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(A place of mystery (1)

"Mrs. Cherry, although we are aware that you are not in possession of the item we need, you are leverage. And as long as we have you, we can achieve our goals,"  Eric explained with a devilish tone, as though he had a card up his sleeve.    

 "So you brought me here to threaten my husband?" That was what Cherry had suspected earlier. She was the bait that Eric and Jonson planned to use to reel Jackson in with.   

  "You are smart! Can you imagine who else we can threaten aside from your beloved husband?" An unnatural smile crossed Eric's face as he suddenly stood and walked over to Cherry slowly.    

 Not knowing what Eric planned, Jonson got up too and stepped closer to Cherry.     
With an arrogant manner, Eric continued his verbal assault,"Since you are a member of the Chu family, Mrs. Cherry, I wonder what you know about the token? 

Jackson intends for us to follow his orders and control us, but he couldn't even produce the token. Is he kidding? 

Don't ever try and take advantage of me!" His voice was full of sarcasm and his words meant to goad Cherry. He would inevitably be the king of the city with Jackson toppled.   

Considering Eric laid the cards on the table, Jonson explained,"Mrs. Cherry, please don't be upset with us. When grandpa Andrew was alive, we followed his orders unconditionally and it had nothing to do with the token. Now, since Grandpa has passed away, we are duty bound to follow orders from whoever has the token. If Jackson has the token, we will obey him. But, if the token is in someone else's hands....."   

 Before he finished, Eric interrupted,"then we will kill that someone. The token restricted our freedom and we will reclaim it. Anyone holding it, aside from Jackson, will suffer a cruel death."  

The murderous stare and hostile tone Eric spoke with alarmed Cherry so much that she couldn't help quaking. These two men were terrifying!     

Lily held Cherry's hands tightly, trying to calm her. She could tell Cherry was now on the fringe of collapsing. However, she was fearless in the face of everything, and was afraid that Eric and Jonson's perfect plans might fall through because she already had grasped the overall situation! She just needed to confirm her speculations. What she could do now was to buy time until Jackson arrived.  

   Hellen had called Lily and informed her that Derek and Jackson must be aware of their relationship. Therefore, Lily didn't need to worry about that knowledge being exposed and she just needed to play it by ear. Lily gave all the appearances of having a well thought out plan, but her only goal right that minute was to ensure Cherry and her unborn baby's safety.   

  "Ah-hem,"  Lily said, clearing her throat as she chuckled softly. She intended to identify herself because when Eric and Jonson shifted their attention to her, Cherry would be safe.   

Lily's chuckle drew the attention of both men. They turned to look at the housemaid, curious about what she was thinking.     

"What's on your mind there? Do you have an opinion about this?" asked Eric curiously. Why would this humble housemaid speak up in front of them? If not for Cherry's sake, he would have tossed her out. By no means should a menial servant be privy to such valuable news!    

 "Unless I recall incorrectly, what Andrew ordered on token wasn't at all what you just said,"  Lily said each word slowly, keeping a level head about her. She appeared calm and firm as she spoke.  

   "How dare you disrespectfully address Grandpa Andrew by his name?" Even Jonson dared not refer to Andrew in that manner; this housemaid doing so irritated him. How dare an unworthy housemaid use Grandpa's name, especially in front of Eric, Cherry and himself! 'The chit must have a death wish!' he determined silently.   

"You focus on that? Aren't you even curious about how I could possibly know about Andrew?" A confident smile spread across Lily's face as she asked. 

    To the two men, her smile looked odd, even a bit scary! This housemaid was absolutely unusual!   

  "Lily!" Cherry cried out, giving Lily a curious stare. 'What's happened to Lily?' Cherry wondered. If Lily were weaving a story to protect Cherry, it would only put Lily in danger too if Eric and Jonson became irritated.    

 "Trust me, and don't worry, Ma'am! You will be safe with me!" Lily looked into Cherry's eyes with sincerity as she reassured her. She was charged with protecting Cherry and that was what she would do. When Grandpa Andrew explained it to her, at first she thought it was too dangerous. But, since accepting the mission, she would do everything she could to protect Cherry, Jackson, Joe and any other members of the Chu family.   

"Well, speak up! We don't have all day! What could you possibly know?" Eric was going crazy trying to determine what this housemaid could have up her sleeve. 

What was this mysterious woman going to say? This decimated his plans. His objective was obvious and that was Jackson, and the person that would help him achieve what he wanted was Cherry.

 Aside from these two persons, he hadn't imagined anyone getting involved. Now this woman popped up! He didn't know what to do now.     

"Eric? Andrew was right!" Lily said calmly, and she paused to let that sink in before finishing. "You are indeed filled with a huge amount of wild ambitions!" Lily smirked. Even though today was the first time she had met him, Andrew told her that Eric was relentless and tough and today she saw it personally.   

"You...?" Eric choked on his anger. This woman kept mentioning Andrew by name, was she well acquainted with him?     

"You seem to know Grandpa Andrew well,"  Jonson abruptly cut in. While he spoke, he was formulating a plan. He had to determine the real identity of this woman. From her temperament and the way she spoke, he could tell she wasn't simple-minded, which led him to worry about just how many mysterious figures lurked behind Jackson.     

"Now you are getting it! Mr. Jonson? Andrew gave you 300 million dollars two years ago, and I am positive that his purpose was not for you to use it in a rebellion, correct?" asked Lily firmly. She knew much more about the facts than Eric and Jonson suspected. Since these two were examining her and trying to know what she knew, she decided to play it close to the vest.     

Jonson was shocked! No one had known it except Andrew, Eric and himself. He didn't think even Jackson was aware. So, how on earth could this woman know? Jonson's jaw nearly fell in shock at Lily's announcement. Who on earth was she? 

"How do you know about the arrangement?" Eric's voice cracked and was full of disbelief.   

"How about I tell you something else, Mr. Eric?" Lily was ready to reveal more in order to convince them.  

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