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Rejected by the Tycoon

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Beatrice Pagett has always deeply loved Edward Maddock, even though they married by contract. After a year of passionless marriage, she decides to seek a divorce, longing for a life away from the pain of unrequited love with Edward. Edward realizes too late the grave mistake he made and decides to fight with determination. He wants to undo the past and win back Beatrice's love. He strives to regain her affection and rebuild the lost time. Now, the question is whether Beatrice will give a new chance to the man who rejected her. In this story of second chances, their fate is shaped by the desire to start anew and the caution that comes from the scars of the past.

Chapter 1 - The Marriage

Beatrice

The next morning brought an unexpected emptiness. Opening my eyes, I found the space next to me in bed impeccably made. No sign of Edward. Uncertainty returned, and the doubt of whether he had or hadn't shared the bed with me on our first night of marriage hung in the air.

I might as well go down for breakfast, maybe I'll find some answers. However, the loneliness at the carefully set table only reinforced the feeling that something was amiss. The reality of the morning after the wedding was far from what I had imagined.

Each forkful felt heavy in my stomach, and the sound of utensils clinking against the plate echoed the emptiness I felt in that house. A mixture of disappointment and sadness seemed to suffocate my heart, a melancholy that I hadn't anticipated.

"Do you need anything else, ma'am?" Charles asked. "I can ask Mrs. Jeks to prepare something special for you."

"No, thank you," I politely declined, indicating that I had finished.

It was already past nine, and I assumed someone as energetic as Edward would have already had his breakfast. I wouldn't dare ask the butler about his whereabouts. It would be too embarrassing to admit that I had no idea where my husband was on the morning after our wedding.

I decided to explore the house on my own since Edward didn't offer to do so. I also wouldn't request Charles' company. For some strange reason, I didn't feel comfortable in the presence of the stiff gentleman. As I walked through the various rooms, getting to know the vast Maddox mansion, I ended up finding him in the library.

He greeted me kindly, but there was something in his expression that I couldn't fully decipher.

"Everything okay here?" I asked, trying to break the ice.

"Yes, just busy with some matters related to your father's company," Edward replied, with a somewhat distant tone.

An idea occurred to me.

"How about we do something together? We could explore the city, perhaps," I suggested enthusiastically. "I'm not used to coming to London, and it would be wonderful to visit some places together, like we used to."

"Today won't be possible, Beatrice. There's much to be done regarding the business."

Although his voice was calm, a hint of frustration passed through his words. It seemed that the weight of business was pressing on him intensely. I understood that maybe it wasn't the right time for my suggestion.

"I understand," I murmured, struggling to disguise the growing sense of disappointment within me.

Edward sighed deeply, and the exchanged glance made it clear that my presence there wasn't exactly welcome. I realized that I was intruding on his sanctuary, his place of work and concentration. Perhaps suggesting that we spend time together had been untimely.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you," I mutter, feeling a twinge of discomfort. "I'll leave you to work in peace."

Edward nodded, his expression softening slightly.

"Thank you for your understanding, Beatrice."

I left the library, gently closing the door behind me. That feeling of disappointment I was trying to contain seemed to grow, but I took a deep breath, reminding myself that it was important to respect Edward's space, especially at such a crucial moment for the business.

I walked to the garden of the house, seeking a refuge for my reflections. As I watched the flowers gently dance with the breeze, my mind wandered to the moments we shared in the past. Memories of our childhood together in Kent, the laughter, and adventure res we shared.

I remembered how we used to explore the surroundings, laughing at every mischief and creating memories that warmed my heart. However, the man in the library seemed distant from that cheerful and lively young man. A twinge of nostalgia hit me, and I realized how things had changed since then.

Over the years, our paths diverged, each following its journey. Now, we found ourselves united by a marriage that, despite having roots in our shared history, felt strangely distant and unknown.

I always harbored a deep passion for Edward, fueled by the fact that our families were inseparable. My father, George Paggett, and David Maddock have been friends since childhood, building together a vast legacy.

When Edward's father passed away, he was still too young to take on the responsibility of the business. It was at that moment that my father took the reins of the Maddock business, propelling remarkable growth and further expanding our family's fortune.

While my father supervised the Maddock business, Edward went to France to complete his studies. When my father's health began to fail, he called him back to London. My father hoped that Edward would take his rightful place at the helm of the business, a position my father knew he could no longer occupy due to a newly diagnosed serious illness. Daddy has Parkinson's disease.

Worried that the company was at risk of bankruptcy, my father seized Edward's return to propose a deal: he would run our business in exchange for a marriage to me, ensuring his position in the company. Though concerned for my father, I didn't feel prepared to take on a leadership role at just twenty years old, still a journalism student.

I didn't think much before accepting my father's proposal, as it wouldn't be a sacrifice to marry the man I love. The news of Edward's return to London brought a wave of happiness. Finally, I can reunite with my great love after three years apart.

I smiled without humor. Where is Edward I have known throughout my entire life? The four-year age difference between us was never an obstacle to our friendship or even the deep feeling I nurtured for him. However, everything now seems so different and perplexing!

My eyes returned to the garden, and a sigh escaped my lips, laden with fatigue. It's almost unbelievable that I'm here, lamenting on a Saturday morning, just a day after my wedding. Even more surprising is that it's such a sunny day, perfect for Londoners to spread out in the city parks, enjoying the English summer.

Edward emerged from his sanctuary only in the late afternoon. I was sitting in front of the massive vanity in our room when he entered, and I immediately felt my heart quicken in my chest.

"How was your day?" he asked, stopping a few steps away from me and observing me through the mirror of the furniture.

His interest surprised me. It was as if the Edward I had known for so long was back.

"I explored the house and met the staff," I replied, now feeling a bit embarrassed for not having more news to share.

He gave a simple nod.

"Great. I should have mentioned earlier, but if you need anything, Charles is at your disposal. He and Mrs. Jeks have been long-time employees of the house and can be very helpful in managing the estate."

I thanked him with a sincere smile.

"Thank you, Edward. That's very kind of you."

The atmosphere between us felt lighter at that moment. It was as if a small part of the barrier that had arisen between us was beginning to dissolve. As our eyes met in the mirror, I realized that maybe there was still hope for us, despite the uncertainties surrounding us.

"I'll get ready for dinner," he said, breaking the moment that seemed to have brought us closer again.

As he left, I continued to finish my makeup, feeling a mixture of expectation and anxiety to go downstairs and share that dinner with my husband.

Finally ready, I waited with growing nervousness, my heart beating faster than I would like to admit. I wanted that moment to be special, with the same connection that had always existed between us.

However, when we sat down at the table and started talking, something seemed different. Edward had chosen generic topics to discuss over dinner and the conversation was neutral. As we exchanged words, a silent sadness took hold of me. I lamented the lack of intimacy we shared before. It was as if we were two strangers, dining together out of courtesy. I tried to smile and participate in the conversation, but the feeling of emptiness persisted.

Chapter 2 - Doubts and Disappointments

Beatrice

After a month of marriage, the situation with Edward hasn't changed. He continues to act politely but seems to maintain an invisible distance between us. We share the same room and bed, but he has never tried to get closer. Instead, he always locks himself in the library late into the night, always claiming work. It seems like he's avoiding me.

It saddens me, but I can't talk about it with my family or friends. My mother was against our marriage from the start, as she disagreed with the idea of the contract, and admitting that it's been a disappointment would confirm what she tried to warn me about. Additionally, my father is ill, so there are already enough concerns at home. I don't want to add more problems. So, I smile and pretend everything is fine when, in reality, I feel very alone.

Abigail, Edward's sister and my true friend called me that afternoon. She was passing through London and came to visit me.

Heroes

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