Not long after Sophia walked out of the venue, she immediately caught sight of Alexander talking on the phone in the corridor.
She had no clue who was on the other end of the line or what were they talking about. All she could see was Alexander frowning, his expression colder than snow in winter.
He must be in a foul mood.
When Alexander spotted Sophia, he ended the call then and there as he stood rooted, staring at her.
Sophia stopped in her tracks as she arrived face to face with Alexander. Flashing a faint smile at him, she expressed her appreciation. “Thanks for your help just now.”
Her gratitude was from the depths of her heart.
Alexander gulped at that and replied, “Don’t mention it.” His gaze never left Sophia.
He finally realized how difficult it must have been for her during their three-year marriage.
As Alexander thought about Felix’s report over the phone, a bitter taste spread in his mouth. He was dying to bring up those past incidents and talk to Sophia about them, but he didn’t know how to begin.
Samuel was spot on when he said Alexander wasn’t the one who had trampled on Sophia. Even so, it was because of the way Alexander had treated her that fanned the flames of hostility in the others toward her, hence triggering those nasty acts.
Noticing Alexander’s reaction, Sophia raised her brows because she didn’t understand what was going on with him. “I’m going to the lounge,” she said.
No matter what it was, Sophia figured it was none of her business either way.
As she finished the sentence, she walked past Alexander and made a beeline for the elevator.
“Sophia,” Alexander piped up.
There was an underlying hint of some emotion in his deep voice. Yet, Sophia had no interest to find out what it was.
She knitted her brows slightly and glanced over her shoulder. “What?”
From her perspective, they should have nothing to do with each other anymore.
In his entire life, he had never realized how difficult it could be to say such a simple sentence.
“Have you been suffering during those three years?”
He knew that it was a hurtful question to ask, but he had to hear the answer from Sophia.
It was the only way for him to ascertain the fact that he was indeed a sc*mbag.
Never in a million years would Sophia expect him to throw out an irrelevant question like that. Even though more than a year had passed after her divorce, she could still vividly remember all the terrible things that happened during her three-year marriage.
Suffering? That’s an understatement.
Sadly, it was already too late for Alexander to raise this pointless question. “Whether I answer yes or no, it doesn’t matter anymore.”
To Sophia, at least, it was really no longer significant, for she had gone through the struggle and survived.
Other than a weak and useless apology, Alexander discovered that he truly had nothing else to offer her.
The only thing that he could do was, perhaps, compel those who had bullied and hurt her in the past into apologizing to Sophia personally.
By hook or by crook, he reckoned he had to compensate for Sophia’s agony.
The smile on Sophia’s face faltered as she spared Alexander one last glance before entering the elevator. Not a single reply had been given to him despite his apology.
Of course, Sophia would never forgive him, so she never needed his futile apology.
Alexander didn’t chase after Sophia, knowing that the woman would only loathe him more if he did.
He merely stood there, watching as the elevator door gradually shut.
Not even once had Sophia looked in his direction the whole time as she stood inside the elevator.
I know I’m a b*stard. I’m sorry.
Sophia lingered at the lounge for half an hour. After Darrell appeared, she went upstairs to her room to wash up and rest.
Considering the myriad of events that happened, that night was destined to be a sleepless one for certain people.
It was eleven at night, yet the Dawson residence was still brightly lit.
Lukas reached home before half-past ten and recounted the incidents that night to his father. However, he didn’t even get halfway when his grandfather, Perrin Dawson, woke up from bed to relieve himself, only to overhear their conversation. Immediately, Perrin ordered for the lights to be lit and summoned the entire family to the living room.
Lukas first showed Perrin the photos that he had taken and also some pictures that he had gotten from the internet. Despite being a solemn, dignified man, the second Perrin laid eyes on the photos, his eyes reddened at once. “It’s her! Ray! This is definitely Ray!”
As the whole Dawson family knew, they had kin who was abducted by human traffickers forty years ago, and they would never dare to mention her name. That person was Lukas’ aunt, Rachel Dawson.
Lukas’ grandmother, Penelope, was diagnosed with lung cancer five years ago. She had been gritting her teeth to go through the torture of chemotherapy so that she could see her long-lost daughter again in this lifetime. Deep down, she believed that her daughter was still alive.
Last September, Penelope’s condition worsened, so she was transferred abroad for treatment. Just two months ago, the hospital issued a critical condition notice. Thus, she was then transferred back to her home country.
Back then, the doctor had announced that she had only, at most, a month left to live. Yet, she was still in the ICU now, even when she was close to breathing her last. Her only wish was to have her pitiful, sweet daughter come back to her.
The entire Dawson family had searched high and low for Rachel, believing that she was safe and sound somewhere on this planet. When Lukas saw Sophia’s face that day, he, too, had been astonished to no end.
That would make sense, for Sophia really resembled Rachel. For so many years, Lukas had been asking around with Rachel’s photo, trying to locate her whereabouts. Even with his eyes closed, Lukas could still conjure up the image of Rachel’s face.
Despite that, he didn’t dare to act rashly, for his grandparents had already been let down too many times over the years, not to mention the state his grandmother was in presently. She could not go through yet another disappointment as her body couldn’t take it any longer.
Therefore, he had summoned someone to run a background check on Sophia on the spot. Since their time was limited, they weren’t able to conduct a thorough investigation. Nevertheless, it was already sufficient to prove that Sophia was indeed Rachel’s daughter.
No matter how stern and decisive Kasper had always been, the moment he noticed the woman in the photo, tears welled up in his eyes as he exclaimed, “It’s Ray!”
Seeing the demeanor of both his father and grandfather, Lukas couldn’t bear to cause them any more grief, yet he had no choice but to spill the beans. “Grandpa, Dad, this isn’t Aunt Rachel. This woman is actually her daughter. Aunt Rachel passed away ten years ago in a car accident.”
Perrin fainted. Things took a chaotic turn at the Dawson residence on that note.
Needless to say, Sophia was in the dark about the ruckus despite being the source of the havoc.
She had already finished applying a facial mask and was getting ready for bed.
At that juncture, a man decked in a suit was standing right outside her room.
That man was none other than Alexander.
It was the first time Samuel came across Alexander in such a drunken state. He didn’t know the latter could be such a pain in the neck. Because of Alexander, both of them were hurled countless contemptuous glares all the way back from the bar.
He genuinely regretted impulsively inviting Alexander for a drink.
Usually, Alexander would either glare daggers or drive Samuel away when the latter threw an invitation to go to the bar. That very night, however, Alexander did none of the above. Instead, he agreed to join Samuel.
The two of them got to the bar and instantly ordered their drinks without conversing about anything else. Witnessing Alexander knocking back one glass after another, Samuel found no way to stop his friend.
Eventually, Samuel gave up completely.
He had previously thought that Alexander wouldn’t get himself drunk, for the latter had the capability of gulping down two catties of white wine when he was younger and still stayed as sober as a judge.
Unfortunately, that night had proven Samuel wrong because Alexander was as drunk as a skunk.
It was not a big deal to be under the influence, for most people would merely become muddle-headed.
That was not the case for Alexander, though, as he was extraordinarily clear-headed and even became incredibly talkative. Still, he seemed only to repeat the same string of words—”I’ve wronged her.”
As they were returning to the hotel, they were thrown all kinds of glances by passersby along the way. Everyone thought both of them were some incorrigible womanizers.
It had been a painful journey. Upon stepping into the hotel, Alexander refused to return to his own room and insisted on going to Sophia’s room.
Samuel, in turn, couldn’t hold back his bladder anymore as he bolted to the restroom. When he got back, he found Alexander leaning against Sophia’s door. The latter’s body was slouched over, and with how he couldn’t even stand straight, he looked as though he were some heartbroken person mourning the loss of a loved one.
“Are you sure you don’t want to go back to your room?” asked Samuel as he rubbed his temples while approaching Alexander.
Alexander couldn’t even be bothered to cast a glance at Samuel. “Just get lost,” he uttered.
Samuel let out a chuckle of frustration. “What the heck? I brought you back here so painstakingly, and you’re asking me to get lost? Fine. Do whatever you want.”
Hmph! I’m a human with feelings, too!
Even so, Samuel barely took a few steps before he turned around to check on his friend. He couldn’t help but heave a sigh at the scene.
Tsk! How pitiful…
“Don’t say I didn’t help you! For doing so much for you, I suppose I even deserve the best friend award of the year!”
As Samuel dropped the words, he raised his hand and knocked on Sophia’s door. “Room service! Please open the door, miss.”
Although Alexander was drunk, he was wide awake. It was just that his cognition would be much more sluggish than usual. When Alexander eventually caught on to Samuel’s words, the latter had already scurried away.
As soon as Alexander furrowed his brows, Sophia’s door was pulled open from the inside out of the blue. He lost his balance and fell forward straight away.
He didn’t collapse to the ground. Instead, he fell right into Sophia’s arms. “Alexander?”