The Legend of Saga Chapter 8: Never Trust Lucian Fentress

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Lucian was sitting next to me on the couch, looking away from me with a pout. "Well, I'm sorry if it means anything. It was reflex when I punched you." He still didn't say anything. I got up and went into the kitchen. I opened up the freezer searching for an ice pack. When I finally found it, I pulled it out and returned to the couch.

Without even thinking about it, I straddled his lap and put it to his cheek. "There we go. Better?" I said in full mom-mode. In my eyes, he was just another injured child throwing a tantrum. In his eyes, though…

"When you're in trouble where no one can hear, BOOM, the FBI will appear!" Sounded the TV from across the living room. Neither of us paid any attention to it. "For the last time, I'm sorry for punching you. Now stop pouting, shorty."

I like the nickname. It fits.

All of the sudden, I felt an arm snake around my waist and my body being pulled forward. I resisted his pull with a scowl. "Let go of me!" I shouted. I could feel his lips against my neck as he mumbled, "But it really hurts, wifey…"

Red highlighted the tips of my ears and I fell backwards onto the living room floor. I stared up at him with a stunned look. The kids bounded out from Evander's bedroom with worry plastered all over their faces, expecting another fight to have happened. Instead, they caught me with my face flushed and Lucian smirking at me from the couch.

He winked at his son conspiratorially and Luca quickly pulled Evander away. Damn this father-son pair… They're sooo getting no dinner next time. Lucian put his elbows on his knees and leaned forward. His mocking gaze ignited a fire within me. "Listen, shorty!"

Before I could get the next word out, he cut me off by standing up and walking over to the kitchen counter. Lucian opened his leather work bag and rummaged through it. Finally, he pulled out a bunch of papers with a victorious expression on his face. I would've laughed if I wasn't still so embarrassed.

Lucian sat next to me on the floor and handed the packet to me. I took it and read the top words. "Oh, so what is this a contract for?" I asked. He snickered at my suspicious expression. "Don't worry, it's not going to be anything about marriage."

He continued, "I heard that you were once a rising designer who was about to open a store. What happened to that?" Damn, so he knew. I bet he had a file on Evander and me as soon as Luca mentioned us. My eyes narrowed as I searched his expression. Seems like he didn't know all of it if there was no disgust in his gaze.

"What more can I say? I wasn't living too well at that time because all the money I earned instantly went to my savings for the store. Then, I got pregnant and my fiance died soon after. I had to make a decision between my brand, Bliss, and my child. I obviously chose my child. To this day, I'm still using that fund to let Evander go to that snooty Amaranth Academy. But even with that amazing discount my friend got me, I'm running on fumes."

I put my chin on my knees and sighed. "I won't be able to pay for another semester. It was originally going to be easy to tell Evander that he can't go anymore but now that he's made a friend… I don't know if I can pull him out of that school anymore. I can tell that he really values Luca, but children are fickle sometimes. If Luca forgets about Ev when he transfers schools, that would break his heart. I don't know what to do now…"

Without even realising it, I had spilled all of my guts to a man I hardly knew. He didn't say a word throughout my entire monologue so I had just kept talking to fill the silence. The quiet blanketed us, the TV now playing a flashback. Cheesy piano music left the air trembling slightly with every low note that played.

Then, he broke the tension that had formed. "The contract is for a transfer of funds from me to you. It'll be enough to open a store in Chiffon and to hire a competent team." I started to protest. I was never one to accept handouts no matter who it was giving it. However, he held up a hand before I could finish. What was with this guy constantly interrupting me?!

"I know what you'll say. This deal isn't for free, though. I said loan which means that you'll have to pay it back within a year. If your business fails, then you'll be put into a debt that will probably cripple you for life. So consider your choices carefully here."

Lucian paused for a second to let me mull it over. "Your first choice is to finally live out your dreams of owning a luxury brand and keep Evander in the academy, but possibly be left with a debt for the rest of your life if you don't succeed. Your second choice is not taking this deal and having Evander leave the academy, but there's no chance for a debt being placed on you."

I waited for him to finish patiently. I had already made up my mind from the time he mentioned Evander. If it was for his happiness, I would even sell my soul. "Alright, I'll accept your deal," I said with finality. He smiled enchantingly and pulled out a pen.

I signed wherever he pointed. That was my greatest mistake.

When I filled in the last blank, his smile went from enchanting to devilish. His laughs started soft, but they soon grew to full grown cackles. I backed away from him with a horrible feeling. "I win! I win!" He chanted. I tried to grab the contract, but he quickly sat on top of it. I tried shoving him aside, but he didn't even budge.

"What did you make me sign?!" I demanded. Why oh why did I not read through the terms?

He tilted his head towards me languidly. "Oh, nothing terrible… All it said was that if you don't repay twice the loan within a year, you'll legally be my wife."

On that day, I learned a valuable lesson: Never trust Lucian Fentress.

_(┐「ε:)_♡ Bonus Scene:

Evander heard the laughter from the living room and rushed to check on his mommy. However, Luca quickly grabbed his wrist to pull him back. "Don't worry, this is a regular occurrence. You'll get used to it soon."

Hearing his friend's words, he sat back down despite the worry lingering in his heart. Luca reopened the book and started reading to Evander again.
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