Gabrielle sat on the balcony, bored out of her mind. She was in front of a beautiful but strange scenery, yet her mind was on something else. She wasn’t in the mood to appreciate the scenery because she still felt uneasy.
She doubted if she made the right choice to come to Thailand on such short notice, and she didn’t even tell Westley about it. Gabrielle could only imagine how angry he was right now. She promised him that they would spend Christmas together and celebrate his birthday party.
Gabrielle sighed. She was in Bangkok instead of home, and she and Westley are in two different countries when they should have been together.
She was about to turn on her phone but realized that it might be better if she didn’t. She was already in Bangkok, and it was way too late to try to explain to Westley. It would only make him angrier. Gabrielle sighed. It was easier to apologize later.
Moreover, her cousin told her that Westley imprisoned Bryce before—something which she found unbelievable at first. But if it was true and it was actually Westley who did it, she didn’t know how to face him, let alone ask him questions.
Would she hate him?
Would she even want to divorce him?
Gabrielle closed her eyes and rubbed her eyebrows almost aggressively. She wanted to get rid of the dangerous thoughts crossing her mind. She couldn’t face Bryce this way, and she should stop filling her head with nonsense. More importantly, she should withhold putting the blame on Westley, especially since she didn’t have a solid evidence yet.
“Gabrielle, are you enjoying the night view?” Lance went upstairs to ask Gabrielle to have dinner. When he saw the door open, he came in and saw her lounging around.
“Well, the view is breathtaking.” Gabrielle turned around and glanced at Lance, smiling. But it didn’t reach her eyes.
He clearly interrupted something. Gabrielle was lost in her own thoughts.
“Gabrielle, do you have something on your mind or are you not feeling well? You don’t look too good.” Lance gave her an assessing look, taking note of her pale face and the dark shadows under her eyes.
She looked bone-tired, as if she could topple any minute. It was as if she aged in just a few hours. Lance frowned. He was worried about her.
It was her first time coming here. Lance understood if she didn’t like the environmental conditions and felt uncomfortable. It would take a while to adjust.
But looking closely at her, Lance couldn’t help but fret about her. He feared that this place didn’t suit her at all.
“I’m fine, I promise. I’m just feeling sorry for Westley. I promised to spend Christmas with him tonight. It’s our first time celebrating it. I’ve already prepared everything, yet I’m here with you. I just…” With a choked sob, Gabrielle covered her mouth as tears spilled on her cheeks. She stared at the panoramic view in front of her through blurred eyes. She was racked with guilt and sadness.
A few hours ago, she was happily preparing a birthday cake for Westley in Antawood, looking forward to their first Christmas. She was excited to spend time with him.
But now, she was at a hotel in Bangkok, far away from Westley. Gabrielle had never felt so alone.
“Gabrielle, I know it’s too much for you to come with me. If you miss him, you can call him and video chat with him.” Lance couldn’t bear to see her so sad and in pain. When she cried, a part of him broke too.
He was too anxious to come here, so he rushed Gabrielle. What he didn’t expect was how important Westley was to her. She had prepared so much for their first Christmas together, and now, she felt heartbroken because she couldn’t spend it with him.
Lance clearly underestimated Westley’s importance to her. Truth be told, Lance didn’t like how she looked so miserable to be away from him.
Lance was taken aback, and he wondered how Westley managed to make her fall head over heels in love with him.
“Lance, may I call Wilson?” Gabrielle hesitated before glancing at Lance.
Then, she caught herself and shook her head. “Forget it. I want to see Bryce as soon as possible and deal with the matter here. Then I’ll go back to Antawood and explain it to Westley.”
Gabrielle was so conflicted. She wanted to call Westley, but if she didn’t, she would be able to deal with things more rationally. Westley was bound to be angry, and Gabrielle needed to keep it together.
Even if she didn’t tell him, if Westley wanted to know her exact location, he could easily find it out. In truth, Gabrielle couldn’t rea
lly avoid him. Westley had enough power and influence to reach her.
The only thing left for her to do was wait for Westley to come to her.
If he was willing to come.
Gabrielle was not sure how Westley would react if he knew that she came to Bangkok to see Bryce. Bryce was a sore subject, so Westley’s fury was warranted.
She couldn’t even dare to think about Westley’s reaction.
“Gabrielle, what are you going to do if Westley really did it?” Lance walked closer to her and asked her seriously.
Gabrielle was stunned at that moment and didn’t know how to respond. She opened her mouth to say something but thought better of it.
What if it was really Westley who imprisoned and mistreated Bryce? How would that make her feel?
Gabrielle knew she was going down a rabbit hole but couldn’t find it in herself to stop.
She just spoke one word and clamped her mouth shut.
Gabrielle ran her fingers through her hair and hung her head low. She couldn’t answer his question; she just couldn’t. It was too difficult for her.
“Gabrielle, you don’t have to answer me. I know you’re conflicted and very uneasy now. Don’t feel bad if you want to side with Westley. You don’t want to believe that it was him who did it.” Lance put his hand lightly on her shoulder. He totally understood especially when he saw the embarrassed look on her face.
Gabrielle was in a difficult position. She was stuck in the middle of two men who not only hated each other but had so much animosity between them.
Both men were enemies, and Gabrielle was thrust into their fight.
“Lance, no matter what happens, I need to see Bryce first. I want him to tell me in person whether it was Westley or not. I need to see it for myself.” Gabrielle wiped her tears and collected herself. Her voice was steady, and her eyes cleared.
She hadn’t seen Bryce with her own eyes, and she didn’t know what he looked like. She couldn’t easily believe everything Lance said without proof.
Lance was right. Gabrielle tended to side with Westley subconsciously because deep inside of her, she didn’t and couldn’t believe that he would do something so vicious and cruel.
“Well, Gabrielle, don’t mention it anymore. Let’s go downstairs to eat. Dinner is ready.” Lance turned around to head to the dining room. He saw Gabrielle get up and follow him.
Gabrielle didn’t realize she was hungry until Lance mentioned food. She couldn’t remember the last time she ate.
She was startled when she saw men in black suits standing outside the living room. They all looked like they were from the special forces—big, well-muscled, and threatening.
This surprised Gabrielle. Her jaw dropped, and she gazed sharply at Lance.
“Lance, do we really need so many bodyguards?” Gabrielle asked. Her eyes darted around the men and the weapons holstered around their waists.
She was genuinely curious, but she also understood that she needed to survive in a strange country—an unfamiliar territory for her. Their presence made her uncomfortable, but she didn’t have a choice.
She knew they weren’t ordinary bodyguards. Their gazes were intense, and they looked way too serious when they talked to Lance in the living room moments ago. It was as if any small move could cost her her life.
Gabrielle had seen the chaos in Southeast Asia on the news, so she understood why Lance was so careful. She couldn’t blame him.
She had to be cautious herself. She came here with Lance and didn’t want to cause him any trouble.
“Well, the place we’re going to is rather tumultuous and disorganized. Let’s have dinner first, and I’ll explain it to you later.” Lance led her to the dining room. Gabrielle walked with unsure steps.
The table was already filled with a mix of Western and Thai dishes. It was a diverse array of foods that would make any foodie happy.
However, Gabrielle was not interested in eating now. In another time, maybe her mouth would have watered at the sight. But all she thought of at the moment was filling her stomach. She didn’t even want to waste time eating. She had to see Bryce as soon as possible.
“Gabrielle, I’m afraid you are not used to Thailand cuisine. That’s why I also ordered Western food for you. Let’s eat.” Lance pulled out a chair for her and let her sit down. She continued to look around the dining area.
“Thank you, Lance.” Gabrielle knew that Lance had always been very careful. That was just who he was.
“Gabrielle, Merry Christmas!” Lance beamed, took out a gift box, and handed it to her.