Chapter 744 Self Awareness
As Sheridan leaned back into the couch languidly, he gave the two a mischievous look.
Pushing aside Azure’s hand that was clinging onto him, Barnaby approached Sheridan with an emotionless expression. “Why didn’t you tell me that you’re coming back? I could’ve sent someone to pick you up at the airport.”
Watching how the two of them were conversing in familial terms, Azure realized it was difficult for her to join in. In the end, she quietly headed upstairs given how awkward it felt to stay and listen.
Glancing toward the second floor, Sheridan sneered, “If I hadn’t come back, the Stone family might have gone through a leadership change. I would likely have to step down from my position as head of the family.”
Barnaby reprimanded Sheridan softly, “What nonsense are you talking about? Stop taking the rumors outside seriously. Changing the heir to the Stone family is a major decision that involves every family member. The last thing I would do is go looking for trouble.”
Even though recognizing Nigel was something Barnaby greatly desired, he was under no illusion as to which one was the clever one among the fools.
If only Nigel and Yerek had some smarts, they wouldn’t have been defeated by Christina.
“In that case, what’s this about you and Old Mrs. Gibson?” Asking the question was uncharacteristic of Sheridan. “Don’t tell me that you and her have rekindled the flames of your past and this isn’t just about Nigel? Instead, you’re recognizing them simply because you just don’t want to have any regrets in your life?”
Sheridan’s scathing words exposed Barnaby’s intention, ripping away any dignity the latter had.
Feeling humiliated, Barnaby gave Sheridan a long stare before eking out a complete sentence.
“You can rest assured that my reconciliation with her won’t affect you in any way. On top of that, I’m not that naive to bring her back to the Stone family just to have the others criticize me.”
“Given that you’re trying to fulfill a wish of yours, it’s not surprising that you don’t care about what others think. However, have you forgotten something important?”
With his hands pressed against the table, Sheridan gave Barnaby a piercing gaze, as if he was a predator preparing to strike.
“I had declared in front of everyone in the Stone family that they’re not allowed to join us. I also explicitly objected to you recognizing Nigel. Yet, you have gone back on your word and refused to keep a low profile by going out with her in public. In fact, you even allowed her to move into the Stone residence. Grandpa, did you ever consider my position as the head of the Stone family when you did all that? How am I going to manage the entire family when you keep challenging my authority?”
Barnaby responded resolutely, “What’s done is done, and it’s too late for any of your objections. I not going to kick her out especially when she is the mother of my son. Sheridan, you’re the head of the family. Considering your capabilities, no one will dare disobey you. If it really bothers you, we’ll move overseas once I have settled everything here. We’ll definitely not get in your way.”
Sheridan let out a snort to express his disappointment over Barnaby’s decision.
Barnaby had taught him all the principles and strategies of life. Unfortunately, the former missed out on how to deal with a disobeying family member.
Nevertheless, Sheridan knew what he had to do. Barnaby’s impulsive actions had given him his answer.
“Grandpa, let me remind you that your decision not only puts me in a difficult position but also disgraces the Stone family. On top of that, you have also placed our family in a precarious position as the Hadley family will see your action as a provocation. Because of you, the Hadley family will come after the Stone family before I can even think of how to deal with them. Based on how well you know Nathaniel, what do you think he’ll do to our family?”
Barnaby opened his mouth, but no words came out for a long time.
During the banquet, he was focused on stamping his authority and trying to resolve Azure’s predicament, causing him to neglect the many repercussions of his actions.
Now that Sheridan had reminded him of them, the gravity of the consequences began to weigh down on him.
Sheridan might be standing in the vanguard of the family, but he was still responsible for his actions as the former head of the Stone family.
“I’m sorry, Sheridan. I failed to think through it properly,” Barnaby admitted.
“Grandpa, ever since you reunited with your old flame, you’re no longer like your old self,” the disappointed Sheridan lamented. “Looks like the old adage—Love makes fools of us all—does ring true.”
Barnaby looked visibly awkward when he realized that it was he who blundered first. With nothing to defend himself with, he inquired, “So how do you plan to remedy the situation?”
“Remedy?” Sheridan stared at Barnaby in disbelief as he sneered, “Grandpa, don’t you know that you can’t have your cake and eat it too?”
Barnaby was rendered speechless.
“Nigel’s trial begins on Tuesday, and I’m sure that he’ll be found guilty.” Sebastian added in an insidious tone, “However, you gave her implicit permission to obtain a letter of understanding from Timothy and to spike the latter’s drink? That woman’s charms have clearly caused you to take leave of your senses!”
“Insolence!” Barnaby banged the table in anger. “I’m your grandfather, Sheridan. How dare you speak to me that way!”
Sheridan sprang to his feet abruptly and glared at Barnaby.
“There’s no way she could get her hands on a drug like that if you hadn’t given it to her. If my men hadn’t informed me about it in time so that I can clean up your mess, the Stone family would’ve been ruined once the drug was sent for testing. Of all the drugs in the research center, you had to pick an unfinished product. If it was anyone else who had done the same thing, I would have punished them severely.”
Feeling distraught, Barnaby slumped onto the couch with his brows tightly furrowed.
Upon regaining his composure, he remarked skeptically, “That doesn’t sound right. The drug that I ordered to be brought over was a completed product that won’t put one’s life in danger. Its only function is to render someone mute. All I wanted to do was threaten Timothy into writing a letter of understanding to alleviate Nigel’s sentence. I never had the intention of killing him.”
As he pondered upon the matter, a terrifying thought gradually emerged in his mind.
Did she switch the drug? If that were the case, she would have been responsible for bringing the Stone family to the brink of annihilation!
When Sheridan saw Barnaby sharing his sentiments, he broke into a smirk. “Instead of speculating, why don’t you ask her? It’s certainly better than being manipulated all the time.”
With that, Sheridan grabbed his jacket before leaving in a huff.
Meanwhile, Barnaby stormed upstairs to confront Azure. In a very short time, a heated argument echoed through the mansion.
Lighting up a cigarette as he leaned against his car, Sheridan gave the second floor a disdainful look.
His assistant asked quizzically, “Mr. Stone, you spent a lot of effort stealing the testing sample midway to trick Old Mr. Stone. It would be bad for you if he finds out one day.”
After throwing his cigarette butt on the floor and stubbing it out with his feet, Sheridan sneered, “My objective will be achieved once I remove those parasites from the Stone family. I don’t care about the survival of others.”