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Chapter One

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CHAPTER ONE


*** Petropolis, Brazil ***

"Sophia! What are you doing here?"

"Hello, Auntie." Sophia looked so haggard, carrying an overnight bag in her left hand and a big bag on her shoulder. Her dark sunglasses hid her hazel brown eyes.

"Good heavens! What are you doing here? You are supposed to meet your fiancé now, right?" Her Aunt Beatriz almost yelled. She was so shocked seeing her niece in her doorstep.

Beatriz Rodrigues was the younger sister of Sophia's mother, Marcella. She was in her late forties, childless and not married. She lived in Petropolis, Brazil, at a distance of 68km from the state capital of Rio de Janeiro, where the Castello ancestral home was located.

"He is not my fiancé. I won't be marrying that cow." Sophia said while entering her aunt's house, sitting directly on an antique sofa.

"Did you meet him at your house today?"

"No. I left before they arrived."

"Oh God." Her aunt's eyes widened. "Why did you leave? Your parents were so excited for you to meet your fiancé. This is very important for them. I'm sure they are very mad at you now Sophia, especially your father."

"They can't force me to marry that jerk. He's a pig! I don't understand why they wanted me to marry that kind of guy. My life will be useless and miserable with him. I don't like him, in fact, I hate him."

"But your dad already told you about this arranged marriage when you were fifteen."

"I didn't know that I'll be marrying an arrogant, sex-starved playboy at that time. I was so young! Besides, I had to agree with everything Dad said or else, he would get mad and cut off my allowance." Sophia shrugged her shoulders and rolled her eyes.

Her aunt frowned and shook her head. "Sex-starved playboy? Oh child, don't believe everything you've read in the papers. Most of them are only rumors."

"It's true. He's a playboy, a womanizer...a lady-killer! Believe me. Wait. I'll show you something." Sophia took her tablet from her bag. "I saved some pictures and write-ups about that maniac when Dad reminded me again of that silly arranged marriage a month ago. I was so shocked. I thought they already forgot about it."

Beatriz sat beside her on the sofa. Sophia showed the different pictures of Enrique Monteiro in her tablet's photo gallery. He was dating, kissing, and embracing different girls, mostly models and celebrities. The pictures were taken in a restaurant, a bar, in his car, and in his plane. His latest picture was on a yacht. He was kissing a famous sexy Hollywood model-actress Katherine Roberts.

Yuck! Sophia thought. She also showed some of the write-ups, blogs, and gossips she found on the internet to her aunt.

"It's written here that he is into casual relationships only. He changes his lovers every week and is not interested in a commitment. See? He's a Casanova."

"Sophia, you are a smart girl, how could you believe such lies? Most of the things they write on the tabloids and gossip magazines are not true. You were once a victim of these malicious write-ups, too. Remember?"

"Auntie, these are all true. All of them say the same thing. He is a player."

"Okay, granted that he's really a womanizer, you should at least meet the guy. He and his father came all the way from the U.S. just to meet you and to think that they are both very busy persons like your Papai. I can't imagine what your parents feel right now; they must be very disappointed with you." Her Aunt Beatriz said.

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