Chief Judge Houston shook his head and said slowly, “You’re overthinking. I’m just stating the facts. Do you finally realize the seriousness of this matter through my explanation?”
Hash Lucas was speechless and communicated softly with Jared Xavier and his lawyer for a while before coming to a decision. After glaring fiercely at Alex Cohen, he said to Chief Judge Houston, “There are still a few days before the deadline agreed on the IOU, right? Let me think about it first…”
“You can think about it.” Chief Judge Houston nodded and said, “But I’ll remind you one last time. Make sure you pay attention to the time. Once the deadline is exceeded, the court will enforce it. Even if you’re willing and have the money to pay the debt then, you won’t have that chance.”
Hash Lucas did not bother with Chief Judge Houston and got up, saying to Alex in a condescending manner, “Don’t think that you’ll get me if you go to court. Just wait, I’ll definitely find a way to get rid of you. You f*cking killed my uncle, took away his territory, and now you want to take away his property as well? Dream on!”
“I can’t be bothered to talk nonsense with you!”
Alex shook his head. He really did not have the mind to talk nonsense with Hash Lucas.
He did not feel particularly good at seeing Hash flounder around like that. The man was just a pawn of Jared Xavier.
In the past, Chase Lucas was also attached to Grand Express Corporation, but Chase at least had his own influence and property, so he mixed quite well with them and also had a certain influence on Quill City. Even if he separated from Grand Express, he would not be completely beaten back to how he was in the past. They could still live a free and easy life.
Hash Lucas was different. He did not have any property under his name, and no men he could send on errands. The people who worked for him now were helpers Jared Xavier paid for. Once he was abandoned by Grand Express, represented by Jared, he would be reduced to just a passerby.
What was crueler was that Grand Express supported Hash not because of his strength or because he was useful, but because he was Chase Lucas’s nephew. They wanted to use him to take over the properties left behind by Chase in a ‘legitimate’ manner.
In the future, if something went wrong, they could just make Hash take responsibility for the blame.
Now, Chase Lucas’s territory was occupied by Symore, and the properties were about to be taken away by Alex Cohen.
When Hash Lucas’s identity became worthless, it would be the time for Grand Express Corporation to abandon him.
It was very tragic that Hash Lucas was being treated as a pawn by Jared Xavier, but what was even sadder was that he had no idea about any of this…
Jared Xavier also got up and left, but he waited for Alex at the gate and said in a cold, frosty voice, “Alex Cohen, you’re not stupid. You must have guessed that Hash is working for Grand Express Corporation now. If you go against him, it’s the same as going against Grand Express. If you don’t have a sense of propriety, you’ll become an enemy of our corporation!”
“You mean… You want to deal with me using the Grand Express Corporation?” Alex revealed a surprised expression. He stared at Jared and suddenly grinned. “I’m looking forward to it!”
“Reckless fool! You’re hopeless!”
Jared spat out the words and left in a hurry.
All people change.
Just like how Alex was no longer the cowardly boy of the past, Jared was no longer the child who was restricted by his family in every way. The matter of supporting Hash Lucas was a task that Gerald Xavier personally ordered. Now, Jared was handling matters on behalf of his family as well as Grand Express Corporation. With a strong backing, there was no longer the need to be afraid. He was free to go all out.
Jared thought that Alex was alone and would not be able to stand up to Grand Express.
Unbeknownst to him, Alex did not attach any importance to Grand Express at all.
Alex watched Jared Xavier and Hash Lucas leave, took out his mobile phone to check the time, and found that it was almost 5:00 pm before calling Isla Sullivan. It was too late to go to the City Hall for the divorce procedures today. By the time they got there, the staff would have gotten off work, so they could only go tomorrow.
It was a rare occasion that he did not have any plans for the evening, so he went to the supermarket and bought a bunch of ingredients to cook with Isla in the evening.
When he returned to the villa, he inadvertently noticed that Liana Ballantine was recording a video with her cell phone by a flower bed.
Liana saw Alex’s car and immediately stopped recording. She ran cheerfully to the Lamborghini that had pulled over and said to Alex, “Alex, you’re back from work?”
“Mm-hmm.” Alex nodded and pointed to Liana’s phone. “What are you doing?”
“Just taking a short video to post on Instagram Story.”
“You’ve started playing with that too?”
“Yep. I used to only watch what others posted. I only tried making some myself. Lala and mom gave me a task of posting at least one short video a day. They said that I could use this as a promotional tool to maximize publicity for the resort in conjunction with the advertisements that have been launched as well.”
“Oh? The ad you shot has been released?”
“Yeah… Alex, you haven’t seen it yet?”
Liana suddenly seemed a little disappointed.
Alex scratched his head and said awkwardly. “Sorry, I’ve been too busy lately. I haven’t even played much on my phone, much less watched TV. Which channel is your ad on? I’ll go back and watch it later. I’ll definitely enjoy your ad.”
“It doesn’t have as many placements on TV, so it won’t be easy to see it. There are more placements online… How about this, I’ll send it to you directly. The ads I shot were fifteen seconds, thirty seconds, one minute, three minutes, and ten minutes. There are a total of five versions. I have them all stored on my phone.”
“Sure, sure. That way, I can watch all of them at once and won’t have to worry about a TV drama interrupting it.”
Alex’s words amused Liana, and her disappointment had almost completely disappeared. She immediately sent the commercial videos to Alex.
Alex had just started the car and was ready to rush back when he suddenly heard someone calling out to Liana.
Turning over, he saw a group of young people running to the entrance of the villa area.
Liana stared at the group and suddenly frowned. “You guys… Why are you here?”
Alex realized that something was wrong and quickly got out of the car. He asked Liana, “Who are they?”
“Didn’t I say that I’m making Instagram Story videos? I accumulated some fans, many of whom are locals. They built a group and dragged me in. I once posted a video that was geotagged, and many fans said that they wanted to come find me. I thought they were joking, but I didn’t expect them to really come.”
“Something like that happened? It’s fine if they’re simply coming to admire your beauty, but if they dare to make things difficult for you, I’ll protect you.”
As he said that, the group of people had already entered. The security guard thought they were Liana’s friends and did not stop them.
The leader was a man about twenty-four or twenty-five. He held a large bouquet of roses in his hand and walked straight up to Liana, saying with a smile, “My goddess Liana, I didn’t expect that you’d look so much more beautiful in person… This is from us. Please accept it.”
“T…There’s no need.” Liana waved her hand. “I’m already very grateful that you’re willing to pay attention to me. How can I let you spend money on me?”
“It’s just a bouquet of flowers. It doesn’t cost that much.”
“There’s really no need.”
“Alright, I can hold onto the flowers for you first. It’s dinner time now, so let’s go for dinner together. By the way, we also have activities scheduled for the evening. It was all planned by us fans. Although we’re all locals, it’s not often that we get together, so we should have fun today.”
“I’ve already eaten, so you go ahead. I also have something to do later, so I can’t go. I’m sorry.”
“Hiss… Liana Ballantine, what do you mean? So many of us came all the way here and spent time and money just to come over and play with you, but what did you do? You refused the flowers and meal, and don’t even want to participate in the activities we carefully planned. Aren’t you being too disrespectful to our sincerity?”
“No, that’s not it. I’m really busy today…”
“Busy my *ss! Liana Ballantine, you don’t really think you’re some sort of big star, do you? Even big celebrities have to be polite when they meet fans, nevermind a small-time internet celebrity like you. If it weren’t for us fans, you’d be worth nothing. Why are you acting so high and mighty?”
Alex could no longer bear to listen and roared angrily at the fan, and immediately took Liana away.
Alex returned to the villa, put the ingredients he bought in the kitchen, and sat down in the living room. He could not wait to play the commercials Liana shot and enjoyed them one by one, becoming fascinated. After watching it once, he immediately watched it a second time. In particular, the ten-minute version was not shot like a regular commercial, but in the form of a feature film. It was just like watching a movie.
In the ad, Liana wore a flowy dress whiter than snow. Coupled with her remarkable face and slim body, she looked like a fairy on earth.
As Alex watched intently he suddenly heard Isla. “Is it that good? Your eyeballs are about to fall out of their sockets. Why don’t you just dive into the phone?”
“Ahem ahem… “ Alex coughed dryly and got up to respond awkwardly, “It’s not my first time watching it. I’m viewing it from a different perspective. I want to see how the commercial was shot and if there’s any room for improvement. That’s why I’m watching it so seriously.”
“That so? The company has shot so many commercials. Why haven’t I seen you watch any of those?”
“I didn’t see any of them before… I bumped into Liana earlier and she told me to watch it. Anyway, I bought some ingredients. Let’s cook together today… You’ll be the chef and I’ll be your assistant.” Alex put away his phone and pulled Isla into the kitchen without saying a word.
Isla wanted to give him a few choice words, but her hand was caught by Alex and she did not want to destroy this atmosphere, so she held back.
Alex bought quite a lot of ingredients. The two of them were so busy it was dark by the time they started to eat.
It was just the two of them. There was no one to bother them and there was nothing they had to do in the evening, so they drank some red wine. Alex’s alcohol tolerance was not bad, and he had only turned slightly red after drinking a few glasses of wine, but Isla’s tolerance was not as good. After a few drinks, her face was flushed and her mind was also a little fuzzy.
After eating, Alex wanted to let Isla rest, but she insisted on helping to clean up the dishes.
Isla had changed into casual clothes. She wore a white short-sleeve shirt coupled with denim shorts so short that her exposed thighs seemed to shine. She put on an apron, so the front view was blocked, but the back view was open to all. When she bent over by the sink to wash the dishes, Alex could not take his eyes off her while standing behind her.
Compared to the thin Liana Ballantine, Isla’s figure was more mature and belonged to the curvaceous type.
Alex slowly lost himself the more he looked and even got slightly hazy… Not only was the beauty intoxicating, the after-effects of drinking the wine also appeared. Red wine was like this. He did not feel anything when he drank it, but the real test only came after a while passed.
Suddenly, Isla twisted her waist and said to Alex, “The apron is going to fall off. Help me tie it.”
Alex returned to his senses and woodenly walked over behind Isla, pulling up the apron that had become undone. While he was tying the strings, under the close proximity stimulation of his senses, he suddenly could not hold back and leaned forward, pressing on Isla’s body and caressing her waist gently.
“Hey, Alex, what are you doing?”
Isla was startled and twisted her waist, squirming.
It was fine if she did not move, but now that she did, it further stimulated Alex’s primitive impulses, and he became even more uncontrollable…