Married by Mistake Mr. Whitman’s Sinner Wife [Sixteenth Child] Chapter 1011
Lana thought she misheard him, but she watched clearly as Jeremy’s pretty thin lips parted to speak. “Cigarette.”
He had come to ask her for a cigarette.
Lana’s eyes shone, the franticness within them vanishing at that moment.
She chuckled to herself. Not even the most determined man would be able to survive the torture of poison slowly killing them from the inside.
Lana walked toward him to smile appreciatively at his slightly hollowed features.
“I can give you the cigarette if you want, Jeremy, but you must willingly become mine.” Lana gave her requirement as she stared at Jeremy with desire in her eyes.
Jeremy stared at the heinous smile and replied, “Fine.”
Lana was elated, staring at him with her intoxicated eyes as she lowered her voice. “If that’s the case, then how about you prove your determination? I’ve gotten a little scared of you since the day you treated me that way because of Eveline. Console me?”
Her words heavily hinted at Jeremy, and he understood.
“Hotel. Your pick,” Jeremy replied curtly.
Lana was ecstatic. She never expected she would get the chance to sleep with Jeremy.
She immediately picked a hotel and booked a room before leading him over.
Entering the room, Lana immediately went to take a bath.
After taking a quick bath, she shook her head.
She felt a little dizzy from the drinks she had in the bar, but it was a nice buzz.
Wrapping herself in a towel, Lana then opened the bathroom door and was hit with a special scent. Jeremy must have lit an incense.
In a daze, she saw the man she dreamed about sitting by the bed. Impatient, she pounced at him…
The night ended and morning came.
Turning around, Lana stared at Jeremy as he put on his clothes by the bed.
The morning sun shone on the man’s handsome brows as Lana stared at him, not able to get enough of his attractive features.
“It no wonders that Eveline loves you so much, Jeremy. You’re the most charismatic man I’ve met.” She stared besottedly at him.
Jeremy put on his clothes and went to light a cigarette on the side.
Admiring Jeremy as he smoked, Lana thought back to what happened last night.
Perhaps it was because she drank too much that she blacked out midway. Last night felt like a dream, but the dream felt real—real enough that she still felt sated.
She wanted Jeremy to stay, but he said that he had matters to tend to her.
Lana washed up and left the room, only to see an unattractive and ragged thug staring at her flirtatiously.
Lana rolled her eyes disgustedly. The fact that such people found interest in her made her want to vomit.
However, she was in a good mood today and decided to ignore it.
It was still early, and Madeline was making breakfast for Jackson and Lillian.
The siblings were obedient kids. Having had their breakfast, they then took their school bags and held hands as they hopped on the nanny van to school.
Madeline had offered to move out of Whitman Manor a month ago, but Karen managed to persuade her to stay.
She would not be able to take care of all three children if she moved out.
Turning to walk back inside, she suddenly received a call from Ava.
“Did you see it, Maddie? I thought Jeremy already got his memories back? What’s he doing this time?” Ava’s voice was filled with anger. “How could he hurt you again and again?”
Married by Mistake Mr. Whitman’s Sinner Wife [Sixteenth Child] Chapter 1012
Madeline did not understand but quickly found the news about Jeremy entering a hotel with a short-haired woman in the middle of the night before leaving separately.
It had been a month since Madeline received any news of Jeremy. She never expected to receive it in such a way.
Others may not recognize her, but Madeline knew that it was Lana with just one look.
Madeline felt her vision darken for a while, but she was soon pulled back to reality when Ava called her name through the phone.
“Is Jeremy crazy, Maddie? Why would he get together with Lana?” Ava pitied Madeline.
Madeline gripped her phone and forced herself to calm down. “We’ve already gotten a divorce, Ava. Who he decides to spend his time with has nothing to do with me.”
Madeline hung up nonchalantly despite the shaking in her heart.
‘Why, Jeremy? Have you truly gone mad?’
Dazed for the entire morning, Madeline only came back to reality when Ryan came to bring her out for lunch.
They arrived at that restaurant.
Madeline’s gaze instinctively fell on the seat she once sat with Jeremy, only to find it occupied by another woman.
Madeline turned to sit but was knocked into by someone from behind.
“Sorry.” She quickly apologized but was hit with the cooling scent that tugged at her heartstrings.
She looked up in disbelief, her eyes reflecting the man’s attractive features.
Madeline exclaimed internally in shock.
Jeremy quickly let go of his grip on Madeline now that she was back on her feet. His gaze was indifferent. “Are you alright, Miss Montgomery?”
What a familiar yet distanced title.
Madeline stepped out of his arms coldly without replying to him.
Jeremy did not comment on it, opting to turn to Ryan with a smile instead. “My ex-wife is a rare and great woman, Mr. Jones. If you truly like her, don’t let go.”
Jeremy’s words made Madeline feel uncomfortable.
She was about to speak when she heard Ryan reply gently, “Thank you for the reminder, Mr. Whitman. I won’t.”
Satisfied with the reply, he turned to look at Madeline who was glaring coldly at him before leaving.
Madeline then realized that the woman sitting with her back against her was Lana.
He was eating with Lana at the table they once sat at.
Madeline had no idea what Jeremy was thinking at all.
She sat down despite the fact that her appetite had completely vanished. “In regards to what he said, Ryan, you can ignore it.”
Rya understood, but his gaze was sincere. “I’ve developed feelings for you after having spent time with you over the past month.”
Ryan’s reply took Madeline by surprise, but he continued to explain, “Naomi and I got engaged because it was my parents’ wish. There wasn’t anyone I had feelings for at the time, so I decided to accept it when my parents introduced me to a girl of similar status to tie a union.”
It turned out that this was the reason behind Ryan and Naomi’s relationship.
It explained why Ryan did not seem to show any form of sadness at all when he broke it off with Naomi. There were no feelings involved at all.
However, in the face of Ryan’s sudden confession and Jeremy’s ‘matchmaking’, Madeline felt uneasy and made an excuse to use the bathroom. She wanted some peace and quiet, only to have Lana’s proud smile appear in the mirror.
“You must be surprised, Eveline Montgomery. Since last night, Jeremy has become mine for real.”
Married by Mistake Mr. Whitman’s Sinner Wife [Sixteenth Child] Chapter 1013
Madeline loosened her balled-up fist and washed her hands nonchalantly.
However, Lana walked up to her to provoke her. “Jeremy sure is charming. I’ve never been so happy. Now I understand why you used such lowly methods to get him to marry you.
“But we’re not the same, Eveline. I didn’t do anything at all. Jeremy was the one who came to me instead.”
Proud of herself, Lana turned it up a notch with the taunts when she saw Madeline’s lack of response. “Do you think I’m joking, Eveline? You can go and take a look if you want. Jeremy still has the mark I bit on his shoulder last night! Haha… Ugh?”
Lana laughed freely, never having expected Madeline to reach out and grab her neck with a domineering look in her eyes.
“There’s a limit to my tolerance, Lana Johnson. For my kids, perhaps I can still maintain a shred of rationality, but there’s no limit to the things that I can do if you completely piss me off. You’ll stop bragging in front of me if you know what’s good for you.”
Madeline’s aura was overwhelming.
“Jeremy and I are already divorced. Who he wants to spend time with has nothing to do with me. If you like him so much, then treasure him and keep him for yourself. I don’t want him anymore!”
Madeline loosened her grip just as her warning came to an end.
Flushed, Lana coughed and tried to attack Madeline from behind. However, Madeline evaded it agilely and instead raised her hand to counterattack.
At that moment, Madeline felt a familiar hand suspending her hand in mid-air.
The palm’s warmth was something she would never forget.
Madeline turned to the man who was gripping her wrist—Jeremy.
Watching the scene, Lana was elated but wore a hurt expression as she approached Jeremy. “Jeremy, she tried to hurt me again.”
Jeremy stared at Madeline and asked, “Why are you hitting my girlfriend, Miss Montgomery?”
The word drifted into Madeline and Lana’s ears.
Lana was stunned and ecstatic.
Madeline was shocked too, and she felt her heart grow cold.
Her dignified gaze fell on Jeremy as she spoke disdainfully, “So what if I hit her? Are you going to hit me back for your girlfriend, Mr. Whitman?”
“…” Lana’s expression fell as she turned to stir more trouble up, saying coquettishly, “Look at her, Jeremy. This is too much…”
Jeremy glanced at Lana, then back at Madeline. “As ex-husband and wife, I’m sorry on behalf of how my girlfriend has offended you.”
Madeline was beyond disappointed by the man’s reply.
She tugged her arm back. “How can an apology possibly be enough for the murder of two lives? Are you overestimating yourself, Jeremy, or are you underestimating me?”
Madeline turned and left.
Lana quirked her red lips in satisfaction.
She never expected Jeremy to suddenly call her his girlfriend.
It seemed like she had made the right choice with the slow-acting poison. Jeremy was easily controlled now.
Ryan, who was ordering dishes at the table, watched Madeline rush out with a dark expression. Subconsciously turning to look at the bathroom, he saw Jeremy and Lana leave one after the other.
Married by Mistake Mr. Whitman’s Sinner Wife [Sixteenth Child] Chapter 1014
Guessing what had happened, he quickly placed the menu down and ran after Madeline.
Standing in an empty corner in the underground car park, Madeline trembled and shook as her heart ached with no sign of relief.
Watching Madeline try and suppress her feelings alone in the corner, Ryan quickly made his way over.
Seeing her agony, Ryan reached out for her. “If it’s too much, you can always choose to lean on my shoulders. I may not be the person you want to rely on the most, but I think I qualify enough as an escape.”
Madeline slowly looked up to stare at the gentle features in front of her as her tears began to fall.
Ryan took a step forward and opened his arms to pull Madeline into his chest.
Jeremy watched the scene from afar and felt his heart clench as pain consumed it.
Yet another uncomfortable feeling within his body reminded him that giving her away was the best and only choice he could make.
Madeline cried for a long time before her emotions began to calm.
Getting into the car, she decided to text Jeremy to meet her by the seaside of April Hill.
Seven o’clock that night, the man arrived on time.
The cold sea breeze blew. It was no longer salty and sweet like it used to be.
“Did you want to ask why I got together with Lana?” Jeremy asked straightforwardly, his tone cold and distant.
Madeline merely stared at the man’s calm expression silently.
From her eyes, Jeremy read her question. He approached her with a smile and cupped her cheeks with both his hands. “Eveline Montgomery, you will always be the woman I, Jeremy Whitman, love the most. But there’s also no way we can ever get back together.”
‘There’s no way, Linnie. Not even if you forgave me.’
His reply crushed Madeline’s heart and enraged her. “So you’ve decided to be with Lana? The person who used you to kill my parents?”
“Yeah. I got together with her. The gossip online is true. We’ve… slept together.”
His words shot through her heart like a thousand arrows.
Trembling, she pushed the man away while suppressing the heartbreak and tears. “Jeremy Whitman, you b*stard! I’m so disappointed in you! Tell me just what kind of man did I fall in love with all these years?”
Jeremy remained indifferent to Madeline’s disappointed reprimanding.
He pulled a box of cigarettes from his pocket. Lighting one between his fingers, he took a drag.
Madeline could not suppress the tears at the sight and snatched the cigarette and its box before throwing them on the floor. Then, she gave him a harsh slap across his face.
“Do you somehow think that I exist for the sole purpose to be hurt by and for you? Why must you treat me like this, Jeremy? Am I not worthy of happy days at all?”
“You’re right, you should never have fallen for me at all.” Jeremy curled his lips faintly as he stared at her teary face. He secretly balled his fists to hide his trembling fingers. “It’s your biggest misfortune to have met me, Eveline. I cannot give you the happiness you deserve. All I give is pain, so stop loving me. I don’t want to be loved by you anymore.”
Madeline placed all her strength to leave a clear handprint on Jeremy’s cheek. Her hands were shaking uncontrollably as breathing itself started to feel like a difficult feat. “I don’t want to see you anymore. I don’t… After tonight, Jeremy Whitman, I won’t shed another tear for you. Not even in your death will I let my heart hurt for you again.”
She bit her lip to ignore the searing ache in her chest.
“I hate you! I hate you so much, Jeremy Whitman! I hate the fact that you’re not atoning for my parents’ death right now!”
Married by Mistake Mr. Whitman’s Sinner Wife [Sixteenth Child] Chapter 1015
Madeline drove away.
Rooted in place, Jeremy waited until Madeline could no longer see him from her rear-view mirror before he let go of his facade. His slender fingers picked up the cigarettes on the ground.
These were custom-made cigarettes, a replica of the ones Lana gave him. However, they were not from her.
Someone had costumed these for him. They were made with ingredients that would balance the slow-acting poison inside his body. Although, he had to say that they were not very effective.
He thought of Madeline’s words. “Not even in your death will I let my heart hurt for you again.” He leaned against his car lifelessly, his peach blossom eyes staring dimly at the ground.
‘That day might just come sooner than you think, Linnie…
‘But I sincerely hope that you would have completely given up on me by then so that at least you won’t be hurt by it.’
Leaving April Hill, Madeline had no idea what mindset she was in as she drove away.
Passing an intersection, Madeline had not noticed the red light and drove through. She almost crashed into another car.
The other person rolled their window down to curse at Madeline before driving off.
Parking the car by the road, tears streamed down Madeline’s face as she threw herself over the steering wheel.
Taking a trip down memory lane, it seemed like she had never been truly happy at all.
The happiest moment she could recall might just be the moment she first met Jeremy on April Hill.
‘I must have used all my luck in meeting you there and then, Jeremy. Everything afterward was merely misfortune.’
Madeline stared at the night sky from the inside of her car and raised her hand to wipe the tears from the corner of her eyes.
‘This is the last time Linnie will cry for you, Jeremy. One last time… No more after this…’
Madeline returned home and fell into a deep sleep.
Her mood was regulated by the time she woke. She then went to send the two children to school before making her way to Montgomery Enterprises.
The company did a lot of charity work when Sean and Eloise were still here, and with its subsidiary company’s annual charity gala in a few days, Madeline decided to place her attention solely on work so that she would not think of the man who had fully disappointed her.
As the new holder of Montgomery Enterprises, there were many employees who were dissatisfied with Madeline’s sudden appearance.
However, as Sean and Eloise’s only daughter, most of them were in agreement for her to take over the company.
Still, there was one person who hated Madeline from the depths of her heart.
Eve Garcia from the jewelry department.
When Madeline was looking for a job fresh out of prison, she had managed to find herself in Montgomery Enterprise’s jewelry department. As her superior, Eve used to gossip about Madeline behind her back which she had accidentally gotten wind of once.
Madeline could still remember Eve’s slander. “It’s a black mark on our department to have a woman who was an ex-inmate, a mistress, and had plagiarized someone else’s work!”
Back then, Madeline had thrown her work badge at Eve and resigned.
Madeline could still remember that mortified look on Eve’s face.
Yet Eve would never have expected Madeline to be the Montgomeries’ only daughter who now held the highest authority as the person with the most stocks in Montgomery Enterprises!
She was not in the position to offend her and neither did she want to resign, so Eve had no choice but to return to her station.
Madeline was walking past the jewelry department with documents in her hand when she suddenly heard one of Eve’s colleagues asking Eve with interest, “What if our new president takes revenge and fires you, Eve?”
Married by Mistake Mr. Whitman’s Sinner Wife [Sixteenth Child] Chapter 1016
Eve’s heart lurched, but she made sure to keep her expression disdainful. “Why would I be afraid of her? She can fire me if she wants, but I can still ask her to pay me five times my salary as compensation!”
She got up and rolled her eyes, crossing her arms as well. “Not to mention that I’m our department’s representative with the press for every year’s annual charity gala. I’m in charge of an important segment. I’m also the only one who can do the segment. So no, I don’t think you-know-who would have the guts to fire me.”
‘You-know-who’ obviously referred to Madeline.
Eve’s expression turned arrogant at the mention of the annual charity gala. “Not even Mrs. Montgomery made me leave back then, so who is Eveline to do so? Does she really think that she’s the president just because she has taken over the company? You guys might not know this, but she used to be an inmate…”
Eve lowered her tone slightly as the female colleagues in front of her widened their eyes. In the midst of listening to Eve talk, they stared at the figure behind her.
Eve had not realized Madeline’s presence just yet, so she got more enthusiastic as she spoke. “You guys joined late, so there are some things that you might not know. I’ll let you in on some of them now. Take it as a bonus.”
“Eveline Montgomery used to be Madeline Crawford, but she was so stupid that her biological parents ended up mistaking another woman, Meredith Crawford, as their daughter. Honestly speaking, I think Meredith’s a lot smarter than her!”
“That’s not all. Do you guys know why Eveline went to prison before?” Eve smiled as she urged their curiosity.
The group of colleagues gulped and shook their heads as they stepped backward.
It only fueled Eve’s pride. She was about to tell when a voice drifted from behind. “Then do you know why you’re about to go to prison? Will it be defamation or slander of reputation?”
Eve had met Madeline a few times and heard her speak during meetings before, so to hear that same voice at this moment, she felt the soles of her feet chill.
Turning around to see Madeline standing elegantly in front of her, Eve grew frantic. “Ms. Mon-Montgomery. Good morning. You sure go the extra mile, supervising departments so early in the morning.”
Madeline took in Eve’s alluring smile and replied calmly, “Relax, I’m not the kind of person to let my private life affect my work. While I may not fire you because of what happened between us, it does not change the fact that you’ve slandered my reputation. I will have my lawyer follow-up on this. You can wait for my lawyer’s letter.”
Eve’s smile froze.
Madeline simply placed the documents down and turned to leave.
Eve spent the entire day in discomfort, and at the last minute before she clocked out, she indeed received a letter from Madeline’s lawyer.
With the letter in hand, Eve left the company while muttering angrily under her breath. She was about to call a cab when a car stopped in front of her. “Would you be interested in a partnership?”
A woman’s voice drifted from the car window.
“Who are you? Why would I want to partner with you?” Eve rolled her eyes in annoyance.
“You don’t need to know who I am. All you need to do is follow my orders and this 100,000-dollar cash is yours. I can also help you get back at Eveline Montgomery.”
Eve had her eyes on a few branded purses lately but found herself too broke to buy them. To have such a great term of condition presented to her, she agreed without a second thought.
The sky darkened and night began to fall.
Almost everyone had clocked out, leaving Madeline alone to work in the office.
The day of the annual charity gala was closing on her, and as the person in charge, she would do her best to make it perfect.
She did not want to be a disgrace to Sean and Eloise.
Madeline was just about to save a document when the entire building’s lights were shut off.
Confused, Madeline took her phone to call the building’s manager when she heard footsteps approaching her office…
Married by Mistake Mr. Whitman’s Sinner Wife [Sixteenth Child] Chapter 1017
Not knowing who it was, Madeline turned on her phone’s flashlight and shone in the direction of the footsteps. “Who is it?”
Madeline asked, only to have the floor-to-ceiling windows behind her explode. The glass shattered everywhere.
She shouted reflexively and heard the sound of glass exploding again.
“Watch out!” A man’s worried tone sounded by her ear.
Madeline did not have the chance to take a look at the person when she found herself being pulled into a warm and strong embrace. The musky scent of ebony infiltrated her nostrils.
While it was not a familiar scent, Madeline did not find the scent especially new.
The sounds of explosion only stopped after a while.
However, the building’s lights remained switched off.
“Are you alright, Eveline?”
Only then did Eveline realize it was Ryan.
She shook her head and stared at the broken floor-to-ceiling windows. They were on the 28th floor, so to have the windows broken and the evening wind blowing violently inside, it was dangerous.
Why would the windows suddenly shatter for no reason? Not to mention that these were hardly normal glass.
“Your hands are bleeding, it must’ve been the glass.” Ryan’s voice brought Madeline out of her wandering thoughts.
With the light from her phone, Madeline realized that there was a bleeding wound on the back of her right hand.
“Wait here.” Ryan then made his way toward the first-aid kit and returned quickly after. “Let’s stop the bleeding first. I’ll clean and dress your wound first.”
His voice was gentle while his palm was warm as he held Madeline’s hand and began to treat the wound with familiarity.
Madeline frowned at the pain. She made no sound, but Ryan seemed to have realized it anyway and his touch grew gentler. “I’ll be done soon.”
“Okay.” Madeline smiled and asked curiously, “The way you work reminds me of a doctor. Did you learn first-aid?”
Ryan halted for a moment before replying, “I took a few medical lessons when I went to university.”
The wound was dressed just as he finished speaking.
“Try not to wet your wound for the next few days. Let’s get you downstairs. It doesn’t seem very safe here.”
“Yeah. Thank you.” Madeline turned around to take her bag from the chair.
Ryan pulled her back. “I’ll do it.”
He made his way over and stared at the glass shards all over the floor as he took her purse.
“Let’s go, Ryan. It doesn’t feel very safe here.”
“Alright.” Returning to Madeline with her purse in hand, he took his phone to shine their way.
Madeline made her way to follow, only to accidentally step on one of the glass shards. In her heels, she felt herself slip at the smooth surface.
Ryan immediately reached out to hold Madeline’s shoulder, steadying her swaying frame.
“Thank you.” Madeline exhaled in relief.
Ryan then presented his palm to her. “Would you care to walk with me?” he suddenly asked.
In the dark, Madeline caught sight of the sincerity between his brows and nodded, placing her hand in Ryan’s palm.
Ryan gave a warm smile and tightened his grip on her hand, the warmth of his palm seeping to the back of her hands.
It was warm.
Due to the sudden power shortage, they could not take the elevator.
As such, Ryan held Madeline’s hand as they walked down the stairs carefully.
It took a while before they finally exited the building, but the power had not returned.
Madeline decided to call the manager who told her that an unknown issue had occurred with the building’s fuse box. They were currently doing their best to fix it.
Madeline did not press further and hung up the phone. She turned to thank Ryan, but he seemed to understand her and spoke first.
Married by Mistake Mr. Whitman’s Sinner Wife [Sixteenth Child] Chapter 1018
“You don’t need to thank me. It’s a pleasure to be the person you want to rely on.”
His gaze reminded her of the night, gentle and deep.
“I want to be the first person you think of when you find yourself in danger and in need of help.”
Madeline had no idea how to reply, but the look in his eyes was sincere.
It was evident that his feelings for her were no longer as simple as him ‘fancying’ her.
Still, Madeline did not find Ryan suitable for herself. She had three kids, was married twice, and got divorced twice.
As if sensing the awkwardness Madeline felt, Ryan smiled and changed the subject.
“Let’s go eat dinner. I’ve booked a place.”
Madeline nodded, internally thanking Ryan for realizing and changing the subject.
On the other end, Lana threw her phone with the newly acquired picture at Naomi.
A magnified image of Ryan holding a frightened Madeline just moments ago appeared before Naomi’s eyes.
She remembered how much she wanted to kill this idiot when Jeremy had almost burned her alive, but that did not mean she would not milk this idiot of its full purpose now.
Lighting a cigarette, Lana took a drag and puffed out a breath of smoke before she began to taunt.
“Do you see this? Ryan has been with Eveline since a long time ago. He has never liked you to begin with. I had someone look into it and I found out that Ryan has always loved Eveline from the start. It was love at first sight before he even got into university.”
“What? Really?” Naomi was infuriated.
Lana rolled her eyes as if to say ‘of course’. “Or did you think that Ryan wasn’t a man? You’re a pretty woman, I’ll give you that, but did he even kiss you once over the two years you two dated?”
“It’s not that he couldn’t. He just wasn’t interested in you.”
“The woman he’s interested in has been Eveline all along. He picks her up every day after work. They’ve been secretly together for a while now.”
“That btch!” Naomi hit the desk with her fist furiously. “I knew Eveline was trying to seduce Rye! I would’ve been Mrs. Jones long ago had it not been for that btch! I’ll never let her get away with this!”
Watching Naomi react, Lana quirked her red lips in silent satisfaction.
After Madeline’s hardworking preparations, it was finally the day of the annual charity gala.
Celebrities from Glendale and everywhere else were in attendance, along with a few top businessmen and wealthy, famous philanthropists.
Some of them were Eloise and Sean’s friends. They came to ask Madeline how she was coping as well to give her encouragement and support.
After thanking each of them, Madeline then went backstage to get rid of some of her stress in the lounge.
There was a heavy weight on her shoulders.
This was a charity event Sean and Eloise created with their own bare hands. She was afraid that she would mess up and throw everything they had worked for down the drain.
She pulled out a picture of her parents and stared at it.
“Mom, Dad, I’ll definitely make you proud.”
“Are you alright, Eveline?” Ryan came over to check up on her.
Wiping the tears off the corner of her eyes, Madeline turned to the suited man and smiled, replying frankly, “I just miss my parents. I’m scared that I won’t be able to do it as well as them. I don’t want to throw their hard work away.”
Ryan gave a small smile. “You’re doing great. The atmosphere outside is pretty good. I’m sure you’ll do just fine.”
Madeline nodded and exited the lounge with him. “Thank you for staying by my side through all of this. You even helped me deal with things I had no idea how to. I don’t even know how I’m supposed to thank you at all.”
“Do you really want to thank me?” Ryan asked meaningfully.
Startled, Madeline nodded. “Yeah, I do.”
Ryan then stared sincerely at her with his starry gray eyes while reaching an arm out to her. “Very well then. Now, if you will?”
Married by Mistake Mr. Whitman’s Sinner Wife [Sixteenth Child] Chapter 1019
Staring at Ryan’s outstretched hand, Madeline could not help but think of Jeremy.
Just what did she need to do to completely cut this man out of her mind and life?
Was she supposed to throw herself into a new feeling?
“Life is hardly ever smooth-sailing, Eveline. Give yourself a chance to start over, and give the people who care about you a chance as well.”
Ryan reached out to Madeline.
However, before his hand could touch her, a mocking voice sounded in the air.
“Tsk. There are so many guests waiting for you outside, Miss Montgomery, and you still have the time to waste it flirting with a man over here? I should’ve known that charity is always done for the sake of image.”
Madeline and Ryan looked up to see Lana approaching them in a seductive evening gown.
Standing beside her was Jeremy Whitman.
Madeline had not seen the man again after she decisively broke it off with Jeremy by the seaside in April Hill.
Yet here he was, attending the charity gala with Lana on his arm.
Madeline averted her gaze coldly and turned to Lana. “The host didn’t send you an invitation. Who let you in?”
“You’re right, but the host sent one to Whitman Corporation, didn’t they?” Jeremy parted his lips, his peach blossom eyes staring at Madeline’s icy and otherworldly appearance.
Lana quirked her lips proudly. “Did you hear that, Miss Montgomery? My boyfriend received an invitation from the host. As his girlfriend, can’t I even come along to take a look?”
“Please, help yourself.” Madeline fired back without restraint. “However, this is a charity gala, after all. The guests present are all charitable and loving people, but what about you? You’re just a vile and heinous woman.”
“…” Lana’s smile instantly fell as she turned to Jeremy. “I think your ex-wife still has feelings for you, Jeremy. Why else would she pick on me like this?”
“Is that so?” Jeremy curled his lips into an intrigued smile as he took in Madeline’s frosty features. “Am I that attractive, Eveline? I’ve hurt you time and time again, yet you’re still interested in me?”
Madeline never expected to hear such ironic words coming from Jeremy’s mouth. After staring nonchalantly at the man with a twinkle in his eyes, she then turned to give Ryan a gentle smile. “Let’s get back to the hall.”
Ryan replied with a gentle smile and followed Madeline away.
Glaring harshly at Madeline and Ryan’s retreating figures, Lana loosened her grip from Jeremy’s hand. “I need to make a call, Jeremy.”
Jeremy nodded coolly and turned his head to watch Madeline leave.
She was wearing a midnight blue gown with her long hair loosely tied up. The azure jewels were subtle yet still elegant as they embellished her dress and makeup.
She reminded him of the night sky, twinkling yet still laid-back.
Jeremy felt his heart twinge as he started besottedly at her retreating figure.
He could no longer tell if it was the slow-acting poison or his heart aching.
Madeline returned to the banquet hall where everyone was happily chatting with one another under the shining lights.
They had raised an accumulated fund of 80 million dollars for children in poverty-stricken areas.
Friends of the late Montgomery couple praised Madeline for her skills while they gave their condolences for the loss of Sean and Eloise.
Madeline was taking pictures with a few well-known gentlemen and madams when the worker responsible for the gala’s funding suddenly rushed up to Madeline.
“Something has happened, Ms. Montgomery.”
Madeline and Ryan shared a look before walking to the side. “What happened?”
“We’ve raised over a hundred million dollars but there’s only 80 million. We don’t know where the 30 million dollars went!” Beads of cold sweat were on the person in charge’s forehead.
Married by Mistake Mr. Whitman’s Sinner Wife [Sixteenth Child] Chapter 1020
Madeline remained cool. “Something must’ve happened in the middle. Don’t fret, I’ll go take a look.”
Ryan followed after. “I’ll come with you, Eveline.”
“Alright.” Madeline turned around.
She had just taken a few steps when Eve from the jewelry department rushed over frantically with a shout. “Ms. Montgomery! Something bad has happened!”
Madeline could guess that Eve was referring to the funds, but with Eve shouting, everyone in the banquet hall turned to look.
“What happened?” someone asked curiously.
Madeline was about to placate the guests when Eve frantically replied, “Someone stole from the charity funds, Ms. Montgomery. 30 million dollars have vanished into mid-air.”
“What? Someone stole from the charity funds?”
“How could such a thing happen?”
“We have to find out who did it. How could someone be so heartless as to steal from funds raised for charity?”
The guests were shocked and furious.
Jeremy and Lana had just returned to the banquet hall when they watched the scene before them unfurl.
He could tell that it was a set-up for Madeline.
At that moment, the banquet hall erupted into chaos.
Most of them were angry, and it was only normal for some of them to fault Madeline for her inability to manage the funds. Some even said that if Eloise and Sean were still here, none of this would have happened. They claimed that as Madeline was still new to all this, she only had the right to take over but not the right to take up such an important role.
In face of doubt, Madeline remained calm as she promised. “Rest assured, ladies and gentlemen, that I will do everything I can to find out where the money went as soon as possible. I will not let your charitable intentions fall into the hands of someone else.”
She promised and took her phone to call the police.
Eve quickly stopped her. “You can’t call the police, Ms. Montgomery.”
“Why not?” Madeline was confused.
“This isn’t something we should broadcast to the world. If the police start investigating, it’ll only tarnish the name of Montgomery Enterprises.
“You might not know this, but Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery’s charity galas have always ended perfectly fine. If you can’t deal with this properly, I’m sure a lot of people will protest about the position you’re holding now.”
Feeling surprised, the corner of Madeline’s lips tugged into a vague smile. “I never knew you cared so much about me.”
“We may have our issues, Ms. Montgomery, but I’ve never thought too much about them,” Eve replied generously, “Relax. I’ll deal with this with you.”
Madeline stared at Eve’s sincere expression. “It seems like I’ve misunderstood you all along. Thank you for standing by me.”
Eve’s eyes brightened as she gave a kind smile. “Please, it’s my job.”
Madeline’s clear gaze swept past Eve as she made her way to dig deeper into the problem when another person in charge ran up to Madeline with a solemn expression. They said in a cold tone, “We found where the 30 million went, Ms. Montgomery.”
“You did?” Madeline was shocked by their efficiency. “What happened? Where did the 30 million go?”
She glared disdainfully at Madeline. “Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery did so much good when they were alive, Ms. Montgomery. But as their daughter, not only did you throw all their hard work away, but you’ve sabotaged it too.”
Madeline frowned. “What are you talking about?”
“Are you still going to act innocent when I’ve already found out about it? The 30 million was just transferred from the company’s bank account to your personal one! You stole the money, then pretended to look for the money! How shameless can you be, Eveline Montgomery?”