The cousins did not hold back on roasting each other. In the end, silence ensued in the car.
In all fairness, it was a good question, but there was no perfect answer.
It would be problematic for Sophia regardless of who she decided to bring to Perrin’s birthday celebration. If she brought Alexander as her partner, Perrin would likely be displeased. On the other hand, she was not willing to invite someone else.
As for Lukas’ case, nothing more could be said. If he had the willingness to find a girlfriend, he would not be single at the age of thirty-five.
The chat was going on fine. Why must we hurt each other?
Realizing his cousin was a force not to be reckoned with, Lukas decided to change the topic. “Don’t let your guard down regarding Alexander and the Xenos family.”
Seeing Lukas take the initiative to make peace, Sophia naturally played along and responded, “I got it, Lukas.”
They soon arrived at the airport. Sophia did not bring much when she came over, so she did not have a big suitcase for her return trip.
“Are you on the same flight with Alexander?” Lukas asked suddenly as they got out of the car.
Sophia nodded, feeling slightly guilty when Lukas looked at her. “He’s already inside the airport.”
“Mm. Give me a call when you reach Jadeborough,” Lukas reminded.
“All right, go on in.”
“Be careful on your way back, Lukas.” Sophia headed into the airport after bidding farewell to Lukas.
Lukas only drove off after watching her disappear from his sight.
Sophia immediately spotted Alexander when she entered the airport. He was holding a jacket in one hand and did not have much luggage either. He attracted a bit of attention from the passing human traffic as he stood near an elevator where it was crowded.
Alexander spotted her as well. He walked over to her and reached out to hug her. “Lukas gave you a ride?”
The hand around her waist felt like hot, burning steel. Sophia became self-conscious, and her face blushed slightly because of the surrounding crowd.
Sophia hummed in response. She raised her head to look at him as she recalled last night’s dream.
As they stood on the escalator, Alexander glanced down at Sophia, his ebony eyes flickering slightly. “Sophia.”
His ebony eyes emit a passionate aura, causing Sophia’s heart to flutter. She purposely looked away and changed the topic. “Lukas knows about the matter between you and the Xenos family.”
Alexander nodded. “Kristen went to look for Dillon the day before.”
The situation in the Xenos family was somewhat similar to that of the Dawson family. Beau only had one child—Zachary, who had since passed. The eldest member of the Xenos family currently was Dillion, the son of Beau’s younger brother.
Before his retirement last year, Dillon had arranged for his youngest son, Randy Xenos, to work in Odyssey.
Dillon’s eldest son, Tyler, was already working in Odyssey when Beau was still alive. After Dillon retired last year, Alexander conducted a restructuring exercise for the staff under the former, effectively reducing their influence in the company. Subsequently, Alexander turned Tyler into a mere figurehead. As for Randy, Alexander was not too concerned, as he only held a small managerial role.
Tyler and his men had been scheming behind Alexander’s back in recent years, but they failed to create any substantial threats because of the majority stake held by the latter. No matter how they tried, Alexander’s position remained firm. It was, however, bothersome for Alexander to deal with their little tricks and ploys.
Tyler had quietened down a lot in the past two years after Dillon’s retirement. He probably realized he was incompetent to challenge Alexander’s position in Odyssey.
Save for the fact that Beau had identified Alexander as the next rightful heir, the value of the wedding gift Eloise had left for Alexander before her death was sufficient to suppress Dillon and his family.
However, if Dillon came to know that Alexander was not blood-related to the Xenos family, he would, without question, create havoc.
After learning that Kristen had gone to look for Dillon, Alexander immediately instructed Felix to investigate what Dillon and his family had done for the past few years.
He had never gone to any battles unprepared. Moreover, Kristen had already pulled the first shot, presenting the urgency for him to collect ammunition and strike back.
Alexander had never thought of hiding all these matters and his plans from Sophia or bypassing her.
After listening to Alexander’s words, Sophia roughly guessed he had a plan in mind and glanced at him. “You truly believe you’re not related to the Xenos family?”
“I don’t know.” The fact surrounding his identity as a Xenos needed to be ascertained. However, if Dillon and Kristen dared to pull any tricks on him, he would undoubtedly make them regret it.
Sophia was more suspicious of Kristen. “Have it come across your mind that Leonard and Thalia may not be your father’s biological children?”
“Yes.” Alexander looked at her and admitted without hesitation.
He was never a kind person, always thinking the worst of people. He would only unveil his gentle side to Sophia.
In his heart, he merely treated Beau as an elder he needed to respect to gain his trust and attain the Xenos family’s inheritance right. Nothing could be said more for Zachary, who led a playboy life; Alexander had no feelings for him whatsoever.
As for Kristen, his so-called biological mother, Alexander did not see her in the same light. She had used his and Leonard’s DNA reports and claimed they were not blood-related. However, before Leonard’s birth, she abandoned Alexander and eloped with another man. That was a fact worth suspecting about a woman who abandoned her husband and child to elope with her lover. Alexander naturally would imagine Leonard’s and Thalia’s biological links to Zachary.
“Oh,” Sophia responded and recalled the DNA report she had seen that day. “You also don’t have any blood relations with Kristen.”
Regardless of whether Alexander was a Xenos, one thing was clear—Kristen did not give birth to Alexander.
As they approached the immigration counter, Alexander lowered his head and kissed Sophia. “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”
Alexander’s abrupt kiss in a crowded place made Sophia blush.
“Alexander,” Sophia called him softly, raising her head. “We’re at the airport.”
“All right,” he replied nonchalantly and reached out to caress her cheek.
Sophia did not sleep well the night before. She almost slept throughout the two-hour flight.
The plane had yet to land when Sophia woke up. She noticed the blanket on her and raised her head slightly to look at the man whose shoulder she was leaning on.
Alexander seemed to be asleep as well; his eyes were tightly shut, and there was a tinge of coldness on his handsome face.
Sophia shifted slightly, trying not to wake Alexander up, but failed. He opened his eyes slowly. “You’re awake?”
Sophia sat right up and used her hand to smoothen her hair. “Mm.”
The temperature in the plane was lower than usual, but Sophia did not feel so while sleeping, as she was covered with a blanket. However, the blanket slipped off when she moved, and she felt a chill momentarily.
Seeing that, Alexander reached out to pull up the blanket for her.
As Sophia watched him, she suddenly remembered an incident from a few months ago. Back then, she was flying back to Jadeborough with Horatius. Alexander was seated next to them across the aisle.
She had fallen asleep then too. When she woke up, she discovered she was leaning on Horatius’ shoulder. He said something to her then, but she still felt groggy and could not register his words. She leaned in, wanting to hear better, and that was when her hair fell and covered her face. She was about to tidy her hair when Horatius reacted first and helped tuck her hair behind her ear.
As she alighted from the plane upon landing, she met Alexander’s eyes, and he looked as though he wanted to swallow her alive.
Sophia did not think much of it but found it amusing as she recalled it.
She glanced at Alexander and smirked.
Alexander looked at her puzzledly. “What’s that smile about?”
Sophia gave a wink. “I’m not telling you.”
Alexander twirled his fingers lightly in Sophia’s palm, causing her to feel ticklish and subconsciously pull her hand away. But he grabbed her hand back quickly and locked his fingers with hers. “It’s time to get off the plane.”
He lifted his eyes, revealing a rare twinkly smile in those usually cold pupils of his.
He did not need her to tell him; he knew she was referring to the time when she flew on the plane with Horatius.
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