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Chapter 9 An Old Flame That Cannot Be Extinguished

  • “He had a secret crush?” Natalie was learning about this for the first time. “Did he feel hurt after his crush married someone else and that caused him to decide not to keep himself pure anymore?”
  • “I don’t really remember much of the details as this was something Ralph shared with me a long time ago.” Zoey tried to dig deeper into her memories. “I think that woman is now in a vegetative state after being involved in a traffic accident and is not likely to ever come to.”
  • Natalie understood this and also had a recollection of her own.
  • When she first met Sebastian, he was in a maudlin state. As the people around him partied riotously, he sat in a corner alone. He looked suave but had an air of desolation hanging over him.
  • Natalie was out for revenge that night, and she also needed money. That was why she threw herself at him. She only started to notice the intensity in his eyes when they got to the hotel. Shoot. I was really scared silly that time.
  • She had previously assumed that he was impotent, but now that she thought about it, it might have been nerves due to his first time...
  • The woman could not have known that that was the first time for the two of them.
  • Natalie swept aside all thoughts about the matter. She raised her brows and smiled. “I think I understand better why he had been so generous with his parting gifts now. But since we are through, I’d just accept whatever he offers. Nothing to lose in getting something for nothing.”
  • “I’m quite relieved that you are able to take it in your stride.” As Zoey took another bite of the almond biscuit, her filled cheeks bulged up like a bun. “But I have a sneaky feeling that he may not be over you so you’d best be on your guard. Don’t let yourself become someone else’s substitute. The worst thing for a man to have is an old flame that cannot be extinguished.”
  • Natalie sipped at her tea. The look in her eyes was more severe and the tone in her voice took a corresponding shift. “I’ve already made enough off him. There are far more important things waiting for me to address.”
  • “I can get Ralph to check it out for you.” Zoey had read her thoughts and understood her perfectly. “He knows people from the telco but they don’t have a high level of clearance, so I’m not sure if they would be able to look into those security footages.”
  • “I’m not giving up on anything so long as there’s a chance there,” Natalie replied.
  • It was not that the idea of asking Sebastian for help with the telco to uncover the truth behind her mother’s death did not cross her mind. But he was really sharp and hated to feel used by anyone. Natalie did not want to have him digging up anything from her own past either.
  • Zoey nodded. She then paused before she asked, “Has that scumbag tried to contact you, Nat?”
  • “He’s been texting me every single day. I’ve no idea where he got my number from, but I’ve already blocked him.” Natalie was not interested in talking too much about Claude because it made her feel uncomfortable. “I’m going to visit the hospital.”
  • “Alone? Do you want me to come with you?” Zoey shook the biscuit crumbs off her hands and muttered, “You haven’t had your period for over a month. Do you think you might be pregnant?”
  • Natalie’s eyes narrowed as she flicked the back of Zoey’s head. “I’ve got my eyes on him every single time so there’s no way I could be pregnant. It’s probably just the stress messing with my hormones. I can go in by myself.”
  • “Well, if you say so.” Zoey fished out her phone and typed away. “I’ve sent you the list of ingredients I need to make dinner later. Please get them on the way back.”
  • Natalie smiled. “Gotcha. I’ll be going now.”
  • She might appear relaxed on the surface but Zoey’s words had her fretting.
  • On the way to the hospital, Natalie kept looking at her own abdomen. Though she made sure to keep her eye on Sebastian and took all necessary precautionary measures to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, she could not discount the possibility that the odds could be bucked.
  • The more she thought about it, the more anxious she grew. Even though she had registered herself online very early, she still arrived to find a long snaking queue ahead of her.
  • Natalie settled herself into an empty seat to go over the script for her upcoming program.
  • Amongst the many variety show hosts at the station, she was ahead of the pack with both of her programs topping the rankings. The management had decided to strike the iron while it was hot by pushing for another program for her to anchor.
  • The new program in the pipelines would be a bi-weekly variety show focused on interviewing celebrities and offering insights into their personal lives. There would be no singing, no dancing, and no brainstorming involved, and the remuneration would be many times higher than what she was currently getting. As far as Natalie was concerned, it was too good a deal for her to pass up.
  • “Ms. Cook.”
  • While poring over the script, Natalie heard someone calling her as she caught a whiff of an unfamiliar fragrance. It was the mellow and pure scent of bellflowers. She swiped out the phone and lifted her head to stare straight into the eyes of a poised woman with an oval-shaped face and gentle arching brows.
  • It was such an unlikely coincidence that she should run into the last person she wanted to see.