“You silly child, I’m trying to stand up for you!” Amanda pulled Luna closer to her and said in a low voice, “It took you so much effort to marry into the Sterling family and produce a son for Hector. How could I let someone else destroy this happiness for you when you didn’t come by it so easily in the first place?”
“Mom, do you mean…”
“Tonight, I’m going to force Charlotte to face reality. Someone has to teach her to know when to back off.” Amanda laughed coldly. “Just you wait and see!”
“You love me the most, Mom.” Luna threw her arms around Amanda and planted a kiss on her cheek. “Mom, do you know that Hector has been treating me coldly ever since he returned from Charlotte’s place? My head hurts from thinking about it…”
“As long as you don’t speak up directly about this, your relationship with Hector will not be harmed.” Amanda patted her hand and continued, “Just continue playing your role as the good-hearted young mistress of this family. As for everything else, Mom will sort it out for you.”
“Alright,” Luna said, nodding her head, “I’ll do just that.”
“Let’s go in first. Where’s Timothy?”
“He fell asleep in the car.”
As Owen pushed Charlotte into the villa in her wheelchair, everyone in the room turned to look at her.
The older ones in the room recognized her immediately. Exchanging scandalized looks with each other, they put their heads together and started murmuring anxiously.
Someone asked in a hushed whisper, “Why is she here?”
“She did something so outrageous back then that she managed to anger her own father to death! How does she have the guts to show up here now? If I were her, I would’ve escaped to somewhere else a long time ago.”
“Oh, be quiet! Don’t talk anymore.”
“Why can’t I talk about this? If she could do something like that, it’s well within my rights to judge her for it.”
“Charlotte!” Simon walked over and greeted her enthusiastically. “We finally meet. I’ve been looking for you all these years. Have you been well?”
He sounded so concerned, as though he was a relative caring for his young charge.
“I’ve been well. Thanks for asking, Uncle Simon.”
Charlotte looked up at him and smiled blandly, wishing that she could see what was going on in his mind right now.
The man had worked alongside her father all these years, earning himself a reputation for being loyal and hardworking. Because he was mild-mannered by nature and lacked any opinions of his own, his wife ordered him around as she pleased.
Hence, he never had his big break in his career. Instead, he followed Richard around as his loyal retainer—one that was unassuming and reliable.
However, she never understood why Simon had hidden himself at home after her father died, refusing to show up at his wake.
“What’s the matter with you, anyway? Why are you in a wheelchair?” Simon asked anxiously. “Are you injured?”
“Yes,” Charlotte said, nodding her head. “It’s just a little injury—nothing to be worried about.”
“If I knew you were injured, I would have gone and picked you up from your place…” Simon looked extremely guilty. “Where are you living now? Why don’t you move back here to live with the rest of us? Amanda and I can take care of you in the future.”
“Exactly!” Amanda’s shrill voice sounded from behind them. “I’ve already told the servants to clean up the guest room. Charlotte, you can move back in with your child whenever you want to. I’ll go with Simon to help you move your things.”
“Child? What child?” Her husband was evidently in the dark about the whole matter.
Everyone else who had been watching this exchange quietly widened their eyes in shock and started murmuring to each other again.
“Oh, I have an awful memory!” Amanda patted her head and said in a troubled voice. “Simon, I forgot to tell you that Charlotte now has three…”
Charlotte and Hector opened their mouths at the same time, startling the woman enough to stop her in the middle of her sentence.
Charlotte and Hector looked at each other, their expressions rather complicated.
“Hector…” Luna walked over immediately and grabbed hold of his arm, leaning affectionately onto him. “Timothy has fallen asleep. Why don’t you carry him upstairs to his bedroom?”
Hector shot a glance at his wife before he turned to Amanda and said, “Mom, why don’t you come with me? There’s something I need to discuss with you anyway.”
“Oh, ask your father to go with you! Here, ask him.” Amanda shot a frantic glance at her husband.
Simon obeyed his wife instantaneously. Rushing up to his son, he tugged at his sleeves and said, “Hector, I’ll go with you.”
Although he felt a little helpless, Hector had no choice but to leave with him.
“Ugh, why are we all standing around?” Amanda cried jovially. “We’re family! Come on, have a seat. Luna, don’t stand there looking so foolish. Wheel your cousin sister to her seat.”