Chapter 866 Protect Her At All Costs
Within a blink of an eye, Amelia had been abroad for seven months, and she would be able to return after another two or three months. During her time abroad, not only did many changes occur in her home country, but a lot had been going on around her too.
Amelia never thought Teddy was serious about his words upon witnessing how he tried to court Tiffany.
“Tiff, I learned that 1111 is a rather symbolic number for love, so I transferred 1111 dollars to you. Kindly check and acknowledge receipt.” Teddy waved his phone at her. He used the trick he learned from his fellow Chanaean colleague on Tiffany.
Annoyed by Teddy’s antics, Tiffany noticed her lips twitching.
“Mr. Rice, while I appreciate your effort, I do not appreciate your fancy moves. Besides, I already have a lover back in my home country. I believe you’re a virtuous man. It’s a bit of an exaggeration, but in my country, people generally believe that relationships are sacred and to be preserved at all costs, so please stop with your antics. I do not wish to damage your relationship with Amelia as her mentor.”
Teddy looked at her in all earnest as he said, “Tiff, I’ve done a thorough investigation. While you were married, you filed for divorce some time ago. You’re now a single woman, so I can’t possibly be interfering with your marriage. I think I’m a rather good choice as a man, so why won’t you give me a chance? I swear I will treat you well.”
Although Tiffany wished she could beat the crap out of him, he was a mentor whom Amelia respected, so she could only check her flaring temper.
“I’m leaving. Take your time hanging around, but I won’t be keeping you company.” With that, Tiffany left in frustration. She had had enough of Teddy’s pestering that she even considered going back to Chanaea.
After all, she only came abroad to forget about Derrick, not find herself a foreign lover.
Teddy threw Amelia a pleading glance, but she shrugged at him, indicating that she was out of wits.
“Teddy, I think you should give up. Tiff still has a hard time forgetting her ex-husband. They only separated due to a minor misunderstanding and might get back together after they have things figured out. You know we Chanaeans typically like the idea of repairing relationships, so you shouldn’t waste any more time on Tiff,” Amelia advised.
On one end of the scale was her best friend, while on the other was her mentor, whose assistance led to her making major improvements in her design skills, so she would do everything in her power to smooth things over between them.
“You’ll help me, right, Amelia?” Teddy sounded rather certain. After scanning his surroundings, he somehow decided that Amelia could be of help to him.
Yet, Amelia declined him, crossing her arms in front of her chest.
She was direct with him. “While I’ll gladly help you on various matters, this is way out of my league. You can still go ahead to court her, but you’re going to have to figure this out on your own. You can do it. I have faith in you but don’t make a blunder. Otherwise, even I won’t be able to help you.”
Teddy pouted childishly as he felt like a deflated balloon, and Amelia felt a little guilty when she noticed that.
Upon gesturing to him that she would be leaving, she set off quickly—she was literally fleeing from the scene.
She saw Tiffany biting on an apple in chagrin when she arrived at her dwelling. Walking up to Tiffany, she took away the apple the latter was munching on before inquiring, “Do you have no feelings for Teddy?”
“He is, admittedly, an attractive man. Not only is he handsome, but he also has an air of nobility about him. Any woman would go insane for him,” Tiffany stated with her legs crossed.
“It’s just that you’re not among those women, right?” Despite it being a question, Amelia sounded quite convinced as she carried on with Tiffany’s statement.
Tiffany blinked innocently. There was not a denial but silent acquiescence.
Amelia sat down beside her. After some thought, she said, “Tiff, you followed me abroad not only because you were worried about both Tony and me, but you were also actively trying to forget Derrick. We both know the best way to forget about a failed marriage is to start a new relationship. I acknowledge that I’m being a little unfair here by telling you this now, but all bridges between Derrick and you were burned. Why not try accepting Teddy? He’s handsome, knowledgeable, humorous, and most importantly, he’s decent. I’ve known him for seven months, and I trust his character. His friends and colleagues also hold him in high regard. I think you can give him a go and have a relationship with him. Besides, you can always split up if it doesn’t work out. It’s not like you must marry him. Let’s just go with the flow. You’ll eventually enter a marriage if you both feel equally attracted to each other.”
Tiffany drew her legs close to her before burying her face in them as if she could ignore every unwelcome advice by doing that.
Seeing that, Amelia sighed and caressed Tiffany’s head.
Just when she stood up to cut up some fruits in the kitchen, Tiffany muttered with her face still buried in her thighs, “Babe, do you think I’m useless for not being able to forget that guy even now?”
“Why would I? Although I gave you advice as a third party, I’m actually in a similar situation. You can’t forget about Derrick, and I can’t forget about Oscar. It’s because I have experienced such pain that I do not wish for you to go through the same,” Amelia explained after heaving a sigh in dejection.
It was because Amelia had experienced the pain of having to separate from someone who she loved deeply that she really wished that Tiffany could accept Teddy and leave her failed marriage in the past after witnessing her dear friend feigning joy in the presence of others while still stuck in the pain even after she was divorced.
Tiffany raised her head and glanced at Amelia.
“Babe, would you think I’m a fool if I told you I find it really hard to not think of that relationship?” she asked. It wasn’t that she refused to start a new relationship, but she refused to let strangers come into her life deep down, thinking of them as intruders. She might be able to lie to others about having forgotten about Derrick, but she couldn’t lie to herself. She still loved him and had a hard time moving on even though he had cheated on her and impregnated another woman.
Amelia approached her to caress her head with a smile. “It’s all up to you. If you’re a fool, so am I. We can do as we please as long as we don’t damage someone else’s marriage.”
Amelia left to prepare some fruits in the kitchen before serving them on the table. Then, they ate them together.
After finishing them, Tiffany scuttled into her room to retrieve her laptop.
“Babe, I wrote a new novel set in a company located in a cosmopolitan. Read it and see if there is anything to be added or changed. I’ll send it to the publishing company after that.” Tiffany opened the document on her laptop and showed Amelia her novel.
Perhaps she was able to focus on writing novels because of her destitute love life. She had only been abroad for seven months, but she was bursting with so much inspiration that she was able to complete two novels with over one million words each. The first novel was sold-out as soon as it was published three months ago, and it was reprinted three more times. General feedback from readers indicated that it was gut-wrenching and tear-jerking. It was even speculated that Tiffany was able to chisel out the details with finesse due to her own suffering.
Among the overwhelmingly positive feedback, comments left by her hardcore fans were amusing.
Don’t cry! Together we shall dump that awful guy! We’ll face him head-on!
Don’t cry. You still have our company. Here you go, a blow kiss!
Your novel is so gut-wrenching but also fascinating. I’ve read it at least ten times and used up all the tissues in my house. My mother even asked if I was constipated. You have to console me after being misunderstood by my mother.
Amelia had had the good fortune to read those comments. She thought that fans from Chanaea were adorable for writing those funny comments.
She missed her home country while staying abroad, so those comments written in her mother tongue seemed extra amiable to her. Even those that mentioned how gut-wrenching the story was seemed cute.
Then, Amelia started reading Tiffany’s new novel and was sucked into it. Three hours went by without her noticing. It wasn’t until she rubbed her tired eyes halfway through the story that she realized she had cried.
When Tiffany noticed her red eyes while bringing them two mugs of tea from the kitchen, she asked in concern, “What happened?”
Shaking her head, Amelia took the tea from her. “It’s nothing. I just found myself resonating with the story you wrote and felt like crying halfway through it. I bet all your readers are going to bawl their eyes out after this one is published, and that people are going to throw rotten eggs at you if you hold an autograph session back in Chanaea. This story is so gut-wrenching that even I felt like crying. It’s also drastically different from your previous works. No wonder they thought you were hurt in a bad relationship.”
Tiffany sat down beside her. While holding her mug with both hands, she could feel the heat seep into her through her skin. “I’m not sure why, but I just have this urge to write some sad stories. Perhaps the reason they cried was that it triggered some of their past experiences. I’m sure most girls have gone through what I’ve been through, and my story just made them relive those experiences, and that was why they want to murder me, so to speak.”
Amelia was amused by her description.
“I don’t think there’re any problems with your novel. In fact, your writing skills have improved compared to your last work. Given the gut-wrenching plot, I suppose it would be nice to adapt it into a film. Are you sure you won’t join a crew as the writer? I recall that the director you had worked with, Mr. Zabriskie, has contacted you.”
Tiffany shook her head. “I’m not interested in doing that now. I’ll think about it later. All I want to do now is focus on my writing.”
Amelia shrugged and stopped trying to convince her. In fact, she figured it would be better for Tiffany to focus on writing her novel, for she wouldn’t have time to dwell on her heartbreaking experience when she was busy.
Thus, she was relieved when Tiffany was busy doing something constructive.
Tiffany’s novel made great sales right after it was published in Chanaea. It sold a million copies within a short period of two months. A lot of production companies contacted her to invite her to join their production crew as a writer to adapt her own novel into a film. After careful consideration, she agreed to the offer.
Meanwhile, Amelia was ready to return to Chanaea after having spent nine months abroad. She asked Teddy, “You told me I’ve made rapid improvements in terms of my designing skills. I suppose I’m ready to graduate now. What do you think?”
“Are you serious? What should I do? I’m already missing you, Tiff, and her superb cooking,” Teddy didn’t even stutter.
Amelia studied him in amusement. “Teddy, I have a question. You’ve been courting Tiff for a few months. Do you like her, or her cooking?”
“Amelia, don’t you think I can absolutely afford to hire a Chanaean cook to make Chanaean dishes for me, given my wealth?”
Startled, Amelia realized she had asked a silly question.
“I’m sorry for asking such a silly question, Teddy. However, there’s only a one percent chance that you will get together with Tiff. It seems like you still have a long way to go.”
“If there’s a will, there’s a way. I believe I am the most suitable man for her.”
Hmm… It is always good to have self-confidence.
Amelia didn’t try to dissuade him.
After completing all necessary credits, Amelia graduated and was assigned by the higher-ups as the Atlas Corporation’s brand ambassador and director of design in its Chanaean branch. Amelia accepted the offer. During the banquet, she toasted Teddy and the higher-ups to express her gratitude for their appreciation.
After toasting everybody, Amelia was a little tipsy even though she could hold her liquor quite well. She shook her head and forced herself to maintain a clear head while dealing with some people as she followed Teddy around. She used to hate socializing, but she forced herself to do that and had learned to deal with all sorts of people.
The banquet didn’t end until eleven o’clock that night. Both Amelia and Teddy left the venue after bidding the others goodbye.
Everybody scattered off down the stairs in search of their car after getting outside. Amelia noticed Kurt waiting beside the car and waved at him happily. Kurt smiled at her too, but his expression changed drastically by the next instant before he began sprinting in her direction.
“Watch out, Amelia!” he yelled in panic.
Amelia wasn’t sure why he was panicking. It wasn’t until he pushed her down to the ground and she heard gunshots that she came to know what happened.
Kurt rolled on the ground with her in his arms until they got behind a potted plant. He checked on her frantically while holding her. “Are you OK, Amelia?”
Amelia raised her head, still very much in fear, and the bloodstain on Kurt’s chest area caught her off guard.
“Kurt, a-are you hurt?” She tried to touch his chest with trembling hands, only to retract her arm in a hurry as if worried about causing him pain. “I’ll take you to the hospital. Your chest is injured. Come, let’s go now.”
Kurt held her down while shaking his head.
“Someone fired a shot. Hide here while I go check things out.” Kurt hid her before poking his head out despite his injury, but Amelia pulled him back by the next instant.
“Don’t go out, Kurt. You’re already injured. I can’t have you risk your life,” she demanded. “I just wonder how Teddy is.” She had no enemies abroad. With Kurt injured, she was certain that the gunfight was aimed at her companion, Teddy.
“Don’t worry. I saw him get up and ran in the other direction when I pushed you down and rolled over. Besides, his bodyguards will ensure his safety,” Kurt explained.
Amelia heaved a sigh of relief.
The gunfight ceased after half an hour.
Amelia helped Kurt, who had obviously lost quite a lot of blood, get to his feet while watching him with concern.
Teddy came to them under the protection of his bodyguards. When he noticed that Kurt was injured, he ordered, “Help Mr. Alfsen to the hospital.”
The two bodyguards tried helping Kurt to the car, but he was rooted to the spot and gazing at Amelia uneasily.
Teddy was slightly touched, for he could tell at first glance that Kurt was worried about Amelia. He also surmised that Kurt and Amelia’s relationship wasn’t strictly that of a client and employee. After all, Kurt’s gaze was filled with much affection.
“You can rest assured that I will protect her,” Teddy promised.
Kurt curled his lips into a smile before closing his eyes and fainted.
The two bodyguards rushed him to a nearby hospital as quickly as possible, while Teddy ended up driving Amelia there.
“Amelia, he loves you very much,” Teddy said while looking at Amelia from the rearview mirror.
Amelia wiped her face, then gave him a rueful smile.
The fact that Kurt protected her with his life on the line gave her mixed feelings, which was the reason she chose to not go to the hospital with him. She needed some time to calm down.
Kurt was so nice to her that she could no longer take it. She feared she would never be able to repay his intense love.
“Be at ease, Amelia. He might’ve lost a lot of blood, but his vital organs are fine. He shouldn’t be in any critical danger.” Teddy changed the topic.
Amelia glanced at Teddy, her eyes bearing a fleeting look of weakness.
“Teddy, he has been so nice to me, and yet I can’t possibly repay him for all that he has done. What should I do?” she questioned in confusion.
“You shouldn’t think too much about it. Since he loves you so much, he must’ve done it willingly. I would do the same if the woman I love is in danger.”
Amelia covered her face with both hands.
“Teddy, why was there a gunfight?”
“The perpetrators are after us. I’m sorry to have gotten Mr. Alfsen and you into this mess. I will make a thorough investigation to ensure justice is served,” Teddy guaranteed with a solemn expression.
Amelia merely responded with a helpless nod, not wishing to delve further into the topic.
By the time they arrived at the hospital, Kurt was already in the operating room. She felt awful while staring at the light that indicated the operating room was still occupied.
She figured she was cursed, for all her relatives and friends were admitted to the hospital due to various kinds of diseases or injuries. Right at that moment, Kurt was in the operating room, clinging to life.
Tiffany hurried to the hospital nervously with Tony still sleeping in her arms.
“Babe, how is Kurt?”
Amelia shook her head.
She had no idea if his situation was critical. The gunfight had gone on for half an hour, and Kurt was bleeding the entire time. All the blood stained his white shirt a striking and horrifying crimson color. It was likely that terrible sight would be etched into her memory for life.
Tiffany put Tony into Amelia’s arms before consoling Amelia by gently pressing the latter’s head against her chest.
“It’s OK. Kurt is a lucky guy and will be fine. Don’t you worry. He’ll be OK.”
Amelia leaned against her, her thoughts muddled up.
“I won’t be able to forgive myself if anything happened to Kurt, Tiff,” she whispered.
“Attagirl. Don’t overthink things. I’m with you, and he’ll definitely pull through. He wishes to protect you and Tony, so he couldn’t possibly be defeated so easily.” Tiffany continued to offer calm words of support. She didn’t ask why Kurt was shot. She figured she would have ample time for that after he woke up.
It was apparent that Amelia was on the verge of having a breakdown.
The three of them waited for a whole eight hours before the signal light outside the operating room was turned off, and a dozen doctors filed out from within the room.
Amelia hurried over to them with Tony in her arms.
“Doctor, is my friend all right? He’s fine, is he?” she inquired.
“Don’t worry. He’s not in critical danger. He just needs some rest after having lost a lot of blood.” The doctors only left with fatigued looks on their faces after informing her of things that she would have to be cautious about.
Amelia almost collapsed to the floor as her legs gave way. Fortunately, Tiffany reacted swiftly and caught her in time.
Turning to Tiffany with a feeble smile, Amelia muttered, “He’s no longer in critical condition. That’s great news.” After that, she fainted as well. Tony, who had been in her arms, would’ve fallen onto the floor too if it weren’t for Teddy taking the boy into his arms in the nick of time.
Tiffany called for the doctor while still holding onto Amelia. The doctor explained that Amelia fainted due to overwhelming shock after giving the latter a checkup in a ward.
It wasn’t until hearing the diagnosis that Tiffany heaved a sigh of relief.
We always get into trouble! I assumed that I would finally have some peace after fleeing abroad, but life is still a mess.
“Get some rest, Tiff. I’ll take over from here,” Teddy offered in concern.
Tiffany shook her head after glancing at him.
“You should go home and get some rest, Mr. Rice. I’ll watch over them. Sorry to have troubled you tonight. Since they’re both fine, I should be able to handle things alone.”
Teddy gave her a thoughtful look.
“Tiff, it’s fine for women to occasionally show their vulnerable side. Although I do like independent women, I heard that women from Chanaea like to be pampered, so I don’t mind if you do that with me.”
Startled, Tiffany let out a chuckle.
All of a sudden, she found Teddy to be less annoying than before. It’s just as Amelia said. He’s got a good sense of humor.