Autumn, still anxious about Charles's condition, asked the doctor when exactly he would fully recover. "Let's go. The doctor said I'll be fine," Charles said, taking the prescription before going. "But I'm still a little bit worried,"
She said with a frown on her face. It was his head tha got hurt! Better to be safe than sorry.
"I'm fine," he said, trying to comfort her.
"We still have an appointment with grandpa for dinner.
We'd better hurry. We can't keep them waiting for us."
Those words alleviated Autumn's concerns as they headed to the restaurant. Upon arriving, they spotted Gary and Chris waiting for them in front of the restaurant. Autumn was surprised to see that Sam was also there.
"Come here both of you," Chris said, gesturing towards them to sit beside her.
Though she hadn't fully recovered from the ankle sprain, she pulled a chair beside her for Autumn to sit on and gave her a meaningful wink.
Autumn found an excuse to go to the restroom. She also motioned for Chris to follow her out. Once they were out of the dining area, Autumn asked her, "What's going on?
Why is he also here with us?"
"Grandpa called him and extended an invitation. I didn't expect that he'd actually accept it and come over," Chris replied, pleased to see him here. Autumn doubted her words, suspicious that Chris might have tried to convince grandpa to call Sam. "Yvonne, please help me. Now that you and my brother are happily together now, do you want to see me end up all alone? Besides, I won't stay home and be a bother to you if I have my own love life," Chris said, holding Autumn's hand.
"Alright, I get what you're trying to say,"
Autumn could only agree helplessly.
She had already talked to Sam several times and found out that he did not appear to be interested in Chris at all.
However, Chris liked him so much that she decided to lend a hand.
"Let's go back. They might be wondering where we are," she said, pulling Chris's arm. As they walked back to the table, Autumn saw Sam filling a cup of alcohol for Charles. She immediately walked over to Charles and took his glass away.
"Sam, Charles just had his stitches removed today. You can drink with him whenever you want but now," she said, looking at Sam.
"I'll be fine," Charles said, trying to take back his glass from Autumn.
"I drank a lot when we went to Z City. One drink won't matter," he continued while putting the glass on the table.
"She has always been like this. Sometimes she gets overprotective," he told him.
Sam kept quiet and didn't say anything in return.
God knew how much he wanted to be treated the same way. He wanted Autumn to care about him that much. "I think it'll be fine to drink just a little," he said, pouring half a cup. He didn't have the heart to fill the glass as she continued to stare at him.
Autumn had no choice but to let it go, seeing as Charles said he could drink and Sam said there's no harm in drinking a little.
During the meal, Gary kept talking to Sam, trying to know more about him.
Sam continued to politely answer his questions. As it went on, Gary looked more and more interested in him.
"Do you have a girlfriend?" Gary asked Sam directly.
Everyone present froze for a second upon hearing his question. Sam, who was also shocked, took an instinctive look at Autumn seated across from him.
"Why are you looking at her? I'm talking to you," Gary interrogated him further.
Sam and Autumn were out of words, finding the present situation uncomfortable. "I don't have a girlfriend, Mr. Lu. I thought you might have already known that." he finally replied.
"Then how do you like Chris?"
Chris almost choked drinking her orange juice upon hearing the question.
"Grandpa, what are you saying? There are boys chasing after me and it's not like I won't be able to get married. How could you ask him such a question?
You're making me feel embarrassed," she said, wiping her mouth using the table napkin.
"There's no need to feel embarrassed," Gary said, smiling.
"I think Sam is a decent young man. You've also known each other for a while and has shared some time together while you were abroad. You two seem to make a good match.
You can settle down together as soon as possible. What are you waiting for?" he continued.
Gary turned to Sam and explained, "You see, my granddaughter had no parents growing up. Charles and I raised her by ourselves. She was just a little girl when her parents passed away. Charles and I have been protecting her all these years, so she can be arrogant and willful sometimes."
Gary paused for a second and continued.
"I understand that Chris may have a bit of a temper. But she's a kind-hearted girl.
If you choose to be with her, I ask only for one thing. Don't make her sad."
Chris felt a hot flush emanating from her face down to her neck. She was too embarrassed to raise her head and look at Sam. Despite being anxious, she couldn't help but feel giddy. She hoped Sam would reply in a positive answer.
During the time she was injured, Sam came to visit her almost every day. His care and concern for her warmed her heart, almost to the point of making her forget the cruel words he said to her before.
There was a long silence as Gary waited for a response. On the other hand, Sam kept quiet.
The old man couldn't help asking him again. "Sam, what do you think? Chris won't be left on the shelf, she…"
Sam suddenly interrupted Gary. He didn't want to break Chris's heart. He couldn't help visiting her a number of times while she was recuperating from her injury. However, throughout that time, he was convincing himself that he cared about Chris because he saw her only as a sister and that the one he truly loved was Autumn.
He wanted to tell Gary that he did not have feelings for his granddaughter. He opened his mouth to say something, but his eyes fell on Chris, and no words came out.
He had hurt Chris's heart once. He really did not want to embarrass her in front of so many people this time.
"If you think my suggestion is alright, we can find a proper time to prepare for your engagement. You both are not getting any younger and it's better to get engaged as soon as possible."
Seeing that Sam has said nothing, Gary took it as a yes and even started planning their engagement right there and then. Feeling a bit of panic, Sam knew he couldn't keep being silent any longer. He gazed at Chris, with an apologetic look on his face.
Autumn sensed that Sam was about to voice out his objection. She immediately raised her glass to make a toast. She said to Gary, "Grandpa, what are you talking about now? Aren't we celebrating Charles's birthday? Come, let's drink. I propose a toast to the safety and well-being of our family." Her attempt to change the topic was to keep Sam from saying anything.
However, due to Sam's lingering hesitation to answer Gary's questions and his lack of any positive response, Chris could already tell that Sam hadn't changed his mind at all.
She assumed Sam had a change of heart and had started to like her. But now she realized she was wrong.
She raised her pale face and managed to force a smile. She said to Gary, "Grandpa, don't put Sam on the spot. We're just friends.
There's nothing between us..."
Chris felt her heart breaking as she spoke. However, she didn't show it and pretended to laugh it off. "I just talked to Yvonnes a few days ago and asked her to keep an eye out on any good man she finds around her. You don't need to worry about me. Am I right, Yvonne?"
Autumn paused for a bit when Chris mentioned her name. "Don't worry, Grandpa. Charles and I will help Chris find a good husband," she said as she nodded her head._______
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