Though Samuel could be a scoundrel at times, he was still a generous guy since he was willing to spend several thousand on a meal just to help Alexander.
As Katherine had two glasses of plum wine after the meal, Joshua came personally to get her.
Sophia did not drink, but she decided to leave as well.
Neither she nor Alexander said a word.
Samuel gazed at the couples before him and brushed his face to hide his wistful smile.
The weather had been pleasant recently. Even the night breeze was much gentler.
Sophia gazed at the silhouettes ahead and marveled at their inseparability.
It’s been a whole night, and the fellow behind me hasn’t said much. How patient.
She was about to enter her car when the man behind her finally spoke. “Has Melissa come to you?”
Sophia turned around to regard him with her eyebrows raised.
Alexander’s gaze appeared more tender than usual under the yellowish street lights. His dark eyes remained fixed on her.
Alexander frowned at her response. “I’m sorry.”
Sophia gazed at him. “Do you know what she said to me?”
This was the first time Sophia willingly initiated a conversation with him since their divorce.
Alexander pursed his lips and swallowed. “What did she say?”
“She said she would give me three million to get you to dispel the rumors.”
Sophia smiled faintly as she spoke. The streetlamps reflected in her eyes twinkled.
Alexander’s heart skipped a beat. The gentle breeze, cool but not cold, did not help soothe the heat rising in him.
Sophia chuckled. “I will say yes if she offers me thirty million instead.”
After a pause, she added, “It’s a lot of money for not much work, anyway.”
Alexander became uncharacteristically at a loss for words. Upon regaining his composure, his brows slackened, and he laughed alongside her. “Indeed.”
Sophia grew solemn again. “You see, Alexander? I’m actually selfish and possessive. Nobody is allowed to touch or look at what belongs to me.”
There was no levity in her eyes this time.
“Is that so?”
Alexander lowered his gaze and took a step closer. “I’m that way too.”
“So…” Sophia paused. “We don’t belong together. Two people who are too similar aren’t suited for one another.”
Alexander’s breath caught in his throat, and his mind went blank. Having thought Sophia would take him back, he did not expect her to say the exact opposite instead.
He stood there helplessly as the twinkle in his eyes dimmed, leaving behind a bottomless pit of despair.
The couple again lapsed into silence, broken by the occasional horn as the whoosh of passing traffic stirred the stillness between them.
Several moments later, Sophia opened her car door. “It’s getting late.”
She was already seated in her car at her proclamation and, with a roar of the engine, headed for the open road.
Regaining his senses with a start, Alexander got into his car and went after her.
It had been a long time since Sophia indulged in speed. She gazed coolly at the car that was tailing hers closely through the rearview mirror and stepped on the gas.
Suddenly, her phone rang. It was an unfamiliar number.
Sophia did not plan to answer it. She then slowed down after Alexander’s car was so far behind that it became a speck in the mirror.
Two seconds later, the phone rang again.
Sophia picked up upon stopping at a red light. “Hello, Sophia speaking.”
“It’s me, Sophia. Slow down—I won’t give chase.”
It was Alexander.
I’d blocked his work and private numbers. He must have gotten a new one.
The traffic lights would change a lot quicker at night, and it was going to turn green in another five seconds.
“All right. I’m hanging up,” Sophia answered before instinctively reaching for her cheek, which felt slightly warm.
Giving her head a shake, she drove on when the lights turned green. This time, however, she cruised. From her rearview mirror, she saw Alexander maintaining a careful distance of about a hundred meters behind her.
I might have taken it too far tonight.
Sophia entered her residential area and, upon parking her car in the garage, heard the doorbell.
She was hesitant to open the door at the recollection of Alexander’s call earlier.
As she was deliberating, a knock sounded.
Sophia froze. When she regained her composure, he was banging on the door with increased urgency.
She walked over to open the door indignantly. “Since when did you start breaking—”
Sophia faltered mid-sentence. Her heart skipped a beat when she met Alexander’s gaze, and she fought an urge to avert hers.
Sophia wrenched his hand away. Though her expression was calm, her mind was a mess. “Do what on purpose?”
Alexander’s eyes bore into hers. Under the fluorescent light, his eyes sparkled like stars in the galaxy.
Stunned by the intensity of his gaze, Sophia momentarily forgot to look away. He bent down to press his forehead against hers. “I saw that, Sophia.”
He knew from her triumphant smile and the flutter in her eyes that she said those things to make him feel bad.
Though Alexander intended to teach her a lesson, he could not bring himself to at how blank she looked when she returned his gaze.
At last, he conceded by planting a kiss on her lips. “Believe me, Sophia. We are meant for each other,” he whispered.
Alexander kissed her once and retreated like a gentleman.
Sophia also took a step back. “Don’t bang on my door again.”
Alexander turned around to shut the door behind him. “As you wish.”
Sophia’s cheeks flushed. Despite being usually composed, she could not placate her racing heart at that moment.
She glanced at him again before turning around to head up the stairs.
Alexander followed her. He plopped himself down on the couch on the second floor and awaited a drink.
Sophia managed to calm herself after having some water in the kitchen. She then brought two fresh glasses and slid one over to Alexander. “We can give it a shot, but I have one condition.”
Alexander accepted the glass, but his gaze fell on the one in her hand. Sophia’s drink would taste sweeter.
Sophia took a sip before she spoke. “We cannot publicize our relationship yet.”
She raised her brow incredulously when he answered without hesitation. “Don’t you want to think about it?”
“I don’t need to.”
I have waited so long for this day. Why would I turn her down for something so trivial?
Little did Alexander know, he would come to regret that decision soon.