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(We are the same(1)

Waiting at the school gate for her nephew, Jean watched the other children walk by. Soon enough, she saw darling Joe walking between the other children. She waved at him. "Joe, I'm here." Jean's voice made Joe even more cheerful, and he ran to her once he saw her.

"Aunt Jean, I'm glad to see you," Joe greeted her happily, his grin stretching from ear to ear.

Jean smiled at her cute nephew. "Well, I'm here to drive you to visit your Mommy." She took Joe's hand.

Joe nodded, his smile remaining just as big. "Okay. I miss my Mommy very much," he said as he climbed into Jean's car.

While driving, Jean glanced at Joe every so often in the rearview mirror. "Joe, has everything gone well at school lately?" she asked.

Joe nodded happily. "Yes, everything is okay."

Embarrassment flushed her face, but Jean grew confident enough to ask what she really wanted to know. "Joe, I, uh, haven't told your Mommy that you and I have often seen each other recently. Have you told her about that?"

Joe looked at his aunt. "No, I haven't. I'm afraid that she would worry about me," he answered. He hadn't ever told his Mommy and Daddy about his visits with Aunt Jean. Should he tell his Mommy the truth now?

Jean hesitated again, but forced herself to speak again. "Well, Joe, could you please continue keeping it as a secret between us? Don't tell your Mommy about it please? I'm a little worried about your mommy, her health isn't as good as we want it to be lately, and I'm afraid this might unnecessarily agitate her. The less stress for your Mommy the better, so let's keep it a secret just for now. Til she's better. What do you think?"

Jean asked the young boy.

'Cherry being pregnant means that keeping her in good spirits is very important. Once she knows how well Joe and I get along together, she might be happy about it. But what if she gets angry? I don't want to make her mad just now.'

"What's happened to my Mommy? "Why isn't she well?" Joe asked anxiously. He couldn't focus on Jean's request. His Mommy was more important and now she's sick? Didn't his Mommy go back home? Did something bad happen to her?

"No, it's not like that," Jean hastily replied. "She is well. But she is just sometimes in low spirits, looking like she might be a little ill. But don't worry, she's fine," she tried to comfort her nephew.

She succeeded and he sighed in relief.

"That's good. I've been worried that there's something wrong with Mommy."

"When you see your Mommy soon, you'll know how well she is. She's in Mond's house at the moment. Nothing bad will happen to her there," Jean told him with a smile.

Joe watched his aunt's face from the back seat. "Aunt Jean, is Uncle Mond a good man?"

She paused and glanced at him before returning her gaze to the road. "He should be," she replied ominously.

The uncertainty in Jean's voice cultivated the seed of doubt in Joe's mind. Maybe Uncle Mond isn't really a good man. 'Uncle Mond never felt like a good man to me, ' Joe thought to himself. 'He hates my Daddy, and his attention towards my Mommy is wrong.

Aunt Jean has stayed with him for a long time, and she must know him well, but is he really like Aunt Jean says he is?'

At Mond's mansion, Mond finally returned to see Cherry relaxing on the sofa watching TV. He walked towards her.

His footsteps caused Cherry to glance over. She met Mond's gaze.

"Hello," Cherry said quite simply.

"Hello," Mond repeated the greeting. He quickly studied their surrounds to find an odd lack of Jean's presence. "Where's your sister?" he asked.

Calmly, Cherry replied: "Please sit down. I want to talk with you about something." Although she was staring directly at Mond, her expression was unreadable, even for Mond.

He acquiesced and chose to sit beside her on the sofa. She switched off the TV. They sat for a few seconds in silence. "What's the matter?" he broke the silence.

"My sister has gone to pick up my son, and she will be driving him here. I want Joe to stay with me tonight," Cherry told him, almost asking permission with her tone. She needn't have bothered, actually, for she had known what his response was going to be, especially due to the unchanged expression on his face.

"That's okay. You don't need to ask my permission. If he wants to stay here, he can. There are many empty rooms in this house," Mond told her shrugging.

He failed to escape from her question and looked directly at her. Her expression was cold, and Mond couldn't get past the surface with her. Women were usually sentimental and emotional.

Though Cherry was susceptible, there was still a powerful force in her mind and he didn't know it well enough.

Several minutes of silence irritated Cherry, so she repeated her question. "Why won't you answer my question?"

"You are pregnant. No matter how cruel I might be, I will never bully a pregnant woman," Mond told her matter-of-factly. He stood and began towards the staircase.

With his feelings like this, he was afraid he would tell everything to Cherry. He simply couldn't control himself in front of her, so he had to escape.

Cherry stood and chased him unexpectedly. As he was about to begin up the staircase, she stopped him.

He couldn't help it but stop when she wanted him to. Mond had never thought that Cherry would hold him back. He studied her thin face. Jackson's wife was still beautiful even without make-up.

She was so thin that the clothes she wore were too large, and this made his heart ache.

"Yes, I'm a pregnant woman, Mond. But I'm also Jackson's wife. Don't you hate him? Why do you treat me so kindly?"

Stubbornly, Cherry wouldn't give up. She needed some evidence to confirm or disprove her theory about him.

Mond put his hand on her shoulder and looked deeply into her eyes. "I do indeed hate Jackson, but that's nothing to do with you."

Her eyes held him somehow and he was eager to tell her his true feelings. 'I once intended to hurt you, but I stopped myself in time, ' he said in his own mind.

'When facing you, I always end up going against what I intend. I had planned to run you over with the car, but I gave in and stopped.

When I imprisoned you in the elevator, my heart beat rapidly, but still I let you leave. When I know you're with Jackson, I get so angry. Why does Jackson get to enjoy so much happiness?

The moment you fell down, I wanted nothing more than to save you, wishing you would be safe and healthy. Cherry, I really don't have the heart to hurt you, it's true, I will never lie to you.'

His internal monologue finished, as he gently pushed her away from him before retreating up the stairs alone.

Watching Mond's receding form, Cherry's thoughts were full of doubts.

'What kind of person is he?' It was difficult to understand him. He was just like the ZM Group. It was strong enough and its power irresistible. But no one knew how it became so strong, its history mysterious. People fear the unknown, and that's why so many people fear ZM Group and Mond.

As she was thinking, Cherry began to realise that Mond and Jackson weren't dissimilar. It was difficult for others to be close with both of them. Their styles and methods of dealing with problems were similar. Both always adhered to their principles.

And both Jackson and Mond talked little. They did everything according to their wills.

Mond slammed the door of his room. He leaned against it and breathed heavily. Just now, he was ready to confess to Cherry the true reason he treated her kindly: not because she was pregnant, but because he loved her.

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