After giving it some thought, I no longer felt mad and decided to change the topic. “What do you think Cameron and Zachary are planning? They literally wasted all their time on your and Rebecca’s stupid marriage alliance in the past. They were so blinded by that and never realized that we were actually family. Yet, now they’re trying to force me into a marriage alliance? Don’t you think they’re going too far?”
“People change,” Ashton soothed. “Everyone reacts differently in tough times… Maybe you should investigate if the Moore family is in trouble. You did deal a heavy blow to them back when you tried to avenge Macy. Perhaps a rival snuck past their defenses now that they’re weakened. Hence, your parents resorted to the marriage alliance? But then again, these are just my optimistic deductions. I’m not sure if your parents have other reasons, so I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.”
I nodded. A look of solemn contemplation showed on my face as I looked at Ashton. “I noticed that Herman and Thora seemed closer at Bryson’s father’s birthday banquet. Have the Zieglers and the Trivetts signed on to the Pitcoin business deal?”
Ashton cracked a proud smile. “Yep. They’ve taken the bait. My men have begun analyzing the steps to cracking Pitcoin’s software, so it won’t be long before they succeed. You don’t have to worry about a thing since I’m handling this. Now, back to important matters since you’ve piqued my interest—who’s the man that’s bold enough to go on a blind date with you?”
It was indeed suspicious that Elliot rushed from overseas to go on a blind date with me during this tumultuous time.
“Elliot Jacobson,” I uttered with seriousness. “A local from M Country that recently returned from abroad. Also, I think Zachary is interested in a business collaboration with the Jacobson family.”
“Got it, I’ll have Joseph run a check later.”
I nodded obediently. Then in the split second that followed, I caught a glimpse of Ashton’s brows flinching in pain. Although it was very brief and subtle, I definitely saw it.
“Ashton? Are you alright?” My eyes stared with great concern at his face while my smile faltered.
“Mm-hmm, what’s wrong?” Ashton held a normal expression as if nothing had ever happened. He cast an innocent face at me before revealing a tired look. It seemed like he had deliberately focused the camera so that I could see him kneading his brows. He sighed deeply, “I’ve been overwhelmed with work these past two days and haven’t had proper rest. I suppose I should take some time off to get a good night’s sleep.”
My face stiffened with concern at this. I uttered a quick response, “You should hang up and turn in early since you’re tired.”
Ashton stared straight into the camera as his lips curved slightly. “You should go to bed too. I’ll call you tomorrow?”
Ashton hung up right after I responded. Seeing the screen flicker back into the call history, my heart sank.
He had always been skilled at disguising his emotions, not showing a hint of how he truly felt. It was the same when it came to business; he would never reveal his thoughts to his opponents, regardless of whether the situation he faced was good or bad.
But I’m not his opponent… I’m his wife, the one who’s been by his side for ten years and knows him the most.
I knew him all too well. It was impossible for that man, who constantly sought after perfection, to feel tired.
My instincts told me that Ashton was definitely hiding something from me, and it felt like the kind of secret that worried me.
I slumped on the bed for nearly a minute before the memories of recent events flashed through my mind. With haste, I scrambled for the phone and dialed Millie’s number.
“Get the car. I’m going over to Fuller Corporation.”
Millie’s efficiency was considered one of the most elite. She had parked the car across the street by the time I was done getting ready.
I clambered onto the passenger seat with my eyes glued in the distance. My lips scrunched tightly as I managed one word, “Hurry.”
Millie said nothing, but she understood my instruction perfectly. She slammed onto the accelerator and sped for our destination.
It took less than twenty minutes for us to arrive in front of Fuller Corporation. I dashed inside, unbothered if Thora or anyone else had strategically placed any spies around the area.
At that time of day, Fuller Corporation wasn’t empty. Almost every floor had about one or two lights on, indicating that there were many employees working overtime. I raced into the lift and hurriedly pressed onto the floor where the president’s office is located.
Once the elevator doors opened, I sprinted out and barged into his office. What I saw next was just as I had expected—no one was there.
In love, never say never chapter 1336
He said he was working overtime half an hour ago, and then I couldn’t reach him no matter what I did. That was impossible. I stood before the door and went through my call record to call back.
The phone kept beeping, but nobody picked it up until the end. Ashton had always been a light sleeper, nor would he leave a personal call hanging for no reason. I knew it. He’s in trouble.
I pondered on the matter for a short while before video calling Joseph. He took it a while later, his background a great scenery. “Do you need anything, Mrs. Fuller?” His face was deadpan as ever.
“He didn’t tell me where he’s going,” he blurted without thinking.
“Is that so?” Nope, that was obviously a lie. Ashton wouldn’t keep him around as his assistant if he didn’t even know where his boss went. “Fine. I won’t look for him then, but I’ll have to see you. Where are you right now?”
Joseph thought about it for a moment before answering, “I’ll go over to you, alright?”
“Good. We’ll meet up at Fuller Corporation. I’ll be waiting in Ashton’s office. You have twenty minutes.” I hung up before he could say anything.
I leaned back against the chair, looking up, and thought about Ashton’s reaction earlier. He had great control over his emotions, so he wouldn’t show any signs of pain unless it was unbearable for him.
I knew how powerless a patient was against their illness since I had experience with it. The pain was more than enough to strip anyone of the façade they were wearing, revealing their true self.
Well, that was the worst-case scenario. Maybe Ashton was just handling a tough issue. For our sake, I hope it was the latter since his life was more important than any estate after all.
Even though I gave him twenty minutes, Joseph only came after nearly half an hour. “I’m sorry for being late, Mrs. Fuller. I had some matters to settle.” He bowed.
Instead of greeting him back, I stared at him coolly. A long while later, I said, “You were with Ashton.”
“No.” Joseph didn’t meet my eyes. “You’re reading too much into it, Mrs. Fuller. I was held up by work.”
I pursed my lips and held my silence. Ashton had told him many times that Joseph should drop everything if he or I needed him. Joseph had never gone against that command, so I thought he might not be lying. However, that was also proof that the matter he had to settle must be huge, or he wouldn’t have let me wait.
The tension in the air rose for a long while, then I broke the silence. “Fine. Tell me what you were doing then. You have no reason to hide that from me, do you, Mr. Campbell?”
“Of course.” Joseph was surprisingly cooperative and looked up at me, his gaze calm. “Mr. Fuller said he’d be a guarantor during the interview so Thora can take over the Pitcoin business. Securities and Exchange Commission officers are supervising the company right now, and they’ll be auditing us tomorrow. I have to get everything ready by tonight.”
Well, that sounded reasonable. Since Joseph answered that calmly, I thought I might have been a bit too paranoid. I decided to come to the company on a whim, so it was unlikely that Joseph could come up with a lie when he was already so busy. Besides, getting audited by the SEC was a big issue. The media would set its eyes on the matter, so his lie would be exposed easily.
Silence descended on the office, and the air turned awkward. I thought something was off, but I couldn’t put a finger on it. Then someone opened the door, and in came Ashton.
He was standing at the doorstep, looking inscrutable and handsome as usual. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought he was in his twenties.
In love, never say never chapter 1337
I was more excited than anyone to see him showing up safe and sound. I quickly went to hug him, and his warmth was proof that I wasn’t hallucinating. “You’re okay.” I was relieved.
“What brings you here anyway?” Ashton patted my head to calm me down. “Leave us, Joseph,” he said coolly.
Joseph left the room and closed the door on the way out. I let Ashton go and frowned at him. “Where were you? Why didn’t you take my call?”
Ashton asked me to sit down first and handed me a glass of water. “Here, calm your nerves.”
Obviously, I couldn’t. I put the glass of water aside and went back to my questions. “You’re hiding something, aren’t you? What didn’t you tell me?”
Ashton stared down in silence. His eyes seemed to darken a lot, keeping his secrets in the depths of his heart. I knew it. I knew I was right. Ashton was in big trouble.
I held his hand. “We’re a couple.” In sickness and in health, till death do us part. That was the vow we took, and I intended to see it through.
He held my hand by reflex. “Herman wanted me to sign the papers along with Thora,” he said solemnly.
I knew what that meant since I had been handling the firm for quite a while. If Ashton were to sign it, he and the company would have to face the consequences if Pitcoin were to run into any trouble, including any kind of criminal case.
I thought our fake feud could lower Herman’s guard, but he was a sly old fox after all. He would trust nothing but a contract, since that was the most effective way to guarantee their profits.
“And you’re going with it?” I asked.
He shook his head. “No. You’re still sick. I can’t make any missteps, so I won’t sign it.”
“That’s a relief.” I would object to it if he had gone with it. “You should stop if it’s too risky. Ezra wouldn’t do anything either, since he’d prefer to maintain the status quo. Don’t push yourself.”
“I can’t. Not when I finally managed to get rid of Armond. The fewer the competition, the better my chances, so I have to pick up the pace.” Ashton was considering his options carefully.
I knew I couldn’t change his mind once he was set on it, so I merely sighed. All I could do then was face the crisis with him. A moment ago I felt safe with him around. However, for some reason, he felt like an illusion, as if he’d slip away if I took my eyes off him for a second, and my heart sank.
Ashton was starting to get uncomfortable getting stared at, so he looked up and met my gaze. They said eyes were the windows to the soul, and that split second was enough for me to ascertain that he was hiding something else from me—something he didn’t want me to know.
I was surprised, but I knew I couldn’t press him for answers anyway. Dwelling on something like that was pointless, so I had to go with the flow.
In the end, I decided to leave him alone. “Don’t push yourself too much. Take it slow. I have to go now, or Ezra’s and Thora’s men are going to find out that I’m gone.”
I went outside, and he sent me off. “I’ll get Joseph to take you back.”
“It’s fine. Millie’s with me. She can take me back.” I refused his offer and stood on tiptoe to peck his lips, then I left the office.
In love, never say never chapter 1338
The last thing I saw before going into the elevator was Ashton’s sendoff, though he looked worried. “Drive around the area,” I told Millie after getting into the car.
Millie threw me a look of surprise, but when she noticed that I wasn’t kidding, she revved the engine up.
We came back to Fuller Corporation five minutes later, but Millie parked the car where nobody could see us. The headlamps and taillights were turned off to keep anyone from noticing us. We could see everyone who came in and out of the company, but none of them could see us.
Once Millie stopped the car, I rolled the window down and stared at the revolving door.
Millie was getting bored from my antics, so she lit up a particularly slender cigarette, hung her arm over the window, and puffed. She had always been a wild one, that Millie.
But I knew she was carrying a great sadness with her. Most women who smoked did. I looked at her, then I got choked by the smoke, so I covered my nose.
Millie puffed one last time before tossing the half-finished cigarette away, then she rolled the window up.
“It’s fine, really.” I didn’t want her to feel restrained because of me. She might be my employee, but we were equals, so she didn’t have to pay too much attention to me if she wanted to do something.
Millie looked at me. Her eyes were darker than black, but they were also gleaming with danger and curiosity. “Most women I’ve met only care about themselves. Well, at least those who are experienced, anyway. You’re an exception.”
I detected sarcasm in that comment. Obviously, she was scoffing at what I was doing. Well, I was checking up on my husband at his company in the dead of the night. Anyone would think Ashton might be cheating on me to warrant that behavior.
Mercenaries had long abandoned love, especially elites like Millie. She didn’t care about the little things in love or the big things for that matter.
I was a successful woman after opening my own law firm and having two powerful families backing me up. Millie thought I should live my life to the fullest, but there I was, snooping around to see if my husband was cheating. At least that was how it seemed to her. Of course, she’d think I was wasting my time.
I was about to retort, but then I noticed Ashton and Joseph coming out of the company—Ashton was hunched. They hurried to the car and drove away.
“Follow them,” I quickly told her, but Millie had done that before I could finish my sentence. She was a great driver, and the city was brightly lit, so she managed to tail Ashton’s car with the headlamps off.
A short while later, Ashton’s car went into a familiar hospital. It was the one on trending that night—the hospital Thora was in.
“Are we going in?” Millie asked.
“No.” I went out with nothing but my handbag. “Stay here.”
The hospital was eerily quiet that night. There wasn’t even anyone in sight. I was starting to trot in case I lost them, but fortunately, Ashton and Joseph weren’t going too fast. They had just gone into the elevator when I caught up with them.
I waited for the door to close before going over to see which floor they were on. The wards were on the third floor, so they should go up if they were there for visitations. However, the elevator went down to the basement. It was the hospital’s medicine storeroom, but not everyone could get in there.
In love, never say never chapter 1339
That was certainly suspicious. Eventually, the elevator stopped at basement level three, so that was where I’d be going, but I used the other elevator in case I bumped into Ashton.
The elevator’s door slid back, revealing a long corridor that was lit by nothing but white fluorescent lamps. The air was filled with the scent of antiseptics too.
I went down the corridor and made two turns before coming across Joseph. He was looking coldly at a room, but he didn’t notice me, since I was walking quietly. I hid behind the wall once I saw him.
I calmed myself down. Something’s up. Only Ashton could get Joseph to escort him. Ashton told me the research for the antidote was done in the very hospital I was in. He looked troubled earlier, and I couldn’t contact him for more than half an hour, so something must have happened here.
“It’s done. All that’s left is the clinical trial, then we can administer it to you.”
“We may start now, Mr. Fuller.”
I was reminded of the things I heard two nights ago, and my heart started to pound with fear, but I clenched my fists. Calm down, I told myself, then I took a deep breath.
I straightened myself out before going toward the room Joseph was guarding. The sounds of my heels traveled across the corridor, alerting the bodyguards. A moment later, Joseph and the bodyguards stopped me.
“Mrs. Fuller, why did you come all the way here?” he asked. “I’ll take you back.”
The bodyguards behind him tried to escort me, but I refused to budge. If looks could kill, they would have been dead by then.
Joseph’s men knew who I was, so they paused halfway through when they noticed the tension in the air. Then they went back to him.
I threw Joseph a look of anger. “Still want to stop me?”
Joseph didn’t answer, but he looked troubled. That was more than enough to tell me Ashton was risking his life in that room. I couldn’t just stand by, so I cut through them and tried to open the door.
But Joseph suddenly called out to me. I turned around by reflex, then the last thing I saw was a chop, and everything went black.
The first thing I saw when I regained consciousness was the chandelier. I’m back home, huh? I was alone in the room, accompanied by nothing but the chirps outside. The blinds were pulled, but the bright sunlight still pierced through nonetheless.
I tried to get up, but the waves of pain from my neck made me gasp. I held it in an attempt to soothe the pain as I struggled to get up. Then I closed my eyes and recalled everything that happened in the basement.
I was so close to finding out what Ashton was doing, but Joseph knocked me out. There was no time for details—I had to go back to the basement to see if Ashton was safe.
I quickly wore a jacket and darted out, then I bumped into John. “You seem to be in a hurry.” John rubbed his neck.
I took a second to calm myself down. “My firm took on a lot of cases.” I covered my mouth, pretending to yawn. “We’re really busy right now.”
“Is that so?” John gave me a doubtful look before going downstairs. “Is Brooklyn trying to work you to death!” he mumbled.
I shrugged. Even though my family owned the firm, I was just an intern there. John is being unreasonable. Being just an ordinary employee there, Brooklyn has every right to assign work to me.
Emma and Louis were having breakfast in the dining room when I followed John down to the living room. “I’m not hungry, Uncle Louis. You guys go on ahead. I’ll be going to work.” I went out, pretending nothing was wrong.
In love, never say never chapter 1340
“Hold up.” John caught up with me and dragged me back. “Nothing’s more important than your health. Finish your breakfast.”
“I don’t have time! My client is waiting for me.” I tried to break free, but John forced me to sit down.
“Shut up and eat up.” John served me a bowl of chicken soup and looked me in the eye. He then shifted his gaze to Louis, hinting me he could tell Louis to make me stay if he wanted to.
Dammit. I couldn’t refuse if it were Louis. Besides, getting lectured by him would be the worst. Well, I had no choice but to finish my chicken soup. At the same time, I observed everyone.
It was odd nobody asked me about last night. I went out late and came back obviously knocked out. I expected it from Emma since she was a happy-go-lucky woman, but John? He should have known what happened. He was always an alert one.
Then John gave me some sausages. “Take a day off, Scarlett. Sleep in for a while longer. I need you to come with me later.”
I looked at Emma. “Who, me?” Then I pointed at myself. “Where are we going?”
“You’ll find out. Now finish your breakfast.” John smiled mysteriously.
“Why don’t you ask Emma? I’m occupied.”
“No.” Emma and John refused at the same time, then they threw a look of disgust at each other.
Emma piped up, “I have an appointment, Letty. Sorry, but you’ll have to take this.”
I was about to say something, but John retorted sarcastically, “Another day, another geezer, huh? I don’t mind putting them to the test for you, you know.”
Emma sneered, “Thanks, but I’d prefer it if you’d stay out of my way.” She glared at him. “Really, please. Well, I’m done with brekkie. See you around.” She picked up her handbag and left.
I was starting to panic, so I put everything down and got up. “Alright, I have to go now, or I’ll be late.”
John stopped me. “Are you sure you want to miss seeing Jackson over this?”
That surprised me. “Jackson’s awake?”
John shrugged smugly. “And he specifically asked for you. So do you want to go?”
“Of course I do.”
After about an hour, John took me to a house in a rural resort. We were surrounded by nothing but mother nature the moment we came in. The air was spectacularly fresh thanks to the morning rain.
But when I came to Jackson’s room, I was starting to get nervous.
He was a good friend for many years. We used to be like family, but we got into a big fight over Summer’s custody a few months ago. However, he risked his life to protect me later on. I wondered how our reunion would be, but I started getting nervous when the time actually came.
My palms were sweaty. I couldn’t bring myself to ring the bell, but Jackson asked, “I know it’s you, Letty.” His voice was as angelic as usual.
I started tearing up, but I mustered up my courage and went inside.
Jackson was facing the window, the sunlight enveloping him. He looked like an angel basking in the lights of heaven, but he looked gaunt after being bedridden for months. He was supporting himself with a crutch, though he looked like he could fall at any moment.
“Jackson…” I was at a loss for words, for my excitement overwhelmed me.
“Have a seat.” Jackson smiled, then he sat on the rocking chair beside him.