The Billionaire's Reluctant Bride
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Forced to marry the ruthless, arrogant billionaire- Andrew Ortega her ex who she detested so much, Leslie eventually found herself falling for him. The more she got drawn to him, she realized how lethal and terrific, Andrew was. She was pregnant for him and couldn't risk staying beside him for he had numerous enemies that were out for revenge. So she fled one evening to save herself and the unborn child. What could stop Andrew Ortega- the powerful CEO of the Ortega group of companies who was already obsessed with her and aware of the fact that she had fled with his child to stop pursuing her? Leslie was his reluctant bride and he was ready to have her back regardless of whatever happened between them in the past.
1: Married To Mr Ortega
Leslie felt utterly aggrieved as tears slided down the corners of her eyes. Her voice choked with fatigue as she stared at her father who had an impassive expression on his face.
"It's cruel of you to think of me as an object of exchange. I will never get married to just anyone. I have my own emotions and... I won't let you discard them." She stated.
What riled her up the most was how he listened to her outburst passively. How could he be so cruel to marry her off to someone she so much detested? Maybe she could have given his words a second thought, had it been she didn't have a history with the man she was asked to marry.
But it was Andrew Ortega- her arrogant, stone hearted ex who she was being forced to get married to.
"You're selfish, Leslie. You know this marriage means alot to our family. You wouldn't want Kate- your younger sister to get married off in your stead, at such a young age, do you? Get away the childish grudge you have against Andrew from your heart. He's a man of finesse and you must marry him." Mr Lance retorted firmly.
Leslie was worried. Her father had talked of her younger sister being married off to that proud peacock if she tried anything funny. For goodness sake, Kate was only sixteen. She would never forgive herself if she disappeared into thin air and her younger sister is forced to be her substitute.
"If you had held me with high regards, you should have discussed this with me, before meeting with the Ortegas. And now, you want me to run around in circles because you agreed to the marriage at the detriment of your daughter's happiness?" She snapped at her father.
"Don't be melodramatic, Leslie. The wedding is already set. Your mother and I are really sorry it but this is the way it has to be." Mr Lance stared sadly at his daughter who he so much loved.
She broke into tears once again and ran to her room. She bawled her eyes out as she plopped onto the bed, staring at the plain ceiling in utter dismay.
To save their family from going bankrupt, her father was marrying her off and there was nothing she could do about it. Which was even more frustrating.
Leslie sat up on the bed and grabbed her phone from the bedside table. She tried Hendrick- her boyfriend's number but it wasn't going through. Since two days ago when she told him about her father's intentions of marrying her off, he had stopped picking her calls.
She would never forget the way he accused her of cheating on him and being a shameless hypocrite. Whereas she was just as hurt as he was, from the news of her forthcoming marriage to Andrew Ortega. She sniffed back the tears that threatened to fall off her eyes once more.
Her plan was to run off with Hendrick to a far away place. But he wasn't even listening to her explanations. And she wasn't going to let her younger sister get married off in her stead.
Feeling glum and depressed, she rubbed her temples as she bit her bottom lips in frustration. Just then, she heard a soft knock from the door.
"I was almost worried about you. Leslie love, are you okay?" Her older replica asked, concerned laced in her voice.
She wanted to scream her lungs out that she wasn't okay and would never be comfortable with the fact that she was getting married off to Andrew.
Masking up her glum expression, she nodded and forced a smile on her face. "I'm fine, mom. It's nothing to worry about."
It was all a facade. She was broken within her.
Mrs Lance- her mother seemed to have noticed that as she furthered her steps into the room and sat beside her on the bed, while reaching for her hand.
"I'm sorry you have to go through this, Love. But trust me, this is harder on your father and I. We'd miss you so much but right now, this is the best thing for our family."
Leslie sucked in her breathe, nodding her head though she still couldn't believe it. All her life, she had dreamed of getting married to someone she deeply loved and cherished. She had dreamt severally of eloping someday with her knight in shining armor.
But to her, Andrew was a frog she couldn't imagine staying with.
"This is so much for me to bear but it's okay. It's part of the sacrifices I need to make for my loved ones." Leslie stated, more like forcing herself to believe so.
Mrs Lance placed her other hand on her shoulder. "Thank you for understanding, Love. You'll be fine, I assure you."
She waited patiently for her mother to leave before she bursted once more into tears. This time around she wasn't really sure of the reason why she was weeping sorrowfully. Maybe it was because she needed an outlet for all the bitterness within her.
Few days later, Mrs Lance flung open the door of Leslie's room. She gasped upon seeing her daughter laying eagle wide on the bed, still deep in slumber. So she opened the curtains to let in the golden rays of the morning sun while yelling her name.
The woman walked towards the bed and gently tapped her daughter whose eyes fluttered open, almost immediately.
"What are you still doing in bed, Oh Leslie!" Her mother cried, swiftly pulling off her the quilt from her body. "Today is your wedding day, you should be dressing up by now, for goodness sake."
Leslie yawned and jumped out of the bed. Her mother had told her last night that today was the day set for her wedding. And here she was, looking all messed up in her flannel nightie.
"What should I do?" Leslie was scared. "Are we late?"
Her mother gently pushed her towards the bathroom. "Go wash up, unnecessary exchange of words can make us late."
Leslie hurried into the bathroom and took her bathe. She didn't feel so terrible this morning. The past few days has been a moment of reflection for her. She had finally realized that though she didn't love Andrew Ortega- her husband to be, it wasn't such a terrible idea to be married to a billionaire.
Her family would be saved from bankruptcy and they would wield more power too.
As she was dressing up, Mrs Lance knocked and entered with a warm smile on her face as she held a beautiful wedding gown in one hand and a box of jewelry in the other.
"I'm glad I succeeded in stopping Kate from ruining your gown yesterday night. She kept asking to try it on after you had gone to bed." Mrs Lance stated, handing the gown over.
It was a sleeveless fit-to-flare, matte wedding gown with a V neckline at the front and a scoop neckline at the back. Leslie twirled in front of the long mirror hanging on the wall and she was pleased with how beautiful she looked.
"You look dazzling, Leslie." Her mother exclaimed with dazzling eyes as she gave her a once over. "Now we must perfect this with the jewelries. I saved a lot to get this for your wedding."
Mrs Lance helped out with the Pavé pointe hoop earrings and sapphire tennis ball necklace.
Leslie looked like a princess but was in distress within her as they left the house and headed to the wedding. She kept wishing this was all a dream and that she'd wake up, in the arms of Hendrick. But it wasn't a dream. And this was reality.
Reality being that she was going to be trapped in a loveless marriage to the arrogant and ruthless ex of hers- Andrew Ortega who was the renowned CEO of Ortega Group Of Companies.
Leslie stood at the alter watching the few people sitted in the pews, stare at her. She couldn't stare at anyone cause was a nervous wreck.The firm voice of the priest drew her back to the present. It was time for the vow exchange.
"Do you, Leslie Ivy Lance take Andrew Dan Ortega, as your lawful wedded husband?" He asked
Leslie's lips were sealed. She had always wanted to read out her vows on her wedding day. But that was something impossible, for she wasn't even privileged to get married to her choice man.
She stared at her mother and remembered her conversation to her. It would be a shame if this wedding doesn't go smoothly. Taking in a deep breathe, Leslie turned to Andrew who looked breathtaking in his red tuxedo. He had a small smile playing at the corners of his lips and she wondered how genuine it could be.
"I do," She affirmed.
Relief swept through almost everyone present and Andrew leaned in and claimed her lips in a chaste kiss. She couldn't even close her eyes nor return the kiss.
It dawned on her just then that this was her new life. Her reality. She had to make this marriage work or she would live forever in misery.
Leslie settled into the car with Andrew sitted beside her, on their way to his mansion. She could feel her dead heart begin to beat again, which felt weird.
Just then, Andrew leaned in and whispered to her ears. "What about we consummate our wedding today?"
With her seven inches stilettos clicking against the marbled ground, Leslie Ortega sauntered towards the office next to hers with an important document her boss slash secret husband had asked her to review.
She knocked and pushed open the door only to gasp and widen her eyes in shock. She saw a red haired curvaceous lady sitting on Andrew's table. He wasn't caught in a compromising position with her but he didn't really seem bothered that a woman was sitting so carelessly before him.
Leslie muttered her apologies for disturbing him which felt like a heavy blow to her chest as she hurried towards his table and placed the documents she came with before quickly leaving his office.
She was inexplicably irritable and the pain in her heart felt more intense. Here in the office, she was always walking on egg shells because people must not know that they were married to avoid bias and criticism. And that was why she didn't ask him what that wicked witch
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