Can’t Win Me Back
by Jean Sparks
Jasper escorted Liana into his office under the scrutiny of everyone present in the building. The moment the doors shut behind them, she leaped into the man’s arms and clung to him in tears.” Thank you for coming for me, Jasper. I was so scared…”
Jasper’s eyes were impenetrable pools as he pushed her away.
“Jasper…” Liana was puzzled.
“Why did you do it?” His tone was icy, the look in his eyes no less intimidating.
“What do you mean?”
“Why did you go to Solana Daily about our marriage?”
She breathed a sigh of relief and tried to go back in for another hug. “Because I want to marry you. Don’t you want to marry me?”
“I do, but what you did was inappropriate.” His expression remained stern, completely missing his usual gentleness.
“What’s inappropriate? You and Alice aren’t married anymore!”
“There are still procedures she and I have to follow through. I also promised Grandpa we’ll only make our divorce official after his 80th birthday.” Jasper stepped back to avoid her. “She’s still my wife in name. You exposing news of the marriage has made everyone involved unhappy. Grandpa is only going to be more dissatisfied with you.”
Jasper was, in every way, a straightforward man who considered the pros and cons of every action. he took. He was emotionally stunted even as a child. Every bit of kindness he could spare was given to Liana, but it didn’t change how direct his words could be. He thought she would understand because they were childhood friends.
It became apparent that she completely failed to grasp the point, and her eyes were red with. anger. “Who’s unhappy? Are you feeling bad for Alice because everyone on the internet is calling her a mistress? Do you feel sorry for her?”
“I don’t feel sorry for her, but Alice isn’t some other woman. None of this should’ve happened.” He pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling a headache coming on.
“What do you mean? She is the other woman!” She furiously stomped her feet, her high–pitch shrieks causing a fresh wave of pain to course through his temples. “We would’ve gotten together ages ago if it wasn’t for her! It’s all her fault! She took my place by your side for three whole years!”
“It’s because Alice became my wife in name for three years that Grandpa is so understanding now. Without her, there’s no chance we could ever be together.” His own words tugged at his heartstrings. That was right. Would his grandfather have allowed him to get together with Liana if Alice hadn’t left when the three years were up?
That woman was always the first one to greet him with a smile when he arrived home. She helped him out of his clothes and prepared his baths. She was the one who took care of everything without saying a word just so she wouldn’t trouble him. She never fought, cried, or caused a fuss. Not a single word of complaint came out of her mouth even after she signed the
Alice may have chosen to leave with Jonah, but there was no denying that she did her part as his wife in the three years they were married. He, meanwhile, saw her as nothing more than a tool. He wanted the three years to be over just so he could be with the person he loved. It was clear he was the one who owed her more.
“Jasper, are you… siding with that woman?” Liana was shocked. When did Jasper become so difficult to read?
“No, I’m just stating facts.” That was when Jasper’s phone began to ring. It was his grandfather. There was no hiding the tension, so he swung open the door to speak with Xavier, who was standing guard outside. “Xavier, have someone escort Ms. Gardner home.”
“As you wish, Mr. Jasper.” Xavier motioned for Liana to leave.
“Jasper! I don’t want to go… I’m scared!” She stubbornly clung to his arm with tears in her eyes.
“Don’t be afraid. Don’t accept any media interviews. I’ll handle the rest.” Jasper drove her out of the office with a straight face. Once the door finally shut behind him, he picked up his grandfather’s call whilst nursing a headache.
“Jasper Beckett! I see you broke your promise to me. Are you that eager to marry that hussy?” Newton snarled in anger. “Marry that Gardner girl and I’ll see you gone from this family!”
“The news was put out by the media, Grandpa. It has nothing to do with me.”
“I know it was the Gardner girl who did it! She got anxious because you aren’t in a hurry to get hitched. That’s why she made such a preemptive move!”
“It wasn’t Lia. You’ve misunderstood her.” Jasper felt his headache get worse. After loosening his tie, he leaned against the wall to support himself enough to reach the couch to take a seat. He had to lie to his grandfather who loved him dearly, which left a bitter taste in his mouth. But there was no other choice.
“I forbid you from marrying Liana! You’d better make up with Alice!” Newton got straight to the point. It was clear he was more in favor of Jasper and Alice being together.
“You made a promise, Grandpa. You said I could make my own choice once the three years were up.” Sweat beaded on Jasper’s forehead as his breaths grew ragged. “Alice and I… are already done. I want my wife to be no one else but Lia.”
“I see… I see how it is! You blind son of a bitch. I won’t rest until the day you cry in regret over losing Alice!” Newton then hung up.
Jasper let out a heavy exhale as he approached his desk with his head in his hand to take some painkillers. That was the sight Xavier returned to after he sent Liana on her way, and he hurriedly went to help his boss.
“Are you alright, Mr. Jasper? Do you have another headache?”
“I’m fine.” Jasper sat down and closed his eyes while massaging his swollen temples.
“Constantly relying on painkillers isn’t good for you. It was Madam Alice who offered you relief through massages and acupuncture in the last three years, right? Why is the pain back again?”
Xavier sighed in distress. “It’d be great if Madam Alice were still here. You always sleep peacefully after her acupuncture sessions… ”
“Stop talking about her.” Jasper sucked in a breath of frustration.
“Mr. Jasper, about what you discussed with me… I’ve sent someone to look into the matter.” Xavier looked hesitant to speak.
“The person behind the two social media accounts that put Madam Alice’s scandal on blast is… Ms. Gardner.”
Jasper snapped to attention, and his heart stopped. “And you confirmed it to be true? How is that possible?”
“Y–Yes, sir. I verified it multiple times,” Xavier muttered in fear of repercussion. “Could everything that happened be a coincidence? All the rumors came to light right after news of your marriage was announced. It’s clear that this was a calculated move.”
Jasper slumped over when the truth set in, and powerlessness welled up in him. “Lià, why did you …” He knew how much Liana loved him and how much she disliked Alice, but it wasn’t right for her to vent this way.
“Deal with it. I don’t care what you do, I want all that gossip off the internet by sundown!”
Andrew Gardner, his wife, Rosaline, and his son, Dylan, were all home when Liana was dropped off/
“Good job, Lia! Your trick worked!” Dylan was grinning from ear to ear. “The announcement of your marriage to Jasper Beckett has solved the Gardner Group’s predicament! Hotels and guest houses are now flocking our way to place orders. We’re making so much money!”
“You did well, Liana! You saved our family!” Andrew also praised his daughter. The hotel industry had turned its back on Gardner Group after Taylor Group returned every bedding product manufactured by Elysian Home and permanently severed their partnership. They suffered massive losses when other hotels followed suit in canceling their orders. The incident had left
both father and son restless.
It was Liana’s idea to announce news of her marriage to Jasper to save the family’s crumbling business. Sure enough, the results spoke for themselves. Relying on the Beckett Group was a source of profit! Liana, however, was far from happy. She looked ready to break down. “We saved the business, but do you have any idea the price I had to pay? Jasper and I got into a fight today. That old man probably hates me even more now!”
“What are you so afraid of? Newton Beckett is an old coot who’ll be kicking the bucket in a few years. He’ll be dead before you know it!” Dylan smiled wickedly. “Aunt Sophia has Javier under control, and you have Jasper by your side. Once that old man is dead, the Beckett family will be ours!”
“He’s right, Lia.” Rosaline stroked her daughter’s hair, her eyes sparkling with desire. “Newton can’t stop you from marrying as long as Jasper loves you. Look at your Aunt Sophia.”
Liana finally felt comforted and nodded in confidence. She was going to marry into the Beckett family and become the envied wife of a company president!
Can’t Win Me Back by Jean Sparks
Author: William Shakespeare
Native Language: English