Tue. Feb 13th, 2024

Chapter 12

 

Mia’s POV

 

“Come home. For God’s sake. What the

 

hell are you doing back in that man’s

 

house? I thought you’re over him.” My

 

brother, Tristan was upset. He arrived in

 

California this morning and was

 

disappointed that he didn’t find me in our

 

family home in San Bernardino.

 

“I’ll go home. Just give me time.” I almost pleaded.

 

“Time? You went all the way to Colombia to fix your life and now you’re running

 

back at him again. Use your common

 

sense, Mia.”

 

Tristan had a reason to get upset. I was a mess actually. I asked him for help to hide in Colombia, away from Xander so I could forget him easily and move on with my life. He was even more upset when I changed my personality and appearance. He said I went overboard in changing my whole identity. We even argued when I took the job as a bikini model.

 

“I just want to find out if he’ve changed.” “He won’t change. He still hangs out with the same friends. Throwing wild illegal parties. Taking too much alcohol. Hooking up with Russian whores and starlets. Just like his brothers.”

 

I didn’t want to argue with Tristan. I

 

wouldn’t win anyway.

 

“I know, Tristan. I’m not forgetting that.” “And what’s that about the Amnesia thing? Carmen told me. I understand about your fictitious name as Lily Rojas for your modelling career and yes, for Valiente not to find you, but pretending to lose your mind is too much!”

 

“I’m sorry. I’m doing this for a reason…

 

and please don’t ask me what it is… just

 

support me into this. That’s all I could

 

ever ask you right now.”

 

I could hear Tristan exhaled heavily over the phone. “Okay, fine. I won’t ask. You’re a big girl now, Mia. Whatever it is that you’re planning… just make sure that you’re doing it for your own good.” “Yeah. Don’t worry.”

 

“I don’t want you to get hurt again.”

 

“I know big brother.”

 

“So when are you coming home?” He

 

asked again.

 

“I’ll be home in two weeks time.”

 

“Okay. Take care of yourself.” He said

 

before he hung up.

 

Xander’s POV

 

“You don’t need a job. I can provide you with anything you want.” I was so upset. I was running out of patience already. I couldn’t pretend to be calm anymore. Mia signed a contract with a bikini modeling agency without even consulting me. “I’m here with you because you want to

 

help me recover for three weeks. And

 

now, you’re acting like a desperate

 

husband.”

 

“You made me, for heaven’s sake. You’re not going anywhere until you’re fully recovered and YOU will not work, Mia. Just name what you want and I’ll give it to you. If money concerns you, we’ll go to the bank tomorrow so we can apply an extension of my debit card for you.”

 

“I don’t need your money. I can earn it. You can’t dictate me what I want to do with my life because there’s nothing between us, you’re my ex. In two weeks time, I’m going home to my family in San Bernardino. Then next month, I’m going to marry the love of my life, Dylan.” Dammit!

 

I felt like I was at the end of the road. Mia was strong willed, opinionated and hard headed. She was not like this before. Where was the soft spoken, submissive and shy Mia I knew? If she would go

 

 

home in two weeks, the chances of getting her back would be so slim.

 

I courted her, giving her roses and chocolates everyday. I took her to a romantic restaurant and gave her love notes and messages. But it looked like there was no effect on her. She became more elusive. Everytime I said ‘I love you’ to her, she pretended not to hear it. I had a feeling that she didn’t believe every word I said and every romantic gesture I made. It was becoming more and more difficult to charm her and I was becoming so desperate.

 

“You can’t marry him. I won’t allow that

 

to happen.” I clenched my teeth,

 

controlling my anger.

 

“You can’t stop me.”

 

“I will, Mia. I love you. And I know, deep inside of you, you still love me.”

 

She stopped and looked at me intently.

 

“I’m not. Please… stop saying you love

 

me. I’m an engaged woman.”

 

Something about what she said gave me

 

hope.

 

“Yeah, you’re right.” I said.

 

“At last you’re agreeing with me.”

 

“You’re engaged. To me. We did not break up and technically our engagement was not broken. So, it’s still on.” “Are you crazy?”

 

“Yeah. You made me.” I said, desperately. If I couldn’t get her through charms, then I would get her in any means I could. “I can’t be engaged to two men.”

 

“Then break your engagement with him. I got you first.”

 

 

“What is this, first come first serve? That’s cruel.”

 

“Think whatever you want but you can’t

 

take me out of the picture. I’m going to

 

fight for you Mia.”

 

“I will hate you for this Xander.”

 

“Then hate me. I can stand that rather

 

than losing you.”

 

***

 

The topic about the modelling contract that Mia signed was brought up again the following day and it brought more tension between us.

 

“I can give you the money that you’ll be earning for years. You don’t have to work. Just stay here in the house. Relax and enjoy.”

 

She looked at me with distaste, then her eyebrows furrowed. “Relax and enjoy? That’s a very boring job. What do you want me to do, learn to cook, gardening, watching TV, surf the internet, read books, laze at the poolside and wait for you to arrive?”

 

“Yeah. That’s what you did before and you never complained.”

 

“Oh God. So I lived a boring life. No

 

wonder I left you.”

 

Her statement really hit a nerve. I

 

remembered Mia asked me before if she

 

could find work to occupy her day, but I

 

told her that she didn’t need a job,

 

because her job was to stay home and

 

take care of my needs.

 

“What?” Dammit. How could she

 

misinterpreted my concern for her.

 

“You treated me like a mistress.”

 

“Of course not. We treated each other as

 

partners, equals.”

 

“Oh, really! I didn’t have much freedom

 

right?”

 

“Of course you have. We’re so happy

 

together and in love. We couldn’t even

 

wait to get married. I proposed to you. I

 

gave you a ring.”

 

She nodded. “I think I have the ring.”

 

That was a relief. The ring was a heirloom, from my grandmother, Emily Lawrence Valiente.

 

“So what do you think is the reason why I left you?”

 

I put my hands in my pants pocket and leaned my shoulder at the wall. “A few weeks before our wedding, you’ve been so edgy. You had pre-wedding jitters.”

 

“I did? Maybe I was hesitant in marrying

 

you.”

 

“I don’t think so. But I have a feeling that

 

your brother’s disapproval of our

 

relationship was the main cause.”

 

“My brother Tristan.”

 

I nodded. “He disliked me from the start.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Maybe because of my friends.”

 

“I see.” She shrugged her shoulders. But I knew she didn’t see my point. I have to explain further so she would understand. “We threw wild parties when I was younger. You know, what single guys do. But I had enough of it, Mia. When we were together, I changed already.” “Really? So how do you explain this?” She took her phone, scanned it for a while then showed me a picture. “I saw it in the

 

internet last night and was taken a year

 

ago.”

 

The picture was me at the deck of Manuel’s yacht. My arms were around the shoulders of two half naked Russian hookers. Both girls were kissing my

 

cheek. Where did Mia get this picture?

 

I remembered what happened that afternoon. I was dead drunk. Manuel tricked me in a poker drinking game. I was not supposed to attend his birthday party but literally, he kidnapped me. I was surprised when I found myself inside his yacht. He even took my phone and wallet. I was not able to tell Mia where I was.

 

I never bothered to tell Mia about it when

 

I went home the following day. I thought

 

that it was for the best that she wouldn’t

 

know about it. The wedding was coming

 

up and things like that could stress her

 

out.

 

And now, I realized. It was the biggest

 

mistake I’ve ever made in my whole life

 

.

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

RUNAWAY FIANCÉE

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