Meanwhile, Fabian was momentarily stunned. He had not expected Ashley to utter those words, much less cared to question his feelings towards her. However, he quickly recovered and a cold look flashed across his face. “I’ve seen all the photos. What else can I misunderstand? What other explanations are there?”
Seeing his tense expression, she dared not say anything more.
Fabian observed the pitiful-looking woman in his arms, then suddenly remembered something. He frowned and questioned, “By the way, why and how did you end up with those photos?”
After all, those photos were sent to him by an anonymous contact through email. He had not shown them to anyone except for Finnick and Vivian. How did Ashley end up with those photos in the first place?
The question caught Ashley by surprise. She had been immersed in her worries, and initially thought that she had succeeded in changing the subject. Hearing his inquiry, her face paled once more.
Oh no! I almost forgot. I have yet to explain the origin of those blasted photos!
Noticing Ashley’s face had turned white suddenly, something in Fabian clicked. Realizing slowly the suspected truth, he gently pulled her away from his arms. With his stern expression and his raised eyebrows, Fabian interrogated with a frown, “Ashley, are you the one who sent me those photos?”
Ashley could not help but clench her fingers tightly. She knew that she was now in hot waters.
In fact, just a few days ago, when she first learned that Vivian was married to Finnick, her mind was so full of unjustified anger that she made up the plan on the spot to sabotage her without any careful planning nor afterthought.
Moreover, she was originally so confident in her plan. She even bribed a servant of the Norton family to help out in her plot. After the grand party, she arranged for the servant to resign and leave, hence tying up any loose ends and made sure that her whole plot was air-tight from being exposed.
Despite doing all that, she had undoubtedly underestimated the influence of the illustrious Norton family. With their power and efficiency, the investigation had proceeded much faster than she anticipated. That very night, she had been exposed.
As such, she had not come up with an excuse in time to explain the origin of those photos.
The moment she heard Fabian’s question, it made her flabbergasted. Her mind plunged into a state of disarray and she wished she were anywhere but here right now.
Indeed, whether it was the incident from two years ago or the recent case, the photos in Fabian’s possession were sent by her personally.
Because the scheme two years ago was all planned by her. Even the pinhole camera which snapped those photos was placed by her in the hotel as well.
Of course, Fabian must never know about all these.
While trying to calm herself down in the fastest possible time, an idea suddenly hit her. Her spirit was lit up with inspiration, along with her confidence.
Deliberately pretending to be frightened, she quivered, “Fabian, if I reveal to you how I have gotten hold of these photos, will you blame me?”
Eyeing her suspiciously with narrowing eyes, he frowned, “Just tell me first, where do you get the photos?”
Ashley purposely avoided his piercing stare and with a stuttering voice, she whispered, “A-Actually… I found them in your phone while browsing through it secretly.”
With a sullen face, he stared at her warily, trying to spot any tell-tale signs of lying. After all, he had not expected such an explanation from her and could not help but be stunned by it.
“You looked through my phone?”
“Yeah.” Gaining momentum, she plucked up her courage and continued, “Do you remember that we were in a restaurant that day? I remembered that you were acting very abnormally. I suspected you might have another lover out there. I was scared, you know. Hence, when the chance arose, I flipped through your phone and saw your email app. Inside your inbox, there was an anonymous email. I clicked on it and saw its content… I didn’t expect to see such a thing. Perhaps I was too overcome with shock that I instinctively forwarded the email to my own cell phone.”
Meanwhile, Fabian’s face was furrowed, trying hard to recall the event.
He remembered in the few days after he had received the anonymous email, he had indeed had a meal with Ashley. He had been preoccupied and worried the whole time because of Vivian’s scandalous photos.
Could things be so straightforward after all?
Looking down at Ashley beside him, he saw that her eyes were red. She looked pitiful like a helpless little rabbit. The sight of her in such a state triggered a sudden feeling of sympathy in him.
Deciding to trust her, he gave in, “Okay, I understand.” Further patting her on her shoulder reassuringly, he joked, “Don’t give me that kind of look anymore as if I’m the one bullying you.”
Ashley bit her lips in anticipation and glanced at him cautiously, “Fabian, you don’t blame me anymore?”
Of course I blame you.
Especially when I remember the look in Vivian’s eyes the moment the compromising photos are released. In fact, he was so outraged back then that he wanted to break off the engagement with Ashley there and then.
And yet, seeing Ashley’s eyes which bore much resemblance to Vivian’s, he could not bring himself to do it.
Indeed, since his return, he had been too concerned with Vivian’s affairs and had outright neglected Ashley. It was no wonder that the latter had felt no sense of security regarding their relationship.
In the end, he could sense that Ashley had done this due to her love for him.
Fabian’s eyes lit up suddenly.