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Chapter 10 Hayden's Real Father?

  • Nicole was surprised; she didn't expect Joseph to know her. She couldn't help taking another look at the man. He wasn't bad-looking, and he looked even more handsome in person than in photos. With his dashing eyebrows, pug nose, and charming eyes, he looked just like a pretty boy. "You know me?" she asked curiously. There's no way Queenie would tell him what happened five years ago.
  • Joseph's eyes flickered with sarcasm. "Why would I not know Young Lady Nicole of the Anderson Family?"
  • Nicole heard the sarcastic note in Joseph's voice, but she couldn't seem to recall if she had ever offended him. Before she could speak, though, she heard the man continue, "I heard that you're gonna marry my dad. So what's the big deal, bringing a kid with you? Are you trying to get me a younger brother right away?"
  • A hint of scorn flickered across Joseph's eyes. I've heard from Queenie that this woman wants to be my dad's second wife for money. I hate such vain women more than anything else!
  • Upon hearing his words, Nicole finally realized why Joseph was so hostile toward her. However, she wouldn't acknowledge such groundless stuff. "I think you're mistaken. I've never thought of marrying into the Mann Family." The smile on her face vanished. She said, "I'm here today to talk to you about the collaboration."
  • Joseph's attractive eyes narrowed slightly with a hint of scorn in them. "Collaboration? You're Lisa?" He had heard Queenie talk about Nicole this morning. According to Queenie, this sister of hers was so vain to the point where she was almost delusional, claiming to be Lisa. He didn't believe it at first, but he didn't expect the woman before him to actually be so shameless as to make up lies as she went along!
  • "Uh-huh," Nicole responded.
  • However, as soon as she seated herself with her son, she heard a scoff across from her. "Haha! Queenie was right. You're delusional, aren't you?"
  • Nicole knitted her brows. "If I'm not Lisa, why would I know she's supposed to meet you today?"
  • Joseph stared at her as his lips curled in ridicule. "Just stop pretending, Nicole. I have no idea how you got the news of my appointment with Ms. Lisa, but could you at least do some homework before coming here? Lisa is a middle-aged woman in her forties. Even if you want to impersonate her, you should put in some effort to make yourself look more like her, okay?" Lisa's age is no secret in the industry, for it was F&M Apparel's president who revealed that himself. And yet, this idiot before me is passing herself off as Lisa without even knowing about that. "Queenie's right all along; you're a vain woman who makes up lies without thinking in order to make yourself look good." He was somewhat displeased by the prospect of Nicole marrying his father in the first place, so it disgusted him even more now that she was lying so brazenly.
  • Seeing Joseph's attitude, Nicole said coldly, "Mr. Mann, I think we no longer need to talk about our next steps. With your character, there's no way F&M Apparel will work with the Mann Family." The purpose of F&M Apparel collaborating with the Gardner Corporation this time was to expand its market in the country, so Nicole had intended to work with several clothing brands that were well-known in the country, and Mann Clothing Co. was one of them. Seems like it's no longer necessary, though.
  • Joseph replied with disgust, "Haha! For an impersonator, you look quite like the real deal. How could a vain woman like you possibly be Lisa? Seeing you're Queenie's sister, I'm not gonna argue with you today."
  • Before Nicole could defend herself, Hayden, who was next to her, sprang to her defense. "Mom isn't vain! And she really is Lisa," he said. Then, he turned to look at Nicole, holding her two fingers in his little hand. "Let's go home, Mom. Such a guy doesn't deserve you."
  • "As expected of an illegitimate daughter—even your son is an ill-bred bastard!"
  • Nicole had wanted to ignore Joseph at first, but she stopped in her tracks the instant she heard him insulting her son. I'd never allow him to say something like that about Hayden—not even if Hayden is his son! "Let me advise you to watch your language, Mr. Mann. Is this how you were brought up, to say something so vicious to a child?" she said. Looking at the man before her, she continued, "You and I aren't even close, and all you know about me is what you've heard from others. I've never offended you since the beginning, but you keep talking to us in such an overbearing manner. Is this your way of conducting yourself?"
  • Her words made Joseph's face turn livid with anger one moment and red with embarrassment the next. He pointed at the woman, asking, "If you weren't a vain woman, why would you impersonate Lisa?"
  • Nicole didn't bother to explain, though. Lifting Hayden up in her arms, she said without looking back, "You'll find out whether I'm Lisa or not when you attend F&M Apparel's annual dinner." Someone's gonna confirm whether I'm Lisa or not at F&M Apparel's annual dinner a week later, anyway! With that, she left swiftly.
  • Hayden nestled obediently in Nicole's arms. After they left the cafe, he looked up and comforted her, saying, "Don't be angry, Mom. It's not worth it to be mad at this guy." He knew Nicole was angry because Joseph had called him a bastard. Because of that, he became even more certain that there was no way someone as detestable as Joseph would be his father.
  • Hayden had dug up much information about Colton these days. As Gardner Corporation's executive director, Colton wielded a lot of power. Most importantly, he found Colton's looks very much to his taste, so Colton had to be his father. I've heard from Mom that Gardner Corporation's president will be attending F&M Apparel's annual dinner. I'll let her know that my dad is none other than Colton Gardner!