She held Natasha’s hands and they slowly sat down by the edge of the bed. “Alright then. Today, I shall tell you my story.”
She planned to recount everything that happened, beginning with her meeting with Fabian.
“I was keeping tabs on Fabian, or should I say Mr. Norton, hoping to be able to secure an interview with him, but without luck…”
“Afterwards, we entered a legally binding marital agreement in secret. We didn’t share any mutual feelings at that time.”
“It was only later on that I found myself slowly falling for him, despite understanding that Chanaea’s a deeply class-conscious country, and our family backgrounds were worlds apart. It seemed neither possible for me to marry into the Norton family, nor for Mr. Norton to take a mere reporter as his wife.”
“What surprised me was that somewhere along the way, little by little, Mr. Norton started to care more about me. Though he had never expressed it explicitly, I felt it intimately. However, when I considered my own social standing, I had to distance myself…”
“Later on, I discovered that Mr. Norton really was in love with me. I was relieved, albeit a little worried, whether the love we had which transgresses Chanaea’s traditions would be able to stand the test of time. I had no answer for that. I was in a dark place, and afraid. I thought about avoiding him, as I dared not face him.”
“It was until I’d met with Mr. Norton’s mother that I realized how much effort he had put into trying to convince her to accept me. At that point, I told myself that I couldn’t give up on this relationship so easily. If even he could persuade his own mother, what reason have I got to concern myself with what anyone else thinks? So I’d decided there and then that I would confront any obstacle and always give the best of myself to him.”
“But Fate is cruel. She doesn’t want everyone to be happy, or perhaps it was that I had been enjoying a run of good fortune that time that she decided that she needed to put our relationship to the test. We made it through, but there were three people who harbored ill intentions toward me, one of whom had hidden herself too well…”
Hannah paused at this point. She really did regard Lyna like her own sister, and never did she expect that it was all mere pretenses. Hannah was furious when she finally discovered it, but she could only laugh at her own naivety. But all that did not bother her anymore.
“Even that couldn’t stop us. I thought our love was bulletproof, except it wasn’t. Nobody else could destroy it, except me. I couldn’t get myself over the hump.”
Hannah’s expression was tinged with shame and sadness, but she had no tears as they had already run dry. Perhaps she had come to accept that this was what Fate had decided?
“Out of my own carelessness, I miscarried in that accident that happened not so far back. I killed my own child as a mother oblivious to her own pregnancy. In the aftermath, my body wasn’t the same. It’s likely that I would never be able to conceive again.”
Natasha held her breath when she heard that. What? Miscarriage? And inability to conceive for life?
Natasha may be a cold-blooded assassin, but she was also a woman. There was no way she could not be shocked by this, as maternal love was a woman’s instinct.
As she regarded Natasha’s stunned expression, Hannah could not help but shake her own head. She was already past her own grief and regret because she knew there was nothing she could do to undo what had transpired.
“You know what happens when a family is childless, especially when you consider a man in Mr. Norton’s position. How could he be left without an heir to succeed his vast family empire?”