Chapter 88 Probing
When I woke up, Charles was already gone, but he made breakfast for me and left it on the table. He seemed to be distracted by something last night, which worried me a little. Before I could get sucked into the Charles rabbit hole again, I knocked myself over the head. I had more important things to think about than him. Los Angeles was always buzzing with life, especially in the mornings. Traffic was extra terrible today, and it actually took half an hour longer for me to reach the office.
“Scarlett, sweetie, how are you? Are you feeling better?” As soon as I entered the office, Nina walked over and gave me a big hug. She was wearing a red business suit today, and her hair was neatly rolled up behind her head. She looked bright and stunning.
“Yes, thank you. I just needed a ton of sleep,” I replied and put down my bag in the lounge. I went to get myself a cup of coffee. Nina followed suit.
“My dad’s home by the way. Would you like to have dinner this weekend at my house? We can talk about your divorce plans,” Nina cut to the chase.
Her father was a famous lawyer in Los Angeles. Last time, I asked her to ask her father to help me sue for divorce. I did not expect that things would go so fast.
But I supposed I was thankful for the timing. Charles intended to keep me hanging, and I certainly did not want to still be married to him when Rita’s baby was born. So I accepted Nina’s invitation readily. Charles did not want to go about things the peaceful way. He left me no choice.
“Wow. That was quick.” Nina was a little surprised.
“It’s already long overdue. I want it to be over before I leave Los Angeles.”
“Leave Los Angeles? Scarlett, are you sure you don’t want to stay? I mean, you have a stable job here now, and things are going great for you,” Nina asked. I shook my head and handed her the cup of coffee I made for her. “I have too many bad memories here. I don’t think I can start over here. I need a change of scenery and soon.”
Hearing my response, Nina did not say anything more. We shook on our dinner date this weekend and then went our separate ways to work.
At noon, I went out to meet William for lunch. I was a little startled when I saw him. He looked a little haggard. It seemed that he was not used to living in Los Angeles
“Are you all right, William? You look exhausted,” I asked. After all, he was my friend, and I was worried about him.
“I’m fine. I’ve just been having a little difficulty sleeping, that’s all.” He looked distressed. His hair was a bit disheveled, and the dark circles under his eyes could almost pass for bruises.
“When I can’t sleep, I drink a special kind of tea. It’s very effective. I can send you some if you want,” I said with concern.
“I’d love that. I hope it helps me sleep, too. Thank you so much, Scarlett. You’re an angel.” And just like that, the gloom on his face was chased away.
“You’re welcome,” I smiled and refocused on my food.
“Didn’t you study in France before? Why did you return to Los Angeles?” William asked.
“Why do you ask?” I was confused by the abruptness of his question.
“I’m just curious why you didn’t stay abroad. I mean, you’re pretty excellent at what you do, and if you had stayed in France, you would’ve found better career prospects,” William replied and set down his fork.
“I suppose I just have different ambitions.” I did not want to tell him that I came home because my husband asked for a divorce.
“What do you think of Rita and Charles?” William suddenly changed the subject.
“I’m not that familiar with Rita, so I can’t make an evaluation of her. As for Charles… “I paused and took a breath, “He’s a good man.”
William raised his eyebrows and said, “But Rita told me once that you were her good friend. In fact, she mentions you a lot to me.”
I almost dropped my cutlery on my plate. Since when was I her good friend? Every time our paths crossed, she always looked like she wanted to choke the life out of me.
“Well, was she telling the truth?” Since I did not say anything for a long time, William asked again.
I had no choice but to respond, “I suppose she’s a good person as well. As someone who has been suffering from cancer for so many years, she’s quite the fighter. I actually admire her more than I feel sorry for her.”
William was shocked to hear what I just said. “Yes, Rita had cancer, but she’s been in full remission for some time now. She does have some kind of heart disease, though, but it’s not severe enough to interfere with her daily life.”
I could not believe what I just heard. Everyone knew that Rita had cancer, and had the medical records to prove that it was not in remission.
“No, Rita still has cancer,” I protested.
“How is that possible?” William was stunned. He wiped his face and said, “You know what, forget it. I’ll get back to you after I figure it out.”
“You must have made a mistake, William.” I smiled and dismissed the conversation about whatever was ailing Rita. Whether she had cancer or heart disease, she was still pregnant with Charles’s child, and that was a fact. 1
“Let’s talk about something else. I’ve been in Los Angeles for a couple of days, but I haven’t gotten the chance to visit some tourist spots. Do you have time to wander around with me this afternoon?” William asked.
“Okay. I happen to have no work this afternoon.”
“Do I need to pay a guide’s fee or something? I don’t want to cheap out on you, Miss Riley,” he teased with a smile.
I could not help feeling amused. For the first time, I found that William had a humorous side.
“No need for fees. It’ll be my honor to be your guide.”
“You really look amazing when you smile, Scarlett. You should smile often.” William suddenly looked at me seriously, “When you smile, you remind me of one of my dearest friends.”
Feeling a little embarrassed under his probing gaze, I cleared my throat and said, “Really? And who might that be?”
“I’ll tell you some other time,” William beamed.
I could not help rolling my eyes. It was laughably typical of William to withhold such a trivial piece of information so that he could look mysterious.
After lunch, I took William sightseeing around Los Angeles. William was a perfect gentleman and an outstanding conversationalist. No matter what turn our talks took, he always steered them into something informative and interesting. He was a great friend to have, but we could not be close.
When we ran out of things to talk about, he brought up Rita and Charles once again. I sensed that he wanted to know something, but I could not figure out what. I had always felt that William and Rita had a somewhat close relationship. When I broached the subject, William digressed and started a whole new conversation. At nightfall, I accompanied William back to his hotel.
“Thank you so much for a wonderful day, Scarlett. I had a lot of fun. Let’s have dinner next time, okay?”
The lines that made him look weary were now gone, but I still could not decide whether or not it was just because of the absence of natural light.
“You’re welcome,” I said casually, not acknowledging his dinner invitation. Reason told me to keep my distance from him. More drama was the last thing I wanted.
When I was about to leave, I saw Charles walk into the hotel lobby. Behind him were several men in suits. It seemed that they had just finished a meeting. It suddenly occurred to me that this five-star hotel that William was staying in was also owned by Charles.
“Scarlett!” Charles shouted after me with an unhappy look on his face. He obviously was not thrilled to see me and William in the same room.
I ignored him and headed for the exit without looking back. Once again, he was in a bad mood, and I did not want to stick around so that he could take out his frustrations on me.
Before I could make it out, his hand was already around my wrist.
I curled my lips and said, “Let go of me, Charles. I want to go home.”
“Let me drive you home.” Ignoring my struggle, Charles towed me toward William who just watched as we approached him. “Are you interested in my wife?” Charles asked directly.
William looked at him with wide eyes. “Scarlett’s your wife?”
“Yes, so stay away from her,” Charles snapped, glared at William, and then dragged me away.
Before William could react, Charles already put me in his car.
Bye My Irresistible Love, Chapter 88 Probing