IN LOVE WITH A SOLDIER
(Friends happiness (1)
Jean asked, "Cherry, tell me what you think? At our ages, shouldn't we understand everything?"
Jean held back tears. She didn't want Cherry to see her cry.
Cherry ignored Jean's question when she thought of something and instead asked, "Then, why are you with Mond?"
At the mention of Mond, Jean smiled and asked in a light tone, "Do you know when I met Mond?"
Cherry shook her head.
"I met him when I was helpless. He was the one who assisted me and got me out of that dirty place."
Cherry seemed to understand and asked, "So where did you go after that?"
Jean had a far-off look in her eyes. In a quiet voice, she related her story, "To another country. I lived a quiet and happy life there. Mond arranged for me to live at his friend's house and gave me a monthly stipend. When I got there, I didn't know anyone, so, I started a completely new life."
Cherry was confused, "Then why did you come back? Wouldn't this city remind of your awful memories?"
Jean turned to look at Cherry and said, "Because Jackson and you are also here. I want my revenge."
Jean almost ground her teeth as she finished her sentence.
Jean didn't tell Cherry the real reason she came back was that she couldn't say no to orders from Mond. She had to do what Mond told her to do. She had returned to fulfill Mond's plans, not for revenge.
Cherry couldn't help shivering when she heard Jean admit she wanted revenge. Cherry asked, "Do you hate Jackson?" Jean stared into Cherry's eyes and said, "Yes. I hate you too. I hate you both, and your baby boy!"
After Jean finished talking, Cherry immediately said, "Don't hurt Joe. My dear sister, please don't hurt him."
Jean saw the panic and fear on Cherry's face. She was a little jealous that Cherry was able to protect her son, because Jean didn't have a child, nor a chance to have one. She wanted someone to protect, but she had nobody. Who on earth could she safeguard?
Jean wanted to cry when she thought of Joe and that kid, which was the greatest pain in her life.
"Get lost!" All of the sudden Jean screeched and turned her back to Cherry.
Cherry impulsively called out to her, "Jean, please stop!"
"Get the hell away from me!" Jean shouted again.
Cherry realized her sister was in a bad mood and didn't dare say anything else. Besides, she had gotten the information she wanted. She was quite relieved to learn Jean didn't suffer much because Mond had helped her.
Cherry thought about it and felt it was better for her to leave now, because she had mixed feelings too.
After Jean heard Cherry leave, she couldn't hold the tears back.
She thought to herself, 'Cherry! You are a mother and a wife! But look at me though! What I am? Nothing. I will never get to have a child in this life. I will never hear a kid of mine call me "mommy." You are so happy now! You've always been happy.'
Cherry stepped off the elevator and walked to leave the building, but then she saw Mond in the hall.
Cherry gave it some thought and then walked over to Mond.
Cherry greeted him politely, "Mr. Mond, may I speak with you for a second?" Mond was mysterious and he was also the CEO of ZM Group, so Cherry had to be polite to him.
Mond gestured for Cherry to sit opposite him.
Cherry sat down.
Mond looked dignified as he asked, "What do you want to talk about?"
"Well," Cherry didn't know how to word what she wanted to say. She thought for a moment and then said, "My sister told me you had been taking care of her over the past few years."
"Yes, that's true," Mond confirmed. He looked at Cherry, his eyes fixated on her face. Cherry had a special attraction which made it difficult for him to look away.
Cherry looked into Mond's eyes, "I want to thank you very much. Thank you for taking care of my sister."
Hearing her thank him made Mond sneer. He asked her coldly, "Mrs. Cherry, do you think it's my responsibility to take care of your sister?"
Mond's question confused Cherry, so she asked, "What?"
Mond asked, "What if I told you, I helped Jean live a better quality of life, for a certain purpose?" Mond decided to put everything on the table. Cherry didn't know everything about Jackson, so Mond wanted to give Cherry all the information about Jackson. In many ways, Cherry's peaceful life was about to be jolted. Mond wanted to find out who Jackson would protect first, Cherry or himself?
Cherry looked at Mond wondering what kind of person Mond was. Mond was different from other people and she couldn't figure out what he was thinking. Even though she talked with him, he was as mysterious as she had heard.
Cherry suddenly looked away saying casually, "Anyway, thank you. You've taken good care of my sister over the years. Thank you."
Mond ignored her thanks and continued, "Mrs. Cherry, shouldn't you care about yourself first before caring for your sister?"
Mond's words puzzled Cherry again.
Mond asked, "Does Jackson hit you often?"
Cherry lowered her head and said, "No." Mond heard her words, watched her behavior, and thought to himself, 'What's Jackson done? This woman is extremely polite to Jackson and does what he wants her to do. Add to that, she has no courage to resist him even when he isn't here.'
Mond stopped pondering this enigma and calmly asked, "Are you happy in the Chu House?"
Cherry didn't want to talk her life with a stranger, so she took a deep breath, looked up at Mond, "Well, I've always been happy. Mr. Mond, you don't need to worry about me."
Mond could see that Cherry was faking a brave face and he didn't want to expose her, so he just nodded his head in understanding.
It came to Cherry suddenly that last time she saw Mond was in Stephen's office, which puzzled her so she asked quickly, "Was that you in Stephen's office? Are you Stephen's friend?"
Instead of responding to Cherry's question, Mond asked, "Mrs. Cherry, did you know that I'm a friend of Jackson's too?" He left the question for Cherry to think about.
Cherry thought for a while, 'Mond knows Jackson and Stephen, and Grandpa Andrew knows him. Could it be...?' Cherry was astonished and asked, "Did you grow up on the military residential compound?"
Cherry's question angered Mond completely. The military residential compound? Did he grow up in the military residential compound? Why did that sound so strange and familiar?
Mond growled, "Cherry, you're quite imaginative! Do you think everyone Jackson knows grew up in the same military residential compound?"
Noticing how angry Mond got, Cherry quickly explained, "No, no. That's not what I meant."
She added, "Mr. Mond, I'm so sorry." Mond stated indignantly, "Cherry Shen, I think I need to make clear one thing for you. There is hatred between Jackson and me."
Cherry questioned, "Hatred?" She was completely lost.
Mond gazed into Cherry's eyes and slowly asked, "Do you think Jackson has always been the king of this city and no one is able to resist him? But I won't allow him to be the city king. All his property and rights will be ruined by me without mercy!"
Cherry asked, "Why? Why do you hate him?" She thought that Mond's words were possibly credible, because he hadn't hidden anything from her as they spoke to each other.
Mond stared at Cherry and said, "We were born enemies, just like you and Jean."
"Born?" Cherry was confused even more. She thought to herself, 'I am certain Jackson is Andrew's only grandson, but what did Mond mean by saying that he and Jackson were just like Jean and me?
Jean has bullied me since I was a little girl. Has Jackson bullied Mond? I have no idea what Mond's family background is, but Jackson's family is unparalleled in this city. So Jackson might have teased Mond, just like Jean has done to me.'
Cherry continued examining what she knew silently, 'It is possible that Mond grew up in the military residential compound since he knows Stephen, who was born and grew up on the compound. Mond said that he hated Jackson, so maybe he was bullied by Jackson or he was jealous of Jackson.'_______
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