“Yes, it does.” Elliot glanced at the bangle on Hayley’s wrist and nodded. “Grandma treats me pretty well and seems to like me a lot.” Hayley intentionally made sure Anastasia heard her words, for she wanted the latter to know that she was important to Harriet.
“Just make sure you keep it with you.” Elliot shifted his gaze to the rear mirror and observed the lady in the backseat through the reflection. Anastasia continued to keep her eyes outside the window, and the side view of her face made her seem like a sacred goddess who was worshiped by many.
At last, Anastasia grew tired of staying in the car. The moment they made it to the road, she then spoke to the man in front of her. “Please pull over, President Presgrave.”
Elliot pulled over by the roadside and looked at the lady with a frown. “What’s wrong?”
“I want to get out of the car now.” Anastasia finished her sentence and swiftly opened the door, stepping out of the vehicle without a single thought of hesitation.
Upon witnessing Anastasia’s reaction, Elliot was stunned as he wondered whether she was reluctant to accept his ride, but Hayley was happy to see her leave since that meant she could be alone with the man.
Nevertheless, Elliot got out of his car the next moment, leaving Hayley in surprise as she watched him catch up to Anastasia. At the sight of this, she couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by her bigotry even more, thinking that Anastasia was trying to seduce Elliot on purpose.
On the other hand, Anastasia noticed Elliot catching up to her but decided to ignore his presence. She then found a suitable spot and stood there as she tried to hail a taxi.
“I can drop you off at your destination, so why are you taking a taxi?” Elliot frowned unhappily.
“That’s none of your business. Just take Hayley with you and leave,” Anastasia looked back and answered.
“I’ll take her home and drive you to the office after that,” Elliot replied with a deep voice that sounded like he was trying to coax her.
“I don’t like sharing a ride with that lady, so it’s either me or her whom you’re
driving. Take your pick.” Anastasia jutted her chin in a haughty manner.
Elliot paused briefly even though he was no stranger to her unreasonable attitude. Soon, he seized her wrist and said, “Anastasia, can’t you be more reasonable?”
However, Anastasia retracted her arm in frustration. “I can be reasonable to anyone but you! Take your hand off me now!” At that moment, a taxi arrived before she. opened the door and sat inside, leaving Elliot with an annoyed frown on his face. Oh, man! This lady is really a stubborn one, isn’t she?
In the meantime, Hayley was still mad at Anastasia even though the latter had already left, feeling disgusted with her coy behavior. Isn’t she acting like such a drama queen right now? When Elliot returned to the car, she instantly noticed his darkened expression and immediately seized the chance to play on his heartstrings. “Did Anastasia leave because of me? If I had known earlier, I should have taken a taxi instead.”
“Nonsense. She just has something important to attend to back in the office.” Elliot’s eyes seemed to have become gentler.
Hayley pretended to let out a sigh. “Anastasia and I can never be as close as we used to be back then, and I’ll never be able to make it up to her for the harm I caused her ever again.”
Elliot comforted the lady and said, “Whatever it was, it’s already over. Let’s not bring it up again.”
“Anastasia has hated me for five years, which is as long as I’ve blamed myself for. In fact, when I think about how she looked after her violation every night, I feel like slapping myself in the face. Why? Why did something so cruel happen to her?”
Meanwhile, Elliot tightened his grip on the steering without himself knowing it when he heard what Hayley was saying. At the same time, he couldn’t help but wonder whether Anastasia had ran into some sick pervert who put her through so much suffering
On the other hand, Hayley wouldn’t stop emphasizing how much Anastasia was hurt and violated in hopes that she could make Elliot lose interest in her. After all, she believed that no man would ever accept a woman who had been violated by another man, but little did she know that she was wrong about how she thought Elliot would
In fact, Hayley’s emphasis on Anastasia’s stigma only made Elliot feel even more sympathetic for her. Instead of feeling disgusted by Anastasia, he was driven by a
strong urge to protect her more than ever. Also, his perception about Anastasia had changed from his initial reluctance of marrying her to his willingness to make her his wife, but nonetheless, he somehow failed to win her heart over.
“What’s done is done, so let’s not talk about it anymore. Just make sure you don’t beat yourself up for that and move on.” Elliot comforted Hayley while staring at the lady’s guilty face.