To Rachel's surprise, Charles smiled and said, "They say money can't always buy what you want. My wife has been here for several hours to check the collection, and is lucky enough to pick one dress that meets her expectations. As her husband, I should buy her the dress at all costs. Otherwise, I might as well be a good-for-nothing husband for her. So Miss Bai, could you please look for another one? And just so you know, whichever dress you pick today is on me. Feel free to take it as a birthday gift from us."
He didn't wait for Rachel's answer nor did he care about what she thought. He gently took Autumn's hand in his and walked her to the fitting room. "Go and change your clothes. I will be waiting for you," he said with a warm smile.
Rachel was red with anger. However, she could do nothing but to watch them walk away. After coming to her senses she remembered what he said about the gift.
So in an attempt to get back at him, she picked out a dozen of the most expensive dresses, thinking that she could always find occasions to wear them in the future.
But she wasn't expecting to see embarrassed look on Lily's face at the checkout counter. "Miss Bai..." Lily stuttered as she recalled the slap, "You still need to pay 1.87 million."
"Didn't you hear? Charles said that all of these dresses would be on him. Pack them up quickly. I've got a very busy schedule today and don't have anymore time to waste on you." Rachel said while casually fiddling with her freshly manicured nails. She was going to the spa with some friends later today. As tomorrow was her birthday, she had to ensure that she looked her best at the party.
"But…" Lily hesitated for a moment before gathering her courage and said, "Mr. Lu also said that he is married now.
And since his wife will keep an eye on the household budgets, he has to cut down on unnecessary spending, so… please choose your favourite dress as he will not pay for the rest of them."
"What?" Rachel was furious. Charles had always been generous towards her and would spare no expense for things that she wanted. But everything seemed to have changed after he married Autumn.
However, Charles' indifference had only increased her resentment against Autumn. She believed that he would have never treated her in this manner if not for that woman.
Finally, Rachel managed to hold back her anger and reluctantly picked out her favorite dress from the bunch she ambitiously selected. She still put it on Charles' bill. After all, her career was on a downward spiral at the time being and she was no longer financially abundant.
She then left with a feeling of exasperation.
After Rachel left the premise, the other people in the store all approached Lily and comforted her. There was a red mark left behind on her cheek from the slap. "Are you fine, Lily? I saw Rachel raising her hand on you. How could she slap you so hard? This is too much!" one of the staff said.
"You are right. She has always been an arrogant woman. We tried to put up with her bad temper when Charles was around to watch her back. After all, we could earn all that money from her back then. But now she's nothing without Charles. How dare she smack you in the face like that?" another colleague echoed her sentiments.
Lily's face was still burning but she shook her head regardless of the swelling pain and said, "Never mind. At least we sold the dress and we can expect quite a handsome bonus this month from just these two sales alone."
"Well...that is true. As I see it, Mrs. Lu definitely leaves Rachel in the dust. No wonder she was able to conquer the heart of a playboy like Charles."
Autumn would never imagine that she would be able to make such a lasting impression in other people's eyes.
After they left the dress shop, Autumn thought again of Isla. She was living in Y City alone and had very few friends here apart from Autumn. So Autumn was really worried about her.
"What is the matter honey? Are you still annoyed by the thought of Rachel?" Seeing her pulling a long and sullen face, Charles thought that Autumn was still in a bad mood because of Rachel, so he comforted her, "You see I again carried my heart on my sleeve today. You really are the only one in my heart now. There is no doubt about that fact!"
"..." Not knowing what to say, Autumn simply blushed. She realized that ever since she was steady with Charles, he had become loquacious and would express his love for her on every possible occasion. She never expected him to be so honey-lipped and allured by her.
"Actually, I'm worried about Isla." Autumn sighed and told Charles everything that happened while she was away from work. Charles simply frowned after hearing the entire narration.
"If this is the case... it is safe to assume that Isla is really in big trouble." Charles then asked, still frowning, "Well...I was wondering is the Becky you just mentioned...is she the daughter of Mr. Zhang from TM Company?"
"I think so." Now that Autumn came to think about it, she recalled that Isla had told her so. "Why? What have you heard?"
Charles with a worried expression continued, "I heard that Mr. Zhang is currently preparing for his daughter's wedding these days. If we are talking about the same person here then I'm afraid that Isla..."
Autumn was even more worried than before. Poor Isla got framed and betrayed at the same time. Autumn feared that she might fall apart hearing this dreadful news.
"Let's keep it to ourselves for the moment. Please don't tell Isla now. I fear that this will completely break her down."
Autumn muttered to herself with a gloomy face, "This is all my fault. There has been nothing I can do to help her so far."
"Don't worry, honey. I know a doctor who is a leading brain expert. I will call him for help, the first thing after our plans. If he manages to come, there is a great chance that the old lady may recover."
Charles said gently. He thought that as long as she could come to herself, Isla would be cleared of suspicion in one way or another. As for the emotional entanglement, they could only wish that Isla and Aron would be able to sort it out themselves.
"Really?" asked Autumn, her eyes widening with hope after hearing his words. It was a great relief to hear this as it restored her hope and faith.
Charles called the doctor that night. It turned out that the doctor, Arthur Zhao, was quite willing to help. He took an early flight the next day and rushed from America. Without a single moment of rest he went straight to the hospital upon his arrival.
Of course, they all acted under the radar to avoid Becky's finding out all about it. Charles wanted to let the sleeping dog lie and avoid extra trouble.
So they arranged for Arthur to make a round of the wards along with other doctors. Becky had been staying in the ward to keep a close watch on Joanna. She was on alert once she saw a strange face. "Who is this?" she asked with a frown.
"This is our new chief, Dr. Zhao. Don't worry, he's just making the usual rounds."
"Alright." Becky said no more, but she still stared at Arthur with suspicion. She feared that he was some specialist sent by Aron. She knew that, if Joanna woke up and told the truth, she would be doomed.
"How is my grandmother, doctor?" Becky asked softly. After checking Joanna, Arthur understood her condition and realized what he had to deal with. But he said none of that to Becky, instead he said, "She's now in a relatively stable condition. But the time of her waking up remains unknown."
Becky breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing these words. Mike and her parents had agreed to come down to prepare for the wedding as soon as possible. They hoped that hearing about the good news, Joanna would come around. So she had to ensure everything was going according to plan.
No sooner had Arthur left the ward than Mike pushed the door open and entered. "Becky, you have been staying here to look after Joanna for days. Listen to me, go back and take some rest now."
"It's okay, grandpa. I'm totally fine." Becky smiled and said, "You need to take good care of yourself now, grandpa. Don't worry, I will stay here and keep grandma company. Just go back and get rest."
"My silly child, your wedding is soon approaching. There are more important matters that seek your immediate attention, you can't fall ill at this time."
Mike then grinned with a gentle laugh, "Don't tell me that you want to show people your "panda" eyes at the wedding."