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In the Eye of the Storm

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Daphne has been cooped up at home for the past week after experiencing a devastating heartbreak. Her best friend, Stacy, shows up one night to take her out to one of the most famous bars in LA to get her mind off things. Finally deciding to let loose, Daphne locks eyes with a big hunk in the corner of the bar, but she thinks nothing much of their encounter. However, things take a different turn. After receiving a creepy message, “I know your secret," Daphne reluctantly follows the mysterious sender's instructions, leading her to a café. This is where her carefully crafted life begins to crumble. But the surprise doesn’t end there; he gets down on one knee and pops the question, “Will you marry me?” He continues as he flashes a reassuring smile, saying, “Don’t worry, darling, this is just the beginning.” The awkward and abrupt proposal raises questions. Who is this man? Why does he seem familiar? Is he crazy? What does he know? What the heck is going on? And what’s wrong with Stacy? she’s been acting awfully off after we got back from the bar that night.

Chapter 1: The Pick me up

I stood in my living room as I felt the weight of the past three years of my life crumble while flipping through the photo album.

"Three years down the drain," I muttered with a slight chuckle, tears and snot streaming down my face. It felt like a lifetime, yet the collapse of my relationship happened in the blink of an eye.

“And here I thought I had finally found happiness, why did I waste so much time?” I whispered, my voice trembling with so much hurt. "It was really just nothing but an illusion."

Tears welled up in my eyes, "How could I have been so blind? I thought I had found something real, a place where I belonged, " I lamented, my voice choked with sorrow.

"I worked my butt off to get where I am today, and none of it was thanks to that bastard. But still, how could he have been so cruel?" I seethed, my voice tinged with raw emotion. "‘I don’t know what love means’—how could he say that knowing just how much I had sacrificed for him, how much I had to lose to keep him?" I said as I walked up to the fridge, grabbing a chilled can of beer and my favorite tub of cookie dough ice cream.

Brrrring, brrrring… I heard my phone ring out at the corner of my room, and I snatched it up. It was Stacy, Paul's arch-nemesis and my best friend. “I knew that piece of shit would show his true colors soon” girl, are you ok? I managed a chuckle, 'Yeah, just tired. I'll text you later. 'Wait!' Stacy yelled before I could hang up. 'I'm coming over right now. Get dressed,' and she hung up abruptly. I stared at the phone for a while before finally tossing it to the floor."

It didn’t even take ten minutes until I heard a bang on my door. Bang, Bang, Bang… "Come on, girl, I know you hear me," I could hear Stacy through the door. "I hope you're dressed, that place is gonna be packed we need to hurry," she followed. I got up, dusting the crumbs off my body as I walked to the door with a look of confusion.

“I told you to dress up; why are you still looking like crap, Daph?" Stacy said as she stared me down before finally running into my house. "Ugh, Stacy," I said as I shut the door behind her.

"Come on, we are going out and you know I won't take no for an answer." Stacy exclaimed, her eyes sparkling with determination.  

“It's literally three in the morning, Stacy. What are you talking about? Where would we go?" I asked her as I rolled my eyes. "Don’t worry; it's me," Stacy said as she flipped her hair and dragged me to the room.

Before I could protest any further, Stacy reached into her bag and brought out a sleek black dress that seemed to shimmer in the dim light of the apartment.

"Put this on," Stacy commanded, her eyes alight with excitement. "Come on, babes, you're going to look amazing."

“You have got to be kidding me, Stacy. What is that mosquito net you’re holding?” I asked with a shocked look.

“What do you mean mosquito net? I picked this dress specifically for you, Daph,” she responded as she shoved it in my face. 

Reluctantly, I took the dress from her outstretched hand while I traced the delicate fabric with trepidation. It was completely unlike anything I would normally wear—body-hugging and daring – but i couldn't deny that it held a certain allure.

I finally caved in and slipped into the dress, feeling the fabric cling to my curves in a way that made my cheeks flush with embarrassment.

"Wow, Daph, you look incredible!" Stacy exclaimed, her grin widening as she surveyed my body and complete transformation.

"You ready for this, Daph?" Stacy asked, a mischievous glint in her eye.

“Do I even have a choice? You already have me in the mosquito net," I said and nodded. "Sure, let's do this."

“Come on, our Uber is here," she said as she walked me out of my house. Before I knew what was happening, I was in an Uber on my way to ‘Blue Coral,’ one of the biggest and most popular bars in town.

In fifteen minutes, we found ourselves at Blue Coral, and even at three in the morning, the place was buzzing with very loud noises.

"I’m just happy tomorrow is Saturday," I murmured as I observed the lively crowd.

“Let's go get a drink!” Stacy yelled over the thump, thump, thump of the music.

“How? Don’t you see the crowd? How exactly do you plan to past these people?” I questioned.

“You really underestimate me and my charms, you know that, Daph,” she smirked, pulling me along towards the side of the long line.

“Hey, Devan!” she called out to the towering bouncer, who stood tall and imposing at the entrance of the club, his muscular frame filling the doorway. His arms crossed firmly over his chest, exuding an aura of authority with a no-nonsense demeanor. A broad smile spread across his face as he acknowledged her.

“Stacy, my girl!” he greeted, planting a kiss on her cheek. "How are you doing, Devan? Me and my girl really have to get inside, and don’t worry, I'm going to pay the fee," she assured him with a wink.

“I got you, Stacy,” he replied, leading us to the side door. "Come on, Daph, let's go before one of them back there see us," she urged, pulling me with determination.

THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, the music pounded as we moved through the clusters of people towards the bar.

"Of course, the bar is packed," I remarked as we maneuvered through the crowd to reach it.

We found our spots at the bar and called out to the bartender. "Two gin and tonics, please," Stacy shouted.

"And three shots of black devils!" I added.

"Damn girl, did the breakup hit you that hard?" Stacy quipped as we waited for our drinks. "So, you want to talk about it? You've been holed up for a whole week, you even missed work, Daph sand I still gave you space, but I can't let this go on any longer. You need to forget about that idiot, he isn’t even worth it."

"I know, Stacy. It’s just... I know how long and what it took for me to finally open myself up to date someone," I said. "But you know what? You're right. He isn’t worth it. I was able to start over before. What’s a relationship I wouldn’t be able to start over? I'm over him," I said as I chuckled, downing all three shots, feeling the sticky liquid run down my fingers.

"Huh, started over before? You know what, Never mind. That’s what I’m talking about. He never deserved you in the first place," Stacy continued as we got up from the bar and made our way to our little nook.

As we settled into our cozy nook, sipping our drinks, Stacy looked at me with a mix of concern and determination. "Daph, you can't let one guy ruin your entire outlook on relationships. There are good ones out there, trust me."

I nodded, appreciating Stacy's attempt to lift my spirits. "I know, it's just hard to believe right now."

"You know, sometimes a night out is all you need to cleanse your soul. And maybe, just maybe, we'll stumble upon something unexpected," as she discreetly motioned with her head towards a corner of the bar.

"Now talking about something unexpected, it looks like you’ve got yourself an admirer," she whispered, a mischievous grin playing on her lips. Stacy leaned in closer, her excitement palpable. Take a glance, but don't make it too obvious," she said with a teasing tone in her voice.

I followed her gaze and, as discreetly as I could, turned to see who had caught Stacy's attention. My eyes met those of a remarkably handsome man standing at the far end of the bar. His eyes, a captivating shade of blue-green, that seemed to hold a million different stories within them. With jet-black hair, he stood towering at 6'4", with a figure that effortlessly commanded attention in the crowded room. His well-built frame emanated nothing but confidence, he was indeed the epitome of handsomeness. Every detail seemed perfectly crafted, from the subtle lines on his forehead, hinting at a life well-lived, to the way light played on the contours of his face. Even from a distance, his almost ethereal aura could not be mistaken by any other.

In that bustling bar, he became a magnetic force, drawing eyes without even trying. It was as if time slowed down, allowing everyone to appreciate the symphony of charm and grace he effortlessly displayed. Amidst the vibrant chaos of the night, he stood as a beacon of fascination, turning an ordinary evening into an unexpectedly intriguing one.

 Our eyes met for what felt like minutes, and a flicker of a smile played on his lips. My heart skipped a beat, and I couldn't help but blush. The handsome stranger held my gaze for a moment longer before turning back to his friends. And in that moment, I had completely forgotten how I felt over the past one week. Paul, my awful ex, was nothing but a distant thought in that moment.

"He's hot, right?" Stacy remarked, her eyes gleaming with excitement as she brought me back to reality. I turned to her and just smiled.

"Shut up, Stacy," I said with a playful grin.

As we continued our conversation, I couldn't shake the curiosity about the mysterious man. His intimidating presence continued to linger in my mind, making me wonder what secrets he held. The night at Blue Coral became a turning point, little did I know that it would set the stage for unforeseen twists, turns, and revelations that would cause my perfectly crafted life to begin to shake.

 

Chapter 2: Heir's Dilemma

The grand mahogany doors of the Reed family mansion creaked open as Baxter Reed stepped into the dimly lit study, adorned with antique furniture and the weight of family history.

As Baxter entered the room, the scent of aged leather and polished wood enveloped him. Maxwell Reed, Baxter's grandfather and the founder of the Reed Corporation, had been a towering figure in both business and family. His portrait, hung prominently on the wall, almost like he was scrutinizing Baxter's every move. The study was a haven of memories and decisions, and on this particular day, it held a revelation that would alter the course of Baxter's life.

Seated behind the intricately carved desk, Baxter's father, William Reed, looked up from a stack of papers. Lines etched on his face as he motioned for Baxter to take a seat, his eyes revealing a mixture of concern and a hint of urgency.

"Baxter, we need to finally discuss your grandfather's will. We've already put it off for too long. Yo

Heroes

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