Her Tiger Billionaire(3)By: Lizzie Lynn Lee
Sven Torvik had never thought the day he became a married man would come, nor had he ever entertained himself with such a notion. Nevertheless, at this very moment, he was happy.
He was a practical man, not a sentimentalist. His business dealings and work occupied most of his time. And there were special circumstances that made him wary of taking a mate. A secret that he closely guarded.
He dated. Quite often, indeed. But if things got too emotionally involved, he broke it off. The fear that his secret would scare away the woman he’d formed an emotional attachment to prompted him to put up an invisible barrier. You can get to know me, but never fall in love with me. Because of that, most of his ex-girlfriends labeled him as a player. Sven was fine with that. Being condemned as a Casanova was nothing compared to the freak of nature he really was.
Sven wondered if the source of the warm and fuzziness he felt right now came from the woman he had married.
On paper, Annalise Conrad was his legal wife.
And on paper, according to the pre-nups they had signed, he was only to teach her to run the company and then dissolve the marriage a year later.
Now that he’d met her in person, Sven had no desire to give her a divorce, no matter what. He planned to keep her as his.
He had never believed the ‘love at first sight’ cliché. But when he saw her face to face, he was overwhelmed with an unexplainable feeling that she belonged to him. As Annalise contemplated her decision, the beast under Sven’s skin threatened to take over. Wanting, wanting, and more wanting; the primal instinct within him nagged so severely he had almost lost it. Luckily, he was a master at concealing his expression.
Later that evening, after picking up Annalise, Sven parked his vintage Bentley in his reserved spot. Now, in the passenger seat, his new bride looked tense.
“Why do I have to move to your house, Mr. Torvik?” she asked in a small voice. “I thought this was only a fake marriage.”
Her reluctance was palpable. Sven could understand her hesitation. Marrying a man she’d just met that morning, and then moving in with him in the evening, could be a nerve-wracking experience. Especially for a young woman like her. She’d just celebrated her twentieth birthday in the summer, but it seemed she was far more innocent than her age indicated. From the information he’d gathered, Annalise didn’t date or socialize much outside work. She devoted her free time to her little brother Robert.
“It would be odd for a newly married couple to live in separate residences, don’t you think?” he said.
“Secondly, our marriage isn’t fake. Its legality is absolute in the eyes of the law.”
“But Mr. Abbott said it was a pro forma. He explained it to me.”
“Indeed. We’re married for the sake of fulfilling your uncle’s will perfunctorily, but it doesn’t make it fake.”
Annalise quieted for a moment. “Why did you agree to do this?”
“I owe your uncle a big favor.” Sven leaned back and took the key from the ignition. “Fulfilling his wish is the only thing I could do to repay him.”
“Even when you have to marry a woman you don’t love?”
That blunt question made him grin. “I can learn to love you…”
Her face reddened in an instant. “Don’t joke about something like that. It’s not funny.”
“Who said I’m joking?” Sven found the way she blushed very cute.
“We’re too different. You’re a smart, wealthy man and I’m only a lowly dumb waitress. People like us could never be together. In real life, Cinderella doesn’t exist.”
“I think we need to work on your self-esteem issues. You’re a young, very attractive girl. I see no reason why men from different walks of life wouldn’t fall for you.” Sven unbuckled the seatbelt. “And there’s one more thing: quit your job.”
“You certainly don’t expect that my wife would work as a waitress at a diner, do you?”
“I want you to hand in your resignation tomorrow. Effective immediately.”
“Kinda bossy, are you?”