On the ride back, Wendy couldn’t stop thinking about what Ryan had said.
As they took a right turn, Wendy turned to him scowling.
Ryan looked really confused by her expression.
“A prostitute or a murderer? Really?”
Ryan smiled and took her hand in his.
“What are you doing?” Wendy asked, blushing.
“We have company.”
In the back seat, Reese closed her eyes and turned her head sideways.
“I didn’t see anything.”
Wendy opened and closed her mouth several times, unable to find the right words.
But Ryan seemed unfazed.
He still held her hand tightly.
The car drove straight into the Ensfield.
At the sight of the luxurious villa, Reese was in awe.
‘‘Ensfield! Ryan lives in the Ensfield?’’ She had lived in the city for many years, yet she had only seen this place on TV.
It was the home of the extremely rich and powerful.
Only a dozen or so families lived here.
Each villa had its own swimming pool and word had it that there was a huge golf course as well as a horse- riding course in the complex.
And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Anything you wanted, you could find in the Ensfield.
Flynn couldn’t buy one of the villas here even if he used every single penny of his fortune!
Ryan must be a really big deal!’ Reese thought, her nerves getting the best of her.A moment later though, she calmed down a little, thinking how well Wendy and Ryan got along.
Ryan’s status was a good thing.Ruben and Cacia wouldn’t dare cross a man that powerful just to take revenge on her and Wendy.
They all entered Ryan’s villa and found Luke was already there.
Wendy was about to run upstairs and prepare a room for Reese, but Ryan stopped her.
Her arm was still injured so he insisted that she shouldn’t put any strain to it.
Instead, he asked Luke to call one of the servants to do it.
Luke wanted to hear all about their adventure during the day and they obliged.
When they told him what Flynn and Ruben had done, he was appalled.
“****! Those bastards! I knew Flynn was a scumbag.But I never expected your father to be such an ***, Wendy.Are you sure you are related? And why would he treat his stepdaughter better than his own children? There’s something seriously wrong with that man.”
When Luke finished speaking, he was breathing heavily as if he had been running.
Wendy just felt numb, but Reese’s eyes started brimming with tears.
Luke looked like he had more to say, but Wendy’s glare shut him up.
“Don’t worry, Auntie.You can live with Mommy and me from now on,”
Raymond said, his head on Reese’s lap.
The boy was so sweet that she couldn’t help smiling.
She tousled Raymond’s hair and said, “Darling, I’m afraid this isn’t possible.”
“But Reese, what are you going to do?”
“Don’t worry about me,” Reese said softly.
“Flynn is out of my life for good.As for Dad, I don’t think he will bother us again.I’m planning on selling the house Flynn gave me.I will get a smaller apartment and start looking for a job.”
Thinking of all the things to come, Reese’s eyes lit up.
“I’ve made up my mind.A job is exactly what I need right now.For once in my life I will be completely independent.There’s no better place to start to regain my confidence and believe in myself.” Ryan, who had been silent the whole time, suddenly spoke up.
“What kind of job are you looking for?”
“Well…I haven’t really decided yet.”
“When you do, just let me know.I have a lot of connections in the business world.I am sure we’ll find you a good position,” Ryan said matter-of-factly.
Luke was deep in thought.
‘’Wow! Ryan always hated people who relied on connections to secure a job.But look how easily he offered to help Reese.It’s unbelievable.For Wendy, he would forsake all his principles.’’
“That is so kind.Thank you,”
Reese said, beaming at Ryan.
He simply nodded back at her, saying nothing.
After a day’s events, Reese felt utterly exhausted, physically and mentally.
As soon as her room was ready, she said goodbye to everyone and went upstairs to get some rest.
After her sister had left, Wendy leaned her head against the sofa, consumed by her thoughts.
“Hey! What’s troubling you?”
Luke asked, looking genuinely concerned about her.
Wendy ignored his question, but shot back, “Why is your brother so kind and generous today?”
She knew really well that Ryan was not a person who would offer to help others so easily.
And then it hit her! Could this be? She sat up hastily and stared at Ryan warily.
“You are in love with my sister, aren’t you? You surely know that now it’s not a great time for you to act on your feelings! Her divorce is still fresh.She is not ready to move on yet.”
Ryan was staring at her in shock.
‘‘Does she really think I am that…fickle?’’ Ryan’s face darkened, veins started popping out on his forehead.
He gritted his teeth and said, “You are talking nonsense!”
“Am I? Then why are you so eager to help her find a job?”
“Because I must! I owe her that much.”
‘Why?’ Wendy was really confused now.
What could Ryan possibly owe to Reese? “Why do you feel you owe her?”
“Before we met, she was the one taking care of you.Protecting you!”
Wendy was stunned.
Her heart was beating like crazy.
She felt excited and terrified at the same time, as Ryan’s eyes were locked on hers.
She couldn’t look away, even if she wanted to.
Her hands moved on their own volition.
They came to rest on her chest, as if to calm her wild heartbeat.
This cold, arrogant man was willing to do anything to help Reese, just because she protected Wendy when she was a child.
“I love you.Only you.I think I have always been clear about it!”
Wendy blushed, “I…I…”
He lay his hand on her shoulder and said, “You can’t choose the family you are born in.”
Wendy knew he was trying to comfort her, even if his words sounded clumsy.
He was trying to tell her not to let Ruben’s attitude get to her.
The truth was that Ruben’s words hadn’t bothered her at all.
Yet now her eyes stung, tears threatening to start spilling down her cheeks.
Ryan’s words had made her feel there was still someone who cared about her.
Truly and unconditionally.
“Please, don’t be so nice to me,” she said, lowering her eyes.
“Or I might get used to it.”
“Yes!” Wendy didn’t know what to say.
‘‘What’s that supposed to mean? Can’t he speak clearly for once?’’ Wendy thought.
Seeing her confusion, Ryan explained, “I mean you getting used to it! This is exactly what I want.”
But his words did not put her mind to rest, Instead, Wendy felt even more confused than she did before.
Since it was the first night that Reese spent in her sister’s house, Wendy stayed with her and didn’t go to Ryan’s.
Lying on her big bed all alone made her feel strangely uncomfortable.
She tossed and turned, but sleep still eluded her.
‘‘What the ****!’’ She complained inwardly.
Suddenly, there was a knock on her bedroom door.
The door swung open to reveal Reese in her pajamas.
“Reese, it’s really late.What are you doing still up?”
“Can I sleep with you tonight? Just like when we were little?”
“Do you need to ask?” Wendy moved over and patted the mattress.
“Get in here.”
The sisters had a long talk huddled under the covers.
They reminisced about their childhood and spoke about their lives now, until finally the discussion turned to Ryan.
“Wendy! I may not know much about the world, but it’s pretty obvious that Ryan loves you.He is kind to Ray and he is offering to help me.For you.Because he loves you.”
Wendy’s smile froze.
She stayed silent for a while, lost in thought.
When she finally decided to speak, her retort was interrupted by Reese.
“Wendy, I am not trying to talk to you into anything.You are a grown woman now and you can make your own decisions.I can only offer you advice.Follow your heart.It knows what’s best for you.”
Wendy couldn’t believe her ears.
“Reese, what are you saying? Do you think I should be with him?”