Isla Sullivan pursued further and asked, “Mom, are you saying that Dad wanted me to break off my relationship with Alex?”
Xena Sanders nodded and answered with conviction, “When your father was on the verge of death, his biggest regret in his life was that he didn’t get to draw the line between you and Alex in time. If he hadn’t condoned your involvement with Alex from the beginning, the company he worked so hard to build and run wouldn’t have been taken away by an outsider. The relationship between the three of us wouldn’t have become so unaffectionate and we wouldn’t have been held hostage last night! All that has happened to our family is caused by Alex Cohen!”
“No…I’m also partly to blame.”
“Lala, you were young and reckless in the past and your father was here to support the family, so I can forgive you for the mistakes you made before. Now that your father’s gone and you’re not a child anymore, you should know how to behave. In the future, this family will have to rely on you. You must take back what is rightfully ours!”
“Sigh…Mom, I know. I’ll follow Dad’s last wish!”
Isla let out a deep breath and nodded with a heavy heart.
Isla suffered too much and she had a big change of heart. Her mind was a mess and had no energy to foster any opinions. Even the most basic judgment was non-existent. She believed the last words made up by Xena and under the pretense of “avenging her father”, so Isla treated Alex as an enemy, just as Xena had hoped for.
Isla’s belief on how love was unwavering was lost to the harsh reality of the world.
To be precise, a reality forged by Xena Sanders!
Cynthia Walker, who matchmake Alex and Isla, realized the situation got worse. However, she could do nothing to persuade Isla and contradict the old, miserable Xena at this time. Without proof, even if she tried to convince them, it was impossible to change Isla and Xena’s state of mind.
The only one they could count on to come up with evidence was Hunter Yates, who knew the truth.
Alex, like Cynthia, knew Victor Sullivan too well to know his last words conveyed by Xena were all fabricated. He wanted to know the truth and the words spoken by Victor in his last moments. However, he knew it was not the right time when Hunter could not suddenly conjure out evidence, so even if he told everyone, it would be meaningless. He remained quiet and would wait till they left the hospital to understand the real events from Hunter in private.
It was too late for Isla though, her attitude towards Alex had shifted after being brainwashed by Xena.
As of now, this problem could not be solved.
It could only be left to time.
Alex quietly sighed and said to Big Ken and Hunter, “Sigh…let’s go first.”
Cynthia grabbed Alex’s sleeve and continued, “We haven’t finished speaking yet. What’s the hurry?”
Cynthia thought that Alex would have asked Hunter to defend himself, so that was why she did not ask Hunter. Unexpectedly, Alex was going to leave the situation without explaining himself. Helplessly and only risking being cursed by Xena, she said to Hunter persistently, “Before Mr. Sullivan passed away, what exactly did he say?”
Xena immediately became anxious and glared at Cynthia with cold eyes.
“What do you mean by that? You don’t believe what I just said? Besides, this is our family matter, what does it have to do with you? Cynthia Walker, don’t think I don’t know that you were the one setting up Lala and Alex. You could be considered as Alex’s accomplice and may even have some responsibility for what had happened to our family! Since you and Lala are good friends, I won’t bother with the past. Although in the future, you should find your place and not meddle in our business!”
“No Aunty, I…want Lala and Alex to be together. The two of them used to like each other and now that something has gone wrong, I want the situation to be cleared without any misunderstandings to avoid even more heartbreak. After all, one should have a reason to break up a couple.”
“In the end, you still don’t believe me? Well, I don’t care if you’re suspicious. If you want to investigate and collect evidence, find the right person at least. Hunter Yates is Alex’s lapdog, so he’ll certainly speak in favor of Alex and it’s impossible for him to be impartial. No, wait! Cynthia, you seem so eager to help Alex out. Are you his lapdog receiving benefits from him too?”
“Aunty, no offense, but your words are really a bit too presumptuous.”
“You don’t like to hear it? Then stay out of my family’s business! Get the hell out of here with them!”
Cynthia expected that Xena would get angry, but she did not expect the sharp words to shoot their way to her. She felt her nose tingle, and with tears streaming out of her eyes, she turned around and ran out.
Alex chased after Cynthia to the elevator, handed her a tissue, and said, “Xena is a person with no control and filter. She is cynical, so please don’t stoop to her level. Don’t give her the satisfaction if you are mad at her. It’s not worth it. I would also like to apologize to you for dragging you in this mess.”
When Cynthia saw someone coming, she walked to the hallway with her head down, dried her tears, and said to Alex, “Everything I did was voluntary. It has nothing to do with you, so you don’t have to apologize to me. It’s just that in the future, you and Lala will have to face things on your own without my help.”
“Oh, Cynthia! Don’t do this! You know that Lala and I are both new to relationships and we may not know much, but we hope that you can continue nudging us in the right direction. When we do get married, Lala will definitely ask you to be her maid of honor, right? So you won’t be able to stay out of our lives.”
“After all this, you still believe you’ll get married? Are you so sure Lala will even ask me to be her maid of honor?”
“Good things come in small packages. I believe that one day, all the misunderstandings will be soothed out and resolved. As for you and Lala…she won’t misunderstand you as Xena did. You both are close like sisters so even if she cut all ties with me, she won’t be bare to leave you too. But, as you said, she’s just very confused and lost now. She needs someone to comfort her, so please just bear with it and be there for her. Do it as a favor for me. She doesn’t have many friends and now that she treats me as an enemy, the only one who she is willing to seek comfort from is you.”
Cynthia pondered for a moment, took a deep breath, slowly lifted her head, and said, “You’re a genuine and responsible man. I wasn’t wrong about you and Lala didn’t choose the wrong guy. Since you’re so sincere, I’ll remember your words and treat Lala and Aunty differently. Your marriage is between you both and Aunty can only give her opinion but can’t just stop it at will!”
“I’m glad you understand! Thank you in advance. No matter what’s the outcome, I’ll keep this favor in mind.”
Alex finished his talk with Cynthia and called Hunter over. Cynthia was still there when he asked Hunter about the situation.
Hunter, like Cynthia, did not agree with Xena. He recalled his memory and relayed word by word of Victor’s last speech that he heard through the video call. He then added, “This is what I heard and what I saw. Every word I said is absolutely true. The only problem was I didn’t get to record Mr. Sullivan’s last words…”
Alex shook his head and said, “Who would’ve thought Xena Sanders would be so cruel to lie about Victor’s last words?”
Cynthia nodded and said, “I knew Mr. Sullivan wouldn’t say those words. If Lala was in the right state of mind, she would have not believed what Aunty said either. I hope that Lala can realize the false words. Our comfort and guidance can only be used as an aid. The main thing is that she has to figure it out herself and make the right judgment.”
“That makes sense.”
In the next few days, Isla kept herself busy. In addition to taking care of her mother, she had to organize Victor’s funeral. Although funeral services in the city were given to the funeral home, Isla, as the only child of Victor and Xena, had many things to settle and did not get to rest.
Alex saw all of it and his heart ached.
Isla, however, refused all the help Alex offered with indifference and did not even return to the villa. Instead, she stayed at Cynthia’s house.
It was not until the morning after the funeral that Isla went back to the villa. She found Alex and got straight to the point.
“I’m here to move out…”