He drove through the morning traffic all the way to Hansen’s private mansion. Last night, his brother called to inform him that he had found his bride. He did not believe it of course, that is why he was here to see her for himself.
Anderson pulled his black Bugatti into the parking space in the mansion and turned off the engine. He stepped out and after glancing around the compound, he knew there had been a party here last night.
Hansen and his mischievous ways. He thought with a long sigh.
After putting on his shades, he walked through the sea of disposable cups until he reached the front door. Without knocking, he pushed the door and entered. The sight that met him was disturbing. He had never seen so much destruction. The living room looked like a hurricane passed through it, but he knew better.
Taking the staircase, he went all the way to Hansen’s door and knocked once. Pushing it, he went inside and found his brother sandwiched between two girls. All of them were naked.
“Hansen, get up.” He said and moved to open the curtains. Sunlight poured into the room in horizontal lines, through the shutters. “Get up, I said.” He then opened the shutters and then light filled the whole room.
The girls groaned and then Hansen moved. “Anderson you’re too early.” Shifting to the edge of the bed, he found his boxers shorts and slipped his legs in them.
“You said you found her.” Anderson now faced his brother, arms folded.
“Yes, I did.” Hansen glanced behind him at one of the girls and then Anderson gasped.
“No. Don’t tell me it’s one of them.” He made a surprised face that caused Hansen to chuckle.
“No, it’s not. However, she is amazing. Bro you’ve got to meet her.”
“That’s why am here. Show me the girl who has sold herself to the devil.”
Hansen chuckled at Anderson’s description of himself but could not agree more. His brother could be a devil sometimes. “The devil, right?”
“Isn’t that what I am? At least isn’t that what mum thinks of me?”
Anderson looked out the window and thought about all the times his mother stared at him with so much spite when he did something bad. “Anyway, come on get dressed and let’s go meet her.”
Hansen spoke from the bathroom. “Oh no, not now.” He warned while squeezing toothpaste on his toothbrush. “I won’t let you meet her until you accept all her demands.”
Anderson turned on his heels and stomped into the bathroom. His face twitched with controlled anger as he asked. “What demands?”
Hansen who was brushing his teeth, glanced at him with an ’are-you-kidding-me look and shook his head. Removing the toothbrush from his mouth, he spoke with a mouthful of foam. “You want her to play your wife; of course you’re going to have to give her something in return.”
“Yeah, that’s why am paying her.” Anderson snapped.
“Oh she doesn’t want your money.” Hansen said after spitting the foam into the sink. He opened the tap and rinsed his toothbrush under it.
“What?” Anderson felt offended.
“She has set out some ground rules…”
“She has no right to do that! I am marrying her! I am the man of the house, so I make the rules.” He snapped while going red.
Anderson fisted his hands and glared at his brother, with brows arched. He could not believe the nerve of that girl. Who did she think she was, setting ground rules? Didn’t she know whom she was marrying? He was one of the hires to the NBC fortune -the chain of businesses, which Forbes magazine named as the richest in the world last year. If there are going to be some ground rules, he would be the one to set them up.
“Oh Anderson, you and your damned ego.” Hansen moved back to the bedroom.
“I don’t want to hate her already before I meet her, so please tell me what she said.” Anderson followed him, clenching and unclenching his fists.
“Let’s go to my study.”
They left the bedroom and the still sleeping naked woman and moved downstairs to Hansen’s study. It was the only place in the whole house that was left untouched. Anderson refused to sit even after Hansen asked him too. He was so angry he could not bring himself to be caged in some cushioned chair.
Hansen took out a file from his desk and handed it to his pacing brother.
Anderson quickly ripped it open and glanced through. As his eyes read its contents, Hansen watched him, nervously. He knew his brother would not be too happy with some of the demands on the paper. However, what could he have done? There were what Sydney wanted and frankly, he agreed with her on the terms.
“This is bullshit!” Anderson cursed and threw the file on the floor. “She wants me to find her an acting role? A place for her family to live? And… what? Her mother and brother to be sent to a rehab center and I pay the bills?”
“It’s only fair.”
“No, am not marrying a girl whose family are addicts! Hansen I cannot believe that the only girl you managed to find is a daughter of a drunk. You promised to find me the best girl there is who will not question MY EVERY WORD.” He yelled.
“Anderson,” Hansen sighed. “She is the best I could find.”
“Well your best is not enough.” He told him and turned to leave when Hansen yelled.
“She was the only girl I met who was not a gold-digger! She did not accept the offer right away even after we mentioned the money. Meanwhile, the other girls were already planning how to extort money from you after the marriage. She is a small town actress who lives a drunk and abusive family, but she still managed to make a name for herself, even if it is only known in her town. If you two get married…”
“I am not marrying some obnoxious drunk’s daughter.” With those words, he stormed out.
Later that night, NBC was having a farewell party for its founder and CEO, Mark Niles. The party was in celebration of his hard work and perseverance towards building the brand that is NBC. The company dealt in wine production and had produced some of the best wines the world has tasted. Other than that, they owned an airline that made international flights to all of the major cities across the globe. They also have shares in a production company that produces cars and this year they are set to unveil a new brand of car that would take the world by storm.
NBC was also committed in helping young entrepreneurs start their businesses by giving them the funds to expand. Therefore, they were not only making huge bucks, but also helping other make some as well.
As Alexander sat watching the host give a long boring speech about his father’s success, he wished he had not come. Everything there made him sick. From his sick father taking oxygen from a tank, to Mary, his mother clinging to her husband’s arm, to Hansen who was glaring at him as if he wanted to murder him.
“I don’t like her, so find me someone else.” He and Hansen had met again that evening at their parent’s home.
“She is the one. I am telling you. You will never find someone like her who does not want your money. It’s rare to find people like that these days, you know?” Hansen looked like some wild animal trying to control himself.
“I said no. I do not want some girl whose family are addicts. Have you thought of what it will do to the family’s image?”
“You more than anyone else knows how mother is about keeping the family’s image untainted.” He reminded his brother who groaned out in frustration.
“You’re talking about keeping the family image intact when you of all people, have done your part in tainting it.” Hansen told him and he flipped out, yelling back.
“That’s none of your damned business.”
Their parents arrived almost at the same time, giving them disapproving looks before they got in the limo and came straight to the party.
The crowd went into applause before Anderson snapped out of his thoughts. He glanced at the stage and saw his father there.
The old man began his speech and then Anderson rose from his chair. He exited the hall and went outside for fresh air, to clear his mind. As he moved around the building, he saw an older woman beating a younger one. The older one, who was speaking with so much anger, dragged the younger one by her hair.
If were a girl fight, he preferred not to get involved. However, it did not look like it. The younger girl was crying and he decided to get involved. He disliked it when women mistreated their fellow women.
“What is going on here?” He asked, upon arrival at the scene.
“You stay out of this if you don’t want to get your expensive suit ruined.” The older one warned and he only got more interested.
“No, I won’t stay out of this.” He said. “Now let go of the young lady, so you two will discuss whatever problem there is between you.”
“You don’t tell me what to do to my daughter.” The older woman yelled and continued to pull her hair.
The young woman screamed and then he had enough of begging. “You let her go right now or I’ll call security to throw you out.”
Immediately, she let her go and he knelt in front the young woman. She was crying uncontrollably and trembling in the process. Her hair was a mess, her clothes thorn and skin bruised.
“Hey, are you okay?” He asked softly, so as not to frighten her.
Her cries only soared and he glanced at the older woman, with eyes dark with rage. “She is your daughter! No matter what she has done, you have no right to treat her this way.” He yelled and then woman flinched.
“Y… yes, s… she’s my daughter. S… so I can do whatever I want with her.” The mother stuttered while taking steps backwards, fear evident in her eyes.
“No, you clearly don’t know how to treat a child.” He told her. Removing his jacket, he covered the young woman with it. “Am going to lift you up now, okay?” He told her before taking her into his arms. She quickly hid her face in his chest and he carried her to his car.
Anderson started the engine and drove out of there. When he was on the highway, he asked. “Where do you live?”
There was silence.
He took a quick glance at the backseat and saw that she was asleep. “So we’re going to my place then.”