Book cover of “Hold On, I Still Love You“ by Zedstella

Hold On, I Still Love You

  • Genre: Romance
  • Age: 18+
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: Zedstella
My heart skips a beat. “I know all of this is supposed to be fake…but I want to make this real. I want us to be real.” he whispers, a few inches away from my mouth. “But only if you want the same.” This was a perfect match for contracted marriage... Until one day everything changed. 

Chapter 1

It is one of my usual days as I watch the clouds daydreaming about a beach with a certain someone’s strong arms around me. Something that is not possible for me to have in this lifetime.

I am forced to break out of my peaceful trance as I feel a strong gaze thrown my way. Letting out a sigh, I turn my head to see Jenny, my only friend here, looking at me. I can practically see her screws turning inside her head as she measures how to tell me whatever is on her mind.

Her blue eyes are sparkling, and she is looking at me with a pout. Oh, she definitely has something to say, and if I don’t ask her what it’s, she will keep staring at me. Giving up, I ask, “Is there something you want to discuss with me perhaps?”

“Hell yes.” She squeals loudly as every head in the classroom turns to look at us, and Jenny turns red. “Let’s talk in private.”

And before I can protest that lunch break is almost over, I am being pulled to a faraway corner where there are few people. She asks me to sit down because, apparently, I might fall after hearing her proposition.

“Okay, so don’t interrupt until I stop.” She says as I nod and ask her to go ahead with her speech. “I want you to marry my cousin.”

What the- she out of everyone knows that I don’t believe in the mere existence of love. It’s all about pleasure and, for some of their own selfish desires. Yet here she is standing, asking me to marry her cousin.

But before I can protest this absurd idea of hers, she continues, “He doesn’t believe in love either, and that’s why I think the both of you would be perfect for each other. His parents, my uncle and aunt, want him to go for another arranged marriage since the first one didn’t work out. So he wants to pretend to marry a girl for six months and then divorce him to convince his parents that a bachelor’s life is more suitable for him. Now, most of those girls who came to him somehow fell for him, which is why…I might have suggested you.”

What?

“And he will pay you- take care of each single one of your expenses. From clothes to your school fees- hell he might even give you a position at his company.” She explains, hitting the right spot.

Swallowing my protest, I consider the last part of it. Grandma’s hospital bills, along with the medical ones, the expenses my dead parents have left behind, and my student loans. But what’s more surprising is to see someone who has the same thought as me- doesn’t believe in the concept of love.

“What does your cousin do anyways? And what’s his name?” I ask, a bit curious.

“Don’t freak out.” She warns as she inches closer to my ear, “He is the CEO of Farrington Enterprises, and his name is Phoenix Farrington.”

Woah… that’s the multimillion-dollar construction company. But I have never heard of their young CEO, so I might start reading the newspaper.

“No.” I say, “no way in hell. You know that I won’t be able to fit in that luxurious extravaganza lifestyle. And there is no way your cousin CEO would want someone as plain as me to play the role of his fake wife. And what if he spreads bad things about me and my reputation? I have an old sick woman in the hospital.”

“That’s why both of you would be signing a contract. It will specifically mention that neither you nor him will say bad things about the divorce. You will look like a happy, loving couple who just fell out of love or something.” She explains.

“Why me?” She asks.

“Because I can see how hard you have been working. You have been studying yourself, giving tuitions to others, and…there are certain things that you don’t tell me about but your dark circles under your eyes are big evidence. You of all people deserve a better chance at life…and Phoenix can make that happen. Trust me…he never touches a woman without her permission- you will be safe around him.” She explains, and the bell rings.

“Think about it.” She says, “I will respect your decision.”

Then she walks off towards her class as I stare at the sky again. I don’t know about getting my own happy ending, but I can surely give my grandmother a better life. She, of all people, deserves that. After all, she saved my life. And Jenny would never throw me at a lion’s den.

I will be able to settle down on a small beach and open a bakery or a small cafe while my grandmother can have a more peaceful life. The rest of the day is in a blur as I am waiting to answer Jenny about my final decision. I am gonna do it- I don’t care if I am labeled a slut or a trophy wife. Yes, I need money- and that makes me selfish as well, but I don’t care.

It’s not like anyone is going to pay those bills for me or take my struggles. Finally, the last bell rings, and I quickly run over to meet Jenny waiting outside near her limousine. She waves at me as I walk over to her, my heart hammering in my chest.

“So, do you want to marry my cousin?” She asks.

“Yes, I do.” I answer within seconds.

“Okay great. Let’s discuss the rest of the things in the car.” She says, opening the door for me.

A bit tentative, I step inside, and Jenny follows me behind. The car starts, and Jenny takes out her phone, going through her gallery. She then shows me the photo of a really beautiful man- my jaw almost drops down on the ground.

“This, my dear, is your future husband,” Jenny says as I look at his picture. He is a freaking vogue model- his sharp jawline, short stubble beard, and grey eyes with perfectly styled raven hair. My confidence wavers away just by looking at his hooded, piercing gaze in the picture- how in the world am I gonna stand even next to this man?

“What’s wrong?” She says, “you look a bit pale.”

I let out a dry laugh in response, “You actually think people are going to believe that a man like him falling for a girl like…me? It won’t even take them a minute to see it’s all an act.”

She rolls her eyes, “You’re pretty-..”

“That I am aware of…but he is rich and confident- he is a whole Gucci store whereas I am a thrift store.” I say, hoping she would understand what I was trying to say.

But she just shakes her head, “You’re still a store right and with more options. Anyways, my decision is not the final one- after all you’re going to play his wife. He is gonna want to meet you. And that’s why you’re coming with me.”

“Uh-oh, what are you planning?” I ask, suddenly very nervous.

“I am gonna make sure he says yes.” She says with a wink as the car stops in front of a very big mall, and before I could protest, she was pulling me by my hand.

God, this is going to be a long day. She bought me a nice little black dress and boots- because I am not managing well in high heels. Then she takes me to get my hair done and light makeup.

“You don’t even need much makeup- you’re just naturally pretty. I am just gonna highlight your features.” The woman explains with a smile as I look at a grinning Jenny in the reflection with ‘I-told-you-that-you’re-a-natural-beauty.’

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