COPYRIGHT © 2018 Miu
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All pictures and multimedia used are not the author’s work and doesn’t claim any legal rights.
MATURE CONTENT and VULGAR words not suited for young readers below eighteen (18) years old.
Startled at the sudden sound and appearance of palms against the counter, Eric retracted his hand on Satele’s head while the latter jumped away from the former.
“Well, you two sure are close. I wonder if the manager knows that his employees are slacking and making out with each other instead of working.” A haughty voice, trembling with unconcealed rage, resounded in the area.
Satele’s eyes shifted up, surprised to see Evangeline Heart in the flesh standing in front of her. Her beautiful face was cold as ever while she beamed her famous fake smile.
The truth was, Satele already saw her since morning going to and fro in front of the store. But since she was too busy with the customers, she didn’t spare a second to think as to the reason why. And as the day progress, she gradually forgot about her.
Her shock expression steadily turned calm even though she could practically feel the thick animosity directed at her coming from Evangeline.
Satele parted her lips. She was about to defend herself when Eric’s smooth and somewhat detached voice pierced the stillness.
“Do you need anything?”
Stunned yet again from Eric’s icy tone, Satele glanced at him. His usual calm and stoic expression were still plastered on his face, yet his eyes were dull and a little . . . scary.
Satele opened her mouth but gradually closed it, smacking her lips tight. She could feel the atmosphere wasn’t right. She could touch the palpable tension between the two.
Best, not stick my nose in it.
Though she was very curious to know what exactly the relationship between the two, and who was Asher Cole to Evangeline Heart? She was not ignorant of the rumors circulating that Asher Cole and Evangeline Heart had something going on.
Her brows twitched while her lips clamped in a tight line when that hateful man appeared in her mind once more. Who cares about him!
At the side, Evangeline’s eyes, which were cold and unperturbed, gradually moistened. The hardness of her expression turned softer, but it was gone as it came, reverting to her usual haughty, arrogant self.
“You and I need to talk, Eric,” Evangeline said, looking at Eric with a chilling smile on her face, completely ignoring Satele beside him.
Eric’s expression remained neutral as he answered in a monotonous tone, “I’m still at work.”
Evangeline sneered. She crossed her hands and tilted her body to the side. “Work? All I see is that you’re flirting with your fellow nerd here.”
Satele’s eyebrows furrowed. She glared at Evangeline, not one bit scared nor intimidated by her.
Not placing the nerdy woman in her eyes, Evangeline continued looking at Eric.
Eric’s face didn’t waver one bit. But his tone turned colder and colder.
“Evangeline, if you have nothing to buy, I suggest you leave.”
“. . .”
“. . .”
It was not only Evangeline who was startled, Satele was also stunned from the way Eric was conversing with her. Satele couldn’t help but sympathize with the woman when she saw her calm and haughty face crumbled bit by bit. Her lilac eyes blurred with tears, and her face blossomed in red.
Satele didn’t know if it was because she was angry or embarrassed. But one thing she did know, it was not something to say to a woman.
Glancing at Eric, she was about to say her piece. But her mouth smack closed in soundless confusion when she saw his hands behind the counter, away from Evangeline’s eyes. They were white from clenching into fists. She could even see the veins bulging from its skin.
What’s going on? She perceived that the two like each other. It was undeniable from the way Evangeline stared at Eric even though the woman masked it with indifference. And from the way Eric was acting, forcing himself to be mean to her to the point his hands were trembling . . .
Satele was baffled by this.
This question consumed her mind until disrupted by loud tick-tacking of heels. And before she could react, Evangeline was already gone, stomping her heels along the way.
“. . .”
“. . .”
Satele’s head shifted frantically between the door to where Evangeline left and at Eric beside her as she spoke in a hurried tone, “Aren’t you going to chase after her?”
Staring forward at no particular spot, Eric didn’t answer. The moment Evangeline was gone, his emotionless eyes wavered while his tightened fists didn’t loosen one bit. Afraid his self-control would break, and he would forget everything and go after her.
Eventually, he pretended to arrange some papers before handing it to Satele. “Our shifts have ended. You can go home now,” he said with no fluctuation in his voice. His face was the epitome of nonchalance, like what happened earlier was but a hallucination.
This caused Satele to be worried. She didn’t know why she was concerned. Eric was doing something he would regret.
“Are you alright with this?”
Eric didn’t answer. Ignoring Satele, he placed the papers on the table and turned around. But before he could take another step, Satele’s voice stopped him.
“She’s going to abandon you, you know.”
Eric’s calm facade cracked while Satele held a complicated look on her face, clenching her arm as if she remembered something painful.
“Keep pushing her away like that, and she will walk away from you. I know I don’t have any right to butt my nose into your business since I don’t know your situation nor hers, and I’m not exactly close to her. But judging from her personality, Evangeline Heart is arrogant and prideful. It’s only a matter of time before she reached her bottom line and once she does . . .” Satele stopped, looking at Eric’s back, who was still immobile.
“. . .”
“. . .”
Dropping his eyelids, Eric smiled wryly at himself. “It’s fine. As long as she continues to act like that, it still means that she cares.”
Satele’s brows creased as she asked, “And what if she stops?”
Eric faced her, looking severe and a little helpless.
“Then . . . that’s when I’ll start to worry.”
In a study, Alvaro was reading the papers in his hand while his lips quirked in a strange smile. The more he read the bundle of documents, the more he couldn’t stop himself from smiling. Yet his smile was a little sinister and calculating. His ashen blue eyes were constricting, afraid to miss even a single word on those papers while his free hand played with his cup full of coffee emitting a unique aroma not found in any coffees.
Covering his face with his hands, he leaned back on the leather chair, roaring in laughter.
“So that’s it . . . that’s it . . . I didn’t expect that I will find this secret . . . ah . . .”
His droopy eyes that appeared ominous were peeking from the gaps of his fingers while his shoulders bubbled up and down from the excitement and joy of cracking a mystery.
“Eric Phelps . . . heh . . .” Sneering, he restrained from bursting to laughter once more.
However, his happiness was short-lived when his phone rang with Maxine as the caller. His sharp eyes and sinister air vanished. Brushing his hand through his hair, he arranged himself on his chair. He cleared his throat before picking up his phone.
Maxine’s sweet voice radiated in the four corners of the room. Her voice lightened the dark, oppressive atmosphere. Like the rays of the sun illuminated the dark, quiet place in which only the gothic lamp served as light.
“Alvaro, I’m not disturbing you, am I?”
Yes. Yes, you are. “No. what’s up?” He smiled, which didn’t reach his eyes.
“Uhmm . . . I’ll be arriving at Burberry tomorrow.”
Massaging his forehead, he knew where the conversation was going. “Mm . . . I’ll come and pick you up. Just tell me the time of your arrival.”
He puffed a silent sigh when he heard Maxine’s controlled giggles on the other side of the phone.
“It’s at nine in the morning. Uhmm . . . if it’s not a bother, may you also accompany me tomorrow to buy a dress for Angel Lin’s debut?”
“Of course.” It’s a bother. His eyes dropped, and he gently massaged the space between his brows. “No problem. If that is all, I’ll hang up.”
“Oh . . .” Maxine was a little disappointed, yet she still answered, “Alright, good night.”
Alvaro flung his phone on the table while the chair scraped the carpet when he stood to his feet.
Now that his mind was relaxing, his stomach was grumbling in hunger for food. It was a bad habit of his to immerse himself with work, so much so, he forgot the time.
Grabbing his coat and car keys, he walked out of his unit towards the elevator. He was about to press the ground button when something flashed in his mind. And instead of the ground, he pressed for the floor below his.
When the elevator dinged, he sauntered towards the only unit on that floor, which Evangeline occupied.
He and Asher bought a unit in this condo where Evangeline resides. It was not easy since there was already an owner on the floor he was currently residing. But to him . . . nothing is impossible.
His legs stopped in front of Evangeline’s door. He scooped out the card key from his pocket, which Evangeline gave him, yet he didn’t move to open the door. Instead, he was . . . hesitant.
Contemplating whether to open or not.
These past few days he was in Burberry, he was occupied with matters regarding Eric Phelps, and the matter of his Aunt Emerald was pushed back from his mind. Until he managed to uncover Eric Phelps’s secret, that is, his mind once again wanted to unravel how his Aunt Emerald died as he couldn’t believe that she died with multiple organ failures.
They investigated high and low, from north to south to east to west, to every suspect possible, but none could link to the death of Emerald Cole. They didn’t have any clue nor evidence to link it to the suspects they already have in their hands.
Actually, he –– they didn’t care who the suspect was, as long as that person was related to his Aunt Emerald’s death, be it directly or indirectly, evidence or not, they would kill them without mercy.
But . . . this situation was a bit tricky . . .
Besides that, they had to take in Evangeline’s feelings. They also wanted to know how Emerald Cole died and why.
Only, they were missing something, something they couldn’t find no matter how much they searched. They searched nonstop for years, every nook and cranny, every spot and spec . . .
Except for one . . .
Álvaro’s hand gradually reached for Evangeline’s door while his face couldn’t be discerned beneath the glaring light of the lobby’s chandeliers.
“What are you doing?”
Álvaro’s hand stopped midway, and his cold, piercing eyes turned softer and gentler as he faced Evangeline, who was now standing meters away from him.
He must be so consumed with his thoughts that he didn’t notice her arrival.
“I was going to check up on you and ask you out to have dinner with me.” He smiled. But his smile froze when he noticed her eyes were a bit puffy and red. Reaching out, he was about to touch her face when she shifted her head away from his reach.
“I’m not hungry,” Evangeline responded simply, and walked towards her door, opened it, and got inside without waiting for Alvaro.
Alvaro followed Evangeline inside and grabbed her wrist.
“Who did this to you?” Eyes narrowing, his calm, gentle face turned serious and grim. He could tell that Evangeline had been crying. Son of a bitch!
Not reacting, Evangeline pulled her wrist from her cousin’s grasp while her face, from start to finish, remained emotionless like the world no longer interest her.
Not even the appearance of her pets rushing to greet her could alleviate her depressed mood.
“I’m fine.” She carried Spring and Summer in her arms while Fall and Winter followed her towards her room.
Before she closed the door, she glanced at Alvaro with dead eyes. “Sorry, I’m a little tired. Do make yourself comfortable.” She then shut her door tight.
Alvaro blinked. He stood there for a while before he stretched his coat. His actions were sleek and elegant while a dangerous, chilling air was leaking out from him.
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