Heartstrings In the Sun: Falling for the Billionaire
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Leslie is moving on after her breakup with Terrell by starting a new life in Phoenix, working as a freelancer at a local restaurant alongside the charismatic Bianca McHugh. But when Leslie meets the charming architect Ryo Suzaki, she falls head over heels. Just when Leslie thinks she has found her happily ever after, Terrell reappears and confuses her heart. Is she still in love with her past, or is it time to open a new chapter with Ryo? The clock is ticking, and Leslie must make a choice before it's too late. Who will be Leslie's soulmate? is it Ryo? or is it Terrell?
I was stunned when I walked into the living room with a suitcase. I just got back from Georgia. I just returned from there. After graduation, I returned home, hoping that my arrival would bring a big surprise to my family. But no, they’re the ones who surprised me.
“What the fuck is this?”
I saw Terrell and Irene sitting together so friendly on the porch of my grandmother’s house. It amazed me to see Irene’s stomach growing as if she were pregnant. I surprised Terrel and Irene to see me come home.
“Honey, we can talk about this without emotions. Sit down and I’ll explain all the fine points.” My grandpa told me to sit down.
“Wait, what the hell? Terrel? I found out you were here. Who got you pregnant?”
“I’m sorry we’re doing this. We know you and Terrell love each other, but Irene--“
“Wait, what does this mean?” I asked.
I laughed ironically. I’ve already realised there’s something wrong with our meeting today.
“Leslie, we’re sorry. We have no other choice. We’re marrying Irene to Terrell.”
“Why would you do that?” I looked into my grandmother’s face.
“You could have found another mate, Leslie. You’re so young and healthy.” Grandma came to Irene’s defence.
“Why are you always defending your step-granddaughter over me?” I asked.
“You know Irene has been alone all this time,” my grandmother replied.
“She has a biological family in the middle of nowhere! Irene isn’t an orphan, you bastard!” I screamed.
Grandma slapped me. “I never taught you to talk like that!”
“You knew Terrel was my boyfriend? Why did you marry Irene to Terrel after I planned to marry Terrel when I graduated from college?” I asked.
“You have a long time to find someone.”
“A new boyfriend?” I repeated.
My tears are flowing now. “I’ve been dating Terell for five years. Why do you always impede my happiness?”
“I’m not ruining your happiness. It’s just that you’re not right for each other,” Grandma argued.
“You always put Irene before me. Have you forgotten who financed your company’s bankruptcy?” I snapped at her.
“I thank you for that. But it’s not about the money. It’s about Irene and her happiness,” Grandma said.
“Don’t I deserve to be happy?” I asked.
“It’s okay, Leslie. You don’t have to cry about it in front of them.”
Mum hugged me and told me to stop crying like a beggar in front of them.
“You never contacted me either, Mom! I wonder why no one in this family ever understands how I feel!” I cursed.
Irene looked down. “I’m sorry. This is my fault. I will leave after I give birth.”
“No, Irene. You can’t get a divorce from Terrel,” Grandma insisted.
“Grandma. I can feel that getting married and having children makes me happy.”
“Do you like taking a boyfriend away from someone who has been paying for your life? What an unlucky child?”
“LESLIE! SHUT YOUR MOUTH!” my grandma said, angrier than before.
“If I were a girl with an evil heart. I’ll collect all the money I’ve spent to take care of you so far! But unfortunately, you got pancreatic cancer that made you snatch my boyfriend. Don’t you ever feel indebted to me?” I whimpered.
“If all you want is money, I’ll pay for it, Leslie!” Grandma pressed.
“It’s not about money, is it? I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about common sense!” I argued.
I laughed out loud and tried to grab her hair. Everyone in the living room was protecting Irene. I felt abandoned in my own family. I felt like I was the real stepdaughter, not Irene.
Terrel looked at me in a difficult manner.
“Sorry, I know--“
“You left me because of her? You disappeared long enough because you chose her?” I asked.
Terrell tried to hold my hand. I dodged.
“Why are you so mean?” Tears welled up in my eyes again. I hit Terrell’s chest repeatedly, powerless to accept it.
Grandma screamed at me, “Stop being so childish!”
“I was questioning why you were so mean to me and--“
“They’ve been in a serious relationship since you left for college. You left Terrel and Irene there for Terrel. It’s all your fault,” Grandma grumbled.
“Really?” I shake Terrel’s arm.
“Enough, Leslie! Your coming back here only caused trouble. It’s obvious that you are a parasite in their relationship,” Grandma always defended Irene.
I nodded. The piece of jewellery was in a paper bag. I opened it and took out the origins of the various jewellery.
“Okay, from now on I understand if you’re just using me as a bank! You don’t give a damn about my happiness and you’re selfish! You did this on purpose! Eat and be satisfied.” I threw the jewellery on Irene’s face. “Leslie!” My grandma groaned.
“What! You want to yell at me again after I help pay Irene’s tuition, huh? Why are you so ungrateful?”
“Leslie, stop it, honey, please.” Mom cried when I screamed like that.
Mom pulled me. I don't want to look like a criminal.
“Leslie, let’s have a word alone.” After looking like an idiot, Terrell spoke up.
“There’s nothing to talk about, Terrell. You betrayed me,” I said. “You promised to marry me after I graduate. But when I come back, you’re married to Irene and you’re happy.”
“Leslie, you know…”
“Come on, let’s go, Mom,”
“Leslie, we better talk this over,” Grandpa said, holding me back.
“I can’t Grandpa. I can’t live with a traitor and a thief,” I replied.
“Watch your mouth, Leslie!” cried Grandma then.
I looked at Grandma with disapproval.
I looked at mom. “Pack your stuff, Mum. We’re going to Houston right now.”
“Leslie, we can talk about it.” Grandpa was still holding my arm.
“Just let her go.”
“You will regret it after behaving cruelly like that!” I screamed.
“Go away, and don’t disturb our happiness here.”
Kissing A Strangers
“I didn’t think they would do such a cruel thing,” Bianca said.
“I never thought this would happen to me either,” I said.
“but you did something right.”
I shrugged and quickly ordered a glass of soju and rum for Bianca.
“Are you sure you want to drink soju?” Bianca asked.
“I just want to get drunk right now,” I replied coldly.
“I know you’re devastated. You’ve been dating Terrel for that long.” Bianca sighed.
“I wouldn’t trust anyone else. They’re very good at lying,” I replied.
I took a big gulp of soju.
“Don’t drink too much. You’ll get a stomachache if you’re not used to drinking too much beer,” Bianca said.
Bianca tried to hand me the mineral water she bought at the convenience store before entering the bar. I refused and continued drinking.
“What are you doing? Don’t torture yourself like that,” Bianca muttered.
“I’m not torturing myself, I just want to forget about my problems for a while
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