Can’t Win Me Back
by Jean Sparks
Alyssa, meanwhile, was singing a heart–rending aria to Jonah dressed in a sky–blue dress, her voice resounding in the wind. Her hair was pulled up into a casual bun and secured by a jeweled pin. She was the very image of an alluring beauty.
Jonah broke into applause once the song was over, his eyes brimming with indulgence. “Not bad. You were taught well. You would’ve been someone’s duchess or something back in the day.”
“Do I look like I want to be someone’s duchess? I want to be a queen who shines with confidence. Men aren’t loyal anyway.” She shattered the illusion of being a perfect lady in a split second as she cracked her knuckles.
“So what? We wouldn’t have ourselves three stepmothers otherwise.” Jonah smiled bitterly.
Alyssa adjusted her skirts and sat beside him. The mere mention of her father’s three other wives brought a complicated expression to her face.
“Lyse, it’s been three years. They miss you. They care about you enough to ask me about you in private.”
“What are you trying to say, Jonah?”
“I know you left home to go abroad to work with Doctors Without Borders because you were angry with Dad, Lyse.” Jonah gently wrapped an arm around her shoulder as his brows furrowed in melancholy. “That’s just the kind of man our father is. We don’t get to choose. No one is without their flaws. You loved Jasper Beckett for years. Haven’t you also come to notice his flaws after being married for three years?”
Alyssa blinked as she gripped the bracelet around her thin wrist.
“The difference here is that you can choose to leave Jasper, but the kinship with our father can never be severed. Try to accept him as he is. He loves you. His other wives are also kind people who have kept our home in order all these years. None of them harbor any untoward desires. I can personally vouch for them.”
What Jonah didn’t know was that she had already accepted them as early as two years ago because of a certain event.
Xavier dressed Jasper’s wound and left the room.
Jasper felt a headache coming on at the thought of Liana’s tantrum. He remembered her being a gentle and kind soul–an angel in human form. She never seemed like someone who would lose all sense of propriety. “People change, I guess,” he thought with a sigh. Liana was still his childhood sweetheart no matter what. It was she who accompanied him through his darkest moments. She was his anchor, and he was going to marry her.
He went through some documents while still enduring the pain when his gaze fell on the suit placed on the couch. Curious, he went to pick it up and take a closer look.
Jasper was roughly the same height as Jonah, but he had much broader shoulders and a thicker frame compared to the latter. It was clearly sized to fit him. “Hideous.” He sneered. It didn’t stop him from putting it on a few minutes later, though.
He stood in front of a full–length mirror to take assess the fit. One lift of his arm and it was clear that it fit him like a glove. The workmanship was on par with suits from high–end fashion brands! “A bumpkin like her has quite the taste,” he thought.
A knock interrupted him. It was Mrs. Rosie with a cup of warm milk for him. “Oh? You’re wearing the clothes Madam Alice prepared for you. She’ll be so happy to know this!” Her joy was on full display. No one in the Beckett family took Alice seriously save for Mrs. Rosie, who had raised Jasper.
“What did you say?” Jasper was taken aback.
“The suit you’re wearing. Isn’t that a gift from the madam? That should be it… She asked me to pick it up from the atelier a month ago and got me to keep it a secret from you. She said it was a birthday present for you.”
It was a birthday present? He stood frozen in place. His birthday was still months away!
“I know you get along well with Alice, Mrs. Rosie, but she’s not here anymore. You don’t have to keep flattering her.” His gaze turned cold.
“I was the one who watched you grow up to be the man you are today, Mr. Beckett. You won’t find anyone in this estate who’s more honest with you than me.” She approached and watched the handsome man in the mirror. “Madam Alice mentioned how the process of making clothing is a long one. Every thread and stitch is her handiwork. The fabric was custom–made too. Even the buttons were from an original mold. She was usually busy with chores and spent what little spare time she had every day at the atelier. That’s why when it was completed a month ago, she kept it
hidden in the closet. She didn’t want you to find out.”
Jasper’s eyes widened in disbelief as his heart began to pound in his chest.
“If you don’t believe me, you can check the label. Your name is embroidered on it.”
He scrambled to take off the suit and toss it onto the couch as though it were on fire. “We’re not married anymore. I’m not interested in knowing what she’s done for me. You should leave.”
“Why did you and Madam Alice get a divorce, Mr. Jasper? She’s a wonderful woman who loves you.
“Loves me dearly?” He scoffed. “If that were the case, would she have thrown herself into another man’s arms the moment she left my side?”
“Madam Alice wouldn’t…” Mrs. Rosie was stunned,
“It’s true what they say. You never truly know someone.”
There was no hesitation as he ruthlessly chewed Alice out for her vices. It was clear he had blown his top. “Why pretend I’m all she needs when she feels nothing for me at all? Did she think she
and I would eventually fall in love? Did she take me for a fool she could deceive?”
“I’m sure there’s been a misunderstanding, Mr. Jasper. I can see just how much she loves you.” Mrs. Rosie shook her head in regret as she went to carefully put away the suit.
“Enough, Mrs. Rosie.”
“You’ll regret letting Madam Alice go one day.”
Alyssa had wanted to sleep in, but her biological clock woke her up at five on the dot. This was usually when she prepared breakfast for the Beckett family. Now, she no longer had to put herself in the line of fire by cooking for the family. There was no need for her to endure the family’s dirty
looks thrown her way. The life of a divorced woman was amazing!
She got into form–fitting sportswear after washing up and went canoeing at the lake behind the estate. It was a beautiful morning, with birds singing and flowers in full bloom by the shore. Her graceful and powerful figure swept across the lake, leaving behind ripples on the surface of the
After exercising, she had breakfast and showered before coming down the stairs in high spirits.
Sean straightened up when he noticed Alyssa. She had put her hair up and done her makeup in a delicate way that emphasized her porcelain features and captivating eyes. A long, black shawl sat on her shoulders, matching the red lace dress she wore that hugged her curves and showed off her legs.
“Hey, you’re drooling.” Alyssa snapped her fingers in his face.
“Shit!” He blushed in embarrassment. “Y–You’re beautiful, Ms. Alyssa.”
“You’re my brother’s chief secretary, you know. Can you not act like an idiot when you see a beautiful woman?” She shook her head in amusement.
Later, a Rolls–Royce rolled up to KS World Hotel.
Though she was gorgeous, having their boss show up at the restaurant without being noticed terrified the staff. Not a single soul dared to laze around after yesterday’s lesson. The hotel’s marble floors had been polished so well that they shone like mirrors.
Alyssa went on her rounds before returning to her office after giving a few pointers.
“I don’t need you anymore here. You should go to Jonah, Sean.”
“I don’t have to go to his side anymore,” Sean said with a smile. “Mr. Jonah wants me to work for you. I’m your secretary now.”
“What?” She stared at him in disbelief. “Jonah mentioned wanting to give me a present today. Are you… the present?”
Sean nodded eagerly.
“What the hell? What kind of present is this? Why did he give me a living, breathing person?” she thought.
Sean began to panic when Alyssa said nothing. “You aren’t going to throw me out just because I used to be Mr. Jonah’s secretary, are you?”
She smiled. “Nonsense! That’s called work experience!”
“Haha! I’ll do my best! I don’t ask for much. Maybe just a small increment to my annual salary?” he joked.
“Money? Do a good job and I’ll see to it that you swim in riches. Do a bad job and I’ll pass you off to someone else like my brother did.” She smiled as she rested her head in her hands.
He gasped before quickly reporting on the current work progress.
“As per your arrangements yesterday, all the Elysian Home beddings have been replaced. All KS Hotels across the country have been notified that the Elysian Home beddings must be replaced within a week.”
As he spoke, he was interrupted by an urgent knocking on the door.
Can’t Win Me Back by Jean Sparks
Author: William Shakespeare
Native Language: English