Anderson paced the corridor anxiously, stopping every now and then to rake his fingers through his hair. They were at the hospital and he was waiting for news from the doctors, about the condition of his bride-to-be.
Almost instantly, a doctor came out of the emergency room and met him. After raining questions on the man, he replied with only one statement, which got him thinking. “She fainted from shock.”
Anderson stood at the spot, wondering what might have caused her shock. Was it the wedding? Shaking his head, he dismissed that thought. Sydney was excited for their wedding, she told him herself, and he saw it in her eyes too. Could it be her mother’s condition worrying her?
“The patient is also stressed.” His pupils dilated, but the doctor quickly added. “Don’t worry, she will be fine. All she needs is to rest. You can see her now.” The doctor led the way and he followed.
While they went, Anderson could not help but feel guilty for her condition. He has seen how she had been distracted these fast few days. He has seen how she was not active and did not smile much, but he did nothing about it. Damn! He should have insisted that she tell him what was wrong with her. He should not have forgotten about it when she asked him to, now look where they ended up. He could have done better.
When Anderson entered Sydney’s room and saw her unconscious figure on the bed, his heart ached. He went straight to take her hand in his. “I am sorry, Sydney.” At those words, her lashes fluttered open. Glassy eyes looked at him and he added. “Sydney, what is wrong. Please tell me.”
A tear slipped out from the corner of her eyes, while she gave his hand a gentle squeeze. Sydney knew she has to tell someone. Someone has to know what was going on, because the burden on her was too much. She knew a secret that was too great to bear alone, but she was afraid that he might not believe her.
“Sydney,” Anderson leaned down and gave her a hug. “Everything will be alright, okay? Don’t worry.” He assured her.
“It’s just too hard.” Her voice trembled with emotion.
He held her closer, trying to tell her that he was here for her. He was not going to let her suffer alone. No, he would ask her until she told him what was bothering her. Just like that, a painful thought crossed his mind. “Don’t you want us to get married?” He raised him to look into her eyes.
“No,” she said. “I want us to get married.” A small smile formed on her lips.
“Are you sure?” He asked. “I don’t want it to be as if I am forcing you to marry me. If you do not want to marry me, just say it.” The muscles in his jaws were prominent now. It hurt him by saying this, but he needed to know if she really wanted this.
They had agreed to forget the contract and just marry for real. However, he feels like he has forced her into agreeing to it, because she had not wanted to at first. He would never forgive himself if she feels even slightly pressured about their marriage. “So, tell me?”
“Anderson, how could you ask me something like that?” Another tear slipped out of the corner of her eye as she locked gazes with him. “Of course I want to marry you… and it’s not because I am being pressured to, no. I am doing it because I… I love you.”
A grin formed on Anderson’s lips, at her words and he placed his forehead against hers. Whispering slowly, so she heard every syllable, he said. “I love you too.” He pressed his lips on hers afterwards.
“Aw, isn’t that sweet?” A voice interrupted them almost instantly and Anderson was forced to end the kiss, which he was not too happy about. Raising himself to his full length, he spun around and frowned at his brother, who was standing at the door.
“What do you want?” He grumbled, while folding his arms.
“I came to see my sister-in-law. In case you have forgotten, she passed out at the wedding rehearsal.” Hansen closed the door behind him and entered the room. “Everyone is worried about the bride and wants to know if the wedding will still take place tomorrow.” He was now standing by the bed, smiling down at Sydney. “How are you doing dear?”
Before she could answer, Anderson spoke up. “Of course the wedding will still go on as planned. And tell everyone not to worry because she is fine. The doctor says she only needs to rest and she will be fine.”
As Sydney stared at Hansen, she could not help but feel sorry for him. Her mind kept playing to her Adeline’s confession and tears rushed into her eyes. Why did they do that to this poor boy? She thought bitterly. His mother must be in pain right now. Only God knows how much she had suffered when her son was gone.
“Hey, Sydney what’s wrong?” Hansen cooed, gently stroking her hand.
“Uh… these are tears of joy.” She smiled. “My wedding is tomorrow!”
“Yes, it is.” Hansen said, pecking her cheek. “That’s why you have to get better and come attend it.” She nodded.
“Hansen,” Sydney called.
“Can I give you a hug?” She asked and he nodded.
When she wrapped her arms around him, she promised him silently that, she would find his real mother. The doctor soon entered afterwards to discharge her, but he advised that she get a lot of rest to be able to get the strength to attend her wedding tomorrow.
Hansen was first to leave. He was going back to the rehearsal to give everyone the good news that the bride was fine, while Anderson took Sydney to the Alistair mansion, where she would sleep and prepare for the wedding tomorrow. David, Rose and Kathleen were there to welcome her. Kathleen showed her to the guest room and Sydney quickly took a shower, changed into a nightgown and laid down.
As she lay in bed waiting to fall asleep, many thoughts crossed her mind. Most of them were about Hansen and how she would find his real mother. Then a thought, occurred to her- she could ask her mother about it. Of course, she would know since she helped in stealing him.
Almost instantly, her phone vibrated on the bedside table. Switching on the bedside lamp, she took her phone. The name of Mary glowed on the screen. Her heart gave a thud as she stared at it, contemplating whether to answer it or not. On a second thought, she did. Swiping the screen, she pressed the phone to her ear and braced herself for another round of threats. “Hello.”
“This is your last chance, do not marry my son. Leave him if you do not want anything to happen to your mother.”
Sydney gasped, throwing a palm over her mouth. “You can’t hurt her.” Her voice shook slightly.
Mary let out a laugh one could mistake for a witch’s, but then again, for Sydney, she was a witch. “Yes, I can. You want to know why, because I have her with me.”
“You are kidding.”
“I never kid, dear. And I never make empty threats either. Do not marry Anderson and you can keep your mother, marry him and she is a goner. And oh, I almost forgot of that other one_ it is Caleb, isn’t it? By the way, have you seen him for a while now? No, that’s because I have him.” With those words, she hung up.
Sydney quickly scrolled through her contacts, searching for the name of the doctor taking care of Adeline. When she found it, she dialed his number countless times but he did not answer. Pushing the covers away, she got out of bed.
She entered the bathroom and put on her rehearsal dress, then walked out of the room. The hallway was quiet and she held her shoes in her hands so she would not wake anyone. Silently, she snuck her way down the stairs and just as she was about to reach the front door, a voice spoke, startling her to a stop.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
Turning around, she saw Kathleen standing at the top of the staircase. She was still in the dress she wore to the wedding rehearsal, and her hands were on her hips. “I asked where you were going.” She started her way down the stairs.
“I am going out.” Sydney replied.
“More like sneaking out.” Kathleen raised a brow. “Why are you sneaking out around…” she glanced at the watch around her hand, “… twelve AM in the morning? Where are you going on your wedding day?”
“Oh, wait, are you running away?” Kathleen gasped. “You are not freaking out because of the wedding are you?”
“No, no. It’s not about the wedding.” Now Kathleen was right in front her.
“Then where are you going?” She asked.
“I am going to see my mother.”
“Around this time? I don’t think the doctors will let you see her.” Kathleen put her hands on Sydney’s shoulders and spun her around. “Come, let’s get you to bed. You need to rest.” She was leading her towards the staircase, but Sydney broke out of her arms.
“No, I must go now. I have to see her.” Her voice broke at the end of her sentence and then Kathleen sighed. “My mother won’t be at the wedding, so I want to see her before that.”
“But you can go tomorrow morning.”
“There will be no time.” There was silence afterwards. “Please, let me go.” Sydney begged.
Kathleen groaned. “Anderson will kill me if he hears that I let you leave late in the night. But I don’t care.” She smiled. “I will take you to see your mother.”
Sydney thanked her while they made their way out of the house. They got into Kathleen’s Porsche and she whizzed out of the compound. In less than an hour, they got to the hospital. While Kathleen parked the car, Sydney noticed police personnel at the entrance.
“What is going on?” She asked herself.
They stepped out of the car and headed towards the door. As they approached it, she saw her mother’s doctor talking to the police officers. He saw her too and then came up to them.
“Miss Whyte,” he said with a worried look on his face.
“Is something wrong?” She asked. “What happened to my mother?” Her heart skipped a beat when the doctor’s facial expression changed.
“Adeline Whyte escaped.” His words hit her like a sledgehammer and she stumbled backwards, and then crouched to the ground. “It happened this morning. She attacked two nurses and injured the security guard when he tried to stop her. The police are looking for her. We have sent out posters and have people looking for her. Don’t worry, we will find her very soon.”
“Someone’s mother went missing since morning and you didn’t think to call her!” Kathleen yelled at the doctor. “What kind of hospital is it? Don’t you know your job?”
Sydney felt numb at that instant and her mind stopped registering everything that was happening around her. She felt like she would pass out again, so she stood up. Turning on her heels, she started walking towards the gates. She felt something grab her hand. When she turned, Kathleen was there.
She spoke some words, but Sydney heard nothing. All she could think of was her mother in the hands of Mary. That witch kidnapped her mother! Now what was she going to do to her?
Her phone vibrated in her hand and she raised it to look at the screen. Mary’s name was on it. Without hesitating, she answered it.
“I guess you now know what to do.” Mary said. “Get into the car outside the hospital and it’ll take you away from here, straight to your mother.”
Sydney looked and indeed, there was a black car outside the gate. Tears rushed into her eyes and fell out. She knew what this was. If she gets into the car, she would never see Anderson again. That woman would take her and her family out of town.
She felt hands on her shoulders, and then someone shook her. “Sydney, Sydney, can you hear me?” She blinked. “Sydney,” Kathleen cupped her face. “Are you with me?”
“Uh…” she mumbled.
“Come,” Kathleen led her to the car and helped her get in. “Stay here and I will speak to the doctor okay?” She only nodded and then Kathleen walked away.
Sydney looked into the rear-view mirror and saw the car still standing outside. She knew she has to make a choice right now- go with the car and see her mother and brother or stay here and marry the love of her life tomorrow, but lose her family. There was no thinking this over, her family was more important.
She opened the door to step out of the car, and then her phone rang. The number of the screen was unknown. Slowly, she swiped the screen and then put the phone to her ear.
“Sydney, Sydney, it’s me.” The voice was raspy and low, but she quickly recognized who it was. Her pupils dilated as she gasped.