Chapter 413 Poor
Joey spoke softly that Victor could barely hear what he said. Yet, Victor was stunned for a moment and loob
Joey “What did you call me?” Joey came to his senses and his heart jolted. He had called Victor his dad.
When Rachel came out of the dining room, she heard Joey’s voice. She thought that the boy was not completely awake. But she also heard what Joey called Victor. Her face fell and she didn’t even notice that her grip on the water glass tightened. She breathed deeply to calm herself before she spoke to Joey.
“Joey, you’re already awake!”
Joey shifted his attention to Rachel. Blinking his eyes, he said, “Mommy.”
Rachel instinctively turned her eyes to Victor. She let out a sigh of relief when Victor didn’t have any reaction. She walked up to Joey and tousled his hair.
“Did you have a nightmare?” she asked.
Joey had seen a psychologist that afternoon. If he was having nightmares, that might be the effect of the psychotherapy. This worried Rachel.
Joey looked at Rachel, smiled at her, and then shook his head. He didn’t have a nightmare. Conversely, he had a good sleep. But he was awakened by Katie who had jumped on his bed and rubbed herself against him, waking him up. Now that Joey had woken up, he wanted to stay with his mother. He spread out his arms to hug Rachel. 1
Rachel was relieved that Joey wasn’t awakened by a nightmare.
All this time, Victor was watching the two of them. His eyes darkened. No one knew what he was thinking about. The phone in Victor’s hand vibrated. He looked at it and saw more than a dozen message notifications from Carson. It seemed that Carson was worried about Victor.
“What’s up?” It was the first message.
Since Victor didn’t promptly reply, Carson sent another message. “Are you okay? What happened to you?”
“Hey, why aren’t you replying? Are you still my good friend? Your phone has been stolen?” 1
“Why did you ask me to look into Ameer? Has Rachel fallen in love with another man? Is the man Ameer?”
Carson’s questions got to be more probing. “If my memory serves me right, Rachel is two years older than Ameer, right? Is she now a cradle-snatcher?” 1
Carson became annoying. “Ameer is indeed young. Twenty-four years old. Young, handsome, talented, gentle. Women like a man of his kind.”
Carson then shifted to being anxious. “Why aren’t you saying anything? Victor?”
The tone of Carson’s messages became pensive. “Look, I know you are older than Ameer, but don’t be sad. Young men and older men have their advantages! At thirty years old, you are more mature and steady. This alone makes you better than those young men, okay? And you are the CEO of the Sullivan Group. Many women want to marry
Tired of typing, Carson took a sip of water as looked at the messages he sent that still awaited response from Victor. Carson could only shake his head. It was the first time that he had seen the arrogant Victor, whom he had known
for so long, feel inferior because of a man six years younger than him. For Carson, this was so bizarre!
After drinking the water, Carson continued to type on the mobile phone keyboard enthusiastically. After he had sent his message, a red exclamation mark appeared on the screen.
A prompt then popped up and below it was written, “Sorry, you are not friends.”
Carson was aghast! In the Sue Garden Lukas entered the room and informed Victor, “Mr. Sullivan, the driver is waiting outside.” “Okay” As Victor turned around to leave, his phone vibrated again. It was a call from Carson. He didn’t want to accept the call so he blacklisted Carson’s phone number.
He put the phone in his pocket and started to walk away.
Holding Rachel’s hand, joey looked at Victor’s back. A memory came back to Joey. It was of Victor holding him and
they were looking around the snack street. Before Joey knew it, he had already called Victor. “Mr. Sullivan.” Victor stopped in his tracts, turned around, and looked at Joey. “Are you going out?” Joey asked, raising his eyes to meet Victor’s gaze. “Yes.”
Joey pursed his lips. After a moment’s hesitation, he asked in a soft voice, “Will you come back tonight?” When they came back, Joey could feel that Victor was carrying him in his arms, which gave him a different feeling He didn’t feel comfortable with Victor’s bad posture. Yet, he felt relaxed, more like reassured, as he felt protected in Victor’s arms.
It was because of this feeling that he slept well. Now that Victor was leaving, Joey was somehow reluctant to let him go. Victor glanced at Rachel, but he didn’t say anything. Rachel could not look at Victor. She was holding Joey’s hand tightly, knowing more or less what was on her son’s mind. “Joey, it’s very late. Mr. Sullivan needs to go back and have a rest.” With those words, Rachel had drawn a clear line between her and Victor. “But his apartment was burned. Where is he going to have a rest?” Joey interjected. Rachel was stumped by her son’s question. She didn’t know how to answer Joey. How could she have forgotten that Victor’s apartment was burned? Joey was thinking differently. He raised his head and winked at his mother. “Mommy, let Mr. Sullivan sleep here tonight, okay? The Gentlefolk caught fire, and Mr. Sullivan is homeless now. He is a little poor.” “Poor?” How could Victor be poor? But Rachel couldn’t find her voice to say what she wanted to say. Joey continued with his incessant talk. “Two days ago, I saw the news that an old man’s house collapsed because of a mudflow. The old man had no place to go so he slept with a quilt on the roadside. Mr. Sullivan’s place was burned. He had nowhere to go. He will have to sleep on the road tonight.” 2 The more Joey talked, the more ridiculous his words became.
“Joey, where did you see the news?” True, Victor’s apartment was destroyed by fire. But that was just one of his apartments. As the CEO of the Sullivan Group, he had several apartments. How could he be homeless? 1 “Mommy, can you let Mr. Sullivan stay here tonight? And as you said, it’s late now,” Joey said, acting like a spoiled child. Instead of answering Rachel’s question, he threw himself into her arms.
Rachel looked at Joey and pursed her lips. She didn’t want to give in to his request. But she also knew why Joey was begging her to acquiesce to his request. “Let’s go upstairs. I’ll help you take a shower,” Rachel said instead and then picked Joey up. 1 She tried to skirt around Joey’s plea.
But the little boy was persistent. He wrapped his arms around Rachel’s neck and said, “Mommy, please. “Okay, okay.” Rachel’s voice was barely audible but Joey heard her answer all right. His eyes immediately lit up,
Looking at Joey’s smiling face, Rachel didn’t know how she would feel.
“Just for one night,” Rachel pointed out.
Joey nodded. With his arms around Rachel’s neck, he rested his chin on her shoulder. Looking at Victor, Joey blinked his eyes and stuck out his tongue at him.