The sun was shining brightly outside the window by the time Sophia awoke. Even through the double layer of curtains, its dazzling rays were still faintly visible.
She had no idea when Alexander had gotten up. He had turned off her alarm, and she was all alone in bed.
Propping an arm on the bed, she shifted herself into a sitting position. As she ran her eyes over the thin silk quilt covering her, memories of the previous night flashed through her mind, and her already dry throat felt even more parched.
At that moment, the door opened, and Alexander walked in with a phone in his hand.
Her beautiful eyes shifted slightly at the sight of him, and she could feel her cheeks burning. She quickly looked away, slid her feet into her bedroom slippers, and dashed into the bathroom.
When she had washed up, she went out to see that the bedroom curtains had been drawn open. With the sunlight pouring through, the whole room was very bright.
She walked to the dressing table and saw the album lying on it. While kissing her the previous night, he took it from her without her noticing and set it down on the table.
That’s right. Not only did he place it on the table, but he lifted me onto the table too. As that thought crossed her mind, she could not refrain from raising her hands to cover her face and squeezed her eyes shut to stop herself from thinking further. Composing herself, she proceeded with her skincare, then turned to go downstairs.
Breakfast was already on the dining table. When Alexander saw her, he handed her a glass of warm water.
“Thank you.” She took it from him and lowered her head to take a sip.
Her thirst had been what woke her from her sleep that morning. She slept with the air conditioning turned on the whole night during the summer and would wake up thirsty every morning. Hence, the first thing she would do after washing up would be to go downstairs and grab a drink of water. Now, it appeared that he had remembered that habit of hers.
Since Sophia had a meeting at Sunshine Group that morning, he sent her there after breakfast, before heading to Odyssey.
Her meeting ended after one and a half hours. She had just left the conference room and returned to her office when she received a call from Lukas.
Yvonne tactfully turned to leave and closed the door behind her. Left alone in her office, Sophia glanced toward the door before saying, “Yes, Lukas?”
“What time is your flight tomorrow?”
“Around four o’clock in the afternoon. I’ll probably only arrive about six o’clock.”
“Okay. Call me when you arrive,” he replied.
Although her birthday fell on the day after tomorrow, she was going over earlier to spend time with Perrin.
He murmured an acknowledgment in response.
After the call ended, Katherine sent a text message saying: Soph, Alexander had a surprise ready for you when you got back last night, didn’t he?
Sophia could not help chuckling at the gossipy nature of the text. She wrote: What constitutes a surprise?
Katherine had a lot of time on her hands and was waiting for her friend’s reply. Hence, as soon as Sophia responded, she texted: Something that touched your heart.
The recollection of the album from Alexander warmed the cockles of Sophia’s heart, and she replied: Yes.
Katherine: There’s too much meaning contained within that one-word reply of yours. Tsk tsk tsk…
The smirking emoji Katherine sent after her text message tickled Sophia. She responded with: Does Joshua know you have so many naughty thoughts?
There was no reply from Katherine after that. The mention of Joshua had silenced her.
Setting aside her phone, Sophia quickly glanced through the document Yvonne had brought in earlier and signed it. Since she would be out of the office for the next three days, she had quite a lot of work to do, and it was past six o’clock in the evening before she finished going through the last document.
After passing the document to Yvonne, she took her bag and left the office.
The sky was not yet dark, even though it was already past six o’clock in the evening. The sun hung low in the sky, bathing everything in a golden glow. It only took her one glance to spot Alexander standing under the setting sun.
It was the time when everyone was getting off work, yet he dared to stand next to his car in plain view. Passersby would subconsciously glance at him, but he neither appeared embarrassed nor uncomfortable, seemingly used to such scrutiny.
Her lips curved into a smile. Then, she walked up to him in her high heels. However, he was so absorbed in replying to someone’s text message that he did not even notice she was standing right in front of him.
Sophia arched an eyebrow in amusement. “Excuse me, sir. Could I have your number?”
“I’m waiting for my girlfriend,” Alexander answered with a frown, a little annoyed at being disturbed. However, his dark eyes lit up when he looked up and saw her. “Could you ask me that again?”
She snorted softly. “A missed opportunity is a lost opportunity.”
Slipping his phone back into his pocket, he reached out and clasped a hand around her wrist. “In that case, may I take you home?”
“I have a boyfriend, mister.” Gazing at him with a slight smile, she pushed away his hand at her wrist. I finally get why Katherine loves acting. Putting on an act like this at times is quite fun!
“Is your boyfriend as handsome as me?”
She looked at him and could not help laughing. “He’s way more handsome than you.”
No sooner had those words left her mouth than he picked her up in his arms. There was still a continuous stream of people exiting the building. After a brief moment of shock, she exclaimed, “Alexander Xenos!”
He lowered his head and gazed at her with a rare hint of a smile in his eyes. “I’ve no choice but to steal you from him, then.”
After saying that, he opened the car door and placed her inside the vehicle. Then, he reached over to fasten the seatbelt for her, circled to the other side of the car, and climbed into the driver’s seat.
A smile tugged at Sophia’s lips as she gazed down at the seatbelt around her. My, my. He’s pretty good at acting.
The pair had a barbecue dinner, and it was only around half past seven when they left the restaurant. The atmosphere was lively outside the plaza. The crowd consisted of young couples walking about while holding hands, there to do some shopping or to catch a movie, as well as married couples. There were also those with their children in tow.
He looked over at her. “Yes?”
“Oh, nothing. I was only calling your name for fun,” she replied, smiling while shaking her head. I just wanted to confirm that this isn’t a dream.
His dark eyes narrowed a little at her words, and he suddenly stopped short.
“What’s the matter?’ she asked, raising a brow.
He lifted a hand to caress her cheek without saying anything. Then, he lowered his head abruptly and planted a quick kiss on her forehead. “It’s all real, my darling.”
Sophia had not expected him to kiss her with so many people around them, much less that he would know why she had suddenly called his name.
“Okay. I get it now,” she murmured, her face flushing.
Just then, a cute little girl carrying a small basket approached them. In her hand was a stalk of rose, and she held it out to Alexander. “Mister, why don’t you buy a rose for the beautiful lady?”
“How much is it?”
“It’s only a fiver each, mister.” The girl was very well-mannered, and she spoke in a soft, piping voice. She was simply adorable!
“I’ll buy them all.”
“That’ll be a hundred. I’ll let you have the basket.”
“Thank you,” he replied. Despite his cold and aloof appearance, he was quite good with kids.
The girl took the money and handed the basket to him. Just before she walked away, she looked at Sophia, then at Alexander. “I wish both of you a long and blissful life together,” she said. Then, she skipped back to her parents while clutching the money in her hand.
“Thank you. We will,” he answered earnestly.
Sophie stood there and stared at him, utterly dumbfounded. Holding her hand again, he looked at her and said, “Let’s go home and tend to these flowers.”
His words elicited a giggle from her. “Do you know what to do?”
“Not a clue,” came his truthful answer. Then, he added, “But Mr. Lane does.”
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