Chapter 23 - Moving In
"Hello, Philip," Debbie greeted on the phone. "What? Now?" Narrowing her eyes, she said, "Okay, got it. I'll be there as soon as I can." After hanging up the call, she took a much needed deep breath. Ever since she had given Philip the divorce papers, she had been staying in the dorm. There was no reason for her to live in the villa anymore.
Yet a moment ago, she had received Philip's call and he had asked her to go back there. Unaware of the purpose behind his request, she became a bit worried
."Kristina," Debbie began, turning to look at her, "I'm sorry you have to go back to school alone. I need to go back home."
"What?" Kristina asked in confusion. "Is there something wrong?" Concern was written all over her face. As much as Debbie wanted to share the truth, she felt it would be better to keep this to herself.
Shaking her head, Debbie answered, "No. Don't worry. I'll see you tomorrow."
"All right then," Kristina said with a hint of uncertainty in her voice. "Goodbye!"
A bit grateful that she did not have to answer any more questions, Debbie waited for her friend to get into the taxi they had just hailed and leave before she hailed another one for herself. While heading to the East City Villa, she was in a rather nervous state. 'Did Carlos already agree to sign the divorce papers?' she thought. If he did, Debbie wondered why she still had to make the trip back there. Upon reaching her destination, she paid the fare and got out of the taxi.
Then, she stood on the spot while the taxi drove away, and stared at the villa lit with more lights than she could count. Her eyes were filled with worry.
Usually, there were only three people including her in the villa. Accompanying her were the servant and the steward who were Julie Liu and Philip respectively. It was past ten o'clock in the evening now. Neither Julie Liu nor Philip would typically stay overnight in the villa, yet it seemed like there were still people at home. There was only one explanation for Philip to stay so late -- Carlos was at home.
The young lady took a deep breath, opened the entrance door gently, and sneaked into the living room. There was no point in delaying her arrival.
Philip's voice could be vaguely heard, and as she peered into the room, two men came into view.
With a domineering aura, Carlos was sitting on the couch. The man did not appear like he was in a good mood. While staying hidden, Debbie considered walking out of the house, but her feet did not move and she had her eyes fixed on Carlos.
His eyes were shut while he was listening to Philip's report regarding her personal information and recent activities.
"She ranked the last in high school," Philip said, carefully observing his boss' reaction. "And she failed the college entrance exam. As per your request, I've arranged her application to study in the Finance Department of Economics and Management School of Y City University. She is currently a junior student..."
Noticing Debbie in the doorway, Philip gave her a sympathetic look. Carlos, on the other hand, did not even open his eyes. It was as though he hadn't heard the door open earlier. Deep in thought, the seemingly unaware man tapped the wooden armrest of the couch.
"What did she do in the university?" Carlos interrupted Philip's report, his voice low and attractive at the same time. Clasping her hands together, Debbie quietly begged Philip not to throw her under the bus.
The doe-eyed lady waited for him to make a choice. After having spent three years serving her, Philip believed that she was a good girl, and so he hesitated to answer the man in front of him.
"Continue!" Carlos demanded. His voice was so cold and authoritative that it made the other two people in the room shudder at the same time.
The steward shook his head in defeat, as though he were saying, "Kid, I can't help you this time. Only God can help you now." Then, to Debbie's horror, Philip began recounting everything she had done in the past three years.
If Carlos were not there, Debbie would give the steward a sarcastic thumbs-up and praise him by saying, "You'd definitely make a successful spy if it were in the wartime."
"The dean of the university called me the other day. She was informed by someone that Mrs. Huo had formed a gang. She had gang fights, and..." After a short pause, he added, "...and smashed a teacher's desk."
When Debbie heard that someone had dared to tell the dean what she had done, the first person that came to her mind was her cousin, Gail.
The memory of her own actions made her break out in a cold sweat. Biting her lower lip, she began to justify herself and thought, 'Yes, I did smash the teacher's desk. But it wasn't my fault.
Wait a minute!' The lady folded her arms upon realizing something. 'What's Carlos doing right now?' she thought furiously. 'He's my husband! Why is he acting like my father all of a sudden? Debbie, don't be afraid of him!'
But before she could speak up, Carlos' authoritative voice echoed in the living room. "Enough! Clean a room for me," he instructed Philip. Finally, he opened his eyes and directly stared at the figure standing in the entrance.
'Is Mr. Huo going to live here?' Philip wondered to himself. 'But even if he wants to live here, why does he not choose to stay in the same room with Mrs. Huo?'
Despite his burning questions, Philip did not dare to ask Carlos. "Yes, Mr. Huo," he said promptly, and went to the second floor so he could clean the biggest bedroom for his boss.
When Debbie noticed Carlos' cold glare, her heart skipped a beat. Like a child, she gripped her shirt tightly and lowered her head to avoid looking Carlos in the eye.
'This is really weird, ' she thought. 'I was not afraid of him before, but is he suddenly so scary now?' Contrary to her belief, Carlos was a sophisticated businessman who had dealt with various people multiple times in the past. The man was used to intimidating people, and at times, he did not even need to utter a single word. No wonder the young lady was scared to death.
"Come!" Trapped in a trance, Debbie immediately obeyed his order without hesitation. Then, she stopped three meters away from him.
'What should I do? Is he mad at me after knowing what I've done? Will he sign the divorce papers now? Or will he ask his men to bury me again? Should I run away now? I don't want to die...' A myriad of thoughts flooded her mind.
Casting an indifferent glance at the girl whose face was as pale as a corpse, Carlos managed to look expressionless despite his amusement.
'I thought you weren't afraid of anything. You've provoked me so many times. You even sang a song to curse me. Why do you not dare to raise your head now?' he thought.
"I'll move in from today on. I forbid you to live in the dorm. You are to stay here once again," Carlos said coldly. His next words made her eyes widen. "I'll drive you to the university every morning."
It was like Debbie had been thrown into a vat of ice water.
'I won't have any freedom in the future! I need to do something about this!' she thought defiantly, raising her head as she prepared to state her arguments.
Before she could speak, however, Carlos opened his mouth first. "Do you not agree?" The fury in her eyes made the man become sterner, his voice as cold as ice.
'I can let go of her past deeds, ' he thought, 'because I didn't know she is my wife back then.' The corner of his mouth twitched. 'But it's a different case now. I won't let her live like this anymore. Bad grades? No problem. I will teach her myself. Acting like a tomboy? Fine! I'll teach her how to be a soft girl!' he swore to himself.
Meanwhile, Debbie could not help but tremble on seeing his cold eyes.
'Oh man! I can see it now. He is Carlos Huo, the rich and powerful Mr. President! Killing a person like me is as easy as killing an ant!' she thought, her eyes glistening with fear.
The man was waiting for her to respond.
'Calm down, Debbie Nian! You can't afford to offend him, ' Debbie consoled herself.
Shaking her head, she did not say a word. Even though she did not agree with his decision, she did not have the courage to say it out. As for the divorce, she did not dare to mention it either. Even though he did not spell it out for her, his current demands made it clear already.
Without a shred of doubt, Debbie knew that the man had no intention of divorcing her.
Stealing a glance at the man in front of her, she shuddered again. 'It's only the start of autumn, but why do I feel so cold? I'm freezing!
I wanted to divorce him because of my freedom. I want to pursue my happiness. And I could not have my happiness while I am in this marriage. But it seems that I have made a stupid move. I lifted a rock only to drop it on my own feet. I thought he hated me. It's not like I didn't notice his annoyance every time we met. So why? Why does he not want to divorce me? Why?!' she shouted in her mind.
When Debbie did not seem like she was going to say anything, Carlos stood up from the couch and went up the stairs. As soon as he entered his bedroom, Debbie heaved a long sigh of relief and wiped the cold sweat off her forehead.
Finally, in control of her emotions again, she gathered her thoughts and tried to understand his demands. 'He will drive me to school every day?' she thought, frowning. 'What the hell? What should I do now?' Throwing herself on the couch, Debbie tried to figure out a way to deal with the present situation.
After lying down properly, she took out her phone from her pocket and searched for information about her dear husband. But when she typed 'Carlos Huo' in the search bar, no related information came up at all.
In such a society with an advanced information network, how did Carlos keep his information a secret from the public? It was a mystery which bothered Debbie.
As the saying went, "know your enemy, know yourself." She wanted to learn more about her husband, but with her online search ending in vain, she was stuck.
Should she just talk to him instead? But as soon as the thought appeared in Debbie's mind, she quickly dismissed it. The man did not know how to listen to her. It would be just another futile attempt. Sighing, the young lady continue to ponder.