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(A secret trouble)

"Okay, let me go get you some water now." Sam said with concern. He went to get water in the water room, came back and poured a glass of water for Autumn, who drank the water and then went back to sleep. She had no desire to talk to anyone or even say anything. Sleep was her safe space.

Chris was eager to know more about what happened to Autumn, but Sam stopped her. "She still needs time to recover so we have to give it to her. If she's feeling better tomorrow, we can discuss it then. Poor Autumn, this one was probably too much for her to take."

Sam closed the door and just stood outside Autumn's ward. He was really worried about her. But he couldn't tell Chris.

The next day, the doctor made a thorough check of Autumn's condition. Fortunately her fever had receded and her body temperature had normalized.

He advised Chris and Sam, "She has recovered from the fever and will be fine. To stabilize her condition further, I prescribed another injection of saline.

She is very fragile and feeble now, so you should exercise utmost care and gentleness when dealing with her. Do not bring up anything that may stress her."

"Thanks for the reminder, doctor.

Consider it done. We will take good care of her." Chris accepted the advice gladly. Chris brought Autumn something to eat for breakfast, but Autumn showed no interest. She just lay on the bed, not moving one bit, looking out towards a far off place.

"Sam, what is wrong with Autumn? She looks troubled and really disturbed." Chris turned to Sam looking for answers. Sam frowned. He didn't know much but he reassured Chris anyway, "Maybe..

Autumn is just feeling unwell. We don't know. But I'm sure rest is all she needs. She will be better after a good one. So you do not need to worry one bit about her."

After the saline injection, Sam was told to get the medicine and arrange the discharge procedure for Autumn. After that, Sam accompanied Chris and Autumn back to Dream Garden. Sam was still not satisfied with Autumn's condition so he gave Chris instructions.

"Chris, you should make sure that Autumn takes her meds as prescribed, especially at the correct times. If there is any issue or trouble at hand, you must let me know immediately and I will be here as soon as I can."

"Okay, I know what to do." Chris nodded gently and expressed her gratitude. "Sam, thanks a lot for your efforts in caring for Autumn. We would not have done it properly without your help. You have done a lot yesterday and today, and it must have used up a lot of your time and energy. You'd better get yourself a good rest. I will take good care of her from now on."

"Okay, I am confident that you will. I am leaving then. See you soon." Sam turned around, got on his car and drove away.

"Have a safe drive," Chris called out after him. After that, she went back to her house to find that Autumn had already gone upstairs. At that moment, Gary came out of his room and asked about Autumn's condition. "Chris, what did the doctor say? Is she going to be okay?"

"She's okay. Nothing serious," Chris replied calmly.

"But there is something wrong with Autumn, I suppose."

"My thoughts exactly!" Chris expressed her concern. "I have called Charles many times, only to be ignored. Finally, he turned his phone off. Something tells me that they may be having a very big, serious fight."

Gary frowned. "You may go upstairs to ask her what she wants to eat and I will tell Nancy to prepare it for her."

"It sounds good." Chris went upstairs to find Autumn lying on the bed in the darkness. She hadn't turned on any light.

This sight saddened Chris. This once joyful room was now overcome with sorrow and hopelessness. Chris turned the light on and and jumped into the bed.

"Autumn, what on earth happened to you? Can you tell me please?" she begged.

"I am okay." Autumn forced a pale smile. "Maybe I have been too tired trying to keep fit. All I need is a good rest."

"Did you... have a fight with Charles?"

Chris asked Autumn, who, at the mere mention of Charles, became subtly uneasy. She managed a smile, but the flicker in her eyes was lost. She weakly said to Chris, "How could you think of that? Charles is far from here. It is impossible for us to argue and disagree over anything!"

"Really?" Chris was not convinced. She still suspected a serious rift between the couple.

"Of course!" The quiver and forced enthusiasm betrayed her smile. "I am still too tired to continue. Could you please let me take a rest for a while?"

"Ok, take a rest, and remember to finish a bowl of porridge that I am about to ask Nancy to prepare for you." Chris said calmly, looking back to express her concern, "Autumn, we are a family, so....

no matter what happens to you, Gary and I will give you our utmost support."

"Thanks!" Autumn forced a gentle smile. As the door closed, Chris walked out of the room. Alone again, Autumn's smile gave way to her sadness.

Chris went downstairs to ask Nancy to prepare a bowl of nutritious porridge.

Meanwhile, Charles woke from his stupor and found that his clothes had been removed. Who had been here and who took his clothes off him?

He tried to recall what had happened last night, in vain.

Not long after, Leila came to knock on his door. Charles was almost ready. He put on his suit and opened the door. Leila entered his room with a big smile and a cup of honey water in her hand. She was now in a better mood than last night and showed her excessive attention to Charles, "Mr. Lu, since you are awake, you'd better drink some honey water. It is a widely known cure for a hangover. I asked the hotel chef to make you this cup of honey water just now."

"How did I return to... the hotel last night?" Charles was bewildered but he asked calmly and gently, completely unaware of last night's encounter.

"Well, of course, you don't remember a lot. You were so drunk last night. It was me who escorted you back to this room." Leila replied with great composure.

"So I....." Charles frowned with reference to his changed clothes.

"You were vomiting beyond measure. Your vomit-soaked clothes were removed by a hotel servant, as I was powerless to deal with that." Leila smiled to Charles. "We'd better go now. They are waiting for you to sign the contract as soon as possible."

"Okay." Charles drank a bit of honey water, He was about to to call Autumn and reassure her that he's fine, only to find his phone had been turned off.

Before Charles had time to ask, Leila began her explanation. "Mr. Lu, last night your phone kept ringing. I chose to turn it off for fear that if I took the call, I would be misunderstood. So to avoid arousing unnecessary suspicion, I thought it would be better. I also did not want to disturb you in your sleep. So you would not blame me for that, would you?"

"It doesn't matter. You can wait for me here if you want. I just need take a shower." Charles closed the door, turned on his phone, and he was bombarded with unanswered calls and WeChat messages from Chris. He immediately called back with much anxiety, "Chris, what did you mean by sending that WeChat message? And how is Autumn doing? What on earth happened?"

Chris sneered, "Charles, it is shameful for you to call back just now. You should have answered my call yesterday!"

Chris was unable to contain her anger, "You should have received my call to show your love and care for your wife."

Pressed to know Autumn's condition, Charles asked without any explanation, "Chris, how is Autumn feeling now?"

"I do not know." Chris replied in a tone of rebuke. "You had better go home to see to her needs befitting a loving husband."

Charles frowned and explained, "Last night I was in a state of stupor, unable to answer your call. I immediately called you back as soon as I got your messages."

Chris, after sensing Charles's anxiety, told him about Autumn, "She was hospitalized due to a very high fever yesterday, but I called you in vain. Now I am beginning to suspect that you value your career over your wife!"

"Absolutely untrue!" Charles disagreed, as he was overcome with anxiety because of Autumn. "How is she feeling now? I hope nothing serious happened to her."



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