Marked by my lover




The silver tip of the pen hovers above the piece of paper in front of me.

My lips press together in a slight grimace as all eyes inside the boardroom fall upon my every move.

All I have to do is sign my name—a simple task I’ve done many times.

Yet, the repercussion of such an easy action will onset tremendous suffering. I felt it the moment I stepped into the room only an hour ago, last night, when I laid wide awake unable to shut down my thoughts. Everywhere I turn and every breath I take isn’t without a constant ache that has long buried itself inside me.

This pain, unbearable and consuming, is what we have become.

“Is there a problem, Mr. Romano?

My gaze lifts. Jeff, the head of our legal team, quizzes me with a frustrated stare. His team worked nonstop to make this deal happen. Our company was against all odds, yet we persisted and won the final bid. Purchasing this other company will expand our name in the tech industry and officially make us a billion-dollar empire.

This is everything I have worked hard for in my career—the long hours, non-existent social life, constant travel, and stress associated with starting up a new company. All of it has come to fruition.

Then she walked back into my life.

Amelia Edwards.

She’s no longer the annoying kid who would torment me with her childish games, and I’m no longer the teenage boy who would entertain her to avoid the wrath of my mother and aunt.

Our families have ties, strong ties, something neither of our mothers let us forget over the years. Unlike many other families, we’re bonded by the timing of the past and not connected through sharing the same blood or gene pool.

Perhaps, in the chaos of what we have become, it’s our way of justifying our actions.

But the biggest surprise, the one I never expected to take my breath away that afternoon several months ago is how Amelia turned into this beautiful woman. The very reason why my emotions fucked with my head, causing me to hesitate in front of our executive team.

Her body isn’t supposed to be so irresistible to the point that I crave her every goddamn moment. I’ve been with many women, but no one has ever owned me like she does when we’re alone. Maybe I shouldn’t have succumbed to my desires and taken her selfishly to satisfy my craving of her innocence.

But in return, she did something which rendered me speechless. Something an older and more experienced man should’ve known better.

She made me fall in love with her.

“I’ll repeat Jeff’s question since perhaps you didn’t hear it,” Lex voices coldly, unforgiving with his tone. “Is there a problem?

Across the room, the most powerful man I know watches me with an uninviting stare. His fingertips drum against the woodgrain table. The shade of his usually vibrant green eyes has turned almost black.

Anyone else caught in his unrelenting stare would’ve recoiled and signed the contract. But as the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach begins to alleviate, it’s instantly replaced with resentment.

He leaves me no choice.

My company’s future is in his hands.
We need his investment to complete this purchase, and all I have to do is sign this contract and move to London.

Away from Manhattan and away from his oldest daughter.

Beside me, my phone vibrates with a text appearing on the screen. Slowly, my eyes shift across to the notification. I keep my expression flat as the words tear through me like bullets ricocheting from a loaded gun.

Amelia: I will always choose him.

These five words end everything between us; I’m left with no choice. Even if I give this all up for her, she’ll never be happy unless her father approves.

And I know for a fact he doesn’t want a man like me to be in a relationship with his daughter. We’ve been friends well before this, and for many years, he’s been a mentor and a father figure who treats me like his own son.

He knows I never cared for women unless it was for my own selfish physical needs. We often joked about my inability to settle down with anyone since all I care about is work. We had spent many nights just sitting at bars, drinking while talking about life. He knows me better than my father, better than any man I’ve called a friend over the years.

But then it all shifted.

A complete turn of events in which, if he knew the extent of our relationship, he’d never approve.

I’m not stupid. He taught me everything I know, and when the master himself has taught you all his tricks, you know well enough that his proposal for me to move is because he knows the secret we’ve been keeping.

The forbidden affair between his nineteen-year-old daughter and me.

My throat begins to tighten at the same time my knuckles turn white around the pen still resting in my hand. Pressing hard against the paper, the pen glides across as the blank spot above the line is filled with my signature.

Without a thought, the pen falls against the table as my head slowly lifts to the ruthless stare of the man who pulls all the strings.

The same man who Amelia chose over me.

Her father.

Lex Edwards.

The new stakeholder in my soon-to-be billion-dollar company.

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