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Fading Embers: The Search for Lost Love

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When Ranya calmly announces Vivian’s return, it marks the abrupt end of Calista and Ryan’s relationship. Three years of convenience fade as he chooses Vivian over her. She gracefully accepts the end of their arrangement with a brief response, parting ways with the compensation he provided. Leaving Texas’s wealthiest man behind, Calista disappears without a trace, erasing any remnants of her presence. Receiving her final goodbye, Ryan finds himself yearning for her presence and diligently searches for her. Will he succeed in finding the woman who left a void in his heart, or will he focus on his dying love for his ex, the woman he truly loved?

Contract of hearts

Fading Echoes of Desire

The weather was nice and fair, especially after the heavy downpour the previous day. There was nothing to worry about as she made her way to the massive building belonging to one of the wealthiest bachelors in Texas, Ranya Windsor.

Three years ago was the first time she had visited this place. She was in distress, desperately seeking a way to prevent her father from going to jail. She was troubled and extremely poor. But today, she held her head high, feeling a sense of belonging as her heels made resounding steps toward the receptionist. Despite being a law firm, the building felt more like a suite for people of high status.

“Good morning, miss,” the blonde receptionist greeted, smiling sweetly at her. The last time she was here, the receptionist had a curt expression, unlike the friendly one now.

“Good morning,” Calista replied, giving her a smile that lit up her face. “I have an appointment with Mr. Windsor.”

The receptionist nodded and checked her system for further inquiries. “The name, ma’am?” she asked without taking her eyes off the screen.

“Calista MacQuoid.”

“Okay, ma’am,” the receptionist responded, looking up from the system. “You’re a few minutes early for the appointment. You can go wait for him if you don’t mind.”

“No,” Calista responded and walked towards his office.

She entered the elevator. It had been three years since she last visited, the day she signed a contract that saved her parents and helped her live the life she desired.

Calista’s heart beat a little faster at the thought of why he wanted to meet her in his office.

They had spent the night together, caught up in the moment as it rained heavily. This morning, he had whispered to her at breakfast, “Drop by the office at 12. I have something to tell you.”

She was surprised. Besides their distressing meeting three years ago, she was never allowed to visit his office. Despite any issues, they were always resolved in his bed.

The elevator beeped, indicating she had reached her destination. Calista checked her wristwatch as she walked to the waiting room, where his secretary would come to get her. It was eight minutes to twelve.

Ranya was someone who kept to time, an adherent keeper of time. He said twelve, and it would be twelve.

She pushed the door open and saw that she was the only one waiting to be attended to before the next person arrived. She sat down, taking in the scenery of the room.

Not much had changed since her last visit, but everything about the room reminded her of how he had looked at her the first time they met. His cold, expressionless hazel eyes stared deeply into her soul as he asked her to follow him.

“Miss Calista MacQuoid.” The sudden mention of her name startled her, but she managed a small smile to hide her uneasiness. “Mr. Windsor is ready to see you now,” the secretary said, motioning for Calista to follow her.

Impulsively, Calista stood up, adjusting her skirt that reached her knees as she followed the secretary into the grand office of the man who made her heart race.

The secretary bowed, introduced Calista, and with a nod from the boss, she left the office, closing the door slightly behind her.

Calista couldn’t help but be awestruck by the magnificent office building. Ranya clearly had a liking for interiors and height. His office was situated on the top floor of the massive building.

“Please, have a seat,” his voice commanded, bringing her back from her reverie.

“Oh,” Calista smiled, making her way to the swivel chair facing his table. “Not there, Calista,” he called, standing up and walking towards the sofa at the far end of the office. “Here.”

Ranya Windsor. Despite the oddness of the office and his cold demeanor, he was a sight to behold. His kingly demeanor left her speechless the first day they met. He was undeniably good-looking, with a commanding presence that made it hard for her to breathe. But she had held this cold, thirty-year-old billionaire in her hands for three years.

She had pleased him and made him release his seeds in her countless times. A satisfied smile crept onto her face.

“Do you care for coffee?” he asked, staring intently at her. His voice had a captivating effect on her.

“No, I think I’ve had enough today,” she answered, returning his gaze with a hint of expression.

“Calista,” he called, nodding knowingly. “You can have coffee here. What I’m about to say requires that you have coffee.” He gave her a long stare and then picked up the telephone. “Two cups of Americano. One with lots of honey and ice,” he ordered before putting the telephone down.

“You don’t usually drink Americano,” Calista remarked, surprised by his choice. Only she drank Americano with lots of honey and ice.

“I’m having it today,” he muttered simply, his hands resting on the table with a file placed diligently in front of him.

A slight knock on the door interrupted them, and the secretary entered with two cups of coffee. She handed a cup full of ice to Calista, who thanked her before she left, leaving just the two of them in the room, staring at each other in silence.

Ranya and Calista rarely spoke to each other outside the bedroom. Their conversations were limited to random greetings from Calista, to which Ranya would only nod or hum in response. They exchanged words, but only in the bedroom. Moaning and grunting were their form of communication.

But now, the situation was different. Calista knew Ranya to be a man of few words, something she had learned to understand. However, the current situation made her feel like he had a lot to say.

The silence was suffocating, making her extremely uncomfortable as curiosity built up inside her. Determined to break the silence, she coughed, trying to remind him of her presence.

“Calista, what we have between us ends today,” Ranya said calmly, his cold eyes devoid of emotion. “She’s back.”

That was the last thing she expected. While she didn’t know what he wanted to talk about when he asked her to come to the office he had previously restricted her from, she knew it had to do with their relationship. She tightened her grip on the cup as her eyes met his, his usual cold, expressionless gaze fixed on her. Sometimes she wondered what he looked like when he smiled, as Ranya had never smiled at her.

She composed herself, pushing down any feelings she had for him. The last thing she wanted was to be a pitiful, obsessive woman crying over a young, handsome billionaire whose heart belonged to another.

“Okay.” Calista nodded, loosening her grip on the cup. Despite the pain and disappointment she felt, Calista resolved to maintain her self-respect and dignity.

She knew that holding on to someone who didn’t reciprocate her feelings would only lead to more heartache and suffering in the long run. The deal she had with Ranya was expected to come to an abrupt end sooner or later. She needed his help, and he needed her warmth.

Three years. Three years. Three years.

Ranya sighed, picking up a file from the table. “I asked you to come here because this is where it all started. It’s a contract that must end officially, just as it began.”

Calista nodded again, causing a flicker of guilt to briefly appear on his handsome face before disappearing as if it had never been there.

He was surprised that she didn’t say anything. She sat there, head held high, devoid of expression, just like him, nodding at each word he spoke.

She kept her head high, refusing to show any sign of weakness.

Seeing her composed, innocent face, Ranya knew how much he owed her. “Here is a check for one million dollars. I hope this can make up for it,” he stated, extending a check from the file. His gaze remained unfazed.

If he could be so cold towards her, if he could end things so easily, then she wasn’t going to show him any emotions. She wasn’t after his money, and Ranya knew that well. If he wanted to compensate her, who was she to refuse?

To his surprise, she reached out and accepted the check, quietly adding, “I left some things at your place. Can I retrieve them?”

Ranya smirked sarcastically. Calista had nothing when she met him. All the jewelry and clothes she had, he had bought for her. His gifts were never cheap.

“You have a week,” Ranya declared, getting up and walking to his table. He picked up a card and walked back towards her, adjusting his suit. “Give it to my secretary when you’re done.”

“The lock code?” she inquired, accepting the card. “Is it the same as last night?”

“Yes,” he replied curtly. “I will have the engineer change it after you finish packing.”

He returned to his seat and pushed the files towards her. “The contract. Sign your part for the dissolution.”

Calista nodded, signed, and stood up, ready to completely leave his life.

“Goodbye, Ranya,” Calista murmured, her voice calm as she met his gaze one last time.

“Goodbye, Calista,” he replied, hands in his pockets, as she walked out of his office majestically, determined to erase every trace of herself from his memory.

The Pact

Bargaining with Fate

Three Years Earlier

Calista stood before the imposing doors of the Windsor Law Firm, her hands trembling in the cold air of the waiting room. Her father’s future hung in the balance, and Ranya Windsor was her last hope. Lila, her father’s colleague, had assured her that he could help.

The firm was one that loan sharks found quite intimidating. She desperately wanted to save her father from jail, not only because her family name and image would be tarnished but also because she couldn’t bear to watch them take him away. She knew he was not responsible for the allegations imposed on him by Lewiston Corporation.

“Miss Calista MacQuoid, Mr. Windsor will see you now.” The receptionist’s voice jolted her back to the present. She took a deep breath and stepped inside, her eyes meeting the icy gaze of Ranya Windsor for the first time.

“Don’t mind his cold demeanor when you meet him. He can help you.” Lila’s voice echoed in her head as she w


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