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 Season 8

Episode 58

(An eye for an eye (2)

The reality of Violet's words left him in deep thoughts. Born of the aristocracy, he had often appeared in media interviews. He was used to cameras and being in the limelight. But this was no dalliance with the fourth estate, as media houses were dragging his name in the mud. Deep inside he knew he couldn't merely downplay the effect of those negative reports on public opinion. 

When he read the sleazy headlines and subsequent comments, he found it depressing.    

 In the Lu family's villa, Alice sat at the desk staring at the laptop screen. The more reviews she read, the angrier she got. She wished she could make those netizens silent. 'What gives them the right to keep poking their noses into other people's businesses?' she wondered, her anger rising.     

Alice's cell phone rang, interrupting her attention as she reached out and looked at the screen. When she saw the caller ID, her eyes popped in surprise. 

"Lawrence!" she exclaimed before picking the call.   

"Hi, Lawrence,"  she greeted, her moods lighting up a little.     

"Are you not in bed?" From the other end of the line, Lawrence's voice had a hint of restraint and odd tenderness.    

 "Yes,"  Alice replied with a thoughtful look. "Have you learnt about the news on Greg, Lawrence?" she asked cautiously.  

   She knew Lawrence very well. 'I have to be cautious with him. Even though he and I are on close terms, he's a rather volatile man who'll snap at the slightest provocation, ' she reasoned.    

 "Of course I have,"  Lawrence blurted Greg's full name coldly. "Has he really done what they said he had done?" he asked, his tone giving away his disquiet.     
When Alice heard this, her hand quivered slightly. After composing herself, she answered hurriedly,"Greg would never do that, Lawrence. He didn't cheat on Violet as the media would have you believe. 

You can't blame Greg, because I was with them at the hotel last night. This whole racket has Cassie's handwriting at every turn. She has been bugging Greg since they were abroad. Now that she's back in the country and Greg is a happily married man, she's just out to frustrate him."  

At the thought of Cassie, Alice burned with anger. For the same, she had to set the record clear with Lawrence by bearing out everything she knew concerning Greg's misfortune.    

 "I know,"  Lawrence responded. He didn't need her to introduce Cassie.     

"You know?" Alice muttered, looking confused. "Do you mean that you know Cassie?" she asked tentatively.   

  "No,"  Lawrence replied,"But I investigated her before Violet got married."    

Fully, Alice now understood the situation. Even though Lawrence was abroad, he still secretly kept an eye on his favourite sister. He knew everything about her. 

'Perhaps he called to find out the truth to see if he could intervene on behalf of his sister, without alerting Violet to his plans. We both know Violet very well. She doesn't like being a bother to anyone, especially people who care about her, ' she mulled.    

 For a moment, Alice felt that she was moving closer to a solution. The only problem was that the majority of online opinion favoured Cassie and Greg while isolating Violet as a spoiler. Some of the more sleazy, unrefined comments riled her sister in rather vulgar language. 

"What should we do?" Alice asked, expecting to hear Lawrence's answer.   

But then she guessed, 'Lawrence only wants to learn as much as he can so as to scheme the next move for his sister.'  

  "You don't have to do anything. Just wait for tomorrow's news,"  Lawrence casually answered.    

 "What do you mean by that?" Alice asked, more baffled. 'Lawrence is abroad now. What is he going to do?' she wondered.    

 "An eye for an eye,"  Lawrence replied, with an expressionless tone. He then said,"I just called to make sure whether Greg did anything wrong. So good night!"    

"I see. You can count on me when I say Greg did nothing wrong,"  Alice reiterated.    

 "Don't let Violet know about this. I don't want get her hung up on the little details,"  Lawrence said calmly.     

"I will. Don't worry,"  Alice replied.    

 "I have to go now,"  Lawrence said.    

 "Bye, Lawrence,"  Alice returned. He spoke so politely, she thought.   

After she ended the call, a bright smile adorned her pretty face. All her worries vanished for she was certain that Lawrence would change the course of things. 'Tomorrow will be a day of surprises, ' she thought cheerfully.    

 The next morning, the whole city slid into chaos. At 5:00 am, dozens of people flooded to the gate of the XS Hospital. Reporters, relatives of patients from the hospital and even mobs of angry youths joined in the pandemonium.     

At six o'clock, the alarm rang. This time, Alice didn't ignore the ring. Instead, she opened her eyes immediately. She got up and went to the bathroom to wash up.   

  When she came downstairs, she saw her parents sitting in the dinning room having breakfast.     

"Good morning, Mom, Dad,"  Alice gushed as she joined them.     

"Oh, Alice, why did you get up so early today? I already set aside your breakfast in the fridge,"  Amy said in surprise. Since Alice never had breakfast with her and Derek, Amy was accustomed to placing her daughter's breakfast in the refrigerator. Once Alice got up and came down, she could warm it in the microwave.   

"It's okay, and don't mind me. I'll get it myself,"  Alice replied as she headed over to the fridge for her breakfast.    

 Shifting his gaze from the newspaper in his hand, Derek fixed his doubtful eyes on his daughter beside him. "Who did this?" he asked, cynicism echoing in words.     

"What are you talking about?" Alice answered, pretending not to know what her father was talking about. In fact, she knew it was Lawrence's doing. But she was ignorant of the content of the reports. All she knew was that there would be an important twist to the media reports that had been doing rounds, dragging Greg and Violet's names into the mud.    

 Alice took the newspaper from her father's hand, and read it intently. A few lines on, she burst into laughter. "Oh my god. This must be the most explosive news across the city in years. Those 'beautiful' pictures were published?" she gasped.   

  "Tell me, who is behind all these?" Derek asked sternly. Since he read the news about Greg yesterday, he had mulled it over, trying to find a solution. However, someone had beaten him to the punch. 

He contemplated that the person behind this must be a big shot. Otherwise, he wouldn't be able to publish without inviting some level of censure by the government.   

"You think I did this, Dad?" Alice asked in a naughty voice.    

 After reading the newspaper, Amy understood what the father and daughter were talking about. She replied firmly,"It's impossible. You only came back a few days. I don't think you're capable of pulling such a move."

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