Ted watched Lucia sleep like a baby. He smiled contentedly. Lucia squirmed. She opened her eyes and gazed at Ted. He seemed asleep. She smiled and brushed the back of her hand across his cheek. She turned and attempted to get out of bed but Ted’s arm which suddenly wrapped around her middle stopped her. She glanced at his arm and tried taking it off her but it wouldn’t budge. She almost startled when she was pulled closer into his bosom. She turned to look at his face. He was smiling.
“Good morning, love,” he said and kissed her neck.
“You’re awake! Thought you were asleep.”
“I was…I just woke up. How did you sleep?”
“Like a baby.” They kissed. They heard a phone beep. Ted stretched his hand and took it.
“It is your phone…and it is a message alert from my mother,” Ted said.
“Oh yeah, I think she wants to know if it all went well last night,” Lucia said,
“Oh then, we should show her,” Ted said.
“Show her?” Ted switched on the camera.
“What are you doing?” Lucia asked curiously.
“Giving her live proof,” he said, wrapping his arm around her.
“Ugh…ugh, no. No, Ted. No selfies.”
“Come on, it’s my mum; I know she’d want proof.”
“My word will be enough.”
“Words may lie, but pictures don’t. Come on.”
“No, it’s embarrassing!” Lucia said stubbornly, covering her face with her hands.
“Come on, I think it’s cute. Just one. Come on,” he said and placed his lips on her cheek.
“One, two…” Lucia took her hands away.
“That’s it.” He took the photo.
“Aww…aren’t we a cute couple?” He asked and sent it to his mother. He put the phone down.
“And I’m sure my mother will see it in the next minute.”
“They will pop champagne for us,” Ted said, smiling.
“What’s the time?”
“Almost ten, why?”
“Aren’t you late for work?” Lucia asked.
“Are you serious? I’m on my honeymoon,” Ted said. They both smiled. Lucia’s phone beeped again. Ted took it.
“And she sent a smiley back,” Ted announced. Lucia chuckled.
”So what do you want to do?” He asked.
“Eat; I’m hungry.”
“Why do you always wake up so hungry?”
“I don’t know…perhaps I used up all my energy last night.” They both laughed.
“Okay, I’ll order room service.” He took the phone and ordered breakfast.
“And we have to be out of here by noon,” Lucia reminded him.
“Okay, so we have about thirty minutes before the meal arrives…that’s a lot of time to do a recap of last night’s activities.”
Lucia giggled as he climbed on top of her. They kissed.
Anita entered Ted’s office and was surprised to meet his mother.
“Mrs. Bourbon, I wasn’t expecting you here so early.”
“Yeah, I’m taking care of business in my son’s stead.”
“Is he okay?”
“Oh yes, he is. He’s now beginning to enjoy the delicacies of marriage.”
“Have a seat, Anita. There’s something we need to discuss.” She sat.
“I realized you didn’t make it to Ted’s wedding which is understandable but I do know that you were a threat to Ted and Lucia getting married.”
“You know what I’m talking about so don’t play dumb with me. I want to know what you are up to.”
“Don’t waste my time, Anita. I know the kind of woman you are so let’s skip the pretentious theatrics, shall we?” Mrs. Bourbon said sternly. They locked gazes.
“Okay,” Anita conceded with a shrug. She chuckled.
“I can’t believe he sent his mama to do the talking for him,” Anita said.
“He didn’t. He doesn’t know about this. I am doing this for my family’s sake. I want all loose ends tied up. I hate nasty surprises so whatever you want…”
“I’m pregnant,” she blurted out.
“Wow…good for you. But why should that be Ted’s problem?”
“Isn’t that obvious?”
“How’s that possible? He’s been with Lucia Monique for quite some time now.”
“Well, Ted came to me for comfort when his beloved left town for who-knows what sometime back.”
“Oh I see…you jumped in when she vacated the spot, didn’t she?”
“I was there for him when she wasn’t. You know Ted’s needs are always my priority.” Mrs. Bourbon smiled.
“I see…you know the drill. I won’t just take your word for it. I’d ask you to take…”
“Don’t worry about that. Your son has already taken the initiative. I took a test which was by the way confirmed that I am pregnant. So when the time is right, we’ll proceed with paternity tests.”
“You seem confident,” Mrs. Bourbon observed.
“Yet I know….no, we both know that little thing growing in your womb is not my grandchild.”
“Mrs. Bourbon, don’t tell me you’re going to be prejudiced against my child because unlike Lucia, I don’t come from a wealthy family.”
“Come on, Anita; you know I’m not that shallow. I was ready to accept you as my daughter-in-law not so long ago…”
“And you pushed me aside when the rich princess came into the picture, didn’t you?” Anita blew back.
“You smell like trouble and I don’t like the stench so walk out and come back with your resignation letter.”
“You’re sacking me?”
“I’m afraid your appointment in this company has been terminated. It is obvious that instead of focusing on why you were hired here, you want to do everything in your power to destroy this great establishment.”
“You can’t do this. You need me here. I’m indispensable!”
“No, you’re not, honey. No one ever is.” Anita got up, boiling with rage.
“You’re going to regret this, Mrs. Bourbon.”
“Unless you have a short term memory, you’d keep in mind that I don’t respond very well to threats.”
“I am carrying Bourbon blood which means I’ve every right to this company…”
“Don’t go ahead of yourself. We don’t know that for sure and even if that’s true, that doesn’t mean anything. A concubine’s child has no right to the inheritance because he is no heir. Get me your resignation letter or God help me, I’ll get security to throw you out.”
“I could sue you for wrongful termination, you know.”
“Bring it on…you’ll lose and all you’ll be left with would be pennies and don’t forget, you have a fatherless bastard to take care of.”
Anita walked out, fuming. Mrs. Bourbon tapped her fingers on the table, thinking.
Ted and Lucia arrived at the Bourbon mansion in the evening.
“Wow…everyone is here,” Lucia said.
“I told you…our marriage is cause for celebration,” Ted said, kissing her on the cheek.
“Hi mum,” Lucia greeted as she hugged her.
“Look at you, you’re glowing!”
“Don’t exaggerate this, mum.”
“I’m not. Look at her, isn’t she glowing?”
“Indeed she is. Let’s move to the dinner table, shall we? I’m starving.”
The families settled at the table and wined and dined amidst hearty chats. As they were taking the desserts, Mrs. Bourbon spoke up.
“We have a problem.”
“I could tell from the tone of your voice. What is it?” Ted inquired.
“It’s Anita. I believe she’s a threat to us all.”
“You spoke to her? Mum! I told you I was handling it,” Ted said.
“I can’t believe you got her pregnant, son,” Mr. Bourbon said.
“I know, dad. I’m sorry; it was a fatal mistake.”
“I asked her to resign…”
“Was that a good idea? She could rebel,” Lucia pointed out.
“Oh yeah, she made that pretty clear. I want to find out, are you absolutely sure her baby is yours?”
“It’s Anita, mum. It could be true, it could be someone else’s.”
“Who else could she be sleeping with?” Lucia’s mother asked.
“Jake, perhaps. She cheated on me with him sometime back.”
“Good; I’ll check up on him. We have to fortify this family before she causes more trouble. I’m sorry if it sounds unreasonable but you two should start thinking seriously about making a baby,” Mrs. Bourbon said. Lucia gaped.
“We…we just got married,” Lucia replied, shocked.
“I know…but we do need an heir or heiress to solidify ourselves. We can’t allow any bastard to come rob us of what we’ve all worked so hard to earn.”
Lucia gulped her wine down. Ted rubbed her back.
“So I want you to keep an eye out for her. She might retaliate by throwing us a suit for wrongful termination but I’ve got that handled.” They all nodded.
“So before I ruin this wonderful moment any further, let’s make a toast to the union of our families, shall we?” She raised her glass and so did the others.
“To love, peace and prosperity to us all!”
They clinked their glasses and drank.