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The CEO's contract lover

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(Completed) At her step-sister's birthday dinner, Nina was drugged by her family and sold to an old pervert. In her desperate attempts to escape, Nina comes across Jayden Luxton, the business tycoon. “Marry me, and I promise to keep you alive and unharmed.” He proposed. With her innocence in line, Nina has no other choice but to marry him. Jayden wanted a wife and Nina needed protection. The deal was a win-win situation where both parties got what they wanted. However, the prerequisite was that they couldn't fall in love with each other. As two individuals who lived an exhausting life that lacked color and love, all hell would unloose once they lived under the same roof. After their every lovemaking session, he would always remind her. “Don’t fall for me. If not, you'd end up hurting yourself.” Yet, he was the one who couldn't let go of her and kept spoiling her to no end!

Prologue

Pak!

A loud, furious sound reverberated in the large hall, silencing everyone present.

Nina held her stinging cheek in disbelief and her eyes turned cold as she swept them across the people in front of her.

Her so-called father, who cashed out at her without caring about the occasion, her stepmother, who looked at her accusingly, and lastly at her younger step-sister, who wept uncontrollably in her mother’s arms.

She could only laugh bitterly at herself.

“You are so young, but already so vicious. How could I have a daughter like you? To steal your sister’s endorsement, you tampered with her makeup?” William Santiago, Nina’s father, pointed his finger at her angrily. The disappointment in his tone was apparent.

Hiss!

The guests immediately broke out into loud murmurs.

Nina met her father’s enraged gaze and felt an inexplicable chill in her heart.

Today was her stepsister Alyson’s eighteenth birthday banquet and the Santiago house has been bustling in excitement since the morning.

The guests had just arrived when they heard a shrill scream and saw Alyson running down the stairs, covering her face.

Her face was covered with marks and not a single spot was clean.

“It was sister,” Alyson whimpered, her shoulders trembling pitifully. “She put something in my makeup.”

And the first thing her father did was not take her to the hospital immediately but humiliate Nina in front of the crowd.

“Nina, I know I’m not your biological mom, but ask yourself, have I ever treated you poorly? Is this how you repay us?” Her stepmother’s worried and disappointed voice came through as she protected Alyson in her arms.

“That’s because she’s never seen us as her family.” William hollered. “Beauty is a woman’s biggest asset, and your sister is about to enter the entertainment industry. You destroyed her career before it even started! Immediately apologize to her or else don’t blame me for kicking you out.”

An incredulous look appeared on her face. “Are you sure it was me? Where’s your evidence?” Nina retorted composedly. Even after being held in a tight position, she did not lose her cool.

“Evidence? You still have the cheek to ask for evidence? Can’t you see how badly Alyson has suffered?"

Being called out, Alyson once again cried loudly.

Nina took a deep breath and stared at Alyson sharply. “I’ll ask you one more time. Are you sure it was me?”

Alyson’s eyes flickered slightly, and she avoided her gaze. “Sis, I know you’ve been upset because I passed the auditions. If you wanted the endorsement so badly, you should’ve told me about it. How could you…” She did not complete the sentence, but it was apparent what she was trying to say.

The younger sister had passed the auditions for a very reputed endorsement deal. The eldest sister, on the other hand, couldn’t accept it, and out of jealousy, she ruined her younger sister’s face!

The crowd inhaled a sharp breath.

Heavens! A woman’s jealousy was the most terrifying thing in the world.

“Stop with your crap,” Nina snapped at her. “Alyson, you know best what kind of person you are. You guard your things even from your mother. Are you that generous to let me touch your things?”

Alyson panicked and denied it vehemently. “But it was you who collected the package this morning. There’s also your sign on the delivery package.”

Nina felt something amis and tried recalling today’s events.

She did collect a delivery box this morning, but that was it. She did not even know what was inside, so how could she tamper with them?

But knowing Alyson’s personality, she knew she wasn’t the type to inflict harm on herself just to frame her.

The makeup might have expired or not suited her skin, but she insisted on tearing the bill on her.

Mr. Santiago barked in anger. “Are you still trying to deny it? Apologize immediately.”

Looking at the family of three that sang the same tune, Nina did not want to waste her breath on these unreasonable people.

What hurt her was not their attitude but her father’s accusations. He, who was supposed to be her closest family, who should’ve held up the mountain and protected her, was now staring at her with eyes that looked like poisoned needles.

At that moment, she only felt numb all over. She took a step back, the blood in her cold. “Unless you provide concrete evidence that I was the one behind it, I won’t apologize.”

It was pointless to stand and explain herself, since these people were dead Set to throw her under the bus.

Hence, she turned around and left. As she climbed up the stairs, she remembered something and looked over her shoulders.

“Also, Dad… My major in college is fashion design. As my father, I should at least remind you.”

Ironically, despite staying under the same roof, her father did not even know what major she was studying at the college.

“You b***** child." Mr. Santiago’s face darkened, and he wanted to rush after her, but Mrs. Santiago stopped him. “Dear, now is not the time to run after her. The guests are still waiting. We can teach her a lesson later.”

It was only then that he realized they were in the middle of the banquet.

He immediately straightened his clothes and put on a gentlemanly smile, totally in contrast with the shrew he was just a moment ago. “Distinguished guests, I am sorry you had to witness such a scene. I’m extremely ashamed because of my elder daughter. Please don’t hold it against us and enjoy the party.”

---

Nina shut the door and leaned against it, sliding down on the floor. Inside the room, her small petite figure was huddled up with her arms wrapped around her knees.

Her parents divorced when she was five and she grew up in a single-parent house with her mother.

Nina's mother was a woman had destroyed countless marriages because she couldn’t bear to be poor and lonely. As a result, Nina was bullied terribly at school and often labelled as a p********e's daughter.

When the wives of those rich men with whom she had an affair with came knocking on their doors, they targeted Nina instead when they couldn't get hold of her mother.

It wasn’t until she turned fourteen that her mother was crazy enough to sell her for some money.

Even a vicious tiger wouldn’t hurt its cub, but her mother, who was blinded by greed, did not hesitate once to throw her to the wolves.

“That is what you owe me. I gave birth to you, and it is only normal for you to sacrifice for me. Even if I ask for your life, you should consider it as your good fortune.”

This was what her mother would tell her every time

Nina had to clean up after her mess and do all the household chores ever since she was young. To support her mother, she even had to take multiple part-time jobs.

Even her tuition fees were earned by herself and through various scholarships.

Every night was a torment for her and every day she lived in the hope that maybe one day, her mother would feel pity for her and turn over a new leaf. But in the end, all that she got was endless despair.

When she had had enough of her, Nina ran away from her clutches to Spring City to look for her father.

By the time she found him, she realized her father had already remarried and had a small family of his own.

On a cold winter night, she stood in front of their entrance, covered in snow. Nina would never forget that day.

In an unfamiliar city, surrounded by strangers, she felt fear and helplessness at the same time. Because she was in a hurry to find her father, Nina did not have time to eat. Hence, she squatted in front of their house for an entire night, begging them to take her in.

When the morning rays touched the surface, the door finally opened. Perhaps her father still had some conscience left, and with great reluctance, he finally took her in.

After her parent’s divorce, her father quickly married his mistress and brought in his illegitimate daughter, much to her surprise, who was only a year younger than her.

Her stepmother had a beautiful appearance, but she paled terribly compared to her mother.

On the surface, she looked gentle and dignified, but only Nina knew how black-hearted she was.

Although they had agreed to let her stay in the house, she was treated no differently than a maid.

However, to Nina, nothing else really mattered as long as she did not have to live worrying about her meals and had a roof over her head. Everything was worthwhile.

Over time, she accepted that her father did not have any feelings towards her. Still, her heart could not help but fill with disappointment and grief at his blatant favoritism.

Birthday dinner

It was unknown when Nina had fallen asleep. When she woke up, her body was already sore from sitting in the same position the entire night. After massaging her limbs, she stood up and pulled open the curtains on the windows.

Her eyes rested upon the golden arcing rays that illuminated outside.

The sunlight conjured the most brilliant of mosaics, reflecting from each leaf and cloud. As if it were happy to create art where it shone, warm and steady.

But unlike the joy in the light, there was only darkness in Nina’s life.

After she freshened up, she entered the kitchen and prepared breakfast for everyone.

Although the Santiagos were considered slightly well-off, they did not have any helpers.

But they did have her though.

She was solely in charge of all the household chores, including laundry, cooking, cleaning, and so on.

By the time she was done preparing the food, everyone had gathered at the dining table.

The family of three was

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