No sooner had Sophia disembarked from the plane than she received a call from Lukas. “Are you back?”
“Yeah, I just got off the plane.”
“Okay. Alfred will pick you up.”
Smiling, Sophia stepped onto the escalator. “Sure.”
“Spend some time with Grandpa. I won’t be in Doveston for the next few days, but I’ll be visiting Jadeborough next month. We can have dinner then.”
As Lukas was a busy man, Sophia knew how much she meant to him when he made an effort to call.
All this while, she could never understand why Katherine was envious of those with an elder brother. But now that she had one herself, it became evident to her.
Sophia saw Alfred waiting the moment she came out of the airport.
Alfred had been working for Perrin for decades and was in his elderly years. Perrin would only send him to pick up special guests.
Now that Perrin had instructed the semi-retired Alfred to meet Sophia, it was clear how much the former adored his granddaughter.
Sophia was moved by the gesture, so she said respectfully, “Thank you for coming all this way, Alfred.”
While leading the way, Alfred replied with a smile, “Don’t be a stranger, Ms. Yarrow. You don’t know how happy I am that Mr. Dawson doesn’t mind my age when he sent me to pick you up.”
With a grin, Sophia bent down and got into the car. “How’s Granddad?”
“Good! Ever since you returned to the Dawson family, his appetite has improved greatly. His arthritis hasn’t been acting up as well since the weather here has been wonderful.”
“That’s good news.”
“Ms. Yarrow, get some rest. You must be exhausted from the flight.”
Sophia nodded. “Okay.”
It was silent in the car. Sophia tilted her head to look out the window.
After leaving the airport expressway and stopping at a red light on their approach to the city, Alfred turned around and gave Sophia a glance. She’s gorgeous! One should expect no less from a member of the Dawson family.
Twenty minutes later, they arrived in front of a mansion.
Sophia alighted from the car and saw Kylie waiting to welcome her. “Aunt Kylie.”
“You’re back! Did you not eat well? Why have you lost so much weight?”
When Kylie gave Sophia a hug, the latter felt embarrassed. “I’ve actually gained three pounds, Aunt Kylie.”
Despite that, it wasn’t obvious from her slender frame.
Kylie broke into a grin. “Three pounds is nothing! Your granddad is dying to have you gain ten pounds.”
Sophia didn’t doubt her words at all. As both of them chatted while walking into the house, they were quickly met by Perrin.
Even though he hadn’t put on much weight, Sophia quickly noticed how vibrant he looked compared to more than a month ago.
“You’re back! I’m sure you must be exhausted from your flight. Dinner is ready. You can get some rest after you eat.”
Although Sophia wasn’t tired, Perrin still felt bad that she had to suffer through a long flight.
Once dinner was over, Sophia accompanied Perrin on a stroll before he hurried her off to rest.
Thereafter, she resigned herself to retiring to her room upstairs.
Shortly after emerging from the shower, Sophia saw Alexander’s name on the caller ID.
He had been on a business trip for the past two days and had made it a habit to call at that particular time.
Cocking her brow, she walked out to the balcony to enjoy the breezy wind while answering his call. “It’s me.”
“Have you had dinner?”
Alexander had attended a business dinner that evening and had a little to drink. Suddenly missing Sophia and feeling bored at the table, he had found an excuse to return to his hotel.
The moment he went back, he gave Sophia a call. “I miss you so much, Sophia.”
As this wasn’t the first time he had said those words, Sophia let out a chuckle. “Mr. Xenos, haven’t you been gone for only two days?”
“Mm-hmm, but I still miss you.”
As the night breeze was a bit chilly, Sophia walked back into her room. Just as she wanted to inform Alexander that she was in Doveston, he said, “I’ll be back tomorrow.”
I’ll be able to see her the next day.
Sophia stroked her cheek. “I flew to Doveston today.”
Alexander fell silent.
Sophia pursed her lips and continued, “I came here to visit Granddad.”
When his voice audibly deepened, Sophia raised her brows. “Are you upset?”
“No. Can I go see you in Doveston?”
The city was only half an hour away from Fairlake by high-speed train.
Recalling Perrin’s words on the phone from the day before, Sophia replied, “I would rather you not unless you want to be kicked out by Granddad.”
“When will you return to Jadeborough?”
“The morning the day after.”
“All right. I’ll pick you up then.”
He spoke with conviction, eliciting a smile from her face.
“What are you going to say if we’re photographed together, Mr. Xenos?”
Alexander was momentarily stunned. Thereafter, he responded calmly, “I plan to tell it as it is.”
Of course, Alexander knew that it would remain a desire of his, for Sophia would never allow him to disclose their relationship.
At that thought, he suddenly grew anxious. “Sophia, would you still marry me?”
After all, he had destroyed the idealistic fantasies she had about love and marriage.
“Not at the moment.”
“What about the future?”
Sophia evaded the question. She noticed that Alexander was particularly talkative that evening. “Have you been drinking?”
“A little.” Just as he spoke, he thought of something. “But I’m not drunk.”
In fact, I couldn’t be more sober.
Upon ending the call, Sophia stared at her phone, her mind drifting elsewhere.
Perhaps it was Alexander’s questions and the change of environment because she didn’t get a good night’s sleep.
Despite that, her alarm was still set for seven thirty in the morning, for she knew that Perrin would be up early due to his advanced age.
As the objective of her visit was to spend time with him, Sophia would not allow herself to sleep the morning away.
After turning off her alarm, she washed up before heading downstairs.
Perrin was exercising in the garden; Kylie, too, was already up. Surprised to see Sophia up so early, the latter asked, “Having trouble sleeping?”
Sophia replied in embarrassment, “A little.”
Kylie chuckled. “You should come back more often. You’ll get used to it that way.”
Sophia reciprocated with a smile before heading off to see Perrin.
Perrin, too, didn’t expect to see her. “What are you doing up so early?”
Sophia stood beside him and followed his movements. “I wanted to exercise with you.”
“Hahaha, that’s wonderful! Come, just do as I do.”
Sophia’s sharp memory and excellent psychomotor skills made her a fast learner. All Perrin needed was to show her the steps once.
“You’re so much better than your brother. He failed to pick it up no matter how hard he tried.”
Sophia cocked a brow in surprise. There’s no way he would be bad at this. He must have done so on purpose.
Of course, Sophia would not call him out.
After exercising together for fifteen minutes, Sophia accompanied Perrin upstairs for breakfast.
They had just finished their food when Sophia heard a female voice echo from the staircase. “Aunt Kylie! Granduncle!”
Kylie glanced at Sophia and explained, “It’s Susan. Your granduncle’s granddaughter.”
No sooner had Sophia nodded than she saw Susan Dawson emerging from the staircase.
This was the second time Susan saw Sophia. Her face turned grim momentarily. However, she quickly recovered the smile on her face as she sat down beside Kylie. “Aunt Kylie, who might this be?”
“Hello, I’m Sophia Yarrow.”
Susan cocked an eyebrow in response. “Ms. Yarrow, your reputation precedes you. I have heard your name many times.”
Sophia broke into a flat smile. “Is that so? Perhaps I’m famous.”
Susan’s insinuation failed to achieve its desired effect.