Chapter 13: Have You Ever Been In Love?
Even if Candice refused to give up, there was nothing she could do to Byron.
At night, Miranda was cooking some pasta in the kitchen at home when Candice asked her to set her up for a blind date as soon as possible.
“The property manager says he has a nephew who’s five years older than you.”
“What about that guy who works at the courthouse?”
“Your aunt introduced him to a girl who works at a bank and they’ve gotten engaged.”
“It’s been barely two weeks since they started dating, isn’t it?” Candice remarked in disbelief.
“They met each other’s requirements so they decided to get married. What about Doctor Byron? Have things fallen. through between you two?” Miranda asked as she walked out of the kitchen.
“He doesn’t like me,” Candice said in low spirits, feeling like there was a huge boulder on her chest.
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“Well, he’s a young and promising bachelor. It’s only normal for him to not take a liking to you…”
At that, she was even more upset.
After the date was set, Candice started posting some photos on WhatsApp Moments.
She posted a selfie of her makeup–free side profile along with a pretentious caption: [I can’t bear to let you go, but this is the end.]
To avoid being misunderstood that she was missing Rufus, Candice adjusted the app settings to hide the post from some of her friends.
Immediately afterwards, Harry commented: [Have you really given up?]
Candice instantly felt that there were signs of rekindling between her and Byron.
As soon as the nosy Harry learned that she was going on dates, Byron would definitely hear of it in due time.
After all, she had slept with him, so Byron was definitely still on her mind. She thought that there might be a chance at reviving her stagnant relationship with Byron.
Hence, Candice posted another Moment with the caption: [I’m curious what kind of story you will bring me.]
Harry lost his composure the moment he saw her post, and immediately sent her a text to clarify.
[Are you serious?]
Candice ignored him and turned around to put on a beauty mask. After some deliberate delay, she finally replied, [I don’t want to ruin the beautiful memories that Professor Wilson has.]
She sounded both miserable and helpless, with a sense of sorrow about letting go of the past.
That move was clearly smarter than the previous ones she pulled.
Harry took a screenshot of his conversation with Candice and forwarded it to Byron, who was in the midst of researching on a medical topic. The moment he received the text message notification, he opened it and zoomed in on the photo, only to be slightly distracted.
Once a woman who’s making the first move on a guy finally calms down, it would all be over.
Byron exited the app and continued working.
—[Candice will never cheat on you.]
—[Doctor Byron, as a professional, you should know that men’s fertility declines at the age of 35. You have three years of your prime left.]
Byron was too annoyed to work and simply switched off his phone.
A few moments later, he logged back onto WhatsApp from his computer and clicked on the picture again.
Candice had changed her profile photo to a new selfie that she had just taken. Her long hair was covering part of her face, revealing only her gentle and pure–looking eyes that had a unique touch to them.
The most memorable scene for him was when she was particularly well behaved in bed as she clung to him for dear life.
Byron didn’t lose control with her, though he was almost on the verge of doing so. After his experience with her, he felt that she had the potential to torment him without realizing it.
During the company’s morning meeting on Friday, Candice
was named and shamed in public.
The superior who called her out by name was none other than Patrick.
“Candice’s performance has regressed recently, so the boss intends to withdraw your team leader position. I’ve
interceded on your behalf. If you still don’t buck up, there’s nothing else I can help you with.”
All of Candice’s colleagues stared at them bizarrely.
After the meeting, Candice secretly approached the male colleague who revealed that Patrick had been married.
“Is he hating me because of love?” she asked.
The male colleague closed the door of the pantry and said, “According to my analysis, Patrick either took revenge on you or tried to make you feel touched that he incurred the higher–up’s wrath for you. Yet, you didn’t take the initiative to give yourself to him.”
Either way, the situation was pretty damning.
Candice had always been conscientious and dedicated to work, but she didn’t expect to be defeated by her male boss.
“What am I supposed to do then?”
“He proposed to you in such a grand manner, yet you rejected him. He obviously feels embarrassed and upset with you,” Candice’s colleague said with a shrug of his shoulders.
When Patrick walked by her desk on his lunch break, Candice called out to him, “Patrick.”
He stopped in his tracks.
“Yes?” he questioned coldly, clearly holding a grudge.
“I need to explain something to you.”
Glaring daggers at her, Patrick said emotionlessly, “Go ahead.”
“I didn’t know that you and the others were setting up a proposal that night. Otherwise, I would have stopped them beforehand. I’ve never spread anything to tarnish your reputation…”
“You thought I was using work to get back at you?” Patrick interrupted sternly.
“Candice, I’m not that wicked. I strictly keep personal relationships separate from work,” he continued.
Candice waved her hand and explained, “I’m just making my stand clear. Since we’re working in the same company, I’m worried you might have a grudge against me.”
Monica who was in the room next door took the opportunity to look at Patrick as she went to get some documents at the door.
Her face was as pale as a sheet.
She probably had some major trick up her sleeve.
“Save it,” Patrick said as he took a deep glance at her before leaving.
Candice was by no means stupid and she knew that he still hadn’t gotten over it.
Monica whispered, “He is at war with you. You can’t be too serious when it comes to reconciling. Men need to be coaxed. Just ask him out in private and apologize to him as gently as you can. I promise it’ll work.”
Candice remained quiet as she packed the documents.
“We’re have dinner with the rest later. The boss’s newly appointed secretary is giving us a treat. It’s a guy, so keep your eyes peeled.”
“I can’t make it tonight. I have a blind date.”
Monica asked with great astonishment, “With whom?”
“Someone who works at the Department of Commerce.”
“That’s such a stable job! What about Patrick, though? You’re gonna drive him mad,” Monica said, pursing her lips. in the direction of the Director’s office.
Candice froze for she had forgotten about Patrick.
Noticing that she had let it slip her mind, Monica cautioned, “For the next six months, you’d better keep your new boyfriend away from the office. Otherwise, Patrick’s going to give you a hard time.”
The matter was too complicated and Candice couldn’t be bothered to explain in detail.
“I doubt things will work out. Just keep it a secret for now,” she said.
Candice arrived at the restaurant where they had agreed to meet, only to see that the man was already waiting. Staring at him through the window, she realized that he was pretty good–looking.
He had short, black hair that was neatly combed and waxed. Clad in a dark blue shirt, he seemed to have just gotten off work. He was rather tall and muscular too.
Young women would usually go for men like him. However, Candice merely thought he was easy on the eyes. She didn’t dislike him but even if she did, she would just bear with it and keep up with the act.
She entered the restaurant and put down her purse before apologizing, “Sorry, I was tied up with work. Had to work overtime at a last–minute notice.”
The man stood up and pulled away the chair behind Candice in a gentlemanly manner.
“It’s alright. I just arrived too.”
Looking at him close–up, he seemed even more refined and sophisticated. Despite the warm weather, he didn’t seem disheveled or reek of the odor of sweat.
Although Byron seemed like a civilized and refined gentleman, his true nature was a far cry from his looks. Underneath his elegant appearance gave off a primitive sinister and savage energy. Unlike Byron, this man seemed to be truly civilized.
The man scrutinized Candice without any obvious traces
Chapter 13: Have You Ever Been In Love?
before introducing himself, “Miss Candice, my name is Marion Collins.
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Collins,” Candice said as she reached her hand out.
During the handshake, Marion was so prudent that he made sure to only touch her fingertips.
“I don’t know what you like to eat, so I chose a buffet–style‘ dinner tonight. But rest assured I’ll remember your preferences after this time.”
Candice had checked the prices of this restaurant online prior to her arrival. The buffet course cost a few hundred dollars per person, which was considered top tier.
She had no expectations of a blind date. After all, she wasn’t really interested in finding a prospective partner. However, Marion was very put together and impeccable in every way, so much that there was nothing she could pick on.
Most importantly, he had elegant and refined table manners, and was considerate enough to not bring up the sensitive issue of marriage and children.
If she wasn’t bent on getting her hands on Byron, Marion might be a great match for her.
After dinner, Marion sent Candice home. During the walk to his car, she deliberately walked behind him so that she could snap a photo of him.
Marion didn’t turn around but he could see from the shadows on the ground that she was taking a photo of him.
“I wouldn’t mind if you took a picture of me from the front,” he said.
Feeling a little embarrassed, Candice lied to get herself out of the awkward situation. “Your suit is really nice. I love it when men are dressed in suits.”
“We’re meant to be then. My job requires me to put on a suit to work every day,” Marion said jokingly with a chuckle.
Marion drove an Audi A8, the same model as Rufus‘ car. As soon as Candice got in, she was reminded of the stockings under the car’s cushion.
Marion asked as he drove, “Did you get divorced because your ex–husband cheated on you?”
Candice assented and said, “He’s been a serial cheater since we were dating, all the way until even after we got married.”
He cocked his head sideways to look at her with a pitiful gaze. “How could he not treasure such a great woman like
Chapter 13: Have You Ever Been In Love?
“I’m a great woman?”
“Of course you are. I have excellent judgment.”
“How about yourself, then? Most men your age have settled down and gotten married,” Candice asked, quickly changing the subject.
“Feelings come first for me,” Marion explained.
He pulled over below her apartment complex. Candice suggested that they take a picture together and Marion naturally agreed.
She tilted her head playfully, leaning her upper body.
towards the driver’s seat. Marion played along well and had his hand over around her shoulder without actually touching her.
After the photo was taken, Marion unbuckled her safety belt in a gentlemanly manner while saying, “You girls like posting photos on social media, huh? My female colleagues are just like you. They’d definitely post photos with their partners on special occasions like anniversaries and so on.”
Marion was obviously hinting at something but Candice didn’t plan to get into a relationship with him, let alone post
any chummy photos of them on her socials. She just wanted to take a few more pictures with him so that they could come in handy for her pretentious acts in the future.
Byron had performed three surgeries today, with the longest one lasting two and a half hours. It was already night time by the time he was done.
When he got back to the office, Harry was on duty and he was so engrossed in his mobile phone that he didn’t even notice Byron’s presence.
“You haven’t knocked off yet?”
Fully focused on his phone screen, Harry replied without even raising his head, “I’m switching shifts with Doctor Harvey. He left to pick up his daughter from her evening class and won’t be here until 10 pm.”
Byron didn’t say anything, and just leaned back in his chair with his eyes closed.
“What a tall, handsome and muscular man. I bet he can take out ten mobsters on his own. Women must feel safe around him.”
Standing opposite her, Harry secretly observed Byron’s reaction. Hearing his words, he frowned and rubbed his temples as if he had a huge headache.
“A heartbroken woman tends to fall in love easily with a man who showers her with care and warmth when she’s vulnerable.”
“What are you babbling about?” Byron finally interjected.
“Candice has a boyfriend now.”
“Patrick?” Byron asked after a moment of silence.
Harry slid his phone across the table towards Byron and said, “She’s not interested in Patrick. This is the new guy she’s seeing. She must have a thing for him.”
Byron glanced at the photo indifferently. Only half of the man’s back could be seen in the photo. However, his back was straight and his aura was extraordinary.
Candice’s caption was: [Officially mesmerized.]
Byron was certain that must have gone through his Whatsapp Moments from three years ago.
Reason being, he had attached the same caption to a photo of Vicky’s back that he posted on his Whatsapp Moments.
An open crush.
A secret crush.
Candice was mocking him.
Coincidentally, Candice’s text message came through at this
[Professor Wilson, I’m on a blind date with a very attractive man.]
Byron didn’t pry into her privacy, and instead replied: [I wish you a happy marriage and a baby soon.]
When Harry glanced at the last four words, he said, “You are really not holding back.”
“I was never a good man in the first place. She has calmed down and come to her senses now.”
Harry was speechless.
‘Vicky is such a pain in the neck.‘
Candice’s face turned pale with anger at Byron’s blessing.
She thought, ‘Fancy him thinking so far ahead. Looks like. he’s dying to be free from me.‘
She gritted her teeth and asked bluntly: [Professor Wilson, have you ever had any feelings for me?]
Byron’s fingers paused for a moment.
Harry was a man, and men know men best. It was time to struggle and slip into a dilemma. Harry got up and took refuge in the hallway, peeking at the indifferent Byron through the small window.
—[Since the decision has been made, there’s no need to dwell on it.]
Looking at the text, Candice’s resentment intensified. She dialed his number and, as expected, Byron refused to answer the call.
However, it didn’t take long for the phone to vibrate again. She thought Byron had called back and unlocked her phone, only to see that it was a text message from Marion.
—[Nice to meet you, Candice.]
She was a little disappointed and a little surprised.
He had gone from addressing her as “Miss Candice“, which was rather formal, to “Candice“, which was much more casual. It was a hint that he intended to take things a step further.
She acquiesced, and they got together straight away.
Candice replied to Marion’s message and he replied again almost within a second.
[Are you tired tonight?]
She transferred 200 dollars to him with a very official note: [Mr. Collins, your excellence is a great example to me.]
Adults tend not to go Dutch for meals.
Marion did not reply until Candice finished washing up, and likewise refused the money.
Byron got off work and Harry hitched a ride in his car.
“I often hear you mention Vicky, but I’ve never met her.”
Byron was speeding hard, and it was really thrilling.
“Have lever mentioned her?”
Harry couldn’t stand the bumps and grimaced as he answered, “When you were seeing her, you used to have video calls with her on the phone on the rooftop at
lunchtime, and you made me get out of the way whenever I
“I don’t like others looking at my woman.”
“You have your guard up against me too?”
With his eyes fixed on the road ahead, Byron stepped on the gas harder and harder, while the look in his eyes became fiercer. “No one is allowed to look but me.”
Byron’s possessiveness was surprisingly strong, almost to the extent of paranoia.
Vicky’s previous boyfriends were allegedly dumped by her, but the photographer was the only one who dumped her.
The photographer fell in love with a print model, and Vicky went to the studio to slap the model, only to be slapped by the photographer afterwards.
Afterwards, she went to Byron and cried in front of him. At that time, Byron lost it.
That was a side to him that no one knew. He was untamed, strong, and domineering, as he charged to the studio aggressively and hit the photographer with a bat, causing the latter to suffer a concussion.
In the end, Vicky got together with him.
However, Byron had always been upset that Vicky had never said she loved him, and every time he drunkenly forced her to answer him, she would just lie in his arms and kiss him.
All his colleagues and classmates were aware of Vicky’s existence over the years, and some were fortunate enough to have heard her voice. Her voice was unique and neutral, unlike Candice’s jarringly coquettish voice.
When Harry accidentally bumped into her flirting with Byron in the video call, he threatened to hit Harry.
Byron was such a cold, aloof, and austere man. Yet, he was vulnerable towards Vicky, who had him wrapped around her finger.
“You’re asking for it.”
She teased, “The other way around.”
Vicky’s words and smiles were the best way to flirt with
“What about Enos? Has he met her?”
With one hand on the steering wheel and the other open
against his chin, Byron said sullenly, “He met her twice.”
Enos learned his lesson the hard way both times.
Enos saw Vicky dancing with an investor and going to the underground garage with him after the dance.
Afterwards, Enos returned to the private room and remarked, “Byron can have any woman he wants. Why does he have to be obsessed with such a promiscuous one?”
He was beaten up on the spot.
Harry believed that Vicky’s fearlessness stemmed from Byron being overly protective.
However, it was ultimately because of her ability to conquer
Although Byron was quite a scum when it comes to dating, he actually wasn’t too promiscuous, though his involvement with Candice never ended. Even if he didn’t like Candice, Harry didn’t believe that Byron could really be indifferent about the fact that she was dating another man now.