Prologue

1234 Words

Cebu City is one of the highly urbanized cities in the Philippines. At the heart and the business center of the city, there lies a huge and tall building of the Santana Group of Companies. It has twenty-five floors and a helipad on the rooftop. The Chief Executive Office is found on the twenty-fourth level of the building. The room is huge and it occupies almost half of the entire area of the said level. It has a private lift that goes directly inside the CEO's office and a common lift just a few steps from the secretary's table. From the main door, anyone who enters the office will immediately meet the CEO's wooden table made of narra and a modern quilted brown leather swivel chair. Behind are the glass walls that overlook the entire city. In front of his table were a pair of chairs upholstered with white leather to cover its seat, armrest, and back. On the left was a long sofa set upholstered in velvet grey that could accommodate about a dozen people. At the center was a coffee table made of glass. On the right was another glass wall tinted with black, with a shelf of books and decorations next to it.

Back at the CEO's table, a man is sitting with his head resting on the back of his swivel chair. He is the CEO, Kendrick Santana. A well-known bachelor and a billionaire in the entire business world, not just in Cebu, but in the whole country. Aside from that, he is known for not having a girlfriend or any woman involved with him, which sometimes made people doubt their silence about his sexuality.

He looked so exhausted, he loosened his tie and heaved a deep sigh. His mind was in chaos after his conversation with his parents a night ago.

“You cannot get full ownership of your inheritance and the entire company until you're married,” Alberto Santana, Kendrick's father, said with authority.

“Your Dad is right, Son. We are planning to donate everything to charity if you are able to get married at thirty,” Sandra Santana, his mother, added.

“What?! That's unfair Dad, Mom!” He stood up abruptly upon hearing his parent's statement.

“You have a year to do it or find a woman to marry,” Alberto continued.

He smiled forcefully, “But you know that I don't have a girlfriend and I don't have any plans to find one.”

“And what is the reason why you don't have any plan to get a woman to have your family?” Sandra asked.

“Mom, I already told you the reasons why. I don't want to keep repeating myself,” he said, emphasizing it.

“And you just accept it easily when people say you're gay because of not getting into a relationship? Not all women are just after your wealth!” His Dad seconded.

“I never found one like you said, Dad, and I don't care what people say. I'm busy growing our business and I hope that you will consider that to change your decision about my inheritance,” he retorted.

Kendrick became the Chief Executive Officer of their company at the age of twenty-five. While still studying his Business Management course, he is already under training to be a successor to his Dad's position in the company. He had just turned twenty-three when he was appointed to be one of the executive officers of their company. And because of his intelligence and efficiency at work, his company did great and made his Dad proud of him. He was celebrating his twenty-fifth birthday when Alberto suffered from a stroke and was forced to pass his position to Kendrick, who was a Chief Operating Officer at that time. He first gave the position to Marco, his nephew, but the latter refused. He said he was not ready to be the CEO of the company. He was the Chief Technology Officer of the company and he said he loved the work he had. Since Kendrick has a higher position next to the CEO, he was chosen then.

He was still in deep thought when the door swung open and made him come back to his senses and heave a sigh of relief.

“Hey, Bro! What's with that face?” Asked the guy who had just entered the room.

He is Carlo Madriaga, Kendrick's best friend. Earlier he called him to come to his office. He is the person he will always think first when he is in a situation like he has now. He gestured to him to sit on the sofa and he picked up the intercom to ask his secretary to make some coffee for them. He joined Carlo afterward.

“So, why all of a sudden did you call me to come?” Carlo asked him again after they greeted each other. Carlo has been his best friend since they were young. Their family is their closest friend.

“Find me a woman to be my girlfriend,” he said nonchalantly.

Carlo burst out into laughter but stopped when he saw his serious face.

“But why all of a sudden? And Bro, it's not easy to find one. I mean seriously, you cannot just ask anyone to be your girlfriend, not that way. Only those women who are dying to capture you are the easiest, but when it comes to a woman of your standard, it's quite difficult,” Carlo said. He knows that Kendrick has no girlfriend because he finds all the women that surround them find him as a piece of jewellery to show off or flaunt to their peers. He knows that his best friend wants to find a woman that will truly love him as he is and not as someone to show off. Most of all, he doesn't like any commitment at the moment, since he is not ready, his mind is still focused on his business.

“Maybe Kyle knows one?” He told Carlo. Kyle is Carlo's husband. Carlo is gay, that makes those people judge Kendrick as the same because they know that they are best friends.

“Okay, I'll ask him, but is this for real? I mean you're going to marry her?”

“Contractual,” he replied, which made Carlo widen his eyes.

“What?!” Carlo was surprised. He didn't expect his answer.

“Bro, my parents wanted to donate all this wealth to charity if I was not married yet at thirty. You know how much I worked hard to maintain our family's legacy and even brought this on top, right? I am not greedy, but you know how much I am attached to all of these,” he said as he looked around his office things like showing his friend all his hard work. For him, his parents don't need to give him an ultimatum because they are already doing charity work ever since the company was founded by his grandparents and he continues doing it up to the present. He didn't understand the point of his parents, so he came up with the decision and asked for his friend's help.

Carlo leaned his back to the sofa. “Okay, I understand your point. I will ask Kyle if he knows someone,” Carlo said and tapped his shoulder.

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