(we are in the same boat)
"Don't worry, I'm moving on." Isla smiled with a light heart. She looked Autumn in the eye and said, "All I have to do now is to help you run Cloud Advertising Company properly, and make it prosper.
That is my priority. As for other things... Well...who cares!"
"You are right, that's the most important thing for the time being," said Autumn with a smile on her face. Since she had taken over the mess, she would try her best to sort it out. She promised herself that she wouldn't let Charles down.
They enjoyed talking until late into the night before returning to their respective homes. To Autumn's surprise, she heard the hum of conversation and ripples of laughter coming from the living room, upon her arrival. Chris had been working overtime these days. Charles shouldn't be home at this time. And Gary had been away recently. 'Who are chatting in the house then?' Autumn wondered.
She entered the room to find Rachel sitting on the sofa. This big star seemed to have changed a bit after all this time, she was now... well...more confident.
Yvonne was sitting right beside her, even Nancy was grinning from ear to ear and chatting merrily. It was typical of Nancy to draw a long face whenever Autumn was around. So now it seemed to Autumn, that she was the one who did not belong here.
"Welcome back, Mrs. Lu." The sharp-eyed Rachel was the first one to notice Autumn. She rose up to greet her at once.
Yvonne and Nancy had also stood up, but they straightened their faces without saying a word.
"What brings you here?" Autumn asked Rachel.
"Sister, I beg your pardon? Rachel is a super star. We are blessed to have her here," said Yvonne, before she quickly took Rachel's hand and sat her down again. She then showed her hospitality by saying, "Rachel, please sit down and have some fruits."
"Thank you very much," Rachel replied with a bright smile, as if nothing had happened.
"Mrs. Lu, you should take a seat, too. Let's have a nice chat," she then said to Autumn. Rachel was beaming with delight. For a moment, Autumn had actually thought that she was paying a visit to Rachel's home, if not for Nancy's presence.
Autumn sat down on the other side of the sofa. "Rachel, why are you here today..." she asked lightly.
She was certain that Rachel wouldn't come here if Gary was at home. It was no coincidence that she showed up once Gary was away.
Autumn dryly cast Nancy a glance, and realized that their servant must have tipped Rachel off.
"You see..." Rachel and Yvonne were two different types of people. Yvonne was the kind of person who would wear her heart on her sleeve and would do things mindlessly. In stark contrast to her, Rachel was rather shrewd and sophisticated.
Autumn recalled the blazing row between Rachel and Charles back in Z City. Although it wasn't exposed by the media, many people had found out about it through the grapevine. But now, Rachel was acting like it was no big deal.
"The last time we met, I forgot to give you and Charles my birthday party invitation. And I have been busy with my work thereafter. I've just come back, so I decided to drop by to offer my apologies and hand it to you personally," said Rachel, while taking two invitations out from her bag and passing them to Autumn.
Autumn glanced at them coldly and said with a faint smile, "That's very kind of you, Rachel. But, why bother yourself with such trifles. You could have simply asked your people to deliver them, instead of coming here personally."
"That would be most inappropriate," Rachel shook her head immediately, "You and Charles are among my distinguished guests, I have to give you the invitation in person and make sure that the both of you will come. It puts my mind at ease.
Mrs. Lu, you and Charles... will surely join in my party, right?"
"Well..." Autumn hesitated and tried to come up with the right words. She didn't want to go at all. For one thing, Rachel was just a mere acquaintance to her. For another, it seemed that Rachel was certain that she could win Charles back.
Just think about it, would a woman be willing to attend the birthday party of her rival in love? Definitely not.
"Rachel, I'm afraid..." But before Autumn could finish, Yvonne interrupted her in mid-sentence, "Autumn and Charles will certainly attend, you can be sure of that, Rachel."
"Thank you in advance," said Rachel as she stood up, smiling with satisfaction. She had deliberately come here to knock on the door in Charles' absence, so as to make it hard for Autumn to decline.
Without a word, Autumn glanced at Yvonne with her face darkened.
She knew what Yvonne was up to. After all, her enemy could very well become Yvonne's ally. She was not afraid of going to the party, neither would she give in to any plan Rachel might have been working on.
Yvonne had no idea about what was on Autumn's mind, but she was eager to take revenge on Autumn. What happened earlier today had driven her to the verge of a nervous breakdown. So now she was thinking that perhaps... she could use Rachel to fight Autumn back.
Once she realized this, she suddenly stumbled upon an idea, so she didn't go back to work the next morning, instead she made every effort to find the whereabouts of Rachel's company, intending to have a talk with her.
As for Rachel, things had not been going well for her either. Ever since the day she offended Charles publicly, all the directors seemed to have cut off all ties with her. Moreover, she was urgently replaced halfway through the filming of some of her projects. In the past, people would beg her for her cooperation. But now, even if she approached those she had turned down before, she was given the cold shoulder.
"Rachel, those directors gave no explanation for their rejection or estrangement at all. You are still so popular, there should be no shortage of offers. How come..." Rachel's assistant just couldn't figure out the reason for her sudden downfall.
However, Rachel had somehow foreseen it. She knew it in her heart that it had something to do with her conflict with Charles. But she had never expected that he would go this far.
Rachel gave no response. But her assistant couldn't sit back anymore. It could be the end of Rachel's career if they failed to turn things around. "Rachel, have you offended someone lately? What about..."
"Enough! Just get out and leave me alone," responded Rachel irritably. She got really upset thinking about the things concerning Charles. After driving the assistant away, she phoned several of her familiar directors for help.
Unfortunately, they had all refused her politely. This time her self-esteem truly suffered a devastating blow.
Rachel started to have regrets about her rashness. Had she known that she would end up in such difficult position, she would have never quarrelled with Charles.
"Didn't I tell you to leave me alone? Why did you come back?" snapped Rachel when she saw the door of her lounge being pushed open.
The assistant got startled at her anger and stopped at the door. "Rachel, someone is here to see you," uttered the assistant timidly.
"Tell him to go away!" Rachel frowned and said.
The assistant then awkwardly stood back and was about to close the door. Just then, Rachel hesitated and asked, "Wait, did he introduce himself?"
"She said, she is Mrs. Lu's cousin, and that she just met you last night," the assistant paused, "Rachel, should I send her in?"
"Oh, okay. Send her in," Rachel said uninterestedly.
When Yvonne entered the room, she saw Rachel reading a newspaper on the sofa.
Rachel appeared to be calm and peaceful. Upon seeing Yvonne, she quickly stood up and said, "What brings you here?"
"Rachel, I'm here to... present a possible proposition to you." Yvonne smiled faintly and continued, "We are now in the same boat, anyway."
"In the same boat? You must be kidding me." Rachel burst into laughter.
"I mean it. Rachel, although I'm Mrs. Lu's cousin... we have had a bad relationship ever since our childhood. And I can tell that you like Charles very much, so perhaps... we can join hands," Yvonne said with a sneer. Now she had to wait and see whether Rachel would put faith in her or not.