Julien found herself staring at the Persian cat – a creature of elegant silver and white. Its eyes were a clear, transparent blue, as striking and precious as a pair of sapphire gems. A purebred cat, no doubt, and vaguely familiar.
Just as she was about to speak, a young girl of about ten appeared from nowhere. Dressed in a white sundress with her hair tied back, sweeping down to her waist. Her eyes, as bright and almond-shaped as a doe’s, were charming and lively. With a small, stylish black purse slung across her shoulder, she tiptoed through the banquet hall, quietly calling, “Lavee, Lavee, where are you?”
Julien furrowed her brows…
This delicate and beautiful young girl… wasn’t she Cherry, her niece? Charlene, to be precise, the eldest daughter of Flavia.
Following Charlene was her twin brother, Nate, or rather Nathan. He reached out to straighten Charlene’s collar, pulling her upright. Despite being twins, Charlene was quite a bit shorter than Nathan.
The cat, Lavee, perhaps realizing that it had caused some trouble, lifted its tail and sauntered back towards Charlene.
Charlene bent over to pick up the cat, giving its head a light tap with a scolding expression. “You’ve caused trouble again! Wait till I deal with you later!”
“Hey, young lady, is this your cat?” The woman who had been startled by the cat earlier, now emboldened by her male companion, was pointing at the Persian cat in Charlene’s arms with her champagne flute and an air of superiority.
Knowing that they were in hot water, Nathan was holding Charlene’s hand, bowing apologetically to the woman. “We’re sorry. We should have been keeping a closer eye on Lavee.”
“Do you even know where you are? How dare you bring a stray cat to such a place!” The woman sneered at the two children.
Despite being a gathering of elites, there were inevitably a few rotten apples in the bunch. They spoke rudely, yet carried themselves with an air of superiority.
Seeing the two children looking lost and alone, the man sneered, “Where are the hosts? Aren’t they going to kick these ill-bred children and their pet out?”
Julie felt the man was being ridiculously unreasonable. These were just children, they had apologized, and yet these two adults were behaving terribly…
Julie was about to intervene when she was stopped by Julien’s gentle laughter.
Caught by surprise, Julie turned to look at Julien. Was she laughing? Why was she looking at these two unknown children with such a tender and proud expression, as though they were her own…
“Where is the security? What a disaster! Whose ill-mannered children are these? What a disgrace!” The man continued to rant, seemingly expecting others to back him up.
Just then, a powerful voice echoed from the entrance, a stern and assertive declaration, “Mine.”
Upon hearing this, everyone turned towards the entrance.
Standing there were a man and a woman. The man was dressed in a white shirt and black suit, with the woman, demure and elegant in a white dress, standing by his side. In front of them were three young boys, looking quite alike and around five or six years old, dressed in matching black suits, white shirts, and red bow ties.
On hearing their father’s voice, Charlene, holding Lavee, walked towards her parents and pulled Nathan along with her.
There were whispers among the crowd as they recognized the family.
“That’s Kenton and Flavia, right? They look even better in person than on TV.”
“Yes, I didn’t expect the Fitzgeralds to invite such high-profile guests. Not only Kieran but also Kenton and Flavia.”
“Yeah, I heard this couple rarely attends public events.”
“Those must be the twins and the triplets, right? They’ve got some strong genes.”
“Indeed, no wonder those children are so well-behaved and polite. They’ve been brought up well.”
“Flavia must have saved a galaxy in her past life to be so lucky…”
Whispers and murmurs filled the room.
Julie finally snapped out of her daze. The woman at the entrance was Daphne’s former boss, who had married the CEO of Apex Innovations Kenton Jenkins. Now she was Mrs. Jenkins. Their family was bound to cause a stir wherever they appeared!
Wait, wasn’t Flavia Julien’s sister?
Julie turned back to Julien, understanding why she had been stopped earlier.
Kenton, with his arm around his wife, leaned down to Nathan and Charlene and said, “Go, tell the lady and gentleman whose ill-mannered children you are.”
Julie couldn’t help but laugh.
The middle aged man, who was clearly in an affair with the young woman, was now caught off guard. Kenton’s words, although not intended to
offend, had turned the situation awkward, leaving the two adults looking rather awkward.
The man hadn’t expected to stir up trouble while scolding a child, and now he had offended someone important.
Feeling guilty, he quickly let go of the woman’s waist.
Nathan and Charlene, obedient as always, apologized again before turning back to point at Flavia and Kenton and addressing the man and woman.
Charlene said, “Miss, that’s my dad, Kenton. I’m their ill-mannered child.”
Nathan added, “Sir, that’s my mum, Flavia. I’m their ill-mannered child.”
The man’s face turned pale, and he quickly tried to make amends, “Mr… Mr. Jenkins, I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“Mr. Jenkins, you are indeed more famous than I!” Flavia said to Kenton with a sweet smile, making it clear who was in charge.
Upon hearing this, the man quickly apologized, “Mrs. Jenkins… I’ve also heard a lot about you. It’s my fault that I didn’t recognize you. I’m sorry for any wrong words. Please forgive me…”
“Are you hurt?” Flavia asked with a concerned look on her face, while glancing at the man and the woman.
The man was taken aback by Flavia’s concern. He hurriedly shook his head, alongside the woman, and they both said in unison, “No, no, we’re not hurt…”
This was Kenton’s hotel after all!
Flavia nodded with a smile, “That’s good then. Hawley, could you please get some people to clean this up?”
Julien addressed Hawley, who was dressed in a suit.
Hawley quickly arranged for the champagne tower to be cleaned up in just a few minutes. As the man and woman stood there in embarrassment, Kenton suddenly directed the last cleaner, “Wait, isn’t there still a bit of a mess over there?”
The cleaner, who was responsible for vacuuming, looked at the spotless carpet in confusion and frowned.
Kenton pointed at the awkwardly standing man and woman with his chin, “Sweep them out too.”
This was like a pardon… The man and woman didn’t wait for the cleaner to use the vacuum. They quickly helped each other and hurriedly left.
“Auntie!” Charlene, who had sharp eyes, noticed Julien sitting and enjoying champagne.
Julien acknowledged her with a nod.
Charlene left her parents and quickly ran towards Julien, giving her a warm hug. “Auntie, did you miss me?”
“Not really.” Even though Julien’s response was colder than most, Charlene could still see a rare gentleness in her expression.
Nathan also walked towards Julien. The thirteen-year-old boy had grown to almost six feet, nearly the same height as Julien, who was wearing high heels.
Flavia, who didn’t expect to meet Julien, dropped her husband like a hot potato and ran towards her like a butterfly. However, the moment she saw Hayden’s stern face, she timidly turned back and grabbed her husband’s arm.
Flavia, who was fearless, was naturally terrified of Hayden. Their first meeting was nothing short of a nightmare.
Kenton gently protected his wife, “Don’t worry, Mrs. Jenkins. No one dares to bite you except me.”
Their voices were soft. Flavia leaned closer to his ear and whispered, “Kennel-Ken, I’m warning you seriously. You are not allowed to bite me again!” “So, I’ll go find Hayden…” Before Kenton could finish his sentence, Flavia quickly held his arm and said, “Fine, you can bite, okay? I shouldn’t have named you Kennel-Ken!”
Kenton was quite satisfied with his wife’s compromise.
Hayden was always serious. After Julien had introduced Kenton and Flavia to Julie and Kieran, he asked Flavia, “How come you guys are here too?”
“We came to meet someone important,” Flavia smiled at Julien. “It’s not strange for me to be here. After all, it’s Apex Innovations, but I’m curious about why you and…”
Flavia glanced in Hayden’s direction before continuing, “Why did you guys come?”
“We had to,” Julien didn’t elaborate. Flavia, accustomed to her work nature, didn’t ask further. Instead, she pointed upstairs to Kieran and Julie, “Mr. Hernandez and Mrs. Hernandez, why don’t we go upstairs and sit for a bit? The party won’t start for a while!”
Unable to refuse such a warm invitation, Julie and Kieran ended up going upstairs with Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins.
The children went to eat with Hawley, leaving only six people in the room.
Just then, Julie’s phone vibrated.
She apologized to Flavia and Kenton before pulling out her phone. It was a text message from Zenith, with a location: Cardinal Hotel banquet hall, second floor, room 2404.