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The contract

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My heart shattered the second I walked into that bar and saw my boyfriend of three years making out with who I thought was my best friend. My boyfriend, the one who had just talked to me about getting married to me a few nights ago. In a night of heartbreak and alcohol, I bowed to forget about him. But fate threw me a curve ball when I woke up in bed with the person I least expected... Dad's partner and the same man that I had lost my virginity to when I was younger, Daniel Halloway. To make matters worse, we were married, and he refuses to annul our marriage. "I'll give you a divorce, but only after our contract is over. After that, you're free to go." he corners me back to the wall making me feel like a small prey, waiting to be devoured by its hunter. "But until then... You're mine, and I will do with you as I so d*mn well please," he whispers in my ear, sending shivers up my spine.

CHAPTER 1- Heart of Stone

Layla

I was just a nineteenth year old when I met Daniel Halloway for the first time. He must have been around twenty-five years old at the time. And I can't believe I dreamed of him again. Why the hell am I dreaming of him? I haven't even seen him in so long.

He was dad's new colleague when I met him and was taking over as a partner. He was filling in for his grandfather's shoes in the company my family owned, but dad had then partnered with his grandpa.

He was a lady's man, to say the least, and as he said... No woman will ever tie him down.

I promised myself that I wouldn't fall for him, EVER. But I was only lying to myself. I fell hard for him, madly in love with his charm and sweet words, and ended up losing my V-card to him.

The next day he introduced me to his girlfriend. My heart broke in two. Though I knew he wasn't serious with her, it still hurt that I let myself wrap up in his arms and gave him my most precious possession.

It took me so long to get over him, but little by little, as I occupied myself with school and work, I began to think less and less of him. It was less painful to come home during the holidays and celebrate with my family at different events. But it was like a contest to him of who could bring the hottest date to the company events.

Needless to say, it was only a one-sided competition as I began to act uninterested, making his blood boil. Did it hurt me to see him on different dates each time? You bet your *ss it did, but I wouldn't be his play toy anymore, or would I admit to him that it hurt.

My busy schedule kept me away, making it easier to forget about him as I had little to no time to see any of them, including my family.

My family seemed to love him, especially my dad, for every other conversation somehow mentioned him one way or another.

It's been almost five years since then, and I couldn't be happier to have left to forget about him for good.

Trevor and I have been working together and dating for the past three years. A few nights ago, he talked about us getting married in the future, and I can't say the idea of marrying him didn't sound appealing to me. He's a bit older, but he's a fantastic guy and so good-looking. A lot of women in our job drool over him and always praise me for being so lucky to be with him. I know I'm young, but I feel ready. I know marriage is for me, and what better than to settle down with him.

It was thanks to Trevor that my best friend Stacy and I were able to join them and finish college on the road as we became volunteers. They were short-handed, and he had just joined as a new doctor. He accepted our application as part of his team.

He's a doctor for a small foundation we both work for. We travel worldwide and offer free services to less privileged people in rural areas. It's so heartwarming to see how dedicated he is. I love him so much, and the most important thing is that he l0ves me.

He's warm-hearted, unlike Daniel and his heart of stone.

✨✨✨✨✨

(Los Dinamos, Mexico City)

I sat tirelessly in a plastic foldable chair. It was hot and humid, and it was just one in the afternoon. Trevor sat next to me, placing his arm over my shoulders. "You did good today out there, babe. I'm so proud of you. You're so good with the kids, you know that?" I smiled, looking slightly to my side towards him.

"Thank you, Doctor!" I said, making him chuckle. He loves it when I call him a doctor.

"Hey, you two. We're going out to eat tonight to celebrate our tenth anniversary, you wanna join us?" our small foundation that gives vaccines and small general consultations to less fortunate people was founded ten years ago. Trevor and I joined the foundation five years ago, him as a doctor and me as a volunteer. Yes, you heard me right; I volunteered for this foundation.

My parents are pretty wealthy, and I joined to volunteer but was admitted as an employee a year after when I was about to return home. The doctors loved my work and offered to make me a permanent part of their team.

I smiled at my best friend Stacy as she stood beside me. She and I went to the same college and hit it off immediately. She was the one who begged me to join this foundation with her, and believe me, I am so glad I listened to her.

"We'd love to. Where did you guys have in mind?" Trevor answers, making her smile brighter.

"Well, we were thinking of going to that restaurant uptown. The one with the Tiki-like seating area outside."

"Oh, the one we went to eat the other day, baby. We'd love to. We'll be there," he smiled and winked at my best friend. He and I had gone a few days ago to eat there. I loved the food there, and the service was terrific. Not to mention the atmosphere was exactly what I needed right now after an exhausting day of work.

"Great. We'll meet up around nine in the evening. I'll see you guys over there. Layla, my beautiful friend, can I ask a big favor from you?" she says, giving me her big puppy eyes.

I looked at Trevor and smiled. He gave me a smile in return and nodded in agreement. "Of course, Stace." I got up, kissed Trevor's lips, and walked away with Stacy.

She looped her arm with mine as we walked toward my room. "So, what's up?" I asked as we continued to walk.

"I was hoping I could borrow a nice cute dress from you. All the ones I have are dingy and well... You know, the occasion calls for something a little more...hmmm!" she says, wrinkling her nose and making me chuckle.

"S*xy!" I say, making her laugh.

"That...but, more you know, sophisticated, couture, nice," she says as I roll my eyes.

"Fine, you know you can always count on me, babes. My closet is your closet." I say, making her chuckle.

"And this is why I love you and have you as my best friend," she says, making me laugh.

She knows dad is a big-shot fashion enterpriser. I'm not much into fashion, but dad always sends me a huge box full of beautiful clothes and accessories for my birthday. Honestly, I haven't worn half of the stuff he's given me.

I always end up giving it out for free to people. People that include my best friend, Stacy, of course.

We got to my room and rated my entire closet until she finally decided on a tight black sequence dress with a straight front cut and low back. It hugged her body perfectly, showing her beautiful legs as it reached her mid-thigh.

My phone rang, and I smiled from ear to ear as I saw dad's name on the caller ID. I showed her the phone getting her to smile back. I picked up as she motioned to me that she was leaving. I waved her off and closed the door behind her, placing the phone to my ear.

I was a big daddy's girl and loved talking to him daily. "Hi, Daddy!"

"Hey, there's my beautiful girl." his now older voice answered, warming my heart. It didn't matter how hard I had it at work some days; hearing his voice always made it better.

✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

CHAPTER 2- Backstabber

Layla

"To what do I owe the honor of this second call of the day?" I asked cheerfully, making dad's laughter resonate on the other side of the line.

"Well, I know I called you earlier today, and you're probably busy and all, but-"

"Dad, I can never get tired of talking to you, you know that," I said, sitting on my window sill. I looked out smiling as I saw kids running and playing with a soccer ball in the courtyard.

"Your mom begged me to call you back and remind you of your sister's birthday. You are coming home, right?" he asks, making me groan internally. I had no desire to go. We have been so busy, and I don't think taking a few days off will help our situation.

My sister always goes all out for her birthday, and honestly, she deserves it since she is such a hard worker, but I hate that it gets swarmed with paparazzi and social media everywhere. Being the daughter of a big-shot fashion designer means going off the grid, like me, to avoid being hara

Heroes

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