Chapters 71 – 80: My Billionaire Mom
Lara Jean happily sent a message to the baller. “Thank you, I’ll give you a surprise tonight.”
“I envy you for having a friend like him,” Fanny Lowe sounded very jealous. If Lara’s friend could handle this matter with only a few words, how influential could he be?
Lara looked pleased, but when she saw Chuck Cannon walking towards the private room, she pouted her l!ps and caught up with him.
“Hey!” Lara yelled.
Chuck turned his head and heard a crack. His hand had hit something. Chuck looked stunned. When he turned his head, he saw a broken bottle of red wine on the ground. The waiter holding the tray was looking at Chuck in shock.
The muscles on Chuck’s face were twitching. He thought, Great, and now it’s my turn?
“Sir, you…” The waiter came to his senses and said in affirm tone, “Sir, this bottle of wine that you broke is a Lafite.”
“Call your manager over!” Lara said as she rushed to the scene.
Chuck appeared shaken.
The waiter hesitated for a moment, but he had no choice and left shortly to get his boss. After all, an immediate superior needed to deal with this incident.
“Don’t worry. You put in kind words for me earlier. Now, it’s my turn to return you the favor. That way, we’re even,” Lara said.
Chuck still could not find his voice. He stared at Lara with an odd expression.
“What are you staring at?” Lara was on high alert. Was this guy still thinking about sleeping with her despite the situation now?
“You’ve had two chances. You’ve wasted them both, and now you’re still hoping for it? It will not happen!”
“Let me remind you I already have a boyfriend, and he is well-to-do. Quit fantasizing about me already.” Lara said while showing Chuck her phone. She clicked an image on WeChat as if she was bragging about it, and the guy in the photo was none other than the baller.
Chuck felt weirder and mumbled deep inside himself, “When did I become your boyfriend? How could you be so shameless?”
“Listen to me carefully. I already have a boyfriend who I love very much. Don’t assume that I saved you because of other intentions. Don’t get me wrong. I helped you since you said something nice to me, and that’s it.” Lara put away her cell phone.
Chuck did not know how to react. He was at a loss for words. Would Lara feel upset and hesitant when he tells her that the baller was him?
Chuck wanted to speak out, and he was also ready to take out the evidence.
However, Lara was getting impatient already. “Why isn’t your manager coming?
Do you have any idea, who’s my boyfriend?”
The waiter could only do a follow-up with his manager. The manager came over in exasperation. What’s happening today? Why was everyone smashing and disrupting things all night? When the manager arrived and was about to get mad, he noticed Chuck. He immediately smiled and said, “Sir…”
“This guy is my classmate. He broke it by accident,” Lara said.
“What? Do you want my boyfriend to call and talk to you privately? If that’s the case, you can say goodbye to your work!” Lara barked.
The manager frowned and deliberated, “Who the hell is your boyfriend? If it weren’t for Chuck Cannon, I wouldn’t even bother talking to you.”
However, when the manager saw Chuck’s impassive look, he nodded and said, “Okay.”
“At least, you know what’s good for you. Chuck, I don’t owe you anymore! Remember, stop having any sick thoughts about me.” Lara warned before turning around and heading to the private function room.
The manager seemed taken aback and coughed. “She’s your girlfriend?”
“No, but don’t tell her who I am,” Chuck responded.
“Yes, sir, I get what you mean.” The manager nodded his head in agreement.
Chuck wouldn’t allow the business to bear any losses. He would instruct Yolanda Lane tomorrow to lessen the establishment’s rent charge for next month in return.
“Your room today will be free, compliments of the KTV owner. Consider it our grat!tude. Please enjoy your stay,” the manager added.
Chuck took a quick look at him and said, “Thanks.”
The manager’s heart was full of satisfaction.
Lara made her way back to the private room. Just now, Fanny also witnessed how impressive Lara’s friend was. The manager rescued Chuck just by talking. Not only that, but he also sent them free bottles of wine. He could also work out conflicts involving payment worth thousands of dollars by saying a few words.
“What were you doing just now? Were you helping Chuck solve his dilemma? Why do you care so much about that guy? Just ask him to pay for it. Were you not looking down on him the most?” Fanny asked with a smile.
“It’s beside the point that I despise him. He merely spoke to me just now. After I save him, I won’t be indebted to him anymore,” Lara said.
“Hey, after you rescued Chuck, do you think he felt touched and could develop intimate feelings for you?” Fanny checked out Lara’s pretty b.utt.
“Yeah, whatever. Anyway, I won’t ever like him.”
Lara shook her head. She already had a baller, how could she fall in love with a guy like Chuck? It was impossible. The baller had solved the predicament for her, which meant that she was also significant in his life. The baller could get a solution to her problem in less than a minute. Could Chuck do that?
“You said positive and favorable things on my behalf, but this courtesy, I have already given it back to you,” She thought.
“But he will have a soft sp0t for you. Look, Chuck is still gawking at your a.ss!”
Lara showed no interest in looking back. When she was in school, this guy eyed her regularly. However, when Lara glanced around, she sp0tted Chuck still speaking to the manager. Does this bastard want to s.uck up the manager?
Lara shook her head, and the two of them entered the private room. Lara marched directly to the washroom within the area, took off her clothes, and took a snapshot of herself.
“Hey baller, this is the only way I could think of to extend my appreciation. I hope you’ll cherish it.”
Lara was nervous. After a moment of hesitation, she took a selfie. She dolled herself up and took another picture without showing her face and sent it to him.
Chuck also went to his private room. Now was the perfect time to end this game. Chuck had the urge to go back when he remembered that Yvette Jordan had been drinking c0cktails. She couldn’t drive safely once drunk. Chuck wondered if he should send Yvette back. This situation could be his best shot.
Sure enough, after entering the private room, most of the students had enough to drink. The party would be over soon. Yvette’s face had turned red, and she was already a little intoxicated. However, she was still sober, but it would be risky for her to drive in such a state.
“Well, it’s about time you show up. Let’s go back!” The class monitor declared, and all the students scrambled to their feet, including Yvette.
Everyone proceeded outside. Chuck was a little fl.ustered to see Queenie Carson. Queenie lowered her head.
Chuck caught up to her and asked, “Are you all right?”
“I’m ne.” Queenie shook her head. She had been sitting just now, thinking. If Chuck forced her to work on the problem, she would still agree and would not refuse him. However, if Chuck had not come back yet, she could never tell Chuck that she would help him, could she?
How humiliating would that be? Queenie could not put those into words.
Chuck did not know what was in Queenie’s mind, and it struck him dumb. He just let out a heavy sigh and stayed silent. Queenie felt depressed. The more Chuck thought about it, the more he believed that it’s not because of himself.
“Wow, we don’t even have to pay for our orders?” It surprised the class monitor that somebody had footed the bill.
The turn of events baffled the other students as well. They all deliberated if they would get a refund for their money.
“Yes, our boss said that your bill tonight would be on us.” The receptionist said with a smile.
“Lara, your boyfriend is amazing!” Fanny was wide-eyed and became even more envious. They received free wine, and he solved the problem. Her boyfriend also paid the bills for them. When could she nd a wealthy boyfriend like him?
“What? Is this because of Lara’s boyfriend?”
“That’s right. Her boyfriend is the owner of this KTV. Didn’t she go out just now? Perhaps snapped some photos?”
“Damn it. I’m so green with envy. Lara has such a se.xy body.”
The students were all chatting about her. Lara scowled at the classmate who had just spoken, but the receptionist smiled and took out a gold card. The manager wanted to hand over the card to Chuck, which was unusual. Lara glanced at it and snatched it away. It was her boyfriend’s. Why did you give it to Chuck?
Her action surprised the receptionist. Chuck peeked at Lara but said nothing. At that moment, Chuck was thinking of ways to talk to Yvette.
“Lady, that card is…” the receptionist said.
“There’s nothing left for you to say. It belongs to my boyfriend, so I’m keeping it.” Lara said and put the card away. She could use the gold card to pay their bills next time, but Lara did not know that Chuck alone could use it.
The receptionist was even more lost. What is this girl doing? She couldn’t use the card at all!
“Let’s all head back.” Lara took the lead. The other students followed closely behind. Today, everyone had fun, thanks to Lara. The students encircled her like devoted fans.
Chuck saw that everybody had gone out, so he went to Yvette’s side. Seeing her provocative figure, Chuck could not help but feel stimulated again. “Wifey, let me send you back.”
When Chuck Cannon coined the term “wifey”, he felt terrible. Since Yvette Jordan was still not open to these things, she would probably feel upset.
As expected, Yvette gave Chuck a sharp stare and said, “No, you send Queenie Carson back home.”
Chuck looked pleasantly surprised. He called her as his wife, yet she was not even mad at him?
Chuck was so excited that he felt encouraged. “Yvette, I’m so sorry. I didn’t see the text message you sent me just now. I wanted to come and sit in your car.”
“You didn’t even take some time to check, did you?” Yvette said coldly and pressed a b.utton for the parking lot on the elevator’s control panel. Lara Jean and other students had gone ahead, including Queenie Carson.
Chuck wouldn’t have said such things to Yvette in front of his classmates.
“It’s not like that.” The elevator door opened, and Chuck casually walked in. Yvette had a few drinks. Although she was not drunk, it was still risky for her to sit behind the steering wheel. Chuck wasn’t at ease and seemed helpless. At least, he had to make sure that Yvette would reach home safely.
Yvette had the faint smell of alcohol on her body, and her face was all ushed. She gave off the impression of being slightly intoxicated and stimulated. Her se.xually attractive aura could evoke the attention of other men. Even Chuck himself could not control the irresistible urge to stare at Yvette’s round, shapely backside. Her skinny jeans go perfectly with her toned figure.
Chuck caught himself in a dilemma. They had been sleeping together for almost ten years, but Chuck never realized how physically t Yvette’s body had been. He contemplated on doing something sensual to her inside the elevator now, such as caressing her soft skin. Would she resist and urge him to stop?
Yvette didn’t know how to express her emotions. Chuck handed Yvette some hangover pills and brought extra food for late-night snacks. The next morning, he had some breakfast delivered. To some extent, his actions moved her. Chuck still showed concern for her since they had once lived together for so long.
Today, Yvette wanted to relax and take her classmates out for another sing-along session. When she sent Chuck a message, she hesitated for a moment and even felt nervous. However, over ten minutes went by since she sent the text, and Yvette had not yet gone inside the car. Was taking the bus more convenient than sitting in her private vehicle? Yvette was getting a little irritated.
Later on, Yvette saw Chuck and Queenie sharing a duet song. Why were they singing together? Their faces showed much happiness that they even embraced each other while giggling, putting Yvette in an awkward sp0t.
It was like someone else took away her things. Yvette wanted to drink some wine, but she forgot that she drove here. She would call someone to pick her up. Anyway, nobody asked her to drive.
The door of the elevator ladder opened, and seven people swarmed in. Yvette stepped back to make way for them. Chuck accidentally bumped into her. This time, he was very excited. He had been thinking about Yvette for the entire night. When his hand touched hers, he instantly felt a connection.
Fortunately, Yvette didn’t know, otherwise, it would be awkward. However, Chuck could feel the weird mentality people had on the bus. Every minute and second was painful.
The elevator door opened, and people went out. Yvette walked out first, and Chuck followed closely behind. When Yvette turned around and saw Chuck checking her b.utt, she grew irritated. “Has my behind changed and appeared attractive to you? In the past, you had the right to touch it but chose not to.”
Seeing Yvette’s annoyed expression, Chuck quickly shifted his gaze away from her. He couldn’t go too far. After all, they had separated ways already, and their relationship had just become comfortable recently.
If it were because of this that made Yvette finally change her growing impression of him, Chuck would lose more than he gained.
“You may go back now. I’ll call the driver myself.” Yvette turned around and went to her car.
How could a guy like Chuck let go of this opportunity? He caught up to her and said sincerely, “Yvette, let me send you back. At least you’re familiar with me. Do you feel comfortable with a stranger driving you back?”
Yvette gave Chuck a sharp look. After hesitating for a few seconds, she laid the car key in Chuck’s open palm, opened the car door, and sat on the passenger seat. Feeling pleased, Chuck quickly got inside the car.
“It’s been some time since you got your license, but you haven’t been practicing, so it’ll be hard for you to get used to driving this car in the beginning. Start the engine first, and I’ll tell you how to proceed. Drive slowly, I’m not in a hurry,” Yvette said unemotionally.
Chuck smiled and started the engine sk!llfully. He had been driving for a few days now, and he was already familiar with it.
Chuck’s control of the vehicle surprised Yvette. “Do you normally drive?”
Chuck was no stranger to the engines, and he could start it properly. He did not look like someone new to driving.
“Yes, I usually drive a BMW,” Chuck said.
After sensing suspicion in Yvette’s gaze, Chuck coughed before saying, “It’s Zelda’s. I have driven her car a few times, so I’m quite accustomed to it.”
“Well, why do you have to drive her car?” The doubt on Yvette’s face disappeared.
“Urn, it’s fun. Practice makes perfect, right?” Chuck could only come up with a reason.
“Okay, but I also have a car,” Yvette said frigidly.
Her abrupt change of tone confused Chuck. What did she mean? Did Yvette just implore that he could drive her car? Chuck was at a loss for words. After all, he hadn’t done it before, mainly because it embarrassed him. Suddenly she showed a willingness to lend him her car?
“Is her car better than mine?” Yvette asked, studying Chuck’s reaction.
“No, hers is a Land Rover,” Chuck said. Suddenly, he could see little daggers shooting right out of Yvette’s eyes.
“Then you drive her car. Get out of mine.” Chuck’s reply made Yvette fuming mad.
“No, you don’t get it. Zelda’s car is too bulky, though spacious and fuel-efficient. But it’s not as easy to drive as yours. This vehicle is compact, flexible, and boasts of a great top speed.”
“Her car is enormous, while mine is small. Just tell me that my car is not good enough!”
“Her car is so expensive, so it’s more luxurious. No, it’s much more striking, it has more driving pleasure.”
Chuck tried his best to explain to Yvette, but the more she listened, the more irritated she became. In the end, Yvette stopped talking and kept a sharp face. A silent and bitter war descended between them.
After reaching the place where Yvette lived, she stormed out of the car and slammed the door. Chuck pursued her and tried to calm her nerves. “Yvette, please don’t be mad.”
“Why would I? She has a solid car, and I’m not diligent enough to afford one,” Yvette said without even looking back.
Chuck got in front of her and said, “That’s not what I meant.”
Yvette gave Chuck a hard stare and marched away without saying a word.
“Hey, here’s your car key.”
“You use it to drive yourself home.”
Yvette stopped in her tracks, turned around, and walked towards him. There was a raging re burning in her eyes, and Chuck felt bad looking at her in that state. Yvette snatched away the key from Chuck and hissed, “Go drive a fancy car. You can even drive behind Zelda’s wheels!”
After Yvette ended her ranting, she pressed a b.utton going to her floor. When the doors opened, she stepped in silently.
Chuck felt helpless. Glancing at Yvette’s car, it was also a BMW. It was beautiful. Chuck sighed. Noticing that it was getting late already, he did not want to go back to school to drive his car again. He hailed a cab.
Watching through the window, Yvette saw Chuck leaving. She sighed softly. Did he take the taxi than drive my car back? Is my vehicle that awful? Is it so inconvenient compared to Zelda’s? The more Yvette thought about it, the more annoyed she grew. Sitting on the bed, Yvette suddenly realized why her heart was full of anger. Why should she be angry?
Chuck arrived home by commuting. When he got into the elevator, he turned on his mobile phone and found that Lara sent him a photo. Chuck clicked on it, and he nearly fainted!
Lara’s figure is smoking-hot. She also wrote the caption, “Thank you, baller, for helping me out today.”
Lara did not reveal her face in the photo. However, even if the picture only showed part of her chin, Chuck could still determine that it was Lara. This picture made Chuck very aroused even though Yvette occupied his thoughts the whole night.
Looking at the image again made him feel very uneasy. Since Lara did not show her face, Chuck hesitated for a moment before replying, “You’re pretty, but why won’t you include your pretty face?”
Lara responded immediately with a few shy texts. Another reply came, “Baller, don’t tempt me. This is the most that I can show you. Am I attractive?”
“It’s okay, but it would be more appealing if you show your face.”
Chuck immediately transferred 10,000 dollars to Lara according to their agreement.
After collecting the money, Lara quickly returned, “Thank you, baller. I will return the funds to you a month later.”
“Don’t worry, there’s no need to hurry. Please show me your face. I want to see it.” Chuck replied.
Lara stopped sending any messages afterward, which puzzled Chuck. Could it be that Lara snubbed him after receiving the payment? No, it shouldn’t be. Lara indeed loves money, but Chuck was still counting on her honesty.
Sure enough, a minute later, after a fierce conflict in her heart, Lara sent him a picture. After Chuck opened it, he couldn’t stop grinning.
The photo that Lara Jean sent to Chuck Cannon this time had her face on it, including just her upper body. This se.xy snapshot should be the most that Lara could show him. After viewing this image, Chuck felt that he would sleep well and be happy tonight.
If Lara knew that the baller she had been talking to and sending n.ude photos all the time was Chuck, how would she react? If Chuck took the n.aked pictures to Lara, what would she think?
The thought of this happening amused Chuck. Lara, you are so doomed.
Chuck texted back, playfully, “You look so damn fine.”
Lara sent back a few sweet and short replies.
Chuck reluctantly took another look at Lara’s photo again before inserting his mobile phone back in his pocket and took the elevator going up.
Back in the dormitory, Lara glimpsed at her phone, pleasantly surprised and nervous at the same time due to the events that night. She initially sent the photo with no other meaning. She just wanted to thank the baller, but she did not expect him to transfer 10,000 dollars straight away because of their deal. Now that she had already received the money for the shop’s renovation, her happiness has exceeded all bounds.
And all the tension in her body was because of the last photo she sent baller that she considered her most daring move ever. Lara dreaded that there would be others who would use her n.udes for the wrong intentions. However, he must have a lot of other girlfriends. He could not possibly do such a terrible thing.
Lara tried to calm herself from all the cynical what-ifs that crossed her mind.
After a while, she felt comforted and held the mobile phone close to her c.hest.
As she lay down in her warm and cozy bed, her mind won’t stop speculating.
“Baller, what do you look like? My cousin said you’re still a student. Do you think we know each other? I bet it would be nice if we know each other in real life.”
“Lara, your boyfriend is so filthy rich. When will you move out of the dormitory?” A fellow dormmate asked.
“Yeah, your boyfriend is so incredible. I bet he lives in a villa.”
“Hopefully, soon!” Lara chimed in happily. She closed her eyes and went to sleep. When Chuck got up in the morning, a man from the Porsche car store called him again and asked when he would take his vehicle. The car he reserved had been in their showroom for a while now. Chuck thought of going there today. Since he left his BMW 7 Series parked near the school the night before, he didn’t have any service today, so he decided to take his new car.
At the thought of this, Chuck replied to the manager that he would come today. The manager didn’t expect him to drop by right away. He immediately said that he would wait for him.
After taking a quick shower, Chuck went out. However, he saw Zelda Maine coming out of her room. She was all dressed up and headed to the elevator. It seemed like she was going to her restaurant.
“Good morning, Zelda.” Chuck greeted her with a faint smile. Today, Zelda dressed up casually, but her excellent figure still showed perfectly despite her casual clothes.
“Hello there, good morning to you,” Zelda came over.
The two of them entered the elevator together. Zelda did not speak any word, and neither did Chuck.
Zelda had always wanted to ask Chuck a question. Did he offer the business to Yvette instead of giving it to her? However, Zelda could not bring herself to ask no matter how much she wanted to. How could she?
After a few seconds of silence, the elevator door opened.
Zelda watched Chuck go outside first. Was he not using the car today? She hesitated for a moment and asked, “Chuck, aren’t you driving today?”
“I parked my car at school,” Chuck said.
“Let me send you to school then,” Zelda said. Chuck didn’t know how to explain it to Zelda. Should he tell her he would take his brand new car today?
“What’s wrong? Is someone else coming to pick you up?” Zelda asked doubtfully.
Chuck shook his head. “I’m going to the Porsche store. The car I booked arrived already. I will pick it up today.”
“Okay, I’ll drop you off there.” Zelda walked over to him. It turned out that Chuck had bought another car. She offered since it was also along the way to her destination.
“Thank you, Zelda.”
“No problem. Come on.”
Chuck got inside and settled comfortably. The last time Chuck was in Zelda’s car, he remembered smelling a unique fragrance. The scent was still there today. The smell of that perfume stirred him up that he ogled straight at Zelda’s legs.
Chuck could not prevent himself from recalling the scene in his dream the night before. He had dreamt of Zelda. Chuck found it amusing, but he couldn’t ignore what he’s feeling at the moment. Zelda was such an easy-going girl. How should Chuck put it into words? Zelda had always been single, but it did not seem like she was available all the time. Did she have a se.xual partner when she needed it? Zelda had always looked so gorgeous. Even without trying, countless men would have competed against each other to keep her company.
Zelda had no shortage of men. If she wanted a boyfriend, she could quickly get one. Thinking about it, Chuck realized how a little perverted he was. Zelda would do nothing ridiculous. It was him who had been holding it in for too long, so his imagination ran wild.
However, thinking about it, Chuck had some confidence in himself and looked forward to the challenge. Heeding to Zelda’s emphasis on being single, she mentioned she would only sleep with someone if that guy is him. They wouldn’t have any restrictions, nor would they be tied to any emotions.
Whenever they spent time together, such a set-up would cross their mind.
Once they have satisfied each other’s se.xual desires, they would part ways without meddling too much in their private lives. It was the best arrangement. But Chuck could only think about it. After all, he hasn’t reached that intimacy level with Zelda yet. If he told her his plans, Zelda might slap him hard in the face, which would be embarrassing.
Zelda certainly didn’t know what Chuck had in mind. In her thoughts, she had lost to Yvette. If Yvette renewed the contract to operate the business, it would be impossible for her to take over the business. However, it was also impossible for her to just give up that fast. That was a place of great potential for Zelda.
“I want to open a restaurant within the City Square,” Zelda declared. She couldn’t hold it in herself anymore.
“Huh?” Chuck couldn’t get himself to react.
“I said, I want to open another restaurant,” Zelda said seriously.
“Will you help me?” Zelda asked.
Chuck found himself defenseless. Even if Zelda did not know that his mother, Karen Lee, was the boss of Hotel Luna, she should have guessed by his position as the City Square boss. Zelda was a clever girl. She could figure out entirely that he was the boss after a simple analysis.
The situation had put Chuck in a tight sp0t now. Zelda should have already known that Yvette was the supervisor of the training company. So when he refused Zelda the position but asked Yvette instead to take over, he wondered what her reaction could have been. Was she offended? Did it upset her? Did she feel disappointed? What could she be thinking?
“Oh.” Chuck did not know how to reply. He could only answer with another question, “Why don’t I ask for you?”
“Just say yes or no.”
“Well, I don’t have the right to do that. I can’t decide now.”
“Of course, you can. I know you’re capable.”
“Well, I’ll ask around first,” Chuck could only answer.
There were no vacant slots available upstairs. Chuck couldn’t ask those tenants to move just like that. The spaces for shops on the first floor were too small. Zelda’s restaurant was at least 200 square meters. The only last resort would be to check if tenants were willing to transfer their store locations. Zelda’s restaurant could help increase the number of people coming to City Square once she opened it. Since it would be beneficial to his business, Chuck thought he should nd a way to make it happen.
“I’ll be waiting for your update.” The corners of Zelda’s mouth curled up. Could he still be pretending?
“Okay, sure.” Chuck nodded. Later, he would send a message to Yolanda Lane, telling her to monitor and concentrate on the leasing spaces. Yolanda has a proven track record of being efficient in her work, and she should get things done soon.
Soon, they arrived at the Porsche store. Chuck got out of the car, but Zelda also got off. He asked in confusion, “Zelda, weren’t you headed the restaurant?”
“Can I have a look at it first? I want to see if your car is worth all that cash. Can I?”
Chuck did not know how to answer her. How could Zelda not afford a car worth over four million dollars? It’s not that she doesn’t like it, she just preferred bigger cars.
When Chuck and Zelda walked in, the manager had been waiting for them inside. He immediately took Chuck to his car and spent half a day telling him the basic knowledge of driving a sports car. After days of driving around with his BMW, Chuck got the hang of it. In half a day, Chuck had mastered driving his new car. He felt so handsome and cool being behind the wheel. When he stepped on the accelerator, the roar of the engine was enough to drive him crazy.
Chuck laughed and felt that buying this car was an excellent decision. Chuck had already learned to appreciate his sports car. Now he has the reason to drive it more often. Chuck thought, “If I drive this car to Yvette’s, what would she feel?”
After finishing the last procedures, Chuck parked his car next to Zelda’s. She had been with Chuck the entire morning. Looking at Chuck’s car also prompted her to own one of these cars. It was attractive and ashy.
Suddenly, Zelda received a call. After a few seconds, she panicked. “Mom, don’t come over.”
“Are you still hiding? Quincy told me you already found a new boyfriend and that you’re sleeping together. Why don’t you bring him home so I could meet him in person? Well, I don’t expect you to make a move. I’ve just passed by your place with a few of my friends. Bring your boyfriend over to have dinner with us,” Zelda’s mother said.
“I’m almost there. Tell your boyfriend about it.”
After hanging up the phone, Zelda stood frozen for a moment. What should I do? Zelda thought about it and walked to the side of Chuck’s car, biting her l!ps. “Are you free later? I want to invite you to dinner.”
Chuck Cannon originally wanted to invite Zelda Maine to dinner. Since Zelda kept him company at the workshop the whole morning, he planned to treat her to a meal. How could he allow her to pay for his food?
“So, are you available tonight?” Zelda asked again in desperation. Zelda was a little annoyed by all the nonsense chatter of her best friend, Quincy. Now things have gotten serious. Her mother had heard the news and rushed over. She could only ask Chuck to keep up with the act.
“I have a class in the afternoon,” Chuck said.
“Can you ask for leave?” Zelda asked, her voice full of apprehension.
Chuck hesitated. The session he’d be skipping this afternoon was Yvette’s class. If he skipped her period, she would be more annoyed. All the talk about cars last night had already aggravated her.
“What’s the matter?” Chuck asked with interest.
Zelda had no choice but to tell Chuck the reason why her mother was here. Chuck was surprised after listening to it. Last time at Quincy Lowe’s birthday, Chuck had pretended to be Zelda’s boyfriend, but it was no trouble for him at all. He even k!ssed Zelda twice at that time. Now that Chuck thought about it, he already had wild thoughts running in his mind.
“Just this time, please help me. My mother is already on her way.” Zelda pleaded.
Chuck had no choice but to ask Zelda to wait while he contacted Yvette to inform her about the situation. Fortunately, Yvette picked up after two rings.
“You’re skipping class, aren’t you?” Yvette’s icy voice echoed loud and clear from the other end of the line. It was as if she already knew that Chuck had something up his sleeves, or else he wouldn’t have called her.
“Uh, no. I just have something else to do.”
“That still means you won’t be attending my class. That is ditching schoolwork.
Chuck Cannon, you’re about to take the exam. Do you think you can pass?” Chuck shook his head. He knew he wouldn’t pass the quiz, but he couldn’t admit that to her.
“Yvette, it’s just…”
“It’s your decision if you want to show up later or play hooky.”
Chuck heaved a heavy sigh. Yvette had given her permission. “Thanks. I’ll come to class next time.”
“That’s what you also said last time,” Yvette sneered.
Chuck could feel his ears turning red because of embarrassment. Did he ever say that?
“Thank you.” Chuck was too fl.ustered to say anything else.
“I don’t want your grat!tude. Go and drive Zelda’s land Rover!” Yvette hung up, leaving Chuck flabbergasted. What was Yvette thinking? Did she think he was using Zelda’s car?
Zelda was all worked up. She called and asked where her mother was so she could make necessary preparations for dinner later. Zelda wanted them to dine in her restaurant since the ingredients there were fresh and safe for consumption. However, her mother refused.
“No, Quincy mentioned that your boyfriend is an affluent man. I want to see how well off he is. Let him arrange the dinner.”
“Mom, what are you planning to do?” Zelda was on the verge of breaking down.
“Nothing, I just want to have a good look at him.”
Zelda’s stomach was in knots. What could her mother want out of this? Zelda knew what was in her mother’s mind. She must have thought Chuck was a con artist who wanted her money only. However, Chuck could afford to buy the City Square on his own. It was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Why would someone like Chuck want to deceive her? Her wealth could never compare to Chuck’s total net worth.
“I’m almost at your restaurant. Remember, I’m not having dinner at your establishment. Let your boyfriend decide.”
Then her mother put the phone down.
Zelda became motionless. She gr0aned and tried to compose herself. “How did it go?”
“I’m good. Let’s go,” Chuck said.
“My mom asked you to decide where we’ll eat for dinner. But don’t worry, I’ll take care of the bill.”
“It’s fine. I can manage.”
If it was up to Chuck to decide, he thought his mother’s hotel would be appropriate. It was a ve-star hotel, and the food and service there should be outstanding. Chuck asked Zelda about the number of people coming over. Zelda said that there would be ve of them, including her mother and two of her friends.
Chuck nodded in acknowledgment. He looked up Betty Bernard’s phone number and made the call. After a few rings, he got through.
“Young Master,” Betty answered politely.
“I have a few friends who want to stay over for a few nights. Can you arrange three presidential suites for me?”
“Young Master, kindly hold on for a moment.” Betty immediately went to the front desk to inquire about the rooms. After checking at the computer, Betty frowned. Due to several functions, the hotel seemed to be full of guests. The presidential suites have prior reservations and wouldn’t be available for one week. The rooms expected to become vacant would be after two days. Apart from the suites, all of the luxury and deluxe rooms were also reserved. There were only a few single rooms left. The business of the hotel seemed to be booming.
“Young Master, I’m sorry, but all the presidential suites are unavailable.” Betty said apologetically, “Can you please wait for a moment, Young Master? I’ll see what I can do.”
It didn’t take her much effort to find a way. Chuck was indeed Karen Lee’s precious son.
“There’s no need for it. Are there any empty luxury rooms?” Chuck shook his head. He wouldn’t want to affect the hotel’s reputation.
Betty hesitated. Chuck had called her personally, and he was a valuable friend, so she couldn’t let him down. “Young Master, do you think it’s alright if I make other arrangements for you?”
Betty thought that she could call in a favor. The standard there was also quite notable, and the Young Master would still be satisfied.
“Sure, go ahead.”
“Well, Young Master, please wait for a moment. I will call you again later.”
“Alright. Is there any table reserved for us for dinner at the hotel?” Chuck inquired.
“Yes, definitely, Young Master. Don’t worry.”
“Well, I’ll see you later.”
After hanging up the call, Chuck thought about meeting his ‘mother-in-law’ for the first time. He would undoubtedly leave a bad impression if he drove a sports car since such a vehicle equated to madness. He didn’t want his ‘mother-in-law’ to have the wrong notion about him.
He had to execute well. Chuck got out of his car, which surprised Zelda. “Don’t you want to drive?”
“This kind of car will make Auntie feel that I’m not mature enough. How can she be at ease to hand you over to me?” Chuck smiled.
Chuck’s statement blew Zelda away. His words were a little too direct, but she did not hate it. Chuck also felt that something was wrong with his words, so he added in a hurry, “Relax. I’m just kidding.”
Zelda smiled awkwardly. “Let’s use my car then.”
Chuck made no objections. He told Zelda that the hotel and the dinner venue were all set. Zelda nodded in acknowledgment. Besides, she would handle all the expenses.
Before leaving, Chuck dropped by the store and greeted the manager, asking if he could park his car there for an extra day. The manager politely consented. Chuck walked out of the building and got into Zelda’s car, Zelda drove Chuck to her restaurant.
At Zelda’s restaurant entrance, a Mercedes Benz slowly pulled up not far away from the restaurant. There were three women in their forties and fifties inside the car. One of them was Zelda’s mother, Manny Maine. She was the one sitting behind the wheel. Manny’s out t made her look serious and intimidating. Her two friends in the backseat seemed very different from her. They were gorgeously elegant. They had the look of mature women but wore clothes like young ladies. One of them wore a pair of stilettos, aviator sunglasses, and her hair looked stylish, dyed to a bluish hue. She donned a pair of hot pants, hiding her long legs that stretched for a mile while the other woman wore tight jeans.
Their scents were a combination of peach and vanilla, and an undeniable charm was evident in their eyes. The air smelled like blooming owers during springtime.
“Manny, how old is your son-in-law?” The woman in tight jeans asked Manny.
“I’m not sure. I only know that he’s quite rich.” Manny’s tone was gentle. She did not care about his fortune. She just didn’t want her daughter to be involved with a cheater. Her daughter was almost 30 years old. Manny would always worry about her daughter while she’s single.
“What do you mean rich? A few million dollars? Ten million dollars?” The woman in tight jeans couldn’t help asking.
“I guess it’s just about ten million dollars,” Manny said. Quincy Lowe didn’t tell her much. She just declared that her daughter Zelda already had a boyfriend.
“Isn’t that too little? Zelda has close to billions of dollars, right?” The woman in hot pants shook her head.
“How can it be then? Zelda is such a smart girl. She should at least nd a boyfriend who has hundreds of millions saved.”
”I think they’re on the same level. At least, it’s a perfect match. Don’t you think so?”
“My daughter doesn’t care about all this.” Manny knew her daughter very well.
“That’s a big deal. I’ve watched Zelda grow up. She’s so charming and smart.
Finding a guy like this will be a great loss for her.”
“Yes, I know some people here. I’ll hook her up with this guy later.”
While the two women chatted, Manny just being a mum. All she did was wait. After a while, Manny saw her daughter’s car approaching. Manny opened the door and got out of her car, and the two women also came out.
When they saw Zelda and Chuck, they immediately shook their heads. The woman in hot pants said, “Why did he come here in Zelda’s car? He doesn’t own one?”
“Not even a car? Is he a swindler? He’s worse than being poor. He doesn’t have any money at all!” The woman in tight jeans murmured. When Chuck and Zelda came over, the two women looked even more surprised.
“Manny, it’s over. Is Zelda’s boyfriend a teenager? Is he still a student?”
“Of course, he is either studying or working. Sigh, I think this kid must have cheated Zelda. He doesn’t even have a car, so he had to come here in his girlfriend’s car. He’s not someone Zelda could count on.”
The two women looked at Chuck and were instantly displeased.
Initially, Manny did not put her friends’ scornful words to heart. As long as her daughter liked the guy, she would be ne with anything. But now, something was wrong.
My dear daughter, you should have set a standard and limit in choosing someone to love. You should not burden yourself. He doesn’t even have a car, and you need to take him here. Both of you don’t even look like a good match. He looks younger than you by seven years. He must have other intentions. Manny’s expression shifted unpleasantly.
“How could Zelda nd such a boyfriend? Manny, talk some sense into your daughter. She’s young and beautiful, finding a more suitable boyfriend will be an easy thing for her.”
“Now, this kid is most likely living off Zelda. Sigh, people nowadays have no shame at all. We need to stop them now. If they sleep together and Zelda gets pregnant, then we’ll have a h.uge headache later.”
The two women kept on talking. Manny grew more afflicted with the things she heard. How can my daughter be with such a young kid? He’s too unreliable. I have to talk to her.
“Mom, Auntie Helen, Auntie Wanda.” Zelda came over with Chuck. She addressed them as ‘Auntie’s as they were her mother’s closest friends.
The three women stared at Chuck up and down. The woman with tight jeans folded her hands on her c.hest and rolled her eyes at Chuck. This kid knows how to present himself well. He’s handsome, quite young, fashionable, and almost the same age as the guy she would usually go for in a club. She could even say that people like him are suitable only for fun. If he wanted something else, there’s no way he could get it.
“This is my boyfriend, Chuck Cannon,” Zelda introduced with a smile.
“Hello, Aunties,” Chuck greeted them.
The more Manny looked at Chuck, the more grumpy she became. She frowned and nodded.
Zelda realized that her mother and two aunts were not happy. She also felt helpless, so to break the ice, she said, “Mom, aunties, let’s go eat dinner first. We’ve already booked a place for dinner.”
“Did you make the reservation, or did he do it? Manny asked.
“It’s Chuck’s decision, Mom.”
“Him? He didn’t pick a budget restaurant, did he? I heard that many cheap restaurants cook with dirty oil to save their costs.”
“That’s so disgusting. From the looks of him, he must’ve chosen a low-end restaurant. I won’t eat at such a place. I didn’t come all the way here just to greasy eat oil from a ditch.”
The two women shook their heads and became even more disappointed with Chuck. Manny scowled.
“Mom, Chuck reserved a good place,” Zelda said.
“Zelda, it’s not easy for us going here, so we can’t eat anything random, okay? Forget it. Just ask your boyfriend to cancel the reservation. I’m quite picky, let me decide on dinner.” The woman with hot pants shook her head in disbelief. She had been here last time, and a friend invited her to have dinner in a hotel. The hotel was of the highest standard, and the entrees were delicious. She wanted to go there. Otherwise, how nasty would it be if she ate a dish made with gutter oil?
“Auntie…” Zelda found herself unable to defend Chuck. Their actions made Chuck look bad, and she felt a little guilty.
“Let her decide,” Manny said. She knew that her two friends were very particular about this.
Zelda sobbed and said to Chuck, “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay.” Chuck didn’t mind. If he went somewhere else for a meal, he wouldn’t have to bother his mother’s hotel staff anymore.
“I’ve booked the place. Let’s go. The dishes there are very delicious, and the ingredients are fresh. You will feel safe and fulfilled if you eat them. It’s not something that a typical restaurant can rival with.” The woman with hot pants said while storing her VIP card at the same time. The woman intentionally glanced at Chuck.
I looked forward to nothing. I thought you would book an expensive hotel. Surprisingly, I have to pay for it myself. I’ll let you take advantage of me this time.
Let me show you what a good meal looks like.
“Get in the car.”
Manny sat in the car, and the two women followed her in.
“I’m truly sorry.” Zelda felt responsible for all the confusion and disgrace. Zelda thought that her mother might be frustrated with Chuck’s age, but she did not expect her mother and aunties to judge Chuck for having no money.
She never saw that coming. If she had known this, she should have let Chuck drive his newly bought BMW.
“I’m fine.” Chuck shook his head, opened the car door, and settled in.
Zelda sighed and followed suit. She had no clue about the restaurant her aunt had arranged.
Manny had already pulled away from the curb. Zelda also started the ignition and followed behind her mother’s car. She felt uncomfortable because she thought that her two aunts were so hateful towards Chuck. But why?
Chuck thought that since someone else had made a different plan, he would call Betty to cancel the preparations. His call got connected.
“Young Master, are you here already?” Betty’s voice sounded on the phone.
“No, I’m not coming. We will be going somewhere else to eat,” Chuck said.
“Okay, Young Master.”
On the other end of the line, Betty put down her mobile phone. She had just come out of the hotel’s kitchen. She thought there must be a Michelin restaurant in a ve-star hotel. Betty anticipated that Chuck was about to come over for dinner, so she deliberately brought out a bottle of Lafite 1982, three Australian lobsters, and prepared an exceptional cuisine for him and his guests.
Since Chuck canceled just now, she had to deal with these ingredients. She hesitated for a moment and went back to the kitchen.
“Hey, where are we headed?” The woman with tight jeans asked in the car.
“A ve-star hotel called Hotel Luna. The seafood there is superb and very gratifying.”
“That’s not bad. The restaurants in five-star hotels are usually exceptional.
They must be much better than the one planned by Zelda’s boyfriend.”
“You’re still talking about her boyfriend? We ended up having to book the restaurant ourselves. Damn.”
Manny did not say a word as she felt so humiliated. She sighed in her heart, thinking what a big disappointment her daughter’s boyfriend had been.
“Manny, that’s the hotel directly upfront. I’ve been there last time.” The woman with hot pants pointed to the exterior of the building.
“Okay.” Manny drove over the entrance, and a security guard immediately approached them with a smile. Manny felt relieved and followed the guard into a parking space.
“See, this place is way better. And this is how a ve-star service should be. This is the kind of high-end place where we should eat. I don’t want to eat anywhere else.”
“It’s not so bad. This hotel looks decent!” The two women were all praises, and they were also looking forward to it. After all, they were starving.
Chuck began to feel strange. “Is this the place that your aunt has selected? Isn’t this my mom’s hotel? What a coincidence!”
Chuck suddenly smiled. Zelda followed the security guard’s lead to the car park. She couldn’t contain her surprise as well. She had been here last time, but she did not expect to return after a few days. After parking the car, the two of them came down and walked toward Zelda’s mother and her aunties.
The ve of them went straight inside. The hotel’s restaurant was next to the main entrance. The hotel looked modern, and there was a receptionist at the door to welcome them with a smile.
“Are there five of you?” the receptionist asked politely.
“Yes, there’s ve of us. I’ve put a reservation on the phone just now.” The woman with hot pants said.
“Okay. You’re Miss Wanda?” the receptionist inquired gently.
“Yes, I’m a member here. I came here last time.” The woman with hot pants said proudly.
“Yes, we have reserved seats for you.. Please come in.” The receptionist took them inside with Chuck following at the back.
“Wow, business here is good.” The woman with tight jeans looked impressed.
“That’s right. You can’t nd a seat if you’re not a member here.” The woman with hot pants said. When she was on the phone just now, the receptionist said there were no seats left. Still, she immediately reserved seats for the group after the woman mentioned her membership number.
When they reached their table, everybody sat down, and the waiter began to introduce the menu. Chuck looked around and thought, “This is terrific. My mother is so good at managing the hotel. All the staff assists the customers with a ready smile. How did she do this? I’ll have to ask her about this later.”
“Zelda, what do you want to eat?” The woman with hot pants asked.
“Chuck, have a look,” Zelda said.
“Forget it, I’ll decide for everyone.” The woman in hot pants grabbed the menu and thought, “Let him order? What if he orders something expensive? He should already be grateful that he can eat here.”
The woman carefully studied the menu for a while and ordered the dishes. The waitress took the list and said, “Kindly wait for your orders.”
Then she immediately went to the kitchen. However, when she turned around, she suddenly noticed Chuck. This guy looked so familiar. She subconsciously thought about it and was immediately shocked. This guy was the one at the banquet last time. The waitress immediately went to look for Manager Bernard.
“The seafood here is very delicious. You should eat more of it later. After all, someone may not have been here in this kind of place.” The woman with hot pants snickered with a hint of sarcasm in her tone.
The woman with tight jeans smirked, but Manny ushed in distress. She grew even more cautious for her daughter to nd such a boyfriend.
Zelda was raving mad, but Chuck didn’t mind it at all.
The waitress came out of the kitchen and happened to see Betty.
“Madam, the man from before has come,” the waitress said in a low voice.
“The man? Who?” Betty Bernard followed the waitress in confusion. When she saw Chuck from a distance, she felt a sudden alarm. “Why did the Young Master come here? Who ordered their food just now?”
“A woman named Miss Wanda. She’s a member here,” said the waitress.
Betty took a look at their orders. All the dishes were typical courses. She commanded, “Call the kitchen staff to prepare the three Australian lobsters. We’ll bring them over later. Also, go to the cellar and bring the Lafite 1982 here. Remember to chill the wine now.”
Manny and her two best friends kept staring at Chuck. Her two friends were really mad at Chuck, the more they looked at him. Manny decided to remain silent, and soon, the dishes were served. All kinds of seafood smelled incredibly tempting.
“Mom, aunties, please help yourself,” Zelda said. As a restaurateur herself, she was quite satisfied with the dishes she saw on the table. It was all very appetizing. She served shrimps to Manny and two of her aunties. She also served one into Chuck’s bowl and then whispered, “Eat more.”
Chuck was stunned at first. But he knew if a gorgeous lady served him food, he must eat them and so he did straight away.
Zelda was a bit weirded out. That move made it seem… a little too intimate! She had never personally picked up food for any men before, but it felt good to do it for the first time. Zelda watched Chuck as he ate, and it reminded her of the time they k!ssed. Did this mean that they were k!ssing indirectly then?
Manny frowned at the sight of their intimate gesture. She had thought that they were not a good match, so she certainly would not allow her daughter to continue to fall further into this abyss.
“Girl, what does Chuck do for a living?” Manny asked.
The lady with tight jeans and the lady with hot pants looked up immediately at Chuck. What could he be doing for a living? He didn’t even have a car, so what else could he do for a living? He must either be a nine to five salaried worker or an unemployed loser.
“I’m still studying,“ Chuck responded.
Zelda, who was about to say something, was startled.
“Still studying?” Manny was getting even more upset. Their age gap was too h.uge, that would mean almost a seven or eight years difference.
“No wonder. So Zelda, how did you guys know each other?” The woman with tight jeans asked with a smile.
“Maybe they met each other through his part-time job.” The woman with hot pants said.
“If that’s the case, doesn’t that mean the employee is now dating his boss?” Manny felt even more embarrassed. “Oh my, what are you doing, my dear daughter?”
“No, he wasn’t a part-timer at my restaurants.” Zelda was angry. Yet, she could not show it too openly because they were her elders, after all. She had to be respectful.
“No? Then how did you get to know each other?” The woman with tight jeans added, “Well, Zelda, I didn’t mean to be asking too much. So if that’s the case, can I ask where the place he just reserved for dinner is then?”
“Exactly, this shouldn’t be a problem, right? I really want to know what kind of place he has reserved for us! Will it be more high class than this place?” The woman in hot pants was very ‘curious’ while enjoying the seafood.
Now that she knew Chuck was a student, she was even more convinced of her opinion. She thought that Chuck must have reserved a table at a low-class restaurant. How could they be dining at a restaurant that costs less than a hundred bucks per pax? It was too cheap!
Fortunately, she had booked this restaurant way ahead. Otherwise, she’d probably get a stomach ache if she dined at those kinds of cheap places. The woman in hot pants was frightened at this thought and realized she had made the right choice.
The more Manny looked at Chuck, the more she found Chuck less pleasing to the eye.
Zelda was really helpless.
“The place I booked was…” Chuck paused as he saw the waiter was coming their way to serve some food.
“Where was it? Why didn’t you finish your sentence? The place you booked was? Was it here?” The woman with hot pants said disdainfully.
“Do you know how expensive the food is here? It would cost around seven thousand dollars for their meal from what she just ordered. How could a student like you book a place like this?”
“How generous! This place is very expensive. I doubt that even if you pooled your month’s worth of living expenses, could you afford a meal here.” The woman in tight jeans sneered.
Manny frowned, “Tell us then, where exactly did you book?”
“Here. This was the place I booked,” Chuck said.
Zelda was surprised since she thought that Chuck had chosen other restaurants.
However, Manny’s face turned cold, and she was very unhappy.
The woman with hot pants sneered. “What a coincidence that you’ve chosen this place too!”
Her tone was particularly harsh when she said “coincidence”.
“Yea, what a coincidence! For bookings like this in a ve-star place, they always ask for your membership card. Since you said you’ve booked this place, why don’t you show me your membership card then?”
Chuck shook his head. He did not have a membership card.
“If you don’t have a membership card, how did you make a reservation then?
Stop bragging!” The woman in hot pants shook her head disdainfully.
“Can’t I make a reservation without a membership card?” Chuck asked.
“You don’t even understand the rules of the restaurants in a ve-star hotel, so please stop lying, could you? Who do you think you are to be able to book a place like this with a simple phone call? Are you kidding me?”
“That’s right. The hotel management needs to avoid prank calls. So to book a place like this, you need to either know someone internally or be a membership cardholder, alright?”
“He doesn’t look like he understands anything. It’s not that shameful to be telling the truth, so then why are you lying? Even if you’re lying, you could’ve made up a better story. Young man, is that how you lied to Zelda?” The woman in tight jeans said.
“Men these days love to live on women’s support. They only say sweet things and don’t really put effort into getting a proper job. These guys are useless. Zelda, for your own good, I advise you to revise your decision! Finding a boyfriend is a matter of your lifelong happiness. You can’t just take it lightly.”
Manny was getting angrier and angrier as she listened to their conversation. She was extremely embarrassed. She pounded the table, stood up, and said, “I’m done!”
“Mom!” Zelda hurriedly stood up.
“Why would you get a boyfriend like him? I’m very disappointed in you!” Manny shook her head.
“Mom, Chuck is…”
“What’s with Chuck? I will ignore his young age, but he’s full of nonsense too. Tell me, how is he reliable at all?” Manny was really upset. Her daughter was an outstanding young woman, so how could she have fallen in love with a good-for-nothing like him?
“Mom, you misunderstood. Chuck has…”
“Has what?” Manny glared at Zelda. “Let me tell you something. I hate people who lie the most. He’s not honest! You can’t rely on people like this! He said he had reserved a table here. So, where’s the membership card? I’ll believe you if he shows it!”
“Oh Manny, he doesn’t have it. So how is he ever going to be able to show it? He’s just pretending and lying. Seeing how I’ve chosen such a good place, he decided to lie as well. But he’s not good at lying because he doesn’t even know how it all works here! We’ve unveiled his lies!”
The woman with hot pants said disdainfully.
The woman with tight jeans also sneered. “It couldn’t really be like what I thought earlier that he was a male prost!tute, right?”
“Show it. Ask him to show it!” Manny was aggressive.
The two women were watching how the show was going to go on. No matter what, they could not let Zelda be with a loser like this.
“Isn’t it an absolute mismatch for a talented woman to be with a conman?”
Zelda sighed and turned around to apologize to Chuck. And right at this moment, three waiters brought forward the three plates of lobsters. The smell was phenomenal! There was even a waiter who brought over a bottle of red wine.
“Please enjoy your food!” The waiter said politely.
Manny and the other two stood stunned. The woman in hot pants was taken aback. Who ordered these three lobsters? She didn’t order them, and that wine… The woman in hot pants picked up the bottle doubtfully. It was a 1982 Lafite Rothschild, an authentic one, in fact!
“We didn’t order these things!” She said.
“Yes, it was pre-ordered by this gentleman.” The waiter said respectfully while looking at Chuck.
“What? He actually a table here?”
Those three women were absolutely shocked. How could this be possible? The three Australian lobsters in this humongous size would cost several thousand. But the highlight was the bottle of red wine. It was the authentic 1982 Lafite, Rothschild.
It was one of those priceless wines in the market. It was even marked at eight thousand dollars a bottle at one point. Now that it’s sold in a ve-star hotel, it would at least cost more than a hundred thousand dollars! Did he really book all these? The three women couldn’t believe it!
Zelda was stunned. Did Chuck know the boss of this place? Since he said he didn’t have a membership card, he must be an acquaintance of some sort.
“Did he really book this place?” Manny asked seriously.
“Yes, this gentleman is a VIP to our hotel,” The waiter said respectfully.
Manny looked at Chuck again, and the woman in hot pants immediately said, “Oh, I know now, you must be spending Zelda’s money with all the expensive food you ordered, right?”
“Exactly, this guy doesn’t even have a car. How could he have the money to order all these expensive foods? You’re just showing off with a woman’s money!” The woman in tight jeans said in an even more disdainful tone. That must have been it. How shameless!
Manny frowned. If this was really the case, she would be really disappointed with her daughter. How could she have fallen in love with someone like this? Were there no other men in the world?
Manny and both her friends kept staring at Chuck Cannon. How shameless of him! How could he feel so great about using a woman’s money?
“Men these days are all so thick-skinned?”
“Auntie, don’t say that Chuck is not like what you said.” Zelda was getting frustrated.
The woman in hot pants tried to convince her. “Zelda, stop talking. We are here to help you. We’re more experienced in this eld than you. We can tell what he wants to do with all these small gestures. Has he been sweet-talking to you, right? Don’t trust him, just break up with him! I’ll nd you someone that is a hundred times better than him.”
“Yes, Zelda, this kid is just pretending to be rich with your money, yet still acting so bold. How shameless can he be?”
“You…” Zelda was furious. However, Chuck reached out and patted her hands, indicating that she should not be angry.
Zelda felt helpless and was on the verge of breaking down. Her heart was filled with guilt. After all, she was the one who had begged Chuck to come over. Now that he was being attacked by her two aunties, she was absolutely apologetic for Chuck.
Chuck looked at them and said calmly, “No, I don’t need to pay to eat here!” Manny was even more furious!
The woman in tight jeans sneered, “Haha! That’s so funny. You really don’t realize how much nonsense you’re talking. How do you even say such things? Well, since you said you don’t need to pay to eat here, tell me then, who are you, and why don’t you need to pay to eat here?”
“Don’t bother, he definitely doesn’t have an answer for it. I told you he was just bragging. This meal is worth thousands of dollars. Do you think you really don’t have to pay? Who do you think you are?”
The woman in hot pants sneered. How ridiculous! She definitely wouldn’t believe Chuck Cannon’s words.
“It’s true that this gentleman doesn’t need to pay to eat here.” Someone announced from afar. Betty Bernard, who was wearing a work uniform, walked over.
The three women frowned altogether.
Zelda was quite surprised. She had seen Betty before. She was the woman in suit from the banquet last time who brought in hundreds of people with a mere snap. Was she the manager here? Did Chuck know the owner of this hotel?
“Is she Chuck’s friend?” Zelda wondered.
“Young…” Betty looked at Chuck respectfully, but Chuck waved his hand instead. Betty understood it immediately and suppressed the “Master” that she was about to say.
“May I know if you have any comments about our services?” Betty asked with a calm face.
“Who is he?” Manny asked.
“An esteemed guest, he is the VIP of our hotel!” Betty said.
Manny and the ladies were becoming more suspicious. “Is that even true?” The woman in hot pants looked at Chuck a few more times. If he was the VIP of the hotel, why would he not have a car? She was ridiculed.
“And there is no need to pay for all this food and wine?” The woman with tight jeans asked tentatively. After all, that was a meal worth so much money. What kind of VIP could get everything free of charge?
“Yes, this gentleman doesn’t need to pay for any expenses here,” Betty answered. This time, Manny and the two ladies were in absolute disbelief by Betty’s answer. Was Chuck really a friend to the hotel’s owner?
“Do you still have any questions?”
“Ok, please enjoy yourself.” Betty gave Chuck a slight nod and left the room.
Manny and the ladies continued staring at Chuck again.
“Mom, come on, let’s eat.” Zelda breathed a sigh of relief and gave Chuck a grateful look. Chuck shook his head.
Manny and the ladies took a glance at each other. They started eating but behaved a little bit more cautious this time.
Chuck had never tried a lobster this big before either, so he indulged himself in it. After a satisfying meal, the woman in hot pants looked at the bottle of red wine that has yet to finish, she asked, “There’s still half of this wine left. Don’t waste it. Can you help me ask if I can take it home?”
“Sure you can,” Chuck said flatly.
She put it away that instant. The woman in tight jeans envied her and added softly that she would drink it later in the evening.
“Let’s go then.” The woman in hot pants said. She was a little nervous. “This meal costs two hundred thousand dollars. Can we really leave just like this?”
“Yes, Auntie, let’s go.” Zelda nodded.
The five of them came out of the hotel. Manny and the ladies were dubious of what just happened. The lady in tight jeans became nervous as she saw Betty chasing after them. “We’re done for now. Is she asking us to pay?”
But to her surprise, Betty only said something in Chuck’s ear. Chuck nodded slightly, and then Betty returned after asking him to be careful. There was no mention of money in the process. It was a free meal, for real!
Manny and the ladies were taken aback once again! Who exactly was Chuck Cannon?
“The accommodation is all ready,” Chuck said. Betty had chased after them earlier because of this, but it sounded like they were going to stay in the woods of some sort. Probably some kind of wilderness resort. He had never been there himself either.
“Then let’s get some rest tonight and see how it goes tomorrow,” suggested the lady in tight jeans.
Manny and the other lady nodded. They made sure to get in the car with Zelda and keep an eye on her.
Zelda and Chuck got in the car and asked where they were going. Chuck responded, “The Hill Hotel!”
Zelda was stunned. She has heard of this place before, but she had never been there, and it sounded like a decent place. With the navigation all set, she started driving to their destination….
Manny followed behind them in another seat.
“Who exactly is Zelda’s boyfriend?” The woman in hot pants could no longer hold back her curiosity.
“Maybe he is, in fact, quite rich, but he doesn’t really have a car, so maybe not that rich. It’s always connections that pull strings.” The woman in tight jeans suggested.
“No wonder. I really don’t believe that a ve-star hotel can allow a free meal no matter what you order. His parents probably know the owner of this hotel, that’s why. Of course, it’s ne to let these young lads dine in for free a few times, but I won’t believe that they can do this all the time. It was over 100,000 dollars for just one meal, who would really allow that?”
“That’s for sure. See, we had a free meal at the hotel earlier, but not a free room. If everything was free of charge, why didn’t he get us rooms at Hotel Luna just now? Why bother with the commute? From my analysis, he could only get these free experiences once or twice. Just like using credit cards, he has overused the card with that expensive meal this time, and since the owner couldn’t really say anything, it meant the chances of this happening for the second time would be nearly impossible.”
The two young women kept on muttering and looking as disdainful as ever. Manny remained silent. She just felt that Chuck had surprised her a little. At least he wasn’t lying just now.
“Look, am I right? He really isn’t that rich. He’s booked us a place so hidden in the woods. Is this some kind of national park?” The woman in hot pants complained while shaking her head.
“This is such a lousy place. It’s packed with so many random people. Is it even safe to be staying here? If I had known earlier, I would have booked a place on my own. You’ve changed my thoughts on you earlier, yet you’ve turned it back to ground zero once again, how frustrating…”
The two women kept on muttering. Without saying a word, Manny followed her daughter into the hotel. There were very few people there. It was a resort of some sort. Manny was also getting disappointed. Sure enough, he was not that great, after all! Otherwise, he wouldn’t have booked a place like this. She sighed.
“Damn it. We have to be extra cautious at night. Oh my god, this place is so remote. Please don’t tell me that there’s no wi- connection here.”
“Do you think there is? This is literally the middle of nowhere, like some sort of national park. How would you expect there to be wi-fi? Just use your phone data. Oh my, how disappointing. I really hate staying in these kinds of places! Am I a farmer or something?”
The two women muttered away with tones full of disdain and dissatisfaction. Manny didn’t say anything. The three got out of the car and followed her daughter in. She was quite tired after the whole day out, and she was somewhat getting sleepy.
The hotel receptionist arranged the stay for the three of them. Zelda informed them that she would pick them up for breakfast the next morning. Manny and the ladies nodded and followed the receptionist in.
Chuck had a look around and thought this place was rather decent and elegant.
Betty seemed to have a good eye.
“Let me send you back,” Zelda said.
Chuck agreed. He got into Zelda’s car and watched Zelda as she drove. When he fixed his eyes on her long legs that were perfectly revealed as she was wearing shorts, Chuck had some imagination going on, especially from the photos he had seen lately of Lara Jean and Yvette Jordan’s behinds. Chuck could feel something wrong going on down there. So he attempted to cover it with his hand over a cough.
It made Zelda feel embarrassed. She could see Chuck’s reaction through the corner of her eyes. Of course, she knew what Chuck was hiding? Young men these days, how energetic are they exactly? Yet, she pretended nothing had happened and carried on driving.
After a while, Chuck suddenly asked, “Sister Zelda, can you please help me?”
Zelda suddenly froze. “Help? What do you want me to do for you?”
All of a sudden, the car became dead quiet. Chuck was a bit clueless. Why was Zelda looking at him like that?
Chuck wanted Zelda’s help so that she could speak to Yvette to get her to open up. He wanted Zelda to, from time to time, give Yvette some advice. And in the meantime, help him to ask Yvette what she thought of him.
The two of them had met over a meal and seemed to have had a good chat after all. Moreover, since they were both women and Zelda was a smart lady, it wouldn’t be too hard for her to ask those questions. Then it should be rather easy for Zelda to get the answer Chuck wants. Chuck wanted Zelda to help him out about Yvette, but Zelda seemed a bit confused.
She remained silent for a few seconds as if she was battling with herself internally. Eventually, she sighed and parked the car on the quiet roadside and unfastened her seat belt.
Then she reached out her hand….
Chuck was absolutely stunned. What was she going to do? He was dumbfounded. Two minutes later.
Zelda pulled out a few tissue papers and did not say a word. Within twenty seconds, she wrapped the tissues in a plastic bag, stepped out of the car, and threw the bag away. When she returned, she buckled up her seat belt and drove away slowly without saying a word.
Zelda didn’t say a word throughout the whole process, as if it didn’t happen. But what Chuck experienced earlier… was indescribable. Chuck lowered his head to look at his pants. He was stunned and suddenly felt embarrassed. He didn’t expect that Zelda would misunderstand what he meant and actually help him out with this ‘issue’. Besides, it all happened too fast. Would Zelda look down on him from now on?
Chuck was very confused and nervous. This was a man’s dignity, after all. What sort of feelings did he really have for Zelda? Chuck couldn’t quite figure it out himself. In fact, the two times Chuck had k!ssed Zelda, he could still remember how it felt very clearly. And Chuck did dream of her later on. It was a vivid dream. When Chuck first saw Zelda, her ladylike charm attracted him completely. Chuck might have had some feelings for Zelda since. Besides, he had k!ssed her and touched her. Chuck had memorized those feelings. But did he really fancy her?
He was still confused. Anyway, the first thing that came to Chuck’s mind every night was Yvette. Chuck felt a little guilty with that thought. “Is this considered cheating?”
But for what just happened, it was impossible for Yvette to nd out. Chuck would definitely not tell anyone, and Zelda, who was still remaining quiet, would definitely not tell either. Those two minutes from earlier had now become a secret between Chuck and Zelda only. And it was a secret that could never be shared.
However, when Chuck stole a glance at Zelda, he found that she was as calm as a millpond as if nothing had happened at all. She was still driving, with safe and stable speed. Chuck heaved a sigh of relief. Zelda must have just taken him as a younger brother, and she was just helping to solve the issue without much thought of it. After all, she was one who believed in remaining single.
When the car arrived at the residential neighborhood, they got out of the car, entered the elevator, and came out together. No word was spoken throughout that whole process. It was extremely quiet. It was rather…..
Chuck couldn’t hold it any longer, “Sister Zelda, tomorrow….”
“Yea, I’ll call you tomorrow morning. I might have to bother you for another day, so please get some rest.” Zelda entered her home as she spoke.
Soon, Chuck heard the sound of the door opening and closing. Zelda has returned to her own home. Chuck was silent for a moment. He entered his own house and went in to take a good bath. He recalled that experience that Zelda gave him earlier. It was so incredible. He thought, “So am I considered as her ‘friend with bene ts’ now?”
Chuck was a little anxious and nervous. After a long time of hesitation, he laid on his bed and went straight to sleep.
The night passed by in a blink. When Chuck got up in the morning, he still had to pretend to be Zelda’s boyfriend, at least until her mother had gone back. Since he didn’t have Yvette’s class today, and because exams were approaching, there weren’t as many classes anymore. So he could still be hanging around for Zelda for another two days or so.
As he opened the door, Zelda was already waiting at the door. Why didn’t she just knock? Zelda seemed to be on holiday today, so she was dressed quite casually. A T-shirt plus some tight yoga pants showed off her perfect body. She had her hair tied up, and some light makes it upon. Somehow she lost her mature ladylike look and transformed into a h!p and fresh young graduate overnight!
Chuck was quite impressed, but he couldn’t help looking at the hand that Zelda used to “help” him in the car yesterday. Her gorgeous hand felt incredible!
“Sister Zelda,” Chuck called out.
“Yes.” Zelda pressed a b.utton for the elevator. The two of them waited for the elevator. There was no change in her expression. She seemed to be acting like nothing had happened yesterday.
Chuck thought to himself, “If I tell her again tonight, Sister Zelda, can you help me out? What kind of reaction would she have? Would she help him without saying a word, just like last night?”
To be honest, Chuck was a little excited. They took the elevator and went to the parking lot. Then Chuck’s phone started ringing. He had a look at it. It was Yolanda calling and said that something was going on at the square. She wanted Chuck to go over and check it out.
Chuck hesitated for a moment since he was supposed to accompany Zelda. “Do you have something to do? Then just go ahead. I will bring my mother and aunties around today. You did a great job yesterday.” Zelda said as she saw Chuck’s hesitation.
Chuck thought for a moment. “Why don’t we have dinner together tonight?”
“Yea, anything would do.” Zelda agreed and asked Chuck where he was going.
She could drive him there.
Chuck refused with a head shake since her mother was staying somewhere quite far away. There was no need for her to do that.
“Well, I’ll call you tonight then,” Zelda said.
“Sure.” Chuck went out straight away and halted a taxi to go to the plaza.
Zelda stood there silently and watched for a while and eventually drove away to fetch her mother.
At the Hill Hotel, Manny and the ladies had already gotten up and left their room.
“Did you sleep well last night?”
“So-so. It’s a bit quiet to be so far away from the city. The air is better. Nothing too impressive. It’s not even convenient for some simple shopping.”
“Yeah, I think it’s not convenient to stay here too. It’s too remote, but the bed is quite soft. There is wi- here too, surprisingly. But there’s nothing else worth mentioning since it’s probably some of those rooms that cost less than a few hundred bucks per night. Cheap stuff!”
The two young ladies shook their heads as they spoke about their opinions towards the hotel. Neither of them approved of it. Manny felt it was quite acceptable on the contrary. It felt like returning to nature, and she had gotten some proper sleep last night.
“We’ll go to the city later and have a good look around.”
“Yea, it’s too boring to be staying in places like this. I’ve been longing to go out.”
“Why don’t we have breakfast here? My daughter just called and said she’s almost here,” Manny suggested. She saw that there was a restaurant downstairs. It wasn’t too luxurious, but quite minimalist, in fact. It was just breakfast, so there was no need to be so picky.
“Forget it. I’m not going to have breakfast in a place like this. It’s so far away from everything else, and I don’t think they would even have clean water. It’s all muddy water from the mountains. How do we eat food cooked like that? Our tummies will get upset.”
“I think it’s better to eat elsewhere. The food here would be terrible.”
The two women shook their heads, so Manny had no choice but to agree. The three of them went out to wait. Zelda arrived after a while. When Zelda was about to get out of the car, the two women shook their heads immediately and said, “No need to get off your car. Let’s go now.”
“There seems to be free breakfast provided here, why don’t…” Zelda said.
“How can we eat in such a place? Let’s go to the city and have a proper meal.” The two women said as they entered the car. Zelda was quite clueless about what to do. And then they finally realized something.
“Hey, Zelda, where’s your boyfriend?” Asked the woman with tight jeans.
Manny was wondering too, how come he was not here?
“He has something to do today, so he will join us at night,” Zelda said while reversing her car.
Those three women had a look at each other. Manny sat in the car. The two women were annoyed and muttered with disdain.
“Not coming? I was right yesterday, wasn’t I? He must be afraid that we would go to the hotel last night again, and since he couldn’t get another free meal from the hotel, he came out with some reasons not to come.”
“I think so too. We had already spent so much money yesterday. It’s impossible to get another free meal today. Being all so pretentious, did he think we really couldn’t tell?”
The two women were complaining about the fact that Chuck didn’t join them.
“Who the hell does he think he is? Did he think we are some fools?”
“Exactly. He purposely didn’t come because he was afraid that we would expose his lies yesterday! How can he say that he doesn’t need to pay in hotels like that, but went missing after that? How hilarious?”
Without saying a word, Manny sighed and drove back to the city with Zelda. When they arrived in the city, Zelda found a dine for breakfast. They ordered the daily specials and had a wonderful breakfast.
“This is a real breakfast. These dishes are so exquisite! There are even custard buns. Look at them, so delicious.”
“Exactly, this is delicious. I suspect the free breakfast in our hotel would’ve been some basic buns and baked beans. It can’t compare with what we’re having here for sure.”
“Absolutely, what did you expect from a free breakfast? It‘s so much more enjoyable to be spending money on the food we actually enjoy, with so many varieties. Oh, I also want another custard bun. It’s so delicious.”
The two women kept on complimenting the food. They spent almost an hour just for breakfast. They left the restaurant after Zelda paid.
“Zelda, take us to the largest shopping plaza here. We want to look around and maybe do some shopping. Do you know how bored I was last night? There was nowhere else to go at night where we stayed. How disappointing!” The woman with hot pants said.
“Well, let’s hop in the car then,” Zelda thought for a moment and said.
“Oh wait, I saw a plaza on the map on my phone. It’s very close to us, and it takes only ten minutes to walk there. Why don’t we go to this place first and have a look around? We’re quite full now, so let’s walk around.” The woman in tight jeans seemed to be in a good mood, so she looked it up on her phone and suggested so.
“Let me see.”
The woman in hot pants approached and immediately disagreed. “City Square? This name sounds so common. It must be some small and cheap place. I guess nothing is interesting there. What’s there to shop? Can’t we be there for just some cheap cafe or KFC right? It would be a complete waste of time, why go there?”
She was very dissatisfied and unwilling.
“The name is very common, yes, but it’s super close by. Since we’ve just eaten, let’s go for a short walk. Look at my tummy, that muffin top is all coming out. Let’s do some exercise.”
“Really? Then my muffin top is out too. Well then, I’ll take it as a way to help with digestion. But if there are no branded items, we will come back straight away, ok? I don’t want to waste time in that kind of place.”
“Okay.” The two women immediately decided to go to City Square as a form of exercise. Manny didn’t have any objections. She agreed that they should all go for a walk after the meal.
Zelda was stunned. “To City Square?” She took a look at the place, it was quite close indeed. How did she even end up there without realizing it?
“Zelda, why are you still standing there? Hurry up.” The woman in hot pants urged her.
Zelda came to her senses and strode over in her long legs. Soon, all of them arrived at the City Square. The two women looked at each other and were immediately disappointed.
“What? So small? There are only five storeys, it’s not even a third of the size of Wonder Plaza. There’s not even an office building. Just look at it. It’s so ugly. This plaza is too low-class.”
“That’s right. This is the most useless place I’ve ever been to. Forget it. Anyway, we’re done walking and moving around. Let’s go back and drive to the biggest shopping plaza. It’s just going to be a waste of time to be staying here.” The two women complained again.
“This plaza is actually quite interesting. Let’s go in and take a walk,” Zelda said as she looked around.
“What’s so interesting about it? Chanel, Versace, and Gucci, none of these branded stores are here. What’s there to shop then? In my opinion, I don’t think there is even Estee Lauder in there. Just some random stupid brands in there, so there’s literally nothing to shop for.” The woman in tight jeans shook her head disdainfully.
“Are you kidding me? You want me to waste my time here? I might as well go home and sleep,” Zelda felt helpless.
“Why don’t we go in and take a look?” Manny suddenly said.
“What’s wrong with you, Manny? Do you really want to enter this lousy plaza?” The woman with hot pants was puzzled. The three of them often went shopping, always in big shopping malls. Every time, they would spend a couple tens of thousands of dollars. But in a lousy mall like this, even if they spent the whole day shopping and bought all the things they wanted, they probably couldn’t spend enough money.
“Yes, let’s just go somewhere else. Since we’ve walked so much, everything must be digested by now.”
“But wait, I have a stomach ache. I want to use the toilet,” Manny said awkwardly.
The two women looked at each other and smiled.
“If that’s the case, then I’ll go in and use the toilet as well.”
“I’ll go too. This kind of garbage plaza is only suitable for using the toilet. I won’t go in unless I need the toilet. By the way, are there any toilet tissues in your bag? It’s a big difference compared to the high-end malls. Beware that there may be no toilet paper in the toilets.”
“Yea I have some. Even if they had toilet paper, I wouldn’t dare use it either. Who knows what trash toilet papers they use there? What if I get an allergic reaction afterward?”
“That’s right. What good toilet paper do you expect to have in this kind of place?” The three women walked into City Square. Zelda had no choice but to follow them.
Chuck entered Yolanda Lane’s office. In the past few days, the investment funds pumped into the plaza had been getting more significant. There were a lot of construction projects, renovation, cleaning facility upgrades, and so on. It was getting much better than before. It felt comfortable to be growing at this pace. However, the money that he gave Yolanda before was almost used up. Chuck was very satisfied. Yolanda had spent all his money wisely. She had used the least money to achieve the greatest results. So it was an absolutely sound decision to let Yolanda be the manager of the plaza.
But in a few days, he would have to ask for more money from his mother again. Otherwise, the funds would run out, but there were still so many things to do for the plaza. Otherwise, it would be very difficult to attract those big brands to come in and set up shop. If there were not many good brands, the plaza would not stand a chance to be popular.
This was the biggest headache for Chuck and Yolanda at the moment. Yolanda had already come up with a lot of proposals. They had discussed for some time and decided to follow Yolanda’s design. Her method was quite novel, and so they hoped it would work.
“Let’s do as you say,” Chuck said.
“Thank you.” Yolanda smiled. Chuck had given her the greatest authority here, and she was very happy with it. She eagerly wanted to bring in the crowd to the plaza as soon as possible.
But at this time, the walkie-talkie on the table made a sound. The voice sounded quite anxious. “Manager, manager, come to the second floor. Something happened.”
“Wait a minute, I’ll be right there!” Yolanda’s face suddenly changed. She stood up immediately with the walkie-talkie.
Chuck was also surprised. He followed Yolanda out. As the plaza boss, he couldn’t turn a blind eye to things that were happening there! The two of them went downstairs straight away. On the second floor elevator, people gathered around and were having fervent discussions. Someone seemed to be lying on the ground in pain.
“What’s wrong with her?”
“She seemed to have tripped over earlier. She kept asking to see the person in charge of the plaza and said that the facilities installed here have caused her to trip over.”
“Oh, was the fall serious?”
“Quite. She can’t even get up, so I guess the plaza’s boss is going to get into some serious trouble.”
The onlookers were discussing. The middle-aged woman lying on the ground was wailing, “What the hell! This garbage place! How can you make someone fall down from shopping? It’s really painful… The boss is such a coward! I want to see him!”
The security guard had come over and wanted to help the lady up. The lady refused.
“Tell your boss to come over. I want to nd out from him what kind of garbage place this is!”
“Madam, please get up first. We’ll take you to the hospital first.” The security guard was rather helpless.
“What Fvcking hospital! Did you think you can just send me to the hospital and get me over with? Ask your boss to come here!”
Among the crowd, Yolanda and Chuck squeezed in. Yolanda immediately walked over and said, “Hello, I am the manager of the plaza. Please allow us to send you to the hospital first.”
There were too many people on the scene. She had to solve the problem as soon as possible. Otherwise, it would bring a bad reputation to the plaza.
“You’re the manager, right? I was walking fine, but then I’ve been tripped over by your lousy facilities. My entire body is in so much pain right now, and my bones feel like they are about to break. What’s the point of running such a lousy place? Aren’t you just trying to hurt people?” The lady who was lying on the ground yelled in pain.
“Please, we’ll talk about it when you get up. We’ll send you to the hospital first,” Yolanda said.
“Do I look like I can still fvcking get up? My bones are almost broken.” The lady shouted angrily.
Yolanda frowned. She could tell that the lady was doing it on purpose.
Yolanda reached out to check the lady’s body, but she was smacked away as soon as she approached. Her hand even got all red and swollen with that smack.
“You’re not even a fvcking doctor. Why are you touching me?” The lady scolded in pain.
“Come on, what garbage plaza is this? You can make people trip over during their shopping. How would people want to come here for shopping? Don’t come here, everyone. Maybe you will be the next one to fall!” The lady yelled from the floor.
“Exactly, there are a few places in the plaza that are undergoing construction at the moment, everywhere is like a mess, it’s very dangerous for shoppers, in fact.”
“I remember someone fell down last year too, and he broke one of his legs that time. I can’t believe they’re still not changing the safety measures after how serious that case was. See, someone fell down again today. Your boss is really too irresponsible. No matter what, I won’t come again next time.”
“Me too. I’m here to shop, not to be hospitalized. So I’m not coming anymore.”
The onlookers were talking loudly, and many people declared that they didn’t want to come to the plaza anymore either. Yolanda was frowning, even more, this time around. She was going to call the police to sort this out since there were surveillance cameras installed all around. She couldn’t allow the crowd to be here any longer.
“Call the police!” Yolanda said to the security guard who was standing by her side. The security guard took out his phone that instant. And then the lady who was still sitting on the floor started to cry even louder. “This lousy place made me fall down, don’t come here anymore! Just don’t come here anymore…”
“Please stop this, madam. Everything is under surveillance.” Yolanda’s tone was very cool.
“A lousy place with a rubbish boss!” The lady continued to yell and ignored what Yolanda just said. In a short while, more and more people were stopping by to watch.
Manny and the ladies came out of the bathroom. “Look, what’s the matter over there? Why are there so many people?” The woman in hot pants was puzzled.
“Something must have happened.”
“Isn’t it normal since this place is so lousy?” The woman in tight jeans said disdainfully.
“Let’s go and have a look.”
“Yea let’s go, I also want to see what’s going on.”
The three women went over there.
“By the way, Manny, where is Zelda?”
“She just received a call from the restaurant and went out to talk.”
“Oh, that’s great. If she’s on the call, let’s go over and have a look.” The three women squeezed in through the crowd. Suddenly, the two women were stunned, even Manny was shocked too.
“Why is Zelda’s boyfriend here?”
“Listen to me, everybody. This plaza’s lousy facilities caused me to trip over, and then now they’re forcing me to go to the hospital. I am supposed to be healthy and pain-free, but now my whole body hurts. Did I deserve this? Does that mean that this plaza is not going to take responsibility? This lousy place, it’s rubbish.” The lady was screaming in pain on the floor.
Yolanda was furious. “You want compensation, don’t you?”
“What do you mean I want compensation? I was supposed to be healthy and pain-free, but then your lousy facilities made my trip over. Do you see how mistreated and unlucky I have been? This is all the fault of your management. If you are wrong, then you should take responsibility! Compensation is a must!” The lady glared at Yolanda.
“Yeah, she fell down when she was walking here. It’s the responsibility of the plaza’s management. It’s your responsibility to send her to the hospital and pay her compensation.”
“I also think it’s necessary to compensate her.”
The onlookers were chattering away once again.
“Oh, how much do you want the compensation to be?” Meanwhile, Chuck asked emotionlessly.
“My entire body is now in pain, and my bones are broken too. Thirty thousand. I want you to compensate me thirty thousand for my losses!” The lady said.
Yolanda was even getting angrier. How dare this woman tries to blackmail them!
“Thirty thousand dollars?” Chuck touched his nose.
“Yes, it can’t be any less. I have to go to the hospital for a check-up too! My leg must be broken now. It hurts really bad. This lousy place with horrible facilities made me fall down, absolute sh!t…” The lady yelled again. The crowd of onlookers was growing from what was happening.
“I think thirty thousand dollars is too little. Why don’t we pay you a little more?” Chuck said.
The lady who was still on the floor was stunned. The onlookers were also very surprised. What did he mean? Did he want to compensate more?
Yolanda glanced at Chuck and said, “Right, I’ll bring some cash over.”
Chuck nodded. “Get more, please.”
“No problem.” Yolanda tried to squeeze her way out of the crowd.
The lady was getting suspicious. “You’re guilty now, aren’t you? You want to compensate me with more money, right? Good, please remember that’s what you said. My whole body is in pain, and my legs are broken now. I think I’ll have to stay in the hospital for at least a month… so you should definitely pay me more!”
“Yes, that’s what I said.” Chuck shrugged his shoulders.
The onlookers were absolutely shocked.
“Who is this young man?”
”I don’t know him. The aunty only wanted thirty thousand dollars, but he wanted to compensate her more?”
“You don’t understand, do you? They’re making sure that this lady will shut up so that she doesn’t go out and talk nonsense.”
Everyone was busy chattering. Manny and the ladies looked at each other in confusion.
“What is Zelda’s boyfriend doing here? He seems to be working here, doesn’t he?” The woman in tight jeans was puzzled.
“It should be. Otherwise, he wouldn’t say something like that. Maybe he’s some kind of manager or something.”
“Manager? No wonder he’s not rich since he’s a manager at this lousy place.” The two women were getting even more disdainful. Manny, however, was staring at Chuck silently.
Soon, Yolanda walked into the crowd with a bag in her hand.
“Wow, they really took out some cash.”
Some people were quite surprised. The lady who was sitting on the floor frowned. She was getting more suspicious of what they were doing.
Yolanda walked over to Chuck. Chuck took a look at the cash in her hand and nodded with satisfaction. “Give it to her.”
“Okay.” Yolanda smiled, bent down, and took out fifty thousand in cash from the bag.
The lady accepted the money and said, “Fifty thousand? That’s more like it. Next time, please be more careful. The facilities in your lousy plaza are really poor. Ok, call the ambulance and send me to the hospital now.”
“Oh no, fifty thousand is too little. These, these, these are all for you.” Yolanda shook her head. She took out more cash from the bag and put it on the ground stack by stack. There were a total of almost six hundred thousand dollars! The onlookers were dumbfounded!
“So much in compensation?”
All to compensate this lady? My God, this plaza must be really rich!
All of a sudden, there was dead silence! They were all shocked by the piles of money on the floor! The aunty also stunned. So much money was piled up in front of her, and it was all hers now?
“I’ve never seen so much cash ever before!” The aunty stammered and trembled.
“Are you going to compensate me with this much money?”
“Yes, it’s all yours. Please accept it,” Yolanda smiled.
“You can count it first. It’s six hundred thousand dollars sharp. If you don’t think it’s enough, I’ll give you another three hundred thousand.”
“No need for that.” The lady shook her head immediately. She already felt that everything was so surreal. She had only asked for thirty thousand dollars, but they actually gave her six hundred thousand dollars instead. What were they trying to do? To buy her life? She recalled something, one of her friends tried to blackmail someone, and right after getting paid, he was seriously injured in a car crash. He has been in a coma since. Back then, it was only a hundred thousand dollars, but now. The more she thought about it, the more anxious she became. This six hundred dollar was really to buy her life! The lady was trembling in shock.
“What the hell are they trying to do? They’re compensating with so much money? Zelda’s boyfriend doesn’t want to work here anymore, does he?” The woman in tight jeans shook her head in surprise.
She looked down on Chuck even more now. What kind of problem-solving method was that? It was just merely burning money. It’s such a waste! If she were the boss, she would fire him immediately!
“Exactly! Zelda’s boyfriend is idiotic. The lady only asked for thirty thousand dollars, but he is paying six hundred thousand instead. How “generous”!” The woman in hot pants also shook her head. From their point of view, if the boss knew Chuck’s way of solving the problem, he would definitely fire him! Why would he keep such an incompetent manager who only knew how to solve problems with money?
Meanwhile, Zelda squeezed in through the crowd. As soon as she hung up, she saw the crowd and came out of curiosity to nd out what was going on. She was stunned to see Chuck Cannon.
When Manny and the ladies saw Zelda, the ladies immediately said, “Zelda, your boyfriend is really terrible. I advise you to break up with him immediately!”
“Yes, right away, don’t delay for even a second! He will never be able to give you a happy life. No chance at all!”
“Someone fell down and asked for a thirty-thousand compensation, but he decided to show off and compensate six hundred thousand instead! If the boss finds out, he will be red today straight away! And he will have to pay for the rest of the money himself!”
“No, that won’t happen.” Zelda shook her head.
“What do you mean by that? The boss will be so angry for someone to solve a problem like this.” The woman in tight jeans shook her head disdainfully.
“The boss can’t be angry at him, and impossible for him to be red because he’s the owner of the plaza,” Zelda said softly.