Sophia did not sleep well throughout the night. She let her alarm clock ring for some time before reaching out for her phone and turning the alarm off.
She did not know how the weather was outside because the drapes had been tightly shut.
Frowning, she rubbed her temples while getting down from the bed to pull open the curtains.
The sunlight at eight o’clock in the morning was dazzling. She blocked the rays of sunshine with her hand and did not put it down until she had gradually gotten used to the brightness. As she stood there before the window, she took in the towering buildings outside.
When Sophia first came to Jadeborough at the age of fifteen, she was almost deceived by the flourishing city vibe.
Horatius knocked on her door just when she was about to go downstairs to have her breakfast.
“How did you sleep last night?”
The man standing at the doorway appeared cheerful and energetic. Apparently, he had gotten some quality rest last night.
On the other hand, Sophia had not slept well at all.
She glanced at him. “I’m not used to sleeping in this bed.”
He arched a brow. “Our plane is at half-past eleven later. If you’re not busy, you can get some rest after we return.”
Sophia nodded. “Have you taken your breakfast, Mr. Swain?”
“Not yet. I was planning on inviting you to have a meal together.”
She smiled upon hearing his words. “Sure.”
The two of them went to the hotel’s third floor to have their breakfast. The was still a crowd inside the restaurant even though it was already close to nine.
Sophia was dressed in casual attire that day. She did not even wear her lipstick because of her foul mood.
Nonetheless, her exquisite facial features were able to turn heads in her direction no matter where she went.
Horatius was considerably good-looking too. Even though their clothes were not flashy, their extraordinary aura and appearance caused others to think they were celebrities there on vacation.
A more courageous stranger even walked up to her and asked, “Hi Miss, are you a new celebrity? Which entertainment company are you signed under?”
Sophia looked at the unfamiliar girl before her and slightly raised her brows. “Sorry to disappoint you, but I am not a celebrity.”
“Oh! But you’re so pretty! I suppose you’re not wearing any makeup now? It is such a waste that you are not in the entertainment industry with your beauty, Miss!”
Sophia’s mood lightened up after receiving praise from others about her good looks early in the morning. “Thank you for your kind words, but I have my own career.”
“All right! May I have a picture with you? You’re the prettiest stranger I’ve ever met!”
Under normal circumstances, Sophia would have politely refused the request. Since this was not the first time something similar had happened, she was already very experienced in handling it.
However, the girl’s flattery and the admiring look on her face had helped alleviate Sophia’s foul mood that morning, so the latter chuckled. “Sure.”
After taking the photo, the girl whispered beside Sophia’s ear before leaving, “Miss, your boyfriend is also very handsome. The two of you are a perfect match!”
With that, she held her phone and hurried off to rejoin her boyfriend and show the picture to him.
Sophia looked at Horatius, sitting at a table nearby, and could not help but laugh.
Boyfriend? I doubt I can control a boyfriend as wild as him.
Sophia averted her gaze and brought a tray with a bowl of oatmeal and some pastries back to her seat.
Right after she sat down, Horatius asked, “Was that someone you know?”
Sophia looked up at him and flashed a faint smile. “Nope. She’s just a stranger.”
Horatius clicked his tongue. “Was she requesting to take a photo with you?”
“Yes,” she replied and began to enjoy her oatmeal.
He stared at her for a short while. “You do have the looks that suggest you belong to the entertainment industry.”
Sophia swallowed the oatmeal in her mouth. She took a piece of cake from her tray and removed the wrapping while answering with her lips curled into a smile. “Thank you for the compliment, Mr. Swain.”
She did not feel the need to be humble when it came to her appearance.
Horatius laughed in response. They did not engage in further conversation after that.
After finishing their breakfast, Sophia returned to her room to pack her belongings into her luggage before following Horatius downstairs to head to the airport.
Since she had not gotten sufficient sleep the night before, she shut her eyes to get some rest along the way to the airport.
There were still forty minutes to spare after passing through the security checkpoint, so they waited inside the airport’s VIP lounge.
“What do you think about my father’s suggestion?”
Sophia raised her eyebrows. “I thought he was only making a joke.”
Horatius gazed at her. “How can that publicly declared statement be a joke?” Naturally, Sophia knew Darrell was being serious, but she was slightly taken aback by his show of approval.
Horatius snorted after taking in Sophia’s silence. “All the things my dad mentioned last night were the truth. He’s always telling me how he wishes I was a girl and how he has always yearned for a daughter. Regrettably, my mom passed away at a young age, so my dad could only dream about that. And now, you suddenly appeared in his life. Therefore, he was desperate to claim you as his goddaughter.”
Sophia broke into a smile. “With the Swain family’s status, isn’t it a piece of cake if Old Mr. Swain wishes to have a goddaughter?”
She was aware that Horatius had two younger female cousins from his maternal relatives, and she reckoned both of them were more qualified to become Darrell’s goddaughter than her.
Horatius could tell what Sophia was thinking. “My dad favors you. Others could not win over his heart.”
Those were his heartfelt words.
With Darrell’s current social status, he regarded others with his own set of high standards. Therefore, he would not accept just anyone as his goddaughter.
Taking in Horatius’ serious demeanor, Sophia straightened her face as well. “Thank you. I’ll think this matter through before giving Old Mr. Swain an answer in person.”
Sophia was reminded of her parents, who had passed away long ago. She became slightly crestfallen and fell silent.
He saw her looking down and noticed the gloomy expression on her face. Then, he recalled her family background, so he did not say anything further.
Samuel saw Sophia and Horatius the moment he stepped into the lounge. He immediately glanced at the sullen-faced Alexander and nudged him with his elbow. “Alex, look, who’s that?”
Samuel had gone to look for Alexander early in the morning when his alarm clock went off. He had been under the assumption that he would meet with a satisfied and jovial Alexander. However, when Samuel opened the door, he was shocked to see the look on his friend’s face.
It was as if Alexander had just crawled out from the depths of hell as he was radiating a terrifying and cold aura from his entire being.
Alexander had always been indifferent on normal days. That day, the dark and icy aura enveloping his body was more intense than ever, causing Samuel to be so frightened that he did not dare to mention Sophia’s name.
After Alexander regained his composure, Samuel carefully sounded him out, but he was met with Alexander’s menacing gaze the instant he opened his mouth. Therefore, until now, Samuel was still uninformed about what had happened last night which devastated Alexander so much and led to his current dispirited demeanor.
Alexander had not slept the whole night. Countless Sophia-related thoughts had flooded his mind, and the more he ruminated, the worse he felt.
He frowned after Samuel jostled him. The sleepless night before had left him in a dreadful state of mind. He looked up in annoyance at Samuel, who was jumping up and down before him like a monkey, and snapped, “Can you shut your mouth?”
Samuel sighed. “Fine. I’ll leave you alone.”
Alexander looked away and occupied an empty seat aside.
Samuel looked up and glanced at Sophia, who was sitting just six or seven meters away, then shifted his gaze onto Alexander.
Well, forget about it. He was the one who told me to shut up.
Meanwhile, Sophia had noticed Alexander and Samuel when they entered. The smile on her face dissipated the instant she saw Alexander.
Horatius arched a brow at that sight. “You still can’t forget about him?”
She averted her gaze and turned to Horatius. “That’s not it.”
Smiling, he said nothing to expose her lie.
He was an experienced lover, after all. Sophia might be a smart woman, but she was obviously an amateur when it came to relationships. Otherwise, Alexander’s presence would not have affected her so significantly.
Alexander, resting on his seat, was not doing well either. Horatius glanced at Sophia, conjecturing that something must have happened between the two last night.