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Arthur and Helena, two strangers, met at a fateful moment when each desperately needed comfort. Arthur had left his family to escape his narcissistic parents' emotionally draining environment, while Helena sought refuge from city life and Israel's vengeful parents. She grieved the loss of her billionaire boyfriend, Israel, who she vowed to love forever. Helena's trust was fragile as she opened up to Arthur and found solace in his comforting arms. She felt herself falling for him until she realized the truth about his identity - a truth that threatened to break her trust in him forever. Now Arthur must prove his pure intentions to Helena to keep her in his life. But can Helena ever trust him again? Does Arthur's love have the power to replace Israel in Helena's heart, or will he lose hope and choose what is safest for himself? This is not your typical Billionaire story – this is a story about battling love and trust amidst chaos and despair.
Chapter 1 Comparison
Helena woke up to the smell of fried bacon and egg; she was sure it was from her kitchen. Her blood was boiling at the thought that Arthur dared to touch her kitchen. Helena's kitchen is sacred to her since she loves cooking.
"You better prepare yourself, Arthur," she hissed. Arthur is the God-like stranger who asked for a one-night stay in her beach house after he explained he was lost.
She is still reeling if the man has an ill-intention for coming for help. It was strange to have someone knock on your door one night looking for a place to stay. But still, she gave the man the benefit of the doubt since he looked helpless.
It was hard for her to let the man stay as she intended to isolate herself from people, which is why she moved to her current small beach house in San Antonio. But she was the man's only salvation; her neighbor was miles away from her. It was raining hard, and he might die of hypothermia the next day if she didn't allow him to stay with her.
After the help I gave him, what did I get in return? Invading my kitchen? I don't deserve this.
Helena grabbed herself out of bed and hurried to the kitchen. She was fuming in anger only to be welcomed with two sunny-side-up eggs and fried bacon on the dining table, with a note beside the plate. And the note reads I cooked you breakfast. I hope you like it. My payment for a night's stay is at the center table.
She looked at the center table in the living room and saw a 100-dollar bill. She felt a little relieved that the man paid for his stay. Because why not? There's nothing free these days, especially since I'm an independent woman who has to buy my own place from my savings and to top that, I'm struggling financially. That's what she told herself to make her feel better.
Although she knew the man was helpless when he came and asked for a place to stay, Helena thinks he doesn't look like he couldn't pay a decent amount for an overnight stay. He even cooked her breakfast, which made her feel he had good judgment in letting him stay. Having a stranger guest in her beach house wasn't bad at all.
Helena checks the egg tray and counts the missing eggs and her bacon in the refrigerator. Four eggs were missing, and a pack of bacon. It did confirm that Arthur had his breakfast before leaving. Arthur did follow her instructions to leave first thing in the morning, but he touched her kitchen.
"If he didn't pay for the night's stay, he'd be in trouble," she muttered.
Helena then goes to the comfort room to do her morning business. There she discovers that Arthur had indeed taken a bath before leaving. The bathroom smells masculine, she's guessing probably from Arthur's body wash and shampoo. Helena couldn't deny that the man was clean and meticulously cared for his body.
Her mind recalled the scene the last night she saw Arthur sleeping, only wearing his underwear. It was a sight to look at. His masculine body, 6-pack abs, evident in his regular workout, was heavenly. Yet, she didn't like that he kept reminding her of her boyfriend, Israel, who passed away almost a year ago.
It feels like cheating Israel. I couldn't do it to him. She sighed as she shook her head and went to the kitchen again.
Helena starts her day by having brunch. Thanks to Arthur, who cooked her meal as she didn't have time to cook for herself. She praised Arthur's egg and bacon; the presentation was alright, and he cooked them well. She's even surprised he didn't overcook the egg and bacon like other men she knows. Even Israel needs to learn how to cook a fried egg. The man grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth.
The thought of Israel and Arthur again made Helena stop her meal. I shouldn't be comparing Israel to a stranger I met just recently. He is incomparable.
With that thought, she devoured that last piece of bacon on her plate and washed the dishes. Helena noticed Arthur washed the dishes he used since there were no used plates and a fork on the counter. She was indeed quite impressed by the man's cleanliness.
After her brunch, she cleans the house from her backyard, kitchen, and living room to her bedroom. She skips the second bedroom that she made a stock room. Helena sure had a productive day as she finished her cleaning before sunset. Which is a good time for her to walk outside, watching the sunset unfold before her eyes. It's her favorite thing to do before the wind gets cold in the evening.
Perfect place to collect her thoughts, especially remembering the love of her life, Israel. After losing Israel, Helena wanted to leave the city to avoid Israel's family and grieve alone. The only thing holding her back was her finances. When she had the chance, Helena sold everything she got and started looking for a beach house in her budget range. She left the city with no one knowing except her best friend, Gabby.
For Helena, her place is a piece of paradise, and she couldn't be happier anywhere else but in San Antonio. The house is undoubtedly made for her since it is alone on a beach, just like what she loved, where the neighbor is miles away.
They say people left San Antonio for a better life in the city, but Helena thinks the other way around. City life is a delusion. She hates the hustle and bustle of city life; one reason is that she's an introvert, and the second reason is losing the love of her life. Israel is no longer there, leaving her no reason to stay in a noisy place and, most of all, the threat from Israel's family.
The thought of the way Israel's family treats her made her quiver. Helena and Israel suffered under their hands for almost a year until Israel's passing.
Tears streamed down Helena's face as she stood on the beach in San Antonio. It had been nearly a year since Israel passed away, but still, his memory was as clear to her as if he were standing beside her. She remembered the sound of his laughter, shared jokes and secret language, gentle touch, and how he loved and accepted her despite their differences. He was the only love she had ever known and the only one she would ever need — yet he had left her.
"Why did you have to leave me, Israel? Why?" Helena muttered, her voice fading.
She wrapped her arms around her body to comfort herself as if Israel were still doing it for her, but the warmth from his embrace was gone forever. Her body shook as she gasped for air, overwhelmed with guilt that she couldn't stop him from leaving her. Pain pierced through her chest, and an endless wave of sadness crashed over her.
Darkness covered the clouds, and the cold was unbearable. Helena lost what time was on the clock until she felt growling in her stomach. It's time for her to cook dinner. She walks back home to cook dinner. As planned, she's cooking Israel's favorite recipe that she used to make for him.
It was supposed to be Israel's 30th birthday. For the first time, she is celebrating it alone.
Helena has been eating her dinner alone like she always does for a month. Israel was on her mind as she ate roast beef with peppers, garlic mashed potato, and raspberry cheesecake for dessert. If only he was with her, it would be a fun night, to begin with. She would be in Israel's lap while having dinner like they did on his 29th birthday.
Helena spent her night crying until she repeatedly heard a knock on her door, which pissed her off. She forced herself to get up and check who was at her door late in the evening. Helena remembers Arthur. "Lord, not him again, please," she begs, getting close to the door.
As she opened the door and exposed the presence of a man, the disappointment on her face was as clear as broad daylight.
"It's you again?" Helena had no intention of hiding her displeasure.
Chapter 2 Can I Stay?
"Please, I need a safe place to sleep tonight," Arthur implored as he knocked on the door while rain poured down.
"You said that last night, and I thought you were just lost. But now, I don't think you have any good reason to stay with me."
Arthur had a feeling of dread at Helena's cold response; it seemed like she hated him for no reason. He recalled bumping into her at the farmer's market and apologizing profusely, but she refused to forgive him.
"Let me explain. My best friend Daniel was supposed to meet me at a motel miles from here, but my phone died before I could contact him. I only noticed this evening when I tried to call him."
"You could have charged that last night. I couldn't believe that's how neglectful you are. Come inside," Helena invited Arthur but with a trace of displeasure in her voice.
Arthur knew it was against Helena's will to let him come and stay for the night
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