The Woman Who Won His Heart

Paul Gabriel Black had just moved to Cania, for his new job as Events Director for Defence and Safety in Paire Amster Events. Leaving his girlfriend back home in Mirinthul, who refused his offer of joining him in Lightham and start a new life together, he was determined to persuade her to come and lay out all the reasons in the world that they'd both work out alright.

Scarlett Lee Ryder, researcher for Paire Amster Events had a principle in life: never get into a relationship with colleagues. She was doing just fine for three years with the company, until this new guy suddenly shows her interest.

Paul didn't want to lose his girlfriend, but it was out of his hand if she won't do anything to help their relationship. There are other women in Lightham anyway, and most Paire Amster female specie are obviously dropping hints of liking him, except for Scarlett Lee Ryder



Dinner was wonderful that night. The Ryder's had a long table at the outdoor dinning area filled with the roasted pig and other menu, it was a buffet style which had always been a tradition to the family. Lee's eldest brother Earl and his wife Charity came over since they lived in town about thirty minutes drive. Other than the Ryders, their employees, tenants and their families were there to join them for dinner. 

"So what's the occasion?" Paul asked Lee, the two of them sat on a table with Earl and his wife.

"I don't know," Lee answered confused as well. "It couldn't be that they are celebrating for us."

Earl laughed. "I'm sure you having a boyfriend is a part of the celebration. But the main event is that dad had bought a grape and wine farm in Mirinthul."

Lee's mouth dropped open. "He did?!"

Earl nodded his head. "He finally got his dream come true!"

"In Mirinthul!," Paul echoed. "That's nice! Do you know which part in Mirinthul?"

"I think that's in Kincardine," Earl answered.

"That's fifteen minutes drive away from my parents place!" Paul told them eagerly.

"We all could go and check out the farm then visit your parents place." Earl said. "Dad is planning to have the farm blessed next month, on your birthday Lee."

"Wow! I need to submit my leave then," she said happily. Then turning to Paul she asked, "Will you get a leave too?"

He took her hands and kissed the back of it. "Of course darling. I can't wait to introduce you to my family."

Lee leaned forward to kiss Paul.

"So what made you decide to finally get into a relationship with my sister?" Earl asked him.

Lee and Paul exchanged glances.

Paul cleared his throat. "Well," he began. "I made an account for her on a dating site, with her permission of course, but I was the one mainly doing the job on it."

Earl raised an eyebrow, Charity listened intently interested.

"When these men started to ask her out on a date I kind of felt very protective about her," he paused then looked at Lee. "And jealous. So I told her that I felt something for her and ask her if we could give it a try."

Lee was smiling at him knowingly. Good job Paul, she thought to herself. Earl's gonna go off if Paul told him what really happened! 

"Now you know what I told you!" Earl said smiling. 

Paul nodded his head. "You're right. I would never know how I truly felt 'til someone asked her on a date."

"So why the dating site then?" Charity asked. "Are you suggesting that my sister in law doesn't have a social life?"

"It's not that she has no social life, but she actually keeps to herself. The only social life she got is with her colleagues. She's a work-home-work-home type of person. If I didn't became her neighbor I'm not sure if anyone would hangout with her every day."

"He's right," Lee agreed. "I just love staying at home and going out on my own. I also thought that the dating site would give me a chance to have a boyfriend but I never expected the person who suggested it would be the one I end up with."

"Love works in mysterious ways," Charity said looking at Earl who gave her a kiss on the forehead. 

"How did the two of you met?" Paul asked.

"You tell him babes," Earl told Charity.

Charity nodded her head and began her story. "We met in Harb Cay Island nine years ago. He was a guest at a hotel resort I was working. I was serving him his breakfast when he asked me if I could tour him around the Island."

"That's one of the islands of Mirinthul right?" Paul asked.

"You got that right," Earl said.

"So," Charity went on. "I told him I will only be free after my shift which ends at five and he said it was okay. That's when our friendship started. I accompanied him for the whole two months vacation, I honestly had fallen in love with him already but I reminded myself that he's just a tourist. So he left but we were in constant communication. A year later, he came back and told me that he had fallen in love with me I told him I did feel the same for him for a long time. Then he asked me to marry him."

"Wow!" Paul smiled.

"But I told him I can't accept his proposal,"

"What?!" Paul raised an eyebrow.

Earl squeezed his wife's hand. 

"You see Paul, I belong to a poor family." Charity spoke. "My father is just a fisherman, and there are twelve of us siblings. My mother who belonged to a rich family had been cast away when they found out she's in love with a poor fisherman. Even if she had her degree, no company would accept her because my grandfather had ordered these companies not to hire her."

"Why would he do that?" Paul was confused.

"Mother is the only girl among twelve siblings," Charity sniffled. "She's the sixth child. Her father had already arranged her to marry a man older than she is, a business partner. Of course my mother didn't like the idea at all and she told her father that she wasn't going to do what he wants and that she's in love with someone else. Her father was devastated, and because of pride and shame he cast my mother away from the family and told her that she will never receive any help from them and from that day she wasn't his daughter anymore."

"I'm sorry about that Charity," Paul said in a sad voice.

Lee squeezed Charity's other hand.

"He must be a very influential man," said Paul. "And the richest."

Charity shook her head. "Not now. In their early days they were the richest, but there are a lot of rich families now in Mirinthul. Anyway, back to my story. When I was in high school I need to do some odd jobs just to have money to buy food. Me and my siblings worked our ass out to help our parents. One by one we graduated in college, I am the eigth child but that was not an excuse for me to live comfortably. I was always reminded by my parents that I need to work hard to achieve what I want because they are unable to support us financially. I graduated in psychology, but I never found a job in Mirinthul because they found out who my parents were. My brothers had left Mirinthul and never came back but they supported me, and our parents , they had been asking us to come with them but we stayed. We didn't want to leave. So I worked in Harb Cay, supported my family just like my brothers." Charity paused.

Paul now had his arms around Lee's shoulder squeezing her. She knows how he felt, because she also felt that way when she heard Charity's story.

"When I told Earl everything, he said told me that he wasn't taking no for an answer." Charity went on. "He said that our paths crossed because there was a reason, and that reason was for him to help me and my family. I told him that it would be unfair on his part to carry such a burden, and he said that the biggest burden will be him not helping me and my parents. So I said yes, we got married the next month and he brought me and my parents here in Cania."

"I'm so sorry to hear about your past Charity," Paul said with a kind smile. "I can't believe such people still exist these days."

Earl nodded his head. "True. I told her parents that there was nothing for them in Mirinthul anymore and they have to come with me because I feel responsible for them."

"So where are your parents now?" Paul asked.

"They're at the beach part of Lorwick, dad manages his own fish market, has his own fishing boats and mom has a small clinic too." Charity answered. "All thanks to my husband."

"You know I would do anything for you my love," the two of them kissed.

Lee looked at Paul and blushed. Paul kissed her on the forehead. "If you don't mind me asking, what was your mother's maiden name?"

"Aimeenira Kall," Charity answered.

Paul looked at her closely. "Kall? Like the Kall Industries?"

Charity nodded her head. "Yes they are mom's brothers."

"Good God!" Paul let out a sigh. "So you and Jewel Kall are cousins?"

Charity nodded her head. "She's a snob. All of them are a snob. Why do you know her?"

"She's my ex girl friend."

"Glad she's your ex. She'd been two timing boys in high school."

Paul's eyes widened. "Wow, I didn't know that."

"I'm not trying to destroy her, but that's what she truly is."

"No wonder she slept with someone while we were still together."

Earl gave Lee a questioning look, Lee gave him an 'i-don't-know' look back.

"Typical Jewel." Charity said shaking her head. "Last time I saw her was high school graduation. You should be happy you're with Lee now, she's a good catch."

"Oh Charity," Lee smiled at her sister in law. Charity is the kindest person Lee had ever met, and she's glad Earl married her. If only Charity would want to have children already she would make Earl the happiest man.

"I know she is," Paul answered nodding his head. "I'm lucky to have her."

"You take care of my little sister Paul," Earl told him. "I'm going to break your neck if you break her heart."

"I promise I won't break her heart."


***     ***     ***


"It's a small world," Lee said that night. 

They were lying on Lee's bed at her house nearthe waterfalls.

Paul had her arms around her. "Yes it is. And a very harsh world too."

"Mom and dad was happy about Earl's decision. He not only marry the woman he loves but made a huge thing in helping Charity's parents."

"You're parents are very humble Lee. It so rare for rich people to be humble. To now I still can't contain Charity's story. I can't believe she is even related to Jewel."

"Me either," answered Lee. "I mean Charity is a pure heart how could she ever be related to someone disloyal? I'm not trying to be rude but you're my boyfriend now so it's normal for me to get protective on you."

"Oh darling," Paul kissed her briefly. "Let's not talk about her."

"Fine with me," she kissed him once more. They pulled away lightly when they were breathless.

"So if they had been married for a long time," Paul was saying. "Why don't they have children yet?"

Lee rested her head against Paul's cheek. "Charity didn't want to have a dozen of kids. She's waiting till they turn thirty five to get pregnant."

"And Earl is okay with that?"

"He loves her. And he respects what she wants. But I hope they decide already."

"Me too, Earl deserves to have children. It's what complete's a man."

Lee looked up at him. "Really?" she asked.

"Yes really. Do you want us to start making children now?"

Lee laughed as Paul kissed her neck. "You know you're funny right?"

"And serious," he answered. Then he looked at her seriously. 

She stared back into his eyes. "What is it?"

"Do you want to have children Scarlett Lee Ryder?"

She burst out laughing.

Paul laughed with her.

"You're crazy!" said Lee as their laughter died down.

"That was a serious question."

She was silent. "Really?"

"Yes. Well?"

Lee gulped. "You're supposed to ask me to marry you first before having kids,"

Paul smiled at her. "I thought I would never hear that from you."

She raised an eyebrow. "Paul every woman wants to get married of course."

"I know. I didn't want to freak you out that's why I never mentioned that M word and you would tell me for sure that it's to early to talk about it. I mean, we both have our life accomplishments already, I don't have any responsibilities except my self and anytime I am ready to get married. I will be thirty next month and I have always dreamed of settling down with the woman I love."

A smile spread over Lee's face. "Of course we are of the right age Paul."

"So it's a yes?"

"Yes to what?"

"To getting married and having kids -  with me of course."

"Yes of course Paul!"

He kissed her forehead. "I'm glad to hear that." 







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