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For Ann,Lora was only the woman whom his Step Mother had planted as a spy in his life. All he could see in her everytime his eyes met hers was betrayal. But would a sudden divorce from her get him to see the good in her and leave him shamelessly begging to be together, forever?This happened when the step mother was in their house. It was a marriage full of secrets between families.All was not well and something needed to be done.Unfortunately Ann had to go ahead with devource as she trusted no one.Everyone seemed as a stranger to her.
Chapter One:The Marriage
Lora felt she was about to get into a romance drama. A helpless romantic was another definition of her. Getting married to the rich heir who owned the school she attended was going to cause a lot of drama no doubt. But she had a huge crush on him.
Everyone did. Even guys yes, he was that hot and handsome. She looked around the huge mansion where she had been called. Probably like a wife or bride to be interview or something.
The mansion was extremely beautiful. She felt she didn't belong in a place like that.
which was true, by the way. The older woman in front of her stared at her observantly. To
Helena looked like those Filipino girls who would abandon the guy they swore to love under the mango tree after they were handed a fat envelope.
"We are offering you a chance to get out of your misery," Helena said, getting her attention.
"Marry my son and become a daughter-in-law to this family," she said. Lora jerked up in shock. Yeah, she's got her attention now.
"But... I don't even know him" she stuttered. She knew him. Helena laughed at her words.
"It's not like you will have to perform the role of a wife completely." "You'll only be his wife on paper, and the only time you should be seen with him is during occasions that warrant him being with you," Helena said. "We would have staged a fake wedding, but with eyes all around looking for ways to put us down, we can't do that." "So, are you accepting the offer or what?" She asked.
Lora hugged her low grade handbag to her chest. a marriage where she wouldn't have to pay rent anymore or worry constantly about what to eat, what cheap clothes that didn't look cheap to buy, and what tuition fees to pay? Plus, it wasn't like the husband to be was a stroke patient. Sign her up!
"Chairwoman," she said.
"You would be paid handsomely," Helena added. An icing on the cake. Lora looked at the picture of her husband to be and picked it up.
"I'll do it," she said.
*4 years later...
Lora got up from the giant sized bed and slipped her foot into the slippers lying on the floor. She walked into the bathroom and took a shower, then picked out an outfit and walked out of the room. Time to face Artemis "Watch it!" Eugene said, pushing her aside.
She didn't see that coming. Trying to think of possible ways to avoid someone and then ending up ramming into that person was always something that happened to Lora. Eugene was live Streaming. The last child and only surviving daughter of Artemis
At least until another female pops up with a DNA test. It was so common with wealthy families. One day you wake up to have an additional member of your family, a result of wedlock.
"I'm sorry," Lora said giving way. Eugene went back to her phone and put on a huge smile. "That was no one; let me show you the living room," she said to her fans. An actress she was and one with very bad manners. Other celebrities end up showing their bad attitudes to the public unknowingly, sometimes on impulse, but Eugenie flaunted hers like it was a beauty spot on her face.
A maid walked briskly to Lora. She looked like an ex-MMA fighter. Come with me Miss" Leah said.
"Okay," Lora said, following her. Leah handed her a laptop. "This is Sir Artem's schedule for today, so make sure your classes don't clash with it," she said. "That means I'll have to cancel all my classes," Lora said, looking at the laptop.
Leah snatched it from her and turned it off. "If you don't want to get on their bad side this morning, just do as I say." "It's bad enough that you already pissed Eugene off this morning," Leah said. "Fine, I'll just call my friends to let them know I won't be coming today" Lora said, pulling out her phone from her pocket. "Breakfast will be ready in five; you have to set the table with me today," Leah said.
"No problem," Lora said, dropping the phone. Leah handed her a tray filled with cutleries and together they walked into the dining hall. It was so huge that it looked five times bigger than the house Lora lived in as a child. Helena walked out of her room into the living room, inspecting the job the maids had done. That was the only thing she did aside from making life difficult for Lora. She wiped the window with her hands, having the most dissatisfied look on her face. She wiped the tables and shelves and finally gave up. "Why is the house so dusty?!" Is this what pay you for?!" she yelled.
"Sorry, ma'am, I'll clean it again," a maid said. Using the word again was like giving spicy food to someone with sores in the mouth. Helena walked up to her angrily. "Again? So are you saying it is wrong of me to say it's dusty just because you cleaned it before?" She asked.
"No ma'am. "I'm sorry, ma'am," the maid said, shaking. A man in his mid walked out of another room holding a newspaper. "Leave it, Mother," he said. "You don't want to start your day by stressing yourself." Helena glared at the maid one last time and walked to the dining room.
"Ah!" She groaned. Lora seeing her walk in made way for her to sit immediately. It was like she was the flash.
"Good morning, Mother," she said. "Whatever," Helena said, sitting down. The man in his mid thirties walked up to Lora, smiling heartily. He touched her arm.
Peter Lora said, turning towards him, "Sister-in-law, you look well rested," he added.
"It's all thanks to you all," she said. Helena sighed at the sight. She wasn't the one who
needed to do that. When she told Lora she was going to get married to her son, she expected it to be just them in their own house, living peacefully as a married couple and not living with the extended family, who, by the way, were a bunch of suckers. But according to Helena, she'd like to keep an eye on the married couple. A couple who had been married for four fucking years Seriously?
"Where's Eugene? Won't you wake her up? She asked. Uhuh, part of her job as a wife was to set the alarm clock for the little princess in the mansion. "She's already.." Lora started. "I'm already up Mother" Eugene said walking up to them. "Move," she said, using her hip to push Lora aside. She sat at the table and turned towards her.
"Can you do me a favor? "Try not to be the first thing I see when I wake up; it ruins my entire day," she said. "I'm sorry," Lora said.
"That's all you always say," Eugene muttered. Lora's husband walked out of his room. "Mother," he said walking up to them"Big bro!" Eugene said. "Oh, Ann," Helena said.
"Peter, I hope you are aware we are leaving for the factory today?" He asked. "Yes, I heard my sister-in-law is coming with us," Peter said.
"Is that right?" He asked. "Yes," Lora said, taking her seat. "I hope you aren't wearing that to the factory," Ann said without looking at her.
This?" She asked, looking down at her dress. He didn't give her a reply. He didn't even see the dress. "Yes," Leah whispered to her. "Oh, no, I'm not," Lora said, getting the message. It was an "I don't care what you wear, but it better not be trash." "I'll change into something else" she said. Peter looked at the outfit and she looked like Eve without clothes in it.
"But the dress is pretty, Lora," Peter said, and she waved at him to stop the upcoming talk. "Anyway, why can't we just go alone?" He asked.
"Why?" Helena asked. "It means Lora here won't be able to attend other classes," he answered. "Lora? What's that?" Eugene frowned. "I told you, just call her Lora," Ann said.
"No, it's fine, Peter; one class won't hurt," Lora said. "As if. All you do is play around in the school, and you come here pretending to be studying when I doubt you can even thread a needle. "Just don't drag my son's name through the mud," she said.
Ann dropped his spoon angrily on the table. The talk was getting to him. Let's just say he's a guy who loved eating in a peaceful and quiet environment. "I'll be leaving," he said, getting up.
"I'll come down in a while," Peter said. He stood beside Lora and looked ahead.
"Don't be late" he said and walked out "Look, you made him lose his appetite Eugene said. How did she do that? They were the ones talking non-stop. "I'm sorry," Lora said.
"You always are," Eugene muttered. "Sister-in-law, I'll be leaving now," Peter said, getting up too. "I'll come down quickly," Lora said, and she raced to her room with Leah following behind. "Leah, what should I wear?" She asked about ransacking her closet. Leah picked up the clothes she threw on the floor. "What do you mean, what should you wear?" Leah asked.
"Let's not pretend you are going on a date with your husband or anything; you just have to look good in front of the press," she said. Lora stopped ransacking for clothes. "I know that. But what if I put on something that he doesn't like, even if the press digs it? "That would be a disaster," Lora said. Leah sighed softly. "But he doesn't even look at you," she said.
"Then how did he know what I was putting on was out of place?" Lora asked. He guessed. Or, it's just his way of telling you, "I don't care what you are putting on, but make sure it's decent." Leah said.
"Could you just shut it and help me here?" Lora asked. "Yeah, yeah, whatever," Leah said and helped her into the dress she picked out. "Sister-in-law" Peter called from outside the door. Lora and Leah stopped simultaneously and stared at the door. "Peter?" Lora asked surprised
"Yes, um, Ann is about to leave," he said. "I'm ready," she said, putting on her heels. Leah zipped up the dress as she rushed out. Lora quickly opened the door to the room. "Let's go," she said, stepping out. He took in her appearance and smiled to himself. "That's a pretty dress," he complimented.
"Oh, thank you," she said, blushing. "Mr. Artem is waiting," Leah said. "Okay," Lora said, walking away with Peter helping her with her dress. Outside, Ann was leaning against the car, operating his phone. He saw them approaching and turned away.
"Why are you late, Peter?" He asked.
"I went to get your wife," Peter said.
"She sure took her time to look pretty," he added turning to her. Ann wasn't ready to listen to his talk.
"Let's go," he said.
The fashion school Helena claimed Lora always went to play around was bubbling with students showing off their latest designs. Helena was wrong; they studied there and did not play around. Lora's best friends were parading the school entrance, waiting for her to show up. Walking through the hallway to their classes with the wife of the heir to the Arterms business was always a pleasure to them. After waiting for an hour and missing the first period, they decided to give up and head to the next.
"Lucas, has Lora arrived yet?" Wyatt asked. walking into the class.
"Lora? No" he answered. "Have you called her yet? She hasn't done this before" he said turning to his friend.
"How do you mean?" "She misses classes frequently," Temin said. "Yeah, but she has never missed a class without telling us beforehand," he said. "Okay, I'll try calling her," she said. She searched for her phone around her bag. "Oh, Lora's going to miss school again," Louise said, looking into his phone.
"What do you mean?" Wyatt asked.
"Look, she's at the Artem Fashion Factory." Louise said, showing him his phone. The press had begun taking pictures at the factory, and the internet was enjoying it.
"Wow, she sure is living the life." I wonder why she even attends classes. She won't ever have to work all through her life. Luck duck" The students commented. Temin slowly dropped her phone back into her bag. "So, I guess there's no need to call her since she's with her husband," she said.
"Yeah, I guess so too," Wyatt said, sitting down. Ann and Lora drove into the factory in a fleet of cars. It was like a car show where everyone was trying to outshine the others. All three got down of their various cars and walked straight into the factory. A woman standing amongst the crowd waiting to welcome the Artemis smiled like she received a call from her ex, who she still liked.
"Ann !" Joanne called walking out of the building.
"Hi, Joanne," Peter said. "Hi Peter," she said, smiling heartily. She linked her arms with Ann's and placed her other hand on his chest, "You are quite early. "Even reporters can't beat you when it comes to being on time," she said. She turned towards Lora, and her smile disappeared. Of course, it should. She was touching someone else's husband on the chest like she was a slut when his wife was standing right beside her. Worse, Ann didn't seem to be bothered. "Oh, Mrs. Artem "I didn't see you," she said. putting on wrong smile in the world.
"How could you have when you were busy flirting with someone else's husband?" Lora thought. She wished she could say that but she wasn't ready to take an attack from her grumpy husband. She was going to do it the old-fashioned way. It takes two to pretend, they say. Lora too, put on a fake smile.
"Hi, Joanne. "It's always nice to see you," she said. Joanne scoffed at the sight of Lora and began pulling Ann into the building. "Ann, let's go. "The models are waiting," she said.
"As Lora watched them go, Peter placed his arms over her shoulder and leaned in," Peter said.
"Huh?" She asked dragging her eyes away from the duo walking away.
"You know they've been friends since high school, right?" He asked.
"Nothing and no one can come between them he said and walked inside. She began walking into the building with him"I know. "Not even his wife," she said to herself. Inside the building, Joanne showed off the designs the models wore to Ann, Lora, and Peter.
"Good day, Mrs. Artem," the designers and models said.
"Hi," she said, waving at them. Her dream was to get one of her designs on the cover of the Artems monthly fashion magazine. Peter leaned in. "Don't do that; Ann's glaring at you," Peter said.
"Oh, sorry," she said, dropping her hands. "Miss Joanne, you two look good together."
"A model said." She was probably Joanne's lackey, who ordered her to say that all in a bid to make Lora annoyed.
"Oh my gosh. "Stop that; he's married," Joanne said. The models began to laugh.
Suspicious. Joanne turned towards Lora to find her looking so disgusted at their actions.
"They are so funny," she said to Lora. "I know, right?" Lora said, faking a laugh.
The model walked right into a nail and ripped the dress she was wearing in the process.
Talk about karma. You try to play matchmaker with a married man and his best
friend, and that's what you get. Oh my God!" She exclaimed.
"What's wrong?" Peter asked, rushing towards her.
"I just ripped this dress up," she said.
Joanne let go of Ann's arm and rushed towards the model aggressively. She signed
them up for making fun of Lora but not ripping her dress up.
"What? Just on the first day of testing? How in the hell are we going to get this amended?
before the photo shoot?" She shouted.
"I'm sorry, ma'am," the model apologized. Lora shoved Joanne aside and looked at the dress.
"Um, I can fix it. Though it will give the dress a new look" she said looking around for scissors," Found it" she said and made for the dress the model was wearing. Everyone stared at her, wondering what she wanted to do; they all thought she was another version of a lazy Benin bride in Nigeria. With delicate hands, she cut off the first layer of the lace and picked up the already threaded needle, then used the torn lace to design the hem of the dress covering the cut. She cut off the last strand of thread and gave a smile. "There," she said, getting up from the floor.
"Wow, it's prettier than it was before," the model exclaimed.
"Thank you," Lora said smiling brightly "Brava!"
Peter complimented. It took brains to do what she just did. "Lora ?" Joanne called.
"Yes?" Lora asked.
"You just ruined the concept of the fashion magazine," she said.
"What do you mean ruined?" Lora asked.
"The concept was a dark girl crush look, but you just changed it to a soft feminine look."
"Does a girl crush not look the same as feminine?" In the end, it's a girl who's still going to be wearing the dress. I just fixed a dress that was ruined. And why didn't you tell me that when you saw me changing the concept?" she asked.
"Lora !" Joanne yelled.
"Um, Joanne, just scrap this look off the magazine." Sorry for ruining your dress.
Peter said he hoped Ann would say something. Ann walked up to the model.
He stared at the dress and then at Joanne. "Use the dress," he said.
"What?" Joanne asked, shocked. She thought he was going to side with her.
"I like the look; use the dress," he said and walked out. "Go with him," Peter told Lora.
"Okay," she said, and raced out to meet him. Lora chased after him struggling with the heels she was putting on. If she knew she was going to be running after her snobbish
husband, she would have gone for flats. "Ann!" she called. He stopped in his
tracks her voice. "I mean, Mr. Artem," she corrected. He turned toward her without saying a word. She immediately looked at the ground in fright.
"Um, thanks for accepting the dress." I didn't know what the concept was so I did that"she added.
"What happened today... should never repeat itself," he said and walked out.
Lora just stood there, watching him walk away. She couldn't understand why he would talk to her like she acted like a girl caught in a club after lying that she was going to after school classes. It was just a dress she changed. It was different from placing a human being's arm on the knee and the leg on the shoulder. It was just a stupid dress.
"Lora!" Peter called.
"What happened?" He asked seeing her standing alone.
"He got mad. He left" she added.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"I don't understand. I didn't do anything wrong. I just fixed a dress that was ruined, so why is he acting like that? "And he said he liked the dress I fixed, so why?" She asked.
"Why don't you go somewhere to cool off, huh?" He suggested. "Why? Because seeing him again today will ruin his mood?" She asked.
"I had to skip school because of this. "At this rate, I won't be able to graduate fashion school," she said.
"Why don't you calm down?" I'll try talking to him. Peter said.
"Yeah, like that will change anything," she said and walked away.
Lora sat in the dressing room while themakeup artist began work on her flushed face. She was getting married and she was nervous as hell. When Helena told her she was going to get married to her son she didn't know it was going to be too soon. No courtship, no date, no dinner to get to know each other more. Just the wedding date.YOu really are lucky to be getting married to him. He's so handsome. How did you two meet? The makeup artist asked."Um, I bumped into him in his fashion school and some weeks later my Mother in-law said he wants to get married to me".That was the story she was told to tell anyone who asked about how they got to the stage they were in. Anyone. Even a dog.
The church hall was filled with guests who came to wish the couple a happy married life. The groom stood at the alter staring at the front door. The door flung open and a huge frown crept up to his face. He hated the sight of her. The woman he was going to marry. His step brother w
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