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 Season 5

Episode 66

(Liela's badgering)

"Mom..." Burke started speaking, intending to defend Leila, but he suddenly could not find the words to do so. The shameless girl his mother was talking about now seemed like a complete stranger to him, a far cry from Leila, whom he had known and loved for many years.     

With a frown, he fell deep into confusion.  

   "Look, I was there and I know Leila is not the right girl for you. I've seen right through her character. What she seeks is not happiness but a complete change in her lifestyle. She wants to take advantage of her marriage to raise her social status and move into the upper class. I am telling you very clearly, Burke, your father and I will never allow such a money-worshiping and hypocritical girl to marry into our family,"  Madeline warned her son firmly. "A man should know the difference between good and bad girls. It doesn't matter even if the girl you want to marry is neither rich nor good-looking, but she must have a good character, I hope you understand,"  she pointed out earnestly.   

Burke was duped by Leila all these years and blinded by her appearance. He could not see her true colors. As his mother, Madeline had the responsibility to bring the reality and truth to light.   

  "Oh, all right, I understand what you are trying to convey,"  Burke replied, and made a movement indicating his growing impatience. In fact, he already did realize that Leila and he would never be together as she declined his marriage proposal last night so whatever his mother just said cemented this fact.  

   "I'm sorry, Mom,"  he apologized immediately in a low voice as he grew aware of his rude tone. "You may rest assured that I will never be in any form of contact with her from now on,"  he continued. "But, about Pamela, for the time being I can only treat her like a little sister just as before. It is too soon to jump into something new. Please don't push me into it."  

"Good, I won't hurry you into anything you don't want to do, I promise." A relieved and calm smile appeared on Madeline's face. "As long as you stop dating Leila,"  she added, looking gratefully at her son.

     "Okay, you have my word." Burke gave his mother a slight nod as he made the vow. "If that is all then I'm going to work now."   

 "Wait a minute,"  Madeline called to her son, who had started to walk towards the door. "Our family business is getting busier and busier by the day. Your father and I are getting a little overwhelmed with the increasing burden. Keep that in mind. Consider quitting your job and come back to take over portion of the business, please."   

 "Hmm... Well, I'll think about it,"  Burke replied flatly.   

Before he left home, he said goodbye to Pamela in a soft tone. From the way Pamela looked at him, Burke could sense her growing affection for him was no longer the brother-sister feeling that she had felt as a child, but unexpectedly he didn't mind it.    

 It had just been a few moments since Burke had reached his office when there was a knock on the door. "Come in!" he cried out, as he was hurrying to put on his white coat with his back to the door. 

    He then heard the person outside come in. "Please take a seat. I'll be ready in just a minute,"  he added as he was working on the uniform, without turning back.     

"Burke..." The person then called out his name in a muffled voice. It was Leila, he could tell her voice apart in a crowd, and she sounded ill.     

Burke froze almost instantly. "What are you doing here?" he asked coldly, still not turning around as he feared confronting her.   

"I..." Leila gasped for breath and then she fell to the ground as she tried to answer.     
Burke immediately rushed to pull Leila back to her feet, and found that she was flushed, which was a clear symptom of high fever. Fortunately, they were in the hospital. After timely infusion for a while, she looked much better.    

 Burke sat by Leila's bedside during her coma, and stared at her with an unreadable look.     

"Burke..." Leila gradually woke up as she felt stronger. When she saw Burke, her eyes glistened with hope. "You're here!"

    "You have a temperature as high as 39 degrees centigrade. Now you need rest quietly. Please don't talk,"  Burke exclaimed flatly, and poured her a glass of water.    

 "No, there is something I must tell you at once. It simply cannot wait anymore,"  Leila cried and suddenly grabbed Burke's hand. At this point she just wanted Burke to come back to her, and Charles was already in the past.   

Burke withdrew his hand instinctively in an indifferent fashion. "We cleared this out last night. Now, you're the patient, and I'm the doctor, and there is no other relationship between us. We have nothing to talk about now or ever."   

 "No, listen to me, please. I am requesting you with all my heart." Leila looked at Burke ardently.    

 Madeline's words, however, kept echoing in Burke's mind, a constant reminder of how manipulative and conniving Leila was. Unwilling to talk to Leila, he stood up to leave. "Take some good rest. I have to get back to work now."   

 "Burke!" Seeing Burke launching off his seat to go, Leila quickly rolled out of bed, completely ignoring her infusion. Burke stopped her in her tracks immediately. 

"Are you crazy? I just told you that you have a temperature of 39 degrees centigrade!" he scolded to drive some sense into her stubborn brain.   

"I know you don't want to talk to me, let alone see me right now, but..." Leila lowered her head as she wore a pathetic and dejected expression. "Burke, I really didn't mean to refuse your proposal the way I did last night. I want to explain..."   

 "Enough is enough!" Burke interrupted, and cast her an angry glance indicating her to stop that instant. "You've embarrassed me enough last night, don't drag this matter any further. So don't rub salt onto my wound. I know very well that feelings need to be mutual. Since you won't marry me, I will never force you to. The matter ends there."    

Leila was rendered speechless as she blankly stared at Burke, who had suddenly given her the cold shoulder. She wondered if Madeline had spoken ill of her to him which brought upon this cold behavior.     

"Burke,"  Leila inquired tentatively, "did Mrs. Zhou say something about me to you?"  

"Well, what do you think?" Burke shot back in an icy tone, with no thoughts of answering her.   

  "Let me explain,"  Leila defended immediately. "I know how nice and kind you are to me, Burke, but I feel so stressed. I turned you down last night because I didn't know if I could marry you right now as I simply wanted us to spend more time together to get to know each other better. I didn't mean anything else by my reaction."  

  "Oh really?" Burke smirked. "So you mean to say that now you are willing to marry me now, right?"   

 Leila blushed on purpose, to heighten his senses, but it suddenly occurred to her that she was ill and her face was already red. She then bowed her head and pretended to be shy. "I actually thought about it for a long time when I got back home last night. I thought my answer yesterday was rushed. And in retrospect, I now know that I'd love to marry you, Burke. Do you still have the diamond ring? Will you please put it on me?"  

Leila forced herself to look at Burke and nervously waited for his answer, while Burke stared at her, his face expressionless.     

As the minutes went by, Leila grew more flustered and anxious and she could almost hear her heart beating fast.   

  After a good while, Burke finally opened his mouth. "Leila, you changed your mind and accepted my proposal because you found out about my pedigree, didn't you?"    

"What? I don't know what you are talking about." Leila pretended like she didn't know what he was referring to. "Your pedigree? You're just a doctor, aren't you?

 That's all I know as that's all important."

    "Stop pretending!" Burke snapped and suddenly realized that Leila was not the girl he thought she was. He became extremely sober and rational as he saw through her poor acting in a second.   

His infatuation with her had evaporated in an instant, and he could not understand why he believed and fell in love with her in the face of her clumsy deception.


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