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Season 6

Episode 71

(Unpleasant encounter)

Since Sheryl was present, the two men pretended that they were meeting for the first time. But she felt the tense atmosphere as if the two were ready to beat each other up any time.   

  It irked Charles to see Anthony's hand on Sheryl's shoulder.    

 With a snort, he challenged, "Are you?"    His voice was full of contempt.     

A sly smile had formed in his lips. 

Charles thought, 'She is Autumn, and she is still legally my wife. If I don't let her go, Sheryl will never get married to Anthony.'    
Turning to Anthony, Sheryl suggested, "It's already late. How about we leave now?" With a frown, she went to get her daughter, but Shirley refused to leave and wanted to continue playing with Charlie and Amanda. It was the first time she had children to play with because, in America, Shirley had no friends.   

Charlie and Amanda. It was the first time she had children to play with because, in America, Shirley had no friends.    

 "What's your name?" Charles suddenly asked the little girl. His mellow tone and loving look drew Shirley to him.     

The little girl was not shy. Tilting her head, she surveyed the gentleman who had spoken from head to toe. Then she gave her name.     

Charles stared at the cute girl with doting eyes. 'She is my child, I am sure of it. But where is the other?' he wondered.    

 "I learned that today is your birthday. Is that right?" He continued to speak gently.     

"Yes,"  Shirley replied, her head bobbing up and down. There was no awakwardness between the man and little girl.     

Turning to Sheryl, Charles proposed, "Now that your daughter is here, why don't you all stay so we can celebrate the children's birthdays together?"  

He was doing everything possible to keep Sheryl with him and ensure she would never leave again.   

  "But…" Sheryl hesitated. She wanted to stay but looked at Anthony to check his reaction.     

Charles looked at Anthony and extended the invitation. "Mr. Xiao, I hope you can stay. It is our first meeting. And please forgive me for not paying much attention to you,"  he said politely.     

Anthony noted how Charles stressed the words "first meeting". 'What is he trying to do?' Anthony wondered. Laughing, he turned to Sheryl and said, "Sher, it's impolite to turn down Mr. Lu's kind invitation. Shirley is having fun now. So, how about we stay a little longer?" Sheryl looked at him in gratitude.     

Giving his consent made Anthony feel that he was showing Charles how intimate his relationship with Sheryl was. 'Besides, she's my girlfriend now,' he assured himself.   

The tension between the two men was so palpable that everyone there felt it. 

And Sheryl, who sensed it quickly, couldn't understand why. She thought, 'It's only their first meeting. How could they detest each other like this?'    

Among those present, Gary was the happiest. He was celebrating his great-grandson's birthday, and his granddaughter-in-law was back. Feeling content, he said to himself, "I will have no regrets even if I leave this world now."   

 But Anthony's arrival did turn the merry atmosphere into a slightly awkward one. The people in the party all knew Anthony and now realized he had hidden Autumn. 

So, it wasn't only Leila who felt like she was unwanted. They all scoffed at him, and some even got mad. Leila giggled at his predicament.    

 She decided to change her mood drastically.     

"Miss Xia, you and Mr. Xiao look like a good match. When do you plan to get married?" Leila asked Sheryl unexpectedly. She was enjoying the slightly embarrassed look the other woman gave her.   

"I…" Sheryl stammered with a bit of a frown. While she and Anthony had discussed marriage, she had not made a decision. Knowing her feelings for Anthony, Sheryl was not comfortable discussing personal matters with other people, especially a new acquaintance. She decided to let nature take its course.     

'Maybe in time, I will learn to love him,' she thought to herself. Sheryl didn't want to think about it for now.     

But Anthony was the exact opposite. Laughing aloud, he joined the conversation. "Soon. Sher and I have been planning our wedding,"  he said with confidence.     

"Is that so?" Leila replied with an ear-to-ear smile. She was snickering inside, 'It doesn't even matter that Autumn has returned. Because she loves Anthony now, and not Charles.' Leila felt victorious.     

With a fake smile, Leila spoke to Sheryl, "Miss Xia, you are a lucky woman. You not only have a lovely daughter, but you also have a handsome fiance who adores you."  

There was a hint of contempt in her voice which she could not control. Leila mistook Shirley as Shery'ls adopted child, not knowing the woman had given birth to twins.     

Anthony cut in with a courteous smile, "Miss Zhang, you are also quite fortunate." Sheryl only kept quiet. "You have a very cute son. I hope we'll be hearing good news about you and Mr. Lu soon,"  he said.     

His statement pleased Leila tremendously, and she chuckled and said, "You will." The exchange had Charles gripping his cup tightly and his brows drawing together to form a frown.     
Unable to control his temper, he tossed the chopsticks on the table and gave Leila a hard look. "I promise you will regret it if you continue talking rubbish,"  he threatened.   

Anthony may be standing in between him and Sheryl, but he did not care. Charles was confident of winning his beloved wife back. What he hated was for Sheryl to misunderstand his relationship with Leila.   

  His threatening words worked. Leila was terrified, and she held back her tongue. She didn't dare utter another word.     

Isla was curious how Autumn lost her memory. To satisfy her curiosity, she finally asked, "Mr. Xiao, I heard Miss Xia lost her memory. And she's forgotten about her past. What happened to her?"    
Isla thought to herself, 'Perhaps, Anthony is the only one who knows what Autumn went through and suffered three years ago.'    

Anthony had never spoken about it to others. This time, he smiled and replied, "Sher was in poor health after giving birth to Shirley. She began taking pills to make her well. But the medication had a downside: it made people forget their past."  

"Did Miss Xia choose this option?" Isla asked. It puzzled her to hear that Autumn would do this. "Of course, it was her decision,"  Anthony asserted.     

"But it was good for her since she didn't have very happy memories in her past,"  he added. He spoke casually while looking at Sheryl. "Thankfully, Sher and I lead a happy life now,"  Anthony said. Sheryl stared at Anthony. She had never heard him be so chatty with strangers about her.     

And she felt very uncomfortable when he touched her affectionately in front of Leila.     

"What is wrong with you? You're not behaving like yourself!" she hissed at him. His behavior was annoying and embarrassing, and she didn't like it.    

 But Anthony simply ignored her questions.     

The meal ended, and so did the two men's acrimonious debate. Sheryl and Anthony headed back to the hotel with Shirley. The child had fallen asleep on her mother's shoulder. Perhaps she was exhausted from jet lag.   

Fearing Sheryl would get tired from carrying Shirley, Anthony offered, "Sher, let me help you with Shirley. You must be exhausted,"  he said worriedly.    

 "No, thank you. I can handle this,"  she refused firmly. She moved aside to continue walking.     "

Are you mad at me?" Anthony finally asked. "What's wrong? Are you angry with me for coming over with Shirley without telling you?" he persisted.    

 Scowling, Sheryl retorted, "Anthony, your behavior at the party was quite rude. Did you know that?" She was trying to be calm but was already exasperated.     

"I don't like that man,"  he finally admitted. "Sher, you're my girlfriend. I can't and won't allow another man to get close to you like we are. Besides, he likes you. And I can sense that,"  Anthony complained.     

"Now that your show is over, we're going back to America. Our flight is for tomorrow morning,"  he declared presumptuously.   

"You even bought tickets?" Sheryl asked dumbfounded. Anthony making decisions without asking her opinion was quite upsetting for Sheryl.     

"Yes, I did,"  Anthony replied, not realizing his decision would displease his girlfriend. "I knew you've been busy these past several days, and I didn't want to bother you with these trivial matters,"  he explained.     

Anthony never expected Sheryl to be so annoyed with him. She snorted in disgust. She took a deep breath, and then told him, "Why are you so unreasonable? If you want to leave, you can go. But I'm staying here."

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