Knowing the strained history between the ladies, Francis glared at Naomi and lectured her. "Anastasia and her son just arrived, so there is no need for you to be so sarcastic. Get along well with her, would you?!"
"Who is the kid, Mom?" Erica showed up on the stairs and became curious when she saw her father with a child in his arms.
"Watch your mouth! This is your nephew whom your sister gave birth to when she was living abroad," Naomi answered unhappily.
Erica's eyes were instantly left wide open. "What?!" She then walked down the stairs and closer to Anastasia. "Why didn't you let us know about your child? What's wrong? He can't be seen?"
"How could you say something like that, Erica? Jared is part of our family now, so I want you to take back your words." Francis unhappily glared at the lady.
Naomi noticed her husband's reaction and immediately harbored a greater grudge toward Anastasia, finding it hard to believe that his attitude toward Erica changed so much just because of Jared.
"D-Dad, I'm just showing my… concern for her!" Erica bitterly stood up for herself.
"Come here. I'll take you to the garden for a walk." Francis wanted to bond with Jared.
As soon as Francis left with Jared, Erica approached Anastasia with a glacial smile. "You had an affair with some married man and gave birth to that illegitimate child, didn't you?!"
While Anastasia's eyes were filled with hatred, she could never forget what Erica and Hayley did to her back then. For that, she told herself that she would never forgive both of them because of what they did to her. "My business is none of yours," Anastasia coldly replied.
For some reason, Erica started to think that Anastasia had become prettier as the latter gave off a more dominating aura now, compared to who she was five years ago. In that instant, she began to feel even more jealous of Anastasia's beauty. She thought there would be no one else in her way after the former left the Tillman Family, only to be surprised by her fair skin, curvy figure, and calm demeanor when they met again. Man, she doesn't even look like she's given birth before.
"Anastasia, I don't know what you're up to coming back here, but I warn you—forget about whatever silly idea you have in your mind. This family has nothing to do with you at all." Naomi threatened her.
Anastasia glacially chuckled and asked, "Why not? When my father first built his company, my grandparents invested in it too, but you both had the cheek to take everything without doing anything."
"Know your place, Anastasia. I drove you away from the Tillman Family five years ago, and I can always do the same thing again." Erica tried to intimidate Anastasia.
"My father is the only person I ever came back to this family for, which has nothing to do with you both at all. Furthermore, my dad can do whatever he wants with his inheritance, which is, again, none of your concern." Anastasia refuted Erica and Naomi, ridiculing both of them.
"Speaking of that, don't you ever think that you're going to get a bigger share of the inheritance with your son." Naomi gritted her teeth.
"My father is still alive and has a long way to go in his life, but you both won't stop talking about his inheritance. Do you want him gone so badly? If that's the case, I'm going to make sure he lives a long life so that you both can forget about inheriting his fortune." Anastasia gave a cold reply, knowing that Erica and Naomi only loved her father's money instead of the man himself.
"You…" Naomi was rendered speechless but immediately talked back to save herself from the embarrassment. "He is my husband, so of course I want him to live long."
Erica quickly defended her mother. "What're you talking about, Anastasia?! My mom loves my father."
Nonetheless, Anastasia reached for her phone and sat on the couch, refusing to entertain the mother and daughter. Soon, the maid proceeded to serve the dishes while Francis told her to prepare two more dishes that were not spicy for his grandson. Seeing that, Naomi and Erica were steaming because they could tell from Francis' eyes that Anastasia was beginning to regain his favor with her son.
"What's your occupation, Anastasia?" Francis asked curiously during the meal.
"I studied jewelry design when I was living abroad, and I'm now a designer at Bourgeois."
"Not bad. Bourgeois is quite a big name." Francis complimented Anastasia.
"I'm looking for a job too, Dad! I'm currently interviewing as an auto salon model." Erica desperately introduced her job to her father.
"What kind of job is that? You'd better quit before you embarrass me." Francis shot a gaze at Erica, giving her a stern gaze.
"Hubby, Erica is just having fun while exploring the opportunities around her. I'm sure she'll come to your company in the future." Naomi immediately stood up for her daughter.
"Hmph! What can she do in my company? A receptionist?" Francis grunted coldly.
On the other hand, Erica harbored a strong grudge toward Anastasia, blaming her for indirectly exposing her shortcomings.
"Grandpa, my mom is an impressive designer. She even took part in the International Jewelry Design Competition," Jared happily said.
The child's words put a smile on Francis' face. "Really? That's awesome! Jared, I'm going to get you a present later in the afternoon, so just tell me what you want. Alright?"
"Sure, thank you, Grandpa!" The little boy politely expressed his gratitude.
While Anastasia was glad that her father was so fond of Jared despite her surprise, Naomi and Erica were growing more and more annoyed with the child's presence, deeming him a scheming little boy they should be wary about, in spite of his young age.
After dinner, Francis took them to the nearest shopping mall, where he bought his grandson some expensive presents, including robot toys and Lego. Although they cost thousands, he didn't hesitate to pay for them at all.
"That's enough, Dad. Don't spoil him." Anastasia quickly tried to stop her father.
"Alright. Alright, that's all for today. I'll buy him something else again in a few more days." Francis still felt an urge to show his good faith.
"It's okay, Grandpa. I don't need any more toys because I already have plenty of them." The child gave a mature reply, which grew on Francis more as the latter caressed the child's head.
When they were done with their shopping, Francis gave his daughter and grandson a ride back to their apartment. The moment he saw the building, he began to think that it was time for him to make it up to Anastasia since his company had made him quite a fortune over the past few years.
After seeing her father off, Anastasia wrapped her arms around Jared. "Jared, your grandfather seems to like you a lot."
"I like him too." Jared happily said while pouting at the same time. "Mommy, can you tell me where Daddy is?"
Anastasia paused in the face of the inevitable question that she knew Jared would ask. She then gazed at him in a serious manner and said, "I don't know where he is, Jared. In fact, we may never see him again, but anyway, I promise I'll be by your side. I love you, Darling!"
Jared nodded and held his Lego up in the air. "Alright then, I'm going to play now!"
"Go ahead!" Anastasia nodded, watching her son unwrapping his new toys while losing herself in her thoughts. Deep down, she knew it wasn't hard to find her son's father at all because she was sure that Erica and Hayley had the answer to that. After all, she believed that they tricked her into sleeping with a gigolo, but because of that, she vowed never to let her son know about his father's embarrassing profession.
It's alright. I love Jared, and that's enough for both of us. Now that my dad likes him too, I suppose there is nothing else that can make my life even happier than how things are at this point.