Mason arrived from his trip early morning, at around three. After he finished all his business in Alaska, he had managed to jump on the last flight that night. He was excited to go home since he had really missed Kelsey. He wanted to surprise her. But instead, he was surprised when he was greeted with an empty house with no sign of Kelsey around. All her belongings were gone, the only thing that kept him thinking she wasn’t just a dream was the engagement ring he bought her that was resting on the nightstand table by their room. He called Georgia and asked her of Kelsey’s whereabouts but Georgia only told him that Kelsey was still there when she left. Georgia informed him that she had no idea where Kelsey would be or that she was even going to leave in the first place.
Mason got in his car and quickly drove to Kelsey’s old apartment. He knocked at the door, even though he knew it was a bit rude to knock so early in the morning that the sun hadn’t even risen yet. Kelsey’s mother opened the door and was bewildered to find a distraught Mason behind it. She asked him what he was doing there so early in the morning and was worried that something might have happened to her daughter. When Mason informed her that Kelsey left him without even a farewell, Hilda grew worried.
She asked him why her daughter would leave but Mason couldn’t answer her because he himself couldn’t figure out why she left without saying a word. Mason explained to Hilda that he and Kelsey were doing well and that they were actually going to give their relationship a shot. He told Hilda that he went on a business trip and when he came back, she was gone. Hilda said that Kelsey hasn’t come back since she moved out. Hilda was worried, scared of where her daughter might be. She knew she shouldn’t have let her accept the proposal. She knew she should have tried with all her might to protect her daughter’s fragile heart. Mason assured her not to worry and that he would find her daughter. He left and called his private investigator. He ordered him to gather all the information he could get of where Kelsey might be and all her contact information.
Mason tried calling Kelsey a hundredth times but her phone was out of reached. He could only assume that she turned it off. He grew furious and agitated of the situation.
Ever since last night, he hasn’t gone home and the next place he went to was his workplace. When Nina arrived that morning, surprised that he was already back from his trip, she warily handed him the newspaper and knew what was about to come. She knew that he was going to throw a tantrum. After looking at his bloodshot eyes and his tired demeanour, she knew she was about to meet her doom. “Mason…” Ricky worriedly called out as he kneeled down to Mason’s level and saw a tear fall from his wide opened eye. Mason wasn’t blinking, moving, it was as if someone s----d the life out of him. Ricky grew anxious and was about to shake his friend out of his trance but Mason spoke. “What am I going to do?” He asked without sparing Ricky a glance, looking into space. “What am I suppose to do? You were right, I shouldn’t have gotten her involved. I shouldn’t have made that stupid contract with her in the first place.” He admitted. “It hurts, Ricky.” He told his friend and it pained Ricky as he watched Mason’s depressed, unmovable face. “I love her.” Mason whispered without batting an eyelash. Only his lips were moving as he spoke. It was as if he was stuck in another dimension. For the very first time, Mason had realized what his true feelings for Kelsey were. It wasn’t just infatuation, it was love. If there was one thing he realized from his trip to Alaska, it was that he couldn’t imagine a life without her. It was Saturday night, he had just arrived at Alaska and he had a very important meeting the next day with a potential client. However, instead of going to bed, Mason found himself sitting on the bench outside at the backyard of the house he was staying at, trying to find signal on his phone. He really missed Kelsey, even though they were just together a few hours ago. But the thought of not sleeping on the same bed with her drove him crazy. He was so used to waking up with her cuddled close to his side. Mason stood on the bench and swung his phone around, trying to find a signal bar. Mr. Grudeso, the owner of the house Mason was currently staying at, leaned against the doorframe and watched Mason in amusement. Mason almost fell off the bench when he heard a chuckle from the door. Mason shot him a sheepish smile and sat back down on the bench as the cool wind blew. The weather wasn’t as freezing as it was the last time he came there since it was spring. He only had a light jacket on and a pair of grey sweatpants. “You miss her, don’t ya?” Mr. Grudeso asked as he sat on the bench beside him. Mr. Grudeso was a fifty-five year old man who had been working for their company for quite a while now. He was in charged of their company branch in Alaska.
He was a loyal man of their company and was a friend of his father. Mason heaved a sigh and nodded his head. “Really badly. I just wanna hear her voice.” He lamely admitted as the old man chuckled. “I know what you’re feeling. It really is tough when you’re in love.” He told him. Mason’s smile faltered by hearing the ‘L’ word. He wasn’t really sure if what he was feeling was love. Could it be? He hadn’t felt what he was feeling for Kelsey with anyone before, not even Claris. Was it really love? Was he capable of such a thing? “How do you know if it is love that one’s feeling?” He obliviously asked Mr. Grudeso who smiled in response. “Simple.” Mr. Grudeso started as his eyes looked straight ahead, his mind elsewhere. “You wouldn’t be able to imagine a life without her.” He told him. “No matter what you’re doing, why you’re doing all the things you’re doing, why you’re breathing. You’re doing it because of her, you’re doing it for her. She’s the reason why you keep moving forward.” Mason wrapped his words of wisdom around his head. Then a question popped in his mind. “How do you keep moving forward then, Mr. Grudeso?” He asked in curiosity. Mr. Grudeso sighed and sadly smiled. “It’s tough, if I have to be honest with you. Sometimes, I wake up in the morning trying to find a reason to live. Sometimes, I question myself why I am still here. But whenever I feel hopeless in life, her voice would always play in my head. I remember before she passed away, she told me to live happily, to never give up. She told me that if I ever shed a tear or feel like killing myself, she would flick me on the forehead.” They both chuckled and Mason couldn’t imagine how painful it must have been for him to lose his loved one, his wife, his life partner. Then Mason’s thought was clouded by Kelsey’s face, her smile, her laugh, the cute crescent line that would form at the top of the bridge of her nose when she furrowed her brows in confusion, the way her eyes twinkled when she was telling stories about her family. She was incredibly beautiful inside and out. Suddenly, an image of her in all white, a bouquet in hand, walking towards him down the aisle popped in his head.
Then an image of her smiling widely at him as she ate her favourite ice cream in delight, a little bump had started forming in her tummy. An image of her chasing after their children, giggling as they caught them in her arms and kissed their cheeks. And the last scene was of them two sitting on the bench located at their backyard, their hands intertwined together. Wrinkles had started forming beneath her eyes and her skin were becoming soggy. Nevertheless, she still looked gorgeous as ever. She has still managed to take his breath away. Mason was snapped out of his thoughts when he heard the soft laughing of Mr. Grudeso. He glanced at him and shot him a questioning look as if asking if he had said anything funny that Mason wasn’t aware of because he was too caught up it his own thoughts. “She must be a keeper. It seems that she wouldn’t leave you alone, even in your mind, she’s still lingering around, isn’t she?” He amusement told Mason.
Mason was baffled at Mr. Grudeso’s wild guess. Maybe the saying was true that older people can really say ‘Been there, done that’, since Mr. Grudeso seemed to know everything Mason was thinking about. Mason could only grunt in response, earning another chuckle from him. “I’m telling you, boy. Love is not easy. It requires kindness, thoughtfulness, understanding, and a hell lot of patience. But it’s worth every single breath that you take. No money can buy you that love that you desire.” Mr. Grudeso advised him. Mason found the irony in his advise. Sure, money couldn’t buy love. But in his situation, if he hadn’t been force to find himself a bride and pay Kelsey to pose as his wife, he wouldn’t have found the woman he was willing to spend the rest of his life with. “You should get some sleep. It’ll be a long day tomorrow. Don’t worry, you’ll be seeing her soon. Just bare another day, will ya?” Mr. Grudeso told him before reentering the sliding door. Mason checked his phone for the last time and heaved a sigh as he stared at the empty signal bar. Hopeless with finding some signal, yet well assured of what he was really feeling for Kelsey, Mason retreated back to the room he was staying at. “Mason!” Ricky called out, snapping him out of his thoughts. Mason glanced at his friend for the first time and Ricky could only see the sorrow in his eyes. He looked so beat up and defeated. Ricky couldn’t stand seeing like this. “What am I going to do?” Mason directly asked him in desperation. “I love her.” He confessed once again. Ricky had never seen him like this. Not even when Claris had left him. He didn’t know what to do. Heck, he didn’t even know what to say to him. He himself couldn’t figure out what love was and he had never fallen in love before. How on earth was he supposed to say to his friend who desperately needed some words of wisdom? So without thinking twice, Ricky stood back up and dialled the first person he could think of. “Hello?” The person spoke from the other line. “Sir Lucas, I need your help.” ~ * ~ * ~ “I’m glad we’re finally on the same page, Mr. King.” Greg Wilson said in satisfaction. “I really think that this marriage will not only strengthen our companies, but it will certainly change our economy.” He told him.
Edward nodded his head in agreement. “Of course, Mr. Wilson. I do believe so.” He responded. “I hope your daughter is all up for this. I don’t want anymore hindrances.” “I don’t think it’s my daughter who will be the problem…” He trailed off as a sigh escaped from Edward’s lips. “I will handle my son, Mr. Wilson. I will deal with him.” He assured him. Greg smiled and nodded his head. “I’m very excited for what’s to come. Welcome to the family, Edward.” He proclaimed as they shook hands, sealing the fate of their children. ~ * ~ * ~ Delilah sipped some of her tea and placed it back on the saucer. She sighed and smiled. “What’s your plan?” She asked her as she studied her tired-looking face. “I don’t wanna ruin this for your grandson, ma’am.” Kelsey anxiously said as she peered at the intimidating woman under her lashes. “So you’re going to listen to my son? You’ll leave Mason just like that?” She asked as the waitress came to placed their food on the table. They both muttered a quick thank-you before Kelsey answered. “I’ve thought about it, a lot.” Kelsey sincerely told her. “And throughout my thinking, I’ve realized that I’m not fit for this. I’m not fit for your grandson. He and I are from two different worlds. Mr. King has a point, Mason would only become the gossip talk once they find out who I really am, what social class I belong to. I don’t want his image to be ruined because of me. I know how much he loves the company.” She sadly noted. Delilah wrapped her words around her head and sadly smiled. “But I hope you also know that you are important to him. I hope he’s told you about what he truly feels for you.” She hinted as Kelsey’s heart ached from hearing that Mason could possibly return her feelings.
By her mind was set, her mother brought her up to be a selfless person and sometimes, it was really a curse because she would rather let go of the things she loved than see others suffer for her sake. Sometimes, she hated herself for being too kind. Kelsey shot her a small smile as she continued to poke the chicken on her plate with a fork. “What do you mean?” She played oblivious as she looked down on her food, trying to avoid Delilah’s gaze. Delilah chuckled and pulled something from her purse. She slid it across the table and Kelsey stared at it with widened eyes. She looked up only to find Delilah smiling widely at her. Kelsey was a little bit creeped out as she slowly took the developed pictures with shaky hands. Kelsey stared at the first picture and it was a photo of him and her kissing during the movie premier.
The next photo was of Mason staring intently down at her in admiration that same night.
Kelsey flipped through the photos, there were pictures of them during the charity ball, her and Mason at La Mille when she spilt a drink on him, the trip that they took, and even their walk by the bay. She glanced up from the photos and shot Delilah an accusing look. “You were spying on us?” She asked in disbelieved. However, Delilah was not fazed about it at all as she nodded her head in admittance with a grin on her face. “Would you look at how happy you make my grandson?” She told her beckoning on the stacks of photos. “I’ve never seen him like this before. He looks so…” She started as she tried looking for the right words to describe her grandson’s appearance. “So…carefree, and happy, and in love. I think you really bring the real Mason out of him. He’s himself whenever he’s around you. And that’s more than enough to make me like you and accept you in our family.” She welcomed her. Kelsey stared at her in awe and bewilderment, not really knowing what exactly she was supposed to be feeling.
She didn’t know whether to be flattered that at least one of the King’s actually like her, or if she should be getting angry at herself for thinking for a second that she stood a chance with the great Mason King. Delilah’s smile then faded from her lips. “It’s a shame that you’re leaving him. It really is.” She told her and Kelsey could tell that she was being honest with her words. “But before you leave, I would like to ask you for a favour one last time…” _________________
Hired Bride - Season 2 - Episode 13
Hired Bride - Season 2 - Episode 12
Hired Bride - Season 2 - Episode 11
Hired Bride - Season 2 - Episode 10
Hired Bride - Season 2 - Episode 9
Hired Bride - Season 2 - Episode 8
Hired Bride - Season 2 - Episode 7
Hired Bride - Season 2 - Episode 6
Hired Bride - Season 2 - Episode 5