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Chapter 8 Meeting Joseph

  • Because of Hayden, Nicole had dug up pretty much everything about the Mann Family long ago. Robert Mann, Joseph's father, was an old man in his 60s. After his wife's death two years ago, he began fooling around with numerous women, gaining even more notoriety than his son. Are they making me serve the father after I've served his son? What a real piece of work they are! she thought. She didn't feel like arguing with Queenie and William any longer; she just wanted to collect her mother's stuff and leave. "I don't need that. Just give me my mom's stuff!"
  • Queenie's sarcastic voice rang as soon as Nicole finished her sentence. "Stop pretending already, Nicole! You were willing to sleep with a stranger for 200,000 five years ago. Now that you'll be enjoying an inexhaustible fortune as long as you marry into the Mann Family, how could you possibly turn it down?!"
  • Queenie knew that Colton only acknowledged her as his future wife because "she" had saved him five years ago, but Nicole was the one who had actually saved him. I'll never let anyone ruin my present life! As long as Nicole gets married to Robert, even if Colton learns about the truth in the future, he wouldn't want Nicole anymore!
  • On the other hand, Nicole's hands involuntarily clenched into fists by her sides. Five years ago… If it weren't for Mom being gravely ill five years ago, I'd never have sunk so low as to prostitute myself! "I'm not short of money." Her voice had a glacial edge to it.
  • Queenie was obviously skeptical as she darted a glance at Nicole's outfit, for the latter wasn't wearing any luxury items. "Just stop being stubborn, sis. You're familiar with the Manns anyway, aren't you?"
  • Nicole retorted with a sneer, "You keep talking about the Manns. Since you're so fond of the Mann Family, why don't you marry into the family yourself?" Seeing that Queenie and William had no intention of giving her her mother's belongings, she decided not to waste her breath arguing with them any longer. She was very open-minded; it'd be best if she could retrieve her mother's belongings, but she wouldn't wager her life for it if she couldn't. "If there's nothing else, I'm leaving," she said. With that, she turned around and was about to leave.
  • At the sight of the scene, Queenie hurriedly took a few steps forward and grabbed Nicole's wrist. Her shrill voice rang in Nicole's ear as she yelled, "There'll be no chance for you to regret your decisions after you pass through this door, Nicole! What kind of job can you get without a college degree? A waitress? A hostess? Or a whore?"
  • Nicole clenched her fists tightly. "Well, in that case, sorry that I didn't end up living the way you imagined. I'm now F&M Apparel's Chief Designer, so it's not like I don't have that much money."
  • Queenie's voice went up a few pitches as she stared at the woman before her. "Chief Designer? You mean Lisa?"
  • "Uh-huh," Nicole responded, though she never thought she would be so well-known that even Queenie knew about the code name "Lisa."
  • However, as soon as she mumbled her reply, Queenie burst into a chuckle with mockery written all over her face. "Nicole, even if you want to talk big, you didn't have to make up such an absurd excuse, did you? Lisa is a woman in her forties with rich working experience and great skills. How could someone like you be a match for her?"
  • A woman in her forties? Nicole frowned slightly, but she didn't bother to argue about that. "Whether you believe it or not is up to you," she said, before leaving quickly.
  • It was still raining outside. The instant Nicole stepped out of the house, she was greeted by a nip in the air. Pulling her coat tighter around her body, she ran out into the rain, not wanting to stay here even for a second longer.
  • As soon as Nicole returned to her apartment and opened the door, she was welcomed by a gust of warm air. She took off her coat and hung it on the clothes stand.
  • Hayden was playing with the laptop on the sofa. At the sound of Nicole entering the apartment, he immediately shut down the laptop, looking like he had done something bad and didn't want Nicole to find out about it.
  • Having changed into her slippers, Nicole walked up to Hayden in amusement. "Not letting me take a look, huh? What did you do?"
  • Hayden held the laptop in his arms with an innocent look in his big, clear eyes. "I can't tell you about it, Mom. It's my little secret."
  • Seeing how nervous he looked, Nicole gave an impassive laugh without saying anything else. "It's getting late. You should go to sleep now. Don't play with the laptop anymore." She realized that as long as she returned home and saw her son, her bad mood would lift instantly. He really is my little angel…
  • The next morning, Nicole banished the memory of yesterday's annoying incident from her head. Just as she was about to tidy up her room, her cell phone rang.
  • It was an incoming call from an unfamiliar number. After hesitating for a moment, Nicole answered the phone.
  • Speaking on the other end of the line was a young male voice that sounded quite cheerful. "Could I speak to Ms. Lisa, please?"
  • Nicole took a look at her phone. Seeing that the man was calling her on her work phone number, she replied, "Yes, I'm Lisa. May I know who you are?"
  • Joseph sounded as gentle and polite as a modest and scrupulous gentleman. "Hi, Ms. Lisa. I'm Joseph Mann, the general manager of Mann Clothing Co. We've always wanted to work with you, and I heard that you've returned to the country. Could I meet you if you're free?" It was no secret that Lisa would be collaborating with the Gardner Family, and all the clothing companies that got wind of it also wanted to collaborate with her to compete for a slice of the profits. Naturally, the Mann Family couldn't be lagging behind as well. Joseph had gone to a lot of trouble in order to get Lisa's phone number. In the end, he coaxed it out of Queenie, thus owing her a huge favor.
  • Nicole listened to the voice on the other end of the line. If she hadn't checked out news reports about Joseph over these years, she would have thought that he was as modest and scrupulous as he sounded. However, just as she was about to turn him down, Hayden came out of his room and looked up at her. "Mom, I'm hungry."
  • Nicole paused for a moment. This little boy has been wanting to see his father. Perhaps this could be an opportunity… She lowered her gaze and pondered for a moment. Then, she replied, "Alright then. I'll see you today at 3:00PM at the cafe in Scottsdale Mall."