I reached Leeya's penthouse in the city and informed the concierge that I am here. Leeya came down to the lobby in a simple jeans and shirt.

Damn, she always looks good. Perfect body, tall, naturally blond, gorgeous. She is not a typical dumb blonde either.

She is CEO of Stone Interior Design Cooperation. With her determination and tenacity,at only 24, she took the interior design field by storm. We've been best friends since we were both 7 years old. 

"Lex! Great to see you! Come, let's go upstairs."she said cheerfully while walking back to the elevator. 

Her housekeeper, Glenn opened the door for us both. She has been living the high life. All things in her life figured out, except one, her love life is almost as tragic as mine. Her parents wants her to settle down but she is way too ambitious for that. 

"So, how was Dr.Morrison? Glenn, make us tea please." Glenn headed off to the kitchen as we sat in her living room. 

"It was okay. You know how I hate shrinks. Yet, he gave a decent enough impression just now. I might just let him in." I replied nonchalantly.

"Good. Good. How are you doing then?" she inquired. Huh. Typical Leeya, so inquisitve.

"I'm okay. In the day, I'm fine. I miss him terribly but I could control myself. I suffer most at night. It's been three months since he left, so, three months lack of sleep. To be honest, even with him around, I have trouble falling asleep. Now I have twice the problem, trouble falling asleep AND the dreams that jolt me awake in the middle of the night." I let out all my thoughts to her. I rarely get to see her. She is the only who knows what I'm going through. 

"I don't mind if you sleep here, lex. The penthouse is almost always empty. I work a lot, so its mostly Glenn and Thomas. Your parents still have no idea,eh?" she asks again.

Thomas is Glenn's husband and Leeya's head of security. Leeya Stone is currently the world's most wanted interior designer, I guess security is a must. 

"You know how I don't really like the city. Thanks for the offer, ya. And no, my parents are oblivious to what is going on. Then again, it was them who declined and disagreed with Daniel's marriage proposal, without telling me. They didn't even know of my feelings for Daniel back then, I don't expect them to know now. Let alone understand what is or was going on between Daniel and I." I reply, frustrated and hurt, remembering what my parents did.

They were the one who kept Daniel and I apart in high school, and now, in real life. I struggled to reign in my emotions.

Leeya sighed deeply before replying,"You suffered much, Alexa. I wish I could go to them and make them realize the pain you've been going through these last few years. I'm so sorry." 

I simply shrugged. Leeya went to get our tea from Glenn while I pondered over my thoughts. I'm used to the pain. After taking so much pain, you feel numb after a while.

But this thing with Daniel, just hurts me to the core. Daniel gave me an escape. A life of utter bliss and happiness without complicated masks, and my parents ruined that one chance. I don't know I am still hoping for that one day of happiness, when it always fails me.  

Over tea, we talked about her job. She is really excited because plenty of celebrities are requesting her services now. I am happy for her. We both avoid anything that has to do with my past or Daniel. I asked her about Charles, her longtime love interest. Both of them practically love each other, but both are too egoistic to admit it. Charles is a CEO of a well-known company as well. Grey Industries, if I remember correctly. They had flings in highschool and college but both seemed to doubt the fact that they are perfect for each other. I wish her well as I take my leave and I drove home. 

I am dreading going home. Going home means dinner with my family and bedtime. Both are almost equal in torture. I sigh as I enter my modest home, wondering slightly whose car is parked in front of our house. A guest,perhaps?

"Welcome home,dear. Good that you are home early. We have special guests. This is Joseph and Catherine Grant. And this is their son, Stephan Grant. Stephan is your future husband" mum says with a proud smile. Dad is beside her looking quite pleased as well. 

"Excuse me, mum? Did I hear you correctly? When did I agree to a marriage??" I try to keep myself calm but it's a struggle. My voice is strained. I looked at the unknown people opposite my parents. Specifically, the guy with the black hair and piercing blue eyes. Is that Stephan Grant? I wonder.

"Dear, we agreed it for you. Stephan is from a good family. He has his own company specializing in biotech. He has a degree in Biotechnology from Oxford University. What else do you want more from a husband?" my father adds.

"I don't know. Love perhaps?!" I start to raise my voice. "I'm sorry, Mr and Mrs Grant. This is a huge mistake. I don't even know your son. I have never even heard of a Stephan Grant. Mum, dad you guys declined Daniel's proposal without my agreement and now you accept one without my agreement as well? This is my fucking future! I am the one getting married not you. Why are you making decisions that I am supposed to make myself?!?!" 

"You will do as I say Alexa, and that is final!"Dad sternly replies. 

"Plus, we made an agreement. You will marry Stephan. It's mostly for appearance purposes and if you two can't get along in the next 4 years, you will be allowed a divorce." he continues further. I just gape my mouth at him. What kind of marriage is that?! This is unbelievable.

"You know what, I.." I stop myself mid sentence. This is no use. Why would they understand anyway? They never bothered with what I thought, why would they care now? I drastically change my facial expression from one of anger to one of happiness, "Lovely to meet you Stephan. I hope you don't regret what you are doing." I greet him while smirking. Everyone seemed shocked at my drastic change of reaction but dad recovered and gladly accepted my agreement. 

"Wonderful. I look forward to meeting you at the altar in a couple of weeks." Stephan replies coolly. The handsome bastard.I thought. I smile in return. I excused myself and said I am going to the park. I need to clear my head. I'll suffer terribly tonight, I know it. 

I reached the park and sat on the swing. I try to gather my thoughts. The love of my life, gone for good. A forced marriage. Sighing, I finally realize, happiness is just not in my textbook. I am alone at the park but I can't even cry when I need to. My chest aches terribly. 

"So, future wife, why are you all alone here?" A deep, husky voice shocks me. I turn and see Stephan behind me. His well-built silhouette approaches the swing I am sitting on. I keep my mouth shut, not knowing what to say.

You can't let him in, Alexa. He'll hurt you,worse than Daniel. 

So, a glimpse into what happened between Daniel and Alexa. I know Alexa's parents are waay too controlling and it might not seem normal but this happens in real life. In a different part of the world where arranged marriages are ethical and normal. Lemme know what you guys think! xo EllaJ 

P.S. The photo shows Leeya and Alexa's friendship. They have been best friends since they were little girls and they will continue to be till grannies :')

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