"Are you out of your mind?" Nancy cried out. She looked at him in shock and added, "I can't do that!"
Nancy shoved the medicine back at him and withdrew her hands quickly. "You can't make me do that," she said shakily.
"Nothing you say will make me do it."
The baby was the only thing that kept Autumn sane. If Nancy added the drug to her food, she would again have violent mood swings and be totally out of control.
"This is not up for dicussion," the man said, rising from his chair. He stuffed the drug into Nancy's pocket, brought his face close to hers and whispered in her ear, "Don't forget your son is still in my hands. If you want to spare him from any more torture… you'd better do as I say Otherwise," he threatened.
But Nancy was agitated. "I really can't do it," she pleaded. Her face etched with worry, she tried to explain, "Mr. Lu already suspects that I poisoned Autumn before. So he has forbidden her to eat the food I prepare. Instead, he asks people from the Zhao family to send her meals. So I have no chance to do as you ask."
"That's not my problem. It's yours," he retorted. With a devious smile, he said, "You have what you need. How you accomplish what I want done is your business. But let me remind you that I am not a patient man. So, don't make me wait too long," he warned.
His threat, the tone of his voice, and his look all frightened Nancy. He patted her on the shoulder before telling her, "You can go now. I'll take care of your son for you."
He gave instructions to drive Nancy back to Dream Garden. As soon as he left, Nancy groped for the packet of medicine in her pocket, her hand shaking.
What was she going to do? Nancy was now worried for Brent and Autumn. But did she have a choice if it was the only way to save her son?
It was already three o'clock in the morning when she got back home.
Charles was still up, waiting silently for Nancy's arrival. He watched her in the dark to make sure his presence went unnoticed.
As soon as he saw Nancy enter the house and head to her room, he went off to bed.
The next morning, Nancy prepared a large breakfast for the couple. She greeted Charles, trying her best to be cheerful. "Good morning, Mr. Lu." She pointed at the food laid out on the table. "Time for breakfast!"
Autumn was already up, getting ready for her hospital appointment. She saw breakfast was everything she liked and wanted to have some before leaving. But Charles held her back, saying, "Did you forget what you're going to do this morning?" He looked at his wife. "You're going to have a physical examination so you can't have breakfast before that."
Autumn felt slightly dejected after hearing Charles' reminder.
Nancy gave a sad smile and then turned to Charles, "Well, you can have some breakfast."
But he shook his head. "No, thank you," he told Nancy. Charles got their coats, helped his wife into hers and said, "Let's go! It's time to leave for the hospital."
They've been visiting the same hospital for her previous pre-natal check-ups. Charles usually waited in the hallway while Autumn was getting examined inside the doctor's office. This time, he came across Leila, who was walking hand-in-hand with a man, with a huge smile on her lips. He thought the man she was with looked like a doctor.
Charles wanted to ignore the couple but Leila noticed him immediately. She did hesitate for a bit before finally walking up to him. "Hello, Mr. Lu. Are you here for Autumn's physical examination?" she asked.
"Ah yes," Charles, looking a bit confused, replied. "Is this man your…" He was suddenly wondering when Leila got a boyfriend, not that it was any of his business.
"Oh, I'm sorry," she apologized. "Let me introduce the two of you." Leila smiled and pulled the man to her side before saying to Charles, "Yes, he is my boyfriend. We were classmates in middle high school and just got back together a few days ago."
Turning to Burke, she said, "And Burke, this is my former boss, Mr. Lu." Burke extended his hand for a handshake, which Charles accepted.
"A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Lu. I'm Leila's boyfriend. I've heard a lot about you, and I want to thank you for all your help," Burke said politely. He was very pleased that Leila agreed to be his girlfriend just the night before and that she came to the hospital to pick him up after work. Burke could not believe how lucky he was.
"Oh, really?" Charles said, eyebrows raised. He continued to stare at Leila, still in doubt about what he just learned about the relationship.
He snapped back to attention when he heard, "Mr. Lu…" Leila was smiling at him as she said, "My boyfriend and I are having lunch so we have to leave now.
Perhaps we can have dinner together one time when you're not so busy." The couple turned to leave, while Charles looked on still bewildered.
At that moment, a nurse came out and instructed Charles to pay the charges at another area of the hospital. So Autumn did not see her husband when she walked out of the doctor's office. She sat down to wait for him.
While waiting, she noticed two children playing roughly nearby. All of a sudden, one boy was pushed towards Autumn and was likely going to slam into her. She freaked out.
The boy looked to be more than ten years old. If he did bump into Autumn, it was likely the baby in her womb would be hurt.
Autumn was paralyzed in fear as she watched him coming her way. Instinctively, she covered her belly with her hands.
She shut her eyes and waited to feel the pain of being hit, but nothing happened. When Autumn opened her eyes, she saw a stranger catching the boy's hand and admonishing him. "Who are the parents of these children?" He spoke loudly, "How could you be so careless, allowing them to play here?"
To Autumn he asked, "Are you all right?" Shortly after, a peasant woman came forward, profuse with apologies. "I am so sorry. I wasn't watching them carefully. Is your wife okay?" she inquired.
Autumn blushed at the mistake and tried to explain that she and the man were not related. Instead, she was interrupted by him, "Just be careful next time. This is a hospital and kids should not be playing around because they might hurt patients.
This floor especially, where the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics is, should always be safe because pregnant women may get hurt with that kind of behavior."
The young mother bowed her head in embarrassment. "Yes, you are right. I should not have let them play here." She started to admonish the children as she led them away. The man turned around and asked Autumn again, "Are you sure you're okay?"
She nodded and gave a weak smile. "Yes, I'm fine. Thank you." Autumn was only too grateful to have escaped danger. And she thanked the stranger once more.
"You're welcome," he replied. The man looked her over and pointed out, "You looked dispirited. You need to be more cautious because of that pregnancy."
"Yes, I need to be more careful," she said, adding, "Are you a doctor in this hospital?" Autumn tried to recall if she had ever seen him around the hospital premises because most of the doctors there were familiar to her.
He shook his head and answered, "No, I'm not." The man finally straightened up and excused himself. "Please be careful. I'm going now as I have something else to take care of. Sorry, but I have to leave you now."
Autumn surprisingly felt disappointed when he disappeared.
Just then, she heard her name. "Autumn!" It was Charles, coming back after paying the fees. He saw her looking puzzled, and sat down beside his wife. "Who was that man?"
Autumn shrugged. "I don't know him either." Then she narrated what happened about the children horsing around and how the stranger prevented one from bumping into Autumn.
As he watched the man's retreating figure, Charles frowned over the incident. "What about the examination?" he asked his wife. "Is the baby okay?"
Autumn rubbed her belly and heaved a sigh of relief. "Yes, it's okay." She was pleased that all the precautions she took paid off because the doctor told her their baby was healthy and coming along as expected.