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Falling for the Billionaire

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Chapter 2

I had no reason to cast myself another look in the mirror, but I did it anyway. And as I lingered there for a while, the reflection of my figure faded into thin air and instead, images from my life began to play before my eyes.

If this was the universe that planned my life, then it did a bloody great job.

When I was young, so young to even remember my age, I lost my family in a separation my parents had. While the divorce built a permanent gap between my parents, it also separated my twin, Nick and me, who had to live with either of the parents. While I stayed behind with my mom, Nick chose my dad.

With passing years, our frequent visits came down as did our daily calls. Misunderstandings grew to a point where complete ignorance of each other seemed like a better option. We only met after my mother eloped with one of her lovers leaving me alone for my father to take in.

I moved to LA to be with my brother and father, in other words, the only family I had left. Things eventually started to get better between us and we finally were leading a comfortable life with each other. That was when I fell in love with Ethan Parker.

He was rude, notorious and also the biggest rival of my brother. His friends and my friends never got along. They had their rivalry going on since the longest time I could ever think of. Things turned different when we started off our relationship and soon enough, my friends fell in love with his, and I, with him.

When things turned great for all of us, and when everyone was ready to let go of their rivalry, something so terrible had to happen that separated Ethan and me forever. The gap that formed between us was so huge that we hadn’t met each other until now.

I masked my face with the veil before Ethan could notice my tears. I knew for certain that nothing could change his mind. He absolutely hated me. Which led me to believe that, maybe, it wouldn’t matter to him if he called the wedding off, and perhaps, he was doing this because he had found an excuse to hurt me.

Of course, he would never agree to that. But I knew for certain that he could go to an extent as that if he knew that getting married to him was the last thing I wanted.

“Are you done?”

I nodded in response. And there he stood in all his glory with not even a worried crease disturbing the calm aura around him. His nonchalance almost created a ripple of frustration within me.

I couldn’t help but remind myself why I had ever agreed to marry him. The words he used to instigate me into marrying him still sounded so fresh in my mind. How he had reminded me that if the word gets around that I had a part to play with Lindsay’s elopement, nobody would want to work with me.

Luke, Lindsay’s father, was a brutal man. I was aware of his wicked ways and his merciless treatment of those that opposed him. My word or Ethan’s would hold no weightage against his power as I was but a mere budding artist. I could lose everything I’d tried to build on my own in a span of a day.

“And even if Luke were to excuse you, the word would go around and no production house would want to work with you,” Ethan told me.

“And how will marrying you help that?”

“Because then, you won’t be Skylar Summers who helped her friend elope but Skylar Summers, Ethan Parker’s high school girlfriend, who married him after being together for seven years.”

My jaw dropped, “That’s the image your going to paint in others’ heads?”

“What’s there to lose?” He said, “It’s going to save both of our asses. I cannot afford this PR nightmare, and neither can you. My company is in shambles right now. We’ve been trying to protect that secret but we can only do it for so long. Once more investors start withdrawing their support, I’ll be left with nothing. I need this marriage.”

“Ethan!” I cried, “Do you realize what this means? We’ve split seven years ago for a reason. Can we afford to have this marriage? I’m not ready for a marriage right now, much less with you!”

“You think I want this?” He questioned calmly. “I have no choice. I am forced to make this decision, and I assure you, I dissent this more than you do.”

“What is Nick going to say about all of this?” I mumbled to myself in agony. “And dad. Oh, God! It’s going to break his heart.”

“They will understand.” He said, “If you speak to them, they will understand. It’ll take time, but they’ll come around. The world won’t. Your career and mine won’t.”

I released a sigh of frustrations. I hated that he had an answer for every qualm I had, and although they were logical, I still didn’t like them. “What if we can’t make it work?” I asked, “This isn’t how people getting married. So many marriages fail despite the couple being in love-”

“Who said anything about making this work?” He frowned as though I had introduced an entirely foreign issue to our current conversation, which I later realised that I had. “This is a marriage of convenience. When we reach a point where we can’t stand eachother anymore, we take a divorce and go separate ways.”

I was well aware of him and how he worked. I knew that he meant every single word he said and that he wouldn’t hesistate before making it all come true.

But the question was, did I have the power to fight back? No. I knew all too well that I stood no chance against him in this battle. He rendered me powerless and I knew that I was utterly helpless right then. I simple had no choice but to obey him.

He was capable of putting me in a mess that I could never come out of. He was also capable of ruining the career I had always dreamt of having. It all seemed worth the marriage. Even if I had no clue whether I was ever going to come out of it.

I closed my eyes and tried not to think about how the world would react to this news. How would my brother take this news? How would my friends take this news? How could I ever explain things to the media? It worked for Ethan as he never disclosed who his bride was. It was a surprise even to the people who came to visit the wedding here. The odds were definitely on his side today.

And Luke. He didn’t want to disclose this matter earlier either since he perhaps anticipated something like this would happen. Very few members from Lindsay’s side were going to attend the wedding. Taking the chance, Ethan even asked Luke not walk me down the aisle, saying “Lindsay’ wanted to walk the aisle by herself.

I had my wedding veil over my face, which provided a very unclear image of my face. My hair color matched with Lindsay’s, so it was a plus. I wore the exact same wedding gown she was supposed to be wearing. I had put my face down most of the time, until we reached the altar. I was aware that these things wouldn’t prevent people who knew Lindsay from speculating if I were truly her, but it will also not show enough proof for them to get up and stop the wedding.

Before anything could happen, I would have already said my vows.

The wedding procedure began as soon as we came since we were already running late. I didn’t care about what the priest was saying since I tried my best to hide my face from Lexi, Ethan’s sister, who surely found me familiar. Our vows were exchanged sooner than we thought, and then came that moment.

I wasn’t ready to bring back all of my burnt feelings with a single kiss that was essential to bind our marriage. But I also had no say in this. With my consent or not, the groom has to kiss the bride. As soon as the priest asked us to seize our marriage, Ethan hesitated just like I did. But he also realized that with every passing second, he was creating more speculations.

He held me by my waist and planted his lips on me.

It was a strong force that glued us together and neither of us dared to move. We remained rooted in our place due to the impact. I couldn’t speak for him, but I knew well what I was feeling inside.

It was as though I had untied the knot to the memories I had deep buried down. The ones that haunted me every night when I slept, every time I tried to move on and every time I tried to let someone else into my life. I felt as though I had been chained to them, and now, right now, I was finally get rid of them.

I felt liberated.

Because, just for a moment, whilst his kiss transcended me away from reality, I let go of all the qualms I had previously had, and claimed what I had been yearning for the past seven years.

I hated him, but I also needed him. I had never loved anyone the way that I loved him, which was why he was the only thing I have ever wanted so intensely in my entire life.


The news spread around like wildfire. After the wedding was over, Ethan cancelled all of the further events since he wanted to call for an important family meeting. There was not even a single soul that didn’t look surprised upon seeing the girl Ethan married.

“Where the hell is my daughter?” Luke demanded from Ethan.

“Shouldn’t I be asking you where my fiancé was when I went to fetch her from her room?” Ethan replied, shunning everyone with his dangerously low voice.

“What are you talking about?”

“She eloped with her lover.” He said, “Leaving me with no choice but to marry the first woman I could find in her room before this wedding could become a scandal.”

“We had a deal that you’d marry my daughter!” Luke yelled at Ethan, looking at me with a disgust. “How could you marry this wench after giving me your word?”

“Hey, watch your words.” Jen, my best friend, said to him, coming to stand beside.

I was surprised to have her by my side at a situation like this. Although it was a complete shock for my friends to find me married to Ethan, Jen has managed to keep her senses.

“You were she had another man in her life, didn’t you?” Ethan said in a low tone, fixing Luke with an accusing gaze. Luke folded his arms before his chest as though he was trying to shield himself but his body language gave a clear hint. “You did, didn’t you? And you didn’t bother warning me of that?”

“I wasn’t aware.”

“You were.” Ethan said, “That is exactly why you wanted this wedding to be a secret, because you couldn’t your daughter. You knew something like this might happen. And you tried everything to be on the safer side and left me to fall apart like this. Forced me to take radical steps like marrying someone else to save my ass.”

“So, what if I did?” Luke asked, “I’m not going to allow our company to go ahead with our business with you. You promised to marry my daughter.”

“Well, what was my son supposed to do when you failed to understand your daughter’s interest?” Ethan’s dad said, “Luke, if there is anyone we should be talking about, it’s probably you. I’m sure my son was obliged to take this step for the mistake your daughter made.”

“If anything,” June, Ethan’s mom said, “It’s us that should be angry with you.”

“I won’t let you get away with this.” Luke said, looking at me with a warning.

“Let’s talk about this outside, Luke.” Ethan’s father said, leading Luke, June and himself outside.

As soon as they left, it was just Ethan, our friends and I that were left in the room. Ethan walked to the window and gazed out of it, leaving me alone answerable to my friends. I looked over at Jen who unconsciously had her arm on mine.

“It was probably eight months ago that I last saw you.” Jen said, an emotionless expression plastered on her face.

“And one and a half for me.” Stella, another one of my friends said. Stella was one of my best friends from high school, and her husband Ben, was Ethan’s best buddy. Back in high school, they hated each other to the core. And I was the cupid between them that brought them together. They completely surprised us by bringing two little girls into this world before they graduated from college.

“I don’t even remember my last time. Was it seven years ago?” Lexi, Ethan’s sister asked.

“Guys..” I said, helplessly looking at my guy friends, Tyler, Ben, Zac, Jordan, Drake and Kyle.

“Don’t.” Tyler said, “We’re blaming this on you, Skylar.”

“You knew I could not meet you guys.” I said, helplessly.

“Why?” Lana asked, “Because you didn’t want to meet Ethan?”

“That surely isn’t a valid reason seeing how you had other plans with him.” Lucy said.

“Can we please not talk about this now?” Ethan’s gruff voice made it’s way to us.

“Oh shut up, you dick!” Jordan said, “If there is someone I should be questioning, then it’s probably you!”

“You’re blaming this on me?” Ethan growled.

“Of course we are!” Tyler said, “You really are a dick to force your ex girlfriend to marry you as a substitute.”

“Don’t look at me like I had a choice.” He said.

“Of course you did!” Lexi said. “You could have called this wedding off!”

“And then what, make a laughing stock out of myself?” He asked her. “Do you have any idea how big of a price I would have had to pay had a scandal like that happened at this point in my life? I’m drowning, Lexi, I’m barely surviving and I couldn’t take another risk.”

“But you had no right to bring Skylar into your mess. She doesn’t deserve this.” Lucy said.

Ethan growled in frustration and left the room, leaving the silence with a loud bang of the door.

“Guys, shut up,” Lana said, “It’s too far gone, we can’t do anything now!”

“So you just want us to ignore the fact that our friends who have been hating each other for seven years just got into a forced and fake marriage?” Jordan asked his girlfriend, which earned him a glare.

“No.” She said, “I mean, look on the brighter side, we all wanted Ethan and Skylar to be together, didn’t we?”

She looked with a bright grin at every one.

“See, it worked. They’re not just together, they’re now married. I mean, isn’t this cool?”

“You see good in everything, darling.” Jordan said, in a sarcastic tone. “Do you think that’s how Nick is going to be when he learns about this?”

“Oh, Nick cannot control Skylar’s life.” Jen said.

“Yes, but at least Skylar should be doing that for herself right? What happens when he knows that she was forced to marry his one huge rival?” Tyler said.

"Let's not think about Nick, right now." She said, "The words Nicholas Summers are giving me a headache."

"Thanks for making me feel better." I mumbled, feebly.

"Hey," Jordan came to stand beside me, offering his arm for me as a support as he wrapped them around my shoulder. "I'm sorry. But don't worry about Nick. I'm going to be honest, he's initially going to be pissed at you, perhaps even infuriated, but he will come around. Once you tell him why you had to do what you had to do, he will understand. Trust me on this."

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