I Married a Billionaire: Lost & Found

By: Melanie Marchande
CHAPTER ONE

I woke up bathed in sunlight, splayed across a four-poster bed, on the third day of a vacation that cost as much as a brand new sports car.

Yeah, I was never going to get used to this.

I yawned, padding into the bathroom that looked like it belonged in a design magazine. I was told that the tile had been locally sourced and laid by celebrated artisans. It felt cold and jagged under my feet, a strange contrast with the overall luxury of the place.

After a quick shower, I walked back out into the bedroom, rubbing a towel through my hair. Daniel had gone out somewhere to "arrange the day." I knew better than to ask what that meant. He delighted in surprising me, and I was…getting used to it.

That's what I kept telling myself, anyway.

I hadn't slept this well in months and months. There was something to be said for being away from the realities of everyday life, even if my "everyday life" was about as arduous as rolling off a log. The truth of the matter was, being married to a business mogul actually did have its own unique stressors. I certainly preferred it to working nine-to-fives and wondering where my next student loan payment was going to come from, but at times I longed for a little variety. The charity dinners, the ever-present media buzz, the frantic late-night phone calls about some manufacturing issue that was going to delay the launch of the latest product by two months - oh no, surely the world is ending! - sometimes I just wanted to grab everyone by the lapels and shout you know none of this actually matters, right? Calm down!

For the first year of my marriage, I was simply playing a part. Daniel had hired me to be his wife so that he could stay in the country, and at first, that was all it was. But these things have a way of taking on a life of their own, and that certainly happened in our case.

By now, I'd stepped so comfortably into my role that it was hard to tell where Maddy ended and Mrs. Thorne began. Daniel and I were a real couple now, on a second honeymoon and everything, in a room with one entire wall that simply opened out over the sea. The outer wall of the pool just dropped over into nothingness. I wondered about the liability of it all, but apparently I was the only one who was worried.

I had to admit, it was nice. The concept had made me a little queasy at first, but it was hard not to be swept away by the incredible beauty of the place when I stood on the balcony and let the warm, gentle wind sweep through my hair. They could film a movie here, if only it didn't violate their many rules about quietness and serenity. We weren't even allowed to have the ringers on our phones turned on during our whole stay.

I thought it would bother Daniel more than it did, but he seemed to have a unique ability to switch off his work brain. Then again, this sort of environment could only be good for him in the long run - I was sure that, at some point while he was staring out over the ocean, he'd come up with the next big idea for a product that would make all the technology bloggers wet themselves with excitement.

A lot had changed in the past several months. I wasn't sure exactly what started it, but the media had either begun taking a much keener interest in Daniel and his company, or he was simply indulging it more. Either way, suddenly he was becoming a familiar face at the big tech conferences, and I couldn't buy milk and eggs at the corner store without seeing his name mentioned on the front of some magazine. It was a bit surreal, but I was mostly left out of it - which was fine by me. As time went on I sort of half-expected to get an email from some lifestyle blog wanting to do a feature on a billionaire's wife, but it hadn't happened. Yet.

After I'd pulled on a breezy sundress and run a comb through my hair, I heard my phone vibrating gently on the table. It was the latest and greatest prototype from Daniel's company, which he'd gently cajoled me into accepting after my old flip phone flipped so far open that it snapped in two. I had to admit it was pretty cool. It was just so much more than I really needed.

Then again, what part of my life with Daniel wasn't excessive?

It was a text from Emily, wanting to know if Daniel liked the new clothes she'd picked out for me. I remembered that I'd promised to text her as soon as we got in, but I'd been a little…distracted the night before. Emily was the boutique owner who'd helped me pick out the dress that I wore on my first "date" with Daniel. She'd outfitted me for the wedding as well, and I'd grown to trust her taste much more than my own. She was the first person I went to if I needed to look halfway decent, and she always did a fantastic job.

Yeah, I think it's safe to say he likes them, I texted back with a smile.

For this trip, she'd given me light fabrics in bright colors, soft and comfortable dresses that let me feel the sun and breeze on my skin. And, of course, a selection of lingerie. It was my second honeymoon after all.