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It was a promise. A binding contract. To love, to honour and to cherish.

They were just words, of course.

Marriage was the only way to guarantee his future. As his wife, she would give him everything he needed. Money. A respectable name.

A family.

He fought down a wave of nausea. The idea of children – of everything involved with them, from conception onwards – was anathema to him. They were noisy. Dirty. Expensive. Demanding.

He didn’t want her, or the stinking children that she would no doubt produce. He only wanted the power that her money could bring him. The status that marrying into her family could bring him.

He took a deep breath, and he played his part perfectly.

Promises and lies, he thought, as he slid the ring onto her finger. All part of the game.

© Kari Fay