Christina paused whatever she was doing immediately. Ever since the contract was signed and a large sum was invested into the Steele family’s company by Nathaniel, Gideon never came looking for her once.
Right then, she had a hunch that Gideon was up to something.
Afraid Gideon might cause trouble at the office like Miranda, she said, “Hold on. I’ll head down.”
She quickly hung up the phone and took the elevator to go downstairs.
Even from afar, she already saw Gideon holding a box of custard tarts. Could he be concerned about me and Mom because he’s gotten older?
She approached him and greeted softly, “Dad.”
A grin formed on Gideon’s face. “Here you go. Your custard tarts.”
Christina took the tarts that were still warm. They seemed to warm her heart, too.
“Didn’t you say you’d bring Mr. Hadley back for a meal? Why haven’t you been home for so long?” asked Gideon with concern.
He stared at her with a crafty look in his eyes.
Alas, Christina was too focused on relishing the custard tart that she did not notice it. “He’s busy these days. Maybe he’ll be free tonight.”
This girl’s so easy to trick. Secretly delighted, Gideon asked with a chuckle, “Can you invite him for dinner at Laguna tonight?”
Seeing the genuine look in his eyes, Christina said, “Okay.”
With that, she returned to the company with the custard tarts.
After taking a few steps, she turned around to glance at Gideon, wondering if her father, who had a poor reputation, was still worth trusting.
Maybe I’ll find out after tonight.
That night, Gideon booked a private room and ordered plenty of delicious food that filled the entire table.
Gideon did not want to be too stingy in treating Nathaniel to a meal. After all, he needed to rely on the latter in the future to live a comfortable life.
That night, Christina showed up on time.
“Why are you alone, Christina? Where’s Mr. Hadley?” Gideon could not spot the person he was hoping to see, no matter how hard he craned his neck.
“He has something going on, so he can’t make it,” said Christina while stepping into the room.
Truth was, she did not inform Nathaniel, for she wanted to check out the situation.
Gideon was displeased, but he did not show it.
Following that, the two sat down to begin the meal. Before Christina had even served herself the food, Gideon pulled up a document and placed it in front of her.
“Christina, this is my new agreement. I need you to bring it back and have Mr. Hadley sign it,” he said.
The atmosphere changed all of a sudden.
Christina frowned, surprised to find that he was revealing his intentions so soon.
It has only been two months since Nathaniel invested in Steele Group. Why is he asking for money so soon?
With a bright smile, Gideon said, “Once this agreement is signed, I’ll bring you and your mom to Horbah for a trip. What do you think?”
Christina flipped the agreement open and stared at the numbers on the paper. Fifty million?
Rage surged within her. He’s really a ruthless person!
She shut the folder curtly. “You can enjoy this trip to Horbah with Emilia instead. Mom and I won’t be able to handle it.”
When she finished speaking, she stood up and walked to the door.
Gideon hurried after her and grabbed her hand, failing to put up with the act thanks to her indifferent attitude. “What’s with your attitude? I’m just asking you to do me a favor by getting the agreement signed. It’s not like your husband’s penniless!”
Why is this brat so dense?
Christina lowered her gaze, making her eyelashes conceal the disappointment in her eyes. Just when I thought he had turned over a new leaf. Turns out he takes me for a cash cow.
Turning around, she chided, “Can you not be so selfish and think of me for once? How am I supposed to stay in the Hadley family if the news about our family shamelessly asking them for money were to spread?”
She had been criticized for her background and identity ever since she joined the Hadley family.
Julia disdained her; Sierra looked down on her; even the surrounding people insulted her.
And now, her father was also trying to force her to her lowest.
Unfortunately, Gideon did not register a single word she said. He shoved the agreement into her arms, saying, “What are you yapping about? It’s just a signature. The money he wired back then was used to fix the losses. These are the latest accounts. They’re different.”
Christina steeled herself and pushed his hand away. “Go get it signed yourself if that’s what you want, but don’t you ever use my name.”
Having said that, she stormed out of the room without turning back, no matter what Gideon yelled behind her.
As Gideon watched the young woman leave, the idea of the latter not helping him anymore sank in, and his face turned red with fury. “What a heartless brat. I can’t believe she refused a tiny favor.”
He was stumped.
Previously, he had finally patched up the company’s losses. However, he recently lost a huge sum from failed investments, so they were back to being in the red again.
This time, he had no idea where to get the money to salvage the situation.
“Are you Christina’s father?”
A woman appeared from the private room behind him. Her gaze that was pinned on him was cold.
Eyeing the stranger before him, Gideon asked, “Who are you?”
“Madison Taggart, the assistant of Hadley Corporation’s CEO,” Madison announced.
Gideon’s eyes instantly lit up. He could not believe his luck at being able to meet such a big shot. “I need to see Mr. Hadley for some matters. Can you help me with it?”
Having heard the conversation between the father and daughter earlier, Madison knew exactly what he was trying to do.
Her lips curled into a malicious smile. “Yes, but you need to cooperate with me.”
Gideon agreed without hesitation, for he did not care what the woman had in mind. All that mattered was that she could help him with what he wanted.
“Of course. I’ll do as you say.”
At first. Christina thought Gideon would keep pestering her as Miranda did. Surprisingly, he never showed up for the past two weeks.
Perhaps he’s not pestering me because he knows I won’t help him anymore.
After work that night, Christina went over to Hadley Corporation as usual to wait for Nathaniel.
On days when Nathaniel was busier, she would occupy the table at the side to work on her designs or do her own stuff.
They shared a space where they could look up and see the other person working seriously. It gave them at feeling that could not be expressed with words.
Sebastian and Madison were present when Christina arrived at Nathaniel’s office.
The two had grim expressions, and their gazes were filled with guilt.
Did something happen at the company?
Nathaniel’s expression was stern, his brows were frightfully knitted, and his straightened back made him look even colder.
“This matter must be taken care of properly. Get out.”
Sebastian and Madison gave a brief answer. Just as they were about to leave, Christina noticed the
document on the table.
Immediately, she froze.
It was the same agreement she saw when she met Gideon the other day.
How did it still reach Nathaniel when I’ve already rejected him?
“Hold on. Don’t leave,” Christina called out. She then picked up the document and asked. “Who gave this document to Nathaniel?”
The other two halted in their tracks and exchanged glances before Madison admitted, “It was I who delivered it.
Right then, everything seemed to slow to a halt. Anger flashed in Christina’s eyes as she questioned, “Why didn’t you tell me about it? Why did you deliver my father’s document? Are you the Steele family’s daughter?”