🌸 ALL THE WRONG REASONS🌸
🌹 EPISODE TWENTY-TWO🌹
When Adrienne arrived at Yuan’s apartment, her friends
knew instantly that something was wrong.
“What?” Yuan asked. “Did he break your heart? Was
he cheating on you? Where is he? I will kill him!”
Adrienne sat on the couch silently. She stared into
space, still unable to recover from her shock. How could this
happen to her? A few hours ago, she was happy. She was
floating on air.
But that seemed so far away as she sat with her heart
broken like shattered glass. She didn’t know how she would
be able to recover from it. Her world had fallen apart.
“Adrienne, what is wrong?” Jill asked, taking her hands
in hers and gently squeezing them.
She stared at them for a long time.
“Please don’t tell me you caught him cheating on
Adrienne shook her head. “He wasn’t cheating on
“Then why are you like this?”
She took a deep breath. “Apparently… Justin was sort
of… cheating with me.”
“I…” She took a deep breath. “I shared the elevator
with his parents. They didn’t know me. They haven’t met
me. But his Mom was so upset, she couldn’t help talking
about her…dilemma with her son.” Pain came rushing to her
again. “She said…that Justin has this obligation to the
family. An arrangement that goes way back when he was
still very young.”
“What is it?”
“They… arranged for him… to be married to some…
rich heiress,” she stammered and then tears rolled down her
“Oh my God!” Yuan and Jill breathed together.
It took a moment for her friends to recover.
“Maybe…maybe it’s not his parents. How could you
know? You haven’t met them.”
“I saw a picture of them,” Adrienne replied. “And his
father looks exactly like him. There’s no mistake about it.
They mentioned his name. So I’m pretty sure it’s them.”
“Have you spoken to him?”
Adrienne shook her head. “Not yet. I just…want to
organize my thoughts first.”
“He never mentioned this to you?”
“Never. But there were moments in the past when he
would look worried or sad when he remembered something.
He mentioned a family obligation that he forgot about. He
didn’t say what it was. He was always changing the topic
after that. I’m pretty sure this was it.”
“But maybe…maybe he doesn’t want to do it.”
Adrienne remembered Justin say, ‘It’s too late. I don’t
want to do it anymore.’
“Okay, you said they agreed on this a long time ago.
Maybe because you came along…Justin wouldn’t want to go
through with this anymore. His parents wanted him to do it.
But did you hear him say that he would?”
Adrienne shook her head. “But his parents will
disinherit him if he defies them. And I know how much
Justin’s family means to him, guys.”
“But you mean something to him too.”
Adrienne took a deep breath. “He hasn’t told me he
loved me. But I know he loves his family more than
“Just because he hasn’t told you doesn’t mean he
doesn’t,” Jill said. “Because we see him. And we know he is
deeply in love with you.”
Yuan sighed. “I don’t know. Maybe he’s trying to fix it.
So when he does tell you, there would be nothing for you to
worry about anymore.”
Adrienne wiped the tears from her face. Her friends
were right. Justin probably did want to fix it. That’s why he
went back to Chicago with his parents. He said he would
prepare his family first and then he would ask her to come
to Chicago with him. He wouldn’t say that if he still planned
on pushing his engagement to some other girl, right?
“Oh God! I hope he can convince his parents,” she
breathed. “Because I don’t want to let him choose, you
know. I won’t let him sacrifice his relationship with his
parents for me. I know what it’s like to live with a mother
that hates you and a father who couldn’t stand up for you. I
won’t let Justin have that life, guys. I love him too much for
“Sweetie… we’re sure you guys will be okay,” Jill said.
“Believe in Justin. He won’t hurt you. He will fight for you.”
“I really hope you’re right. I…I don’t wanna lose him.
It’s too soon.” Adrienne let out frustrated sigh. “God, can’t I
have like…a month’s peace?” she asked, looking up. “I
mean… Justin and I have been together officially for like a
week. And now this.”
“If he really loves you, he will fight for you. Maybe he
went to see his parents this weekend to call off his
engagement with this bitch.”
“No wonder Justin was non-committal before. Maybe
this was the reason why he never did relationships. He
couldn’t commit because…he was already committed to
somebody else. And the other girls were all like flings. To
pass the time. To have some fun before he finally serves life
imprisonment with some bitch who earned the right to be
his fiancée just by being born.” Adrienne said, thinking out
“But you weren’t just some pastime, Adrienne. He got
serious with you.”
“Maybe he never meant to, but he couldn’t help it,” Jill
can’t make him leave his family. He was a twin, you know?
His brother died at birth. He’s the only one his parents got.”
Jill and Yuan smiled at her apologetically.
“Just wait. I’m sure he’ll fix this.” Yuan said.
“God, I hope he does. And soon! Because I need some
strength to face my parents.”
“Why? What happened?”
“My parents called me. Apparently, news of Troy’s
black eye reached them already. My Mom is pissed with me.
Kim failed to mention to them that I found her on top of
Troy, m0aning her lungs out!”
“Of course. Whoever makes it to your parents first
gets to throw the first stone.” Jill rolled her eyes. “Ooohh! I
want to poke her eyes out!”
“It doesn’t matter whether they cheated on me. I
cheated on Troy, too. And I was going to break up with Troy
even before I found out. This was doomed to happen. My
best bet is for my parents to understand that for once, I’m
doing something I want. Being with the person I love. And
not just to please them.”
“Any parent should understand that!” Yuan groaned.
“Not my Mom. Apparently, she was doing me a favor
for pushing me to date Troy. She said, I’d never do good in
life. My best chance was to marry somebody successful.
How pathetic did she think I was?”
“I wanna bitch-slap your Mom sometimes!” Yuan said.
“I’m sorry. But I really don’t get how mean she is to you!
Like you didn’t come from her! How could she demean you
“And there’s nothing to demean! She’s got a smart,
beautiful daughter whose only wish is to please her! What more could she ask for?” Jill said.
“Well, now at least you can tell her that her choice
wasn’t good enough for you,” Yuan added. “You managed to
snag one of the richest bachelors in the country. Eat that
“It doesn’t matter. Justin didn’t have to be rich. I’d still
fall in love with him. Remember, when I did fall for him, we
were just having dates in our apartments. We barely went
out. I never got first-hand experience of knowing how rich
he really was. We kept things low-key… quiet and simple.
And I still fell in love with him.”
“But still, it must have been quite a shock for
Kimberly!” Yuan asserted. “I wonder how she reacted when
she first realized who you’re dating now. And how Troy felt
when he found out who he lost you to.”
“Yeah! Justin freaking Adams!” Jill said cheerily.
“Must have been quite a shock for them,” Yuan
continued. “Unfortunately, they weren’t shocked enough to
have a heart attack. That would have been lovely!”
“Seriously, guys! I should be the one wishing them
dead, not you. Whatever happens between Kim and me,
she’s still my sister. She’s still family.”
“Tell that to her. She doesn’t seem to know!” Yuan
rolled his eyes.
“So you still need to go to Boston?”
Adrienne nodded. “Yes. And I was hoping Justin would
come with me.”
“He would,” Yuan said confidently. “He’s a decent guy.
He won’t leave you in the air.”
“And not for some bitch who’s only connection with
him is a business tie-up,” Jill added.
Adrienne buried her face in her hands and prevented
herself from crying. “Oh, God, I hope you guys are right.”
That night, Adrienne decided to spend the night in
Justin’s apartment, instead of hers. Justin had given her keys
to his apartment they moment they got back from the resort. It was the first time she used her key without him
actually being in the place.
She wanted to feel close to him. She laid down on his
bed, the bed they usually spend their nights in. She hugged
his pillows. They still smelled faintly of his aftershave.
She flipped her phone and dialed his number.
“Honey,” he greeted her after one ring.
His voice sounded so sweet to her and she
immediately felt like crying. She realized just how much she
loved him and wanted to keep him forever.
She took a deep breath. “I miss you,” she whispered.
She tried to keep her voice steady. She didn’t want to let
him know that something was up. She didn’t want to tell
him yet that she knew about his engagement. Especially not
over the phone.
It took him a moment to respond. “I hate being away
from you,” he responded. “If I didn’t have… some things to
fix here, I wouldn’t have gone at all.”
“Yes. I wish you were here, too.”
“Where are you?”
She sighed. “In your bed.”
He paused for a long while. Then he said, “If that’s
your way of making me suffer even more, you’re
She giggled. “I’ve missed you. I thought if I spend the
night in your bed, I’d still somehow feel like you’re just here
next to me.”
“I’d come back right now, if I could.”
“It’s okay. We’ll see each other on Monday.”
“Until then, it will be torturous.”
They both fell quiet for a couple of seconds… just
feeling each other’s presence, no matter how far they were
from each other.
Then finally, Adrienne said, “Good night, Justin.”
“Good night, honey,” Justin said soberly. “I’ll be
making love to you… in my dreams.”
When Adrienne hung up the phone, she hugged his
pillow and let all the tears fall.
🌸ALL THE WRONG REASONS🌸
It seemed like an eternity before Adrienne faced Justin
again. During the two days that they spent apart, she tried
to act normally. He’d call her at least three times a day. She
didn’t want him to think that something was up. Because
knowing him, he just might fly back to New York earlier than
scheduled and he only got two days to spend with his
Monday evening, he appeared on her doorstep.
“Hi,” she greeted him, pasting a smile on her face.
He stared at her for a while. And without a word, he
pulled her to him and crushed his lips to hers.
“Justin,” she whispered against his lips.
“I missed you,” he said, lifting her off her feet and
carrying her to the bedroom.
When he put her down on her feet, she stared up at
him. She could see fatigue in his eyes. “I missed you, too.”
He smiled at her, but she knew him better now. His
eyes didn’t sparkle and it looked like he was forcing the
smile on his face. Adrienne already knew that something
“Are you okay?” she asked.
He nodded. “I am now.”
“Justin…” she started.
He silenced her with a kiss. She kissed him back. Their
kiss became passionate. It was evident that he didn’t want
to talk. He just wanted to lose himself in her. And she
Within minutes, they were in bed, panting. They rode
the tide of passion that threatened to consume both of
“Adrienne…” Justin whispered. He was more urgent
than usual. She matched his kisses, his passion with equal
fervor. She loved this man and she didn’t want to lose him.
She wanted to claim him, as much as he was claiming her.
When she reached her peak, she screamed his name
in ecstasy. In the midst of their passion, she managed to
remember that they got lost too soon, Justin wasn’t even
“Honey…we don’t have protection,” she panted.
He stared back at her in eyes drunk with passion,
consumed by desire. His expression was so intense, she
almost didn’t recognize him.
He took her mouth in his in a rough, passionate kiss.
She kissed him back, holding him close to her.
Then he leaned his forehead against hers and he
whispered in a hoarse voice, “Tell me you love me,
She blinked back at him, finally gaining back some of
her senses. “What?”
She stared back at him, unable to understand what he
was asking of her.
“Tell me… that you’re in love with me,” he said, his
voice pleading. He drew in a deep breath. Then he added,
“The same way that I am so, so… in love with you.”
Her heart pounded inside her chest and she struggled
to find her voice. Emotions enveloped her all at once and
she fought for air. She smiled at him, tears glistening in her
eyes. “Justin…you know I am.”
A slow, triumphant smile spread across his face. “I
wanna hear you say it, honey.”
She pulled him to her and kissed him passionately.
When she came up for air, she said, “I love you, Justin
Adams. With all my heart.”
He kissed her back. “I love you, Adrienne Miller. With
all my heart. With all my soul. With all that I am,” he said.
And with that, she felt him move within her, more passionately and more urgently that it brought her once
again to her peak.
“Justin!” she screamed.
“Adrienne, I love you so much!” he screamed her
name and within seconds she felt his body rock within her.
He tightened his arms around her as he buried his
face into the mass of her hair, taking in her scent, feeling
her every heartbeat, listening to her every breath. They
remained joined, still one with each other. And all Adrienne
could think of was how he told her he loved her.
Justin continued kissing her, nuzzling her neck. Her
eyes were half-closed. She was consumed by the power of
their lovemaking. It was intense. And she knew that she had
just given herself completely to him. Her heart and her soul
now both belonged to Justin.
“You’re beautiful,” he whispered to her.
She smiled. “So are you.” Then, she again
remembered that they weren’t wearing protection. “Justin…
you weren’t wearing any rubber.”
He stared back at her. She expected him to panic, and
realize what just happened. They were both lost in their
passion that they actually forgot about the risks. But he
said, “I know.” He leaned down and kissed her once again.
“Justin, I’m not on the pill.” She remembered that she
should have thought about this since the day she lost her
“I know,” he said again.
He silenced her with a kiss.
“Do you think I would worry, Adrienne?” he asked. “I
love you, honey.”
She bit her lip and kissed him back. “I love you, too.”
He smiled back at her. “Then we have nothing to
Finally, he pulled out of her and rolled on his back. He
gathered her in her arms. She rested her head on his shoulder.
They got lost in their thoughts for a while. Justin
silently caressed her arms and kissed the top of her head
once in a while.
She wondered what happened in Chicago. Did he
manage to convince his parents not to go through with their
arrangement to marry him off? Did he win? Is he finally free?
She took a deep breath. “Justin… is everything all
right with you and your parents?”
It took a moment for him to answer. “Nothing I can’t
She stared up at him, searching his face. Again, his
eyes weren’t dancing. Something was there beneath their
depths. Something that worried Adrienne.
She didn’t want to tell him that she knew about his
engagement. She wanted him to tell her at his own time.
When he managed to fix things. When he’s ready.
“If something’s wrong, you would tell me, right?” she
He smiled at her. “The woman I love just told me she
feels the same way about me. Right now, I’m invincible. I’m
the king of the world! Everything is perfect.”
“Justin!” she pinched him on his side.
He pulled her to him and kissed her forehead.
“Nothing’s wrong, Adrienne. Everything is just fine.”
The next day, Adrienne tried to concentrate on her work.
But she stayed anxious. She should be happy. Justin loves
her. Everything was perfect. But somehow, she still couldn’t
forget that nagging feeling that this bubble she was in
would just blow up in her face. That she would lose Justin.
Because even though his heart belonged to her… he was
still Justin Adams. And his name… belonged to somebody
“So, did you talk to him?” Jill asked, sitting on the
chair in front of her desk.
“No. I tried to get something out of him. But he
wouldn’t talk. He just tells me that I have nothing to worry
Jill stared at her apologetically, not really knowing
what to say.
“He finally told me he loves me.”
Jill’s eyes widened. “Wow!” She suppressed a scream.
“Then…you have nothing to worry about, Adrienne!”
“I know. But I can see it in his eyes. Something’s
bothering him and he doesn’t want to talk about it.”
“Maybe it’s not yet all peachy. Maybe he’s still trying
to sort it out. But he loves you. And that’s your assurance.
He’s fighting for you.”
Adrienne took a deep breath. “I know. I just hope he
She decided to cook that night.
Something special for
both Justin and her. She knew that even though he’s happy
with her, things still seemed off when it came to his parents.
His mother was determined to change his mind and make
him fulfill his promise to go through with their arrangement.
He loved her. And she knew it must be tough for him to defy
“Something smells good,” he said when he entered
her apartment and found her in the kitchen.
“Hey!” she greeted him. “I hope you’re hungry. Dinner
will be ready in fifteen minutes.”
He stood behind her and wrapped his arms around her
waist. He gave her a kiss on the neck and looked at what
she was cooking.
“My favorite,” he said. He kissed the top of her head.
“I love you.”
She smiled and turned to him. She reached up and
kissed his lips. “I love you, too,” she said. “Now, go wait in
the living room, so I can finish this.”
Just after they sat down for dinner and Justin had
taken a taste of what she had cooked for him, he stared
back at her in awe.
“What?” she asked.
“Wow! You really can cook!” He took another bite.
“This is awesome!”
She smiled. “I’m glad you like it.”
“Love it!” he said and ate as if he hasn’t eaten the
whole day. And it made Adrienne feel proud and happy.
After she washed the dishes and tidied up the kitchen,
she found Justin on the balcony. Lost in his own thoughts,
drinking beer and staring into space.
Her heart almost broke. She knew the burden he
carried. She promised she wouldn’t pressure him about it,
but at that moment, she felt like maybe it’s time for him to
share that burden. She realized that it was bad enough that
he’s defying his parents’ wishes. He carried the burden of
not telling her, too, because he feared he would hurt her or
he would lose her. She wanted him to know that she knows.
That it was okay. That she trusted him.
She took a deep breath and said, “You don’t have to
be strong all the time, you know.”
He turned around to face her. “Hey,” he whispered
“Justin…” She took a step closer to him. “I know…I
know what’s bothering you.”
He blinked back at her. “Nothing’s bothering me.”
She raised a brow at him. “Liar,” she said softly and
she smiled at him ruefully. “I know you’re engaged, Justin.”
He stared at her. Blood almost draining from his face.
She stepped closer to him. “Justin…you don’t have to hide it
“Adrienne…I’m not engaged.”
“I know you are. Stop pretending that everything is
peachy! Like there’s nothing wrong. I know you have a
fiancée somewhere and you’re scared to tell me about it.”
He closed his eyes for a moment. He took a deep
breath and said, “As far as I’m concerned, I’m not engaged.”
“Justin…please!” She’s getting frustrated. “How could
you say that? I know what’s going on with you!”
He groaned softly. “I am not engaged, Adrienne!
Because if I was, then you would be wearing a huge rock on
your finger!” He sank on the chair and refused to look at
Adrienne took a moment to think about what he said
and what that meant. Her heart swelled at the thought that
if Justin was free to ask somebody to marry him, he would
She went to him and knelt in front of him, taking his
hands in hers.
“Okay. You’re not engaged…by your own free will. Your
parents arranged you to be married to some heiress they
chose for you. Am I right?”
He gave her a hard look. He squeezed her hands.
“How did you know?”
“It doesn’t matter how I knew. But I do. And I know it’s
He shook his head. “It’s not bothering me, Adrienne,”
he began in a broken voice “It’s killing me.”
She knew that. But what’s important is his choice.
What did he really plan to do about it?
She took a deep breath. “So what’s your plan, Mr.
Adams?” she asked. “Because I’m only willing to stand by
your side if you say that your choice is…me.”
He released her hands, leaned down and gave her a
hard kiss on the lips. Then he said, “What are you talking
about, Adrienne? The choice will always be you!” He pulled
her up so she could sit on his lap. He drew her closer to him.
They stayed quiet for a while. She rested her head on
his shoulder. He gave her a tight squeeze. Then he said,
“You don’t know how relieved I am to hear you say that you
will stand by me.”
She looked up at him. “Is that what was bothering
He pushed a lock of hair away from her face. “The
only thing that’s killing me is the fear of losing you if you
“I love you, Justin. And I know it wasn’t your choice.”
He took a deep breath. “I’ve already made my
choice,” he said. “My parents won’t be happy about it, but
there was never a question of ever giving you up for some
rich brat I haven’t even met.”
“You haven’t met her?”
He shook his head. “All my life, my mother told me I
would marry the daughter of her best friend. Their family
had been very good friends with mine. Even our
grandfathers were the best of friends. They got it in their
heads to join our families and they believed the only way to
do that is through marriage. Unfortunately, my mother
never had a brother. And the girl’s mother was an only child.
So marriage was impossible in their generation. They
thought about making me miserable instead.”
“How long have you known?”
He sighed. “Ever since I was boy,” he replied. “I
promised my grandfather I would do it. Back then, I thought
my Mom’s friend was beautiful. So her daughter couldn’t be
that bad. And I didn’t care about those things yet. Even
when I became an adult I never found somebody I could fall
in love with. So it never bothered me.
“I was raised with this arrangement like it was a part
of my system… a part of who I am. And besides, my mother
and my father came from that sort of arrangement and they
were so in love with each other. It worked out well for them,
so I thought, maybe, I would fall for the girl, too.”
Adrienne rested her head on his shoulder as she
listened to his story.
“That’s why I never committed to anybody. Because I
knew not to become emotionally attached. I know every girl
I got to be with is just… temporary. In the end I’m still going
to marry my mother’s friend’s daughter. So it didn’t matter
if I never had a relationship before. What was the point?”
“You were a bachelor for a reason,” she murmured.
He took a deep breath. “Then I saw you one day, in
your office. You were beautiful and I was entranced. The fact
that you ignored me and didn’t seem interested in me got
me fascinated with you even more.”
Adrienne giggled. “That’s your ego talking.”
Justin chuckled. “I always watched you. You didn’t
seem interested. I saw you move into this apartment and I
got excited because it meant I would get a chance to get
“Maybe I presented a challenge, that’s why you were
interested in me.”
“Maybe at first. But the more I watched you, the more
I got intrigued by you. You were always serious, but I felt like
you have a shell that I just had to crack and something even
more beautiful would come out. That night at Gypsys, I saw
a crack in that shell. So I pursued you. Because I knew that
was my only chance.”
Adrienne giggled. “Jamila McBride gave you a
“That was hilarious. I already knew so much about
you, and when you gave me a fake name, I tried so hard not
“I thought you would easily forget me.”
“Now, you know, I won’t,” he said. “I never meant for
this to be just a one-night thing. And the more I got to know
you… the more drawn I became to you. You have layers in
your personality that I find enthralling. You were smart,
funny and tough. And I felt privileged that you showed me sides of you that you don’t allow anybody else to see. The
fact that I was the guy you gave your virginity to, made me
feel like somehow, I did something right in my life to
deserve such a special prize.
“Our secret made me live in your world… the world
you try so much to hide. After two weeks of being with you, I
realized that I was way into you for this thing to be called
just a fling. When I saw that guy, Jin Starck, looking
interested in you, I felt a pang of jealousy that I never felt
before. I became possessive of you. I wanted you all to
myself and I didn’t care anymore if I was previously
arranged to somebody else. I don’t want her. I want you.”
“Did you tell your parents about this?”
“Yes,” he replied. “Last weekend, I told them that I’m
calling off the whole arrangement. They can’t choose my
wife for me. I already know who I wanted to spend the rest
of my life with.”
“How did they take it?”
He sighed. “Badly,” he whispered. “My mother was
threatening to disinherit me.”
She pulled away from him and looked into his eyes.
“Justin…she couldn’t do that to you, can she?”
He smiled ruefully. “I was hoping she would get it
someday. She didn’t know what it was like. She accepted
her fate willingly. She was never in love with somebody else
when she married my Dad. And then they got to know each
other and fell madly in love. So after a few months, it wasn’t
a business arrangement anymore.”
“How sure are you that you won’t like this girl, too?”
Adrienne asked him.
Justin shook his head. “How could I even like her? I’m
already too far in love with you.”
She leaned forward and kissed his lips. Her heart
swelled with joy and broke in pain at the same time. She
was happy to hear him say he loved her enough to fight for her. But she also knew that he’s sacrificing his family for
their love. And a part of her didn’t want that for him.
“What are you going to do now, Justin?”
He smiled at her ruefully. “I can’t live without you
now, honey. I won’t. Even if it means I lose everything.”
“Are you ready to do that?”
“Will you stay with me even if I’m not Justin Adams
anymore? Even if I make a living bussing tables?”
“You know I will,” she replied. Then she grinned.
“Maybe I just might love you even more.”
He stared at her for a while and said, “Then you just
made me the happiest man alive, honey.” He leaned forward
and gave her a passionate kiss on the lips.