Kevin had heard about the conflict between Alex and Grand Express, so subconsciously turned his head to stare at Alex. “Are they here to look for you?”
Alex did not answer but he nodded softly.
Gerald Xavier walked straight to their table and stood there, glancing coldly at Alex and the others with a straight face. He waited for the bodyguard to pull out a chair before he took a seat while maintaining his complexion and displaying a cold attitude that warded others away.
As one of the city’s top business tycoons, no matter where he went, there were long lines of attentive and flattering people. He was used to bossing people around and acting ridiculously arrogant like he was king of the world.
However, he received an unprecedented cold treatment today.
There were very few waiters in the small store, and they all were small folks who hardly knew about Gerald. Nevermind receiving warm hospitality, no one even came forward to greet him, let alone give him a professional smile.
During the meal, whether it was Alex, Kevin, Big Ken, or even Chief Judge Houston, none of them were interested in buttering up Gerald. Instead, they felt an overwhelming sense of disgust towards him.
Since Alex and the others did not like Gerald’s bad temper, none of them had the intention to initiate the conversation.
In the end, it was Chief Judge Houston who broke the silence first as he asked Gerald expressionlessly, “Mr. Xavier, did anyone invite you here? If you have something to say, just say it quickly.
You are a big boss with a lot of time at your disposal, but I am a working person and the unit management is very strict, so I have to go back to work on time.”
Gerald replied without a delay, “Chief Judge Houston, if you know that your unit manager is very strict, then why do you still dare to openly eat and drink so extravagantly outside? Aren’t you afraid of being reported?”
“Mr. Xavier, I am afraid you have some misunderstanding of the daily life of the general public nowadays. How can you eat and drink extravagantly in such a small store where the per capita consumption is less than thirty dollars? To tell you the truth, even if I’m alone, I often come here for lunch. If you think there is a problem, feel free to report me.”
“I… I am not here to look for you today.”
Gerald had nothing to say, so he turned his head to stare at Alex. He quickly changed the subject. “Alex Cohen, I certainly did not expect such a young man like you to be so scheming. You took the opportunity to mercilessly extort a huge sum from Chase Lucas. Now that Chase is dead and there is no evidence, even lies have become the truth. You must be very proud of yourself.”
Alex pursed his lips and replied, “Gerald Xavier, if you have something to say, just spit it out. Don’t act cynical here. Speaking of which, you’re not a eunuch, are you? If so, how did Jared come to be?”
Gerald was flushed red in resentment from Alex’s words. If this conversation went on, he would definitely rage flip the table and ruin the opportunity to talk about business. So for the sake of interest, he forced himself to suppress his anger, fished out the checkbook from his pocket, signed one on the spot, and pushed it in front of Alex. “Didn’t Chase owe you 190 million? I’ll pay it back for him.”
“When did you become so generous? It’s a pity that the repayment deadline has already passed.”
“It’s only been a few days, right? Besides, you haven’t received anything yet, have you?”
“I’ll receive it soon. I’m currently discussing the matter with Chief Judge Houston. Gerald Xavier, if you have nothing else to say, hurry up and leave. Don’t affect our appetite and don’t disturb our business talk. By the way… remember to take your check.”
“Do you still want more interest?” Gerald took out his checkbook again and signed another one. “Then, I’ll add another 10 million, which will give you a total of 200 million. Is that enough? Alex Cohen, let me remind you, don’t bite off more than you can chew. The validity of your IOU is still unclear. Getting 200 million is already an unexpected pleasure, so it’s best to stop while you’re ahead!”
“Hold up! The IOU was already approved by the court. Why would it still be unclear?”
“Who knows if anyone is in cahoots with you?”
“Gerald, now you’re at fault here. I can understand your suspicion towards me, but you can’t slander public officials.”
“Tsk! What about public officials? Can’t public officials have selfish motives?”
Alex was so irritated, he was about to get into an argument with Gerald.
However, at this moment, Chief Judge Houston held down Alex’s arm and shot him a look. “Mr. Cohen, you should know that it’s not easy to collect debt nowadays. Mr. Xavier took the initiative to pay you back for Chase Lucas instead. This is a good occasion that’s hard to come by, so you should accept it after all. Opportunity rarely knocks twice.”
“Huh?” Confused, Alex did not understand what Chief Judge Houston meant.
Gerald finally let out a smile, but it was a scornful one. “Chief Judge, you finally said something reasonable for once.”
Chief Judge Houston ignored Gerald’s sarcasm and continued, “Mr. Xavier, although you were the one who said that you’ll repay Mr. Cohen 200 million on behalf of Chase Lucas, there is no proof of your statement. In order to prevent you from suing Mr. Cohen for high interest in the future, you should make a voluntary repayment written pledge.”
Gerald agreed without much consideration. “As long as Alex Cohen agrees, I have no problems with writing a pledge.”
However, Alex was still confused. This was not a good place to express his confusion, so he wanted to pull Chief Judge Houston aside to ask for an explanation. Chief Judge Houston knew what he was thinking, so he gave him an affirmative look again as if saying that everything was under control.
Alex pondered for a moment but he still could not understand what Chief Judge Houston was scheming. Even so, he knew that Chief Judge Houston would not harm him, so he gritted his teeth and agreed. “Gerald Xavier, I thought about it carefully. It is indeed not easy to get 200 million from you, so I should seize this rare opportunity. Alright then, I’ll give you the IOU as long as you make a written pledge.”
“Good! This is what you said. Chief Judge Houston will be a witness.” Worried that Alex might backtrack, Gerald immediately took out a pen and paper to make a written pledge. In the pledge, it was written that he had voluntarily paid Alex a debt of 190 million on behalf of Chase Lucas, and voluntarily added 10 million in interest.
Then, Alex requested Chief Judge Houston to inspect the note, and after confirming that there were no mistakes, he accepted it together with the checks.
Gerald reached out and asked, “You accepted the money. Where is the IOU?”
“Don’t worry, I won’t trick you.” Alex replied, “The IOU is with Chief Judge Houston. You can come with me to get it.”
“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go!”
Gerald stood up immediately.
“Wait!” Chief Judge Houston suddenly opened his mouth, “Mr. Cohen, you only received a check, not cash or transfer. It’s best to go to the bank to check it first. Only after you transfer the money to your account will the money be received. You can hand over the IOU afterward. Since everyone is here, let’s take a trip to the bank together, and considering I’m the witness, I have to put everything into practice to avoid any subsequent disputes.”
“Chief Judge Houston, what do you mean by that? Am I, Gerald Xavier, a person who cares about a measly 200 million? Did you think that I would actually give him a false check?”
“Mr. Xavier, if you are not happy to go through the process, you can take the check back.”
“Fine, fine, fine. Just be quick!”
Gerald could not wait any longer, so he took the lead to take Jared and his bodyguard outside.
It was only at this time that Alex had the opportunity to ask Chief Judge Houston for clarification. “Chief Judge Houston, I’m dumb. Can you tell me your thoughts directly? I’ve been thinking about it ever since I heard your advice, but I haven’t figured it out until now.”
Big Ken added, “That’s right, Chief Judge Houston, after the Young Master receives the money, Gerald’s next course of action would definitely be to take back those properties under Chase Lucas’s name. Once it’s transferred to his name, the Young Master will not be able to get them anymore. To say the least, even if we can get them, it will definitely cost a lot of money.”
Chief Judge Houston waved his hand and said calmly, “Mr. Cohen, please allow me to keep you in the dark. Regarding my plan, you will know in a moment. Although Gerald Xavier did not explicitly say this, his meaning was expressed very clearly, that after you receive his benefits, both of you will be on the same boat then. Since that’s what he firmly believes, we should not let him down of course. I have to grant him his wish!”
Alex was even more puzzled. “Chief Judge Houston, what you mean is…”
“I want to rip him off in a grand manner once and in a way he can’t reason with. He is the kind of person that needs to be put in his place!”
“How are you going to rip him off?”
Alex became more and more curious. He desperately wanted to know Chief Judge Houston’s plan.
However, Chief Judge Houston did not want to tell them now and Gerald Xavier had come back to rush them too.
With no choice, Alex had to suppress his intense curiosity inside. Once they went to the bank and transferred the 200 million on the check to his bank card under the watchful eyes of Gerald Xavier and Chief Judge Houston, they quickly headed to the court. On the way, he received a text message alert from the bank stating that the 200 million had been received.
The money was truly in place now, but Alex was still left hanging.
When they arrived at the court, Chief Judge Houston took everyone straight to the office. He rummaged in the filing cabinet for a while before he came over with a thick folder and handed the IOU to Alex. “Mr. Cohen, this is the IOU. If you have received the money, you can give the IOU to Mr. Xavier. Then, Chase Lucas’s debt with you will be cleared.”
“Alright.” Alex nodded. He hesitated for a few seconds too but he eventually slapped the IOU on the coffee table.
Gerald snatched the note, looked at it carefully, and when he confirmed that the document was valid and original, he tore it up directly. He was ready to throw it into the trash but he suddenly changed his mind. Instead, he took out a lighter and set the shreds on fire. It was only after watching the IOU turn into ashes that his mind was put to ease.
When Jared saw this scene, he was also relieved.
When Jared was in charge of handling this matter, in order to highlight his value, he did not ask his father for help when he encountered difficult problems and he was too embarrassed to ask too. It was only until this morning when his father overheard that Alex Cohen would soon get those properties under Chase Lucas, that he took the initiative to ask him about the situation.
Upon learning the truth, his father gritted his teeth and threw Jared a slap on the spot.
Gerald Xavier was in the real estate business, so he clearly knew the value of the occupied properties under Chase Lucas’s name. As long as they obtained the properties, waited for the storm to pass, and did some modifications, they could make a lot of money no matter if the properties were sold or rented. At the very least, they would not lose money.
This was also the reason why Gerald threw out his principal and allocated 200 million to Jared to deal with the matter.
However, not only did Jared not understand the true value of those properties, but he was also unwilling to give Alex so much money, so he gave up.
Fortunately, there was still a chance to fight for it.
Therefore, Gerald took it upon himself.
In order to get those properties, he went out of his way to give an extra 10 million…
Now that the IOU was destroyed, Gerald felt relieved and the gloom in his heart was cleared away. He proudly said to Alex, “Alex Cohen, I admit that you are smarter, but it’s a pity that you’re still too young and your vision is too short-sighted. Soon I will let you know how stupid the decision you made today is!”
Although Alex believed that Chief Judge Houston would not harm him, he still did not know what Chief Judge Houston’s plan was and he felt a little unsure. Yet since he could not show his weakness, he said in a calm manner, “Gerald Xavier, how can you be sure that I’m the stupid one. What if it was you who spent money to buy yourself a lesson?”
“Hmph, we’ll see about that!” Gerald sneered and turned to Chief Judge Houston, saying, “Alright, I have already paid off Chase Lucas’s debt for him. Next, it’s time to hand over those properties under his name to me, right? I’m quite busy, so there is no need to choose another day. Let’s sign the agreement today.”
The main point had finally arrived. Alex and the others stared at Chief Judge Houston with bated breath.
The only person on the scene who maintained a relaxed demeanor was Chief Judge Houston, who shook his head and said, “Mr. Xavier, so you are interested in the properties under Chase Lucas’s name? If you want to buy them, it’s useless to talk to me. You have to discuss it with Mr. Cohen instead…”