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Romantic-Suspense Writing Contest


They believed he died in a fire, a fire designed to kill him and everyone in the building with him to hide their secrets, secrets he discovered by mistake. Now he is back and he is different. He is not the same ever-smiling engineer who can be easily deceived. He wants revenge and he will get it. Come hell or high waters.

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Jackson lay in bed facing the ceiling reminiscing about his days with Melissa before everything took a sharp curve. They were so happy and he had no reason to complain about anything. He had loved her more than anything and he always wanted to marry her once he was sure he was financially stable. She was his world and everything in it. He always wondered what he had done to be blessed with such a wonderful soul, beautiful hazel eyes, blond hair, and perfectly smooth, golden skin. Her smile was enough to brighten his whole day. The way she laughed, it was a beautiful thing to witness all day long. He was never tired of it. Sometimes he would wish he could stay in the house all day and not go to work so he would spend the day with her and do everything they loved together. You know you can always bring me with you wherever you work. She always said when he was busy trying new excuses to his boss for not coming to work. I know that darlin' but it is fun to hear my boss yelling at me whenever I come up with excuses. He once said to her. The truth is he never wanted her to do anything. Those were the good times for him, he always looked up to waking up every morning but an incident that happened years ago changed everything. He's not the same and he doesn't want to. He realized he trusted people so easily and that is exactly what got him to where he is today. Living a life he never thought existed, always on the run because living in one place was not good for him. He couldn't afford to expose himself. He started remembering the time he had told Melissa about his feelings, she was so shocked. She took days to respond. Flashback... "You know we've been together for a month now. Time really flies." Melissa said running her hands in Jackson's chest. "It really does fly. It feels like we met yesterday. Usually being around the same person for more than one night creeps me out. Being a playboy suits me you know." He replied, smiling. "You don't strike me as a bad boy. You are disciplined and that says a lot about you. As for me, I don't stay more than a month in a relationship." "Are you saying you're going to exit this relationship because it's been a month?" "Not exactly. Jackson, this is not a relationship. We've been enjoying each other's company and having great sex but that's it." "It's not a relationship? Mel, what do you want to call it then? You said it yourself that we've been enjoying each other's company. I enjoy being around you and I know you do too. There is great chemistry between us and you can't deny that fact." "We never said we were exclusive. Yes, we clicked right from the beginning but that's it. I don't want a boyfriend. I certainly don't. I'm sorry if you assumed we were going to be boyfriend and girlfriend. It's just not for me." "I know we never discussed any of that but I know what I feel for you. You coming into my life really changed a lot in me and I like these changes. I was-" She cuts him off. "Jackson, don't." "Why? I'm only telling the truth. I want you. In fact, I need you. I know I never planned for any of this to happen but I love you. I love you so much that it hurts. The first time I saw you I knew what I was feeling but I didn't want to acknowledge it because I was scared. I'm not scared anymore because I'm sure of my feelings and they are in the right place." She was so shocked she couldn't even form a single word. The only thing she could think of at that moment was to run for her life. This is something any sane woman would do in that situation. That is what she told herself. She knew she was only trying to justify her actions but she didn't care. Not so long ago she was living her free life, booze, and boys, just like always. When Jackson entered the bar she usually frequents with her friends she wanted to spend the night with him. Even if it was just a one-night stand. She never expected that to turn into many more nights and many more days combined. Being with him taught her things she never knew existed. Jackson was left heartbroken. Did I do something wrong? I just told her how I feel, nothing else. So why did she just leave without saying anything? All those types of questions and many more started playing in his head and he had no idea how to shut them out. Maybe he didn't even want to shut them out. He needed answers. He had never loved anyone in his life, having lost his parents in a car accident when he was only two years old. He never had any siblings and that was a reason he never experienced it. He grew up in many foster homes and none of them was welcoming. Most of them kept him around for money, his parents had left so much money to cover him until after college. The money was never enough though after high school because his foster parents usually used it more than necessary. They never cared about his future. That being said, he never lost hope. He started applying for scholarships and bursaries to have a way of paying for his studies because he was not going to stay at home and do nothing. Though he received a bursary the money was not enough to cover everything, just like rent and food allowance, it only paid for his college fees. Besides, once he was 18 years, he was expected to be independent and that was what he was going to do, be independent. He never expected anything from anyone after that. He met a lot of friends in college and they changed him, he started attending parties and bars. Girls and booze was his everyday motto. What was the reason for a big house if you have nobody to share with? He never needed that and he didn't see a reason why he should. At least in bars, he was going to meet girls and spend the money on them and booze, and at the end of the day, everything was gone. That was until he met Robin, an outgoing guy from London. Robin taught so many things and he was grateful for meeting someone like him. They became friends, even though sometimes he felt like the guy was a bit too much. Always bossing him around and trying to get him on the right path.  He kept thinking about what went wrong with his conversation with Melissa. After calling her multiple times with no reply and hoping she would show up anytime, he finally lost hope. He was pretty sure that she didn't love him back and that he was just imagining things. He wished she would've just told him she never felt the same way instead of running like that. When she showed up at his doorstep after a week of frustration, he didn't know what to say or how to really react to what she said next. "I came back to say I love you too Jackson. I'm sorry for being an idiot." She said, still standing by the door. She didn't exactly know what to do. Like him, she has never loved anyone before, not even her own family, let alone her twin sister Mia. Hearing that Jackson loved her came as a shock and she thought she was protecting herself when she took off. "Say something, please. You know it took all my strength to come here." She said. "Ooooh sorry, I'm just speechless. I thought you didn't love me when you left. Come in." "I'm so sorry about that. No one has ever said that to me before and I was trying to protect myself. I mean what if you wake up tomorrow and feel like you don't love me anymore?" He saw the concern in her eyes and it made him wonder who hurt her before. She was still young to have gone through a heartbreak. "I'm never going to stop loving you. Stop worrying about things that you shouldn't worry yourself about. This guy here is here to stay. Permanently." He said standing up in his seat and approaching her. He circled her waist with his hands and drew her closer to him, chest to chest. This was his favourite part whenever he was with her. He loved placing his hands around her waist, wished they could stay like that forever because it always gave him peace. Something he usually feels when he was with her. "You know I want to kiss you right now. Your lips are so inviting." He remarked. "Then what are you waiting for? They love being kissed by you." She chuckled. And that was what he did. End of flashback... He couldn't wipe the smile on his face when he thought about their time together. He knew it was in the past and there was no going back. Melissa was his everything but she was also his downfall. What happens when you find out the one woman you dedicated all your time and hard work to has been lying to you all the time? He was left heartbroken and almost died in a fire. A fire she had a hand in. He only wished she would have told him the truth. It was going to hurt less if he knew she didn't love him and told him the truth. Why tell someone you love them when you know you don't? When he learned she was only deceiving him and the reason behind everything, he didn't think anything would hurt more than that. Burn him alive. And everyone in this building. I don't care if everyone else dies but we can't just burn only him. We can't have the police suspecting foul play now, can we? Those were the exact words that came out of her mouth the night where everything changed. They were spoken with venom and so much hate and he realized the woman he fell in love with was gone, maybe never existed. For the last three years, he has been hiding, fearful of being discovered because he knew if they found him they will make sure he stayed dead this time. He never thought he was going to be a wanderer in his life, without a permanent home after working so hard to achieve a lot of things. In these three years, he has learned so many things. It is easy to blend in every place or situation he finds himself in with the skills he acquired in these years of hiding. He can fight at any time, speak more than 9 different languages and he was also proud of what he learned over the years. The only thing he was worried about was meeting Melissa, he may be able to hide from a lot of people with the plastic surgeries he had done but he didn't trust his reaction around her. They spent a lot of time together and he knew that Melissa knows him just like he knows himself or maybe even a little bit more than he knows himself. Some things will never change no matter the circumstances and he knew that as soon as they meet he will be closer to exposing himself to her. He decided it was time he woke up and go downstairs to get something to eat. Staying up all night did not help him, he was hungry and he needed to eat. When he got downstairs, he realized the restaurant was full and decided to order room service. He couldn't risk being seen by too many people and expose himself. He has been in this hotel for a week and that is by far the longest he'd stayed in any hotel ever since the fire. At first, it was fear of being discovered by anyone associated with Melissa and her family. That fear soon turned into something at first, it kept him alive and encouraged him to survive any obstacles he faced. Soon after though it turned into something more, something more sinister. Vengeance. It was the reason why he wanted to learn a lot of things he wasn't exposed to when he was younger. He wanted to kill them all and it wasn't going to be a merciful death. He wanted them to suffer just like he did. He knew they were so powerful and had a little too many allies. It was not going to be easy and he will probably need people at his side to be able to destroy them. At that moment he started remembering Robin. Even though the guy was sometimes controlling and annoying, he was his best friend.  At this moment he would've said something about two wrongs not making a right. He was like that, always trying to keep him on the right path like the good friend that he was. Robin, I miss you man, more than you can ever imagine. I know at this moment you would be trying by all means to annoy me, but it still doesn't change anything. I miss you like crazy. He said those words in a whisper, to know one in particular. He was all alone in that room after all, just like he was also alone in this life. He wondered why fate was playing games with him. Why couldn't he just be like any other guy his age? Surely their lives were so much better than his and he envied them.

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