Jason looked at Fabian with such a mix of envy and awe that his gaze almost bore a hole through Fabian’s skull.
“I have a question. Why did you decide to tell me all this now, after two months have already passed?” Hendrick asked quizzically after a moment’s deep thought.
“Hannah didn’t want me to at first. She said the time wasn’t right. Afterward, I was busy with an endless stream of work at the office and couldn’t find the time to pay the two of you a visit,” Fabian replied apologetically.
“Fortunately, since both of you had planned to head over to the hospital to take care of Hannah, I decided that it was the best time to be totally honest. I wanted the two of you to meet my mother, too, to discuss my and Hannah’s wedding. I have to make it up to her for our hasty marriage before,” Fabian continued sheepishly.
Wow! I hope Fabian lets me be his best man, Jason thought excitedly. He was glad that Fabian and Hannah would indeed be getting married.
Hendrick, however, seemed apprehensive. His brow, having just relaxed, immediately furrowed once more. Awkwardly, Hendrick stammered, “Fabian, I may not be able to have the final say in this matter. I’m sure you know that I… I’m not Hannah’s real father. I don’t think I’m entirely qualified to approve of your marriage to Hannah.”
If it had been up to Hendrick, he would have instantly sanctioned Hannah and Fabian’s union. However, Hannah was now accountable to another family. Both Leo and Winson had laid their claims on Hannah as her father and brother, respectively. Just two days ago, Leo had approached Hendrick to discuss the matter of Hannah legally becoming a Blackwood.
Upon hearing Hendrick’s statement of resignation, Jason felt indignant on Hendrick’s behalf. What right did the Blackwood family have to abandon Hannah, then demand her back at a whim? Had Hendrick’s labor all been in vain then?
“Don’t worry about that, Mr. Young. I’ve already checked with Hannah, and she doesn’t want to join the Blackwoods. She still acknowledges the Young family as her own. The only one holding her back is Winson,” Fabian explained.
Ha! Hannah is a fitting partner for Fabian indeed, Jason smirked. She clearly doesn’t give a damn about the Blackwoods. Surely they can’t expect Hannah to have any feelings for them whatsoever after treating her so wretchedly!
Jason’s approval of Hannah had gone up through the roof over the course of Hendrick and Fabian’s exchange. She sounded exactly like someone Jason could get along with.
“But the Blackwoods approached me yesterday to discuss the matter of Hannah changing her last name…” Hendrick said fearfully.
“Don’t worry. Hannah had already plainly expressed her refusal to the Blackwoods. She won’t be changing her last name. Furthermore, Hannah is insistent that her wedding matters will be none of the Blackwood family’s business. She even jokingly reflected that a brother and a few other friends were all she would be gaining from the Blackwoods’ side,” Fabian continued, reassuring.
Hendrick felt relief wash over him. He’d long harbored the secret fear that Hannah would grow aloof once she’d married. Hendrick could now rest easy knowing that the Young family had a secure place in Hannah’s heart. He felt slightly ashamed for having overthought things before.
Nonetheless, Hendrick remained somewhat conflicted. Hannah would benefit from joining the Blackwoods. They were, after all, a wealthy and distinguished family, and Hannah would indeed stand to gain a sizeable inheritance. Hendrick, however, could promise Hannah no such fortune. In fact, there was even the possibility that the Youngs might have to rely on Hannah for financial support in the future.
On the other hand, Hendrick’s fatherly instincts yearned to have his daughter remain by his side. Hannah may not have been Hendrick’s own flesh and blood, but he’d amassed no small amount of love for Hannah from the twenty years or so from raising her. The Youngs had always treated Hannah as their own. Neither Hendrick nor Gillian could bear the thought of parting with Hannah.
“All right. Let’s clarify things once and for all. Hannah loves you both deeply, so please don’t break her heart in the name of her supposedly bright future,” Fabian declared solemnly as he looked at Hendrick and Gillian in turn.