She gazed fixedly at the fork in Vivian’s hand, her eyes flickering with glee. Come on, hurry up and eat it! As long as Vivian swallowed those few pieces of braised pork, Evelyn’s plan would be halfway to completion.
Vivian’s fork was practically hovering next to her mouth. As she watched morsel after morsel of braised pork disappeared down her throat, Evelyn got so excited that she had to fight to keep a straight face.
You’re dead this time, Vivian! I’ll make sure no one will be able to rescue you!
After dinner, Vivian stood up and went to bid farewell to Rachel. At that moment, however, the loud ring of the doorbell pierced through the air. Is Finnick here? Vivian sucked in an anxious breath. Why had he arrived so early?
She walked over and opened the front door, feeling rather perplexed. To her surprise, however, it was Hunter who was standing by the doorway.
What the hell is he doing here?
“Hunter, what brings you here?” Vivian asked with an expression of shock on her face. How did he manage to find out Rachel’s address? I don’t recall ever telling him about it.
Noticing the commotion at the door, Evelyn wheeled herself over in her wheelchair. When she saw that it was Hunter, a pleasantly surprised smile appeared on her face. “Hunter, you’re here!”
“Vivian, I was the one who told Hunter to come over. He was supposed to have dinner with us, but he didn’t make it on time.” Evelyn turned to look sweetly at Hunter. “You missed out on a great meal! We just cleared everything away. Didn’t I tell you to come earlier?”
Seeing Evelyn’s desperate attempts to seem chummy with him, Hunter’s face clouded over ominously. He gazed at her without saying a word.
He finally tore his eyes away from her and turned to look at Vivian with concern. He scanned her up and down, looking slightly afraid that something might have happened to her.
Vivian seemed a little confused. “What’s going on, Hunter? Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Nothing’s wrong.” Upon realizing that Vivian seemed perfectly alright, Hunter let out a quiet sigh of relief. “Have you eaten yet? Why don’t I send you home?”
Since she had already made plans with Finnick, however, Vivian waved his suggestion off. “That’s alright. I’ll make my way back by myself later. Do you want to come in for a bite?”
Before Hunter could reply, Evelyn jumped in and said, “Vivian, why don’t you let Hunter send you home? It isn’t safe for a girl to be out and about alone. Who knows what sort of trouble you might meet on the road?”
With that, Evelyn wheeled around in her wheelchair and went to fetch Vivian’s handbag from the living room. She returned to the door and practically shoved the bag into Vivian’s hands. “Don’t worry, Vivian, I’ll do my best to help Ms. Rachel. You should return home with Hunter first.”
Vivian didn’t sense anything wrong with Evelyn’s overwhelming enthusiasm. She thought Evelyn was only trying to make a match of her and Hunter again like she always did.
She didn’t feel like arguing with Evelyn. Besides, Vivian wanted to leave anyway. Hence, she took her handbag from Evelyn and turned to Hunter. “Wait here for a bit. Let’s go back together.”
Hunter nodded silently, and Vivian left for the kitchen to say goodbye to Rachel. After all, this could be the last time they ever saw each other.
She stood in the doorway of the kitchen, hesitatingly slightly. In the end, Vivian finally mustered up the courage to address Rachel by a title she hadn’t called her in a long time. “Mom,” she said, “a friend is here to pick me up. I’ll get going first.”
Hearing that, Rachel turned around and wiped her hands on her apron. She walked over to Vivian, her face full of worry. Vivian had a distinct feeling that Rachel had something to say to her.
“What’s wrong?” The look in Rachel’s eyes seemed familiar—it was the same look Hunter had in his eyes when he looked at her just now. Vivian felt a little perplexed. Why was everyone behaving so suspiciously around me today?
Rachel opened her mouth as though to say something but closed it again in the end. “It’s nothing,” she muttered. After a pause, she added, “Be careful on the way home.”
Now, Vivian knew for certain that Rachel was hiding something from her. Since the older woman seemed reluctant to tell her, however, Vivian didn’t see a point in pressing her for details. “Take care of your health, then. I’ll… I’ll get going first.”
Vivian choked up slightly while speaking. Unable to hold herself back, she threw herself forward and enveloped Rachel in a big hug.