"Excuse me, Miss Ren. Would you please tell me what the sentence for going through someone else's belongings without their knowledge and consent is?" Erica asked.
For a moment, Mollie looked stunned, but she responded duly, "That would be considered an invasion of personal privacy. Under normal circumstances, a defendant would be required to pay damages to the victim, but under severe circumstances, the defendant could face up to a maximum of three years' imprisonment or detention."
Erica picked up the purse next to her and placed it on top of the table before her.
"Do you recognize this purse?" she asked. Of course, Mollie recognized the purse. After all, it belonged to her!
"I found this purse in my son's room. I know my son well; he must have looked through it and, consequently been in violation of your privacy. What would you charge him with, Miss Ren?" It was becoming increasingly clear that Erica was doing everything in her power to make her son's relationship with Mollie work.
Mollie's cheeks blushed red instantly. After an awkward pause, she mumbled, "Mrs. Huo, he won't be facing any charges as I was the one who accidentally left it..."
He must be punished!" Erica said firmly. Mollie had feelings for Adkins, and moreover, he was now the ruler of H Country. How could a mere lawyer like her file a lawsuit against him? She began to wonder if Erica had just come here to make things difficult for her.
The nervousness that was displayed on Mollie's face amused Erica quite a lot. "In my opinion, you should sentence him to a lifetime of imprisonment, if you know what I mean," she said with a cheeky wink.
Mollie was completely dumbfounded as she couldn't believe what she had just heard. All her cleverness and eloquence in court had evaporated into thin air.
"Let's just cut to the chase, dear. Among the quadruplets, only Adkins is single now. I would be lying if I told you that I haven't been doing my own research. I know that the two of you were in the same class more than ten years ago. I also know that the girl he took to see the starry night sky was you," said Erica.
It was quite clear that Erica had conducted an extensive and detailed investigation about the two of them.
Matthew used to take her to that place as well. This one time when they both went there again, the person taking care of the place told them that Adkins had brought a girl there.
Before Mollie could say anything, Erica continued, "I've already checked his schedule. Adkins is expected to arrive in the city tomorrow and he will be staying at the six-star hotel in the city center."
Mollie didn't know how to respond as she was both moved and unsettled. After a while, she said, "Auntie, then you must have heard that... I am already engaged..."
"Yes, I have. You don't have to worry about that because I happen to know your fiance's mother. I've already arranged for some beautiful girls for your so-called fiance to go on blind dates with. You can consider the engagement cancelled. You will receive a call from your ex-fiance tonight to finalize the details," said Erica. Erica was like an unstoppable train. Now that she had made up her mind to pair Mollie with her son, she was hell-bent on making sure that nothing could ever come between them.
Mollie fidgeted in her seat. "Auntie, this is all happening too fast." Mollie's instincts were telling her that Erica was setting her up with Adkins. But why?
"I am sure this is all a bit overwhelming, but you are not married yet and neither is Adkins. Why complicate things if all you two want is to really be together?" Just like every caring mother in the world, Erica was worried about her eldest son because his life revolved around his work and she barely got to see him.
The least she could do for his happiness was to make sure that he ended up with the woman he loved.
An hour after Erica had left, Mollie was still stuck in her seat, dazed and confused.
Came nightfall. She received a call from her fiance just as Erica had said. "Mollie, I am very sorry. I don't know how my mother found out about what happened between us. She wants me to call off the engagement. We shouldn't see each other anymore. Good-bye!"
There she was, single again.
The next day, Mollie called in sick and decided to spend the rest of the day waiting at home.
The waiting time was always long. All day long, she kept thinking about Erica's words that Adkins would stay in the hotel in the city center tonight. The hours she spent waiting were dreadful and agonizing. All day long, she kept repeating Erica's words in her head—"Adkins will be staying at the six-star hotel in the city center."
The time to face the truth was drawing near. After she got out of the shower, Mollie took out a strapless black dress and a pair of crystal high-heeled shoes from the wardrobe. In the end, she decided to go with only some light make-up and walked out of the house with her long hair hanging loose on her back.
Although she was a jittery nervous wreck, Mollie still managed to drive herself to the six-star hotel Erica had told her about.
When she reached the hotel, the entire place was swarming with countless plain-clothed security guards. As she stood just outside, Mollie started to have second thoughts and she decided to leave.
She was just a lawyer. How could she dream of being with Adkins?
If she didn't deserve him ten years ago, she most definitely didn't now all the more.
Just as she turned around to leave, a man in a suit walked towards and said, "Miss Ren?"
Mollie turned around and saw a bodyguard.
"Mrs. Erica Huo sent me to pick you up. Mr. Adkins Huo is in his room now. Please follow me," he said with a polite smile.
On the 66th floor of the hotel
A dozen of bodyguards were going back and forth in the corridor like well-oiled machines. When they saw the two people getting out of the elevator, they stopped and nodded to greet them.
The bodyguard who accompanied Mollie upstairs whispered to one of the men and the two continued to walk forward.
There was pin-drop silence in the corridor and the atmosphere was quite tense. It would be normal for anyone to think that there was a big shot currently residing on the floor.
The bodyguard stopped at the door in the end of the corridor and gestured at Mollie with his hand. "Miss Ren, Mr. Huo is expecting you in this room. I will be leaving shortly."
Mollie nodded at him politely. "Thank you!"
"You're welcome, Miss Ren."
The bodyguard left, leaving only Mollie and two bodyguards standing in front of the door.
Mollie hesitated for some time before she decided to ring the doorbell.
The door was pushed open from the inside by Adkins' secretary. His eyes widened when he saw who was standing outside. He greeted Mollie with a smile and said, "Please wait a moment."
The secretary scampered back to report. "Mr. Huo, Miss Ren is outside."
'Miss Ren?' Adkins strode to the door, confused. The woman standing outside was none other than Mollie.
The secretary slid out sensibly, leaving the two of them alone. When the door was closed from the outside, Mollie's heart skipped a beat.
She licked her lips and said, "I'm sorry to bother you..."
Adkins, however, kept staring at the woman like a fool, almost as if he didn't know what language she was speaking.
Ten years had done wonders on this woman because she looked more matured and feminine.
On their second meeting in a decade, the first thing that came out of Mollie's mouth was—"I'm sorry to bother you."
Mollie felt so embarrassed at herself that she fell into an awkward silence. Such a reaction wasn't completely unexpected; after all, they hadn't seen each other for a long time. It was almost as if they were just strangers meeting for the very first time. Perhaps they no longer had anything in common anymore.
Mollie tried to smile. "Well, if you are busy, I'll leave you to it..." She nodded her head awkwardly and turned around.
Adkins stepped forward immediately, grabbed her wrist and pulled her into his arms.
The fresh scent of mint on the man was so alluring that her heart was about to jump out of her chest. In order to steady herself, she clutched at his sleeves tightly.
Holding her waist with one arm, Adkins looked down at the nervous woman and asked, "Have you made up your mind?"
'Have I made up my mind?' In truth, she hadn't. Although she had been at home all day, her mind was in a mess and she couldn't think about anything properly.
When he sensed her discomfort through her silence, Adkins displayed a rare look in his eyes. "Well, now that you're already here, it's too late to think about it." Before she knew, the man lowered his head and kissed her red lips.
He wasn't going to let her go now that she had come to him on her own.
Adkins' secretary, however, stood outside the door anxiously because his boss was supposed to be at a very important dinner party that night. Even he didn't have the courage to knock on his door.
The only occupants of the master suite were a man and a woman. It wasn't very hard to imagine what was going on inside.
About an hour later, Adkins opened the door and walked out, neatly dressed and looking fresh. The way he carefully shut the door behind his back indicated that he was afraid of disturbing the sleeping woman inside.
Taken by curiosity, his secretary secretly looked him up and down. His usual serious expression was now full of joy and he wasn't wearing the same clothes he was wearing before Mollie arrived. In fact, it was quite clear that he had just taken a shower.
Three months later, Adkins got married. The wedding was deliberately kept low-profile and the only people on the guest-list were either family or close friends of the family. The name, identity and profession of his wife were kept out of the general public's knowledge for the sake of privacy.
However, Adkins was always seen with a woman after that and when someone would ask about the woman's identity, his secretary would simply answer—"Mrs. Huo."
As time went by, people eventually came to see that Adkins and his wife loved each other very much. In fact, they were inseparable.
Besides, there was a female lawyer in the ZL Group's legal team. Even Boswell Huo, the CEO of the company, had a lot of respect for her. Only a few of his assistants knew that the female lawyer was actually their CEO's sister-in-law.
After all, she was the only employee of the company that could come and go with Adkins as she pleased. Why else would the boss give her that privilege if she weren't important to his family?
Eventually, more and more people came to know about Adkins' wife, the remarkable lawyer, named Mollie Ren.