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On the day of her grand wedding, a sudden twist shattered Cardy's plans. In an extraordinary act, her ex-lover stormed in, disrupting the ceremony and causing it to come to an abrupt halt. In the aftermath, Cardy found herself at a crossroads, faced with two perplexing choices. Should she consider reuniting with her once-dear, but now malicious, ex-partner? Or should she embark on a contract marriage, a path laden with its own set of unknowns?

Chapter 1


"I can't do this, never!" I exclaimed, rising from my seat, the weight of the decision heavy on my shoulders.

"What can't you do? What's the big deal?" Elliot asked casually, taking a sip from his drink.

"This contract holds the key to everything. If you truly want it," he continued, a cunning smile playing on his lips.

"I can't sell away such a precious gift, not for money, not ever." I muttered silently, stealing a glance at my daughter through the office window.

I could imagine her confusion, wondering why it was taking me so long to make up my mind and sign the agreement.

"You're just a marketing company, not a force for good," I retorted, grabbing my bag as I prepared to make my exit.

"Remember, we're not just a marketing company. We are your only lifeline now. Without us, well, you know what awaits you. Give me a call when you're ready," Elliot said, his voice dripping with a veiled threat. I left his office, my mind consumed by turmoil.

"Dad! How did it go?" Cardy inquired, following me to the car. But I couldn't bring myself to divulge any details.

Sitting in the car, I awaited Cardy's arrival, silently contemplating the weight of the choice before me. She entered, her curiosity brimming over, desperate for answers.

"I can't sign that contract; it demands something I simply cannot give," I confessed, my voice heavy with resignation.

"Dad, talk to me. I'm an adult, and I came here as your manager," Cardy pleaded, her curiosity growing more intense.

But I couldn't bear to involve her in the darkness that loomed ahead. It was a burden I felt compelled to shoulder alone.

Sensing my somber mood, she offered to take the wheel, urging me to let her drive us home. With concern etched on her face, she worried about the toll this decision was taking on me. I tried to reassure her, insisting that she need not burden herself.

As we began our journey home, with the weight of the world pressing down on me, I couldn't help but wonder how far I was willing to go to protect what truly mattered to me. The contract loomed large in my thoughts, like a shadow creeping closer with every passing moment.

As we stepped foot into our home, a haunting echo reverberated through my mind, carrying the weight of Elliot's words: "Remember, we are not just a marketing company; we are your only lifeline. Without us..." Throughout the day, these words continued to play on repeat in my head like an unrelenting melody.

Deep down, I knew that even if I chose to conceal the truth from my beloved daughter, she would inevitably discover it. Contemplating this, I found myself standing before her bedroom door, hesitating yet resolute.

I knocked, anticipating her warm voice to break the silence and invite me in. However, there was no response. Puzzled, I knocked again, hoping to elicit any sign of her presence. It was unlike her to be so unresponsive. Something was amiss.

Even if she was immersed in the embrace of sleep, my persistent knocks should have stirred her awake. Growing increasingly concerned, I struck the door once more, this time with greater force. Finally, it swung open, revealing my daughter standing there with an air of urgency.

"Dad... What's happened to you?" She inquired, her eyes searching mine for answers, as we entered her room together.

I couldn't help but wonder aloud, "Why did it take you so long to open the door?" In response, she explained that the weariness from her earlier encounter in Elliot's office had weighed her down, causing an unexpected delay.

Summoning all my courage, I uttered the words that held the power to alter her world: "The contract stipulates that you must marry Elliot." Her reaction was immediate; her dormant energy awakened in an instant.

"Marry who? That arrogant and ill-mannered individual? Dad, you know I simply can't do that," she declared vehemently, her resolve echoing through her every word. And in that moment, I comprehended the depth of her objections and sympathized with her completely.

I made a solemn promise to her, ensuring that under no circumstances would she ever become Elliott's bride—not as long as the breath flowed through my lungs.

"Darling, we shall seek an alternative path," I assured her, yearning to witness a glimmer of happiness illuminate her face.

"Indeed, Father, we must find another solution, for this present predicament is utterly untenable," she responded as I rose from my seat, parched and in need of a glass of water.

However, her words persisted, fueling an inner flame of anger within me.

"But this is not my doing. Why do you cast blame on me as though I were the architect of this ill-fated agreement?" I retorted with frustration before storming out of her chamber.

The following day, as I arrived at my company, a wave of despondency washed over me when I glimpsed the disheartening sales report. Matters were spiraling downward far more rapidly than anticipated.

Noon approached, and Cardy remained conspicuously absent from the office. I attempted to reach her by phone, but she stubbornly refused to answer.

"Should I implore her to fulfill her part in this scheme? I cannot bear to witness the demise of this company; my very survival hinges upon it." I ruminated silently in pain, but I didn't want it to take me down.

"Perhaps I should offer her a substantial sum of money, a monthly remuneration, in exchange for her acceptance of the marriage proposal," I continued to muse aloud, although deep down, I acknowledged the futility of such a proposal. It was a mere figment of my imagination, for I knew she would never agree to such terms.

"Let me return home and engage her in a conversation regarding this matter," I resolved, gathering my belongings and departing from the office.

As I stepped through the front door, my eyes immediately caught sight of Cardy, engrossed in her laptop. An intriguing thought crossed my mind—perhaps she had opted to work remotely today. Quietly approaching her, I couldn't help but wonder why she had chosen to stay home instead of heading to the office like she usually did. As I posed the question, a heavy silence hung in the air, stretching on for what felt like an eternity.

Finally, Cardy broke her silence, her words striking me like a bolt of lightning. "I've made up my mind. I no longer wish to work for your company. I want to explore other opportunities elsewhere," she confessed, her voice filled with determination.

In an instant, it felt as if the weight of the world was crashing down upon me. My legs gave way beneath me, and I crumbled to the floor, utterly overwhelmed by the news. The sounds around me became muffled, distant echoes, as if I had been transported to another realm. I could hear Cardy calling out to me, her voice filled with concern, urgently summoning the nanny for assistance.

Time passed, and eventually I regained consciousness, finding myself back in my bed. Cardy sat by my side, a mixture of relief and worry etched across her face. "Dad, you're awake! Thank God!" she exclaimed, a glimmer of hope dancing in her eyes. Tenderly, she presented me with my dinner and medication, caring for me in my time of need.

In this moment of vulnerability and connection, Cardy seized the opportunity to address a question that had long lingered in her mind. "Dad, why have you never told me about my mother?" she asked, her voice filled with both curiosity and a touch of sadness. This time, I was determined to share the truth with her and unveil the reason behind my unwavering commitment to keeping our company afloat.

"She left," I began, my voice heavy with the weight of past sorrow. "She left us right after giving birth to you." Before I could continue, Cardy interjected, a mixture of confusion and anguish in her voice. "Why did she leave you? What did you do to her?" Her questions cut through me like a knife, reopening old wounds.

I recounted the fateful day when I returned home from work to discover a note from her mother. In that letter, she expressed her desire to chase her dreams and promised to return with wealth. However, time had passed, and there had been no trace of her since. The years slipped away, and as Cardy stood before me at twenty-four years old, it seemed increasingly unlikely that her mother was still alive. The reality of this truth brought forth a deluge of tears from my eyes, a mixture of grief and heartache pouring forth.

In the midst of an intense moment, I seized the opportunity to pour out my thoughts to her. I spoke softly but urgently, knowing the weight of my words.

"Darling, I believe you should seriously consider marrying Elliot. Our company's sales are plummeting with each passing day," I began, but before I could finish, she interrupted me, her voice filled with disbelief.

"What? Dad, are you actually saying this to me right now?" She rose from the bed, ready to leave, but I couldn't let her slip away just yet. I reached out and gently grasped her hand, pleading with her.

"Please, my angel, don't do this to me! I'm willing to pay you an additional $20,000 each month, on top of your regular salary." I made the offer, hoping it would sway her decision.

"Dad, no amount of money will make me sacrifice my dignity for that disrespectful CEO of Hudson Group. That's my final word," she responded firmly, determination etched in her voice. But I couldn't give up. The future of my company was hanging in the balance, and I couldn't bear the thought of her and her children enduring the same hardships her mother and I had faced.

"Are you willing to do this for the sake of your father and future generations?" I pleaded, desperation creeping into my words. My heart ached, torn between my love for my daughter and the survival of the empire I had built.

The room fell silent as we locked eyes, each of us holding our ground. The weight of the decision hung heavy in the air, and I wondered what path she would ultimately choose. Would she sacrifice her own happiness for the sake of her family's legacy? Or would she stand firm, refusing to compromise?

Chapter 2


As I stood there, contemplating the situation, a torrent of thoughts swirled in my mind. Was my father truly expecting me to embrace this? Could I bring myself to accept it? But then, a haunting question arose: what if I refused, and the consequences turned dire? The weight of the choice pressed upon me, urging me to make a decision.

I gazed at him, my father, his face reflecting a mix of concern and hope. I took a deep breath, my countenance showing my internal struggle, and resigned myself to a difficult path—a path that could potentially save his life. I knew deep within that I possessed the strength and determination to forge my own destiny, for the sake of future generations.

"Dad, I can't go through with this," I managed to utter, my voice trailing off as he interjected, desperate to hear my reasoning.

"Please, my dear, don't say that," he pleaded, his eyes brimming with worry.

"Dad, pleas


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