~ Kyue ~
Finding out that I was engaged was a bit of a surprise, especially since I hadn't agreed to it. Finding out that my fiancé was business tycoon Lucas Kincaid was a shock. Family betrothal agreement or not, I may end up murdering this guy before I marry him.
I liked my life just the way it was. I did not need some arrogant jerk coming in and trying to dictate to me how I should live it. Yes, he was sexy as hell, but that didn't mean I was going to follow his orders. Maybe it was time to show my new fiancé who he was really engaged to. Not sure he was going to survive the introduction.
~ Lucas ~
I'd known for years that there was an old family agreement that betrothed me to Kyue Panich. We each came from socially elite backgrounds, were well educated and reasonably attractive. We both knew the score so I did not see what the problem was, but Kyue had been a thorn in my side since our first meeting.
Now that the wedding plans had started, maybe it was time to show Kyue that his little temper tantrums wouldn't get him very far with me. I had a reputation to uphold and I refused to allow some mouthy little brat to tarnish it. I was fairly certain that I could find a paddle somewhere.
"Our guests are arriving," my grandfather stated. "It's time to go downstairs so we can greet them properly."
Can you feel my enthusiasm?
I followed my grandparents out of my room and down the hallway to the stairs. Even though I no longer lived at home, they always kept the room I'd grown up in ready for me. I guess they wanted me to know I always had a place in their home.
In most families like ours, they stayed together in one large home. I had been the odd duck that decided to go out on my own and explore the world. Still glad to have a safety net, though.
A few people had already arrived for the dinner party my grandparents planned. I was glad that there would be other people around when I met the man I was supposed to be getting married to, and I wasn't at the same time.
With more people there, I knew better than to be ill-mannered. If we were alone in our meeting, I might say something I shouldn't, and then my grandparents would strangle me.
On the other hand, it felt a little weird for a whole slew of people to be around when I was meeting the man I was supposed to marry for the very first time. At this point, I didn't even know what he looked like.
It wasn't hard to figure out when he arrived, though. I knew who he was the instant he walked into the room. There was really no way to mistake his identity. He had a tall muscular frame, broad shoulders, tall timber-like legs, and an arrogant set to his jaw.
He filled out his black tuxedo in all the right places.
Besides the fact that he strolled in with a commanding air as if he owned the place and everyone in it, I'd never seen so much primping and propping from those around him in my life. It was obvious that the woman wanted him and the men wanted to be him.
I wanted to punch his lights out.
This was never going to work. I could tell that right now. This man was way too egotistical for me to deal with for the rest of my life. It was in everything he did from the way he walked to the way he looked at people.
He looked as if he thought everyone else was beneath him and they were taking up his valuable time. I expected him to look at his watch any minute now.
My grandfather left me and my grandmother standing there to walk across the room and greet him. They talked for a few minutes. There was even a chuckle or two, but most of those came from my grandfather. The other guy merely nodded, not a smile in sight.
Pretty sure his face was set in stone.
As soon as they started for me, I dropped my gaze. I kept my hands clasped in front of me, my head tilted down, my eyes cast to the floor, and my lips sealed so I wouldn't speak and say what was really going through my mind.
It wouldn't go over well.
"And this is my grandson, Kyue Panich," my grandfather said. "Kyue, this is Mr. Lucas Kincaid."
The silence was deafening. Was no one going to say a word?
I started to lift my head when I heard Lucas.
"Does he speak?"
What the fuck?
Did I speak?
What was I...a dog?
Who asked that kind of crap when first being introduced to someone, especially someone they might potentially be getting married to? He hadn't even given me time to say hello.
Wouldn't he be shocked as shit if I barked.
It was all I could do not to bat away the hand that reached out and lifted my chin. I wanted to shout at this man that he had no business touching me, especially without my permission. I didn't care what the marriage agreement stated.
There was something to be said about personal bubble space.
My gaze briefly flickered up before going back down in what I'm sure he thought was a submissive pose.
I was just so damn stunned by the steel-hard blue eyes that had been peering down at me, I needed a moment to recover.
"A very pretty China doll," the man whispered low enough that I could hear him, but I doubted anyone else could.
I'm Thai, you shmuck.
"Aren't you going to look at me, Kyue?" Lucas asked. I didn't see it on his face, but I could hear the smirk in his voice.
Oh yeah, this guy was going to die.
I doubted he could see the anger simmering inside of me when I glanced up. I was very good at hiding my emotions, especially in the fishbowl world of the socially elite.
With the exception of my grandparents, there wasn't a person in this room that knew the true me and the life I lived, and my grandparents didn't even know all of it.
Lucas smirked. "And there he is."
I gave a bow of my head in acknowledgement of his greeting, or lack thereof. "Good evening, Mr. Kincaid," I said in the most polite voice I could muster while thinking thoughts of murder. "I hope your drive was a pleasant one."
There was no way in hell I was going to say it was nice meeting the man, because it wasn't. I probably could have gone the rest of my life without meeting this idiot.
Lucas's steely blue eyes flickered with something for a moment before going hard once again. "Traffic coming up from the city was abysmal, but thank you for asking, Kyue."
I clenched my hands and smiled sweetly, but god, I hoped every moment of his drive here and his return trip sucked.
"As we discussed," my grandfather started. "Kyue was not aware of the agreement between our families until recently. It was him who asked to meet with you before making any decisions."
"Decisions?" One dark eyebrow arched up on Lucas's forehead. "I wasn't aware that there were any decisions to be made."
"As Kyue wasn't aware of the agreement, he wanted to take some time and think about it," my grandfather said. "I felt that it was the least I could do for my grandson. I don't want him to go into this with any regrets."
"Kyue comes from a long line of social elite. The Panich family has been well established here for many generations. Our families have been close even longer. The agreement between us was made many years ago, but I will uphold it and I expect the same from your grandson, regrets or not."
"I understand that, Lucas," my grandfather replied, "but surely—"
"I have my own misgivings about this arrangement. It's merely out of respect for you and my family that I am even here tonight."
It was all I could do to stay still when Lucas's eyes roamed up and down my body. There wasn't a single expression in his eyes or on his face. I had no idea what he was thinking.
It was a bit unnerving to be honest.
"Kyue is not someone I would have normally considered marriage with." Lucas slid his hands into the pockets of his slacks and sighed. "But, under the circumstances, I suppose he'll do."
I snapped my mouth closed so hard my jaw cracked. Who in the hell did this guy think he was?
If he checked my teeth, I swear to God, family agreement or not, I'd lay his ass out right there on my grandmother's mahogany floor.
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