In the end, Perrin still caught wind of what had happened the night before. It was not a secret that Sophia disliked Susan. But as much as it would please her to see Susan miserable, Sophia did not want Perrin to know about the matter to spare him the anger. After all, Susan still shared the same last name as the Dawson family, and before Sophia was accepted by the Dawson family as one of their own, it was Susan who would constantly visit Kylie and Perrin like a filial child. Little did she expect the butler would inform Perrin of last night’s incident as soon as the old man woke up.
As they were having breakfast, Sophia watched as Perrin asked Lukas to visit Susan’s family in the next few days. Perrin instructed Lukas to forbid Susan, Julian, and Zander from coming over to the Dawson residence for no good reason. “Tell them that I have to rest and recuperate.”
Lukas had always been on Sophia’s side. Even before Perrin had given him the instructions, Lukas had already thought about it. Since Perrin had said it aloud, Lukas was more than happy to visit Susan’s family himself.
Only after Perrin had given the instructions did he turn to face Sophia. “Next time, just speak up whenever you’re wronged by others. Lukas and your Aunt Kylie will always have your back.”
Despite feeling a little helpless, Sophia was touched by the gesture. She smiled softly. “Got it, Granddad.”
After breakfast, Sophia and Perrin stayed inside and played chess while Lukas left for Susan’s house with a small gift.
Susan’s biological grandfather had passed away a long time ago, which made Perrin the eldest in the Dawson family. During the festive seasons, only Susan’s parents would come and bring gifts to the Dawson residence without fail. That was the first time Lukas ever showed up at Susan’s house despite knowing each other for so many years.
At Lukas’ sudden visit, not only Susan but her parents had also noticed something amiss.
Espen Dawson and Cherie Sunderland exchanged glances discreetly when they found out who was standing at the door. Upon recalling Julian’s comment regarding the Dawson family when they had returned home the night before, Cherie felt her heart skip a beat as her anxiety rose.
Forcing herself to keep her expression calm, Cherie got onto her feet and gave Lukas a welcoming smile. “Nice to see you, Lukas! Do you have more spare time lately? How come you’ve got time to visit us today?”
Contrary to her warmth, Lukas merely nodded coolly and handed them the gift in his hand. “Good day, Uncle Espen, Aunt Cherie. I’m not that busy lately.”
“You could’ve just come here empty-handed. Why have you brought a gift with you too?” Despite her words, Cherie stepped forward to receive Lukas’ gift.
She was not coveting Lukas’ gift, but that was the first time Lukas had been so courteous for as long as they knew him.
Cherie wondered if all the formalities meant that Lukas was there to ask them for help on behalf of the Dawson family. Cherie had been troubled by the problems of the family company lately. Coupled with the fact that Kylie had been ignoring Susan all of a sudden recently, Espen and Cherie were struggling to bring up the matter to Kasper.
Never would Cherie have imagined for Lukas to show up at her door.
Lukas tossed a glance at Julian and the rest before turning his attention to Cherie. “Here’s the thing—Grandpa is not feeling well lately, and the doctor advised him to rest and recuperate. We know that Susan likes to visit Grandpa, so Grandpa has sent me here today to send his regards. That way, Susan wouldn’t have to be disappointed when Grandpa is not around whenever she goes to visit.”
Cherie almost lost her smile when she heard what Lukas had said. Anyone with a shred of common sense would be able to understand what was implied by Lukas’ statement.
In the past, Susan would go over to the Dawson residence every day to curry favor with Kylie and Perrin. Two months ago, Perrin and Kylie began to stop meeting with Susan. Susan and her brothers had gone to the Dawson residence again the night before, and they returned with vexation. A day immediately after their visit, Lukas showed up at their door with such a statement.
It didn’t take a genius to figure out what he meant.
Uncle Perrin obviously doesn’t want to share what he has. We share the same last name, and we’re practically family! How can he be so stingy and selfish?
Despite her thoughts, Cherie was smart enough to hold her tongue. Suppressing her shock and anger upon receiving the news, Cherie asked in feigned concern, “Did something happen to Uncle Perrin? Susan said he was doing well just a few days ago. Why would he need to rest and recuperate?”
Everyone understood the hidden meaning behind Lukas’ statement. They knew that Lukas had said so to preserve their dignity. However, since Cherie had asked the question aloud, Lukas had no choice but to answer, “It’s not a big deal, just that he’s getting old and doesn’t like too much noise and issues in the house.”
With that said, Lukas turned to look at Espen. “Uncle Espen, there’s still something I need to do. I’ll be leaving now.”
With that, he turned and left.
Cherie and Espen were dumbstruck. Their expression turned stiff as they stared at Lukas’ departing figure. Once Lukas got beyond hearing range, Julian and Zander could no longer stay silent. “They’ve gone too far! It’s not like we love going to their place!”
Shooting a glare at Julian, Cherie turned to look at Susan. “Susan, what exactly happened last night? Why did Lukas come so early in the morning to say all this?”
Susan was as stunned as everyone else. After Kylie’s humiliating comment last night, she thought that she could continue to act shamelessly. Since Sophia would not always be in Doveston, Susan had wanted to show up at the Dawson residence more frequently after Sophia left. That way, they would surely meet her sooner or later.
As she was mortified after falling into the pond, she did not tell Cherie about what had happened the night before.
Who would have thought Lukas would show up with a gift early in the morning and tell them that Perrin wanted to rest?
What does he need to recuperate from? This is clearly to tell me how much they detest my visits!
Perrin might as well have just announced that he wanted to sever all ties with them!
At that thought, Susan paled. “Mom, I don’t know what happened either. I… I was pushed into the goldfish pond by Sophia last night.”
Knowing her daughter well, Cherie knew that there was more to what Susan had said. “You! Why did you provoke Sophia for no reason?”
Even though she said that, Cherie did not regard Sophia as of any importance. She turned to Espen. “Where did this Sophia come from anyway? Is she just someone Uncle Perrin took in as a granddaughter? Is Uncle Perrin beginning to show signs of old age? Has he gotten delusional? At least we share the same family name as him! Also, Susan had been visiting them almost daily for the past few years! How could he be willing to show favor to someone that doesn’t even have his last name and not Susan?”
Cherie was starting to believe that Perrin had lost his grip on reality due to his age. In fact, she was beginning to suspect that Sophia had drugged him to win his affection!
Their similar reactions confirmed that Cherie and Susan were indeed mother and daughter.
Espen, on the other hand, believed that there was more to it than meets the eye. Last night, Zander had told him that Sophia was accepted as a granddaughter by Perrin. Zander also said that the entire Dawson family was being very affectionate to Sophia, so affectionate that Kylie was willing to give Susan the cold shoulder for the sake of Sophia. When Espen heard that, alarms had already been going off in his head.
As he connected the dots between the fact that Susan had fallen into the pond the previous night and Lukas’ sudden appearance, Espen concluded that Lukas was giving them a warning rather than cutting them off.
Even though Perrin was old, Espen was certain that the old man was not senile. Even if Perrin was delusional, the rest of the Dawson family were not fools. Lukas being so successful at such a young age was enough proof that the Dawson family was full of geniuses.
As for Sophia, it wouldn’t be too big of a concern if Perrin was the only person that favored her. However, from what Susan had said, Espen gathered that the entire Dawson family was nice to Sophia.
All of a sudden, Espen’s expression shifted as a memory surfaced in his thoughts. “I remember something. Thirty years ago, Kasper had a missing younger sister…”