Ultimately, Charlene had given up on convincing her father to give her a few days to contemplate what he told her, nothing seemed to change Rowan's mind. He invited Sullivan's family over for dinner so they could discuss the marriage preparation and also Richard and Charlene would get the chance to talk.
Kathleen informed her that'd arrive by evening. Charlene had been in her room getting ready since it was twilight, at any time Richard and her parents would arrive. As she was about to leave her room Javier called to inform her he was outside waiting for her. Maids were preparing for tonight's event. She bumped into Flavia on her way out.
“Where are you going in such a hurry, Charlene?” She queried, holding a new bedspread Charles demanded for.
“I'm going out. Javier is outside waiting for me.”
“Alright. I'm taking this to Charles. Do you perhaps want a new bedspread?”
“Just my comforter. I want roses.” She ordered, reaching for the exit door. She handled the door and walked out, as she reached a car drove into the garage. She sighted Bryant and his wife alighting from the car without Richard. Charlene quickly lowered her gaze and trudged to the gate. She stepped outside and met Javier standing beside his motorcycle.
“Javier,” She called out while launching toward him.
“Hey beauty.” He waved at her. Charlene approached him with a big smile plastered on her face, she stood in front of him.
“You skipped school today, I was literally worried.”
“How about today's tutorial?” Javier carried the text books on the motorcycle then extended them to her.
“Not today. My parent's guests are around. Don't worry I'm going to go through the text books then tomorrow you'll explain and assist with any difficulties.” She said demurely. She couldn't tell him the truth, apparently Javier hadn't gotten over his feelings yet. Telling him that her parents were arranging a marriage between her and a man would shatter his heart, moreover Javier knew about her crush on Richard but he always believed that Charlene would see him as a lover not as a best friend one day.
“Oh.” He murmured feebly.
A car drove past them, Charlene caught a glimpse of Richard in the backseat but he wasn't looking. “I have to go now.” She collected the books from him and paced backward.
“Isn't that Richard Sullivan?” Javier pointed at the car driving into the mansion. Charlene concluded in her mind that he also caught a glimpse of him like she did.
“Oh. Finally you'll get the chance to meet him in person. Charlene, don't forget to get his autograph.” He tried not to sound jealous while looking at her face.
“Sure, I won't forget.” Her phone vibrated, she ignored and waved Javier a goodbye before heading into the mansion. Her prediction was right, everyone was in the dining room waiting for her.
“Charlene, over here.” Kathleen gestured to her to come over. She shrugged incuriously, she walked over and when she looked around their eyes met but Richard switched his gaze immediately.
“Sweetheart, have a seat next to him.” Bryant smiled brightly at her, pointing at the only empty chair beside Richard's. It was the only chair left, she didn't have a choice but to sit beside him and stay in an uncomfortable atmosphere with him.
Instead of sitting she walked past the seat. Richard was surprised, people would die to get close to him but Charlene ignored him as if he never existed. She strutted to Bryant. “Good day sir. I'll love to serve you instead of maids only if you don't mind.”
Her parents weren't the only people that were surprised by her sudden behavior, it took Charles by surprise. He glanced at her briefly. Bryant gave his approval with a nod. “Sure dear.” Charlene restrained the maid, she ordered her to leave with an eye gesture. She had never done anything like that before, she rarely entered the kitchen because maids were hired to always be at their services all the time. She looked at Flavia as she poured champagne for her father, she carried the bottle with self-consciousness, she poured content little into the flute and offered Bryant who received it with a big smile. “Thanks.” He sipped then put the flute down
Luciana never flaunted interest, she was busy eating without sparing anyone a glance. Charlene returned to her seat beside Richard but she didn't look at him.
Richard barely touched his food, he was only interested in drinks. Charlene smiled cheerfully at Bryant's humorous jokes while they were eating, he never stopped teasing her.
“Did you know that he has a child already?” Luciana eventually uttered a sentence.
Charlene halted her cutlery halfway to her mouth, she chuckled and nodded once. “I know.”
“You don't mind marrying him. Well, I can't wait to have you as my daughter in-law.” She grinned at her vaguely.
“Charlene, why don't you take him around.” Kathleen winked at her.
“Yes, they need their privacy.” Bryant said, almost everyone burst into delighted laughter.
Richard and Charlene stood up. “Excuse us.”
They left the dining room together to the family garden in their mansion. “I think we've met before.” it sounded more like a question as Richard looked forward to an answer.
“I don't think so. And if we did then it's a coincidence.” She motioned toward a bench and sat down.
“Maybe.” He shrugged apathetically.
Both of them stood in silence, none of them ever utter a word after that. Charlene had nothing to say to him, she expected him to say something like ‘I can't marry a college lady’ but Richard had something else in his mind. He only spared her a vague stare until his phone rang.
Charlene noticed how disappointed he was when he saw the call ID. He grunted softly then moved away to receive the call. On the phone, Henrietta informed her she'd be waiting for him at a hotel which she'd sent the address after hanging up. She threatened him that if he didn't show up she'd come to his mansion and create a scene.
When the call ended after thirty minutes Richard returned to where she was. “If you don't have anything to say I think we should go back in because I have nothing to say to you.” He said, pivoted and left the garden without waiting for her response.
Charlene followed from behind. Their parents were in a deep conversation when they arrived at the dining room. “I have an announcement.” Richard enunciated.
Everyone gazed at him eagerly. Charlene wondered what he wanted to tell their parents as both of them only exchanged a few words. “We're listening, son.”
He sighed out loud. “There's an emergency I have to attend to tomorrow but I'll adjust my schedule for the week. Well, I genuinely want the wedding preparation to be fixed tomorrow then our wedding ceremony should be the day after tomorrow.”
Charlene's jaw dropped astonishingly. Awkward silence took over the room as they only focused on Richard alone.
“Why rushing?” Charles interrupted instead of his sister.
Richard gazed at him steadily. “I'm having tight schedules for the entire month. I don't want to waste time that's why I want the wedding preparation to start now.” He averted his gaze to Charlene's face. “Isn't that what we concluded on, Charlene?” His eyes narrowed at her vaguely.
“Huh?” Puzzled, she murmured. Richard directed his eyes to her eyes squarely.
“So…” He smirked.
She composed herself. “Yeah, yes. I agree, moreover my examination are on hold so I have the time now.”
Suddenly Bryant clapped his hands. “That's great. I never thought both of you would get along this quick. Leave everything to me to handle. The invitations will be out and the magazines will be released tomorrow.” He announced with excitement.
“You don't have to, dad. I'll handle everything. Make yourself available darling, my driver will be here to pick you up tomorrow.”
Charlene looked at him in awe, everything he said surprised her. Her heart raced in her chest while staring at him.
“Alright. We should toast to that, everyone!” Rowan raised his champagne flute while everyone also did the same. “Cheers!” The tips of the flute cluck, they sipped their drinks. Charlene was drowning in a pool of confusion, she was looking at everyone perplexingly. Charlene noticed, he put a hand on her hand and gestured to her to take a deep breath.
“Kathleen, we should pick a wedding gown for her… what do you think?” Luciana suggested.
“Sure. Tomorrow we're going to do that.” She smiled brightly.
“Excuse me, I have to use the restroom.” Charlene excused herself from the room. Charles drew his chair back a little, he stood up and followed her.
“Son…” Whatever Bryant was about to say was interrupted by the sound of Richard's phone. He glanced at his father helplessly then picked up his call, he hung the call almost immediately.
“I have to go now. It's important.” He said.
“Go ahead.” Rowan and Bryant said in union.
Richard stood up then left. He ordered his driver to drive him to his mansion. After waiting for him, she had sent more than ten threatening messages. Richard didn't have a choice, he couldn't hesitate after she informed him she was in his mansion waiting for him.
The driver halted the car in the garage, he alighted instantly and trudged inside. Just what she told him, she was carrying Miguel in her arms.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Richard seethed hostilely.
“To see my little angel. Do you miss me, Richy?” She made Miguel sit on the sofa, she raised to Richard's level and faced him with a mischievous grin.
“Leave before I have you thrown out of my mansion!” His eyes were cold but Henrietta wasn't bothered, she remained calm and relaxed.
“I thought you wouldn't show up. Calm down, Richy. You should at least be friendly to your ex wife, remember we share memories.” She moved her hand to his face, attempting to touch him but he pushed her hand away.
“Don't you dare!”
She grunted as she folded her hands over her chest. “I'm back now. I know you haven't gotten over me yet, let's forget about the past and start afresh. I want my family back.”
“Too late. I don't want you anymore, you know how much I hate your gut. Leave my mansion now, Henrietta!”
She ignored him and sat down. “I'm passing a night here. I checked our room but it seems like you changed the password, the card isn't working either. My luggage is in the car, so just ordered a maid to take it to our room.” She said not looking at him.
Richard laughed out loud, he returned his hands to his pockets. “I'm pretty sure she didn't tell you I'm getting married in two days.”
She abruptly looked at him. Her eyes darkened with suspicion while lifting a brow perplexingly. “What do you mean?”
He motioned to a seat, he sat down and crossed his legs over. “Exactly what you heard. You and I are nothing, you should get that straight into your empty skull. I'm done with you and so, stay away from Miguel if you don't want to get hurt. I won't spare you if you ever show up unannounced.”
Her eyes popped up. “W-what!”
He shrugged his shoulders. “He doesn't need you anymore. Our son is going to have another mother very soon so keep the distance, I don't want you near him.”
She leaped up. “I won't give up on us.” She sneered determinedly.
“Whatever.” He smirked at what she said. Richard knew what Henrietta was capable of and he was going to prepare himself for any disaster.
“Trust me, that wedding isn't going to hold. If I can't have you, no one will. I can't watch anyone taking my place, you belong to me.” She clenched her fists ferociously.
“Do your worst.”
She picked her purse off the sofa and her phone then she stomped toward the door. “Mark my word, Richard. I'm the only one for you.” She yelled out, she opened the door and left furiously.
She had tried out different wedding gowns but none of them satiated Luciana, she always found a flaw in each gown she picked. Charlene had reached the verge of her patience, she wouldn't try another gown because she knew they'd definitely say something awful about it. She retired to a chair in the closet and took out her phone. She didn't bother to talk to her mother, Kathleen wouldn't listen to her, whatever Luciana said it was the final. Knowingly she knew that Richard took after her mother, he was nothing like Bryant.Luciana cleared her throat to attract her attention. Charlene switched her gaze from her phone to Luciana, she lifted a brow at her questioningly.“We'll check out another closet. They don't have what we want here.” She declared unconvincingly.Charlene was literally bored, they had spent forty minutes in the closet yet she couldn't pick a gown. There was a gown she loved but Luciana fo
“You should just let it go. You can't fight Sullivan's family all by yourself.” Dolly had been cautioning Henrietta, she knew her mind was made up however she wouldn't give up on her. They had been friends since highschool, if there was anyone that knew Henrietta better than anyone it was her.“I'm not doing it alone. I'm doing it for our son. Richard can throw away our family like that, I want my family back.” Henrietta seethed threateningly.“You should have given it a second thought when you signed the divorce contract with him. He was ready to give you twice the money the company offered but you chose the contract over your family.” She remembered knowingly.Henrietta glared at her, she winked at her surly and took her hand from the maid that was polishing her nails. “Leave!” She commanded imperatively. After the maid had left the living room, she gazed at her and
Devyn dropped the magazine on the couch then gazed at Richard at once. He was positively apoplectic with rage after hearing what he intended to do. Richard could see the fury in his eyes however he chose to ignore apathetically. Jeremy didn't bother to utter a word, he knew there was nothing he'd say to change his mind.“What the hell is wrong with you, Richard?” He snapped irksomely.“Just let it go, Dev. Richard won't change his mind.” Jeremy eventually said, despite the tension in the room he was calm and relaxed.Devyn huffed with annoyance. “You're not stopping the wedding, are you?”Richard scrolled down his contact list, scanning for Charlene's digits. Finally he hesitated before clicking on it. “I have the right to stop the wedding if I want to. It's not like I'm stopping it forever, I have to handle the emergency immediately. I can't avoid losi
Apart from the couple's families, the numbers of the guests that were present were half quarter of the choir. The priest was standing on the altar, he looked at the couple standing before him for a moment before proceeding with the marriage oath, it was the next thing after the exchange of the wedding rings.“Are you Richard Sullivan ready to take Charlene as your wife, forever during happy and hard times?” The priest gazed at Richard steadily. He expected him to answer him immediately but Richard's mind was far gone.An hour ago, before the bride arrived he made a strict order that whenever Henrietta arrived in the church she should be taken away and locked up in a room. He wouldn't want her to ruin his plan, he couldn't avoid getting his father pissed off again.When the priest noticed he wasn't listening he repeated and that jolted him out of his thoughts. He looked at him and glanced at Charlene, he
Charlene woke up to the sound of her ringtone, she roamed her hand on the bed searching for her phone, she slowly opened her eyes when she was unable to reach the nightstand. She rolled over in the king size bed and took her phone on the nightstand, before she could pick up the call, it had ended.She put the phone down on the bed, stretched her body and yawned lazily. “Gosh, it's Monday.” She covered her mouth with her hand when she yawned while looking around the room. She climbed down the bed and wore her flip flop slippers. She had spent two nights in the mansion, ever since he left she hadn't heard from him.Charlene doffed her clothes and went to the bathroom naked, she stepped under the shower and pressed a button on the wall. The cold water fell freely down to her body, she allowed the water to soothe her skin while relaxing to the coldness of it.In a few minutes she was done with everyth
The time flew faster than expected, she didn't tell him anything about it. Although Charles wasn't going to give up on advising her, hoping that she'd listen to him and do what was right. After school he drove her back to the mansion. Charlene alighted from the car, she waved a hand at him cheerfully before making her way into the mansion. As usual maids were seen walking around, busy with one or two things but something wasn't right, Charlene concluded in her thought. The seriousness and their focus on what they were doing were quite different from the past two days she had spent in the mansion. “Welcome back, ma'am.” A maid greeted, she was on her way heading toward the stairs but she halted. Charlene nodded once. “Would you like me to prepare the bathtub for your bath?” “No, you don't have to.” She replied and took the elevator upstairs. Before walking into her room she halted at the doorway, she looked behind her and noticed th
Muddled, Kathleen stared intently at Charlene who was contemplating a perfect excuse to give everyone around the table. She ran her right hand on her left hand, she sluggishly moved it to her lap and grinned anxiously.“I took it off this morning while I was taking my bath, I totally forgot to wear it after I was done.” She framed a lie and pouted her lips cutely.“Oh,” Luciana scoffed softly. “You know Charlene, it's your ring and you ought to wear it always.”Charlene nodded her head docilely. She picked the cutlery and began to eat, she listened to their conversation but she never uttered a word even if a question was directed to her. She nodded to every question and shook her head if it was the perfect response to give.Finally everyone left, Charlene bid her parents goodnight before returning inside alone. She left Richard behind and went to their
She couldn't wait for them to reach the dormitory, she was restless and anxious. She wouldn't imagine the ring being sold out to someone else. Fiona led them to the dorm she knew they could find Tina, unfortunately she wasn't at her friend's place.“Are we supposed to wait for her? What if she didn't show up? I want my ring today, I can't imagine going home without it.” Charlene seethed grimly. Javier informed Charles about the ring, he told them to go ahead he would catch up with them later.Fiona contemplating another place she could be then Sarah's residence rang in her head. She abruptly looked at Charlene. “I think I know another place. Sarah's apartment isn't far from here, we can probably catch up with her before she leaves. She usually goes there if she has nothing to do on campus.” Fiona enunciated thoughtfully.“Then we should head over now.” Charlene interrupted desper