Maxim’s eyes flashed with anticipation, and yet disappointment replaced the expression when he saw the caller ID flickering on the screen.
It was Kiley. The second he picked the phone up, he heard her voice with a smile. She said, “Maxim, my grandpa’s birthday is coming up, and my parents put me in charge of delivering invitations. Are you free later? I’m just passing by the Yoder Group, and I’ll drop you off the invitation. We can have lunch together. What do you say?”
Maxim said indifferently, “OK.”
“Alright. See you later.”
After putting down the phone, he wasn’t at ease at all. Instead, he was even more irritated and depressed. He couldn’t read the files in his hand at all.
To his surprise, Briana was so resolute this time and wouldn’t reach out to him whatsoever.
Suddenly, someone knocked on the door.
Rayan came in with a document and looked solemn. “Mr. Yoder, I just got the news that the land in the east of the city seems to be auctioned in advance!”
Maxim’s expression changed, and he immediately said, “Go tell the project manager and the shareholders that a meeting will be held in five minutes.”
When Kiley arrived, Maxim was still in the meeting. Rayan received her.
“Ms. Schneider, Mr. Yoder has just started a meeting. He asked me to take you to his office and wait for him.”
She smiled gently, “Thank you.”
Rayan led Kiley into Maxim’s office, told her to tell him if she needed anything, and then left.
After the door was closed, Kiley went to Maxim’s desk. She was about to put the gold-plated invitation on the desk when she saw a red box on it and paused for a moment.
It looked like a jewelry box. Considering that her birthday was coming up as well, she wondered whether this was Maxim’s birthday gift for her.
After a moment’s hesitation, Kiley picked up the box.
She thought, “It’s his gift for me anyway. I guess taking a look won’t matter.”
Thinking, she opened the box and saw the necklace Maxim had bought at the auction in Setherville.
When she asked him who it was for, he didn’t say anything. Now she knew he wanted to surprise her.
Kiley’s mood suddenly brightened. She smiled, closed the box, and put it back.
Maxim came back from the meeting an hour later.
When he saw Kiley, his eyes flashed with apology. “There was a last-minute meeting.”
Kiley stood up with a gentle smile and said tenderly, “It’s fine. I understand. I ordered some food, and it should be here soon.”
“By the way, I’ve put the invitation on your desk. My grandpa’s birthday is next Saturday. Are you free to come?”
Maxim frowned. “I have to go on a business trip the next few days, and I may not be able to come back on Saturday. I’ll try.”
“Alright. By the way, have you heard from my sister recently? I’ve been calling her, and all I’ve got is a busy tone. Do you know where she is now?”
At the mention of Briana, Maxim frowned, and his voice was a little cold. “What do you want with her?”
Kiley pursed her lips and looked worried. “You know that things between my sister and the family aren’t that good. She was brought back when she was 16 years old, and then she has been feeling that my parents are biased. She had a fallout with them a while ago. It’s Grandpa’s birthday next Saturday, so I want to ask her to come back so that she can ease the relationship with them.”
After a few seconds of silence, Maxim said coldly, “I’ll tell her about it.”
Seeing that Maxim was reluctant to talk about it, Kiley didn’t continue. She changed the topic and talked about something else.
No sooner had Briana finished the plan than she received a call from Zane.
“It’s your grandpa’s birthday next Saturday. Come back!”
Briana pursed her lips and said in a cold voice, “I recently found a job. I may be very busy and may not have time.”
When she finished, she heard Zane’s furious voice. “What’s more important than your grandpa’s birthday? I don’t care. You must show up there next Saturday. You’d better come with Maxim!”
The Schneider family was different now. A month ago, Desmond had told Zane that Maxim must show up at his birthday party so that others would be intimidated and wouldn’t dare to plot against the Schneider family.
Briana thought about it. She figured that she indeed ought to tell them face to face that she and Maxim were going to get a divorce, as she wanted no extra trouble in the future.
“I see. I’ll try to make time for it.”
Zane hung up without saying anything else.
Mallory was somewhat displeased with Zane’s behavior and frowned. “You already asked Kiley to send Maxim the invitation. Then why did you ask Briana to bring it up?”
Mallory found it hard to adore Briana, the daughter who had not grown up with her since childhood, even though Briana looked like Kiley a lot.
Back then, shortly after she gave birth to Briana and Kiley, a friend of the Schneider family whom the Schneider family trusted a lot suddenly came to the door, saying that keeping Briana around would ruin the family.
Weighing for a long time, the Schneider family finally decided to leave Briana at the gate of the welfare home.
Unexpectedly, Kiley suddenly fell ill at the age of sixteen, and none of the Schneider family’s blood type was a match, so they had to get Briana back.
Briana and Kiley were twins, so they were genetically similar to each other. The match was a success, and Briana donated bone marrow to Kiley. In such a way, Briana stayed with the Schneider family.
Yet every time they saw Briana, their friend’s words back that year would come back to them, which always irritated them, so they had always treated her coldly.
Mallory was the coldest among all. When she learned that Briana had been adopted by a rural family in a remote area, she figured that Briana was nothing but a bumpkin who smelt like dirt. Whenever Briana stood next to Kiley, the daughter she had doted on for more than a decade, she felt uncomfortable.
Later, Briana always went against her, and their conversation would always end within a minute. Their relationship became worse and worse.
And now, Mallory couldn’t even hide the disgust in her eyes whenever she heard Briana’s name.
Zane glanced at her and coldly said, “Don’t forget that Briana is Maxim’s wife.”
Mallory sneered, “If Kiley had not gone abroad, would she have had the chance to marry Maxim at all? Now that Kiley is back, and Maxim doesn’t like her, I say that they should get a divorce as soon as possible so that Maxim can marry Kiley. It will be the best for everyone.”
Hearing her words, Zane frowned and could not help but begin to ponder.
Every time he called Briana and indicated for her to talk to Maxim so that he could give the Schneider family a hand, Briana always turned him down, which made him very unhappy.
Briana and Maxim had been married for three years and still had no kids. If Maxim did divorce Briana and marry Kiley, it would do the Schneider family nothing but good.
Yet Zane was very cautious. He wouldn’t make a move until he knew what Maxim was thinking.
“Drop it for now. I’m warning you. Don’t say anything in front of Briana before I say yes. Otherwise, if this thing gets big, I’m not gonna let you off!”
Mallory’s expression changed, and then she said impatiently, “Fine. They are going to divorce sooner or later. I don’t bother to be the bad guy!”
After remaining silent for a while, Zane said in a low voice, “Be good to Briana sometimes. After all, we owe her.”
Mallory’s eyes flashed with disgust, and she coldly said, “You can be as good to her as you want. Don’t make me part of it. Kiley is my only daughter! And don’t forget about what our friend said back then…”
Zane coldly interrupted her, looking furious, “I don’t want to hear that again, or there will be consequences!”
Mallory’s face turned pale because of Zane’s scolding. She only came back to her senses after Zane left angrily.
She had a lingering fear and hated Briana even more. She figured that if it weren’t for Briana, none of those things would have happened.
After finishing work in the evening, Briana was just about to leave when Melody rushed in.
“What’s your plan for tonight, Briana?”