Layla became even more upset after that. Elliot was not at all surprised.
Everything would make sense if Layla was the one who took the box; it explained why they couldn’t seem to find out who stole the box because no one would suspect a four-year-old child.
Layla was very dependent at the time, and who would suspect a child who couldn’t take care of herself?
Apart from that, it also explained why the content inside the box was never publicized or used to blackmail Elliot after it was taken.
“Layla, what kind of clothes did that woman wear?” Elliot sat her down on a chair, before wiping her tears away with tissue. When her sobbing had ceased, he continued, “was she a gray coat?”
“How do you know?” Layla looked at him, red- eyed. “Did you get the box back?”
Elliot remained thoughtful for a while, before he decided to tell her the truth. “No, that lady who lied to you had died in a car crush. Whatever’s in the box had been taken. Don’t be sad though, what’s lost is lost.”
“But my brother said that the box contains something really important… ” Layla snuffled and lowered her lashes. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have taken your stuff.”
Elliot felt exceptionally calm as he listened to his daughter’s apology. Had it been anyone else who took what belonged to him, leading to such an unfortunate outcome, Elliot would have made them pay; but because it was his daughter who did it, he did not intend on blaming her even if the sky was the fall upon them.
Curious to what she was thinking at the time, he asked, “why did you take the box?”
” I hated you, so I took something of yours. I want you to get nervous when you can’t find it. ” Layla pouted regretfully. “If only I knew that it’s that important, I would have never taken it!”
“Don’t cry, Layla. Let’s not tell your mom about this.” Elliot didn’t want Avery to worry, and judging from how scared Layla appeared to be, she must have kept it from Avery.
He had asked Avery about the box when it went missing at the beginning; Avery would have told him if she knew anything about this.
Layla looked at him. “What about my brother?”
“You can choose not to tell your brother if you don’t want to.” Elliot looked at her gently ;e,*?4< m said, “just pretend that nothing happened today. It’s going to be a new year soon; you and your brother should go have fun with your mother.”
“What about you?” Layla finally let her guard down and felt an indescribable warmth spreading from her chest to throughout her body.
Her father didn’t seem too bad after all.
” I will be spending new years in my house.” Elliot studied Layla’s face, which resembled Avery, and asked endearingly, “what new year gift do you want? I will buy it for you before you leave.”
Layla blinked thoughtfully as she contemplated it.
There were plenty of things that she wanted, but most could be obtained from her mother, Mike or Eric.
” I like hair clips. I already have a lot of pretty hair clips but I will still be very happy if I get new ones.” Layla told him the gift that she wanted most and asked, “what new year gift do you want? I can buy you a gift as well. To tell you a secret, I have a lot of money!”
“I want you to call me Dad,” Elliot confessed his wish, “even for once.”
Layla was stunned. She had never called him ‘Dad’ before and to suddenly start felt somewhat embarrassing. However, she had lost something that belonged to him, and not only did he not blame her, but he also offered to buy her a new year gift. It seemed as though calling him ‘Dad’ was not too much a thing for him to ask.
“Dad,” she looked up at Elliot’s sophisticated features and muttered shyly.