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After Sophia finds out that her mother was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, she went several miles to make sure that the disease does not lead to her death. During this period, she met Rowan Slade during a meeting in which journalists from different states in the country were present. Their meeting was 'destined', according to Jenny, one of Sophia's closest friends. Living with the indifferent, domineering and obsessive Slade Rowan was a full-time job on its own, but Sophia endured all this, reminding herself of why she got into this in the first place. The first and most important rule of the contract was 'no falling in love.' They were to meet up only for sexual intercourse for six months. At the elapse of it, they were to go their separate ways and act as if they never knew each other. As Sophia battles to save her mother's life, her heart had other plans in mind, and she ends up falling for the Son of the Devil, Slade Rowan. The fear of her feelings not being reciprocated is unbearable as she left before the elapse of the contract, eloping to her hometown in Virginia. After five years of hiding, after five years of therapy, and after five years of convincing herself that Slade would have forgotten about her, she is face-to-face with a time-two version of the Slade she had known five years ago.

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Chapter 2

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See babbbbby, I would kill for youuu. I mean die for you...

"Okay, I'm changing this right now." I picked up my phone to change my ringtone, my ringtone for four years. I rubbed my eyes. "Jenny," the caller ID read. Why was Jenny calling me? My eyes drifted towards the top left corner of my screen. 8:45! I rushed towards the toilet but stopped and stilled myself. Okay Soph, where do you think you're going? Huh? You've lost your job. Parker is going to kill you! You're dead! Gone! Dismissa! Fireda! Alright, don't panic. You're now jobless but still don't panic. Now you'll blow bubbles and fight crimes.

"Shit Fuck Shit Fuck!" I screamed at the top of my lungs as I stormed the bathroom. I arrive at the building thirty minutes later. I greeted Luke, the security guard who averted his eyes from me. Yeesh! Am I in that much trouble?

"Of Course, you are," I kicked myself hard. "Did you expect a welcome party? A hug and a kiss? Or you have done tremendously well by coming too late little Miss Carson, please accept your pay rise?"

I went straight to the elevator without looking at the curious eyes and wondering eyebrows that stared my way. The elevator stopped on the sixteenth floor, and I got out, sorry to leave the comfort of the elevator to face a likely angry Parker.

I opened the door to my office. My eyes locked with the half-eaten cake on top of my desk.

"Surprise!" Taken aback, I drank everyone in. Noting the happy expression on their faces.

"What are we celebrating?" I said, my eyebrows furrowed. Confusion was at its peak here people. Parker frowned at me and Jenny sighed. Cam gave me a 'seriously?' face. I shrugged at them. Lupin was faster, he held my arms and shook me, "your birthday! We are celebrating your birthday!" Ugh! I forgot he has a very loud voice.

I stepped back and looked at the room office. "Happy Birthday girl" was written on pink cardboard, I smiled at Jenny and she smiled back. I looked at the half-eaten cake for a second time, I saw traces of butter icing on Cameron's lips and I frowned at him, an expression which he delightfully returned. I hugged Lupin and he squeezed the life out of me.

"Ahem, ahem," I said, coming towards Parker.

"Don't worry Soph, it's your birthday, you're not in trouble but if it dares hap—"

"Oh thank you, thank you, Parker. It won't happen again, I swear."

He rolled his eyes, "that's what you always say, Soph." I looked at him unblinking because yeah, he was right. That's what I always say.

They sang a birthday song which I danced to and cried to. They gave me their gifts, with Cameron kissing me on my lips and me pushing him and him laughing, Jenny hugging me tightly, telling me of After Party plans, Lupin also hugging me, and Parker squeezing my shoulders but I went ahead to hug him and he stiffed.

"I know you love me, Parker." I jokingly said.

"No, I don't. Nopitty nope nope nope." Everyone burst into laughter.

"I love you, Soph," Cam said.

"Shut up." Everyone laughed again. I hoped that the day would stay true to me. Soon, everyone left but as expected, Cam came back.

"You know? I thought you were banging someone when you hadn't arrived earlier"

"Cameron!" I groaned as I threw a pencil sharpener at him, he dogged and ran for the door, his cackling laughter filling the floor. I smiled to myself.



"Yes Mama"

"I want to tell you a story." She said, pointing to her lap. "Sit down." I sat down and gaze expectantly at her. "Once upon a time..."

"Wait! Why am I the only one listening? Where's Conrad and Simon?"

"The story is only for you, only for your ears, my girl." My eyes widen at what she said. "Yay, some girl's time," I thought.

"The story I'm about to tell you is about a princess who gave birth to a queen"

Huh? Princess who gave birth to a queen? I opened my mouth to ask a question, but she stopped me.

"No questions till the story is finished, Sophia." She said in her softest voice.

"So, my story is this way... There was a princess, who knew that she was a princess. She was a no-nonsense Princess who studied her book to make the King and Queen and the entire Kingdom proud. One day, this princess met a boy, a boy who loved her on sight. She loved him too but didn't want to show it. She tried so hard to quench her feelings, but they only grew stronger. Sooner than later, love for the boy consumed her for he chased her and wooed her." She stopped and looked at me, "Sophia are you listening?" I answered yes. "Good, 'cause this is the most important part."

"She loved him but knew that they couldn't get married. He was the opposite of her, he was a Playboy, very rugged, and lastly, not to forget poor. The Princess knew that her Parents would never give her support in marrying the boy, but she fought. Yes, she did. Against everything related to her. She didn't elope with the boy but married him in the center of the town in front of everyone. She wanted to make it clear that she was his and he was hers. After one year, it began." She winced. "She got pregnant, and when she told the boy who was now a man, he didn't seem happy. He began to drift away from her. On her labor day, he left, and she was left all alone in their Cottage. She cried and shouted and pushed, but the baby refused to come out. She took a knife and tore her stomach, careful not to cut the baby." She looked at me lovingly now.

"The baby cried but she laughed, there was blood everywhere so much, but she didn't care. How the Princess did not die? She doesn't know. The man came back after two weeks, with baby things, so she forgave him. She took it in again and the man left again. She bore a son, her daughter helped her to look after him, while the princess went to her father's house to beg. After some time, the man came back with money and baby things. It took a while, but she forgave him. She took in again and he left again, after some time, he came back with plenty of money, baby things, and divorce papers." She cleared her throat. "Now Soph, listen to me, never drop your crown for a boy or man whatever. Never stop being a queen. Do you understand me?" She said and I nodded fearfully. She smiled and gathered me in her arms, planting kisses on my neck and tickling me. "You're a queen and a damn beautiful one," she said as Conrad's and Simon's happy birthday song overshadowed her voice. They held a cake that was falling to its side, and they smiled. I think the world stopped to stare at them.

But I had dropped my crown, without a second thought. I dropped it, the one I swore never to drop. I dropped it for her, the one who made me promised never to drop it.

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