I finally found my voice, saying a little too emotionally, “Thank you, Uncle Louis. It is my greatest honor.”
“See? Fate works in mysterious ways. Louis has always wanted a daughter, and now he finally has one. What’s more, they have the same surname!” Anthony beamed.
Then, he continued, “Since she’s a Stovall, you can practically consider her as your biological daughter!”
Louis let out a loud belly laugh, then picked up a champagne flute and looked at me. “Follow me, girl!”
He led me toward the stage at the front before raising his voice, “May I have your attention, please? First of all, I’d like to thank Mr. Bauman for hosting a birthday banquet for his daughter, Ms. Bauman, because it gave me a daughter in return, fulfilling my long-time wish. Today, I’d like to use this opportunity to announce that soon, I’ll invite all of you to my home so that we can celebrate the addition of a new member to my family.”
As soon as he finished speaking, all the guests were astonished, then they swiftly applauded.
Louis had a straightforward and cheerful personality. Since he wholeheartedly accepted me as his daughter, he also brought me around and introduced me to the guests present tonight.
Before long, I remembered all the upper-class socialites here. Halfway through the banquet, Louis excused himself to chat with a few friends.
Since I was free, I went looking for Marcus. Having just finished doing his part, he led me to the pantry.
“See? This wasn’t all in vain,” he pointed out.
I smiled and said with gratitude, “Mm, it wasn’t. But why did you suggest Zachary be my godfather earlier? You know that after what Cameron did, I would never agree to that.”
He boiled some water, preparing to brew some tea before glancing at me. “For many years, Louis has been yearning for a daughter, but he didn’t have any intention to marry. This is a known fact in K City’s upper-class circle. Since he pointed out the resemblance between you and Cameron, I thought I’d just go along with it. I knew for a fact that Zachary and Cameron wouldn’t want you as their goddaughter and vice versa. So, I already expected them to refuse. Louis has been a man of virtue his whole life, not to mention he wants a daughter. All I did was get the ball rolling and voilà. Everything worked in your favor.”
I stared at him in awe. Sighing softly, I said, “I thought you just suggested it mindlessly, but after listening to your explanation, I’m starting to doubt my IQ level.”
Even if I had ten brains, I probably wouldn’t be able to come up with such an intricate scheme.
He raised his brows in return. “What? Scared of getting close to me now that you know how frightening my mind works?”
“Of course not!” A smile formed on my lips. “I’m grateful more than anything. You spoke to your grandfather about this beforehand, didn’t you?”
Otherwise, why would Anthony have played along so enthusiastically?
Marcus nodded in response and placed a teacup in front of me. With raised brows, he commended, “Not bad. At least you got that right.”
I giggled softly before falling silent. “Louis is an honorable man. In the future, if I were to ask for his help to go against the Moore family, I’m afraid…”
Marcus smiled. “The Moores have extensive connections in the underground world. It’s too bad they cover up their tracks too well because, truth be told, there are many people who’d like the see them completely uprooted.”
My brows lifted toward my hairline. Indeed, rich and famous people would always have a target on their backs.
Marcus’ phone rang just then. It was Sharon on the other end of the line, probably needing him for something. Before he hurried off, he told me to sit here to rest and to call him if I needed anything.
After he left, I sat in the pantry and spaced out. As an orphan, I guess I was lucky to have stumbled upon Louis who wholeheartedly accepted me as his goddaughter.
I sat for a while before getting up to use the washroom.
At the washroom, Cameron stood in my way and said, “Ms. Stovall, shall we have a chat?”
Taking in her slightly sagging cheeks, I nodded. “What exactly is it that you want to talk about, Ms. Anderson?”
She smiled placidly. “There’s a lounging area outside the hotel. Let’s talk there.”
I followed her to the back of the hotel and came to an open-air lounging area. After finding a seat, she gracefully lowered herself into it, motioning for me to do the same.
As I settled myself on the seat across from her, a waiter came for our orders. I asked for a glass of water, while she asked for a cup of coffee without sugar.
Then, I fixed my gaze on her, waiting for her to speak.
However, she didn’t seem to be in a hurry, waiting until her coffee was served and taking a sip from it before saying, “You don’t drink coffee, Ms. Stovall?”
I nodded. “The bitter taste doesn’t sit well with me.”
She smiled and took another sip. Perhaps because she found it too bitter, a small frown appeared between her brows. “That’s actually a blessing.” Her eyes fell on me before she smiled again. “To be honest, you really do look like me when I was younger. If I didn’t personally get a DNA test done, I would’ve really thought you were my daughter.”
I replicated her smile, but there was a hint of animosity in it. “It’d probably take a lot more than bearing a resemblance to you to be your daughter, Ms. Anderson. I’m not worthy.”
The smile on her face faded as she narrowed her eyes at me, then released a long sigh. “Thirty years ago, I’d just turned 20. As I was from an ordinary background, I knew since young that in order to live my dream life, I had to work for it. When I was 23, I’d just graduated from university and met Zachary. Being able to capture his attention is probably the luckiest thing that occurred in my life. He’s noble, charming, and gentle; basically what all women look for in a man. Fortunately, both he and I love and admire each other.”