Gwendolyn had calmed down by then. The anxiety-fueled adrenaline rush prevented her from feeling the chill in the winter air earlier. By the time the cold caught up to her, she was too weak to stand on her feet.
After learning that Juliette was out of danger, Gwendolyn finally relaxed, and her body was overwhelmed with exhaustion.
Now that her feet were warm, she straightened out her clothes, wrapping the expensive coat tighter around herself.
Gwendolyn smiled and replied, “Zayden, you've saved us once. I'm forever indebted to you, and I can't trouble you any longer.”
Zayden's heartache was palpable in his gaze. She still doesn't understand my heart.
Six years ago, Zayden's car had knocked her over by accident. He had sent her to the hospital and even rented a house for her after her discharge. Though his actions had initially stemmed from guilt, he fell for her after their prolonged companionship.
Zayden felt helpless about Gwendolyn's stubborn avoidance of his affections.
He shifted the topic and asked, “I heard things were nasty when you resigned from that investment firm. Did they make things difficult for you?”
Justin opened a thermos and poured out a cup of warm water before handing it to Gwendolyn.
She took a sip from the cup, and her body warmed up immediately.
Cupping her hands around the thermos, Gwendolyn said to Zayden, “I won't work at a company like that again. They're flat out cheating their clients, and they target the elderly. I was serving an old woman that day. She looked wealthy, but I couldn't bear to lie to her. I told her the truth, and when the company found out, they forced me to resign.”
Zayden was exasperated. She's far too kind. She keeps claiming that she wants to make a fortune and give her children a comfortable life, but she can't get over her conscience.
“Gwen, why don't you work for my company? I trust your capabilities.”
Gwendolyn swiftly rejected his wish to protect her with a shake of her head.
“I'm already looking for a job. Plus, my academic qualifications aren't suitable for a job in your company.”
Zayden audibly sighed at her rejection.
“My embarrassment will only grow if you keep rejecting my offer, Gwen. What would people think if the CEO of Surrington Corporation can't even convince someone to join his company?”
Who else would reject a CEO's offer of help as many times as Gwendolyn did?
Meanwhile, Julian and Justin exchanged a knowing glance. They had, in fact, made an impressive amount of money from playing the stock market, yet they dared not tell their mother about it.
If Mommy knew about it, she'd panic and assume that we're doing some shady things!
The boys had secretly banked in money to her account. She was clueless about the whole thing and had not touched a single penny of their earnings. Gwendolyn continued to work several jobs to make a living, and her children were upset that she was working herself to the bone.
When the clock struck twelve, a nurse came to Gwendolyn with good news.
“Miss, your daughter's condition has stabilized. You can go home now and return at noon tomorrow to move her to the general wards.”
Gwendolyn thanked her profusely, “Thank you! Thank you so much!”
“Can we see her?” Justin piped up.
Juliette's health had always been poor, and the two brothers fretted over her constantly. The prolonged separation from her made the brothers uneasy and distressed.
Faced with the boys' hopeful stares, the nurse could not bear to turn Justin down.
“All right. You can come with me and see her through the window.”
The four of them followed the nurse into the ICU. Through the ward windows, they saw a pale-faced Juliette lying on a white bed. She was lying on her side, a tube in her mouth and more snaking across her body.
Gwendolyn's tears welled up when she saw her daughter lying alone in the hospital ward.
She felt overwhelmed with guilt. My children have had a difficult time since their birth. Moving had become a common activity in their lives, and Gwendolyn spent little time with her children because of her jobs.
She wailed, “Juliette, this is all my fault! I'm sorry!”