Sophia entered the hall at seven sharp even though the birthday banquet was scheduled to commence only half an hour later.
It had been two years since she last met Darrell. As soon as she set foot in the hall, the latter’s secretary immediately approached her and led her away.
With a present in her hand, she followed behind Darrell’s secretary leisurely. Soon, they arrived at the lounge room.
“This way, Ms. Yarrow.”
Smiling away, Sophia responded, “Thank you, Ms. Zeller.”
“You’re welcome, Ms. Yarrow. It’s my responsibility to do so.” The secretary pushed the door open as she spoke.
Sophia then made her way inside the room in her high heels. She was dressed in a grayish-blue floral embroidered dress that day, not looking especially fancy.
“It’s been a long time since we last met, Ms. Yarrow.”
Darrell, who was making coffee, raised his gaze when Sophia came in.
She smiled and handed him the gift she had prepared earlier. “Long time no see, Mr. Swain! I wish you prosperity and longevity.”
Letting out a chortle, Darrell received the present and thanked her, “Thank you so much. You really shouldn’t have!”
Sophia sat opposite him before smoothing the hem of her dress. “Don’t mention it, Mr. Swain. It’s only something small.”
“Haha! You know that won’t work on me, don’t you?”
Darrell had always been fond of Sophia. Although he had been in the corporate world for decades, it was his first time meeting someone like her.
She stayed humble while preserving her dignity. She was full of confidence, but she knew her limits. Anyhow, all those traits were not the actual reason why Darrell admired her so much. What he admired the most in the young lady was her calm and composed manner.
He still remembered his first time seeing her. It was seven years ago, and she was about eighteen to nineteen years old at that time. Although she looked innocent and meek, everyone was shocked when she started speaking.
No one would ever think that such a young lady would keep the chat about establishing an investment company.
Back then, many people were laughing at how ignorant she was. Some of the less decent people even suggested on the spot that it was more realistic for her to make use of her good looks. “Find yourself a prestigious family to marry into is better, you know?” one of them said.
That day, she was neither angsty nor arrogant. As she stood there, she remained calm and composed. Not a look of panic nor a sense of nervousness could be seen on her face. When the peace was gradually restored, she looked nonchalant as she said, “Then, kindly look forward to my success, everyone.”
Back then, Darrell thought she was just young, fearless, and more courageous than ordinary people.
However, she managed to set up Sunshine Group after seven years.
Unexpectedly, she was very talented in investing. Mostly all the companies that she had invested in would have their businesses prosper.
Sophia has subtly made an enormous fortune over the past few years. I wonder if those who looked down on her back then would feel embarrassed if they knew about her achievements now.
Two years ago, Darrell met Sophia once again. Although she seemed to be a gentle and quiet person, she was highly perceptive. Judging from her way of talking, he knew Sophia was a staunch person. She was firm and confident, though she looked meek and mild.
As for Horatius, he was still leading a carefree life though he was thirty-two this year. He was not mediocre, but Darrell knew he was still lacking. Therefore, Darrell was worried that his son was not capable of taking over Onyx Builders after he passed away.
In the past, whenever he heard rumors about his son, he had never put much thought into it. Nevertheless, he found himself concerned after what he heard a few days ago.
I need not worry about the glory of Onyx Builders after my passing if Sophia is married to Horatius. With her sensible judgment and vision, as well as Horatius’ social skills and connections, Onyx Builders will definitely embark on a brighter journey if the two of them work together for the benefit of the company.
As this thought swirled in his mind, he knew it could only remain a thought for now. Everything was still dependent specifically on Sophia’s point of view.
Concurrently, Sophia knew she had no way to continue hiding her intention. Hence, she decided not to mask it anymore. “It’s your birthday, so I had to prepare something you like, Mr. Swain.”
Darrell handed her a cup of coffee that he had just made. “Wow, my interest is immediately piqued!”
As she took a sip of the coffee, she gazed at Darrell, who was nonchalantly unwrapping the present. “I hope you won’t be disappointed,” she said.
At that moment, he had already caught sight of the emerald pendant and was slightly taken aback. He slapped his thigh the next instant and exclaimed, “Emerald is indeed my favorite gem!”
He could not take his hands off the gift as he added, “How did you know about it?”
Sophia smiled and put down the coffee cup. “I heard what you told Ms. Zeller when we met two years ago.”
In actuality, she did not take his words to heart at that time. Having a good memory, she recalled it and told Yvonne when Darrell’s birthday was around the corner.
However, the emerald pendant’s owner was also a collector. Since money was never an issue for the owner, Sophia could only ask Yvonne to offer a painting in exchange for the pendant.
She thought the owner had rejected the offer as Yvonne did not update her on the matter after a few days. Much to her surprise, it was a successful exchange.
At such an old age, Darrell had no other hobbies other than collecting emeralds. He had already taken a liking to the emerald pendant several years ago. It was just that he was not on good terms with the original owner, so the latter refused to sell him the pendant.
Sophia remembered that he even threw a tantrum back then because of this.
Hearing what Sophia said, Darrell was momentarily stunned. As he was growing old, it took him some time to recall that incident. Soon after, he heaved a sigh and remarked, “You actually remembered!”
“I’m glad that you like it.”
“Of course, I like it!”
Following that, he put the emerald pendant back carefully. Anyone could tell that he was indeed an emerald lover.
Soon, it was about time to kick off the banquet. After having a cup of coffee, Darrell handed the emerald pendant to his secretary. He then looked toward Sophia and uttered, “Come with me to meet the guests. Let’s go, shall we?”
Sophia arched a brow upon hearing his words. It was rare that she could not figure out what was going on in his mind.
It’s his birthday today. Logically, it should be his family accompanying him to meet the guests. If worse comes to worst, he can still look for Horatius’ girlfriend to accompany him. I’ve just talked to him a few times. Although we get along pretty well, it still seems inappropriate for me to meet the guests with him.
At the same time, Darrell knew what she was thinking about. Thus, he scolded lightheartedly, “Why? Are you afraid of being gossiped about, the fabled Ms. Suny? If anyone has the nerve to spout some nonsense, I’ll immediately ask my men to chase them out! Don’t worry, okay?”
He had played his cards right. Even if she couldn’t become his daughter-in-law, he could make her his goddaughter.
Moreover, he was a good judge of character. He knew she was very protective of her family though she seemed cold to people. She won’t just watch my lifelong business go downhill if I’ve become her godfather.
Sophia had never expected that Darrell would think so. Hmm… I guess he’s probably bringing me with him to shut the netizens’ mouths and stop them from scolding me.
Some people still couldn’t believe her even after Darrell personally mentioned how good she was. It was absurd how those people thought they knew everything and commented, “Mr. Horatius must have returned home to plead with his father to speak up for her. It’s hard to tell if it’s fake or real. It may be just a show played by the rich.”
Nonetheless, Sophia naturally agreed since Darrell had already asked for her company.
Most of the guests had already arrived at the hall downstairs. With that, Sophia held Darrell’s arm as they strode into the elevator.
In truth, he was said to be a legendary man. He had focused his full attention on Onyx Builders after his wife’s passing. All these years, he had never been involved in any scandals either.
The wall of the elevator reflected Darrell’s appearance clearly. Even though he was sixty this year, his looks made him seem to be in his forties to fifties. One could tell from his exquisite facial features that he was quite handsome in his youth.
Such a devoted husband like him was rare, especially when he was so good-looking.
With a loud ding, the elevator doors slid open. Everyone at the scene naturally fell quiet as they knew Darrell would make his entrance the next instant.
All the guests had different expressions when they caught sight of Sophia, who stood next to Darrell.
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