Sophia was stuck in traffic on the way home due to an accident when the phone in her bag started ringing.
She had expected it to be from Alexander instead of Lukas.
The traffic seemed to have reached a standstill, and she surmised it would be some time before the cars started moving again. Hence, she picked up the call without bothering to connect it to her car’s Bluetooth system. “Lukas.”
“Have you arrived reached home?”
“Not yet. There’s a slight congestion.”
Lukas loosened his tie. “What did you and Grandpa talk about today?”
Sophia read between the lines and recalled using him to change the topic of their conversation during lunch. She couldn’t help feeling a lick of guilt. “We caught up with one another.”
“Is it?” Lukas made a sound that resembled laughter. “Grandpa was wondering when I’d find a partner now that I’m already in my thirties.”
Sophia feigned ignorance and said wryly, “He says he won’t interfere with my relationship with Alexander but expects me to get to know more guys.”
Lukas paused before replying, “I second that.”
Sophia sensed his sarcasm and decided to get back at him. “What about you? When will I be seeing a sister-in-law in our family?”
“I advise you to worry about yourself first before poking your nose into others’ business.” Lukas was needled.
Sophia broke into laughter. “Likewise.”
The siblings were two sides of the same coin.
“Is this how you talk to Alexander as well?” Lukas wondered in amusement.
He pitied Alexander for having to deal with his sharp-tongued sister.
Sophia flushed beet-red. “Are you trying to distract me since you clearly can’t win this argument?”
Lukas shrugged. “Rest assured that I know what I’m doing.”
They weren’t naive teenagers any longer who knew nothing of the world. It would be best not to interfere when it came to matters of the heart.
Despite that, the sudden appearance of a younger sister activated Lukas’ brotherly protectiveness, which wished to shield Sophie from all harm.
In the end, his misgivings were unwarranted, as his little sister was more than capable of handling herself. “ I’ll stop bothering you for now. Stay safe on the roads. Remember to message me once you’ve reached home.”
“All right. Bye.”
Lukas eyed the photograph on his desk after ending the call and lighted a cigarette.
Am I still waiting for Sandra?
That’s ridiculous. I’d be more than willing to strangle her to death if I ever see her again.
Sophia received a call from Alexander shortly after her conversation with Lukas.
It was already eight-thirty in the evening when Sophia received the call using her car’s Bluetooth system since traffic seemed to be clearing up. “Hello, it’s me.”
“Are you on the way home?”
“Yes. I’m currently stuck in a jam caused by a traffic accident.”
“Be careful, Precious.”
Sophia blushed at Alexander’s sudden use of her term of endearment. He seemed to have a penchant for surprising her with little acts of affection as of late.
The road was finally back to normal when she hung up.
Sophia reached home at nine o’clock and had just left the parking lot when Genie’s voice rang out, “Welcome home, Ms. Yarrow. Mr. Xenos has already returned.”
Genie could now easily identify Alexander after Sophia added him to its facial recognition system.
“Understood. Thanks, Genie.”
Sophia could tell Alexander was at home without needing to be notified by Genie.
She’d noticed the second-floor lights were on on the way home. If there had been an intruder, Genie would have notified the police about it in an instant.
Genie was an intelligent home system that controlled most of the electrical appliances in the household. Besides, it was equipped with a powerful security system that could detect intruders and report them to the police if none of the pre-programmed identities were accompanying them.
Alexander was seated on the couch when Sophia made her way upstairs.
He had a laptop before him and was wearing a pair of silver-rimmed glasses that made him seem even more cold and distant than usual.
Sophia’s heart started beating rapidly just at the sight of him.
Alexander got to his feet at her entrance and proceeded to pour her a glass of warm water.
“Thanks.” Sophia withdrew her gaze as she received the glass and took a sip of water. “Are you near-sighted?”
Alexander took off his glasses. “No, this is merely decorative.”
Without the barrier of his glasses, his inky eyes were whirlpools that effortlessly drew her into its depths.
Sophia tightened her grip on the glass subconsciously. “I see.”
Alexander carelessly deposited his glasses onto the couch and took over her glass to place it on the table. “Will you be going on your island trip tomorrow?”
Sophia inclined her head. “Granddad has never experienced that before and is looking forward to it.”
“Could you bring me along if you don’t mind?”
Alexander’s eyes widened. “It’s not as if he’ll devour me whole.”
His nonplussed response tickled Sophia. “If that’s the case, you’re more than welcome.”
The way he lost control last night after meeting Granddad seemed to speak otherwise.
Nonetheless, she chose not to expose his contradicting behavior.
With how astute Sophia was, Alexander knew she must have put two and two together about what happened last night.
Alexander quaked under her scintillating gaze and admitted, “I had dinner with Mr. Dawson yesterday.”
“What did he say?” It was a rhetorical question.
Sophia sat on the couch as Alexander downed the remaining water in the glass. “Well, he doesn’t like me very much.”
His gaze was heavy as he stared at an unknown point in the distance.
“If that’s the case, do you still want to accompany us tomorrow?” Sophia didn’t pry any further as she knew he must have been the recipient of some harsh words.
Alexander winked and wrapped his arms around her. “Who knows? Perhaps I’ll grow on Mr. Dawson after he gets to know me better.”
“Well, good luck to you in advance?” Sophia burst out laughing at his self-assuredness.
“Are you making fun of me?”
He pulled her close and rested his forehead against hers, his arresting stare penetrating her soul.
Sophia’s face heated, and she attempted to push him away but to no avail. “Well, I guess there’s nothing I can do about this.”
Her almond eyes blinked coquettishly as she played the role of an innocent victim.
The many sides of Sophia flashed across his mind. She’d always be finding ways to please him when they first met. After the divorce, she became distant and unmoving. Now that they were together, he discovered that she had a mischievous streak that was adorable and playful too.
This gave him a comforting sense of coziness and warmth. Her capriciousness in making fun of him in one moment to acting like an ingenue in the next was so endearing that he wished to smother her in his embrace and have his way with her.
Alexander’s eyes were locked on hers as he succumbed to his desires by lowering his face and planting a kiss on her cherry-red lips.