Turning the corner, Julie suddenly crashed into Kieran, her heart instantly settling at his familiar presence. She inhaled the comforting scent that clung to him, hugging him tightly.
“It’s okay now,” he assured her, wrapping her in his comforting embrace.
Julien furrowed brows in concern, “Did you finish the task? Why are you so scared?”
“Fi… finished,” Julie panted, “I ran into… the man who kidnapped me last time… he’s in this building.”
“The one who took you to the island?” Julien asked.
Julie nodded. Every time she encountered that man, she felt like a mouse cornered by a cat, terrified of being devoured alive.
“The phone that man left behind last time didn’t have any useful information,” Kieran reported.
“Let’s go. I want to see the face of the man who dared to kidnap you!” Julien’s tone was icy.
Julie admired Julien greatly, but that man truly struck fear into her heart. She had barely escaped alive from their last encounter.
While Julie and Julien were talking, Kenton’s phone suddenly rang.
Flavia peeked at the email that had arrived and tugged on Julien’s sleeve, “Our guest has arrived. We’re going to meet him. We’ll be back soon!”
“Who’s so important?” Julien asked casually. Curiosity sparked in Julie as well. Who could be so important that Flavia and Kenton had to personally meet them?
Flavia explained, “You’ve probably heard of him.”
Kenton added, “Interestingly, you have a closer connection to him, Hayden.”
“Connection? What do you mean?” This was the second time Hayden had spoken that evening.
Kenton continued, “Miles. Back when Miles was still your nominal father, he had quite a few dealings with this family.”
“Fitzgerald?” Julien blurted out.
Flavia nodded, “Yes, the Fitzgeralds.”
“The Fitzgerald family has a lot of history with Miles. But with his death, their grudges seem to have faded,” Kenton explained. “But today we’re meeting Simon, the next in line to inherit the Fitzgerald estate. I think you may have heard of him.”
Julien was taken aback. The person they had been searching for so long was acquainted with his own sister. But then, “How are you connected to Simon of Fitzgerald?” After all, aristocratic family members are usually mysterious.
Flavia smirked and gestured to her husband, “You forgot? Kenton’s mother is Maylis Ilgauskas Jenkins from the noble Ilgauskas family!”
Maylis had given up her noble title for a man, only to give birth to Kenton. Later, Kenton, probably inheriting his mother’s reckless nature for love, gave up his noble status for Flavia. In the end, Kenton’s grandfather, Bruno Ilgauskas, decided to pass on the title to Kenton’s eldest son, Nathan.
Of course, Julien knew this, but she did not think about it at that time, so she ignored the news. Now that Flavia knew Simon from the Fitzgerald family, she naturally wanted to meet Simon before leaving. After all, the purpose of attending this party today is to come for Simon!
“I’ll come with you,” Julien told Flavia and Kenton.
Given that Julien and Hayden had saved Nate and Cherry’s lives, Kenton wouldn’t refuse Julien’s request. Julie and Kieran were also invited to come along.
She said, “I’ve been looking into Simon, and I think there’s a lot going on here.”
In room 2403, Kleist stood by his young master, watching the USB in the black box in his master’s hand. After a few minutes of silence, he reminded. “Sir, Mr. Jenkins will be here soon.”
The man then put the U disk away, and then sat on the sofa, took the computer on his lap, casually browsing the stock chart on the Web page.
The rhythmic knock on the door interrupted them.
At the door, Kleist’s gaze fell first not on Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins, but…
“Patriot?” Kleist’s English wasn’t perfect, but he pronounced this word flawlessly.
Julie was speechless.
Kleist, Simon, room 2403.
At that moment, Julie seemed to finally understand something…
Kieran gazed down at Julie in his arms. Julie looked up at him, gripping his sleeve.
Catching a glimpse of Julie, Kleist gestured invitingly towards Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins. Kenton and Flavia led the way into the room. Only then did Kleist notice the figure standing behind the Jenkins couple. It was none other than Hayden…
This was a man he recognized from his files, the one who had personally dethroned Miles, leaving him in ruins.
Standing next to Hayden was a person he didn’t know, but a quick glance was enough to tell that he was no ordinary individual.
However, the last two people in line…
“Simon. Long time no see.” Flavia moved forward to greet the man sitting on the couch, with a friendly nod.
The man stood up, a picture of gentlemanly grace and elegance.
After exchanging pleasantries with Flavia, he nodded in acknowledgment towards Kenton.
“My apologies for the poor reception.” Kenton began courteously, before turning to introduce his companions. “This here is…”
Before Kenton could introduce Hayden, Simon spoke up, “Hayden, I’ve heard much about you.”
Then, he turned to Julien, “Canary? You’ve been tailing me for a while. Nice to finally meet you.”
Julien was speechless. The atmosphere in the room became oppressively tense.
Simon moved towards Julie and Kieran.
Almost reflexively, Julie ducked behind Kieran. This man standing before her seemed like a harbinger of doom, a grim reaper. He could accurately name Hayden and Julien, whose identities were arguably mysterious. As for herself and Kieran who had been splashed across newspapers and trending on social media, they were easy pickings. And yet, she had just tried to fool him, claiming her name was Patriot…
He had already reached them. Julie, frightened, hid behind Kieran.
Before he could speak, Kieran introduced them, “I’m Kieran. This is my wife, Julie.”
At that moment, Julie looked up at Kieran, feeling safe and secure. It seemed as if no matter what, she would be fine as long as she was behind him.
The tension in the room was palpable.
Flavia nudged Kenton.
Kenton suggested, “Shall we join the party downstairs?”
“Not today, I’m afraid. I have some matters to attend to. I’ll apologize some other time.” With that, Kleist, standing by the door, promptly opened it for
Simon left without saying goodbye to Flavia and Kenton. As the hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins, of course, couldn’t be impolite. After briefly notifying Julien, they followed Simon out.
When Simon had left, Julie finally managed to breathe. She tugged at Kieran’s sleeve, pointing in the direction Simon had left, and said, “That’s him, the one who almost shot me on the deserted island. When I asked his name, he said no…He asked about my name, and I …”
“What did you tell him?” Julien asked.
Julie, suddenly feeling guilty, stuttered, “P…Patriot.”
“Nice name.” Hayden, who had been quiet, suddenly commented.
Julie was somewhat embarrassed.
Hayden’s talent for sarcasm was impressive. Why hadn’t he mocked the heir earlier?
“So, Simon was in Sycamore Village that day?” Julien realized, “No wonder I couldn’t find any information about him in the city. He was in Sycamore Village.”
Kieran hadn’t paid much mind to their investigation into the Fitzgerald family’s heir. But after today, it seemed he had no choice…
Inside the Presidential Suite on the top floor of the Cardinal Hotel.
Simon sat on the couch with a laptop in front of him. A flash drive was plugged into it.
He put on a pair of headphones. The flash drive held two files – an audio and a video file.
He clicked on the video file first. It showed Kleist pointing a gun at Julie’s head while him lying on top of her. It was from Sycamore Village, where Kleist had threatened Julie to board the yacht with him.
His deep eyes were like the dark depths of the ocean.
After replaying the video several times, he opened the unnamed folder next to it. As soon as it was opened, a processed audio clip started playing through the headphones…
The man listened, reaching the place where he had been injured on top of his thin black knit sweater. His gaze was unfathomable…