Corporate Bride

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CHAPTER 10

HANSEN’S POV

He was getting nowhere with finding Sydney. He searched everywhere and still had no information about her. Now he just finished speaking with Attorney Greg on the phone. He wanted him to hire a private detective to find Sydney.

It was very crucial at this moment that he found her, because Anderson had just agreed to the marriage.

The doorbell resonated through the house and he went to get it. He was stunned when he saw Anderson and Sydney, together at his threshold. So many questions and words raced through his mind and the only thing he could voice out was:

“You found her!”

His brother’s confused expression suddenly turned to shock and Sydney’s sweet smile turned into confusion. That instant, he knew that Anderson just found out the woman he was carrying, was the same woman they thought were missing. However, Sydney did not seem to know that her carrier was the man she was supposed to be at war with.

“Can we come in?” Sydney spoke to break the silence that had fallen between them.

“Yes, please come in.” He stood aside and Anderson brought her inside. The brothers exchanged looks as they headed into the living room.

Anderson placed Sydney into a chair and then sat down in the one next to her. “Sydney, where have you been? I searched everywhere for you.” Hansen asked while kneeling in front of her and taking her hand.

“I was in trouble, but then Anderson saved me.” She replied and glanced at him. Now Hansen was sure that she had no idea who Anderson was. Or that they were brothers.

The brother’s exchanged glances but did not say anything. “It’s a good thing that he saved you. Anderson is a very good person.” Hansen replied and then Sydney looked between the two.

“You know each other?” She gasped.

“Yes. He’s uh… a very good friend.”

Hansen quickly glanced at his brother and signaled him to play along with it. Anderson’s brows arched in annoyance, but he did not refuse it. They knew they had to keep the fact that they were brothers away from her.

“Oh, I didn’t know.” Sydney glanced at Anderson who shrugged. “Then I guess it’s a good thing.”

“Yes.” Hansen agreed. “Anderson can you please meet me in the kitchen? Please excuse us Sydney.”

The brothers moved to the kitchen and after the door closed behind them, Anderson was the first to speak. “Please don’t tell me it’s her!”

“It is her!” Hansen declared and then Anderson groaned.

“How could it be her? I met her at the party last night.”

“After you refused her, she was angry. And I mean very angry. She was so angry that she wanted to leave. But I asked her to attend the party and meet you. You know, to see if she can try to change your mind. That’s why she was there.” Hansen said and then looked towards the door as if Sydney might try to sneak up on them.

When the coast was clear, he lowered his voice and spoke. “Anderson you can’t tell her that you’re the same person who rejected her before. And she can’t find out that we’re brothers either.”

Anderson huffed. “And why not?”

“For instance, she will refuse to play your wife and then you’ll have to marry Kathleen.”

“No I won’t!”

Anderson’s reply somewhat surprised Hansen and he began to wonder what made his brother change his mind about marrying Kathleen when he had no problem with it a few hours ago. Anyway, he was not going to ask because he did not want him changing his mind again.

“So dear brother, your bride is sitting there in the living room. What are you going to do?”

ANDERSON’S POV

Even after so many hours, he had not found the answer to that question.

“So dear brother, your bride is sitting there in the living room. What are you going to do?”

He had no idea what to do. He had wanted to tell her that he was the same man who rejected her the first time, but after Hansen reminded him of the possibility that she might refuse when she found out, he became confused as to what to do.

Sighing, he leant back in his leather couch and raked his fingers through his golden curls, making them fall all over his face. He was in a tight corner here. Anderson so wanted to make his mother mad by marrying someone who was not of high class and social standards.

Mary underestimated him to the point that she thought he would not notice what she was doing. That woman was so obsessed with keeping the family image intact and making them look so perfect in the public eye, that she was willing to do anything to keep it clean. It was pathetic.

Anderson never cared about their darn family image, because he knew no one was perfect. He just wished Mary could see it.

The doorbell suddenly echoed through the walls, startling him out of his thoughts. Getting up from the chair, he half walked and half dragged himself all the way to the door. As soon as he opened it, he saw Kathleen.

A smile formed on his lips when he saw her. She was wearing a red figure hugging, knee-length dress, with a low cut neck. Her hair was straight and fell on her shoulders and back. Her lips were a bright red color and her heels black. In her hand was a bottle of champagne and a sweet smile was tugged at the corner of her lips.

“Do you have time for a drink?” She asked and he let her in.

“To what do I owe this visit?” Anderson went and sat on the couch while stretching his hands on the headrest.

Kathleen sat down next to him and her dress completely contrasted with the color of the couch and the room at large. “This is how I want to apologize, for leaving an announced and…”

“And returning an announced.” Anderson cut in and she chuckled.

“Come on, don’t be mad. I am back now and it’s for good.” She said as her grey eyes locked with his blue ones.

“Okay, apology accepted.” He said and then she hugged him.

When they separated, she asked. “So where are the glasses?”

The duo popped the champagne and as they drank, they talked. She asked if he had been a good boy after she left and he told her how he caused even more trouble.

Kathleen was a close friend who knew his ins and outs very well. She knew him more than his own mother did and she was always with him when he caused trouble.

Kathleen had always been daddy’s little princess and treated like an egg. However, Anderson wanted to break that shell and show her that life was not always about following what daddy says. He was sure her moving away was because her daddy did not want her to be influenced by the Niles’ prodigal son. Anyway, they had had their fun already.

They talked until late at night. And throughout their conversation, they did not mention anything about their engagement. However, Anderson wanted to talk about it and until finally, he brought it up.

“So we are supposed to be engaged huh?”

Kathleen, who was laughing at one of his tales, suddenly stopped and looked at him. She placed her glass on the table, next to the other empty three bottles of champagne before replying.

“Yes, we are.”

“So what are your thoughts on it? Do you want to marry the Niles’ prodigal son?” He asked.

“Well,” she began. “We have been friends for a long time and we know each other very well, we both aren’t huge fans of relationships so I think we will make a good couple.”

Anderson laughed, much to her bewilderment. “Good couple?” He said and laughed even more. “Don’t you think we’ll make a bad coupe instead? I mean, as you said we are both not fans of relationships, but I know you. Although you try not to look like a hopeless romantic, you are a huge one.”

“Where did you get that idea?”

“I know you, Kathleen. You want a relationship and everything that comes with it.”

“No I don’t.” She snapped, looking away from him, something she usually does when she did not want to admit the truth.

“Yes you do. Kathleen, I love you very much and I want you to be happy. And marrying me won’t make you happy, you know that.”

“What makes you so sure?” She turned to face him, forehead creasing with anger.

Anderson was taken aback by her sudden anger. This was not the Kathleen he used to know. Where was that girl who used to fight everybody for the things she wanted, including her father who she never disobeys?

“So you are willing to jeopardize your chance of being happy with someone who truly loves you, by marrying me?” He asked. “I won’t let you ruin your life, Kathleen.”

“So you’re not going to marry me and lose your inheritance?” She asked.

“I see Mary has told you already. Since when did you two become such good friends?”

“It doesn’t matter how we became friends. The important thing here is that your inheritance is at stake. I want to help you.” She reached for his hand across the dining table.

“Thank you very much Kathleen but I can help myself.” He also took her hand in his and then added. “Please forget about marrying me. I can fix this problem on my own.”

Anderson wanted so desperately not to hurt Kathleen with this rejection. He did not want them to stop being friends after this. She was a good person and deserved a good break-up, sort of. He locked gazes with her hoping she would understand his fight for her happiness.

Kathleen closed her eyes as her head hung low and then what she said next made him smile.

“Fine, I’ll see what I can do.”

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