Jun P. Espina         12 min read
Written on September 2, 2022
[ Short Fiction Story. Gen. Fiction. Invented names. ] FICTION
When Corbin asked for her hand in marriage, Aly raced to her room and never came out until CEO Corbin Loughty left her house. She cringed with fear. She loved Corbin dearly and did not want to lose him once her highly guarded secret became known to him.
Aly Slora, known as the “muse of Mezin,” went to college in Baz, 80 miles away, after graduating from high school. But after a year, she got pregnant by a rich man, 57 years old, whom she barely knew as Mr. Jack. Almost all of Aly’s friends were lovely mistresses and gold diggers. A loose woman’s values overwhelmed her mother’s Christian moral code and beliefs. The naïve Aly just drifted into the oldest trade of sex for money. Her Christianity vanished as her new game of harlotry turned profitable.
Her parents kept her hidden on their farm until she gave birth to a baby boy, whom she named “Jack” after his father, whose surname (and even family history) she didn’t know.
After the birth of Baby Jack, Aly returned to school and finished her bachelor’s degree in marketing. She transferred to another university and avoided her hustler community. Bible study became her pastime, and the church was her second home.
After her graduation, her extraordinary resume enabled her to work as executive secretary to a young and ravishing CEO, Mr. Corbin Loughty.
Corbin’s family owned the Loughty Corporation (LC), an enormous marketing company with 800 employees. Corbin, a doctor in philosophy, took the role of CEO after his father retired because of a cardiac disorder.
On her first day with LC, her boss, Mr. Corbin, asked for her thoughts on his email to LC’s shareholders.
“What do you think?”
“Am I allowed to critique my boss’s work in my first hours with your office?”
“I hired you because you’ve got excellent college records.”
“I think your email lacks you attitude.”
“What’s your point?”
“It seemed to highlight LC’s advantages out of the shareholders’ money. Seeing no benefit for themselves, they won’t invest. We need to address one dominant human weakness, which is greed.”
“You’re right,” Corbin replied.
Without Aly, Corbin always found himself awkward, introverted, and inexperienced. In a few weeks, Aly became his commanding right hand.
Suzanne, Corbin’s girlfriend by parental arrangement, visited LC’s headquarters often after learning about Corbin’s new assistant.
She was beautiful and wealthy, the only daughter of Corbin’s family’s most trusted business partner. They have not dated since their first kiss. Corbin stayed away from her after noticing Suzanne’s spoiled and domineering nature.
“When will we take vows?”
“I’m not thinking about it yet,” Corbin replied.
“Why not? We have enormous combined assets and no siblings.”
“Marriage won’t work outside of the truth. It will end in divorce.”
“You’re up to your philosophic nonsense again.”
“You want to marry me because of your parents, not because you love me.”
“Look, I’m here, guarding you against your precious but poor and backward, Aly. Isn’t it love?”
“What about me?” Corbin asked.
“Why? Aren’t you attracted to me? But you kissed me?” Suzanne tensed, but Corbin did not answer. He turned instead and stalked out toward his room.
Tatiana, Corbin’s mother, also encouraged him to marry Suzanne to merge their economic strengths. But Corbin just shrugged it off and said, “I don’t love that snobbish woman.”
One day, Tatiana dropped by Corbin’s office to check on Aly, after Suzanne whined about her.
“Are you Ms. Aly?”
“Yes, ma’am. Is there anything I can help you with?”
“I’m Corbin’s mom, and I want him to marry Suzanne. Never meddle,” she glowered at her and then left.
Aly was seated in a cubicle facing Corbin’s office. Noticing his mother’s unusual visit to his assistant, he texted Aly for a brief chat in his room.
As she ambled out of her workspace, she felt the pressure from Corbin’s mother. She was used to having a little business talk with Corbin in his room many times a day. This time, it should be tabooed, according to his sniffy mother.
“I’m curious about my mother’s instructions to you.”
“It’s nothing because it’s impossible,” Aly said.
“Please tell me.”
“Why, it’s laughable?”
“I know it’s related to Suzanne.”
“Suzanne and my mom pressured me to settle down.”
“Yes, but it’s none of my business.”
“You are involved because they knew I liked you more than Suzanne.”
“Is that a fact?” Aly laughed. Then she gestured to return to her cubicle.
Corbin fell in love with the attractive Aly after realizing her marketing expertise, writing ability, and faithful Christianity. She is Suzanne’s antithesis. While Aly cared for him like a mother, Suzanne believed she was entitled to Corbin’s love and care because of her beauty and wealth.
From her high school days, Aly always enjoyed the weight of attention from the boys around her. And she always got the highest honor in class, too. As a result, she thought she had to weaponize her beauty to become wealthy, but she had gotten impregnated instead.
Now she is 22 years old, and she desires to marry a rich guy, given her stunning looks and high I.Q., but organically and traditionally. She thought the gold-digging stretch that had gotten her into endless self-condemnation and a demonic lifestyle should never enter her well-guarded Christian world again.
“Anything I can be of help to you, Sir?” It was the very first question she asked her boss, on whom she had a giant crush.
“I’ll just text you in a few moments,” Corbin replied.
Aly learned from Facebook that to catch a guy, she needed to flirt with him, care for him, and then get physical with him.
As the months went by, Aly learned to love Corbin truly, more than his money, although he had a girlfriend named Suzanne.
Corbin was admirable, and his eyes seemed to smile forever. They reflect his warm-hearted spirit. Very much absorbed with his philosophical bias, he was unfamiliar with life’s realities. He was close-minded when some matters clashed with his school-milled philosophies. It was through this weakness that Aly’s Christian mindset had become Corbin’s valued leg up.
Over time, Aly grew more mature and religious. But her fear about her single-mom secret persisted. Her faith in God had become her only hope to face whatever the outcome was with her love for Corbin. She always prayed that God would bless her and give her Corbin as a husband.
As Corbin became more dependent on Aly, Suzanne grew immensely jealous. So, she thought of photoshopping Aly with a guy by her side, snaking his arms around her. A professional did the image. And it worked.
Curious, Corbin began following Aly’s routine after her work hours with LC, and he also hired a company to follow Aly anywhere. The results shattered Suzanne’s dirty game since Aly frequented her church and the mall alone. And she had never met a single man.
With his information about Aly’s virtuous lifestyle, Corbin began sending flowers to her and broke apart with Suzanne.
Aly accepted Corbin’s love, and they planned to settle down after two years of a highly emotional relationship. She maintained her catch-a-man device of flirting, caring, and getting physical.
They had been sleeping together for over a year. Their love for each other grew deep and warm, the intimacy that had formed out of the magic of enduring commitment and mutual respect.
One day, Corbin paid her a surprise visit at Mezin. Shock. She had no time to hide Baby Jack away. His parents were with him, as he wanted to get down on one knee, traditionally.
“Meet my father, Jack.”
Jack stared at her and said, “Aly!” He shook his head as if shaking off a bad dream.
Aly froze with horror and then raced to her room. As they were no strangers to each other, Corbin followed her and knocked on her door.
“What happened? Did you know my father?”
Aly trembled and did not answer. So, Corbin asked for her parents’ help.
“Aly, open the door,” her mother said.
Tatiana was offended by Aly’s treatment of them, igniting her temper. So, she packed up and prepared to leave together with her husband.
“Look, Aly, your drama sucks. My parents left.”
Aly opened the door but felt ashamed and could not look Corbin straight in the eye.
“Settle your problem, whatever it is,” Aly’s mother said as she trudged outside the room together with her husband.
Aly’s tears flowed like water, coursing down her cheeks like they were the only diction of her grief.
“Leave me alone. I reject your proposal and consider myself out of LC.”
“Why? Please, don’t say it.”
“Ask your father and consider everything between us a nightmare. Please leave me alone—and now.”
Corbin’s pain brought tears to his eyes. It was his first major life challenge after having received a doctorate in philosophy.
He hugged Aly and kissed her, and then left, heartbroken.
By the time Corbin got home that evening, his father was already in bed. So, he struck up a friendly conversation with him by morning, always keeping in mind that he had a critical heart condition.
“Speak, what is that, Corbin?”
“Did you know Aly?”
“No, I don’t know her,” Jack said, pinching his nose and coughing hard.
Corbin felt his dad’s unwillingness to help him. So he hired someone to investigate the matter. His mother was also diabetic, so he turned to other options instead of stressing out his parents about his love dilemma.
Aly had not eaten well for weeks. Her days were spent sleeping and crying.
“Aly, let out the truth. If a man loves a woman, he’ll love her whoever she is,” Aly’s mother said.
Suzanne learned about Corbin’s breakup with Aly, so she continued her investigations and found out that Aly was a single mom. Corbin’s investigation team also yielded the same information but added the name of Aly’s son, which was “Jack.”
When confronted about the matter, Corbin’s father denied he had a child with Aly since the latter did not inform him.
A few months had passed, but Corbin had not returned to Suzanne. Since Aly had stopped replying to his texts already, he sent his investigation team again to Mezin to check out Aly’s whereabouts.
“Boss, she has become too thin and pale.”
Corbin then drove to Mezin to check out if the news about Aly was true, but Aly was no longer in her house. Her parents admitted her to the hospital since she could no longer stand.
Corbin rushed to Mezin Public Hospital as he sweated with fear.
“Anorexia, stress plus starvation,” the doctor said.
With his money, Corbin ordered that Aly be transferred to Baz City’s most modern and expensive hospital. He hired a doctor and a nurse to accompany Aly in the ambulance.
Aly was comatose already.
But with the high-tech medical equipment at Baz, Aly opened her eyes after two hours and saw Corbin’s eyes filled with tears.
“Mama, let me see Baby Jack, just in case.”
“Don’t say that. You’re in good hands now,” Corbin said.
“Meet your brother, Baby Jack. He’s your father’s son.”
Corbin clenched his teeth. Shaken. He felt the hospital floor turn icy cold, and it crawled up and frosted his thighs. He pursed his lips as he looked for a chair or anything that could give him rest and a sense of balance. His eyes seemed to scan memory lanes for philosophic reasons for his pure love that had just gone awry.
“I’m calling dad.”
“Useless. He didn’t know my son. It was my fault, not your dad’s. Hate me, not your dad.”
Confused, Corbin handed Aly’s mother a handful of cash and said, “I need a little space, a little sanity.” He paced toward the door.
Since then, Corbin had spent most of his time drinking at the bar. He did not care about LC anymore. Alarmed that LC would collapse because of Corbin’s regular absence, Jack returned to work despite Tatiana’s protests.
Suzanne then informed Jack, working in Corbin’s office, that Aly was still in Baz’s hospital with her son named “Baby Jack.”
After connecting the dots, Jack theorized he caused Corbin’s misery. His remorse and guilt caused him pain in his subconscious and sick heart. What must I do to help Corbin?
Aly had already recovered and was scheduled for release from the hospital. They had sufficient cash since Corbin ordered one of his secretaries to supply all Aly’s needs at the hospital while he was off duty. While Aly was caressing Baby Jack in her hospital room, Jack suddenly entered and knelt before Baby Jack and kissed him. “You’re my son. You look like me.”
“Mama,” Baby Jack struggled to get out of his father’s embrace.
Aly’s chin trembled. She raised her voice and said, “He’s your father.”
“I’m sorry, Aly,” Jack said. “Manage 50% of my wealth, which I’ll give to my son, Baby Jack. I’ll help you settle with Corbin.” He gave Baby Jack a backpack of money and then left.
Two days after Jack’s visit to the hospital, Corbin got sick. He could hardly move his feet because of too much alcohol intake. His muscle tissues got affected. But he missed Aly. He wanted to see her. So he slowly drove to Mezin despite the pain. But a drunk driver hit his car two kilometers before reaching the small town. The shock of Corbin’s accident raised Jack’s blood pressure. His guards rushed him to the hospital, but he died along the way.
Aly learned on social media about Corbin’s accident, so she rushed to Mezin Public Hospital, where she saw Corbin covered with blood. He brought him to Baz’s General Hospital and took care of him there for a week. His doctor advised him not to return to work within a month. And it left LC without a CEO because of Jack’s untimely death.
Before Corbin’s release from the hospital, Tatiana and Suzanne visited him. After a few moments, Aly entered the room and greeted Tatiana, head down.
“Aren’t you ashamed of hooking up both father and son, call girl?” Tatiana asked.
“Mrs. Loughty, gold diggers knew where to dig out for money,” Suzanne chuckled.
“You get out of my room,” Corbin growled. “You’re too righteous for us.”
Aly motioned to leave ahead of the two women, but Corbin stopped her.
“Let’s go, Suzanne. Let him shame his father’s name forever,” Tatiana said.
Corbin grimaced as he stared at the space while his right hand gripped the handrail of his hospital bed.
“You’ve just experienced pain because of me. They thought you were weak for marrying shit.”
“Not having you hurt more than people’s opinions.”
“I promise you: I’ll defend my love for you against a thousand Suzanne. I have given you the best version of me, every inch of my person, body, and spirit, for over a year now. But if you don’t love me, please let me know so I can move on and live life alone with Baby Jack.”
While Aly was sobbing, Corbin held her hand and said, “I almost died because I missed you. I suffered because I loved you. Give me a few days. I’ll fix this matter.”
Corbin rested in their massive mansion in Baz City after his release from the hospital.
“Corbin, who’s your right hand in your office?” Tatiana asked.
“Before, Aly. After Aly left, I found no one as good as Aly.”
“Our lawyer would want to meet us in two hours concerning your dad’s written will before his death.”
Corbin did not know what to do with Aly. Why should I suffer for my father’s immorality? Why did Aly insist it was her fault?
Their lawyer arrived, and after a brief discussion, he announced that Aly’s son, Baby Jack, inherited 50% of Jack’s wealth. Tatiana could hardly accept the fact that her husband impregnated Corbin’s girlfriend at a young age. Rage quickened her blood after learning of her husband’s affairs. Her tears flowed down without stopping as she promised herself to keep Corbin away from Aly’s immoral bent.
“Relax ma’am. Mr. Jack said it was his fault. ‘Corruption of minors,’ according to the law. Aly and Corbin experienced undue pain because of him.”
“What else did he tell you?”
“He said he wished Corbin would forgive Aly and marry her if he wanted an exceptional woman to help him with rare talents.”
Jack’s discernment had always moved Tatiana. But suggesting Aly as her only son’s wife was her red line. Not in a million years.
After an hour, Corbin’s investigation team handed him a folder. It contains pictures of Suzanne meeting a certain “Charlie” in the Baz Hotel. The other documents, labeled “special,” contain proof that her mother had an affair with their driver before diabetes took her. His dad died without knowing her secret. And the rest of the file was about his dad’s philandering because of Tatiana’s disease that had made her sexually dead.
The next evening, Tatiana celebrated her 60th birthday, with Suzanne and Corbin as her only visitors. Their plan was to drug Corbin and make him sleep with Suzanne that night.
At around 7:00 p.m., Aly arrived at the Loughty Mansion at Corbin’s invitation. Shocked, Tatiana threw the food on the floor and also broke the bottles of wine on the table.
Suzanne held Tatiana’s arm as the latter squinted her eyes and bit her lower lip in her rage.
Aly apologized for her unwanted presence, but Corbin grabbed her arm and then threw his folder of evidence on the table.
“Read those pieces of evidence, the two of you, before you charged Aly with immoral behavior. According to my father’s will, this house is Aly’s house. She’s going to live here as my wife starting today.”
Looking at his mother, Corbin said, “My lawyer will also check out if you can inherit my father’s inheritance, given your pre-nuptial agreement and your love affair with our driver.”
After Corbin and Aly left the dining room, Suzanne grabbed a piece of paper labeled “Baz Hotel.” Seeing her face and Charlie’s on the paper, she crumpled it, but Tatiana snatched it from her hand.
“You’ve got a boyfriend, and you wanted to capture my son?”
“What about your adultery with your driver?” Suzanne laughed. But Tatiana slapped her and ordered her to leave her house.
Corbin felt his sense of heaviness just vanish from his inner self. His heart throbbed with happiness as he held Aly’s hand. As they were seated by the poolside of their mansion, their servers provided them with food and drink.
“You just declared me your wife a little while ago?”
“Yes, I meant it.”
“How did you take a stand?”
“I love you, and you love me too. I believe you won’t cheat on me like Suzanne or my mom did.”
“How did you know you could trust me?”
“I had you followed and investigated.”
“Thank you, God,” Aly said, sobbing. “You’ve forgiven and lifted me, Lord, from my grueling shame. Thank you, Corbin, my love and life.”
“It’s over now. Stop crying; start singing,” Corbin said, fondling her curly brown hair.
“I’ll love and serve you forever, my darling. My God said, ‘Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands.’ I’ll do that. I promise.”
And they kissed.
After two months, Corbin and Aly got married. They had a luxurious wedding event that was attended by their two most important guests, Baby Jack and Tatiana. Aly gave Corbin four children. Loughty Corporation experienced unprecedented growth with the appointment of Aly by Corbin as the new CEO.
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