Hansen was such a kind man! He agreed for her to stay with him until she found a job. Moreover, he was willing to help her get one. Not just any waitress or cleaner job, but a respectable one where she would be paid a lot of money. He even suggested, employing her as his personal secretary, but she refused.
Sydney did not want to divert from her field. She was an actress and will only take a job in that field.
The first couple of days she spent at his place, she searched through newspapers and the internet, and wrote down every audition date she found. Then when her ankle healed, she went to all the auditions but unfortunately got none because most of the judges demanded that she pay money, or strip naked. One man even demanded for sex, which she refused and then ran out of there.
Sydney came out of the building, heart pounding and sweat covering her forehead. Now she believed what her director had once told her, that a pretty face and good acting skills would not get you a role in the big city. It was all about bribes, connections and sex.
Never! She thought and then held her bag tightly to herself.
As she headed towards the gate, she wondered what she would do now. This morning when she was leaving the house, she assured Hansen that she would move out of his place by the end of the week. That was because she was positive about getting this role, but look how it turned out: very bad.
Sydney released her hair from its bondage. It fell down her back and she rushed her fingers through it in frustration. At this stage, she was considering that waiter job at the coffee shop, or the cleaner job or any other job that comes with being paid.
Oh dear God, show me the way. Send me a sign that everything will be okay. She prayed, while reaching the roadside.
A black Bugatti suddenly appeared from the corner and came cruising down the street. Some girls who were standing around gasped at the beauty of the car. A few of them brought out their phones and started taking pictures as it came to a stop right in front of Sydney.
The glasses rolled down to reveal a very handsome looking Anderson, sitting behind the wheel. He was wearing a black shirt underneath a black leather jacket, black jeans with matching black sneakers and a pair of dark shades over his blue eyes. His golden hair was nicely combed and a well-defined jawline was on full display. One of his hands was on the steering wheel and a golden watch was clasped around it, while the other was lying on his lap.
Anderson slowly and purposely took off his glasses and his blue eyes met hers. Sydney had never seen a person wear so much black and still looked so beautiful.
A smirk formed on his lips and then he said. “Hello, need a lift?”
Sydney clutched her bag tighter and then replied. “Thank you, but Hansen is coming for me.”
“He won’t be able to make it.” Anderson said and grinned wider. “That’s why he sent me.” He opened the door and stepped out, his figure towering over hers.
“He really isn’t coming?” She asked and he nodded. “Alright, let’s go.” He guided her to the other side of the car and opened the door for her. He closed it as soon as she was inside and then walked to his side.
The girls standing around gasped and smiled at him, but he did not even spare them a glance. When he was seated behind the wheel, he corked his head to the side to look at her.
“Am going to have lunch, do you want to come with?” He flashed her, another smile.
“Thank you but…”
“But nothing. I want to give you a treat.”
“A treat?” Sydney locked gazes with him and went further. “No, I should be treating you to something for saving my life, not the other way round.”
“Alright, I won’t insist. But I want to know, what will you do for me if I were to ask for a treat?”
Sydney tore her gaze away from his and then thought about it. She planned to get him a gift, but then realized that a gift would not be enough to show her gratitude to him for saving her life.
“I’d like to find some way of expressing my gratitude to you but I don’t know how.” She replied honestly and then he smiled.
“I know how you can repay your gratitude to me, by doing me a favor.”
Anderson looked away from her now and then focused on the road. They were still parked by the roadside. Sydney saw that he was deep in thought and then wondered what he could possibly be thinking about. A few agonizing moments past before he returned to her.
“Sydney, don’t think of this as a payment to me for saving you, but as a favor for a friend. I won’t force you if you don’t want to, but you will really be helping me if you do.”
“Okay, okay don’t worry.” She said.
“I would like you to marry me.”
Sydney’s eyes bulged and her jaw dropped. “Marry you!” She gasped.
Anderson nodded. He had thought over this for some days now, ways he would be able to get her to say yes to marrying him and just this morning, he figured it out. He just hoped it worked, because he really needed her help ASAP.
“I’m… I’m sorry Anderson. I… I can’t marry you.” She stuttered.
“It’s not going to be anything serious.” He said and reached for her hand. He was a little surprised to find her hands very soft and smallish in his palms. They were warm also. “My dad is seriously ill and he wants to see me get married because he doesn’t have much time left.”
Sydney’s face wrinkled into worry as she stared at him. “It’s just going to be an act. We will pretend to be a couple and get married for a year. I know am asking for something big…”
“Yes it is.” She said.
“Please consider it.”
“I don’t know.” She looked down at her laps. “I don’t sound like a very good idea. I mean we will be deceiving a sick man!”
Anderson fought the urge to roll his eyes. He understood that she was worried about his father, but he did not give a damn about that old man. If that man should die today, he would not even shed a tear for him. The horrible things he had done to him were unforgivable.
“Sydney,” he gently squeezed her hand and she returned her gaze to him. “You are an actress right?” She nodded. “Then I will help you.”
“No, Anderson you have already helped me enough and… and…”
“And I want to help you more if you agree to help me too.” Dammit, he did not like what he was doing right now. He was lying and manipulating her into agreeing to it, but what could her do? He wanted her to be his wife!
“Anderson.” The way his name rolled out of her tongue made it sound cute. He liked it.
“Sydney, just think about it. I am the son of a very rich man. I have connections in this city. You will gain popularity if people hear that you will be marrying me. It will give you the exposure you need to put yourself out there.”
It was a good thing Hansen told him about her passion for acting. All he had to do was use that to convince her.
Sydney’s brows arched and she looked pensive. She was subconsciously biting her lips and fidgeting with her fingers. Anderson found himself staring at her pink lips, which surprisingly looked beautiful. She raised a hand to tuck her hair behind her ear and his gaze followed it.
He noticed that she was wearing small pink earrings and a thin shinny necklace, which dropped into her flowery blouse, right between her cleavage. His eyes quickly darted away from her chest and then fell on her plush dark hair.
“How long do we have to pretend?” Her question brought his eyes up from her hair to her eyes.
“One year and don’t worry we’ll make a contract with terms and conditions.” He replied and then leant back in his seat. “You can ask for anything you want.”
“One year with a contract.” She mumbled.
Anderson continued to watch her. He knew she was battling with herself right now, so he hopes she says yes. And just as he hoped, she replied.