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Married 24 Times - Chapter 18

Published at 24th of August 2019 07:58:34 AM

Chapter 18


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I let out a massive sigh of relief . The folder wasn't empty like I'd feared it would be . It was neatly arranged into folders by date . There was even one that must be from our wedding, marked '21092011' . I would save that folder for later, since I had an idea of what would be in it . I scrolled down through the folders, searching for more '2011' or '2010' folders .

I finally found one marked '03022011' . Inside the folder were hundreds of pictures of what looked like a beach trip . I held my breath as I scrolled, until I stopped over a thumbnail of a picture of me . This must be the trip to Hawaii . I opened the picture to take a closer look .

In the photo, my hair was wavy from the ocean and I was wearing a sundress . I wasn't looking at the camera, but off at the ocean . I was squinting slightly from the sun and I was lazily tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear . Even if I did remember the trip fully, I knew this wasn't a picture I was aware of .

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I moved on to the next photo, but scrolling through them, most of the photos were of scenery . A few shots had pictures of Julian's family, showing his brothers or parents . I finally found a photo of Julian and I together, but it was similar to the engagement photo I had found .

We looked . . . happy . More than happy, even . Julian had his arms around me and was holding me up against his chest . I couldn't tell if I was laughing or screaming, but either way I looked like I could burst from joy .

Who was this girl in this photo? I knew she was me, but I didn't understand how someone could look so radiant . I thought of my own current appearance . I knew there were dark circles under my eyes and my hair was a disaster . But more than just my physical appearance, I didn't remember the last time I had truly smiled from the bottom of my heart the way I was in this photo .

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I pulled myself from my melancholy and kept searching the folder . If I thought too much about it, I'd just become depressed . I knew how dangerous despair could be . Dying so many times had brought me closer to a pit of darkness that once I let myself fall into, I didn't think I would ever escape . I had lived that way in my last life and I wasn't about to do it again .

A photo near the end caught my eye . It was a group photo of everyone who had been there on vacation . Julian and I were off to one side with Mia and her father next to me . Julian's family extended into the middle of the photo, his two brothers and parents all looking dazzling . When I recognized the family member on the opposite side of the photo from Julian and me, I zoomed in to be certain .

There were three people on this planet who hated me enough to have me killed . One was Mia, who really had killed me many times . The second was Julian's mother, who I couldn't be certain, but I wouldn't be surprised if she was the reason I died once or twice . And finally, the third person who I wished to forget no matter what, was Julian's cousin, Eric Leonhart .

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I could never remember where Eric and I had first met, but now I knew . We met on this trip . The trip to Hawaii was our first encounter, but it was never the last . My entire body shuddered .

No matter how many times Mia killed me, beyond a deep-seated hatred, I felt nothing else for her . Julian's mother, I felt we had a mutual dislike for one another, but she was tolerable when she wasn't around . But Eric . . . Eric was the one person I truly feared .

Throughout all my lives, he was the person I avoided more than anyone else . More even than Mia . If there was a Leonhart gathering with the main and branch families, I would refuse to attend . If there was a family vacation and Eric was going to be there, I would either hide in the hotel room or make up an excuse not to go .

Eric was the man who had pushed himself on me in the hotel hallway on that trip . If it belonged to Julian, Eric would want it . Even if that something belonging to Julian was a wife .

I had forgotten when my fear began, but it's because I refused to remember . I refused to acknowledge what ever it was that made me fear Eric so much . I still didn't want to acknowledge the memories flooding back into my mind .

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