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Chapter 2

  • "Sean, what are we doing?" I asked as he instructed the driver to run around the parking lot.
  • Sean did not answer me, but his eyes were on the vehicles at the circumventing parking area outside the restaurant. When he saw that Eric's car was still there, he asked the driver to pull over at the space parallel to where Eric had parked.
  • I knew better when to keep my mouth shut, so I just kept quiet while observing him. When Philip emerged from Eric's car, and when he got back to his vehicle, Sean picked up his phone from the stand and dialed Philip's number.
  • "Sir, good noon!" I heard Philip's answer on the other line as Sean set his phone into a loudspeaker mode.
  • "Is everything ready for tonight? We have just arrived from Hawaii."
  • "Yes, sir. I even have Dr. Red's gown delivered at the house."
  • We arrived just in time for the hospital's  30th Founding Anniversary Celebration. During the ball at night, I would be presented as TAG Medical Center's Director of Medical Affairs. The event would be attended by all the dignitaries of the TAG Group of Companies, as well as the VIP's of the city.
  • "Thank you. By the way, where are you now?"
  • "I'm at the office, sir."
  • Sean's eyes narrowed as he listened to him.
  • "I see. I just thought I saw you a while ago."
  • "I had been to places before I came here, sir."
  • "It must have been you, and I noticed you have a nice car. Congratulations."
  • "It's a blessing, sir."
  • Sean ended his call and glanced at the driver. "Can you please take us back to the exit?"
  • "Sure, sir."
  • We walked back to the same table we occupied, and the same waiter who took our orders approached us.
  • "Ma'am, sir, your orders are ready. Shall I bring it now?"
  • I smiled at the waiter and nodded, but my eyes didn't leave Sean. He looked bothered. I held his hand as he sat beside me, his head at the top of the backrest.
  • "Red, I just checked BMW's Dealer Company in the city and got the information that Philip applied for a car loan."
  • "He must be very good at saving his salary." He ignored my comment, telling me indirectly that he did not agree with me.
  • "Do you know who is the guarantor?"
  • I pulled my brows closer and looked at him. The answer was already obvious.
  • "Why would it be Eric and not you?"
  • "That's also my question."
  • As Sean's most trusted assistant, Philip should have approached Sean if he wanted to apply for a  car loan. Why would he ask Eric, instead? And why did Philip hide it from Sean? What's more intriguing was the fact that the car he availed seemed too expensive an assistant whose salary was just slightly higher than the average.
  • Sean picked up his phone again and pressed one of the contacts. This time, he no longer turned on the speaker.
  • "Sir, I have changed my mind. Let's hold the announcement until it's clear."
  • What's the announcement? And who is he talking to?
  • I could only hear Sean's part of the conversation, but even if this kind of subject was common to hear from a businessman who makes constant decisions, I felt uneasy about it. We were already married, and I already thought I would now be a part of his planning. I would be no different from the role Eric previously gave me--a trophy for the public to see. A prize that any recipient may hold proudly. Unfortunately, I felt like a brainless puppet who relied on the role these powerful men assigned me.
  • "Dear," I jolted out of my insecurities when I heard his voice, "here, take this." I got so lost in my thoughts that I did not see Sean pulling out a huge cardholder.
  • I looked up and knitted my brows, flipping at the plastic pages that swelled with cards.
  • "Those are my cards. The rest of my financial accounts are already sent to your folder."
  • "What am I going to do with all these?" 
  • "You are now my wife, so whatever I have is yours."
  • "I don't need that." I protested and pushed the card album back to him. As someone who is not being business-minded, I didn't care about his businesses. All I needed was for our basic needs and a few of our wants.
  • "Then, keep it," he insisted. "You might want to buy something in the future. And those access for the rest of our financial accounts is so that you'll know how much are we earning."
  • "All of these? What about you?"
  • "You will be the one to decide how much you will give me for my daily, weekly, or monthly budget. It's up to you."
  • "No."
  • "Yes," he smiled and pulled me close to him.
  • The waiter came in with our food, dropping our topic aside. He began placing food on my plate, but his silence told me that something was really troubling him. I held his arm when he was about to put another strip of meat into my plate, forcing him to look at me.
  • "What's bothering you? Aren't you going to talk about it?"
  • He signed, then looked away. "It's business-related, and  I don't want to put too much into your plate at one time. However, I'll orient you to all of the businesses under the TAG Group of Companies one at a time."
  • "I hope I can help you with that something bothering you," I pursed a smile and began picking my spoon and fork. At the back of my mind, I was suspecting that it was about Philip and Eric. Sean was never that stressful until he saw Philip earlier.
  • Sean bit his lip and heaved out another deep sigh. "Sweetheart, regarding your guess that something is troubling me, I'm afraid it's true. Tonight, I wouldn't be announcing..."
  • He stopped and pulled in a deep breath again.
  • I placed my spoon and fork down and looked into his eyes. "What is it?"
  • "I-I," he stuttered and looked away.
  • "What?"
  • "Something is troubling me, and I'm afraid that tonight, I couldn't announce that we are married already."
  • A lump formed in my throat, and I stiffened, afraid that his reasons were related to Calla.
  • "I am a public figure, and the people are expecting me to hold grand wedding preparation. Omitting this part would make them think I don't regard you as someone precious."
  • I chuckled, adjusting my body at the same time so that I could rest my face in his chest again. This had become my hobby wherever he was around; the masculine scent of his chest really made me feel good.
  • "You worry so much. What matters most to me is the truth."