Hmm? Tessa was a little stunned to give an immediate response.
"Pretty lady, I want upsies," the little boy repeated, this time with a bit more emphasis as he stared up at Tessa with wide eyes, which were lit with a childlike gleam.
At the sight of how endearing he was, Tessa felt her heart melting, and she quickly picked him up. It was like holding a soft bundle, and as she carried him, she could pick up the faint powdery scent on him that made her want to nuzzle into his chubby cheek.
She was inexplicably fond of the child as she smiled and said gently, "Hey, little guy, thanks for speaking up for me earlier." Without him, she would never have been able to clear her name.
Seemingly unfazed, the little boy shook his head and said with an air of impishness, "You're welcome. I did what I had to. Besides, I hate two-faced women like her."
Upon hearing this, Tessa was so entertained that she laughed. "Do you truly understand what it means to be two-faced when you're only so young?"
He nodded solemnly, his chubby face very grim as he replied, "Of course, I do. My uncle told me that a two-faced person is someone whose actions don't match their words."
Tessa's eyes curved into crescents. "Well, I'm impressed. You're a very intelligent little boy, aren't you?"
Having gotten her praise, he flushed in embarrassment, though the way his eyes glittered betrayed his happiness even as he tried to act indifferent. In the end, he pursed his lips to keep himself from grinning, which only made him more adorable.
Seeing him like this, Tessa couldn't help but wonder if her own baby would turn out this adorable had she not been so cruelly separated from them at childbirth.
She suddenly tightened her hold on the little boy, her motherly love practically overflowing. She was just about to speak when a voice interjected, "Young Master Gregory, the banquet is about to start. We must be leaving now, or the old master and the old madam will grow worried."
The little boy nodded when he heard this, then turned to say to Tessa, "Seeing as I've helped you out earlier, could you carry me over to my daddy? I'm tired, and I don't want to walk anymore."
"Huh?" Taken aback by this, Tessa was somewhat hesitant as she pointed out, "But I still have to get ready for the performance, and besides, we've only just met. It wouldn't be appropriate for me to carry you all the way to where your parents are."
The little boy tightened his grip on her as he whined stubbornly, "No, if I say it's appropriate, then it is! Also, how are you going to perform without a violin, pretty lady?" His eyes grew to the size of saucers as a bright idea popped into his head, and he stared at Tessa in earnest as he quipped, "My grandma still has a violin to spare in her precious collection. If you carry me over, I'll get her to lend it to you."
There was nothing more compelling than when a child stared at you with sparkly doe eyes, and Tessa found herself relenting after a brief second of doubt. "Very well, then. I'll carry you over."
This evidently pleased the little boy to no end, for his soft little body slumped against her as he grinned with satisfaction. This pretty lady has a really warm embrace, and she smells really nice, too, like how a mother would.
Along the way, he asked aloud, "Are you single, pretty lady?"
"I am," Tessa answered readily, glancing down at the child with affection. She was starting to like him more and more. "Why do you ask?"
"Then you should definitely marry my daddy and become my mommy!"
She couldn't hide her shock. Isn't this little guy's father Nicholas Sawyer, as in the president of Sawyer Group?
After Nicholas' retirement from the special forces, he only took two years to bring Sawyer Group to new heights. He was a man of legendary proportions in the business world, with a tenacity that matched his formidable reputation, not to mention how he ruled the company with an iron fist. He wasn't someone any ordinary person could trifle with, let alone Tessa.
But now that the little boy has mentioned it… Unable to suppress her curiosity, she asked, "What about your mommy?"
"I-I don't have a mommy," the little thing mumbled disappointedly with misty eyes. "I want you to be my mommy, pretty lady." As soon as he said this, he nuzzled into her, and she felt an overwhelming sense of reliance emanating from his tiny frame.
Tessa couldn't help her astonishment. As it turned out, the Little Prince of the Sawyer Family—the object of envy for many—did not have a mother.
She wasn't sure how complicated it was to keep a marriage in the world of the rich, but she knew that she only needed to hug the little boy tighter, as if to comfort him with all her might. She wondered idly if the baby she never got to hold was sitting in some corner of the world missing his mother as well.
Meanwhile, over at the VIP lounge of the banquet hall, Nicholas sat on the couch, looking like a finely carved statue. The black suit he wore was painstakingly tailored to his lean and muscular frame, accentuating his broad shoulders and perfect silhouette.
His features were like a work of art by the heavens, and in his icy dark orbs lay a bona fide intimidating indifference that seemed ingrained in his bones, much like his elegance.
Presently, the air around him was startlingly cold.
Standing in front of him in great despair was the second son of the Sawyer Family, Kieran Sawyer.
Kieran had never felt more like he was standing before an iceberg than at that precise moment. Under Nicholas' piercing, dangerous gaze, he unconsciously gulped. "I swear, Nicholas, I've already sent someone to look for him. Greg will be just fine! This whole yacht is ours, so no one would dare to even lay a finger on the boy!"
"You better hope so, because if anything does happen to Greg, then you can bet that there's nothing you can do to save your own skin!" With that, Nicholas shot his brother a sharp look. "What are you standing here for? Get out and start looking for him!"
"Yes, of course, right away!" Kieran replied with a shudder, then dashed out the door. He berated himself for having tried so hard to pick up ladies around the yacht that he completely lost sight of Gregory.
However, it didn't take long for Kieran to return, and as he addressed Nicholas, there was still fear in his eyes. "Nicholas, Greg's back!"