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Marrying the Cold CEO

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Blurb

She is the wife that was chosen for him....and the part of his soul he had been waiting for all along.

Cold. Meticulous. Ruthless.

Damien Aleksandros thrives on being in control of all things around him and rules all aspects of his life with an iron fist and a permanent scowl.

Thoughts of marriage had never crossed the billionaire CEO's mind, despite knowing of his betrothal for many years. He had never been interested in honoring the promise made by his family- until a left field clause on his grandfather's will sends him spiraling out of control.

Gianna Maximilliano- the woman promised to him- threatens all that he has worked for. His marriage to her is set but his loyalty to her is unbound. To him, she is a bothersome obstacle to his true freedom and despite her stunning beauty and fiery spirit, he will do everything in his power to maintain his independence from her. Only problem is...he can't bring himself to let her go.

***

Fearless. Elegant. Ambitious.

Gianna Maximilliano is the epitome of a fearless leader- a reflection of the women who had raised her. As a successful Lawyer, she had established her name away from the prestige of her family background. But her loyalty to her family was firm above all things. It was the only reason she chose to honor her mother and grandmother's wishes.

To marry the man she had been promised to- no matter how archaic she believed the tradition to be. While the stoic, arrogant Damien wasn't her ideal partner, she was determined to honor her family's wishes.

Craving him was never part of the plan, though. And neither was the worst thing she could have ever done: falling in love with her cold hearted husband.

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Chapter One
*** "On the count of Murder in the First Degree, we find the Defendant... Not Guilty." The jury foreman declared, sending everyone around me into a victorious cheer that had me grinning. "I knew you could do it, Gia!'' Levi, my good friend and otherwise second chair, said with a broad grin as I smirked back at him with a shake of the head. And to think he had been the intense pessimist since the start of the case. The man was a good lawyer and partner at our firm but he had been reluctant to accept this case, prompting me to step forward and take charge. "Thank you, Levi. I am glad you still had so much Faith in me,'' I replied with a wink, infusing playful sarcasm into my words that earned me a playful roll of the eye from him before he moved on to accept congratulations from the rest of the people within the courtroom. Never had I witnessed Levi Price turn down the opportunity for a little attention. He was charismatic, and the mere fact that he walked the walk and talked the talk made him a good friend to have. I had learned a lot from him over the years. The thought brought a wider smile to my face, one that grew as my client, finally free from those around congratulating him, sauntered over to me. "I gotta say, Gia, I had my doubts for a moment there but you really came through for me. Thank you. I could never be able to repay you and your firm for what you've done for me,'' Victor Black, my client, expressed before pulling me into a long sudden hug that stunned me momentarily before I relaxed into his hold and made me smile in amusement. We had been friends since childhood and having the opportunity to help him reminded me of my love for Law. It was a dream come true. A calling beyond my family name and circumstances. "There will be no need for that. I only did what was right. You were innocent and we proved it. Now it is up to the DA to find the real killer and serve justice for the Grants. If you want, I can assist in the investigation to ensure Laura Grant's parents find the true killer...'' I replied, informing him more so because I had already decided I would do it. As much as Levi deserved his own justice, Laura Grant, his ex-girlfriend whom I knew he loved deeply, did so too. The case had been complicated from the get go but I was sure that a new investigation and fresh set of eyes might provide a breakthrough. "Yes. I would really appreciate that. Thank you,'' He said, holding back the tears in his eyes as he glanced at the girl's parents sitting a few ft away. I knew telling them of his involvement would only further the rift between them. They were still bitter and even more now with his acquittal. They too deserved a chance to get the closure they needed. "I'll talk to the District Attorney. He's a friend. For now, you should go and enjoy your freedom with your family. You deserve it,'' I replied with a small smile as he grinned before pulling me into another hug. "You know, if you weren't my Lawyer and childhood friend, I would totally hit on you,'' He said, making me chuckle. I was glad his sense of humor was back. "Yes, well I doubt me being your lawyer would be the only hindrance to this. I'd like to think I'm better suited as an older sister. I always did look after you when we were kids." I grinned wide, earning a chuckle and playful 'oof' from him as he placed a hand over his heart, amusement shining in his gaze but there was also a deep-sated sadness. Laura had been the love of his life, his high school sweetheart. They had made plans together, joining college and exploring their early twenties together. But that fateful night had shattered everything and my heart broke for them. "You have a lot to process and it takes time. This has been a long and harrowing process and you're still young. Take time, heal and maybe we can have a drink some time. A friendly drink,'' I replied with a shrug, the practicality of my reply making him laugh with a shrug as he tried and failed to hide the tears shimmering in his eyes that gave way to a grateful smile. "Thank you, Gia. For everything. I am definitely going to take you up on that drink offer soon! Please say hi to Aunt Elena for me,'' With a wink, he was off with the guards, no doubt to begin the release process. My heart warmed as I watched, glad that he was going to be okay. Although he was a few years younger than me, we had met in our younger years through our families. His incarceration was a shock to me, just as much as my mother's phone call to request my involvement in the case. Elena Maximilliano was not a woman who easily made 'requests'. Speaking of... Anxiety unfurled within me as I watched the call flash on the screen. Its okay...you can do this...Its probably not bad... right? "Mother...I was going to call you and update you on Victor's case..." I begun, holding my breath at the sound of her voice. I wished that there wouldn't be as much tension when it came to talking to the woman who brought me into this world. It was unavoidable, though. The Maximilliano women were built different. Strong, powerful and fierce, we were expected to be pioneers in every field we ventured into. We were famed for being Iron Ladies and due to that insane expectation, a tight ship was run to ensure we met and surpassed every goal we were given. Embarassing the family was not an option. That has been ingrained within me from the moment I could comprehend what it means... "So I heard and as expected. Well done. I'm sure the Black family will be pleased to hear it. I am, however, not calling you about that. We will be having a family dinner tonight at Casa Maximiliano at 7:00pm. We have much to discuss." She didn't wait for a detailed response, only my acceptance of attendance before she hung up. I wasn't surprised by her callousness. The woman was incapable of anything other than cold finality. She was the matriarch of our family and the CEO of the Aero-Max Industries, one of the top Construction firms and a billion dollar corporation. She was a giant in a world dominated by men and she had succeeded. My admiration for her clashed with the conflicted emotions she always brought out of me. Worry and dread crept through me at the thought of returning to my childhood home. Although the Manor had some good memories, the majority of them were the subject of some of my nightmares. I hated going back but I didn't have much of a choice. Whatever Elena Maximiliano wanted, she always obtained it. Releasing a tired sigh, I grabbed my folders, preparing myself mentally for the shitstorm that was undoubtedly about to come. Nothing good ever came from being summoned to the Manor. "Leaving so soon, Gia? I thought we could go get some drinks. I called the guys from the office to meet us for a little celebratory fun!'' Levi asked as we met at the back door staircase, otherwise my escape route as always. I hated the Press. Handling them was definitely not my thing. And especially not when I was struggling to keep my thoughts from straying too far into the darkness of my childhood. "That sounds great, Levi but I have somewhere else to be. Sorry, I gotta take a rain check for this. You know what to do with the Press, right?'' I replied, earning a wide grin from him. If there was something Levi enjoyed, it was the attention. Especially from the Press. There was no one better suited for handling them than him and he knew it. "Oh, okay then. Well, I'll see you later and I'll send your apologies to the guys,'' He said with a wave as I flashed him a thumbs up. "Thank you, Levi! I owe you!'' I called out, willing my feet to move and not follow Levi for an afterparty. I pushed myself down the stairs and into the basement where my Red Mercedes G-Wagon waited, putting my bag far away from my reach lest I called my girls for a drunk sleepover. Anything other than visiting Casa Maximiliano. Its sad that I would rather hangout with anyone else rather than meet with my own mother....story of my life I guess... Putting the car into gear, I drove out of the garage and towards my home for a change of clothes. I could never meet Elena Maximiliano in my work outfit. It wouldn't be elegant enough to grace her presence. I'd give anything for a different life...Anything... ***

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