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.
The gossips stopped, and for a while, only the background music and the gentle running water echoed while the gazes of the onlookers shifted yet again.
“FUCK! What the fuck is wrong with these tiles? And why is there a pond in the way? This isn’t a wharf! Are you trying to drown your guests?! Fetch me the management, now!”
Asher, who was right beside Evangeline, had fallen into the pond causing the guests to gaped, loss for words as they didn’t know what happened.
A plump man ran towards Asher with beads of sweat dangling on his chubby face.
Asher frowned as he growled, “Are you the manager?! What kind of setting did you arrange for this event, huh?! Your tiles are very slippery, and you have a swamp sprouting out of nowhere! Are you trying to make your guests fall into the water?! Look at me! How do you plan on compensating me, huh?!”
Avoiding any eye contact with the intimidating man, the plump man stammered, “M-Mr. C-Cole . . . d-didn’t you just jump into the wat––!”
“What did you say?! Are you insinuating that I jumped into the water myself? Now, why the hell would I do that? Are you calling me stupid?!” Asher barked, veins popping on his forehead. He glared at the plump man like he wanted to roast him for dinner.
Feeling his hair rose in fear, the plump man took a step back. He was not an idiot. He would never offend someone from the Cole family nor any family present at this event for that matter. Even if it were unreasonable and unfair, when it concerns their guests, it was always their fault. Period.
“O-of course not! M-Mr. Cole is right. It is our fault for placing slippery tiles in the pathway. We will fix it at once!” Though they were the best non-skid tiles in the market. “We will take full responsibility for this mess. In the meantime, how about I accompany Mr. Cole in one of the rooms so you can change?”
Waving his hand, Asher angrily stomped his wet feet on the stone pathway and raised himself from the pond.
“No need! Even if you work your entire life, you can never afford a single shoe on my foot! Bring me a towel. Now!”
“R-right away!” The manager wiped away the sweat on his face while he signaled for the staff to put a carpet on the pathway and bring some towels.
Asher fixed his suit before he brushed his hands through his hair, oozing with confidence and masculinity, looking like he didn’t fell into the pond just now.
He then raised a brow and asked, “What?!”
All the onlookers readily turned their gaze away. Some even pretended to have a conversation with the people beside them.
Asher snorted before his head peered over his shoulder, staring at Satele, who was looking at him with questioning eyes before she quickly lowered her head.
Frowning, he turned his gaze away and sauntered towards Evangeline with his squishy shoes.
“Sorry ‘bout that, Eva. This goddamn tiles made me slip.”
Evangeline raised her perfect shaped brow and twisted her lips in a mocking smile. If slipping is you jumping into the water, then so be it.
“I didn’t know that you are this chivalrous,” she muttered, throwing a side glanced at Satele, who was still in the pond before she resumed her walk towards her table.
Scratching his head, Asher didn’t comment and followed after his cousin.
At the back, Satele didn’t know what to feel at the moment. She refused to believe that Asher did that, so that all attention would divert to him. She refused to accept that she was saved, yet again, by the same man who had been continuously giving her nightmares. She refused to believe that he would do something so idiotic as to actually jumped into the water to save her from the scrutinizing gazes and comments.
She bit her lips, restraining a weak smile. Idiot . . .
“Are you okay?”
Satele looked up and saw Eric was already in front of her, extending his hand at her. She dazedly reached out and took his hand before he effortlessly pulled her out of the water.
“Come on. You have to change your clothes before the party starts,” Eric whispered while Satele nodded.
With the guests’ attention no longer at her, Satele and Eric quietly walked out from everyone’s sight.
At one of the front row table, Alvaro shifted his head to the side as he covered his mouth with one hand, trying to control his laughter at his brother’s idiotic move.
Beside Alvaro, Maxine couldn’t help but be amazed by the whole drama. Rather, she couldn’t help but be star-struck to finally laid eyes for the first time at the woman who Asher was in love with.
Maxine murmured in a daze. Her tone hummed in awe and envy. No wonder Asher is head over heels in love with her.
“Of course, she is.” She’s my cousin, after all. Álvaro chimed in casually before sipping his tea.
The awe and envy in Maxine’s eyes turned to something dark, fogging her mind and heart. Her head snapped towards Álvaro, face aggrieved and skeptical.
It was not the first that he praised a woman, but it was certainly the first that he used a tone like that. A tone which was soft and full of adoration that Maxine momentarily lost her composure.
“I-I-I see . . .” She pursed her lips, her doe-like eyes stared at Alvaro, yet the latter didn’t even as much as glance at her. His gaze was in the direction to where Evangeline and Asher were sitting, full of affection. Even the corners of his lips were raised in a genuine smile.
Maxine’s eyes narrowed. Her face burned in emotions akin to fear –– fear of losing the man she loves for more than ten years.
Many women tried to catch Álvaro’s attention, but none succeeded. She was happy about it since he showed no sign of interest towards any women in particular, including her. She was alright about it as long as he stayed that way. Because at the end of the day, he would marry her. He would still belong to her.
But now . . . she was, for the first time, threatened.
She could tell . . . she could tell it was not only Asher who adore the girl . . . Álvaro does too . . .
Maxine clenched her fingers under the table. Her eyes, which were full of nothing but love and happiness, turned red as she stared hatefully at the woman who caught Alvaro’s adoration.
On the other side, another hateful stare was directed at Evangeline’s table, coming from Sisley and Jen. If gazes could burn, Evangeline would have been ashes by now, blown by the cold wind.
Jen was about to go crazy from the rising jealousy and disbelief. She couldn’t accept that Asher was courting Evangeline Heart! She couldn’t accept that she could not even get a single glance from him while he was pouring all his attention to a slut of a much lower status than her.
Gritting her teeth, Jen’s breathing turned laborious. Her nails scraped her palms to control her anger.
Meanwhile, with all the battling of emotions in the air, Evangeline only felt that the atmosphere around her was tense. Brushing it off with a flip of her hair, she scanned her surroundings, looking for Eric while her beautiful face held a plastic smile.
Upon hearing her name, she eyed the man walking towards her with a beautiful woman in tow, and her smile completely turned into one of scorn.
“Mr. Krisnov,” she greeted back, refusing to stand as she made herself comfortable on her seat while ruthlessly killing that tiny spec of concern when she saw the man’s appearance.
He was still the same. Handsome as ever even in his forties, wearing an expensive tailored suit. However, she could tell that he lost weight from his more than prominent cheekbones and those unusual sunken eyes.
Hmp! He must be enjoying himself with his mistresses.
Any lingering parental concern burnt to dust, and her eyes excluded coldness more so than before.
Robert Krisnov’s brows briefly twitched as he maintained his cordial face. He had to greet his daughter at least for appearance sake.
Robert forced a smile while Cherry Lin maintained her soft motherly façade as she accompanied her husband all around.
Even near forty, Cherry Lin still outshone most twenty-something girls inside the event. Five-foot seven, willowy and a face which was cut out from a men’s magazine. Very much like the older version of Angel Lin.
Upon seeing Evangeline, Cherry Lin’s soft eyes and kind smile faltered for a mere second.
“Evangeline, did you already greet Angel a happy birthday? She’s in room 220. You should go and greet her,” Robert said, stopping meters away from where Evangeline and Asher were after giving his greetings to the latter, which Asher ignored in response.
Evangeline’s cold eyes temporarily showed her feelings, and she quickly masked it with indifference as she spoke in a taunting tone, “I think Mr. Krisnov had his memories muddled from years of indulgent pleasures. Have you forgotten? I don’t have any more relations with your family. Thus, I think it is inappropriate for me to go to a room of a complete stranger.”
Robert’s white face turned red from suppressed anger. He was always infuriated, just speaking to this girl!
Didn’t want to make a scene, Robert suppressed his tone. He breathed in and out and spoke, hurry in his voice, wanting to end the conversation before he could no longer hold himself.
“Is that so? Well then, I hope you give your greetings later as it is common courtesy to greet the woman who invited you to attend to her birthday.” I have already acknowledged her presence in front of everybody. I had done my part.
Not a second longer, Robert stormed away. Though he was angry and frustrated, he also couldn’t stand nor look at Evangeline’s face for long without feeling the guilt rising in his heart.
Cherry Lin beamed and nodded before she too took her leave. She didn’t say anything, only leaving a smile which said it all.
I am the winner!
Asher frowned, wanting to say his piece. But Evangeline was secretly pinching his arm, signaling him not to interfere.
Clicking his tongue, Asher contended to burn the disgusting pair with his glares.
The first thing you should do when you see your daughter is to ask how she’s doing. Asshole!
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