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"Mother said you agreed to marry me," I stared at her deeply in the eyes, as I took in her beautiful features. "Yes, I did," Her sultry voice replied. "Good. We will get married, but only for a year," Her face wore a confused look as she blinked. Taking her wrist, I allowed my thumb to gently sweep up and down. "Make me fall in love with you within a year, and we will live forever," I let the words in my heart out "What if I fail?" Her gaze met mine. "Then we will end the marriage and part ways. Worse still,you will lose everything you have,"I replied icyly, as her wrist slipped off. She looked at me with disdain. ******** Ariel Peterson, a young twenty five year old lady was thrown out of her so-called home, by her step mother. She decided to end it all, but found herself in a hospital. A marriage proposal in front of her, giving her a second chance, one she jumped at without a second thought.' Marriage will be lovely,'she thought. The cold Billionaire she was to get married to gave her a difficult task. 'To make him fall in love with her within a year' Will she be able to work her way into the heart of her husband? When a lady from the past finds her way Into their life, what misfortune will it bring to them? Will their love become happily ever after?


Sitting on my bed, I felt a dull pain on my forehead as I creased it gently. My vision blurred as I closed my eyes, breathing in and out softly. I opened my eyes yet again as I tried to rub away the sleep fogging my vision. It felt as if I had slept forever.

My eyes met with the glass cup on the stool beside my bed, as I felt a flash of what happened that afternoon. I had taken the cup of milk from my mum and drank it. 'I must have slept off after then,' I thought, as I stood up, heading towards the mirror on the wall.

Gently taking a seat, I stared deeply at the mirror as if it was trying to tell me something. The bulb in my room illuminates light. It was night already. A wave of emotions rushed down my spine as thoughts kept gathering.

'I am getting married soon and weirdly to someone I don't even know. According to my mum, he is a rich businessman.

That thought alone sent my adrenaline pumping with pressure. I felt sad because it was something I never wanted. I wanted to marry for love and not get into a marriage of convenience, two strangers together.

My door flung open, jolting me out of my reverie, as my gaze shifted to the intruder or perhaps intruders.

"Wh.. who are you?"I felt frightened instantly at the sight in front of me.

My breath hitched at the sight of the two husky men with black masks on their faces.

They glanced at each other, before advancing toward me. I tried to shout but no words came out. It was as if cold air passed through me, as I only looked on, not until I felt their grip on my arms.

At that point, I tried to struggle with them but it seemed like a herculean task to get rid of them. My heart pounded wondering if they had my mum and dad hostage.

"Please don't hurt me and my family. We will give you everything you want, "Those words were the last I said as I was dragged outside my room.

I was pushed as I fell, pain shooting out of my ankle. We are in the living room which contains two sofas, a TV SET, and a center table. It is a little home that had kept us secured for years, not until today, as it seems danger lurking by.

I glanced around the living room, as I felt frightened and confused, especially when my eyes met with my mum, whose lips only edged up into a smile.

'What is happening?' I found myself asking inwardly, as tears began brimming down my face.

I looked across the room, my dad on a wheelchair as he wore a sad look, the beam of light not enhancing the look on his face.

I crawled towards him, and I held his chin to look at me.

"Dad. What is happening? I'm scared, "I mumbled, my mouth pressed tight as he studied me quietly.

I blinked, realizing that everything around me built nothing but confusion. Tensed, at the sight of the two huge men at my back, my dad's sudden quietness, and my mum's mysterious act.

"Let me save you the stress Ariel, "My mum finally spoke, which prompted me to peek at her.

"Don't.. don't do this." my dad spoke out all of a sudden,but only earned a glare from mum.

Getting to the brink of collapse from my confused state, I crawled towards my mum, as I held her right leg.

"Mum, please. What is going on?"A slap went across my face, coming from my beloved mother.

I fell freely as I laid sprawl on the floor. Her slap was just a gateway to the tears that had been threatening to fall over since.

"Don't you ever call me your mother, because I am not? Your goddamn forsaken mother has died. Arrgh," She let out a frustrated groan.

This is not true. This is a dream,' I kept telling myself as I tried to sit upright on the floor. My gaze shifted to my dad's as he bowed his head, not wanting to look me in the eyes.

"That's true Ariel, "My assumed step sister, Lucille walked towards the living room, her eyes meeting mine.

She had never regarded me as a sister, so I should be least surprised. But, I only felt heartbroken more.

"My mum only pretended to like you, because of your usefulness then, but right now you are no longer useful."

Lucille's words felt like salt on my wound. I felt like dying. Her words stung me beyond repair.

'This was too much for me,' I shook my head

"You might probably be wondering why I never treated you badly all the twenty-five years of your life. Well, it was all because of your properties. And since everything now belongs to me, as from today, you are no longer welcome."

It felt as if the whole world was spinning, and I was at the center of it. I stared at the woman that used to adore me and treated me like a princess. I felt stupefied and shocked.

"Get out! Never come back to this house," She demanded while pointing at the door.

I felt glum and afraid.It was already late into the night.

"Samantha, leave her out of this, you despicable woman. You drugged her to have her properties. Now, you are sending her out of the house. You are shameless, "My dad poured out in anger.

I saw as my fake mum glared at him. If looks could kill, my dad would probably be below the ground by now.

"Martin, you humor me. You are the one who betrayed her the most. Don't you forget that," she stated confidently.

Fear crept into me, as she shifted her gaze back to me.

"I believe you are tying the dots together now. You were 25 years old yesterday, today you got drugged and now, you will be without a family and probably die," She sneered.

I closed my eyes, different images crawling into my head.

The glass of milk she gave me this afternoon was drugged. That meant I must have tendered my signature to whatever bizarre documents of properties I knew nothing about. I need more answers, but not now.

There was nothing left of my happiness. I wanted to talk. I wanted to vent my spleen on her. On everyone.But, I felt speechless.

I hated my step mum for breaking my heart with her fake love.

I was startled, as she raised her voice at me, "Leave!"

She grabbed my arm and dragged me outside the house. I wanted to try to get inside but was pushed away by the two masked men. I looked around for a while, as I broke into tears.

I wanted to wait, hoping she would change her mind but I felt a large part of me itching to leave. Even if I asked the neighbors for help, they wouldn't even be willing to help. After all, my stepmom had fought with all of them creating a barrier between us.

Left in the cold night, I allowed myself to walk around the familiar streets, which were not close to the city side. I continued walking, my tired and weak self overwhelmed by the brief scene that happened earlier.

I still found it difficult to believe that woman who I thought loved me was a wolf in sheep's clothing. She treated me so well that I felt like a princess. And dad, he never mentioned anything to me all this while. He kept everything a secret. I felt betrayed, even though he is handicapped.

Out of what happened that night, the only thought that made me happy was the fact that I will no longer be getting married.

I felt a gush of wind, as I became aware of my environment. The night was getting darker and everywhere seemed silent, creeping me out. I hastened my footsteps, not sure where I was going. I have walked a long distance already, paying little attention to my path.

Everywhere was almost dark except for a few dim light stands, which provided little light to my path. Suddenly, it started drizzling, as coldness drifted into my body. Rubbing my palms on my arms did no justice to the cold I was feeling.

"That's her,"I heard a voice behind me as I took to my heels. Each step I took was not calculated and was by impulse. My throat ran dry almost immediately. Distant thuds behind the cold hard floor, reaching my ears. They are coming. Those two masked men are coming after my life.

My head ached as I struggled to access my surroundings. I tried blocking the thought of my incoming captors, trying to construct a plan, as I leaped faster. I geared right to the alley.

The night was darker, as I kept running with no light.

OUCH! My legs were crippled with pain, as they hit a stone. I pulled myself off the ground, picking up the race again. I felt pain shooting up and down my body.

As I was getting tnd of the alley, all I had was questions. With all determination, I never stopped and was quite surprised they hadn't caught me. The alley led to the main road as I leaped faster, not checking for incoming vehicles. It was late, and there might have been no vehicles.

I stopped as I felt my legs weakening as I made to cross to the other side. I moved my legs with the energy remaining in me.

Upon getting to the middle side of the less busy road, I saw a car moving toward me, and for some reason, I felt my legs stuck in that position. My face dreaded in horror, as the light from the car almost blinded me. The last thing I remembered was the impact of the car colliding against my body, as I lost consciousness. 'Maybe, this is a good way to die,' Those were my last thought.

Chapter 2- PROPOSAL


There was this unfathomable feeling that clouded my mind since yesterday, the day my mum revealed the truth to me. I had always felt she treated Ariel far better than me since we were young.

Even though we were poor, she was ready to give her all to Ariel, but right now, the tides have changed. Ariel was not only homeless but ripped off her properties which are now ours.

Gently covering the upper part of my dad's body, I turned to leave.

"If you continue to be like your mother, your life will be ruined, "I stopped as my dad's words reached my ears.

I clenched my fist, trying not to let his words get to me, as I hurriedly walked out of the room. 'He is not a saint either,' I thought

It was late already, but my ears picked up whispers from my mum's room, as I moved closer to hear.

"It was a simple work, and you are both telling me you failed, "My mum'


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