I was not familiar with the workings of the stock market, but judging from Ashton’s tone, he was on top of this matter and would have executed it perfectly.
With Eisen Corporation’s technical support in place, Fuller Corporation only had to focus on developing its global network of warehouse and storage facilities. This would drastically reduce the time required for them to establish themselves in K City.
I stayed quiet for quite a while, secretly observing Ashton. When I saw he was in a good mood, I abruptly asked, “Did GW create any problem for you in your acquisition bid?”
Ashton lifted his head and inspected me with his probing gaze. “Why do you bring them up out of the blue?” I felt he could read what was on my mind.
I turned my head slightly to avoid his gaze and stammered, “Eh… just a casual question. You said they were ambitious, so I was worried you’d let your guard down, and they will take advantage…”
I regained my courage as I spoke. I turned around, and strode over to him, causing him to back off a little in surprise. “Yeah. As your capable wife, of course, I have to watch your back. Can’t I?” Ashton eyed me suspiciously, then let out a laugh, amused. “Of course you can. I am just not used to that.”
He repositioned himself comfortably to hold me in his arms and explained to me. “GW is extremely influential in M Country and formidable in K City. However, Dartan is not their territory, so their clout cannot be felt there. That was one of the reasons why I chose Eisen Corporation in the first place.”
I nodded. It was easy to see. Once out of M Country, Fuller Corporation could invest and grow without undue influence from GW.
But his reply did not work to my favor, as I could not bring in the subject I had in mind. I bit my lips, lost in thoughts. I was oblivious to his mocking, and that raised his suspicion.
He took me by my shoulders and sat me squarely in front of him. He squinted his deep dark eyes and commanded, “Out with it. What are you hiding from me?”
I overestimated my ability. It was pointless trying to conceal anything from this shrewd man.
I pursed my lips, looked over Ashton’s shoulder in the direction of the door behind him, and said, “You can come out now.”
Before Ashton could turn to look, Marcus had already walked into the hall. Their eyes met, and the air turned tense instantaneously. Their relationship had always been fraught with hostility.
I was worried the situation would get out of hand, so I grabbed Ashton’s arm and started explaining, “Marcus is here to seek your help. GW kidnapped Camelia and Toby. He was hoping we can sound Sean out to see if he had any useful information.”
Ashton turned around and gave me a terrifying dark look. I withdrew my hand in awe.
He had always felt uneasy about my relationship with Marcus. Hence, his reaction to seeing us together was understandable.
However, what he did next was unexpected.
“Joseph!” he summoned Joseph.
“Yes sir. What can I do for you?” Joseph stood at the door respectfully and asked.
“Replace all the security standing guard outside. Every single one of them!” Ashton ground his teeth and commanded. Joseph could tell it was a non-negotiable demand, so he hurried off to execute it.
I was stunned, but I understood his reasons for doing so.
In love, never say never chapter 1147
Before he left the house, Ashton had given clear instructions not to let any man into the house. Not only was Marcus allowed into the house, to make matter worse, none of the security bothered to inform him about it. Ashton expected discipline from his men, so he would not tolerate such misconduct.
I was to be blamed for their plight. However, Ashton was raging at that moment, so I would have to wait for another opportune time to plead for them. Marcus’ problem was the top priority then.
After giving out his orders to Joseph, Ashton sat up straight, and his expression was grave. He was in a cold, uncompromising mood.
Marcus did not want to make things difficult for me. He took the initiative to move forward, sat on the sofa, and humbly spoke to Ashton.
“Please don’t fault Scarlett. I begged her to help me. All these years, I had done too much wrong to Camelia and our child. I can’t sit back and do nothing now that they are in danger. Ashton, I gave Scarlett up to you. Could you not return the favor and help find out about my wife and child?”
This was as humble as Marcus could get. Both Ashton and he were men of great ego. They would not be able to let go of their pride completely, even when asking for help.
He really gave his all for Camelia. They were both my friends, and also due to the indebtedness I felt towards Marcus, I had no excuse not to help.
Seeing Ashton was unmoved, I got anxious. I kept my cool and nudged him gently. “Could you do it for me? GW is eager to work with Fuller Corporation, so they would not reject your request. So long as…”
Before I could finish my plead, Ashton rebuked me with a growl. “So you want Summer and you to end up like Camelia?”
My mind went blank as I looked at Ashton. He was furious, and the veins were bulging on his forehead.
What is he saying? He is aware Camelia and Toby were missing? So he already made up his mind, and all he cares about is our own safety?
This was not the Ashton I knew.
Ashton could probably read my mind. He coldly turned around and told Marcus to leave. “You’d better leave. Scarlett is pregnant, so she shouldn’t be moving around too much. I will never allow any danger near her.”
I wanted to plead for Marcus, but Ashton stood up and marched upstairs, leaving me no chance to do so.
Only Marcus and I were left in the hall after Ashton marched out. The place was eerily empty and quiet. Other than the echo of Ashton’s footsteps, only our sighs were audible.
Marcus did not voice any dissatisfaction. He stood there, numbed. After a while, he quietly walked out too. I could only helplessly watch his visibly gaunt back disappear through the door.
I was of no help when the White Corporation got into trouble. When Benjamin and Sharon passed away, I was not by Marcus’ side. Now, the only family he had left also went missing, and my dearest had refused to help him so as not to endanger me. I owed Marcus too much. On the other hand, I could not pin any fault on Ashton. He refused to get involved as he was protective of me. He was only doing his best to protect the ones he treasured.
The bedroom door was left ajar. Obviously, Ashton was waiting for me. I could not face him, so I turned and went into the study instead.
As I looked at the pile of notes for the bar examination, I had a wistful thought. Maybe if I were a top lawyer, I could unreservedly march into GW’s headquarters and demand to know Camelia and Toby’s whereabouts
In love, never say never chapter 1148
The more desperate I wanted to study, the less I could focus. My mind was wandering off to cloudland. I only snapped out of it when I felt a familiar warm hand on mine. I lifted my head, and my eyes met Ashton’s.
“Still upset?” Ashton broke the silence.
I lowered my eyes and shook my head. “No.”
If I had any anger, it was directed at me. For ten years, I lived under the protective wings of these two men. I allowed myself to stagnate and cease to flourish.
“Marcus had approached me for help,” Ashton started sharing. “It was before I went overseas. I already promised him I would help him, on the condition he shall not tell you about it. Yet, he still came and stayed a long time with you. And those securities did not notify me. Imagine how disastrous that would be if anything untoward happened, and those irresponsible securities failed to inform me.”
He began to sound resentful, but he suppressed his emotion in front of me. In the end, everything boiled down to him wanting to protect me.
He had my welfare in mind when he made those decisions, and he kept things hushed to protect me. On the other hand, I wanted to help Marcus as I felt indebted to him. Both men did no wrong.
“I am sorry.” I tried giving him a smile, but could only manage a bitter smile. “I used to feel indebted to Marcus only. Now, I can’t face his family as well.”
I always felt a sense of guilt and regret towards Camelia. Yes, we can put the blame on Camelia for not upholding her own dignity and pride. Nonetheless, we cannot deny the fact that if Marcus had not met me, she would not have transformed from a gorgeous princess to a disheveled housewife.
I gave it all to help a stranger like Yvonne, yet I was not as forthcoming when Camelia needed help. I could not forgive myself for this. Even if Camelia and Toby were to return safely, I wonder if I could still be at ease when I meet them in the future.
Suddenly, I felt nauseous. I instinctively covered my mouth, brushed Ashton aside, and ran to the nearest restroom. I bent down to the basin and started retching.
I finally stopped retching after some time. I was slumped on the basin and had one hand clenching my tummy. I looked at myself in the mirror, panting.
I went through pregnancy twice, so I was familiar with morning sickness. Deep in my heart, I knew the in-vitro fertilization procedure was a success, but I could not feel the joy.
When my first child passed away, the whole world was against me. Only Marcus was by my side, and he saved me. However, time and again, I stood by and did nothing when he needed support.
I put my hand to my heart and asked myself. Could I really feign ignorance and innocently continue to nurture a business and family with Ashton while watching Marcus go down the hill?
Ashton walked in, and I could see his cool and flawless face in the mirror. I hurriedly lowered my head and released my hand from my tummy.
“Not feeling well?” he asked. He was waiting outside, so he did not see me retching earlier.
“No.” I shook my head and headed towards the bedroom. My mind was still in confusion and dilemma, but my body told me our baby needed rest.
I climbed into bed. “Let’s get the family doctor to come by for a check,” Ashton suggested as he sat by the bed, tenderly tucking me in
“You decide.” I leaned back on the pillow, closed my eyes, and hoped to get some sleep.
A heavy silence fell upon the room. My mind was swirling in darkness. I could feel Ashton’s movement. He seemed to want to speak to me but ended up keeping it in. He sat by me for a while before heading out.
In love, never say never chapter 1149
I opened my eyes when I heard the door closed. The room was dimly lit, with only the bedside light on, and the place felt lonely and depressing.
I recalled on the day Sharon died, the atmosphere at the White residence was the same, empty and depressing. Marcus was staying in the house. His only wish was for me to stay the night with him, so the house would not feel so forsaken.
Pregnant women were usually emotional, and the emotions they feel are amplified. I dreaded to continue with this wandering mind, as I could drown myself in emotions. So I shut my eyes tightly, forcing myself to sleep instead.
I woke to the sound of knocking on the door. It was Mrs. Eriksen.
“Mrs. Fuller, time for breakfast. Mr. Fuller is already waiting downstairs.”
Ashton has not gone to work?
“Ok, I am coming,” I responded and got out of bed to wash up.
Ashton was eating when I entered the dining hall. He had his tablet next to him and was monitoring the stock market. I walked up to the seat facing him and sat down, silent.
Ashton did not look up at all. When I was about to start eating, he put down his utensils, dabbed his mouth, and said, “I will help Marcus, on the condition that you will not meet him until you after have given birth.”
I was pleasantly shocked. “You will?” I did not expect Ashton to put aside their differences to help Marcus.
Ashton placed his napkin on the table, looked up with a cold and solemn expression, and said, “Isn’t that what you wanted?”
Deja vu. We had this kind of crabby relationship when we first got married, and whenever we spoke, we were out to hurt the other party.
I could empathize with him. If we reverse our roles, and I was asked to help Rebecca instead, I would not have kind words for him as well.
I put down my fork, softened my expression, and explained, “I wanted to help Marcus as it was within our capacity. I could not wash my hands of this matter as Marcus saved my life before. I will forever feel indebted to him if I don’t repay his kindness. I will be able to let go of that burden when he moves on and lives happily. I am sure you would like to see him out of our lives, and ceases to be a contentious figure in our relationship, right?”
Just the mention of the name Marcus would bring out the irrational side of Ashton. He looked at me with a sarcastic smile. “Do you mean if Marcus doesn’t live happily ever after, both you and I will not be able to too?”
Jealousy and suspicion can cloud our judgment, and a simple matter becomes complicated because of that irrational emotion.
I had no wish to get into an argument with him when he was obviously still fuming. I cajoled him, “That was not what I meant. We are married and will be having our own child soon. I wanted to help Marcus so I don’t live with regret and guilt for the rest of my life. Honestly, you get agitated every time you hear his name as you are wary of our relationship. You were annoyed that he, not you, was by my side during my darkest days. I…”
“That is enough!” Ashton boomed. He stood up and towered over me. “I am aware, so you don’t have to keep reminding me about it. I will resolve this. You keep out of it.”
With that, he stormed out.
I was dumbfounded. I had no idea how this issue can get so blown up.
Mrs. Eriksen saw Ashton leaving when she came out of the kitchen. “Mr. Fuller is off to work? He had not slept a wink last night.”
In love, never say never chapter 1150
“He was not at the office last night?”
“No. He was in the study the whole night. He only came down when breakfast was ready,” she added.
I stared at the doorway, knitted my brows, and sighed. Men behave like children sometimes and will go out of their way to spite others.
Who would believe Mr. Ashton Fuller has this childish side of him? Unfortunately, he simply could not stay rational if the matter was about Marcus.
I left Mrs. Eriksen to her chores and fished out my phone to message Ashton. Get some sleep when you reach the office. No matter how busy you are, you need to get some rest.
I paused, then added, Professor Zidd said so. I did not want to show I was concerned.
I was amused by my own draft message.
Ashton and I were two peas in a pod. Both of us were stubborn and prideful, unable to let go of our egos even in the face of love. Ashton may be petty about matters concerning Marcus, but I knew he was a man of his words. If he promised he would help Marcus, he would honor that promise.
Even though we did not make any special efforts to reconcile after the quarrel, Ashton still picked me up for my pregnancy test appointment.
I was sure I conceived, but it would be reassuring to have a proper confirmation from the doctor, hence the pregnancy test appointment.
Ashton’s phone rang a couple of times while we were waiting for the test results. He did not pick the calls out of respect for Professor Zidd. He excused himself to answer the call in a far corner only when Professor Zidd urged him to
The nurse brought my test results. As expected, I had successfully conceived, and our baby had developed in my womb.
Professor Zidd was happy for us, but he also had to fill me in on the possible complications in pregnancy. I was in the early stage of pregnancy, so I had to be more careful as there would be a higher risk of miscarriage during the first two months of pregnancy.
I thanked Professor Zidd and left his office with the test results in hand. I could not help but smile while looking at the ultrasound image.
That was probably the only good news we had in a while.
Rose surprised me. I had to take a deep breath to recover from the shock before I could speak. “You are here for your prenatal tests again? Nick is not here with you?”
“He is too busy. I couldn’t bear to stress him further, so I did not tell him about my appointment today.” Rose defended Nick, smiling contentedly as she caressed her belly. “It is just one of those routine tests I had to do a few times every month. I am not that finicky to make him come with me every single time.”
I looked in the direction of Ashton. Unless he was overseas, he had always made it a point to accompany me on my medical appointments. Honestly, he’s a gem.
Rose had been through many prenatal tests, so she was familiar with those test slips. She yelped when she saw the ultrasound image in my hand. “My dear, you are pregnant!”
I was pretty composed until then, but her joy was contagious. I couldn’t conceal my smile and nodded vigorously, “Yes, I am.”
“Really? That is wonderful!” Rose came over and held my hands. She was visibly emotional. “Who knows? Maybe our children will be born on the same day! They can grow up to be like sisters!”
Rose was obsessed with having a daughter. She projected her ardent wish for a daughter to everyone else.
I grinned and kept quiet. Rose did not know Ashton came with me, so she led me towards the elevator as she chattered. “My dear, in the future, we can come for our prenatal tests together. If we keep each other company, Ashton gets to take a breather. I heard Fuller Corporation bought over an overseas automation company. In addition, they are acquiring the White Corporation. He must be stretched, so we shall not add to the men’s burden. We can come with a few bodyguards who can help us with the heavy bags.”