Nathaniel—never one to care about the perception of others—held Christina’s hand in public as he led her into his office.
Meanwhile, all the employees in the secretarial department were blown away by the sight of the couple. They subsequently tussled against each other to peek out of their glass door and look in the direction of the CEO’s office.
“Did you see that? Mr. Hadley was really gentle. After working here for eight years, I’ve never seen him seem so human before.”
“This is the power of love, something someone single like you would never understand. Anyway, I can’t believe how handsome Mr. Hadley is when he smiles!”
“Hahaha… I guess Mrs. Hadley is the only one in the world who can stir Mr. Hadley’s emotions. I hope that she comes by more often. As long as Mr. Hadley is in a good mood, our days in the office would be peaceful.”
“Come on, ladies. Zip it. All of us will get in trouble if either one of them hears us.”
“Hmph, Mr. Hadley might be cold, but he isn’t someone petty. You’re just trying to scare me Just because I’m easily cowed, but I’m not afraid at all. Worse comes to worst, I’ll plead for mercy from Mrs. Hadley. I’m sure she’ll save us considering what a kind person she is.”
Just like a bunch of chirping birds, the secretaries forgot to lower their voices as they got carried away gossiping. Little did they know that every word they said could clearly be heard by Nathaniel and Christina.
Even Sebastian couldn’t help but feel nervous for them.
Nathaniel’s expression darkened as he commented grimly, “If they have nothing better to do, they can help the sales department increase their sales. On top of that, based on company policy, deduct a week’s salary from them for gossiping in the office.”
That group of girls would definitely cry their eyes out if a week’s salary was docked from them.
Sebastian subsequently gave Christina a pleading look.
After throwing Sebastian a reassuring glance, Christina set off to stop Nathaniel from turning into a boss from hell, saying, “Nathaniel, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what they said. Back then, you would always keep your true emotions bottled up. Whenever your’re angry, I don’t even know how to start pacifying you.”
She continued earnestly, “On top of that, I like the fact that you’re being more open with emotions in my presence. That way, I can do my best to take them into account.”
Meanwhile, Nathaniel stared at her with his eyes ablaze.
“There’s one thing I agree with them wholeheartedly. You do have a mesmerizing smile. Given how much they admire your looks, I shouldn’t lose out too. After all, that’s what I get for having such a handsome husband.” From the smile that emerged on Nathaniel’s face, it was clear that he was pleased with Christina’s attempts to pacify him. “Sebastian, put that down and get back to work.” With that, Sebastian left the lunch box on the desk before disappearing from the office quickly. Just as expected, getting Christina to placate Nathaniel was the right decision. “Are you still angry?” Christina held his face and gave it a rub. “No, not anymore.” Nathaniel led her to the couch to sit. “I was just worried that the situation would make you feel uncomfortable.”
All of a sudden, Christina found Nathaniel to be domineering yet adorable when he was being protective. “Don’t overreact, as they mean no harm. To be honest, I like how candid they were, especially when they were praising me. It makes me really happy, so I obviously won’t mind. Anyway, I brought the lunch Mom made for you. Eat up while it’s still hot.”
Christina subsequently laid the dishes from the lunch box out on the table.
“Mom also invited us to lunch tomorrow. If you can’t make it, we can reschedule.”
“I can spare some time. Go ahead and make the arrangements.” Nathaniel picked up a piece of pork rib with his fork and took a bite. “Mom’s cooking has improved a lot again. This is delicious.”
“Since you like it, I’ll get my mom to teach me so that I can cook for you and the kids.” Christina added, “By the way, didn’t you say that you have something to ask me? What is it?”
Nathaniel put down his fork. “The man you saw in the corridor just now was Winston Labarge. He was the supplier of construction materials to the Hadley and Gibson families back in the day. Do you know him?”
As Christina searched her memories, she concluded that she had never met or heard of him.
Thus, she shook her head in disappointment. “No. Despite having returned to the Gibson family for some time now, I’ve never heard anyone mention this man. Nathaniel, is he somehow connected to my parents’ accident?”
Nathaniel replied, “Yes. Winston has an amazing talent for business. Back then, he bought a quality factory on the cheap and turned it into a listed construction materials company, inadvertently monopolizing the entire market. His ability to handle relationships well also resulted in many other bosses making a beeline to work with him. The property development projects by the Hadley and Gibson families were mostly supplied by him too.”
Christina asked curiously, “How did the bad blood between Winston and the two families come to be?”
“To be precise, why did Winston plot against the Gibson family?”
Nathaniel elaborated, “Winston’s and the Gibson family’s businesses were based in Hallsbay, while the Hadley family was based in Jadeborough. The only reason the Hadley family came into contact with Winston as a supplier of construction materials was due to its partnership with the Gibson family. If not for the Gibson family’s introduction, the Hadley family would never have known who Winston was, let alone work on a few major projects together.”
Overwhelmed by the information, Christina pinched her forehead in frustration.
Nathaniel couldn’t help but sympathize with her. As he helped massaged her throbbing temple, he suggested softly, “Let me take care of the investigation. I just didn’t want to keep this from you since we agreed to be honest with each other. The last thing I want is for you to feel distraught over it.”
Grabbing his hand, Christina gave it a peck with a glistening look in her eyes.
“I know that you would always have my best interest at heart, but the accident caused me to lose both my parents and became the reason for the Gibson family’s animosity toward you. In fact, they had wanted you to pay a heavy price despite the fact that you were the most innocent party in the controversy. On top of that, I have the right to know everything and the responsibility of unraveling the truth is also mine. There’s no way I can rely on you for everything.
Nathaniel, I’m not as weak as you think I am. It’s just that I can’t figure out why the Gibson family hasn’t made any progress in their investigation despite being rich and powerful. All this while, they have been stuck with the idea of seeking vengeance on the Hadley family”
The issue didn’t escape Nathaniel’s notice, but he didn’t have any evidence to support his supposition. His speculation was, after all, just that and wasn’t solid enough to convince anyone yet.
“Given how complicated the circumstances surrounding the accident were, it wouldn’t be surprising if all the evidence was erased if it was actually a plot hatched by someone. As for the Gibson family, their judgment would likely be clouded by the shock of the event, allowing the real perpetrator to escape.”
Upon hearing Nathaniel’s words, Christina felt a gradual easing of the tension she had been experiencing.
“Even then, the fact that the Gibson family has dragged an innocent party into the matter is undeniable,” she uttered.