Yet, Arielle remained emotionless as if she weren‘t the least bothered.
And that was the truth; she truly couldn‘t care less about being forgotten by Vinson.
She knew that the Southalls wanted connections with the Nightshires because of their elite social status. Despite this, that prestige wasn‘t what she wanted or needed.
So, it didn‘t matter whether Vinson remembered her at all.
Shandie scoffed when Arielle didn‘t react to her.
Liar! Keep acting like you don‘t care then, Arielle./ bet that deep down, you‘re crying like a big baby who‘s hurt about the whole thing.
Serves you right!
Vinson would never be interested in a plain country bumpkin like you!
Little did the four Southalls know, Vinson‘s eyes had burned holes in the back of Arielle‘s head for quite some time.
He stayed that way until Arielle boarded her flight. Only then did he let out an intrigued chuckle.
Beside him, the assistant‘s eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets.
What‘s going on?
Mr. Nightshire never laugh. He‘s usually unsmiling, and some would even say intimidatingly distant. I can‘t believe he‘s chuckling to himself now.
Also, this isn‘t sneering laughter. No. It‘s more genuine, like an amused laugh that comes from deep within one‘s chest.
It‘s been ages since I last saw Mr. Nightshire laugh like this.
While the assistant was deep in thought, Vinson‘s voice suddenly sounded. He asked, “Did you notice a difference between her and the others?”
There were three women in that family. Which is he referring to?
The assistant had worked alongside Vinson for several years now, so he knew better than to ask Vinson outright. He pondered for a while before recalling that Arielle had dressed differently from the others.
Then he answered hesitantly, “Indeed. The other three have donned well–known designer brands while that young lady‘s clothes… Well, they seem like some randomly bought clothes from an unknown stall.”
Even with such a sharp observation, Vinson still
shook his head.
The assistant instantly stiffened in shock. Did / guess wrongly? Was Mr. Nightshire not referring to that lady?
Just as the assistant felt flustered, Vinson‘s voice spoke up once again. “I‘m not talking about her clothes.”
The assistant heaved a sign of relief since he had at least guessed correctly
Still, he frowned in confusion. “If it‘s not the clothes, then what is it?‘
Within seconds, Vinson‘s facial expression returned to its usual indifference. “It’s nothing. Let‘s resume.”
Then the assistant dropped the topic altogether. He didn‘t dare to probe any further, so he continued with his report.
On the plane, the four Southalls sat in the same row. Henrick had been in a foul mood ever since Arielle‘s stunt. Because of this, he ordered Arielle to carry out several mindless tasks throughout the flight. She was told to move their luggage to the overhead cabin, then tidy their coats and put them into the luggage, followed by taking out their chargers and so
Everyone else on the plane assumed that she
was merely their housekeeper.
Arielle wasn‘t bothered with doing all those tasks. All she did was comply with Henrick‘s request without any complaints.
Eventually, Henrick couldn‘t hold it in anymore. He boomed icily, “Enough! Get over here.”
Once Arielle sat down next to Henrick, he interrogated with a sharp tone, “I thought you said that you helped Mr. Nightshire. So why didn‘t he remember you at all?”
Arielle shook her head candidly. “I only did him a small favor then, so it‘s normal that he doesn‘t remember me.”
“Then you should have…” Henrick faltered as he looked at Arielle. I guess having a naive daughter isn‘t always a beneficial thing.
If only it were Shandie who knew Vinson... she would have immediately caught on to my intentions and tried to get closer to him.
Henrick then huffed begrudgingly, “Forget it. We‘ll talk about this later. There‘s still much you have to learn.”
“Okay,” Arielle nodded obediently. With eyes rounded and lips parted, she feigned a child–like innocence as if she didn‘t know what she had done wrong.
Right then, the flight attendant approached them. “Good day, Mr. Southhall. According to your flight mileage, we‘re able to give you a free upgrade to first–class.”
Henrick deliberately chose economy–class seats not only out of stinginess but also because he knew that they could get a free upgrade.
Pleased, Henrick beamed as he bounced onto his feet. “Thank you. Please lead the way.”
Shandie and Cindy stood as well.
The flight attendant soon noticed Arielle, who was the last to stand. Then he immediately explained, “My apologies, sir. You only have enough mileage for three free upgrades. Here, have a look.”
“Three?” Henrick‘s temples started to ache. Then who will go with us to first–class? Shandie or Arielle?
Seeing that Henrick was conflicted, Cindy chimed in, “I‘m sure you‘ve realized that Arielle isn‘t very quick-witted. She won‘t be of much help at all. Plus, we‘re heading to Shandie‘s awards ceremony. So why don‘t we give the seat to Shandie this once, hmm?“.
Henrick‘s face turned grim before he finally agreed.
He promptly turned to Arielle and explained in a matter-of–fact tone, “I can‘t help that there are only three seats. We‘ll still see each other once the plane lands. Ergo, it‘s not all that different.”
Arielle stared intensely at Henrick.
Disappointment shrouded in her chest, but she couldn‘t show it on her face. She refused to let Cindy and Shandie feel triumphant.
Thus, Arielle pressed her lips into a tight smile and said, “It‘s fine.”
“Sorry about this,” Henrick uttered while averting her gaze. He then pranced away with Cindy and Shandie for the first–class cabin.
Shandie intentionally slowed her steps. Once their parents were a good distance away, she taunted in a low voice, “It seems like Dad loves me more. You‘ll have to work harder to catch up now! I‘ll be off to the first–class cabin, so you rest up here in economy–class, hmm? There‘s actually not much difference between the two cabins, save for the bigger seats and better service in mine. But hey, don‘t let that get to you.”
Arielle gritted her teeth at how Shandie was gloating around like some proud peacock.
Face twisting into a mocking smile, Arielle motioned towards the first–class cabin. She then provoked, “You‘d better hurry over. Dad
might change his mind and let me go with them if you keep dilly–dallying.”
Shandie panicked upon seeing Arielle‘s maliciously gleaming eyes.
Then she grabbed her bag and shot straight for first–class, fearing that Arielle would somehow end up in the superior cabin instead.
Soon after, all three Southalls plopped down comfortably in their first–class seats. Shandie had even ordered a glass of the cabin’s complimentary red wine.
Arielle could finally shut her eyes to rest now that Henrick and the others were gone.
Her chest sank with sorrow at that moment. She was human, after all; she felt sadness like every other person on this planet. However, she was terrified of revealing her emotions and vulnerabilities as anyone could use them against her. So she concealed everything, hiding away under the guise of an unbothered girl.
Fake it till you make it, she reminded herself.
Just as she got comfortable in her newfound peace, a voice suddenly sounded beside her.
“Excuse me... Are you here by yourself, miss?
May I sit next to you?”
A man had politely asked Arielle that question. He watched her with a set of wide eyes as his throat bobbed, gulping anxiously.
Arielle met his gaze with an icy expression. She turned him down, “Sorry, my family will be back soon. These are their seats.”
The man didn‘t need to be told twice. He turned to leave while letting out a wistful sigh. Who am I kidding? I‘m out of her league. There‘s no way! can get a gorgeous girl like her.
Although, I wonder what kind of man will be able to reel in such a great catch…
Not long after the man left, someone else approached Arielle. “Excuse me, miss…”
Arielle‘s head flung upward with a pinched expression. Just as she took in the person‘s face, her mouth fell open.
Isn‘t that person who was reporting stuff to Vinson at the airport?
The man proceeded to introduce himself, “I‘m Mr. Nightshire‘s assistant. He would like to invite you over to his private jet. I‘ve already taken the liberty to clarify things with the attendants on your current flight, so please come with me.”
Arielle hesitated for a moment, then promptly nodded when she thought about the man who approached her earlier.
There were many people on this flight, and she wasn‘t keen on being interrupted again.
“Alright,” said Arielle.
“Follow me then. This way, please.” The man gestured towards ahead.
They needed to pass through the first–class cabin to exit the aircraft.
As they walked by, Shandie immediately took notice.