opens. I look through the mirror to see who it is. It's Luke. There's
total silence for a few seconds until I speak.
"What do you want?" I ask, still looking at him through the mirror.
"May I come in?" He asks. "You already opened the door, didn't you? Might as well enter." He enters, a
box in his hand.
"What is it?" I ask. He opens the box and it's a ring. A very expensive, shiny, beautiful blue ring. I look
at him, my face emotionless and his, hopeful.
"I realized that I didn't get to give you this because of the way things happened so fa—
"You mean how you coerced me into marrying you?"
He's quiet. He continues, "It would appear odd if my wife attended a soirée in our own home without a
ring on her finger, so I got this for you."
I sigh, "I don't want it, Carrington. I don't want anything from you, but I'll wear it, just for today. You and I
share no relationship. Don't forget that." I say. I continue, "After the party, I'm taking this off. A ring is a
symbol of marriage and marriage, is a symbol of love. Something I don't and will never have for you." I
say, making sure I look directly into his eyes so he knows just how serious I am.
His eyes become red almost immediately and I stretch my hand out for him to put it on. The ring is a
All eyes are on me the moment I arrive downstairs. Luke comes, extending his hand to me. I take his
hand and we both walk to meet a few people.
"Mr. Durant, Mrs. Durant, my wife, Natalie." He gestures to me. They smile at me, "Hello, nice to meet
you." I say, trying my best to make my smile look as genuine as possible.
"So, how did you and Luke meet?" Mrs. Durant asks. There was something about the woman. She
looked reserved and it was almost as though, she was trying to force the conversation. I could tell
something wasn't right with her.
I smile, "Well, I think that is something Luke would like to tell you himself. Excuse me." I say, irritated. I
walk to the corner of the room looking at all the guests socialize, give fake smiles and brag about their
assets. Luckily, a waiter passes and offers me a glass of rosé. I take it and head to the table. I pick a
strawberry and throw it in and begin to drink it. Alcohol never tasted better.
"Strawberry in rosé, very classic." A female voice says to me.
I turn my head to get a good look at her, she was dressed in a lace halter dress. Her hair was dark and
she had fair skin, just like me. "It's a habit I picked up from my mother." I say. She giggles, "Hi. I'm
Kelly, Kelly Andrews." She says, extending her hand for a shake.
I smile, "Natalie R- Carrington. Natalie Carrington." I say. It was going to take a long while for me to
finally adjust to that name. As much as I hated the name, I was now a Carrington.
I had excused myself from the conversation with Kelly, hoping to find someone who would lend me a
phone. I wanted to ask Kelly, but I just couldn't because I had a feeling that if anyone found out, I
wouldn't be the only one getting in trouble, Kelly would be too, so I couldn't risk putting her in any hard
I scan the crowd and look for less suspecting faces, someone I could ask for a phone and wouldn't
immediately wonder why or tell my husband I had asked for a phone. There's a young girl speaking to
Mrs. Durant and I head towards them.
"Mrs. Durant, hello." I say, smiling radiantly. "Oh, my, hello again."
"Enjoying the party?" I ask. "Of course. I most definitely am. This is my daughter, Emily. Emily, Natalie,
She gives a small smile, but before I'm able to respond, there's a hand wrapped around my waist. By
his scent, I can tell it's Luke. My heart begins to beat fast. Did he know what I wanted to do? Was he
going to rape me again? I was scared.
"It's time for the toast." He says to me and we move to get our champagne.
"A toast, but not for the usual party of the 29th, but for the newlyweds. A toast to the newly weds!" A
man who was oddly familiar says.
"Cheers!" The crowd choruses. I drink my wine, still anxious about Luke.
"There's just one thing left," Mrs. Durant's daughter , Emily echoes. "The couple must share a kiss!"
She says chuckling.
I sigh, simultaneously giving a smile. Locking lips with Luke? That was the last thing I wanted. If I could,
I would give Emily a hot slap, but I was raised to have manners, so, I wasn't going to be slapping
anyone— at least, anyone except Luke.
"Come on!" Someone shouts.
Luke looks at me as though he's asking for permission and I give him a little nod. Holding me by the
waist and his right hand interlocking with mine, he places a soft kiss on my lips. He's about to end the
kiss when I notice Laurel sending daggers my way. If looks could kill, then the look Laurel was giving
me would surely kill me. My subconscious whines at me, commanding me to show her that I was way
up above her. I agree, I did refuse and still refuse to take any responsibility in the manor but I was still
Luke's wife and that made me the lady of the house. Either way, Laurel had to respect me. I drag
Luke's shirt and begin to kiss him. It sickened me to cheat on Rocky, especially with someone who
violated me. It was something I had to do— something to teach Laurel a lesson.
There'd been deafening silence in the balcony since Luke joined me there. I was enjoying a nice hot
cup of coffee before he came in. I was still processing my thoughts about the kiss and I didn't have
anything to say if his reason for being here was to talk about it. I turn to leave, but remember
"This isn't mine." I say, taking off the ring. "Here." I say, stretching my hand with the ring in it.
He looks at me, his face, void of emotion. He massages the corner of his head with his two fingers—
something I'd noticed he was fond of doing whenever he was tensed. "No, it's yours. You're my wife
and that ring belongs to you. I don't know if you don't know, but returning a gift is considered rude,
Natalie. Don't you have any manners?" He asks, in a silent tone.
I scoff. "Don't you dare try to teach me about manners. Have you forgotten what you did to me?" I scoff
again, irritated. "Or you've forgotten because of your party or that stupid kiss? You know what? I'm not
even going to argue with you. I'll give your ring to Laurel. She'd appreciate it." I say, turning round to
leave. He drags my robe and it falls down. I was naked. I make no attempt to move or hide my body. I
am embarrassed and filled with rage. I turn to his direction, "Is this how you want to take me again
without my consent?" I ask, scared.
He looks stunned, his eyes red. He nods, "No, no, no, Natalie. I didn't mean to." He looks away. He
bends to pick my robe and wears it on me without looking at my body.