Christina felt her heart skip a beat. She grasped Sharon’s hand and exclaimed, “Mom, what are you saying? You’ll always be young in my heart!”
As she spoke, she leaned her head on Sharon’s shoulder.
Sharon massaged her daughter’s shoulder and tamped down the guilt in her chest. Sometime later, she uttered meaningfully. “Take good care of that emerald pendant I gave you. It’s very important.”
“Is it? Isn’t it just a piece of emerald jewelry?” Christina asked while lifting the pendant around her neck for a closer look.
The pendant gleamed resplendently under the light. Anyone could tell that it was carved from the finest jade.
An inexplicable emotion flitted through Sharon’s gaze as she stared at the pendant. She repeated herself, “Yes, it’s very important. It’s proof of your identity. You need it to trace your heritage. When you have your own child next time, pass it on to them.”
And one day, when the pendant’s real owner returns for his possession, this will serve as the foundation for their
Christina was puzzled by Sharon’s cryptic words. Trace my heritage?
She suddenly remembered Gideon’s words from the past.
What if I’m really not a child of the Steele family?
“Mom, are you hiding something from me?” questioned Christina curiously.
Sharon’s heart sank with dread. She hastily collected herself and feigned exhaustion. “I’m tired. Help me to my room, would you?”
Her acting was convincing enough. Christina dropped the topic and helped her mother to her room. She tucked a blanket around Sharon after the latter lay in bed.
“Good night, Mom.”
The next day, Christina spent a good amount of time dolling up for the fashion show.
She picked a pink knit set for the occasion. The midi skirt flattered her slim calves, and she completed the outfit with a pair of white Doc Martens. It was elegant and cheeky at the same time, and it accentuated her youthfulness.
She even put on some light makeup for the event. When she checked herself out in the mirror later, she smiled in satisfaction.
Christina checked the time and realized it was almost time to set off.
Meanwhile, Nathaniel remained in Hadley Corporation’s CEO’s office.
He had been busy visiting business partners or in and out of meetings since the morning.
He suddenly remembered his appointment with Christina in the evening and turned toward his assistant. “Cancel the rest of my meetings tonight.”
Sebastian briefly lifted his gaze from the documents he was poring over and replied, “Sure. I’ll cancel
He pulled up Nathaniel’s schedule and spotted an important note. Cautiously, he said, “Mr. Hadley… I’m afraid we can’t skip one of the meetings”
Nathaniel frowned and shot his assistant a sharp stare.
Sebastian barely repressed his shudder and explained, “We went through a lot of trouble locking down a meeting with Arrow Corporation. It’ll be difficult to set something up if we postpone today’s meeting. The deadline for our contract renewal with them is fast approaching. If we don’t sign a new contract with them soon, it will surely delay our collaboration.”
After all, the CEOs of both corporations were busy men with demanding, near–inflexible schedules.
Sebastian checked the meeting date and wondered out loud, “That’s strange, though. I clearly remember arranging the meeting with Arrow Corporation tomorrow. Why is it suddenly happening today?”
The contract renewal was extremely important to the company, so Sebastian had memorized the meeting date.
Beside him, Madison paled slightly and offered, “I changed the timing. Arrow Corporation informed me that their CEO was only available today because he’s going on a month–long business trip to Horbah tomorrow. I didn’t want to delay our contract renewal, so I brought the meeting forward.”
She observed Nathaniel’s expression carefully and said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Hadley. That, was my fault.”
Nathaniel’s gaze darkened, and he instructed flatly. “Get the materials ready. We’ll head to the meeting
“Yes, Mr. Hadley,” replied Madison and Sebastian.
Nathaniel’s ringtone blared, slicing through the silence of his office.
He answered the phone, and Christina’s sweet voice drifted through the receiver. “Have you arrived, Nathaniel?”
Christina’s gaze roved over the celebrities milling about the venue of the fashion show. She could not wait for the show to begin.
Granted, the fashion show was not a high–profile event for globally renowned designers, but it would give her a decent amount of national exposure.
Her excitement deepened Nathaniel’s guilty. After a pause, he said. “I have a contract renewal meeting later. I don’t think I can make it in time,”
His response instantly doused her enthusiasm.
Christina was silent for two seconds before composing herself and uttering. That’s fine. Your work is important. You’re not a fan of these fashion shows, anyway. I’ll enjoy the show more when I’m alone.”
She played down her disappointment at his absence, making it sound as if it did not bother her at all.
Nathaniel clenched his fingers around his phone and offered, “Call me when you end, then. I’ll send a driver to pick you up.”
“Okay. I won’t keep you on the line longer. It’s time to head inside.” Christina chuckled good–naturedly
and ended the call.
Meanwhile, Nathaniel put down his phone and glared at the two employees who were still in his office.
The air in the office felt positively stifling, thanks to his ill mood.
Madison, on the other hand, was secretly delighted that Nathaniel had to blow Christina off.
Does Christina think everyone’s as free as she is? Mr. Hadley’s so busy every day. He doesn’t have time to attend some random fashion show with her! Even if he has spare time, he should be spending it on his work instead of Christina.
She tried her best to avoid revealing her celebratory mood.
Beside her, Sebastian picked up the documents on the desk and announced, “We’ll head out and the documents, Mr. Hadley.”
With that, he and Madison left Nathaniel’s office.
Once the door closed. Sebastian immediately dragged Madison into an adjacent office.
He demanded. “You already knew Mr. and Mrs. Hadley had a date today, didn’t you? You deliberately changed the meeting date so it would clash, right?”
Sebastian prioritized the meeting with Arrow Corporation and called the company beforehand to double- check their CEO’s schedule.
He knew better than anyone else that Arrow Corporation’s CEO was only meant to travel to Horbah next month. Madison was clearly lying.
Madison’s face reddened with anger as Sebastian exposed her plot. Still, she challenged. “So what? Are you going to tell Mr. Hadley about it? If you do. I guarantee the meeting with Arrow Corporation will never happen!”
She knew Sebastian would never do anything to risk a business deal falling apart.
Alas, Sebastian could only glare at her angrily and reproach her, “You’ve gone overboard, Madison. You have no right to control or influence Mr. and Mrs. Hadley’s relationship. In fact, you’re in no state to continue working for Mr. Hadley
He was more upset at Madison for her work ethic than the specific act of ruining Nathaniel’s date.
Mr. Hadley will not hesitate to fire anyone who crosses the line.
An unrepentant Madison sneered and said, “That’s not up to you to decide. And what about you? What does your protective behavior toward Christina say about your feelings toward her?”
She simply could not stand seeing everyone supporting Christina.
Her words struck a nerve, and Sebastian bellowed, “You’re ridiculous!” He spun on his feet and stalked out of the office, leaving Madison alone.