Nathaniel, who was sitting on the balcony and handling work matters on his laptop, said nothing.
When Christina saw that the man was ignoring her, she pouted and implored pitifully, “I don’t mind not working, but I can at least have my phone, yes?”
Nathaniel shifted his gaze from his laptop and peered over at her.
After all, scrolling through the phone also involved a great deal of mental strain.
“Hmph! I’m not talking to you anymore.” Argh! Everything is prohibited to me! The bottom of Christina’s lip stuck out visibly, but she did not dare go against the doctor’s orders either. All she could do was yank the covers over her head.
At the sight of her throwing a tantrum yet remaining obedient, an indulgent smile bloomed on Nathaniel’s face. He put down the laptop in his hand and strolled over.
Sitting down on the edge of the bed, he gently pulled the covers down to reveal Christina’s head.
As he gazed into her sparkling eyes, he coaxed in a cajoling tone used with children, “Be good, Christina. When Lucas and Camila come home later, I’ll have them talk with you and keep you company.”
Lucas and Camila were still at the Hadley residence then, unaware of Christina’s return.
The instant Christina heard that she could finally see the twins, a grin appeared on her face.
No sooner had Nathaniel’s words rang out than the twins returned and sprinted into the room, one after another.
“Lucas, Camila.” Under the man’s “monitoring” gaze, Christina did not dare get out of bed. She merely sat reclining against the head of the bed.
“We missed you so much, Mommy!” Both Lucas and Camila usually threw themselves into Christina’s arms. But this time, they only stood by the bed docilely.
That discomfited Christina to some extent. “I’ve missed you both, too. Come and let me hug you.”
Unexpectedly, Lucas shook his head. “You can’t hug us anymore since there’s a baby in your belly, Mommy.”
Camila seconded that with a nod. “That’s right. You can’t hug us.”
Astonishment inundated Christina. “You know?”
“Mr. Patel told Grandma and Grandpa, who told us,” Lucas and Camila answered in unison.
“Yeah. Actually, we can still hug like this.” Still yearning to hug the twins, Christina spread her arms and gathered their upper bodies into her embrace.
Capitalizing on the opportunity, Nathaniel did the same and enveloped all three of them in his arms.
The family of four, now five, hugged each other blissfully, banishing all of Christina’s terror during her captivity.
In the blink of an eye, a month flew past.
After the doctor had performed a series of examinations on Christina, everything was determined to be well with the fetus and mother.
At long last, Christina was allowed to get out of bed. Having lied on her back for a month, she was stiff all over.
“Can you give me my phone now?” She went to the study in search of Nathaniel.
Right then, Nathaniel had just ended a conference call.
Ever since Christina stayed home on bed rest for a month, he had also been working from home for the same duration.
“Here.” Pulling open the drawer near his hand, he took out the phone lying within and handed it to her.
He had charged her phone, so she could use it right after getting her hands on it.
As soon as Christina tapped open WhatsApp, a flurry of messages came into sight.
The ones that snagged her attention most were still the photos of her at the beach sent by the photographer back then.
They had been edited slightly, and each was comparable to a shot from a blockbuster.
Nathaniel had never gone through her phone. When he noticed that she was flipping through something, his curiosity drove him to crane his neck for a look.
The moment he glimpsed the exquisite photos of her, his Adam’s apple bobbed uncontrollably.
Wrapping an arm around her waist, he exerted marginal force and pulled her into his arms for a seat.
“When were these taken?” he asked, resting his chin against the hollow of her shoulder.
“During Madison’s engagement party,’ Christina replied while looking at the photos.
At the mention of Madison, Nathaniel’s gaze abruptly turned chilly.
Reminded of the woman’s presence, Christina tilted her head and trained her eyes on the man. “Oh yes, where is she?” ifmy memory serves, she also fell into the sea with me.
“She’s alive but has gone mad,” Nathaniel elaborated briefly.
From the time Madison regained consciousness, her mental state had been unstable. Following consultation with experts, they all concluded that she was mentally ill.
When Christina returned safely, Nathaniel had the Taggart family take Madison home.
Because Madison was the one who orchestrated everything, the Taggart family did not dare pick trouble with the Hadley family since they were in the wrong.
Upon hearing that Madison had lost her mind, Christina sighed.
However, she could not muster any sympathy for Madison when the latter was only reaping what she sowed.
“What do you think of this photographer? I’m thinking of hiring him to take photos of my work to create a portfolio.” Once again, the subject reverted to the photos.
“That’s fine, but don’t overtax yourself”
While Nathaniel wanted her to do nothing and stay home during her pregnancy, he was worried that she would be bored to tears.
Having obtained his support, Christina happily gave him a peck on the cheek.
Regretfully, that measly kiss had no hope of satiating the desire blazing within Nathaniel.
He demanded more from her, cradling the back of her head with a massive palm and deepening the kiss.
At the same time, his other hand roamed all over her body.
When he hit a sensitive spot, a shudder ran through Christina. She hurriedly shot her hands out and pushed him away, huffing, “Cut it out. There’s a baby in me.”
Jolted back to his senses, Nathaniel pursed his lips. “I know. I’m aware of my boundaries.”
In truth, he almost forgot earlier. The doctor once specifically told him that he had to abstain from sexual relations for three months.
At first, he assumed it was a piece of cake since he had spent the last few years without any pleasures of the flesh with no problems.
But presently, it was difficult for him to remain unmoved with a beautiful woman in his arms.
Just then, Christina received a WhatsApp message from Bailey, who asked her out.
“All right, we’ll talk later. I have a date with Bailey.” Christina could tell that Nathaniel was still frustrated, so she quickly beat a hasty retreat.
Nathaniel would never restrict her freedom, but he arranged fora
caretaker and two bodyguards to tag along with her.
Christina and Bailey agreed to meet at the coffee shop where they usually hung out.
Having not seen each other for a long time, they naturally had plenty to tell each other.
Bailey divulged that she had accepted a job a while ago and had been
away from Jadeborough. She had just returned two days ago, upon
which she asked the latter out.
“You’re sure I’m the first person you meet upon coming back?”
Christina drawled meaningfully.
In response, Bailey nodded.
When Christina saw that Bailey still wanted to keep her in the dark, she stared pointedly at the red hickey on the latter’s neck. Finally snapping, she questioned, “Are you dating lately, Bailey?”
Bailey was promptly startled. “How did you know that? How could you tell?”
She felt that she had already kept it under wraps perfectly.
Christina pointed at her own neck while gesturing at Bailey.
Immediately, Bailey took out a compact mirror for a look. The instant she spotted the red mark on her neck, her face flushed bright red.
Ugh! I was in such a hurry when I left home just now that I forgot to look in the mirror!
She swiftly rammaged out the Hermés scarf from her bag and wrapped it around her neck.