With this ring, I thee wed

Love across borders
presented by Indireads.com
The following story is a excerpt from Indireads. This fictional series offers a wide wide range of romance novellas written by both men and women, for South Asian readers around the world. Read more at www.indireads.com.
By Pamela Fernandes
Special to The Post 
If anyone feels this couple should not be united in Holy Matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.”
Katia broke into a sweat under her beautiful ivory gown. She was hoping, just hoping that somebody, anybody, if not Junki, would stop this sham wedding.
She looked down at her gloved hands and swallowed hard. The silence prolonged as the Seoul elite looked around at one another mentally echoing their objections to the matrimony of one of South Korea’s most eligible bachelors.
Breathe, breathe she told herself. But nothing happened. Everything went spectacularly well. Contrary to her imagination, nobody objected to their wedding, the best man did not lose the ring and the priest didn’t suffer from a seizure or stroke despite her fervent prayers.
Long story short, she was now married to the only son of the Kwan family.
Outside the church there were guarded smiles across the faces of the hundred odd guests. She in turn smiled and posed for photographs with a steely reserve.
Jihan, her new husband noticed her nervousness but said nothing. He should have known better than to propose a contract marriage. Had he picked an actress, she would have put on a spectacular show but he’d picked a heartbroken middle-class girl. She looked like she’d come to her own funeral.
On the other hand, a glance to where his father stood convinced Jihan that he had made the right decision in picking Katia. He had never wanted to give in to his father’s choice of an arranged marriage and he felt he had won the day. His father was like a hawk and any overacting by either of them would have raised suspicion.
The father of the groom watched his son and his new bride with keen interest. The girl was clearly no gold digger; she was far too independent and self-reliant. She was pursuing a fellowship with one of the best hospitals in Seoul, and was being mentored by Dr. Park Minho, a close friend of his. Clearly she was not in love with Jihan so this idea could not have been hers.
His son, very much like himself, was the one who had conjured this crafty plan. So the boy went against his wishes, like he did all the time. Even if Jihan didn’t want an arranged marriage, this wedding was just that, he could see it a mile away.
He was going to keep a close eye on them; he smiled to himself as he walked across to the newly married couple standing on the steps against the backdrop of an idyllic church.
Katia was on edge; she knew she would break down right there in front of everyone if she saw Junki. Her back was ramrod straight and her eyes darted every time she caught movement in a black suit. She smiled nervously when her father-in-law greeted her.
“Katia you look very beautiful today,” he said taking her hand in his, “I’m sure Jihan’s mother would be proud of the woman my son has picked for a wife.”
He wasn’t lying. She felt strangely familiar to him. 
“Thank you, Mr. Kwan. You speak fondly of her; I would have loved to meet her. She must have been a beautiful woman.”
“She was the most beautiful woman in the world for me. My daughter Eunhee takes after her in looks, but my wife’s nature was much like yours - free spirited and true. I’m sure she’s watching you from heaven now and smiling.”
Katia felt a lump in her throat. She was duping this old man and the rest of the world. She was lying though her teeth and there was no way of getting out of this wedding ever now.
Read more of Seoul Mates at indireads.com.
About the Author: 
Pamela Fernandes has been a medical writer for over five years. She made the switch to writing fiction when facts and medicine became more about numbers and less about people. Her romance novella ‘Seoul-Mates’ has been the result of her interactions with many Korean friends over the years.
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