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Dark Romance: A Cruel Obsession

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Summary

Immersed in the pious tranquility of church school from childhood, she had painted dreams of a vibrant college life, a canvas of freedom and self-discovery. But as fate's brushstrokes took a darker hue, she found herself at a funeral, not as a mourner but as the unwitting bride in a macabre ceremony that bound her to Alajos Hargrave, the newly anointed head of the notorious Huston gang. Her world, once defined by only chaste lectures, was now a labyrinth of shadowy figures and whispered secrets, a stark contrast to the innocence of her youth...

RomanceEmotionUrbanTeenFantasySuspensecontemporaryArranged marriageOne-night standTrue Lovelove-triangleMarriageSad loveCheatingSweetCheatBreak UpSecond ChanceRevengeDivorcerejectedcontract marriagePregnantCEOMafiaStudentheirmillionairewifehusbandBusinessmanPossessiveIndependentbxg

Chapter 1

"Vivian." At the school gate, her brother Vilem was waving at her, "Hurry up and get in the car, we need to leave."

"What happened?" Vivian ran over, baffled, her golden hair forming beautiful waves, her performance outfit still on—a grave breach of etiquette.

But there was no time for her to change. It had been only thirty minutes since their father's call until Vilem picked her up to rush home.

"Something big has happened," Vilem said solemnly. "Kamden Hargrave is dead."

Kamden Hargrave, a Capo of the Houston mafia, was one of the most respected and powerful men in the mob. His presence alone had elevated the Houston mob to its current status. His death was sure to plunge Houston into a bloody struggle for power.

What was worse, the resurgence of the Bratva's influence in Houston was inevitable, and the Hargrave family would face unprecedented challenges.

Vivian felt uneasy; she knew her father had always cooperated with Kamden, and they had a very friendly relationship. If Houston was thrown into chaos, would her father choose to help them?

And how would her father choose to help?

Would he send her away?

The very thought terrified Vivian, and she tried to expose Vilem's lie: "Don't joke about that, Vilem."

"I'm not joking, Vivian." Vilem shattered Vivian's illusions, not mocking her naivety, "No one is invincible, not us, not even our father."

Their father, Bryson Jones, was a Capo of the Los Angeles mafia, and Vilem, along with their older brother Joseph, were Made Men. Joseph had even earned their father's approval to become his successor, the next Capo.

As the daughter of a Capo, unlike her brothers, Vivian was too well-protected; she was the apple of her father's eye, willing to give her everything she wanted except freedom.

Vivian was not free; her father had arranged everything for her—what to learn, what to do, who to meet, and who to befriend. Those unfamiliar boys and girls who were not approved by her father, none could come close to her.

"You are my perfect creation, Vivian," her father had told her proudly, "Your virginity, your purity, will become my most powerful weapon."

He had said this more than once.

These words made Vivian very uncomfortable; she knew one day she would be sent away by her father, but she never dared to think that day would truly come. She was nineteen now, and her father had discussed with her which university she could attend. She could continue her opera performance studies, go to New York, and start her performances at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Vivian had begun to fantasize about an afternoon filled with sunlight, long streets, and tea time, meeting a handsome gentleman amidst the sweet scent of mousse cakes, having a gentleman ask her for coffee, and developing a wonderful, sweet romance...

But with Kamden's death, Vivian's fantasies also dimmed. She wondered in her heart, could her father send me to the Hargraves?

Vivian started to feel afraid.

The car sped all the way, taking them back to the luxurious Jones family estate.

Her mother had already packed Vivian's luggage. Vivian pulled out a red dress with a fluffy skirt adorned with sparkling diamonds, her most beautiful dress, but it was not suitable for a funeral.

"Is this a mistake?" Vivian set aside the red dress and searched the wardrobe for her black dress. Compared to the gorgeous red gown, this dress was so plain it hardly seemed her style.

"No, Vivian, you'll need it," her mother put the red dress back, "Trust me."

"Why?" Vivian was puzzled; she didn't want to bring the dress, she felt a resistance.

Her mother didn't have time to respond, as their father had already come out of the study and was urging them to leave.

Her older brother Joseph glanced at Vivian's dress and silently followed their father downstairs.

Vilem stood at the top of the stairs, looking displeased.

Vivian sensed something; she looked down at the red dress, a terrible thought forming in her mind.

Could her father really be planning to give her to the Hargraves? What should she do?

Her father represented absolute authority within the Jones family; no one could change his decisions, but... if... maybe...

Vivian, lagging behind, used the moment when no one was paying attention to leave the red dress in a corner of the room.

...

The journey from Los Angeles to Houston went smoothly; her father must have made many preparations for this unexpected trip. Their private plane landed at the Houston airport, the territory of the Hargrave family, whose bodyguards took over theirsecurity.

Of course, the bodyguards of the Jones family did not withdraw either.

Vivian felt relieved by this decision because they encountered an attack by the Bratva while transferring to a car heading to their apartment in Houston. A black sedan coming from a side road rammed into the car behind them, and the powerful force pushed the rear car into the back of the one in front. Vivian was thrown forward, but Vilem protected her.

"Damn it," Vilem cursed, holding Vivian's head in his arms for protection, pulling out his gun and cocking it.

Vivian heard continuous gunfire outside the car, screeching brakes, the shattering of car windows, and Vilem's curses became indistinct amid her screams.

"Hey, calm down, Vivian," Vilem urged, pushing her down to stay low as he shot dead a Bratva member.

The driver, experienced in such situations, saw an opportunity and floored the gas pedal, breaking through. Vivian felt the car's violent jolt and the thud of heavy objects hitting the ground.

They must have broken through the Bratva's blockade.

"Mom?" As the gunshots faded and the car's furious speed began to subside, Vilem announced they were out of danger. Vivian looked out the car window but didn't see the car carrying her mother and father.

"Don't worry, Joseph will protect them," Vilem reassured her, patting her back, though still shaken, the gun hot in his hand without bullets.

"Kamden Hargrave is dead, the Hargraves are weakening."

Vivian looked at Vilem, "Will there be danger?"

"Without a doubt if the Hargraves can't contain the Bratva's expansion," Vilem said, frustrated, scratching his head, "We're here."

Everything seemed foreign, except for one detail that was familiar to Vivian. The car drove directly into the underground garage, and she finally recognized the place—it was the Gold Mountain Apartments.

Gold Mountain Apartments was their most permanent residence in Houston. The last time they were here, they stayed in the same place, and Vivian's room still had the crafts she made—a ceramic roly-poly.

Vivian was organizing her luggage when a commotion came from downstairs, mixed with her father's roar and her mother's faint crying.

Her poor mother was such a timid person; she must have been terrified.

Vivian dropped her suitcase and ran downstairs to give her mother a hug.

"It's so good that you're okay."

Her father looked at their embrace with cold eyes, impatient with their mutual comfort, and called Joseph and Vilem to the study to talk business.