Summary: Arranged marriage in the twenty-first century might have been uncommon, but not unheard of. “You’re mommy’s special little snowflake, aren’t you?”
The first thing Mikoto noticed about her was the pink hair, then the delicate, lean frame, and those eyes—oh she wanted grandbabies with those eyes. So as she lay down, and let the pretty thing do her annual test’s, she decided that this young woman, if she turned out to be the princess Mikoto knew in her heart she must be, was going to marry her Sasuke.
“May I ask your name, young lady?”
It took her a moment to be not distracted enough by her scans. Then she looked up right in Mikoto’s eyes, and her eyes crinkled in a smile. “Haruno Sakura.”
It didn’t take much effort after that. Turns out, if you’re a person of means, there is very little in this world you can’t accomplish. Mikoto had never in her life abused that kind of power, but she had her heart set on something—someone—and this time, no one was going to stand in her way.
There was very little Uchiha Sasuke was not willing to do for his mother. And it wasn’t exactly a closely guarded secret. He loved his family, and he wasn't afraid to admit it. He had never exactly made a production of his feelings, but those who mattered knew, and that was more than enough.
For her part, his mother had never asked him for much. Just trivial, inconsequential things; things that could be bought with money, time that would be willingly offered, love that was readily doled out without even asking.
So when she sat him down one afternoon, face completely void of expression, but eyes glittering with hope, Sasuke knew that his mother wanted something. He was completely unaware of the extent of that wish.
"Hello, darling," Uchiha Mikoto stood on the very tips of her toes to deliver his cheek a kiss. He leaned down to receive it graciously.
"Mother," he nodded with a slight smile.
She beamed at him, noted his slightly awkward posture and admonished him for working too hard, all in a single breath. Then she sat down across from him and her expression flickered off. That was his first clue.
"I wanted to talk to you about something," she started.
"Oh," he said, settling down beside her, a little wary, but not too concerned. "How can I help you?"
She was silent for a few moments, staring off behind his shoulders, mouth turned into a contemplative frown. "I would never," she started, "put you into a situation that would make you unhappy, Sasuke-kun."
He sat up a little straighter. "I'm aware, mother."
"So what I’m about to ask of you...might come off as selfish, and very...backward. But know that I have your best interest at heart, darling."
"What is it, mother?"
“It’s…” she started, frowned, and fidgeted a little. “It’s this girl, Sasuke-kun,” she said, finally.
His brow furrowed into a frown. “A girl?”
“Yes,” she said, and the smile on her lips made her eyes sparkle. “A beautiful, kind hearted, amazing girl.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I want you to marry her, Sasuke-kun.”
The silence that followed that exchange was brittle as thin ice. Sasuke leaned back into the high end sofa, and stared unblinkingly at his mother. It took him a few minutes to comprehend the severity of the situation, and another few to finally form words to express his discontent.
“I…don’t understand, mother?” The tail end of his sentence turned into a query.
Mikoto sighed, feeling apprehensive. “Do you have anyone you like, already?”
She let out a relieved breath. “Okay,” she continued, eyes bright and steady, “Then I know it’s a lot to ask of you, but would you please do your mother the incredible favor of meeting this girl?”
Sasuke prided himself for being a rational being. And rationality told him that whoever this girl was, whatever spell she’d put on his mother, was not to be trusted. The Uchiha name came with its own heavy burdens. It was not only a name with pedigree and prestige, but also hundreds of years of history, of blood and violence and treachery. It had taken a lot of sacrifice and surrender before his family had claimed the peace it so deserved. So the Uchiha not being the trusting lot might have been an understatement.
As his slowly functioning brain began to creak, he figured that this girl might have been able to dupe his mother, but she was never getting to him.
There was very little Uchiha Sasuke wouldn’t do for his mother. And as he nodded his reluctant accent, he vowed to put this person in their place.
It was during her second year of residency that Uchiha Mikoto visited their house. She never knew how, with her unpredictable schedule, she had been able to figure out exactly how to time her visit so as to run into Sakura.
All she knew was that her life would never be the same again.
There was a clinking of fine china and the sound of muffled conversation as she entered the house. As she threw her keys in the bowl by the door and went into the living room to investigate, her eyes widened with surprise.
Sitting languidly on their couch was the lovely lady she had examined a few days ago. As she turned to look at her, her eyes shone with smile, and Sakura felt an uneasy pinch in her gut.
Her parents on the other hand were frozen in alarm, their eyes wide and varying degrees of trepidation in their expressions. There was an atmosphere of panic in the room, an air of confusion not at all alleviated in the least as Mebuki and Kizashi started speaking simultaneously, cutting and talking over each other so that she couldn’t understand but a few words.
“You should go to your room—“
“WHY would you send her to—“
“We will handle—“
“This is her LIFE and she should—“
“Of course it’s her—“
As Sakura stood in the doorway looking back and forth between her parents, there was a small, dainty cough. That small noise was enough to distract the Haruno’s. All eyes on her, Mikoto smiled beatifically and said, “Why don’t I explain the situation to Sakura-chan?”
“Yes, why don’t you,” said Mebuki, an allegation in her tone Sakura couldn’t quite understand. At the same time, her already blaring suspicion radar began to detonate in her brain. Red lights were practically flashing in front of her eyes, screaming that this woman was up to something.
“Would you mind giving us a minute, please?” she asked politely.
Sakura gave her parents a reassuring look and nodded. They left and she sat down opposite Mikoto. “How can I help you?”
“My dear,” she said in turn, “You are exquisite.”
“Um,” she moved back a little, “Thanks?”
When she laughed, Sakura felt an uneasy pressure build in her chest.
“I am Uchiha Mikoto,” she said, flashing a brilliant grin, “and I’m here to ask for your hand in marriage for my son.”
The ensuing pause was tangible with Sakura’s astonishment, until it was thick enough to cut with a knife.
“Yooou’re kidding, right?” Sakura said, finally.
“I’m afraid not.” Mikoto’s smile was good natured.
“Are you crazy?”
The frown lines on Sakura’s forehead could’ve rivaled the Grand Canyon for depth. “I think you should leave.”
“That’s incredibly rude, but given the situation I understand your…less then accommodating behavior.”
“Less then—what—hand in marriage!” Sakura sputtered incredulously. “What century do you live in? I don’t even know you!”
Mikoto’s eyes softened compassionately, and as she stood up and sat herself down next to her, Sakura scooted away, and resisted the hand Mikoto reached out for her’s. “I know this may seem like a bolt out of the blue,” she said in a warm tone, “but please, would you consider just meeting my son once?”
“I swear,” she promised, “If you do not take to him even a little, I would never bother you again. Ever.”
“Is this a joke?”
“I assure you it’s not.”
“Is your son—” a psycho, she wanted to say, but stopped herself. What person in their right mind would go to another person’s house and ask for their hand in marriage, she wondered. On the other end of the couch, Mikoto was looking at her hopefully. “Is your son,” Sakura started again carefully, so as not to offend “in any, way or shape, you know—indisposed?”
“Oh, no dear,” Mikoto smiled. “He might be a little prickly, to be honest but he’s not in any way, indisposed, as you put it.” Her eyes lit up as she continued. “In fact, he’s quite handsome, if I say so myself. Also,” her grin was conspirational, “his financial backing might surprise you.”
Sakura felt a sudden stab of fury, and she took a deep breath to reign it in. “Do you think I’ll be swayed by money?” she said slowly, deliberately, through clenched teeth.
“I’m counting on you to not be,” was the cheery reply.
Sakura let out an angry breath, and rubbed a hand on her forehead, suddenly feeling very tired. “You’re crazy.”
“Now that’s just plain rude, young lady.”
“Please go away?”
“Not until you agree to meet him.”
Sakura gave her an incredulous look. “You do know that this is actual harassment, right? I can file a report against you. I can file for a restraining order against you!”
That made Mikoto back up a little. “I—apologize,” she said, shoulders slumping. “I realize that I might have come off a bit strong, but—“
“A bit?” Sakura’s laugh was hysterical.
“But,” Mikoto continued, “I would be very, very grateful if you would meet my son for lunch tomorrow. Please?”
Sakura gave her a contemplative look. “Will you go away if I say yes?”
“Only if you mean it.”
“So you’ve said.”
“Look,” said Sakura, holding on to the last tether’s of her patience, “I’m sure your son is a wonderful person, but this is not the middle ages. You don’t just go to someone’s house and ask them to marry your son, okay?”
“I admit that I might have—jumped the gun, I guess,” Mikoto admitted, “But now that I’m here, I can do nothing but ask you to give him a chance.”
“Are you for real?!” She let out a frustrated breath, then rubbed her face angrily. “Okay,” she said, having no intention on following through on her word, “Fine, I’ll meet your son!”
“Great!” Mikoto’s smile was a bright, beaming super nova. “He’ll be at The Arcadian, at 1 o’ clock on the dot, tomorrow!” then she snatched Sakura’s hands and held them to her chest, “I promise you won’t regret it.”
If only she knew.
Standing on the brilliantly polished steps of The Arcadian, Sakura stared unblinkingly at the sophisticated calligraphy of the minimalist billboard. Then she took out her pager, and willed for it to beep with an emergency.
She had never intended to come. Just that her brain had imaginative ways of conjuring exactly the kind of psycho Mikoto’s son was going to be, and she’d wanted to see in person.
She looked one last time at her pager, and when the screen still didn’t light up, she heaved a breath. Filled with dread she walked inside.
A blast of air conditioning hit her as she entered and when she gave the maître d the name, she was led to a secluded table in a private alcove, where the most beautiful man she’d ever seem was waiting for her. His face was all sharp lines and angles, his lips full, with just the right amount of a pout. His shoulders were stiff and his posture was perfection. His eyes were the blackest she had ever seen—and considering she peered into people’s eyes for a living that was saying something. Right now, they were looking at her steadily as she walked closer to him.
She almost stumbled out of the chair as the maître d pushed it in, felt an embarrassed heat crawl all the way up her neck to her cheeks and cleared her throat awkwardly.
For his part, the man sitting opposite her looked just as uncomfortable.
They squirmed in perfect hemorrhoidal harmony. A moment of pain, and then he said, “Sakura?”
The way he called out her name made her bristle—like she was his own personal servant, one he was particularly fond of tormenting. He smiled, and she saw the Evil. It was coated with class, pampered with elegance, but very real. She knew in that moment that her decision to come, had been the right one. Her smile was almost a snarl.
Sasuke sat at the table, his spine ram-rod straight and his eyes burning with intensity. She was late. It bothered him that this person, who’d so flawlessly spun a magical web around his mother, was so assured, so confident of her hold, that she was willing to test it out on him. He grit his teeth in frustrated anger, then exhaled slowly to calm his churning mind.
Then he saw someone being led towards him.
She was in her mid twenties, with an intelligent face, a full sensuous mouth, sparkling eyes—that he would later find out, could change from a soft moss to a dark jade in moments—a trim athletic figure. But what made his hair stand on end was the color of her hair—a soft, corral pink that was perfectly in tune with her creamy complexion. She looked, almost like spring personified.
And as she stumbled into her chair, and he called her name, the look she gave him could’ve made a grown man cower. To him, it was mildly irritating. His mother had been clever. She’d only ever given him one name—and a generic one at that. Sakura. Just how many Sakura’s were there in Konoha? Too many to filter on the internet. All he knew about this woman was all his mother had told him. A beautiful, kind hearted, amazing girl.
He rolled his eyes grandly, and made a show of sipping his wine. He’d learned that the more imposing one’s façade was, the more malleable the subject became. “I suppose,” he drawled, voice menacing, “that you think you’ve won a prize here.”
“Oh,” her smile was sharp like a knife.
He frowned, set down his wine glass, and said, “I think we should get on with business.” He pulled out his check book and a confidentiality contract from his briefcase. “I give you money, and you disappear. Never show your face to my mother.”
He said it with such conviction that she had to blink once, slowly, to understand the direction of this conversation. Then her eye brows shot up and she let out an unbidden tinkle of laughter.
He looked up at her, baffled and a little miffed. “Is something funny?” His voice was deadpan, as were his eyes.
Her smile was disdainful and her eyes were flinty. “You’re mommy’s special little snowflake, aren’t you?”
He had to grind his teeth to keep from snapping back at her. He felt his patience wearing thin. “If you think,” he ground out, “that just because you’ve tricked my mother into believing you’re some kind of saint,” he spit out, “that you have an automatic in, with my family, then I can assure you, you are sadly mistaken.”
Her fury was a palpable thing. “I didn’t ‘trick’ your mother into believing anything!” she snapped. “I was just checking out her MRI and the next thing I know, she’s at my house asking for my ‘hand in marriage’!” She was breathing hard now, her face contorted in rage, her eyes alive with it. Her narrowed eyes reminded him of steel sharpened to killing point.
“So you’re saying,” he said in an uncanny juxtaposition of incredulous and frigid calm, “that it was my mother who approached you?”
“That is absurd.”
“Your face is absurd!”
For the first time, a glint of humor touched his finely sculpted mouth and arrogant dark eyes.
She let out a breath. “Listen,” she started, “the only reason I showed up today was because I wanted to see in person just what kind of a fuck up needs his mother to set up a date with a perfect stranger.” She flashed him a sweet, fake smile, telepathically telling him to eat shit and die. “Now that I’ve met you, I want you to know that I completely understand.”
Over the course of her tirade, his expression had closed off. Now, he was burning holes into her face with rage-fuelled acid rays from his eyes, and she could swear he was on the verge of scraping his hoof across the ground before charging at her like a wounded bull and tossing her out the window to the streets below like a rag-doll.
“And I suppose,” he grit out, “that now that you’ve seen the full extent of…funding, behind this impromptu set up, you might be regretting your decision.”
Sakura bristled. She understood now, that this man was a study in ego, and didn’t take humiliation well. “Does it sound like I’m regretting my decision? And is that your roundabout way of calling me a gold-digger?”
“I suppose it is.” His tone was frigidly polite and pompous.
The look she gave him could’ve sunk the titanic. He was stuffed with so much pride she was surprised he hadn’t actually burst at the seams. And it wasn’t the good kind of pride either. It was the kind that made you look like an ass. “I think we’re done here,” she said, then got up, grabbed her purse, and turned around to leave.
“Please,” Sasuke called out behind her. His voice was impossibly condescending, and against her better judgment, she stopped. She heard a soft rip of paper, a scrape of chair and his footsteps stopping right behind her. “Why don’t I reimburse you for your time?”
She whirled around, the fury in her eyes as dangerous as a cocked gun.
“You arrogant, conceited, cold blooded, son of a bitch!”
It was admiration, pure and simple that burst through him as he was forced to catch her fist before it smashed into his face.
He wasn’t expecting a foot to ram into his instep. As he staggered back, grimacing in pain, she spun around and stomped out of the restaurant.
He shut his eyes against the pain, and sat back in his chair. For a five foot nothing stick figure with no soul, she certainly had the strength of a hundred linebackers.
“What did you do, mother?” Sasuke rounded on Mikoto as soon as he entered the Library.
The Uchiha Estate was vast; an enormous sprawl of land on the very periphery of Konoha, a quarter of it used as a ranch, and a small chunk housing the abode Sasuke had grown in. It was, had always been, in a perpetual state of preservation; grass clipped to within a millimeter of uniformity, semi-ancient Mahogany door polished to perfection, the buffed porcelain floors and the humongous gables inspiring a sense of home. And as he stormed up the grand stair case, past the portrait of great grandfather Madara and down the hall to the Library, where his mother sat in perfect mid-afternoon serenity, his mind churned with impossible aggravation.
“Sasuke-kun!” Mikoto smiled, surprise rendering her tone soft. “I didn’t expect you to be here so soon.” She shut her book close and stood up to put it back on the shelf. “Regardless, how did it go?”
Suddenly losing all his steam, Sasuke went and flopped down onto the golden chaise lounge. He could never stay mad at Mikoto.
“By the look on your face, I’d say it went badly.” Mikoto’s voice was slightly resentful, and it made Sasuke bristle.
“Of course it went bad!” he snapped, and promptly regretted it at the hurt that flashed in Mikoto’s face. His face softened. “Mother,” he started again, calmly, patiently, “you went to her home and demanded for her hand in marriage?”
Mikoto had the decency to blush. “I’ll admit, that might have been a bit bold of me, but—“
“That’s what she said—“
“You didn’t tell me about it. I thought—“ he stopped, sighed impatiently, “I thought she conned you. Or something.”
“Oh Sasuke-kun!” Mikoto cried. “You didn’t say that to her, did you?”
“…I might have.”
Sasuke felt a stab of guilt, and his cheeks colored in embarrassment. “Who is she, anyway?” he mumbled.
Mikoto sighed, her shoulders slumped in discomfiture. “I’ll tell you who she’s not,” she muttered. “My daughter-in-law.”
“Well, I’m sorry, okay?” he snapped, testy and disgruntled. His mother had a way of burying him in mounds of guilt he didn’t deserve.
Mikoto flipped her hair, then leaned back into the chaise, her shoulder’s slouched impossibly low. “She’s a Surgical Resident at Konoha Memorial. Second year. Brilliant, bright and amazing. She will go a long way.”
Sasuke observed the starry eyed admiration in his mother’s face, and felt his pride give a little. “Why would you set her up with me?”
“I don’t know. I had a feeling,” she explained, waving her hands about helplessly.
“You had a feeling,” he repeated, voice dry as the desert.
“You do realize you sound ridiculous, right?”
He laughed, a soft breathy sound that made Mikoto’s heart light up.
“Does Father know?” he asked.
Mikoto hesitated, then shrugged. “A little,” she mumbled guiltily.
Sasuke sighed, shifted, then put his arm around her shoulders. She leaned into his embrace. “Does Itachi know?” he asked, resting his cheek on a shock of raven hair so much like his own.
“And he approved?” Sasuke asked, disbelieving.
A guilt-ridden pause.
“He’s coming around.”
“Oh, Mother.” He shook his head.
“You should at least apologize to Sakura.”
He knew this was only the beginning of the relentless prodding his mother would subject him to if he didn’t agree. And if he were to be honest with himself, he felt a slight twinge of regret in his chest every time he thought of the last of their exchange. Offering the check had been petty of him. And he was nothing if not honorable.
“Complete and total prick,” Sakura stated, popping a cherry into her mouth.
Naruto laughed. He had a happy laugh—contagious. It made his eyes sparkle and crinkle at the corners. Sakura determined he was going to have crow’s feet by the time he was thirty. Across the table Hinata took his hand, and the two of them smiled each other, disgustingly in love. They were sitting at Ichiraku’s, the best Ramen place in Konoha and Naruto’s daily lunch haunt.
“Ahem.” Sakura cleared her throat, deliberately. “Making me feel like a third wheel, guys.”
“Sorry, Sakura-chan!” Naruto grinned, rubbing a hand at the back of his head.
“’s okay,” she said. “Anyway, what did I expect, right?” she asked rhetorically, “The mom was a complete crazy. Why should the son be any better?”
“Eh, I don’t know, Sakura-chan,” Naruto drawled. “I’ve seen these people a couple times. They don’t seem so bad.” Hinata slurped her Ramen in a non committal way.
“Where did you see them?”
“This charity thing.” Naruto’s father was the ex-mayor, and a mentor to the one next in running. All his life, he’d been running around in elite circles, and his dream, was to one day, lead the City himself. They’d met in their second year of College, in a Food and Nutrition minor, which she’d taken as a hobby, and he’d taken because there were no more vacancies in any other classes and he’d desperately needed the credit hours. It was the start of a beautiful friendship. In their third year, they’d met Hinata at a party at one of the frat houses. She’d been terrified and tripping. They’d delivered her home. Somewhere along the way, numbers had been exchanged and well—the rest was history.
Now Naruto and Hinata were engaged to be married, hopelessly in love, and the three of them were an inseparable team.
“Well, looks can be deceiving,” she declared, closing the lid of her lunch box and slipping it into her bag.
Naruto made a face. “Augh, when will you stop eating that crap?”
“It’s called a salad. And it’s healthy!” she snapped, leaning across the table and bopping him on the head. “Hinata, would you please make him eat healthy for me?”
Hinata smiled, unsure, and pink. “Um…”
“Don’t bring Hinata-chan into this!”
“Then don’t mess with me!”
They all smiled at each other, then Naruto burst out laughing again and Hinata’s eyes got all soft. Sakura beamed at them with pride. It was a good lunch.
What Sasuke knew of hospitals, he knew from his annual check up’s, and those, he avoided as best as he could. As if apologizing was not excruciating enough, there was the added agony of figuring out where, when and how to find her.
The receptionist was busy fielding calls all over the station, and his boot was tapping impatiently on the floor. After what felt like an hour, but was only a few minutes, the lady behind the desk finally turned to him. “What can I do for you?”
“I’d like make an appointment with Dr. Haruno Sakura,” he stated.
The woman raised her eye brows, then consulted a digital tablet propped up on the side. She was a stern faced lady, probably in her fourties, and the way she held herself demanded respect. “Are you sure, she’s the one, honey?”
“Then you’ll have to wait a while. You can’t make appointments with residents and they don’t get a break until their Attending’s say so. And this one will be in the OR for a while.”
“Oh.” He didn’t know what to do. He definitely wasn’t going to wait on her. Aside from the fact that his pride would take a considerable bruise, he had a company meeting to attend in an hour. This tête–à–tête was supposed to be nothing but a bland apology anyway; he might as well have a fruit basket sent in his stead. He decided to do just that. “Would she be able to receive a delivery here?”
Sakura stared at the gorgeous fruit basket waiting for her at the Nursing Station. Behind her, Ino let out an impressed whistle. Sakura rubbed at her eyes tiredly. “Who sent it, your Grandma?”
“My grandma is dead.”
“Oh. Sorry,” she said, not sounding sorry at all. Sakura had met Ino, her first day at KM. Ino had promptly declared them rivals. And over the years, from their rivalry had blossomed something akin to friendship. Ino was flippant, fierce and incredibly beautiful, with eyes the color of mountain mist and hair like the winter sun. Sakura loved her like the sister she’d never had.
“Who’s it from?”
“Come on!” Ino whined.
She was also incredibly nosy.
“It was misdelivered, probably,” she shrugged. “Who would send out a fruit basket. No one in my family died.”
Ino looked dubious.
“I’ll send it back to the return address. Wanna come?”
“No way. Got a hot date.” Ino grinned, then looked at the clock behind the Station. “Which, I’ll be fashionably late to,” she winked. “See you later.” She gave Sakura a slap on the back, and ran off.
As soon as her footsteps died, Sakura fished out the note she’d crumpled up into her Scrubs. One word, written in a neat cursive that made her want to punch a crater in the floor.
Apologies, it read, signed U.S. Uchiha Sasuke. Apologies, along with a fruit basket. All she saw was a fat check and a figurative slap on the face.
She sent it back to the return address.
Itachi was there, when the basket got delivered to his apartment. The once magnificent fruit it carried was wilted and sad looking. The note he’d so meticulously attached was crumpled up and carelessly tossed inside. He picked it up, smoothed it out and frowned.
Fuck you, it said in an untidy scrawl.
Itachi, who’d been reading behind his shoulder, chuckled softly. “Who?”
“The girl mother set me up with.”
“Obviously not,” he snapped. “Spit it out Itachi.”
“How did it go?”
“Then why did you send her…that?”
Sasuke closed his eyes and took a deep, calming breath. “I may have—unintentionally—offended her.”
Itachi didn’t ask how, and Sasuke was grateful. The two of them moved to the living room. “Mother told me about this girl,” said Itachi.
Sasuke threw him a wounded look. “And you let her?”
Itachi gave him half a smile. They were both silent for a while, Itachi looking intently at the TV screen and Sasuke at the note.
After a lengthy pause, Itachi said, “Sasuke?”
“Do you—have you—thought about who you would marry?”
Sasuke gave him a strange look. Itachi had come out to their parents during his last year of high school. Things had not at all turned out as he’d thought they would. Itachi was the kind of person who planned ahead—he had contingency plans for contingency plans, so when Mikoto only giggled and Fugaku patted him on the back awkwardly, to say he was a tiny bit blindsided and a little shell shocked would’ve been an understatement. He’d only ever planned, keeping in mind the conservative side of the Uchiha.
Now, years later, he was working at the Uchiha Corp, and living downtown with his boyfriend, Deidara. Things had been strained between them.
“No,” he replied. “I haven’t.”
“Then, please do,” Itachi said courteously. He had always been impossibly polite.
“I—Sasuke,” he sat a little straighter, “I think, that soon, Father might give you—a choice.”
Sasuke raised his brow. “For?”
“And I believe,” he continued, “that if you have as little choice as you do in the matter, you should consider Mother’s option.”
Sasuke thought about what Itachi had told him.
On one hand it didn’t matter, because no matter what happened, the bottom line was that he didn’t have a choice. On the other hand, his mother’s alternative wasn’t exactly attractive. But he knew that if—when—Fugaku gave him a choice, it would be for a marriage of convenience; where convenience was the betterment of the company.
What it came down to was, whose judgment he trusted most. Mother or Father. While he counted on his father to understand what life was, he knew his mother understood what love was. And his mother had always known what was best for her children.