Tanya stared at Hillary.
Never would she have ever expected that the woman, who had merely bullied and humiliated her a little five years ago, would actually go as far as to steal her child!
She had only been slightly under twenty years old at that time.
Hillary resembled Jill a lot, but she and Tanya didn’t really look alike. Her temper and personality were also similar to Jill’s. This must be one of the reasons why Jill had preferred Hillary and disliked Tanya ever since they were kids, right?
With that in mind, Tanya sneered, “We won’t know until we reach the end.”
Hillary’s eyes flickered.
At this moment, Jill, who had entered a moment later than Hillary, spotted the two of them. She immediately charged over, stretched out her arm, and slapped Tanya across her cheek. “You little b***h! Who told you you could come back to the States? It’s all your fault that things have come to this point!”
Tanya took a step back.
She was no longer the little girl from the past who couldn’t fight back.
She sneered, “We’re at the court, Mrs. Jones. Please show some respect, or else I will sue you!”
Jill was furious. “Who are you calling Mrs. Jones? I am your mother!”
Tanya gave her a mocking smile. “Really? But didn’t you already tell me a long time ago that you’ve severed ties with me?”
She took out her cell phone and played an audio recording. It was from five years ago when she was pregnant overseas. It was hard for her to find a job at that time, so she had bitten the bullet and approached Jill to ask for a bit of money for living expenses.
Jill’s voice was very calm in the recording.
“$3,000? What are you thinking? I can buy a handbag with that money! Besides, you are already an adult, so I am not obligated to pay for your tuition fees. Think of a solution yourself! Didn’t you work part-time during college for your tuition fees? Didn’t you say that you will never use even a cent of my money when you were a kid? Heh…
“From now on, I will take it that I have never had a daughter like you, while you have never had me as a mother. I hope we will never see each other ever again!”
Those few lines of hers had severed the mother-daughter relationship between Tanya and her. This was also why Tanya had never been to the Joneses despite so much time passing since her return to the States.
When Jill heard the recording, she sneered, “Hah, what an ingrate you are. To think you remember those things I said so clearly. Never mind if you don’t want to bear the responsibility of supporting me in old age, because I have never once counted on you to do that, either! But how could you turn around and bully us so maliciously?”
Tanya looked at her and Hillary. She couldn’t help but retort, “Who exactly is bullying whom here?”
Her simple one-liner made Hillary and Jill exchange a look. Jill then yelled angrily, “Does it matter who the one bullying the other is? You are the one who’s targeting the Joneses now! You’d best agree to settle in private while the trial has yet to start. Otherwise, I will make you pay!”
No one knew what gave her the confidence to say something like that.
When Tanya wanted to reply, Joel asked, “How do you intend to make her pay?”
His words made Jill choke.
Joel came over, put his arm around Tanya’s shoulder, and looked at Jill. “Mrs. Jones, may I ask, what are you planning to do to my fiancée?”
Jill was shocked. “When did the two of you get engaged?”
Joel cast his eyes down. “You don’t have to bother yourself with that, Mrs. Jones. I think the two of you should use this time to discuss the case with each other instead of glaring at and saying mean things to my fiancée.”
When Jill wanted to reply, Mr. Jones strode over and grabbed both Jill and Hillary. He smiled and said to Joel, “Look at how big a fuss this has become, Mr. Smith… It’s all because the kids are so insensible. Please forgive us!”
Joel did not say any more. He dragged Tanya back to the lounge.
After the two of them went in, Mr. Jones flew into a rage as he stared at Jill and Hillary. “Can the two of you stop creating so much trouble?! We are already about to go to court, so stop provoking them and making trouble in private!”
Hillary curled her lips disdainfully. “Dad, all you know is to blame me whenever we run into trouble! They are obviously the ones in the wrong! You’re just afraid of Mr. Smith’s power, right? But you don’t have to be anymore!”
Jill raised her chin slightly at Hillary’s words, and she also said impatiently to Mr. Jones, “Alright, that’s enough. Karl has already agreed to intervene, so nothing will go wrong!”
Mr. Jones stared at the two women and pointed at them angrily. “Karl will eventually leave. Once he leaves, the Smiths have a thousand and one ways to make us pay! The two of you have created so much trouble for the Joneses!”
However, Jill and Hillary completely ignored him and even curled their lips disdainfully.
Jill even said, “If worse comes to worst, the whole family can just migrate to Switzerland. Karl has both power and authority over there, so he can protect us!”
Mr. Jones: “!!”
He stared at Jill and shouted angrily, “Migrate to Switzerland? The way I see it, it’s more like you and him are still in love, isn’t it?!”
Afraid that others would overhear what he had said, Mr. Jones turned and left angrily.
Hillary stared at him from the back and pursed her lips. She said, “Look at him, Mom. Why do I have such a pushover of a father?! He doesn’t even have the courage to stand up for his daughter! If only Karl was my father!”
Jill’s eyes flickered the moment she said that.
She patted Hillary and said, “Don’t talk nonsense!”
Then, she and Hillary entered the lounge.
Soon, it was time for the trial.
Both parties entered the courtroom and sat opposite each other.
Karl had found a very famous lawyer for Hillary. After both parties took their seats, the judge asked the plaintiff to speak. The attorney immediately stood up and said reproachfully,
“Mr. Smith, where is Ms. Mia Smith? The court had instructed you to bring her here so that she can be asked whether she wants to stay with her father or her mother. Why didn’t you bring her?”
He looked at the judge and went on. “Or is it because you have no respect for the court at all? And think you can do whatever you want because of the Smiths’ power?
“It has been very long since my client last saw her daughter. By separating mother and daughter from each other, and showing no respect for the court, your actions are simply atrocious!”
As Hillary had made a huge fuss and blown up the lawsuit before the trial, everyone was afraid that the Smiths would bribe the judge, so they had vehemently demanded a live-stream of the court proceedings.
After giving it some thought, the court had agreed to the public’s request.
Therefore, the trial was currently being broadcast live.
People were commenting fiercely in the live-stream:
“Isn’t he showing too little respect to the law?”
“He’s so arrogant! But with so many of us watching, the court won’t cover up for the Smiths!”
Amid the discussion, the judge frowned.
After all, the fact that Joel had not brought Mia along had gone against their wishes. His actions were indeed rather disrespectful of the court.
He frowned. At this point, the defendant’s attorney stood up.