The wedding of the year was on the covers of every magazine and newspaper in Moscow. The blogs and social networks have been talking about nothing else since the news of Dimitri Vassiliev's wedding began to circulate.
More than the news of the sudden marriage, the bride was the subject that attracted the most attention. A rich young woman with a terrible reputation, completely without talent, who tried to become an actress at all costs, and who was constantly involved in scandals, Juliana was what everyone called a social climber.
Nobody knew about her past, nor the origin of her fortune... but the fact was that the girl had managed to hook and tie the most desired bachelor of the moment.
Nothing in that relationship seemed to make sense to those who knew Juliana, and even less to those who knew Dimitri. But the fact was that a wedding had happened.
Facing his own reflection in the mirror, Dimitri could only think of Filippa, the woman for whom he would not think twice about giving up his bachelorhood.
The truth is that while he was tying the knot on that damned tie, he felt like he was going to the gallows. The more time goes by, every day, the pressure for him to take control of the family business increases. And this was definitely not in Dimitri's plans, even if sometimes Filippa insisted that accepting his fate once and for all was the best decision he could make.
Dimitri took a deep breath as he finished getting ready in front of the mirror, impeccably lining up his navy blue suit. In his mind, the thoughts and memories were like incessant whirlwinds that made his head throb slightly. Staring at his own eyes in his reflection, Dimitri picked up the glass of whiskey and turned away, not even caring.
Juliana watched as her brown curls cascaded delicately over her shoulders, and the white dress, tailored in a lightweight fabric, outlined her curves perfectly. And it was a fact, Juliana approved of what she saw. The black eyeliner highlighted her intense blue eyes, one of her trademarks.
While waiting for his fiancée, Dimitri mulled over his emotions, feeling the tension and anger take over every inch of his body.
"Man, you need to get a grip..."
Almost at the same instant, Dimitri turns Juliana around. And as much as his mind said otherwise, his body had reacted to the sight of that beautiful woman and her perfect curves approaching him. If he hated the situation he was up to his neck in, deep down, even if he insisted he didn't, he felt he wanted her more than he should.
Juliana had stood firm in her decision to marry Dimitri. And not for a second had she felt any shadow of insecurity within herself.
As they approached each other, Juliana felt herself enveloped by the smell of Dimitri's perfume, but she didn't allow herself to become involved with him or what he represented at that moment. She shouldn't, couldn't, and didn't want to fall in love. Not with this man.
With the marriage contract before them, and surrounded by the richest and most powerful people they knew, Juliana and Dimitri were playing a role... or at least trying in every way to look like they were happy to be united.
Juliana signed first, a courtesy, a completely unnecessary gesture of chivalry. And then, avoiding looking at her, Dimitri took the pen and signed, completely against his will, the nuptial contract.
The moment he finished signing, the meeting of Dimitri and Juliana's eyes was inevitable. She was not intimidated by that man who tried so hard to show her indifference, contempt and coldness.
Dimitri, upon meeting Juliana's gaze, felt anger run through his veins. But at the same time, he felt his body longing for the woman before his eyes, now his wife.
It was done.
They were officially married.
Juliana, with a triumphant smile on her lips and an impetuous look in her eyes, offered her hand to her now husband so that together they could leave that damned den of vipers. Reluctantly, Dimitri touched the delicate skin of the woman beside him, deep inside, fearing what small gestures like this could cause from then on.
The room reserved for the couple's wedding night was sumptuous, the most expensive suite had been prepared for Dimitri and Juliana.
Everything had to look real.
Everything had to be perfect.
But the truth was that Juliana and Dimitri were nothing more than two complete strangers to each other. Except for the attraction they inevitably felt for each other, nothing about this marriage was real.
As soon as they entered the suite, Dimitri took off his jacket, which he threw carelessly onto the sofa, and on a table near the window with a privileged view of the city, his inseparable black suitcase was waiting for him.
Juliana watched apprehensively while Dimitri slowly, without saying a single word, went to the table where his briefcase was and opened it, removing what was clearly a contract.
Juliana felt a shiver run through her body.
Dimitri felt the possibility of taking back the reins of his life.
He said unceremoniously.
"Our divorce contract."
Juliana took the contract in her hands, trying to keep her hands steady, trying hard not to show the nervousness that was taking over her at that moment.
"Not without reading it first."
"Stop being pathetic, Juliana."
"And not before a month."
"How's that? This has to be some kind of joke. We have an agreement!"
"And all I ask from you is thirty days. Not a day more, not a day less."
"And what reason would I have to continue this circus for another thirty days?"
"The same reasons that led me to accept this marriage proposal."
Dimitri was silent for a moment.
Deep down he knew that continuing the farce of marriage for another thirty days meant pretending with Juliana for longer than he thought possible. But this seemed like a challenge to him... and it was not in his nature to refuse a challenge.
"All right, then. Thirty days, Juliana. No more than that."
As soon as he said these words, the girl took the pen and signed the document in his hands.
"In thirty days you will have your divorce contract back."
Dimitri nodded, and with his thoughts racing, trying to imagine what Juliana was up to.
"Why would she ask me to keep this marriage going for another thirty days? It doesn't make the slightest sense..."
Dimitri's mind was spinning, his thoughts were racing, he felt more and more anger at that damned situation, he felt more and more anger at the woman who was now his wife, but nothing compared to what he felt for knowing that he did not have, at that moment, control of his own life... but he would not bend. He would ask absolutely nothing. He would stay away from Juliana, and that was a non-negotiable clause for him.
While the wedding party continued in the ballroom of the luxurious hotel, Juliana and Dimitri felt the hate running through their veins. A few hours passed, and silence continued to reign between Juliana and Dimitri.
Juliana could clearly see how much a wedding was not part of the playboy's plans. He kept his distance, and she could feel how much her presence there bothered him, how unbearable the idea of being married to her was to Dimitri.
After a while, in which nothing happened and they remained untouched, Dimitri and Juliana returned to the hall where everyone was. They needed to be convincing.
The moment they found themselves in the middle of the guests, Dimitri could not believe his eyes: Filippa. A shiver ran through his body as soon as he laid eyes on the woman who was making his head swim. She approached him shamelessly, her deep cleavage in a red dress made the playboy's heart race.
"Dimitri, darling. I heard about your wedding and decided to come back to personally deliver my most sincere good wishes to you two lovebirds!"
At her words, Dimitri felt the eyes around him completely on them. Everyone was whispering and raising questions. The buzz in the room was unbearable as hatred coursed through his veins. And before he was able to reason, blinded by rage, Dimitri took Juliana by the arm and without anyone having time for any questioning, left the ballroom with her, directly to the car parked in front of the hotel, leaving everyone present completely stunned.
Without any kindness, Dimitri pushed Juliana into the car.
"Hey! Take it easy! You're hurting me!"
"You're hurting me! Fuck you!"
And saying this, Dimitri accelerated the car, making the tires sing and the smell of burning rubber take over the interior of the vehicle, making Juliana cough.
"As if I was to blame for all this shit!"
"Isn't it, Juliana? Don't you?"
"None of us are here because we want to be!"
"Don't be that way!"
And before Juliana could understand what was going on, Dimitri put on the brakes, opened the door and pushed her out, kicking her.