A question still lingered at the back of my mind. Disturbed, I wondered, Why on earth would Ashton lie to me?”
Was it because Ashton already knew that I was Scarlett and wanted to distract me from the truth?
John read the uneasiness on my face and remarked somewhat impatiently, “There’s no need to overthink things. I simply don’t understand how you’re willing to overlook the maniacal things that the Hall family has done on Ashton’s account. If I had known, I’d have ruined them on the stock market instead.”
“What makes you think I will?” I shot back, meeting John’s gaze steadily. “What right does someone who harmed me have to raise my children?”
John was taken aback. He leaned forward, spreading his hands on the smooth tabletop. Skeptically, he asked, “Didn’t you feel sorry for Ashton when I hurt him?”
“The one who harmed me was the Hall family, not Ashton. Why would you hurt him?” I asked quizzically. Besides, Ashton was the father of my child. I didn’t want to see Gregory disconsolate.
John had a grave look on his face. “Don’t you know that Ashton is the Hall family’s front man right now? Do you think I would have given Gregory up if it hadn’t been for Ashton’s continued resistance?”
I felt rather disconcerted. It appeared that we were caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, I couldn’t just abandon Gregory like that. However, Ashton remained a stubborn obstacle between us.
Just as I was fretting, an idea occurred to me. Turning towards John, I asked, “John, are the mercenaries you hired really the best?”
John looked bewildered by the abrupt shift in the conversation. He scratched his head, then nodded slowly. “What are you planning to do?”
I flashed a wicked grin at John, then said, “Can they help to kidnap two people for me? Wait, one will do.”
After all, once one had been kidnapped, the other would surely deliver himself.
“Who do you want to kidnap?” John probed.
Without hesitation, I announced, “Ashton!”
“You want to kidnap him?” John asked, raising an eyebrow. “What do you want to kidnap him for? To teach him a lesson? Have you forgotten when you hated him? Once the matter ended, you’ll fall back in love with him all over again, and the blame will fall squarely on me. I’m not taking the fall for this one again.” “Of course not!” I assured him, laughing a little at John’s panic. “Legal custody of Gregory belongs to the Hall family, but it’s under Ashton’s name. If we kidnap Ashton and bring Gregory over, we wouldn’t be contravening any laws, would we?”
John took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly. “Are you serious about that?”
I rearranged my features into the sternest face I could put on, then challenged John, “Do I look like I’m joking?”
John examined me, then said doubtfully, “I can’t tell. Women change their minds more quickly than the wind changes.”
“Will you help me or not?” I pressed him.
“I’ll help,” John agreed at last. “It’s a huge task, though, so we should plan it well. The luster of the Hall family may have dimmed, but they’re not entirely incapable yet. It won’t be that easy to lay hands on their sole source of income. Perhaps we should return to M Country first, where the rest of our family is waiting. We shouldn’t disappoint them…”
John rambled on, but the rest of his words fell on deaf ears. I wiped my mouth and led Audrey away from the table. “Audrey, are you feeling tired yet? Let’s go find a place to sleep.”
John stretched out a hand to stop me but quickly withdrew it when I rolled my eyes contemptuously at him. “Letty, don’t be reckless. The plane is leaving soon. Let’s go home first. As for the kidnapping…”
I had strode to the entrance of the VIP lounge with Audrey with John doggedly tailing us. His words died away at the sight of the airport security. John then quickly corrected himself, “As for that matter, we’ll have to wait for a suitable moment.”
Audrey and I paid no heed to John. I raised a hand to wave a casual goodbye to him before sauntering away. “Got it! Remember to get the plane to turn back!” I reminded John helpfully.
My reluctance to leave K City actually stemmed from the fact that it was the only place I was familiar with. I hadn’t expected that John would let us go so easily. The belligerent man who had held his ground before Ashton had now buckled.