Emeric and Cassius‘ were not at home tonight. They were out of the country, negotiating some deals. The house was mostly filled with women.
Avery wasn’t exactly a stranger in the house, and given the late hour and the fact that Myra had had an accident, she didn’t want to disturb the family. So, Evadne took Avery to the living room.
Little did she expect to find Debby there, sipping on a cup of coffee alone.
“Debby, you’re still up.”
Evadne was somewhat surprised, then turned to introduce Avery, “Oh, this is my friend.”
“Mr. Avery. I remember him from Myra’s birthday party”
Debby placed her coffee cup down with elegance and gave Avery a slight smile. Evadne has never had a male friend apart from her brothers. Mr. Chambers, you’re the first.”
“It’s an honor to be chosen as her friend.”
Avery’s deep eyes were filled with sincerity and a hint of a smile, “And it’s even more of an honor to have a private meeting with the future First Lady of Helgen.”
Evadne, taken aback, hadn’t expected him to say that:
Debby, with a placid expression, responded, “I’m just Evadne’s sister, and my husband is just a common member of the Helgen parliament. Your words are more than I can bear.”
Avery merely curved his lips in response, neither agreeing nor disagreeing.
“Evadne, I’ll leave you to entertain your guest: I won’t disturb you.” Debby slowly stood up and left the room.
Even though Evadne was smiling, she could feel something was off between Debby and Avery, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.
Debby stepped out of the living room.
As soon as the door closed, her face turned sombre. She pulled out her phone from her coat pocket and dialed her assistant.
“Have you found anything on what I asked you to look intb?”
“Ma’am, I have. The background check on Avery has been sent to your private email.”
Since it was late, Avery didn’t stay long.
When they got back to the car, Harvey immediately said with a cheerful laugh, “Mr. Avery, Ms. Evadne’s attitude towards you is getting better and better. She even invited you in for a chat.”
Avery adjusted his glasses, his expression not quite pleased, “Let’s go.”
Evadne had neither accepted his gift nor invited him in of her own accord.
Everything was as it always had been. He was the one making all the effort, the one who was always willing.
Evadne had never taken a step towards him.
“Thaddeus has been completely cast aside by Ms. Evadne. If you look around, there’s no other man more outstanding than you, Mr. Avery. You and Ms. Evadne are bound to end up together!”
Avery, with a light touch, loosened his Windsor knot, asking casually, “So, do you mean I’m not as good as Thaddeus?”
Harvey shivered, almost scared out of his wits, “I would never dare! Please forgive me, Mr. Avery!”
“Evadne might have moved on from Thaddeus, but Thaddeus hasn’t moved on from her. We can’t let our guard down.”
As he spoke, Avery looked out the window, his gaze unreadable.
“By the way, Mr. Avery, the investigation you asked for has made some progress.” Harvey said with a grim face.
“Last time, when you and Ms. Evadne were assaulted at the racetrack, someone did indeed tamper with the horses. Our people tested the horses‘ blood samples and found a stimulant that can disrupt an animal’s brain function. Moreover, our people conducted a secret, thorough search of the racetrack and found this.”
Harvey pulled out a plastic bag from his briefcase. Inside was a syringe, “After reviewing the surveillance footage, we confirmed that the person behind this was indeed one of Byron’s men.”
Avery half–closed his eyes, full of mockery, “Both Byron and Matthew are born troublemakers. Byron doesn’t have his brother’s skill, and his actions are
sloppy and cannot stand scrutiny. Such a fool doesn’t deserve my attention.”
“We can’t just let this slide, can we? It’s too humiliating!” Harvey gritted his teeth.
“Of course not.”
Avery leaned back comfortably, closing his eyes for a moment of rest, “That’s not too much for an eye–for–eye strategy, is it??
Harvey quickly agreed, “Not at all, absolutely not! You’re already considering brotherly affection by not dealing with him!”
Brother? Was he even worth it?
Avery chuckled, shaking his head.
“If Evadne had been the one hurt that day, would Byron still be alive now?”
After Evadne had taken a bath and finished her skincare routine, her heavy mood finally lifted a bit.
“Evadne, are you asleep yet?” Debby’s voice came from outside the door.
“Not yet, Debby! Come in!”
Debby entered the room.
As Evadne continued to massage her face, she turned to see her sister in a light blue silk nightgown, her clear eyes smiling, her skin fair and radiant. She looked like a glowing piece of ocean blue gemstone.
“Wow! The most beautiful First Lady is here!”
“Evadne, where did you get a horse? It’s golden and even brighter than the lights in the courtyard. It almost blinded me.” Debby asked curiously.
“Oh, it’s Avery’s horse.” Evadne continued her facial massage, being a delicate lady.
“Is it his horse, or did he gift it to you?”
“It’s his. He wanted to gift it to me, but I didn’t accept”
“Your favourite animal is a horse, and he wanted to give you a purebred horse. You managed to resist such a temptation. It seems you’re truly trying to distance yourself from him.”
Debby nodded thoughtfully, murmuring, “That’s good. I can rest easy now.”
To her surprise, Evadne, with her sharp ears, caught what she said, “Debby, what did you say? Rest easy? Why?”
“I can tell that Mr. Avery likes you. The way he looks at you is so affectionate. It’s almost tangible.”
The thought of it gave Evadne a headache. “I know, he’s already confessed his feelings to me. Goodness, is there some sort of book qut there like ‘How to Stop Being Attractive‘ or ‘How to Stop Men from Liking You? I’m getting a stress reaction to dating. At this rate, I might have to become a nun.”
“Why? Because Mr. Thaddeus hurt you?” Debby teased gently.
“Hmph, that’s not hurting me. That’s just a dog bite! Ow, that stings!”
As Evadne thought about Thaddeus, she put too much force into her hand, practically smacking her face.
“Aviana is over the moon about that horse. She’s out back riding it right now,” Debby changed the subject with a laugh.
“What? Aviana is riding that horse?”
Evadne jumped up from her chair, eyes wide, “I haven’t even ridden it yet!”
“Calm down, it’s just a horse. You’re always giving away million–dollar jewels like they’re nothing, but you can’t handle Aviana riding the horse?”
Just then, Aviana’s triumphant laughter could be heard faintly from outside.
Evadne rubbed her forehead, “Alright, as long as she’s happy.”
Debby slowly sat down on the sofa, pressing her lips together, as if hesitating to say something.
“Debby, you came to see me this late, you must have something to say, right?”
Evadne walked over and sat down next to her, linking their arms intimately, she whispered, “Does it have to do with Avery?”
- “Did Mr. Avery visit our home when we were young? You seem to have a good relationship with him,” Debby asked casually.
“He did. We were classmates in elementary school.”
Evadne squinted her eyes, lost in memory, “Back then, he was bullied by our classmates. I helped him out, and he was grateful. We were inseparable, just like two peas in a pod. Because of my family background, none of the kids wanted to play with me. They all stayed away. I could only stick with him, and he became my playmate. To be honest, I was quite happy during that time. Then he went to Helgen with Mrs. Chambers, and we lost touch for fifteen- years.”
“Fifteen years without contact, which means that his reappearance to you is like a complete stranger,” Debby’s gaze was profound, as if she was deep in thought.
“That’s right. When I first saw him, I couldn’t recognize him. He used to be so fair and delicate, like a little girl. But now, he’s tall and handsome.”
“Who do you think is more handsome, him or Mr. Thaddeus?” Debby teased, winking at her.
“Debby, did Mr. Thaddeus bribe you or something? Why do you keep bringing him up? It’s bad luck!” Evadne retorted, pouting.
“Evadne, I’m not against you making friends. Mr. Jeff is a good friend of our father’s. His son would never hurt you. But.”
Debby’s expression darkened as she thought about the file on Avery that she had someone investigate, “Mr. Avery is not as simple as he seems. I’ve looked into his background. He’s a big deal in Helgen. His business is extensive and complex. Helgen isn’t as simple as here. The mafia and drugs are rampant, and corruption is blatant. After your brother–in–law took office, the first thing he wanted to tackle was drug trafficking and corruption.”
Evadne’s heart sank as she listened, “Debby, it sounds like you and your husband are going to have a tough time ahead!”
“Don’t change the subject.”
Debby’s expression became serious, “In Helgen, to do business at Avery’s scale, he would have to be involved with the mafia. I’ve also heard rumors that he was once secretly summoned by the prosecutor for drug–related charges. But due to lack of evidence, he was acquitted.”
“What did you say?” Evadne’s pupils shrank.
“Although there was no evidence, and he was eventually released without charges, no smoke without fire. The fact that he was investigated meant that he was highly suspected. And the prosecutor who tried him was your brother–in–law’s student, a man of integrity who wouldn’t be bribed or falsely accuse anyone.”
Debby tightly grasped her sister’s hand, worry clouding her features, “Evadne, it’s okay to be just friends. But you should keep your distance from someone with such dangerous factors.”
Evadne’s long lashes fluttered as she pondered this. After a moment, she nodded slightly, “Debby, I’m an adult now. I’ve experienced a lot, seen the worst of battles and the darkest side of humanity.
“I’ll remember what you said. I’ll be careful.”
Five days later. Late afternoon.
A line of black luxury cars pulled into the driveway of Windermere Estate, parking in front of the main entrance.
The first to get out were several muscular bodyguards in black suits, gold badges on their chests signaling their affiliation with the Fairhaven Group.
The doors of three cars opened at the same time, and Edith and her mother exited first.
Barry stepped out of the car with the help of his gold eagle–headed cane. He was dressed in an expensive–looking black frock coat, and with Edith’s assistance, he stepped out of the car with a stern expression.
“Dad, take it easy,” Mrs Fairhaven rushed over to help.
Barry glared at the entrance of the Abernathy family’s mansion, taking a deep breath, “Last time you came for the engagement, that Abernathy kid didn’t even show his face?”
Mrs. Fairhaven bit her lip, embarrassed, and nodded, “Yes”
“You’re so useless.”
Edith rolled her eyes secretly, seemingly expressing her dissatisfaction with her mother as well.
“You know what sort of person Mr. Thaddeus is. If he doesn’t want to do something, not even Mr. Frederic can persuade him. And Elspeth is just his stepmother. She can’t influence him,” Mrs. Fairhaven explained quietly, trembling inside.
Ever since her husband passed away, the family had relied solely on Jareth.
If it weren’t for her son, Barry wouldn’t even bother to acknowledge her.
“You’re Edith’s mother. Your own daughter has been bullied, and all you can do is get angry and helpless. You can’t do anything.”
Barry was livid, thumping his cane on the floor. “The Fairhavens are one of the top families of Elmsworth, and nobody dares to cross us. And now, because of some punk, I have to intervene personally. Is this your idea of respecting your elders?”
“Dad, it’s all my fault. I was useless.” Mrs. Fairhaven hung her head in shame, repeatedly apologizing.
“Grandpa, Mom tried her best, please don’t be so hard on her.” Edith held onto Barry’s arm, pleading on behalf of her mother.
“Thaddeus is too reckless, too arrogant!”
Fire flashed in Barry’s eyes, his temples throbbing. “His recent actions are a clear sign of disregard for the Fairhaven Group!
He better smarten up and marry Edith. Otherwise, the Fairhaven Group will be the eternal nemesis of the Abernathy Group!”
Inside a nightclub VIP room, it was a scene of debauchery and chaos.
Glynnis was partying hard with a group of friends, surrounded by nearly naked male models dancing provocatively with her.
Amidst the screams and yells, Glynnis, her eyes filled with lust, tilted her head back and poured red wine down her trembling chest.
One of the models seeing this, grabbed her tightly and licked the wine off her body, starting from her neck all the way down to her breasts.
The crowd around them went wild. Glynnis laughed hysterically, shaking like a leaf.
After the game, she slumped on the couch like a pile of mud, clutching a bottle of liquor and laughing uncontrollably.
“Miss Glynnis, Miss Glynnis.”
At that moment, her assistant knelt down beside her. “There’s been a situation at the Windermere Estate
“What happened?” Glynnis asked lazily.
“The Fairhaven people have arrived. I suspect it’s about the proposal again.”
“Pfft, what’s so special about that? Didn’t Edith’s widowed mother go there a few days ago? She didn’t even see Thaddeus and was sent back with her tail between her legs.”
This time it’s different. Not only Mrs. Fairhaven is there, but also Mr. Barry himself!”
Glynnis‘ eyes suddenly snapped open, she sat up abruptly. “Who did you say?”
“I heard it’s quite a scene He must be there to settle the score.”
“Interesting, very interesting!
Glynnis slapped the couch energetically, her eyes gleaming. “Get the car ready! Let’s go see the show!”