Chapter 4

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Julianne did not hear him at all. She was so focused on leaving and she was confused when the other ladies standing with her turned around to look at her with their fake smiles, all for the camera of course. She raised her eyebrows and then her eyes went to Zach standing in front, holding a white rose, grinning at her wickedly.

“What—”

“Go on girl, get your ass up there,” one lady slightly pushed her.

“What—”

“Julianne,” Zach was looking at her with an expectant look, holding the rose out.

She could say no.

Yes, she could do that.

But then she remembered the contract she signed with Jack Carter.

She couldn’t say no unless the Bachelor chose not to pick her. Her eyes went to Jack Carter at the corner of the room and the guy appeared to be shocked as well. And when he saw her looking at him, he grinned, lifted his hands with palms upward and shrugged.

She could remember his words very well: I know getting out will be easy for you and it’s like I’m giving out the position you want so easily so I think it will be best if I include that in the contract, he had said when she questioned him why they took her right not to accept the rose. She thought nothing of it back then, certain that she would not get picked.

But the devil standing before her holding a stupid white rose seemed to find it funny to have her around.

She glared at him, snatched the rose from his hand, and without as much as a grateful remark stormed towards the rest of the ladies who did get a rose. And when the camera focused on Brent once again as he entered the scene, she slipped away and entered a corridor, not really knowing where she was leading. She was too furious and too angry to care if she ever went missing.

“Where are you going?” Fatima said behind her.

“Leave me alone for a while, please,” she whispered. “How did you find me anyway?”

“It’s my job to make sure everything’s in place and you are not where you are supposed to be. So please, let’s go back.”

“Tell them I’m not feeling well,” she said. “I have a very intense headache right now,” she faced the woman. “Where’s my bedroom?” she asked.

“You’ll be sharing it with one of the ladies,” Fatima told her after a long time of looking at her. “Let’s go this way. You want me to call the doctor?”

“You have a doctor?”

“Just in case something goes wrong. Precautionary measures since we’re on an island.”

“No, I think a rest will make me feel better, thank you,” she lied.

Fatima led her to the end of the hall and up the big staircase. There were at least seven rooms up there and Fatima took her to the last one at the end of the hall, their steps clicking on the wooden floors. “This is your room. Your bags are in there, I think.”

“Thanks,” she murmured and went inside. It was not that big, but it was good enough for her. There were two single beds and a large window that overlooked the sea. The sea she was supposed to be on any minute now to go home.

“Do you need anything?”

She was startled to learn that Fatima was still there. “No, you may leave. Thanks again,” she smiled and sat on the bed near the window.

Fatima nodded and hastily went back to her work downstairs. Julianne stood up and paced around the room, still holding the rose in her hand.

“The bastard,” she murmured angrily. “He promised me!” She hurled it across the room where it landed on the wooden floor with one petal breaking away.

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