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   Chapter 1 Hannah’s Lie

The Billionaire's Demand By Shafira Sardar Characters: 10877

Updated: 2018-07-14 12:02


Placing a hand on her sternum Hannah tried to breathe through nausea. She'd demand of her body to keep going and stop holding her back. Closing her eyes she focused entirely on making herself feel better, maybe it was positive thinking because when she opened her eyes again the need to throw up was gone.

Grabbing the wooden tray filled with two steaming cups of jasmine tea and two plates of red velvet cake she pushed through the thick door and entered the store with a smile on her face. She approached the two lovely ladies sitting by the window and placed their order on the table, making sure she didn't spill anything. The ladies appreciated her effort, showing her their bright smiles.

"Thank you, dear." The lady in the blue dress told her.

Hannah lowered the tray, "No problem, let me know if you need anything else."

The lady in the beige dress grabbed onto her wrist and kept her in place, "How are you feeling, dear. Your mother told me you were feeling under the weather the past few days."

She should have known these well-dressed ladies were friends of her mother. Her usual customers were students who did their schoolwork while sipping tons of coffee and eating sweets. Rarely did people who looked like they owned a yacht visit her little coffee shop.

"I'm fine now." She reassured the lady in the beige dress, forcing a polite smile on her face as she brushed back a blonde lock which escaped from her messy bun, "My mother worries too much. But I suppose I can't blame her seeing parents always worry about their children."

The lady in blue nodded, "Well said, sometimes I wished my children would see it that way."

Hannah knew the only reason why she was tolerating her mother's protective behavior was that she was becoming a parent herself. She knew once her baby was born she'd be the same. Always worrying, wanting her child to be safe and protected.

"They'll will, one day." Hannah promised the lady in blue, "Now if you excuse me I need to get back to work."

The lady in blue nodded, "Yes, of course, dear."

Placing the tray on the counter, Hannah watched as her kitchen help entered the store with a tray filled with delicious smelling blueberry muffins.

"Those smell amazing, Maria."

The brunette grinned, "Right?" She stalled them out in the display which kept their products fresh and then looked up, meeting Hannah's gaze, "I put the dishes in the dishwasher and updated the stock list. I'll be working on the cheesecake now. Do you need anything else?"

Hannah placed her hand on Maria's shoulder, giving her a reassuring squeeze, "No, you're doing great work. I don't know what I'd do without you."

Maria's eyes softened, "You don't have to find out either. I'm here to stay."

Hannah was rearranging the sweets on the display when she heard someone clear their throat, trying to get her attention. Standing up she smiled at the older man who stood across her, wearing a nice blue sweater and gray slacks. His sleeves were rolled up, revealing an expensive watch to her. His hair was neatly styled while his hazel eyes took her in and then softened, a warm smile spreading across his face. She was sure the man was in his late forties, maybe even fifties, but you couldn't tell. He looked amazingly handsome for his age.

"I'd like a cappuccino to go, please."

"Anything else, sir?"

"No, that's fine."

She nodded and then went right to work, preparing his cappuccino, making sure not to mess the order up and carefully put the lid on, not wanting to break it. She put a sleeve around the cup to make sure the man wouldn't burn himself and then handed him his coffee. He paid in cash, a bit too much, but he told her to keep the change. She watched as he spun around ready to leave the store but then faced her again. His eyes once again taking her in. She could have sworn he was also staring at her when she was preparing his order. He approached the counter again and placed his free hand on the wooden counter, his hazel eyes narrowing on her.

"Excuse me-." His eyes trailed to her hands before he met her gaze again, "Miss, by any chance, did you stay at the D'Amore hotel last summer?"

She swallowed, not wanting the memories which she pushed into a box being unlocked by this strange man, unfortunately, she couldn't keep the lid closed now. The memories were flooding back to her, but she forced herself to stay grounded. Putting on her impassive mask she lied through her teeth, not wanting to have any connections to that hotel or the man who owned it.

"I'm sorry, I think you've confused me with someone else."

His eyes scanned her face, his eyes telling her he didn't quite believe her answer, "Is that so?" He muttered, his hand tightening around the cup, "Anyway, thank you for the coffee. Have a nice day, Miss."

Once the man left the coffee shop she let out a sigh of relief. She couldn't catch her breath yet though because the lady in blue approached the counter, looking curious about the whole ordeal.

"Who was that man?" She asked, "His style was to die for, don't you think? I didn't spot a ring on his finger so I'm guessing he is still free."

"I don't know." Hannah told her honestly, "But you're right he was well dressed."

"Did you see that watch." The lady in blue leaned over the counter and narrowed her brown eyes on her, "That screams money to me. Handsome, rich and single, what more can a

woman ask for?"

A lot. Good health throughout the years and a steady income to provide for your family. There were so many great things Hannah could think of, but she knew the lady in blue wouldn't agree. She didn't actually want to hear her opinion, she just wanted to gossip about the well-dressed man who looked like a model.

"You're right, " Hannah told the woman, not even believing her own words.

Like she thought the woman didn't care, she kept talking on and on about how hard it was to find a decent man to date at her age, that Hannah was lucky to be young and beautiful, in the prime of her life to find a good husband. Hannah didn't want to listen to any of that if she wanted to be preached at for not being married yet she'd give her mother a call. Unfortunately, she had to smile and pretend to be interested in what the lady in blue had to say. It was her job. So Hannah turned off her brain, working on auto-pilot while she let the woman talk off her ears.

***

Hannah kicked off her flats and moved through her apartment, she didn't feel like cooking a complicated meal. Instead, she let some pasta boil in a pot and searched through her fridge for the sauce she made that weekend, heating it up in another pot to have a simple meal. She placed her hand on her stomach, glad she didn't feel sick again. She knew things couldn't continue like that. She owned a small coffee shop and she couldn't afford to take a few days off. She had to push forward. In that moment of weakness though she couldn't help but think that she should have taken the other option. The father of her child didn't even know she was pregnant and she had no intention to tell the cheater either. It would be hard raising a child on her own, so yeah, sometimes her mind wondered to the option which could make her life easier. She reached for her phone and answered it, knowing it was her mother.

"Hey, mom."

"Hannah." Her mother greeted back, "Jenny and Lisa seemed to enjoy having their tea at the shop."

"They were very chatty, " Hannah told her mother, not wanting to sound rude about them, but not wanting to lie either.

The ladies got on her nerves, especially since they were so different in every way from her. They believed getting a husband was the biggest accomplishment of their lives while Hannah believed making sure her coffee shop wouldn't go bankrupt and getting through the year without any health issues was her biggest accomplishment.

"I'm curious about that man Jenny kept talking about."

Hannah rolled her eyes, of course, her mother was also interested in him. She didn't mind that her mother started thinking about dating again. It had been five years since her father passed away, but hearing her mother wanting to date a man solemnly based on his looks and wealth hurt her. She wished her mother wasn't that shallow, but unfortunately, she was.

"Next time he stops by I'll text you." Hannah had been joking, but her mother sounded over the moon by it.

"Please do."

There was an awkward silence between them before her mother continued, "Have you decided what to do about your situation."

Hannah moved to the stove and stirred the sauce, "It's not a situation, mom. I'm pregnant and I've thought about it. I'm thinking about it every day and I'm not going to change my decision."

Her mother sighed, "Honey, keeping the child isn't beneficial for you or that child. Do you think you can do it? Raising a baby on your own and running a shop? It will break you. I know you don't want to give up the shop so you need to-"

"Give up the baby?" She asked, finishing her mother's sentence, "That's not going to happen."

Her mother was silent for a moment before she continued, "Have you considered reaching out to the father? I know you're against it, but he could support you through all of this."

"You don't even know him, mom." I pointed out, "He cheated on me, do you think someone like that would make a great father to a child. When something better comes along he loses interest and moves on, without looking back. I don't see how he can be helpful to me."

"I don't even know him because you're not telling me who he is!"

"It's not important, he's only the sperm donor."

"My God, Hannah, I don't know what to do with you."

"Just respect my wishes, mom, that's all I need from you." She took the wooden spoon out of the pot and placed it on the small plate next to the stove, "I gotta go, mom. I'm going to take a shower and eat dinner. We'll talk tomorrow during lunch? You're still coming over, right?"

"Yes, of course." Her mother sounded less depressed already, "Goodnight, honey."

"Goodnight."

Ending the call Hannah turned off the stove and headed to the bedroom to freshen up and change into some comfortable clothes. She tossed her phone on her bedside table and strolled into her bathroom. While she took a shower her mind drifted like always. She had thought about contacting the father of her child many times. Whenever she felt sick or thought she couldn't do it on her own her mind wondered to that man. But whenever her mind did wonder to him she remembered how he hurt her. He didn't care about her, a man like that she didn't want in her life. So she told herself over and over again not to be weak and suck it up. She'd find a way to make it all work. She was only three months pregnant, she still had time to figure things out.

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