“The loan sharks are here again. They are probably headed to the Asmodeus family’s apartment.”I felt my heart skip a beat after hearing those words with my family surname included. I immediately ran as quickly as I could towards our place. It was rather shocking news to hear about them going on a rampage again after a few months of absence. Fuck! I even wished for them to be killed by someone so they would never come back here again! They shouldn’t have come back. I just finished working as a marketing strategist at a small firm when I heard about them harassing my family again. I didn’t expect that the loan sharks would come back to our place when I almost paid all of our debt. I had been working my ass off just to pay grandpa’s debt to avoid this incident from happening, but still, it happened. I grind my teeth in irritation. Upon arrival, I saw my father lying on the floor while taking all the punches a man was throwing at him. I looked around and saw that our place wasn’t in its best shape. Some of the cheap furniture hanging on the wall fell on the floor. Some were hanging loose. Almost all of the furniture was upturned. The apartment was in a great mess. Ron was crying on the side while grandpa was hugging him. There were two men in black outside our apartment standing on both sides of the door. I gritted my teeth and barged into the building where our good neighbors were watching my father taking all the blows like it was some sort of a live show. I know that they were too afraid to interfere. They witnessed what kind of these people are and what they can do. The man punched father again and I felt like something in me snapped. I pushed and slapped everyone who tried stopping me from going in. As soon as I entered their apartment, I immediately grabbed the man’s hand and pushed him away. “What do you think you’re doing?!”“Collecting debts, dumb woman.”I looked at the man who was punching my father with my jaw clenching. “I already paid almost all of it. Why are you here making quite a fuss?! Can’t you just wait until the end of this month?!”The man laughed while shaking his head. “Miss Asmodeus, I have quite a fun time seeing you work hard to pay such debt, but these days, observing you has become dull. So let me pop your bubble, Miss Asmodeus. Your grandfather’s debt costs quite a lot.”I gulped. I already knew about my grandfather’s debt though I didn’t know the exact amount. However, I am very eager to pay the damn debt no matter how much it was. “How much is it?”“It costs more than your life… More than how much you could offer.”“How muc—”“A million dollars. I already lessen your family’s debt by half for making me enjoy your dumb dull life. Only a half and you still have to pay the remaining half, Miss Asmodeus,” the man said. I clenched my fist. I glared at grandpa who just looked away in guilt. You better protect the little guy or else….. I sighed. I wasn’t expecting that the debt would cost that much. All my money was spent on my grandfather’s other benefactors and I have nothing right now but forty thousand dollars! Do they want me to sell my soul just to pay that?! The man then added, “Watching you struggle was refreshing, you see.”“Fuck you!” I shouted angrily. The man smirked as he licked his lower lip. “It would be my pleasure, Miss Asmodeus,” he stated. I rolled my eyes before looking at my father and sighed. His face was all beaten up. There were purple bruises all over his face. More than anything, I should aid my father’s wound first. I walked towards my father and helped him get up. I was clenching my jaw so hard while pulling all of my rationality in place and my reasons. I knew that punching Bryce would only push me and my family’s life in danger. That’s the last thing that I wanted to happen. “Boss Bryce, your father is here.”The head. I gulped and closed my eyes. Bryce Vergara, the rumored ruthless chaebol of the Vergara Marquisate who knows no sympathy was the one who was playing with me all this time. I am such a fool to believe that Bryce will let me go just like that. After all, Bryce was good at playing someone’s life and it seemed like he took a liking to me being one of his pawns in his games. While Bryce looked at the man who told him the news with clenched jaws. After only a few minutes, an old man entered our apartment. “So… this is where you are investing your free time, Bryce. I see…”Bryce immediately bowed his head while the other men knelt on one knee while their right fist was bumping into the ground. It is the infamous almost-cringey way of showing respect to the most powerful person of the Vergara Marquisate and I never thought I would witness the iconic scene. But I am nowhere near elated to witness this scene especially since the head of the Vergara Marquisate is known for his ruthlessness. In short, the head is much worse than Bryce and if Henry Vergara, the head of the family visited us for the same reason as Bryce, I could only imagine myself being in a predicament where there was no way out but death. Seeing the head walk towards us, I knew that it would only double my troubles. I really fucked up this time. I do not only have to deal with Bryce. Now, I also had to deal with the head, the biggest threat of all the Vergaras and the one that could cause me a severe headache. Just thinking about it stressed me out. “So, this is where your new-found toy was hiding, Bryce?” Henry asked. Bryce shook his head. “I was just paying a visit to them as their benefactor, father.”Henry cackled. “Never heard such an excuse before. I believe this time, your toy is a bit special.”I saw the fuckard Bryce clenched his jaw. I secretly rolled my eyes before looking at the people slowly dispersing and leaving the old rundown building. I sighed as I licked my lips. Though I knew that those people couldn’t possibly do anything to stop the men who were harassing my father, and trying to stop them is a dumb thing to do, I couldn’t help but feel aggrieved and disappointed. If it was me who saw such a scene, I would stop the men from beating a stranger to me. But they were different and I understood that. Blindly helping someone in need without thinking of repercussions was my dumbest forte after all. Bryce just looked at me as I was helping my father get up and guide him to the old sofa. I helped my father get up and let him sit on the nearest sofa. I didn’t bother letting our benefactors sit at our filthy home. They don’t deserve my compassion anyway.I looked at Bryce and our eyes met. I felt like I’ve seen those eyes before. Those blue eyes that are looking at me boldly as if it can read what’s on my mind. I’ve never had such a feeling while being stared at but this fuckard eyes is making me uncomfortable. We exchange daggers through our looks. Bryce clenched his jaw as he looked at me. I smirked.“How about marrying that girl?” Henry Vergara, the current richest Marques of Spain, asked while pointing his index finger at me. My brows automatically furrowed. Bryce's face darkened. “There’s no way in hell that I’ll marry someone like her,” he stated.“Wanna bet?”Bryce gave a wry smile. “Please spare me from whatever you have in mind, old man. I’m too busy to have any spare time to play your games.” “Who says that I am suggesting this idea just for a mere game?” Henry asked, his right brow arching a bit. “You know how much I value marriage, little Bryce. You don’t have to marry her legally with a contract and take all the legal processes that a normal husband and wife would bother to assess. You just have to marry her for a show and shun her after you’re done with your act. You want to prove your ex-fiance wrong, don’t you?” Bryce gulped and thought. He looked like he was thinking of considering his father’s idea. I know Hanzel Green, Bryce fiancée, as I saw her in the Magazines and newspapers. I saw her once in person and I could tell that she is one fine woman who men could simp for and would go crazy for. And it wasn’t long after the announcement of Bryce Vergara and Hanzel Green’s engagement when Hanzel Green ran away with yet another mysterious man which is not Bryce Vergara. It was a slap to the Vergara household. “Well, it is still your choice to make, little Bryce. Just remember that Vergara is always proud and wouldn’t waver for an undeserving woman like her. That girl is undeserving of you. She doesn’t deserve my name to be her last name. I wouldn’t accept her as my daughter-in-law no matter what the circumstance is. Not ever.” Henry Vergara looked at me. One smile and I know he’s already scheming something. “A woman who’ll do everything for her family is much of a better choice, little Bryce. Think about it carefully.”Bryce looked at me while I was tending my father’s wounds. I look back directly at his eyes and I feel like I was being pulled. Bryce shook his head. “That should do it,” he said as he nodded his head. “I will never fall for this woman anyway and I need someone who would pretend to be my bride. Ranleigh Asmodeus is the perfect woman who could do it.”I shook my head. It’s the same way for me. I would never fall for someone like him at all, over my dead body. But why does that belief waiver every time I’ll look at those blue eyes? It’s luring me into a trap I can’t refuse.
RANLEIGH“Are you fucking kidding me?” I shouted in horror after hearing Bryce talk about something horrifying. Well, truthfully, I didn’t expect that he would actually consider his old man’s nerve-racking suggestion. He even planned to take it in action and I couldn’t help but complain. Like hell! It even gave me goosebumps.Isn’t it scary to hear from someone from a noble household to offer a marriage to a commoner? And Bryce, this fuckard, was indifferent while saying that.Bryce just offered a marriage like he is just inviting someone over for dinner. Well, I understand that he was offering a marriage out of convenience but we just met and I am just another normal citizen of this country. What could I possibly do to help him with his ex? That’s why I couldn’t help but shout at him to wake him up from his delusions. Anyway, who would want to marry a man who continually harassed his bride’s family the past few months anyway, right?! Who was insane enough to do that?I took a deep b
RANLEIGHI sighed for the fourth time while staring at my computer. I haven’t done anything yet and I am still stuck with the planning. For fuck’s sake! I am so distracted about what happened the day before yesterday and it kept on bugging my mind. The fuckard just kept on bugging my mind and it’s affecting my work. Damn! This isn’t me and him having this effect on me is disturbing enough. Seriously, this has to stop. I got my phone out of my sling bag and stared at his calling card which I almost threw earlier. I had to get him out of my mind. Maybe texting him will help? I laughed. Crazy. Of course it won’t help, dumb idiot. I groaned and pushed my phone and the calling card on my table far enough for me not to reach it. I was playing with a pen in my hand while looking outside the window, trying to remember when was the last time I relaxed like this. I had been working my butt off after hearing about granpa’s debt. Seriously, it was dumb of me to join an org in the underworld,
RANLEIGH“What the hell did you just call me?” the driver irritatedly asked.“Doggy? I guess?”The man laughed sarcastically. “I am Bryce’s right hand, the second in position next to the boss. I am not just anyone, Miss. Asmodeus. More especially, I am not someone's dog, I am from a powerful household.” The man fixed his tuxedo. “So if you’re just using the young master for your gain, I suggest you stop. That is if you still treasure your life. As you can see, we could kill you mercilessly, Miss. Asmodeus.”I widened my eyes, acting as if I was shocked by the news. I looked at the man and bit my lower lip, stopping myself from laughing. They once almost killed my father by beating him up nonstop. Do they really think that I would never think that they could kill and that they wouldn’t harm me? And rumors about them going on a rampage once in a while was all over the place. “Oh really?” I asked. I didn’t care about them harming me, really. And I knew Bryce even before the loan sharks s
RANLEIGHAfter Bryce left, a maid guided me to my room that was prepared especially for me — that was at least what the maid said. It is on the second floor of the mansion and it is nerve-wracking to memorize every turn we made on our way to my room. The mansion is so big and there are so many hallways. I couldn’t memorize the way out of the mansion at all. Hell. It even looks like a palace. After arriving, I thanked the maid and smiled at her. The maid just bowed her head. “I’ll prepare your bath, my lady. Please excuse me.”I nodded my head and cued the maid to get out of the room. Without looking back, the maid got out of the room as if in a hurry.I sighed and slumped my body on the bed. I took a deep breath and stared at the ceiling that was carved with ancient designs. Prepare my bath? What do they think of me? An idiot who couldn’t even prepare the bath for myself?I shook my head. This life is just too different from my life outside the Marquisate and it isn’t for me at all.
RANLEIGHBryce lifted me out of the bed and walked near the door. He stared at me and cleared his throat. “You’re so stiff, woman. If you’re awake, open your eyes and walk with your own feet,” he stated.I cleared my throat in embarrassment and laughed awkwardly. Bryce gently put me down. “Everyone was busy fighting for their life, while you’re just sleeping there quietly. I’m quite amazed with your courage but that's risky, woman,” Bryce said with a blank expression.I chuckled. “I didn’t know that a fight arose inside your hacienda. You said that I should wait for you and I did. But it was taking you so long that I fell asleep while waiting,” I explained while looking at his eyes. I didn’t bat an eye nor did he. He just stared at me like he was reading my mind through my eyes. “Anyway… Is it just me, or are you worried about me?” I asked. Bryce remained silent. I couldn’t help but feel curious about what Bryce was thinking at the moment. If Bryce was doubting me or if he thinks th
RANLEIGH“If you’re going to lie, Your Excellency, please try controlling your expression. You're making it obvious that you are still head-over-heels with the lady,” I said. I scratched my head and laughed awkwardly. “You often wear a blank expression but that hard stoic face becomes soft every time you’ll mention her name. You’re being obvious, Sir,” I added.Bryce furrowed his brows. “What happened to Mr. Vergara? Why are you calling me more formally now?” he asked, totally ignoring what I just said.I cleared my throat and avoided his eyes. I will never admit that I am starting to draw a line between us. I knew that Bryce would ask me why and I don’t know how to dodge that question without telling him the truth. And hell! I will never admit that I am attracted to him and if he continues being nice to me, I’m afraid that I might really end up falling in love with him. I thought that he was an awful person based on how he acted the first time we met and the second until the third. Th
RANLEIGH“Where the fuck are you?” I moved my phone away from my ears and frowned. “Your voice is so fucking loud, Dior,” I cursed between my breath. “Fuck you!” she shouted. I laughed when I imagined her rolling her eyes. “I came to your company to visit and check on you and guess what?” she asked. “You weren’t there, Leigh! And Gab? He looked like a pup who just got abandoned,” Dior shouted dramatically. “You heartless woman, where did you go and why did you resign? Was it true that you are engaged with someone? Who’s the fucking guy? Is he hot?” I shook my head and ended the call. She’s too loud. She needs to calm down while I need peace of mind. I took a deep breath before looking around my room and I couldn’t help but notice that the room is bigger than the one at the previous house. The whole room is the size of my family’s apartment. It was divided into four rooms. The things are also completed from the receiving area inside my room mainly for the visitors, to the counter an
RANLEIGH“The lady needs to know the basic etiquettes so the Marquess’ name won’t be put in jeopardy,” a maid whispered. I slightly opened my eyes and looked at her. She was combing her hair gently with a soft expression.The other maid groaned in annoyance. She was more hostile than the first. “Why do I have to serve such a woman? My parents didn’t raise me for this!” she yelledI slowly opened my eyes and stared at the two. They were very well dressed for a maid and elegance could be seen from the way they talked. I grinned. I wished to see more of these noble’s distorted faces after seeing a commoner reign higher than them. A commoner who they looked down could fly higher than they ever could. It would be fantastic to see their disappointed and enraged faces. But it would be more fantastic to see my grandmother’s face filled with rage. I got up and stretched my arms. A good sunny morning for me should be a hell to the two ladies.I smiled as I walked towards the two. It is really