Corporate Bride

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“Mother,” Hansen came rushing to her when she entered Anderson’s room. He quickly threw his arms around her in an embrace. Mary put her hand on his nape and patted his back gently. “Anderson is not well.” He said, pulling away to look into her face.

Mary’s heart sank when she saw the tears in his eyes. She did not like seeing him in tears because it made her want to cry too. “Hansen, don’t worry.” She said. “It’s only a fever and the doctor says it is nothing serious.” She tried to console him. “Come here. Let me give you a hug.” She held out her arms, but he did not step into them.

“I don’t think I should be the one you should console.” He pointed to Anderson who was sleeping on the hospital bed, hooked up to machines. “Your son is in pain right now. You should be with him.” His words tugged at her heartstrings and brought tears to her eyes. She bit down on her lip to stop her from screaming that she did not care about Anderson, that he was all that mattered to her. Her real son was hurting and she could not even hold him in her arms.

“Yes,” she gasped, a tear running down her cheek. “You are right.” She choked out the words and turned away from Hansen. Each step she took towards the bed was difficult because she really did not want to see him. When she pulled out a chair and sat down, she glanced at Hansen and found him staring. Slowly, she tore her gaze away from him and reached out her hand, touching Anderson’s forehead with it. His head shifted away from her and her hand landed on the pillow with a soft thud. A frowned creased her forehead. Even in his sleep, he still was being rude to her.

“I will leave you alone now.” Hansen said.

Mary’s gaze moved to him again, and she asked. “Where are you going?”

His jaw tightened, as he replied with a frown, “To find Sydney.”

Mary bolted out of the chair in alarm. “What?” She gasped, fear gripping her. “Why are you going to look for that woman?”

“I don’t have time to explain.” He left the room before she could object to it.

Mary quickly rushed out after him, catching up with him before he turned into the next corridor. “Hansen, you are going nowhere.” She said, sternly.

He stopped abruptly, turning around to face her. “And why not?” He asked, folding his arms. “Tell me why I should not go and look for that woman.” He demanded.

Mary knew why he should not go looking for Sydney. She knew why he should not go, because she was afraid… afraid that Sydney would reveal everything to him. That woman was just as sly as her mother was. They knew when to use information to get what they want and if she wants to ruin her family, she could choose to reveal everything to Hansen. It would be a disaster if he found out that he really was not adopted, because she switched him with Anderson, and she was his real mother.

Mary fears he would hate her that is why she had not yet revealed the truth to him. She wants to tell him the truth, but it was very difficult. She did not know how she would start, or how he would react when she told him she did everything for his sake. How would he take it when she told him she was thinking about his future when she exchanged him with someone else’s baby? She doubts he would be happy to learn that she did everything so he would be the heir to a billion-dollar company left by Anderson’s real mother, because he loved his brother a lot.

“It doesn’t matter what you say. I am still going to look for her and I will demand an explanation from her!” Hansen’s words brought her out of her thoughts and she reached for his hand.

“Hansen, don’t!” She gasped. Trying so desperately to make him stay, she said the first thing that came to her mind. “Who will look after your brother when you are gone?”

“He is your son, go look after him and I will be right back.” Without those words, he removed his hand from her grasp and continued his way down the hallway to the elevator.

As she stood there and watched him wait for the elevator, more tears slipped out of her eyes and fell down her face. She wished he would stop referring to Anderson as her son because every time he said it, she felt desolate. Moreover, she saw the pain in his eyes because he thinks he does not have a mother.

Hansen burst out of the hospital doors and found himself in front of millions of flashes and microphones. Journalists bombarded him with questions, but he ignored them, as he did not really have time to comment on anything. Pushing his way through the crowd, he reached his car and sat inside. Still the persistent journalists did not leave him alone. When he started the engine, they knew he would not give them any information, so they went back to the front door.

He was on a highway within minutes, heading to Sydney’s town. He knew that they would be in their old house because Anderson had paid off the debt they owed and even paid their rent for a year. There was no doubt in his mind that they would be home.

When he got there, he quickly turned off the engine of his car and got out. Hansen knocked hard on the front door and waited. Footsteps moved inside the house before it open. He was not too surprised when he saw the shocked expression on Adeline’s face. However, he did not give her the chance to react to his presence and walked inside the house without permission. He stood in the middle of the living room, hands on his hips.


“I want to see Sydney.” He interjected her, while looking around.

“No.” Adeline said. “You can’t see her.”

“Tell her to come out here, or unless you want me to go and find her myself.” He moved towards the kitchen.

“Young man, you have no right to come in here without permission and wonder around. This is not your house!” Adeline frowned, following him into the kitchen.

Hansen walked back to the living room when it was empty. Turning about, he faced Adeline and spoke. “I don’t care, call her for me.” He insisted.

“Get out of here before I call the police.” Adeline pointed to the door, but he did not move a muscle.

“I am not leaving here until I speak to her.” He went to make himself comfortable on the sofa and folded his arms.

“You have no…”

“Mother,” Sydney’s voice interrupted whatever Adeline was going to say.

Upon hearing her voice, Hansen jumped on his feet and turned in the direction of the voice. He saw her closing the door of a room and advanced into the living room. She was clad in her wedding gown and he stared as it was the first time he was seeing her in her dress. It looked exquisite on her and there was no doubt she would have made a beautiful bride. Indeed, she would have made a beautiful bride if only she had not runaway.

“Sydney, go back to bed.” Adeline said and she replied.

“No, I want to speak to him. Please leave us alone.” Adeline was about to refuse, but she pleaded. “Please, mother.” Glancing at Hansen for the last time, she disappeared in the room Sydney had just walked out from.

Now alone, Sydney approached Hansen. He saw her red eyes and stained makeup, and then knew she had been crying too. She looked broken and that baffled him. She ran off, so why was she hurting? If she decided not to marry Anderson, she should not be crying. It angered him to know that she had been crying for something she did. However, it also saddened him because it showed she cared about Anderson.

Sydney stopped a few meters away, looking anywhere but at him. “I am here. Say whatever you came to say.”

“I…” he took a step towards her, his anger returning. “…came to tell you that…” he was now in front of her, looking down at her with so much resentment. “… I am disappointed in you. I did not expect this from you. I did not expect that you could be so heartless. How could you hurt the man who loves you with all his heart?” He wanted her to look at him while he spoke, but her gaze was on the floor and it was getting on his nerves. Taking her chin between his thumb and index finger, he forced her to look at him. When her saw tears running down her face, he dropped her chin.

Why was she crying? She was not supposed to be crying. She was supposed to shut up and listen to him without shedding any tears. Her tears were only making him feel worse than he already was. Sydney threw a hand over her mouth to suppress a wail and he could not stop himself from throwing his arms around her.

“Sydney,” he breathed. “Why? Why did you do this?” He whispered into her hair.

“I…” she spoke into his chest. Hansen pulled back, placed his hands on her shoulders and said.

“Please tell me. If it is something that can be fixed then I will help you.”

“No, it can’t.” She snuffled. “The damage has already been done, just leave it that way. It’s for the best.”

“For the best?” Hansen’s anger was back. “Breaking off a wedding is never for the best. Look at you. You look like a zombie. And Anderson is no better either.”

“Please leave, I do not want to continue talking.” She turned to leave, but he grabbed her forearm, spinning her about to face him.

“Sydney, please don’t let me think the worse of you.” He pleaded.

“But you already have.” She told him. Jerking her arm from his grip, she added. “Please leave.”

“So this is who you really are?” She stopped at his words. “You are even worse than the other girls. At least for them, I knew they wanted the money. However, you, you made him do everything you asked but you let him down. You did nothing for him!”

“Stop it!” Sydney screamed, as she felt hurt by his words.

“He stuck to his part of the deal, but you did not! You runaway as soon as you got everything you wanted; the money, the house, a sober family and the popularity. You are selfish!”

“Shut up!” He fell silent at once at her yell. “You do not know why I called off the wedding, so you have no right to judge me!” Angry tears rushed out of her eyes and she wiped it away with her sleeve.

“Then tell me why you called it off!” He demanded. “Tell me so I won’t misjudge you!”

“I found out something that would not let us be together.” Her voice lowered into a whisper and she looked at her feet.

“Tell me. What is it?” His voice was low as he begged. “Please.”

Sydney looked at him, unsure if it was right to tell him. His mother had committed a huge crime against humanity. She did not know if he would believe her if, she even told him. Would he believe it if she told him he was not adopted? That his mother was Mary?

“I can’t.” She stepped back.

Hansen’s patience was slowly wearing out. All he wants was, to hear her reason for skipping her own wedding. However, she was not telling him and that was exasperating. “Sydney,”

“Hansen, please. Go away.”

“Alright. I will leave, but know that…” A memory suddenly flashed through his mind before he could finish the sentence.

He remembered the dinner they had together with the parents. He recalled Mary had insulted and disgraced her. She had made her cry that night. Also, he heard from Kathleen that Mary was the last person Sydney saw. Blinking, he snapped back to reality.

“It’s Mary, isn’t it?” Hansen asked.

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