Benedict instantly whipped around to look at Vivian.
Her hair spilled messily over her shoulders, and there were dried tear tracks on her face. Her gaze was full of fear and uncertainty. Her clothes were rumpled and he spotted bruises all over her body, she looked worse than when she was kidnapped the last time.
The pitiful sight made Benedict’s heart clench painfully within his chest. It felt as if someone was ripping his heart and it hurt so much to the point that he could not breathe.
He rushed forward to envelop her in his embrace, holding back his own tears as he patted her back in a reassuring manner. “I’m so sorry that I am late, Vivian… I’m so sorry that you had to go through that…” he muttered, voice full of guilt and regret.
Within Benedict’s hug, Vivian finally felt safe and relieved. As soon as she let her guard down, the dam of emotions she had been trying to hold back burst wide open.
Clutching onto Benedict’s clothes, she sobbed uncontrollably. If he had arrived a minute later, she might have already lost her child by now.
Benedict only felt worse listening to his sister’s heart-breaking cries, choking up as he told her, “I’m sorry, it’s all my fault… I failed to protect you…”
That jolted Vivian from her misery. She raised her head and looked at him. Eyes still watery, she stuttered out, “Have you… you found out?”
“Yes, I have. I know that you’re my biological sister now.” Benedict wiped away her tears, looking down at her sympathetically. “Why didn’t you tell me the truth before?”
“I was afraid that you wouldn’t believe me,” Vivian sniffled. “I was scared that… you would prefer Evelyn over me… and that you would refuse to recognize me as your sister.”
“You idiot.” Benedict pulled her back into his arms. “You’re the only living family I have left. How could I ever abandon you?”
It was as if a burden was lifted off of her shoulders when she clearly sensed the affection and adoration in Benedict’s tone. Benedict didn’t hate her. He didn’t not want her as a sister. She finally had a family member that she could rely on.
With that, Vivian hugged Benedict tighter.
After a long while of crying, a question came to her mind. Staring up at him in confusion, she asked, “How did you find out that we’re related?”
With one hand stroking Vivian’s hair, Benedict started to explain everything to her.
“When you invited me to the café last time and tried to indirectly ask about Evelyn’s kidnapping, I sensed that something was off. You were acting really weird. You didn’t seem curious, but it felt more like you were testing something.
“Then, I grew even more suspicious when you called to ask about Evelyn’s birthmark. So I had someone investigate, and not only did they discover that Rachel have leukemia, but they also found out that you’re not her biological daughter.
“At that point, I was already questioning both yours and Evelyn’s true identities, and I had someone use Rachel and Evelyn’s hair to undergo a DNA test. As I’d expected, the results proved that Evelyn is Rachel’s biological daughter, and thus has no familial relation to me.”
“I see… So you’d had doubts since the very beginning.” Vivian was regretting her decision for having hidden her identity from Benedict all along. If she had told him the truth earlier, then all these unfortunate occurrences wouldn’t have happened.
“Don’t worry, Vivian. I’ll protect you from now on. No one will ever harm you or your baby as long as I’m around. I’m never letting anything like this happen again.”
Benedict’s stare was steely with determination. This was not just a promise that he was making to Vivian, but it was also a promise that he was making to himself.
Vivian’s eyes welled with tears again, and she buried her face into Benedict’s chest to sob. I’m not alone anymore. This is what it feels like to be loved and protected by a family member.
Although Rachel loved her as well, she obviously preferred Evelyn because she was her biological daughter. As a result, there were countless times when Rachel forgot to care about Vivian’s feelings.