Twenty-Five

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Chapter Twenty-Five| Leona
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"I think we should push the wedding forward to next week." My eyebrows furrow at Cane's words.

"But the wedding is in two months. You can't wait two months? We still have things to plan." I question him.

"We love each other right?" I nod my head. "Then we will push the wedding forward." He finishes and I look away from him and finish putting on my work clothes.

"You really need to do something about your weight Leona." He sighs and I grit my teeth, looking at myself through the mirror.

"Stop having a go at me about my weight." I huff but the second those words leave my mouth he has me pushed up against the wall with one hand wrapped tightly around my throat, blocking my airways and the other hand griping the back of my hair.

I try to gasp for air as I stare at him with wide, terrified eyes.

"P-Please." I cry out.

"What have I told you about talking back to me?" He seethes. "If I tell you to do something about your weight you fucking do it. You know better than to go against me." He lets go of me and I drop to my knees, coughing relentlessly.

I hear him grab his keys and then the slam of the front door. I sniffle and stand up on shaky legs.

I look at my neck and can already see the dark purple marks. Another bruise yet to cover up.

But it won't fool Dario.

Rio.

He used to love my body, he'd worship it anytime he got the chance. I stare at my reflection.

Maybe I have put a bit of weight on, I'll just go on a diet.

•••

"I got us some burgers!" Ben exclaims as he walks into the office with McDonald's. My stomach rumbles at the smell of them but I shake my head, making him frown. "What?! You never turn down a burger." He whispers in shock and I give him a small smile.

"I don't want to put anymore weight on, I need to fit into my dress." I chuckle lightly and he rolls his eyes putting the burger in front of me.

"Burn it off with a walk." He takes a seat in front of me and begins to tuck into his own burger.

I stare at the one in front of me and push it away.

"I'll just stick with water, you have it." I give him a tight-lipped smile and continue with my work. 

My stomach continues to rumble, knowing I haven't eaten anything since yesterday afternoon. I've began to feel a little light headed but I'm sure if I have some sleep I'll be fine.

"Cane wants the wedding pushed to next week." I inform Ben, biting my lip.

"Leona?" I look at Ben and see the sad look on his face. He furrows his eyebrows as he continues to observe me. "You're my best friend and I love you, so I'm going to tell you the truth and you may not agree but it's what I believe in. Cane is not good for you." I clench my jaw.

"Ben-" He cuts me off.

"No, Leona! For twos years I've had to watch the light drain out of your eyes, that man.....that man is fucking horrible. He's controlling you, he's breaking you piece by piece." My eyes begin to water and I look away from my best friend.

"He loves me." I whisper.

"No he doesn't!" Ben yells and my lip begins to tremble. "As much as Dario did you wrong two years ago, a blind man could see how much he loved you. Cane on the other hand-" he scoffs shaking his head as he stands up from his chair, -he doesn't love you, he loves controlling you. I don't trust him."

"How long have you been waiting to tell me this?" I whisper.

"The moment you fucking met him!" He exclaims before storming out of the office, slamming the door harshly behind him.

A small whimper escapes my lips.

I don't know what to do.

•••

Dario

"Cancel my four o'clock meeting." I tell my assistant as I walk out of my office.

However, I furrow my eyebrows in confusion when I see Ben making his way towards me.

"I didn't like you." He begins and I raise my eyebrows. "However, you adored Leona-"

"Adore, I still do." I cut him off and he nods his head.

"She's broken. She's marrying a piece of shit who controls and abuses her and I feel like I've failed her as her best friend because I've just watched it happen." He bites his fist in frustration and I sigh.

I can see the clear guilt in his eyes.

"You haven't failed Leona. Cane has manipulated and brainwashed her into thinking he loves her, I've seen the bruises and trust me Ben I won't let him get away with it." I reassure him.

"He's pushed the wedding forward. They are getting married next week." My heart drops.

"Sorry?" I question, wondering if I've heard him correctly.

"Leona is getting married to another man next week." I let out a chuckle, feeling myself starting to get angry.

"The fuck she is!" I yell, making all my work colleagues turn to face me with wide eyes.

I storm over to the lift, Ben following close behind me.

"How did she even meet this fucker?" I question Ben, anger laced in my voice.

"When she was in Italy. They started travelling together and then fell in love." Ben scoffs and I cringe at the thought of her loving another man that's not me.

The lift door opens and I walk through and straight towards Leona's office. As soon as I open the door my eyes widen in shock when I see her passed out on the floor.

"Baby?!" I rush over to her and lift her head onto my lap. "Call an ambulance!" Ben's already on the phone and I look back down at my princess as she falls in and out of consciousness.

"R-Rio?" She whimpers in my lap and my heart breaks. My eyes begin to water as I stroke her hair.

"It's me baby, I'm here. I've got you." I whisper, leaning down to kiss her forehead.

"I'm so stupid." She cries out and I clench my eyes shut.

"You're not stupid, my sweet girl." I give her a reassuring smile as she continues to look up at me with wide eyes. "You're hurting baby, that's all."

"I-I thought-I-" I hush her gently and her eyes flutter closed.

The paramedics shortly arrived and took care of Leona.

Luckily she didn't have to go to the hospital, she passed out because she hadn't had enough nutrients.

I cross my arms over my chest and stare at her as she lays on the sofa asleep.

It's only now I realise how much weight she's lost. Her brown skin doesn't glow and shine like it used to, it's just dull and the bags under her eyes show me she doesn't get enough sleep.

"She's not going back home to that piece of shit." I tell Ben and he nods his head in agreement. "She's staying with me tonight."

A/N
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