That was the best birthday Sophia had ever had since her parents passed away.
She was already twenty-eight and was way past the age of being excited over having surprise parties or lavish celebrations. However, she still could not help but feel happy and touched when someone made an effort to surprise her.
Despite being an early sleeper, Sophia could not sleep even though it was already past midnight. She was scrolling through her phone, looking at the photos Katherine had taken for her.
She had always thought that no one would know of the fact that Alexander was the heir to the Xenos family and Odyssey if he did not have his good looks.
The man liked keeping a low profile and wasn’t the sort of person who enjoyed the attention.
Sophia could hardly believe that he had chosen to celebrate her birthday in such an elaborate manner.
As the sky grew darker, Sophia gradually fell asleep.
She had not had dreams for a long time. More than a year back when she and Alexander first got divorced, she would frequently dream of the day when the two of them first met. Subsequently, she would also dream of her deceased parents.
That night, she dreamed of that day fifteen years ago. However, in her dreams, Alexander did not leave immediately after saving her. Instead, he held her hand and was leading her forward without telling her where they were heading to.
Sophia was awakened by the ringing of her phone. When she opened her eyes, she was momentarily blinded by the warm sunrays that were shining through the windows.
Instinctively, she lifted her hand to shield herself from the bright light. It took her a few seconds to realize that she had just woken up from a dream.
She yawned as she reached for her phone to turn off the alarm.
She had gone to bed later than usual the night before and was feeling groggy from the lack of sleep.
However, in order to catch the plane at two forty in the afternoon, she had to head to the airport right after lunch.
As Sophia wanted to play a few more rounds of chess with Perrin, she put down her phone and headed to the bathroom to wash up.
When she was descending the stairs, she saw that everyone else in the family had already woken up. Kylie was talking to her friend on the phone while Kasper was reading the financial newspaper.
“Good morning, Uncle Kasper.”
Kasper nodded with a smile. “Good morning. Your granddad and Lukas are downstairs.”
The butler asked Sophia if she would like to have pasta or oatmeal for breakfast. After giving it some thought, she replied, “Oatmeal, please. Thanks, Nathan!”
As she had woken up late, and it was only two hours until lunchtime, Sophia was worried that she would be too full to eat during lunch if she were to have pasta for breakfast.
After finishing her meal, she headed outside to look for Lukas and Perrin, who were enjoying a game of chess in the gazebo.
“Have you taken your breakfast?” Perrin asked, turning his head slightly to look at Sophia with a benevolent expression on his face.
Sophia was not sure if her grandfather was aware of her meeting with Alexander the night before. However, since he did not ask about it and was behaving normally, she decided not to mention it.
However, Lukas saw her yawning. “Why don’t you get a little more sleep?”
A blush of embarrassment spread across Sophia’s cheeks when she recalled that Lukas had waited for her to get home before going to sleep the previous night. “I’m fine. I can sleep on the plane later.”
It was extremely rare for the grandfather and his two grandchildren to spend quality time playing chess together. Before they knew it, one hour had already passed.
Even though the midday sun was getting hotter, the three of them were sheltered from the heat in the gazebo.
They were having a relaxed time while enjoying the snacks and fruits that were placed on the table next to them.
However, such happy times did not last long. Sophia and Lukas noticed it the moment Susan and her family walked through the gate.
Hearing their voices, Perrin looked over as well and saw a housekeeper leading Susan and her parents into the mansion. Just then, the butler approached the gazebo and said, “Mr. Dawson, Ms. Susan and her parents are here.”
Perrin was still upset with the family over what had happened two evenings ago. His displeasure intensified after his peaceful morning with his grandchildren was interrupted.
“Why are they here?”
“It seems that they have brought a gift for Ms. Yarrow.”
Sophia raised a brow when she heard the butler’s words.
After taking a glance at Sophia, Lukas helped Perrin up and said, “Let’s go in and take a look.”
Although Lukas had told Susan and her family not to visit the Dawson residence ever again, they had not completely fallen out yet. Since the family was already there on the pretext of giving Sophia a present, there was no excuse to reject them. Besides, it was inevitable that they would meet each other sooner or later.
Sophia was not a single bit bothered by their presence as, to her, Susan was merely a nobody.
If she was serious about teaching the woman a lesson, there were many ways in which she could do so. However, she did not want to put Perrin in an awkward spot.
After all, Susan was also a Dawson, and no matter what, she was still related to Perrin.
Despite his anger with Susan over the things she had done, when Perrin heard she had come with a gift for Sophia, his expression softened.
Taking into consideration their efforts to redeem themselves and their improved attitudes toward Sophia, the old man decided not to make things difficult for Susan and her family.
Perrin had only held himself back from holding a banquet to announce his relationship with Sophia to the world because Sophia did not want the attention.
“All right. Let’s go inside and see what they are up to,” he said before heading toward the mansion with his two grandchildren.
The moment Susan saw Sophia, she flashed a smile and said, “Ms. Yarrow, I heard from my friend that it was your birthday yesterday, so I’ve specially prepared a present for you.”
She handed Sophia the gift as she spoke.
Sophia accepted it and replied with a placid smile, “Thanks, Ms. Dawson.”
Just then, Cherie piped up, “Since Sophia is Uncle Perrin’s granddaughter, she and Susan are practically sisters!”
What a way to link Susan to the Dawson family. This woman is really something.
After a pause, Cherie looked at Sophia and said, “Ms. Yarrow, you and Susan are of the same age, but you were born two months before her, so that makes you her elder sister. Uncle Perrin, am I right?”
Perrin cast a glance at Cherie and replied without answering her question directly, “Well, you don’t just refer to anyone as your sister. After all, Sophia’s family name isn’t Dawson. Others might have thoughts about Espen if Sophia and Susan start referring to each other as sisters.”
Perrin’s words had an underlying meaning to them. He was clearly aiming at where it hurt the most. It was an open secret that Espen had an illegitimate daughter who was of the same age as Susan. However, as Cherie was strongly against her husband bringing that girl back, Susan was the only daughter of the Dawson family whom everyone acknowledged.
Back then, Perrin had scolded Espen for letting Cherie down when the cat was let out of the bag. As such, he managed to shut Cherie up easily by mentioning the matter subtly.
Right after Perrin finished speaking, Cherie forced a smile and said, “I suppose you’re right.”
After that, she stopped talking.
Even though Sophia was not aware of the situation, judging by Cherie’s reaction, she could more or less guess it.
“Ms. Yarrow, I was just joking around with you two nights ago. I hope you don’t take it to heart,” Susan suddenly said.
Sophia looked at her and replied smilingly, “I don’t.”
“I’m glad to hear that.” Susan breathed a sigh of relief and walked toward Sophia, wanting to wrap her arm around Sophia’s.
However, Sophia dodged skillfully and asked, “Ms. Dawson, is there anything else?”
The smile on Susan’s face froze at once. She did not expect Sophia to reject her gesture of goodwill and could feel anger stirring within her. But because Sophia was Perrin’s granddaughter, she had no choice but to tamp down her fury. “Oh, nothing. I just want you to open your gift and see if you like it.”
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