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Inside Marissa's Heart

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Miguel and Rosario Valiente make the decision to move back to their hometown in hopes of creating a positive atmosphere for their children and ultimately leading a happy and beautiful life. This is especially crucial for their daughter Marissa, who has been battling depression ever since her brother, Juan Valiente, moved away without her. The family believes that once Marissa sees Juan again, she will return to her normal, happy self. However, upon arriving in their hometown, Marissa meets Juan's girlfriend, Daniella Duran, who she inexplicably appears to despise her. Witnessing Marissa's negative behavior towards herself and Daniella, Juan takes matters into his own hands. But what's truly inside Marissa's heart? Find out in this suspenseful and romantic novel.

Chapter 1: Petals of Reunion

Marissa stood in their spacious garden, surrounded by flowers. A gentle breeze traced the fence line, causing her sleek black hair to spin and her long-sleeved shirt to tug out. Tugging back her shirt into her black jeans, she smoothed a stray lock from her face, bent down, and plucked a single flower from the ground, admiring its delicate petals in the bright light. It seemed like the final glimpse of this place.

"Marissa... Marissa. Let's go. Everyone is ready for us to leave," her mother, Rosario Valiente, called out.

Rosario's simple blue dress blew in the same breeze that had caught her daughter's hair, almost as if the land was pleading with them to stay and not leave. Walking down the lane toward the garden, she called out once more to Marissa, "Please, come and hop into the car. We'll be leaving soon."

Marissa nodded, her expression concealed.

Ignacio Valiente, the second sibling, leaned against a Hyundai Palisade, puffing on a cigar.

Meanwhile, Carlos, the youngest of the siblings, assisted the servants in loading the luggage into the car's boot.

Miguel drew attention when he came out of the house. Rosario walked over to her husband and rested her head on his shoulder, "I hope Marissa will find peace at the hacienda, like she used to before Juan left. Hopefully, she'll be less stressed there."

Miguel wrapped his arms around her waist. "Don't worry, my darling Rosa. She'll be alright, you'll see," he comforted her, planting a kiss on her head.

"Father, can we leave now so we won't be late?" Carlos inquired, closing the boot and placing his hands on his hips.

"Seems like he's eager to reunite with his childhood sweetheart," Ignacio teased, passing his cigar to a male servant.

Opening the back row door for their parents, Miguel and Rosario settled into the last row of seats in the car. Carlos plopped down next to Marissa, retorting, "So what? Atleast I can keep it in my pants."

Ignacio and the driver sat in the front seats of the car.

* * *

"I can't believe Juan will soon be married! What do you think, Miguel?" Rosario's eyebrows lifted in surprise. "I remember when he was just a child! And now, he's starting a family!" Her eyes sparkled, with excitement akin to a bottle of champagne.

Marissa leaned against the window, tears streaming from her eyes, despite her attempts to wipe them away upon hearing her parents' conversation.

"I genuinely don't understand why someone would commit their life to one person for a lifetime," Ignacio expressed with a tsk.

Carlos lifted his head from his phone. "When you fall in love, you'll discover how special it is to give your heart to someone."

"Who, Danna?" Ignacio guffawed. "What if she's already f*ck*ng someone?"

"Can you please keep your words to yourself, big brother?" Carlos pulled on his headphones.

"I really hope returning to the hacienda will change everything," Rosa whispered to her husband, leaning on his shoulder. "I want our children to live peacefully and understand each other."

"I hope so, my dear Rosa," Miguel murmured, his fingers smoothing along her dark hair, so reminiscent of their daughter's. "They need their big brother."

Rosario closed her eyes, feeling comforted by the thought of a brighter future for their family.

* * *

As they approached the hacienda, a parade of animals passed by the windows. The car slowly made its way along the winding path, arriving at the park before reaching the mansion's door. Carlos gently patted Marissa's sleeping shoulder.

Chuckling, he watched as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. "Sorry to wake you. We're here, and you can finally see your big brother."

For a fleeting moment, Marissa's face lit up with excitement like a scientist who had found a cure for polio. But her expression quickly fell as memories of her mother's words about Juan, his impending marriage, and his new family returned. She couldn't forget what her mother had said about Juan's upcoming marriage and the possibility of a new family, and these thoughts overshadowed her joy at seeing her big brother at the hacienda.

Ignacio opened the car door and walked straight towards the mansion with his hand in his trousers pocket.

Marissa and Carlos got out of the car, and Rosario took Miguel's hand and got out of the car with grace.

"I can't believe I dozed off," Rosario admitted, feeling Miguel's support as she stepped out of the vehicle.

An elderly woman stood at the entrance with a playful glint in her eye, followed by three maids as the driver opened the car's trunk.

"Welcome home, Mr. Miguel, Mrs. Rosa, and children," she greeted.

"Thank you, Margarita. How have you been?" Miguel inquired.

"Thank you, Margarita," Rosario added.

"I've been quite well," Margarita replied, her cheeks blushing red like a rose.

"Hello, Margarita. I hope you're taking good care of everyone in the mansion?" Carlos inquired, though his eyes were fixed on a girl among the maids.

"Of course, Sir Carlos," Margarita beamed in response.

The maid dipped her head shyly and then lifted it with a modest smile. Carlos's grin widened, eliciting a blush and a flutter of lashes before she lowered her head again.

"Danna, could you bring my luggage to my room, please?" Carlos tossed his hair and offered a coy smile to Danna. "It's the blue one."

Marissa headed towards the car's boot, intending to carry her own light pink luggage, but Danna swiftly intervened. "You don't need to worry, Miss Marissa. We'll take your bags to your room."

"Thank you," Marissa mumbled.

Marissa walked into the house, stepping past her family and the staff. The old walls of the hacienda spread wide, like the flower garden she had just left. With a grimace, she took out the flower she had picked earlier, lamenting its simple beauty against the thick velvet opulence of the chairs, couches, and curtains around her. The only thing that stood out was a painting of flowers and horses on the walls.

After examining the handcrafted rug in front of the fireplace, Marissa wandered into the entryway and ultimately came onto the well-known stone staircase and hallway that led to the dining room. From her last visit, everything appeared to be the same.

"I hope I'll find a second life here," Marissa confessed to her flower. "I just miss -"

"Marissa!"

She heard her name from the lips of the person she had longed to see most in the world. Tears streamed from her eyes as she slowly turned, catching sight of him standing at the entrance.

He appeared like a dream. His handsome, open face beamed with a deep-set smile as he repeated, "Marissa."

With a big smile on her face and tears still streaming down, she ran to hold him tightly. She seemed afraid that if she didn't cling hard enough, the dream would break and he would disappear. Shaken by the sudden outpouring of emotions, she whimpered, "Big brother, I missed you so much." After the years apart, she had felt so empty and yearning. At that moment, it became painfully clear how much she wanted him.

He wrapped his arms around her, planting a kiss on her silky smooth hair. "I missed my adorable little sister, too."

A lady walked in and stood beside Juan. "Hey, Marissa, right?"

Glancing up at the woman in front of her, Marissa saw that she had golden-brown hair pulled back into a taut ponytail, gorgeous brown eyes hidden beneath a vintage cowboy hat, and loose black trousers that were paired with a brown short-sleeve shirt. Marissa's mind immediately labelled the woman as the enemy.

Marissa brushed away her tears and pulled away from the hug. Narrowing her gaze, she studied the woman in front of her, feeling something strange about her.

"My name is Daniella Duran, and I'm Juan's girlfriend," Daniella said, smiling as she extended her arm for a handshake.

Chapter 2: The Valientes' Struggle

With three chairs on each side of the antique ash dining table, the Valientes were seated around it. The table was full with a variety of delicacies that provided a feast for their shared supper.

Miguel was seated at the head of the table, with Juan and Daniella sitting to his left, Rosario and Carlos to his right. Miguel set his cutlery on the plate and looked around, his eyes crinkling with excitement. "I can now proudly say my son has finally chosen a perfect woman to spend his life with."

Daniella's eyes sparkled with gratitude. "Thank you for the compliments, Mr. Valiente," she replied with a smile. She held Juan's hand, leaning on his shoulder with adoration as she looked at Miguel.

"I only speak the truth and nothing else," Miguel said.

"But it still means so much to me," Daniella replied, giving Juan's hand another affectionate squeeze. "I hardly ever receive compliments."

"Aren't you a model? I'm sure you get compliments all the time," Carlos r

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