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Chapter 4 The Wedding

  • Even though they were both based in Zaprington, the two of them had never met even once.
  • With that being said, Annalise had long heard of Claudio's name.
  • He was twenty-eight years old, a handsome man with a successful career.
  • Hailed as the ruler of Dartan's economy, he held the lives of infinite businesses by the throat.
  • A powerful figure feared by many was to be her groom.
  • The man was still young, yet he possessed a frighteningly overwhelming aura. His stern expression led those who faced him to become a bundle of nerves unconsciously.
  • At that moment, Claudio seemed as though he had just returned from an outstation business trip and had not had the time to smarten himself up for his own wedding.
  • It was apparent that he had a perfunctory attitude toward the wedding.
  • It looks like he's not happy about this marriage arrangement too. If that's the case, then we should get along well!
  • At that thought, a pleased smile touched her lips.
  • When her father passed her hand over to Claudio, her fingertips were icy cold from nervousness, so she subconsciously wanted to retract her hand from her groom as soon as she came in touch with the warmth of his palm.
  • With his quick reflexes, Claudio swiftly held her hand in his palm firmly, not allowing her to take it back.
  • They locked eyes with one another.
  • Claudio scanned her face. A glint rippled through his deep, dark eyes when his gaze fell upon her eyes that resembled that of a terrified doe.
  • Shortly, he titled his head and no longer looked at her.
  • Feeling the temperature of Annalise's fingertips, Claudio mocked himself inwardly, It looks like I've really become a cradle snatcher, as everyone says!
  • No one knew that the bride was currently zoning out.
  • Thus, when the priest asked, “Do you, the bride, take this man as your lawfully wedded husband? No matter in sickness or health, or for any other reason, will you love him, care for him, respect him, accept him, and be loyal to him till death do you part?”
  • He had finished speaking, but the response he received was but deafening silence.
  • Annalise's heart was beating wildly. Claudio, who was the nearest to her, could see from her heaving chest that she was not breathing normally.
  • Hence, he reminded, “Answer him.”
  • His low, husky voice caused Annalise to tighten her clutch on her bouquet subconsciously.
  • She raised her head and blinked her eyes which were riddled with confusion.
  • Claudio waited and waited but did not hear Annalise's response of “I do.”
  • Sensing the unrest among the audience, he tightened his grip on her hand.
  • The man could not help but turn his head to look at his soon-to-be wife, who was so nervous that her ears were ringing.
  • He narrowed his eyes at her dangerously. If she dares to humiliate the Jundt family now, the Guivers had better get ready to meet their end.
  • Yet, as his gaze met hers, her crystal clear eyes stunned him briefly once more.
  • Claudio immediately used his other hand to help tuck in a stray strand of her hair, making an intentional display of affection in front of the guests. Alas, it was all just pretense.
  • The two of them maintained a good distance as Claudio whispered a threat into Annalise's ear. “If you keep zoning out and embarrass my family, your family will have to bear the brunt too!”
  • Her heart instantly sank to the pits as she snapped back to her senses.
  • That's right! This marriage is meant to be a transaction to begin with.
  • Annalise's face cracked into a scornful smile with that thought. That time around, her gaze was calm as she eyed Claudio.
  • “I'll be careful. Thank you for the reminder!” she said in his ear in a muted voice.
  • Her warm breath tickled Claudio's ear. Combined with the whiff of her scent, he swallowed hard in spite of himself, and his eyes darkened.