When I was done speaking, John breathed a sigh of relief and started to joke around. “The Zieglers are so annoying. Before we make them go bankrupt, let’s have some fun with them!”
I sighed. Men’s emotions were fleeting, passing only after a short time. Just as John was about to share his plans to deal with Thora, my phone rang.
I retrieved the phone from my bag and saw that I had a message from Rose. The last time I saw her, she had just given birth. She should’ve just ended her confinement. Why is she looking for me now?
To be polite, I answered the call anyway. “Hi Rose, what’s the matter?”
“Scarlett, I want to ask for your help with something.” She spoke hesitantly and seemed to be in a difficult position.
“Tell me. As long as it’s not too much, I won’t refuse.”
Nick and Rose did treat me like their sister after all, so naturally, I could not act too distant.
“Can you please help me contact Nick? I’ve not seen him for a week. I’m a little worried.”
She seemed to be deliberately covering the microphone to block out other noises. However, as a fellow woman, I could tell that she was distressed.
Previously in the hospital, I had already had a bad hunch. This time, I became even more certain of my guess. “What’s going on? Tell me the truth.”
The other end of the line fell into silence. After a long while, Rose replied, “Nothing, it’s just that Nick’s been working really hard for the company recently, so I’m worried that he can’t take it. Please, if you meet him, please talk to him about it. That’s all I have to say. I’ll contact you again. Bye.”
“Hey, Rose…” I was just about to ask her to clarify the situation when all I heard was the beeping sound of a disconnected call.
When I looked at my phone, it was already back at the lock screen. My feelings of uneasiness grew stronger as I frowned and gave Nick a call.
Logically speaking, if Rose was unable to contact him, Nick’s phone should have been unreachable. However, only a few seconds after I dialed his number, a familiar voice picked up the call. “Scarlett.”
It all made sense then. Nick was avoiding Rose ever since she had given birth. Perhaps Rose was still trying to cover up for him, and they had already been out of contact for over a week.
“Where are you?” My tone instantly became cold.
No matter what reason he had, as a man, he had left his wife just after she had given birth, and she had had no news of him for at least a week. It was an irresponsible act that no one would be able to accept.
Nick did not answer my question and instead changed the subject. “Is something the matter?”
I understood his thinking too well. He was trying to cover it up, which only served to highlight his guilt.
“It’s a business matter. Where are you now? Meet me at my law firm in half an hour. You should know the address. If you don’t, just Google it!”
I was unable to accept Nick’s change and said those words in agitation before I hung up the phone.
“Who made you so angry?” John asked as he cowered away from me, afraid to get on my nerves.
Puffing my cheeks out and turning to him, my furious gaze fell on his innocent face. “Some man!”
In the end, as John was worried that I would take my anger out on him, he got out of the car on the way back and prepared to head to school to pick Summer up in advance.
Back at the office, I had waited for over an hour, but Nick was still nowhere in sight. Millie, who was wearing glasses and was dressed formally, entered with documents for me to sign. However, I was spacing out and did not hear a word she said.
“Boss.” Millie’s emotionless voice rang out, startling me. She continued expressionlessly, “Is it not enough that you go to Stovall Residence every night for a secret meeting? Are you still thinking of your husband even at work?”
“Hmm?” I was stunned for a moment. When I realized what she had said, I blushed in anger and embarrassment. “What’s going on in your mind, Millie! Can you be a little more serious? I’m just waiting for a friend. We’d agreed to meet here half an hour ago.”
In love, never say never chapter 1307
“Oh,” said Millie as she adjusted her glasses. “He’s not coming. Don’t waste your time waiting for him. It’s useless.”
“You mean, Nick stood me up?” The realization came slowly to me. Millie simply shrugged, but didn’t respond.
Suddenly, anger and humiliation boiled inside me. I furiously dialed his phone number.
I heard the ringtone in the background. It was connected. When the rings stopped, I opened my mouth to scold him but choke on my words as I heard the voicemail on the other line.
“He hung up?” I turned to Millie and showed her my phone screen in disbelief. “How dare he hang up on me!”
She raised her eyebrows and looked at me, as if it had nothing to do with her.
At first impression, Nick seemed more like a sweet and innocent guy, but suddenly he was different. His bad attitude caused my annoyance. I quickly stood up and wore my jacket. “Get the car ready. I will not let him get away that easily.”
“Where are we going?” asked Millie.
“To his office.”
Millie and I were there the entire afternoon.
At seven in the evening, a man opened the door and switched the light on as Nick walked in. It was so bright that I could see his face clearly. Nick stood there with a startled look.
We looked at one another for a few seconds before he took off his coat and hung it on a hanger. He walked to his desk and asked his secretary for two cups of hot water.
“You looked happy. I bet you’ve got yourself a deal in a multi-million-dollar project. We should celebrate it over a glass of wine instead of plain water,” I scoffed.
He paused and glanced up at me from his chair. “Don’t mock me,” he retorted.
I sneered at him. “You’ve changed so much. You’re as bold as brass now. Not only you stood me up, but you also ignored my call. I believe this little mocking is trivial to you,” I said solemnly.
We stared at each other. The tension was so thick in that big room.
Suddenly, a knock on the door broke our tense silence. His secretary brought our drinks in and placed it down on the table before she left the three of us in silence again.
Shortly after, Nick sighed in exasperation. “What do you want?” he asked as his gaze shifted away from me.
“I should be the one to ask that! What are you trying to do?” I finally vented out my anger. “When did you last go home? Have you ever held your own son?”
His face darkened when I talked of his son. “What did Rose tell you?”
“Nothing. I just noticed that you’re not by her side after she gave birth. And worse, you left her alone at home when she needed you the most. Isn’t that too cruel of you? You are her husband, the only one whom she can rely on.”
He simply stared at me stubbornly. There were no signs of willingness to compromise.
As a person who had experienced similar emotions, I was very sure that guilt and self-blame trickled through him when he thought of Rose.
The root cause of suffering, longing, and yearning was because he felt separated from his loved one. The gentle man I knew was gone.
Knowing how harsh I sounded earlier, I slowly calmed myself down. “Are you hiding something from her? Is that why…”
“No,” he cut me off before I could finish my question. “I hate keeping things on the surface level. That’s why I chose to open up with her about everything, including the past and my relationship with Jackson. I just figured it was the right decision to end things with her.”
He met my gaze with much determination, as if he was ready to fight anything that got in his way.
I was incredulous at his decision to end his one-year marriage.
In love, never say never chapter 1308
Nick was evidently suffering, but as a fellow woman, I was on Rose’s side in that matter. I knew how disappointed she must be when she found out the truth.
Whenever she talked about her husband, I could see true love and happiness in her eyes. This woman had unquestionably given her heart and soul to their relationship.
However, when she finally achieved her dream to get married and have children, Nick walked out of her life and tore their marriage apart.
“You shouldn’t do this, at least not now.” I knew it would be a bitter disappointment to Rose if she was left alone when she needed all the support and care, especially after their child was born.
For a moment, I was reminded of Camelia. She was a bright and confident lady before Marcus broke her.
Life lessons taught us that it was important to be open and honest in all aspects of life, including marriage. Yet honesty could sometimes be cruel when one had hopes and expectations.
Nick took a deep breath. “Do you know why Jackson appeared out of nowhere and suddenly he got married?” he asked. The frustration and coldness were in his voice.
I frowned, stupefied by his sudden change of subject.
Before I could respond, he tilted his head downwards and complained, “If Lydia hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have known the truth. It turned out that mom has sent someone to spy on me after she knew of our relationship. And before she blew up at me, she confronted him without my knowledge! Well, I don’t know what they talked about, but I’m pretty sure that Jackson disappeared after that day. Then soon after, he went to M Country and ended up being the scapegoat of his own brother!
“Look at him now. He is laying unconscious in bed, and his parents didn’t even come and visit him. Do you know what they told me over the phone? They said he disgusted them and that he is not their son! They said he deserved to suffer because he chose to leave and protect me. You see, I am the only one he could turn to. I must stay beside him. And I’ve promised myself that I don’t want to be a gutless coward anymore.”
I could see his gaze wandered over the floor as he spoke. Then he stared ahead absently as if his soul leaving his empty shell of a body.
I knew nothing was perfect in this world. We would always fail the very person who loved us the most.
As a bystander, I didn’t have the right to judge his decision, but at the same time, I felt sorry for Rose.
“Still, Rose and your son are innocent. I know you’re a busy man, but you must fulfill your responsibilities. Even if you want to go your separate ways, don’t run and hide from your problems. So, think carefully before you make your final decision,” I said, even though I knew it was almost impossible to convince a stubborn man.
If he allowed his ego to rule his decision, the problem would only drag on much longer. In the end, he would only make it more difficult for himself.
I left his office. Suddenly, I received a call from the police station. I had to call off my plan to visit Rose.
“Are you Emery Moore’s attorney?”
Half an hour later, I arrived at the police station.
From inside the car, I saw an ambulance pulled off at the front entrance. It has an emergency light on.
I got down from the car and walked toward the entrance. When I was inside the building, I saw a patient in a ventilator mask being wheeled into the ambulance. It was hectic.
Just as I was wondering about what happened, Hunter hurried out of the corridor with his father. He looked surprised when he saw me. Then he walked past me like we were total strangers. They got into a white car and followed the ambulance.
At that moment, I could probably guess what had happened. I walked further in and saw Emery sitting face to face with a police officer. Her attractive features were expressionless; her eyes were cold and sharp.
In love, never say never chapter 1309
The police officer explained the whole situation to me.
Emery wanted to file an application for custody of their son, Xavier. She also requested that all the joints assets should go to her. Initially, both parties had reached an agreement, but their decision somehow reached Hunter’s parents, and they were not happy about it. His parents were strict with family traditions, so they refused to let Emery take their precious grandson away from them. They went to her office to confront her and made a big fuss.
Emery immediately called the police, and she was brought in for questioning. Hunter’s mother had said some offensive things to her prior to my arrival. Despite that, Emery remained calm and composed. Instead, Mrs. Zane was aggravated with anger and passed out on the spot.
The police released Emery since she wasn’t involved in physical or verbal violence. I sent her home after I signed some documents.
On our way home, she stared out the window in silence as though something was bothering her.
I guessed she was worried about the custody, so I tried to comfort her. “The Zanes may seem like a better fit for Xavier, but you have the advantage in terms of financial resources. The judges will also take the morality clause into consideration. We will prove his infidelity to the court, so you have the upper hand.”
Emery turned her head to me and replied softly, “Mr. Newman told me the same thing. I trust you guys one hundred percent on this.”
“Thanks.” I patted her back gently. “I know it’s hard to deal with a stubborn parent, but just bear with them. Do what you think is right. Don’t take their words to heart.”
Then I realized that she dressed differently that day, more like the girl next door. She put on a long delicate silk dress on her voluptuous body, probably to hide her sexiness and scars.
“It doesn’t matter. I’m used to it. They never like me as their daughter-in-law anyway,” she muttered. After a pause, she blurted, “By the way, I will go abroad in two days to do a scar removal surgery. I’ll leave the company to you. As for the lawsuit, my standpoint is still the same. They deserve censure and punishment. Also, Delilah and his parents might push my lawyer to the wall. I’ll need your help when that happened.”
“Don’t worry. Just leave everything here to me. If I can’t handle it, my bodyguard will settle it for me.” I laughed. Emery calmed down a bit and sat silently for a while before she called her secretary. She wanted to get her mother-in-law transferred to a better hospital.
“After all, they were once my family. I must do my responsibility, nothing else,” she explained calmly.
I was not surprised. I knew Emery had a clear line of demarcation between love and hate. She was kind-hearted and a big softie on the inside despite her sharp tongue. It was almost ten o’clock when I reached home. I saw John sitting in the living room. And in front of him, there was a man in a suit.
When I was about to walk up the stairs toward my bedroom after an exhausting day, John called out to me. “Letty, come here for a bit.”
“What is it?” I asked as I walked over.
He didn’t respond. Instead, the gentleman in front of him stood up and said, “Ms. Stovall, it’s about Summer’s school transfer. There are some documents that need your sign of approval. When are you available?”
“Summer’s transfer?” I asked, confused. After a moment, I gazed down at John. “What does this mean? Why does Summer need to be transferred?”
Without any expression, he replied, “I’ll explain to you later. Now, you should discuss this with him. You know, the procedure could be troublesome.”
“Ms. Stovall, I know you’re busy. How about you ask your secretary to email me your schedule instead? I will make an arrangement and let you know about it. Here, this is my name card with my contact information.”
In love, never say never chapter 1310
“I see.” I reached out for the name card and took a glance at it. His name was Wayne Hertel, the vice-president of a prestigious international school. He seemed eager to talk about Summer’s school transfer, I figured John had made a good deal with him.
“All right now, you should get going.” John dismissed him after Mr. Hertel told me his purpose.
As soon as he left, I was about to ask John to explain further, but Summer suddenly came hopping down the stairs. She hugged my leg and began to cry. “Mommy, I don’t want to be transferred! No!” Tears streamed down her cheeks as she wailed.
“All right. I get it. Don’t cry.”
I calmed her down. Eventually, she stopped crying. I crouched down and looked her in the eyes. “Sweetie, why you don’t want to change school?”
“I just don’t want to!” she said and sniffed back a sob. She looked at me with a very sad frown on her face. “I finally have friends at school. I like them, and I like Mr. Cress. I don’t want to be apart from them!”
My heart sank when I heard that. I only sighed in reply. I knew her feelings. After all, she was a child who would hold dear to everything she liked.
I turned to John. He stood still with his hands in his pockets while he fixed his cold gaze on us. The frown on his face gave me the feeling that he was angry.
He must be hiding something.
I didn’t want to ask him when Summer was around, so I asked Lois to take her upstairs. I waited until they were away from our sight. Then I turned to John grimly.
“Tell me, what is this about? Why did you suddenly want her to be transferred?”
I knew he went to Summer’s school that afternoon to find out about Mr. Cress, so I figured something had happened there to make him behave that way. Don’t tell me… it’s him.
John gritted his teeth. Hesitancy held him back. Almost a minute passed. He opened his mouth and said hoarsely, “It’s him.”
I jumped to my feet, completely thunderstruck by his short replied. I clenched my fist and teeth in anger.
The guy he meant was none other than Jared, who almost got Summer killed and ruined my relationship with Ashton.
With his expression full of hate, John fumed, “His sentence was reduced after the judge reviewed his behavior in the prison. He was released on parole a few months ago, with the Crests’ help. I believe he has tampered with Emery’s resources because that school never hired such a highly qualified young teacher in the first place! That son of a b*tch is using a fake identity to get close to Summer!”
My heart raced and my breathing turned rapid.
No wonder the last time I went to her school, Mr. Cress would deliberately avoid me. It all makes sense now! That jerk has it all planned out so that he could approach Summer. His identity, his appearance… Everything is fake!
I knew Jared could do such a wicked trick.
I immediately turned around and rushed upstairs. On my way, I reminded John to arrange a meeting with Mr. Hertel the next day.
He is a dangerous man. He should stay away from Summer!
When I entered the room, I saw my daughter on the bed while Lois read her a story.
“Lois, let me.” She passed me the storybook, then I took a seat beside the bed.
Summer leaned on her pillow. The tears on her cheeks finally dried, but tears still glimmered in her eyes. Her big eyes were puffy as she looked at me.
“Mommy, can I stay at my school?” She pouted.
I couldn’t muster up the courage to tell her the truth when I saw the solemnness in her eyes.
I patted her on the head and hastily diverted the topic. “Summer, would you be happy if Uncle John and I were gone and left you alone?”
“Why won’t you be here?” Summer asked curiously, her wide eyes blinking up at me.
“Um…” I grew silent, pretending to contemplate her words for a long while. “Because your current school is very far from home, and Uncle John and I will have to travel very far to take you there and back. And right now, there are some bad people who want to hurt me and Uncle John. If you continue to go to that school, then we might get hurt, or worse, never be able to see you again. That’s why we might not be here anymore.”
Summer’s cheeks immediately puffed up in indignation, eyes filling with tears as she threw her blanket off and clung onto my arm tightly. “I don’t want you and Uncle John to go away, Mommy! I don’t want the bad guys to hurt you! I’ll change schools, so please don’t leave me behind…”
I felt upset watching her cry her heart out, but there was nothing else I could do. This white lie would serve to shield her from Jared’s attempts to hurt her.
“Shh, it’s okay,” I cooed quietly, patting Summer’s back reassuringly. “You’re a big girl now, Summer. You need to stay strong and take care of your little siblings, not cry all the time, right?”
She swiftly lifted her head at the mention of her siblings, clumsily wiping away her snot and tears and sitting up straight in her best impression of a grown-up. “I won’t cry anymore! I’ll do my best to protect Mommy and the babies! So please ask Uncle John to help me change schools; I can make new friends, I promise!”
It felt like Summer had instantly matured within the span of a few seconds.
It had been hard for her to get used to her family members after returning from the chemical plant, let alone fit in and make new friends at school.
I wondered if the change in her had anything to do with Jared in the back of my mind, but I quickly got rid of that thought.
How could the same man who plotted for years and almost killed Summer just switch her personality on command?