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all the wrong reasons Episode 37


“Are you all right?” Jin Starck asked Adrienne.
She nodded slowly.
Her hand went to her cheek, ru-bbing it to ease a little
of the sting caused by her mother’s palm. Jill and Yuan now
stood behind her, trying to give whatever comfort they
could provide at that moment, both were throwing daggers
at Kim and her mother with their eyes.
Jin turned to look at her mother, her father and her
sister. He stood in front of Adrienne, as if to shield her
against her own family.
The charming, mischievous and seemingly innocent
aura that he usually possessed seemed to have evaporated
instantly. Instead, her family faced a cold, murderous and
scary man that even froze her mother in her place.
Jin pointed a f!nger to her mother and said, “You to-uch
her again, and you will find yourself with a [email protected] lawsuit!
And I will file a complaint with the state medical board to
make sure you will never be able to practice your profession
ever again!” he said in a voice that almost sounded like a
growl. He turned to Adrienne. “I’m the one who posted bail.”
“Is this the rich b©yfri£ndyou were talking about?”
her mother asked Kim in a low voice.
Kim shook her head. “No, it’s a different guy.” She
rolled her eyes and murmured, “What a slut!”
Unfortunately for her, Jin Starck heard that.
“Kimberly Alexis Miller!” Jin said in a booming, loud
voice that turned everyb©dy in the room silent. “Adrienne
only had two b©yfri£nds in her life and she ba-rely even saw
one of them. Is that your definition of a slut? Or is it the
goody-two-shoes who lost her V-card at the age of thirteen to her college neighbor, Danny. Then sle-pt with the whole
football team in high school, including the married coach.
“Bar-hopping every weekend in med school, waking
up with strangers in the morning. slee-ping with university
professors to make sure she got the grades she wanted…
and slee-ping with someb©dy high up as her insurance for
Adrienne watched Kimberly’s face drain of blood.
“I’ve got dirt on you Miss Miller. And when my people
dig, they dig de-ep,” Jin said relentlessly. “Does your mother
know you were treated for s-xually transmitted diseases at
least six times now?” Jin tried to look innocent and then he
added, “Oh! I guess you went to a different OB-GYN. Too
bad, Dr. Miller. Your daughter would have made a good
patient. Lots of repeat consultations and procedures.”
Kim’s eyes filled with tears. Her face was white. And
everyb©dy, including Troy and his parents heard what Jin
Starck said to her.
“How dare you say those lies about my daughter?”
Mrs. Miller asked angrily.
“How dare you [email protected] f!nger on Adrienne!” Jin barked
back at her. Then he stared at Kimberly. “And they weren’t
lies, were they, Miss Miller?”
“Who are you anyway? Why do you say these things
like you own us? Like you could buy us?” Adrienne’s mother
asked angrily.
Adrienne’s father on the other hand was staring at Jin
with narrowed eyes, like he was trying to place him.
Jin stared at Mrs. Miller and Kimberly crossly. “My
name is Jin.” He looked at Adrienne gently. “Jin Adrien
Starck.” Then he gave Adrienne’s father a sharp look.
Adrienne’s father [email protected], as if the name rang a bell.
And then his face turned red. He suddenly looked ghastly.
“I own Starck h0teliers Corporation, so yes, I think I
can buy you!” Jin said to Adrienne’s mother. Then he turned Adrienne and gave her a rueful look. “And I’m also… your
Adrienne [email protected] Her hand went to her mouth.
Brother? How?
“You’re Kim’s brother too?” Adrienne asked softly.
“Thank God, no!” Jin replied. Then he gave her father
a [email protected] look. “You should have told her a long time ago. Now,
you lost that chance!”
“What truth?” Adrienne asked, confused.
“Adrienne…” Her father started.
“Your father’s real name was Henry Dennison.” Jin cut
him off. “When you were two years old, he changed his
name to Henry Miller, with the help of Marina Miller, of
course, the lady you thought was your mother.”
Adrienne stared at her father in shock. “Daddy…why?”
Her father now has tears in his eyes. “Because…I
didn’t want your real mother to take you away from me.”
“My real mother?” Adrienne echoed. She looked at Jin.
“Our mother, Adrienne,” Jin said as gently as he could.
Adrienne shook her head. “How…how…I don’t
“Our mother was raised in the States, where she met
your Dad and had you. But she didn’t tell him who she was
in France. She was an heiress of a h0tel tycoon and her
father had arranged for her to marry his business
@ssociate’s son…Pierre Starck, the then heir of Starck
h0teliers Corporation, my father.” Jin said.
Adrienne watched her father’s reaction. He couldn’t
even look at Adrienne now.
“Your parents separated and after, our mother found out
that her father was suffering from cancer. He was
considered terminal when Mom went back to France. She
couldn’t tell him that she had a family in the States because
she thought he would never forgive her. And she didn’t want
him to bring that pain to his grave. But she told my Dad
about you and he still agreed to marry her nevertheless.
“Mother made arrangements for your father to keep
you safe until after her wedding and she would take you to
France. Your father agreed to give her custody of you…
because she would be able to take better care of you. She
trusted your father. But when she went back to the States,
Henry Dennison disappeared, without a trace. So did you.”
Adrienne’s father was crying now. Finally, he looked at
her with great remorse.
“All my life, my mother searched for you, Adrienne.
Her heart was broken and her happiness with us never
seemed complete because she thought she lost you,” Jin
continued. “My father hired people to look for Henry
because he promised our Mom he would return you to her.
But we were in vain. All we had was a picture of you, when
you were two years old. Our grandfather [email protected]£ to know
about you eventually and forgave our mother. Even on his
death be-d, he wished for you to be returned to us.”
Then Jin stared at her father. “You changed your name
and hers and erased her mother from her past. You let her
grow up thinking that her own mother and sister couldn’t
love her. You deprived her of the maternal love she so
deserved.” He gave the Mr. Miller a disgusted look. “What
kind of father are you?” Jin almost spat.
“If you had let her live with us, my father would have
loved her as his own! She is the daughter of one of the
wealthiest women in France and you deprived her of her
birthright. You deprived her of the luxuries she could have
lived with. She could have lived like a princess all her life!
You denied her all of that. But what’s unforgiveable…is that
you deprived her of the joy that a loving family would give
Adrienne stared at her father. She struggled to find
her voice. “Dad…plea-se…tell me it isn’t true!”
Her father closed his eyes. Tears rolled down his
cheeks. “I was afraid of losing you, baby. I knew how
powerful your mother was and I knew she could take you away from me. I was…a struggling doctor. I had little means
to fight for you. Especially not against your mother and her
new husband.” He took a de-ep breath and turned to Marina.
“We had a deal,” he said to her. “I will father your daughter
and in return you would replace Adrienne’s mother in her
life, give her the motherly love she needed. But…you never
loved her.”
“How could I love her?” Adrienne’s mother fired back.
“Every time I look at your daughter…all I see is…her! Ariana
Blanc! The love of your life! I was everything to you before
you met her! You left me for her! And then when she left
you, you [email protected]£ back to me! I accepted you thinking that
things would go back to the way they used to be. But no!
You couldn’t love me the way you loved her. She meant the
whole world to you! She left your life, but she never left your
heart! I know it! I feel it!
“So, how could you expect me to love her daughter
the way I loved my own? She reminded me of how you left
me for her mother! And how you asked me to save you
when she left you torn and broken. You married me after
Kim’s father left me…after Adrienne’s mother left you. But
you never stopped loving her!”
Adrienne looked at the mother she’s known all her life.
She wasn’t just imagining it. Now, she knew the truth that
she tried to deny over and over all her life: Her mother
never loved her.
“Mom…I truly loved you. I was content just to have…a
little bit of the love you gave Kim. And all my life I asked
myself why you couldn’t love us equally.” Tears rolled down
her cheeks. “I truly believed there was something wrong
with me.” She shook her head. “But there wasn’t. All my life,
you took out your jealousy on me.”
Marina looked at Adrienne, contempt still visible on
her face. But she didn’t say anything. Either she had
nothing to say to her, or she felt scared that if she did lash out on her, Jin Starck will retaliate, at her or at Kim’s
“This is so messed up!” Adrienne breathed. Then she
looked at Jin. “How long have you known?”
“Not long,” he replied. “When I first saw you, I thought
you looked very familiar. So familiar that I found it creepy. It
even gave me goosebu-mps. After a while, I realized why. You
look like Mom when she was your age. Then I set up a
meeting with you to get to know you. And to get a DNA
sample from you.”
“How did you do that?”
Jin sighed. “We dined in my restaurant, Adrienne. It
was easy enough to sneak out the [email protected] you used and
immediately s£nd it to a lab. My staff got briefed
beforehand on what they needed to do. You didn’t even
realize it.”
“And they compared it to my DNA. Just as I suspected.
We had the same mitochondrial DNA, which means, we
have the same mother. And trust me. I made the lab run the
test three times. You are my sister, Adrienne.” No matter
how gentle his voice was, the bl-ow still felt the same to
Adrienne. It didn’t take away the fact that her parents had
lied to her all her life.
Jin turned to her father. “I must admire the way you
covered your tracks. We searched high and low.” Then he
looked at her mother. “You must know all sorts of crooks to
be able to pu-ll off what you did.” Jin shook his head. “But
you can’t get in the way of fate, and the truth, of course.
God found a way for Adrienne and I to meet. Unfortunately
for you, I don’t believe in coincidences. And I always follow
my gut feelings.”
Adrienne looked at her father. She honestly didn’t
know what to feel. She felt mad at him for what he did. She
was angry at the fact that he f0rç£d her to live with a
monstrous woman who did nothing but belittle her and destroy her self-respect. She [email protected]£ furious that he stole
precious years she could have spent with her real mother
and her real brother. Years she could never get back.
“Adrienne…” her father stated softly. “I am sorry, my
child. I am so, so sorry.”
Adrienne bit herl-ip. Tears overflowing her eyes, she
said to him, “You could have at least stood up for me
throu-ghout all these years, Daddy. The mother I’ve known
may not have a reason to love me. But you did. You could
have fought for me all these years that she and Kim made
my life miserable. All those years that Mom made me feel I
was good for nothing. Those years that they crushed my
spirit and crippled my self-worth.” She couldn’t help herself.
She wasn’t shouting at her father. But she spoke harsh
words straight from her heart…finally telling her father how
[email protected] life had been for her.
She wiped the tears on her face. “But you know
what’s more painful, Dad?” She paused, giving him time to
absorb everything she said. Then she took a de-ep breath
and added, “Is that you just stood there and watched!”
With that, she [email protected]£d her phone and her wallet, and
turned her back on them.
She blindly walked to the exit of the station. When she
stepped outside, the cold breeze greeted her and she
shivered. But only for a second. Because immediately, she
felt the material of Jin’s leather jacket cover her ba-re arms.
She looked up at him—her brother.
“I’m sorry, you had to find out that way,” he said to
She took a de-ep breath. “So that day we met at the
bar and I [email protected] out, you alre-ady knew you were my
He nodded. “Took me all my strength not to tell you,
you know. That was the same day that the DNA results
[email protected]£ to my mail. I was so happy. But I couldn’t figure out a
way to tell you without breaking your heart.”
Adrienne sighed. “It broke my heart either way.”
“I know,” he said. “There was no way to break it to
you gently. So last night, I just stopped figuring things out. I
thought, just rip off the bandage. When I found out you went
to Boston, I flew here immediately. I was hoping to talk to
your father first. Give him a chance to tell you himself. But
when I learned that you were picked up and detained, I just
blew my top.” He reached up and to-uched her cheek gently.
“No one hurts my sister and gets away with it.”
Adrienne’s heart swelled at those words. Because she
knew…that would be the exact opposite of what Kimberly
would say and do. She reached forward and hvgged Jin. As
she buried her face against his che-st, she cried her heart
When Adrienne’s tears subsided, Jin pu-ll-ed away from
her and wiped her face with his f!ngers.
“We’re going home, Adrienne,” he said. “Now. Not a
day later. Mom has waited for you for almost half of her life.
She’s suffered too much alre-ady.”
“Didn’t you say that she was Amanda Seville? The
famous writer,” Adrienne asked.
Jin grinned. “Now you know where your talent [email protected]£
A surge of happiness filled Adrienne’s heart. She felt
like…finally all the questions she’s been asking herself all
her life were answered by Jin in one night.
She nodded. She would love to meet her mother… her
real mother. The one who sang songs to her and cu-mddled
her in her sleep when she was too young to even remember.
Jin put an arm around her shoulder. Then he turned
back to find Yuan and Jill standing behind them, still in
shock. They were as dumbfounded as Adrienne, herself
“I’m taking Adrienne to Paris tonight. You guys wanna
come?” Jin asked them.
It took a moment for Adrienne’s friends to recover.
Then Yuan asked, “Why? You’re going to pay for our flights?”
It was a sarcastic question.
“Flights, food and accommodation for a week, or
however long you want to keep my sister company,” Jin
replied without blinking.
Yuan and Jill stared at each other in pure shock. Once
they recovered, Yuan grinned and said, “Oh, Jin Starck,
we’re totally sold!”

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