Ten missed calls from Malia.

I put my phone back in my pocket as I kept on crying while looking at the ocean in front of me. I just don't understand how a parent can do that to a child, their only child. I mean I know I made mistakes in the past, I know I made a lot of them but I don't deserve to have this happening to me.

“Well, could anyone believe a coincidence like this?” I Heard a Voice, that I'm pretty sure I heard before but I wasn't in the mood to be a detective now so I turned around to see who it was and wasn't it the same... What was his name again? oh yeah Raymond Dalton who called my hotel a trashy one yesterday.

I let out a sigh before I turned back to look at the ocean and said “What do you want, Dalton?” He came beside me and laid down on the rails. He stayed like that for a while before he looked back at me with a smile that seemed a little bit genuine.

“You remember my name, Color Me Impressed.” for some stupid reason that actually made me laugh or at least chuckle which seemed to please him because he smiled as well then continued “But please just call me Ray.” I only nodded my head at his suggestion because deep down I had the feeling that we would be talking a lot.

“Now I hope that you won't punch me or anything but I couldn't help but overhear your conversation with your parents.” Perfect. Now we have a stranger who I kicked out of my hotel yesterday, hear my father telling me that he will kick me out of my hotel soon. How Lovely.

“Just please let me interrupt you but I'm wondering because I read about you and what caught my attention is who you are and who your parents are." 

He nodded his head, telling me to say what I have to say. "But you don't strike me as a man who owns all these companies and stuff or you still didn't have them yet and that would explain your looks." He looked at me with his eyebrows raised as he asked "What's wrong with my looks?"

"Nothing." I paused to look at him again, today he was wearing a white shirt with a leather jacket and the pants and boots were similar to the ones from yesterday but not the same. "It's just, I saw a lot so I know that a man of power and money would be wearing a suit or something professional or maybe you just don't care about appearances?"

"Something like the second one but you're right I still didn't take over them yet." Ray explained with a pained smile on his face, and I couldn't help but smile as I asked "Playboy days are not over yet?"

It felt weird how much I was at ease while talking with Raymond, it just felt like I was with someone who is suffering like me.

"I don't know but what I do know is that my father wants them to be over." Something clicked in my memory now, when I was reading about him, I saw one of the articles where it was written that his father refused to give him anything unless he settled down.

A brilliant idea came to my mind as I turned to look at him fully. "Hey Raymond?" but before I could continue, he held up his hand and said, "Please, just call me Ray because Raymond reminds me of my father."

"Ray, I have an offer," I said with a smirk on my face and he turned his body so we were standing almost like we were at the hotel. "Go on, Princess."

"You want to take over your father's companies right?" He only nodded his head with a small hum but I could see the smile on the corner of his mouth. "And I want to keep my money and fortune, right?"

"So how about... we make a deal?" His smirk only grew more and he stepped even closer to me as he repeated the moves he did to me the first time we met, took a strand of my hair and played with it.

"What kind of deal, Princess?" He was smooth, I'll give him that because I know he knew what I was about to offer, he seemed smart enough to understand.

"one year of an arranged marriage that'll serve both of us." I trailed off as I tried to read his attractive blue eyes but I couldn't read him... I doubt that anyone can.

I pulled away from him to extend my hand to him as I said "So what do you say, Raymond Dalton?"

He looked as if he might refuse for a second and that made fear creep in my mind but suddenly he took my hand in his and said "I say that I can't wait to announce our wedding, Alana Steel."


"I'm sorry, did you just say Raymond Dalton?" Malia, who for the first time in our whole twenty-five years of friendship, stops eating from her favourite cake to ask me a question. Well, that's new.

"Yes, Raymond Dalton but please don't start fangirling over him… at least not in front of me." I took a sip from my morning coffee while reading some more stuff about Ray from my Ipad which is something we both agreed to do, read about each other first then try to get to know one another, I mean we still have two weeks before the wedding. 

"Oh, is someone jealous?" She asked using her teasing tone and I immediately threw a glare in her direction because did she seriously think that I'm jealous, why would I even be. 

"Why would I be, Malia? It's arranged, remember?" She fakes a pout before she shrugged her shoulders while having that playful smile of hers. 

"Well you know, in most novels the arranged marriage turns into a real one." I scoffed then said, "Novels are nothing but fairy tales and real life isn't a fairytale."

"Stop ruining my fun!" Malia yelled at me with a small giggle, she always dreamed about her future love coming to her, riding his white horse and I always try not to break her dreams but I still gotta keep her in the range of our reality. 

I was about to answer when my phone started ringing and as usual, I answered it without looking but immediately regretted my decision when I heard who it was.

"Hey, Princess." Yep, instant regret because now I'll have to deal with his playfulness but I better get used to it, I will be staying with him for a full year after all. 

"Good Morning to you too, Ray." Big mistake. Malia quickly jumped from her seat and pressed her ear next to my phone while side hugging me… if only I was this excited.

"So I've been thinking, wouldn't it be good if you come and meet my brothers who already know by the way and don't worry, they won't say a word about it." There were noises in the background but I took a guess it was his brothers or something.

But maybe he's right. If I'm doing this then I should meet everyone I can so I make it easier for myself to have as many allies as possible. 

"Sure but can I also bring my best friend with me, she also knows but won't say a word too." The moment the words left my mouth Malia started attacking my cheek with kisses and her hug became so right barely leaving any room for me to breathe but I wasn't mad about that because, in my whole goddamn twenty-five years of living, she was the only one to give me the love that my parents weren't able to give. 

"You can bring whoever you want, Princess. You're the star of the show after all." I swear that I can hear him grinning on the other side of the line, how does he always have time to be full of energy? 

"Maybe but you are still starring with me too." He hummed on the other line before yelling at his siblings to tone down their voices. "Yep, I am. Anyways, I'll send you the address and you can come now if you're free of course because as you can see, I'm still learning about the life of CEOs." 

I let out a small chuckle as I checked my schedule and lucky him, I'm free today.

"Guess it's your lucky day, Dalton. I'm all free for the whole day." A smile made its way to my face when Malia got up and started doing some sort of victory dance in front of me. This girl is so crazy.

"Well, it's settled then see you soon, Princess." 

"See you soon." I replied and ended the call then prepared myself to hear Malia's high pitched scream which will happen in three… two… one…

"Aaaaaaaa!" She screamed at the top of her lungs, making me cover my ears and wait until she was done. God, she has the energy of a three years old child.

"Yeeees bitches, I'm going to meet Raymond Dalton and his siblings." She started putting on some make-up while listening to Taylor Swift's Shake It off which is a song we both love.


We were now outside the mansion mentioned in the address that Ray sent me and if I'm being honest, it's pretty classy but apparently, it didn't get Malia's approval.

"What now?" I asked as I removed my seat belt but she just shrugged her shoulders "I expected more, that's all." I let out a laugh, picking up my purse then we both left the car.

"Malia, I already told you, he didn't get anything from his parents and neither did his twin brothers." We started walking towards the gate where the guards were but I'm assuming that he wasn't the one who hired them because they sure do cost a lot and he can't cover that much cost with what he has.

"Ms Steel, Ms Rhodes. Welcome to the Dalton siblings Mansion." One of them greeted us and motioned for the others to open the gate, letting us in while he followed us inside. 

"Mr Dalton will be here in a minute so please make yourself at home." The guard said with a smile on his face before walking away, leaving me and Malia standing in the middle of their backyard which was beautiful by the way.

Malia was just admiring everything around her with wide eyes and an open mouth. "Don't let flies get in there, Mals." She immediately glared at me but closed her mouth then went back to looking at the entire place before she said "I take every single word I said back, this is so good." 

"I just want to understand, why do you always seem so impressed with everything, Girl you are the daughter of a Senator meaning you grew up rich so why are you surprised by those things?" 

"It's not the same." She said firmly and was ready to argue more and so was I but we were interrupted by Ray's voice.

"I hope it suits you Princess because that is where I suppose we'll be living unless you have another option for us?" Ray explained while he was walking towards us, hands behind his back.

"Let me examine the goods first, I only saw the backyard as you can see." And finally, he smiled at me before he nodded his head but suddenly stopped as his gaze went behind, making me turn around to see why and I wish I didn't.

There was Malia, frozen on the spot, her mouth slightly open and her eyes wide open again, staring in awe at the man in front of her. "Just give it a second, she'll snap out of it," I told him as I let the corner of my mouth go up, almost smiling at her reaction.

But he didn't give her time to recover as he went to stand in front of her, raising one of his hands to point at her then asked "I'm supposing you're Malia Rhodes?" 

Again, no answer. The girl just straight up zoned out of reality at the sight of him which makes me wonder is he really that handsome or am I just too cold and uncaring to notice? 

"Malia!" I called her with the only tone I knew would always make her afraid and it did because she finally looked normal while she answered "Yes, I'm Malia." 

Ray smirked at the whole situation before he said "Well it's a pleasure to meet you, Malia." He extended his hand to her which she took in almost second. I really have to work on her skills with people. 

"The pleasure is all mine." Oh my god, she is so fangirling over him, in front of me which is something I told her not to do this morning.

I feel like I'm going to throw up, those things are just too cheesy for me.

"So we are your brothers?" I asked in an attempt to get away from here before I seriously throw up , which apparently worked because Ray turned around and asked us to follow him.

I could feel that Malia had something to say, it was always obvious to know if she did. "Go on." She smiled at the fact that I knew she wanted to say something.

"I just expected something like 'Don't embarrass me or something." I stopped her from walking when I noticed that Ray was caught with the man who got us inside the mansion and said "I'm not my mother Malia, you can say and do whatever you want while you're with me." The moment I said those words she took my hand in hers and was about to reply when someone behind us joked "Is this the part where they kiss?" 

We pulled away from each other to look at whoever said that, only to be met with two people who look the exact same. The Twins… Nathan and Ethan.

But I think I had an idea which one was the one to joke about us a few seconds ago. "No, that's the part where you shut up." The look of shock on his face was worth my comment, his deep black eyes widened at my comeback while his twin, Ethan was smirking without looking up from the papers he was reading.

And I dared to take a second to admire them because they look nothing like Ray. While his hair is back, theirs is dirty blonde. Their eyes are black as the night while Ray had his beautiful blue eyes but even though I knew which one is which, it would be hard for a stranger to tell the difference between them.

"Just to be sure," I trailed off as I stepped closer to them, "you're Nathan." I pointed at the one who was still recovering from his shock then went to the other "And Ethan, am I right?" The calm one nodded before looking at Ray who was watching the scene unfold for a while now.

"I like her already." Then Ethan finally looked at me and Malia before he said "Standing for my two brothers, that's a record that no one ever reached." I chuckled at his statement but couldn't help but be able to see that he was emotionally unavailable, his voice was cold and unfeeling even more than mine.

"It wasn't so hard." I said smugly, only to be met with Ray who raised his eyebrow at me before he asked "Oh really?" 

I was about to give him a smartass comment when the same man from earlier came back and he seemed troubled.

"Mr Dalton there is a man outside causing trouble, saying that he wants to see Ms Steel." My eyebrows furrowed in confusion because I certainly didn't tell anyone that I was coming.

"Did he say his name, Andrew?" Ray asked the man who nodded his head at him before he said that one name I despise.

"Daniel Clifford." 

Related chapters

Latest chapter Protection Status