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The Billionaire Who Saved Me

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Cast aside and humiliated, Elice McLean never imagined she would endure life. She was on the verge of giving up. Until that night led her to a crazy revelation. That she still had value. His name was Garrett Alexander Morales. A stranger who proved to Elice that she was still immensely valuable in his eyes. Through his gaze, through the way he spoke, and through his... touch.

Meeting

Elice McLean never thought there was a sadness that could make her shed tears as intensely as she did now. Not only were her cries heartbreaking, but the repeated sobs that shook her shoulders showed just how hurt she was. It was as if her world had been completely shattered without a trace remaining.

“I really love you, Elice. I really do. I really love you.”

Elice wanted to push the voice out of her head. But the more she drank, the stronger the voice echoed. She could not get rid of it, no matter how much she wanted to.

You heartless b*st*rd, Ariel!

Elice squeezed the glass in her hand. The transparent object seemed to turn into the embodiment of her heartache. She needed an outlet. And maybe that outlet would soon turn into shards of broken glass.

“Ssst.”

As it turned out, the empty glass was still lucky. Suddenly, a hand gently took it from Elice's grasp. As if a hero had saved an innocent victim from a senseless slaughter.

Elice turned her head. She blinked her eyes and shook her head once, trying to focus her slightly blurred vision. The effect of the drinks she had consumed and the flickering lights in the place.

There was a man. Dressed neatly in a combination of a black suit and an open-necked shirt. The top two buttons of the shirt were undone, revealing bronze skin glistening with a thin layer of sweat.

“I'm Garrett. And you?”

The hand placed Elice's glass at a safe distance. Then he offered a handshake, a gesture of introduction that was met with Elice's disdain. Her hand rose and waved him away.

“Go and leave me alone. I have no business with you.”

The man who called himself Garrett smiled ironically. He did not seem at all bothered by the ignored handshake. Instead, he was rejected outright, right in front of a bartender who was mixing his drink. The bartender chuckled and motioned to Garrett, who just shrugged.

“Looks like you got a big problem.”

The disgusted look on the bartender's face became even more pronounced. He shook his head repeatedly and decided to leave. He did not want to witness the show that might start at any moment.

“A problem that should never have come to make a beautiful woman like you cry alone like this.”

Elice closed her eyes. Now it seemed she had managed to get Ariel's voice out of her head. Unfortunately, it was replaced by another voice that pretended to be concerned about her current state.

“Can't you leave from here?” Elice asked in a harsh tone. “Don't you know where the exit is?”

Garrett laughed, completely unaffected. Instead, he did something that made Elice's eyes widen.

Garrett pulled up a round chair nearby and sat down, right next to Elice. Seeing this, Elice growled.

She did not want to add to the chaos of her day. Dealing with Ariel had already made her a wreck. She did not want to deal with a crazy stranger that night.

The chair Elice was sitting on turned. A clear signal that she wanted to leave. But Garrett did not allow Elice to leave him.

Elice found her chair spinning back to its original position. She saw Garrett's hand doing it.

“You.”

Elice's eyes were no longer just wide. Instead, they were glaring. And that should have been more than enough to signal that she did not appreciate what Garrett had just done.

Garrett grinned and pointed at his watch. “It's still eleven o'clock, miss. It's too early to go home now.”

“Why should you care? Even if I decide to go home at three in the morning, you have no right to stop me.”

Garrett's grin widened. His eyes focused on the rosy hues on Elice's cheeks. Whether it was because of the drinks or because of her anger, he did not care. He only cared about one thing. The natural blush on her face made him want to stare at Elice's face for a long time. She looked fascinating.

“I really have no right to stop you, miss,” Garrett said, moving a little closer. Closing the distance between them, he took the opportunity to look deeply into Elice's eyes. “But frankly, I can't bear to see a woman like you crying alone in a place like this.”

Again Elice snorted.

“Even more, a woman like you shouldn't cry.”

Hearing that, Elice blinked once, then a smile appeared on her lips, forming an expression that made Garrett furrow his brow. It seemed strange to him.

“If you want to woo a woman,” Elice spoke again, “find someone else, sir. I'm tired of hearing sweet words from macho men like you.”

Garrett could not help but wonder. He burst out laughing and did not seem offended at all.

Elice found his laughter annoying. And she had no plans to listen to it all night. She would leave. Before her emotions broke out and she could no longer control them. Who could guarantee that Elice would not be provoked to smash the empty glass she was holding over the man's head?

But for the second time, Elice's desire to leave was thwarted. This time it was not because Garrett had turned the chair she was sitting on back to its original position. Instead, Garrett now openly held one of Elice's hands.

Elice stared, her eyes wide. She saw how bold Garrett was to hold her wrist. She tried to pull her hand away, but Garrett pulled her closer.

Garrett held Elice's hand and used the wheels on the chair's legs to effortlessly push her closer to him.

Elice closed her eyes instinctively. As she felt how close they were, the warm breath from Garrett's lips brushed against her skin. When she opened her eyes, Garrett was smiling at her.

“I'm not trying to woo you, miss. But...”

Garrett took a deep breath, his eyes moving as he took in Elice's disheveled appearance. Although she looked beautiful in her knee-length black dress, there was something strange about her that made Garrett's eyes itch every time he looked at her.

“I just want to know. Why a woman like you can cry all alone? Um... you should be enjoying life. Not crying over it.”

For the last time, Elice tried to pull her hand away from Garrett's grasp. But the result was the same. Garrett made sure that Elice would not leave. At least not before she answered his question.

“Do you want to know why I'm crying?” Elice repeated the question. “Do you want to know why I look so sad?”

Somewhat hesitantly, Garrett nodded.

“I already told you,” Elice said, looking intently at Garrett. “It's because of macho men like you.”

“You want to talk about it?”

“To a crazy stranger like you?”

Elice's question made Garrett laugh.

“Thanks, but no,” Elice shook her head. “I have plenty of other sensible things to do than discuss my private affairs with a stranger like you.”

“This stranger won't cause you to lose anything.”

Elice was stunned by Garrett's words. Especially when she saw the look on his face. He looked so relaxed and carefree. And he was smiling, which made an appealing impression on his face.

“You're sad. You need an outlet. And I happen to be available,” Garrett said lightly. “I have a few hours to listen to your troubles. Isn't that an attractive offer?”

Dramatically, Elice took a deep breath, then fixed her eyes on the flickering lights illuminating the place. It seemed she needed pure oxygen to breathe easily. To keep her mind clear.

“Compared to someone you know, um... especially someone close to you, talking to a stranger gives you freedom. No judgment, no prejudices. There's only one thing. Absolute listening.”

Elice furrowed her brow. Now she wondered if she had drunk too much that night. Otherwise, why did the words of the stranger before her sound reasonable?

Meanwhile, Garrett, seeing Elice's silence, knew that his words had influenced her in some way. Something that made him more confident and he continued his words.

“And I can assure you that I am a good listener.”

Elice took a moment, not immediately accepting the offer presented to her, but using those few seconds to observe Garrett. He gave the impression of being relaxed. And that's why Elice was sure of something. That Garrett was the type of womanizer. Because that seemed to be the law of nature. Womanizers had good social skills, especially when it came to greeting strangers without any awkwardness.

“Tell me, sir,” Elice finally said. “Is this how you usually try to seduce random women in clubs?”

Garrett laughed heartily, his shoulders shaking completely. His dark eyes even looked a little watery.

“I never try to seduce random women in clubs, miss,” Garrett denied. “You can ask anyone here. I spend all my time here and I'm sure everyone knows me. And I can assure you that none of them have ever seen me trying to seduce women the way I'm talking to you now.” He smiled. “That is, if you consider my words a form of seduction.”

Elice's face felt hot. She could clearly feel the slight sarcasm in Garrett's words. Something that inevitably embarrassed her as well.

Oh, God! This doesn't mean that Elice is too sure that Garrett is trying to seduce her. But what else could a woman like Elice think when a stranger approaches her and invites her to talk? Of course, there was nothing else.

“If this isn't seduction...” Elice stared at Garrett. “...then why?”

Elice's gaze was fully met by Garrett's. For a few seconds there was only silence between them. As if the music that was playing there did not reach their ears.

At that moment, it was not only Elice who questioned it. Garrett did as well. Why? Why did he have to leave his place and approach a crying stranger? Was he bored? Or... what?

And now, as Garrett looked at the remaining tears on Elice's cheeks, he realized one thing. The reason why he was still holding Elice's wrist when she showed no signs of leaving. It was because...

“I'm curious. How big a man can make a woman cry like you are now.”

*

Two-Away Direction

When Elice heard Garrett's words, she was stunned. Her eyes widened and her mouth opened slightly, as if she wanted to speak, but not a single word came out.

“I am curious. How big a man can make a woman cry like you are now?”

Garrett said, waiting for Elice to answer his words. But in the end she just let out a long sigh. Her eyes blinked once, then she turned her body to the front and watched the bartender, who was busy with his agile hands.

“Aren't you going to answer?”

Garrett seemed to show no signs of retreating from the curiosity that had taken root in his mind. He was curious. So, without hesitation, he put one elbow on the bar table. In this position, he could observe the sharp line of Elice's nose from the side. It looked so perfect, not exaggerated, and gave the impression that one look was not enough to satisfy the eyes.

At that moment, Elice took a deep breath. She briefly thought about raising her hand again to order another

Heroes

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