The terrible discomfort in her body woke Scarlett up.
She slowly opened her eyes, but the bright light on the ceiling dazzled her eyes. She narrowed her eyes, trying to adjust to the light.
However, just moving her body a little made her wince softly. The pain from several parts of her body was unbearable. Her calves were tight, and her head badly hurt, as if someone had punched her head using a hard object.
'W-Where am I?'
The last memory in Scarlett's mind; she tries to escape from her stepmother's evil plans. And the most upsetting thing is her father is involved. This was the second time she had been hurt by her father, ever since he decided to remarry that damn woman Lauren.
When Scarlett was a teenager, she avoided Lauren. She chose to leave this island to continue her education abroad. But that damn woman still hated her; sadly, her father seemed influenced by her. It was as if the woman bewitched her father. And he always agreed with whatever she did to his own daughter.
After returning to this W country, Scarlett thought her stepmother would change. But she was wrong. The woman greeted her with her grand, shameless plan.
Scarlett became sure of her decision; she won't return to this island again. It would be better for her to stay alone in the Capital than to be here and accept their shameless scheme to use her to pay off their company's debt.
She wouldn't let that happen.
However, now she faces a big problem. She remembers that her shameless stepmother had already prepared the marriage certificate form. She feared the woman would fake her signature and process the document.
Instantly, her head felt spinning—She looked around and was shocked when she realized she was lying in a hospital bed with an unfamiliar-looking medical machine near her bed.
'Why did I end up here?'
Scarlett tried to get up, but the IV tube stopped her momentarily. She lay down again on the bed, but simultaneously, her eyes caught the figure of a man standing by the glass window with his back facing her.
After trying to remember who the man was, she suddenly noticed the color of his suit, the same color as the man who covered her mouth on the roof of the Beachfront hotel.
Without knowing, her hoarse, soft voice escaped from her dry lips, "H-Hello, excuse me—" her heart trembled when she saw the man turn to look at her.
The man's face looked dashing and youthful. Judging from his outfit, she believed this man had an essential position in a large company. He was not an ordinary employee. He wears expensive things.
Scarlett couldn't ignore her heart, which slightly trembled when she saw his long legs stride towards her.
The distance between them becomes closer.
She could see his strong jaw. There was a neatly trimmed, thin beard that made him even more manly and mysterious. His hair was neatly combed back, making him look like the young CEO she used to see in dramas. The perfect handsome man many women would undoubtedly adore.
Who is this man? How come she never knew such a handsome man was in W country?
"Miss Piers, I can help you!" His friendly tone made Scarlett stop looking at his face. She averted her eyes, trying to hide her embarrassment, but then she realized this man was calling her name.
She was surprised.
"You know my name?" Scarlett asked while trying to sit up to talk to him comfortably. Still, before she could sit properly, the man approached her, taking Scarlett by surprise.
Their bodies were so close that she could smell his signature scent. She remained immobile for fear that their faces would be touched. After the man finished setting up her bed and putting the pillow behind her, she smiled.
"Thank you—" she said softly.
Her first impression of seeing this man was that he looked reserved and hard to approach. But what he did made her slightly change her view of him; this man was a gentleman.
The man didn't say anything. He just nodded.
Scarlett chuckled inwardly, seeing this man return to being a quiet and cold man again.
"How do you know my name?"
"From your ID card. We need that to admit you here."
"Ah! So you open my bag."
"Yes. I don't see any other choice. I'm sorry if that bothered you."
"No problem. I can understand. And thanks for bringing me here." Scarlett smiled before continuing, "Earlier, you said you could help me. If I may ask, what kind of help would you like to offer?" She was confused about it.
"About your marriage arrangements..."
Instantly, Scarlett's pale face slowly blackened at his words. What happened at the Beachfront Hotel returned to her mind and tormented her.
Her problems with her parents have not been resolved. She had to get this over with quickly, lest her shameless stepmother registers the marriage without her consent — she knew that damn woman was smart enough to do such a thing.
She looked at her smartwatch and was surprised to find it was already midnight. She had been asleep in the hospital for quite a while, and this handsome man was still with her. He is very kind.
"You talk too loud, so I hear everything you say," His tone was calm.
Scarlett was utterly speechless. She could interpret his words; 'don't blame me for eavesdropping on your problems.'
Gosh, this guy. He's a nice guy, but his attitude is slightly odd.
"How will you help me out of this shameless matter?" Scarlett was no longer ashamed to discuss her family issues with him.
"What!? M-Marry you?"
Scarlet couldn't contain her surprise. Her eyes were sharp on him. She couldn't believe what she had just heard.
Does this handsome man want to marry her?
She had not returned to this country in a long time and felt confused.
Has there been a cultural shift in this country?
Nowadays, it is so easy to ask someone to marry. There is no need to know each other anymore, let alone date. Just request a random person to marry, just like this man.
She was speechless.
"Wait. Sir… mister…"
"Xander. Call me Xander."
"No need to use Mr, just Xander."
"Xander, sorry to ask. Are you drunk? How can you ask a random woman to marry you?"
This man is very handsome and also seems pretty rich. Many women are willing to throw their underwear at him. But why was he so desperate to ask her to marry him? Even though they had just met.
She only knows his name. She doesn't know where he works. Where does he live, and what family does he come from?
Only a crazy person would accept his offer. And right now, she does not fall into that category.
Her mind is still sane.
"Please don't get me wrong. I'm just trying to help myself. And at the same time helping you."
Scarlett was even more confused.
"I know my problem is complicated. But, I think being married to a man I just met, without love, feels weird..." she said.
"This is not a real marriage but a contract marriage that you can set up to your advantage. And also mine."
Scarlett listened silently; inside, she was shocked and a bit perplexed.
Xander crossed his arms over his chest while looking into Scarlett's eyes. He continued, "As I said before, I will help you, and at the same time, you will help me. I don't need to explain what my problem is. But, I assure you, if you agree to do a contract marriage with me, then your problems will be solved. So what do you think!?"
Scarlett was in no hurry to speak. She slowly raised her head and said, "So I can put any clauses I want in the contract?"
The man nods, saying, "As long as it doesn't hurt me."
Scarlett offered a handshake to Xander, "Okay. You got a deal!"